Friday, July 13, 2012

GW's Foray into Digital Books

A couple of months ago Games Workshop, in conjunction with Apple, launched GW Digital through iBooks.

Now I know the haters out there will tell me that GW and Apple are corporate behemoths that should be despised but I was interested in seeing how this would work out. GW has a poor history in new technology, launching then ignoring different products. As an aside I purchased “Enemies of the Imperium” in 2002 and got four years of solid Chaos Space Marine list building out of the product. It only lapsed as a tool for me when another tool re-wrote Pete Haines Chaos Codex. There’s a special place in the Eye of Terror waiting for Gav Thorpe!

So Games Workshop launched its digital product through iBooks leading with the Space Marine Codex and a number of painting guides. Unfortunately, New Zealand is one of two countries in the world – the other is Finland – that have copyright laws that do not allow the product to be sold. Grrrr!

Not letting a little thing like draconian legal practices stop me, I managed to legally purchase one of the products through another jurisdiction.

On Saturday they released “Tactica: Space Marine Heroes”. This is a 25 page tactics guide written by Robin Cruddace. In form and content it is very similar to the Tactica we used to get in White Dwarf ten years ago. It goes through each of the SM Hero types outlining the different characteristics and the situations where you can benefit from his use. It is fully 6th Ed compliant. I was a little surprised as I thought it would be little more than a catalogue, however there seems to be more focus on content rather than pictures. It appears pitched at the intermediate level and was priced at NZD 8 equivalent.

What is interesting is the Space Marine Codex. I haven’t purchased this but I understand that it comes with an extra 100 pages of content – including 360 degree painting guides. It has also been updated to reflect the changes in errata and FAQ that GW released with 6th Edition. For those that purchased prior to these being released, it is a simple (and apparently free) process to delete and then download the updated version.

The Necron Codex (also with extra pages) was released last Saturday and the Dark Eldar codex is imminent. I understand that the upcoming Codex:Chaos space Marines will be a dual release – paper and digital.

Apart from the access issues for New Zealanders, I am impressed so far. The key thing will be whether GW provide continued support – though I am more optimistic that given the tie-up with Apple they will be more motivated.

Let’s see how it turns out.


  1. I just wish it was available on other products besides Apple. I'd be all about this if I could get it via the Kindle Fire.

  2. End of the week... Queue obligitory Codex CSM rant eh Pete?

    1. Can't buy it legit in NZ? DISLIKE! :<

    2. One line doesn't equal rant.

      My levels of anticipation are growing, cruising the waters of optimism waiting to be scuttled on the rocks of reality.

      Don't fuck this up GW. I only want:

      1. Noise Havoks, Noise Terminators and Noise Bikers
      2. Plague Terminators
      3. The ability to take single Legion lists

      Is that too much to ask?

      Unfortunately experience says "Yes".

    3. Hot of the Press, GW were so impressed by Gav Thorpe's CSM Codex, they've brought him back to do 6ed one and 8th Ed Skaven book as well.

  3. Hi Pete - Not Just GW - Slitherine have just announced that the Ancients Rule set and accompanying army lists for Field of Glory v2 will be digital. In fact they have gone one step further the GW it appears at this eary stage that there will not be a paper version of the rules and army lists going forward.