40k is Better Than Magic: The Gathering

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Pimpcron explains how wargaming is the ultimate pastime.

I’ve zipped up my flame-retardant suit, set the air conditioning really low, left the fridge open, and I’m drinking a Slurpee. Let’s get to the thing that most people in the wargaming field secretly believe: Wargaming is the pinnacle of any gaming experience.

At any given game store, you will find droves and droves of Magic: The Gathering players on Friday Night Magic. But you’ll be lucky to find a handful of wargaming players, and even luckier if they happen to play the same wargame as you. There are many reasons for this I’m sure, but I can’t help but wonder, “why aren’t more of you Magic players playing Warhammer?” This may not seem like an apples-to-apples comparison, but being that both of these games are very popular in the same demographics and areas, it surprises me that more people don’t come over to what I feel is a much more challenging game.

9429-Apocalypse-2520Dakka-2520Dakka-2520Dakka-2520Store-2520Gamers-2520History-2520Of-2520Dakka-2520Warhammer-252040-000“Come on over, come on over ba-baaay” They all are singing.

Now before I get too far into this article, let me say that I have been playing Magic: The Gathering on-and-off since around 1997 and still play casually to this day. I have been playing it longer than I have played 40k and I love both of them in different ways. 40k is by far my favorite of the two, but Magic will always have a special place in my heart and was a huge part of my childhood. When I use terms like “better”, it obviously depends on what you’re looking for in a game/hobby. Some things that are “better” about 40k in my eyes may not matter at all to other game players. But here’s what I have to say having played them both:

 

40k Is Just List-Building? Magic is Even More So

If you think list-building wins and loses games in 40k then it definitely does in Magic. We often hear complaints on the internet about the Power Curve and the Meta, where lists are so well tuned in one direction that a very different list can sometimes take it down easily. People complain that you should just compare army lists and it would be clear who wins, without even playing because it only matters how they stack up against each other. But we’re talking about a game where you still have deployment choices, reserve choices, terrain to either use or get around, and 360 degree movement. Don’t want to get your shooty units in combat? Keep them away from it! So in other words, even if you are poorly equipped to handle your opponent, there is a multitude of ways that you can still stay in the game and maybe even win.

DLT-rockpaperscissorsHonestly I think both games could use more hand signals though. Hand signals are fun.

Magic on the other hand, is purely list building in comparison, because of the lack of “lateral” choices. Your only choices you have for each creature is to either attack, use an ability (if it has one), or block. There are no lateral choices like taking cover, staying out of a unit’s range, jinking, going to ground, having a character join a unit to buff it, etc. I suppose you could say that Instants or Enchantments are your version of lateral options, but that depends on your drawing them, and then you only use them once (usually).

When someone attacks with a creature, and it’s an 8/8 and the other person only has a 2/2 to defend it, there is an automatic outcome for this. Barring an Instant being played, there is zero chance that a regular old 2/2 creature is going to survive combat or kill an 8/8. Whereas in 40k, any Bloodthirster could whiff all of his hits against a Guardsmen; it may not be likely but it is possible. I have two Imperial Guard Sentinels with battle honors on their hulls for surviving for 2 full game turns in close combat with a Daemon Prince (the rest of that game).

 

They Both Use Random Mechanics, But One Does It Better

Obviously to all of you, Warhammer’s randomness comes from its use of dice. Outside of special rules like Twin-Linking, you have no control over how you roll, but you can hedge your bets and be sure to position smartly among other things. While we have all had games where our dice hated us and screwed our game for us, the real job of the dice is to level the playing field. On a bad luck dice day, the most ignorant net-list someone brings could still fail. It could be argued that if your dice were really on fire, the worst player could take just about anybody. While we love to complain about our dice, they are what make our game more even among different lists and skill levels. Like in my Bloodthirster example above, if you see a terrifying list across the table from you, at least you can hope for his dice to be crappy!

diceThe Great Equalizers. Look at them being smug with their power.

In Magic, the combat isn’t random at all. A higher number beats a smaller number every time without question. It takes special rules or something else interfering to change that fact. The randomness in Magic comes from the Drawing Phase, because unless you are a cheater who fixed his deck, you won’t know what card is coming up next. That is a fun way to play a game, never sure what is coming up next, but it makes you more reactionary in your tactics and makes you plan less. Of course you can design a deck based around searching through your deck and getting certain cards when you want them, but then those cards allowing you to do that are taking up space in your deck that could be used for cards that provide more choices or offer more punch. The randomness in this game is your options turns by turn, not the outcome of your options like 40k. If find this to be much less fulfilling as a game mechanic than being able to make decisions that have a certain chance of succeeding and then seeing how they did by rolling.

Wargaming is a Hobby and a Game

I also think that wargaming is unique in the fact that it practically becomes a lifestyle. We spend so much time assembling, customizing, and painting our models that it becomes extremely personal and rewarding for us. There are huge portions of our demographic that only hobby and never play the game. That is how rewarding it can be for people. It’s relaxing, allows you to space out and have “quiet time” and escape from regular life. This is a completely alien thing to people who play card games exclusively. They don’t do anything to their cards except collect them and sort them.

painting-female-wargamerLooks boring? Psh. This is how she escapes the crippling burden of life for an hour a day.

