Episode 39: The History of 40K Part 2
In this episode, we continue our discussion of the history of Warhammer 40k. We talk about the third, fourth and fifth editions of 40k and how the rules, gameplay, art and story evolved through these editions of the game. We also have an interview with Chris Morgan and Paul Murphy of the Forge the Narrative podcast to talk about their own history of 40k.
This is the second in our series of podcasts on the history of Warhammer 40k. This year is the 30th anniversary and we are on the cusp of 8th edition, so we want to explore all the past editions of the game and talk about the rules, the gameplay, the art and the story.
Released in 1998 and written by committee, with Rick Priestly, Andy Chambers, Gavin Thorpe, Ian Pickstock, and Jervis Johnson.
Opens with the phrase “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.”
Third edition was the last big change for 40k. It made all the 2nd edition army books obsolete and several armies were not seen again until recently, such as Harlequins and Genestealer cults.
Much simpler and is more suitable for larger scale games.
Tau were also introduced at the end of third edition.
- Unit types: Infantry, bikes, Jump pack, Calvary, fast vehicles, skimmers, tanks, walkers, with standardized movement profiles
- Units rather than individual model facings, and the unit has to fire at an enemy unit.
- Force Organization charts to build armies with units as slots: troops, fast attacks, heavy support, etc.
Story and Art
Released in 2004, written by Rick Priestly and Andy Chambers, along with Alessio Cavatore.
- Defined model height
- More detailed line of sight rules
- Clear, difficult, and impassable terrain. Area terrain of different sizes, 6” within is out of sight.
- Moving up and down ruins
- Sweeping advance; remove unit.
- Perils of the ward for psychic powers
- Universal Special Rules
So not much different, but more detailed in terms of terrain and line of sight, but some areas are cleaner.
Story and Art
Released in 2008, written by Alessio Cavatore, (main rules) with Mat Ward, Phil Kelly, Gav Thorpe, Andy Hoare, Robin Cruddance, Jervis Johnson,
- True line of sight
- Simplified vehicle damage rules: one chart, a glance is a -2 on the chart
- Cover is easier; if half the unit is in cover, it gets cover, if less than half, none
- Going to ground
- Run rather than shoot
- Advanced building rules; fire points, building AV values
Fifth edition simplified the cover system, wound allocation, and shooting.
Third was a big shock and invalidated all old codices. Third to fifth edition is an evolution of the rule set.
Scale of game increased with more and more vehicles and buildings being built.
Story is not much different; just better art and more of a cementing of the “Grimdark” universe.
Went public in 1997, just before 3rd edition.
Changed from a small company with a handful of miniatures to a full fledged miniature company with simplified rules to support larger scale games.
Forum was shut down in 2006.
Start of pulling out of being involved in the community.
Paul Murphy and Chris Morgan from Forge the Narrative.