|This article covers a topic that, by its very nature, is a magnet for flamewars. Try not to get too assmad at what you're about to read.|
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
|This article or section involves Matthew Ward, Spiritual Liege, who is universally-reviled on /tg/. Because this article or section covers Ward's copious amounts of derp and rage, fans of the 40K series are advised that if they proceed onward, they will see fluff and crunch violation of a level rarely seen.|
|This article or section is about a topic that is particularly prone to Skub (that is, really loud and/or stupid arguments). Edit at your own risk, and read with a grain of salt, as skubby subjects have a bad habit of causing stupid, even in neutrals trying to summarize the situation.|
Matthew Ward, usually shortened to Ultramarine Fanboy #1 or The Emperor of Skub (Damned be his name), Matt Ward the Skublord, That Stupid Fucking Moron or Our Spiritual Liege, was one of the Games Designers at Games Workshop and the Lord of Changing Fluff, the 420 Noscoper and The Bringer of Mary Sues. In truth, he was the whipping boy during a time when Games Workshop was being very poorly managed.
Ward is an extremely controversial figure amongst Neckbeards for a variety of reasons, enumerated ad nauseam below. It's probably telling that this page was one of the most fought-over pages in the site's history. Seriously, the amount of Skub this guy produces in general is astronomical, and bringing him up in the presence of the many, many factions this guy has spawned is liable grounds for flame wars, Derp and Rage.
In 2014, Ward announced he was on sabbatical from Games Workshop. This was due to online death threats from morons, which prompted a big change in GW policy. And also spontaneous street parties. Ward later emerged with a three-book deal with a major publisher (
so not Black Library, then).
I'm a new player. Who is this guy?
Matt Ward was a Games Designer for Games Workshop. That means he wrote codices and army books. He was responsible for both the rules themselves (the crunch) and the background behind the army (the fluff).
Once, GW had a policy of putting the lead writer's name on the front of a codex, despite all them being collaborations. /tg/'s seething response to anything with Ward's name on it changed that and now no single author is ever credited. Our mothers are extremely proud of this achievement.
Why does /tg/ hate this guy so much?
The reason why /tg/ hates this guy so much can be summarized into two different answers: the first and most painfully honest answer is because we need to blame someone for our woes, and he was the easiest target.
The second answer is because he messed up. A lot.
For many, as can be seen by the plethora of /tg/-made chapters here on 1d4chan, the true appeal of 40k is designing a unique, colorful army with a rich history and engaging heroes. Good players of 40k like to put a certain amount of themselves into their lovingly-assembled and painted armies, and they like their army to reflect their own sensibilities and ideals. That's what makes an army truly belong to a player—that's what makes them special.
Ward does this too, but the difference is that he can write the official fluff and therefore gets to declare that his interpretation of said army is the "correct" one through the books he writes. Those heroes you may have liked before now seem like entirely new people, and the armies you liked before now seem to be an entirely different force you never wanted to play as. While this kind of change isn't anything new to 40K, the reason people single Ward out more for it is because the other authors (most notably Phil Kelly) at least try to keep some of the themes in the new books so that they feel like the old army with a new shade of paint, rather than some alien force wearing the skin of the one you used to like.
By those metrics, it's widely believed that Ward made some of the most broken books ever published by Games Workshop (which is really saying something), and that he systematically destroyed the fluff to fit his own childish and incoherent vision of the 40k and Fantasy universes. Chief among his flaws is that his stories and rules utterly lack restraint (yes, even by the over-the-top standards of Warhammer). For instance, in his Necrons book, he casually introduced a small faction that has the power to detonate any star in the galaxy with a click of its fingers. But the most rage-inducing codex he has made thus far is the Space Marines codex, which explicitly states that all chapters, excluding a few "aberrants", behave and think in exactly the same manner as his army—the Ultramarines. He spells out the organization patterns, the ideologies, who they revere and why and just assumes that everyone else automatically accepts this radical shift in logic from thinking of the blue boys as "all-rounder guys with a Roman motif" to "TEH BEST CHAPTAHR EVAR". (It's believed by some that the codex was supposed to be called "Codex: Ultramarines" and was changed at the last minute by GeeDubs. It still would have been stupid, but we could have easily written it off as Macragge propaganda instead of spending 11 years bitching about it.)
