I went to NOVA 2017 this year for the first time.
Spoiler: Its worth going to.Read More
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard).
Landing Page Print based on the Co Optional Podcast Animated "Admiral Biscuit" on YouTube.
One man's journey to rebuild his childhood Warhammer 40,000 Army.
The Astra Militarum. Or the Imperial Guard.
Landing Page Print based on the Co Optional Podcast Animated "Admiral Biscuit" on YouTube.
There were some pretty interesting changes that happend for the Adeptus Astartes in their Codex.
Check out some of the changes that came to the Space Marines for Warhammer 40,000: 8th Edition.
There's ALOT that changed.Read More
I do have to admit. My first impression of the codex announcement wasn't positive. I'm still cautiously pessimistic about codex's in the long term since editions have changed frequently in the past. It makes it so that the older books become obsolete and end up getting sold at garage sales or just lingering in an attic somewhere. I have also seen a ridiculous amount of Power Creep from codex to codex in previous editions. However, there are some positive points to keep in mind. Games Workshop has changed their stance around with the community in terms of communcation that gives us a bit of a bright spot in 8th Edition's future.
First things first, Games Workshop is finally publicly presenting information themselves before the release of their products. This accomplishes a few things positively for both the consumer and Games Workshop themselves. It makes it so that information doesn't have to boil down to rumors and here say shortly before release. It wasn't uncommon in previous editions to get your information about the new releases not from your Local Game Store or Games Workshop themselves, but by Bell of Lost Souls reporting on the latest rumor from various blogs that had credibility when it came to rumors. Even Codex pages with rules on them were leaked well in advance before it was announced in a White Dwarf, Games Workshop's official magazine. It was where Games Workshop relayed its information out of, hoping you'd buy a magazine every month from your Local Game Store to get the news. In theory it sounded like a solid plan. It was to entice customers to go to your Local Game Store in order to find out what was going on with new releases and product information. In practice, it was the main reason people went to websites like Bell of Lost Souls to gather their information and knew more before the White Dwarf launched. And Local Game Store owners that wanted to stay on top of what was going on had to rely on this information. Which meant that nine times out of ten, the customer knew far more about what was going on than the Local Game Store did.
It also builds up hype in the same was as the rumors did years ago, but far more controlled. The Dark Eldar got a huge overhaul back in 2011. It was the first army they remodeled entirely in plastic from the ground up. Kabalite Warriors, Wyches, Wracks, even the Talon was redone in plastic. It was a pretty major overhaul that cost Games Workshop quite a bit of money to do all in one sitting. It was also the product that sold the least at the time upon release. Why? Grey Knights were already accurately predicted to release their codex six months later. People were more excited for Grey Knights getting the overhaul than they were Dark Eldar, discouraging them from doing the same thing again to other factions that sorely need it like Sisters of Battle. Games Workshop now has more in control of what information gets leaked ahead of time by providing it themselves, protecting their IP and making the central focus be on what they have in the works this month instead of a year from now.
Second, it seems that Games Workshop is taking feedback from rules problems and inaccuracies far more seriously this time around. In previous editions, FAQs would be released silently by Games Workshop and never announced unless it was by a user that happened to stumble upon it. It was as if the company was afraid to announce anything and stand by their rules. And for the most part, they were right to be cautious. Games Workshop is, and always will be, a model company first and a rules company second. They focus on the miniatures themselves first and then the game after the miniature is made. Now, they have been quick to point to and release FAQs for the Indexes when they released. This is in part due to direct feedback from people on their Warhammer Community page on Facebook. It allows them to address questions and rule inaccuracies quickly and easily. Which leads me to point number three.
Wisely, they decided with this edition to let the community develop it alongside them since they have far more experience with the tabletop game. And it has paid off for the company if their list of models being sold out is any indication as to their sales figures. I swear, Orks have been sold out for awhile now. Previous editions were developed in house by Games Workshop with no direct feedback from outside sources at all until well after the edition was released. This in turn lead to high turnover rates when developing the various editions. So after looking at some previews of what the Space Marine Codex for 8th Edition holds, it seems like they are customizing armies by giving them a universal Tactic and Stratagems that can be spent using Command Points. One example they gave was of the Ultramarines Tactic shown below.
This is going to be a universal rule that applies to all Ultramarine models. Models. MODELS.
