Saturday, 27 October 2012
Words of war - martyr, mantlet and macroeconomics
The hot new thing in 40K is a £100 plastic trenchline called the 'Wall of Martyrs', except it's not a trenchline of course* because as Dave Andrews suggests in the new WD, very helpfully shown in this photo at Tale of Painters, that would mean persuading the buyers to buy deeper boards, which could more difficult to store, and to stock, and even design.
Dave Andrews, on the same pages, calls the raised shield or fire port a 'mantlet', a term still used today for the small shield at the base of a barrel on a tank. It's always good to see a less common word. But is it the best word? We wargamers can be quite rigorous.
Two other options might be truer. The first is 'pavise', the function of which goes back at least to the mind(s) of Homer. The second is 'balistraria', often used to mean 'arrow slit'.
I can see why GW might avoid 'pavise', and 'mantlet' does have a clanking sound, but it's fairly close to 'Mantic' too. They could have tried a 40K8 coining like 'Balistarium'. Maybe even 'Hole of Glories' for that fire port, to follow up the 'x of y' format of 'Wall of Martyrs'?
And how about that last option? Would it be an acceptable term - casually - for the kind of product that players often call 'plastic crack'? Is 'plastic crack' itself a suitable term..?
Whatever. Say you then mantlet, pavise or balistraria? I'm interested in new options too.
* This non-trenchline trenchline is cleverly explained in-universe by having it brought down to the surface on landers. That's near-civilised in a people that apply exterminatus - a kind of nuking from orbit. The Imperium really ought to turn that logistical magic to something useful, like jobs fit for heroes in galaxy-class industries.