Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Siren’s Call: The Lure of 40K

Aside from HeroQuest, my introduction into miniatures gaming came from Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe. I technically started with Battlefleet Gothic, but quickly shifted into the core 40K game. The Khorne Berzerkers/World Eaters army was my first army, and the one that I still feel the most affinity for. From there I dabbled in other 40K armies, did a bit of Warhammer Fantasy. But the annual prince increases, and rules issues/rewrites drove a wedge between me and GW… and it started early.

I got into 40K in early 3rd edition. An option in the Chaos army was to be able to take a squad (or 2?) of cultists. Up to 50 cultists… for stupidly cheap points. And while they were basically meat shields with baseball bats and pea shooters, there were a whole mob of them. So I gleefully started converting up a full 50 body unit… and just as I was finishing it up they came out with a new Chaos codex, completely eliminating the cultist option.

But from 3rd into 5th edition I mostly enjoyed charging my berzerkers across the board, in Rhino transports or not, depending on the current rules, and plowing into my opponent’s gun line. I lost a lot, which was fair since I have both terrible luck with my dice and a general disregard for scenarios or tactics. Mostly I just want to charge my little red guys forward, and laugh like a madman as 28mm scale blood washes across the battlefield.

But with every price increase, with every rules change, I had less and less fun, and couldn’t keep justifying playing. It didn’t help that GW treated their employees worse than they treated their customers, and treated independent retailers even worse. There were other companies I wanted to support more. So I packed my army away, sold off a few things, and moved onto other games. Every once in a while I’d pull out my army case, and grab a game of kill team or something, but over the last decade plus I avoided just about everything GW.

Something strange started happening recently though. The winds of change shifted, and suddenly the pervading grumbling at GW that always rumbled in the background took on a different tone, along with talk of a new edition of 40K. News and rumors of a new edition was nothing surprising, as there were rumors of a new edition shortly after every new edition came out. This time it was different. People seemed oddly excited. Still I ignored it until very recently.

From my limited understanding, the leadership over at GW has been swapped out, and the current people in charge aren’t absolute assholes. On top of that, they seemed to be actually interested in making a game that was fun for everyone? And they were releasing all the codex's for all the armies all at once? No power creep as the newest release was just a little better than everything else? What craziness is this?

For the first time in a LONG time, I’m actually thinking about dusting off my World Eaters and spilling some Blood for the Blood God…

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