With all these other skirmish games out there lets not forget the humble roots of Warhammer 40,000! It’s time to get your SKIRMISH on!
Fritz here, and in this post I want to challenge you to get the most out of your 40K model collection. Many of us play with a regular gaming group. Be it at a local hobby store, gaming club, or basement battle brothers. In such groups we tend to gravitate towards a standard way of playing 40K: 1250, 1500, 1850, +2000 points, tournaments play, narrative play, campaign play, Apocalypse, etc. …but what about exploring the skirmish side of 40K?
How about playing the game from the point of view of a single squad? Ten Space Marines, a few Necron warriors, or a small handful of Space Bugs?
Skirmish has a pace of all its own, and many of the tactics used in normal group games of 40K don’t work! It can be quite refreshing to be both challenged and surprised again on the tabletop.
What are some of the challenges in smaller 40K games?
Beyond a doubt every model counts. Losing a single Space Marine when all you have to complete the mission is a Tactical Squad suddenly has you looking over your shoulder with each move. Movement becomes even more important in smaller games. Hugging terrain and moving from cover to cover is life!
With it often being suicide or near suicide to cross open terrain, concepts such as covering fire and flanking once again have an impactful place in the game. As you move to complete the mission you need to track not only where you are planning to move, but where your opponent can move also, and then layer over that the reach and rate of fire with both sides weapons. You may do this in a larger game but you don’t have those extra redundancies at this scale – each miss hurts and each miscalculation is even more punishing.
Physically speaking skirmish games are also more immersive in the narrative. With less models and more thought to them on the table, the players need to get down to a model eye view more often, seeing what the model sees and its relation to terrain around it. This helps draw you in even more and compounds the immersion factor.
Game dynamics are also challenged when one side starts to take losses. Do you pull back and regroup behind better cover or surge forward? There is no bringing up thirty more models and some tanks in support! All you have is the lone squad or brood to complete the mission.
These are just a few of the new dynamics one can enjoy playing 40K from a different perspective. There is an entire host of rules out there for a skirmish/narrative based play. These include the official GW systems like Combat Patrol, Necromunda, and Kill Team, but there are also other fan based systems that build on the core of 40K.
And if you are ready to take the dive into the world of 40K skirmish but you need some inspiration you can check out the warbands at Ex Profundis HERE. They look awesome!
Do you have a preferred skirmish system for 40k? When’s the last time YOU got a good skirmish sized game of 40k in? Let us know in the comments below!