Tabletop Deep Thought: When Is It Ok to Kill Off a Faction

40K has dozens of factions, while other games have only a handful. But when and how should a company deal with factions who are hurting the game?

Wargames and wargamers are fickle things.

Is you ask a group of 5 gamers a hard question, chances are you’ll get 6 answers.

So many choices…I DEMAND MORE!

Faction Basics

Factions have been on my mind of late due to the wide variety of them in the “big games” in the industry. Take a look as some of the big guys:

  • Warhammer 40,000 – it’s easily pushing 2 dozen factions, and way more once you throw in the Forge World stuff.
  • X-wing – 3 factions.
  • Warmachine – Hordes – roughly a dozen.
  • Runewars – 3
  • Star Wars Armada – 2

Yet if you ask a lot of Star Wars Armada players – you don’t hear complaints of not enough factions. But if you ask people about RuneWars – you will often hear that the 3 factions are not enough.  Odd.

I feel that with licensed games, you get way more leeway based on the universe.  If you make a Game of Thrones game – folks will start bitching if you leave out any of the major Houses. If you do Star Wars – apparently 2 is good enough for a lot of folks.

Two factions – not a problem…

About the Executions…

But back to the real topic. What should a company do when they have introduced a faction into a living ongoing product that is just not a commercial success?  It can happen to any company – but with the effectively eternal lifespans of the big tabletop games, a company can really paint themselves into a corner if a faction fizzles. They made the models and rules, probably worked it into their tabletop universe, but for one reason or another it’s not selling.

What Then?

  • A company could double down and rework the faction’s rules or models to try to revive it (arguments can be made for several factions this could apply to).
  • They could just not update or limit its models and put it’s rules on the backburner – keeping it “technically in the game” and let it die on the vine (looking at you Sororitas).
  • They could just drop it entirely from the next edition (the Squat option).
  • They could quietly fold into an existing line and unify it’s rules with a more successful faction (hello Black Templars).

It’s a really tricky problem as you risk alienating customers and lets face it – customers who collect and paint up their army are very very VERY touchy about anything bad being said about it. On the other hand ignoring such factions means a company is devoting resources to something undesirable in the market that they could reallocate into other projects. It’s a problem you can’t just ignore.

I’m genuinly curious about your opinion on how to best handle cases like these and I want to hear some examples of when you thought a tabletop company dealt with an unsuccessful faction quite well and cases where they could have tried harder.

~ The floor is yours friends.

  • Aaditya Rangan

    What is a faction? Does AoS have 4 factions (i.e., grand alliances) or many more?

    • Kabal1te

      Factions are ill defined in Age of Sigmar still. I would say anything with a Battletome is a verifiable faction as well as anything that got its own warlord traits and artifacts in Generals Handbooks. Outside of that it is hard to say much can be considered a true faction.

      The number of minor sub factions found in the grand alliance books some of which have as few as 2 units in them (including characters) is somewhat silly and I can’t see claiming most of them as true factions.

      • Koldan

        Or you could say the factions Games Workshop mentions in the faction guide are the factions right now, everything else is just a placeholder to make the move from fantasy battles easier.

        https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer-Age-of-Sigmar-Factions-Guide

      • Muninwing

        “Factions are ill defined in Age of Sigmar still”

        it’s AoS… everything is ill-defined. i’m still waiting for actual maps and real definitions of countries and their cities.

        • There’s decent maps in the stormcast battletome from last year. There aren’t countries, strictly speaking, I’m not sure how much governance there even is outside of cities

