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40K Deep Thought: How Many Turns Do We Need?

2 Minute Read
Nov 20 2017

8th Edition moves FAST and it’s got me thinking, do we REALLY need more than 4 turns?

We play a lot of 40k games here at BoLS. Three a week just on our Twitch Channel, and that’s just the official work games.  It adds up fast even before you throw on the casual games, and all the other games we watch.

Age of Sigmar & Shadespire

I started thinking about turns in 40K when I noted that all missions in Age of Sigmar are a fixed 5 turns.  Simple and clean.


Then Shadespire showed up with its draconian (and great) three turns.

At first I thought it was madness – but it’s quite the opposite.  Three turns mean each turn REALLY matters.  No dilly-dallying about for Shadespire players. Each move from the very first matters and time is of the essence. As in Chess, your opening moves are critical and key to victory.

HURRY UP – we only have 3 turns!

Then I started watching our 40K games with their 5-7 turn limits.  I wasn’t watching for how long the game lasted, but for when I could reliably IDENTIFY WHO WAS GOING TO WIN.  Yes there were some games that came down to the wire, but those nail-biters were the exception. The vast majority of the time, by the end of Turn 3, you had a pretty good idea who was going to win. Turns 4-5 overwhelmingly seem to reinforce the Turn 3 state of the game with the occasional reversal.


And that has me thinking:

Would 8th Edition benefit from a “4-Turn” format?

I think it would.

  • It would really focus the mind of both players.
  • You would avoid those games that drag on 2-3 turns after both sides know which way the wind is blowing.
  • It would let players get more games in.

I’d be all for it.

What about you?

I’m curious to hear from you what you see in your local areas and if you think games are overwhelmingly decided by the end of Turn 4.

~Let me know in the comments.


Author: Larry Vela
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