Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Unexpected Consequences

Two to three years ago Games Workshop stopped updating its customer base about upcoming releases, be they rules or models. Prior to this, they held seminars at Games Days and showed "greens", "three-ups" and "WIP" of figures. Designers were also open about what rules they were working on.

This all stopped and an iron curtain descended over the release of official information from the Company. However GW realised that a vacuum is wonderful and so for at least for the past few years we have had "leaks" to a selected number of individuals who trickle this information out to the market via forums, particularly Warseer.

Last week we saw the amplification and cross confirmation of rumours around the future of Warhammer Fantasy. This foreshadowed significant changes in the aftermath of the End Times campaign which is currently nearing its climax.

The "squat-ing" of races, the destruction of the current background world, limited factions (I hate that word) and the move to round bases all hit a largely unsuspecting customer base like a sledgehammer (or an exploded moon).

Much gnashing of teeth ensued.

Now that the initial clamour has died down we are seeing something very interesting. People have reacted in a way that I don't think GW considered.

If you read forums, listen to podcasts or even talk to your fellow gamers you'll find an interesting development. People have shelved plans for any current WHFB purchases. There is a thread on the Warhammer Forum and an episode from the always fun Skull Bros Awesome podcast on this very subject. Conversations with local gamers show that this isn't isolated either. Unless you are a Skaven player you are unlikely to be buying new models at the moment.

I can see an absolute drying up of Fantasy purchases until further information is forthcoming. If sales of Fantasy were down before, I can't see the lack of clarity about the future helping in the interim.

Personally I'd be very surprised if they were selling much more than End Times books (and a Frostheart Phoenix to Dark Elf players).


  1. I'm not even buying skaven models. Already have a vermin lord, and plenty of rogres to convert to packing multiple machine guns.

  2. That is correct, I am not planning any model purchases this year, apart from maybe a trademe bargain or two.
    My purchases this year will focus on a new tabletop mat and terrain pieces.

  3. I haven't played warhammer fantasy since all the end times stuff came out, I'm not keen on buying expensive add on books I'd rather they finished the remaining army books.

  4. I'm buying as per normal. I don't base my purchase decisions on rumours. Just like 8th all the "sky is falling" stuff will filter down to an interpretation far more palatable to the masses.
    Continuing to flesh out my High Elves and Dark Elves, and redoing my Tomb Kings to be more Nagash themed.

  5. Havent we discussed multiple times that only Little Timmys Mum matters to GW? She wont know anything about this so why would GW notice...

    1. Don't be so rational....you cynic

      I'm not buying a new Verminlord - GW better notice!

  6. I must admit I have shelved my plans to get the new Dwarf Army book ...but that might be unrelated to End Times ;)

    To be honest I stopped buying shortly after 8th edition. I don't dislike 8th but the community negativity was just too much at the time even when you played people they bitched the whole time about the game they hated.

    It was tiring.

    Now with small children I very rarely get the time for a mass battle game so it's all boxed up till I get a bit more free time and I'll stick to Deadzone and Mars Attacks for the time being.

    It is why I get excited by any rumour o a Warhammer Skirmish game as I could definitely get behind that.

    I did look at getting back into Warhammer this year but my only viable army is Dwarfs and while I love the new models they don't match my older ones at all and I am not made of money to replace a whole army or start from scratch…

    My son wanted to play 40K..with Tau..Not In This House I said.

    Side note: I have loved all the End Times models and it's staggering to think how much new palstic has come out of GW in the last 12 months!!

  7. I'm not buying for a few reasons:

    1. Virtually no releases for any of my armies (DE, WE, LM, OnG, Empire, WoC).
    2. My main WHFB hobby push for this year is painting the WE army up.
    3. I'm enjoying painting Space Wolves.
    4. Our tournament scene has snubbed ET so the meta hasn't changed enough to require me to make any purchases to be competitive.

    If new Elf models had come out I probably would've sprung for a few. That being said the big result of ET is I have shifted my hobby time from WE to Space Wolves. Ultimately I am a competitive gamer and if in the future the Elves working together is the most optimal way to play than I want my Uber Elf Army to look like an Army. That means synchronizing paint schemes. I'm going to wait and see. For now my hobby time is going to Space Wolves and finishing up units for my DE.

    Ultimately though the uncertainty is getting to people in my opinion.

  8. Also, I agree that all the ET models have been fantastic....

  9. I'm putting my gaming spend aside at present (other than some $ on X-Wing) in anticipation of the Raging Heroes Dark Elf Army Kickstarter that is due to err kick.. start... around the end of march.

    I will get some of the new skaven models at some point... but give they aren't likely to dump "new kits" in a couple of months, no rush.

  10. As I said in the post the interesting thing for me was how universal this response has been....a large proportion of veteran players across the full plethora of jurisdictions

  11. I just watched the Naren Zade video, when he talked about not wanting to buy the new rat ogres because he wasn't sure if they would ever be tournament legal.

    Even after the world explodes and all the green cheese has landed, it won't be until the event organisers start determining whether you can use lore of undeath and or which end times models or armies can be used.

    So it's an international phenomena as well.

    While the end times models are fantastic buying a model just because it looks cool but will spend all it's life sitting on the shelf it becomes much less appealing.

    Little Timmy's mum might not care or understand why little sweetums doesn't want to buy any warhammer models she will just be glad she doesn't have to go into the awful shop any more.

    Philfy I would not be holding my breath for Raging heroes to deliver a new kick starter for Dark Elves. They still have not delivered the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy product. A driver for perfectionism, unreliable suppliers and growth totally outside their capabilities gives them a very poor track record for delivery.
    By the time the models show up they won't match the new elves gracing the warhammer table. Dark Elves consigned to the dustbin of history as so last year.

    I have been watching people play Mordheim recently. A fantasy skirmish game really would have legs. A couple of boxed sets and you would have plenty of models. That's also a good game for the club as it would have people coming along to play regularly so they can get experience and increase the capability of their characters. It's amazing how attached people get to their characters when there is a consequence to them dying.