I suppose that you could say the “hunt” for cards and collectable nature of the game is Magic players’ pastime, but to me that seems much less fulfilling than literally creating your own army to play with. That being said, many people lives and living spaces are probably better suited for collecting cards versus piles of miniatures. That’s why it is the most popular card game on the planet.

In the end, everyone is different and has a different view on what is “fun” or “better”. The important thing for us to do is find something that makes us happy and go for it (just stay within the legal limits). I still love Magic, but I have definitely found a home in miniature wargaming and my wife can testify that it has infiltrated every facet of my life. I think in a good way.

 

Do you agree that wargaming is much more challenging and fulfilling?

Want to witness my slow descent into madness first-hand? Check out my blog at www.diceforthedicegod.com

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  • Rob Wright

    After reading this article I think I will give Magic the Gathering a go, it sounds fun.

    • ChubToad

      It is until you develop a severe case of card alergy due to the endless expansions and the ammount of useless cards that you tend to accumulate.

      • Keaton

        If you think power creep is bad in 40k, MtG will make you tear your hair out.

        • Dave

          I don’t know, it depends on your intentions. If you want to compete in tournaments (where there are actual $$ prizes) keeping up can be expensive. If you play mainly with your friends and at an FLGS, then it’s pretty cheap, especially compared to 40k. I have a huge box of cards that span the life of MTG. They all still work and I can make fun decks to compete in any casual game. You can get a starter for like $10 and play that day. Most individual cards are super cheap and there is a WEALTH of existing sets to choose from. You don’t have to have the greatest cards to make a cool deck, there’s just sooo many cards to utilize.

          • Spheal With It

            From my experience, the modern and standard scenes seem pretty big, and whilst rewarding, do require a fairly hefty investment.
            I love playing commander though, which just turns into political madness and wrath.

        • Barty

          Amusingly enough, one of the bigger complaints with the latest Magic set was that it scaled the power back far too much.

        • Malisteen

          It’s not really power creep, so much as rotation. The strongest cards in the game are also some of the oldest, and the designers work hard to maintain a relatively consitent power level. Even dramatic shifts, like mirrodin into kamigawa, weren’t as bad as the gaps between some 40k factions right now, and because of format rotation most everybody playing competitive is playing on something close to a level playing field.

          But cost to keep up is an issue. Cards only stay legal in type 2 for a year or so. If you want to stay up to date, you’re collecting entire new decks, if not buying play sets of each new set that comes out, on a regular basis, so the cost to stay current on the tournament scene is much higher than it tends to be in 40k.

          On the other hand, the initial casual buy in cost is insanely lower, 300+ dollars for 40k, plus dozens of hours assembling and painting, vs. buying a starter deck and learning to play out of the box.

          And Magic also has a number of cheaper competitive formats – particularly limited where you buy the cards you play with at the event, which even with participation fee is rarely more than participation fee at a lot of 40k events – as well as more consistent casual formats – like EDH where you can play the same deck more or less for years, adding cards to it one at a time as you have spare funds to do so.

          So while you CAN end up spending a lot more on magic than a minis game like 40k, you absolutely do not have to, and if you just want to start playing, have some casual fun with friends, the difference in initial investment, both of time and of money, is hugely lopsided in magic’s favor.

          • V10_Rob

            ie. Draft format. You pay your entry fee and get 3 sealed packs. Then you build a deck one card at a time with about 5 others at the table.

            It’s as close to a level playing field as I think you can get. Your purchasing power means squat, it’s all on your own skills.

        • FlipNFill

          I play both regularly, and i can say that my play group have completely given up on getting any new GW rules due to power creep. MTG really doesn’t have as much as most people claim it does.

      • Ken Parks

        Can definitely agree on this. And I can tell you I’ve spent far less building up 3 or different armies in 40k than I did over my magic career. In top of it I have less to worry about my models stop being playable (yes is does happen but they can typically be re purposed into a different unit)

        • Spheal With It

          I guess models can be updated with new rules. I don’t see Wizards going back to old cards and making them better unfortunately!

      • Jonathan B.

        Gotta catch them all!!!!

    • cudgel

      Try one of the living card games from fantasy flight (like netrunner or 40k: Conquest) , your wallet will thank you.

      • ChubToad

        Seconded! Those games are fun fun, and don’t require you to buy a 70 dollar card times four to play the game.

        • Dave

          MTG doesn’t require you to buy any $70 cards to play. That’s silly. If you have to have the best of the best ultra rare uber deck sure, but I’ve been playing it for over a decade and have never spent anything like that. If you’re not playing in cash tournaments you can play magic at minimal investment, and have fun. My group tends to pick up a new starter when a new set is released. Then expand on that with a few boosters or with cards from our existing collections. There are so many options in MTG, if the only thing you can think of is to spam $70 cards then I think you’re missing a lot of the “magic” in MTG.
          Also- the FFG LCG are awesome also..but they don’t have the variety of MTG.

          • Jacob

            That is kinda a flawed argument though, you could also tell people that they don’t need to play anything above a 500 point game. The reality is that 40k is really made to go bigger, just like magic is made to go more intense. I used to play a glimpse deck back when I did the whole mtg thing and I can promise you that the decks that had the most creativity and were the funnest to play definitely had a large spending curve. Could you play without expensive cards? Sure. Would it be nearly as fun? If you enjoy being destroyed repeatedly by the locals, than yes.

          • cudgel

            I wouldn’t say the argument is flawed as such, its just dependant on the scene your playing in.

