Wednesday, 24 September 2014

End of an era

This time 6 months ago I was running, with my fellow DOG team mates, a successful 76 man tournament. Yesterday I found myself putting my entire collection onto eBay. This was a moment of great sadness. Not because I was selling my collection, but because I didn’t overly care that I was selling my collection. How has it come to this? I have been playing 40k for 16 years why now?

The story so far….

So I started Warhammer a while back when a friend of mine got me into it. At that time I was a young whipper snapper buying tyranids and spending my £20 paper round money every week building up my tyranid and Chaos armies.

It was with the release of 3rd edition 40k and shortly after 5th edition fantasy (I think!) that really got me into gaming, spending Thursday nights down games workshop with what turned out to be my closest friend (Luke may refer to his initiation period about this time. This is due to Rich’s apparent need to test peoples resolve before actually befriending them)

Initially there was a large group of us regulars that has slowly whittled down over the years to the five of us best friends. We were still casual gamers we went to the GT and to mayhem because we loved spending weekends together doing things we enjoyed.

We really got into tournament gaming country wide after Luke came back from uni. We all started going to tournaments all over the country rather than just the GT Events and Mayhem. 5th edition was the height we all placed well and were all top 16 on rankings HQ at one point or the other.

6th edition

This is really a totally odd one really but I believe that this was the beginning of the end. Considering this was also the beginning of Death or Glory this seems a bit ridiculous but bear with me.

The hype around 6th was also surrounded with negativity. Allies? Random psychic powers? Flyers? Flying monstrous creatures? For me and the guys looking back although we debated them, we didn’t think they would be game defying… Turns out I was wrong.

In this time we built the podcast up to 1500 hits, modest in comparison to 40kuk but as well as the blog which hit at about 600 hits per article, we felt a lot of satisfaction on how it was going.

The issue was as 6th carried on the following became apparent lack of thought when it came to core game rules

The first codex’s out were I think brilliant. They weren’t over powered, they got the balance right and as stand-alone codex’s they were great. Then we got two abhorrent codexes. Tau and Eldar were just too good, ridiculous combinations started occurring. Codexes started to be able to ally with themselves there was ridiculous rules (farsight allying with normal tau?), the Heldrake was turned into a must take unit with the introduction of making them a turret and made it so chaos armies had no chaos space marines in the army…. This didn’t make sense… but that what we got. Dark Eldar and Eldar were best friends, as well as Tau and space marines (how is this fluffy) Necrons and inquisition, chaos and necrons….. No thought at all.

This bred what I came to hate. The death star. Beaststar, farsight bomb, o’vesa star. I used a beast pack and one farseer in my dark eldar army. If I got fortune the opponent had almost certainly already lost.

Games were often decided on the roll to go first, that was how Death or Glory 1 was decided. Match-up hammer was also exaggerated. I knew with Dark Eldar if I’d win or lose depending on the army I faced not by who I was playing. Ridiculous.

The first to lose interest was Ru. Ru had won his tournament against a very tough group and when 6th came out just no longer had the heart for it. The rest of us went to tournaments, but then my second hate came to the fore. Timing out games.

6th led to people stalling with armies like necrons who would almost be guaranteed a turn 5 win due to their flyer transports. I lost out at the GT Final to 3 opponents timing me out turn 5. If I’d been overpowered or diced fair play, but to lose to what is effectively cheating? That is frustrating.

But then the nail in the coffin for me was the inquisition codex. This for me confirmed that games-workshop were no longer to be reasoned with. A new detachment that you could use with allies… ok not unreasonable. This was followed with… formations outside the detachment scope, super heavies over powered and did not belong in a skirmish game, formations of fortifications.

The skirmish game we loved turned in a short period of 6 months into a game that no-one knew what it was. Suddenly tournaments had to comp or they’d get a player who had the primary detachment with only a couple of models.

That for me was the end a game that had no balanced rule set and no FAQ’s to correct anything. This wasn’t about the gaming experience anymore. It was about money.

After the death or glory tournament I knew my interest had almost totally evaporated, the last hoorah which was mayhem compounded it. I came 2nd and 3rd but I was more excited to see BJ than to play warhammer…. This wasn’t right.

7th edition

This was the culmination of what I hated about the new hobby. What I loved about the hobby when I was younger was going into games workshop with my 1750 points and asking who wants a game? All that mattered was the points and the board. Now however it’s impossible to do that, games have to be comped so much that it’s impossible to ‘just have a game’ with someone new.

This has also led to tournaments suffering. The only tournament to have the same interest as before is Caledonian uprising (good job Tim). Before if people had 8 tournaments they could pretty much use the same army for every one of them. Now each army is probably very different as well as the rules in each one. How can this be right?


So I’m out. My models are on eBay and soon I’ll have nothing, only the memories of great times ruined in 6 months of corporate stupidity. There could have been a solution to keep a structured game. That however has finished. This is probably the last post on this blog and the end of Death or Glory as we know it. From me it has been amazing writing my thoughts up over the years and having people listening read and disagree with what I say.

What am I doing now? Bloodbowl computer games and being old I guess! Will I miss 40k? Yes but for what it was and not for what it has become

Love and kisses



  1. Such a shame. Only really got back into gaming around 6th ed. Been painting on and off since 3rd ed. Not really played much in the height of it all with you lot and only really got to know you recently. Have really enjoyed it and seeing you and the rest of the gang over the last year or so.

  2. this is Andy Pattison here, used to play each other fairly regularly in tournaments during 5th. i am hearing this from so many people. i had the same experience as well, but barely even got into 6th. while i didn't sell that much (i never really had that much beyond masses of guard anyway), i haven't played in going on for two years. such a shame to see such a great game go so badly downhill so fast.
    now i play X-Wing every week (and at lots of tournaments) in a thriving and growing community to rival that of 5th ed 40k, so all is not lost.

  3. I feel similar, I'm attending caladonian uprising this year but it's more just for the quality of the event and to see people than to seriously play 40k. Like you said allies were the thin edge of the wedge any as a game system it's gone to the dogs. I've pretty much moved to bolt action now as it's shenanigans free for the mist part.

  4. Hi mate it is a great shame I've gone the same way too and the poor old x legion tournaments are dead. Maybe one day GW will get it right again but I fear it may be too late. I'm getting into Napoleonics!? Just need to convince everyone else to do the same :) lol its a great shame because I met alot of cool people playing 40k and its sad that its all over! I wont forget my morph suit hug though! Lol :)

  5. Yeah it boggles my mind that GW can release games with great quality/crystal clear action/reaction based rule sets like Space Hulk. Yet fail so hard with 40k again, and again and again

    If you enjoy the poor quality blood bowl computer game you should check out FUMBBL, not only is the client free with great match making and online leagues. But it actually has a more accurate implementation of the rules and great features (like reconnecting after losing connection mid game, runs on PC/Mac/Linux, etc). The communities decent too.

  6. I still play 2nd ed D&D regularly and even played 2nd ed 40k in the last 6 months.

    Maybe what you needed wasn't to sell your stuff and quit but to get a tournament running in an older edition. It wouldn't be the first time people kept playing older rules and it won't be the last either.

    Look up 'Oldhammer' and you'll see there's many people still playing older editions and celebrating older forms of GWs style.