2014 – A Quick Review of Major Gaming Changes

Well, it’s been a major year of developments for the wargaming hobby, with lots of new systems or updates that have shaken things up a lot.

Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K has seen lots of revisions over the last 12 months.  The latest 7th edition was released in May this year as part of an absolutely frenetic release schedule.  Almost every codex has been updated by at least an eBook release, and a new format of “campaign” box sets, aimed at experienced gamers, has tied in to campaign books and novels.  White Dwarf has gone weekly, while the monthly magazine is now just a simple model showcase.

Its generally a really brilliant time to enjoy the 40K hobby, though the pace of change is currently hard to keep up with.  If you are challenged for time, maintaining awareness of the releases can be exhausting.  In addition, the incorporation of major tanks and war machines into the standard game as “lords of war”, especially after the 6th edition  aircraft changes, has been off putting for those who really enjoy a more tactical combined arms approach.  There is an element here where those who can afford the newer releases are more likely to win.

Fabulous models and a cracking universe keep it the champion sci-fi war-game on the market!

Warhammer Fantasy Battle

While no new version has been released directly, the series of “End Times” books with awesome combined armies (I’ve been tempted to get out my Dark Eldar and add some High and Wood Elves!) have really shaken up the game, and made it much more appealing.  Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts?  That’s how it rolls!

Its a huge gamble, with major characters being killed and areas of the world being destroyed, but seems to be paying off – the general enthusiasm for the game is higher than I’ve seen for years!

Infinity

I’ll hopefully be doing a complete review of the new N3 rules for @docbungle, but the new book is gorgeous, and the upgrades to the rules fantastic.  The biggest change is that the rules and universe are much more accessible – much more care and attention has gone into  the language.  Its going to really gain popularity, especially with the starter set – Operation Ice Storm, and the continuing high quality of the minis.

Malifaux

Although hardcore fans will disagree, I’m sure, Malifaux has stayed reasonably static this year, after a major update in Oct 2013.  That’s no bad thing – lots of new mini releases have come out matching the 2e rules, and its been a tremendous year for playing – there just haven’t been the huge shakeups we’ve seen elsewhere.

X-Wing

The new Scum and Villainy faction announced in August really opens up X-Wing to a very different approach, with lots of unique ships and the prospect of more complex multiplayer battles!  Having the option to play rogues and pirates, rather than just Rebels and Imps is great.  Continuing releases have been fascinating, though for me TIE fighters, X-Wings and Y-wings are where its at!

Open Combat

A new skirmish game released this year, Open Combat is great fun.  The rules are mini independent, so you can roll up those historical models with your mordheim gangs for some mixed up fun!  A great game, and my surprise hit of the year. Check it out at Second Thunder!

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