PDA

View Full Version : What older 40k edition would you recommend for classic/legacy play?



vaneheart
07-06-2016, 08:12
My local gaming group is considering revisiting a previous edition of Warhammer 40k. We have a mix of longtime players, along with some others that started in Fifth Edition.

What previous edition (if any) would you guys recommend checking out?


So far the suggestions we've been toying around with are:

-Fifth Edition
-Fifth Edition, but with only Fourth Edition (and earlier) armybooks.
-Fourth Edition


I'm aware that this causes problems with new armies, like Imperial Knights, Harlequin, and Adeptus Mechanicus. I'm still trying to figure out a solution for that. We wouldn't be giving up 7th edition anyway.


Any advice would be much appreciated. :-)

A.T.
07-06-2016, 09:44
Fifth Edition but with earlier books:
-Pros - no clear winners, everyone has a shot (lists like dual lash prince and carnifex spam are about as 'nasty' as it gets)
-Cons - a fair bit of obsolescence (i.e. wolves), mismatched unit rules from two editions of updates (compare 4e marine rules to the pre-5e CSM/DA rules for instance)

- consider using the IA1 and IA2 update PDFs to match all the imperial vehicles to the same stats and points costs (not the immolator was misprinted in IA2, it has a fire point) and optionally using the 5e marine codex and templar/dark angel faqs (and the 5e pdf blood angels). Apply the same storm shield/cyclone/assault cannon/etc updates to the wolves rather than using the 5e wolves book.

---------------

Fifth edition in its entirety:
Pros - wider range of units
Cons - 5e grey knights, 5e necrons, jaws of the world wolf, guard leafblower...

---------------

Fourth Edition:
Much like 5e with 4e books, except the eldar skimmers are indestructible and the rules will trip you up more often.

Abaraxas
07-06-2016, 11:18
I'm a second edition man through and through, but in your case I think 5th is a no brainer, yeah maybe with the earlier codex book provision.
No point playing edition x when it's 5th you/you guys are craving.

DarthSte
07-06-2016, 11:26
Classic / Legacy play?! I'd say 2nd every time.

arkle
07-06-2016, 12:48
5th with 5th codex and as long as everyone is looking for a similar thing you don't need to worry about codex selection

blackcherry
07-06-2016, 13:33
There has never been a 'complete' edition of 40k due to the nature of codexs.

But if you want a peer back at 40k before it became the 40k we know today, try 2nd edition. It's very different to the game today, in good and bad ways.

Comrade Penguin
07-06-2016, 13:52
I will echo everyone else saying 5th edition. For me it was my golden era where my gaming group was full and there were constantly new tournaments and campaigns being run. Grey Knights were a problem, but they were not the untouchable force that is modern eldar/tau.

Man that was a good time to be playing the game, now its all superheavies, allies, and flyers... bleh

duffybear1988
07-06-2016, 15:07
4th edition. Best missions and army lists by far.

ColShaw
07-06-2016, 16:00
I agree with duffybear1988 that 4th had the best missions. I think 5th had the best gameplay, though. I'd vote 5th, with 4th Ed missions ported in.

A.T.
07-06-2016, 16:12
I agree with duffybear1988 that 4th had the best missions. I think 5th had the best gameplay, though. I'd vote 5th, with 4th Ed missions ported in.The last turn dash for the objectives and one unit = one VP were certainly weak points of 5e.

Col. Tartleton
07-06-2016, 16:41
I think generally 5th edition is everyone's favorite.

6th and 7th are worse. 4th is comparable. 3rd is nostalgic since that's when I started, but 4th and 5th polished it.

Casper Hawser
07-06-2016, 18:57
Fifth Edition but with earlier books:
-Pros - no clear winners, everyone has a shot (lists like dual lash prince and carnifex spam are about as 'nasty' as it gets)
-Cons - a fair bit of obsolescence (i.e. wolves), mismatched unit rules from two editions of updates (compare 4e marine rules to the pre-5e CSM/DA rules for instance)

- consider the following optional changes:
1) 5e daemons (they didn't have a book at this point)
2) using the IA1 and IA2 update PDFs to match all the imperial vehicles to the same stats and points costs (not the immolator was misprinted in IA2, it has a fire point).
3) using the 5e marine codex and templar/dark angel faqs (and the 5e pdf blood angels). Apply the same storm shield/cyclone/assault cannon/etc updates to the wolves rather than using the 5e wolves book.

