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Regular Dakkanaut






Frontline gaming held a podcast talking about whether they think 40K is entering a new golden age. See the link the episode below.

https://www.frontlinegaming.org/2021/03/30/chapter-tactics-199-are-we-entering-a-new-golden-age-of-40k/

I thought it was an interesting listen, and came away with more thoughts and questions afterward - which I'll share below as some conversation openers.

(#1)
There was an initial hint at talking about earlier golden ages ("growth phases") in the game, but not really much discussion of that other than references to 5th edition landing at a time when lots of new players hopped on board the game (towards the end of 5th).

(#2)
I thought the comment that many 40k'ers fall into two camps - (a) "old guard" that started way back (1st or 2nd edition) and stuck through to today and the (b) "new crew" that are people that either came with the release of 8th edition (and never played the "classic version"). They hinted at another group that were players that got in towards the end of 5th, and "suffered through 6th & 7th" and thus really welcomed the changes in 8th edition.

I think when a given person jumped into the hobby has a big impact on their outlook and jades whether the current era is a "golden age" or not. It's all relative to your past experience.

(#3)
What a golden age even is was a topic of discussion. It mostly came down to three broad angles. The first is that a golden age is a statistical phenomena when, ideally, all factions have win-rates that fall within a certain bound (+/- 3% from 50% or so). The second was framing it in terms of periods when lots of new players were coming into the the game. The third angle regarded the game providing a breadth of ways to experience the 40K universe - whether competitive play, casual, campaigns/RPGs, amazing miniatures to paint, lots of lore being published, etc.

I do think all of those are important to driving sustained engagement - and GW overall seems to have a relatively coherent plan for bringing in players and making money.

(#4)
I was surprised about how little was discussed in terms of the actual rules and gameplay however. Whereas I agree generally with the metrics above being important and being, perhaps, strengths of the game right now - the state of the core rules and gameplay depth (as we've discussed here at length) seems to be shallower now than compared to earlier editions, and there really wasn't much discussion of whether the actual table-level play is any better/worse now than in the past. Would've liked to hear that discussed more.

For me, I think if we're moving into a golden age it's because of all of the things influencing the market other than the rules themselves. The quality and consistency of models is going up (with the exception of a few ranges that need an overhaul still), the amount of content creation going on is increasing, the amount of marketing and cross-selling (i.e. "good" GW-IP videogames) bringing in players, etc. How much of these successes are actually a function of the rules themselves and it being a "better game" supporting growing engagement?

(#5)
I think 40K is having success despite the rules and gameplay (being poor IMHO), not because of it. All the other factors swirling around the gameplay itself is contributing to it's current perceived success. And so for me, we can't have a golden age when the core gameplay is lackluster. I'd reserve the "golden age" nomenclature for when the gameplay itself was really singing, and for me that was probably late 4th through mid-5th edition.

Maybe we can instead make the case we're entering a renaissance (after the dark age of 6th & 7th ed)?







This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/04/08 17:07:10


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I have been playing since the very beginning of fifth (played a couple games of fourth but actually bought my first army with the AOBR box set in fifth.) and by the end of fifth, was a major person helping to run a comparatively pretty large playerbase. I'm in an area where you're absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to places to play - there's easily 4 game stores within an hour/hour and a half of where I live that have decent 40k communities, with a few coming and going over the years.

I would 100% focus on the size and ubiquity of the playerbase and the dominance of 'alternatives to 40k' games.

I would characterize the following ebb and flow:

Throughout fifth, pretty much a golden age. 40k is a dominant game in every store in my area, you could go to any of the locations on their respective game nights and find 5-10 games of 40k going on.

6th the primary source of decline is the golden age of WMH as an alternative wargame. Basically, this was the first time I started to see large numbers of people starting to play the role of "Game Leech" where they come into a given playgroup and try to convince the people there that the game they are playing sucks, the rules are trash, the models are bad, the tactics are bad, and what they should REALLY be playing is the game THEY want to play.

The release of 7th and the '7.0' codexes actually woke the 40k scene back up quite a bit. People liked the freedom from the miserable flyer/aegis defense line meta, people liked the new alternate ways to construct a list, people joined in because early formations let them play "their dudes" in ways that they hadnt been allowed to in a long long time.