          • Dave

            I think it’s mentality. I personally don’t think you get the full experience from a 500 point of 40k. While in magic you can certainly make a themed deck that can be played anywhere pretty cheap. Will you win $$ with it? Probably not, but you can certainly have fun and get the full MTG experience. Plus, my group plays with all their cards. We are very casual. Some of the goofy control decks I’ve seen….just some amazing stuff…and like I said, no one has paid big money for any single cards. More in the 10 – 25 cent ranges when they actually buy them.

          • ChubToad

            While I agree that you can actually play with any deck possible, you don’t grow those cards in trees. So you either have to spend money to get the cards you need or you go to the market and buy singles at ridiculous prices. Trading is also an otion to an extent, since everyone is trading based on the price of the card, not the rerity of the card. So in this regard, saying that you didn’t spend any money to build those decks is false. You either had to spend lots in your collection buying boosters, or you had to spend lots of money buying singles. Either way it’s a very expensive game, considering you get three expansions every year and older expansions rotate very quickly.

          • Shawn Pero

            Actually, you DO grow those cards on trees. They’re paper.

          • ChubToad

            Touché!

          • Spheal With It

            FNM is a pretty big thing near me, and those standard/modern decks require a fair investment and also the buy in to play.

      • Jacob

        Netrunner is amazing, 40k: conquest was so awkward and had so few people interested in my area that I had no one to play with.

        • Damon Sherman

          yeah, conquest was weird. the decks and the armies felt right, but how they priorities planets and missions was ‘effin weird.

          • Dave

            I like it, but it seems overly complicated.

      • Grimbuddha

        Netrunner is the ultimate one-on-one card game, imho. We have a player in our meta that regularly schools veterans with a single core set and nothing else. Skill triumphs money on the regular in Netrunner.

      • Spheal With It

        Definitely something I’m interested to try. I picked up the LOTR one a couple years ago and enjoyed it.

    • Lardus-For the Emperor!

      You can play Magic Duels Origins (available on Steam for free) so you can try it without buying actual cards.

    • You may want to give Epic: Card Game a try. Same feel and format as MtG without the wallet pain. Also, you may want to ask your FLGS for a demo deck. Wizards gives them out all the time to game stores to hook new players.

    • David Leimbach

      MTG can make 40k seem incredibly cheap. The difference being that in MTG you have to add up all your micro purchases to find out how much you’ve really spent.

    • Secundum

      It is. Until you wake up one morning and realise you have 10000 basic lands.

    • Spacefrisian

      The Yu Gi Oh card game seems more interesting imho, now if only could have the same tech that creates awesome holograms from your monsters.

    • It is a great game. Easy to pick up and play. Plus tons of players everywhere. I just find it as a “snack food” game whereas 40k is my meat and potatoes.

  • I…agree with a Pimpcron article. Brb need to disintegrate myself

    • Yes! Another convert! . . . Wait, you usually don’t like my stuff? Oh come on! I’m adorable! Like a big, metal, sexy Furbie!

  • Keaton

    So true. You don’t even need to play MtG. Just do the math, make sure your curve is solid, and see how it does. You have a great card? That card is owned by hundreds of thousands. But NOBODY has a riptide painted and poised exactly like yours.

    • Muninwing

      there are ways of “testing a deck” that amount to playing against yourself…

      • WellSpokenMan

        Testing a deck the way you described is just like 40K list building. Your making sure that your deck will give you the options you want. Playing a blue permission deck is completely different than playing a black suicide deck. Unless you build those decks yourself and learn how to use them, you can’t test your deck against those on your own. Also, Pimpcron glossed over the strategy aspect a bit. If your opponent plops down a 8/8 creature and all you have is a vanilla 2/2, you screwed up a long time ago.

        • Muninwing

          but even when i still played magic, i knew that much of the strategy was already decided before the first draw… whereas you can take the wrong list and face a mismatched opponent and still pull off a victory in 40k… you can even have dice betray you, and still maneuver into a win.

          there’s a local Ork player who always rolls well. give him any dice, and he averages over a 4 throughout the game. he doesn;t always get what he wants, but he usually breaks the curve. plus, when i play him, my dice betray me too — i’m lucky to average a 3.

          i actually had someone take record during a match once and do the math.

          thing is, even with me rolling bad and him rolling well, i’ve never lost to him. the one time that might count was a group game.

          knowing your fundamentals — target priority, firing lanes, using cover, early and late-turn strategies, decoy units, denied flanks, securing objectives… those win games, not dice.

          • WellSpokenMan

            I understand, I prefer miniatures myself. However, MtG can be very straightforward and decided from the start with some decks, and also be very nuanced with others. Control, Burn, and Suicide decks can all be very tricky to play against a canny opponent.
            I think miniatures are superior, for a number of reasons, including tactical depth. I’m just not sure that 40k (without some kind of comp) is the best example, but I have played 40k a lot more recently than Magic.

          • Michael

            “i knew that much of the strategy was already decided before the first draw… whereas you can take the wrong list and face a mismatched opponent and still pull off a victory in 40k”

            Not quite. You can still bring a deck no one is prepared for and wreck the competition. I entered a Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier when the big powerful decks were all grindy midrange decks and control decks. I took a cheap to build black aggro deck and didn’t lose a game. I won the final in roughly 15 minutes.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I think that is a hugely important distinction.