Of course, players can still make their own factions and think up whatever backstories they want for them, but with Ward's fluff, they'll never measure up to his smurfs. This could easily be written off as the bitter anger of the old veterans, and on some level, it is—but when analyzing Ward's works, and his reactions to works by other codex and fluff writers, patterns quickly emerge, and one cannot ignore this. The flaw is inescapable, and Ward enforces it in all his writing with sincerity and vigor.
Just ignore Ward's fluff, you say? I like your moxie, but the reality is this—players play fluffy armies, the canon lore does matter to them, and though try as they might to ignore the glaring fact that the canon fluff is forever altered by creating little pockets of what they believe should be the fluff, it all feels exactly as it sounds: like a personal delusion that ignores the facts. If you found out one day that your family actually doesn't exist, you could still maintain the belief that they do, but it will never be true. That's how it feels. And it is painful to play as these armies and to see their fluff changed so much, or to be reminded constantly when you play against them. And Ward's codices have been very successful; look at the number of people playing Grey Knights, Blood Angels, and Necrons these days, ruthlessly exploiting every bit of cheese they can find and purchasing all the new, shiny, overpriced models for them.
Besides all that, Ward's other major problem is that he just isn't a tactician. Only rarely does he try to write factions using any kind of thought to dictate their battle tactics (the closest he's come to writing military doctrine was the Necron codex), and instead maintains a "tell, don't show" policy. That is, usually, he'll just tell the player that somebody is a tactical genius without anything to show for it. The majority of Ward's heroes lead head first, sacrificing all in frontal assaults that could be circumvented with more ingenuity. Or, as another example, he tells us that Marneus Calgar is a patient tactical genius who considers the danger of an incoming projectile before taking cover. The image painted in the average person's mind in that case is one of Calgar analyzing a falling bomb until it strikes him in the head and explodes, at which point he decides, “Yes, that one was dangerous, I probably should have taken cover from that one".
The biggest offender by far of Ward's “tell, don't show” policy is Kaldor Draigo, the Grey Knights' Supreme Grand Master, whose main personality trait is supposed to be “badass”. Without rhyme, reason, or feasible explanation, Draigo simply exists as this whirlwind of enemy-destroying fiction in his codex. He pops in and out of the Warp, wrecking everything, everywhere, without so much as a minute of exposition or explanation. Draigo is a concept—a meaningless one without any emotional impact. He's not a person or anything to which the average person can even attempt to relate because all Ward can write about is how badass he's supposed to be. Ward has simply declared him the best ever, and he has done so in canon, so it is. Also, this isn't helped by the fact that the Grey Knights are already a very "tell, don't show" chapter. Ever since they were introduced, every amazing feat they perform has been kept under a whole chest full of locks and keys.
As for Ward's crunch, it goes without saying that it is unbalanced, with several armies he wrote (read: Grey Knights and Necrons) essentially flattening everything from here to hell, but the main issue is that they're essentially all over the place in terms of rules. (Although Ward could be excused for this in light of GW's tendency to force new sets on people for the sake of profit.) The most damning example of his crunch-making skills isn't in 40K, but in Fantasy. When he wrote the 7th edition Daemons of Chaos codex, it was so overpowered, so unbalanced, that it practically destroyed the edition's overall balance and forced GeeDubs to build a whole new edition to even begin to staunch the bleeding.
Whether you decide Ward deserves the rage and hate he gets, write it off as a sad consequence of his earlier work, pity him for having to work for GW, or simply don't give a shit is entirely your call. As ever, on /tg/, we urge you to make your own decisions. Either way, he's not the best writer they have, but he's also not the worst, and his reputation will follow him in his endeavors from now until time immemorial, for good or for ill. Of course, hating his Extreme Fuck Ups in lore and rule writing is one thing. Sending him angry emails and trying to find where he lives is another.
Overall, it has been a decade now. Just leave this man alone and grow the fuck up. GeeDubs have proven the past few years to still be as scummy as last time, so if you wanna bitch about something, you know who to look for responsibility.
