Things are getting darker, grittier, more violent, and more bloody. I was a '2nd editioner' back when I were only 10 or so. My parents bought me this strange box for Christmas with an entire universe inside (thanks for that by the way).
My reading habits and my entire outlook on Fiction itself changed when I read through the Codex Imperialis that came with that set. Beforehand, my reading choices had been fixed on a few Pratchetts, some Martin Jacques (freaking mice with swords!) and maybe some Tolkien, but not any more.
Despite that drastic change to what I thought was very dark subject matter, the game itself still had its few elements of levity and its edges were less jagged and brutal (literally). Nurglings, Pink Horrors, Squats, and all of the Orks, all contained an edge of comedy rather than the pure unadulterated violence that we know today.
|I owned these guys, and you can still buy them apparently.|
And I am loving it. Names help with that greatly, Adeptus Sororitas was the the first. The Imperial Guard have gone through the wringer as well now, and that suits me just fine as no longer will I see these guys popping up on Ebay amidst my searches.
Apocalypse is old news but as it sets the tone for more destruction and more death, it works fine by me. Despite this, Necromunda, GorkaMorka, Mordheim sadly went the way of the Dodo and the IP was left slightly less colourful still.
It looks like the Astra Militarum are following this trend too, becoming a far more militant force, with flexibility. Firstly; changes to the relunderused Abhumans.
The slightly comical and dopey Ogryns get some hardening up in the form of having 'Bullgryns' as an option (one which I presume will see them getting in peoples faces and innards slightly more). Having seen the latest here they have got some right;
|The good; imagine this thing Chaosified|
|The bad; Diabeetus anyone?|
|Note a more 'Alien' look with the snubbier noses and broader faces than before.|
According to reports I might be losing my burly Catachan arms but hopefully I can get a nice retro tank and maybe some more dynamic generic Guard legs/arms.
Also GW, I'd like Chapter-tactic-esque army bonuses (Catachans get move through cover, Cadians get stubborn for example) Voxes allow orders to work regardless of units proximity to the commander, tank orders to be in the codex and issuable, and some more monstrous-creature-killer options.
I'm massively in favour of the Mechanicum becoming a fully fledged army as well, and though the below isn't a favourite design of those that I've seen, it is at least a chance for the designers to diversify, which can only be good.
Ultimately, the darkness of what we bring to the table in miniature form is down to us, if we want to bring the stock models they are going to gradually define the hobbies with a much darker tone, which in my opinion is is great, and far more beneficial in keeping hold of its ever-growing aged fanbase.