Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader: A Retrospective. PART ONE: Prelude...


In 1983, an advert appeared in the First Citadel Compendium ('An Irregular Journal') for a forthcoming game from Games Workshop, called 'Rogue Trader'.

Written by Rick Priestly, the text on the advert promised:

  • Spacecraft Combat in Deep Space
  • Space Sectors
  • Space Lane Encounters
  • Planetary Encounters
  • Journeying to Planets
  • Roleplaying the Ship's Crew
  • Advancing your Ship's Crew
  • Bounty, Commerce, Piracy
  • Systems and Repairs
  • Alien Trade
  • Encounters and Technology
  • ...Can you survive an encounter with Dr Gostalo's Amazing Inter-Galactic Psycho-Circus?, Can you handle Fear and Loathing in Los Asteros? can you uncover the fate of Herst Crabble's Fabulous Skystar? 
Find out with Rogue Trader - adventure, mayhem and destruction on a cosmic scale.
The Citadel Compendium, 1983

The first advert for Rogue Trader!

Following this advert, the trail would go cold on Rogue Trader for nearly 4 years.  

Games Workshop would follow this with the subsequent releases of 1st and 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, which, as the title suggests, concentrated on what they felt was the more popular Fantasy genre for massed battles.

The writer, Rick Priestly, had been working on licensed games for Games Workshop such as the Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game, when he returned to the idea of Rogue Trader.

Work on Warhammer 40,000; Rogue Trader (referred to as RT throughout this article) began in earnest alongside the 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB), with which it shares many similarities in style and rules (more on this later).

The public got the first, proper view at what RT would be in White Dwarf 93 (September 1987). 

A four page, full colour insert set the premise and setting of what RT was, starting with the now famous introductory text that has graced the beginning of every 40k rule book since:

This single paragraph, for me,  created the entire game's setting; it was a world of horror, of hopelessness and a constant state of warfare. 

In 1987, we were still in the grips of the Cold War, Gorbachev was yet to come to power and the world was constantly on the precipice of Nuclear War.  Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government was 8 years into its rule, the recession years of the early 80's still loomed large, with the fallout of the Coal Miner's Strike being felt by those in the East Midlands (where the writers lived). 

Talking to the blog, Tales From The Maelstrom, Rick recalled how he was influenced by the themes of 2000ad, Larry Niven, Harry Harrison and others, to come up with a form of open-play skirmish game with a role-playing element, moderated by a Games Master.  This, combined with the politics of the time made for a dark satirical universe, the likes of which hadn't really been seen in the war-games community before.

The artwork in the preview supports this - mostly black and white drawings, it evokes a strange, gothic style, dark, cable filled rooms, with shadowy figures with skull faces hunched over arcane machinery. One piece shows an emaciated man at the heart of a machine, plugged into what looks like a arterial tubes, unable to support his own weight, yet powering the machine... the piece is titled 'The Emperor' and is our first view of him:

To me, as a 13 year old, obsessed with books on Durher and Bosch, this artwork immediately attracted me to the setting. Combined with the colour artwork, which had, to me, more than nod to 2000ad (with which I'd realise was down to the fact that the artists such as Carl Critchlow worked on both titles) which showed gritty Space Marines at rest in what looked like a bar and hunting a villain, I was sold.
'Smash The Empire'!

This juxtaposition of the arcane with the irreverent is for me, the heart of what 40k was, and still is - the phrase 'Grim Dark' had yet to be taken seriously, this was the age of the anti-authority, punk ethos in the game (as can be seen through the depiction of the Space Marines sat in a bar with almost- Vietnam style scrawling on their armour), offsetting the sheer horror of constant war and the cheapness of life.

The preview ended with adverts for the first two boxed sets of miniatures for RT: Imperial Space Marines, and Space Orks.

The Imperial Space Marine box (referred to by it's stock code, RTB01) was Games Workshop's first box of multipart, plastic miniatures (they'd produced plastic miniatures previously under the 'psychostyrene' brand for Fighting Fantasy amongst others previously, but these were monopose miniatures). 

Imperial Space Marines Boxed Set Advert

With enough parts to make three complete ten man squads, this box was a MUST HAVE for those who wanted to play as Space Marines (which were already available as metal miniatures at this point prior to the rulebook coming out).  The early releases of this box were in green styrene, which, with later releases, changed to a beige styrene.  