      Playing 40K is primarily a visual spectacle for me at least. A big part of what makes it fun is how it looks, and a cinematic looking table is important to me. I enjoy this aspect so much I’d never dream of putting an unpainted mini on the table, and as long as the game looks good and has fun moments then I don’t really mind losing. A CCG could never have that appeal.

  • Drpx

    I had a Magic player tell me once that he thought WFB looked interesting, but didn’t like the Dispel/ save mechanics.

    • Crevab

      Okay?

      • Drpx

        Okay.

  • Kicking rocks is better than MtG.

  • MightyOrang

    Alternatively, everybody should play the game system that makes them happy.

    it is not a competition.

    • Matthew Everhart

      Hell yeah, best comment i have read all day. I play both games alot, and they both have merits and flaws. Why does everybody feel the need to compare them. Different strokes for different folks.

    • I agree with you. In my last paragraph I said, “In the end, everyone is different and has a different view on what is
      “fun” or “better”. The important thing for us to do is find something that makes us happy and go for it (just stay within the legal limits).”

  • Warrior_of_Sound

    I think most of my friends who do magic and wargamming would do so if it were cheaper to get into it, which brings up a point you missed: in almost no situations ever do you get the possibility of getting something in a wargame purchase where you have the outside chance of somehow getting in a pack, a card worth more than the entirety of what you payed to begin with. that said this same element in the trading/buying part is what helps to grate the cheeses onto the plate. real mixed bag on that one. I havent really played MTG in years.

    • Muninwing

      i have a friend who puts $10 a month or less into M:tG… every three months he buys a box, sells off the cards he doesn’t need, and picks up anything else he wants. it’s pretty consistent.

      as opposed to me, who will drop $200 on new stuff, not paint it for years, and build up such a backlog that i could still be building and painting a year from now without buying anything new… but i’m still going to pick up a Calth set…

      • euansmith

        Just know… you are not alone…

        • Muninwing

          plastics anonymous…

          • euansmith

            Its a 12 Step Program… unfortunately Step One is, “BUY ALL THE MINIS!!!

          • Muninwing

            and step 5 is “resolve to not buy any more until you paint the ones you have”

      • WellSpokenMan

        If you are going to play Magic just for fun you can do it really cheap. I bought a few thousand commons a few years back for my daughter for about $40.

        • euansmith

          If nothing else, there is a therapeutic effect to handling and sorting the cards and looking at the pictures.

        • Dave

          The great thing about MTG is that you have access to years of options. Some tournaments require certain sets but in casual games pretty much anything you can think of goes. Part of the fun has always been seeing what my friends come up with. The possibilities are limitless. No one I play with has ever paid more than $5 for a card.

        • Muninwing

          i probably have enough commons and uncommons in storage from unlimited and revised to still play. i just would not be able to play well…

    • Secundum

      Yeah, a few months back I pulled a Jace ($80 card) from a $3 pack.

    • Spheal With It

      I had a friend pull a couple of expedition lands from the most recent sell and find a buyer. I was so salty you could serve me with chips!

  • Warboss Sotane

    It’s about time someone said it.

  • Rockso Schamo

    There are more Magic player because it is far more accessible and affordable to get in. 13 € per player and you can pick up a casual intro deck and easy as f… to learn rules. The amount of time you have to spent to even get a round of Dark Vengeance going is what many of my friends make not even try it.
    And for your next purchases you can play booster drafts and trade cards. This is all on a casual have fun lvl of course.

    • Muninwing

      that there is no hobby portion to Magic means that it’s far easier to get into

      as much as i feel that prepainted mnis are antithetical to the hobby, if GW wanted to finally admit that they publish a game, they’d come out with a starter set with basic prepainted minis to hook people.

      • WellSpokenMan

        Which is why X-wing took off like a rocket in stores that primarily play Magic. GW also would have to get their rules set sorted. MtG players are generally competitive, and 40k is a narrative game, whether tourney players want to admit it or not.

        • Muninwing

          hoenstly, anything can be narrative or competitive… depends on how it is supported, not just how it is played.

          GW has stopped providing reasonable competitive support for their games. ideologically, tehy feel their decision is sound. realistically, it just means they are sloppy.

          but with certain “governing bodies” stepping forward to give optional supported competitive rules, you can have a fair and more balanced game.

          • FlipNFill

            I agree with the this, the Duel Decks series for MtG is kinda like the narrative boxed games in 40k, so it can be story-driven if you want it to be

      • cudgel

        So much this. There are lots of people that don’t have the time/ability to paint or the money to also pay someone on top of buying the models.

      • Dave

        Even selling based kits might help. Sell blue space marines with a bunch of decals.

      • Matthew Everhart

        I work at a gaming store that is 90% devoted to M:TG and the reason most of our players don’t get into warhammer is their competitive nature. The rules of the 40K hobby don’t really translate directly into a competitive scene, and the parent company gives little to no support for organized play.

      • euansmith

        “that there is no hobby portion to Magic”… Did you never use Tipex and a Sharpie to “level-up” a few of your cards?

        “That’s one Black Mana and one random Mana and… ba-da-bing… A Manor Skeleton…”

        “What’s its abilities?”

        “Haste and Regen’ and its … cough10/10cough…”

        “Its what?”

        “Erm… 10..? Er… 10…?”

