Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6th Edition, Hobby Weltschmerz and New Beginnings

In recent months, I had been back in a 40k mindset again.  The wild success of my Vindicator Project got the ball rolling on the 'finish past projects' drive and the long slumbering forms of some counts as Wolf Guard terminators were soon awakened as a result.  The mad idea of a Loganwing army was alive again!  . I was already about a third of the way through it and I already owned more than I'd need to finish it AND expand it.  The feedback I ended up getting on the paint scheme was more than encouraging as well.  It was time to move forward into some 40k with the best army I've ever wanted to field.

So I jumped into some more Space Wolves in disguise:

I'm not going to finish them.

This is the box they went into.

You see, the 6th edition for Warhammer 40k is right around the corner.  Which is no surprise, this being the 25th anniversary (or thereabouts) and all.

Impending Doom or Glorious Triumph?
The rumor-mill has been working overtime these past months and it seems that some genuine 6th edition info has finally been approved for leakage.  It's looking more and more like 6th edition will NOT be the minor tweaks that many wanted to see.  Rather it's looking more and more like G-Dubs is gonna do over 40k like they did with fantasy. Probably for no other reason than to make things more 'fun'.

Sadly those quotation marks around fun are well deserved as GW's current idea of fun is as much like actual fun as olestra is like actual fat.  Which is to say that it tastes similar enough to the real thing but a lot of anal leakage is involved.

It's also just as likely, the specifics of the 6th edition changes are coming about because the game designers over at Lenton Lane have no idea what makes for a fun (the real kind)- or even good - game at this point.

Obviously we're still well in the rumors and hearsay stage, so there are some grains of salt I'm using vigerously.  But why we're on the subject of grains there's also, assuredly, a grain of truth in what's been leaked so far.  I'm doing my best to avoid grand and sweeping claims about the population at large and I'm doing an even better job of keeping the baseless threats and rage  in check, but I can just feel it in my gut that 6th is gonna be a lot less like the game I want to play.

Even if I'm dead wrong about 6th edition and it turns out to be the most amazing thing since free internet pornography, there are too many uncertainties and too much past precedent to just ignore while I push on with potentially doomed projects.

With all that in mind, I'm shelving the 40k projects until a hard copy of the 6th edition rules show up.  I'm potentially sitting on 3 armies (well, 2 with my recent ebay action) that could be rendered useless and/or illegal when the suspected release date rolls around.  Especially if they decided to screw around with army selection like in 8th edition.  I mean, really.  All the other stuff is not a huge deal for me.  But percentages?  Again?  No thanks.

I need to back off the 40k.  Which is not to say that I need to bail out completely, but all those unfinished projects I have?  Time to stop all that.  There's no reason to go on with any of my Space Marines or even the Daemons (especially them) with all this change afoot.  Which leaves the Eldar.  They're complete, playable as is and I still <3 them quite a bit. Baring any insane things in 6th edition, they will also be playable in the future with some minor tweaks.

So... What Next?
All the uncertainty if the 6th edition rumors had been really sucking the life out of my hobby.  Which is a pretty silly thing to let happen considering how many options I actually have.  Further compounded by the fact that I was, essentially, letting a third party dictate my mood.

Unfortunately, my panting mojo was not the only thing that was suffering with the new edition build up and it was time to also give up the illusion that I'll play 40k out and about in the local game scene.  Which I never could quite seem to find anyways.  I needed a game that I can find people to actually play with and not have to constantly worry about being on the loosing end of power creep.

I've already got Malifaux and I enjoy greatly, but it's pretty much a 'in the privacy of my own home' thing.  There's a large handful of other great games in the world, but I kind of live in a bit of a gaming wasteland.  Realistically, the only thing that gets played with any regularity around me is HoMachine.

So a few weeks ago I decided it was time to open a new box while I closed another.  Specifically, this box:

I'm giving Privateer Press another shot at my money.  Despite all my past misgivings and bad memories.  It was kind of a tough decision for me.  Not just because starting a new game is always a bit dicey, but because of my history with PP.  My experience with the MkI rules ended when I get fed up with sloppy game design, never ending FAQs and how much of an asshole I was towards some of the best gaming buds a guy can have in this world.  So a pretty sour note.  But these are the MkII days and I've grown as a person.  So I'm going in for round two.

I still have my Cryx guys, but the only reason they'll even come out of the case is so I can reuse my foam trays.  I burned myself out pretty hard with that army both in terms of painting and gaming.  Plus, I'm, essentially, at square one again anyways with the MkII reboot.

Legion of Everblight: Fun and Learning through Failure
This is the part of the post where I switch from past tense to present tense.  Or at least that's the plan.  All the previous stuff had been written long before I actually got any HoMachine games in.  Hopefully I got all the tenses right.

As of now, it's been about 3 weeks since I got my warpack.  I'm most of the way finished with painting it and I've managed to get three games in.  With strangers no less!  I've also been a bit of a busy consumer and picked up most of a first wave's worth of expansion, but that's another story.

Right, three games.

1 win and two losses.  Though one of those losses was crazy close so I count that as 1 in some undefined, fourth category that isn't a draw, a loss or a win.

The overwhelming feeling so far?  Holy hell!  I'm having so much  fun with this game!  The MkII rules are so far above the MkI crapfest that it's like it's a completely different game despite using the same mechanics and models.  It's crazy!  Not only that, but the group I'm working my way into has just about the nicest (but not THE nicest) bunch of weirdos I've ever had the pleasure to meet and game with.