The second box set, RTB02, Space Ork Raiders, contained 17 metal miniatures (lead at this point) - nicely sculpted and full of character, as with the Space Marine box, these Orks would set the tone for the faction for the next 30 years.

So that's the preview. In the next article, I'll be going through first impressions of the RT rulebook!

I'd love to know your first experiences of RT - where you there at the start? What did you think? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Background Lore treated as Canon: A boon for creativity or a stifling hand around the throat of the hobby?

We need to talk about Canon... no, not that sort of Cannon, but the background of our games...

The word Canon originates from the selection of texts which are considered the 'official' or 'true' version of the Christian Bible (the word Canon itself originating from the Greek for 'Rule'), with other texts becoming non-canonical or apocryphal (again, originating from the Greek for 'untrue' or 'false').  This selection had repercussions - those who followed the apocryphal texts were branded as outsiders at best, heretics at worse, with the extremes of the Catholic Inquisition using them to root out dissenters and the 'unbeliever', torturing and executing people for nothing more than a difference in views over a text.

The burning of Heretics between the 15th and 18th Centuries was a very real threat...

In the modern age, when a setting, be it from a TV show, a comic book or a game, reaches 'franchise' status (that is to say, becomes wide ranging in terms of scope and size), there needs to be an internal logic as to how things hang together - where characters operate, their motivations, the origins of their skills and lives, how the universe around them works, to ensure that the viewer, reader or in terms of more interactive media, the user, sees it as a whole 'piece' rather than random events and scenes.

This in and of itself is not a bad thing - without an internal logic things would be less entertaining, less inspiring - as humans we look for connectivity, we love joining the dots to see a bigger picture in amongst the chaos. We find it comforting and reliable.

HOWEVER... there is a worrying trend amongst some, certainly in the wargaming community, to use this idea of Canon to restrict others creative output and interaction, by pushing them out by claiming what they're doing with their hobby is 'against the lore' or 'not in line with the Canon'.  

This use of the Lore to restrict others expressing their creativity is self-destructive, removing from the hobby the very reason for it's existence. 

Unlike comics, books or TV shows, where the Lore is the item consumed, it *is* the story after all, within a game such as Warhammer 40k, the Lore exists to promote inspiration, to give the players a framework - not a fence line - to hang their own ideas off and to expand upon, whilst giving those fans who only read the books a linear, logical story line.

One would hope that most would not see a problem with this in mind - that the Lore in a game is there to inspire - with other gamer's creating armies of female Space Marines, but unfortunately, there are those (such as the post above) who see this as a reason to insult, revile and criticise others hobby. 

It's with this in mind that I truly think, no, BELIEVE that the idea of having a Canon, or Lore within is now becoming self-destructive to the creative side of the community, and as such, needs to be considered separate from it. This separation of 'church and state' could bring a much needed refreshing viewpoint to those who wish to express their own ideas without being shouted down by those who wish to follow the official story with no deviation.  This is what happens within the fan fiction community and with little controversy, hundreds of stories that deviate wildly from the Canon, but remain valid to those who create and read them. 

So, next time you see an army or a conversion that you feel 'shouldn't' or 'couldn't' exist, just ask yourself;

Who really is at fault here? 

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Community enjoyment, or; recognition always cheers you up!

When I choose an army, or a miniature to paint, it's for a few reasons:
  • I'm collecting that army 
  • I like the miniature
  • It's a challenge to paint

But ultimately - It's an enjoyable experience when I paint it and finish it, with a sense of accomplishment and pride.

This comes from my own self, but when others see my work, and like it, I'll admit I do get a flush of pride and joy from them enjoying something I've done.  I generally get good feedback on social media, with my work being liked by many.

When LockDown started, and I was forced to work from home more, I took to watching Warhammer TV's Twitch channel a little more than I did.  I took particular attention in the Hobby Roundup, a twice weekly hour long show where the Community Team would present hobbyist's own work and discuss it briefly.  Joining in was easy - just use the hashtag #warhammercommunity on Twitter or Instagram, or send the team and email with your picture and then they'd choose their favourites and on the next show - their selections would be showcased for the audience to enjoy.

