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Thedeadclaw

What's the appeal to the Guild?

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As much as I want to like all of Malifaux, I've read most of the lore and can't see much to endear the Guild to me. Every time I start to care about Lady Justice and her righteous quest I'm reminded that the guild enslaves people and puts some of them to forced prostitution; every time I almost root for Nellie I remember the current GG wants to kill all people in Malifaux with magic.

The other factions have a hook, you know?

Neverborn lets you play as monsters trying to protect their home; Resurrections generally start out trying to save their loved ones from death or just survive as an undead themselves; Arcanists are mostly fighting for their right to exist and in some cases workers' rights to safer work conditions; the Outcasts have a variety of playstyles but are just people who don't fit in with society; the Ten Thunders let you play as a crime syndicate; the Gremlins are comic and fun and aren't as serious as most factions. But what do the Guild have? The description page for them even calls them a fascist organisation, they don't even follow the laws when punishing people (even ignoring how arguably unjust some Guild laws are), the profiteer off of the deaths of millions, they actively hunt down any opposition to their political order and they kill anything that already lived in Malifaux so they don't have to deal with it. So I guess I'm wondering why I'm supposed to want to play them. I have masters in four factions right now, and I'm hoping to branch into Arcanists and Outcasts with the Black Friday sale if they have the nightmare kits I want, but as much as I keep trying I just can't see what people like about the Guild to draw me into it.

Of course, I realize some people don't read the stories and only pick based on aesthetics or gameplay, but for me I pick my masters based on the lore and then pick the models to support their style of gameplay the best.

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What sold me on the Guild was the background story in the 1.5 rulebook.  The way the heroes of the Guild were carrying on was like a bunch of adventurer player characters.  And then there are the other masters with their diverging agendas...

When I was running demos with the Neverborn vs. Guild models, a lot of the time I’d try to introduce the Neverborn as the justifiably upset natives, and introduce the Guild as “Magic is real.  There was a global war fought over control of the necessary resources, and these are the folks that won.  They’re not going to let that control go.”

I’m not going to try to say that the Guild are good guys, but not everyone in the Guild is trying to do bad.

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Hoffman is the "goodest" guy in setting, he keeps most of the guild corruption out of the amalgam offices and operates off the laws, similarly lady Justice's death martials are more devoted to rooting out necromancy than any form of profit especially seeing as they all live on borrowed time despite as they are becoming the monsters they hunt. As for the Ortegas, they arnt just monster hunters, they are martials and sheriffs of the frontier, they are also farmers. They look after and help the frontiers people not just as protectors but they teach them how to work the land and will also help the homesteaders get settled, making her and her family celebrities and heroes to those folk.

On the other hand, Lucius has worked hard to cultivate corruption in the malifaux guild and is bent on world domination. Dashal was his right hand man but has been elevated to guard captain in m3e, while he is still corrupt, He is more focused on keeping his men and women alive and trying to maintain order in malifaux. Sonia's  lust for power and arcane secrets makes her indifferent and cruel, at best she is an anti hero and at worst a villain. McCabe now out of the guild was there to sabotage and spy in revenge of his murdered wife, I speculate that it might have been the last Gov general who was in charge of the operation that cause it to happen... but that is speculation.

New Gov General is an guild counsel member and wizard, taking a step down to manage malifaux and only has interest in rooting out the corruption and bringing order back to breach side operation.  

we have a new frontier martial coming soon with Basse.

 

I guess the appeal to the guild is being the law. running cowboys, ghost rider looking zombie hunters, witch hunters, robot armies, or simply being a minion master or achieving victory through bad press and slander. If you like fighting fire with fire or simply running a hand full of the settings most popular/main characters, that might be why you like the guild.

I recommend checking out "above the law" as it has a lot of information on the guild, and thus the world seeing as they are it's government.

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58 minutes ago, Thedeadclaw said:

Arcanists are mostly fighting for their right to exist and in some cases workers' rights to safer work conditions

All factions in Malifaux are absolutely Ruthless and search their own goals. One way or another, but don't get confused. Arcanists are exactly what Guild sais they are. A group of terrorists that only pursues the power and the control of Soulstones's traffic through the breach. They use the syndicate to accomplish their goals, and sacrifices the workers if it gives them any kind of advantage. 

