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Thinking of dropping 40k for GW specialist games


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#1
thewarriorhunter

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Brief background: Got into 40k a little over a year ago. I wanted a hobby and was going to do scale modeling when my buddy showed me these cool space dudes that had awesome tanks. Build them up and then you can play a game with them. I went and bought the B@C box set for the figures so I could start my Raven Guard force.

 

My question is: has anyone else here experienced a desire to forgo 40k and focus more on smaller scale games?

 

Details: I enjoy 40k. I consider myself a hobbyist first, player second. That is mostly due to time constraints. I really enjoy building, converting, and painting. I enjoy playing the game and I've made some new friends through the hobby.

 

Last night a new friend came over who used to play a lot of games in his college days. I set up the first scenario for B@C for him and I and it was FANTASTIC. I can't recall ever having that much fun playing 40k (or any other game for that matter). It was a nail biter to the end. It's a simple game to pick up but there is enough chance and tactical decision making thrown in that it makes it a lot of fun. The only thing that would have made the game better is if the models were Ultramarines and Word Bearers, as it was we played Raven Guard on Raven Guard since that's what they were painted up as.

 

This morning I woke up thinking about the fun I had when it hit me... I should dump all my 40k stuff and focus on the specialist games that interest me from GW as well as other non GW games that my family would be more interested in playing. 

 

To preface my list of cons for 40k I'll say this - I enjoy the game. However I enjoyed B@C MORE, and I think I would enjoy smaller/different games more.

 

What I don't like about 40k:

  • I'm not a fan of the 'living ruleset'. I get it. I think it's great for the game. However with CA out that's one more book I need to stay current.
  • I loved the alternating activation of B@C, I dislike that 40k is 'I do everything, then you do everything'
  • My goal is a fully (well) painted army and with the time I have it will take me a long time to get there

What I like about the idea of smaller games:

  • Everything I need to play is in the box
  • I will still have opportunities to hobby and I'll have the potential to paint a wider range of models therefor learn new techniques
  • Potentially expand the group of people I can play with
  • Reduced time commitment

I listed my reasons out in case anyone asks, and I'd love to hear feedback if anyone else has experienced something similar. This is not an 'I hate 40k thread'. It's more along the lines of 'I think, for me, there are better gaming options out there and 40k showed me the way'. I still love the setting and will continue to read Black Library but the idea of getting new figures to paint B@C as it was meant, or getting Prospero or Shadespire, really have me excited, along with all the non GW games that are out there.


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#2
Tannarak

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I'm a bit on the other end of the spectrum.  I've got so much into 40k that branching out to other games isn't that much of an interest.  I am leery of getting into the Specialist Games since GW has a history of pulling support after a little while.


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#3
USNCenturion

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Some of the best times I’ve had in the hobby was playing Warhammer Skirmish, Gorkamorka, Battlefleet Gothic, and Mordheim.

Sadly, GW typically pulls support for these and other such games. I have the old white dwarfs and such that had the rules and hobby tips, and we would just use our 40k or fantasy models for a few games here and there; I’m sure if you search around online there are bound to be rule PDFs available to get you started.

#4
TheWeepingAngel

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That's an interesting idea, and while I haven't gone to the extreme of giving up 40k, I have sometimes thought about focusing more on the boxed games instead - space hulk in particular is great if you can get your hands on a copy.

Because I've been in a similar boat to you, let me offer some counter points as a 'devils advocate'

- as Tannarak said, support can be an issue. From what you're saying about the living ruleset (which I totally get btw), you may not see lack of support as an issue. But it is nice to update the game (for example, I'm really excited about the GSC rules for space hulk in this months white dwarf)
- A more important flow-on effect of the lack of support is a lack of players. When in-store support for a game drops, it can be difficult to find other people who would rather spend their limited available gaming time on a board game rather than 40k. If you've got a gaming group with similar interests, or you're ok with solo play games like Execution Force, this might not be an issue, but it's worth thinking about
-sporadic releases make it hard to plan or budget your purchases. We know roughly that Adrptus Titanicus is coming in the future, as are the other necromunda gangs, but beyond that, who knows? This might suit you, as the slow release schedule allows you to save up your money and paint everything before the next game comes out, but it's worth knowing what you're getting into

Just a few of my thoughts. Like I said, I've been in a similar position, so happy to discuss any of these points further

#5
Not 1 Step Backwards

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A quick post before I run to a game.  Very, very interesting points, I just wanted to provide context.