I've now had the honour of being showcased five times since March, of which I'm incredibly proud. I keep striving to do better in my hobby, to produce nicer and nicer work, and the opportunity to have it seen by a bigger audience is a great motivator!

Unfortunately I can't find my 1st appearance - which was an Ultramarine (ironic really given my biggest army is Word Bearers for the Horus Heresy game), but if I can find a picture I'll add it in later!

But here's my other 4 appearances, with the latest today (4.8.20) with my Slaaneshi Chariot:

Previous to that:

I'm hoping that I have more appearances, and that one day, I get my main ambition granted - a spread or at least a photo, in White Dwarf itself!

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Keeping the receipts: An Archive of Arch's Assholery.

CONTENT WARNING - RACIST, SEXIST AND ISLAMOPOBIC SLURS AND INSULTS. In order to fully explain and highlight the case here, there's no avoiding them.

When discussing our esteemed colleague, Arch[redacted] and his behaviours, views, comments and general demeanour, it can be guaranteed that someone (normally a low-count anonymous social media account) will ask 'well, where can we find the comments you say are disgusting? Because I've not come across them!'as if this somehow makes a point that it hasn't happened.

Now, subjectivity is a powerful thing here. Those who are normal, decent people will see these comments for what they are - offensive, divisive and wrong. Those who are 'true believers' of Arch's, will see them as 'spicy jokes', taken 'out of context' and most alarmingly, 'innocent' in their exposition. 

These 'true believers' are the ones to watch, to worry about and to keep wary of. This is nothing new of course, over the last 20 years or so, maybe even since the dawn of the new internet age, the right wing, nationalist viewpoint has found a toe hold in Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF) and used it to promote their views - from the Sad Puppies movement voting in blocs to stop BIPOC authors from winning Hugo awards, through to GamerGate and ComicsGate more recently, they all have the same common denominators - overwhelmingly male, white and Christian-background people with a fear of being sidelined after so many years of being in the driving seat.

So what do can we do to prove in this case that Arch is what we say he is?  Thanks to various sources across the internet, here's a list of his views, statements and opinions as espoused by the man him self.

Before we continue in to explore the sewer that is Arch's channel, I want to just highlight that it's not all plain sailing on the seas of Alt-Right nationalistic racism though for Arch at the moment.  Along with the issues highlighted previously (the bleaching of his Discord, the copyright strike, the removal of his TeeSpring account), he's now the subject of SEVERAL privacy complaints due to the content of his videos. Currently, Arch is claiming, though without evidence, that a fellow YouTuber (and avowed critic of Arch's) Leakycheese is behind the complaint - which is purely supposition, and in of itself, breaching YouTube's privacy rules... 

I do like a good Auto-generated subtitle cockup...

What follows is a list of the YouTube videos, with the phrases used, and the approximate timestamps where they were used. I've not added any form of opinion on the use of the phrases, as to do so would in my mind prejudice the viewers opinion. However, it is of my opinion that these are NOT 'spicy' jokes, that these comments, and the language used lead to a more troubling fact - that a man, a grown man with a large following is using a hobby channel to espouse his views and, through the channel, impress on others the same beliefs. For a man who wishes to 'keep politics out of the hobby', he certainly has no compunction in using it to promote his own.

Dawn of War 2 series Ep1 Faggot 17:20
Romanians stealing 18:55 Little "Wapanese" 50:35

Ep3 Mullato 8:47 I would like to be a Nazi 18:00 Raping women 45:13 Annexing Canada and Muslims 59:39

Ep4 Visicous deaths & Muslims 41:40 Ep5 Beat the women 58:10
Ep6 Spastic damage 37:15 Kyle and Arch on Arabs 1:02:19 Ep7 Arch on black women and mullato 16:33 Arch on rape p2 28:02 Negro 29:00 Most racist episode yet 53:46 (after talking about peanut butter and Mbato)

Ep 8 The disabled p2 46:10 Arch's co presenter Kyle on being banned from a forum for being a racist 1:02:20 Ep9 Muslim and Turkish men 37:22

Defending white nationalist terrorism: During his video on the Christchurch shooter where he expresses anti-muslim views and tries to mislead on the origins of the where the white nationalist shooter was radicalised, claiming, despite the shooters own admission that it was due to online right wing discussions, of which Arch is without argument a member of, that it had nothing to do with the online culture,

His (canonically incorrect) views on why a Black Library cover shouldn't have a black Ultramarine - 

Then we have his second channel, which is more outre in its output, claiming that the solution to 'Islamic Terrorism' should be more 'draconian', in stark relief to his views on the aforementioned Christchurch shooter -

Then we get to his masterpiece. So good, he's had to delist it - where he refers to Gnoblars as 'House N*****s' - his excuse? A black comedian used the same phrase, so it makes it OK for him to use it!

