If you’re not familiar with Warhammer 40,000, it’s a tabletop miniatures wargame. Basically that means you’re taking turns pushing around toy soldiers on a table and rolling dice. It’s kind of like plastic army men for “grownups”, in the same way that Dungeons & Dragons is basically playing make believe.
There’s also a major hobby element to Warhammer. The toy soldiers are small, detailed models that people put a lot of time and creativity into assembling and painting. Additionally a lot of work goes into making terrain to play on. I imagine it’s quite a bit like model trains, except it’s homicidal space men.
The fictional universe that it is set in is also a major draw of the game. It’s the most ridiculous, over-the-top, grimdark Heavy Metal sci-fi setting there is. The game has been around for thirty years, and in that time they’ve published hundreds of novels in the setting, and there are also quite a few comic books and video games. (The novels and videogames are of wildly differing quality.)
Warhammer isn’t for everyone, but if you’re into at least two of the three aspects (the game, modeling/painting, the story) it is a heck of a lot of fun.
The new edition is going to be a pretty radical departure. The 3rd Edition of the game came out in the late ‘90s, and editions 4-7 were just small changes to the same basic rules. The new edition is going to make a lot of big changes.
- The core rules are going to be free, and only 14 pages long.
- All existing faction-specific rulebooks are now invalidated, but they’re going to have low-cost books available on launch to get us by.
- Units will get their own special rules in their data sheet, rather than having to constantly refer back to the main rulebook.
- Points for everything will be in a separate book, so that the game balance can be fixed on a regular basis without invalidating all the existing books.
I’m super excited. I haven’t played 40k for about ten years as I didn’t feel I had the time or the space. I started to get back into it this year. I've bought more models in the last five months than in the entire ~7 years that I played previously. The amount of stuff we could do compared to 3rd/4th (when I used to play) was really cool, but the amount of rules had also become pretty crazy. There were also a lot of loopholes for people to pull some shenanigans, and some seriously unbalanced point costs, and it sounds like Games Workshop is fixing that with the new edition.
They are also releasing a new line of Space Marines and Death Guard, which will be in the new starter set. The models look cool. I have mixed feelings about the new Marines, but I’m still waiting on new information.
(The Death Guard have a plague/zombie theme, so this is kind of ZS related. )