If I had to speculate, I am going to predict that armies in future codexes will follow this similar pattern to be unique from one another. Armies like the Astra Militarium (Imperial Guard!), Orks, Necrons, and Tau have multiple different variants that are possibilities to have into their own unique feel similar to Space Marine Chapters in the upcoming Codex. They already mentioned that Raven Guard will have their own Stratagems, Warlord Traits, Relics, and Tactic that will make them different from Ultramarines. It would not surprise me then to see Catachans have a different set of Orders than Cadians that are unique to them or Snakebitaz being able to do things that Bad Moon Orks wouldn't do like infiltrate units of Boyz. But it also opens up more possibilities for factions that may not have obvious differences like the Farsight Enclave or the different Necron Dynasties. It allows for no two armies to be on the field to play the exact same, which is great for all of us as we'll see a lot more diverse armies on the tabletop for people to try out.
It does lead to some pretty great possibilities later down the line. We will know more when the Codex releases later in the month.
With 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons released, we saw a rather interesting shift in character creation. While you still picked a class and race as before, the background was also a part of the character as well even more so than in previous editions. When you picked your background, you got two additional skills that you were trained in. Makes sense considering that these skills fit into your background story. But these were simply templates with a few charts for you to roll on to give you a sense of who your character is. Things like:
These don't make interesting characters. These are quotes as to what a character is now, not WHY they feel that way. There are thousands of different ways that each of these quotes can be played out and all of them are going to depend on who that person is at their core, the environment they grew up in, and key events that happened in their life to push them one direction or another. People's lives are not static. They are active in some way. We grow up, we fall in love, we get our heart broken, we make friends, we make enemies, we learn. Things happen through the course of our lives that make us who we are as people. Characters in a fictional medieval setting or a Star Wars setting are no different.
So how can we come up with a good character idea as we eat our lunch? Simple. We roll it.
I can already hear you right now.
That's not what I mean. What I mean is that we make up a series of charts that give us a bit more insight as to our character's background. Even more so than the charts in the Player's Handbook. Think about a person's life for a moment. What usually happens in it? A few things that happen in chronological order when you think about it.
There are a ton of other things we can add in there for good measure, but this gives us a good starting point. Let's start by asking ourselves some basic questions under their birth.
Come up with as many answers to these questions as humanly possible and jot them down in a list. Don't worry if it sounds stupid, we'll weed out the bad ones later on. For now, focus on getting as many ideas down for each of these questions as you can. Remember, its a fantasy setting. Go crazy with it starting off. Let's start with where the character was born in a Star Wars game. You could list planets sure, but let's expand on it further.
Once you have your list down, start crossing off ideas that don't make a lot of sense to you. Or if you feel that you can explain it later on then feel free to keep it. If you like one of these ideas, pick it and move on to the next question. If you can't decide, just list them numerically and roll for it randomly. But most importantly: Keep this list handy! Set it to the side and use as a reference later for the next character that you come up with in your future games. Do the same thing for their parents, who raised them, and special circumstances behind their birth. Remember, not everything has to be awesome at the beginning.
When you move on to special events that happened in their adolescence and young adult lives, think about things that could happen to them. Make it brief and in one sentence. Again: Go crazy! Its a fantasy setting after all. A few examples:
NOW we're getting to the good stuff! These are the things that make a person who they are. The things that happened in their lives that shape them as a person. With these, you can ask questions about their reaction to these events. Its not always a simple two or three choices like in some games...
Remember, things are not always as black and white as they appear. Think of some situations that could come up as a result of these one sentence stories. Let's go with the saving the young girl example from earlier. It could have been an assassination attempt that failed and now the killers are gunning after you in revenge. It could have been that the father wanted to kill the daughter but had to give you something to keep it under wraps. It could've been an argument with someone that would've gone horribly wrong had you not stepped in. Maybe the young girl was working on something that could've caused her to get killed and you noticed something she never would have that saved her. You never actually intended to save her but ended up doing so anyway because you were too busy focused on something else.
There are SO MANY possibilities! Explore them!
The trick to it is build it up in layers. Start with a simple sentence and expand on it as much as you want. Keep doing this for each of the questions mentioned before. Before too long, you'll have a little book of charts to roll several characters off of. The more you expand on it, the more in depth future characters will become.
Who knows, I may tell you of how I came up with Grotnick the Barbarian Accountant...
But that is another story for another time.
I'm about to drop a truth bomb on you.
You have a TON of competition out there.
And I'm not talking about the other LGSs around the area...
If you are involved in retail and HATE every aspect of retail (dealing with customers, stocking shelves, pricing product, cleaning the bathroom, managing sales tax and accounting, ect...) this is NOT the career path for you. A Local Game Store (or LGS for short) at its core is like a JC Pennies or a Gamestop. They have a product on a shelf that must be sold in order to make a profit.
You have to sell product in order to maintain your store front. Period.
That is how your business will stay afloat. If you open your store with the idea that you're going to hang out with your friends and they will buy things from you because "they are your friends" and you give a great discount, you are sorely mistaken. Your doors will quickly close on you. So how does a LGS survive typically? What kinds of products do they sell? Well, it varies depending on which LGS you go to, but in almost every single store independently owned always always ALWAYS sells at least in some capacity...
