Friday, 8 June 2018

Games Workshop Renaissance


I've been pondering some of the rather exciting news coming out about the new edition of Age of Sigmar and am really enjoying a seeming renaissance from Games Workshop.

I must admit that my interest in all things GW more or less died the death following the end of 2nd edition 40k and the closing down of specialist games and while I hung on for a bit with Fantasy battle, even playing the odd game of 6th edition, my hobby interests moved on seemingly never to return.

However in the last couple of years, following the announcement that the Warhammer world was blown up and a new setting was making an appearance in the form of Age of Sigmar, I have slowly found myself with increasing regularity perusing the news sites and even peeking at the GW webstore.

I'm not sure if it's the realisation of the GW management team that they needed to move into the 21st century and engage with their customers on social media or the reappearance of classics like Necromunda and Titan Legions, not to mention the relatively low entry level that newer games seem to be giving prospective players, but I'm once again drawn to Games Workshop.

In years gone by, you'd expect to pay £50-£70+ for a starter set for 40k, but now there's First Strike for £25 which gives you basic rules, a decent haul of miniatures, battle mat and even a bit of scenery, thanks to the cunning use of the box.
While many may point out the fact that this is just the basic rules and not got a decent sized force, it is brilliant for folks wanting to test the waters as it gives you some big chunky Primaris Marines and some evil Mutants and villains to maim. It's especially of interest to me as I seriously doubt I will ever have the patience to collect and paint a full army but a few small skirmish warbands, well just maybe...

Next up, there's Storm of Sigmar for just £20. It gives you two decent skirmish warbands and the rules to get you going.

I actually picked this up when it was first released and found it to be great value for money and while most of the miniatures have been languishing, unpainted and still on their sprues, I've recently begun painting my way through them and rather enjoying the experience!

I'm also rather liking the scalability of both of GW's core games as you can actually play a decent game with only a handful of miniatures and build your forces over time. Looking at Storm of Sigmar for example, you get two warbands which are ample to play Age of Sigmar Skirmish and with the additions of some of the other Easy Build kits, you're well on your way to having a decent campaign!

Similarly, the rules of both games have been pretty much gutted. Much as I loved playing 2nd edition 40k, it took forever to play a decent sized game and Fantasy Battle required quite a bit of flicking through tomes to find rules. Here the rules are about 4 pages long, the unit abilities are on cards and there's not a table in sight!

While lots of folks bemoaned the simplicity of these new sets, I really like it, especially as my previous favorite game, Epic 40k was just a streamlined and was brilliant fun. I'm hoping to be able to complete my Fyreslayer mini project over the course of the next couple of weeks before moving onto something 40k related which is saying something.

It's not all good news though, as I am finding the release schedule of GW is bewildering with set after set of new plastics rolling out each month and Battletomes, Codexes and supplements arriving every month. I must admit that I am struggling to keep up with it all. It's also bad for the Ooh Shiny Syndrome where there's just so much choice that one finds themselves frozen in indecision as to what, if anything to pick up.

I've also noted the use of terms like Synergy and Meta bandied about when folks discuss army building. I find the need to build superawesomeamazing armies with megakilldeath combinations of abilities a bit meh to say the least and would far prefer to just collect a force that looks interesting and characterful and don't really care if it isn't competitive. 

Saying that, GW has been pushing the Narrative Play element to their games which provides a haven of scenario driven tranquility from the more rabid tournament mindset which I quite like so it does seem that GW is listening and trying to strike a balance between both sides of the hobby.

As someone who was quite a big fan of the principles of Oldhammer, I am keen to use the mindset of collecting a force for fun and to enjoy painting it and play some entertaining, scenario based games and wonder whether I can take these principles and use them in enjoying my hobby using new miniatures...

Either which way, I hope that GW keeps up the good work and keeps engaging with its customers and bringing out more goodies for us to froth at.

Perhaps I'll even finish a project this year so hurrah!

In the meantime, apologies for waffling on for so long and all the best!


  1. I completely agree. The new direction GW had taken has completely reinvigorated my love for the hobby in the last couple of years. I personally have never played so many games or had the motivation to churn out so many models before in my hobby experience.

    1. I must admit that my fascination with Age of Sigmar has got me pondering some 40k gubbins too!

  2. It is disturbing how close our viewpoints on this are. :D

    The release schedule is leaving me winded - I'd love to buy several kits but I'm barely done with what I have right now haha.

    Key takeaways though - engagement and making the kits veterans have been asking for years has been a success of small wonder. I should be enthusiastic I know I know, but I constantly feel like saying "Well..duh!" hahaha. :)

    Ultimately, I'm glad GW are listening and producing foundation sets again.

    1. All too true!

      I'm eyeing up some of the new easy build kits they've got coming out at the moment as they're ideal for the sort of small scale skirmish warband that I want!

  3. GW certainly seems to have changed for the better the last few years. Now they're even giving away their new 2nd edition sets to people who support and represent them on social media.
    But like you said, the releases are coming so fast I can't keep up and even barely have any idea what is useful. Do I even need the many new books that are coming out if I'm only playing skirmish.
    The rules seem to be spread out over so many books.

    1. Yeah, that's my one reservation about the new GW! They are releasing so much stuff so quickly that its making my head spin.

      The skirmish rules are apparently not changing much from what I can tell and the games core rules are free to download too which is a great big plus. They've gone from 4 to something like 12 pages though but first perusal seems to be that they've tweaked and improved things to make more sense and to make for a better game.

      I believe the new plastic spell effects supplement has an updated skirmish campaign in it centring around mercenaries hunting rogue spells.

  4. Yeah, I've pre-ordered that set, but I'm considering buying the rulebook as well, as it contains the allegiance abilities.
    I started out buying the Malign Portents book along with the skirmish book, as this one has some skirmish rules included too, not many though.

    As for second edition, after reading through them there were some things which I'm not sure how they will work in skirmish, like command points.
    Perhaps there will be another FAQ for skirmish in the near Future. At least they still seem to support it, even though it is only as the last point on their list.