Saturday, June 8, 2013

Warhammer 40,000: One name, many games

Crazy Gamer here.

How are you, my readers, doing today?  Hopefully you are on your way to a happy weekend!  Where I am it will be over 110 degrees this weekend, I hope it's cooler where you are!

I've been playing Warhammer 40,000 for a long time.  How long?  Long enough to have played all six editions of Warhammer 40,000.  I started, way back in 1993 which for astute observers places my career firmly in the 40k 2nd edition era.  You are correct sir!  However, as an adult, and who is something of a historian of the game, I have played games of Rogue trader. 

As I read blog posts around the internet, and having listened to countless gamers all over the United States for decades I am amazed at people's perceptions of the different editions of Warhammer 40k.  When it comes right down to it, I've heard countless positive and negative viewpoints of every edition. 

This blog will not be me telling why everyone else is wrong and I am right.  I will just give my opinion having played every edition.  Up front I will say I have enjoyed aspects of every edition and have not liked elements of every edition.   

Without further ado:

Crazy Gamer's least favorite edition:

2nd Edition

Even though it was the first edition that I played, it is my least favorite edition by a large margin.  2nd edition 40k was a skirmish level game meaning that most armies tended to be 40 models or less.  Even though this was the case the rules made the game play so slowly you really had to dedicate a whole day to play a 1500pt game. 

The rules also included a large amount of abstraction that frequently lead to arguments.  I've seen several games devolve into fist fights and they were all games of 2nd edition. 

It wasn't all bad though.  2nd edition had a huge range of wargear that hasn't been equaled since.  I also preferred the expanded characteristics of this era to the more truncated ones in 3rd-5th edition.  This is changing now with 6th edition however. 

Biggest change between editions:

3rd edition

Some players have been complaining that the change between 5th and 6th edition was too big, but it has nothing on the change between second and third edition. 

3rd edition changed fundamental game mechanics, such as how close combat was fought, completely revamped all vehicles, and even changed the scope of the game going from a skirmish game to a battle game. 

3rd edition probably went too far in simplifying the rules and speeding up the game but this was the edition that I probably played more than any other and I remember it fondly.  Perfect?  Absolutely not, but a good time.  Probably the fastest playing edition. 

Did things really change?

4th and 5th editions

These two editions had the least changes between them.  The biggest change was the addition of "true line of sight," which is a game mechanic that I've never cared for.  These editions are also the editions that saw the rise of tournament play and the dreaded "WAAC," gamer (win at all costs).

Crazy Gamers favorite edition

6th edition

As a rule set, this current edition is the best, in my opinion.  This isn't to say that all the army books mesh well with 6th edition (I'm looking at you Necrons!)  but overall it mixes the larger amount of war gear and expanded profiles from 2nd edition with the streamlined battle system of the more modern editions.

Now, if Games Workshop will just be sold to someone who will take its miniature lines in a good direction then I have very high hopes for Warhammer 6th edition. 

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