War Games: Opinions Needed

Years ago I played a little game called Warhammer 40k by Games Workshop. While I only had the two starter armies (Space Marines and Orks) I enjoyed playing out futuristic war scenarios and thinking through the best tactics I could. Fun times!

I’ve been thinking of getting back into war gaming. Since Warhammer 40k was in my blood I’ve spent some time looking at the army lists and what options are available for army building. But to be honest I’m not totally sold on coming back to GW due to two main reasons: price and copyright bullying.

Price is the easy one to talk about. Warhammer 40k supplies are expensive. Not only do you need to pay about $30 for each squad of miniatures but also fork over a good bit of dough for the current rule book. Add another $30 if you want to keep a codex for your army (hint: you do). In effect one must drop around $200 to start playing.

The second thing is copyright bullying. Earlier this month it made news that Games Workshop believes it owns the term “Space Marines” and blocked an author on Amazon from selling an unrelated book. Isn’t that crazy? It’s as silly as someone thinking they own the term superhero! Luckily Amazon reversed it’s block decision but the whole thing leave s a bad taste in my mouth. Would my purchases help reward the previous behavior or, worse, aid in funding such overreaching behavior in the future? Either way I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

So, what games are good alternatives to Warhammer 40k? Do things like Dust Tactics cut it? Or am I stuck picking up GW games with a hope they don’t further such overreaching and unfair ownership tactics?