A couple weekends ago I made my first "impulse" buy in a long, long time and placed an advance order for the "Gamer's Edition" 6th Edition rulebook of Warhammer 40,000 (pictured above). I'm glad I did since they were sold-out only a day or two later (never to be sold again). In making the purchase, I realised that the review of 5th edition I'd planned to do as part of my Saturday review series would be fairly pointless. Once I've read-through the new version and played a few games I'll probably do a review.
In the mean time, I want to point the main reasons that I enjoy both Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer 40,000 -- reasons that apply to both systems and to every edition of each that I've played thus far. I see no reason to believe this will change with the release of a new edition. So here they are:
- Strategy -- They're not perfect, and the harsh critics of Games Workshop's systems are legion, but I personally really enjoy the level of strategy involved. It complex but not too complex and I remember the thing that set it apart for me when I first started playing was the effective use of morale (more of a factor in WFB as it should be). Luck is always involved, but the games succeed very well in creating the sort of "cinematic" experience that the designers say they aim for. It's an accessible strategy game as evinced by the numerous players drawn to it.
- Immersion -- I really enjoy the fact that it's not just a strategy game, but one with an immersive back story that plays a big role. Often called "fluff", I find the storyline and world as much fun as the game on the table itself. It really adds to my enjoyment to create an army that's not just designed to win but is in keeping with the "fluff" and playing out a storyline within the battles.
- Hobby -- The hobby aspect is great as well. It is very relaxing at the end of a long day to sit down for an hour with my "toy soldiers", not just painting them, but customising them with "bitz" from other kits or even epoxy putty.
- Community -- I've found, on the whole, that the gents who play these games are a good group. Decent men, good sports, who share my passion for this game make it that much more enjoyable. I haven't been to a tournament in a while, and while it has been credibly argued that Warhammer is not a good tournament game, I enjoy it for the people I meet and the games that are always good fun.