Last Saturday the girls were out of the house for the afternoon. This meant Ronin and I had some time to kill. I had planned to put up some shelving in my study (I have games on my chair and floor!) but instead I decided to crack open the First Strike Warhammer 40K starter box and see if Ronin would like it.
It turns out he loved it. So did I! Just the 2 of us, Pizza, a few drinks and board games.
If you just want to read my opinions on the First strike box click here.
I had tried to get him to read the “Getting Started with Warhammer 40K” magazine but without much luck, he REALLY does not like reading. I cracked open the box and he immediately went to look at the models. While he was busy I skimmed through the “Read this First” book.
It’s very well laid out with some background into the 40K universe and the factions in the box. It’s also got some painting instructions (they ones in the “Getting Started with Warhammer 40K” mag are better) but the good stuff is towards the end. A series of missions to play and each one takes you step by step through the rules of the game.
Next I got him to read the mission. It starts with a description of what each side is trying to do. Then it moves on to which models from each faction are required for the mission. I stopped him at that point and we set about building the models that we needed. That way we could jump into the action quickly. There is a handy little guide to assembly and these models are marked as “easy build”. This means that they are push fit and made up of fewer pieces than the regular models. It’s a way to introduce people to model building.
He went with the Space Marines and I grabbed the Chaos forces.
Starting the games
Learning the basics
The first mission teaches moving and shooting. The Chaos player is trying to get 2 units of Poxwalkers to run off of the board while the Imperial player is trying to shoot them all. It was fairly easy for me to run past him as he concentrated his fire to 1 side or the other. It was simple but effective mission.
Mission 2 teaches close combat!
He needed to assemble another model and I used the same 6 from the first one. This meant that I had 6 crazed humans charging a genetically altered killing machine. He was so despondent when it first started. I charged him with 6 guys and rolled 12 attacks!
All of them bounced off of his armour. Then he checked his data sheet (a card that tells you what the models can do) and he said that he could attack 4 times. He killed 4 of my poxwalkers!
Then his face lit up. He almost started play fighting that he was a lone marine fighting against a horde of enemies. Incidentally he destroyed me, twice.
Mission 3 closer to a full game
For this mission we needed 14 of the 15 models and quickly set about building the lot of them. Once that was done we were eager to get cracking.
This mission introduced terrain and taking cover. The marines were trying to get 2 of their models off of the side of the table and I had to try to kill those 2 before they got there. We actually played this mission a few times. You could almost see the gears turning in Ronin’s head as he contemplated his actions and the terrain and figured out different things he could do.
He won 2 games, I was rather foolhardy, Primaris Marines can eat Plague Marines for breakfast. I won the 3rd. I just stood back and destroyed most of his forces in a hail of bullets.
Mission 4 everything and the kitchen sink
This one required all of the models we had and it was a fight to the last man standing. I honestly believe that this mission is stacked in favour of the Marines but it was still fun. You essentially throw yourselves at each other and see who survives.
So what did I think of the First Strike Box?
It’s pretty cool. Cheap, a decent amount of high quality models and it has terrain. It looks cool on the table and plays pretty quickly too. BUT, there is always a “but”; it does make you want more. This is both a good and bad thing. 40K is expensive to play, although you should have known this before jumping in.
I have to say that the 2 starter sets First Strike & Know No Fear are actually good value for money and gives you a lot to play with. If you get both then you will have most of 2 full armies and a decent setup to play with them too.
Rules wise things flow much easier than that what I remember from 9-10 years go. It is a lovey system. If you’ve considered playing but found 40K daunting, this is a great time to start.
Where to from here?
So I’ve not read the Core Rules book that is in the set. It’s got all of the rules, including a few not covered in the basic games and a 5th mission. We gave this a skip and decided to move straight on. Last night I bought the Know No Fear box. It’s got more than double the models, another terrain piece and a bigger mat too. Although, we are not going to open it until he has painted some of his models. I’ve got models to paint too but I’ve got a huge backlog of stuff so they will have to wait for a bit.
We don’t really mind not knowing the full rules yet, as we don’t have the models to use all of them anyway 😛 Ronin is very excited to play and I really want him to have the same fun that I had in my years of play. I’ve already posted on FB asking about purchasing terrain for a home table and someone is actually donating some! Woo hoo!
I think I’m going to try to do a monthly “Tale of 2 Gamers” blog post. I’ll give Ronin some time to say what he thinks and also to track our progress in building and painting our armies. Hopefully by the end of the year we will have joined a club and will go for some regular games.
I sincerely home that all of the other gamer Moms & Dads get to share in their passions and excitement with their kids too someday.