[Confessions of an English Zombie Fancier] A Momentary Lapse Of Reason


This is all your fault, you slurping insult to the laws of nature and the principles of human decency!

(Well, it’s not all your fault. The chaps pushing their 40Kmens around on the next table down from me at the CWG the other night, they’re also to blame. So’s my old mate Ben of Necron battle report fame. So’s that chap Bobo who writes the really witty battle reports on the Warhammer Forum. I’m choosing to assume that you made them do it with alien mind control rays or something, though, ’cause everything’s your fault.)

I’m starting to look at Games Workshop’s stuff again.

Every so often I look across at a 40K table. I see the towering, pinnacled Gothic structures; the Imperial Knight striding among them, level with the tallest windows; the flyers hanging in the air overhead; the swarm of infantry scurrying in the shadows; I see all this and I see what Games Workshop are trying to do.

Every so often, Ben can’t help but tell me about this time that his

Every so often, I become… somewhat frustrated… with Warmahordes. It’s not that I don’t like Warmahordes. It’s that Warmahordes is… well, let me quote you something from a fellow on the Warhammer Forum’s Warmachine board. He has trouble with the big words and the punctuation and so on, but I don’t think he’s wrong:

The problem with the whole net listing ‘only this milkshake brings the boys to the yard’ is that it reinforces an old mentality, mainly carried over from other games that if you are not using the most optermised list, you are at a unrecoverable disadvantage. This is just rubbish for Warmachine/Hordes.

Seriously, unless you are a) Playing 10+ games a week, b) Done this in a competative meta for several years c) Learn each stat, rule, its permatations and potential combos…. guess what? Taking the most optimal list isn’t really going to matter as much as the above. It only matters when you are in the top ten percent and its these very tiny variances which matter.

Sorry for the rant but this is why we are starting to see Warmachine & Hordes tail off. People pushing the same lists against each other, getting bored, and then going off because they feel they need to have 3 masters winning lists to even have a fun game.

Its probably why also this forum is now pretty empty. How many times can you discuss the points of Hayley 2 and a Storm Wall for example?

Beyond that, Warmahordes is… unforgiving. I don’t ever find myself getting lost in the action. There are moments of excitement, but they are tense “oooh, who’s going to win? can I roll the right NUMBERS?” moments rather than “oh my god THAT WAS SO COOL” moments, which is weird given that when I first started Warmachine, it was ‘that game where Dreadnoughts wrestle and throw each other around the board’. The thing is that doing that fun stuff involves more dealing with mechanics, in a game that’s already awash with mechanics, and… things very seldom just happen in a cool way. You have all this agency but you have to tip-toe through the intricately-worded systems to do much with it.

So every now and then I occasionally end up with itchy fingers and the desire to maybe just… you know… do a spot of GW-gaming again.

Here are a few of the half-baked ideas I’d vaguely consider involving myself in.

1) Dark Elves

I know that we’ve been here before, all right, but it still rankles that my old Dark Elf army – the one with the big units of Executioners and Witch Elves – is suddenly le turd incendiére, as they don’t say across the Channel or, indeed, anywhere. Dark Elves appeal to that part of me that likes the clinical, the flexible, and the just plain brutal. Does anyone remember the sandwich story? I was asked what I wanted in my sandwich when someone was doing a run from GW Plymouth to the awesome sandwich place down the road, and absent-mindedly said “anything with meat in it. Something that used to be alive. I want to taste its suffering.”

Apparently this makes you a natural Dark Elf player.

Anyway, I feel that a multiple-small-units Dark Elf army wouldn’t exactly break the universe in two. One of these would do for starters:

Plus some Executioners and Witch Elves and Warlocks and fun stuff. That’s assuming I couldn’t get my old army back somehow.
2) Space Wolves/Orks
For £100, this is just… cruel and unusual punishment.
Space Wolves are among my least unfavourite Space Marines (sensible recruitment and training policy, distinguishable personalities, very human flaws, FUCKING VIKINGS IN SPACE); Orks are, of course, a perennial favourite. You can’t take life too seriously when you play Orks. Plus they have things like that amazing gun that pulls Flyers out of the sky, and big lumbering uber-dreadnoughts. And they actually make me want to convert things, even now when their range is more or less filled in. And there’s a mini-rulebook in this set. It’s… tempting.
3) Daemons
Given how seldom I’d actually be playing GW games, and how it’s usually an “in town with some old mates, let’s bust out for third game this year” affair, I sort of feel that a daemonic incursion fits. They’re not supposed to happen every other week; they’re supposed to feel like a big deal, something out of the ordinary. Something like me actually playing 40K or WFB in the first place.
They’re certainly colourful and varied. We know of old how I feel about Chaos. They are, crucially to a man without much wealth in his pocket, able to pull double-duty and be playable in both GW games with a bit of work (I’m sure someone would get snotty about round bases in a movement tray, but I couldn’t care less, I’m not in this to play games with snotrags; shake hands, “good game”, walk away, lesson learned). Some of my favourite models – the Lord of Change, the Great Unclean One, the Soulgrinder – appear in the army. They look… spectacular, and weird.
The conversion choice. I quite fancy doing either Word Bearers or daemon-corrupted Black Templars with Cult bolt-ons (going back to this fanfiction that I wrote about fifteen years ago which you really don’t need to hear about right now), using this book that gives me an excuse to field Possessed in numbers (yes, I know; no, I don’t care) with a hard core of Plague Marines and a couple of scratch-built Obliterators and breathe, Von, breathe. This option gets me all excited about ramming Possessed and Black Templar gubbins together to build the core of the army, too; always a plus.
Tell me he wouldn’t make an awesome fallen Emperor’s Champion. I dares ya. Could build very nicely out of a Dark Vengeance set, with the Dark Angel Tacticals pressed into service as Fallen Angels…
Anyway, that’s what’s rattling around in my noggin at the moment. Not being made of money, I doubt any of this will see the light of day, but it’s nice to dream, don’t you think?

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