Tuesday, 28 November 2017

I'm here!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings sinners!
It's been a while since I posted and the ever increasing number of emails asking if I'm okay has reached critical mass (thank you for everyone's concerns). So I thought I better put everybody's mind at ease and give some insight to my absence.....

It's no secret that I'm struggling to come to terms with 8th edition and because of this my Mojo has pretty much hit rock bottom. It isn't that Eighth is a terrible game, because it is certainly an improvement on 6th and 7th in a lot of areas, so for quite a while I was mystified why I wasn't feeling it for Eighth.
I've been thinking long and hard about what I like and don't like about 8th in an effort to get my Mojo back.
So here's my top 6 (naturally) countdown to why 40k isn't doing it for me.

Looks like he isn't so special after all.
6. Special Characters
Special Characters never used to bother me. I always thought that if a player used them they had no imagination and didn't really understand what 40k was all about (actually, I still think this), but 8th has really pushed Special Characters into a league of their own. Bobby G, Saint Celistine, Magnus and Mortarian are everywhere!
For me, 40k has always been about using the background as a setting for my heroes and anti-heroes. I don't want every other game to be against a Special Character. It ruins the narrative when Morty and Magnus turn up and there isn't a Plague Marine or Thousand Son between them.

5. Game Scale
This isn't a new one by any means, the game has grown steadily since Rogue Trader days.
I'm not a fan of Lords of War or Flyers (even though I own a few). For me, these types of units detract from the narrative of (anti) heroes and crack units making a name for themselves. This loss of individuality and the every model matters feeling has detracted from my gaming experience and diminished any narrative to the point that I'm left feeling that I might as well be playing a computer game.

4. Allies
I like the idea of allies, but I've always thought of them as a couple of units of Daemons in a Chaos Marine army or an Inquisitor in a Sisters of Battle army. I feel that allies need tighter restrictions to stop the 'soup' lists from drowning the narrative with their broccoli and cheese nastiness.

3. Over-Simplification
I don't mind simple rules as long as those rules allow for strategic use of units and promote tactical play. Unfortunately the rules virtually eliminate the use of cover and limit most tactical decisions to where to place your bubble wrap units to minimise the effect of Alpha strikes. This lack of depth leaves me with the impression that all units have very little value in the greater scheme of things and that spending a lot of time painting a unit only for it to be removed in one round of shooting (along with half a dozen other units) is a waste of time.

2. Detachments
I can see what GW was trying to do with the Detachments, but for me, this failed miserably. I much preferred 7th's unique formations such as the Daemon's Grande Cavalcade or a Deathwing detachment....something that stays within the narrative. I'm not saying all of 7th's unique formations were balanced but it would be much easier for GW to re-balance unique formations than it would be to re-balance entire armies.
Allowing all armies to make up their own formations via detachments is a recipe for disaster from a balance point of view as well as a narrative one.
Hmm.....there's that narrative word again.....

So that's 5 reasons why 40k isn't working for me at the moment. Most of them aren't even new reasons to lose my mojo, they've been around for a while. Now that I've written them down, what is clear to me is that the loss of narrative within the game is solely related to tournament play. The logical conclusion is to take a break from tournaments and instead focus on my campaign games with Rob like I have in the past. So what's changed this time around?

1. Scale Creep
I've mentioned scale creep before, but scale creep more than any other thing has killed my mojo stone dead. I can't get past how weedy regular Marines look now that everything else seems to have grown. I have 4 Noise Marines that have been sat on my paint station for 3 months and I can't bring myself to pick up a brush.
GW's lack of (non Primaris) Marines hasn't gone unnoticed but FW have recently released a couple of Red Scorpion Marines which I'm sure will interest Iain.

Now without a doubt, they're really nice looking models, but the first thing I thought when I saw them was 'Aww, don't they look cute? They're like Marines only smaller!'

