Can I like 40k? Part 2
Hello there and welcome to part two of my series on ‘Can I like 40k?’. Last article I wrote about painting the minis I got from the First Contact box and also the easy build sets.
It is also important to note that I am not looking to influence you in any way, merely to give you something to read that is of mild interest, and to maybe make you think about if you indeed would like to try 40k, or to try something else in our hobby.
I loved painting the First Contact box and I have picked up all of the easy build kits now (Primaris Redemptor Dreadnaught, Myphitic Blight Hauler, Lord Felthius and tainted cohort, & Primaris Agressors). I have equally enjoyed all of these models and it has been a great experience painting up a wide variety of detailed & interesting models at a lower price than usual GW stuff.
But the ham on this article sandwich is about the playing!!! Can I like 40k play? The very short answer is yes, but…..
As I played through the starter scenarios in the first contact box and also added the other easy build kits & upscaled it came very quickly apparent that I just dont like the ‘I do everything with my guys, you do everything with your guys’ mechanic. I just find it boring. This is just a personal viewpoint and variety is the spice of life but it just does not do anything for me. I have played a number of other games that break this turn structure into something more interesting, engaging, and innovative and therefore very early in this experiment I decided that I needed to home-brew something in order to make it more personally engaging.
I then set about thinking of other tabletop war-games I had played that had a different turn structure and ones that I enjoyed more. Star Wars Legion and Bolt Action jumped out immediately. A Song of Ice & Fire jumped out also but this is a more fantasy based setting with very little ranged weapons.
The first thing I did was to use the Bolt Action dice draw mechanic. In basic terms each unit has an action dice assigned to it. This goes into a bag at the start of a turn, then you draw a dice, if the dice corresponds to your dice colour then you get to activate one of your units. I think this makes turn structure so much more interesting and engaging for both players. Star Wars Legion uses a similar but deeper mechanic but due to complexity I have not used this system. It would be great though if done well.
The dice draw mechanic worked well and I have since upscaled more, my main draw back to the experiment is that I was working with units of one model and not true squads. I decided to pick up the Dark Imperium starter box set from GW and take the experiment to a new level, using full units and not just one model.
As I upscaled I found some more areas to tweak, most notably how close combat works and also what impact HQ choices have. I am not creating anything new here, I am just using things from other games I have enjoyed. I decided that your HQ’s can use ‘snap to’. Snap to is another Bolt Action rule where officers can not only activate themselves if you draw a dice but also a number of other units in their vicinity based on their rank. I decided that your Warlord could activate himself plus 2 others within 6 inches, and other HQ choices themselves plus 1 other unit within 6. Again, nothing new here just something I have enjoyed from Bolt Action.
I also decided that close combat needed a rule as with doing ALL actions with one unit at one time this would lead to close combat situations not in line with the rule book. As it stands now if one of your units is charged you can fire overwatch as normal but if you want to fight back in close combat you have to pull a dice and fight as your activation that turn. Equally if you have already activated that unit that turn and it is charged then…..booohooo you are going to be botty spanked. This added a layer of thinking ahead, not over extending yourself, and giving a risk reward of moving forward to shoot but then being open to counters. If you choose not to fight with a non activated unit that is charged, you can then fall back as per GW rules and allow shooting on the charging unit etc.
I wont say these 2 changes are innovative or perfect, but they ironed out a few kinks I encountered and I enjoyed thinking about the mechanics and drafting in some rules I had used before and seeing if they worked, they have so far.
I now have around 65 power level for both Deathguard and Primaris Marines, I am loving painting them and adapting the rules as I see issues.
I have decided to upscale further when I have finished painting what I have and IF I keep playing more games with the slightly modified rule set.
More will come in the third article, next steps and lore.
If I had not have modified the rule set I would not have continued this experiment. The turn structure is something other games do much better, in my opinion. A lot of other games have more fun and engaging ways to structure a turn and if I was to play regular 40k I wouldn’t play it. Both games I have mentioned previously, Star Wars Legion & Bolt Action do a much better job in my opinion and are ones I enjoy playing more. But that is just my opinion of course.
Can I like 40k? Yes, but not with the rules as is……It is fine but there are simply just better games.
See you next time where I answer the question you no doubt have… ‘Why dont you just play Star Wars Legion/Bolt Action then?’ And also talk about force organisation and the next upscaling experiment.