Star City Games started off like any other LGS in the Roanoke, Virginia area. They sold various products like Warhammer 40,000, comic books, board games in the beginning. But at some point in the business's lifespan, the owner invested quite a bit of money into Magic the Gathering.
To understand that, you have to understand Magic the Gathering as a game at its core. There are other formats like Commander, Archenemy, and Planechase that vary play quite a bit but we'll stick to the basics for now. Magic the Gathering has players face each other one on one. Each player builds a deck of 60 cards minimum with no more than 4 of the same kind except basic lands, which are used to put into play to summon creatures, spells, enchantments, artifacts, and planewalkers like those seen in its advertisements. Magic the Gathering has seen several sets of cards printed over the course of its lifespan starting back in 1993. When a new set comes out, it phases out the older set slowly over time, never reprinting it except in certain cases like in a newer set or part of a special bundle like in Commander decks and Vaults as limited print runs. Over time, Magic the Gathering's single cards became rarer and rarer to find because of the limited print run.
Thus turning Magic the Gathering singles into this...
Because cards had varying degrees of supply and demand, each card has a value. Commons typically are a quarter, sometimes less. Uncommons typically a quarter as well, sometimes being even as high as 20 dollars in some rare cases. Rares and Mythic Rares can have values ranging from as cheap as 50 cents to as high as a down payment on a car (ala Black Lotus, which honestly wasn't really a rare per se because rares didn't exist back in Alpha/Beta, and I'm getting off track here...). There are things that will lower the price of a card like condition of the card as well as supply and demand of said card. The demand comes from the local tournament scenes like Friday Night Magic but can escalate to the Pro Tour that can give away some pretty cool cash prizes. Depending on what a pro level player is playing and how well they do with said deck in the various formats. Cards that are banned in these competitions in certain formats will also affect the card's value to keep the different formats fresh.
Getting into the buying/selling of Magic singles can be a tricky one, especially now a days. But just know this for now; It can be profitable but it must be done right in order to make it work. It will require quite a bit of money up front and isn't an easy business to get into.
So what can be learned from Gamer's Haven that you can avoid if you want to open up your own store or are currently running one yourself?
I hope this helps in your future business excursions.
To put it simply, they are the paladins of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
To understand why I say this, you have to understand their Primarch, Robert Gulliman. Arguably, he is the most boring Primarch in the lineup and for good reason. He's basically Lawful Good to a fault. When he was flung into space by the Chaos Gods, he landed on a little Feudal planet by the name of Macragge. He was adopted by a warlord and quickly shown superhuman strength, charisma, and intelligence far past his adopted father. When the adopted father, Konor, was slain by an ally, Gulliman took his adopted father's place and set about uniting all of Macragge under his rule. People loved Gulliman and for the first time in years, Macragge saw an age of peace and prosperity unprecedented by the inhabitants of that planet. When the Emperor came to get Gulliman, he turned the Ultramarines Legion into one of the most feared Legions in the Imperium. It was so intimidating that when Horus planned to betray his father, he planned to put the Ultramarines Legion so far out of reach that even if they did get word of the rebellion that he wouldn't be able to interfere until it was too late. It was because of this that the Ultramarines had so many successor chapters. They were the ones who was the least effected by the Horus Heresy.
Gulliman later would reshape the Space Marines into chapters instead of Legions, concluding that no one man should hold such power over the Legions no matter how noble they may be. In one of the followup battles against Chaos, he was stabbed with a blade tainted by Papa Nurgle causing him unbearable agony. To stave off the wound and allow his regeneration to slowly heal him, the Ultramarines placed him in stasis until a contingent of Sisters of Battle, Eldar, and Black Templars found a way to stop the disease. When Gulliman woke, it took him less than 3 hours to drive away 4 Chaos Legions assaulting Macragge.
Once he learned of what has transpired while he was asleep, this is what he said:
Ironically, the Emperor of Man never desired to become a God, even making it punishable by death. Actually, it was the reason why the Horus Heresy happened in the first place. The Word Bearers found new Gods to worship after the Emperor humiliated them. The same book that the Word Bearers wrote about the God Emperor of Man would be the foundation for the Imperial Cult.
Despite his father's dream of the Imperial Truth uniting the galaxy being perverted and seeing Chaos close in all around him, Gulliman pressed on. Eventually, he would make it to Terra and become the Lord Commander of the Imperium.
Even when Gulliman was asleep, the Ultramarines always remembered the Emperor not as a God, but as a great man that led their people through troubling times. They still kept true to the Imperial Truth and treated all with respect.
Its their nobility that drove me to love the Ultramarines.