Beyond the 5e daemons and potentially the 5e marines/vehicles I wouldn't go any further into the edition.

---------------

Fifth edition in its entirety:
Pros - wider range of units
Cons - 5e grey knights, 5e necrons, jaws of the world wolf, guard leafblower...

---------------

Fourth Edition:
Much like 5e with 4e books, except the eldar skimmers are indestructible and the rules will trip you up more often.

Chaos Daemons codex came out during 4th edition I think it was in 2007.
I'd go for 2nd myself just because it's so different from the rest. Although there's no Tau, Dark Eldar and only a small Necron force.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ColShaw
07-06-2016, 19:20
The last turn dash for the objectives and one unit = one VP were certainly weak points of 5e.

Variable game length could mitigate the first point, but you're absolutely right on the second. My IG had some hard times there.

dwarfhold13
07-06-2016, 20:35
Huge fan of 2nd here. It was the defining moment of hero hammer though, so beware but it's fantastic, and the model count stays low. 2nd was so different that it's probably the closest thing to an all encompassing edition there is imo.

A.T.
07-06-2016, 21:21
Chaos Daemons codex came out during 4th edition I think it was in 2007.
I'd go for 2nd myself just because it's so different from the rest. Although there's no Tau, Dark Eldar and only a small Necron force.2008, last codex of 4th. Got my timing way out on that one (and will correct my post).

What I remember of the 2nd ed necrons was the the original Sanctuary 101 battle report which was such an impossibly unfair one sided beat-down that it became part of the game lore.

Spell_of_Destruction
08-06-2016, 05:04
A few recommendations of 5th ed but honestly I feel like that was the edition that made me fall out of love with 40k.

How about 4th minus the rules for entanglement/penetrating hits causing disembarkation? Or maybe 3rd with the trial assault rules (if you can find them)? Use all codices current as at the release of the 5th ed Imperial Guard codex in 2009...things started to go somewhat downhill after that (I would also consider the 2008 4th ed Ork codex as a 'cut off').

2nd is my favourite but a very different game and it would be quite difficult to recreate many newer units (especially vehicles and monstrous creatures) from recent editions.

Casper Hawser
08-06-2016, 07:44
2008, last codex of 4th. Got my timing way out on that one (and will correct my post).

What I remember of the 2nd ed necrons was the the original Sanctuary 101 battle report which was such an impossibly unfair one sided beat-down that it became part of the game lore.

The only reason I remembered about both chaos codices coming out before 5th was because 5th just seemed to have marine releases apart from Dark Eldar, Tyranid and Necrons of course. It's funny to think that the Blood Angels codex was considered broken because of cheap Razerbacks and now marines get them free.
Nice history lesson about Necrons imagine if battle reports affected fluff nowadays the Eldar would have reclaimed the galaxy by now or at least they would be fighting the Tau for it.
With small pockets of resistance of space marines and Necrons. Chaos, Tyranids and Orks would all be wiped out.
On topic I'd consider 2nd for small skirmish games and 5th for bigger.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Spell_of_Destruction
08-06-2016, 07:58
If you're going to use 5th I recommend using the victory points system from 4th edition rather than the kill points system. That is one change I did not welcome.

For objective based games, assign victory points to objectives (so victory points determine the winner rather than simply the number of objectives held).

This goes some way to fixing the 'gaminess' that I feel plagued 5th.

Kakapo42
08-06-2016, 08:02
I'm another one who is a little bit surprised by all the recommendations for 5th. I always felt like that was when the rot really began to sink in and 40k started to lose its soul (yes yes I know, there's a strong argument it lost its soul after 2nd edition, but that was largely before my time and I feel like early 2000s GW had a magic all of its own). Of course my experience is probably coloured a lot by being a Tau player - 5th edition was a very bad time for the Tau.

If I had to pick a 40k ruleset as my favourite, it would have to be 4th edition with 3rd edition codexes. The 4th edition core rules are great, Cities of Death is a convenient addon for urban warfare, and it includes what are easily my two favourite codexes of all time, the 3rd edition Codex: Tau and Codex: Witchhunters. It also helps that the end of 3rd edition/very start of 4th edition (before any of the 4th edition codexes) is my favourite for background and aesthetics.

