Design Diary: New Frontiers - A Peek Inside Munchkin Warhammer 40,000: Faith and Firepower

The hard part about writing a Munchkin version of a game with as rich a backstory and history as Warhammer 40,000 is deciding what to include and what to leave out.

The nice part about writing a Munchkin version of a game with as rich a backstory and history as Warhammer 40,000 is that, if you do it well, you get to write expansions that will “fill in the gaps.” Apparently, I did it well.

The Battle of Six Eight Armies

Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 has six Armies, taking the place of traits such as Classes or Races from other sets. Six is a lot for a single set of cards like this, more than almost every other Munchkin game. It gives a lot of variety and some fun possible combinations of abilities with the Alliance card. (Ask me about Ultramarine/Necron!)

However, it doesn’t begin to exhaust the possibilities in the Warhammer 40,000 game. In particular, one of the key alien races, the T’au, was left out of the core game because I really wanted an Imperial army and a Chaos army and that didn’t leave room for everyone else. They’re such a cool species that I’m thrilled to be able to feature them in Faith and Firepower.

Originally, T’au only had one Army ability; they’re allowed to use Items normally only usable by some other Army (or Class, Race, etc.). Playtesters convinced me that it wasn’t as strong as I thought it was, although it’s still plenty strong, so I added a second: they get to take a Treasure as a reward when they lose cards to Charity. In a recent playtest, one player questioned the utility of that power until he became T’au and started turning unwanted monster and Army cards into loot he could use.

For the other army (because I knew I wanted two), I turned to my Warhammer 40,000 brain trust. I think it was Ben Williams who said, “You need some women in this game. Use the Sisters of Battle.” I did some research and decided that Ben was right. (Trivia: Ben also suggested the name for this expansion. Ben is awesome. Ben is also a professional miniatures painter; check out his work at Bell of Lost Souls.)

Known as the Adepta Sororitas in the most recent edition, these troops are among the most elite of the elite Imperial forces. They have really cool wargear, which I reflected by giving them a bonus for having Treasure cards in their hand. I also allowed them to discard specific card types (Footgear, Army, and so on) from their hand, rather than in play, to fulfill a Curse or Bad Stuff targeting that type of card. This is a huge bonus, because usually you have to discard from cards in play – you know, the ones actually helping you at that moment.

Of course, I also included a bunch of weapons and vehicles and one-shots and other cool stuff relating to these two Armies, as well as a selection of monsters taken from their lore and from the general lore of the Warhammer 40,000 setting as well. Once I had the Armies picked, it really set up the structure for the expansion.

I can’t wait for y’all to see Faith and Firepower next spring! And keep checking back here for more Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 content and all the great announcements we have coming up as we get closer to Christmas.

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