To be fair, Matt can write reasonable fluff, like The World Engine, Castellan Crowe or Trazyn the Infinite. And then there's Piotr's Folly. But for every good piece of fluff he's done, there's a bunch of Kaldor Draigos and Khornate Knights to sift through - and in the eyes of a staggering plurality on /tg/, that's a big part of why he's disliked.
Another point: he's able to create crunch that is fine on its own (like the Space Marine codex, or Necrons before 6th edition buffed them to the stratosphere) and perfectly balanced against his other books (a trait he shares with Vetock). The special rules he writes are usually interesting, creative, and useful, making his armies very distinct from the others, and capable of doing things nothing else in the game can (y'know, things like all-assault marine Blood Angels, Furioso's blood talons and magna-grapple, teleporting Dreadknights or Necron Mindshackle scarabs, entropic strike and Deep-Striking in the enemy movement phase), usually adding more fun into the game (albeit at the cost of balance against other armies). In fact, he helped create other armies' special rules, like the Eldar Battle Focus. "Unwardified" codices of 6-7E tend to change those interesting things into something mundane, simple and often less powerful - sometimes to the point of uselessness (RIP mindshackles and assault troops) - or removing them entirely.
However, the fairest thing to level at Ward is the fact that, in his absence, GW hasn't stopped making shitty decisions with their intellectual property (and arguably started long before his tenure). This tells us it was less about Ward's flaws seeping into and contaminating the game, insofar as it was his employer using him as a scapegoat to take the heat off their profit-driven cheese-mongering. Yes, they needed someone to write these abominations, but every writer at GW has problems writing books at some point. In essence, Ward was the perfect author for GW's shift to an all-SM production across all lines: his admittedly bad writing gave us someone to blame and, at the same time, gave GW the sales burst they desired but couldn't figure out how to justify, lest their moves become noticeable by the community and a substantial revenue risk.
Oh, and he also had a hand in the plot of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II and was a creative consultant for Vermintide 2- it tells something about 4chan and the internet that there doesn't seem to be much mention of that fact when the script is so widely praised. Odds are you've just found out by reading this very sentence.
Factions of Ward
The various viewpoints on Ward can be broken up into seven factions. Like most of /tg/'s inter-departmental-bickering, this is by no means a comprehensive list and the various factions can come in various flavors of This Guy and That Guy. Some would argue more of the latter, and others more of the former.
The Old Guard - Maintain that Ward is the anti-Christ. Loudly complain when he's writing a new codex and vehemently hates his fluff. Will fight to the bitter end decrying that Ward's rules are overpowered, but is notable mostly for his utter hatred of Ward's fluff and complete disregard of previously-established canon. The most devout of them focus their hatred on the Necron codex. More than simple alterations isolated to the Necron fluff and the 6th ed codex. They vehemently remind people that in messing with the past, Ward had completely changed Warhammer 40k history, affecting such things as the origins of Nulls, Necron motivation, their battles with the Eldar, and due to the notorious Allies chart, changing the very manner in which every race interacts.
The Vet Gamer - Differs from the Old Guard in that whilst the Old Guard hates for primarily the Fluff, the Vet Gamers hate him for the Crunch. They see Ward's nonsense as indicative of the power creep that the game's suffered for quite some time, often citing Warhammer 40K's flagrantly game-breaking Blood Angels codex at launch, or Warhammer Fantasy's Daemons codex as a sign of where everything went wrong.
The Indifferent - These are people who have no opinion as to whether Ward is good or bad; they are neutral on this subject, and just want people to shut the fuck up, or too ignorant to realise how awful he is.
The Crunch Defenders - Hold that while Matt Ward does write atrocious fluff, his crunch is fair and balanced. They also defend the viewpoint that ultimately, crunch is more important than fluff because you can ignore bad fluff. Also known as WAAC players.
The Counter-Culture - Love Ward on the grounds that the Old Guard hate him too much. /tg/'s version of hipsters.
The Cult Of Ward - These are people who agree Ward's older books suck but believe he's getting better (and/or the suck of the older books were over exaggerated), or even a good writer now.
