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Father / Son - New to 40k, Looking for advice.
Old 09 Dec 2012, 04:05   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
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Default Father / Son - New to 40k, Looking for advice.

TLDR; version at bottom....

I played MTG back about 15 - 20 years ago now, and I would have loved playing with my dad, but he never had an interest in any games. (Though we loved going fishing together.)

My son is turning 11 on Monday, and has played pretend battles with his toys for years. He loves minecraft, and spends hours each week building and playing in it.

From what I know of it, I think he would love Warhammer 40k. We just moved to the city a couple months ago and now live ~10 min from a hobby shop that has warhammer games every Saturday. That makes things even better because I can take him there and we can play against someone other than each other. This will also give lots of projects we can do together building things.

I have showed him miniwargaming.com, and he spent a couple hours watching videos today followed by making up rules for his toy soldiers and having a battle that lasted until bedtime. It sure looks like a hit.

I plan on playing with / against him, but money is tight, so building two armies is going to take time.

He is more interested in playing science fiction than fantasy, and from talking to the people at the hobby store they recommended Space Marines as his first army. They said it was a more forgiving army for beginners mistakes.

They recommened starting with: Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance and a box of dice for each of us (36d6 each). This would give us a "Dark Angels" army and a "Chaos Space Marines" army. I assume that the two armies are well balanced for fighting against each other.

This will give us a starting army and the rules. Assuming that ya'll agree that this is a good starting point, I don't really know where to go from there.

TLDR; version: New to game, son new to game, we want to be able to play against each other, and play weekly at local hobby store. Thinking of "Dark Vengeance" as a starting point.

1) Should we mainly work on building one army to share, or just work on building up two separate armies? Keep in mind, that the first method would be twice as fast, but we will also be playing against each other and I don't know if that even works with the same army types.

2) We will be making the terrain and buildings. Other than that and the "Dark Vengeance" set and extra dice is there anything else we should get right away?

3) Any suggestions / advice for someone in my situation?

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Old 09 Dec 2012, 14:21   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the game. From what you have said, that does seem like a great starting point. The Dark vengeance kit is quite nice, and probably an easier start than what I did (buy random tau until it was a legal to field). In terms of # of armies, that is really more of a personal decision. Fighting the same army type, while it may seem counter-intuitive, is still quite as fun, and chances are, you will meet people at the store to play against with other armies. If you choose space marines, it is very easy to change one side to one of the separate factions (ie blood angels, dark angels, etc). If you take this route, you can still play the same models, just they will be geared towards a different goal. But again, it truly is your decision to make.
Anyway, I hope that you and your son have fun in this endeavor. In the words of a famous Jedi, "You have taken your first step into a larger world".
L.V. Tau Sept-1750pts

When tactics don't work for you, add more firepower and than re-evaluate the situation
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Old 10 Dec 2012, 00:50   #3 (permalink)
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Sup. As my good friend has said above, that's a great starting point. I started off in almost the exact same position as you have, albeit without a son . Though I do think that army ambiance is very important for your first army. As your son has expressed interest in Space Marines, go for it. However, instead of going on what goes best depending on what your son picks, pick an army that YOU want also. I find that if you like the overview, look, and history of a faction, then that's the army that best suits you. The game is way more fun if you like the "Ambiance" of the army you play with. Dark Vengeance is a great starting point, but don't go overboard with it unless you think you will get the best use of it, especially if money is in the equation. What your store has been telling you is spot on, but depending on what they are like, they may be a bit deceiving (They are very good at that, just watch yourself). Overall, I find it 10x better to base your decisions on what you would like to play rather then game stats, price, and attainability. Keep in mind you will be investing in this game too, not just your son, so make sure you have just as much fun as he has!

Edit: In referring to #2, Plasticard and thick insulation foam can make quick buildings fast, with not much Exp. needed, and its cheap.
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Last edited by romanmaster; 10 Dec 2012 at 00:55.
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Old 12 Dec 2012, 01:03   #4 (permalink)
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For the TL;DR see bottom.

Hey, welcome to the community (you've picked kind of a weird forum to join for just starting out... some might call it dead...).

I started out playing the fantasy version of this game with my dad when I was 7, and 14 long years later I still love the game in all its aspects (though my dad doens't play anymore). For value, the best place to start is definitely the boxed starter set. It comes with two small forces, a rule book, dice, and measuring equipment, and it's a good way to get a feel for the game before you go spending all sorts of money on stuff.

Speaking of money, you mentioned you were strapped for cash; while you learn the game, I DON'T really think the individual packs of dice are necessary (the starter box comes with dice). What you will need to invest in is glue, primer, and paints. While expensive, the paint and primer that GW sells are very good quality (the pigment is very high grade, and the washes are really fantastic at making a paint job 'pop') and will go a long way to painting models if you take good care of them. Brushes and super glue you can likely get cheaper elsewhere. An extension of painting is basing (the area where the model stands), don't be fooled into buying overpriced white glue and sand to put on your model's base... just buy white glue anywhere and pick up a baggy of sand from your nearest playground (hint: only apply sand to the top of the base, it's frowned upon to add texture or detail to the sides of the base). Building, and painting the models is often the most enjoyable part of the hobby, so I really want to stress the importance of that aspect (building and then painting models with my dad was probably more fun than the actual games and I've put way more time into that than the game itself). Starter paint sets are about $50 (or individual paints are about $5 each if you don't like the colour options available), and a can of spray primer is about $20; so these are costs that you should factor in on top of the $120 starter set (these are all Canadian prices by the way).

