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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ways to wage war while battling wits

    Sometimes all a gamer wants to do is outsmart someone, and other times they just want a game that lasts. That’s where Games Workshop comes in with two of the most time-consuming and mentally rewarding games on the market: “Warhammer Fantasy Battle” and “Warhammer 40000.”

    Both fall under the category of tabletop war game. To those unaware of the term, a tabletop war game pitches two armies of miniature figures in a battle together with various objectives — usually the point is to kill the enemy’s entire force.

    What really makes it shine, though, is how much time the hobby takes up.

    To start, a player has to choose between the more sword and sorcery style of “Fantasy Battle” or the futuristic running and gunning of “40000.” After that, there are at least 14 unique armies for a player to pick from, each with its own play style and strategy.

    Within each army, a player has to decide which among the many diverse units to field, and in what amount. Each unit costs a set amount of points and opponents agree on a maximum value before a battle.

    With that all squared away, a player has to physically build up their army. This appeals to the crafty gamers, but it’s something anyone can do.

    Each unit comes with simple directions and the hardest part is holding certain parts together while the super glue dries. It’s a relaxing outlet though, and can be a good way to spend an afternoon.

    From there a player needs to prime and paint their miniatures, a process which does have a learning curve. Many of the models are small and the details are fine, but with some practice it becomes pretty easy. This is fit preparation for the high-stress situation of the battle itself. What’s even better is that one can paint their armies with any color scheme they desire. Some look better than others, but it’s a great way to make the army your own.

    Once all that’s finished, you’re ready to actually test your skills as a general. Now, bear in mind you can play casually whenever the models are built, but to actually play in tournaments — and win money — the army needs to be done.

    Regardless, the biggest draw of Warhammer is the battle aspect. Learning the rules seems pretty daunting at first, but there’s a pretty easy to understand rulebook that can do the job. If you don’t want that, you can learn from more experienced players who, in my experience, are always happy to help out newbies.

    To put it simply though, the units all have their own line of statistics that are used to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

    Each also has a movement value, in inches, and players take turns maneuvering their armies around a large board. Eventually the units come into contact in either a physical battle or a ranged one using weapons and magic, and then they fight. Dice rolls determine how many models die. The important thing to remember here is all the strategy involved. There’s far more to it than the luck of the roll, and one can employ the same strategies that actual generals might use to win a battle.

    Playing Warhammer, and being good at it, really gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you look at other games — or even real life situations — in a much more critical way. Plus, for the egotistical gamer, becoming a triumphant general is quite an ego boost. But no matter what you play it for, remember to have fun and if you want to get local, try Hat’s Games at 3921 E. 29th St., Suite 311 here in Tucson. See you on the (mini)battle field, my fellow gamers.

    — Jason Krell is a junior studying creative writing and Italian. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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