 

Because what our Frater is describing is EXACTLY what Games Workshop used to want us to do.  Not saying it's One Vision or the Other, certainly not One Vision vs. the Other.  GW changed its strategy at one point, and it's worth noting because it's finding a middle ground now.

 

Brief background: Got into 40k a little over a year ago.

 

GW in recent years has been primarily a miniatures company.  This isn't my personal interpretation; it's how the ex-CEO/Chairman, who only fully stepped down earlier this year, said repeatedly in his annual report to shareholders.  He's the person who acquired GW in fact.  That wasn't always the case before the acquisition.

 

GW, as its name suggests, used to be a Workshop for Games.  They sold Games.  Games were their business.  Just when you were getting a bit tired of an old one, they sold you a NEW Game (instead of just a new army).  Miniatures were like a supporting item.  Very important items!  But you'd probably buy fewer.

 

Don't feel bad at all, Brother Warrior-Hunter, that what you actually like is what GW was founded on.  Even GW understands that.  That is EXACTLY why they're returning a bit to those roots.  Not just Necromunda, but Warhammer Quest, Shadespire, there's more games released in the last 2 years than I think the last decade.

 

+++++

 

I myself am in a position where I'm keeping both 40k and Specialist Games.  I just made a small 500 pt 40k army for Armies on Parade yet also bought Shadespire.

 

But for people who definitely prefer 40k and for people who definitely prefer smaller-scale and newer games, don't worry, GW is finding a really good balance to serve both crowds, and it wants to.  Yeah, they might discontinue a game, but by that time, it's because people are kinda burning out already, and you still got that game.


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#6
Corswain

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I buy more specialist games than anything else now. My last three purchases have been Betrayal at Calth, Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and Burning of Prospero. My next will probably be Necromunda, or Deathwatch if they bring that back.

The value for money is better than anything else GW produce and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the games zi’ve bought, as has my wife.

I would highly recommend BoP. The models are great and almost completely compatable with B@C and it’s also a great game (very different rules to B@C, but with similar you-go-I-go play). Just paint them up in another scheme so you’re not playing RG vs. RG. That’s what I did.

The only thing for me is that I buy the boxes just as much to use them as a cheap starting point for full 30K/40K/AOS armies. Something they are great for.

#7
the jeske

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If your in to a whole full system[old necromunda/gothic/mordheim/etc] it can be really fun, and I understand liking skirmish systems. But as others said GW does tend to pull a plug on specialist games after some initital hyper focus. The old "not necromunda" isn't even a year old, if you want to check what can happen. So as long as you know and accept that, AND have people that want to play it can be really fun. We played the first version of necro for decades, and it was always fun.


"Felix wondered how Calgar might feel about the primach's unilateral altering of the Codex Astartes. The captain could not help but feel that, in his drive for victory and efficiency, Guilliman had been careless with the feelings of his existing sons. Increasingly, Guilliman looked to the Primaris Space Marines as his first solution. He made no attempt to hide the fact that the days of the older space marines were numbered."


#8
BreezyLamar

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I've thought about this myself. I don't have much time nowadays between work, family, and school to regularly play 40k games. So I've been looking at these smaller scale games because I'd be able to play more and it'd be more likely that my entire family would get in on game nights (I have a family of 7). Though I still love 40k, I just need something smaller scale right now. I'll always be a hobbyist.



#9
Rogue

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As a kid, I played everything I could get my hands on. We had 40k, fantasy battle, epic and titanicus, bloodbowl and dungeon bowl, man o’war, battlefleet gothic, advanced hero quest, space crusade, necromunda, space hulk - pretty much the lot.
And as a group of friends, we’d just bounce around different games as the mood took us. A bloodbowl league for a bit, a season of hulk, a necromunda campaign, with games of 40k and fantasy battle scattered amongst them.
For me, it’s not an either/or question. Play what you like, when you like. It’s okay to put something away for a bit to play something else - it’ll still be there when you want to come back to it.
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#10
Doghouse

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This is the approach I am going with as well. For me it's probably the specialist games all the way now as I feel the same way, I can still do 40k stuff but with stuff like Necromunda I can get several armies for the price of one 40k army easily. Twenty five quid for a complete force just appeals to me more.

 

The living rule set has really put me off I have to say as well to be honest. Smaller games are also a lot more house rule friendly and I can get more games in in the same time it takes to do one 40k battle (unless the other player is REALLY bad :D ).