So as things stand, my Castigators just aren't holding my interest. Hopefully GW will one day release some scaled up versions of my beloved Noise Marines, but until then, the Castigators have returned to the Eye of Terror and my tournament days are over for now. Hopefully January will offer some solace with the Daemon Codex but I feel that my Marine days are over*

So with all that said, it's clear to me that I need to concentrate on smaller skirmish style games to get my mojo back. Fortunately I have plenty to choose from. The Path to Glory campaign that Rob and I trialled proved to be a great success (so much so that I realised I'm more of a 40k skirmish player than a 40k army player), Shadow Wars is still very much on my radar (and I suspect Rob is playing this with his mate Ben, because he hasn't played a game of 40k since 8th was released). Of course there is another game which GW have released which has really grabbed my interest...... Necromunda!

And as luck would have it, look what arrived in the post last week......

So my focus will shift to a much smaller (game) scale for a while as I immerse myself in all that Necromunda/Shadow Wars/Inquisimunda has to offer.

Until next time.....may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)

*Perhaps the odd Marine may show up on my journey, as I have an itch to build a true scale Noise Marine from one of the Primaris Marines ;-)



  1. Glad to see you resurface from the warp.

    I can understand your frustrations because I share many of them. It's funny. Once 8th dropped and I saw how "simple" it was to play I naively thought, "Well, we're all on the same page now and everyone is going to have fun." Of course that only lasted long enough for people to figure out where the cheese was at, and then the scene went back to what it was - a shitshow of ever increasing power builds.

    I really like 8th, and I think the changes are awesome. However, 8th has become so damn predictable; more so than any previous version I've played. If I play Marines then I know what I'll see on the field. If I play Death Guard I know what I'll see. So forth and so on. Instead of the game opening up into something new and full of potential, it slid backwards into dull predictability by design.

    I'm still playing, but I just don't take it all that seriously any longer. I'm painting up the stuff I like, playing games with it, and seeing what happens.

    I do love skirmish games as well. My favorite is Blood Bowl, as a specialist game at least. It's nice to only have to paint a handful of models, so you can take your time with it, and have a game that's simply fun. I just find people who play the specialist games are of a different mindset than your typical 40K only player, and the games are way more enjoyable.

    1. That's the funny thing about 8th, it's an enjoyable enough game, it's just that in a competitive environment I'm finding it incredibly dull.
      Maybe I am been a bit too harsh blaming it on 8th, maybe I've just had enough of tournaments and the mindset that they promote or maybe it's just the accumulation of all the factors I mentioned above.

      Whatever it is, I still enjoy the 40k universe and all that the setting has to offer. Hopefully my enthusiasm will return as explore the more intimate setting of Necromunda/Shadow Wars.

    2. I'd be inclined to agree about tiring of the competitive environment. I can't speak for you, but that's where I was in 7th, and continue to be in 8th, sharing many of the same concerns.

      I just play it for fun now. I still do local tournaments, but that's just to play 3 games in a day, not to win anything. I've just changed my mindset around the game.

      Necromunda looks great. I haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet only because I'm not sure what the local interest is yet. I'd hate to spend the time, money, and effort getting into a game that 2 of us will play. I'm hoping there's interest though because I've been wanting to play Necromunda for almost as long as I've been in 40K.

      I imagine you'll find a love of the game (40K) again after some time off and playing a more intimate version of it, IE: Necromunda. You may find it changes your approach to 40K; Blood Bowl did for me.

    3. I haven't played a tournament with a truly competitive mindset since 5th edition and even then it was a brief encounter with it. I've always had too many self imposed restrictions to go all out on the competitive side of things. Don't get me wrong, I always try to do my best with my chosen army list, but I've never liked to bulldoze my way to victory with the most optimised list possible.

      Taking a break and immersing myself in 40k skirmish style games seems the best direction for now, who knows where it will lead?

  2. Lord Adiatun Varunn29 November 2017 at 07:02

    Welcome Back, Brother! How can I blame your statements? I think all of us gamers, who love the Background of 40k, we share almost, if not completely, in whole. I play with friends and avoid the tournaments, then I suffer under certain situations, but the violence being done to the game by choosing devastating combinations remain predictable (did somebody say Alpha Legion's Infiltrator Berserkers? But.. what the hell???).
    I think you'll find refreshing games like Shadow War: Armageddon or Necromunda, precisely because of the freedom that give in "telling" a story, much more than it does the standard 40k. Anyway don't worry, the war stories that do you have written will always have avid readers like myself.
    Best wishes and thanks for sharing with us your thoughts.

