We've all been so wrapped up foaming at the mouth regarding Imperial Knights that we almost missed the army's real meaning...
GW has a problem, and it's had it for a while. It's not any particular army, or even game system. It's harder to attack directly because it's a larger bulkier problem.
Wargaming is hard
And in the 21st Century...
Consumers want easy
The Long Road to the Tabletop
Take a look at everything you have to do to get tabletop ready for a GW (or any) tabletop wargame.
1) You need to discover wargaming in the first place.
2) You need to find that one game that catches your eye and that your mates (or someone nearby) plays.
3) You need to find your faction.
4) You need to buy your first army (currently running from $400-$700 for a "grand wargame").
4a) Choose that armylist carefully, you don't want to waste hundreds on several bad unit choices.
5) You have to assemble the miniatures (from dozens to hundreds based on your game and faction)
6) You have to learn how to paint - and paint em up. (don't forget those hobby supply costs)
7) THEN you get to start having fun and playing the game - welcome aboard noob!
Now just think about all the horror stories you've heard of friends who messed up on one of those steps. Some will keep going, but others slip and fall out of the hobby along the way.
Compare and Contrast
Compare ALL of that to say - buying a XBOX One, plugging it in and playing the game you bought with it...
Now for example lets take one of the most daunting armies to use an example of the long road to the tabletop - a Skaven Horde-based army. Think of the time and money needed to buy and paint up the HUNDREDS of little Skaven slaves and their nefarious masters...
Think about Imperial Knights.
- One small Codex
- One unit to learn rules for
- One unit to buy
- The simplest armylist to assemble (even assuming you can dress them up with wargear, and other odd equipment)
- 4-6 models to paint.
- The models are incredibly sexy and large - perfect for beginners.
Finally note how by coincidence, 3-5 Knights clocks in right in that $400-$700 price range that any other 40K/WFB army will run you so GW stays rolling in the cash.
I'm an old-time player and already rushed out to buy my Knight, Codex and the Companion (which I will probably enjoy the most of the three). If an old grizzled vet like me has already taken the first steps towards starting my whole new army almost without even realizing it - I'm thinking GW has hit a bullseye. And we used to think Grey Knights was the "newbie-army" - HA!
GW: Mission Accomplished :) How many of you are starting in on your new army?