Thursday, May 20, 2010

40K Wargaming: A Meaningful Loss

LGS Meetup and Shennigans

I met a guy at the LGS, and over the course of a few Saturdays, we got to discussing 40K. He's about 14 or 15 years old i think. Anyways, he appears to be quite serious about the hobby and unlike some others, does play by the rules and seek rules clarification if unsure.

We engaged in many crazy discussions and scenarios. Even made up one where we could 'fight' each other in real life. He could slow motion try to punch me, but has to roll to hit on a D6 first. If wounded, one has to make the appropriate sounds of one dying LOL!!

Anyways, like all gamers at one point or another, we do lose a game. Sometimes rather me ;P

It bothered him alot that his vanilla Space Marines were always losing the game objectives, no matter what they were. I think this may have to do with his tactics or list composition, or both.

But while he slowly tweaks the list and comes to develop his own tactics, he did mention that the sting of a loss will always be there in some measure.

Well, we talked further and came up with a few reasons for the 'loss' while being careful not to take anything of the (well deserved) victory away from your opponent.

Here are some methods to the madness ;)
1) Divina-vision

The 40k Universe is rife with Psykers. Besides able to do amazing feats of burning enemies to the consistency of crisp bacon, psykers are also noted for one other talent: divination or telling the future!

Thus we can say in our army's backstory that the battle played to be one that the psyker saw in his visions! So the battle and its outcome still took place, no matter what! But in a different path or skein of reality! Thus being so forewarned (after foreseeing all 6 turns of the game lol), the psyker can now (in the army's fluff) warn the captain not to take the battle to the enemy at this time or fashion.

For me since i play Eldar and now Blood Angels, i could say that my Farseer saw the vision of the battle and warned the warhost not to engage the enemy in this reality. For BA, i could use their Librarian or my favored reason, Brother Corbulo's Far Seeing Eye, which could have seen and then warned of the outcome of the battle.

So one still draws or loses the battle, but still have a good background story to write up your battle report according to what the psyker saw :)

2) The Pawn of Destiny

Basically, this is just nominating ANY enemy model. It can be a lowly trooper or a Sergeant (my favs lol) but a HQ is preferred. Even a tank is very acceptable. This can involve psykers divination as well, but is not necessary.

The FLUFF objective of your army is to take out an enemy tank or foot model as they will have moral impacts on the opponent's army. For example, your entire army got wiped by your opponent, but you did kill Pedro Kantor the Chapter Master! (your only kill of the game haha).

You could have taken out a Sergeant who was to have become a mighty warrior for your opponent's army ;)

Or your combat company took out the Chaos Land Raider, Devastator Squads, Imperial Baneblade or Squadron of Leman Russes. So now your reserve foot soldiers arriving later can now engage the enemy as the bombardment of heavy support has ceased.

Again you still draw or most likely lost the battle, but still able to write up a nice piece of background fluff.

And FLUFF is after all, the inspiration for the battles and armies we play.

Hope anyone who read this was inspired,and if not, at least entertained ;)



  1. I love your method to the madness bro! This actually inspired me to add some fluff/story to my battlerep =)

    Epecially the pawn of destiny. Lose the battle but win the war ya. I actually came up with some fluff for a new addition to my army after being massacred by YC's BA. So a third method could be to come up with a fluff to explain the changes/improvements to the army list too!

    All in all, an inspiring post that makes us look at the games we play as part of a journey that we enjoy. No defeat or loss is an end in itself. More than that as you have pointed, it sure is one hell of an inspiration for good fluff!

    Keep your posts coming man.

  2. I like the 40k fluff thats the main reason why I play. Not really the game mechanics though 5th ed is more interesting than previous nonsense ed (3rd,4th).

    I'll try to write some fluff hahaha, but my the engulishh not very the powderful.

  3. Great comments guys!

    @Krom: Thanks man :) Glad my ramblings was helpful haha!
    Another scenario to consider is maybe to nominate an objective (e.g. a building) or a terrain (e.g. a river). The fluff mission may be to make it to the building or your entire army must cross the river ;)

    @crazyrat: Yea man! Me too :) Da fluff is da best way to go.
    I really like your batreps man, as compared to mine, i haven't written a single one yet LOL!