    • Simon Bates

      It seems to me what is interesting about AoS is that to some extent the factions/subfactions model (which 8th ed 40k has to a more minor extent) allows a relatively large range of models to remain broadly usable, while allowing GW to dedicate resources to whatever they happen to feel like developing, without having to constantly update rules for the many old factions. There’s a lot of subfactions in AoS that may never get a Battletome (though more may get GH rules), but because they can be allied with factions that are being updated, they remain usable.
      Contrast this with, say, Necrons in 40k, who currently have to depend only on their index list and the small number of additions they got in Chapter approved. With 40K, GW are largely stuck updating all of (or at least, most of) the existing factions in a way they have not been inclined to do in AoS.
      Indeed, I strongly suspect that many of the Order subfactions in AoS have no Battletomes on the horizon, but will continue more or less as they are up until GW decides they’re not worth continuing to produce. Certainly they’ve shown little inclination to try and put factions on a relatively even keel to anywhere near the extent that they have with 40k, with only a few Battletomes being released for subfactions that are carryovers from WHFB (Seraphon, Bonesplitters, Ghouls, Ogres, Pestilens) and quite a few new or radically reimagined subfactions with lots of new models (Kharadrons, Fyreslayers, Stormcasts, Sylvaneth, the Khorne and Tzeentch books, Ironjawz). For that matter, 40k must have almost as many Codexes out since 8th ed launched 6 months ago as AoS has had in the 2 and a half years since it launched (especially if you don’t count Battletomes that have been replaced, like the original Stormcasts book).

      • Aaditya Rangan

        So you’re saying that “subfactions” in AoS are a little like “creature types” in MtG. All the “green” creatures in MtG can go into the same green deck; Wizards of the Coast doesn’t have to print any more thallids or dinosaurs or centaurs or whatever if they don’t feel like it. Similarly, all the “order” units in AoS can go into the same army, regardless of whether or not GW decides to make more Kharadron Overlords in the future.

        • Simon Bates

          Don’t know the first thing about MtG, I’m afraid, but what you’re saying sounds about right. Essentially, there seems to be little to no impetus to update a lot of the Old World armies’ new subfactions, especially the multiplicity of Order subfactions.

          • I just hope they get some non-stormcast human models out already

      • euansmith

        Maybe the Necrons need to be subverted by one of the other factions; allowing “hacked” Necrons to be “allied” with another faction?

        “01010111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00101100 00100000 00100010 01010111 01000001 01000001 01010010 01000111 01001000 00100001 00100010 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01101000 01111001 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100001 01100100 01100100 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110010 01100101 00100000 00100010 01000100 01100001 01101011 01101011 01100001 00100010 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001101 01101111 01101110 01101111 01101100 01101001 01110100 01101000 00111111 00100000”

        • Jared van Kell

          If in doubt always ask…
          01010111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110101 01101100 01100100 00100000 01000111 01101111 01110010 01101011 00100000 00101000 01001111 01110010 00100000 01001101 01101111 01110010 01101011 00101001 00100000 01100100 01101111 00111111

          • euansmith

            Dat iz da roit kwestshun.

  • Kabal1te

    The problem with several of these options is they don’t address the big problem which is models that don’t sell and why. Sisters of Battle for instance I think is decently popular faction, and might be more so if it’s models were updated, and more importantly closer to most other armies in price range. The fact is there are 3rd party sisters proxy models that are better looking and cheaper than what GW offers and companies are selling those models. Why GW hasn’t updated them I will never know.

    On the other hand squats weren’t selling and law suits happened over the name from what i have been told and on top of that they really didn’t have their own place in the setting mostly because of the (in my opinion) poor choice to make them mutant humans and part of the imperium rather than their own faction. There really wasn’t much else they could do but make them vanish and I don’t think in the long run that decision has hurt the game.

    Templars are a different thing entirely though. They gains things and lost things becoming part of the main marine codex. I have a feeling in an edition or two all marines will he in one book the way things are going. Can you even find the black templar specific marine kits any more? I haven’t seen one (other than the characters) on a game store shelf in some time. Primaris marines I feel is the first step in making all the marines more generic. But that’s just my feelings. I could be totally off base.

    Age of Sigmar however is a totally different kettle of fish. I don’t know why they didn’t keep around all the old world factions and model lines and convert them to the new lore. They easily could have chosen to, but didn’t. Being a new game and a blank slate they had the option not to but what they kept and what they didn’t and why didn’t appear to have a lot of reason behind it at the time. Still doesn’t seem that way yet. I don’t know if tomb kings and bretonia were selling that poorly or if they wanted to distance themselves from factions so real world mythology/history based or what motivated that choice.

    • euansmith

      I really like the Kharadron Overlords, both the models and their merchant-adventurer fluff. I would love for GW to just port them over in to 40k. They could just called them Demiurge and have done with it.

      • spla5hmummy

        This. In AoS they’re advanced. In 40k they’d be retro. Why not?

