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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K: Grimdark Gameplay Tips – Cheat Sheets

4 Minute Read
May 11 2021

Let’s talk about a little tidbit I’ve been doing for a few years – especially with more complex armies – cheat sheets.

Goatboy here with a little tidbit I have started doing these last few years – especially with armies that become more complicated.  I would write up a Cheat sheet for myself.  These would range from the quick info you needed such as basic stats, attacks, etc all the way down to specific stacks of abilities to do first.  I strive to play the games as cleanly as I can most of the time and forgetting things or not stacking things correctly can make a good game move to a feel bad game pretty quickly.

The last event I played at (The Dallas Open) had me playing Space Marines for once.  Now I didn’t have too much stacked combo potential as my list was purposefully designed to be simple.  You move forward, shoot some guns, and then punch your way to victory.  Most of my powers just worked and I made sure to have the one set up in my memory to always roll for before I started doing anything.  This let me quickly build up a cheat sheet that helped me play and helped my friends who also played Marines at the time.

The Making of a Cheat Sheet

I start it off with broad rules – in the case of Marines I would put down what my basic rule was for my army followed by the Doctrine set up and when I go “super” nova.  This way I would quickly have it on hand and didn’t need to pull out a book or look something up in my phone.  I would also label any of the main things I would always do or need to know towards the top.  Little things like if you see X make sure you do Y.  There are always these little decisions that you could create a little mental script for to ensure you have enough times for games.

From there I would start to list the units.  I would only do the important things – attacks, ranged weapons, and any special rules that are needed.  This can be pretty easy and is super helpful on the weird special characters you might have.  You try to list all the Auras and important things.  In each unit I would than list any Strats that are important.  This was helpful as I started to get used to using their Strats and CP throughout the game.  I haven’t gotten to play nearly as much as I would like so having this at least helped me try to remember it.

Write It Down – Again and Again

Heck that is probably the biggest thing about typing out the cheat sheet – just retyping all this info.  I remembered how I studied in school and rewriting things down let me create a link to where the info is inside the sheet which let me remember it.  These small little things can help you quickly access this info and not slow down the game as you try to keep the gears in gear to get everything working.  You’d think this is simple enough but it helps out so much.  All my games got thru all the turns and I always had time left to go get food, get some water, and just take a breather from wearing the mask.

Finally on the sheet I listed all the secondary’s I could do.  I ended up taking a specific set most games but having that option at least let me think of different things I could do.  It’s part of my problem with 9th right now as those missions seem a little too easy – but I already got on my soapbox talking about it this past week.  It’s as simple as just giving all the options you could use and letting you be able to figure things out as you go along.


I would advise any player how is starting to get back out there to look at building these.  Try to keep it to a single page with a front and a back to allow you easy access.  Make a few copies and just have them so at least you can give some away if other players need them.  We all don’t have time to play as many games as some of the top players out there – but with just a few small things you can make the game run smoothly and quickly – which even if you don’t win can be a great benefit to yourself during a 40k campaign of competitive beatdowns.

Who else uses cheat sheets out there? What do you put into them?

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