The Great 30k-40k Conspiracy…



Howdy everyone, Profesor Severus here.  I was listening to a podcast last night and I had a sudden epiphany.  I think the guys over at The Southern State of 40k may have stumbled onto a great Games-Workshop conspiracy.  And I am here today to break it down for you.

Over the last year or two, the way we build lists and the rules for 40k have changed a lot.  Crazier combos are starting to be let out in the rules, making balance harder to achieve.  List building is become more and more complex with the composite detachments, formations, and factions.  Even the way the rules are provided for us is becoming more complex as seen in the recent campaign updates to space wolves, tau, astra militara, and ect.  It is a very different looking game compared to what we all knew back in 6th edition.  I am not saying it is good or bad, just different.

Now, rewind in your head to about 3 years ago.  Forgeworld launched their Horus Heresy system.  It was based of 6th edition 40k rules, but it essentially had it’s own force org charts and codexes.  At the time of it’s launch, it played a lot like 40k.  Lists were built relatively the same.  Army rules and unit entries were provided in the same format as 40k for the most part.  Essentially, 30k was a different skin on the 40k rule system.  At the end of the day, you got into Horus Heresy if you liked the fluff or the armies.

Now look at what has happened with the two games over the last few years.  40k has sort of opened up the flood gate with rules, new units, new army construction methods.   Balance is now a thing that can be hard to achieve.  It is quickly becoming a game more about the story and less about balance and competition.  And 30k (aka Horus Heresy) has stayed the same.  It still adheres to strict force org charts, formations haven’t showed up yet, lords of war are limited based on army size, and the rules feel pretty well internally balanced.

This is a complete guess, but what if that was the point.  The game systems were to similar when 30k launched.  Now they have diverged enough to start seeing a real difference.  On paper, it looks like 30k should attract players more concerned with balance and competition.  40k should attract players more interested in narrative and crazy games.  I am not as active in the community as I once was, so I can’t tell you if the player base has shifted to follow those lines yet.

What do you guys think?  Does that theory make sense?  Could GW be intentionally trying to split the player base into a narrative focused group and a balance focused group by making 30k and 40k so different?  Or has the Professor been working around to much super glue fumes lately?  Until next time this is Professor Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

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