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Thread: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

  1. #21
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonov View Post
    "Veteran Epic gamers are likely to have infantry on the old bases but there is no need to rebase them. We've found in playing with both types that they work perfectly together" - Battles Book, p.103.

    The Battles Book being one of the three books that came with the main box. No idea what White Dwarf said or did not say on the issue.
    Indeed, it had guidelines for base sizes and both types of base could be used. They mentioned about the advantages and disadvantages in game of the two base sizes that they produced

  2. #22
    Chapter Master Angelwing's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Ah, so that bit about the bases was in the battles book, not rulebook. Hidden away a bit to be sure. However, its still pretty explicit on the subject.

    I've had a quick look in the epic Armageddon rules, and that is clear about bases too. Your old square and new rectangle bases are perfectly rules legal.

  3. #23
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Yes, EA is clear on this issue, which is why I gave it a go and bought some new infantry and mounted them on the rectangular bases. The quote from the Epic 40K Battles Book seems more like a suggestion or guideline to me, which explains why there are differing interpretations on the subject.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Yes EA was clear from the start - gave a minimum size and left it at that...

  5. #25
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Having looked at Epic 40k, I can understand why it wasn't received very well. As those who had experienced the earlier editions (which I haven't... and frankly the little I have come across it looks like a total nightmare in my eyes) have said it is very abstract. Now, I don't think this is necessarily a problem, as truthfully if you want a proper game for the scale it is, it should be quite abstract. However, it does sever some of the connections the player has to the models, as it isn't any longer x tank or x squad that does something, and just an amorphous blob.

    I have to say my main issue is the army building part. Now, I can get behind the flexibility of the system (and I don't like the sound of the army card system of the earlier editions... though frankly it feels that could be replaced by Epic Armageddon's army list system), there is very little to guide someone what a sensible detachment should look like. OK, you have "armour" and "infantry" detachments, but how many detachments is it good to have in an average 2000 point army? How many units are a good idea in a detachment? What kind of mix of armour/vehicles and infantry? Now, I wasn't looking for hard rules, but a little guidance to start players off, from which they could then experiment with, would have made the game a little more approachable to new players.

    On the other hand, the way the rules are structured seem a lot cleverer than I initially realised when I came across the game. As one example, there isn't an overwatch mechanic (from what I can remember), but the way that snap-shooting and the turn order work you don't really need one. Aside from some really fast units anything that is going to try and assault you is normally going to have to open itself to shooting (and most of those fast units generally don't want to be in an unsupported assault). I believe Jervis Johnson and Andy Chabers said that Epic 40k is the rules system they were the best pleased with having designed. As mentioned, the firepower mechanic was copied into Battlefleet Gothic, where without the historical baggage of a well liked system and the lower level of abstraction it represented (as squadrons tended to have fewer elements) it was well respected.

    I am excited to hear about the possible release of something Epic related... even if it isn't totally certain yet, and there is no indication of when.

  6. #26

    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    I love Epic 40,000. It's the only edition of Epic that I play.

    Mind you, I'm in no position to say it's the best or even the equal of the other versions. In fact, I missed out on the earlier editions entirely. I got sucked into the GW world just as Epic 40K was disappearing from the shops, so I didn't take the plunge into 6mm gaming until around 2012, when I picked up the starter set on eBay. I'd heard that 3rd edition Epic had been poorly received, so I intended to use the minis for Epic Armageddon and chuck out the Epic 40K rulebooks. Then I idly read through the rules... and thought "Hey, this doesn't sound so bad. Might give it a shot." Three years later, I'm still happily playing it.

    Why I like it:


    The system is very similar to Battlefleet Gothic. (Understandably, as BFG's ruleset was derived from Epic 40K... it apparently started out as a quick bodge job by Andy Chambers when he and his mates wanted to include some spaceship battles in their Epic version of the Piscina IV campaign.) This is particularly apparent with the BFG cruisers, which are effectively Epic 40K Titans in space. Because I got into BFG at the same time as Epic 40K, the similar rulesets made both games easy to pick up. Though I do occasionally wish I could brace for impact in Epic 40K... :cries:

    As a bonus, BFG even includes points values for determining planetary assault armies in 3rd ed Epic (cf the White Dwarf article 'Death from the Skies').


