When 40K Went Bad

Esteemed blogger Coopdevil over at FightingFantasist takes an interesting and valid perspective on the history of 40k. He’s really got me thinking that scenarios and missions a la Rogue Trader era might add a bit of spice to our current 40k proceedings!

Check out his full post here:


3 thoughts on “When 40K Went Bad”

  1. I disagree. I don’t think that’s a good blog post either as it doesn’t really offer up any real argument or points for discussion other than “the released Marines, tried to balance to game and moved it from skirmish RP style and into a tournament game.” Except I don’t think they did. Yes I know the game direction changed a lot from the 1st Ed RT into 2nd edition, but then again, 3rd edition was VASTLY different to 2nd. Fifth is really just a revised version of those 3rd Ed rules and the current edition has a lot of fans.

    What happened was that GW took the RPG style and turned it into a wargame, yes those two are vastly different but the competitive side didn’t come out really until much later. I do hate the tournament mentality to list building that cuts through the hobby now (mostly because of the Internet and its ease of access to information) and think we could do better without it. However, changing the game into what is probably the most successful sci-fi wargaming franchise on the planet is no mean feat. Sure, some people may fall by the wayside as the game evolves but I for one wouldn’t want to go back in time. Also, we cannot forget the rose-tinted effect of looking at things nostalgically. Often we remember things are far better than they actually were, if we went back and replayed those games we’d no doubt be much more aware of their failings. Yes, sometimes revisiting things is fun, but sometimes we realise that things were not as great as we remember.

    “Balance” is something I have a great deal to say about. In any wargame you should strive to balance the forces, a good game comes down to the way in which you use the weapons at your disposal rather than crushing your opponent just because you took a certain army/unit. We can all come up with examples of good and bad balance. Even in an RPG setting there is balance, if you under or over tune the encounter then balance shifts towards or away from the PCs. I can’t believe that you can just factor this aspect of gaming out. If you go down other systems where people “bring what you own” then you are handing victory to whoever has the greatest disposable income. Our games are too random to accurately represent the way troops actually function in battle. In 40k for instance veteran troops generally have a high leadership to show how stalwart they are. My opponent can attest to just how many re-rollable Ld10 tests I have failed.. not exactly representative of veterans standing their ground….

    While I know the link is to an opinion piece, this comment is just my way of saying “this is my opinion on the exact same matter.”

    1. Both equally valid viewpoints, and some good points ZP, especially regarding the switch from RPG to wargame. Being that FightingFantasist is an RPGers blog there is going to be some bias there.

      My personal interest is that I never realised that this is how it was done. I always assumed that one day a wargame edition of 40k came along with its army lists and balance and that was that!

      Regarding rose tinted-ness you are correct. 40k Rogue Trader is no where near as smooth as 5th edition. Crikey, RT actually requires you to have an umpire, which means that three people have to know what they are doing rather than the regular approach of guessing and making it up on the fly. But the scenario driven-ness and troop individuality is definitely something that could add the occasional diversion and bit of flavour and a new approach to the odd game here and there.

      1. We also have the Warhammer 40,000 RPG if people want to explore the 40k universe in a more D&D style or there are the rules for Inquisitor which is pretty much on the line of the Rogue Trader style RPG with miniatures. Normally Inquisitor uses larger scale stuff but I see no reason why you couldn’t run it with normal H28mm. Parties are normally 4 models and you have a GM that crafts the scenario and the story behind things and what is going on. Also, because it’s from the Specialist Games range you can get the rules for free.

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