Don’t be fooled. Games Workshop is using Psychic Awakening to setup something even bigger.
Abe pointed out that Psychic Awakening is just kind of weird. But that’s because it’s all a giant setup. But what is being setup? Well…everything. From the game to the players and everything in between, Psychic Awakening is just a great big setup. It’s a stepping stone to the next edition. Don’t believe me? Keep reading because we’ve seen this before.
The Characteristics of Psychic Awakening
Let’s see if we can classify some of the big picture characteristics of Psychic Awakening. I think in doing that, we might see a pattern emerge.
- It’s an Omnibus Release – That means there are a set of books involved and these provide a ton of new rules for many, many factions.
- It’s a Massive Lore Dump – Along with the rules, we are getting a TON of Lore that is all pointing to …something. Games Workshop said that this event is going to be bigger than the Horus Heresy from a Lore standpoint. That means there has to be a pretty large shift in the story, right? The good news is that the Lore is also evergreen and will be referred to as whatever big story beats continue on.
- Relatively Quick Succession of Releases – These books are coming out at the rate of about 1 per month, give or take a week. While we’ve seen GW increase the speed of their releases, this is still a fairly quick and ambitious release schedule.
- Lots of New Miniatures – Each book is bringing at least one or two new miniatures. Sometimes they are paired with army updates (see: Faith & Fury plus Sisters of Battle). It’s almost like GW is trying to get something miniatures related out with these books even if it’s just a single character.
Now there are some downsides to all of this. The all the books and new rules feel like GW is muddying the water a bit. The game was already feeling a bit overwhelming and rules bloat is a thing. These new books just seem to add even more – and some of it doesn’t feel particularly balanced. At least we’re getting FAQs a few weeks post-release, right?
Taking a look at those characteristics, we can compare those to previous events to see if we can spot the pattern now. Let’s take a step back and look at the end of Warhammer 40k 7th edition.
The Gathering Storm series included:
- An omnibus of releases (Fall of Cadia, Fracture of Biel Tan, and Rise of the Primarch)
- It’s a massive lore dump that wrapped up a ton of stuff for 7th and setup a giant cliff hanger for 8th to springboard off of.
- The rapid release of each book kind of broke the game, but now it doesn’t matter because we don’t use those rules.
- Lots of new miniatures (three new miniatures for each of the three books).
If it was just two times, I suppose it’d just coincidence. But this has happened before with Warhammer Fantasy…
The End Times Had:
- An omnibus of releases
- A massive lore dump that wrapped up the game and also allowed for a new setting to be created (Age of Sigmar).
- It broke the game with the new unit rules (at the time) but then it didn’t matter because the game was effectively done.
- GW released a TON of new miniatures.
Three times makes a pattern, folks.
So what does that mean? Well is Psychic Awakening is a giant setup like we think it is, then GW has a lot of ground to cover. Looking at the books they have announced, and based off the (roughly) monthly release cycle, we can estimate that this trio of announced booked should be out by March. That still leaves quite a few more factions to cover however. So if we get another trio of books, that would peg those to end in June, right? That’s summer time and GW never does any major releases in the summer, right? Oh wait.
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.
~Ian Flemming, Goldfinger, Ch. 14 : Things That Go Thump In The Night