We know the hobby well. Or at least we think we do. After all, can any of us honestly claim to have met it all? Think of all those long years, the background and stories, the whole new games, the evolving miniature ranges. Release upon release upon release, with much overlaid by newer, fresher approaches.
How much is there out there we’ve forgotten or haven’t even found yet? In a sense, each of us is an Imperium expanding outward into the galaxy of the hobby, our own Great Crusade, encountering realms new or new again.
Need ideas for a new army or a great battle or campaign? There’s more than you could probably ever use. Go beyond even the three invasions of Armageddon, the defence of Golgotha, Isstvaan III and Ichar IV, the Badab War, the Macharian and Damocles Crusades and the 13th Black Crusade, leave the famed recruiting worlds of the Imperial Guard – from Catachan, through Attila, Valhalla and Mordian to Tallarn – avoid the infamous Ork worlds such as Urk, Charadon and Gorkamorka and the known Craftworlds, skirt the Farsight Enclaves. Depart even from the Dark Angels’ Deathwing in their original black armour and the destruction of Caliban, and the Blood Angels forcing their way through the battle barge of Horus as it hung above an overwhelmed Earth, Ultramarines standing defiant amid gore on Macragge at the heart of Ultramar.
Think instead of Ork Yoofs emerging from the cool beneath rocks and gathering in the deep wilderness, Freebooters burying their loot on barren asteroids and mobs of jabbering Madboyz following a flaring Warphead into the fray. Imagine free-for-alls at Gargant production facilities and Gretchin riggers defending a Mega-Gargant as shock troops enter in mid-battle to blow the boiler open and halt the iron beast. Did Makari really not make it?
Picture Imperial Explorator teams with armies of Imperial Guard or Space Marine escorts assigned – or following in the wake of Wars of Faith – seeking out archeotech and lost human worlds, cataloguing the flora and fauna of Deathworlds and mapping all. The Necron tombs they stumble upon and all of the nightmare creatures awaking to a galaxy changed…
Gang ambushing gang in the polluted depths of Hive Worlds, with Arbite teams dispensing rough justice and Spyrers descending in advanced suits to hunt their fellow man for cruel sport. Mutants and zombies lurking in
the shadows, and worse besides, and the vast monsters in the depths of the sump.
Genestealer Cults infiltrating societies from within as the horror of the Hive Mind closes in. Boarding parties battling along the constricted passages of Tyranid hive ships beset by nightmare creatures. Planetary Defence Forces fending off the the extra-galactic invaders even as probosci extend to drink deep of the oceans. And after all, even if the impossible is done and the foe beaten, the Hormagaunts lying dormant beneath the surface of the seeded world waiting for the return…
Revolutionaries, rebels and mutineers breaking free of the Imperial strictures. The truly desperate fleeing for disrupted space, perhaps the Eye of Terror itself, the weak of mind seeking easy success and turning to dark gods for blessings. Demagogues preaching and Daemons bursting through the fabric of reality. Yet more worlds and swathes of space changed, made Chaotic.
The gods doing battle on their own plane as the balance of power shifts in the physical universe, the deities of Man, Chaos, Ork and Eldar. The godling Sensei, if they even exist, perhaps unaware of their origins and their possible fates.
Eldar Outcasts wandering the labyrinthine passages and chambers of the Webway, consorting with the Harlequin troupes, and the quiet Rangers, and the great Exodite havens lost to the galaxy, slinking where need be to avoid their dark kin. The spaces of the mighty Craftworlds drifting in deep space, silent, counting the losses of time.
And in the galactic east a new power emerging as the Tau and their multitude of allies see the rich potential spread out before them. The lines of the realm are porous as humans move from Imperium to Empire and Kroot mercenaries fight across them for their own gain. The diminutive Demiurg with their mighty technologies, the hidden Hrud and creatures stranger still. Where do the Zoats, the Slann and the Jokaero now make their homes? What word of the Squat Homeworlds?
Navigators guide ships through the Warp and black barges carry the doomed to Earth. Surely they rise up?
What else do the pages of the books of the legendary Black Library describe?
A galaxy of possibilities, 10,000 years of history and over two decades of options. And all this without even mentioning Inquisitors, Rogue Traders and the Deathwatch, the exploits of which are covered admirably and comprehensively by the excellent 40K roleplaying system from Fantasy Flight Games.
Why not explore the wider expanses and tighter corners of the 41st millennium? Do some sniffing around. Open your Codex in a different place than usual. Dig out your old White Dwarfs. Visit the Lexicanum. You almost certainly have the miniatures to do at least some of the ideas justice. Convert something new, tinker with a scenario – it’s that easy.