A Ruleset Too Far: Looking forward to Shadow War Armageddon?

When I said to the other guys down at TTGUK that I was looking forward to shadow war I was met with some comments like, just play 2nd ed dust of your old Necromunda books. But this got me thinking, here GW are giving us more, let me start by taking you back then I’ll explain.


Like most gamer’s, I started out with 40K 2nd Ed, this was the first wargame I owned and love it to bits, it hooked me into the hobby for the rest of my life. The thought of a squad of space marines holding a barricade against the oncoming Ork’s, or a small marine encampment being invaded and small firefights breaking out all over the place kept me awake at night. From the starter set I expanded with more figures for both sides and because my brother hates me, he took on playing chaos just to spite me. So it’s a typical start that most people can relate to. 40kBut then 3rd ed came out, and I got a little wiser with the rules. From being a wide eyed noob, I now looked at the odds of dice rolls a lot more. Marines shooting will always hit on a 3 up, in combat two combat weapons gave you an extra dice and the edge. It got more about the numbers then the game for me. It came to a point that I found other games refreshing from the slog that 40k had become now, and it was around this point (4th Ed) that I stopped playing. While I miss the universe and still love the books and fluff, I felt I never wanted to play the game again because it had stopped being fun.

From what I’ve seen the current set of rules are so different in some sense, but still the same, Marines always hit on a 3 up. But nothing really from a set of rules makes me want to play the game again. Then came along Shadow war.

Now, I know its a rip of the Necromunda rules, but the thing that I didn’t like about necromunda.jpgNecromunda was you couldn’t play the main races. It is a great game, but I so wanted to run a mob of Orks, and Gorkamorka really rocked as it had vehicle rules and was just mad, but you couldn’t run guard or any other races apart from the greenskins.

So, what do you get with Shadow war that’s getting me excited! Well this set of rules, from what I’ve seen, is 2nd Ed and Necromunda all rolled up in one set of rules, so you can run the races that are current and you have that rules set that should take me back to the good old days. I just want to say now that this wont be a gateway game for me, I love the fact that I can play loads of Gorkamorka.jpgdifferent games, my view on playing 40K is that it zaps all your gaming funds, painting time (because the figures are over detailed in my view) and gaming time as the rules are so complex, so its a no go for me.

So now the disappointment, £80! That’s steep for the box set and looking online the chaos kill team is priced up at +£100. So the entry for this is big, forgetting whats in the box its still a big payout for getting up and running. The hope is that the rules will come out as an PDF (Just found out the GW will release this as a book only option) and eBay will be my friend for figures. But there is more disappointment, these rules are from 1993, so that means your paying out for rules that are 24 years old and are always going on eBay for a fair price. Also, looking at the new (to you Dave -Ed) factions, a lot of them don’t really blow me away, the Tau are about the only ones that really look good.  The more I think about it the more I’m think that this might not be for me. It feels like its time to pass this rule set on for others to enjoy, hopefully as we did all those years ago. I’m glad its come out and whether GW should of come up with a new set of rules and not just reprinted an old set is for you to decide.

But I like the scuffy old books and the oldhammer scene is getting bigger and bigger each year, and hunting down old figures is fun.  This set of rules is really good fun and takes you right into the action, but to pay for what we had before feels wrong to me, but I do hope others enjoy it.




  1. the £80 price tag is great in my opinion for what you get in the box, the terrain is fantastic and you are getting £30 worth of scouts and £18 worth of orks. I think value for money the set is great and the rules are fun too, you might not see a lot stand out from looking at the PDF but watch some videos, Miniwargaming.com are running a campaign you can watch but the best bet would be to play it. i was a fan of Necromunda but felt limited by the gangs and while the campaign system for this lacks depth i think they have done well to bring in all these factions. ignore the getting started sets on GW as you can start most gangs with a box or two of troops so its not much at all to get you going.

    • It’s nice to see we agree on a lot of things, I felt the same with Necromunda and always wanted to expand the rules as I said in the post.
      But £80 is Still £80, if you spent £70 on the warlord Waterloo starter set you’d get over £100 figures https://store.warlordgames.com/collections/napoleonic-british/products/waterloo-black-powder-starter-set. So like the post, I’m not saying don’t get this, I’m just hoping you have as much fun as we had first time round.

      • To me the main thing about this game though is that its a chance for the people that were not there for it first time around, i have 0 interest in 40k i have no intentions of throwing £500+ at an army to stand around a table and argue about rules, that said i love the 40k models and think they look very cool, this to me is a chance for a 40k player to say to me “come on then lets play shadow war” most people i know that play tabletop games have some 40k, even i have some stuff long put away and so i could dig into that and find out enough to get me started if i wanted too. the Armageddon sets on GW give you everything you would need for that faction and some but to start the game a box of generic troops would set you up so £18-35 and you have a starting faction, from then its really up to the player how they expand but i think its a very affordable game. i agree there are a lot of other games out there much cheaper, GW is at the higher end of the price market but as you have said they are well detailed miniatures. I really hope it gets on going support because certainly for me this how i want to use 40k models.

        • Full agree with all your saying. It would be nice to play a 40k game that didn’t take over every aspect of your gaming life, from the extra time spent painting because of the details on them, the funds you have to put in to the figures means we can’t really afford anyone elese figures for other games, to the playing time learning the rules. I hope this game does remove some of that and like i said in the post if/when the book comes out i’m all over that. It’s so hard for the older gamers because we remember when the prices were good and times were better playing GW games. At my club everyone played everything GW, and you could always get a game of anything. For me it would be nice to have a couple of games with the old figures that i have, but I’ve moved on, and that’s what i was trying to put across. It’s still a great set of rules and people will enjoy it i’m sure. But I’m not just going to fall into the trap that GW want me to, and i’m going to do play it my way.

          • yeah thats fair enough, I think you will enjoy the rules when they release them, ive seen pre order is later this month, its a much more simple campaign to that from Necromunda but i think there is room to add to it. i played 3 games on Sunday and enjoyed them all, i went out and bought some Necrons a week or two before the release as i figured they would be the easiest to paint up quickly ready to play and on Sunday i played 3 games against Harliquins using the campaign rules for between game to get a good feel for it, i won 1 game and lost 2 though at no point did i feel like i didnt have a chance and i really enjoyed all 3 games, it has a good feel to it, i feel like Harliquins really do have some great bonuses that made them really hard to play against with necrons as i couldnt pin them so couldnt do much to slow them down but i think that would balance out in later games when the Harliquin Kill team cant grow beyond 6 in size and the Necrons is 10 those extra 4 models should make a difference. ill keep an eye out for a post when you have the rules. i really hope you do enjoy it.

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