I still have a whole hell of a lot to learn about HoMachine, but I've got a nice situation to do it in.  In no particular order, this is my 'to learn list'

  • Figure out what the hell threat ranges look like on the table.  HoMachine takes place at very close range and I'm still not entirely sure what 9 inches looks like or how I can organize my shit so I finally get that devastating Carnivean charge.
  • Learn to move past that touch of social anxiety I have.  That plus my past history of being an asshole with this game means I tend to worry about behaviors I've already fixed. A big ol' 'le sigh' on that one.
  • Get better at remembering what all the special warbeast rules are.  I think this is more of a practice thing, though.
That's the short list of stuff to learn and improve on.  But it turns out that I'm pretty comfortable being a noob again, so there's that.

That's all for now, I think.  More progress reports as progress happens.


  1. Dude, I am sorry, I have to laugh at not knowing what 9 inches is... =P

    1. welp, it's frowned upon to just whip out my schlong and remind myself.

      Seriously though, I haven't been doing a lot of gaming since last summer. I fair bit of Malifaux though, but that game is weird as heck.

  2. I think there's a lot of anal leakage involved with wargaming general

    1. I think that is a more than fair observation.

  3. Glad you've found a group of peeps to play games with again, and I'm glad you've got a bit of your mojo back.

    HoMachine MKII I can confirm is a very different beast to MKI. As a game and a hobby it is by no means perfect, but it does what it promises it will do and there are no ambiguities with it this time around. It's still not my personal favourite game ever TM, but it is one of my go to games.

    Good luck with it.

    1. thanks, man! It certainly feels good to be gaming again.

  4. I feel your pain, Lauby, on 6th edition. I was close to shelving my stuff until 6th hit the scene and then said fuck it, I'm not going to let rumors dictate my attitude and mentality. I also decided that I'm going to try 6th out for better or worse. I'm not a huge fan of most of the rumors but I've resolved myself to make an informed decision 6th. So much could seem stupid and pointless with the rules at a glance but until you throw down some games you can't truly judge it.

    Who knows though? I have a hard time believing GW would screw over their flagship gaming system but we all know GW's interests don't always parallel our own.

    1. I think I'm still ready to try 6th edition as a game for my current stuff. But sticking with 40k as a focus just didn't make sense anymore. I had reached a tipping point on the ammount of rationalizing I was doing in order to carry on like I was

    2. @Thor, the issue is GW might not see it as 'screwing over' their flagship game. On the contrary, they might see it as saving it. And if the rumours are actually true that might possibly be the case for some gamers. It's swings and roundabouts my good man, one mans nectar is another mans poison.

      Do I believe all the rumours are true? No. Do I think there's a grain of truth to some of it... from what I've heard and from whom... yes! Does this mean it'll be a bad game? Nope not at all. Random charges in Fantasy made no sense in the context of that game, however in a modern warfare based skirmish game it might actually work if handled cleverly.

      I guess I'm in an interesting position. I'm not a massive fan of 40k and never have been. I don't hate it either. %th Ed was just another game I played with certain fiends. I don't have allegiances one way or the other. So I'll be looking at 6th Ed with a fresh pair of eyes, expecting nothing and wanting nothing, I'll assemble my geek brain trust and we'll dissect it like we do all games.

      But for others who are more invested than I am, I can see why all this uncertainty is causing so much consternation and angst. It really isn't a wise way to run a business.

    3. Investment's the thing. I think anyone who has more than one army for 40K, or anyone who's interested in viability and effectiveness, is doing the right thing by slamming the breaks on until the new core rules hit. I'm lucky in that I don't have a massive emotional or financial investment in the game any more, and can quite happily put my Necrons under the table for six months and just break them out and play whatever if someone happens to be interested.

      The only thing that causes me consternation is the thought of having to relearn the mechanics by which tactical savvy is applied. At the moment I 'know' 40K well enough to crack it out and play it every now and then, but if it changes on the scale that WFB has changed, it becomes something that'll take time and energy investment to re-learn to the point where it can be shelved and picked up again.

    4. All of that is true Von. I think GW marketing message is a bit of a mixed metaphor right now. On the one hand they tell us they're building games to be fun. For the casual gamers amongst us, we're not meant to take it seriously. Yet the scale of their games and the investment required not only in fiscal but time commitment terms means their product is ill-designed for the consumer they claim to be aiming for.

      If I'm after a quick lark with my mates and we don't care too much about solid rules and playing things 'properly' there is a whole other marketplace we can look to first... board games. I'm not too sure who their key demographic is anymore, or where they are based. There seems to be mismatch with their product and the lives their customers lead.

      The only market left to them is possibly rich kids. They have the time to devote to the product and their parents have the money to buy it for them. However, what happens when the PS4 and Xbox 720 land? Or Pokémon MKII hits. They'll be screwed yet again. I witnessed it with LotR. They treated adult, established customers like dirt and deliberately said they didn't want them. Kids was where it was at and LotR.

      Then bam... Pokémon and the PS2 happened. Suddenly little toy soldiers and Aragorn weren't cool anymore. There is a reason business guru's talking about finding and loving your core customer. If GW's core customer is a ric teenage male between the ages of 13 to 18 they're in some serious trouble right now.