I'm confident that there are people playing other classes, but when I am in there doing shit, I see a lot of other players who - like myself - are servants of Death Itself. The vast majority. I saw one Barbarian, but I could tell they regretted their choice. They saw the fit - my wicked diadem, burial rags fixed by a chittering scarab - and were fully chastised. Beneath their knitted brow, I could see the idea form: if the sacred rites of their people resulted in them looking like that and me looking like this, how sacred could these rites possibly be? I barely lift a finger when combat begins. I have employees for that. Well, not employees exactly. I haven't opened a jar for myself in a hundred years.
I always tend to get Mike into something right about the time it materially shifts into something else. The most recent incarnation of this tendency is Warhammer, specifically Warhammer 40k. There are many, many other Warhammers, but Warhammer 40k is such a factor in the space - and also in space - that it literally has a historical version of the setting that takes place ten thousand years prior.
They eventually snared us with Kill Team, now sometimes called Kill Team 2018, because a new version has since been released. I was intimidated by the need to paint a table full of plastic dolls, and Kill Team's smaller scale - generally called "skirmish" in the wargaming space - meant I could play without that. Of course, once you have a unit of models built and painted, you're like… well, I guess I could do a couple more. And now you are in very, very deep trouble.
The rest of our group got into the current version of 40k with what is called the Indomitus box, which - typical of the hobby - is an expansion for the game that is also a starting point for new players. This means that it includes a bunch of models and accessories for two factions to start playing. In this case, it also launched the 9th edition of the game. We love the lore, and we love the models, but… we started playing another, different Warhammer game because we didn't find the current state of the game that fun. We literally play this other game, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, every Thursday during a series of streams we call "Warhammer For Lunch."
What frustrated me about 9th, and what they needed to fix for 10th, was that every faction has this vast menu of abilities called Stratagems. You expend a resource called Command Points to activate them, and there can be pages of these things. Some of them are broadly applicable. Some apply only to a specific unit. It's a major reason we play Sigmar instead:
1. In Sigmar, every unit has a physical card that goes along with it, that includes all the necessary information required to use it. You know how I feel about cards. I don't want to look stuff up unless I have to.
2. If a unit does something cool, it can just… do it. I don't need to expend a precious resource or anything. It's part of the unit's fundamental identity.
The other thing I really wanted from 10th was a little more - for lack of a better term - 2023. I'd love to see free digital rules released. I'd love to see cards like the other games we play for all the units in the game, and I'd like to see those be digital as well. I'd love to see the math for certain types of attacks just… baked into the unit stats themselves. In my fantasy, they would take the learnings from their newest Kill Team and Warhammer products and file off some of the edges - streamlined selections of general purpose Stratagems, and a few precise, characterful stratagems for each faction.
The new version is coming, and they literally did all of it.
Here's all the rules, for free. You can buy cards for your units, like I have for their other products, but you'll also be able to just grab a PDF for every faction with every unit. They dominate this industry - everyone else is competing for maybe, maybe fourth place. A new version would find tremendous success without any concessions to modernity. But they did!
They did a bunch of other stuff that I think is interesting, but gets into the crevices. Changes to how morale works, or psychic powers, or army building are startling for longtime players but I've already prevailed upon you too long. The main thing I wanted to say is this: as a project, with a buddy or with your family, this new Leviathan box is a really cool summer plan.