The second decline in late 7th was almost exactly the same as in the heyday of WMH, but for 30k. And it was even more dominant and even more effective at leeching from the 40k player pool because often, you could use some of the miniatures you already had. 30k claimed the most dedicated, longtime hobbyists who were extremely bought in to their 40k miniature collections, and interestingly, that helped to create the 8th ed launch surge.

The 8th ed launch surge was, personally, the biggest acceleration of playbase size and healthiness in the time I've been playing. A HUGE number of brand new players joined in, and with a large chunk of the people who had 5000-10000 points of stuff removed to 30k, they didn't feel like they had to spend a ton of money to get in. Accessible starter boxes, start collecting boxes, and board games also helped create this explosion - we had an escalation league at my store, and 2 dozen new or returning players showed up to start new collections, basically doubling our numbers overnight.

The state of 9th is basically a huge question mark at this point. The pandemic has shut down organized gaming basically in its entirety, and we're right on the cusp of things coming back. Will there be a new player surge as people get to come out of the house for the first time post-vaccination? I don't know. Maybe. We certainly have a ton of folks active on our discord that I've never met in person, if even half of them convert to bodies in the store, we'll be at higher than our pre-pandemic numbers.

"I can't believe all these tryhard WAACs out there just care about winning all the time when it's supposed to be a game for fun!!!!!!! Also here's my 27 page essay on why marines are OP and Orkz should get a bunch of OP rules so I can win more games

-the_scotsman"

-ERJAK 
   
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 Mezmorki wrote:
Frontline gaming held a podcast talking about whether they think 40K is entering a new golden age.

I don't think it is, I think sometimes content creators are pushed towards being hypemen, that is probably my bias, I am perfectly willing to accept their critisism but their praise I find dubious.

#1 #2 They also talked about 8th edition. I don't think there is anything weird about saying 1st, 5th and 8th were the big growth editions for 40k.

#3 I think a golden age would be one where people don't get derided for their army list choices, I don't think 40k has ever come really close to that, but there have been some super bad periods in the game that make the more mundane periods feel like golden ages. In reality the game was not much better than any other game, just good enough to not be worth quitting and popular enough that it is easier to find players for compared to other game systems.

#4 I think Reece touched on it with bloat, something that makes learning and getting good at the game less fun. Streamlined rules have to be part of a golden age, I think not turning the game into tic-tac-toe is obvious but think the majority of these players simply love the new style of play, they helped shape it, it's not weird. GW is catering to them to a larger degree than you because they've proven their skill at hosting tournaments and helping host a ranking system.

For me, I think if we're moving into a golden age it's because of all of the things influencing the market other than the rules themselves. The quality and consistency of models is going up (with the exception of a few ranges that need an overhaul still), the amount of content creation going on is increasing, the amount of marketing and cross-selling (i.e. "good" GW-IP videogames) bringing in players, etc. How much of these successes are actually a function of the rules themselves and it being a "better game" supporting growing engagement?

On first blush, I don't think these factor into a golden age but I guess I did have Dawn of War around the time I joined. I think it's more about having hobby groups available where you can have games with strangers.

#5 I agree more or less, I didn't think 5th was that amazing, the formations were too loose and the game lacked dinosaurs.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/11 05:30:39


 
   
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I started in 2nd.

We're not yet in a balance golden age, but I think we heading that direction.

Gameplay? People who think 5th ( or 2nd/3rd ) was better are wearing rose tinted glasses. We are fortunate that we didn't have the same level of analysis and discussion back then as we do now. There's still gameplay changes I'd like to see so also not a golden age, but heading the right way.

   
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If someone is discussing a 'golden age' while its theoretically happening, it isn't worth listening to, as they don't understand the concept. A golden age is pretty much just nostalgia via historical writing, the idea that things were 'so much better' back 'then.'

For 9th edition 40k, the edition has barely started, only a handful of factions have been updated, the power scale isn't clear, and actual games played is still fairly suppressed. People need to take a pound of salt and wait to see how things work out.

Maybe in a year we'll have a vague idea if this edition is even on track to being reasonable.



