Space Hulk: The Heresy

One of the (many) things Warhammer 40,000 hobbyists, designers and the keepers of Intellectual Property at Games Workshop seem perpetually of two camps about is playing the events of the 31st Millennium Horus Heresy out in miniature.

If *I* were emperor, the Horus Heresy would never have been explored in the kind of detail the recent Black Library novel series has done--precisely because it has added very little (one really strong book, a couple higher quality books, and a raft of under-par disappointments) and robbed the Warhammer 40,000 background of mystery, stature and scope in the process. Mythic events stay mythic better when we concretely *know* very little about them.

Fantasy Flight Games' new and expansive board game Horus Heresy will provide additional detail...and bring the events of the Heresy that much closer to game play (admittedly still not in miniature--though the game pieces look very much like the sorts of things we miniatures hobbyists will *have* to have...).

And GW itself has occasionally toyed with recreating the Heresy in 28mm--though usually for 'showpiece' events like the GamesDay Seige of Terra table--while steadfastly positing that there will never be official rules or models supplementing the existing forty-first millennium background with armies, characters and events from ten thousand years earlier.

That is pretty much my preference, as well; when you start statting up Leman Russ, Magnus, Horus and the Emperor for 40K play, their magic goes away (see 'destroying the mythic' above).

*If* I had the power, however, I *would* explore the Heresy in miniature, in a very specific way--a way GW themselves have recently templated for us, so successfully: I would release a self-contained game, with the draw being the specific models everyone would like to have from the Heresy, in a limited edition. In other words: Space Hulk: The Heresy. Purists would get it for the ability to possess 'official' Guileman or Dorn or Mortarion miniatures, 40K players would get it to turn the included models into their own elite, ornate Ultramarine or Imperial Fist or Death Guard characters, GW would make a short fortune...and be able to 'officially' say there still weren't 40K minis (or more importantly, statistics) for Heresy-era figures.

If such a game were successful (and does anyone think it would not be?), GW could cover the major Heresy players in supplemental releases, over a series of years.

Imagine the first limited edition game recreating Horus' battle barge in Space Hulk board tiles (compatible with existing segments, of course, and of the same extraordinary quality) and featuring the confrontation between Horus and the Emperor; perhaps in addition to those two awesome miniatures might come Sanguinius, figures of Heresy-era Blood Angels and Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus/Black Legion. I'd even find a way to put the villain Erebus from the Word Bearers in there, to balance the Blood Angel primarch. What hobbyist would not want such a game? Follow that a year later with a supplement pitting Guileman against Alpharius, with Heresy era Ultramarines and Alpha Legion, or Perturabo and Iron Warriors against Rogal Dorn and Imperial Fists. Culminate the series with the piece de resistance: Leman Russ and his Space Wolves against The Thousand Sons and Magnus the Red, all with exquisite Citadel limited-edition 28mm models--40K scale miniatures that still were not 'really' 40K Heresy-era products--and GW could bridge both Heresy a likely considerable profit, besides. Win/Win/Win.

All I ask for suggesting the idea is a copy of my own of each game--and (for purely selfish reasons) that the Mortarion sculpt look especially wicked cool :)