So, as intimated in his last entry, Von really did foul up in having me on as a 40K Blogger, since I spend a more-than-significant amount of my 40K time being plainly irritated at the game, the universe and the nebulous “community.” You know the drill. Shaking of the proverbial cane, kids can get their ugly Blood Angels Golden Ta-Ta Brigade and their Ward Fiction off my damned etc. Having been in the game for close to fifteen years now, and being of a species that’s programmed to see the advances of time as threatening and ruinous, this is just the way of things, and I sort of jumped ship for a bit to just play Warmachine and Hordes with co-workers in our swank little Game Pub, rented from our place of employment. That’s plenty of fun, but not very interesting to blog about. Radio silence and an irritated Von ensued.
Anyhow. Like our illustriously-bearded host, I find 6th Edition to be massively encouraging. Narrative focus, well-written rules (which manage to conjure the old GW tongue-in-cheek style quite well) and an expansion of the game’s basic premises are all exciting. Still, with all the Warmachine going down, I hadn’t actually gotten a chance to put theoretical enjoyment to laboratory testing ‘till this past weekend’s Games Day.
Now, to get back to the Cranky, Games Day kind of sucks anymore, at least for me. It’s still fun and all, but the selling is aggressive, and at thirty years old, a man of even more advanced age enticing me to shout Orkish war-cries for no immediate reason causes me to have a full-blown case of the Dignities. Still, I got to have a good time with friends, grab a gorgeous miniature, chat for a minute with favorite 40K author Aaron Dembski-Bowden and witness one of the most amazing pieces of hobby work I’ve ever run into, courtesy of the Snake Eyes Gaming Club.
Assuming you’ve got some passing familiarity with the 40K universe, the concept is communicated instantly – that thar’s a Chaos Cruiser, with a full layout inside. A playable diorama featuring a Space Wolf assault on Abbadon’s personal command barge, this amazing table took the Snake Eyes boys over a year of planning, crafting and casting (there’s over 2000 individual Hirst Arts pieces involved), and it was a treat to look at and play on. Free-floating players were given 500 points of pre-constructed Chaos or Space Wolves, and sent against each other in a game variant that had both sides participating simultaneously in each phase.
It’s the little touches that made the board. The scorched engines. Real tank shells loaded in the ship’s ordinance. A “hologram” of the ship, complete with damage reports and fighter positions. There’s craft and imagination just wafting off this thing, and it’s been used to make something for others to enjoy, chaotically. It was also a taste of 6th Edition 40K, albeit an oddball one, and I think this is the spirit in which the game’s new rules – big, explosive, narrative-driven and infamously “cinematic.” 40K’s never going to be a game like Warmachine, all tight and focused, but it can be a hell of a lot of fun when directed properly. I’m looking forward to it.