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Now just to make clear, I don't think either is better or worse than the other. I play 40K and have never played a game of Fantasy though I own the rulebook and have watched others play and taken part slightly. As such my observations may not be completely accurate, but I'm going on personal experience.. so I'm going to list a bunch of Pros and Cons for each and you can tell me if I'm smart or stupid. Keep in mind this may influence my future gaming choices..!
Warhammer 40K: I'll start with what I'm most familiar with...
40K is by far the more simplistic of the two, with heavily streamlined rules and a system designed more for accessibility by all...
Quick, action-packed games
Simplistic, easily-understandable rules
Lots of things that go BOOM!
A well-developed backstory and history
A huge range of plastic kits; soon, it seems, metal will be the realm only of individual characters
Lots of players
Games seem more "expendable", and many people play to have fun, fielding sometimes silly or funny armies simply for the sake of being able to have fun acting out a millenia-old Chaos Space Marine, Veteran of a thousand wars, slaughterer of planets and devourer of souls, being bent over the knee of a couple of Guardsmen and given a good, hard spanking
Prone, at times, to oversimplification and over-accessibility, sometimes allowing for manipulation and exploitation of rules and strategies
Nefarious concentration on a few key popular races to the detriment of others (ie 5 Marine Codecis)
Less emphasis on tactics and more emphasis on strategy (ie, creating army lists and deploying forces to maximize statistical advantages as opposed to careful playing to maximize situational advantages; winning seems more about the kind of list you field than how you play)
Redundancy often creeps up; Marines, despite making up 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000th of the popution of the galaxy, make up 75% of the focus of its history
Warhammer Fantasy seems to be a more refined game...
More authentically unique sides than you can shake a stick at
More equipment, spells, armour, weapons, items and other various crap than you can shake a tree at
More involved, complex games featuring a heavy emphasis on tactics rather than strategy; its all about how you use your forces and not so much about your army list
Lots of variation in types of armies; cavalry, shooty, magicky, swarmy, beastly, skirmishy, etc, all with just about equal chance of winning depending on how they're played
Perhaps more emotional reward when winning
Comparitively lower number of plastics as there's just so damned much...
More complex and sometimes hard-to-fathom rules; this can intimidate potential players (like me) who aren't looking forward to losing their first 20 games while they "learn and understand" Fantasy strategy and tactics
There seems to be a higher $:pts ratio in Fantasy, as it seems more expensive to field playable armies (this may be due to the higher number of metal minis still remaining, as well as the overall larger size of most games, and the relative inexpensivity (points-wise) of basic trops)
More limited background (afterall, there's only so much history and story you can fit onto a single planet...)
Some rare yet annoying redundancy; ie, "wow, my state troops lost a combat with that stupid goblin regiment and now half my army is running away..."
Overall those are my personal pros and cons of each. The relative simplicity of 40K is what keeps me to it, I think (or the relative complexity of Fantasy that keeps me away). Like I said, I'm not looking forward to starting Fantasy and losing my first 20 games flat-out; and I'm unsure if I'll ever even understand it, and I'm worried about spending hundreds of dollars on armies and such and finding out I suck horribly at it. For now I am fairly content where I am, but I'm thinking of perhaps buying a couple of Fantasy minis, making up some sort of General or Hero with them, and playing them in some local herohammer games which seem to happen a lot around here. And if it grows, maybe I'll expand that into an actual army...
Takka n' Wakka's Dakka Attacka! 33W / 6L / 1D
I think you summed the points up for both sides quite nicely, Misanthrope. It really is a question on what to put more emphasis on - the sheer fun and laughs that you can get from 40k or the intellectual stimulation that comes from having won a hard-fought game of FB. I don't want to turn this into a anti-FB rant that will obviously get me hammered repeatedly with hot pokers so I will try not to use extreme language (the same cannot be said of my counterparts on the FB side of the table...but that's a story for another time). You will hear it said about 40k that it is a gateway game, the game that attracts all of the kids with large amounts of disposable income and a low amount of relative maturity and either scares them off or serves as an environment in which they will grow as hobbyists and become great painters, modellers, and gamers, until eventually (and this is where I zone out), they will decide that they have outgrown 40k, that it does not require enough of their brainpower, and so they move on to "the real GW game", Fantasy.
Now, Fantasy is a great system that is deep and wonderful and fulfilling, but at the same time it really attracts a degree of intellectual snobbery that I find both chafing and offensive, especially when it is forced down my throat. The first time I was advised to drop 40k and play Fantasy, it was by a fellow gamer who was significantly older than I was, had a job, a life, and a winning personality. Okay, I thought, fair enough, he is older than me and has been in this hobby for longer than I have, plus he asked me nicely so I'll take his opinion into consideration. The second time, it was by a guy who was about the same age as me but had still been in the hobby for longer than I had. That's alright too. I can respect his opinion, even if there's something off-colour about his tone and I get the feeling I'm being talked down to. The third time, a kid five or six years younger than me started telling me to stop playing 40k and play Fantasy on the grounds that it was "more tactical" and that 40k was a kid's game. I think it was at this point that I snapped.
