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Thursday, November 16, 2023

My Warhammer 40K Deal . . . Heck, My hobby Deal of the Year

 In January, before "The Big Move", I was at the local Barnes & Noble and was walking by the Clearance Section and I saw Warhammer 40K Fireteam with a $10 (US) sticker on the box. Faster than warp drive and I immediately grabbed it and headed to check out. Fireteam originally retailed for $49.99 (US) and was available exclusively at Barnes & Noble and in Germany. The $49.99 original price is a great deal - but $10! BWAH HAH HAH!

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of publishing time, Fireteam is currently 25% off and is available online for $37.49 (US).

With Fireteam, you actually get two complete fighting forces inside the box. You also get a nice plastic pack-in that keeps everything you need to play in one place. It’s a highly portable experience, and it only takes about 30-45 minutes to play a game. That means you can roll into your friend’s house or the local game shop, bang out a few games in about an hour, and move on with your day. It’s quick and satisfying, and it comes with a great selection of the push-fit models included. It is fun, fast and furious - and from what I understand, a slimmed down version of Killteam. So what do you get?

"Adeptus Astartes Primaris Assault Intercessors my fuzzy butt! We are, and always will be, IMPERIAL ASSAULT SPACE MARINES! For the Emperor (Long may he sleep!).

5 Space Marines, 10 Necron Warriors, 3 Necron Canoptek Scarab Swarms, 1 double-sided game board, 1 20 page rule book, 14 six sided dice, 22 data cards, 6 Stratagem cards, 12 mission cards, 10 special wargear cards, 18 special operations cards, and 85 tokens. Whew! All of the miniatures come unpainted but they are easy to put together with no glue and I had a blast painting them.


To give you an idea what a great deal the game is at the regular price, not to mention the deal I got, if you purchased the Necrons separately it would cost you $50 (US). I know, I know - GW figures are expensive. I personally believe GW (and now Warlord) have done more to promote the gaming industry than almost any other company and they were innovative with the start of hard plastic miniatures. Anyway - on with the components.

The rulebook is well laid and and lavishly illustrated. The ruleset for playing Fireteam is an abbreviated version of the brand-new Kill Team experience. Movement is abstracted from inches down to hexes, but by and large everything else is the same. Players even use similar stat blocks to control their units across both games. The Fireteam set comes with a campaign mode, just like its big brother Kill Team, meaning you can string together multiple missions with a friend and improve your individual units along the way. Best of all there are cards inside the box detailing four additional armies — one each for the Militarum Tempestus (Imperial Guard Special Forces), the T’au Empire, Orks, and Harlequins (Crazy dancing Eldar troops) — that can all be built with just one additional box of models each.

A double - sided game board that is quite sturdy.

Six Unit cards.

The back of the Space Marine unit card.

Data cards for each type of unit which are excellent references.

12 scenario cards and by the way, none of the game components are flimsy. They are all high quality. I was surprised that such a basic framework would offer many strategies, but Fireteam gets its missions, boards, and cards to do the lifting in this department. There are twelve missions, each representing the pivotal moment of a larger battle. The introductory mission  puts the teams in opposite corners, seeking to control two objective hexes. The other scenarios escalate from there into terrain interactions, fetch and carry missions, and many more besides.

Sample scenario card. Each scenario gives you particular ways to score points which often have little to do with eliminating enemy combatants. As such, it’s quite common to see your squad decimated and still win, one of several ideas it’s taken from its sister title Warhammer Underworlds. Others include its tight three-turn structure, keeping things tense, and giving each player a hand of objective cards. These give bonus points for fulfilling particular goals, like keeping your models spaced several hexes apart.

A gazillion other cards.

If playing a campaign, cards you can earn for winning a battle.

A gazillion tokens which are objectives, trackers for hits, reminders for special rules, etc. The one aspect that throws a robotic wrench into the otherwise smooth gears of Fireteam, is the sheer number of counters it uses. Models accrue counters to track wounds, activations and status effects. Stacks of large counters on a crowded board quickly become very hard to track, losing cohesion over which model owns which stack. If you're careful, it's not a great challenge but if you're clumsy, at the end of each turn, you must ferret out the non-wound ones without displacing the others. It’s an administrative task that sticks out badly in such a fast-playing game. Still fun though!

After you get everything unwrap, it actually fits in the box . . .

. . . even the miniatures. If I had kept them unpainted I would probably store them in the box.

This game is fast, furious and fun - we usually finished a game in 30 to 45 minutes. Because this is a board game rather than a miniatures game, it does away with the sometimes clumsy rules required for measured movement. Instead, when you move or check range, you count hexes. To determine a line of sight, you draw a bead from the center of one hex to the middle of the target. It’s clean and fast, as you’d want a firefight game to be.


  1. Replies
    1. It sure was . . . but I have to be careful as I suspect that it's a gateway game!

  2. Replies
    1. I know! I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the Clearance Shelf.

  3. Yes, even as a Scotsman, that is a very good deal Neil - I would probably be tempted myself, even though I have never played 40K and have no real interest in this sort of sci-fi game! Worst case scenario, I would paint it all up then try selling it for $100 or something like that!
    I kind of get what you are saying about GW and Warlord, but I find them somewhat predatory, trying to dominate the hobby to the exclusion of others - at least, that seems their strategy to me.....

    1. Be careful - they're everywhere! (BWAH HAH HAH!)

    2. I'm primarily going to use the Necron's for Pulp gaming and Victorian Sci Fi.