Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GW 2012 - The Anticipation Builds

Having reviewed the Best and Worst of Games Workshop in 2011, I thought I’d give you my take on what I view are the most anticipated releases of 2012.

Codex: Chaos Legions

Now it may come as a surprise but I’m not the biggest fan of the piece of crap that Gav Thorpe wrote and called the “Codex: Chaos Space Marines - 4th Edition”. This “codex” was singularly the main reason I stepped back from playing 40k. it is a classic case of letting loose a giant vampire squid to wrap itself around a large part of the hobby and then allow it to relentlessly jam its blood funnel into anything that smells like fun or depth. “Hey, let’s take your nine Legions and make them Chaos Liquorice Allsorts Renegades! These nine separate armies, each with their own unique characteristics are soooooo confusing!”

So for me the news that May/June sees the release of a rumoured Chaos Legions book is the most exciting news since the Codex:CSM Third Printing (the one that let Power Fists strike at Initiative if you had a Doom Siren). I personally couldn’t give a rat’s arse if the army is roadkill as long as they give the nine Legions back their unique characteristics. Hell, I’d even be “the” Baby Seal.

However I don’t think the book will be roadkill. There was a time that CSM were GW’s biggest seller after Space Marines – and almost as big as the entirety of Warhammer Fantasy. The market is there to be tapped and hopefully the current restraining order on Thorpe continues. Let Phil Kelly write it. Hell, let Jeremy Vetock! But whatever you do make sure it has character.

Given its release date it will give an early loom at 6th Edition thinking as well.

Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts

The first of the Big Three (Daemons, Dark Elves and VC) to get the 8th Edition treatment. These three books were the pinnacle of power creep in 7th Edition and nothing afterwards had anything like the power AND consistency to dominate podiums.

The first three 8th Edition books have seen a new balance return to the game – though Ogres have changed the meta. They appear more internally balanced as well as balanced against each other. I previously said that I believe that the major reason for this is the reduction in the number of unique Magic Items. To date the three books have gone 8-8-10. I hope the VC stay in single figures even if they are the more powerful items. My view it has been far easier to balance the books without having to factor in a multitude of specific items. It also reduces the need for multipage FAQs.

I’d like to see both zombies and skeletons get a role in the new book. Ghouls are default Core and you rarely see anything else. Other than that anything that makes the choice of optimal army a crapshoot i.e. there is no one or two netlists.

This is the first release of 2012, out in January. Rumours are that Empire and Dwarfs (Yawn) are to follow.

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition

To me there is a massive gap back to here. Most people who play 5th Edition like it. I’m sure I’d be happy to play it if my Legions were back. However the rumours are that July/August sees the new edition. So what would I like to see – other than the banning of Imperial Guard?

The first thing would be pre-measuring of everything. It has been a huge success in 8th Edition Fantasy removing 90% of all conflict. I’d hate to go back to a game where the ability to tell the difference between 11.9” and 12.1” was a defining skill.

Secondly, do something with the victory conditions so that the premise is not that “elite” troops fight to defend “core” troops. It is just wrong. Yes, make Troops important but not to the point whereby in some armies they are issued with deckchairs.

Sort out the missions and if possible give a mechanism in the book to define degree of victory. It might not be Victory Points but for those who like to keep score there should be some mechanism.

For me the first two releases are head and shoulders more important to my gaming than the third. Other people’s mileage may vary.


  1. I'm looking forward to the Dwarves book. I hope they sort out the following;

    -Stronger anti-magic: If I can't have a magic phase, neither can you.
    -Better war machines: The ones we have are too unreliable, more accurate shooting would make them more exciting to play.
    -Hatred vs Skaven, maybe Chaos. Apparently we really dislike Orcs n' Goblins for taking hundreds of our holds, but are only slightly miffed with Skaven and Chaos doing the same....
    -Field fortifications and obstacles: Basically impassible or difficult terrain placed by the Dwarf player during deployment. If we can't move, neither can you.
    -A bit more combat power: Not Chaos Warrior good, but at least Black Guard good would be nice, Hammerers are worth the same points after all.

    With these changes, I'm sure that it will be as exciting to play Dwarves as the Battle of Balaclava, or maybe Ombdurman.

    As for the VC book, this will be the litmus test for GW and it's power-levels. It's easy to raise the weaker books, but to reel in one of the stronger books will be harder if they want to retain sales (and they always want to do that). I agree that their internal balance is awful, and VC do need something to make many of their choices valid.

    If they can pull it off, and make VC an interesting army that's about as strong as Ogres, then I hold out hopes that they can fix Daemons, Dark Elves and Skaven.



  2. "Fix the Skaven? Que?"

    Well, for starters, having an army book that's smaller than the errata and FAQ might be a good idea.

    Also, I think most non-Skaven players might have some small issues with the rules, stats and points costs for one or two units, spells or items....

    On the plus side, boosts to the Vermin Lord, Night Runners and a few other things would be good too.



  3. -Stronger anti-magic: If I can't have a magic phase, neither can you.

    Agreed (with much chuckling)

    Plus it would be nice to have move and shoot for the thunderers again, and forest strider for the rangers.

    The most important thing though would to change the flame cannon back to what it was.

    Otherwise I am really happy with the latest book we have, the runes are great, the longbeards being core and able to upgraded to rangers is excellent, yeah I suppose I could go on.



  4. Nothing with Dwarfs as they are now, there are issues when facing things like the Screaming Bell with its 1 billion special rules. But honestly all I would like would be MORE FLUFF and Hammerers to get some kind of boost.