    It's extremely hobbyist-focused and scenario-based. It's not a competitive tournament game, although you can tweak it that way if you want. Although it has points values and detachment/formation army lists, the rules don't even bother with basic restrictions on army makeup (e.g. no more than 50% of your points on war engines), instead leaving these to a footnote in White Dwarf. Many of the rules, like Fate cards, morale and even table size, are classed as optional extras and relegated to the green Battles Book (which by the way is a very useful resource for Epic players of any edition due to the sheer number of scenarios and terrain ideas in it). There are twelve scenarios, some of which are ludicrously entertaining (Rescue!) and one of which has endless variations (Fog of War). The drop pod rules in particular are probably the funniest DIY thing I've ever seen in a GW game. Likewise, the flexible detachment lists let you make an army out of any old eBay job lot. Sure, it might not be an optimum build, but it'll work.

    The whole production has a strong Jervis Johnson ethos (i.e. we're all sensible people who want an interesting game, not hypercompetitive ten-year-olds). Which may have been part of the problem upon release...

    In any case, Armageddon reversed this, emphasising tournament play first, with narrative/scenario content as an afterthought. I gather that's what the fans wanted, but it's not the sort of thing I'm personally interested in.


    The army lists are set in stone. One of the advantages of playing Epic 40K, paradoxically, is that it's a dead game. There's no arguing over which list to use, or beta lists, or what have you. All the army lists are in the one book (the blue Armies Book, which must be one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck publications I've ever seen GW do--the sheer quantity of options in there is astounding). If you're a completist, you can find a few more in the Firepower mags and Epic 40,000 Magazines. And that's it. Done and dusted.

    Not only that, but the lists themselves are very accommodating. With a bit of thought, you can represent pretty much anything with them. The basic Ork list, for instance, can make anything from a single-Klan army to a full-on Speed Freek army or a Feral/Snakebite force--not with special rules or variant lists, but simply by taking certain troop types and detachments rather than others. The other lists are the same. Titan Legions? A particular Eldar Craftworld or Space Marine Chapter? Harlequins? It's all there under the surface.


    The rules are abstract and 'zoomed out'. Many dislike 3rd ed Epic for this very reason, calling it flavourless and bland, and that's understandable if you were used to the detail in the earlier editions. Coming to the game cold, though, the level of abstraction seems entirely appropriate to the 6mm scale. A game involving vast armies wheeling about the landscape shouldn't concern itself with whether a given tank has bolter or plasma sponsons, or whether a 'kills stuff up close and personal' troop type happens to be armed with shuriken pistols and chainswords rather than power swords and waily-waily masks. From low orbit it's much of a muchness. As a bonus, the game plays fast, and works quite well at points values from small to enormous.


    It's strategically and tactically interesting. While it doesn't go for full unit activation, it does have an unusual (for GW) turn structure that means you're never sure whether you'll have the initiative in a given phase. Unlike what I recall of 3rd edition 40K, charging across open ground into the teeth of the enemy's Leman Russ gunline will get you slaughtered in short order. Conversely, it's hard to chip away at a detachment in cover purely with shooting. Close combats and firefights are great for driving the enemy off objectives or into the open, but they're tricky to pull off and need careful setup, softening up the enemy with long-range shooting to suppress them, encircling their position so they're wiped out when they try to retreat... etc., etc. (Of course, this may be true of other Epic editions as well, especially Epic Armageddon, but I came to it from 3rd+ ed 40K, and the difference is startling.)


    It emphasises movement. The short ranges and vast distances that detachments can potentially travel means that on a standard 6' x 4' table you get sweeping advances, retreats, pincer movements, breakouts, etc. Even with heavy artillery on the board, there are safe zones you can lurk in, out of their range. Again, it's abstract--it probably makes more sense to think of one stand of troops as representing 10 or 100--but it means that the positions on the board can radically change in a single movement phase. (Wait, I thought your Speed Freeks were on the left flank...!)


    You can set Titans on fire.
    Seriously, despite the abstraction in the rest of the game, the Titan rules are fairly detailed, with damage tables and the like. As another Warseerite once said, you can feel the Titan's presence on the table.


    Many of the miniatures released for 3rd ed Epic were beautifully detailed for the time, with many variant tracks / turrets / etc. The Eldar armour in particular was completely revamped and gave us the sleek, curvy Falcon hulls we know and love today.



