Does the Background Material Actually Matter?

There have been a lot of ‘rumours’ about Necrons lately and we’re finally getting some solid information about their ‘new’ background material.

Now I’ve never been a fan of Necrons. They’re boring to both play with and against due to their limited number of units and almost complete lack of interesting units, not to mention the fact that 5th edition was not particularly kind to them…..

The fact that they were going to get a whole load of new models and new special characters was pretty obvious because that’s now the basic ‘template’ for 40k armies. Vehicles were inevitable because Games Workshop has learned that making a customer buy two things (a transport and a unit to go inside) makes them more money than them just buying a unit and special characters have gone from being a ‘ask your opponent’ issue to a fundamental part of many peoples armies. So Necrons now fit into the 5th edition mould as everyone knew they would but obviously that design mechanic doesn’t really work when your armies concept is ’emotionless robots ruled by Star Gods, though those Gods still die when a couple of Space Marine Predators shoot at them….’ so obviously the background or ‘Fluff’ needed to take this new overall concept and give it some kind of context.

New Necron Background in Brief.
So apparently all the Necrons we’ve encountered before were the boring, sucky ones and the interesting ones have just started to wake up…and the reason C’tan die to the application of a slight breeze is because their not really C’tan at all…..

But does any of this really matter?


I’m guessing that most people who go through all the effort of buying, assembling, undercoating, painting and basing an army intend to actually use it on the tabletop at some point and I’m also pretty sure that the idea behind the army you pick must have some appeal or why did you pick that army at all? The interesting point is would as many of us be interested in this game if the background material was a single page of history followed almost immediately by the armies ‘Special rules’ page?

Probably not, though that was pretty funny 😉

So background does have some level of importance to many people, but would poorly written background put you off using an army?

As many of you are aware I have some issues with Matthew Ward’s background writing…

…All Marines chapters really want to be Ultramarines, a guy can survive in the warp happily kicking the asses of daemonic gods even though those gods have complete control of their own planets and could have turned it into lava underneath that guys feet and killed him any-time they damn well pleased and my all time favourite…..Grey Knights turn up on a planet and promptly butcher the few surviving Sisters of Battle so they can smear themselves in their blood as extra protection from Daemons as apparently fifty years of training, and armour basically made of anti-daemonic wards isn’t anywhere hear as good as smearing yourself in nuns blood…

…though saying that I think his rules writing is overall fairly sound…though many Chaos Daemon players may disagree…..

I personally wouldn’t necessarily not use an army because the background had a few irritating holes in it, but I would be more inclined to use it if the background interested me in some way. Of course as either a ‘competitive gamer’ or an ‘opinionated, arrogant, WAAC bastard’ depending on which of my ‘fans’ you listen to I may be inclined to use an army based on what it does on a tabletop and then I’ll just use the wonderful concept of ‘Counts-as’ to turn it into something that pleases me from a narrative point of view.

So does the background really matter to me?

Well a bit I suppose, but it’s more like a buffet dinner…..I take the bits that I like the flavour of and I leave the rest on the tray…..

Does it matter to YOU? Well that’s a different question altogether…..

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