How should you go about pursuing this hobby? I would strongly recommend the two army approach. What's more, only help with his army if he needs help with something in particular, and even then emphasize doing it on his own; demonstrate how it should go rather than doing it for him. It's great to have a hobby to do together, and it may seem nice to get the building out of the way and get down to the playing, but the army should be his own and an accomplishment to be proud of. It will take time and hard work (hint: the more time you put into something the better it will be... well duh... but in painting and modeling especially, make sure to emphasize taking things slow, watering down the paints and doing many layers, this will give the best and smoothest results), but it will make the experience that much better when he gets to play (the army will have significance). It sounds like your son has a strong imagination, so encourage him to come up with a story for his army beyond the box, let him pick his own colour scheme to match that and fully explore the aspect of the hobby (hint: black and white are two of the trickiest coloured armies to paint, pray he doesn't pick them! But if he does, definitely look up a tutorial before going in alone.).

When you know your son likes the game and will continue playing it, then it is the time to branch out and buy more things (either expanding on the force in the box, or by finding him the army he actually likes best and buying him the battleforce and codex for that army. Until then, the Space Marines or the forces of Chaos in Dark Vengeance are a great choice for your son.

A cautionary tale as far as game balance goes... The game is not balanced, and from what I have heard the balance in the box is particularly poor this time around (it's usually skewed towards the Space Marines, but this time I hear there is a pretty significant difference); the Space Marines have a head start in points, and given 2 evenly matched players it's an up hill battle to play as chaos just because of the way the units are paired off (cultists will really struggle with marines even if they have double the numbers, and plasma weapons will shred the power armoured chosen). So if your son decides to walk the path of the renegade and plays Chaos, you'll have to drop something from your roster to even things up for the first little bit (until he masters the art of war).

For some nice easy terrain that comes together quickly and looks good pick up a big sheet of foamcore (basically cardboard with foam in the middle), some pink insulation foam (the stuff in sheets, not the fiberglass fluff), and aluminum pie trays (make great craters!). You can get all the terrain you need including buildings, hills, and craters using those items for around $20.

TL;DR version
1) Build the 2 separate armies, that way he has an army that is his and his alone and he can be proud of it (and hopefully like it more because of that).

2a) Don't buy dice, the starter set comes with all the dice you will need to start and see if he likes the game. You will however need to think about glue, primer, brushes, basing materials, and paint.

2b) Foamcore, pink insulation foam, and aluminum pie plates make for great terrain materials.

3) Read the long version for details and ask questions if you still need advice.
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Old 13 Dec 2012, 15:27   #5 (permalink)
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Added on to the above, I use Krylon: Satin spray paints for my basecoating, they are easy to find, somewhat less expensive then regular modeling spray paints. They are a very good base to start out with. One can, if taken care of, will last for many projects. And also, don't go black and white, or if you do, have a new bottle of Krylon ready
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Old 14 Aug 2013, 20:32   #6 (permalink)
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Note that the dark angels space marine army is illegal, as you need two troop choices, and it only comes with one unit of tactical marines.It'll be fine to play games with, but you'll eventually want another troops option for it.

Some tips on terrain: books make great all-purpose terrain, especially harcover books. You can ccut a large blob out of a sheet of paper and color it green, to represent forest area terrain, or blue, to represent lakes.

You don't need to buy any extra dice, the eight that come in the box plus any you have lying around from boardgames will work fine.

If you have one lying around, a tape measure will be invaluable, but don't feel the need to buy one, as measurement sticks come with the box.

The armies in the box aren't very well balanced, but you can make house rules to make up for that- maybe the person who lost the last game gets to choose deployment zones, terrain placement, game type, and/or who goes first?

Also, buying entire armies is much cheaper on ebay, but you will likely recieve them pre-painted (which can be good or bad, depending on your preferences.) Note that "much cheaper" does not mean "cheap." I got my tau army for half of what it would cost new, but it still cost a couple hundred dollars.
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Old 09 Feb 2014, 18:14   #7 (permalink)
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In my opinion, tau are a much more fun army to play than space marines.
With space marines, no actual strategy is needed - you just camp them on an objective and watch them shrug off fire. With tau, there are a broad range of tactics and it is much more enjoyable, whilst they are still forgiving of mistakes, albiet to a lesser extent.(I my friend and I swapped armies once and each played a battle. My friend loved tau and regretted choosing marines, while I just didn't see the point in playing marines.)
If the word of the tau is powerful, then you do NOT want to see their guns.
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