And finally, his Discord channel. It's commonly held (but denied by those close to Arch, but never by he himself) that he was given a choice once it was reported to Discord on the basis of it's content - racism, child protection concerns to name but two reasons - to either lose access to Discord or bleach it... the screenshots can be found here -  Again, his supporter flip flop on these screenshots, some claiming they're fake, other claiming they're out of context... even though Arch himself has admitted they're real!

Just one or two would be enough for most, enough to think 'maybe Im in the wrong' but Arch? He just keeps on going. 

It's not that he shouldn't have a voice - but why should such a divisive, destructive voice profit off promoting hatred of others, for nothing more than the colour of their skin, their sexual identity or orientation?  He's in a position of influence - one that requires a level of responsibility and balance. 

Which he sadly does not posses.

Arch is too much of a coward to answer the allegations himself - he WANTS to see everyone arguing, it supports his claim - dont give him the satisfaction.

So what do we do?

1) Report his videos to YouTube - if you see instances of hate speech, report them
2) Don't engage with his sockpupets on social media unless you really have to- just respond with a link to this blog if the ask for evidence
3) When they attempt to insult you, don't react - just ignore, block and move on.

And most importantly - make welcome to our clubs, our stores and our events those would be marginalised, excluded and vilified by Arch and those who follow him.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

My Very First Hatemail!

On July 6th, I posted an article entitled 'Warhammer is for everyone, or; Stating the bleeding obvious' in which I gave my support to the 'Warhammer is for everyone' statement from Games Workshop, and recounted why it mattered to me after a particularly nasty case of racism that I encountered as a third party.
It's been positively received in the most, with several other hobbyists reaching out through social media to show their support.
Until this morning when, this lovely little message popped into my email, as a comment on that post, awaiting moderation.
Now, it's not signed, the person who left the message has decided that they don't have the courage of their convictions to actually put their name to it, so I don't know who left it. I can assume that, given my outspoken views on a certain YouTube 'personality' that they follow him, given that their modus operandi is to lash out anonymously.

The little riposte went as follows:

'you won't be missed either when you will succeed with that suicide attempt. how's that depression of your's going ? ...'

I've never been ashamed to point out that I have problems with mental health, and that I've had periods of depression. What that has to do with the subject at hand is beyond me however. But this is classic bullying technique - try to pick a weak spot and exploit it. 
But they didn't pick a weak spot. They picked my super power.
I refer to it as such as, if I can survive crippling depression and suicidal thoughts throughout my life, and still be here, a well rounded, successful man in my 40's with a loving wife, good job, a great home and amazing friends, I can survive anything this world decides to throw at me, and I continue to do that.  No number of nasty little comments by nasty little people looking for a dopamine hit to fill the void that is their empty soul will change that.
It's why I'm vocal against the hatred that Arch[redacted] espouses on a daily basis, why no matter how many of his followers come at me, I won't stop exposing his dogwhistles, his bigotry and his pathetic attempts to bully and exclude.
I've been in this hobby since the early 1980's - and, along with my sense of what is right and wrong, who is welcome and who is not, I'm going nowhere.
And if you don't like that?

You wont be missed.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Wargaming for everyone, or; Stating the bleeding obvious.

When I joined this wonderful hobby 37 years ago, it was through a book, well, more a pamphlet, and some dice, quickly followed by some friends who were a little older than me and knew what they were doing in terms of playing the game.

We spent hours and hours, exploring worlds, defeating enemies and hoarding treasure together. Then we discovered that not only was this a game out of a book, but there were also versions that you could play using miniatures to act out battles.

That changed everything.

