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Games Workshop, An Appreciation Thread

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22 hours ago, And said:

 

 


This is a good blog on the subject, it’s already been posted here but worth posting again. https://therewillbe.games/blogs-by-members/6466-the-howard-street-batrep

 

 

Thanks for this an interesting read - the guy is overanalysing it a bit, play the games or don't play them, it doesn't have to be an existential crisis, but he makes some interesting points about the culture.

 

Certainly growing up my friends and I would very much play GW stuff as primarily narrative/campaign systems, spending more time inventing scenarios, mashing up rulesets, and homebrewing new factions etc etc rather than playing to win.

 

I was surprised (to an extent) how much the focus had shifted to 'competitive' games in the mainline systems when I returned to the scene after a decade plus away, given that these are not rulesets that are now nor have ever been suited to that.

 

For me, they give you an excuse to make some nice scenery and push your minis round a board, but I stick to painting and modelling these days because I don't have any interest in mathhammer.

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@ChewMagma

 

That's how I initially felt about playing and our first game was under a thousand points and I had basically had a bunch of infantry with a couple of HQ's and so did my mate. 

The matchup of primaris vs death guard is tricky as both sides are very hard to kill if you've only got basic guys. Both sides lack punch for various reasons, especially if you're playing open play rules for DG as the matched play / battleforged rules give them a massive boost to shooting. So in an infantry vs infantry game you'd want to be playing the competitive rules. I won due to securing the objectives better / at all.

 

So the problem then, well actually it's 2 problems: 

 

1- my mate I play with is really competitive. And so am I. 

 

2- we're both in our 40's and so have the means and ability to acquire any unit or units that we thought would be of advantage.

 

So these 2 issues started an actual arms race, just in tiny plastic men. 

The second game we played at around 1,000 points saw him play a captain next to hellblasters and an apothecary. 36" range 10 plasma shots, re-rolling 1's and resurrecting 1 guy per turn.  So my Death guard guys who could shoot 24" and walk 5 were just shot to shit.

 

Shit just got real. 

 

So I bought a rhino and a helbrute and more bloat drones, he bought dreadnaughts, (6 dreadnaughts), vindicators and a whirlwind, I bought terminators, then blight haulers (little tanks)  he bought terminators, then flyers, and it culminated with a game where he had some flyer that was effectively a flying land raider plus guilliman sat next to a las-predator and the hellblaster combo, you reroll missed shots and maybe wounds with guilliman - you basically point your finger at a unit and your opponent takes it off the table. It's not fun to play against. 

 

At one point I had a spreadsheet calculating how many wounds i could expect different combinations of unit to do. 

 

We had one more game after this one, on a smaller scale and it was more fun for me as by this point I had given up all pretense of fielding a balanced fluffy list and had Mortarion, a demon prince, a tank with 2 plague flamers that auto hit, a bloat drone with 2 plague flamers that auto hit, an elite with a plague flamer that auto hits and a Knight Armiger with a whopping great chain-sword. Oh, and 50 points worth of cultists to camp on an objective in my back field. Everything just ran into his face, covered it in plague goo and smacked what was left to death. It was a massacre, but maybe only as he hadn't played guilliman.

But this meant I had around 2500 points of DG that were just unplayable as they were inefficient. Plague marines are too slow and don't do enough damage. Pox walkers require a lot of models and several supporting units to be good, blighthaulers need to be in a unit of 3 and suck if you lose 1. Helbrutes are too flimsy, etc etc. 

 

We haven't played since and I've sold 95% of the DG guys. 

 

We did play a fair bit of killteam, but I kept winning so funnily enough we haven't played that for a while...

 

We're back playing more bloodbowl and I'm finding it a bit less stressful. I lose about half of the games, draw the rest with the very occasional win thrown in. 

 

That ended up being a bit of a rant, sorry. 

 

As for GW - as I understand it -  competitive play is massive in the states, change the rules  a bit every year to mix up the meta a bit and keep people buying new stuff to keep up to date and still viable. 

 

Personally, I bought 2 expansion books for killteam, one is still shrink wrapped and we still play with the original book. Its trying to balance fun vs complexity 

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I think a lot of their 'specialist' games like Blood Bowl, Space Hulk, Kill Team, even Necromunda are eminently more suited to competitive play than 40k or AoS.

 

My sense generally tho is that board gaming and miniature gaming have increasingly gone down this competitive route in the last decade, whether because of video gaming or the influence of stuff like Magic or just because if it is competive then it feels less like you are just an adult playing with toys, but for me I get zero enjoyment out of that. Which is fine, but it also means it is tough to find ppl who just want a laugh with it.

 

An example of this when Netrunner came out, I got heavily into it for about a year, playing every week in London with a big group. For the first 6 months, it was great fun, all sorts of ppl figuring out the game, win or lose, not taking themselves too seriously.

 

But then after that more expansions came out, the tournaments started up, the more casual players drifted away and it was left with the hardcore, netdecking and "preparing for tournaments" who looked at you with open pity when they smashed your deck because you hadn't spent the previous week staying up on the current meta and were just rolling with the same deck. It just became pointless and I'd be loathe to get heavily into a competitive scene of any game again for that reason.

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May be try and find a local independent games club that plays AoS, WH40K etc. You might find people more willing to play a little less competitively.

 

The one I go to has a mix of newer/returnees like myself and more experienced players. They also play other wargames other than GW stuff which sort of means their not as focussed/powergamerey. Basically they're a decent bunch. 

 

I've not ventured into my local GW shop so they may be perfectly fine.

 

Also have s look on Reddit, there's plenty of lists and advice for list building. I've tried to do a bit of both, advice of the internet but also try and work some if it out myself. However, nothing beats getting a couple of games under your belt so you can get a feel of things.

