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Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Tabletop Games

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  • Warhammer has numerous races that silently disappear between editions, only to reappear a long way down the line.
    • The Zoats, reclusive reptilian centaurs, received tabletop rules in 2nd Edition but were left out of all subsequent army books, and were mentioned less and less in the lore until they disappeared completely by 5th Edition. Zoats weren't officially mentioned again until the 8th Edition expansion Storm of Magic, which gives them, and many other classic monsters, official rules once again.
    • The Fimir are a species of cyclopean Lizard Folk devoted to Chaos. They appear in multiple places in early lore, but were eventually dropped from focus as a result of both low popularity on the tabletop and their... unfortunate breeding habits. They made a reappearance in the Graham McNeill Sigmar-era novel Empire. The "mist daemons" are never definitively labelled as Fimir but it is very clear what they are supposed to be. They eventually returned to the tabletop when Forge World gave them rules in their Storm of Magic and Monstrous Arcanum books, with accompanying models. They eventually got carried over to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar too, and feature as a number of units and a wizard hero for the Norscan Tribes in Total War: Warhammer.
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    • Malal, the fifth Chaos god, was dropped around the 3rd edition of Warhammer Fantasy. This happened because the people who held the Copyright left Games Workshop. An entity called Malice, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, has since appeared in Warhammer 40000, however. In addition, Be'lakor the Daemon Prince in Warhammer Fantasy shares many attributes with Malal.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Squats vanished as well in the 90s (there was a plan for a 2E codex, but it never happened and by 3rd Edition they were entirely gone), partly for low sales, partly because they were too silly/campy in a setting that was becoming Darker and Edgier, and because 40k was distancing itself from its roots as simply Warhammer IN SPACE! and Squats were obviously just space dwarfs and, unlike the Orks or Eldar, didn't have enough distinctive, interesting units and weapons (they were too similar to the Imperial Guard). The in-universe explanation for their absence is that the Tyranid hive fleets devoured their homeworlds, but staff has occasionally tried to claim that they never existed. This eventually changed, with Necromunda featuring a Squat bounty hunter model, and finally an announcement in 2022 that they were coming back, and as a full faction for the main game, although with new names (Leagues of Votann for their faction, Kin for what the race calls themselves — Squat sticks around as a Necromundan slur for them).
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    • The same happened earlier on to several models with the simplification that happened in the 3rd and 4th editions. However some of them have been making a comeback in recent editions, most notably Bjorn the Fell-handed and the Jokaero.
    • There used to be a substantial number of Eldar Exodite units, including the dragon knights, but they were largely phased out from the tabletop. There's still references to them though, even if it's only to remind people that they were never actually written out of the lore.
    • Another prominent example are the Illuminati (possessed psykers who manage to overcome the Daemon that possessed them, eventually recycled as the Exorcists chapter of Space Marines), the Star Child (a Warp entity that supposedly represents the Emperor's soul, today laughed off as a delusion of the Eldar) and the Sensei (supposedly the "sons" or descendants of the Emperor).
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    • 7th edition ended up reversing much of the sufferers of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, by bringing back some elements of the fluff that was largely forgotten. The most prominent of these are the return of the Imperial Knights and the Kastellan Combat Automata, the former of which was quietly dropped in the latest (and last) edition of Epic 40k and the latter hasn't even been mentioned since 3rd edition of normal 40k, apart from a brief appearance in one of the Horus Heresy novels.
    • The Warlord titan got a lot of flak during it's teaser for looking too much like "an Imperial Knight on steroids". Many old beards were quick to point out that it was in fact based on the first Warlord Titan model released for Epic 40k, which many people have long since forgotten even existed due to the ubiquity of the "Lucius" pattern warlord everyone's so used to now.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Despite being featured in a couple of cards when the Gravekeeper theme first kicked off, Cobraman Sakuzy and any references to him completely vanished in later expansions, most likely due to not being useful at all in any deck and being an ill-fit for the theme.
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Despite having been the Villain by Default in the first edition of the game, Belial's Brood are suspicously absent and never mentioned in the Second Edition.
  • Exalted: In 3rd edition, the sun became simply the sun, so the Daystar and Nysela (its pilot) disappeared. Little Beam (who claims to be the son of the Unconquered Sun) has also gone.

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