After over three years away from the gaming table, I’ve now played 5 games of 7th edition Warhammer 40,000, including one large in-store Apocalypse game. There is no way I’m writing turn by turn battle reports, I just don’t have the time, instead I will focus on high level observations from a longtime 40K player.
- Randomness is back in a big way. You play a random mission, which has random tactical objectives, random game length, charge lengths are random, the psychic phase is back and it is random.
- Allies and unbound armies make the game even more random and non-canonical.
- There is a major arms escalation, the old days of the bolter and the chainsword being enough to kill most foes is gone. Players do not have to follow the force org chart so those of us who continue to play with no special characters, no allies, and follow the force org chart are at a big disadvantage. Basically our troops win ties when competing for tactical objectives, but the average troop is rarely seen on the battlefield and generally has a short lifespan.
- What is in is big models with ever fancier guns that completely retcon decades of fluff. No longer are terminators the best, centurions seem to be better. Dreads have been supplanted long ago by better dreads and Forgeworld dreads.
- Forgeworld is almost necessary, some folks make their army from four or more books, cherry picking the best units from all. Folks who have stayed loyal to one army for as long as me basically don’t exist.
- The days of small infantry tactics, target prioritization, focussing on mission objectives seems to be gone. The winning tactic seems to be biggest baddest special character (model) running up the field relying on cover and lucky charge distance roll. The counter for this being either not advancing at all thus forfeiting most tactical objective or trying to build a model/unit that can kill your opponents special character and wonder unit once they inevitably get into H2H.
- The books needed for my army now weigh more than my army, especially when you count in cards, tokens, dice, templates etc. Without a car an army isn’t really portable.
- Unpainted models are allowed in official GW store events, I definitely have spent more time painting my army than anyone I’m likely to play and their handling of my models often leaves something to be desired. I doubt I’ll be lending models to random people again any time soon. I prefer 1500 point games to massive chaotic affairs where the only tactic is running forward and dying.
So since I have very little time to play and don’t really enjoy lugging even one case of models all the way to Burnaby I need to get a better job and a better apartment to host. I don’t even mind mostly painting. I’m surprised tabletop games have lasted this long, video games are cheaper, require less space, and you can randomly find an opponent online easily if you play the popular games. The advantage the tabletop games have is customization. I can play my army. I can also play my friends, assuming you still have friends who play Warhammer 40,000. There are too many rules in 40K for a beer and pretzels game, the models are also expensive and with the emphasis on bigger and bigger armies and models, GW is giving up on recruiting new players and focussing on selling more stuff to existing fans. The stores still serve as defacto daycares for young boys. I seem to have gained one or two disciples because I actually took the time to play, talk with, and remember the names of these youngsters.
I have made yet another 1500 point army list with a minimum of troops and the biggest and hopefully most dangerous models in my collection. But long term my army needs overhauling again. I need to paint some old models for fun, but I also need a new general, a new Chosen squad, a new large model probably a Soulgrinder, and actual Fast Attack so Raptors and Bikes. Maneuverability is more and more important, being only able to move 6 inches a turn is a disadvantage. I’m not a fan of Deep Striking so raptors or more likely bikes will get painted up finally, besides Toughness 6 bikers has to be good right?
Here are some pictures of my army in action against loyalist and chaos marines, those seem to be the most popular armies, though Guard and Eldar have some fans, saw little Tau or Tyranids.