    • marsultor

      Good points. As a complete aside, Black Templars were first mentioned as chapter in the 2nd ed Ultramarines Codex, the vanilla SM codex. I first painted them that way, just as a generic marine chapter (literally, they were black and white). Then they came out with the “knightly” marine order (hated it); and now, acc to what you say above (after converting most of mine to Space Wolves), they’re back again in a generic SM codex. Funny how things run full circle.

      • Muninwing

        they were in the 3rd ed Codex: Armageddon as a separated out playable faction.

        their two claims to fame were that they had combined squads (and set the rules for how to deal with units that had two different armor saves), and they were able to field more than one Land Raider Crusader (which were 0-1 for everyone else).

        their own codex did a good job giving them some distinct personality. but still, they were not necessarily needed as their own faction. they are folded in nicely now, with their crusader squads.

        • euansmith

          I always imagine them as having a lot of flame weapons, for that whole, “Purge the Heretic!” vibe. Was that not the case?

    • LankTank

      In all honesty I don’t think Sororitas is very popular. Beloved, has a devout following (fitting) but would not be widely collected even if they did a full reboot.
      I’m thinking about Dark Eldar who were in a slump and got a massive reboot around 5th edition but how many times do you see them? More often for sure but definitely on the low end when compared to other factions. And they got BEAUTIFUL kits. Whole new Wyches, Kalabites, Haemonculii, Venoms, Pain engines, the works.
      I still think it would make sense to make a “Servants of the Emperor” codex to roll together Sororitas, Custodeas, Sisters of Silence, Assassins, Deathwatch and Inquisition. That would be a perfect time to release even just a sisters plastic kit, plastic Penitent engines and maybe 2 characters. That would not be a huge release but it would end up being a pretty filled out codex with a lot of modern plastic minis

      • Nightshade878

        Speaking as a long time Dark Eldar player, the reason you don’t see them very often is that, post 5th, we’ve sucked. Especially in 7th where Ignores Cover was EVERYWHERE. And a lot of common tactics were super hard counters, such as Drop-Pod Flamer squads (killing models inside the Raiders ftw). Even in 8th we still suck. We’re a little better off, but not by much.

        • LankTank

          I don’t think that is the reason. Because for example, you still played Dark Eldar even when they sucked. Becasue it was the army you liked and you’re loyal to that.
          Even if an army sucks people still play it. They may just spam the 2-3 units that are actually ok and ignore the rest but you see them. Look at orks, at one time considered below par but their fan base never faltered.
          Some armies just have more appeal, especially to younger hobbyists or hobbyists who like the “kick @$$” scale of 40k. “This big awesome thing is awesome and it kills whatever” more prevalent in SM, Chaos, Nids, Orks etc. However DE and Sisters will never pull in the same fan base. A shame I think as they are just so characterful.

  • YetAnotherFacelessMan

    Can you imagine the stink people would throw if even one group of space marines got the axe? Biel-Tan and Cadia blew up, but they’re still in the rules and in the codecies. Anything more than that is just silly in the current state of the game…

    With the exception of Tanith. They’re just gone.

  • FMAN

    I feel like T’au and Necron are GW’s forgotten step children. I will say this, we don’t need anymore Space Marine factions. If you want to play as Salamanders, that’s what Forgeworld is for

    • Kabal1te

      Didn’t Tau get several new kits last edition? Including a big fancy new lord of war? All for new units added to their codex on top of that. What is the last thing dark eldar got? One new kit for a unit that already existed but had no models and the removal from their codex over half a dozen units. If GW has forgotten anyone it is the Dark Eldar. (Though that said several other armies are also in bad shape including Sisters and Inquisition)

      • FMAN

        Agreed, it is a shame about Dark Eldar- they are really cool and very important to the 40K universe

      • J Mad

        But DE has more models than many other factiosn oddly, just b.c something hasnt gotten something doesnt mean its not worth to stay.

        • defensive

          They are for sure the smallest of the major factions.
          Subfactions like GSC or Inquisition, that build their armies on top of other factions are gonna be smaller of course, but they end up with a larger selection if you include the range they can pick to build off (e.g. GSC get the tyranid and guard range, inquisition get guard, marines, and sisters and so on).

