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View Full Version : Same ol 40k? Good or Bad? (long)



Ozeor
18-11-2008, 09:03
Well, I been playing since 99, went through a few armies such as Dark Eldar, grey knights, space marines and finally settling on nids and now building a armoured company. Does anyone else feel that 40k has become....stale? I know they release new codex's and new units. But let's all be honest with each other, the new units are just posed differently and in most cases offer us no real value, the majority of the lists I have seen are well not really different if I where to go from one side of the world to another, We each play a tried and true list with variation, but not much.

When the vet's look at an army we know what each unit can do, we know the range, we know the hit tables, we know what we need to roll to hit, wound and we know the vehicle dmg chart like the back of our hands. But yet we dont really see anything that shakes us up, or really blows us away. It seems to me like the soul has been sucked out of 40k, I know many people would disagree, but just look at the history of 40k. We get a new rulebook, new codex's new releases, but its all same old stuff with very very little new stuff added in. Last big thing i seen added was flyers, but no one plays them. I think we need ether new races or just a new way to play. One thing that might be a cool idea, would be to take a example from electronic game RTS is base building. I guess what I'm trying to say is, does anyone else feel that 40k has lost it's luster? GW doesn't really give us info, hell they won't even move the timeline forward, So do we just continue to buy new units that are the same as old units but now prettier and with a cool new hat? Has anyone played tom clancys end war? That might fit well into 40k, There are objectives on the battlefield, when you secure it, you get access to a certain ability. Also each side starts with say 10 points, it allows you to bring in reserves to the field, like an infantry reserve is 2 points, a light vehicle squad is 4 points, a tank squad is 6 points, a hero unit is 8 points for example.

I was recently looking at AT-43, the figures come prepainted, terrian comes with the models you buy, and there releasing new races etc. It's pretty new but looks cool as hell, the games are ALOT smaller in terms of models, but you get that personal feeling back, and one unit cant take out a whole squad like in 40k. Not to mention in this universe, Humans have kicked the crap out of every race out there, and nearly control the entire universe, they are seen as the bad guys by the other races. What do you guys think?

TheLionReturns
18-11-2008, 11:10
For me 40K lost a fair bit of flavor in the change from 2nd edition to 3rd edition. They moved to a tighter and more balanced ruleset but at the cost of variety IMO.

That said I don't share your frustrations. For a start the background is as immersive as it has ever been. I, for one, don't feel that the timeline needs shifting forwards, but like the current approach of broadening the fluff to fill gaps. 40K for me is a setting in which you create your own stories, not a story itself.

Model wise, whilst Space Marines are still Space Marines, the new plastic kits allow for a much greater degree of customisation which makes converting easier and more of a pleasure rather than a chore. I think that whilst perhaps the style has remained the same, our ability to be creative in the modelling sphere has been enhanced. Besides there is something to be said for keeping a similar look over time, and it means that veteran gamers don't end up with completely mismatched units in their armies allowing the better maintenance of a theme.

I think in terms of gameplay, 5th edition has brought some new dynamics, whilst supplements like cityfight and apocalypse present new ways of playing. A decent campaign system would be welcome and I can see being produced in the future. The fact is that even these supplements can get dull over time but the way I see the GW 40K products is as a setting and framework. Within that setting and framework players should be creative and come up with their own experimental rules, their own experimental units and races, their own experimental scenarios and victory conditions, and their own campaign systems be they narrative or map based.

I know we pay money to be provided with a product, but for me this creation of your own rules etc is very much an enjoyable part of the hobby and the main reason I am still involved in it. To suggest it should all be done for us is akin to saying that models should come pre-converted and pre-painted.

I think part of the problem is the attitude of some players, who feel that it is all about balance where everything must be official, and consequently anything unofficial is cheating. That for me is how you play basic 40K suitable for one off games against opponents you do not know. In a regular gaming group environment you can develop and refine your own supplements and keep the game dynamic and interesting. If you want a good example just look at the popularity of the BoLS heresy and macharian crusade supplements as well as their mini-dexes. Alternatively look at the wealth of supplemental rules and scenarios that have been developed for games like necromunda and Inquisitor (although GW seems to have misplaced a lot of these).

I does require effort and organisation to do this and not everyone has the time nor inclination. I think if 40K has become stale and you are not willing/unable to do something about it yourself I would strongly suggest trying other systems, not only because you might enjoy them but also because they might inspire you with potential alterations to enhance 40K should you wish to return. Alternatively you could just take a break from the hobby. We all need one now and again. I have done this in the past, yet somehow always get lured back by the fluff.

Lord Malorne
18-11-2008, 11:16
For me it went stale 4 years ago and got better 2 years ago. I also agree with TheLionReturns, sometimes a break can be good if the game is becoming a chore to you and your local gamers.