The Ward Bearers - Either an extremist faction of the Cult of Ward or fanatics who worshipped him anyway. The direct opposite of the Old Guard, the Wardinites worship Ward as a God, following the revered Book of Ward. They are identified by defending Ward, but whereas Crunch Defenders only defend Crunch and either agree with the Old Guard in or the indifferent in regards to fluff, Wardinites defend both. Whereas the Counter-Culture like him because it makes them look "edgy", the Wardinites hold that he is legitimately good. Often quotes from the Book of Ward, usually: "From the Cruddex, and the monobuild, Matthew Ward deliver us". They hold Robin Cruddace as the Great Satan. It is suspected that the Wardinites have a strong powerbase in the Necrons and Tyranid communities.
It should be noted, like most religions, there are different sects within the Cult of Ward, the theological divides between them mostly concerning Codex: Grey Knights. The sects supporting Grey Knights are also divided amongst pro- and anti-draigo sects. And now recently these sects have become even more diverse thanks to a certain passage in the new Daemons codex... It's also worth noting that if a member of the Old Guard and a member of the Cult of Ward meet, there WILL be blood spilled. Such is also true of a Vet Gamer and Crunch Defender meeting.
Matt Ward's Writing "Highlights"
For a while Matt Ward worked for Games Workshop and, initially, his works were not too bad. Over time the problems arose, yet Games Workshop kept trusting him with more important projects. They seemed to be under the misconception that Matt Ward was their best writer when his popularity (that many people kept using his armies) was more likely due to three things; they got him to write for their most popular armies with the players choosing to put up with Ward's flawed writing rather than give up their army and throw away the money/time they invested, the power-gamers loved his armies as they were overpowered at first and the newcomers to the hobby were ignorant of the previous state of the game, so they could have been unaware of how unbalanced it had become and how often Ward ruined the continuity of the game and retconned so much previously established lore.
2002 - 2007
- Ward authors a bunch of Lord of the Rings books. Revisionist neckbeards now like to point to them as damning proof of Ward's madness in its infancy, but mostly they're just forgettable. During this time, he also worked for White Dwarf, his only real defining feature being his fondness for playing the evil armies in battle reports. In hindsight, this was probably a sign of things to come. He also creates the rules for the Mumakil, the most fucking ridiculous unit ever, which can destroy entire armies in its movement. The Mumakil is eventually revealed to be so broken (and included in an army that already had its share of cheese) that it signals the beginning of the end for the Lord of the Rings system.
- On a Warhammer Fantasy note, 7th edition Orcs and Goblin book (with really stupid fluff mistakes and the appearence of a wizard from magic colleges in Gorbad's siege, thousands of years before their foundation). He also teamed up with the long-lost Anthony Reynolds to write the 6th Edition Wood Elves army book. The fluff was passable and the crunch had a few gems. (Thanks to Reynolds)
- Ward's descent into skub and infamy begins with Army Book: Daemons of Chaos, a work of such apocalyptic cheese mongering it is widely credited for single-handedly breaking WHFB. No army could come close to beating it (Dark Elves and Vampire Counts, accepted as 2nd and 3rd powerful in the rankings, generally had to struggle to grab DRAWS!) and the failing attempts at Power Creep to match eventually broke the entire system so hard that Fantasy required a hard reset in the form of the massive shakeup that was 8th edition. Most people write it off as an overeager premier, and whether this was Ward's own work or management fiat remains a point of conjecture. It was bad enough that a balance patch of sorts had to be made in an attempt to keep the meta intact (it didn't work). This might've been where GW started to think that broken rules lead to increased sales (see Eldar in 7th edition for a concrete example of that) at the expense of their core demographic, though later on that just became their mission statement. Either way Ward didn't seem to get into hot company water over all this, and would go on to write several other books for worse then better (in that order). The saving grace is the fluff, which in general is quite good, putting Chaos in a better written and more grounded light compared to Ward's contemporaries.
- Ward is instrumental in the creation of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook, 5th Edition rulebook. While the crunch is more or less accepted, much of the fluff openly contradicts previous works (sisters being all but retconned out of the universe for example), and there's considerable attempts to promote certain armies over the others.
- Ward writes Codex: Space Marines for 5th edition. Thousands of neckbeards cry out in terror, and are silenced. While he manages to make this work mechanically stable, it comes at a terrible cost: Ward unilaterally decides to retcon massive amounts of Space Marine fluff and enshrine the Ultramarines as the gold standard for a "proper" space marine. The new fluff reads like Ultramarines fanfic, portraying the smurfs as second to the Emprah in physical attribution damned-near all regards, and that all Space Marines view Marneus Calgar as their spiritual liege. It is about this time that Ward's prejudices against certain chapters start to emerge for the first time.
