I have played 40K for the last ten years with the same group for four friends, we all re-joined the hobby during 4th edition and have all continued to play through 5th and now we are all getting to grips with 6th edition.
We played a great many games in 4th edition but during 5th we all started to settle down and life started to get in the way of our regular 40K games.
5th Edition started well and we did seem to get on well with it but about a year before 6th edition most of us started to become very tired of what 5th edition had become, we had been given this new edition and told to just get on with it. For nearly five years GW had offered no support or solutions to rules conflicts and never even expanded on the three basic book missions. The standard book missions were just not fun any more and we all started to become a little too WAAC in our play styles with many games breaking out into rules arguments.
We all started to feel a little disenfranchised by the hobby we had always held in such high regard, we spent more time reminiscing about the good old days during 2nd edition as the current game was lacking in whatever that special something was that the very early editions provided. I started to get into 40K podcasts and eventually I became aware that some of the tournaments had started using all three of the basic book missions combined rolling to see which would act as primary, secondary and tertiary and rewarding battle points, we tried this for a while and games did become more unlikely to end in a frustrating draw but there was still something missing.
Soon after I stumbled across the 40K Fight Club Mission Book at www.40kfightclub.com and after sending it out to my gaming group it was decided that we would use it until GW came up with something better.
In my opinion the mood of the games changed almost as soon as these new missions were introduced as we started getting caught up in the scenarios and started playing to the multiple missions within each of the twelve scenarios rather than just spending the whole game mercilessly beating each other forces to a pulp. I started to see a shift in everyone’s army lists, we started to use more well-rounded forces that could deal with any missions or opponents that might pop up rather than running the maths and only taking units that would achieve an absolute result. I started finding that units I had not used in years had become useful again and thus started finding their way back onto the table top helping reducing the SPAM approach that had previously been required.
Unbenounced to us we had started to do something that would later become the biggest shift leading into 6th, a phrase that would become synonymous with this new edition, we were in fact "forging the narrative”....................
So on to my reason for writing all of this, if you are a regular visitor to my humble blog you might have spotted the item pictured below in the background of most of the pictures I have posted and may have wondered what the hell is that?
Well I wanted to come up with a method of tracking who was dominating our little meta-game, but what I defiantly did not want was a list that for some would serve as a self-aggrandising display of their tactical prowess while for other nothing more than a reminder of their failures and defeats. After a little searching online I found a picture of the Realm Of Battle campaign tiles, I printed it out and divided up the hexagonal territories between the four of us adding a simple colour coded key and stuck it on my notice board behind my workbench and added the corresponding coloured pins, I then took a picture and emailed it to all the players.
We now had a visual record of the territories that we each held going forward into 2013, each game played and won would allow you to claim a territory that boarded your own and attacks launched form the space ports could claim territories anywhere on the map like in the PC game Dawn Of War. So far this seems to have gone down well and every time a new game is played out I get sent an email showing me which territories need exchanging and then I send out an updated image.
The players names have been obscured to protect the innocent :)
So on this map yours truly is represented by the Yellow pins and while it might not look like much has been going on believe me when I tell you that me and Red have been pushing back a forth for months now via Zone Mortalis and the occasional full sized game, Red and Green now live in the same house so there has been some movement there while Blue not so much.
The game should be competitive otherwise you are never going to learn anything but it should never become so stressful that you forget that it's just a game of toy soldiers to be enjoyed between friends over a few beers and snacks. 6th edition has brought us some very interesting and different missions that I don’t see getting boring any time soon, in fact I don't think I have played all 6 yet and out of all the games I have played in 6th only one was a draw and that’s good as a clear winner is better in my opinion.
The mixture of main narrative objectives with the three secondary’s thrown in works really well and so long as you remember to also play to those secondary’s you can’t go far wrong. Some people say that if you get 1st blood you have most games are in the bag but that’s not even close to being true, sure 1st blood is with the exception of victory points earned via kill points the only objective that can’t be taken from you once you have, and with that in mind it is a powerful thing to achieve in any game and will often acts as a tie breaker but it does not guarantee victory.
So to sum up the game has almost come full circle and we are now being bombarded with new releases every month so there has never been a better time to be a 40K player so next time you find yourself about to lock horns with an opponent over some small rules issue just roll a dice to decide the outcome and email the following address Gamefaqs@gwplc.com so GW can clear it up and move on.
Ask yourself what would Jervis say?.........Jervis would say “SHUT UP AND FORGE THAT NARRATIVE!” :P
Later peeps and have a happy Easter.