Casper Hawser
08-06-2016, 08:40
I'm another one who is a little bit surprised by all the recommendations for 5th. I always felt like that was when the rot really began to sink in and 40k started to lose its soul (yes yes I know, there's a strong argument it lost its soul after 2nd edition, but that was largely before my time and I feel like early 2000s GW had a magic all of its own). Of course my experience is probably coloured a lot by being a Tau player - 5th edition was a very bad time for the Tau.

If I had to pick a 40k ruleset as my favourite, it would have to be 4th edition with 3rd edition codexes. The 4th edition core rules are great, Cities of Death is a convenient addon for urban warfare, and it includes what are easily my two favourite codexes of all time, the 3rd edition Codex: Tau and Codex: Witchhunters. It also helps that the end of 3rd edition/very start of 4th edition (before any of the 4th edition codexes) is my favourite for background and aesthetics.

I think the magic of GW was when you were first introduced/ found the hobby for me it was 1989 when we moved house and our next door neighbours son showed me his Blood Bowl set and white dwarf magazine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A.T.
08-06-2016, 09:40
I'm another one who is a little bit surprised by all the recommendations for 5th. I always felt like that was when the rot really began to sink in and 40k started to lose its soulI think its because the rules and army balance were beginner friendly at the very start of 5th. No consolidating from unit to unit, nothing as blatantly powerful as 4e falcons or 3e sirens, no guess measurements, useful transports, and a fair shot at winning with either assault or shooting.



Nice history lesson about Necrons imagine if battle reports affected fluff nowadays the Eldar would have reclaimed the galaxy by now or at least they would be fighting the Tau for it.2nd ed necrons could be really absurd... I looked up the old white dwarf and the sisters were managing to kill roughly one necron warrior per turn.
The cron player noted they would have won the game earlier if not for sending too many scarabs against an immolator (causing it to instantly explode and kill the scarabs - if they had just been sent into combat they would have been entirely immune to the sisters attacks and crippled their shooting as well), and also for not realising that the necrons could hammer the sisters in combat until the driver of a crashed destroyer stood up and started to single handedly rip through the army with its bare hands.

(and to put additional context on that - scarabs moved four times as fast as a regular model, had toughness 8, a 2+ save, ignored the strength of close combat weapons, penalised all shooting within 6" by -1 per model, and cost the same as a bolter armed tactical marine)

MusingWarboss
08-06-2016, 18:22
2nd is the classic go to for oldhammer and it's still pretty good for small to medium games. If you plan of going big though it will become a bit arduous. You'll have to track down quite a few bits to make a set (if you care about that sort of thing) luckily eBay has that stuff really cheaply at the moment. It's not had so much of a revival as old Warhammer has so prices are very reasonable.

Of course newer stuff is either not usable or you will need to agree on proxies. However you will find old Armourcast rules out there for some big stuff like gobsmashas, eldar Titans and some imperial Titans too.

It does seem like you have all collectively agreed on 5th though so that may be the best to go for? However if you prefer the Codexes of 4th then maybe just play that version and any rules that you find broken or prefer the newer ones, perhaps just all agree to use a combined ruleset. Again eBay has loads of those old Codexes and rulebooks relatively cheaply.

A.T.
08-06-2016, 18:27
With regards to older army lists, one that you might have to dig around for is Blood Angels - their 4th ed codex was in the June and July 2007 editions of white dwarf which was updated to 5th edition rules in a downloadable PDF file from games workshop - m1180159_Blood_Angels_Codex_and_FAQ_2007-08_5th_Edition.pdf

Casper Hawser
08-06-2016, 19:24
I'd just use Blood Angel 5th codex and remove assault marines getting cheap Razerbacks, and swap the blood talon rules for rerolling to wound rather than additional attacks for unsaved wounds.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Commissar Vaughn
08-06-2016, 20:18
2nd ed all the way!

I think the crons had a few advantages at Sanctuary 101 that skewed things a little- didnt they have double the points, and the sisters were handicapped by being a balanced studio army, so they had to take flamers and rhinos in a defensive battle against T5 with a 2+ save? No wonder they hardly killed one. Give the sister player free reign and I reckon the Crons would be staring into the muzzles of a hell of a lot of melta weapons...

