Friday, 20 April 2012

A experiment in Nerditity: Entering the world of Warhammer 40k

This blog has always been about gaming in all its many, many forms. Now, this sometimes takes somewhat obtuse routes, but that’s because the definition of game is always changing and, indeed, always been open to interpretation.

Now, Jak has occasionally written about non-electronicgaming, as well as the occasional meta-gaming article, but personally I rarely do so. However, I have recently become slightly fascinated with the premise of “Warhammer 40,000”. I suspect this is partly because I have always enjoyed the surprisingly fulfilling thrill of conventional Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games, and also partly because things being physical can often be far more engaging. Read into that last bit as you will.

Way better than "imagined Jenga"

So, with basically no experience of the world of 40k, I thought I would give you my outsiders perspective on what I have learnt about it and, more importantly, which of the many armies I have decided on playing.

What I will say from the outset is that the whole set-up is rather intimidating, and I am always surprised that the franchise gets as many new players as it does. For a start, the rulebook alone goes for £35 and is 300 pages long; hardly a welcoming prospect. Moreover, there are the various armies, units, codexes (or codices? What do I know) and, heaven forbid, novels. It’s amazing so many people play it. I suspect its success lies in the availability of games and like-minded individuals (Hell, I’m always surprised that “Games Workshop” is a high-street chain) which is key to the infrastructure of any large-scale and frankly expensive hobby.

Games Workshop: In many ways the "La Senza" of table top gaming

Nonetheless, I have attempted to power through all that to what is apparently the core choice every player needs to make; which side are they going to play as. As far I can tell, you have a choice between the following: Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, Tau, Necrons, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Orks, Witch Hunters, Daemonhunters, Sisters of Battle and the Imperial Guard. So, bearing in mind I had basically no idea what any of them did or how they played, I adopted the following four step system:

1.      1. Eliminate any that seem obscure, or that I had never heard of before. Hence, I got rid of Dark Eldar, Witch Hunters, Daemonhunters, Sisters of Battle and the Imperial Guard. If they haven’t been successful enough to earn my attention in the past they certainly don’t deserve my affections in the future
2.      2. Get rid of the sides that seem too overplayed or cliché. A quick Google, as well as my own knowledge, led me to get rid of Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Eldar and Tyranids.

3.       3. Get rid of Orks.

4.       4. Finally, pick what seems the coolest from whatever is left.

So, using this tried and tested system I am now torn between the Tau and the Necrons. The Necrons appeal to my morbid sense of humour, and the Tau appeal to my preference for defending myself with massive guns. Hmm. May just have to roll a dice, with scores of 4 or more going to the Necrons.

P.S. Nerditity is a word I have just coined. It is the representation of your own personal level of nerdiness. I measure nerdiness by willingness to engage in needless complex and relatively trivial activities, so learning football statistics is, for my money, as nerdy as speedrunning Goldeneye.

P.P.S. Fuck yeah, referenced Goldeneye in yet another article.