Almost exactly the same than Ten Thunders. 

The Guild can be an oppressive authority, but also represent the order and protects te most of the humanity on Malifaux. 

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1 hour ago, Merchant said:

Hoffman is the "goodest" guy in setting, he keeps most of the guild corruption out of the amalgam offices and operates off the laws

I totally agree, Hoffman is great, but some of his choices have been questionable and unsympathetic at best. I actually really think he's trying to do what's right, but his own brother even hated the office he ended up working as the head of which isn't exactly a glowing commendation. I think he's definitely the most sympathetic Guild master though, for sure, because he genuinely is just trying to help people not get hurt.

1 hour ago, Merchant said:

As for the Ortegas, they arnt just monster hunters, they are martials and sheriffs of the frontier, they are also farmers. They look after and help the frontiers people not just as protectors but they teach them how to work the land and will also help the homesteaders get settled, making her and her family celebrities and heroes to those folk.

The Ortegas are kindof just... entirely unsympathetic to me. A lot of the Through The Breach modules suggest the Ortegas don't do much to help the homesteaders even when monsters attack (Amphibious Assault's story encounter comes to mind, but I'm pretty sure there are more). And like, they still gleefully kill off innocents for money. The gremlin hunt started because the gremlins were harassing carriages passing through their own settlement, which isn't entirely unreasonable. Regardless of what the Neverborn have done since (which is monstrous, admittedly, and part of the faction's intrigue), the Ortegas attacked them first. We have every reason to believe the Neverborn would have attacked anyways, especially the Nephilim, but the Ortegas established Latigo and attacked without provocation.

1 hour ago, Merchant said:

I guess the appeal to the guild is being the law. running cowboys, ghost rider looking zombie hunters, witch hunters, robot armies, or simply being a minion master or achieving victory through bad press and slander. If you like fighting fire with fire or simply running a hand full of the settings most popular/main characters, that might be why you like the guild.

This makes a lot of sense. I like definitely understand all of these, but for most of them there's another master with a similar theme I just like more. I think I get why people would like the guild at least though.

1 hour ago, Zebo said:

Arcanists are exactly what Guild sais they are. A group of terrorists that only pursues the power and the control of Soulstones's traffic through the breach.

That's just untrue lore wise. There's definitely a dark underbelly in the Aracanist smuggling ring, but it's absolutely not a terrorist group. They profit off of their group's own labor since they were the ones who mined the soulstones, and they use Colette's crew to make smuggling easier, sure. But there's nothing they've done to mark them as terrorists, unless I'm missing something. Sure, Rasputina has a weird cult, which is pretty dark. Yes, Ramos is a greedy slime ball. But overall the workers just want better wages and safer working conditions. There's a syndicate, but it's not a terrorist group for having protests or breaking smuggling laws. You can definitely argue that the Arcanists aren't good people by and large, and while I disagree I could see where you're coming from, but even if they are bad they're nowhere near what the Guild makes them out to be and they're certainly not terrorists.

1 hour ago, Zebo said:

Almost exactly the same than Ten Thunders

The Ten Thunders exclusively deal in organized crime and espionage, which is about as far from terrorism as you can get while still doing crime. Moreover like I said, the draw to the Ten Thunders is that you're playing a crime group. It's immersion so I get the appeal. I can't reconcile what the Guild canonically does with the idea of them enforcing the laws though, which makes it harder to place myself where I can see where they're coming from.

I definitely can see what might draw some people to the Guild from a lore perspective, and once the new TTB modules drop maybe there'll be lore to change my mind, but I think it's just not a faction for me maybe.

