You are literally one day behind the rest of us.
...one day ahead of me though
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You are literally one day behind the rest of us.
Yeah I like the new squat models, it's weird they're calling them steampunk dwarves but who cares? Squats!
You are literally one day behind the rest of us.
Alright, I give you that one , but that was reeeeeeally derivative. The OED indeed. You Brits have a strange way with the English language.
I know right, we do weird things with that language we made up!
Yeah, the terrain looks good, but that's not much incentive to buy a whole box of crud. And Black Reach sprue or not, they're just boyz. No design, no sculpting, just digital cut'n'paste from one sprue to another. So what are you really buying? A new ruleset... well, that one will wind Dim up in a hurry. Hey Dim, what do we think of GW's rules?
Well, recent games don't quite suck as bad as 40k currently does, but they're still pretty much fumbling around in the dark. Age of Sigmar is often praised for innovation by Fanboys (no news there, really) but is in reality about a decade behind games like FUBAR or Fast and Dirty that do stuff with a similar highly simplified fashion. The sorts of symplistic abstracts that regularly get labelled "contemporary rules design", because it's not enough to simply say prejudices about rules have changed in 20 years. AoS is just one in a long line, and it doesn't do much that innovates, and is fundamentally flawed, which is quite the achievement for 4 pages of rules. Although having played FUBAR for years, I have long felt that simplistic rulesets are not the solution for better wargames, because they create as many inequalities and rules issues as some more complicated ones, simply because they cover so little that they can force players to react to situations that the game simply didn't cater for. At least that's FUBAR's main problem. AoS has this in smaller ways, and that's what led to the General's Handbook being a giant rules patch.
Generally speaking though, I've seen very little evidence to suggest that GW are doing anything other than sales stimulus. Some have suggested that the incoming revised points for AoS are a good sign in this regard, but it's not that simple. Yes, the likes of the woefully underpowered Fyreslayers are getting point reductions that should help them immensely in being competitive, but it's worth noting that of the revealed point increases, they are all (or mostly) models GW don't sell, and if they still sell them, it's usually their older version of rules (so Shadowblade has gone up in points, not his generic unnamed version from the Order Grand Alliance book). Are these points adjustments needed? Probably, although I wanted to see signs of the nerf bat heading not for Death (who are woefully unrepresented and the entirety of the Tomb King range is no longer available to buy) but for Destruction, who are a fucking steamroller. Beastclaw Raiders for instance, can spam Thundertusks (can take them as core, because BULLSHIT). Having less units almost guaranteed, deploying first means you have the option to just go first, which as Beastclaw, you will. These gain a bonus run (the Destruction Alliance perk is significantly better than the other 3, that are highly situational), followed by a normal move. Thundertusks are pretty quick: 8" when unwounded. They then have a 18" ranged attack, which succeeds on a 2+ that for a Thundertusk that has taken 3 wounds or less, is a guaranteed 6 mortal wounds. You pretty much get a turn one nuke. You force your opponent to deploy way back, and that might not even be enough. Whilst the Thundertusks are vulnerable after this, if a list relies on a character giving important buffs, they can easily kill it. Using this army requires ZERO skill to use. I really don't have a lot of respect for the kind of rules writers who think that kind of faction is a good idea.
AoS is going the same way as 40k is. And a few minor capacities to adjust the game agoing may mean that factions like ours in the future may at least be considered after our book's release, it doesn't display a competent design team. More the opposite. They can't spot problems coming a mile off that any imbecile with half a brain would spot when writing the fucking thing down on a note book.
So yeah, GW SUCK at rules writing. Them making a minor improvement is meaningless. They're still playing catch-up to the rest of the industry and they still need to fire people.
As much as I would love a playable skirmish ruleset that would allow me to field some of my less played figures, I'm not holding my breath.
Nor am I.
Although I do have a take on this that suggests games like this aren't a bad thing. As they're making small games, it at least shows a design team that seems to be enjoying the creative process. To me, that's not very inspiring, as having fun does not equate with "talent", but at least it's a sign that this "them and us" shit is being forced aside, and that they're trying to take their role seriously. It has been a good year, after all. But nevertheless, vast improvement is needed over the next couple of years to convince me that GW are a long term investment for anything other than offing all my GW onto Ebay once they're built and painted.
Yes, the last year was an improvement company-wise, but they need to do that consistently for a few years before I consider drinking the Kool-aid again. The main thing they need is some more equitable miniature support. Seriously, panzee, Orks, and Chaos beakies are collectively missing how many units is plastic? @#%!-ing ridiculous that even ONE of them is missing as many units as it is at this point in time! And the different armies need to maintain a unified look to the style of the models. They need to get that right, as I know many people who simply won't buy a new army when the style is mixed. Seen that too many times with WFB. They need to make sure they don't do that with 40K in any way. Chaos beakie is the most guilty of it right now, with newer awesome infantry models (from the starter set), and older less imaginative "Slap some spikes and trim on that Imperial beakie and you got a CHAOS beakie!" efforts. And vehicles. They need to do Chaos specific Rhinos and Land raiders. Really do them up nice, not just throw in a sprue of spikes. And Orks need some Squiggoths! Take my money already GW!!!
Some slightly less crappy rules would be nice too (I'm lookin' at you one-shot-killable Gorka-Morkanaut what is supposed to be playin' with Imperial Knights!), speaking of which we may have seen what the next iteration of Mob Rule could be for 8th Edition in the upcoming Shadow War: Armageddon rules leaks: "+1 Leadership if Da Deffskullz outnumber their their opponents." Would make sense, considering the level of simplification heading our way for 8th edition.
