40K Deep Thought – How Digital Should 40K Get?
A new edition of 40K is coming, and competing wargames are going more digital by the day. What should 40K do?
Let’s admit it – 40K is a bit of a stick in the mud. It’s really, really complex, requires a 18″ tall stack of books and supplements to play at a high level, and you better be good with math to have a fighting change out there on the tabletop. There are many popular, thriving games out there with a less steep hill to climb.
40K is certainly a prime candidate for a streamlined edition next year, but when that new edition comes, there is plenty of room for the game to get it’s own digital apps and aids to help us gamers out.
As an example take a look at Privateer Press’ new Warroom 2 app.
War Room is completely optional, which is a big deal. I think that us tabletop gamers have specifically made the choice to shun the video game side of things in our hobby, so I think these types of things should always be optional. If some folks want a purely physical experience – the game should work for them as well.
That said, War Room is a superb tool. Not only does it contain all the rules for every unit in the game (oh I’d love that for 40K), but is also a record keeper, army builder, and provides all manner of time-saving abilities to players as well as an automated vehicle for FAQs and erratas. It is officially endorsed by Privateer Press and is sanctioned for use in competitive play, and heck there are even guidelines on exactly what happens mid-game if you have software issues. That’s a tightly knitted physical to digital experience.
We know the digital future is wide open for GW. They have been making dozens of digital rules expansions for years now, and recently have shown their hand a bit with not only the Age of Sigmar app, that includes every unit in the game, but Silver Tower app as well, that opened that game up to include dozens of characters who were not included in the default game.
I think the biggest issue 40K has right now is rules fragmentation and the current digital products only add onto that. What is really needed is a new approach – a master Warhammer 40,000 app – JUST ONE
This app would include a handful of core units for each faction for free – giving new players an avenue into the game at no cost, then include all the codexes and books and their contents – to be purchased a la carte.
Army Building App
The next step in player tools is the obvious choice of an army builder. I could certainly see a new edition of 40K have a much simpler approach to building armies – and pulling a lot of the complexity and CAD/formation-allies nonsense down to a very simple level. Not because it’s too difficult and obtuse for new players (even though it is)… No, the real reason to simplify 40K army construction is to you can easily get it working within an app. Being able to quickly build, save and share army lists via an app would be fantastic and give players a new channel for sharing their favorite army creations.
The final category of digital products would be 40K time savers. Things like mission randomizers, automated timers, dice rollers, and such.Heck GW even experimented with a sound effects app for psychic powers a bit back. All of these could be worked into a core 40K app as baseline features – increasing it utility and adoption rate by players.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but I’m curious about how much you want to see 40K go in this direction and would you happily buy and use such an app at the tabletop, or shy away and stay firmly in the physical world.
~Just how digital should 40K get?