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March 26, 2013

Codex Release Deep Thought - How Fast is Too Fast?

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They say be careful what you wish for.  In 2013, we are the cusp of seeing FIVE codex/armybooks put out in 4 months.  Is there such a thing as too fast?



Lets go back a bit and look at past years.  It has been Games Workshop's pattern to normally pick a system between Fantasy and 40k for each year.  On average the chosen system got about 3 books, and the other system got 1-2. Then you always get something weird in the summer and holiday bundles at the end.

Folks groused for years that armies got ignored for sometimes a decade (Dark Eldar remember), while the popular books got multiple updates in the same time period (Space Marines for example).

Then Warmachine-Hordes Mk.2 came out and Privateer Press blew off the doors with both game systems and EVERY army book updated in a single year.  I'm sure it almost killed them, but they pulled it off.  Now WM/H is kinda a different animal as all the unit cards were available at the launch of the systems, and the faction books aren't required to play, but it was still an amazing effort.

Now we sit and watch GW revving up their release engine, dropping books and miniatures that have been sitting in warehouses for up to a year in some cases. Current rumors say we may see the following in 2013:

Dark Angels
Warriors of Chaos
Chaos Daemons / Daemons of Chaos
Tau Empire
High Elves
Eldar
Lizardmen
Space Marines

Apocalypse 2.0

I was once told that GW beancounters have analyzed the exact amount of discretionary cash each average customer has available for wargaming per month, and carefully meters releases to fit this budget to maximize income.  There is no point after all in releasing $500 of new items per month if your customers only spend $250 for example.

I'm starting to wonder what happened to that theory, and secondly, I did enjoy getting to chew on each new addition to our beautiful metagame for a few months before the next addition came along.  At this point, it's sometimes hard to see players discard "old hat" armies for fresh ones - then the old ones were only released 2 months back...

What's your take on the new clip of releases?  Too fast, too slow, or just right? 


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