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Hi all -- I used to play warhammer (both FB and 40k) about 7-8 years ago and have recently been poking around the web looking to see where the game has gone in that time frame. I've been looking at the newer rules (I believe FB was 5th edition when I last played), army books, models, etc. and have quite a few questions for those of you who are actively involved in the hobby.
1. I'll go for the simplest question first. Is there any way to salvage old paint pots? While I probably don't have time to get back into the hobby now, I still think that painting a bit here and there might be fun. That said, replacing all my old paints would be a serious barrier to entry. I have a box full of old paint pots that have sat unused for the better part of a decade and have almost certainly all dried out. The inks are gone I'm sure due to evaporation -- but can the regular paints be saved by re-mixing in water or by some other method?
2. One of the things that I've noticed hasn't changed much are the attitudes about game balance. There has always seemed to be a lot of ill will toward folks who build competitive lists or play factions that others see as more powerful. I remember before I left the hobby, the "best general" award was actually being removed from tournaments! I used to blame GW a bit for this for not maintaining better game balance, and I see that hasn't changed all that much since I played -- that said, I see that "best general" is back and the level of discourse regarding strategy has improved a lot. Is there generally a better competitive warhammer scene now? Also, has a dichotomy between casual and competitive games and venues solidified? I know when I played Magic, there were similar community issues when it came to tournament players vs. casual players. That said, these types of players tended to self segregate a lot and there was a great deal of support for both factions. The casual folks had plenty of fun around the kitchen table and even had some more casual tournament support, while more competitive players had plenty of tournament support and could easily find other likeminded players. There wasn't much if any stigma attached to playing a powerful decklist. Is the same now true for warhammer, or are you going to get blackballed for playing a strong list?
3. Special characters tend to be featured more prominently in the army books now. Back when I played, most tournaments did not allow special characters... then again, that was serious Herohammer. My self-build Khorne Lord from 5th ed could go toe to toe with today's Bloodthirster and probably win. Is use of special characters generally more accepted now? If so, I see this as a bit silly given that the game supposedly wanted to move away from being totally focused on characters.
4. It seems that in the last 8 years some significant competition has sprung up. Between operations like privateer and more boutique companies like ultraworld and gamezone, there are some really impressive minis out there that would look great in warhammer armies. That said, back when I used to play using anything other than GW minis was a SERIOUS no-no. GW venues wouldn't let you play there with anything but pure GW painted and flocked armies, and in my experience non-GW stores tended to enforce these rules too, albeit less strictly. Obviously friendly at-home play groups are nad have always been free to do whatever they want. Has the general perception and acceptability of use of non-gw minis gotten any better over time?
5. How easy is it to get OOP stuff? I remember it being pretty difficult but not impossible back when I used to play, and I would hope things have improved a bit. I know citadel had some mail order service where you could get oop stuff from them, although it was UK only if I recall correctly, and shipping to the states was atrociously expensive and slow. I ask mainly because the newer versions of some models are just plain worse than some of the old versions IMO, even though many of the new models are light years ahead of their older counterparts. A great example is the new daemonettes. Back when I used to play, I thought that the daemonette models were awful. Now a new plastic kit is out which looks allright -- I like the command a lot, but the rest of the models are seriously lackluster. Then I find out that in between when I played and this new plastic kit, there was a different line of daemonettes that look WAY better. If I were to want to field a unit like this, I'd almost certainly want to go with those OOP ones over the new plastics.
Thanks for taking the time to read and/or these questions =)
2. Depends on your opponent.
4. No, in GW-run stores/tournaments.
5. Depends whether you like eBay.
I figured I'd make my replies as wordy as your questions.
All the old Specialist Games resources are currently being uploaded at the Tactical Command forums, and you can find them here: http://www.sg.tacticalwargames.net/fanatic/.