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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40k: Your Grimdark Pre-game Checklist

4 Minute Read
Apr 20

Goatboy here with my guide to everything you 40K players need to do BEFORE you play.

I’m starting up a new article series as we finally move closer to having more competitive events.  I finally got a chance to play after the last few 9th edition updates and we know I am itching to get back to throwing down competitively.  After my test game with a new army I started to think of all the things I need to do to get ready.

Maybe take some pics while you’re at it.

Army Census

With that let’s go into the first thing we all need to do – inventory our army.  You might think this is a no-brainer but for most of us it’s been a while since we took out our toys.  During that time armies have changed, updated, and points have shifted.  Most likely your army also shifted too as you moved things around to get a better angle while watching your favorite streamed bit of nonsense.  I would advise anyone getting ready to play an event to make sure your army is ready to go as it has been a bit.

Is that exactly what they are equipped with?


Check all your options on your models to make sure they are WYSWIG.  You might think people are not as caring but you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row when playing.  Having something misconfigured might make it where you forget what choice you paid for in your list and you misplay an option.  This little bit of forgetfulness could turn into an unpleasant experience and this new game we all play has a lot more scrutiny on events.  A lot of people have been waiting to play for a while so making sure everything is on the up and up starts with looking at your army as a whole.

Painting Check

From there you should just make sure everything looks right paint-wise.  The new edition gives you points for having a fully painted army and you don’t want a mistake like counting everything as painted but missing your Primaries Lt who is left sad and gray but much needed in your list.  This is also the time frame that you can make sure your army is set up correctly with corresponding army legions/chapters/etc are in distinct colors to allow yourself not to forget what is what.  Again these small mistakes can shift a game from a winning endeavor to a “your a dirty cheater” just as quickly.

Armylist / Dice Check

While we are on that subject make sure everything is easy to read for your opponent.  From your army list, available rules you can show if needed, and your dice.  You would be surprised how annoying it can be to be playing with someone with Dice you can’t make out.  After a few rounds of “dang your lucky” thoughts and extreme swings of the math hammer can make a player question things that are not always in bad form.  It is why I have really moved away from weird dice and instead looked to get easily readable dice for my upcoming events.  They are bright, large enough to read, and I can easily make them out.

Read Your Rules

Finally, as another form of pre-game stretching make sure you read all the dang rules you need.  This seems like a no-brainer but if you are playing something complicated and you don’t understand how it works – well you shouldn’t be playing that.  I would go for something very simple and easy as we start on events in the upcoming year.  We all don’t have the time to play as much as we did.


Now Go Have Fun!

This simple bit of pre army stretching will help you out so much during this return to competitive play.  It’s these small things that show more than you just care about your game but the game as a general whole.  We have seen a lot of suspect play lately and I don’t want our newly started events to suffer because the players didn’t come prepared to throw down in the 40k universe.

Next time I want to talk about building some cheat sheets as well as making sure you’re ready for the missions.  There are a few small things we can all do to let the rest of the year be safe and fun.  Here is hoping more of my 40k buddies get Vaxxed and ready to get their tails waxed when they face whatever nonsense I bring to the tabletop during the year.

What are your pre-game rituals?

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