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2 hours ago, Thedeadclaw said:

That's just untrue lore wise. There's definitely a dark underbelly in the Aracanist smuggling ring, but it's absolutely not a terrorist group. They profit off of their group's own labor since they were the ones who mined the soulstones, and they use Colette's crew to make smuggling easier, sure. But there's nothing they've done to mark them as terrorists, unless I'm missing something. Sure, Rasputina has a weird cult, which is pretty dark. Yes, Ramos is a greedy slime ball. But overall the workers just want better wages and safer working conditions. There's a syndicate, but it's not a terrorist group for having protests or breaking smuggling laws. You can definitely argue that the Arcanists aren't good people by and large, and while I disagree I could see where you're coming from, but even if they are bad they're nowhere near what the Guild makes them out to be and they're certainly not terrorists.

Okay, I think at this point we need to make a distinction between the Halifax game Faction named "Arcanists", and the Halifax setting organization named "Arcanists".

The Arcanists, as run earlier by von Ramos, and now run by Kaeris and Iron Sides, absolutely is a terrorist organization operating out of the core of the MS&U.  Smuggling operations, protection work, petty crime, murder, etc., etc.  Murder and blowing things up to further a political agenda is terrorism.  And then on top of that you can add Marcus's activities, and consorting with the Cult of December.  (Note:  Revolutionists often perform terrorist activities.  That still makes them terrorists, the "overthrow the government" motive doesn't cancel out that.)

Have another look at the background stories dealing with the Hoffman brothers crossing over to Malifaux.  

And, to be frank, if you're not considering the Ten Thunders are terrorist group when they have what are essentially faceless ninja hitmen, I really have to wonder what your definition of "terrorism" is.  You have read the Ten Thunder stories about Mei Feng and the Boxer, right?

 

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You know, Marcus's activities are pretty tame compared to the rest of Malifaux, but honestly the Cult of December isn't terrorist, it's just a fanatical religious group which while bad isn't terrorism. I will absolutely concede that Ramos uses terrorist tactics, but the definition for terrorism has to be threefold. One, they're doing something to intimidate or terrify someone into doing what they want. Two, what they are doing to accomplish that result is illegal. Three, the person they are intimidating has to be a citizen, not associated with a police force, military, government or rival syndicate. So a lot of the things Kaeris and Ironsides do isn't terrorism for missing one or more of those points, and even Ramos is pretty inconsistent with whether he'll use those tactics. Ultimately I can concede that Ramos was probably a terrorist, but the Arcanist group as a whole? I don't think there's enough evidence to suggest other people in the organization were willing to use those tactics in pursuit of their goals.

Honestly I don't remember the 10T story involved so I'll reread before I say something one way or another, but while I remember the 10T doing a lot of intimidation, but very little if any of it hit all three criterion if I'm remembering right. I did read the whole lore in about two months; I'm doing a more thorough read through now because I realized I completely forgot about huge swathes of events trying to cram that quickly lol, so it's honestly possible I'm just not remembering the things you're talking about with both of these groups, but I wouldn't by the whole call either terrorist groups based on what I remember of the lore and what I've gotten through so far on my more thorough read through.

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You are all obviously reading some strange fluff.

M&SU, Ressers, 10T are ALL terrorist. The good citizens of Malifaux should be praising the guild at every opportunity for the selfless work they do day in , day out, to make Malifaux a safer place.

 

If it was not for the shining beacon of justice which is the guild, Malifaux would of been long lost.

 

:Guild:😆

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^^And some of us are Guild because tongue-in-cheek propaganda posts like that are fun. :D You just can’t get subversive like that with most other factions (you can argue that Gremlins are subversive just by existing but that isn’t grown within the faction).

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5 hours ago, Thedeadclaw said:

That's just untrue lore wise. There's definitely a dark underbelly in the Aracanist smuggling ring, but it's absolutely not a terrorist group. They profit off of their group's own labor since they were the ones who mined the soulstones, and they use Colette's crew to make smuggling easier, sure. But there's nothing they've done to mark them as terrorists, unless I'm missing something. Sure, Rasputina has a weird cult, which is pretty dark. Yes, Ramos is a greedy slime ball. But overall the workers just want better wages and safer working conditions. There's a syndicate, but it's not a terrorist group for having protests or breaking smuggling laws. You can definitely argue that the Arcanists aren't good people by and large, and while I disagree I could see where you're coming from, but even if they are bad they're nowhere near what the Guild makes them out to be and they're certainly not terrorists.

