Interview with Kamui – Part 1

Kamui is a friend of mine I’ve known since high school. Months ago he joined, put up two articles and vanished. So, to reintroduce Kamui I thought I’d do an interview, have a little fun and let you all get to know him since he better be putting out some more articles soon. Don’t make me get the paddle!

I broke this into two parts. It ended up being far longer than I expected so the second part will be up tomorrow.

You’ve been playing 40K since 1991 (yes folks, that’s 19 years and that makes us old by some standards), how has the game change since then? What do you miss the most from those early days of 40K?

Darkh and I started with straight Rogue Trader rules.  Since I didn’t know anyone else who played and there wasn’t a game/comic store near us I didn’t have access to the Compendium and Compilation until around a year after we started playing.  What I miss most about the early days is the depth and flexibility of the early system.  Rogue Trader was written much more like a role playing game than current table top battle games so the character/army creation rules were much more detailed.  Army lists had random equipment tables for special wargear.  For example a marine could pay a certain amount of points for a roll on the special weapons table and might come out with anything from a flamer to a shuriken catapult, even a neural disruptor or webber!  The points system included a table of points for each characteristic so you could create your own race if you were ambitious enough.  Overall the rules were much more in-depth, to the degree that you could loot a special weapon from an enemy corpse and make intelligence rolls to figure out how to use it.

There was a heavy emphasis on the hobby side of the game as well.  There were Citadel miniatures pictured in the book and although the quality doesn’t compare to the the current standards I thought they were pretty awesome.  However, the book almost seemed to present them as completely optional.  There were models shown that had been created completely from scratch or other toys; among the many articles included in the Rogue Trader book was a step by step tutorial on converting a deodorant container into a battle skimmer.  The last few pages of the book were meant to be removed or photocopied and included the templates, army roster sheets, and enough paper cutouts to field complete Space Marine and Ork armies.

Army lists have become more and more standardized with random equipment generation completely removed.  Many weapons have become race specific and some of the more complicated ones have been removed.  Even the statline has changed.  Movement stats have been replaced by standard movement rates by category. Cool, Willpower, and Leadership have been combined into one stat.  Intelligence has been removed entirely.  Each edition has removed depth to streamline game play.  I can understand the complaints of players who feel the game has become watered down and commercialized but overall I think it is a better game today than it was back then.  There was much more freedom in the old days but the game was also much more cumbersome.

Why was I never invited to play 40K with you and Darkh in the ye olde days of high school? I believe I showered every day.

In those days gaming was a dark and vile secret.  To invite another into the fold would have meant revealing our shame and, worse still, could have brought down the wrath of the Inquisition.  Fear kept us to our familiar circles.

What armies have you played over the years and which do you currently own/play?

My first army was a Rogue Trader led band of Space Marines and assorted mercenaries.  Eldar were my second army.  Since then I’ve played Space Wolves, Orks, a Genestealer/Chaos cult, Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard, and Tyranids.  I also played several Necromunda gangs (who often found themselves inducted into my Imperial Guard and Cultist armies.)  I still own all of the miniatures but I primarily play Eldar and Orks.  I’ve recently unpacked the Marines for use as a loaner army and I’ll probably start playing them again soon.

Necromunda seems to be a game that anyone who has played thoroughly loves. Why is it you no longer play it?

Necromunda has a lot to offer.  It is much cheaper to build a gang than it is to build an army and you are provided the luxury of spending personal time with each figure that is not as easy to achieve with a 40k army.  However, it is really geared toward a group of players working together to maintain a campaign.  It doesn’t work well for walk in games at a gaming store.  It also doesn’t work as well when you have a group of players who have different amounts of play time; those who play more tend to have bigger and better gang members.  In short, I stopped playing because I ran out of people to play it with.  I still have seven functional gangs if you’d like to give it a go…

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I love this interview. Can’t wait to hear more.

You’re not the only more “mature” one out there. In 1990, I was a junior and had a couple friends in high school that were playing (SM and Eldar) but I don’t remember anything about the armies except the paint jobs. I do remember we were the only “geeks” in the whole school. In 1991, I got married so miniatures dropped off the radar for RPGs (my husband’s preference).