Sunday, July 6, 2014

Warhammer 40k - Into the Darkness

He said it. . . . He had summed up—he had judged. ‘The horror!’ 
- Heart of Darkness, Joesph Conrad

If you haven't read it, I wholly recommend the Heart of Darkness. It's a quick short story that meditates on imperialism and godhead and seems to somehow fit the view of the current state of 40k. Kurtz is portrayed as a heretical figure, established as both a counterpoint and a testament to colonial imperialism. Not to roll poor Conrad over in his grave with the analogy, but 7th Ed 40k seems to hold much the same place in the dark hearts of many gamers.

Enough with the pedantic, quasi-intellectualism! My personal take on 40k7E is FINALLY! The wheel has turned and we are finally back to Basement 40k. Having only gotten in a handful of games, new 40k feels like we have reverted to a kitchen sink approach to the game while still retaining some of the formality and structure evolved from 3rd through 6th. 

Perhaps the biggest change for my gaming cohort is the inclusion of super heavies and the attendant gargantuan creatures in the main rulebook. This is a welcome respite in that now we can easily break out the big stuff without having to rely on ownership of myriad Forgeworld and Apocalypse books. You can take them or leave them, but when you decide to play them the rules are readily available.

I played a game recently with a Warhound armed with a plasma blastgun and a turbo laser destructor. At a bundle of points, he well ate into the 2k of my army and was totally worth his points at range. But then he was charged and tied up by a Chaos marine sorcerer and some spawn for two turns negating his massive guns and relegating him to Stomp attacks. Granted he had blown away a Transcendent C'Tan so there were no complaints from my side of the field.

Predictions being worth less than the digital ether they occupy, I would say that 40k7E is here to stay for a while. There is a level of refinement in the rules that I have not seen in the many years playing the game. Even the quality of the rule set far outstrips anything that GW has published and is one of the first sets that I feel are truly worth the investment. The lack of a "special" special edition is the one drawback in my estimation (I have both the 4th and 5th limited books) but honestly the three book set feels more quality than even previous special editions.

The core rules and a general move towards datasheets gives this edition more upgradability than any past. Our gaming cohort already played "unbound" armies depending on scenario so there is nothing new there. The addition of tac objectives cards really opens up a variety of play and I encourage people to generate and share their own unique tactical objectives. In a previous post, I shared a version of the core objective cards printable as Avery business cards and I think this is a great format in which to add your own objectives.

As gamers, we now have a common ruleset for fielding everything from the lowly grunt to heavy tanks to fliers to massive monsters cavorting across the canvas that is each of our games. Expand your mind and your tablespace to multi-table battles that range the depth and breadth of the 40k universe.

Clearly, I am a 40K7E enthusiast. Even with GW removing units from new codices, I encourage players to plumb their old books - use the units that GW saw fit to remove! The new guard book removed units wholesale yet including units from the old books (modified slightly with updated gear costs) grants an amazing level of flexibility in games that can be played. In my Basement 40k, spore pods are welcome; imperial armor encouraged; and forgotten xenotech a must if the game played is made that much more diverse.

Games Workshop has designed a game for everyone to play and I find myself diving head first into "the horror" that so long ago encouraged both my creativity and (meager) modelling skills.