I dont the Crons are that tough- obviously man for man they are very tough but you dont get many for your points, and a liberal sprinkling of hard hitting heavy weapons is usually sufficient to encourage them to leave.

Fangschrecken
08-06-2016, 22:12
I would do 5th with 4th edition codexes, and missions.

I'd also like to see 6th/7th ed wound allocation in 5th edition as it would counter most of the abuses with Paladins and such. Variable game length is good too.

Spell_of_Destruction
09-06-2016, 04:32
I would summarise the main flaws of 5th as follows:
1. Wound allocation shenanigans (paladins, nob bikers)
2. Weakness of glancing hits resulted in proliferation of transport based armies.
3. Kill Point/Objective system put a focus on 'gaminess' when list building and when playing. Games seemed less like battles and more exercises in manipulation to achieve arbitrary, abstract goals.

So having read the other comments, we might conclude that you ought to use 5th as the base system given that it's the most fully realised system of the 3rd-5th era but with the following amendments:
1. Use 4th ed's wound allocation (not perfect, certainly but it's simple and avoids the worst abuses of 5th).
2. Use 4th ed's damage tables but ignore the rules for entanglement/emergency disembarking.
3. Use 4th ed's missions OR use the 5th ed missions but substitute victory points for kill points and make objectives confer victory points. A further idea that I had would be to allocate points for objectives based on the victory points total for the holding unit. So if a unit worth 200pts holds an objective uncontested the objective is worth 200pts. Another idea is for 'contested' objectives to simply award the difference in points (halved due to it being contested) between the contesting units to the player with the highest value overall e.g. if a 200pt unit and a 100pt unit are contesting an objective, the player with the 200pt unit would received 50 victory points (100/2).

Cheeslord
09-06-2016, 11:58
I recommend 5th. It's the version I enjoyed most. Though possibly not using the 5th grey Knights codex or anything after it for good measure...

You can always fix the wound allocation issue in many ways...

Thomson
09-06-2016, 22:50
(and to put additional context on that - scarabs moved four times as fast as a regular model, had toughness 8, a 2+ save, ignored the strength of close combat weapons, penalised all shooting within 6" by -1 per model, and cost the same as a bolter armed tactical marine)
Yeah that is how you sell models...

If I read this it reminds me that today GW is far better with point values than they where then. In the olden days they where off by a factor of up to 10, now it is only 2. So we should be happy, shouldn't we?

hobbic_c
10-06-2016, 11:28
I think I would probably go with 4th/3rd, at least if I recally the 3rd did have a complete codex set? Sometimes with out group when feeling nostalgic, we have played the 4th ed missions (including their victory conditions/special rules) but with the 7th ed mechanics, it does seem to work quite well. I don't think I'd want to go back to 5th, too much getting charged/blown to bits before the other player could react

A.T.
10-06-2016, 11:54
I don't think I'd want to go back to 5th, too much getting charged/blown to bits before the other player could reactThat will actually be more of an issue with 3rd/4th than with early 5th (that is 5e rules with mostly/entirely 4e and back books). Earlier editions had preliminary bombardment, ranger disruption tables, consolidating daemonbombs, blood angels with a first turn charge (26" from rhinos IIRC), and of course eldar armies with more S6 AP2 shots per turn than you have models :p

The early editions were a bit of a mix of updates, supplements, and articles. Excluding things like eye of terror/armageddon the codex list looked something like this:



Codex

3rd

4th



Marines

Marines 3e

Marines 4e



BA

BA 3e(supplement)

4e White Dwarf (2007)



DA

DA 3e, 2nd edition (supplement)

DA 4e



SW

SW 3e (supplement)

-----



Templars

-----

Templars 4e



Guard

Guard 3e, 2nd edition

Guard 4e



Daemonhunters

DH 3e

-----



WitchHunters

WH 3e

-----



Eldar

Eldar 3e & Craftworlds

Eldar 4e



Dark Eldar

Dark Eldar 3e revised edition

-----



Tyranids

Tyranids 3e

Tyranids 4e



Orks

Orks 3e

Orks 4e



Tau

Tau 3e

Tau 4e



Crons

Crons 3e

-----



CSM

CSM 3e, 2nd edition

CSM 4e



Daemons

-----

Daemons 4e

Casper Hawser
10-06-2016, 14:57
Yeah that is how you sell models...

