Warhammer 40K

Ok, hold on to your hats. It is well known that since 1993 or there abouts I became a hard to the core Games Workshop hater. I had been using Games Workshop products for several years at that point and bought in big time with Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition. All was well in the world until the first boxed miniatures game GW was to produce came out – WFB 4th edition. Now, I was all gung ho about my Slann – a fantasy army based on Aztec culture and consisting of frogs and lizards. They dumped the entire Army from the game. Like in totality – as if they had never been. My entire hoard of dozens of figures was now obsolete. The hell you say! So that was it. Forever, it seemed, my hate would burn for the lads in Nottingham. A curse upon them.

My first set of science fiction miniatures rules were Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader – the first set of rules set in the 40K Universe. I still have my Marines and Space Orks and still recall the laugh people had the first time I laid them down on the table. I built my first Land Raider out of cardboard, an Atari Joystick and various bits and pieces from my electrical workshop. Those were heady days. We made our own terrain and most of our vehicles. My landspeeder was inspired by Rick Priestly’s deodorant applicator built one. It was a fun time hand building as much as we could back then.

After my major upset over the loss of my Slann from the official rules and the move towards stilted tournament play I moved on to other things. I used Stargrunt II for scifi games and a wide variety of other games for the fantasy side. I wrote a game called Mystic Hordes that played ok but wasn’t really very polished. Then there was a variety of other systems that were pressed from their normal duty as ancients/medieval rules for the fantasy. None of that really was all that great and while I still collected fantasy figures I was mainly using them in my Dungeon Crawl game and not in mass battles.

There was still a GW game I would play: “Space Hulk.” I think Space Hulk needs to be up there with one of the all time best games ever developed. Whether you like the 1st or 2nd edition rules best certainly doesn’t matter. Very few people can say that SH doesn’t both challenge and entertain.

Last year I got whole hog interested in Games Workshop’s Legends of the Old West. It was so very well written and such a fun game – I was able to convince myself that it wasn’t supporting the “mother ship” because it was “Warhammer Historicals” not GW that was benefiting. The fact is that the game is immensely enjoyable and the parent organization is Games Workshop. So… What happened?

This past week I started to listen to 40k Radio. It is a podcast out of Ohio that is quite well produced. The fellows game out of Gamers Haven which I’ve actually been to. I researched it when I was considering moving to Cleveland. They have produced upwards of 20 shows now and it is an enjoyable listen. They got to talking about the new edition of 40K and I have to say they pushed me over the edge into buying the rules. The improvements and the game balance sound like they are exceptionally well done. The local hobby store, Wargames, has a nice mix of historicals and non-historical gaming and you can find 40K gamers pretty much from the lost valley’s of Eastern Tennessee to the high plateaus of Afghanistan.

I haven’t bought any figures yet. The least popular army appears to be the Tau so I’ll buy those and if GW cancles them from the game well then I’ll resume my grudge! They aren’t unpopular due to their ability to fight. I think people just prefer Space Marines, Orks, Eldar and Chaos Marines over the other races (necrons and tau, others?)

Now I should point out that GW did to 40K what they did to WFB in that they cut out an entire race and made instant enemies of many former fans: they cut out the “Squats” or space dwarfs. Squats and Slann – someone should make a game up that features just those two armies! Hmmm. Now you got me thinking.

So will I build a Tau army? Let me read the rules and report on those first. I am off to Historicon this weekend with great joy. I am looking forward to the trip! More on my conversion back to 40K later. Hmm, I guess I am not converting. I was just a lapsed 40Ker all along? Hmmm may need to reboot. I need historical gaming shock therapy!


  1. Denis Jackman says:

    Slann now theres a blast from the past.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The slann that peter refers to are not the same slann we know today. They where frogs, but where slim and small, compared to today slann. the miniatures of those days would never work with the rules today. Even their cold ones where little.

    He is right about the army beng cut out, but GW needed time to mature a good idea first

  3. The Slann still exist in fantasy, they are no longer separate from the Lizardmen, they instead are their rulers. You can still use them, you just have to use lizardmen as well.

  4. Peter M. says:

    No! Long, long ago in the late 80’s the Slann were frogs and their slaves were lobotomized humans and enslaved lizardmen. They rode Cold Ones and had the most powerful mages in the game.

    40K Slann circa 1987: http://www.acl.com.au/joe/images.nsf/eGroup%20-%20Space%20Slann?OpenPage

    WFB Slann Circa 1987: http://www.solegends.org/citc/wd096c32slannwarriors.jpg

  5. jon23516 says:

    When you say Slann, do you mean the Lizardmen army? They must have brought it back. I’ve played since 6th Edition and the Lizardmen are alive and well in WFB.

Speak Your Mind