Monday, 12 October 2015

An Introduction To 30k For 40k Players: Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at how the Force Organisation Chart and force selection in general worked. Today, we are going to look at how to actually play the missions, because it isn't quite the same as 40k, and I'm going to explain why. There are some subtle differences, but mostly the confusion lies in how units score/are able to score, and I want to shed some light on this.

Deployment Types:

First off, I want to go in to deployment types. In the Horus Heresy, the missions have 6 different deployment types. Sometimes these are specifically stated in the mission, other times they are randomly rolled for. These deployments, measurements and such are all aimed at the 2500-3000 point per side game, and as such they use the 6x4 table and corresponding measurements.

An Example Mission:

This mission is from Book V: Tempest (Word Bearers vs Ultramarines at Calth). The points of note are as follows:

-The armies selected are to use the Battles in the age of Darkness rules and FOC's. This means that you cannot bring over bizarre rules from 40k, except where stated expressly.
-The deployment type is random in this mission, selected as per the previous six options listed above.
-The terrain is placed/
-The warlord traits and psychic abilities are rolled, then the players roll off to see who will deploy first (and take first turn).


You want to understand the mission prior to deployment. This mission has several special rules, namely Night Fighting and Reserves (as per 40k) but also Heavy Armour (a Heresy special rule for this mission, which makes all vehicles with the Tank type, as well as Super-Heavy Vehicles and Walkers SCORING UNITS). Now the fact that the available scoring units most likely increased for both players will change how they play the mission.

As per 40k, there are Secondary Objectives, however, these are specifically listed in the mission, in this case, Slay the Warlord and Last Man Standing. This means there is no Linebreaker, no First Blood etc. in this mission.

From here, the mission is set up and played out as per the objectives for the mission. From this point on, it will play out identically to 40k.

Notes On 40K Missions In 30k:

In 30k, only Troops and units specifically listed as scoring, are actually scoring. The Obj. secured rule only applies to these units, not to their transports, or any other units. This limits the amount of scoring, and can make some missions incredibly more difficult than for a similar 40k army. For example, a Maelstrom of War mission will severely handicap the average Heresy force, with most only averaging 3-4 scoring units below 2000 points.

As for the missions themselves, I personally prefer to ignore them in favour of the 30k missions, as they are more interesting and are designed to link together in order to form a larger narrative (for example, you can literally play from the start of the Istvaan V massacre all the way through to a skirmish level game involving the surviving loyalists tackling the traitors and all the way into the Last Stand of the Raven Guard before their rescue, needing around 18 missions to play out in full!).


Although not a lengthy article, I felt it was important to demonstrate to the community how 30k deviates from 40k, and where the two systems can potentially clash. This isn't designed to demonise 40k, just to let people know the perils of cross-system gameplay. At the end of the day, play what you like, in fact, I would house-rule it so that 40k units had to score the same as a 30k army, in order to balance it out a little, but that's just me...



  1. Good stuff, man! I switched over to all-30k-all-the-time a few years back and haven't regretted it since. I find that in addition to the somewhat more balanced play (easy to do when it's 80% marines I suppose), in general the player base seems to trend towards being a bit more mature and into it for the modeling, the fluff and the fun of the game. Definitely recommend checking our the Heresy30k forum if you haven't already - It's a fantastic group of like-minded folks and the quality of both the armies and the discussions are top notch!

    1. I still keep track as best I can on 40k, because I am hoping that one day it may just clean up its act and I can get back into it. At the moment tho, I'm a bit disenchanted with it, and avoid it like the plague.