    That said, Epic 40K has some definite flaws:


    Creating detachments is time-consuming. The sheer number of options, coupled with the way you have to choose certain types of troops in order to unlock others, means that making new detachments takes forever. The designers did include a few examples, but I really wish they'd included a few standardised detachments for every army (similar to the old army cards) so that new players could just take a couple of basic Infantry Companies or whatever without being overwhelmed. Fortunately, once you've played a few games and have a bunch of roughly defined detachments worked out, you can just reuse them in multiple games, tinkering with them every so often.


    White Dwarf support was mediocre. As others have pointed out, the battle reports didn't do enough to show off how the real game worked. The system plays fast and can accommodate huge numbers of troops, so why not give us a proper, massive-scale battle report? Or at least some photos with more than two or three tanks in them? (I understand that they wanted to show off the insanely detailed new miniatures, but still.)

    Also, the WD articles immediately started to undermine the game's design philosophy. The whole point of Epic 40K was to be abstract and remove the nitty-gritty detail in favour of sweeping, fast gameplay... yet WD articles kept popping up with special rules for Ravenwing or Blood Angels and so on.

    WD also had a heavy Imperial bias (partly due to the release schedule of the miniatures).

    It didn't help that WD was about to go through a temporary downturn during the editorial changeover to Paul Sawyer's much-loved run. Things got a bit patchy around 211-217 before improving again.


    The anti-tank rule was broken. Fortunately this was noticed and errata'd in the first issue of Firepower magazine, but that didn't come out until a few years later.


    The miniatures increased in price with fewer figures per box (sound familiar?) Also, because the range had to be completely re-released, it apparently wasn't possible to get hold of several armies for months after the starter set's release.


    Some of the Titan miniatures were horrendous. The Battletech Warlord is fine, and the Gargants are OK, but the Eldar Titans are hideous--the Phantom was so bad they eventually recommissioned the original late-80s Jes Goodwin version!


    The great square base vs rectangular base controversy. Yes, this was in the Battles Book (tucked away at the back), but they foolishly never said anything about it in White Dwarf. I'd say this was a huge mistake on GW's part, as many people assumed they *had* to rebase everything. After all, if they've changed the base shape, it must be for a reason, right? (The actual reason was that the figures were easier to paint.)


    But the Squiggoth in the room is of course...

    ...it wasn't the game that fans wanted. No matter how good the ruleset (and it is good, as seen in BFG), no matter how pretty the minis, it wasn't the Epic that older players knew and loved. Clever as the system is, it takes a few plays to get the hang of it and see the potential.

    So... it was a flop. The minis were sold off. At a steep discount. By GW. The Epic game ended up on life support until Armageddon, and even then was a shadow of its former self. It left such a bad aftertaste in many passionate Epic players' mouths that even today the mere mention of 3rd ed makes their blood boil, and understandably so. It's a great game that proved disastrous. That's partly why I find it so interesting.
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  7. #27
    Chapter Master Angelwing's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Good post Zenithfleet.

  8. #28
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Well, lets not forget the other very large squiggoth in the room either. That is the fact that Epic 40k officially got rid of a well established army that was quite characterful and I dare say much better thought out than its 40k counterpart.

    The Squats.

    That is without a doubt a major contributor as to why I and many other people around the world hated that game. And in one of the firepower magazines they came out with a list for them for Epic 40k because the demand for them at the time was so strong. But by then it was too late. Players of the Squats were basically told to go away or play a different army. It was one of the worst times in gw history, only surpassed now by Age of Sigmar.
    Last edited by Bergen Beerbelly; 10-12-2015 at 17:23.
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    I've played original Adeptus Titanicus, Space Marine and every version of Epic since. Loved them all to varying degrees. Now I still occasionally play Epic Armageddon.
    I have huge Dark Angel, Nids, and Traitor IG armies and will soon also have a Death Guard Epic army. Totally stoked for a new version of Adeptus Titanicus or Epic to come out! I'll buy a couple of boxes just for the models I suspect.

    Vos

  10. #30
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    I bought and played Epic 40K (as I have all editions of Epic aside from Adeptus Titanicus). I didn't like it. NO Epic players I talked to at the time liked it. Great box set of miniatures, the rules just didn't live up to it. Cool if you like the abstract 'streamlined' approach of that version. It my eyes it was a huge letdown that pretty much drove away the diehard fans killing off Epic completely.

