Well the rumours were true(ish).
It looks like there will be some kind of specialist games division that will be producing one off boxsets and they will also be revisiting some of the classic games that GW has released over the years.
I’m hoping that this means the new Specialist Design Studio will be producing the one off boxsets (much like the old starter sets) and will then be producing models to expand the range. This makes sense with most of games, Necromunda for example, you wouldn’t expect GW to release a boxed game with every house or outlaw gang inside (no matter how awesome that would be).
While everyone seems pretty happy about the return of some of the classic games (myself included) I am also rather excited by the slightly overlooked factoid in the above announcement. The Specialist Design Studio will also be producing more box games and standalone sets.
GW have made this announcement (not necessarily the decision) due to the excitement of the Betrayal at Calth game.
Most of the excitement for this game has come due to the Heresy era models that come with it. Previously, the only way to get Heresy era Space Marines was to buy from GW’s current specialist section: Forgeworld.
Forgeworld only deal in resin sculpts and charge a small fortune for them (resin can also be a bit of a pain in the arse when compared to plastic models as they can be easily broken and require more prep), so you can understand the excitement of purchasing a load of plastic Heresy Space Marines (with Terminators and a Contemptor dreadnought!) for much cheaper than Forgeworld are selling for.
For alot of people, this means that the boxed game will be purchased and the rules thrown straight in the bin.
I however, am made from different stuff.
Yes the models look fantastic and they alone are reason to suffer the wrath of my wife as I purchase more models that I don’t need.
Yes you get value for your money as the models are compatible in games of both 30k and 40k, not to mention the saving on forgeworld prices.
But for me, I love a board game and one with a load of miniatures as playing pieces even more so.
Yesterday Games Workshop released a video of some of the design team playing through the first mission in the game and to me it looked like an enjoyable game.
You can check out the video here
I am now even more tempted to purchase it.
To me, it looks like GW is continuing it’s trend of making simple and fun board games.
Before this game we had Assassinorum: Execution Force and the rerelease of Space Hulk. Both games came with beautifully designed boards and miniatures and are fun to play. Assassinorum even has the unique dynamic of flowchart control for the enemy. Meaning you can play the game with only one person.
Yet again, I think a lot of people snapped these 2 games up just for the models, but I personally enjoyed them as a game in their own right.
In the case of Assassinorum, some people were negative about the gaming experience and I think they have tarnished Betrayal at Calth with a similar brush before even playing and so will only purchase it for the models.
While it is a case of each to his own (as I enjoyed Assainorium) and while my next point probably doesn’t apply to the people I’ve read complain about the game, there is something about these games that put people off.
I think the problem with these games is not necessarily anything to do with rules, or their cost, or even the fact that Games Workshop doesn’t see itself as a games and rules company (it’s a miniatures company).
I think that the problem with these games is that because they are set in a universe that GW has created, you enjoy the game so much more if you know that universe and are invested in it.
I think from the video above that’s where a lot of the banter and enjoyment came from.
Sadly, GW doesn’t deal in the mainstream and chances are, you will only ever play these games if you’ve stepped into a Games Workshop, or are being forced to by someone who has.
Unfortunately for me, the people that I have played Assassinorum and Space Hulk with, aren’t into the GW franchises like I am and this can have a negative impact on the enjoyment of a game.
Take Assassinorum for example, they have no real concept of why the assassins are where they are, why the cultists are cultists or even what the Eye of Terror is, let alone why a Sorcerer is trying to make a second one.
Perhaps, if they had been members of the Rebel Alliance sneaking in to an Imperial bunker and trying to avoid Storm Troopers, the overall experience would have been completely different?
This post may now have gone slightly off topic.
My point is, I enjoy the standalone games that GW has produced and I’m happy that they have made it clear that they intend to keep making games like this.
Will these games be limited releases? Who knows. Betrayal at Calth doesn’t look like it is (but better pick up a copy to be on the safe side) and you can even still get Assassinorum on GW’s website. I hope that any of the games that get release from the new Specialist Design Studio aren’t limited releases and I’m looking forward to see what gets released.
Who knows, maybe we’ll see Warhammer Quest, or even Heroquest and if we’re going down that route, surely Space Crusade?!
I suppose in the meantime I should start putting some coins away to afford these new game system adventures. I suppose I also need to try to introduce my gaming friends to the 40k background in the hope it leads to playing more 40k based games. After all, I need to play them while I can, there’s probably a new gaming coming out soon..