Nov 182011

Warhammer 40K is another sci-fi skirmish game.  It has a huge following.  It is both loved and hated by gamers around the world.  There is just so much one can say in the great GW argument, but we aren’t here to fuel that debate.  I am here to give an honest review of Warhammer 40K

Here is my brief history  of 40k.  In November of 2004 (the night bfore Thanksgiving actually)  I painted my first 40 Dark Eldar Warriors.   For, oh the next 3 years we played pretty hard, 2 or 3 nights a week.  So, what happened?  Life just kind of got in the way.  Our 4oK games began to grind down.  We still play a game or 2 a year but it is nothing like it used to  be.

So here we go the roller coaster known as 40K.

Warhammer 40k Uses an archaic set of game rules.  The largest detriment to the game is the whole army activations.  The game industry moved away from this around 2003.  Not only is whole army activation old it slows down game play.  The game would play much faster if the interaction of activations alternated form player to player instead of army to army.  Further, if  the activations alternated squad to squad the game would allow for more tactics.

Shooting and assault still use an out of date chart system (well it is really simple math).  This isn’t so bad, but opposed rolling just makes more sense, and again most of the industry has moved that direction.  This is not that big of a deal once you learn what you are doing, but until then it slows down the game along with the learning curve of the game.   While the game is pretty much self -explanatory there is a good bit of rules lawyering to do to achieve a good understanding.


With all of that working against the game  you might wonder why I still play.  The truth be told is I hardly ever play 40k anymore, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun.  It does have its redeeming qualities.  One of which is characters.  Games Workshop has alwas made it seem like the characters are an important part of the game.  While I do not feel you gain a benefit from playing them,  the characters in 40k do seem to be among the best in the game industry.  The sad part about it is that they cost too many points.  I would much rather have an extra squad of marines over a trumped out commander.  it seems like a no brainer to me – more dice means more damage right?

The other thing that is redeeming in 40k is that it maintains the concept of playing with more than ten models.  Why is this a good thing?  I think that squad based games employ a different kind of thinking than the smaller skirmish based games do.

Now, with that all said and done My calculator gives 40k a game rating of 3.67 out of 7.   That isn’t so bad since I have only seen two games ever score above a 5.

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