We are on the suspiciously lengthy cusp of 40k's ninth edition being released, so I thought I'd give eighth a bit of a farewell article in the form of my top eight games. A bit self-indulgent, sure, but that is the premise of this blog (mostly 40k, mostly for my own amusement) and I'm a firm believer that the best part about this game is the memorable moments it creates, so it's always good to be able to go back and relive those memories in a small way. I strongly recommend anyone out there who plays semi-regularly to keep some kind of record of their games, be it in full battle reports, the lazy blog write ups I do, or just a spreadsheet full of basic details. It's really improved my enjoyment of the hobby since I started writing the blog and attempting to put some kind of content out there to the wider community.
Anyway, 8th was the first edition where every game I played has been recorded in some way (though granted a few of the early games appeared on the Bolter and Chainsword forum with the pictures lost to the whims of the internet.) So it seemed reasonable to go back and pick through the memorable ones and pick a top 8. As it turns out, it was quite tricky, my initial shortlist was 14 games. On the plus side at the end of 9th edition it should be marginally easier! My criteria were somewhat vague, 'top' meaning most memorable, either for specific moments or just the overall feel of the game. I also tried to mix up my different armies and various opponents to get a nice overlook of my time with 8th edition. They are ordered from eight down to one, but it's somewhat arbitrary. Anyway, let's jump in...
This was a cool narrative game (Hold Your Gains from Vigilance Defiant) with a cool opponent (Stig aka Little Legions) with a cool army (the Luna Crusaders). It looked great and had a memorably tight finish. I had a series of great games against Stig last year, but this one in particular stood out to me as an extra step above your standard matched play game.
This was game four of the Grand Tournament heat at Warhammer World in February this year, so as it happens it was one of my last games of 8th. The event was a lot of fun, I had four great games against five great opponents (damn those Repulsor Executioners!), but this one stood out to me as particularly epic. Big stompy robots crashing together, some memorably amusing moments and Lady Helena in the Valiant (#rightdominus) was an absolute boss.
Talking about big stompy robots - I couldn't leave out this crazy three-way game! Orks vs Orks vs Orks Stompa battle filmed by SorcererDave and featuring The Claw. I do like a good matched play game, but I also love a custom narrative scenario with all the mad special rules we can think of, and this one is definitely the latter. Check out the Robot Wars inspired 'stats' of the combatants, it's peak Ork.
Another game with SorcererDave, and another narrative game that abused the hell out of the 8th edition rules. The forces of the Inquisition delve into the underhive to fight waves of cultists and other nasty chaos things. We did a lot of hacking of the rules to create this very story focused game, but in fairness to 8th, the relative simplicity and flexibility of the rules allowed us to play this game without worrying too much about weird rules interactions. Obviously this is part one of an ongoing campaign (part 2 is currently out there, part 3 is in the planning stage) so keep an eye out and we might get a very memorable narrative game early in 9th edition.
Going back to the earlier days of the blog, and the awesome random doubles tournament that was Double Trouble 4. This was game 3, and my Alpha Legion joined forces with semi-regular opponent John's beautiful Chaos Knights to face a pair of Guard armies with a lot of tanks! It was a cap on a great day, and it seems the last of the Double Trouble events, but it's mostly memorable to me for the heroics of the Heldrake absolutely earning it's keep.
Getting into the top 3, and this one is a big one! Hive Fleet Goliath taking on The Penitent Forge of Winters SEO in a custom narrative scenario. This is far and away my most watched game of 40k, (currently sitting at 101,456 views) and it was a great game for narrative moments and the dice 'telling a story'. It was also the first video battle report I was in, and as such is definitely a memorable moment to me.
Another big narrative game, this time with three Ork players taking on two Imperial players with the Crimson Fists and the Mordian Iron Guard. We set the game on Rynn's World - part of the famous 'last stand' of the Crimson Fists. There were some great moments in this game, but it was mainly memorable for the awesome sight of Orks swarming around the stoic Fists and Mordians, and for having a nice get together with four other cool gamers. Sometimes the general feel of the game and being part of the community is more important than the events of the game itself. That said, it was still a bloodbath of a game!
And here we are at number one, and I think it could only be this game. Part four of an epic narrative campaign against SorcererDave's Cadians (so watch the other three before you watch this one!), and I don't think I've played a game with as high a stakes, narratively, as this. Talking about memorable moments and the dice telling the story - this game had all that in spades. We laughed, we cried, it changed our lives. Everything about the game just worked and the 8th edition rules held up well to allow us to do all this.
So that's that. I've had some absolutely great games in 8th edition, which has aligned with me starting this blog and trying to get more into the wider community of the hobby. I feel like I should be slightly sad about the end of 8th, but I'm more looking forward to 9th and getting some games in! With lockdown and social distancing being relaxed I feel safer about making some plans to play some epic games and make some more awesome memories. Hope those of you who read this far enjoyed my little look back, and maybe considered doing the same yourselves. Stay safe everyone.