40k Year in Review

So I’m going to do a simple year in review for 40k.  Not much structure as this is just a horrifically busy week for me.  More an overview.

The Best of Times

8th Edition Release(s)

So after going through the fiasco that was the Age of Simar release, and watching as PP fucks up Warmahordes almost as bad with their 3rd Edition release, GW manages to orchestrate a very careful, organized launch, and carry that momentum clear through the end of the year, starting well before the actual release with the return of Magnus and Guilliman, and continuing through the release of 10 codexes this year, massive upgrades to Space Marine armies, and some pretty solid balancing of armies.

The New Kits

Holy shit these are great.  The Primaris look very good, even if they are a bit of a pain to assemble, the Death Guard look amazing, and all of the Primarchs look simply incredible on the table.

Events galore

Fate of Konor was a ton of fun.  Armies on Parade was great fun.  There’s plenty of chances for events from purely collecting/modeling competitions to ultra-competitive high intensity tournaments.  Des Moines has had at least 1 major event every month, and that’s JUST for 40k.

On Message, On Target

Ok, look, we all know I’m a feminist, and that representation in 40k is a bit lacking.  Female dominated armies are a bit lacking, and boobplate shows up a lot more than it should.  In addition the features of nearly every sculpt are very “European” even for armies that supposedly aren’t.  GW has been vocal about increasing diversity and cutting down on some of the more sexist elements of their models.  While there has been limited opportunity for them to do it with their long pipeline from project inception to release, they’ve played a lot of the right notes, now let’s see if the players on stage match the music.

Living Rules

I mean, yeah buying Chapter Approved every year is going to be a bit of a drain, but MAN it’s nice to see them FAQing and Errata-ing and just maintaining things.  SO nice.

The Worst of Times

(Not) Fixing the Rules

So the biggest things they needed to fix were invuln saves and re-rolls.  They did not fix them.  They added mortal wounds.  Now there’s army comps that can spam them through psychic powers that made the problem with Alpha Strikes just incredibly worse.  I think they will need to figure out what to do about the huge number of 4++ or better invuln saves (I think even special characters shouldn’t have them very often) and re-roll auras… I like how they make any character interesting but holy hell does it slow down the game.  Just give a +1 to hit or wound and call it a day.

Alpha Strike

First turn is huge.  Way too big.  I’m hoping next year’s Chapter Approved brings us some alternating activation because the way things are it’s just ugly sometimes.  You can be crippled in a turn and that before you get a chance to go.

Marines are great, what else is there?

Not.  Much.  Eldar got a brief re-release of old models.  No real upgrades or new releases.  Nids got a little love, but not much.  Grey Knights got nothing.  CSM other than Death Guard got nothing.  Other Chaos got only stuff originally designed for AoS.  I get that Space Marines sell better than anything, but they HAVE more than anything.  Give Eldar or Orks that kind of love and see what happens!


Things aren’t all steak and sunshine even for the Marines.  More and more, chapters with distinct and carefully developed histories are being turned into Ultramarines.  This isn’t good, it isn’t interesting and it doesn’t help the narrative.  Hopefully GW starts looking at the issue and either puts someone in charge of fluff development that isn’t Matt Ward.

It’s been a great year.  Probably the best for 40k in a long damn time.  There’s clouds on the horizon but there’s a lot of sun and a lot of clear seas too.  Just a matter of navigating the waters wisely, and so far GW seems to have hit more clear water the storms.


About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on December 26, 2017, in Games Workshop, Gaming Company Shenanigans, Warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Two things.

    Don’t get carried away with the feminism thing. I get how you feel about it personally, but it is not by ANY means of appeal to the broader core consumer for this product. Look at what’s happening to Marvel Comics right now. Forget this and it will at best split the game and at worst kill it. Just sayin’.

    CSMs – it’s by no means just Death Guard who got refreshed. So soon you forget Magnus and his Thousand Sons?

    • Marvel is not exactly dying. In November (Dec isn’t available yet) they were the largest by retail market share and 2nd for Unit Market Share. Yeah they are getting screamed at, but if they are getting screamed at by the comic book equivalent of Arch Warhammer… Good. It’s like Winston Churchill talking about enemies. GW doesn’t need hypersexualized poses to sell miniatures, and they’ve recognized that. They do need more conventional female poses to appeal to a broader variety of women and that’s a much more lucrative market than folks that love painting models of naked women.

      1k Sons basically got Magnus and… remakes of old models + new termies. The whole line is 10 models, counting the paper Index, 2 index epub versions, and 2 units shared with AoS.

  2. Marvel Comics is not dying yet, but they’re not doing well, either. To begin with, the comic industry as a whole is suffering. You can tout their “share,” but that just makes them first or second among all those who are hurting. And the entire line of titles built around feminism and other SJW themes has been an absolute anchor around their necks, driving part of Marvel’s pain (because they were indicative of what has generally hammered comics as a whole – they forgot comics should be about good storytelling, not other ancillary issues) … and now have all been canceled. Looking around the industry, similar titles are also suffering.

    With GW’s sculpts – it never hurts to widen your offerings, but don’t bet the farm on it … or on it increasing your share in a market that’s only questionably “more lucrative” (forget about “much”). That’s one of the big things Marvel’s now failed foray showed pretty clearly, because that “much more lucrative market” *didn’t* turn out. Also to that point, I give you the burgeoning popularity of Raging Heroes and Kingdom Death in particular.

    Thousand Sons … so how does that compare with Mortarion and his boys? BTW, the remakes are all amazingly good. I also thought they tweaked the abilities and (to a lesser extent) the stats on a lot of stuff.

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