Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Joshua is a good guy, and a good gamer, but in the oft-judgemental group that is the 40K community, he can't always be himself.
I mean, it's pretty obvious to me. It's obvious to everyone he plays. But should the topic come up, he denies it.
Today I asked him about it, if he somehow had something against it himself or something, because it seemed so evident. I tried to be tactful, as it's a pretty sensitive topic to broach with anyone, much less someone you don't know really well yet.
He said he didn't have anything against it, no, and that he'd tried letting himself be who he was fully around the other 40K players, but the negative attitude of some of those players caused him to retreat a bit into his shell and to try to avoid the topic.
You see, Joshua has a not-so-secret-secret.
He's an Ultramarines player.
While this alone is enough to earn condemnation from many of the more closed-minded, there's more.
Not only is he an Ultramarines player, but he...
I hesitate to out him like this, in a public post, but discrimination of this kind needs to be addressed head on. OK, here we go.
Not only is he an Ultramarines player, but he also enjoys, sometimes, within the privacy of his own army list and with his own miniatures, to use special characters whose backstory does not mark them as Ultramarines.
I think that it should be apparent to regular readers here that I fully support the rights of my fellow gamers to engage in this kind of activity, as I think that they should have that choice, and it doesn't hurt anyone.
Really, how crippling is it to you to see a fancy Terminator with a big hammer and shield in blue and gold paint and accept that he happens to be an Ultramarine using the same rules as Lysander? Despite what some who deplore this activity may think, there's nothing in the codex or rules that prohibit it, so how does it really hurt you or your game as long as it's clear which figure is using which rules? These fears about "chapter-mixing" and "heraldic purity" are very outdated. Please, come into the 41st Millennium with the rest of us.
But Joshua has faced scorn and hassle from other gamers over this. Back when he was open about his army being Ultramarines, they would tell him that they really weren't due to X, Y, or Z character he would sometimes try out in pursuit of those horrible sins, "having fun" and "trying something different."
So he retreated back into his shell a bit. His army was still blue, with white-helmeted vets and so on, but it would be hard to spot any Ultramarine iconography. The army languishes half-finished, in a limbo of identity crisis, being "blue marines" when they clearly cry out for full expression as the prime chapter flowing from the 13th Legion.
While I personally don't want an Ultramarines army, I don't think that there's anything wrong with it, and I hope that someday I can see Joshua's army standing proud as who they are, regardless of the company they keep, whichever Darnath, Pedro, or Vulkan is "in coherency" with them.
Be proud of who you are and who you're playing, and don't let anyone else tell you who you "really" count as. If they try, they can stick it up their Sus-an Membrane.