Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OPINION: Ideas to shake up your 40k games

Back in 2008 I was feeling a bit jaded with 40k and gaming in general. Gary, my regular opponent, and I had gotten into the routine of playing 1500 point games with missions straight from the rulebook week after week. In order to try and spice things up a bit I came up with a few ideas for unusual games.

As it happens we never did actually play any of these games but that shouldn't stop you from trying them out. Perfectly balanced tournament scenarios aren't the only way to play the game!

Tank battle
For a long time I preferred to paint and model infantry rather than vehicles but I then went through a phase of mechanising my armies, adding tanks and transports to them all. Gary was always more pragmatic and included vehicles in many of his armies. Between us we had about ten different factions with three to four vehicles each. So I got to thinking - wouldn't it be great if I could use all of those vehicles, across all the different factions, in one big game?

My plan was to put together the biggest table we could find, maybe even use the floor, and fight a gigantic tank battle. We would split the armies into the forces of order and disorder and then have at it. Points values be damned!

Any vehicles, including Dreadnoughts and walkers, could be used and no other models. We would play until one side had no mobile vehicles.

Seven Samurai
I think there is a scenario similar to this in the 6th edition Warhammer Fantasy battle rulebook. One person picks his 1500 point army as normal, without using too many vehicles, special characters or too many funky rules. The other person must spend his entire 1500 points on up to seven HQ choices. The 'normal' army has to wipe out the seven samurai by the end of the game otherwise they lose.

This game would probably be very quick to play, so you play two games in one night, with each player coming up with their own version of the seven samurai.

Arena of Death
Gary and I have large model collections including numerous special characters, greater daemons and sundry HQ choices. My idea was to gather them all together and plonk them on the table together. Each player rolls a die with the winner picking a character to activate. They get a full turn to move, shoot and assault with that character and then the other player chooses a different model. The players alternate characters until every model has had a turn and then the players dice off again.

The last model standing is the winner. That should help answer those annoying questions such as 'who is harder, Abaddon or Ghazghkull?' At least for a while.

40k League
My last idea was based on our Blood Bowl leagues. We would write up 500 point fixed lists for each of our armies - probably around 10 or so factions. These would be kept the same for the duration of the league. Each army would play every one of the others once. That would mean playing a lot of games! Now you understand why the armies are kept at just 500 points. Small games means you could play four games a night if you wanted to.

Each army would get 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss. Whichever army had the most points at the end of the league is the winner.

Anyway, that's all for now. This already feels like one of those rambling Standard Bearer articles by Jervis Johnson so I'll shut up.


  1. I would say for the 40k league that you should come up with some 'blood bowl-ish' scenarios like there is a ball which can be passed like a shooting attack, if it misses then it scatters 2d6 in a random direction. get it into the opponents end zone and you get a kill point other than that standard kill points or shred battle or whatever!

  2. Cracking ideas mate, I like the idea of a tank battle, especially on a really large table.

    I might try an write these up for my campaign blog, if that's ok with you.

  3. Good suggestions. Also one thing I'd add is that so many people out there are not using Apocalypse for smaller point games. Using some of the stratagems and scenarios for Apocalypse ... in scaled down point levels ... can be alot of fun! Tossing some Apocalypse units and list variants in can be cool too ... even if you don't want to play a massive 3000 point or higher battle. Also I like your league idea but I think people would really have to work hard on coming up with balanced lists for each faction. Both WHFB and 40K break at low point levels for some lists ... you either get hosed or hooked up .. at least for some armies.