GW changes rules for units not selling to make them OP as possible and releasing new super expensive models with stupid high stats and low points (see 40k avatar Ynnead and rubber-boat girlymann) why am I not surprised. I think ever since after 5th Ed. it's gone downhill, sure there was a difference in army abilities back then but now in 6th/7th in's been ramped up 10 fold, like really there are people I won't even play against because the armies they have. Shit I play Orks and Tyranids, two of the worst armies out there and I still don't spam flying tyrants and meganobz in lifta wagons which would get me a much better win rate because I actually like the models and fluff and don't want to be "that guy" who always buys the newest hottest GW shit to roll everyone and go "lulz I'm such a gud player".
Zog me, if I wanted to spend stupid amounts of my free money on products that are OP at first but get nerffed and changed when the next set comes out I should just start playing Magic:The Gathering again.
Some developments over the last year have given me reason to have serious hope for positive and lasting change for the first time in over a decade. So whilst I totally agree with every word you just said killercroc, I think we can temper it with some modest, umm, I wont say expectations, but interest will fit nicely, yes. Some modest interest. Some willingness to accept that possibly, GW may finally be heading in the direction that all of us (who matter) want.
But as I said earlier, this all very much relies on radical change in the way they conduct business, to the point that they do almost the exact opposite of everything that Fanboi Apologists defended as things a "business needs to do to make money" over those years of falling sales, right up to the point where the company got a new CEO, and now all of a suddenly GW has staff not just bothering to say a few things to us, but being all nice, and not passive aggressive, hypocritical dickbags on 1D4 (totally not a dig at Ward. Totally not).
But it will take more than pretending to be nice, trying to set up memes with nice young staff people. Duncan's "What's the internet?" was cute, but completely fucking calculated. It's still ultimately corporate, as is re-branding, as is sales boxes designed to inject stimulus. But GW is currently living purely off two things: it's aesthetic, and mad-not-to-buy sales boxes. The rest is window dressing. GW under Kirby cut everything non-profitable and still was making a huge loss. He tried to fix his failing corporate company by being even more corporate. What is costing GW ultimately is that their games are shit, ante-upping doesn't work and their writers are so bad you can't even call them hacks, because that suggests a time when they didn't suck at their job, which only really fits for Jervis. (and Blood Bowl's creation is a long time ago, and we, the SG community made that game better. Deal with it GW. Oh wait you did. Your SG writers just accepted that. You actually hired writers. Fuck me, that's almost a first. Certainly a first in the last decade...)
I'm being mean-spirited. But that's just the impending visage of something that can be far more brutal than I ever could: reality.
The reality is simple. Aesthetics are no longer enough. Manufacture is getting cheaper, the longer things go on, the more disenchanted hobbyists throw their own talents into the ring, be they sculpting, writing, 3D Printing, etc. CAD and 3D Printing are accelerating at a phenomenal rate. Small time kickstarters are producing small companies with stunning models and decent rulesets written by non-corporate hobbyists who can do what GW cannot. Even Hobbyists are getting in on the act, taking over GW's own games, or lapsed IPs. As much as I enjoy AoS, I'm willing to bet that more effort, work and talent went into 9th Age than there did for AoS. GW is lucky that gamers are irrational fuckwits who think the arbitrary badge of "official" means something. Because they still get denounced as dodgy by the people who bought Mat Ward's gold plated turds and have that such flagrant lack of taste that they actively do more harm to the industry than good, in spite of thinking themselves in the right.
Let's not forget that this day was so late to come because of the militancy of ignorant fanboys. And through their endeavour, they may yet turn potential victory into outright defeat yet again.
It's a tenuous position that GW has. It needs to broaden its appeal. It needs to support games that can support themselves. It needs to support a long-term hobby. That means dumping the sales shenanigans, the ante-upping and actually work towards balance, because the financial world has just told GW that that's the only way you sustain enough of a fanbase into trusting you with prolonged investment. And I don't remotely feel smug that I've been going on about that for a decade, and I was totally fucking right! Okay, maybe a little. But I'd have been happier to be wrong sooner, and I'm still not. It's rather sad.
AoS' development has given me some hope that 40k is getting a grand redesign in a similar vein (although hoping we keep the templates this time, because artillery fucking sucks in AoS) but one year isn't enough. Not to believe that this GW is a truly new beast, and not just a re-branded beast wearing a face mask.
At least they're doing work, on games. Maybe they wont need that Warhammer re-brand after all. It's a shame. I doubt anyone would have convinced the trading standards institute that they needed investigating on the basis of false advertising but it would have been fucking funny to watch...
Dim I think at this point you could compare GW's corporation practices to the soviet union. Why isn't our communism working? I know! We need more communism!!!
I hate when people say businesses need to make money, like obviously they do but GW's markup is stupid high. Yes you need to make profit, but over 50% profit is crazy. I mean this was a few years back but from what I saw stores buy GW wholesale at about 65% so the individual stores make around 35% profit, just imagine what the big company themselves make, I wouldn't be surprised if their profit was 50% or so, and that sounds like an investors wet dream.
You can easily have a company that makes profit and still has reasonable prices, but it's too far gone now that GW won't lower their prices because their investors would pull out. I'm really getting to the point of playing another tabletop game, but I've invested so much time and money into 40k and I love the models and the narrative that I don't want to quit. GW should look to cable companies to see what they're doing wrong, cable companies increase their rates every few years or so and end up losing out to netflix instead because it's so much cheaper and I use to work for CenturyLink, so I've seen DirecTv increase their prices about $5 a year but still offering the same channels.
Like you said it's almost at the point where you should save up for a 3D printer instead. If you and like 4 mates can pull the money together realistically after the initial investment you'll be saving money.
Honestly 40K can be a great game that only needs a few tweeks to be good, I bet in a single year they could redo the rules and the codex to go with those rules and have an amazing game.
If not I might check out Warmachine or Team Yankee, those are the other two large games in the area.