    1. Cheers mate.
      I need to get back to my 'Faerytales in the grimdark' and recharge my batteries. I'm working on my terrain at the moment and once it nears completion I hope to lure Rob back to my gaming table for more ;-)

  3. Oddly enough I'm enjoying 8th more than any edition since 2nd due in no small part that it's no co-incidence that the two share a lot of similarities. I've managed to get a handle on the rules in a short space of time more than I ever did with previous editions. Personally, scale creep doesn't bother me (that much), I'll be having some Primaris in my upcoming Minotaurs. On the subject of scale, it sounds a bit inconsistent to dislike the slowly evolving size of 40k miniatures but rave over Necromunda. Have you seen the size of those Goliaths?
    ...and yes, I'll be getting my mitts on those new Scorps models as well as Leviathan Culln when they're released.

    1. Necromunda doesn't involve marines so the scale creep isn't an issue Iain. I think the cumulative effect of what I don't like on top of not wanting to use marines because of scale has turned me off. Maybe the Daemon dex will renew my interest next year.

      Until then you, Alex and Michael will have keep the tournament side of 40k going on here ;-)

    2. It just caught my eye that these Red Scorpions are actually sitting on top of a base with some additional height on it. Have a look at the small ring under the feet of the models. It's like they realised that they would look childish next to Primaris Marines and sneakily added a bit of extra height, plus the scenery on the base. :-o

  4. Welcome back from your sojourn along the winding Eightfold path, Gary. :-D I can only offer the suggestion that this scale creep might be the opportunity to start a new army. We were all newcomers to the game once upon a time, long ago, in the days the (False) Emperor walked the paths of common men. Otherwise, I fully agree with your assessment about the game and its competitive setting. Cheers.

    1. Thanks Jose.
      Oddly enough, I have thought about starting an Ad-Mech army (although mine would be Dark Mechanicus) but I thought I'd wait and see what happens when the Daemon Codex drops.

    2. I'm also waiting for the Daemon Codex to give me the energy to paint a Lord of Change that I purchased some time ago. We'll have to wait a little longer for the Keeper of Secrets, though. I have the hunch that until next edition drops in a couple of years we won't be seeing the two remaining Daemon Primarchs and their entourage of minions. I've always liked the Adeptus Mechanicus, ever since gawking at John Blanche's illustrations in the Codex Imperialis of 2nd Edition, but regrettably life just gets in the way of these many projects of mine. Cheer up and keep painting, it will help adjust to the new reality of 40K. :-)

    3. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath for a new Keeper of Secrets but at least there are no scale issues so hopefully all will be well.

      I know many people aren't fans of John Blanche's work but to me John Blanche and Jes Goodwin are everything 40k. John Blanche's surrealism really sets the scene for me and the Ad-Mech oozes the character that he has created. I shall stop now because I really don't want to talk myself into starting another army ;-)

  5. You have a lot of valid points there but a lot of them can be circumvented by picking the people you play. Personally I am building towards three lists, I have zero special characters in them. Although my sisters of battle will have a knight.
    Necromunda is something I would love to jump back into, but like Thor I am not sure who in the area will be playing.

    I can recommend Shadespire, I am having fun with that for sure.

    1. People to play against is always the number one issue Rory. Rob hasn't played a single game of 8th edition and Neil (my other local gaming partner) is enjoying the tournament side of things (or he has turned to the dark side as like to put it!) at the moment. Because of this tournament games have been my only option of late.
      Necromunda is something of a gamble for me, I'm hoping I can tempt Rob into a few games and it will take off. Even if it doesn't, I enjoy the background behind it and I know I'll enjoy immersing myself in the intimate scale and endless options for the stories it will create.

    2. I only played two games of 7th and none of 8th yet. So I get that.

      Fingers crossed with Necromunda for you. I imagine you could build some great terrain for it as well, a whole hive town.

    3. Lol, it's the terrain that helps to set the scene. I can spend hours at a time looking at buildings and structures to give me ideas. GW's Sector Mechanicus terrain has really sparked my imagination so expect stuff to start popping up shortly ;-)