Getting back into 40k – Old Friends, New Game.

By: Kitbasha Jay

This weekend I took a little trip out east of Toronto for the wedding of a good friend of mine from childhood. It was a beautiful ceremony and I’m so glad to see such a good friend of mine finally with someone who makes him happy. I had such a great time and I think everyone else who attended also had a spectacular day.

The reason this is relevant is because, since I was in Oshawa, I was unable to do any hobby work. But the great thing about this hobby is that it follows us where ever we go. Even if we don’t have our miniatures with us. So stay with my while I give you guys a little back story to set the mood for this post.

I met this friend back when we were in grade 9. His name is Andrew and we met one day when I was at the Scarborough Games Workshop location playing some pick up games. I was with another good friend of mine names Darrin who happened to take math class with Andrew. So we hung out for a bit and when we got back to school we began to become good friends. In other words, it was the game that brought us together in the first place.

Andrew and I came up through the school of hard knocks together. We stayed friends through girlfriends, part time jobs, parents splitting up, and a whole lot more growing pains. There were times when we dropped the game and got back into it. But it was the game that brought us together in the first place.

Eventually, once I got into my twenties, I got a job at the same store we had met. He used to drive out and play games while I worked my shift and then we would ride back home together. There was usually a blunt involved but we always had great conversations and our friendship, though started through 40k, was much deeper than just pushing toy soldiers around together.

Both of us are now living on complete opposite ends of the Greater Toronto Area. He is living in Courtice and myself in Etobicoke. We still make an effort to get together every few months and catch each other up on our lives. It was beautiful watching my only remaining friend from high school get married.

So now that you’ve heard the history it’s time to get to the point. Due to life getting in the way, as it always does, he has been out of the game for some time. With the new edition of 40k out it’s an exciting time to get back in. Especially since the last couple editions were so difficult for not just new players but also for those that have been out of the hobby for so long and are trying to get back in.

I have noticed as being a member of the Hogtown 40k gaming club that a lot of our new membership are guys getting back into the game after many years of being dissatisfied with the state of the game. So thank you Games Workshop for finally creating a user friendly gaming system.

Anyway, while I was hanging out with my old friend the night before his wedding day he expressed an interest in getting back into the game after many years of not playing. I mean he stopped playing back in like 4th edition. So it’s as good a time as any to jump back in.

So how do we get a friend back into the game? What advice do we give them? I’m sure many of you out there have a similar situation. There are those of us that have seen the game evolve over time and now that the new edition is here all our old buddies are coming out of the woodworks wanting to play again. So how do we as friends help them get back into it?

The first item that Games Workshop has gifted us with is the rulebook. It used to be that when someone expressed interest in the game we hit them in the face with a massive tomb and said “read this”. Now all we have to do is show them the 8 pages of rules for the game and they can start playing the new Warhammer 40,000 in an afternoon. Thanks GW!

The second item is the new Datasheets. The Codex was another massive book we had to throw at our friends that were interested in getting back into the game. There is still codeces slowly being released as we speak but we no longer have to navigate these ridiculous books like we once did. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have to flip back and forth through various sections of the book in order to find the rules for whatever unit it was I was trying to play.

Now all of the rules for a unit, for the most part, are included in their data sheet. This makes it super easy for both new players to the game and players that have been out of it so long that they don’t know where to start. Now you can just grab some models, take a look at the data sheet and start playing in a day. Once again, thank you GW!

The final item that seems to come up when either getting a friend back into the game or bringing someone in for the first time is “What army should I play?” In 7th edition if someone has asked me this I would have probably answered “play whatever models you like the look of”. Which was probably not the best advice since so many people were playing ridiculously cheesy formations and units that started to put fluff players, like myself, to shame.

Now in 8th edition my answer to that question would be the same as it was then. In this edition however, this is actually good advice. It seems that from my experience so far in this new edition that pretty much any army can be as formidable and competitive as any other. Yet another way that Games Workshop has opened up the hobby to people who actually want to play this game for the right reasons.

So if you have an old friend that is thinking about getting back into 40k, or even a friend that wants to start playing for the first time, you should let them know that it is easier than ever to play 40k. Finally has Games Workshop created a balanced game where people win on tactical prowess instead of just buying whatever’s the new hotness. For these reasons, it should be easier than ever to get an old friend back into the hobby. So to my best friend Andrew, if you’re reading this, jump back in buddy. The water is warm. Welcome back.

Until our next Encounter!

2 thoughts on “Getting back into 40k – Old Friends, New Game.

  1. I also think it’s a fantastic time for brand new players like myself to get into the hobby. The rule set is easy enough for anyone to pick up and play but there is still the opportunity for a lot of complexity in your lists. After only a few games you feel like you know what you’re doing. And it’s allowed me to have very competitive games against veterans of many previous editions. Love 8th edition. Bees Knees.

  2. Yeah, gotta agree here: simple core rules, universal re-balance of armies at release, support for narrative play, and GW’s commitment to update rules and points to maintain relative balance. These are the highlights of 8th.

    I hope the sentiment is similar when we look back in a year or two.

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