If I read this it reminds me that today GW is far better with point values than they where then. In the olden days they where off by a factor of up to 10, now it is only 2. So we should be happy, shouldn't we?

All I can say is WraithKnight to that one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Rogue
11-06-2016, 21:08
My only question that I would answer were I you is where is the group gravitating towards as far as core rules. Be it 5th or 4th you are not going to have the issues with WAAC playing as much as back when you were playing the edition. Likewise house rules will be your friends as well if you see anything glaring.

Shameless plug alert: Classic Hammer (http://www.classichammer.com) does provide community support for both editions. it is slim right now, but we are always looking for more content on the 40K front. We would love to see any battle reports that you have on your games.

obithius
11-06-2016, 23:01
I would go with 4th edition. All the latter 3rd ed codexes (with black covers- witch hunters, daemon hunters, tau, necrons, guard, chaos, dark angels and dark eldar) were all written for 4th, as they have access points and fire points for vehicles, so you can use all those too. I actually like the entangled rules when your vehicle is wrecked, ever been in a car crash?

Elbows of Death
13-06-2016, 03:04
I guess the only thing to remember is that 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th are all exploded/lardy versions of 3rd editions core concepts. There was a huge (and terrible) swing from 2nd edition to 3rd. 2nd Edition was a completely different ruleset. Only recommend it if you're craving something hugely different. The codices were phenomenal but the game was absolutely not aimed at tournaments/balance. It was just good fun. If you trim some fat, it's a marvelous game. The core mechanics of 2nd were used on most of the specialist games at the time (Gorka Morka, Necromunda, Mordheim, Warhammer Quest etc.).

3rd came out and introduced an entirely different base set of mechanics which have carried on, massaged and lipsticked through 7th.

Spell_of_Destruction
13-06-2016, 07:01
2nd is a largely intuitive system but the lack of abstraction can make it unwieldy as a larger scale. I actually think 3rd was an OK first attempt at a new system and it was quite fun at the beginning while the codices remained minimalist.

The ethos of 3rd was largely abandoned from 5th onwards as layers of 'complexity' were shoehorned back into the game. A big difference between a system like 2nd and a system like 3rd is that the former doesn't require loads of special rules to yield complex outcomes. Complexity arises spontaneously from the non abstract interaction of models with each other and the environment. In 3rd that interaction is handled abstractly so rather than having a game which feels as though models and the environment are interacting with each other, they are interacting with the rules.

All of this is fine if you introduce tactical options that are appropriate to the company level scale but with the exception of reserves/outflanking, this is sadly lacking from 40k from 3rd onwards. Simple rules for abilities such as covering fire and (more effective) pinning would assist in creating a game that is more than simply an exercise in list stacking.

Ben
13-06-2016, 18:15
The thing you have to change about 2nd is how close combat worked.

I've not seen anyone talk about 1st? You could conceivably find all the original supplements or White Dwarfs, and it did launch the whole 40k business.

Elbows of Death
13-06-2016, 18:28
I think people don't consider first or Rogue Trader because it was more of a small skirmish game with heavy RPG elements. The launch of 2nd really laid the groundwork for the large scale wargame that Warhammer 40K has become.

As Spell mentioned, what makes 7th an arguably bad game is that they took a hugely simplified version of 40K and slowly slathered more and more complexity back into it. You can see the same kind of thing in the automotive industry. Sometimes a car's chassis is kept around far too long and though new technology emerges - the company continues to upgrade and update what is...underneath, an old tired chassis. At some point you need to design a new chassis. 7th is riding on 3rd's chassis and the games are hugely different from one another.

2nd was arguably very complex, but the game itself was complex. It had far fewer special rules because the core rules were complex in and of themselves. When the core rules of a game are complex - it's far less often that you stumble into rules-clashes (ie. hundreds of special rules added to a game, where some cause game-breaking failures when combined etc.). 2nd edition can be great fun, particularly if you streamline two big issues: hand to hand combat, and the psychic phase (and I would personally argue, the turn structure). Those changes can crisp up the game, speed it up and make it quite good fun.

