|| I played Warhammer 40k with friends yesterday for the first time in years. It was a helluva a lot of fun, and I remember again why it’s tempting to invest in an army. Then I start poking around online looking at the miniatures and I remember just how significant of an investment in time and money that would be. For those who have never heard of it, it is a tabletop wargame set in the far distant future. They have significantly more technology than we do, but at the same time a lot of technological knowledge has been so far lost that its use has become as much the province of Priests as of Engineers.
The fighting is on a large scale, with the battlefield measures 4′ x 6′, and perhaps most importantly to me, you get to roll a lot of dice! From a game design point of view, I find some of the choices they make in their abstractions curious. They seem a bit arbitrary and capricious at first, but when you realize that Games Workshop’s bread and butter is selling miniatures, you realize why their rules are so miniature centric. In the games I’m developing the rules are significantly less miniature focused because my games are meant to be introductory tabletop wargames, and only require a small investment.
The nice thing for me is having friends who already have armies. Yesterday it was the Orcs versus the Eldar. (Think Space Elves- Warhammer 40k is a SciFi version of their Fantasy game Warhammer, which closely mirrors Tolkien’s works.) Five of us played, with the Orcs being split amongst three players, and me helping General the Eldar. Unfortunately we lost due to the age old problems of a couple poor decisions, and worse dice rolling. Since it is a game whose enjoyment is closely tied to the people playing, I am definitely fortunate to have great people to game with!
I also had my camera with me, so I got some pictures of the game as we played. Although fairly well lit for gameplay purposes, it was unfortunately a bit limited as far as picture taking goes. You will see a significant amount of graininess and noise, but in the end I think it adds more than it detracts. It is, as I mentioned before, set almost 40,000 years in the future with disparate levels of technology, so I think the noise is rather appropriate. Most of the photos were taken using simple shutter priority at 1/30. Some were done with the macro setting and accompanying flash, and the remaining ones were done on aperture priority. Getting more experience with the flash would probably help too in the future.