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Talking about a golden age when most armies don't have an updated codex, and when we're already seeing significant codex creep even in the few that have been released, to the point that early releases like Necrons and even to some extent Space Marines are already starting to look dated...yeah.
   
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Spoiler:
Voss wrote:
If someone is discussing a 'golden age' while its theoretically happening, it isn't worth listening to, as they don't understand the concept. A golden age is pretty much just nostalgia via historical writing, the idea that things were 'so much better' back 'then.'

For 9th edition 40k, the edition has barely started, only a handful of factions have been updated, the power scale isn't clear, and actual games played is still fairly suppressed. People need to take a pound of salt and wait to see how things work out.

Maybe in a year we'll have a vague idea if this edition is even on track to being reasonable.



That's not necessarily true with regards to things having a golden age. Even historical examples prove this isn't the case. For example, the Age of Enlightenment was without a shadow of a doubt a golden age of politics, science, art, and philosophy and people definitely knew it at the time.
I've been in the hobby since 5th-ish and while I prefer the 30k game and AoS background, I would still say 40k has hit a good stride with 9th. The models have been pretty good so far, some have been brilliant, the few tournaments that are running aren't seeing huge imbalances AFAIK and there are not half the attendees walking in with the same armies, the background has been advanced and there are more opportunities for both official and personal stories to be written. I've only had the chance to play a couple of games of 9th but so far it's so much more focused on tactics/placement/objectives rather than "bring 3 of the best things and stomp the enemy to dust". TBH I only use power and play very casual games with whatever I like the look of best so that might not be how some people measure the game.
   
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I've said before I didn't enjoy 5th, but that might just be a reflection on me and the people I was playing with at the time. I think, especially in the second half, its when people started to optimise lists - and imbalances became more explicit.

For example, 3rd edition Starcannon Spam was undoubtedly overpowered. But if everyone's Eldar armies (and all factions really) were like what you saw in a White Dwarf (basically a soft highlander) it wasn't much of a problem. I guess I was one of those people who went "40k isn't meant to be a competitive game, you are ruining my pretzels".

Maybe the people who joined were more competitive or maybe we changed. I think the fact people had disposable income (we weren't 14 any more) undoubtedly had an effect. If you thought GK were the most broken thing since sliced bread, just go buy yourself a GK army.

But yeah roll onto 6th and WMH and X-Wing would definitely enter the scene and start leaching players. 30k was always more niche. Perhaps strangely the death of Fantasy prompted a lot of people to at least cast an eye to 40k (after a 6-12 month or so period of mourning), and when 8th arrived jumped in.

7th was kind of weird in hindsight - because it was a game people loved to hate. I.E. we would all say it was a broken unbalanced mess but then play it anyway. I think partly because WMH stalled and then imploded with 3rd edition, while X-Wing had run out of actually iconic stuff. Like 40k both had to embrace bloat to continue as a business, and became progressively less attractive as a result.

And then yeah, 8th was very good, clean, and actually with the indexes achieved a reasonable level of balance before certain broken things inevitably started to repeated. Admittedly though, the reign of the Castellan really killed my interest in playing 40k in late 2018 - as arguably did Marines in 2019/2020. (But at least my friends didn't own FW character dreads or massed assault Centurions or whatever. By contrast my friends could and did buy a Knight and show up with it glued together the next week.)
   
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Frontline Gaming may as well be the GW ministry of propaganda so... time will tell. But given that GW keeps following the same trends it will likely be like 8th was.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 18:50:01


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Tyel wrote:
I've said before I didn't enjoy 5th, but that might just be a reflection on me and the people I was playing with at the time. I think, especially in the second half, its when people started to optimise lists - and imbalances became more explicit.

For example, 3rd edition Starcannon Spam was undoubtedly overpowered. But if everyone's Eldar armies (and all factions really) were like what you saw in a White Dwarf (basically a soft highlander) it wasn't much of a problem. I guess I was one of those people who went "40k isn't meant to be a competitive game, you are ruining my pretzels".