          After they gutted all the special characters from DE too, for no particular reason, they have felt a bit plain and neglected.

          • Munn

            Adeptus Ministorum are far far smaller. (36 vs 28 selections on the GW website with almost half of the 28 being single SoB special weapons models. so closer to 14.)

        • Kabal1te

          I never said dark eldar didn’t need to stay. I want them to stay. I was disputing the statement that Tau were a forgotten army. They aren’t. They have gotten more love than quite a large number of other 40k armies over the past 2 years. Dark eldar is just my go to, but inquisition, sisters, regular chaos space marines, grey knights, demons up until now, tyranids, necrons, and a few others i am sure have all seen significantly fewer new model releases and kit updates than Tau.

      • Dan Worsley

        Us DE players are used to being forgotten (seriously,we were using the 3rd ed codex for years and years).

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          And really really ugly models.

        • Muninwing

          i sold mine about six months before the next codex came out. played them loyally since 3rd.

      • LankTank

        I see you agree with what I just commented to you above! XD

    • Munn

      First world problems. Inquisition and SoB are the forgotten step children, at least T’au and Necrons are plastic.

  • J Mad

    Does GW actually have to many tho? Many of them are sub factions, like Quins and Space Wolves. Harlequins has all the models they need, and its nothing to spend a week on rules for them that will last 2 years. Is that bad or good for the game? I say good.

    If GW had better balancing of rules players would be happy with their codex for years.

    • Simon Bates

      Personally I would love to see a slightly more fleshed-out harlequin faction, with auxiliaries, perhaps some new characters (or the old avatar of the laughing God distinguished from a mere Troupe Leader), maybe additional vehicles etc. While I may be in a small minority on this, I reckon most of us like to see our factions updated with new models (and refreshed rules) every now and again. In fact the problem with many of the more established factions seems to be how to justify introducing new units into armies that have been around so long that their structures are well-established and there are no grey areas left in the fluff to fill in. Hence Primaris marines and, I suspect, Ynarri.

      • euansmith

        Expanding the Harlequin could be really neat; Harlequin Dressers, Harlequin Stage Hands, Harlequin Prompts, Harlequin Producers, Harlequin Critics, Harlequin Understudies.

        • Marco Marantz

          Harlequin Weinsteins?

          • euansmith

            Isn’t that a Nurgle/Slaanesh character? Or too obscene for them?

          • Ben

            Or Tzeentch? After all, there does seem to be a lot of ‘Change’ on the horizon which he has been an unintentional catalyst for.

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        Mimes would be nice to see again, the High Avatar would be very welcome.

    • ZeeLobby

      My issue is with more factions/sub-factions/whatever, will they ever actually be able to create that balance.

    • Munn

      It’s models that become a problem. Factions that don’t get new models die out(sales wise) Remember, there are a finite number of people playing each faction and a finite number of models in each line. Eventually the people who play them run out of stuff to buy and sales stagnate.

  • Carlos Irala

    BTW, Runewars have 4 factions (But Uthuk is very recent).

    I think the best way of managing the Killing of a faction depends of what kind of game you (As a Company) are trying to develop. In a game with the life, adepts and so Deep background lore as Warhammer 40k, is not a case for developing, instead of evolution. Where you want to take this game? Is this game is going to be a game of large armies fighting each others, certain factions (Inquisition, Assassins, even Harlequins), which are groups of specialized soldiers in key missions, are not the kind of army which represents this game should be. Skirmish-like game can contain a lot of armies because you can have a lot of personality and diversification with not so much kits. Wargames-like games can contain a lot of armies, but requires more time.

    Is this game is going to be an skirmish game of tactical infiltration, Inquisition, and Assassins should have its place, but not Imperial Guard (Just Militarum Tempestus).

    The fact with Wh40K is that now is a game of everything, both specialized soldiers and large armies, where a group of super-assassins can be in front of a massive army of Orks. Or a XV8 Crisis team can fight a Tyranid swarm.

    The main theme is also the fact of Lore, I think. In Star Wars, unless you get into EU, you can summarize the world in “Rebels”, “Empire” and “Those random guys of Tatooine Cantina or Jabba Palace”. But a lot of people seek to play for the films. Unless you start to pull things from the Prequels Era or even older eras as in KOTOR videogames. Its a simplier world than Warhammer, Game of Thrones, Legend of Five Rings, or games which I don’t know its lore as Runewars.