 

I think for those of us with limited hobby time these are very good.


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#11
Brother Tyler

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I suggest a hybrid approach. There are a number of the specialist games for which you could easily substitute miniatures. So you could use these  as a platform for slowly expanding a full WH40K army.

 

I'll use Space Marines since they're both GW's and the B&C's flagship factions and best supported all around.

 

Lost Patrol and Shadow War: Armageddon:  Give you an incentive to build a squad of Space Marine Scouts

Horus Heresy (Betrayal at Calth, Burning of Prospero): Give you an incentive to build various Space Marine units (tactical squads, terminator squads, captains, dreadnoughts)

Kill Team: Gives you an incentive to build a single squad

Space Hulk: Gives you an incentive to build terminators and a terminator librarian

Deathwatch games: Give you an incentive to build a kill team or two of Deathwatch units

 

And if you have a tolerant group/opponent, you might even use any of the homegrown sets of rules as incentive to build other units (e.g., Inquisimunda, (power armoured) Adeptus Astartes in Shadow War: Armageddon, Heralds of Ruin Kill Team, etc.).

 

So while you're slowly working on a Space Marine army, you might first build the units necessary to play in one of the Horus Heresy games so that you can play one or both of those games. Then you can work on a scout squad, using it in Lost Patrol or Shadow War: Armageddon. Then you might expand with a dreadnought for the Horus Heresy games. Then you might work on some terminators for Space Hulk.

 

Eventually, you'll have a full army for WH40K, but you've been able to use the units in that army for the smaller games.

 

Other factions are supported to varying degrees by the specialist games (e.g., Space Hulk supports genestealers, and now genestealer cults, or you could proxy with Chaos Space Marines; while Death Masque supports harlequins).

 

One of the things to keep in mind with GW's new specialist games is that most (Necromunda being the main exception) provide models that can be used in normal WH40K, and may also allow WH40K models to be used in place of the normal models.

 

As far as the larger question of where you should invest your time/money, much of it comes down to what the people you play with are interested in (i.e., will there be a return on investment?). My family, for example, has no interest in WH40K or other tabletop miniatures games, so I play at local game stores when I want to enjoy that type of gaming (and since my modelling/painting time is severely limited, I'm following the hybrid approach I described above). Different family members enjoy different types of games, so my wife and I play certain games (sometimes with those other family members that also enjoy them); and when the whole family gets together, we play other games that the group enjoys. My point here is that you need to decide whether or not the investment in time for Warhammer 40,000 is going to be worth it to you. If you have access to a venue/group where you can enjoy WH40K gaming, then it might be worth it to you to stick with it. This may be facilitated by the hybrid approach I described above.


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#12
Shockmaster

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Sounds like it would be the right decision for you, the only worry is if your reliant on pick up games, as that can be a lot harder to find opponents outside compared to the main games especially if GW suddenly lose interest in the specialist games again.



#13
thewarriorhunter

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Some great points brought up by everyone and I really appreciate the discussion.

 

Brother Tyler, I've thought about your hybrid approach but if I'm honest I'm tired of painting the same color army. I bought B@C so I could get the miniatures and use them for my 40k army, but now I have the wrong armies for that game. Sure it works, but it's not the same.

 

Others have mentioned 'what happens when support is pulled?' and that is a valid point. For my situation I've been fortunate to find several people who enjoy a wide variety of games so most likely I'll be able to find a pickup game. As I mentioned in my OP I'm also looking at games outside of GW so I will have an even larger selection to pull from.

 

Ultimately I would love the hybrid approach but I don't think it's possible at this stage in my life.

 

What I do think I may end up doing is just selling all of my stuff that is not painted. I'll keep my painted units in case I want to play a smaller pickup game of 40k but otherwise things that aren't built will be sold to fund these specialist games I want to get. At a later time I can always rebuy units if I want to add something to my 40k army. The idea is still less than 48 hours old and I don't want to throw a year and a half of hobby time out the window on a whim.


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#14
Corswain

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I don’t find the potential support loss too big an issue. What I can, I laminate and I get digital copies of everyting else so that when GW do eventually stop supporting, I won’t need to go to them for any replacements.

#15
Arganias

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I play 40k narrative campaigns every Saturday, I have a fully painted eldar force, and starting Elysians,

 

I think you might want to hold onto your figures a little longer, just in case. Especially since most all 40k armies are represented in Shadow War: Armageddon. I know I enjoy some smaller scale skirmishes!

