Op-Ed: GW’s 40K Follow Through Issue
GW rapid fire releases over the past year leave a lot of opportunity to work on holes in the game’s minis and rules.
GW has been putting out a lot of products over the past couple years. From the prospective of some who’s played their games for around 2 decades it seems like they really opened up the floodgates. The recent rapid fire codex releases for instance are pretty unprecedented. Yet there seems to be a developing issue regarding their followthrough. While new codexes, units and games are released, not all of them get any follow up. This raises the questions of much GW is interested in following through on the promises of their releases. Let takes a look at some aspects of this questions.
Follow Through Vs Support
To get started I want to define what I’m talking about a little more. Support is what I think of as the bare minimum for an existing range. Putting out a new updated Codex each edition. Follow through is a little more in depth to me. This includeds not just supporting existing play, but building on and expanding the army/game, etc. Follow through means not just making the army playable but finishing the your club’s swing and knocking the ball out of the park for a touchdown army.
New Armies and Books in 40K
8th 40K has seen a lot of support. We’ve seen armies get new books at an unprecedented rate. We’ve also seen entirely new codexes, like Death Guard and Adeptus Custodes put out. Yet with all that support not many armies are getting anything new. In fact Space Marines are the only old Army to get any real new units this edition. Outside of them most armies are receiving a bare update to 8th and that’s about it. No new units, no large reworking of rules or how they work. Sure, we’ve got a few gems here and there, Thousand Sons got a few AoS units moved over to 40K. Daemons got a few new models and some reworks, but less then most people where hoping. It’s mainly just been rush jobs to update old armies to 8th.
Now by itself that’s fine. Updated armies was pretty necessary. The real question comes with what happens after all the books are out. Will we see some real follow through and support of the older books, more reworking and new Astra Miliatarum units. Or conversely are those books done, and will we just see more new armies poping up. This seems to be the case in AoS.
New Armies in AoS
Age of Sigmar is slightly unique in that its a new setting, but it may point the way to where 40K is going. In AoS we’ve seen a number of small books put out, like Kharadron Overlords, that present complete small factions. While we’ve seen lots of these kind of books showing up, only a few armies, like Stormcast and those whole follow Khorne, really seem to get regular updates. AoS seems much more focused putting out new armies than reworking old.
Mini Codeces VS Big Armies
All of this seems to be pointing to a new way of doing things for GW. In essence they seem more focused on putting out a large number of smaller armies, rather then building a small number of large armies. In the past large army lists, like the Craftword Eldar with their 46 units were the ideal. Now however we seem to be getting more armies like Custodes, which has 12 units. AoS’ Kharadron Overlords army also only has 12 units. It seems possible that huge armies are a thing of the past, and we will see more and more mini books.
Of greater concern perhaps is the support and follow through GW is going to have for its other games. Currently they are producing a whole slew of side games, form major ones like Necromunda, Blood Bowl and Shadespire, to more minor ones like Gangs of Commorragh and Shadow War Armageddon. Some of these games get some real support and follow though, with Necromunda currently being a poster child for this. Others seem to come and go with little comment. While it’s obvious that things like Ganes of Commorragh won’t get much support, its more worrying when a game like Shadow War Armageddon seems to just vanish. Players may worry about getting into new games like Kill Team or the new rumored releases of Battlefleet Gothic and Adeptus Titanicus if we don’t know what kind of follow through we’ll get. It not always easy to tell if a game is going to be a Necromunda or a Dreadfleet.
Maybe Just Be Upfront
While I would love to see each army and game get a ton of support and constant follow though, I know thats just not going to happen. In fact for 40K and AoS the mini codex route might be better. One could argue that its lot more interesting to get a whole new army of crazy looking units than it is to get another couple Astra Militarium tanks. Putting out lots of little armies certainly lets the creativity flow. I think in the end a lot of hair pulling could be avoided if GW was a little more clear with some of their releases. Just tell us if a new game will be one and done or if it will get some real support. Maybe make some kind of announcement saying how you plan on putting out future army books and if they will expand on some. They gave us a really great and thought out plan for FAQs, that won them a lot of community good will, something similar for this issue would be great.
Let us know what product you wish got more follow through, down in the comments!