40K: Bring On The Endless ‘Spells’
Age of Sigmar has embraced the power of the Endless Spells – should 40k do the same? Let’s chat.
Ever since Nagash caused his Necroquake, magic in the Mortal Realms has been going wild. Games Workshop is in the process of going through each army and adding new, potent Endless Spells to the game. There are also some generic Endless Spells that any faction can use – my question today, dear reader, is does 40k need to embrace the concept of Endless Spells, too?
Striking A Balance
One of the great things about the Endless Spells in AoS is that many of them find a balance between risk vs reward. For example many of them have a way to impact entire units who get within range of them – but usually they only cause damage on a 6. Or they will mess with Line of Sight – but they typically work both ways. In some cases, they can even heal units – but again, it can swing both ways.
There are also Predatory Endless Spells that basically try to eat whatever they can. Mechanically, this is represented by the players swapping control of these spells which can lead to some very interesting situations. The point is that Endless Spells make an impact when they are in play, but they aren’t seen as over-the-top and game breaking (for the most part). They have found a good balance – and 40k’s Psychic Powers could take some notes.
It’s In The Lore
40k already has Psychic Powers which are essentially the same thing as Magic – it’s just Warp Magic vs Realm Magic. And do you know what triggered the unleashing of all that “wild” magic into the Mortal Realms? A cataclysmic event that warped reality and forever changed the game.
Gee, I wonder what cataclysmic event could have triggered rampant warp energies to surge throughout the Grimdark?
Having areas of Real-space get enveloped by the Warp has GOT to have some other implications. Planets that were once free from the Warp’s influence have to be feeling those long term effects. We’ve already had a few time jumps in the storyline – surely a galactic generation or two would start to divert just a tad – more mutants and Psykers could be popping up at an alarming rate – the potential is there!
Endless Psychic Powers: Not A New Idea
Here’s the thing about the idea of Endless Powers – they’ve been in the game before. If you’re been around the block, you’ve probably heard tales of the dreaded Vortex Grenade. It was a thing not so long ago:
GW even made a fancy “template” for it. But even THAT version of the Vortex Grenade was based on something older.
Vortex and the Vortex Grenade were pretty bonkers. This ability basically made a miniature black-hole that moved around the board. If you were lucky, you’d be able to roll high enough that it wouldn’t come back to eat your own units. If you weren’t…well, you get the idea. But the key thing I’d like to point out is that this spell stuck around. It stayed on the board and moved randomly – very similar to how Predatory Spells function (only those are less random). The concept is not new to 40k, but the re-introduction and execution of these types of “Endless Psychic Powers” would be new.
Now, I’m not asking to bring back a power to the game that will wipe out anything it touches (although that would make those Knight-lists way less common) – I’m just saying that the AoS version of Endless Spells could be a great addition to 40k. As long as they manage to strike the same balance and don’t completely wipe-out entire armies in one fell swoop. Let the Endless Psychic Powers make an impact without overshadowing the rest of the game.
What do you think? Would you want to play around with Endless Psychic Powers in 40k? At least we’d get some crazy models out of it…