Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Release Schedule & Power Creep

So definitely no Codex: Chaos Space Marines until October (at earliest). Given the release of “The Hobbit” shortly after – and GW’s contractual arrangement with New Line – November/December id definitely WotR.

The inside cover of the August WD confirms what we knew – September is the 40K boxed set and features Dark Angels and Chaos.

Therefore by elimination – October it is.

One thing that worries me about the 40K game at the moment is that we seem to be in the middle of a power creep cycle that shows no signs of abating. The strongest armies in the game are those that have been the latest books – so the current troika are Necrons, Dark Eldar and Grey Knights (before them it was Guard, Wolves and Blood Angels). With the advent of 6th, the latest book has only got stronger and we are now seeing a lot of power players pick up Necrons.

By contrast, WHFB seems to have learned its lessons. After reaching absurd heights with Daemons then Dark Elves, the advent of 8th Edition has seen a balancing of the game which has led to diversity in race choice at tournaments with even minimal comp.

My concern is that Chaos Space Marines will become the latest flavour of the month upon release. I’m hoping that perceived power level is somewhere less than the level of top armies at the end of 5th and that that sets a new benchmark which other books adhere to. Yes, this means that the last few books will remain as a highwater mark but a balanced game is far more enjoyable than one that constantly ratchets up.

However I’m realistic enough to recognise the commercial realities and that 40K is GW’s breadwinner. I’m, therefore, not holding my breath that we’ll see the end of Codex Creep as new, shiny AND kickass is more commercial than new, shiny and balanced.

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