Saturday, October 18, 2008

40k: Reboot

I've been talking up 40k quite a bit lately and here's the first fruits of our group's labor; an actual 40k night, don't feint! Why 40k? Well, it's sci-fi for one, which is a big plus in a lot of our books, also it's readily available and easy to find. Lastly, since it's been around forever, not just many, but *all* of us have preexisting armies of one fashion or another, in various states of completion. Other than getting to groups with the new 5th edition rules, we all have a big leg-up on getting started; no more starting from scratch. All in all, we've got a potential five, maybe six players total who can mobilize forces. What follows is our first night just kicking around the new rules, we didn't even use the points system.

The battlefield. Terrain should be number one on my list of gaming priorities; admittedly it's not. Ray chipped in some models with his Imperial Sector, which is a great looking kit. As always the broken monolith (up top) makes an appearance, it's kind of a house rule.

Ray's troops: A smattering of Imperial Guard, half of his Imperial Guard are shown here. The other half began the game deployed on the second floor of one of the ruined buildings.

My troops; an Ethereal leads a small band of Fire Warriors. Six more troops are deployed near some buildings. That was about the easiest way to meet the two troops and one HQ requisite. This would probably be the last time I bring an Ethereal; I was not impressed.

Tau forces dig in.

What I like about the new rules, first off, is how streamlined the missions and deployment options are. The mission being played is straight-forward, yet varied, and the method of deployment is done in the same manner. Even though there are only three missions and three deployment types you never know in what combination, so there's lot of variety and replay built-in. Most of the missions will revolve around capturing and holding objectives too, given the games a tactical focus other than 'blasting the crap out of each other'.

Imperial Guard troops round the corner and sight in on the Fire Warriors. Having rapid-fire lasguns, they are just out of range because they had moved.

The Fire Warriors on the other had remained stationary, bringing their pulse rifles to bear on the advancing humans.

On the other side of the field, Guard troopers dig in and fire from their elevated cover. The HQ unit on the ground advance towards the Fire Warriors taking cover in the generator and bushes, Lieutenant leading the way, standard flying high.

Crossing open ground, the Ethereal is cut down by lasgun fire.

Rule number one for the Tau; never get involved in melee. Rule number one for Imperial Guard; never get involved in melee. This should be interesting...

Close combat is 'fixed' now, which was the largest complaint of the 4th edition rules. It's also streamlined, easy to manage along the way, and doesn't get bogged down or overly complicated. If we had followed half of the rules as written, we may have discovered all of that. As it stood, we took a simple process and made it more complicated than it should've been.

Overall impressions: Two thumbs up, way up. Why? Because it got players around the table and had us all on playing a common game. People are excited about building and painting armies again, and can't wait to put them on the table. The game itself is almost a secondary factor; people getting together, making a regular go of it is what's important. As far as 40k5.0 goes, it was pretty good too...

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