40k fans, have you been itching for a game but can't make it into the game store due to COVID? Are you interested in piloting new lists or armies to see how they play, without making the substantial investment in each model? My friends, Tabletop Simulator is here for you.
Files You Need
After you purchase Tabletop Simulator on Steam, you're going to need some model files to play the game. Good news - they're all free, and some of the army files out there are absolutely amazing. Simply click on TTS in your Library, then click Workshop at the top left. Now, search for the army you want to play, and hit the green + icon on the file to subscribe. Now it will appear in your TTS folder labeled "Workshop". For instance, here's a good Death Guard file with most of the models you'll want to use. You should be able to locate files for almost every unit in the game.
Now it's time to locate maps to play on. This is a little more tricky, as you'll want a Base as well as Map Overlays. I prefer Trevy/TacticalTortoise's Test Base for 9th, but there are others such as FTC Base that will also suffice. Bases have everything you'll need for scorekeeping and must be loaded first.
Now that you have a base, you'll want 9th ed maps. Check out Trevy's file library for all of the 9th Ed Grand Tournament maps, or just search for alternatives using workshop. These will plug into the white space created by your Base. We'll talk about how to load them in a little bit.
There is also a master directory of every single updated 40k model and map created, that is maintained by a member of the 40k community. I'm not going to link to it, but if you want it SM me. If I recognize your username I'll send it to you. It's fucking incredible.
How to Create an Army
Now that you've downloaded the necssary files, let's make some army lists. There are two ways to do this. The easiest way is to simply find the models you'd like to play with and create a group with the Save Object function. Load your army file, copy and paste until you have the appropriate model count, then select the entire group, right click and select Save Object. Label it appropriately (I use Date.Points.Army) and now you can load this group at the drop of a hat, anywhere on TTS!
There's also a more complex way to do this that is the accepted method by competitive players, using a mod called Battlescribe2TTS. First, download it from the Workshop. Next, create your army list in Battlescribe (always support them with the paid version) and save it as a native .rosz file. Now, go to www.battlescribe2tts.net and upload your list, which will spit out a custom code. Save that custom code!
Now it's time to gather models for your list. Get appropriate models for every unit in your army, Save Object, then load the Battlescribe2TTS mod in Tabletop Simulator. Now, enter that code you got from the website and load your models in (click on Objects, Saved Objects, then click on the appropriate file). You'll see white boxes where each unit in your list is represented. To assign them, simply click on the appropriate white box, then left click on the corresponding model, and voila! TTS now knows what model is assigned to which stats. When all boxes have been assigned, click Generate Army and Battlescribe2TTS will kick out your list. Why go this route? Now when you mouse over any model, it has all of the proper stats for you and your opponent to see! You can also assign units different accent colors (great for horde armies) by selecting a unit and pressing Num Pad 1 or 2.
Making the Map
Load TTS, Create a Multiplayer game, then locate the BASE file you've downloaded. Once it has been loaded, click on "Games" in the top center of your screen and navigate to the map you want to play. THIS IS IMPORTANT - when you find it, click on the three dots and select ADDITIVE LOAD. This means that the map will overlay on your base, keeping that functionality intact. Always Additive Load maps on top of your base unit.
Now you're off to the races! Base units will have deployment zones, objectives and many other features you can easily cycle through to make setup a breeze. This is very intuitive, but SM me if you have questions.
Things I Wish I Knew
- Never, ever Ctrl-Z a unit. You can copy and paste, but TTS HATES Ctrl-Z and will cause major issues.
- You can pick up and measure a unit's distance at the same time by holding left click and Tab. This is tablestakes for moving units effectively.
-Middle mouse button flips units upside down. When you take casualties, it's good manners to flip your models until the end of the turn so post-combat movement and scoring can be completed accurately.
Ran out of time on this guide, but SM me with any questions or if you ever want a casual or competitive game!