Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Era Indomitus and Why I Love it

The Era Indomitus is upon us in 40k and with it one of the most exciting time periods for the Warhammer 40,000 franchise, at least in my opinion. The Horus Heresy is amazing as well, but I'm honestly more excited about the Era Indomitus than I have been for awhile with 40k.

What exactly is the Era Indomitus? Well, it's the time period we're currently in within 40k. The events immediately following the Gathering Storm all the way up through the Psychic Awakening. The galaxy is split in half by the Cicatrix Maledictum, with one whole half, the Imperium Nihlus, cut off from Terra and the light of the Emperor. It sees the Avenging Son, Roboute Guilliman himself, return to the Imperium in its darkest hour. He has rallied what strength is left and has embarked upon the Indomitus Crusade in an effort to reclaim what has been lost to the forces of Chaos and the Xenos, and reunite his father's shattered empire. It sees everything balancing on a knifes edge, with one side dooming mankind and the galaxy to eternal damnation, while on the other side we finally have something that the Imperium hasn't seen for 10,000 years; hope. There is finally a glimmer of hope as Guilliman tries to put right everything that's gone wrong in the long years of his absence. With that hope though comes renewed dangers as Chaos enjoys the most power it's ever had and the forces of the Xenos take advantage of the fractured Imperium to pursue their own ends. There's a lot to cover, and if you want the full story then I highly recommend reading the background lore on it. To put it simply though, it's the most exciting evolution of the 40k lore for me personally since the Eye of Terror campaign in 3rd edition.

There's so much more scope for storytelling now. With the advent of the Primaris Marines we finally have a plausible reason for new units and models within the Marine faction. The introduction of these new Marines also is one of the most interesting lore aspects and opens up so many more doors. How will all of the different Space Marine Chapters react? How will the Imperium at large react? How have they reacted? Another really interesting twist in the lore is that as of the start of 8th edition, 150 years had passed between the end of the Gathering Storm and the Plague Wars at Ultramar. Now GW has started going back and is filling in the missing years with even more story in the form of novels and even within the game. The Indomitus boxed set that came out with 9th takes place sometime during that crusade, before the events of the Dark Imperium boxed set. It's a little odd how the timeline has been handled, but I'm really enjoying what I'm finding out about that lost time.

The Dawn of Fire series of novels that just kicked off with Avenging Son does a great job at this. We get to see the very dawn of the Indomitus Crusade and all the nuts and bolts that went into it. Guilliman in this new era is one of my favorite parts. He's a man out of time and how that's being handled in the novels is wonderful. He's come back after thousands of years and is horrified by what he sees. The Imperium is corrupt and fallen apart. He's aghast at the power religion holds and how backwards everything has become. He's already cleaned house with the High Lords, and has started slowly reshaping the Imperium into something a little bit better. It's also very melancholy, because you get the impression that he thinks a lot of it is beyond saving, but he's going to try his best. The Primarchs within the Heresy series were already awesome, but by taking one of them and throwing them into the nightmare that is the 41st millennium, it makes them even better. I see him almost as commentary on how horrible the Imperium has become. He's our view in. Something that has gotten lost for some is that the Imperium is a satire. It's supposed to be horrible and oppressive. Guilliman sees that and is appalled but must do what he can to try and salvage the situation. He's sacrificing some of his own morals to make it right.

We're also starting to see a real progression of the storyline and events of 40k as well. For most of its life it's been stuck in the year 999.M41 with a minute to midnight vibe. Well. midnight struck and it tore the galaxy in half, now we have to progress past it. Events are unfolding for all of the races. The Necrons have the Pariah Nexus and the return of the Silent King, the Tau have an expansion fleet flung across the galaxy, the Eldar have the birth of a new god. It's all very exciting finally seeing stuff happen. This is an aspect of AoS that I've loved since the beginning, that the story actually progresses. Now we're getting that with 40k too. That can easily mean whole new races introduced as new threats to the galaxy, or even new branches of the Imperial war machine. What's to stop Guilliman from creating a new branch when needed? What will happen if another one of his brothers returns? Only two of the loyalist Primarchs are confirmed dead, the rest are lost and could easily come back at some time.

I'd love to see more of the spinoff games set during this current time too. I made this mockup the other day because I love Battlefleet Gothic and I just think a Battlefleet Indomitus would be amazing. It's the largest Imperial Naval expedition since the Great Crusade and it would be very easy to justify all of the races in it as it expands with new fleets. A Titanicus expansion set during Indomitus with Chaos and Xenos titans would be great too. 

While a lot of this kicked off with 8th edition, the efforts being made in 9th edition to fill in all of the details of the Indomitus Crusade is what's really sucked me back in. We have that 150 year time period to play around in plus anything that will come after it. I'm so excited for the rest of the books in the Dawn of Fire series. Avenging Son was amazing and you really should go read it if you're a 40k fan. I'm already looking at picking up some of the other books that explore this time period more like The Great Work, and Plague War. I've already read Dark Imperium and it was great as well.

I really think this is the golden age of 40k. Not only from a model and rules perspective, but from a lore perspective. The Era Indomitus is the best thing to happen to 40k since the Heresy and I'm sticking to it.

What do you think about the Era Indomitus? What would you like to see from this pivotal event? What spinoff games or boxed sets would you like to see set in it?

Until next time,

Tyler M. 

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