Arcanist are not the Syndicate. They are a secret society that uses the MS&U to accomplish their goals (the leader of Arcanists and the MS&U is the same man). The Arcanists are capable of plant bombs on a mine and kill the workers only to blame the Guild and gain support (for the MS&U) of the public. Sorry, for me use tacticts like plant bombs to influence te people are terrorists's tactics. 

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I could say the same thing about almost all of the Ressers. The only two Ressers who could be considered good people are Reva and Molly. I don't think there a single master in all of Malifaux more evil than Seamus.

Personally I like playing the Guild because I enjoy how awful they are. I love the idea of playing an almost innately evil organisation that just goes around oppressing everyone.

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I absolutely agree about Molly and Reva being the only two good Ressers. In fact, they're two of the four I plan to take, although I'd argue that Tara isn't bad either. And if we're counting henchmen, Emeline Bellerose and Asura Roten are two of the most sympathetic characters in the setting for me at least. And yes, Seamus almost put me off the whole faction actually. But the motivations are more sympathetic (except for Seamus, Nicodem and McMourning) and more importantly the whole hook is on necromancy. Necromancy has a whole evil connotation, so it's part of the appeal of the faction as a whole. The Guild, on the other hand, has the hook of "the arm of the law" but then doesn't follow through. I'm not personally interested in a "the arm of the law" faction anyways, although I can appreciate it, but that's why I'm talking about how morally bankrupt the Guild is.

The other factions have their issues but they're part in parcel with their hook. Yes, the Neverborn kill people to try to rid their land of invaders, but their hook is that they're monsters. Sure, a lot of the Resurrectionists are bad people, but they're necromancer, and there's plenty of good ones to pick from if you decide you don't want to play the villain. It's part of what you're signing up for, so it's something I get. Personally I don't see the appeal in playing as en evil oppressive regime, but if you enjoy that then I'm genuinely glad you get to have that! For me that's a disconnect with what the Guild is trying to be and there's just too much discord between what it's supposed to be and what it is for me to be interested. Again though, I'm not trying to say other factions are better, or that the Guild is the worst faction lore wise. I'm just asking what the appeal is to people since I personally can't see it. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in with different takes so far, it's honestly been really nice to hear why people like to pick the faction!

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Emeline uses people as consciously as Lucius does, there’s quite a body count for the peripherals she mentions in passing with a sigh of ‘him, or me’—there was good reason she was promoted to Elite Division. Where’s the difference between her and Guild, then? (While I will admit Hoffman uses people just as much and it’s just as awful, he seems to be unconscious of overstepping the lines until someone ((Anna)) ((that thieving bitch)) rubs his nose in it. Self-absorbed is one thing, callous is another.)

 

Some of us shoot first and ask questions later.

Some of us ask questions until the questioned spits out the answer we want.

Some of us made up the questions, and then answered them ourselves, for efficiency’s sake.

Some of us want our overwhelming power constrained by rule of law and rule of projectile attack.

Some of us like tweaking the Ressers’ noses by running one of their flagship masters as Guild, although after Broken Promises that got rather less satisfying. (Let me point out that they started it—the Dead Justice box set predated M2E.)

The only category which puzzles me thematically is Guild McCabe players. Yes, our early mounted models sucked, but horses and hounds were only briefly popular before Nellie burst onto the scene. Where did the rough riders go?

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7 hours ago, Sgt. Dave said:

 I don't think there a single master in all of Malifaux more evil than Seamus.