  • Malleuz

    The main reason I feel that Magic as a game is better than GW Warhammer/40K, is how the aproach Rules. Magic has a 207 comprehensive rulebook, that grows every time something new is made. The game is mindnumblingly complicated at times, and because of this there is a Judge Program, where people can be certified Judges on behalf of Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic. When I played 40K, me and my friends rarely had a game, where we could not find a straight answear to a rules question by referring to both the main rulebook, codex’s and FAQ’s. To me it seemed like GW’s aproach to rules and rules questions was: “Eh, they’ll just roll a dice and move on”… which was an actual rule at one point :p

    • Muninwing

      so… being mindnumbingly complicated and requiring judge certification to effectively play over an extended period of time… is better than providing a clearer rules and a solution to move past and issues?

      not sure how your logic works.

      all rulesets of a certain complexity have their issues. my issue with GW is that they do not release FAQs to optimize their game, they do not consider the far-reaching consequences of their decisions (landraiders being glanced to death by their own bolters via a tidewall, for instance).

      but i’ve also said that, like M:tG’s unofficial official rules that rose up to keep the game a little more balanced early on, the wargaming community might be better served if we thought of a non-GW body as the purveyor of official rules and FAQs and other interptretations, given that GW has shirked this responsibility since forever.

      • WellSpokenMan

        This is unofficial rule thing is kind of happening in the US, but it seems like it’s getting bogged down in a bizarre east coast vs west coast cold war. Besides, getting 40k fans to agree on anything besides their disdain for other games and the people that play them is going to be like herding rabid cats with switchblades taped to their tales.

        As for MtGs rules, they are better for a couple of reasons:
        One, Wizards of the Coast doesn’t act like they are infallible. When they screw up, which they do a lot, they fix it. In a sense, tournament magic is always in beta.
        Two, they’re free. They don’t cost $135.

        • euansmith

          East Coast vs West Coast? My money is on Vanilla Ice!

    • Dave

      MTG has a lot of options and sure there are tons of combinations that interact with each other in unusual ways (that’s the fun part..right). Never needed a “judge” though? I can say with certainty that in the last 20 years I’ve seen waaaay more disagreements/arguments regarding GW rules than any other system – especially MTG. The rules in themselves are concise and easy to pick up.

      • Vomkrieg

        Any competitive play should have a judge, even if it’s just to resolve confusion around timing or card interactions. I’ve only ever played MTG casually, but we have a judge at Netrunner events.

        That said, every wargaming tournament i’ve seen has had an umpire for each game that fills the same role.

  • Muninwing

    i’ve made mention many times of the connections i see between the two… and how the escalation of attempting to find lists that utilize synergy or focus on winning in the creation of the list itself has increased since the populatity and ubiquity of M:tG has risen.

    many people might later pick to do one or the other, but they are in the same family.

    • I agree with you. They are very different games, but feed from the same trough when it comes to finding new players.

  • Dan zimmerman

    This is a joke. It’s comparing a truck to a motorcycle and using the logic that they are both vehicles therefore trucks are the better of the two.

    Magic does a lot of stuff better then 40k. 40k does do fun stuff but not as much.

    Formats
    Magic has a giant tournment scene and an ever shifting meta. There is limit, standard, modern, legacy and vintage
    Warhammer has one.

    Types of decks/armies
    Mtg has aggro, control, midrange, combo as its main 4 and these make the meta shifts all decks have good and bad match ups

    Warhammer has a lot of different space marines, tau eldar, dark eldar etc. The meta switches between heavy psycher spam or flying spam or bs formations

    Rules
    Warhammer 40k….well yeah the rules suck. A flying Mc can have its base touching a ruin and get a cover save…

    Magic has the judge program 24/7 rules support that,is free and an easy to read broken down rule book. Also they ban or restrict cards that are unhealthy to the game.

    Both games are fun both are different. Just remember which company people complain about more and which company has a gamer base that is constantly growing and making tons of money.

    • Muninwing

      “i have an opinion, and i’m offended that someone doesn’t agree with me!”

      • euansmith

        I think he expressed his opinion in a full and coherent manner (ignoring the first paragraph).

        • TumbleWeed

          I agree! I am a bit confused at the very first sentence tho. “This is a joke.” seems to be pointing out the obvious fact that Pimpcron’s posts are not meant to be anything other than his opinion.
          Poppa Pimpcron even says in his article that people may disagree with his criteria. The gentleman above has made his case based on his own (different) criteria. The two aren’t really in conflict and doesn’t warrant any butt-hurtedness from either party.

      • V10_Rob

        There’s a support group for that…

    • WellSpokenMan

      Careful now, he’ll put you on his list.

      Also, the diehards are going to pack hunt you for not liking 40k more than anything else.

      • I have a list?! That can’t be, I’m illiterate.

    • I want to hear more about this comparison you teased us with between motorcycles and trucks. Why are trucks better? You’ve piqued my interest.

      • Dan zimmerman

        well trucks make you best friends with everyone, because they will eventually ask you to help them move something. Also if you ever become homeless you have a bed. Motorcycle make your close friends closer…to you… but they can make you look like a badasss. especially if you can pull off leather. i had a point with this. now i don’t know which is better. how about a truck bike? best of both down sides of none.

        • We will settle on truck-bike being the best of both worlds I guess. I enjoy that you explored it though! Gave me a laugh.

      • Vomkrieg

        Trucks are better because I like fresh food.

        That’s legit my reason.

  • JonnyRocket

    To me the answer is simple, I go with the game that has little figures.