We got together, started a school club and welcomed anyone and everyone to come play. One of the lads there, who is still to this day my best friend, let me use his armies as I couldn't really afford enough to play myself as my family was a one parent household with little money for luxuries, but, with ingenuity (using cut out 'figures' from White Dwarf photos), sharing and imagination, we fought such battles as to be the things memories are made of!

That hobby grew into a passion, which has never left me.

I'm lucky enough to live near Nottingham, the home of Games Workshop, and, in my time I had the honour of chairing a club that would meet in Warhammer World once a week. The only stipulation we had was that you needed to sign in so we were covered by the insurance on the hall.

On a quiet night we had 50 players, on the business, 150+ playing all manner of different GW games - if it was GW it got played.

Not once did I look at any attendee and think 'you don't belong' - not once did we make anyone feel unwelcome.

Until one guy...

He had attended for a while, keeping his head down, playing his games, just like everyone else. He was a nice chap, his ability to paint was outstanding, even if he did lose more games than he won.
Then one week, he didn't turn up - nothing odd there, it was very much a casual thing to come and go.

A month passed and we hadn't seen him, which after 3 years of attendance was a little worrying - he'd become a friend as such, so I called him to see if he was ok.

He told me that he wouldn't be down the club again, but thanked me for checking in on him, and that he'd keep in contact.

I asked if he'd lost interest in the hobby, or was it that he was just busy?  What he told me poleaxed me.

'I'd been playing one of the guys' he told me 'and for once I was winning! I'd had some really lucky dice rolls, and my opponent forgot some of his special rules'. He said that as the game went on, his opponent got more and more agitated, whilst he tried to point out his rules to help him.

Then the guy snapped. 'you're a cheating N****R, all you've done is cheat! Why dont you fuck off back to selling dope you fucking C**N?'

I was speechless when he told me this. His opponent had been a member a few months less than he, but had a habit of being a hothead, shouting his mouth off but nothing like this.  Apparently the abuse carried on until our Guy packed his stuff up and left.

I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to say.  I'm a white guy, I dont encounter that type of abuse - EVER. I asked him what I could do to make this right?  All our Guy wanted was an apology, and for the chap to stay out of his way in future.  I promised to talk to him and get the apology. I apologised on behalf of the club and hung up.

I spoke to the chap in question at the next night he was there. He didn't deny it. All he said was 'well, it's true, he is a cheating N****R. Why should I apologise for the truth?'.  It turned out this chap was a regular not only at our club, but also at the local BNP meetings.

I spoke to the other club committee members and we banned him on the spot. He threatened to go to GW, to have us shut down, that he'd be down with his mates for us etc... but nothing ever happened - I never heard from GW about it (and we didn't bring it to their attention either - we were fiercely independent) and we were never approached by anyone.

I let our Guy know - but the damage was done. I dont know if he found another club or gave up entirely. We lost a friend and a great hobbyist to mindless racism.

So when in this last few weeks, GW came out in support of everyone being welcome to play the game regardless of colour, religion, class, sexual identity or gender, my spirits raised. This is a company I have given huge sums of money to over the years in return for entertainment, that has been the conduit to so many friendships, strong friendships that would never have been but for meeting these people at gaming events, that has provided me with worlds to explore and a route to keep sane when the darkness fell on me, to see that they WANT a diverse community filled my heart with hope.

There are those however that see this as some sort of attack - that to welcome others not like them, for what ever reason, is somehow a betrayal of their loyalty. I really struggle with this point of view - how can welcoming others be a bad thing?

They point to 'changing the lore' - as if the background stories were immutable things, cut in stone, never to be touched or amended, when in fact, as a few of the writers have pointed out, the background stories are essentially 'witness accounts', with all the flaws in perception, subjectivtiy and prejudice that brings.  So if the writers then decide to change it slightly, to remove areas that they're not comfortable with, to make it so that a widening audience can find links to their own thoughts, beliefs, natures - this isn't a bad thing in my opinion - it grows the background, giving it even more depth and colour, removing it from a 2 dimensional setting to hook games onto, making it a fully rounded universe, full of differences and all that brings with it.

The only ones who dont see this as a good thing are those who can't cope with change - those who believe it when they say 'they're invested' rather than the fact they're consumers, that decide they are the arbiters of who can and who can't play the games, who can and who can't be represented?

