It is no secret that we have a new, shiny thing with Warmachine and Hordes from Privateer Press. From the background to the easy to learn rule set to fewer models that need painting to the unapologetic Pg 5 mindset to the overall balance of the armies to the roughly annual fluidity of the armies, Warmachine is a multi-faceted gem that appeals to us on many levels. That being said, my first love is still 40K.
For the last 6 months, thanks in no small part to the ending of DLT, I have been examining why I still play 40K. I can say that I do not play to own my opponents, but rather to have fun. To a lesser degree I do play competitively, but as any of my regular opponents can attest, I do try to keep us honest by playing strictly within the rules. I would also say I am far from a rules lawyer. Most games for me involve trying to use new combos or tactics that I had not done before or not tried in a good long time. Some games are grudge matches or, as I like to call them, a soul cleansing. In fact, I am due for such a game against both Dan and Chris since editing Ep 13 together.
My first and main army is Space Marines and are a large majority of models that I own. To date, I can field a company sized, full force org army with enough models left over for another full force org army with 85 infantry models. In certain situations, most of these models can also take to the field as a Dark Angels successor force. When not bringing the Emperor’s wrath to Jon’s Tau or Dave’s Dark Eldar, my marines will be led by Kharne the Betrayer or Fabius Bile. If I am feeling really nostalgic I will even break out the Necrons. Realizing the full extent of time and money I’ve put into the hobby, I can say that I own at least one unit for every codex entry in all the codices mentioned above.
Since the TEW episode dedicated to finding armies cheaply, I have also been slowly collecting a Dark Eldar force. Not to play, mind you, but for a contest we will be running later this summer. Also, ebay has brought me closer to my dream of fielding 9 Land Speeders. As I have no new models to collect or paint for Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines or Necrons, I have recently acquired an Apocolypse model: a Stormlord. But I have hit the glass ceiling of 40K as I realize there is nothing else in for 40K for my three armies to try, collect or paint. With Grey Knights coming (an army that was broken by the faced and faceless personalities of the internet before it was even released) and the expected “Summer of Fliers” (whose prospects do not look promising given the lack luster performance of its other two summer siblings, Spearhead and Planetstrike), there are rumors the Necrons will be pushed back again from their near-Halloween rumored release date. So that basically leaves me screwed.
With no good looking prospects for my three armies coming this year, I have been force to rely increasingly upon other avenues for my 40K outlet. Granted I could always come up with another home-brew dex or practice resin casting an entire army. And I have the near-weekly TEW podcast, but more so than that, I have the community that has sprung up around TEW and it’s Hobby Talk Network companions. Through regular and cursory listener feedback and our forums, I have access to a veritable host of potentially ‘late in their 40K life’ players who may be in my glass ceiling position. Equally as important are the GW employees who have good people/sales skills and are willing to chat with you vice trying to sell you something. From my experience, the employees from the smaller stores are the more amicable sales men. Just the other day while visiting the Naperville GW store, I meant for my trip to be a quick in and out but ended up staying for 35 minutes while chatting with the sole employee, Paul, about tips on building my Stormlord to 40K lore to Black Library books. Paul used to run the Battle Bunker, and when GW made the complete shift from hobby/sales to a total sales orientation, Paul was moved. I can say that we miss Paul’s energy at the Battle Bunker.
Speaking of Black Library, their books are the main reason for my continued interest in 40K. Not to take away from the community or podcasting with the boys, but what comes out of the 40K back story via the Black Library authors such as Ben Counter, Dan Abnett, Gav Thorpe, Andy Hoare or Aaron Dembski-Bowden, to a very large extent, influences why I play the table top game. It’s one thing to gather with my friends and roll some dice, but I want a reason why I play the games I play. If I just wanted to roll some dice with my friends, I’d play Craps with Jon, Chris or Dave (but not Dan because he knows how to load his dice).
In summary, I hope I have adequately detailed the state of MY 40K and why I still play. I haven’t jumped ship like some people I know by ending any 40K conversation with ” … well Privateer Press does that better by …” but I can say that, for now, 40K has nothing left for me. To whom ever is reading this, I can say that you too will experience this same drought if you have not done so already. My only advice would be to not let your interest die out. Turn to your local community; put down that PS3 controller and pick up a Black Library book; try Apocolypse; try making a home-brew dex; try your hand at wargames podcasting (like us, don’t be great at it but rather outlast everyone else who started when you did). Some would consider 40K to be a waste of time, and by dropping the game completely, you have proven them right.
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