Saturday, March 5, 2016

Blast From The Past

So how are my new year's resolutions going? Well, not that great. Our VP total so far is 0.75 (and that's counting the first article of the year, which I will gladly do).

Hail nerdlingers!

This post I'm going to talk about something near and dear to my heart: Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition.
2nd edition existed between 1993 and 1998 and was the first version of 40k I played. I played it for two years before 3rd edition came out, and it was my favorite edition of Warhammer 40,000. When 2nd edition ended I was disappointed. I liked the wackiness and the detail that the game had, and I wasn't as ready to dispense with the psychic phase or the movement characteristic as others. However, I was a kid whose hobby was being fostered at a Games Workshop retail store, and when you game there you game with what's current. So I adopted 3rd edition and played the vast majority of my 40k games, to this day, in that edition.

Over the years I still took my 2nd edition codices and rulebooks off the shelf and flipped through them, and I still collected anything from that period that I didn't already have, but it wasn't until 2006 that I managed to get a game of it in again. From 2004–2007 I worked at the same Games Workshop that I had frequented, and a regular customer—who I had known since the days of 2nd edition—offered to indulge me in a 1500 point game of 2nd edition. I had a ton of fun, and it brought back a lot of good memories, but it never went past that one game.

Now it's 2016, and minding my own business, plugging away at the independent games shop I work at now, I am suddenly pulled into the black hole that is my friends' curiosity. Three friends, none of whom have ever played 2nd edition, are now curious to give this game a try. Of course, I am completely happy to oblige, and have generously offered my house, terrain, and rulebooks for a game that will occur this Wednesday.
This will be me and my friends.
Here's the set-up: There will be four players organized into two teams of 2000 points (1000 points each). Myself and Gopaul will control the enigmatic eldar (he will bring Harlequins), and Sam and Kiel will control the stalwart Imperium (Ultramarines and the Inquisition). We're treating the army selection a little differently than rules as written (RAW). To facilitate my friend's Grey Knights army (which has been a legit army for four editions) we're going to allow the Imperial Agents army to be it's own army instead of purely an allied force. So 0-50% Characters, 25%+ Squads, and 0-50% Vehicles. Each side will be one 2000 point force.

I'll insist that we use Mission and Strategy Cards (we'll of course be removing "Virus Outbreak"), and that the Mission Card for each side is drawn randomly. I toyed with the idea of keeping the missions secret, but "Guerrilla War" is kind of hard to do that without tipping one's hand, so we'll announce them after we've drawn them. I'm vetoing Virus grenades, but not Vortex grenades, 'cause they're fun, and Virus grenades really aren't. We'll also be using the Dark Millennium victory charts, the full psychic phase rules, and only playing four turns (not three or five as per the random table).

So what will I expect? I really don't know. The last time I seriously looked at 2nd edition was a decade ago, and while I've toyed with the idea of playing it again during that period, it's never gone further than taking the Dark Millennium box off the shelf and giggling over the psychic cards. I'll tell you a couple things, though: I'm looking forward to the psychic phase, and I am not looking forward to the close-combat phase.

As a 12-year old when 3rd edition came out I lamented that they could've done the transition better. I had this genius idea that they should've just kept 2nd edition the way it was, but use the 3rd edition close combat and bike rules, toned-down characters, and used the Warhammer Fantasy Battle 6th edition magic dice mechanic for the psychic phase and BAM! It would've been the perfect miniatures game. This, of course, is just reinforcing the fact that I hate the 2nd edition close-combat mechanics (outside of Necromunda, and Gorkamorka, of course).

So you must all be curious as to what I'll be taking. Here's my list:
1 Farseer (laspistol, rune armor, seer runes, Eldar spirit stones) - 220
1 Exarch (laspistol, exarch armor, firepike, fast shot) - 100
1 Exarch (laspistol, exarch armor, mandiblaster helmet, chainsword, shuriken pistol, fighting fury) - 59
4 Fire Dragons (meltaguns, laspistols, fire dragon aspect armor) - 112
4 Striking Scorpions (shuriken pistols, chainswords, mandiblasters, striking scorpion aspect armor) - 104
16 Guardians (lasguns, mesh armor) - 176
1 Falcon Grav Tank (pulse laser, heavy plasma gun, twin-linked shuriken catapults, targeters) - 228
Total: 999
The whole shebang.

Guardians with lasguns?! Getouttaheeeere!


Fire Dragons

Striking Scorpions

Looks like I got some painting ahead of me. I'll post a battle report next week replete with pictures!