Thursday, January 27, 2011

Come to Chaos...

Every so often, my text messages go off with an alert.  It's the same message every time, and has been for a couple of years now.  And it always leads to the same conversation, all in texts these days.
"Come to chaos" it says.  "The cookies are better."  is the usual follow-up.  Now, you may be wondering what on earth this has to do with my toy soldiers, and how it's NOT evidence of insanity.  Or paranoia, at least.  I promise, you'll understand in a bit. 
In the hobby, I have the opportunity to know some great people.  Some of these guys (and even gals) have become some of my best friends.  We didn't grow up in the same place, we don't vote the same at election time, and we don't even work jobs that are similar to one another.  But we all share our hobby of little toy soldiers, and the ridiculous amounts of made-up background story.  Some would even call us obsessed.
It's been said that you can tell alot about a person simply by the army he plays.  A tyranid player is typically quiet and unrelenting- you'll never catch a tyranid player flipping out (I've tried, make no mistake), while an Eldar player is typically a little wierd (yes, I mean wierd.  I'm one of them.  I, too, am just 'a little off'.  It happens.)  But most easily, you'll be able to tell if the person is a 'good guy' at heart, or a 'bad guy'. 

This is where the story comes back around.  See, I told you it would all make sense in a bit...
One of my buddies, an avid tournament player and co-organizer of one of the biggest gaming cons in the world, is a chaos player.  In the game, he's totally efficient about utilizing the rules, and he's completely merciless in destroying opponents.  For him, the game is not a matter of good or evil, it's about utter destruction.  Who cares about saving babies?  Especially when they burn so well...  (Neither he nor I are condoning violence against babies of any sort.  So, for all you sue-happy hippies out there, suck it!) 
In all our days, he's shown me his proud Word Bearers army.  In our trend-setting year at competition, he played them beside my Daemon army.  In all these years, he's been completely dedicated to that army, and the Chaos it entails. 

 Word Bearers
These Astartes turned against the Emperor early before the heresy.  Their worship of the Dark Powers of Chaos led them to the 'truth'- that Chaos is all that will be left after all else is gone.  Real power comes from that, and folly is trying to fight against inevitability.  Especially hated by the loyal Space Marines, the Word Bearers are the only renegades that maintain legion strength and combat doctrine.

So guess who the Word Bearers' primary enemy is.  If you guessed anything other than Ultramarines, please go do some research and come back when you know something.  If you guessed correctly, congrats!  You've graduated to knowing a thing or two.  Guess what my favorite army is.  No really.  Guess.  Okay, I know you won't get it, so I'll just tell you....  Ultramarines.  That's right, I love my boys in blue. 
For reasons that will grace the subject line of many blogs to come, I think the Ultramarines are the best force in the galaxy.  Old beyond history, steeped in legend and lore that stretches back to the same days as the Word Bearers themselves, long tallies of victories, all make the Ultramarines awesome.  But above all else, moreso than any other Space Marine Chapter or organization in the Imperium, they are ordered.  Everything about the Ultramarines is about order and efficiency.  There is a lesson in every situation, a rule for every moment, and a way everything works.  To step outside that is to invite Chaos.  To deviate from order is the very essence of chaos.

Remember how I said that you could tell alot about a person from the army they play?  Well, anyone that knows me will tell you that this is how I am.  I am a regimented, responsible, insanely obsessive person.  (but I'm also lazy, so it's a great war of my very own...)  I am the Ultramarines.  I don't need a deep story, even when there is one.  I don't need fancy icons and decoration, even if they're in every box.  I don't need 'creative freedom', as long as the job gets done and I survive. 

As friends have done throughout time with stuff they love, my friends and I have discussed the merits of each of the armies.  We've all discussed our various points of view on the fictional universe and our chosen made-up armies' roles in it.  We've even had heated debates as to the motivations behind these never-even-happened circumstances.  And always, without fail, regardless or original subject, it breaks down into a 'recruitment campaign'. 
I am Imperial through and through.  I have a half-dozen non-Imperial armies and sometimes even enjoy using them (remember, Eldar, wierd, me).  But I fight for the survival and dominance of the human race.  I am all about the homo-sapiens.  And mutant homo-sapiens.  And Astartes.  Okay, I'm all about anything that started human.  Until they start preaching destruction.  And my buddy, the one with the Word Bearers, says being the destructive one is how one gains the power.  Take advantage of weakness so that it may grow stronger, don't protect it.

I resist.  No matter how many times we sit around the bar table waiting for Round 3 to start, no matter how many times my annoying text message alert goes off, no matter how awesome their rules are.  I resist. 
"See" he says.  "You already look good in blue, just like us.  Come on.  Come to Chaos." 
And still I resist.


  1. I like the Ultramarines blue Daemon Prince, nice.

  2. Space Wolves - Because I do what's necessary to get the job done, when the 'rules' take too long. Or when the Ultramarines need something done, no questions asked. ;)

    Sisters of Battle - Because my blind faith in the first army makes me think everyone else is heretical :p