    Summary: More Complex Lore/World to develop a game -> More factions.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Was waiting to see if anyone else made that comment before I joined in! Bout the 4 factions I mean. Which all four were sown in the rule book, and if anyone played battlelore 2ed.. there were 5 factions..

  • Dan Worsley

    I think when the meta story calls for a shake up they should drop a faction.
    Would I be annoyed if they wiped out in a stroke the Eldar? Yes. If it happened as a result of a massive storyline that intrinsically changed the setting in radical ways? Still annoyed, but impressed and accepting.

    Magic: The Gathering has a storyline that moves forward each year and it has a rule about not allowing old cards in tournaments but allowing them, and keeping rules errata up to date in order to allow those old cards to be used in all other styles of play. I think this is the best approach, so yes. Kill off the Eldar (or whoever) in 40k, say “no more Eldar Codicies” “you can no longer use Eldar in tournaments” etc etc, but releasing FAQs etc to allow people to use them in fun play is the best approach.

    • Apocryphus

      If miniatures games move to having shifting blocks of legal models where models I own suddenly are no longer legal in one way or another, I will quit the hobby. I don’t play MTG anymore based on that reason and if models I have spent hundreds of dollars on, assembled, and taken the time to paint get “cycled out” I would be furious. In fact, it’s the reason I don’t touch AoS, since GW “cycled out” Tomb Kings and have let their rules slowly fade into obscurity and irrelevance.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I don’t think its ever ok to completely remove a faction, it causes huge bad feeling and players often quit. That can’t be good for business.

    I stopped playing 40K for ten years after GW canned two factions I collected in short succession- Space Slann and Squats. Thats a lot of money GW missed out on over that period, and not just from me, swathes of people quit and never came back into the game.

    If a model company sells the models for something, they should keep supporting it in the rules for as long as the company lasts. It feels like part of the contract they make with you when they release the models.

    In a related topic, we see FW frequently not producing rules for models they used to, but no longer, make, and personally this is a big reason I buy very few FW models. I don’t want to pay £70 for a vehicle and in 5 years time find it has no rules.

    These things do affect companies profits.

    The best way to handle a faction that is really struggling, IMO, is to fold it into another, like Black Templars. This way they are still playable, still get updates and are included in the fluff.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      AoS isn’t my cup of tea but a few friends play it so I might have gotten interested in it, if GW hadn’t canned my Tomb Kings. To a lesser degree my Brets as well. I Have collected in my life a lot of models, the wife says too many but that’s crazy talk. Killing off a faction that people paid hundreds of dollars for doesn’t make them want to spend more.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        It makes you suspicious of investing again at best, and at worst turns people into angry ex customers spreading hate. No company wants that.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          Exactly! How they are handling 8th Ed for 40K is why I am on a buying freeze for the next year. My group of friends are all in the same mind frame. We have seldom seen such turmoil for changes and there is no reason to buy something if it turns out to be junk. Drop Pods and Razorbacks earned GW a huge profit last edition but they aren’t all that great now, I see very few of either on the board. People are grouchy that they bought something that now isn’t useful. I will say I don’t spread hate anymore about AoS but I’m still bitter about the change to the game as I don’t care for AoS as my fantasy game.

        • euansmith

          Maybe GW could transport the “legacy” system over from AoS in to 40k. Where Legacy Units would get a free electronic ‘dex that would be updated in line with the main rules, but with the understanding that there would most likely be no new releases for that faction for the foreseeable future?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Thats kind of what they have done with Indexes.

          • euansmith

            Indeed, but if they made if free and online, it might take the sting out of the situation for the players of abandoned armies (“Abandoned Armies” sounds like a suitable title for a grim dark novel 😀 ).

            I like the way that AoS Warscrolls are all available on the GW Website, with the Battle Tomes being used for fluff and special, armywide abilities. If you want the juice glue to make your army zing, you need the Battletome, and if you want the up to date points, you need the General’s Handbook; so GW still gets to sell books.