Idk hamlin(plague), tara (oblivion), Rasputina,(who murdered her own child and is a cannibal), Lucius(bent on 2 worlds of domination), Nicodem (bent on turning malifaux into an undead state lich king style or nagash), McCmourning (also a murdering mad man), Albus von stook (another murdering mad man), kaeris (becoming a murderous mad women), Marcus (forcibly mind controlling, and experimenting on people and animals just cause, then making a cult that worships him out of it) Nytemare(while not a master is still a tyrant and reveals in fear and death), Leveticus (who lobotomizes people[women] to be able to use them to avoid death as well as other needs)

not saying seamus isnt the most evil, just he has some contenders for the spot. He might like having an undead harem, but at least he's not trying to drown the world in the black plague or commit genocide.  

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1 hour ago, Merchant said:

tara (oblivion)

Her being associated with Oblivion doesn't instantly damn her, and it certainly doesn't make her worse than Seamus. Tara doesn't do nearly as much to advance Oblivion's goals as any other Tyrant's chosen person to work with, which doesn't make her hands clean of any wrongdoings but certainly doesn't put her in the running for worst person or most evil. nicodem, McMorning, Albus, Kaeris and Marcus aren't killing people and then banging them too. That's a huge part of Seamus, is that a big part of his killing spree is having dead people to bang. He's definitely higher than people who just kill or have some political motive imo. But again, this thread isn't really meant to be about whether other masters are bad, it's supposed to be about what's supposed to make the Guild sympathetic.

1 hour ago, Merchant said:

Leveticus (who lobotomizes people[women] to be able to use them to avoid death as well as other needs)

He also has that weird thing with Alyce, at least early on, and she's definitely either 16 or 17 at the time, I can't remember which, so... Yeah, he might take the cake lol

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I see your point and I feel (mostly) the same. I have no problem playing some fictinous evil beeing like maybe Semaus. In fact I love the batshit crazy insanity of most of the ressers and don't like the ggod ones Reva and Asura. But the guild for me seems too much human and too much like really existing evil. But I'm too the man wich never could see any Space Marines as the good guys - in fact more disgusting than chaos.

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17 hours ago, Thedeadclaw said:

But again, this thread isn't really meant to be about whether other masters are bad, it's supposed to be about what's supposed to make the Guild sympathetic.

I suppose the easiest answer is you have to remember the people within the Guild. The death marshalls, (some of) the guild guard, the reporters, and the secretaries. The people who are doing what they do for the Guild because they think it's the right thing to do. As you've pointed out a few times, the other factions seem to be doing the right thing in the wrong way at times. The Guild, in my opinion, feels more like the wrong thing being done by the right people. I'd bet that every underling in the guild is there because the pay was good enough to support themselves and/or their family.

The Guild isn't meant to be sympathetic, it's people are

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2 hours ago, Butch said:

But I'm too the man wich never could see any Space Marines as the good guys - in fact more disgusting than chaos.

You think that an oligarchic regime is worse than people who rape and torture for fun?

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2 hours ago, Sgt. Dave said:

I suppose the easiest answer is you have to remember the people within the Guild. The death marshalls, (some of) the guild guard, the reporters, and the secretaries. The people who are doing what they do for the Guild because they think it's the right thing to do. As you've pointed out a few times, the other factions seem to be doing the right thing in the wrong way at times. The Guild, in my opinion, feels more like the wrong thing being done by the right people. I'd bet that every underling in the guild is there because the pay was good enough to support themselves and/or their family.

Honestly I tried to think of any other way to say this in a less inflamatory way because I honestly don't mean this as an attack on you or anyone who likes the Guild. But. That sounds literally exactly like how people talked about nazi soldiers to try to pardon then for war crimes ans being implicit in genocide. Which kindof makes me less sympathetic than I was.

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1 minute ago, Thedeadclaw said:

Honestly I tried to think of any other way to say this in a less inflamatory way because I honestly don't mean this as an attack on you or anyone who likes the Guild. But. That sounds literally exactly like how people talked about nazi soldiers to try to pardon then for war crimes ans being implicit in genocide. Which kindof makes me less sympathetic than I was.

Nah I get you. The way people justify the Arcanists sounds the same to me as the way people try and pardon the IRA and that just doesn't fly with me. To me the Arcanists, no matter how sympathetic their cause, are still a terrorist organisation.