 

I also bought the house Escher box to play Necromunda, and plan to use the Eschers as bodyguards to my inquisitor.



#16
Ishagu

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I think you can enjoy both.
Treat 40k as the grand, main event type of gaming experience. I feel that when two well-painted armied clash on a board with nice scenery there's nothing quite like it.

The specialist games are cheap, quick and less time consuming to prepare for sure.
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#17
Claws and Effect

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Don't sell off your stuff. You WILL regret it.

I'm on my third time around with 40k, having sold, given away, or hust thrown out (!) a lot of my stuff from 10 and 20 years ago respectively. I get a little mad at myself when I think of all the awesome 2nd-4th edition stuff I let go.

Even if you don't play 40k proper for 5 years, keep your stuff. When the mood strikes to get a game going, you'll be glad you did.

Ih, and digital formats solve a lot of the rulebook problems. One tablet can easily store all the rules you need.
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#18
thewarriorhunter

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Well, I've decided to sell what is grey plastic. I bought low and am selling higher but still at a discount. Moved a couple things this morning and made money on them. If it's painted I'm going to keep it, and I looked and I have about 750 points of a small RG force. If I want to get a smaller or team game in I can do that but for now I'd rather fund new game purchases.

 

I really appreciate all of the feedback that I've gotten. It's helped me out but ultimately the more I think about it the more I think smaller scale games are where my passion lies.


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#19
deathspectersgt7

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My gaming group has ditched 40k for Shadow Wars and Necromunda and the likes  . We get more games in plus it is a hoot.


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#20
foto69man

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Take a look at Heralds of Ruin.  A lot of the other games and systems is incorporated there, including different factions.  Heck, we even have Necromundan Gangs in it!

 

http://heralds-of-ru...team-rules.html


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#21
Ulfgrim Alvsbane

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The great thing about Specialist Games is, after the first few months, you won't have to worry about keeping up with new releases.  They'll slow down considerably and then after a year or so, you won't see anything new.  That'll give you plenty of time to paint up what you've got, and more time to play.

 

And then, in 2-3 years, they'll re-release it and you'll get have to buy it all over again.

 

(Note that this is coming from a fan of Specialist Games, but based on my observations of historical and recent performance)


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#22
thewarriorhunter

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Appreciate the insight. I realize they do a lot of re-releases of their games. I'm guessing, based on some, that you could get away with just ebaying the rules/boards and using old minis. I mean if I really wanted to I could keep playing Calth with my RG but it doesn't look as god and I want the thematic presentation that the game can provide.

 

Close to two weeks after this thought I still have no regrets. I've sold off some stuff that I was not going to get around to in a long time. I'm using that to fund some other games purchases and am happy. I did just re-buy Kurthat Sedd and Captain Aethon for the Calth game. I started converting the originals for my RG. I'll finish up those conversions and have a couple HQs for my RG and now I have the minis for the game. Really it wasn't a bad price to pay for two HQs in 40k. Between them and Shrike my RG will be under good leadership when they do venture out onto the battlefield.


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#23
Rogue

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Do continual updates really matter with specialist games? I was under the impression that they were pretty much a game in a box. If an expansion comes along, then great; but otherwise you just play them as is.

I still have original versions of Bloodbowl and Space Hulk, and they still play fine, regardless of any lack of ongoing support. Or have things changed since back then?
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#24
Ulfgrim Alvsbane

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Do continual updates really matter with specialist games? 

 

They do if you plan to play a team that's not yet released.  That version of Blood Bowl you have wasn't missing rules for some teams, and the models were available more-or less immediately.  This time around, it took them over a year to get an Elven team done.  You heard that right, a significant delay for Elves in Blood Bowl.  That's just not right - especially when they did a Goblin team first.  Talk about a fringe niche.

 

Likewise with Necromunda - sure, it's playable out of the box... if you're okay with playing Eschers or Goliaths.  If you want something like Cawdor or Ratskins, you're going to be waiting a while... and it's possible that support will dry up before they ever get around to the sort of things we saw in Outlanders (which, as I recall, came out not long after the base game).

 

Sure you could still play with the old game and the old rules - just like you could play Rogue Trader or WHFB 4th Edition or whatever - assuming you could find other similarly-inclined players.  But if that's the reasoning, why bother updating any game?

 

Yes, things have changed since back then.   Once upon a time, you didn't have to wait months or years to get a team or a gang - so you weren't stuck playing some other faction just to get in on the game.


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