If your gaming group is going back to an older edition of the game your intent is obviously not tournament play (outside of perhaps a small competition in your own group). Don't hesitate to change up some rules. Any gamer with a handful of years gaming under their belt is likely able to think up some streamlined/better ways of handling certain elements of the game you find awful. Whenever my game group runs a new game a couple of times we'll discover some things which really don't work within the game structure (and I mean all games, not just GW products) and we'll simply have a discussion during one of the games to try it another way etc. I find a lot of people don't ever consider simply changing the rules themselves. Unless you're competing in tournaments which have strict codified rules mandated --- tweak em!

vaneheart
14-06-2016, 20:16
This has been really helpful, thank you everyone. :-)


What would you guys suggest for newer armies like Adeptus Mechanicus?

P.S. You guys wouldn't happen to know where to get errata from previous editions?

Elbows of Death
15-06-2016, 01:19
If you're playing 3rd and up, your stat lines should work fine --- just do some math to determine how to price things points-wise. Price accordingly and use the current weapons. For pushing something like Mechanicus into 2nd you'd have to dig up the old Codex Imperialis and create your own force really (probably enough entries around to work).

It would be a lot more effort, but doable. Particularly if you're gaming amongst friends.

A.T.
15-06-2016, 09:58
What would you guys suggest for newer armies like Adeptus Mechanicus?

P.S. You guys wouldn't happen to know where to get errata from previous editions?You can't do much with ad-mech other than proxy them - the DH book with inducted guard might work.

I have a fair number of the old FAQs archived, though I don't think I have any pre-2009 (so nothing for 4e/3e guard, wolves, marines, and nothing for 3e books in general other than crons/WH/DH/DE)

hobbic_c
16-06-2016, 14:53
That will actually be more of an issue with 3rd/4th than with early 5th (that is 5e rules with mostly/entirely 4e and back books). Earlier editions had preliminary bombardment, ranger disruption tables, consolidating daemonbombs, blood angels with a first turn charge (26" from rhinos IIRC), and of course eldar armies with more S6 AP2 shots per turn than you have models :p

The early editions were a bit of a mix of updates, supplements, and articles. Excluding things like eye of terror/armageddon the codex list looked something like this:



Codex

3rd

4th



Marines
Marines 3e
Marines 4e


BA
BA 3e(supplement)
4e White Dwarf (2007)


DA
DA 3e, 2nd edition (supplement)
DA 4e


SW
SW 3e (supplement)
-----


Templars

-----
Templars 4e


Guard
Guard 3e, 2nd edition
Guard 4e


Daemonhunters
DH 3e
-----


WitchHunters
WH 3e
-----


Eldar
Eldar 3e & Craftworlds
Eldar 4e


Dark Eldar
Dark Eldar 3e revised edition
-----


Tyranids
Tyranids 3e
Tyranids 4e


Orks
Orks 3e
Orks 4e


Tau
Tau 3e
Tau 4e


Crons
Crons 3e
-----


CSM
CSM 3e, 2nd edition
CSM 4e


Daemons
-----
Daemons 4e




correction to that; the black templars were avalible via the armageddon codex

insectum7
18-06-2016, 21:28
Either 2nd or 4th Ed.

2nd for nitty gritty detail and enjoyable games without too many models. 4th for the huge array of options and balance. 4th was good for infantry and was IMO the last edition before low AP spamming became commonplace (pre-Sternguard, for example) As much as I like Drop Pods these days, I prefer a game with a more gradual development. 4th edition with Omega mission rules gave a really great experience.

5th edition saw too many obnoxious codexes, and I found it rather bland in terms of releases with a few exceptions. One of the biggest differences between 5th and 4th is the return to True Line Of Sight in 5th. 4th had more abstract (and IMO far superior) terrain rules.

Senbei
20-06-2016, 22:18
I'd say 2nd... unless... well...

If you're the type of person who likes running RPG campaigns, then probably 1st/Rogue Trader would get you excited. The books tend to be expensive, but over by /tg/ there are people who have scanned the lot of them... naughty, naughty people. Going to hell for it I'm sure!

Anyway, the main RT rulebook gives examples of how to set up narrative campaigns... stuff like the planetary governors personal guard trying to fight off assassins or a squad of Marines trying to rescue a captured Inquisitor from backwater bandits. There are rules for making your own creatures and vehicles (using a points-buy system) and also for creating forces from more recognisable races. And, yes, you can field armies of Gretchin... or Ratlings... if you REALLY want to.