I have been playing 40k and Warhammer Fantasy my entire gaming career (a whopping three years!) It is the bare bones systems that everybody knows and loves. Good ol’ Space Marines and Bolters, Wizards and Monsters. But, after the release of 8th edition, I was very much disappointed in how the game was heading. There were some changes I was not to happy with and simply ruined the game for me. Some match-ups were just too easy, others were way to hard. Now, I am glad that other people still enjoy fantasy. I, myself, am not even bragging to be an excellent player. I can count the number of tournaments I’ve been too with the fingers on one hand. But after playing my fair share of 8th edition (almost 40 or so games) I’ve had enough.
I took almost four months off of the hobby in general. I just couldn’t get motivated for anything. Partly because I was either getting pants’d by the Purple Sun or I was spanking Wood Elves without even thinking about it and partly because Games Workshop in their infinite wisdom did not release a single 8th ed book within the first nine months of the core games release. Again, I didn’t buy the Orc and Gobbo book nor the Tomb Kings book, because I was just done with being treated like a peasant to the monopolistic king of wargaming. I started an exploration of another game.
I picked up another army for 40k (Tau) to maybe quench my thirst, but it still didn’t seem to satisfy me. I also picked up the old Blood Bowl board game and even spent a good chuck of paycheck on Shadow Forge’s Female GridIron models (Awesome Figs!). Painting up the figs was fun and quick, the game was smart; the keys to success were subtle. Blood Bowl is by far the most fun I had in a “wargame” since my ventures in 7th ed Fantasy. But, the problem was that there was a community I could not really engage with in my immediate community. Most of the players are really good or hard to find, so it’s definitely a struggle for a new person to waltz into the game. Yes, this could be said for any system, but let’s face it, anyone can walk into the Games-Workshop between Victoria’s Secret and Wetzles Pretzles at any experience level and get in a game of 40k/Fantasy. Other systems lack that luxury.
Recently at Adepticon, those that registered early got a swag bag. In mine was a free battle group of Cryx for Warmachine. Sadly, my friend got the same box. DARN PRIVATEER PRESS! WHAT NERVE GIVING US FREE MODELS! It was only recently that I decided to give it a look. It seemed like everything I was looking for in a game. The cards were kind of a turn off, having all the tiny text and stupid symbols, but once I got a copy of the full rules, it seemed a lot less daunting and even less Yu-Gi-Oh-ish.
Reading through this rule book has really changed my outlook at my hobby. Before, I was a Games-Workshop acolyte. Now, I’m pretty jaded at what the Wonka Factory of toy soldiers has done to its community. Privateer press has a beautiful looking book, rules that make sense (and rules that are straight to the point without mounds of flavor text before you get to the rule), and a very unique looking game. Fantasy and even some 40k: it’s pretty bland. It reminds me of any sci-fi or fantasy setting. Now, with the look of Warmahordes, it’s actually pretty stunning of how different it is. I have never even rolled a die for the game yet, but I can’t wait to get my Legion of Everblight Battlegroup painted and on the table. I can’t wait to get my first issue of No Quarter or go looking around town for new game stores that have regular Warmachine nights. I can’t wait to go to tournaments and campaign days for this system. That’s the most important part about whatever game you play: the excitement you have for it.
I’m not saying that Fantasy is horrible or 40k is boring. I don’t even know if I will like Hordes. All I’m saying is that players should play whatever they want to play for whatever reasons. Models, game play, fluff, whatever. But, if you are not happy with your current system, it’s not worth the time and money to stick with it. There are so many options out there. Whatever you want to do can be done, so go grab some models and get gaming.