- Ward writes "War of the Ring" with Jeremy Vetock, a completely different style of game for the Lord of the Rings model lineup and the basis for some of the new rules in the 8th edition of Fantasy, which will help clean up after the mistakes of Daemons of Chaos. The book isn't bad, but the fact the Lord of the Ring's hasn't been popular since 2001-2003, cheesy units on certain sides (Elves for example), the book having its fair share of mistakes (mostly typos) and the fact that the system was so radically different from the previous versions (it played like a cross between the LotR strategy game and Warhammer Fantasy) prevented it from becoming all that popular. Ward is sent back to writing 40k and Fantasy.
- Ward doubles down on his Heresy with Codex: Blood Angels. Any and all pretense of restraint is dropped and the codex is loaded with deep striking Land Raiders, flying librarian dreadnoughts, and ICs that can unscrew Abaddon's head and shit down his neck. Ward devises new weapons and abilities for the blood angels, giving them evocative names like blood fists, blood talons, blood reavers, blood croziuses, blood lances, blood boil, bloodshard bolts, and bloodstrike missiles. That's right. "Bloodstrike" (See Codex: Wolf Wolves). The fluff, while not the hate crime against neckbeards his previous work was, still manages to inspire rage by having the Necrons and Blood Angels become Super Secret Pony Princess Unicorn Best Friends Forever (if only temporarily). As fate would have it, this work will not survive the next edition too well.
- Ward gives birth to Codex: Grey Knights, fusing the awful fluff and limitless cheese of his two previous works into a single abomination. While Psyflemen sweep tournament after tournament, writefags rage impotently about Kaldor Draigo, Khornate Knights, and the unapologetic rape of over ten years of canon.
- Ward co-authors the new White Dwarf release of Codex: Sisters of Battle. He shows incredible restraint by giving the sisters some respectable fluff, but compensates by basically reverting the Witch Hunters to 2E. The force org chart is gutted out, allies are removed, and the best strategies are promptly eliminated (with a bit of help from the nerfer in chief Robin Cruddance).
- Ward next turns his fell hand to the Necron. He ups the ante again by completely rewriting their backstory, presumably while humming to himself with a shit eating grin plastered to his face. The crons are now insane Tomb Kings, IN SPAAAACE, who want your body. Oh and they turned the C'tan into pokemon. Yea. Mechanics-wise the release fares surprisingly well, trading away some of the more egregious cheese of 3E (Monolith Death March) in order to eliminate its shittiest design flaws (Phase Out), some argue that it changes Necrons to the point that it would've been easier to change their name altogether and you know... some people could've taken up Necrons because they liked them as they were. Anyway, in its few improvements, the fluff manages to dodge Matt Ward's greatest flaw.
- Matt Ward teams up with Adam Troke and Jeremy Vetock to create Wardhammer 40,000 6th Edition. The whole rulebook promptly turns Codex: Necrons and Codex: Grey Knights into rape trains with no brakes (though they are later surpassed by Tau and Eldar). Every single fa/tg/uy instantly regrets ever thinking the Space Tomb Kings were balanced in the first place. We're talking cheese like 9 fliers in a 1500pt list with flying dedicated transports that don't kill passengers when they crash!! What the fuck. Among other rage-worthy things of note include massive Buffs to already broken beyond reason armies, highly abusable mechanics resulting in severely limited builds for HQ choices (tool for challenges or suffer!) and the Space Marine segments of the fluff being full of yet more Matt Ward Porno.
- Matt Ward rewrites Army Book: Daemons of Chaos for 8E. Many neckbeards commit suicide before the official product announcement is out, to save themselves from the predicted cheese. Many Fantasy power gamers also ritually sacrifice themselves, in anticipation of a gargantuan nerfing. In the book, Matt Ward nerfs all the overpowered units of the previous army book, puts a lot of random effects, random magic items, and does things such as taking one of the worst units of the previous book (beast of burgle), improve it and reduce its cost by 40 points/each, or giving daemons one of the best cannons in the game. Overall they ended up as one of the better armies, but nowhere near the overpowered rape train they were last edition. Aside from some questionable fluff, it's not all that bad.