AdmiralDick
18-11-2008, 11:34
i can certainly see your point, but i wouldn't necessarily agree with you.

one of the major problems when it comes to playing 40k is over familiarity; we all know all of the rules for all of the races; we rarely play games that do not involve lining-up and slaughtering the enemy; the game is over 25-years old and has reached a point where it hasn't changed dramatically since 3rd Ed a decade ago. everything is very comfortable and things do not seem new. but is this the fault of the game?

not really.

the game system its self is one of the most effective Table Top Battle games around, hence its great success. anyone can play, from newb to vet, from casual player to mathhammer, tournament rules-lawyer and everything in between. the game itself can be adapted to play in almost any type of scenario and can utilise rules that mutate the game further, like Apocalypse, Kill-Teams, City Fight and the up-comming Planet-Fall. and most importantly of all (as far as making the company a success counts), you can always collect more of everything for your army. there is simply no upper limit. once you've got a 2000pt SM army, you can buy more Tactical Marines and collect a Company, and once you've got a Company you can collect more Tactical Marines and collect a Chapter, and once you've got a Chapter you can collect more and have a Legion. it simply never ends.

conversely, in almost every other game there is an upper-limit on either models you can collect (like in Warmachine, you can only have one of each Warcaster) or the number of models you can have on a table (like in Legends of the Old West you can only have 16 Cowboys) or simply no incentive to carry on collecting further. so from that perspective there is always something 'fresh' in 40k.

also, just going back to the issue of scenarios and mutable rules; really and truly one cannot expect the basic army list to offer an infinite amount of variation and playing opponents. it can only offer a certain number of variations on a theme. what actually adds variety and 'spice' to game playing is how you choose to play. now, GW will, by default, always encourage the simplest possible method of play. it will be the quickest to organise, the easiest to play and by virtue the least satisfying. this is no slight on GW's character, they just want people to be able to play their games and they can't over complicate things. it is up to us as players to say how we are going to play.

the 'most basic' way to make 40k as fun and vibrant as you would like it to be, it to say, 'i won't play the same scenario twice'. this will mean that although you know what an army is capable of, you won't necessarily know how it will perform. it will prevent you and your opponents from playing with the same army day in, day out, as you will have to tailor your forces to suit the battlefield conditions. the problem is that, although this is the 'most basic' solutions, its also one of the hardest and most time consuming as well. in fact, its so difficult that playing different scenarios almost never happens.

so if it a question of who is to blame that my games of 40k seem repetitive and stale, then the answer really must be me and not the mechanics of the game.


Has anyone played tom clancys end war? That might fit well into 40k, There are objectives on the battlefield, when you secure it, you get access to a certain ability. Also each side starts with say 10 points, it allows you to bring in reserves to the field, like an infantry reserve is 2 points, a light vehicle squad is 4 points, a tank squad is 6 points, a hero unit is 8 points for example.

that sounds like quite a cool idea. it would require a lot of play testing to make sure that people didn't simply avoid putting things in reserve, but it could work add a level of unpredictability (and tailoring) to a game. if i were you i'd suggest something like this on the Rules Development forum and see if a couple of us can thrash out a workable system.

you've reached the limit of where it can be reasonably said to be GW's responsibility to help you enjoy the game and its time to take the reins and be in charge of your own imagination.

i've long felt it would be better if the battlefield was more interactive in something of a cross between City Fight Stratagems and Dawn of War terrain. perhaps those would be good sources of inspiration for the skills your objectives might confer. also take a look at the latest issue of Firebase (i believe), which contains an article on armies upgrading their Objectives.


I was recently looking at AT-43, the figures come prepainted, terrian comes with the models you buy, and there releasing new races etc. It's pretty new but looks cool as hell, the games are ALOT smaller in terms of models, but you get that personal feeling back, and one unit cant take out a whole squad like in 40k. Not to mention in this universe, Humans have kicked the crap out of every race out there, and nearly control the entire universe, they are seen as the bad guys by the other races. What do you guys think?

whilst i will agree that the appearance of the races in AT-43 are very cool (Rackham really know how to make a cool looking army), i would warn you that the models used for promotional photographs are studio paint jobs and not of the same standard as the ones in the boxes. more to the point i can't see how pre-constructed, pre-painted miniatures is going to fulfil your desire for a new gaming experience. surely all it will do is eliminate an element of personalisation.

i have also not yet heard a good review of the game its self (which is unsurprising as many people did not enjoy the rules for Confrontation either, in spite of the amazing models), its been described and simplistic to an annoying level to me. and that's from regular 40k players, so they should know simplistic when they see it! although, the reason that i have not heard may good review might be from the prohibitive price. the boxes aren't necessarily extortionate, but they are noticeably higher than competitors and that is seriously off putting for a lot of people (myself included).