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I mean the Guild are the government. Sometimes you can help more people within the framework it provides, even if it's an awful authoritarian government. Would Lady Justice be more morally sound outside their sphere as a vigilante or merc? Probably. Would she help fewer people and kill fewer undead? Probably.

Ironsides just compromised her beliefs to allow the Guild to do a tremendous social good, and she hates them more than anyone.

If you're going to compare them to the Nazis, remember that even Schindler was a member of the Nazi party. They're the government, working for them doesn't taint you necessarily.

Also, Arcanist here and what they do isn't justifiable either. Hopefully with Ramos out the picture things improve.

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2 minutes ago, Primate said:

Also, Arcanist here and what they do isn't justifiable either. Hopefully with Ramos out the picture things improve.

I feel like it's just going to get worse / crazier without papa ramos keeping everyone in line

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2 hours ago, Sgt. Dave said:

To me the Arcanists, no matter how sympathetic their cause, are still a terrorist organisation.

 

23 minutes ago, Primate said:

Also, Arcanist here and what they do isn't justifiable either. Hopefully with Ramos out the picture things improve.

 

19 minutes ago, Merchant said:

I feel like it's just going to get worse / crazier without papa ramos keeping everyone in line

Once again, the Arcanists don't fit all of the traits to be a terrorist organization, and we have no evidence that anyone besides Ramos was willing to use terrorist tactics to accomplish their goals.

2 hours ago, Sgt. Dave said:

pardon the IRA

I'm not sure where you're from, but the IRA is actually eight different groups, some of which are strictly political, some are terrorists, and one of which was a revolutionist movement (the original one). I had family in Ireland when the original was active and from first hand accounts from my great grandfather and his kids, as well as family friends who immigrated around the same time, the IRA was not what a lot of pop culture portrays them as, and a lot of the "terrorist" ideals come from British propaganda to try to gain more loyalists in Ireland. So I'm not sure that that comparison is really as apt as you think. Honestly given the location of Wyrd headquarters I'm almost 100% certain that the Arcanists are loosely based on what became the United Mine Workers of America and that the violent insurrection is more in reference to the West Virginia Coal Wars, which happen around the same time as the events of Malifaux are happening but couldn't have happened in West Virginia because of the timeline. There's actually some pretty direct parallels in targets chosen by Ramos and Ironsides to suggest this as well as models that appear to be inspired by influential people from the war if anyone's interested.

34 minutes ago, Primate said:

Sometimes you can help more people within the framework it provides, even if it's an awful authoritarian government.

Strongly disagree. It's a point of contention in a lot of both academic groups and historically in revolutionary groups and personally I think there's evidence that the opposite is true, historically.

35 minutes ago, Primate said:

Ironsides just compromised her beliefs to allow the Guild to do a tremendous social good, and she hates them more than anyone.

Again, the Guild is almost certainly lying to her, which is even alluded to in the book, and the promises are so broad and unclear that they can easily be reneged or broken without real ramifications. Honestly it just shows that Ironsides is losing her convictions imo.

37 minutes ago, Primate said:

If you're going to compare them to the Nazis, remember that even Schindler was a member of the Nazi party. They're the government, working for them doesn't taint you necessarily.

Really? Are you sure it doesn't? Maybe you should tell that to the Nuremberg trials. There's a difference between being a double agent and working for a corrupt and evil organization and thinking that doesn't taint you.

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17 hours ago, Thedeadclaw said:

I'm not sure where you're from

I'm Irish, don't try and tell me the people who killed innocent men women and children with planted bombs were good people. You're literally doing the thing I was just talking about. Any group that called themselves the IRA, after 1921 when Ireland gained independence, is a paramilitary terrorist group and that is a fact, not an opinion.

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20 hours ago, Sgt. Dave said:

You think that an oligarchic regime is worse than people who rape and torture for fun?

Nope. Chaos is a fictionary evil. And demons are no people.

Space Marines are like many real world Armies have been: the spearhead in wich wake an facsist regime unfolds. I cannot seperate the soldiers from the regime tey're fighting for. The is total fiction the other has too much equivalents in the real world.

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