- Matt Ward heads the team that made the 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy update for the High Elves. It's... really, really good. No, really! The Everqueen (and her units) were added back in and come off as pretty awesome. Tyrion retains his awesome wartime skills while being less of a Mary Sue, being given a short temper and occasional moodiness. The book also fixes a lot of the cheese that the High Elves got away with in the older book, like "every time we cast spells it's Irresistible Force" and the "we ALWAYS Strike First with fricking Great Weapons." The fluff is good (although it's arguable how much Ward is responsible for the fluff, since it's mostly copy-pasted from earlier editions), and the army is pretty well-balanced, both internally and externally... except for one thing.
- Banner of the Motherfucking World Dragon. 2+ Ward Save against anything magical. And you know what army has only magical attacks? That's right, Daemons of Chaos. Most people feel this is blatantly unfair (hell, most reviews went out of their way to point it out, because it's just that egregious), but a small number chuckle lightly every time it comes up, because they remember the days when Daemons always won. Yet the previous versions gave COMPLETE immunity to spells, were cheaper and there are currently a few spells and rules that ignore ward saves in 8th edition. This one also makes all dragons within '12 stubborn, but that applies to allied and enemy dragons. Furthermore, only one unit in the army benefits from it if the character carrying the banner joins them, thus rendering those complaints somewhat invalid.
- Writing the Codex: Eldar Supplement about Craftworld Iyanden. It's two pages of crunch with the rest being fluff for $40. Said fluff consists of turning Iyanden into a clone of Biel-Tan, forgetting how the Infinity Circuit works, retconning more or less everything involving Ynnead; and turning Iyanden's leadership into incompetents who didn't think the Tyranids were a serious threat. That said, a number of Eldar players loved it because it's one of the few fluff bits that doesn't treat the Eldar as the universe's punching bag (which is far more than what can be said about most of their fluff), and gave them a little street cred.
- Writing the "Dark Elves" 8th edition update (and according to White Dwarf is now GW's go-to-guy for all things elven in WFB). Good news, the crunch is passable; Dark Elves have army wide Always Strike First like High Elves do while retaining High Elf Hatred. Also Murderous Prowess with some units getting buffed significantly with slight nerfs to balance them (Witch Elves). They also gain a glass cannon sea monster, that doesn't have any rules to let it move through water; justified in fluff so it can't escape its handlers. The bad news is Matt Ward like usual rewrote/ignored some of the established fluff to suit his tastes, though in this case it's very minor, for example Clar Karond is the Beastmaster's city instead of Karond Kar like it was in every previous edition. They both deal in slaves but Clar Karond has most of the monsters now (even though or maybe because it's also the Dark Elves's main shipyard), leaving Karond Kar out in the cold (literally in the fluff). Malekith also gets an ex-wife, while not badly written it seems out of character for him and he never had one before. Another change is the fluff suggesting incest between Malekith and Morathi has been removed. Now it's changed that Morathi is wet for her step-son, Tyrion, who she thinks to use to reincarnate Aenarion in a magic ritual to name a few.
- He had a hand in the new Wood Elves update, the fluff is good, though there have been changes to some of the characters, such as Ariel having a dark side and being more gullible (she's manipulated by her arch-enemy Morghur, as well as Morathi), the personality of each incarnation of Orion is influenced by the person sacrificed to revive him, and Skaw the Falconer is no more. The heavy hand of Thorpe-ian writing is also present, jacking off Chaos at the expense of the previously established elf canon. Crunch-wise the Wood Elves are arguably better at shooting (and definitely close combat) than before, but there were some major nerfs handed out to a few things; Dryads, Treemen and especially their magic items. The Lore of Athel Loren is also gone, making the race of isolationists feel more like a race of bipolar copycats.
- Writing Codex: Sentinels of Terra, he was a part of a team effort to write the book and put in charge of writing the fluff. Mostly talks about things anybody who has ever read anything about the Imperial Fist would know from other writings. Emphasizes on their Pride and Stubbornness being both their biggest strength and weakness. Went a little too far on the Assaulting when the Fist as best know for deference fighting and "Centurion Squads are awesome" (gotta push the new stuff, and the fluff does only focus on one Crusade), confusing them a bit with the Black Templars (though they are a successor chapter) and killing off their Chapter Master.