BUT! They cry, you're being intolerant of our views! Of our culture! You want to see it destroyed and replaced!  No, I'm not, and no, I don't. The difference is, I can see that a culture that doesn't welcome others, that isn't prepared to change, to evolve and bring into it others different to themselves is one that is a closed loop - one that slowly constricts until it chokes.  For communities to survive, to prosper and grow, they need to be open to those who normally wouldn't consider looking at them, as well as the natural inhabitants.  By being that, by showing others that this can be a nice, welcoming place to be, we all benefit.

I also think that this frame of mind ignores a pretty major point - that those who they cry about wanting to change things - generally referred to as 'SJWs' somehow 'invading' their space, have been here since the beginning - certainly within 40k, the punk, anti- right wing ethos has been there since the days of Rogue Trader, the entire background is run through with dark satire of the very things the right hold to be true and dear to them. This mis-reading, miscomprehension of the setting is a great problem when discussing the setting - there are those of us who see the satire, see the warnings against culture it displays, and those who would prefer to see it as a society to be held in high esteem.

Are we there? I dont think we are, but we're well on the way. Will there be bumps along the road? most definitely, but by learning from them, by growing and understanding why we hit the bump, we can avoid it in the future.

Warhammer is for all - and if you don't like the sound of that? If you feel that excludes you? Then you won't be missed.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

ArchFall - The downward spiral of a demagogue.

WARNING: This blog is not the usual gaming blog. It contains discussion of a nature that may offend.

For those who are followers of YouTube, and in particular, the various 40k channels, the name 'Arch Warhammer' (or, as of this last week, merely 'Arch') will be synonymous with 40k lore videos and licensed game playthroughs.

Now, apart from the fact that some of these are poorly researched (his take on Krieg Engineers is... humorous and quite funny in its own way), he's amassed quite a following amongst certain sections of the fandom. I'm not going to denigrate the making of lore videos - for those who have reading difficulties, or where English isn't their first language, they can be a great way to get to grips with the somewhat convoluted story arcs.

However, where Arch has deviated from the standard, is his involvement in political stances that are at odds with many, and certainly at odds with how Games Workshop wish to run their business.

This can be seen in Arch's reaction to the news on June 4th. Games Workshop’s Warhammer Community Team published a statement on Twitter titled “Warhammer Is For Everyone”:

Within this they clearly state that Warhammer is for all people and they will create miniatures and lore to support this. This is the most liked and shared tweet in the history of wargaming (13K likes, 3.8K RTs, 965 comments as of 5.7.20). Our hobby grew out of groups of friends wanting to share a common passion with others. At no point was there an exclusion criteria for anyone put in place, based on skin colour, sexual orientation, religious belief, gender or disability. To now promote views that would be offensive to any one of those groups to give an advantage to others is abhorrent, this statement reaffirmed that belief and as such, I fail to see why anyone would take exception to it.

However, on June 5th Arch published a YouTube video response to the “Warhammer Is For Everyone” statement. He disagrees with the statement and expresses that it is targeting himself and fans of his content. Receiving 131K views, he is ratioed in the ratings with 52% disapproval or 9.3K dislikes vs. 8.6K likes (as of 5.7.20), which would suggest that his view is not the prevailing view he thinks it is. Of course, this stance is not new to those of us who have followed Arch with some concern for a few years - his videos expressing dismay on the covers of the Warhammer Adventures books (books aimed at a younger audience) showed his intolerance to others - claiming that they were 'virtue' signalling by having a character in a hijab (she was wearing a cloak) being a prime example:

It was at this point, that select contents of Arch’s Discord server are published on Twitter causing widespread shock and concern at the frequent use of racist language and celebration of extreme historical nationalism. One of the moderators had engaged in discussions that should have been the cause for the immediate involvement of local authorities on child protection issues. No evidence of any such action has been provided or that the moderator had been banned. 
Following the leak of the texts, and the subsequent outrage and complaints to Discord, Arch was forced to delete the entire contents of his Discord server as per his admission in the YouTube interview with Asmogan published on 7th June*. This is because he broke their terms of service on at least hate speech. Due to his complete lack of leadership oversight and the huge volume of violations this was his only way to avoid getting perma-banned. In the world of employment this is what's known as a final written warning. This was then followed by a blow to Arch's income generation. on June 21st Arch’s Teespring merchandising account is terminated for violating the terms of service on a partner website. Claiming this is for 'political reasons' Arch once again takes to YouTube to complain about his treatment at the hands of the rest of the world who don't share his views. Teespring however, claim in their response to Arch (as read out by him) that this is to do with suspected copyright infringements.

