Tuesday, November 16, 2010

[40K] The Beginner's Project

I've complained a lot that there's no 40K FAQ- that I need a 40K for Idiot's Guide, and that there are too many terms and numbers to understand as a beginning player.

I realized that there isn't an FAQ or Idiot's Guide- but there should be. I can't possibly be the only person that looks at 40K and sees it as a massive jumble of stuff to learn and feels overwhelmed and a little discouraged.

So I'm really putting some thought into making a page or resources, tips, terms, links etc that's aimed at a beginning player. I think I'll probably start with terms, as they are some of the easiest to get feedback for; and then move through subjects as I go through the rulebook. But don't hold me to that as I tend to jump around.

I plan to compile it all together and post it here on a separate page, and probably pass it on to the HOP and FTW networks once it's more than just an idea.

You can help! You can answer questions or post terms, links, tutorials, resources etc that you think a new player should know or check out.

I'll get started-

BA= Blood Angels
DE= Dark Eldar
IG= Imperial Guard
SW= Space Wolves
CSM= Chaos Space Marines
BT= Black templar
'Nids/Bugs= Tyranids

What other common abbreviations for forces should I know?

What other abbreviations should I know?

what on earth does "leafblower" mean- and WHY?

What is the ++ all about?

Please explain in simple terms the "Dar" and "Wing" suffixes.

When a figure has a parenthetical stat  such as  4(5) as a stat, what's the (5) mean and when does it apply?

There's more to come- I think this will be an ongoing thing.


  1. Leafblower typically means some kind of Mech Imp Guard force that is designed to "blow" you off the table with tons of shooting. Typically features multiple ordnance platforms like Medusas or Manticores. NOT to be confused with Mech IG which mostly has Chimeras and a few Vendettas. Generally an overused term in my opinoin.

    ++ is short hand for invulnerable save.

    Dar is short for Eldar. Hence Footdar=foot eldar.

    Wing is a term for armies that focus on one particular kind of unit, typically to the exclusion of most others. Generally used to refer to Terminator armies thanks to the progenitor of the term, the Deathwing of the Dark Angels. Other examples: Deffwing (Meganobz), Loganwing (Wolf guard), wraithwing (Necron wraiths), etc.

    A parenthetical toughness is not a true toughness, meaning that you use the non-parenthetical number for factoring thinks like Instant Death and characteristic tests. Most normally granted by being on a bike or due to Nurgle worship.

    I'll be back with some more abbreviations later- hopefully that helped!

  2. One more note on parenthetical characteristics- you use the parenthetical number for everything else besides what I mentioned above. So if you shoot a bolter at a Marine on a bike [T 4(5)] you'll be wounding on 5s. But if you shot a Melta gun [Str 8] and the biker had multiple wounds you would be able to inflict Instant Death (or ID, basically killing him outrght instead of dealing 1 wound) on the poor biker.

  3. CSM is not to be confused with C:SM. CSM is Chaos Space Marines, C:SM is Codex: Space Marines. Seems simple, but it's confused the hell out of me a few times when I didn't notice that little : in there.

    A lot of abbreviations are faction-specific, which makes it tough to remember them all or get them in the right context. CML is Cyclone Missile Launcher, which is second-nature if you're a marines player, but if all you play is Eldar, you may not be familiar with the term.

  4. ++ to me was a play on an old program that tossed it on a new version to mean it was lots better... like A++.

    Only recently have I found out that ++ is also a term now used in gaming to refer to an invulnerable save.

    Aka, 3+ saves can be negated with AP, 3++ however is an invuln.

  5. To clarify Max's replies a bit. No offense, Max, makes perfect sense to me but might not be so clear to a newer player.

    The parenthesis next to a value indicates it's a modified value. For example, a Marine on a bike has a toughness of 4(5). He's normally T4 but on the bike he's T5. When wounding a T4(5) model you're using the modified value of 5 for all things EXCEPT where instant death is possible. If you fire a S8 weapon at a biker then it's possible to instant death him because the unmodified value is T4 and S8 is twice that value.

