Wednesday, March 2, 2011

40K for Newbies: Remembering how it all began

Huntsville has had a large gaming crowd for as long as I've been here. We've consistently been home to players considered top in the world for many CCGs, including Magic: the Gathering, SW:CCG, ST:CCG, and LOTR:TCG. When I started playing 40K a little over 3 years ago, I had no idea exactly how many miniature wargamers the community had, but I soon found out: we have a ton.

The biggest problem in Huntsville, however has been a lack of a place to play. Lots of people just set up games at their homes or get access to the 1 or 2 tables at the local HobbyTown. Recently, however, the owner of The Deep, our local comic and CCG shop, has widened his stock to include miniatures and is now allowing some games to be set up in his store.

What this means is more exposure and an influx of new players for the most popular games (Warmachine, 40k, Fantasy). Talking with some of these newer players last night I realized just how different things are for me now that I am very well established in the game. It's easy to take large point values for granted. What I got to thinking about was how to adapt what I've learned for teaching newer players and to make their experiences as they increase in points all the more awesome.

I remember starting with 1000 point games, as many armies are just too inflexible or expensive to run at only 500 points and still use the FOC. Still, this is the points value that many players first get to rolling their dice on, and it's good to figure out what works at each points level.

For instance, I have a strong feeling that Mech Eldar can work very well at the 1000 point range. You can easily field 4 grav tanks (2 wave serpents, 2 prisms) and a few vypers and really have a nicely balanced force. This army is much more effective at the limited points level where its efficient vehicles can really shine.

So what I am going to be doing as I work up my new Grey Knights army is grow with them, but emphasize the importance of army planning, list building, and tactics the whole way. I figure I can use my vast space marine collection to set up some proxy games and allow these newer players to explore how they would like to expand their armies as well.

I don't quite have EVERY option available to space marines, but I do have most. I'm a little light on jumpers and scouts, but am rock solid on most other things. I even have stuff set up to use multiple codices, so I should really be able to help these guys out. It looks like it will be a lot of fun.

I've decided that for the first bit of 500 points I'll probably be using Eldar. They have several viable tactics at 500 points and once removed from their wave serpents will be relatively easy for opponents to defeat. It'll help reinforce the need for anti-transport and suppression weaponry as well as show how durable a squad gets when thrown in some armored transports.

I could see the store setting up 1000 point tournaments that would be fun and fast-paced. It'd be awesome to get through a game in an hour and run a 4-round tournament in under 5 hours. I think such an environment would do a lot to helping even veteran players develop their deployment, list building, and time management skills.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's a great idea to get more people into the hobby! My problem starting out was that there was so much that you had to do to get started. Smaller point games would help people get in and playing faster, and even something like Kill Zone would be a great way to get people started.

    Keep up the good work!



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