From what can be gleaned from the public information on his page, In the month following the his Discord server leaks, Arch lost around $200 per month in Patreon pledges from around $1880 to $1680. His monthly revenue on SubscribeStar is not publicly visible, so we can't comment on that.

This brings us to the last week or so in the increasingly unhinged life of Arch. on July 2nd Arch’s YouTube channel receives a community strike from Games Workshop Plc for causing damage to the reputation of their trademark "Warhammer". The notification demands that Arch removes “Warhammer” from his channel title and all associated products and services. Arch submits to this demand and becomes just “Arch”. Arch's entirely expected response to this is to claim he is a martyr, that he is 'taking one for the team' to avoid other YouTube channels from being affected in the same manner, when in fact, with the notable exception of one or two channels that share his worldview, the majority of channels remain silent and even distance themselves from Arch. In the reaction video he put out, it's apparent that Arch is rattled by this - his eyes are darting from point to point, his face flushed and blotchy, it's obvious his consternation is growing. This is only made worse when, on July 3rd Arch is forced by Wargaming (the creators of World of Warships) to take down a sponsored video he made promoting a World of Warships Warhammer 40,000 licensed product. This happened after concerned members of the public notified the Warhammer Community Team and Wargaming about the nature of Arch’s YouTube and other content. Following this, Wargaming posts a statement on Twitter disavowing their sponsorship with Arch and apologising for their lapse in judgement engaging with him. They state they are against any form of discrimination and this is why they terminated their relationship with Arch. 

The statement is positively received on Twitter.

Of course, the person who doesn't take this as well is Arch - claiming that GW were now 'harassing' him through their business dealings. In his video, the deterioration in Arch's cognitive state is now visibly concerning. Of course, English is not his first language, so the unnatural breaks in sentences could be down to that, but the small, forced laughs, the blotchy face and darting eyes once again become a cause for concern.

Since the take down by Wargaming, Arch had claimed to be going on vacation (I assume a staycation given the current COVID-19 situation) and that he wouldn't be posting as regularly. However, since making this comment, he has published 2 videos, continuing his rants against the world and his supposed harsh treatment.

Arch likes to see himself as a leader, and when that view is threatened he appears to react badly. I'd suspect that this situation started way before the events outlined in this blog - that his non-inclusion in the Warhammer Heroes programme dented his ego, and since then, he's been on a downward spiral, finding reasons to strike out.

It would be nice, in a perfect world, to see if Arch would take this situation as a salutary lesson, explore the aims and benefits of a diverse world, and in particular a diverse audience within the hobby I'm sure he loves, but I fear he's too far down a dark path to even recognise that as a path back.


Since the writing of this article, Arch[redacted] as he is now referred to has launched an absolute tirade of abuse and bullying against those who disagree with him, and has also instituted an email writing campaign against Games Workshop, calling for the redaction of the 'Warhammer is for everybody' message, claiming that it is discriminatory against him and his followers as it doesn't allow for their intolerance and bigotry. He has also claimed that due to this, the Customer Services page for GW was broken through so many of his supporters trying to access it.

The truth is a little more sensible. Sources have told me that rather than being down to Arch's campaign, it was a knock on effect of the incredible success of the release of Warhammer 40k: Indomitus, with a huge number of customers trying to access the Customer Services team to enquire on the availability of the box set.

However, Arch's campaign has taken a sinister turn. Out of all his vocal critics - myself included - Arch has decided to focus on one person - HobbyistGirl - in which can only be taken as a sexist attack. His highlighting of her twitter comments is both cowardly and wrong, her comments being at the more tame end of the spectrum than others. His only reason to pick on her is her gender - and nothing more. By doing this, all he has done is prove the point that he is nothing more than a bigoted bully who hides behind his YouTube channel where he can espouse his hatred for anything not like him with little recourse or right to reply.

*Asmogan: ”My Interview with Arch Warhammer about the Controversy”.

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