So, while everyone has known this has been coming for the last year Games Workshop has finally gone public. They’re front page’s main story is the new Necrons and the Necron Army section has been updated. There are a number of new models available to Necron players but they’ve also pulled some things as well. I couldn’t find any reference to Pariahs or Tomb Spyders on the site. So, I guess it’s safe to say those are no longer being supported by GW.
Despite the fact that I rarely, if ever, play the 40k anymore. I’m still excited about this release and will, bare minimum, pick up the new codex.
Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop war game. Actually, for all intent and purposes, it is THE tabletop war game. Other war games exist, historic and otherwise, but people outside the hobby? If they know about tabletop war gaming at all they probably know about Games Workshop’s Warhammer (Fantasy or 40k). I started playing 40k over a decade ago and I love it. I love the hobby, the models, the fluff, etc. I wouldn’t call myself a fanboy (I own their competitor’s products and have some complaints).
As fun as a table top game is to play, after the game is over and you’re packing your models up and collecting stray dice, you have to admit that tiny metal and plastic models pushed up against each other and hundreds of dice roles doesn’t quite convey the frenetic pulpy action of the fluff:
…The attack was defeated, but there was no doubt there would be many more before the day was out. Less than a fifth of the Ultramarines who had begun the operation were still alive and Idaeus knew that one more push would see them defeated. He ignored the pleas of his sergeants and set off alone in a suicidal attempt to blow the bridge.
Sprinting through the bullet-chased and smoke huanted rubble, Idaeus reached the first of the demolition charges just as the retrieval Thunderhawk touched down beyond the bridge’s western approach and out of range of the enemy’s anti-aircraft positions. Triggering the commes-net Idaeus ordered the remaining Ultramarines to retreat under the command of Sergeant Uriel Ventris as the Night Lords began yet another assault. The surviving Ultramarines withdrew under fire to the Thunderhawk and Idaeus waited until the last possible second before detonating the first charge. In a catastrophic chain reaction, the remaining charges exploded, destroying Idaeus, the briddge, and much of the Night Lords’ oncoming assulat wave in a searing blast that shook the earth for Leagues around.
Excerpt from Idaeus’ Last Charge, Codex Space Marines
I have plenty of imagination and that is generally what I use when playing 40k, but now thanks to Relic and THQ I don’t have to always imagine and I don’t have to rustle up a table, and opponent and three to four spare hours. Instead, I can play Space Marine:
Space Marine is a middling action title, it isn’t great and it isn’t bad. The game does a decent job of delivering fast paced, violent action set in the 40k universe. For people who don’t know anything else about the 40k world that is all the game can be. For players of Warhammer 40,000 and fans of the world Space Marine is quite a bit more. It takes all those static images of models on a table and brings them to life! Here we can experience the destructive power of a Lascannon or the tremendous might of a single Space Marine against Xenos hordes. I especially appreciate how faithfully they portrayed the weaponry in the game. I kind of understood how a plasma gun differed from a melta gun; I understand the basics of a bolter (standard, heavy, and storm.) Space Marine, just as it does for the titular characters, brings this aspect of the 40k universe to life.
The best sections of the game are when you have access to a assault jet pack. I wish they had used the pack more or simply designed the game around it. Every jet pack level adds a vertical component to the game that is much more complex and compelling than the standard horizontal lay out of the rest of the game. I enjoy going from kill room to kill room as much as the next guy. But, in a 10 or so hour campaign it can get boring. The Jet pack allows for much more creative level design as well as giving the player an out when they are outnumbered. Hopefully, if there is a sequel the assault pack can play an integral part of it.
The only complaint I have with the game is how it handles your character’s life bar. While your Space Marine has a regenerating shield his life force is static and can only be regained by performing an “execution” against an enemy (canned animation kill) this would be fine except for the fact that some of these kills can last 3 or 4 seconds and you take damage while performing them!? I lost count of how many times I died while being stuck in the execution animation that would have healed me had it not gone on for so long…
Space Marine is a fun game, I hear the multiplayer is especially exciting, (and allows for creating your own Space Marine chapter!) for those looking for a shooter and aren’t already occupied with Gears of War 3 (I will never understand why this game was released a mere week before the most anticipated third person shooter of the year.) If you are a 40k fan though this game is indispensable!
I’ve talked before about my love of tabletop war games. If not, then know that I love them. When I was a wee lad my brother and I got Hero Quest for Christmas one year, and I’d spend hours flipping through the GW catalog that came inside that box. So many amazing looking miniature models, all so beautifully painted. I fell in love with the company then and there. Until I was older though and had a job that provided some discretionary income tabletop wargaming remained a dream. In 2001 or ‘o2 a hobby shop opened up in our area; I went in on my lunch as it was one of the few things, besides the mall, within walking distant of the community college I was attending. In one corner they had a selection of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,ooo products. My memories of that catalog came flooding back and I picked a few up. With the help of the internet a few became many and I found myself with an army:
I have two WH40K armies. These days I might play once every month or two. I almost always run my Necron army. There isn’t a lot of good ways to run a Necron army (there is only one) so it’s easy to prep for a game. My Ultramarine army though? So many choices, so many models, too many. I don’t have that kind of time anymore. So, instead of playing with it it’s sitting in my collecting dust.
So, what do I do with all this stuff? Sell it, give it away, hold on to it in the hopes that someday I have more time? Anything would be better than letting it sit in my closet longer. Taking up space that something else I don’t use could be occupying!
PS – If I ever learned how to take a decent picture of tiny objects close up… Everything looks like shit.
PPS – They’d look way cooler on a gameboard with a bunch of terrain. Like I have the time for that…
PPPS – If you click on the pictures they get really big and maybe look better?