    • EnTyme

      If the company feels the need to remove a faction due to lack of interest, declining sales, etc., I think the best way to handle it would be to merge them with another faction so those who play them can at least still use their models. Add Squats to Imperial Guard, add Tomb Kings to Deathrattle, add Bretonians to Free Guilds, etc.

      • Apocryphus

        The weird thing about Tomb Kings is in the End Times all the undead could be played as a single force, so they were all rolled together before GW removed them without warning. What they should do is instead of executing factions that aren’t doing well, they should breath new life into them with updated model lines and interesting new rules. You know, actually support the game they are producing.

        • Kabal1te

          Well to be honest there was warning at the start of AOS that the Tomb Kings were going away. Enough warning that I was able to buy what I wanted to fill out my modest collection and call it that, a collection. I played it. It had rules. I was okay with where things were. What killed me was the major nerf they hit tomb kings with when they dropped GH2017. They not only took a ton of wind out of the Tomb Kings sails they removed all the keywords that let them work with other death rattle armies. That was in my opinion overkill. That happened with no warning. That was disappointing. Still I can’t say it made me upset or want to quit. Unhappy sure but I still have my models and I still enjoy owning it as a collection.

          • Apocryphus

            The destruction of Settra didn’t feel like a clue that Tomb Kings were going away to me, but that’s because Eldrad died in 40k and they retconned it away. What gets me is that Nagash destroyed Apophis too, which should have been impossible unless Apophis managed to pass his curse to Nagash, meaning the almighty necromancer was supposed to take his place in the underworld. I quit because I felt lied to. GW said “Don’t worry, you’re armies aren’t going anywhere!” and then they pulled the models. I don’t like how AoS plays, but I was willing to continue giving GW money for models to play in WFB, but now I can’t even do that.

        • EnTyme

          Squatting Tomb Kings is the most baffling decision GW has made since the End Times IMO. They were some of the most interesting models GW had, and also one of their most unique (read: copyrightable) ranges.

          • Apocryphus

            And now Mantic and Reaper are getting my money for their no longer rip-offs of Tomb Kings. Nothing will replace some of those GW models though, the Ushabti, Sphinx, and Necropolis Knight kits were some of my favorite models by GW.

          • EnTyme

            At least we still have TW: Warhammer 2 (Tomb Kings set to release later this month)!

          • Muninwing

            they’ve had some real issue matching beautiful models to playable rules, or factions that are neglected to factors that would make them sell.

            TK doing poorly despite an investment in their models? revisit their rules and see why people aren’t interested.

            Sisters not selling? might have something to do with decades-old sculpts AND subpar rules.

            it’s almost like GW does the opposite of these…

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        If Squats had become a couple of unit choices in Imperial Guard they wouldn’t have become this totem pole to GW’s bad practice that people still bring out.

  • Admiral Raptor

    Axe the faction if it doesn’t sell, but keep rules support for a while after (Maybe five years or so). Alternatively role the unpopular faction into another as long as it makes sense from a lore and game play perspective.

    • Munn

      cool, space marines vs stormcast forever! nothing else sells as well no point in keeping the rest.

      • Admiral Raptor

        If that’s what sells, then it’s fine. The players choose what they want through their wallets, and what they want historically is largely just power armour.

  • Sir Postalot

    This is fun and isn’t as easy as it seems.
    My main armies used to be Inquisition, wood elves and Bretonnians so this hits home. The player in me really dislikes GW for neglecting and thus practically killing off my armies but I’m not sure what would be a better response. For spending too much money on an old fashioned and non profitable portion of your content seems not like a good thing to do.
    The best option would be to avoid these situations from happening altogether, its too late for that. The best option might perhaps be to somehow incorporate and give them more elaborate and unique chapter tactics they would have nailed it with black Templar in my opinion if they just found the room somewhere to for 2-3 extra pages of unique rules.
    The same could be done with wood elves, bretonnians and inquisition. The old wood elves armies would be playable by adding some high elven units to the wanderer list that swapped aliances. Being able to play your forest dragon with a high elf dragon stats isn’t that bad for the game, and would make me as an old wood elf player really happy.
    The same goes for inquisition. I would rather prefer to be a IG or renegade player with a few pages of inq chapter tactics rules than being stuck with the index list that got no point reduction in equipment.