    I want to see Titan Legions redone. Hopefully with AT coming out we'll get some detailed rules. You know, things like a lascannon is a lascannon, a HB is a HB and not firepower points or whatever it was called.


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  11. #31
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Blast markers were a great mechanic, and an acceptable form of 'paperwork clutter' on the games table (I've got my eye on you, X-Wing).

    Cheers
    Mark

  12. #32
    Chapter Master Malakai's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    I have some pretty darn cool litko blast markers. 3 different sizes smal =1 BM, medium =3, large =5. They also get use in my games of 40K for propping up on tank weapons for weapon destroyed results and the like.
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  13. #33
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen Beerbelly View Post
    Well, lets not forget the other very large squiggoth in the room either. That is the fact that Epic 40k officially got rid of a well established army that was quite characterful and I dare say much better thought out than its 40k counterpart.

    The Squats.
    I doubt it. Epic sales tanked before they had re-released all of the existing armies. Even Chaos wasn't fully released before GW pulled the plug, and there were probably more Chaos than Squat players in 2nd ed.

    It was Space Marine, Imperial Guard, Ork, and (a little later) Eldar players who stopped buying Epic stuff in drastic numbers. Given more time, the loss of Squat fans might've made itself felt, but not that early on.

  14. #34
    Chapter Master Bergen Beerbelly's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Who played what armies in 2nd edition totally depended on your meta. For instance, in my area Chaos was one of the least played armies due to the lack of ranged units, while Squats were one of the most played because they are hard to break and had the longest range weapons in the game barring one or two Imperial Guard weapons. But when I made a trip to north carolina back then, in that area I saw more Eldar being played than Chaos or Squats.

    Squats in Epic were nowhere near as unpopular as they were in 40k. And thats because they actually had some really cool and well thought out toys.
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  15. #35
    Chapter Master Senbei's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    By the time GW were churning out Epic:40,000 they just didn't care any more. The quality was gone (I've got a few blisters of Epic Marines from then... mould lines all over, deeper than the detail.). The stuff from the 1980s looks better when sat side-by-side.
    Last edited by Senbei; 28-12-2015 at 20:38.

  16. #36
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by Senbei View Post
    By the time GW were churning out Epic:40,000 they just didn't care any more. The quality was gone (I've got a few blisters of Epic Marines from then... mould lines all over, deeper than the detail.). The stuff from the 1980s looks better when sat side-by-side.
    Funny, Epic Armageddon is the edition most commonly known for casting problems. I have probably 9 or 10 lbs of Third Edition lead and haven't seen a problem yet.

  17. #37
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Funny, Epic Armageddon is the edition most commonly known for casting problems. I have probably 9 or 10 lbs of Third Edition lead and haven't seen a problem yet.
    Lucky. It was so bad that it put me off ever getting into the edition.... that and the rules, of course. Not my cup o tea.

  18. #38
    Chapter Master carlisimo's Avatar
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadrin View Post
    Funny, Epic Armageddon is the edition most commonly known for casting problems. I have probably 9 or 10 lbs of Third Edition lead and haven't seen a problem yet.
    Agreed, I’ve tried to get as many 3rd ed. minis as possible because, in my experience, they’re great in every way.

  19. #39

    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    I think that the real problem was that most GW gamers live in a world by themselves with little or no experience with the vast array of other miniatues rules sets or the long history of wargaming.

    As a longtime wargamer I loved 3rd edition the moment I saw it. Good lord, GW finally published a real wargame. I went out and bought several boxes of Imperial Guard & Space Marines and stated painting; by the time I had painted a small percentage of them (I paint slowly) the game was pretty much dead.

  20. #40
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    Re: Let Me Sell You On: Epic 40k

    Quote Originally Posted by dlevine999 View Post
    I think that the real problem was that most GW gamers live in a world by themselves with little or no experience with the vast array of other miniatues rules sets or the long history of wargaming.
    Possibly. I'm one of the exceptions though, since I started out with GW games, but was always happy to try different types of sets of rules as I got older, and in terms of the mechanics they tend to be clearer and far less convoluted or complicated. However, I could never be persuaded that the level of abstraction offered by Epic40K was a positive thing for a game which had not started out that way. It was a step too far for Epic. Had they written it for a set of rules and miniatures from scratch, the result may have been different.
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