Rediscovering Warhammer 40,000

This blog started in 2010, with me talking about some heavy weapons for my Imperial Guard army.  Since then, I've finished that army and around three or four years ago I got thoroughly disillusioned with Games Workshop and discovered the joys of historical gaming.  I kept playing the odd patrol clash game, but otherwise pretty much focussed entirely on historicals since that fateful day.

But recently, I've rediscovered the joys of Games Workshop and even gone so far as to buy some models.  When I gave up GW, I said I might still use old models and home brew rules to play small scale games.  But recently, a friend mentioned Shadow War - it's basically everything I liked about GW.  Nice, small action-packed games, with few models required.  The rules feel quite a lot like Necromunda, with the same 'knocked down - stunned - dead' injury system.  It's readily compatible with campaign systems and injury charts from those days.

I particularly liked the fact that the rules weren't released with a flurry of expensive new shiny models, and the squad options didn't have loads of fancy heavy weapons.  No, you just got a squad of blokes with slightly more options - a bit like Veteran Squads in the old codex.  You can see in some of the pictures that it was the perfect chance to use my old Valhallan Kill Team.

It's also led me to starting up old projects in new scales.  I recently mentioned that I'd be doing an Epic army in 6mm (more to follow on this).  It was a reminder that the fluff, the universe and the setting were all viable - I just didn't like the scale.  By switching to 6mm figures, I could suddenly collect models on a much wider scale, which is the same discovery I made when I stopped buying 28mm historicals and moved on to smaller scales.

Playing a few games of this has made me realise what I've been missing.  I still don't like - and can't afford - most of the shinier new stuff GW pump out.  But playing these little skirmish games has let me rediscover the childhood joy of playing little missions with good mates.  I won't be switching the focus of the blog away from historicals any time soon - but perhaps I'll be playing one or two more of these games in the future.

Anyway!  Here are some pictures of my recent 40K rediscovery - some Grey Knight Terminators, as well as some shots from our enjoyable and dramatic game of Shadow War.

Grey Knights Terminator Squad

I got myself this Grey Knight Terminator Squad as a treat to celebrate leaving the Army.

Behold!  The glowy ball of doom!



Additional terminators...

Shadow War - Guard vs. Guard
My brave kill team, advancing unto the unknown...

Kerysian Special Troopers await them.  This sniper gave me no end of trouble!

Dan's lovingly-painted Forgeworld grav troopers

So nice to dig out some of this terrain again!

A small 4x4 board gives endless opportunities for fun, at a fraction of the cost in time and money.

They shift closer, despite the thudding of the heavy bolter...

Cover is everything in Shadow War, which encourages tactical play.

Pinned down, one trooper makes a dash for the Valhallan stronghold with a demo-charge...
His friends give covering fire from behind a barricade...

Dodging las-bolts from the roof, he gets closer...

Only to be shot down at the last second!
It was such a tense and dramatic game, and reminded me of all the good bits of 40K.


  1. Great post- I too have amibvalence about GW for everything I love about it all there is something that I hate... still skirmishing in 28mm would prove to be fairly affordable.

    Congrats on leavingthe army too. What regiment did you serve in?



    1. Thanks Pete - it was what got me into wargaming, so I can never really forget it I suppose. Affordability and portability are becoming more important in my games.

      Thanks! I was Int Corps for ten years. Now searching for a new way to fund my wargaming habit.

  2. Good to hear. You need some alternative factions, perhaps. 'Stealer cultists or similar.

    1. Thanks mate. I've seen some of those Stealer models, and they look beautiful...

  3. Good to see you enjoying SW:A! I love the game for the same reasons. Especially as I still have oodles of old 40K figs that I can utilise for most of the factions in the game.
    Your Grey Knights look great. Nice to see you painting 28mm sci-fi again.

    One thing I will add though, SW:A plays best with loads of terrain that offers multi-level/floor options.

    1. Cheers mate! I think that was my favourite part, that you're expected to use your existing collection. Of course, if they'd released some expensive shiny models you could always ignore them, but it was nice for the rules to not feel like a vehicle for selling models.

      Agreed regards the terrain - just like Necromunda and Mordheim, and I'd go so far as to say it helps Patrol Clash and small 40K games come to life too. Nothing like falling twenty stories from an improbably rickety gantry!

  4. Lovely! The kill team level games really allow for awesome models and great narratives, the best parts of gaming in my opinion. Good stuff, man!

    1. Thanks mate. Yep, every now and again I just need to look back and rediscover what it was I loved about the whole thing. There will be more to follow!

    2. I just bought Shadow War, myself, having gotten back into Games Workshop in the past month. Of course, the day I go to pick it up, GW announces Kill Team for release later this year. Sigh.

  5. Oh brilliant! I got into Shadow war for the same reasons. I really enjoyed it. I am thinking of buying the book before it disappears with kill teams inbound.
    Joined the ranks of the ex-military gamers I see. Congrats. ; )

    1. It's worth getting I think, I'll be interested to see what Kill Team looks like but SW 'feels' very much like the Inquisimunda games my brother and I made up on rainy Saturdays when we were kids.


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