Tuesday 22 July 2014

The new direction of Games Workshop

I am back from a wonderful break with the family up in Scarborough. A refreshing holiday finished off with a visit to Warhammer World where I attended the Warhammer 40,000k open day with my lad. This was a great day and besides buying a Horus Heresy mug, the new ork codex and some paint I had some interesting discussions with all manner of Games Workshop employees.

2 things came across in these chats. The first is the new release schedules for miniatures, which I shall come to in a moment. The second is the type of game they are trying to create. This has been discussed on the web for a while, but to hear it from somebody at GW confirms what a lot of people thought.

Basically 40k as a competitive system is dead. Anything that resembles game balance for any unit is likely to be more luck than judgement on GW's part. They have published a rule set designed for people to have fun with and less about which armies are more or less powerful for any given points costs. Looking back this was probably inevitable. With such a complex game system that has so many factions it was increasingly difficult to avoid codex creep or the must have unit in any particle codex. With the advent of supplements and data slates the task was impossible.

I see this as a good thing, and I go to a fair amount of tournaments. I have never played Apocalypse, mainly due to not having the time to spend 8 or 9 hours playing a game. Plus I only have relatively small collections of any one particular army. But the opening up of Lords of War and also the potential that unbound armies gives means I can play with virtually anything made for Apoc in my normal 40k games. I can still play tournament style games and I can see organizers banning unbound lists and restricting lord of war selections. It also means I can bring a full army of storm boyz to a game if I wanted, with my opponents consent of course.

This last bit is important, and should be remembered. This is a game of 2 people and you both need to agree your rules of engagement before hand. I would never dream of turning up with a Stompa unannounced to my opponent at either of the gaming clubs I attend. It would be impolite to expect somebody to cope with such a mammoth vehicle with no warning. As it happens I am using Big Brian, as the Stompa is known is my house, next week against an Eldar army, which should be immense fun, although I expect him to get cratered early on by the Wraith knight on the other side of the table.

Now onto the first point in this blog entry, the release schedules. I would say that we will be seeing many more releases of both new miniatures and rules. The sculpters have been given a much free hand in what they design apparently. Once a miniature is into design, the games developers write rules. Previously this would all be done as a codex release. This is no longer the case and we can expect White Dwarf rule updates for individual models (I suspect these will also be available as data slate and formation rules) as they are released.

The one downside to this is we may be expecting less regular releases of codexes (This wasn't confirmed but was hinted at as a possibility). But if all armies are getting regular releases of new models, new dexes are less important.

So GW has changes the way it works and how they envisage 40k to be played. Only time will tell if they have got it right, but I do hope they have as I really love this new ethos and I am very excited about what will be produced over the next year.

Next time its back to the Nurgledar army and some pictures of my Wraith Beasts.

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