• Warhammer 40K Dice Masters: What To Expect...

    More details are slowly trickling out about the Games Workshop and WizKids collaboration, and we now know Warhammer 40k Dice Masters is on the horizon! This is absolutely cause for celebration! For those not familiar with the IP I’m hoping this quick look at a couple of universe’s most popular and most likely factions will make you as excited as I am about the announcement. For this first installment, we’re going to cover the three races that may seem strikingly familiar to another game’s set of armies.

    First, the details we know so far: The agreement specifically says 40K Dice Masters will happen. There will be no 40K Heroclix (Games Workshop is protective of their minis business). It is going to be a non-collectible sealed format like Turtles, possibly built on top of with team pack supplements. It will follow a Living Card Game model instead of a Collectible Card Game model. All of this so far sounds very much in the spirit of the original 40K where you buy and build up your specific army. Speaking of armies, let's get to our main purpose here: Introducing you to the main factions in 40K that we're likely to see in the first run of 40K Dice Masters.

    The first thing veterans of Blizzard’s Starcraft will quickly notice about these first three races is their striking similarities to the three races in Starcraft. It is rumored that early alpha designs of Starcraft were intended as an official Warhammer 40k game, but Blizzard was denied the license after presenting it to Games Workshop. Blizzard made some tweaks and continued development anyway but the 40K fingerprints were still all over the game. This led to Games Workshop filing suit against Blizzard for stealing their intellectual property. The results of that lawsuit are unknown, but obviously something was worked out to allow for the eventual development of Starcraft II.


    Likely inspired by the Xenomorph from Aliens and/or the bugs from Robert Heinlein’s original Starship Troopers novel, Tyranids are a hive minded force of nature that spreads across worlds and galaxies like locusts caring only about their own propagation and consumption of worlds. It’s very easy to see a lot of similarities with the Zerg from Starcraft. Tyranids have some psychic prowess and often overwhelm their victims with their vast numbers, but are also capable of brute force with their Hive Tyrants and Broodlords and stealth via their Lictors. Gaunts are the smaller Tyranids that attack in large numbers but are also able to mutate into more specialized troops. With these points in mind, I fully expect Tyranids to bring me Swarm in the 40k box, but I would _LOVE_ to see some form of Gaunt-specific version of Fabricate that generates their more powerful specialized versions.


    The quick and easy way to describe the Eldar is “space elves.” An ancient humanoid species that once controlled a vast expanse of the Galaxy, they are now a dying race scattered to the winds. A highly mystical species the Eldar are incredibly stealthy and agile, able to move blindingly fast in combat. Their technology is a super science that at times resembles magic. Due to being scattered, their race is split into many factions. Though physically different, the Eldar bear striking similarity to the Protoss of Starcraft in terms of society, personality, and technology. With their focus on speed and stealth, I would fully expect to see Eldar Rangers using the Infiltrate keyword and the Striking Scorpion assassins using unblockable abilities or the Deadly keyword, the highly mobile Howling Banshee with Call Out, or the super destructive Fire Dragons acting as a form of targeted removal or direct damage similar to Firefly or Pyro.

    Space Marines

    The most iconic of the Warhammer 40k factions, Space Marines are human fighters, but personality wise, differ the most from their Starcraft doppelgangers. While Starcraft’s Terrans aped more modern military, Space Marines more closely resemble Knights and Crusaders of the dark ages. Genetically modified superhumans clad in glorious Power Armor, Space Marines are defenders of humanity who serve their God-Emperor. They fight for the glory of the Emperor and against the ever-prevalent and ever-seductive power of Chaos (who we’ll cover next time). On top of their Power Armor and enhanced physical traits, Space Marines wield truly fearsome weaponry such as Bolters, flamers, thunder hammers, lightning claws, storm shields, power swords, Chainswords (freakin CHAINSAW SWORDS! RAR!), jump packs… the list is as long as it is devastating. On top of this arsenal, Space Marines are also backed by Librarian troops who are capable to tapping into eldritch power to unleash powerful Warp Storms and Energy Bolts. If ever there was a time to see the Equip mechanic outside of D&D sets, the Space Marines are it. Incidentally, Space Marines were also very likely inspired by Starship Troopers (the Marines wore Iron Man-like power armor in the novel).

    This is but a taste of what these factions have to offer, with each of them having many other troop types that aren’t mentioned here, and I didn’t even begin to get into heavy machinery of each faction like the insanity of the Space Marine Dreadnought which “grievously injured” Space Marines have their bodies placed in so they can continue to fight for the glory of the Emperor. We don’t know for certain ANY of these races, or unit types, or mechanics will find their way into the eventual Warhammer 40K Dice Masters experience. We’re still not 100% sure what that experience will look like. What we do know though is the Warhammer 40K universe is exhaustively dense and vivid and is absolutely ripe for the Dice Masters treatment.

    Next time, we’ll cover 3 other factions we may (or may not) see in Warhammer 40k Dice Masters: Orks, Chaos, and the Imperium. In the meantime, what do you hope to see out of Warhammer 40K Dice Masters?

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a Warhammer 40k player (never had the time or budget for it), but I’ve been enamored with the world and the property for many years, and have played many games in the world such as Space Hulk, Dawn of War, Death Angel and Space Marine. I’ve also been an avid player of Games Workshop’s Blood Bowl for well over 20 years…. With understanding and minor disappointment, it sounds like no Blood Bowl Dice Masters is planned at this time.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. chalos13's Avatar
      chalos13 -
      I would love to see LCG style with this. Instead of a big box, just release a team pack for each faction. Thanks for the intro, I have zero info for Warhammer outside of the fact that it takes a quarter of the game space at my local shop and looks complicated.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Love this intro! Thanks Teubie for putting it together!
    1. cnhiggins's Avatar
      cnhiggins -
      I too know nothing about it, but your description is intriguing! Will maybe give it a look.