    You'll also see parenthesis used for other things, like an Ironclad Dreadnought is A2(3). Meaning, if it has both arms then it's 3 attacks but if you lose one you're down to 2 attacks, the base value.

  6. I could never take offense from the god of Thunder.

    You know, I started writing down IG terms but it ended up getting so long that I think I'm just going to post it on my blog (defendinghumanity.blogspot.com) tomorrow.

  7. For the first couple of years my blog had a fairly comprehensive glossary of IG terms down the right sidebar, but my readership found it of little-to-no use, so I sacked it.

    I've been playing for about 15 years now, though, and I regularly have to try and work out many of these newly coined terms.

    Many of them seem to have exploded out of the predominantly US competitive/tournament scene...aided no doubt by the frequency with which so many of these players (and armchair pundits worldwide!) discuss such issues online - the shorthand is a natural and inevitable progression.

    But yes, it's bloody confusing.

    a few more, maybe:

    H2H or HtH is hand-to-hand (combat)
    =I= is the Inquisition (quite clever, that one!)
    chimeltavets (or variants thereof) describes IG veterans in chimeras armed to the teeth with meltaguns
    FNP is Feel No Pain, which is a
    USR, or a Univeral Special Rule (from the main rulebook); many of these are abbreviated.
    FOC is the Force Organisation Chart,
    WAAC is 'win at all costs',
    RAW is 'rules as written' as opposed to
    RAI which is 'rules as interpreted'.

    My mind's now melting.

  8. You guys are awesome!

    Max, do you mind if I swipe your post/info for my resource page?

    Dave- I wondered if it was related to C++ but was too afraid to ask for a long time.

    Thor, your clarification was fantastic. Thanks!

    Drax, that is a great list and you hit some stuff I didn't know.

    keep it coming!

  9. Dakkadakka.com has a feature where if you hover your mouse cursor over a common acronym/abbreviation, it pops up a little definition for you.

    For reference, there are FAQs on the GW site, as well as the independent INAT FAQ which some major events use, like Adepticon.



  10. Is "Leafblower" not the build with mystics and a psychic hood, that the internet then turned into every mech IG list because they had no idea what the term meant? For example calling a list with 6 hydras, no PBS, devil dogs, and suchlike a "Leafblower". But by now it's been thrown around so much it may as well be "Codex: Leafblower and Blob Guard".


    Anyway, Loquacious is there any way I could hitch on the back of this and do one for WHFB? I'm sure there's just as many confused newbies on the other side of the coin.

  11. Sure, go for it. It should be up at noon tomorrow.

  12. A lot of forums have similar resources, worth poking around and raiding those.

  13. Shimrod- I didn't know that as I don't read Dakka.... I have looked around GW's site and always come away confused- you have to hunt pretty hard to find anything, if you ask me. BUT- thanks for pointing that out. I'll check it out soon.

    Archy- PLEASE do... I'd love to see your explanations and what you come up with!

  14. n++ is programming shorthand for n=n+1, so its use for inv. save is very confusing for me still. As I cannot read ++ without thinking of it as an incrimenter, which it is. Just like != means not equal to.

    I have played 40K for a while, and most of the stuff you mention is *very* recent forum-based 1337sp34k, but a modern, geekier version. x-dar, x-wing, and the insufferable abbreviations that sub-teens foist upon us are the surest sign that I am old, as it makes my teeth grind.

    ...'nids is just annoying, 'dex is stupid, 'crons is a pain in the nipples, deldar, delves and helves make more sense, but generally, textspk and brvs for their own sake just serve as exclusionary jargon. *grump*

  15. ++ for a save also can be an Orwell reference. In Newspeak a thing can be "doubleplus good". So a 3+ save is good, but a 3++ is obviously even better. ;)

  16. Shimrod, that's what I always thought it was. :D

    Ok then Loq, I'll start working on that. It'll probably be in no sort of order though, I'll just do things as they come to me. :D