I've noticed this with a lot of games. I've really enjoyed Apocalypse, Epic, and BFG, but you can break those games every bit as hard as 40K if you optimize competitively. It's as much about culture and environment as the game itself- but I would argue that GW has a role in shaping that.

I think it's way too early to be making big proclamations about the state of play. Several armies will struggle until they get their codices, and it remains to be seen how balance will shake out.
   
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Any time in the media when an article posits a question in the title the answer is always "no".

So there we go. No, we are not in any kind of "golden age" of 40k. If a bloated mess of strategems and metagaming that is more akin to a CCG yet is masquerading as a tabletop game is a "golden age" then I don't know what to think...



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 Grimtuff wrote:
Any time in the media when an article posits a question in the title the answer is always "no".

So there we go. No, we are not in any kind of "golden age" of 40k. If a bloated mess of strategems and metagaming that is more akin to a CCG yet is masquerading as a tabletop game is a "golden age" then I don't know what to think...


I agree with you on the rules dept. However, as far as I'm concerned, we are living a golden age of 40K miniatures. the quality of the models as well as the vast amount of kits and terrain these days is huge, and so much is available in plastic now that the scope for kitbashing and unique conversions is near limitless. Add to the fact that 40K is space fantasy so you can mix stuff in from the fantasy ranges, game over..

Not sure what I think about the current lore. I preferred when things were more laid out like a "setting" instead of a strict storyline.. Things being more open to interpretation always trumps hard "canon" IMHO

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/08 19:25:07


 
   
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 Mezmorki wrote:


(#2)
I thought the comment that many 40k'ers fall into two camps - (a) "old guard" that started way back (1st or 2nd edition) and stuck through to today and the (b) "new crew" that are people that either came with the release of 8th edition (and never played the "classic version"). They hinted at another group that were players that got in towards the end of 5th, and "suffered through 6th & 7th" and thus really welcomed the changes in 8th edition.

I think when a given person jumped into the hobby has a big impact on their outlook and jades whether the current era is a "golden age" or not. It's all relative to your past experience.


If you don't think 2nd ed was the golden age, I castigate thee!

(#4)
I was surprised about how little was discussed in terms of the actual rules and gameplay however. Whereas I agree generally with the metrics above being important and being, perhaps, strengths of the game right now - the state of the core rules and gameplay depth (as we've discussed here at length) seems to be shallower now than compared to earlier editions, and there really wasn't much discussion of whether the actual table-level play is any better/worse now than in the past. Would've liked to hear that discussed more.


I am not. The rules have always been the weakest part of 40k. While GW have done excellent rules sets (wargames wise Warmaster is probably the high point and the most ported), 40k has never been one of them. The game relies a lot on list building, optimisation and small tweaks to load outs. The actual on table tactics have often devolved into target selection order and cunning use of special abilities/cards. Strategy and tactics in the form of manoeuvre, reserves, controlling areas of the board having on table consequences, dealing with incomplete information, fog of war, etc. etc. all married to a simple, intuitive and fast rule system that can be played without constant rules reference is pretty much the ideal. Few games have all that. 40k has next to none of it - but it does have great theme, look and feel, a potentially immersive narrative and a supply of opponents. In general we love our models, tablescapes and background, the rules aren't that much of an issue (to test this try using your guard vehicles in a game of What a Tanker! by TooFatLardies - objectively far more fun than using them in a game of 40k, but it still doesn't fit the mental imagery we have of our armies in battle).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 catbarf wrote:
I've noticed this with a lot of games. I've really enjoyed Apocalypse, Epic, and BFG, but you can break those games every bit as hard as 40K if you optimize competitively.


I challenge thee on EpicA! Whilst you do have better and worse builds, in general the optimised builds are thematic for each army and to date no list has dominated (check out the Epic tourny records page for the past 15 years of lists and results http://epic-uk.co.uk/ukepicachampionship/racevrace.php).


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 tauist wrote:
Not sure what I think about the current lore. I preferred when things were more laid out like a "setting" instead of a strict storyline.. Things being more open to interpretation always trumps hard "canon" IMHO



Yes the past was superior here, even Rick Priestly came out with a gripe against it, though he recognised it drove sales more effectively.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/08 19:47:53


 
   
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I'm close to being able to call it a golden age from my perspective because I love Crusade, and I feel like I've been waiting for it since 1989.