    • euansmith

      I think that there is some sense in GW discontinuing lines and only giving those dead lines downloadable rules. That way, a new player wouldn’t buy a new Codex and see some stuff that they like the look of, only to find it is no longer available except from eBay. On the other hand, players with armies that are unlikely to get any new models, could still play them, and could be “encouraged” to ally their existing army with new releases for other factions/subfactions.

  • BaronVonYoloing

    I Can’t speak for other X-Wing players but I would jump at the chance for a Republic and Trade Federation forces from the prequels. They were sub-par films but the ships they used looked cool.

    • Kabal1te

      This and doubly so for armada

  • Marco Marantz

    GW should just cut Chaos, at least in 40K cuz they havent been decent since about 3.5 – just have them as lore badguys because they arent reflective of their danger on the TT. Cut Dark Eldar and Ynnari while their at it.

    • Munn

      I’m sure the fact that they’re the strongest overall faction in terms of top 3s and total tournament points in the ITC will do nothing to dispute your narrative. CSM and Mixed Chaos are hilariously, brokenly strong right now.

      • Marco Marantz

        that doesnt mean what you think it does. ive seen good players with CSM, daemons or combined get wrecked by other factions.

    • Apocryphus

      They should cut Tau too, they don’t do much really. And the Harlequins, and CWE, Necrons, Tyranids, Ad Mech, SoB, Orks…

      • Marco Marantz

        Definitely! maybe then GW could balance the game….even if it was just all marines id still have doubts.

  • orionburn III

    This honestly is a tough one. From a business standpoint I completely understand wanting to drop a line if it isn’t profitable. There’s a point where it actually is worth the loss of a small player base vs supporting a faction that is affecting the bottom line. The larger concern is the perceived damage vs actual sales. Even if your army isn’t the one being nuked it gives you some pause to consider what would happen if all these things I’ve invested in do get relegated to the past. GW has a good thing going with the Made to Order stuff. Even if they aren’t investing in new molds/models they are at least giving a chance for people to purchase models that are difficult to get these days.

    One the other hand we’ve seen that all you need to do is tweak some rules and what once was dull is the new black. I would love to know how many Rhinos/Razorbacks and Drop Pods were sold in 7th edtion thanks to formations. Where you once saw them everywhere they hardly see the table now in our area. Hive Guard were largely meh before (along with Biovores and a host of other Nid models) and now they’re in huge demand. Don’t worry little Vespids. Your day in the spotlight will come eventually…lol

    Personally instead of talking about getting rid of factions I’d rather see more done to do combi kits for the smaller factions. Skitarii is a good example. Two core boxes of troops that can be built into 4 different units. Even though I’m not a SoB player I think that format is a rather simple way to appease the base and maybe get new players to invest in an army. You don’t to reinvent the wheel. Bring out 2 boxes with 4 build options, do a made to order run of characters, and call it a day. If it pulls enough people in now you can justify investing into new character models in plastic.

    In the end I think the way they’re doing things right now is working.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      My area saw a drop off of pod use by about 90% when 8th hit. Razorbacks see play but mostly as assault cannon and only a few in a list. Sad really.

    • euansmith

      If there is one thing Vespids should know, it is to stay away from the light.

      http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ac78717673468d9315919cd2a5748e63c00e57531ecd027fd27e5de5dd9ed29.jpg

      I like the combo-kit idea. GW could even include an option in each box to make variations on a “character model”; so you would get, as 11 models, with one of the bodies being a bit more heroic than the rest.

  • Gamecock13

    Lol are people simply incapable of recognizing the impact created by placing a larger %age of time/effort/man power towards one faction over another? It is a self fulfilling prophecy. GW continues to make Space Marines first in all regards. First with the new codex, first with the new models, first to have substantial advancements in their lore, etc…you don’t think their are implications on how that impacts purchases?

    I play Dark Eldar, they generally are at the bottom of every list priority list. I’ll say this: the day GW cuts my army out entirely or simply stifles them to the point of making them ineffective, I am not jumping over to another army, I’m quitting.

    These articles make it sound like GW has no control over their business practices. I play the game and recognize the pitfalls as they currently stand (i.e. waiting approx. 1+ year to get an updated codex, less focus/attention, etc… But why would anyone think they would retain their market by cutting an army out entirely? It sets a precedence that any army can go, to which I would be wary of picking the game up at all.

