Will 2019 be another 2017 or another 2018?
So I’ve been talked into an apocalypse game in January. 150 PL each for 6 people, possibly 8. I’ve got a bit of incentive seeing as I’m getting to use
A certain model I’ve been waiting to put on as the Lion. Rules wise he’s just Guilliman with Dark Angels keywords smeared all over but it should be fun. I’m going with a pretty heavy mech infantry list that should let me push up table and take up space while spitting out an OK amount of damage, and deliver a nasty little death ball of terminators, and DA characters into the enemies’ faces.
But enough of that. There will be pictures and hopefully a battle report to go with it when the time comes, I want to talk a little bit about how the year went, and what I hope to see from GW in the next year. 2017 was a fantastic year. The release of 8th edition, the addition of Primarchs to the game, everything seemed to be coming together for GW. They followed up with FAQ and errata updates to fix issues with the game on a continuing basis and looked to be taking their stewardship of the game seriously.
2018 was more of a mixed bag. New armies were released, and codexes came out to bring every army up to the current edition standard for the first time, well ever, really (technically this will only be complete when sisters officially comes out but that’s imminent, and there’s already a temporary codex in the Chapter Approved). However there wasn’t a really Big Release. Genestealer Cults and Custodes are interesting armies, but rather starved for choice on their own.
In addition the non-Ultramarine Space Marine players have noticed a rather disturbing trend. While there are codexes for the Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Deathwatch, Grey Knights and Space Wolves, there hasn’t been a unique model (other than the ubiquitous Primaris Lieutenant each) for any of them, and units are disappearing from Warhammer stores. There isn’t a single Dark Angels special unit, or Space Wolf, being stocked at my local Warhammer Store, and only Grey Knights and Deathwatch seem fated to have lines available in the stores.
This creates a concern for me as, without the draw of being able to see the unique and amazing models for themselves, new players are less likely to select these armies, and this will create a downward spiral where these armies lose development time and resources because they aren’t popular, and the lack of new units means less money is spent by the players, which leads to even less resources dedicated by GW.
In fact the largest addition to my armies this year was Txarli Miniatures Leon Johnson model. While I did add some other models, Leon is easily the largest and most striking addition to the army. I added some terminators while they were still available locally, and I’m getting some Reivers because I just like the models, as well as Sammael but, again the biggest addition was Leon.
So… What do I want to see? Diversity among the Space Marines. 2018 gave us lots of Ork releases, lots of Custodes, and 2019 promises Sisters of Battle, but I want a major release that isn’t for Ultramarines. I would LOVE to see the Wolf and the Lion return, with bodyguard units like the (re, re, re) release of Marneus Calgar. That nobody asked for. Heck I would be tickled to see Dorn return with a new codex. For the Black Templar. I think they could take the story they’ve energized to life in 8th edition, and added to with the newly released Vigilus campaign book and drive it different places WITHOUT the Ultramarines.
I just want to talk for a minute about my local group. We have one Ultramarine player. There are 2 Dark Angels, 3 Blood Angels, 2 or 3 Space Wolf players, a couple of homebrews, and even a die-hard Black Templar player. Adding more Ultramarine models isn’t adding to the number of players, and it’s not adding to the variety we see in our area. Other areas may be awash in a sea of ultramarine blue ceramite but… I doubt it.
Zooming back from Space Marines to a more general view, but keeping SM in the picture let’s look at EVERYTHING and I’ll take a stab at what armies need an update.
- All Chaos Marines other than DG and 1k Sons. World Eaters, Emperor’s Children, Black Legion, Iron Warriors (like THAT will ever happen) Night Warriors, Word Bearers, and Alpha Legion are absolutely STARVED at the moment. Just, don’t get your hopes up for a new Abaddon model. If GW can’t copyright the name, they won’t make the model I suspect.
- Aeldari. Craftworld especially, but really all three could use some new models, and just some life in general. Not to mention the mess that is Ynnari at the moment.
- Grey Knights. Look, I don’t like Grey Knights, I don’t like their lore, I don’t like their playstyle, there’s just a lot here I think makes them kinda unfixable and that may be why they don’t get a lot of love, but I also know there’s a lot of GK players out there and they haven’t seen anything worthwhile in a LONG time.
- Inquisition / Imperial Agents. I can DREAM that SoB will pick this up but I doubt it. Arbites, Priests, all the odds and ends that have accumulated over the years need a home, and it would be a more fun and diverse army that Custodes was.
- WHICHEVER Loyalist SM chapter gets a Primarch. I DON’T FRIGGIN CARE WHICH ONE GRAAAAHHHH. I could make a case for every single one, and I just might do that for fun, but there’s 8 choices, 5 VERY easy (Lion, Russ, Corvus Corax, Khan) 1 pretty doable (Dorn, the lore is ALL over whether there’s a hand, a body, or any real proof at all) and 2 that would be hard but fun (Ferrus Manus and Sanguinius). Just pick one and give us another primarch! Or two! or eight!
- T’au. They may even need to be higher. Already one of the out of place armies, they don’t fit the lore very well (but in an interesting way at least) and both their storyline and their models could use some love. I don’t even think they need a LOT but they could use a little.
- Astra Militarum. With Cadia broken, a new Imperial Commander, and wars erupting everywhere, there has never been a time we needed a HUGE overhaul of the Imperial Guard lines. Heck they could even make it centered around the Ultramar Auxilia as likely they are the largest remaining provider of guard regiments, wouldn’t require a huge change from the Cadian themes and would still allow for very distinct updates to the line. Better heads and helmets mostly… Personally I’d like to see something different like Praetorian, Krieg, or Mordian regiments coming to the fore, heck a Highlander outfit could be a lot of fun to see. Just something new, different and exciting compared to the Catachan or Cadian armies that are the only even semi-affordable option.
- Demons and Nids. Demons need new rules for their models, and Nids need new models for the updated rules.
- Necrons. Not a top priority, but even ancient terrors can be long in the tooth. And they are.
- MOAR PRIMARCHS. Loyalist, Chaos, MOAR!