I can also say that because my "Golden Age" has to include a current range for both sisters and GSC. As good as the game may or may not have been from 3rd- late 7th, it wouldn't have mattered spit to me because GSC weren't there. I give 3rd a passing grade because it was so good for Sisters, even though it was the ed that killed the GSC.

Similarly, I can't give 7th a passing grade because the GSC were only there for the last six months of the edition and the sisters range at the time was stagnant.

I said that I was close to being able to call 9th a golden age. They need to address the Aeldari situation in order for me to be able to completely endorse it. And they don't have to get it perfect, but they do have to move the needle quite a bit.

We'll see how it goes.
   
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As someone who started in 2nd edition I can say for some part that we are in a golden age. Warhammer is big right now with large tourneys and a lot of fresh new faces. GW is also keeping things fresh with frequent releases(one codex per edition was unheard of in the old days) and the regular point updates are a welcome change.

Basically 40k has never been this popular and easy to get games. The rules are also fun and engaging.

I would also say that the game is more balanced than it used to be, at least on a tournament level. Could of course be better, but it is a far cry from the old editions where things were a mess.

However, there are also things that leave a bad taste like the recent price increase and the space marine model focus in releases.

So maybe more of a silver age.

Craftworlds | Drukhari | Dark Angels | Necrons || Tyranids | Death Guard | Sisters of Battle | Chaos Knights

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FLG should be viewed with such skepticism that a Flat-earther would be shocked.....

I believe the term for what this is, is called "Marketing" or maybe even feeding off the teat of GW and not wanting to sour the milk.
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These guys are some of the worst things to happen to 40k since....(insert worst thing from your perspective)!
   
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 Daedalus81 wrote:
Gameplay? People who think 5th ( or 2nd/3rd ) was better are wearing rose tinted glasses
There were plenty of issues but what I think some people including myself miss (other than the nostalgia) was the positioning and development aspect of the game. Your first turn never involved a charge into combat in your opponents deployment while reaching for a deck of cards and a pick n mix scoop of dice.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 21:55:37


 
   
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Seeing as we are still stuck in an outdated turn system, already dealing with bloat at the beginning of the edition, and we can already see where Power Creep is going to begin...we're just getting the same old GW. Also FLG is a bunch of people paid to say nice things overall so I'm not choosing to believe them.

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 vipoid wrote:
Indeed - what sort of bastard would want to use their codex?

 MarsNZ wrote:
ITT: SoB players upset that they're receiving the same condescending treatment that they've doled out in every CSM thread ever.
 
   
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40k is a dominant market force because of non-wargaming exposure (novels, video games) and availability. It's absolutely in a golden age of non-wargaming exposure and availability; the largest marketing exposure any other minis wargame has is usually game store shelf space, and COVID has shut that down completely, so there's very little competition and there's a great flood of new people who think "I want to paint toy soldiers in lockdown!" and assume they should do 40k.

40k's rules are as bad as they've ever been right now and show no signs of getting better, but unfortunately wargaming market share has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the rules.

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When Craftworld Eldar finally get their model range redo, then we will be in a new golden age of 40k.
   
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A.T. wrote:
 Daedalus81 wrote:
Gameplay? People who think 5th ( or 2nd/3rd ) was better are wearing rose tinted glasses
There were plenty of issues but what I think some people including myself miss (other than the nostalgia) was the positioning and development aspect of the game. You first turn never involved a charge into combat in your opponents deployment while reaching for a deck of cards and a pick n mix scoop of dice.

This^^.
I mean, sure, GW is golden, stonks are up, but the game has devolved imho. Along with restartes, I am in the “no” camp.

   
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The game itself is now essentially the metagame. For those players that enjoy finding any and all the crazy cool combos and broken units in their codexs and coming up with lots of ideas for how to manipulate them within a points value, then yes, this is a golden age. If you want to play and win via battlefield tactics, then absolutely not. The core game design is simply based around making people think about how their army is composed rather than how THEY should play in the moment.



