Thursday 12 December 2013

Bringing New guys into the Hobby

Over the years i have had the pleasure of teaching friends how to play 40k though out the different editions, and it has always been quite straight forwards, you move, you shoot you assault. Recently a friend of mine asked me to teach him how to play as he wants to get into the hobby and i whole heartedly accepted, and he even had a few models already from a while back when he first found out about warhammer. However it got me thinking, how do you effectively teach 6th edition?

In the past editions you have had 3 phases, and your opponent couldn't interact with them at all, so its been very straight forwards to teach, its taken time for them to get a grasp of what's the best thing to do but that comes in time for all of us. Now i am teaching 6th edition, its got me a little confused, as now we have going to ground, over watch, characters being important, model placement, we have a lot more special rules to remember for each army etc... Its a lot to pick up for a beginner.

Basic set up first the first tutorial game
I decided that the best way to teach it would be to break it down into several lessons, the first being the basic phases, and getting used to them. So you ignore most special rules like characters, going to ground, all the racial ones and just stick to profiles, weapon profiles and cover. That is still a lot to take in during a single sitting.
Shit gets real as the marines encounter Dire avengers
So we played 3 games over the course of the night, twice with the same forces to get to know what each unit could do then a 3rd game that's a little bigger. As my eldar were at hand i used them against his space marines. We ignored all racial rules like fleet, battle focus and chapter traits and stuck to the basics. I feel the games went well and i forced him to keep looking at the to hit and to wound charts to try and pick up the pattern. Its all well and good saying it but i always find that they remember it more if they figure it out for them selves. Either way he started picking up rules and i was happy with his progress.

We bring more advanced units into the game, terminators and wraithguard

Next time i play with him my aim is to bring in vehicles, so maybe a dreadnought or razorback and i will use a vyper squadron or war walkers. Starting with lighter vehicles might be best as he can damage them with grenades and a missile launcher will do more. With a lack of heavy weapons using higher armour vehicles might just put him off.

After that the next time possibly using characters with their proper rules and maybe bring in a psyker (or rather deny the witch as he likes the look of black templars). Hopefully this slow building approach will let me revise the rules he already knows each turn and build upon them. Then after that bring in all the other special rules as a final intro. 

The reason i teach in this way is because when i was learning to play i was just given the rule book at the beginning and it was rather over whelming, granted i was rather young at the time but i think it would have been a better way for me to learn back then.

So 4 different days to learn how to play, do you think that is to slow? or do you think that would be a good way? its been a long time since i last taught some one how to play so i would like your advice. 


  1. I reckon your doing it the right way. Some of my mates have been playing for years and they still struggle with rules because they haven't ready through the rules or learnt in a structured manner. So all those more complex rules aren't fully understood and leave confusion at the table. Even as a veteran of 20 years playing I tend to find issues getting rules confused across editions.
    I really should read through the rulebook once more to help reinforce 6th over older editions.

  2. Nice post. Great way to do it. 6th ed made me feel like I was studying for exams or something. I was already wandering away from gaming into mainly hobby, but that was the final push. The rules are just so damned complex!