Yes, I may have let my pride get the better of me but I will not be talked down to by a 14-year-old. I don't care how long he has been in the hobby for or how brilliant a gamer he thinks he is, I just generally find it insulting when they just stop short of ripping into me. It's sort of like when a person says "no offense" as a prelude to saying something incredibly offensive. Why did you say that if you were going to say something offensive? I'd prefer you were honest in your contempt!
And to be perfectly honest, if this is what it means to be wise, then I'd rather be a fool.
No offense, ben, but rabbits cant play fantasy because they are not as developed mentally as humans...:rofl
I think 40k is cooler because i like sci fi more than fantasy and thats why i play it. 40k does have some obvious flaws and frustrations that surface sometimes that make me want to throw a carnifex across the room. Its like having a dog with 3 legs. its annoying you cant have as much fun with the dog as you would like, but at the end of the day you still love the damn thing.8Y
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.
First off most 40K games are highly tactical. At least with my Eldar. While you don't have the obviousness of flanking there is still a lot of finesse in cc if done properly due to the restriction that you have to target the unit you're in base to base with. Usually at the end of the game there are definite points where things could easily have gone the other way if a person had done something slightly different.
Some armies have less thought to them though. Drop pod marines seem simultaniously powerful and simple. And as mentioned in the other thread there are some lists that annoyingly restrict viable options in other armies. Whereas in Fantasy it seems that blocks of regular troopers are always useful.
However, after reading many of the books and almost starting fantasy I can tell you that price is what shut my fantasy aspirations down. I forget the exact number but the 2000pt army I wanted to make had a price tag that nearly tipped the $1000 mark. That's just way too much to lay out. And Fantasy tournaments never seem to run less than 2000pts (and often more).
Whereas with 40K lots of people play 1000pts, tournaments are held at that level sometimes, and it often only costs $200 for that army.
Also I like the missions in 40k. I question how much different it is playing the same armies against each other the 10th time compared to the 9th. Whereas in 40k, especially when rolling for mission on tables that include the full range of misisons, the games and tactics can be very different.
Well, I am a die-hard fantasy player that switched over from 40k. I think that most of the OP's comments are spot on. Unfortunately it is true that fantasy army's are more expensive, but that is more because 2k is usually the minimum that most people want to play, mostly because the extra force slots that open and the chance to use a lord instead of a hero. While 40k seems to stick more around the 1,250-1,750 point games.
The main things that switched me over to fantasy was the rule that strength affects armor saves (makes so much more sense than the 40k AP system), the magic phase, and Force Organisation system that gives you more rares and specials the higher points the game is. 40k always annoyed me when I saw 1k pt armies with 3 heavy slots filled. I enjoy the emphasis on core troops that (most of) the fantasy armies employ
On a side note, what 2k army were you building that was going to cost you $1000! I have two 2k armies and the most they have cost me was around $300-350.
"I am the architect of fate!"
I'm actually just getting into fantasy at the moment. I would agree with a lot of the interpretations here - though personally I haven't encountered the snobbery as much, as I play at a club where we are all very friendly, and plus the fact, the Fantasy players at our club tend to be primarily 40k players anyway.
Now the WAB players, they segregate themselves a bit, but they will always welcome you if you want to try historical!
From what I've read of the rules and the few test games I've played I would agree that succeeding in Fantasy is much more about how you use your army as a whole, whereas in 40k you tend to depend much more on unit tactics. I think the games are fit for their own purpose in this way, as 40k is meant to be more a skirmish game fought between small forces, whereas Fantasy is much larger scale.
As for the price, I went for the Skull Pass box set, and a was cut a very generous deal by somebody who was collecting Orks & Goblins, the upshot is I walked out with more than 2 Skull Pass boxes worth of Dwarfs plus a rulebook - so now I just need to add in some special units!
As for price, Fantasy generally will be more expensive than 40K as it encourages larger armies. That said, I play Ogre Kingdoms in fantasy, and have been considering re-starting up 'nids or starting Orks for 40K, and I can say with a great degree of certainty that those
40K armies will cost a great deal more than the Ogre Kingdoms.
Speaking of snobbery, as a newer and SM player, I don't think Space Marines should be one of the Cons of 40K. But I'm sure there is a reason behind it, even if left unexplained.
Other than that, great list, I'm trying to break into Fantasy, but it is a much slower process.
Also if you're trying to make a list Fantasy looks to be a whole lot more trouble to paint.
First because it just tends to be a larger army.
But even at the same points it is much much easier to paint up a 180pt tank than a 180pt squad of infantry. Also indavidual models tend to have smoother geometric surfaces.
I'm now a fantasy player exclusively, I just didn't get along with 40k when it changed into the more streamlined model that exists today. I think that the game is as hard as your opponent makes it, if you are trying to learn a system by turning up and playing people who are competetitive players at heart I think it will be harder to learn, no one likes to get crushed repeatedly while trying to learn. I think that while most people find fantasy more difficult to get the hang of 40k probably is more difficult in terms of the amount of things that can happen which you aren't aware of from reading the core rules. For example when fear causing creatures turn up in fantasy you know what they do, whereas the first time you see Necrons you think the other person must be cheating because his guys are getting back up again. That said I think both systems have pros and cons as outlined, but I would disagree that less people play fantasy, I just think the stores are more 40k orientated.
Arms are an instrument of evil, No measure for thoughtful men until there fail all other choice but sad acceptance of it.
Sun-Tse : The art of war