rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a pretty spectacularly good game. The Warhammer 40K universe has always interested me, spending hundreds of dollars on miniatures I don't have the talent, time or patience to paint... less so. So a role-playing game was perfect for me, and having played it, I can say that the system is pretty clear, perfect for evoking the bordering-on-parody but still effective darkness of the dark future of the Warhammer universe.
The game uses "careers" which are essentially classes, and it's a little more rigid than I like in that respect, more akin to D&D 1.0 and 2.0 than the more current stuff, but it also really helps to establish the flavor of the world, and even a bare-bones, rules-only character is going to have some flavor built in as a result.
The book itself is gorgeous, full-color with terrific artwork and a pretty strong layout. It could have used a better index and a lot better organization, particularly in terms of cross-indexing rules with one another, and it takes a lot of page-flipping during the game and a *lot* of familiarity before it's as comfortable as a game rulebook should be, but it's beautiful to look at and generally well-written, if not terribly well-organized.
There's also a ton of good material about the world here, and it's a must-read for those who are interested in the world, even if you'd never play a single session of the game.
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