Thursday, 22 July 2010

What happened to strategy cards?

I'm showing my age now but does anybody else out there remember the amount cards you got in the second edition box (everything from templates to a card ork dreadnought). You had wargear cards, strategy cards, mission cards, half a dozen templates, ruins, every token you could possibly imagine there was even a deck of cards for determining what you could do in the psychic phase (yes it had it's own phase in the turn sequence back then). So what happened?

Back then you bought the main box and boom, you were ready to start playing. OK your room looked like a cross between a paper factory and an abatoir (damn those gretchin had sharp points on their helmets). But the excitement of seeing all that packed into a box was unbelievable.

But by far the most interesting things to come out of the massive card section were the strategy cards. You got a set number of random cards depending on how many points or the scenario you were playing. Their effects ranged from allowing one squad to automatically pass a break test (morale test) to unleashing devastating toxins amongst your enemy. The later of these was dreaded by guard players because of it's ability to destroy half your infantry before any of the action really kicked off.

These great little spanners in the works seem to have been forgotten, but some of the results from these were brilliant. They added real character to your games and in a lot of cases made you have to really think about your battle plan while you played.

Another great thing was that White Dwarf would regularly have a card section that would add new cards or replace existing ones, meaning you didn't have to constantly check for FAQ's or wait for updates.

OK the actual 2nd Edition played so slowly a 1500 point game could last all day, and the number of different weapon profiles and options available to your squads was mind boggling. Not to mention the number and types of dice needed just to use some of the weapons were ludicrous.

The three books you got in the box were great they gave a real insight into the different forces and weapons available, without having to buy the individual codex's to get the fluff. So there were no points costs but that was covered in a smaller pamphlet which gave costs for most of the races basic units allowing you to try every army before you had to make a decision on which you wanted to collect. Which in my opinion was a great idea for newer players because they got to find the army which best suited their play style before having to commit to any major purchases.

As a final point the models in the box were pretty basic compared to today's plastic models, but they were fine considering all of the models were metal.

I would just like to know if anybody else enjoyed 2nd edition as much as me, and would anybody else like to see a return of strategy cards or bring in something similar.


  1. The stategy cards, and the psychic deck both came in the Dark Milleniunm supplement (and boy did IT have a lot of cards...).

    I really miss the old Wargear book. It was a great read, and I miss the in depth descriptions of all the weapon, armour and other gear as well as the technology behind them (or biology in the case of the tyranids...) I constantly find myself wishing I could look up certain items (especially some of the older weapons that you don't see amy more).

    Unfortuantely all my 2nd Ed stuff (codexs, cards, rulebooks - the lot) got destroyed in the floods that came through here a couple years ago. It was only 30cm of water at our house - but it was enough to destroy it all, along with a large portion of my older (and more valuable) M:TG cards, and all my Dragon and Dungeon magazines... I was overseas at the so I was very sad panda when I found out...

  2. Ha - I've just realised where you got the name of your blog from Justicar... lol

    I can totally understand why they dropped the virus bombs though - the ability to effectively win a game against some armies before the battle had even started was a bit too nasty methinks. Still wicked fun though... :D

  3. Ah yes Dark Millennium once you opened it and popped all the cards out it never went back into the box.

    I just think something is missing from 40K these days.

  4. I think some of these things can be found in the various expansions/supplements available. Cities of Death, Apocalypse etc...

  5. I'd like them to include them as an option when playing the missions from the rule book.

    It wouldn't be difficult to put them on the web or even go back to putting a card section in white dwarf.

    But I guess that would take up space GW could use to out in another advert, sorry I mean article.