GW is really walking the walk with Narrative Play for 40K as we head into 2019. Could Narrative Play be the most important type of play for the community?
Over the last few years, GW has given us a big new faction in the year changeover for 40K. We’ve gotten Thousand Sons, and Custodes in recents years.
For the 2018-2019 changeover we’ve seen the codexes slow down and GW switching gears to Narrative Play themes products. We’ve gotten Vigilus I, then Urban Conquest, and Vigilus II is about 2 months away. It’s a great time to be building armies around narrative themes, and getting together with groups of like minded players for hash out some multi-week campaigns.
And that has me wondering – just how prevalent IS Narrative Play? Sure matched play gets all the loudest talk online – thanks to the build in hype machine and swaggering of the tournament circuit, but consider that the largest events in the world still have roughly 750-1000 players, – who travel from across the world to go there.
Now think about how tiny those numbers are compared to the entire global 40k playerbase who has ever bought GW stuff. I’ve been in one city for almost 30 years, and even here in Austin TX, I”m always stunned with relatively large “private clubs” wander into stores and bump into the FLGS crowds. There are groups who have been here for decades, playing happily from their homes, with friends, usually with homebrew campaigns, their own background and paint schemes for their armies – and zero intention of ever entering the competitive scene.
Back in the day, these folks would show up whenever word had gone out that a mega-battle was being planned with the old Apocalypse rules. They would wander in, grab some paint, enjoy the game, chat up whoever is in the store, then disappear back into the mists of their own private gaming universe, never to been seen again.
Obviously there is no real way to ever do an accurate census, but I’ve always had a feeling that there are a LOT more of those people out there – that there are “hardcore competitive” players.
So I hope to see GW continue down this road for at least a little longer. I’d love to see some things like 8th Edition’s version of Apocalypse with an emphasis on playing mega-battles come back, and who knows what else.
I’m curious what you all see in your areas and in your personal playgroups.
~Do you think that there are more Narrative Play gamers out there in the wilds of the world, and if they really do outnumber the WAACs, what should GW do to keep them happy in the future?