Epic Armageddon shows GW can make a great thematic 40k ruleset if they want to.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/08 21:53:50


 
   
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Golden age was 4th Ed, imo. 2nd was great, but it was a strange game overall. 4th Ed was when the game was most mature as a war game and the customization in the codexes was at it's peak.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
A.T. wrote:
 Daedalus81 wrote:
Gameplay? People who think 5th ( or 2nd/3rd ) was better are wearing rose tinted glasses
There were plenty of issues but what I think some people including myself miss (other than the nostalgia) was the positioning and development aspect of the game. You first turn never involved a charge into combat in your opponents deployment while reaching for a deck of cards and a pick n mix scoop of dice.
Amen

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/08 21:51:43


And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

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Right behind you.

 Grimtuff wrote:
Any time in the media when an article posits a question in the title the answer is always "no".

So there we go. No, we are not in any kind of "golden age" of 40k. If a bloated mess of strategems and metagaming that is more akin to a CCG yet is masquerading as a tabletop game is a "golden age" then I don't know what to think...

I like stratagems, so nyah!

I'll 100% agree on the metagaming bit though. Too many things try to position 40k as a metagame-compatible item. Metagame does nothing but ruin the game overall for everyone. When every new release decries X or Y based upon "The Meta"(cause every area I guess has the same meta?), it's a huge drag.
   
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 Kanluwen wrote:
 Grimtuff wrote:
Any time in the media when an article posits a question in the title the answer is always "no".

So there we go. No, we are not in any kind of "golden age" of 40k. If a bloated mess of strategems and metagaming that is more akin to a CCG yet is masquerading as a tabletop game is a "golden age" then I don't know what to think...

I like stratagems, so nyah!
The idea is alright, the execution has gone overboard.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
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Lol FLG. No I do not think we're in a 40k golden age. Models are generally better than they've ever been though

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I played the game in 3rd and 4th but only paint now. I like to keep up though, and it seems to me that progressive scoring, stratagems, yearly point adjustments and the huge selection of units have improved the game a lot. A well presented battle report is more interesting now than then, with the focus on the objectives all game rather than just killing enemy units and standing in the right place when it was over.

Most of the things I disliked about the game seem to have been largely fixed, such as:

1. Unkillable death stars
2. Flyers you could barely interact with
3. Static gunlines
4. Soup lists, including combining chapters/hive fleets/clans in the same list so that the shooting units get the shooting buffs, the fast units become faster etc.
5. Strength D
6. Respawning tons of models for free (tervigons, horrors etc.) and crazy 'decurion' buffs like free transports

I could go on but I'm very open to the idea the game is the best it's been

Hydra Dominatus 
   
Made in us
Slaanesh Havoc with Blastmaster





...I'm of two minds about this.

On the one hand, it's very hard to call any era in which viruses stalk the land and most people can't play games a "Golden Age" of anything tabletop.

On the other hand, my SO and I have been more engaged than ever with painting and the state of 40K despite the pandemic.

On the other other hand, we've been really going in hard on the possibilities of 3D printing and GW alternatives because of many aspects of the state of 40K, including pricing, Marine fatigue and rules release schedules/formats that leave people in the dust while charging others absurd amounts for paper that doesn't need to be paper.

On the other other other hand, the Marine crap seems to have died down somewhat, hopefully for a few years(Grey Knights notwithstanding). The 9th codexes that have been released have been mostly quite well received, and coronavirus vaccine distribution is ramping up hard.

On the other other other other hand, they're running Day 1 DLC for those codexes in $60 books and not too long ago tried to run a bizarre terrain scam that everyone mostly ignored, so GW is still GW'ing.

On the other other other other other hand is a large clawed appendage useful for opening clams.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





No, I don't thinks its a golden age. I'd say we are in an upswing from a steep decline but 8th started the come back and now 9th is showing signs of some things that made 6th and 7th feel bad.

Golden age would have been around 5th for me, though I thought they learned things and 8th would be it, I was for the most part wrong however.

There is a lot that is currently bad and heading in a worse direction, only time will tell but improved models with extra expensive costs doesn't lead to a very good golden age and when the old guard cashes out, I wonder exactly how willing new whales will be to step up.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/09 06:10:39


 
   
 
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