|Where all good games are put out to rest eternally|
Ah yes, this old chestnut! You've all heard it right? You're in the local Games Workshop or games club and you mention that you've seen this really cool little game that you really want to play. It's got awesome miniatures, the mechanics look fresh and new, could be really fun... then somebody trots along and tells you you're mad, that the game won't be supported and that it'll die. I know I have had that happen to me, I've been told it repeatedly, hell I've been told it repeatedly about Warmachine. It's a genuine concern for many gamers out there. We're not all made of money and dropping £150 on a game that goes the way of the dinosaurs, or Soda-stream machines (whatever happened to those?) isn't the sort of thing any of us would like to face. So this state of mind persists that you can only rely on Games Workshop to be true and loyal, and always be there for you... like the frumpy girl at school who fancied you *shudders*.
How about I flip that idea 180 degrees on its head for you? You think it can't be done don't you? Well over the last few months I've spoken to an awful lot of you in the comments section about what games got you started in the hobby, and also what your favourite games are. Now I'll admit, there's a lot of you who started with 40k, thonestly here are, I'm not going to lie about it, there's no point, but the amount of people who have said Space Crusade, Hero Quest or Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest are what got you started is impressive. Who killed those games off? No, not MB Games, it was Games Workshop who ended that relationship after they felt they didn't need them anymore, and it was certainly Games Workshop who kicked both Warhammer Quest and Space Hulk to death. Hell Games Workshop even re-released Space Hulk again recently, only to let it die yet again!
|First it giveth then it taketh away!|
Some of you might need a little more convincing though, some of you Games Workshop stalwarts who brought team after team for arguably the greatest board game there has ever been, Blood Bowl... lets not get into a debate as to whether that statement is even close to being true, and just agree it was bloody popular! Or those of you who loved your Necromunda campaigns... you know where I'm going with this one right? Yep two of Games Workshops most loved and successful games mercilessly culled and brutally murdered. Why? Because they weren't 40k or Fantasy and they certainly weren't Lord of the Rings. It didn't matter to Games Workshop that these games had massive followings of loyal fans. That there were people out there whose entire hobby revolved around these two great products. They killed them dead! In the case of Blood Bowl they even tried killing the fan supported living rulebook off a number of times, and actually got really quite nasty about it with some diehard gamers who just loved a product that they had made, and who wanted to keep it alive.
|Many will remember the site of this very fondly indeed!|
So where the hell does this blind panic about other companies game systems dying come from? Honestly, I don't know, sure there have been some big examples, but not as many as people think. But even I've fallen foul of it. I was one of the many people I know who were initially highly reticent about getting into Confrontation. Part of me feels in that games particular case it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Confrontation deserved a much wider audience and a much wider success, but it was people like me dithering that probably killed it... no who am I kidding, it was Age of Rag'narok! But still, I look back over the years and there is one company that has consistently killed the fun. Destroyed games and made me waste my God damned money on product that was made obsolete before its time... Games Workshop! It has always been their Specialist Games that I was more interested in, I'll admit it. Even way back when I was a young whipper snapper it was always the next new game that excited me, not their big brands I was playing and enjoying. So I played every Specialist Game I could get my hands on.
|I loved the look of Confrontation.|
I'm sure many of you, my readers are the same. Hell I know you are, you've all told me you are! So if you can point that accusing finger anywhere it'd be Games Workshop surely? I can already hear the counter arguments, but Fantasy and 40k are here to stay! Are they? Are they really? True I think we'll see Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 branded products for many more years yet... unless Tom Kirby et al really screw up... BUT ask an avid player of Fantasy like me, who really started playing properly during third edition Fantasy if they recognise eighth edition as Fantasy and they give you an interesting response. They'll say it's a vastly different game now to the one that it was, and quite often between editions there are deliberate, and thought out changes made to the rules designed specifically force customers into buying more miniatures, because their last lot are now crapola. Those business analyst types will call this planned obsolescence. Sure Games Workshop are a business and they want us all to buy new stuff, but they should do so via producing awesome new sculpts that 'make' us want to buy new stuff.
|Man I loved Epic... not so much the silly huge titans, but I did love epic!!!|
Then there is the phenomenon that is 'army death'. Ask Nid players what they think of their Codex, they'll not be best pleased most of them. For nearly a decade Dark Eldar players were left out in the cold, likewise Necron players. It's how Games Workshop run their business, they leave armies to wither on the vine, and it sucks. The old Codex creep thing is just another way of making certain armies obsolete. Isn't that just like killing a game if you happen to be a Tau player? It's certainly not fully supporting all their product range now is it? If you look at it, they're the worst culprits in the industry for pulling support and leaving hobbyists holding an expensive collection of useless plastic junk. I bet if we were to ask for a show of hands right now, many of you will have had to go through a difficult period of pain with an uncompetitive Codex or Army book, many accept that it's part of the hobby cycle. I'm saying it's not and it shouldn't happen, and that other companies don't treat part of their product range like some stinky outcast tramp.