Darron and I got together at our usual haunt, Ancient Wonders, to get in our first ever game of Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition. Now our group is not big on 40K preferring Warhammer Fantasy (and a whole host of other games besides) over it. However, we do have a sort of love/hate relationship with GW and we love the 40K background so we still keep up with it to some extent.
Really 40K isn't a bad game, it can be pretty fun. Sure it has some bizarre rules and a lot of the mechanics are dumb, but if you stop worrying about depth and just try to have fun it's actually a decent game. To be perfectly honest, the main reason that 40K has such a bad rep is that a good portion of the players are frankly idiots. Yep, I said it, morons, boobs, simpeltons, etc. And that's not even considering all the asshats. More often then not they fit the bad gamer stereotype to a T.
Our little FLGS has the same problem. I won't name names but suffice to say that there is at least two players who fall into one or more (actually all) of the following categories:
a) Cheaters - Either on purpose or out of ignorance
b) Unclean - I'm talking guys who would make Papa Nurgle proud. Allergic to both soap and water.
c) Obnoxious - And I don't mean just loud, but loud, know-it-all (they really really don't of course) and just plain crass. Not to mention having absoluetly no shame.
d) Powergamers/Poor sports - The degree of win at all costs players who play 40K is staggering, the concept of fun for both players is completely lost on these guys.
I'm sure I could come up with a lot more but that's good enough to convey my point. Frankly we try very hard to not associate ourselves with these guys. That may sound snobish or elitist, but frankly if you met them in real life, you'd likely make the same tough choice we have.
At any rate, enough of my tirade. Here are my impressions from our first game keeping in mind that I played maybe 30 games of 4th edition.
First of all, the only major change is true line of sight (more on this later), all the other changes, while for the better, really didn't require a new edition of the game. They all could have easily been wrapped up in a nice PDF for download from the main GW site or as a White Dwarf article. But lets face it, 40K is GWs cash cow and they are going to milk it for all it's worth.
Second, the big change of true line of sight is just simply retarted. Now granted, 4th editions bizarre area terrain size system was seriously dumb, but true line of sight is just as dumb and far more prone to argument. At least with 4th edition you and your opponent could agree on terrain sizes prior to a match, but now with "true line of sight" you can potentially end up arguing over a lot of shots. Now gentlemen gamers are generally going to have no problem with this rule, but you may recall my little bad-40K-player list above to see the glaring hole here.
As to the game itself, it was a very fun 1500 point match between Darrons Necrons and my Space Marines using the Seize Ground mission with the Spearhead deployment option. I must say that I really like the new mission and deployment system a lot and I think it brings a much needed level of variety to the game, well that is if players actually use it. Our regular 40K bad boys have been simpy ignoring it for standard annihilation battles. That's gonna end up biting them in the ass in the end but that's their problem.
I had a solid victory against Darron which honestly surprised me but it does show another of the problems with 40K. Space Marines, while beatable, are a very tough army that is very forgiving. This has fostered the joke, "You brought Marines? OK, you win". It has a grain of truth to it (though just a grain) but, like 40K itself, Space Marines are a cash cow representing a huge portion of sales for the system. GW is never going to bite the hand(s) that feed them in this regard.