  • Drpx

    Since Warhammer started out as an RP game with an army, it wasn’t an issue. But now that they’re trying to go mainstream and court the video and card game crowd, suddenly having lots of factions is a problem.

    • euansmith

      Indeed, if only GW had started out with Horus Heresy, none of this would be an issue 😀 Everyone would be happily playing their various Space Marine Chapters and no one would feel yearning for Xenos forces at all. You would have Space Marines, other Space Marines, and maybe some Daemons.

  • Fredddy

    I think no faction should be dropped entirely- people have actually put a lot of money into it, and getting the axe makes very angry not just those people, but discourages the other ones too: why buy this stuff, maybe I’ll be the next one to drop.

    Two fraction games usually do not work, especially when one is a human fraction, the other some weird alien- 9 out of 10 will play the humans. Star Wars is a big exception when discussing about this, since 1.) the fanbases in the Empire-Rebels conflict are quite balanced- jedis are the good guys, but everyone loves Darth Vader and the stormtroopers too 2.) there are so many stuff in the canon waiting to be released that the collectors of these two fractions will never feel to be completed or bored.

  • Commissar Molotov

    I’ll never understand why Gee Dub axed a faction that FIT it’s goofy “fantasy-in-space” mold (Squats) only to later add a faction that utterly, completely didn’t (Tau).

    Then I realized Gee Dub is run by hooting, poop-throwing monkeys.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      But Tau scratched the anime/manga giant robot itch that the kids are talking about…

      • Commissar Molotov

        Damn kids! Get off my gaming table! *shakes fist*

    • EnTyme

      Squats fit well in the Rogue Trader days, but not so much once the setting went Grimdark. They’d stick out like a sore thumb today. If we ever get Space Dorfs again, I would imagine they’ll come back as the Demiurg.

  • marxlives

    I think the best thing to do, rather than kill off a faction, is do what PP did with Convergence and Grymkin, but in reverse. Spend sometime rounding out the faction and updating the rules and declare the faction as a limited release faction. If there are no future releases for sisters, I would just let the community know that we are going to round out the faction so it can play and be competitive without continual releases. That there will be new models in the future but they will be through FW.

    • Kabal1te

      The biggest thing they could do for sisters that would cost them next to nothing would be to give them access to a greater range of existing either imperial guard or space marine vehicles. That would help the army a lot and would cost GW next to nothing other than making a codex that says hey you can do this now. It would at least help.

      • marxlives

        I like that. Being that they are essentially and inquisitorial arm, I am surprised this is not already the case.

  • Kabal1te

    The fact is from a foundry perspectice you have a finite number of injection mold machines. Is it worth the money to run a machine making sprues for models that aren’t selling? Especially when that same machine could be making models that are selling instead. Furthermore something people forget is the molds themselves don’t last forever (though with injection molding I understand they last a very long time) eventually the molds have to be replaced and that is costly. Why pay all that money to remake a mold for something that won’t sell? Makes no sense for a company to do that. So ultimately models and factions can’t be supported forever unless the games player base supports them.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Its better to stop producing minis but keep making rules. That way people’s collections aren’t invalidated. Paper and ink, or pdfs, are cheap.

      • Kabal1te

        Isn’t that what happened to the tomb kings? You can still download rules for them. They even updated them along side generals handbook 2017. They just stopped producing minis. People still weren’t happy.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          The rules weren’t great and a lot of stuff became unavailable quickly making it hard for people to finish their collections. Then they changed the keywords really handicapping TK players. Not handled well, but better than squatting completely I guess.

    • euansmith

      I just ordered some Free Guild Handgunners from GW, and the molds for them are evidently getting a bit old and tired.

  • Remember what GW learned from chapterhouse.

    Rules with no miniis is not where they want to go. They don’t want to support 3rd party manufacturers. When they decide a mould or model line is not making any money, bye bye.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      They shouldn’t be so petty. Who cares if other small fry companies make a bit of cash? If GW wanted that money they wouldn’t leave those needs unfulfilled. Heavy handed legal teams and leaving customers with unuseable models are both bad PR and make GW look like sh1tty money grabbers.