What the heck is Warhammer 40k? Well it is a miniature wargame that takes place in a distant sci-fi future where things have gone terribly bad for everyone involved. Numerous space-travelling civilizations have fallen apart and now somewhat inexplicably they wage an endless war that has already lasted for millenia.
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Thematics aside each player comes to the table with an army of toy soldiers assembled from one of a dozen or so various factions. These range from the chittering hordes of Tyranids (think Starship Troopers bugs / Starcraft Zerg), to the diesel-punk Orks that just wanna start a galaxy wide bar-brawl, or the iconic Space Marines (which to my knowledge draw some of their original inspiration from Judge Dredd comics in the late 80’s). The games usually involve a couple hours of epic combat over a few key objectives on the board. When I say “assembled” I mean it quite literally, all of the models come in plastic kits which require a fair bit of assembly; if you’re anything like me when I started playing, this involved accidentally supergluing my fingers together on multiple occasions. In fact there are many people out there that devote most of their time to the hobby of customizing and painting their models rather than playing the game itself.
The rules are similar in complexity to a modern heavy-strategy board game. Do you like rolling dice? Like lots and lots of dice all at once, well if so you’re in the right place. The core system they’re built on involves alternating turns between a series of phases all of which are pretty straightforward. Though things do get more intricate once you introduce the extra layer of special rules that belong to each army. One thing that is nice about the new edition coming out this week is that Games Workshop seems to have taken extra effort to make small-scaled levels of play more approachable.
What do I like most myself about the game? Well honestly it is probably that there are so many ways to enjoy it. 40K having such a tactile feel to it really makes your imagination that there is plenty to think about even when you’re hanging out alone. It has been especially nice during the pandemic shutdown to relax by assembling and painting a few new models. It is an opportunity to flex some creative and crafty muscles and just zone out for the evening working on a new project (it has definitely helped me from being too stir-crazy during the shutdown). As with many other games out there, there are folks out there that take it very seriously and play in tournaments etc, but for me I really enjoy the excuse to join up with a few friends for a beer and a battle as all of our toy soldiers get blown away on the battlefield.
There’s a new edition of the rules coming out later this week which will update things and add a little more polish and excitement to a game which already has a rich history. With the pandemic going on Bonus Round has needed to adjust a bit and part of that meant expanding our retail offerings, which now includes a variety of Games Workshop’s products. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also excited for the opportunity to introduce folks to a game which I personally get a lot of enjoyment out of.
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If you’re interested, the new edition comes out on Saturday 7/25- preorder the limited edition boxset now! We’ll also have new core rulebooks available, along with some other new things for this edition.