    • You sir, are a man of logic. Solid logic. Keep up the good fight.

  • Magic has a professional tour, media coverage, people make their living from playing magic with the cash prizes.

    Magic players can transport their entire deck in a small little box.

    The lack of hobby aspect in card games is the big turn on for a good many. They don’t want to glue, paint, etc… they want to open up a box and play.

    I don’t think that wargaming will ever get to the levels of magic without a company that has the resources to put on a professional tour, large cash prizes, and the willingness to keep their ruleset tight.

    Now if people could make $100,000 a year playing 40k or even Age of Sigmar, you’d have a lot more players.

    • euansmith

      “Welcome to Mantic Mega Bowl 2023! We’ve got big cash prizes! Scantily clad dancers of all sexes! Household Name Star Players! Pundits! Merchandise! More fun than you can handle!”

      • cudgel

        Thats what happened to Slannesh, went down to Mantic!

      • sjap98

        in Commoragh!

  • euansmith

    “… it surprises me that more people don’t come over to what I feel is a much more challenging game…” I don’t think that the “challenge” should be so heavily weighed towards sorting out the rules 😉

    Another fun and fact filled Poppa Pimpcron Opinion Piece.

    • Thanks euansmith. You have a point! Although if you look through the Magic FAQs and erratas, it’s pretty much our 40k rulebook.

  • WellSpokenMan

    If the article was titled “Miniatures Gaming Is Better than Magic the Gathering” I would agree. 40k though, has too many flaws to win this outright. Between 40k and Magic, I think it’s a matter of taste.

    Disclaimer: I haven’t played Magic competitively in over a decade.

    • euansmith

      I think 40k wins out on the fluff side… though AoS appears to be simply trying to steal the Planes Walkers wholesale from MtG.

      • ChubToad

        Rolling tons of dice has never been so fun!

        • euansmith

          That is one issue I’d like to see Gee-Dub give a complete overhaul, “Roll to hit… roll to wound… roll to save… roll for FnP…”

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            easy enough to make a cover save into a to-hit modifier like it used to be and wipe out a whole slew of dice rolling. Plus then it would be more realistic as you’d still get an armour save in cover.

      • WellSpokenMan

        I don’t know, I imagine explaining the 40k fluff to a magic player would get me response like this.

        “So, their are elves, dark elves, orcs, and undead in space.”

        “Well, you know any thing is possible in the vastness of space”

        “Is there magic?”

        “No, there are psychic powers that can only be used by Psykers.”

        “Which are really wizards, right?”

        “I guess they are similar.”

        “Why aren’t there any women?”

        *sigh* “Go back to your card game.”

        • Xodis

          MY response to that, is they chose to rise up and build their own entire army.

          • WellSpokenMan

            But then they’ll look at those minis and you’ll lose them again.

          • Xodis

            Yeah….hard to argue that point lol. I do hear some people still like them though.

        • euansmith

          “There are women… but they are terribly underwritten and once got used as Armor All in an act of extreme misogyny… *sigh*… go back to your card game…”

  • Mathias Vilhelmsson

    Eh, it’s just matter of preference I guess. Possibly also investment. Warhammer has a much steeper investment price in terms of time spent on any given army compared to any given magic deck.

  • David Leimbach

    I think you’re underestimating the decisions available in MTG. It can be quite complex deciding to attack/play or not based on what your opponent might do.

    That and your chick there needs to discover the wonders of a wet palette.

    Allow me to proselytize for a moment. Get a plastic sandwich container (tupperware or whatever) fold a paper towel into quarters and place in bottom. Cut a square of baking parchment paper to cover the paper towel. Put water inside, turn upside down and shake out excess water.

    Now paint by putting a dab of paint in your wet palette. Paint stays perfect consistency and you can close the lid any time then pick up where you left off later – paint won’t dry out.

    • lol. This comment diverted rather quickly into something altogether. Haha. Good points though.

  • Shiwan8

    I fail to see how this needed explaining. Fun read though.

    • Xodis

      Pimpcron articles are like Cracked articles meets wargaming. Fun, entertaining, and most likely not to be taken to heart.

      • I’ll take that as a compliment. 🙂

        • Xodis

          I truly meant it as one, apologies if there was any doubt otherwise.

          • Not at all, I’m just glad that some people understand that I can’t really be taken seriously. Like a turtle with a sniper rifle. How are you even going to use that thing, turtle? Your arms aren’t nearly long enough! Without fingers I wonder if you can even pull the trigger.
            What were we talking about again?

          • Xodis

            I dont know, but I like where this is going lmao!

      • Shiwan8

        I find that he’s either at the heart of the truth or very near it most of the time.

  • Madness

    And then you find out about altered artworks.

  • Xodis

    Most entertaining article on BoLS in awhile, loving it!

  • I will always have a soft spot for Magic as my utter hatred of the game and player base in the flg made me look for a better game. Well hello there 40K!

    Enjoyable read.

    • David Leimbach

      I was one of the early players of MTG and grew to dislike it for one of the very reasons it got popular. The value of the cards.

  • TumbleWeed

    Well said! Though I don’t have as much of an agreement with you as usual it’s still an excellent read. All hail the Pimp of Crons!

    I never got into magic, for me personally it lacks the epic feel of a miniatures wargame. I’ve always had an interest in general warfare with all the logistical and tactical depth, and tabletop wargames come closer to that. That and having my own custom force with a unifying theme with everything from the powerful characters down to the mobs of line troops just looks awesome.

