You may also want to take a look at
which is linked to the above.
Confrontation was also a game by Rackham, that's alleged to be returning at some point (as Confrontation Phoenix although nothing has been heard of that in a while) which may explain why you'll come across some very none GW models when searching for it.
Back to GW's Confrontation though, sadly it was before my time, however I can trace much of the Imperium I grew up with back to it.
You'd be hard pressed to argue that any other miniatures games has as much background readily available to fans as 40K, be it in the rules, in Codices, online (be it canon or not), through Fantasy Flight's publications, and most especially via Black Library. Looking at that content and splitting it down by factions featured then GW's poster boy, the Space Marine, in all his power armoured, genetically modified glory, would rein supreme (if anyone knows if this has been done I'd been interested. Likewise a Black Library Bechdel Test, but that's a topic for another post).
However, Space Marines, for all that they are interesting when explored (I do long for the return of Index Astartes), were not the thing that stayed with me when reading through the 2nd Ed 40K Rules for the first time.What stuck with me was the bleak introductory text (which was at the front of Codex Imperialis), which cast the reader as a lowly Imperial Citizen
From the rulebook though, three particular images really stick out (pulled from this TG thread, as my pictures of them are awful), none of which contain the Astartes. The first used to really freak me out, and fascinate me in equal measure"IT IS THE 41st millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh is eaten, Human blood and human flesh- the stuff of which the Imperium is made
To be A man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. This is the tale of those times. This is a dark and terrible era where you will find little comfort or hope. Forget the power of technology, science, and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for there is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
But the universe is a big place, whatever happens, you will not be missed...
In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war."
The next two have informed what I imagine when visualising gangers in Necromunda and the like. At some point I really must do something to bring the characters in the bottom picture to the tabletop.
Necromunda had all of this madness, but it was never something I explored, instead sticking to my out of the box Van Saars. Compared to the imagery of what had come before the gangs were far more conventional in look (which isn't a criticism, as there's room for everything in 40K).
I can't talk about a focus on the citizenry of the Imperium without mentioning Inquisitor, and the big part that played in deepening things out beyond the battlefield. I've got fond memories of the build up to the game, and pouring over the rulebook for hours on end. There was a definite bias towards characters of significant rank, rather than the algae farmer, or ash waste prospector, but there was nothing to stop you playing out their story (apart from finding a model for them).
I ought to mention Fantasy Flight at this point, but as my contact with their books has been for the most part flicking through them and then goggling at the price I'll leave that to someone with first hand experience.
The main game seems undecided as to what of the old it wishes to embrace, with the daemons feeling quite influenced by the past, while the Dark Angels which could have really dived into the gothic have sort of skirted it.
All this is a very circuitous route to me saying how much I want to convert some models to reflect the older madness that permeated 40K, harking back to the earliest imagery of the game I first discovered and to Confrontation before that. Time to raid the bits box, and get reading through the INQ28 rules. Now where did I put that Witchhunter?