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Trying out contrast. Aside from picking the wrong colour (Aggaros Dunes on the robe, should have picked a lighter one like Skeleton Horde maybe?) it looks pretty shit.

 

Am I doing it wrong or is it meant to look like that? 

 

 

 

IMG_20200121_005333__01.jpg

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@Kzo

I think that looks alright, but yeah, that's the effect of a lot of them - its created contrast, others are more uniform in their coverage, the effect differs a lot from colour to colour in my experience. 

You need to take care where it pools and settles. 

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On 20/01/2020 at 10:07, And said:

As for GW - as I understand it -  competitive play is massive in the states, change the rules  a bit every year to mix up the meta a bit and keep people buying new stuff to keep up to date and still viable. 

 

Personally, I bought 2 expansion books for killteam, one is still shrink wrapped and we still play with the original book. Its trying to balance fun vs complexity 

 

So this is one of the issues GW have - from what I can determine, the US scene has a very clear split between WAAC competitive centred around tournaments and pick-up games in stores, and fluffly/relaxed casual ("Garagehammer") play at home. There's little or no middle ground. You also have tournament organisers / formats who make some fairly major rules tweaks to make the game work "better" competitively, which means lists that will succeed in one format, might not the following week where different line of sight or building rules are in force. Stores, naturally, like the WAAC style because they're basically small-scale arms dealers and who among them doesn;t love an arms race where you're selling to both sides?

 

I do wonder if part of this is down to the fact that the US doesn't seem to have the same culture of store-independent clubs we have in the UK (there are of course good reasons for this - lower density means cheap land, so a store with a few 6x4s in it costs less to run than it would in the UK. also means bigger homes). most of the games at our club seem to be pretty in the middle - not totally casual, and not totally competitive. no-one's under obligation to play anyone else and games arranged in advance do mean that if anyone gets a "that guy" reputation, they'll find it hard to get games in future, so things find a level a bit.

 

To their credit, GW have tried, really hard, to push that competive / matched is just one play style - and that what they're selling is a narrative toolbox as much as it is a machine to deliver balanced play, but it rarely seems to cut through. The problem is that puts an onus on players to be level designers as well to create interesting narrative play experiences and that takes time, effort, and practice.

 

I do like tournament play, but for underworlds, x-wing, and smaller-scale games with less moving parts like Team Yankee. 40k (and sigmar) is just too complex and woolly to sustain it.

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25 minutes ago, Pelekophoros said:

Don't be afraid of going back over it either. My goblins have a contrast skin base which was too dark, so I dry brushed over the top. 

 

I find a few of them are good at skipping the base and shade aspect but don't provide enough of a highlight so need to be highlighted after - Blood angel red i'm looking at you, while some you could just do a coat and leave it. Though I find I'm highlighting pretty much all of them anyway as it looks better. 

 

@RFT

It's tough to balance the casual vs the competitive, the problem I have with 40k is the sheer volume of rules to try and keep track of as soon as you start to try and play with anything other than basic infantry. Even then, you can have a unit of say 7 Plaguemarines who are using 5 different weapon types, so you're looking up how each works, rolling for each, it takes ages. 

I think the primaris units are maybe a start of a trend towards homogenised units where each has the same weapon so you can just roll a bunch of dice once. 

I liked Underworlds initially but the min/maxxing deckbuilding aspect put me right off and so it doesn't get played anymore. 

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Yeah, I can't say I've been totally sold on the contrast paints. Some seem excellent - I used a yellowy one on a banner and with one coat it looked nearly there. With others I've found I've had to layer a few times and dry brush/highlight over the top. It's a bit of a gimmick really. 

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1 minute ago, cavalcade said:

Yeah, I can't say I've been totally sold on the contrast paints. Some seem excellent - I used a yellowy one on a banner and with one coat it looked nearly there. With others I've found I've had to layer a few times and dry brush/highlight over the top. It's a bit of a gimmick really. 

 

It's another tool in the tool box. Need the right one for the job.

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47 minutes ago, Pelekophoros said:

 

It's another tool in the tool box. Need the right one for the job.

 

Oh yes, for sure. I wasn't really expecting them to be a revelation. The yellow banner I did though was really quick and looked great. So there's certainly something there, but whether I'd replace all my existing inks/bases/layers and dry paints, no. 

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I bought Blackstone Fortress the other day.  Felt a bit hard done by parting with so much cash but the instant you pop the box open, the quality of everything is so apparent. The miniatures are fantastically detailed and crisply molded and the card stock looks superb.  It's all very much Space Hulk (3rd/4th) level quality and I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in.  It all takes itself so very seriously, but that bleak 40k gothic architecture meets advanced technology aesthetic is just so delicious.

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@Nathan Wind I’ve come close to buying that a couple of times until I remember that nobody would play it within me and it would sit with warcry on the pile of shame

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34 minutes ago, And said:

@Nathan Wind I’ve come close to buying that a couple of times until I remember that nobody would play it within me and it would sit with warcry on the pile of shame

 

You can solo it. 

 

*Runs*

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Speaking of which, the Blackstone fortress team continue their work of flipping through the bestiray section of the 1987 Rogue Trader rulebook with a highlighter and alight on..

 

The Zoat!

 

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22 hours ago, Pelekophoros said:

Also, the figures in the Escalation expansion are wonderful. I must grab that at some point.

 

Totally. I would love a full on Traitor Guard / Lost and the Damned codex and army. From reading all the Gaunts Ghosts book you could make some really cool stuff like the Sons of Sek or the Blood Pact. There is so much cool Chaos stuff in Warcry / Sigmar you could go totally mental with the kitbashing.

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