Why the Empire?

A question that occassionally is asked of me is why i tend to play villainous sides in wargames. Especially when in real life i’m often counted amongst the goodies.

Why play the tyrannous dictatorial Empire?

Well usually there’s a series of reasons. Being a Goth i often found the bad guys in toys, cartoons and films as i grew up more suited my aesthetic style.

Then there’s the amount of attachment one can feel to your troops.. playing the good guys and losing can feel bad, one friend who played Eldar in Warhammer 40,000 once talked about how much it hurt to lose every soldier knowing they were a dying race. So losing not just the game but every casualty can hurt (this may well have been the point H. G. Wells was trying to make when he pretty much invented the wargaming hobby!). But when playing the bad guys it isn’t so bad if you lose and you don’t have to care so much about each casualty (especially playing things like Tyranids in warhammer 40,000 and the Vampire Counts in warhammer).  Of course it could be said that it’s as bad when i win but as i play for fun (though i try not to get wiped out, the most fun game being a close game after all) i don’t tend to crush my enemies all that often.

It’s also true that the good guys tend to be the most popular but it can be hard to have good reasons for the fight if everyone is a good guy (this is often true of warhammer 40,000 where space marine players are very common and they aren’t really the type (and nor is the universe around them) to go on manouvers with non-lethal weapons to train against other marines very much (though that said there is an awesome training mock-warfare sequence in Graham McNeils Priests Of Mars warhammer 40,000 novel). But when you play a neutral or villainous faction there’s always a reason for a fight with any other faction or the same faction. At the end of the day someone’s gotta play the baddies 🙂 otherwise there can’t be the good vs bad clash.

But with War Rocket it’s a bit different. The other factors come into it and a very large part was that the Imperial rockets totally hooked me visually. But it also presented a golden opportunity. One of the things i love in the story of Flash Gordon and many sim ilar stories is how villainous characters like Princess Aura and Valten become heroes. So while the Galacteers match more my real-world views (i do human-rights activism where i can) with the Imperials with my own character of Princess Taegan i can play the villain on the edge of becoming a hero, i can enjoy the melodrama of evil cackling and also enjoy allying with the Galacteers to fight against a Zenithian invasion. I get to have fun with, and make subversive and seditious fun of, evil tyranny while playing with the ‘romance with the enemy’ adventure story and redemption of the villain as they are turned into a hero by another hero’s example story that seems like so many things to have become rare in our modern mythology.

So on that note… In the name of Emperor Marduk, ATTACK!

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