    I think this is why I love the Total War games so much, as they combine the building of a nation state and all the logistics of running a nation and army with the battlefield tactics and suspense of generalship in real time. When I heard two of my favorites in their respective genres were combining (the fluff of the WH Old World and Total War) my squee could be heard across the galaxy!

    Have you written any articles regarding the upcoming release of Total War: Warhammer?

    • Thanks Tumbleweed. I actually don’t play that many video games. I do Steam and what-not, but my kids take up most of my non-work, non-warhammer time. lol So I’ve heard of that game, but know nothing about it.

      • TumbleWeed

        Ah! That makes sense. I don’t have any kids myself, but still find that I have to divide my limited free time between the two.
        I think the Total War games are on Steam. There are quite a few, and most have aged pretty well. I like them because there isn’t much of an online scene, so I don’t have to commit time to them constantly to keep up with the latest strategy and meta. I just play once in a while when I have the time. I’d highly reccomend them! Perhaps Total War: Warhammer is worth a look?

        • Yeah, I will take a look. Thanks! I only play rpg or strategy games usually.

  • Fleisch40k

    WotC get what their game is about. The have honed their game desgning skills over the years, and Magic gets better every year from a design point of view. Also, they have highly formalized wordings on their cards and comprehensive rules, detailing everything that could ever happen. There is no guesswork when it comes to the rules or card effects. I agree 40k is “more challenging”, but it’s not in a good way.

  • eehaze

    $600 will buy you one incredible, competitive MtG deck, or a bunch of casual decks.

    $600 will buy you one 40k army. Whether it is competitive or casual depends on which codex/models you choose.

  • Secundum

    This is actually a REALLY poor article, especially in regards to cost.
    I enjoy 40K more than Magic: The Gathering as well, but 40k is about 30 times more expensive. You can get a very good playable deck for about $25.

    • I prefer the term “low Income” article.

  • Malisteen

    Magic is portable. Bring a deck, grab some scrap paper, you can play. Doesn’t take much space either, just a little bit of table or floor, and it cleans up fast when you’re done. And it plays quickly – a few minutes, maybe 15 on the long end.

    Both magic and 40k are super expensive in the long run, but magic does a much better job of hiding that cost in manageable purchase chunks, and has a dramatically smaller initial buy in cost for casual play.

    Magic receives active community and tournament support from a company that at least makes a show of communication with its player base. Magic’s designers actively cater to all levels of play, with cards deliberately geared towards casual and competitive players in each set. Magic actively supports multiple tiers and formats of competitive play, which makes the jump from casual to competitive play significantly easier than with 40k.

    Magic’s designers care about their rule set, and work to ensure the rules are as clear as possible, leading to far less frustration and argument at the table. Magic heavily play tests new content, and when problematic elements slip through the cracks and end up negatively impacting the competitive space, they generally step forward to actively resolve the issue in some manner.

    Look, I’m more about the hobby than the game. I still collect and paint 40k models (though I haven’t played a game in ages), while my magic collection was sold of years ago and I never looked back. But lets be serious here, when it comes to judging these games as games, magic isn’t just a better game than 40k, it’s a dramatically better game. It’s not even close. Magic is now and has consistently been for over a decade a better game than 40k has ever been in it’s entire lifespan. In recent years, with GW’s design studio basically throwing in the towel when it comes to game design, this isn’t likely to change any time soon. Or ever.

    If you want to paint models, GW’s got some nice models for you. And even a nominal ‘rules system’ for pushing them around a table and throwing some dice which mostly only exists as an excuse to take the models you painted to a store and show them off.

    But if you want a game? Something to actually play, with friends, for fun? Or with strangers for a challenge? Magic blows 40k out of the water. So does Smash Bros, Pokemon, League of Legends, Poker, Bridge, Rummy, Yahtzee, Chess, Checkers, Go, Risk, Settlers of Catan… fricken… Monopoly? Slaps?

    Anything really. Near about any game, designed to be a game, is a better than 40k. The last time GW put out a good game was… what? Blood Bowl? Mordheim, maybe?

    • Secundum

      Fantasy 8th edition, I’d say (pre-Ward Daemons book).

      • Malisteen

        8th ed was decent “for warhammer fantasy”, but saw a dramatic uptick in size of game and models per unit or per army, while those models died extremely quickly on the field. This resulted in a game where you spent as much time setting up and putting away your models as you did actually playing. This on top of a number of rules that just sort of ate time for not much return in interesting game play (the random scenery comes to mind), not to mention the increased cost involved making game entry harder and choking off the supply of new players, and…

        yeah. 8th ed fantasy was one of the better versions of fantasy, at least for veteran players who already owned large armies, but I still wouldn’t really call it a “good game”. At least, imo.

        • Secundum

          Yeah, I meant 7th edition (before Ward made the daemons book).

          • Malisteen

            Eh, the daemons were just beating a horse that vamp counts had already murdered. And even before vamp counts, 7th was an edition that had issues with inconsistent faction design (ranging from boring and bad to boring and broken) and poor internal and external balance. If only 8e faction design could have been transported back in time to 7e core game rules, then you might almost have had a game worth playing.

            Sadly, it’s all moot, now.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        6th, with Ravening Hordes.

