Making Warhammer 40K Exceptionally Violent

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Goal: Bring 40K the Game More In Line With the Fiction

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I have been reading through the 40K book "Let the Galaxy Burn". This particular title is actually a collection of about 40 short stories from the 40K universe. All the stories have two things in common: There is a lot of fighting and the fighting is especially violent. The descriptiveness of the text goes way beyond anything I have ever seen. So I set out to find out how we can represent that exceptionally high level of violence in the game, and this page shows what I came up with.

Step 1 - Take Some Pictures of Figures.

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To get started with this gory process, you will need to take a few pictures of your figures. Granted, you could use pictures from other sources, but for consistency purposes, the dead corpses of your army should match the living troops. The end of this process will be a set of cardboard tokens. I thought about making 3D corpses, but I choose tokens because they would not interfere with the actual battle.

For the picture, I just laid down several troops on the ground and took a few pictures of them. In addition to troop pictures, take a picture of two of the blank battlefield. This will be used as a base for the tokens.

Step 2 - Begin with the Base

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In order to complete this project, you will need an image editor which can edit in multiple layers. I use The Gimp, but advanced software like Adobe Photoshop will work great.

Start by selecting an area of empty terrain and creating a new image from it. This will serve as the base of the token. The exact size of the base does not matter at this point. Later on in the process, the image will be cropped and scaled to the right dimensions.

Step 3 - Add the Body Parts

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Using the free hand select tool of your image editor, select various portions of your figures' bodies and then paste them into your token image. Be sure to paste these body parts on a different layer then the background. You still need to add several layers of blood under them.

Step 4 - Add the Blood

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Add several image layers between the layer with the body parts and the background. Using a paint tool fill these layers with red, or another appropriate blood color.

For my tokens, I added a large layer of blood, and turned down the transparency on the layer. Then on top of that, I added a thicker, but smaller layer. For the very top, I used only a little bit of dark red. To make the blood stains have a smooth edge, I used the smudge tool along all of the edges.

Step 5 - Finish the Token Sheet

To finish the token, use your image editor to crop and scale the image to the correct size. Next using a spread sheet application, insert the image into the cells of the spreadsheet to make a grid of tokens. Print this spreadsheet out and glue it down to some tag board using spray adhesive.[I recommend using the packaging from food boxes.] Once the glue has dried, the tokens are ready for use in games.

I doubt these things would be allowed in a tournament setting, but for casual games, they can add flavor to the game. Plus, you might be able to analyze your tactics better by seeing what actions caused a lot troops to get killed.

For help on making tokens, I do a tutorial on Season 2 Episode 15 of the Tabletop Battlefield. Jump to the 17:30 mark for the short tutorial.

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