Edit: I would also agree with TheLionReturns. i think that all gamers should play more than one system (by more than one company), as it gives them a much better sense of what 40k is and isn't. and as TheLionReturns suggests it may well refresh your perspective of 40k.

Bauhaus86
18-11-2008, 13:15
Good to see some interesting points from fellow long time players. I agree with much that has been said, so I won't repeat it all again. My main problem is that the games have become to big. Some might argue that it is to create a new game style, while others could say that it is just to increase miniature sales.

My main point is that it doesn't really fell like a skirmish game to me anymore. Too many models, too much big damage. I know a lot of people enjoy it, but I find it a bit tedious.

An obvious choice is to play smaller games, but then one hero or big vehicle can dominate the game. Close combat is short and brutal. I always enjoyed Rogue Trader combat, the whole game was at a slower pace which I enjoy.

So, really, to me it's not "the same 'ol 40k". But I do find games these days a bit repetitive. Always the same big death units with the game ending in a massacre of models. I am taking a break from 40k right now, I haven't looked at my Eldar for about 4 months......

the1stpip
18-11-2008, 17:31
If you feel the hobby has stagnated, then maybe you have stagnated.

Try changing your own style. Take units and try tactics that you have not done before. Encourage your friends to do the same. It could make the game very different.

Otherwise, try Apoc of CoD for a change.

qwertywraith
18-11-2008, 18:43
My main point is that it doesn't really fell like a skirmish game to me anymore. Too many models, too much big damage. I know a lot of people enjoy it, but I find it a bit tedious.

Well, it's not a skirmish game anymore. If that is a problem for you then you should either pick up a different game which is about skirmishes, and there are plenty.

Alternatively you could get creative and develop your own house rules for skirmish level combat that doesn't get abusive at lower point levels. Combat patrol was a pretty fun twist on the rules to allow for smaller battles.

Actually there are probably plenty of home-grown rulesets out there for your perusal.

40K is a meat an potatoes game. It's hearty, but you have to add your own spice for variety. Take Mordheim: Mordheim is a great little skirmish game, but after a while the basic rules get stagnant and the battles get repetitive. That's when you make your own scenarios, rules, characters, etc, and the online community fosters it. 40K fosters it too, it's just a lot of fora (Warseer included) really caters to the basics of the game. You have to go to the not so frequented sections on rules development to find anything outside the mainstream, but it's there.

I'm amazed at how many complaints about this game come down to people treating the rules like a straightjacket. Mind you, you are right about AT-43 and games like Warmachine that are better supported with more content variety more frequently. They even have a magazine that provides new content, unlike White Dwarf.

For new 40K content, try Bell of Lost Souls and Warseer's Firebase magazine.

sigur
18-11-2008, 20:19
For me 40K lost a fair bit of flavor in the change from 2nd edition to 3rd edition. They moved to a tighter and more balanced ruleset but at the cost of variety IMO.

The ruleset istself is perfectly fine imho; it was the army lists and force organisation that brought "imbalance" into the game. ;)

Anyway, I agree with Lord Malorne. Give it a little pause and play some specialist game like Necromunda, Gorkamorka or Mortheim for a while.

cailus
19-11-2008, 01:43
It is indeed stagnant.

Save a couple of Space Marine units in the new codex, nothing new has been released for a long time.

Of course GW makes you think they're innovative with things such as the Conversion Beamer and Wierdboyz but these are just old concepts reintroduced into the game.

The background is perhaps the most stagnant element with their enforced "2 minutes to midnight" freeze.

Their game design is stagnant too. 5th just seems to be change for changes sake. The Fantasy guys in my area feel the same about the last edition of Fantasy too.

Basically GW had it's big innovative growth spurt in terms of rules development and background development.

The late 1990's/early 2000's saw a big increase in the quality of the miniatures. The background got a boost with new race (Tau).

But looking at the last several years, the development isn't as good or as exciting as it could be:

1. Apocalypse - big games. People did these before.
2. Daemons - basically they gutted the Chaos codex to create this.
3. 5th edition - no radical changes, change for change's sake.
4. White Dwarf - degeneration in catalogue (important because White Dwarf used to serve as inspiration).
5. Increasing corporatisation/commercialisation - hence the downplaying of background to Grimdark with Skulls, emphasise on hard selling marketing instead of word of mouth etc.
6. Background - no new major changes.
7. Drawdown in support for Specialist Games - these used to be break from 40K but it's hard to get people into them when they're availability and support is low.
8. No new specialist games to take our attention.

Basically they're rehashing existing things and not adding anything new or exciting. It;s what happens when a product gets long in the tooth.