- Going by the writer's traits below, it looks like Ward may have had a hand in the new Dwarfs codex for WFB. For example, it has good balance but like the last book still allows them to field a potentially cheesy gunline army. The fluff is mostly unchanged though the few new bits make heavy use of the special characters, and a few uses of the word 'alas'.
- It turns out that Ward quietly left GW on May 2014, with the Wood Elves being his last army book. The exact circumstances behind his departure are unknown (as is how nobody knew about this until it was posted on his LinkedIn profile three months after it happened), but seeing that Robin Cruddace is still employed at GW it's not likely that the quality of his work had anything to do with it.
- Whatever issues there were around Matt Ward, some people took their hatred of him too far; one reason for his resignation was incoming real-life death threats that he received. Grimdark indeed. This adds a dark new twist to hiding the author's names; perhaps it was to protect Matt Ward from potential attempts on life rather than to try and "get one over" on the fans.
- Actually, he's also come out in revealing that he's written parts of The End Times (WHFB's super-huge apocalypse event that's pretty much Storm Of Chaos II: Electric Boogaloo), taking special responsibility for writing the Khaine book (Where he writes the last swansong for all the Elves he wrote for). Predictably, it's the most skub book with some of the most insane plot twists out there (Malekith is the one true Phoenix King? Teclis was playing everyone along? Tyrion is a murderous asshole?!), but considering what followed with Thanquol and Archaon, some have to consider just who exactly was behind the writing.
- His Blog does indeed list that he did work on End Times Archaon as Well as Vermintide.
- On his Twitter, Ward stated he's been rehired by Games Workshop as you can see here. Feel free to start whining now.
- When PETA writes a letter to GW whining about how wearing animal fur is wrong in a setting with literally all of the blood, gore, violence, and just generally not being nice to anything and everything, Ward responds with the following tweet: https://twitter.com/thetowerofstars/status/826052983565799424 While not quite redeeming all his past misdeeds, it comes pretty close. Who knew Ward was such a marvelous fucking troll?
- Fans blame Ward for Guilliman's cheesey return. With the hilariously overpowered rules Gulliman has gotten and the fact that he now leads the Imperium once again, it's fair to say to suspect Ward. Turns out it was Phil Kelly. Who knew? WHICH EXPLAINS WHY THE IMPERIAL GUARD IS OVERPOWER--*BLAM*Keep complaints in the cheese section!
- Signs with the same literary agent who dealt with George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.
- His first epic fantasy novel, A Legacy of Ash, is released to rave reviews. The TV rights are already rumoured to be hotly contested by various outlets.
- Was a writer in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II.
Gallery of Fail
While the Dreadknight is a perfect symbol of the stupidity ushered in by Ward's writing, it also demonstartes how he's so often scapegoated- because of course the writers also design the models, right?
This is how Matt Ward views Spess Mehreens.
Don't bother the man. He no longer has anything to do with GeeDubs outside of the occasional guest bit here and there, and even then, wasn't at fault for every lore rape under the sun.
- Matt Ward's official homepage There's an article of his here that makes the accusations of misogyny against him fall flat. Not that the accusations ever carried any weight.
- A heretic most foul tries to defend his Spiritual Liege. The comments section was lost to the warp when the blog changed host, but it must have been a thing to behold.
- Andy Hall, an ex-Games Workshop writer who is a video-game writer (including Vermintide and Total Warhammer), credits Matt Ward with contributing in making Vermintide's Kerillian an especially sarcastic character.
- Matt Ward's the sole writer for Vermintide 2, and did a lot of it for 1 as well. This is quite a feather in his cap since, as far as co-op games go, the Vermintide series' dialogue is very good.
- Matt also performs in the band "The Magic Numbers" under the pseudonym 'Romeo Stodart' with his wife Michele Stodart.
He stars in his glamorous and sensual story, going under a different name. Getting tired of it? Keep reading to learn his dark and alluring secret. http://1d4chan.org/wiki/File:Slaanesh's_sacrifice.pdf