Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping the fun of 40k alive in the Man-cave

Fritz from Fritz 40k posted on his blog the other day opining about the fun of the good old days during the early editions of 40k.

I agree the good old days seemed focused on fun and it was fun to play 40k back then. With that said I would say that the game can be just as fun today as it was in the past.

It is all in what you and you opponents expect from the game when you go to the table. I have surrounded myself with gamers who are into 40k for the background of the universe. This has a tendency to create a really fun atmosphere to game in. While everyone likes to win their battles none of of are focused on winning we tend to focus on creating great stories on the tabletop.

We also have a tendency to change up the game with simple house rules or guidelines to help the cinematic events in game.

The first thing we do is run lots of ongoing campaigns. This has a tendency to create cool story lines for our games. We also smack talk before our sessions telling the tales of our latest victories from out previous games.

We also tend to run about half our games as Attacker/Defender scenarios. With the Attacker gaining a 25% points advantage. The Defenders gain their own advantages depending on the scenario being played.

Second we have thrown out the Force Org for army building. The only requirements we have are 1 HQ and two Troops. You may spend up to a quarter of your points on HQ's and freely fill out the rest of your points with Elite, Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy Support choices.

This leads to really dynamic armies, which in itself is awesome, making the cinematic of the game even more epic.

Thirdly all games use objectives as a victory condition, plus each side gets a secondary objective based on Kill Points to break ties. These secondary objectives are the ones I listed in this post.

The bottom line is that 40k is as fun and/or competitive as you and your opponents make it. So free your mind and the rest will follow!


  1. Be codex blind; don't be so shallow!

    Sounds like a fun group to be part of! Having a group you can fit in well with is great.

  2. Haha, you are too funny Sons!

    I do count myself lucky indeed.


  3. Big Jim,
    That's a great post. I think having an idea about what kind of game you want to play before you start is at the root of a great wargame. If you want to have a fun, cinematic, fluff-focused game, there are loads of ways to do that, whether it's 40K, Epic or any set of wargames rules. It's about expectations, and it's about what end result you want. Scenarios, campaigns, role-playing aspects. umpires/GMs are some of the things which really bring the fun back (if it ever went away!)....and all without loosing the 40K universe, the awesome fluff, the mood of the game and the core rules. Yeah, great post and great blog Jim....well done.

  4. Excellent post, Jim!

    I, myself, like fun, thematic, storied games. That's why my garage-hammer group and I here in the Bay are gonna make a run thru the IA Badab War campaign. It'll be our first story driven campaign and we are really looking forward to it. It seems very well done and a load of fun. Especially Boarding Actions! (plus since it's all SM armies, we'll all be on equal footing and our 2 Tau players can take a break from their sadness. heh)

    So about your "second" item above. Forgoing the Force Org and just requiring 1 HQ and 2 Troops and up to 25% HQ...the rest free for all. How well has this worked out for you guys? Has it thrown off what little modicum of balance the Codices have or has it helped? I am considering suggesting the same to my group for a trial run and curious about your experiences. While we don't make heavy cheese list ourselves, does this open things up to too much abuse?

    Also, I followed your House Rules link and read the "Discarding the Force Org" article. You were way more restrictive than the 1 and 2 up to 25% formula you mention above. Did you find the older set to be too restrictive and not as fun?

  5. Hastur, the original force org change I suggested before works just fine. We swapped to this new standard just to change things up.

    We have had no serious issues crop up as we are very story driven in our game play. If you have members of your group that will abuse it I suggest using our first suggestion.