Wednesday, January 19, 2011

GW's Warhammer Release Schedule

One talking point that is raised from time to time is Games Workshops release schedule since the introduction of 8th Edition.

Since 8th Ed arrived in July the follow ups have been pretty spartan:

• Daemons of Chaos – second wave models
• Island of Blood Starter Set – Skaven and High Elves starter armies
• High Elves – second wave models
• Skaven – second wave models

In addition there have been the Battle Magic cards and cards for Beastmen, Daemons, High Elves and Skaven.

So as I said pretty spartan!

The release of past editions has usually been quickly followed by the release of a new army book. With 8th we won’t see our first 8th Ed Warhammer Armies book until Orcs and Goblins are released in March. This is a gap of a year since the last book, Beastmen, and eight months since the new rules.

There has been considerable unease that this gap has been too long. The argument goes that GW missed a trick by not following up the 8th’s release with a book in the first 1-2 months. I’m not so sure that this is correct – and from a gaming (rather than hobby) point of view I think I prefer the approach that GW has taken.

Why? Well they have used the period to do two things that a “gamer” should appreciate.

Firstly, they have filled gaps in the existing model range. That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? One of the complaints previously levelled at GW was they released books with choices you couldn’t buy. It looks to me like they’ve listened.

Secondly, they have addressed the rules issues that accompany the release of any new ruleset – both for the core rules and for the individual army books. Three sets of FAQ have been released for the BRB and I think GW have done a good job in answering most of the inconsistencies identified when you have real-life play testing. Similarly each of the army books have had multiple FAQs released as the conflicts arise as you try to marry a new ruleset with earlier books. Again it looks to me like GW have listened to what had been common complaints of irregular FAQs.

So at the risk of sounding like a GW fanboi I think GW has done a good job of creating a strong base for the release of new books. Most conflicts have been identified and addressed for the existing releases. Similarly people have got their heads around the new ruleset and are moving away from mechanisms and interpretations and starting to focus on tactics.


  1. I would have to agree. I get the impression from the 8th ed rules and the subsequent FAQs that GW is really trying to make this edition as smooth for players as possible, while trying to increase the variables in the game (terrain, scenarios) that might encourage folks to pick more balanced forces.

    We'll know a lot more from the O&G book is released. It's the most important army book in a long time for WFB, I think.

  2. I think also that they are waiting to see how the FAQ requirement changes the game dynamics before implementing too many new books.