IN THE 1990s

January 4th, 2010

So I Skimmed Rogue Trader 2009

And what did I find but the use of the name "Stryx" in the back. Cute. Real cute. Something about a xeno who keeps secrets and looks ugly. Yeah, well...

I see that Games Workshop can't help but mimic the Ferengi of Star Trek with this one, with a healthy dose of arcane mysticism and a little Jar-Jar accent that reeks of British punch-and-judy comedy. We shall see about that.

I've been writing about their material since 1997, and playing since Rogue Trader sold in the USA in 1987. And the reason I stopped work several times is the arrogant uppity colonial pretentious attitude GWUK has for its fans, players, and the game itself.

When outriders started telling me I should let kids cheat so they would buy the miniatures, and game design steered away from play to support sales at the cost of existing hobbyists, I got out of the hobby and started working on software for video games. This was 1997, long before GW would license any mature thematic element into video games.

I suppose they are a little jealous, now, after Dawn of War II bombed so badly with poor replay value and Blood Bowl flopped on launch, and Warhammer Online tanked laying off half the team, that they have to try taking pot-shots at my character with ugly little remarks in their half-assed imitation of the classic (1987) Rogue Trader roleplaying game.

I've got my own company and my own sci-fi war property in development now, which is hardly as based on prior art as GW's use of Judge Dread shoulder plates, storm troopers, blasters, Terminator-like assassin droids, Protestant-Catholic hate speech, British Naval discipline and English pride in military folly, and copies of "Alien" on the back of the Tyranid Hive Tyrant (epic, 1st edition).

The days I was a fan were old school horror-sci-fi. I'm glad they didn't go bankrupt like FASA, but crass remarks and comparisons to dead animals really do cross a line in good writer's use of terms.

It's not like I wasn't hosting the No 1 website for 40K online for several years in college, or didn't miss the letter from Jervis acknowledging my support of the hobby, to think this latest crack is an accidental use of my pen name (1996-2010) in their book (2009).

I've written custom rules to improve the game, been asked if they could be used in tournaments by players, coined terms about 'editions' and phases of GW art and history, and published very non-commercial fan-codex books (when people were being threatened for even writing rules for the game) - which then changed the title use of the official books (because they got the Latin wrong!).

So, for some jackass to imply that my site or my work is stolen in light of how much Games Workshop owes its entire license to other people is probably the worst mistake the company could EVER make. In real life my job relates to advising other companies about intellectual property limitations and rights in competition with firms like GW UK.

I have been lax in my duties, apparently, if this is the attitude that publishers at GWUK have taken with my "registered tradename" in their book. Like the failed attempts to trademark "Codex", "Ork", "Eldar", "Marine", "Titan" etc. - this will not end well for GWUK. A few articles on the demonology the 40K game is based on, including blood sacrifices and sexual images in the "Lost and the Damned" books by the firm - and this will be over quickly.

Who are they trying to fool? Parents, or their kids? Dawn of War "Soulstorm" had human sacrifice and soul collectors, torture cages, and women in chains on a battle barge.

I would love to see the World market zoom in on those products when we talk about their tournaments aimed at 13-16 year old children, and organization selling to that market. Really... do we want to do this?

House Shadis Founder,
H.M. Stryx

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