    • Spheal With It

      Still just comes down to opinion though. The fact that I can actively imagine a narrative in a 40k game considerably more easily/ satisfyingly than in Magic makes up a lot.

      • Malisteen

        Sadly, the narrative in a 40k game breaks down at the first gamist exploit or nebulous rules argument. If you want to forge a narrative in the 40k universe, you’re better off skipping 40k and trying out one of the fantasy flight tabletop rpgs.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          you have to choose who you play against. I’d say about 1/6th of people I play against turn out to have a style of play I don’t enjoy. But thats fine, there are lots of other people to play, for both them and me.

      • Malisteen

        also, opinions can be wrong. I mean, I might (and do) think my mom’s potato salad is better than anything Gordan Ramsey could dish up, and while that might be an honest and accurate reflection of my opinion, it wouldn’t make it true.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    my method of fun is subjectively better/worse than your method of fun!

  • Spheal With It

    I definitely enjoy magic and it’s wacky side, I almost only play commander, but the collectibility is the one thing that frequently comes back to irritate me. I’m not naive enough to believe it’s entirely pay to win, but it’s certainly often the case of whoever spends more on cards has a significant advantage. You want to make that new modern deck, using cards from the newest set, sure! It’ll cost you! Especially those non basic lands. I will also admit that this is prevalent in most wargames to a point too though.

  • Sythica

    And if you want to go one step up from 40k, move to hex and counter war gaming. Good hex and counter war games require way more strategy and tactics than miniature games. And “gasp” you don’t have to worry about the OEM changing the bloody rules on you all the time.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Try OGRE. That game’s tough but fun.

    • Ebon Hand

      Battletech. It has more fluff, giant futuristic robots, and factions than you can shake a gauss rifle at!

  • Garrett Sorensen

    The biggest advantage magic has over warhammer is the way the rules and playtesting are handled. There is always an answer, it may not be clear right away but it has been dealt with in the past and there will always be an answer for the questions you have about card interaction.

    That and way more people play.

  • Mathew G. Smith

    Magic has the advantage that you can play it anywhere on short notice. Where I am the wargaming scene died off a few years ago, to the point none of the FLGSs less than two cities away even support it anymore.

  • Kostas Kostis

    First of all magic has or at least had a story . The first ten years or so had the awe inspiring phyrexians , the deadly negator minons , sky ships , decent books and overall a good story line to complement the game . Read the thran and the brother’s war books and see if magic had a story and fluff. Now however most players don’t care about the story they just want cards and the story is all but forgotten but for those who remember Urza , Mishra , xancha , Serra and off course the inefable , the father of machines , the terrifying Yawgoth are all good characters with good stories to their name .

    Now as far as the comparison goes i play both games but i still play magic and have around 400 minis and vehicles i dust off every now and then . Magic has far better balance , rules and many many types of tournaments to satisfy all customers . GW has one type basically and that is it . As far as players go magic players here are competitive but we still have fun , 40k players here are atrocious and with most i would not even play checkers with………………

    Also in magic we had the eldar , they were named caw blade deck and it had a 75% margin to win . Sure enough they banned some cards and the deck died . I here the eldar are still going strong in 40k.

  • euansmith

    “Over 130 comments! That’s another one for Pimpcron… out of the park!”

    • euansmith is my official comments-commentator. For those of you listening at home. He broadcasts all of my comments.

      • euansmith

        Indeed, BaseBoLS fans, we all know we are in for a thrilling time when the Pimpster clambers from the dugout. Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell; It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell; It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat, For Pimpy, mighty Pimpy, was advancing to the bat…

  • JP

    Troll bait laid out… now we wait.

  • LordKrungharr

    The only things better about MTG I can think of is it takes up less space and the games take less time. Some of the cards have pretty pictures, prettier than much of 40k artwork lately. But that’s all I can think of.

  • Mikey_V

    Magic is definitely fun on a casual basis. Where there’s no format to keep up with. You can just play the decks you want without restriction or limitation (at least not outside the bounds of the core rules). I was a huuuuge card game tournament go-er. Magic, yugioh (haters gonna hate) DBZ when that was a thing, among 1 or 2 other short lived games. And keeping up with tournament meta in card gaming was just as expensive as any wargame. Except in wargaming, even when certain units become less viable, much of it can carry over to the next meta. In games like magic, there’s not just individual cards, but whole deck types that become obsolete as expansions get phased out of the tournament formats. So overall, I just like to keep it casual. No pressure to keep up. Just play with what I have and keep it fun.

  • Sylvester Holmes

    40k is better because it’s in space and everything is better when it’s in space.

  • drpigweiner

    Mtg > 40k. You don’t have to paint and assemble just buy your deck and sleeve it.

    Standard has a clear set of constraints – which makes building decks and knowing opponents decks easy.

  • Chardun

    Apples vs Oranges.

  • David ‘Gilly’ Gillam

    I went from 40k to MTG so I guess I disagree, though I do miss the building and painting side of it.
    I find MTG to generally be cheaper than 40k, and I play standard – I just make sure to trade/sell/buy at the right times to keep up with the changing format.

  • Anasa

    After reading the title and the article itself, my reaction’s still the same: Like… Who cares? If you like MtG, play MtG. If you like 40K, play 40K. Why not both, if that’s your thing? This whole thing reeks of smugness from someone’s part.

    • If you did indeed read the article, you probably also read the part, “The important thing for us to do is find something that makes us happy and go for it (just stay within the legal limits).”