Category Archives: Games Workshop

The Truth is a Lie

No, it’s not a political post.  It’s way more divisive than that.

So GW leaked part 3 of their end times of 40k GATHERING STORM!  THE LONG AWAITED DECISION TO ADVANCE THE STORY LINE.  Guilliman, Cypher, and Grand Master Voldus.  Fighting together.  For the Imperium*.  What’s that asterisk doing there?  They are fighting for the Emperor.  Why the hell is that struck through?  What’s going on?

girlman

At least he’s wearing a helmet.

Oh.  Ok.  History lesson time.

So back during the Great Crusade the Emperor was promulgating something called the Imperial Truth.  The Imperial Truth is a very strict ideology based on secular beliefs and tied to a rational process for explaining phenomenon.  There was no religion in the Empire.  There were no gods, no demons, no magic.  There was, of course, a problem with this.  There ARE gods, there ARE demons and there IS magic.  The Imperial Truth was a device created by the Emperor to destroy the Ruinous Powers.  Basically if no one worships them, they lose power.  The idea of the Imperium was to cover the galaxy in humans to the point where xenos races might as well not exist (and soon wouldn’t) and humans didn’t believe in anything other than things with strict, rational explanations.

Unsurprisingly the Chaos Gods objected.  Rather strongly.  The end result of this strenuous objection was the Horus Heresy.  Whoever won, the Imperial Truth lost.  Hard.  The Ecclesiarchy was on the rise almost before the Emperor’s ass hit the Golden Throne.  It went so far that the Imperial Truth was quickly replaced by The Imperial Creed.  The Lectitio Divinatus  was rising even as the Heresy started.  Now the Ecclesiarchy dominates Imperial politics through a strict religious creed based on “The Emperor Protects” and “Worship the God-Emperor of Mankind!”

So Guilliman and Cypher were alive back in the Crusade Era.  They remember the Imperial Truth, and many other truths.  And they understand its importance.  What they may not understand is the importance of the Imperial Creed.  As I mentioned earlier, the goal of the Imperial Truth was basically to starve the ruinous powers of worship.  To “kill” the Chaos Gods by letting them wither on the vine.  The Chaos Gods aren’t going anywhere.  They are widely worshipped and have large and powerful armies in the form of the Chaos Legions to “recruit” followers.  So the Imperium has its own “God”.  Whatever the Emperor wanted, the spirit of the Emperor has become not just the literal guiding light of the Imperium, but also the psychic shield behind which humanity crouches to defend itself.  Without that shield the Imperium would be in a lot of trouble.

So Guilliman is back, and with him Cypher and Voldus.  Honestly Voldus is a bit of a puzzle to me.  He’s a really minor player where Guilliman and Cypher are huge pieces of the lore.  Guilliman literally wrote the book on space marines, and Cypher probably has a weekly game of cards with Cegorach to trade tricks and pranks.  But why are they on the same side?  The Fallen Dark Angels have pretty conclusively been shown in league with Chaos right?  Well… yes and no.  A significant number of them were worshippers, and Luther fell and became a Demon Prince, but many of them were just disgusted as what they saw as mistreatment at the hands of the Lion, and then got caught up in a battle when Chaos worshippers opened fire on the Lion’s fleet.  Cypher apparently represents loyalists to not only the Dark Angels Legion (as opposed to the Unforgiven) but also to the Imperial Truth.  Guilliman would be, frankly, enraged, to see what has happened.  He wrote the Codex Astartes as guidelines.  In fact he’d written much of them before the Heresy and then put his captains and chapter masters through simulated battles to teach them to go beyond them in thought and deed.  You see….

guidelines

So to find the Smurf Brigade being basically thoughtless automatons, enslaved by the codex will make him unhappy.  Oh and the fact that they are RELIGIOUS FANATICS to boot will be… well.  Incendiary.

Fortunately for him the Smurfs are also obediant as a well trained dog so I’m fairly sure that all 500 Smurf-based chapters will be breaking out the blue paint and singing hymns SONGS!  SONGS of joy at the return of their beloved Primarch.

Where does this leave the Imperial Creed though?  They certainly won’t be agreeing much with the Creed, the Ecclesiarchy or even the Inquisition.  Guilliman is a pragmatist at heart but he also wants to, you know, win.  You can hold off the Chaos Gods with faith in your own Chaos God as it were, but to beat them, you need the Imperial Truth.  Cypher certainly understands this, and rumor has it that a good portion of the Dark Angels will paint their armor black and be following him.

cypher

GODDAMNIT PUT THAT LID ON HERO!

But other Dark Angels won’t.  This leads me to believe that in 8th edition, once the dust settles from not-the-end-times, we will end up with two “Imperial” Factions.  Creedists and Truthers.  Creedists will be centered on the Ecclasiarchy, most of the Inquisition, and the Adeptus Mechanicus, and be based out of Terra.  I suspect that the Lion or Russ will be their Primarch (The Lion might also get killed during the Gathering Storm, which would make me very unhappy) and many chapters focused more on faith will be gathered to them.  The Fists (Crimson and Imperial), the Space Wolves, Black Templar, the Asmodai faction of the Unforgiven (Dark Angels and their descendents that don’t follow Cypher) Iron Hands (who are just there for the AdMech) and Blood Angels.

Truthers will be more interesting.  And also make me regret painting my Dark Angels green, I suspect.  They will be centered on Guilliman, who will start YET ANOTHER IMPERIUM.  Yes he has done it before.  His smurf legions will be the center but other, more secular legions and their descendents will be in the fold.  The Cypher faction of the Unforgiven (the Forgiven?  The None-of-your-fucking-business-whether-we’ve-been-forgiven?)  the Salamanders, Raven Guard, and probably the White Scars, and maybe the Alpha Legion.  No I’m not kidding.  I would be totally unsurprised if they came back to the Imperial Truth (NOT the Imperial Creed) and other legions could come over as well.  The Iron Warriors spring to mind.  Basically any legion that rebelled against the Emperor, but not in support of the Ruinous powers would probably see a lot to gain by leaving behind the corrupting influences of Chaos.

This would be amazing.  It would also make Imperial factions much more interesting.  And more dynamic.  Does Guilliman become accepting of the Tau?  Does Eldrad and his new pet God of Death try to work with the Ecclesiarchy?  Do we end up with two inquisitions?  I could actually see the Grey Knights going more for the Truth than the Creed.  Again, battles are fought to be won, and the Imperial Creed is a big factor in the stagnation that has taken over the Imperium.  I’m not saying this is the way things are going, but this is what I smell from the rumors.

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PETA vs. GW

Ohhhhhh myyyyyyy.

Two organizations I love to hate.  PETA for their overbearing moralism.  GW for… basically being GW.  Yes it’s self referential but at this point if you don’t know why “GW being GW” is bad… I don’t have 10,000 words to describe it.

ANYWAY.

There’s been some great responses.

Fur is murder. In a universe where star ships sail through a sea of liquid murder guided by a murder powered lighthouse

No.  Seriously.  The Warp is the realm of murder (and a lot of other things) and the Astronomican is powered by the souls, not just the body, and blood, but the very SOULS of psykers being consumed to power this lighthouse.

Then there’s the Daemonculaba.  1D4chan, a rather infamous hive of scum and villainy refers to this is Chaos’ “Aristocrats” joke…I’m not even going to describe it.  It’s beyond horrific.

Now let’s look at our fuzzy little cuddly bears in the 41st millennium.

Most of the ones you see are Fenrisian wolves.  Think of a horse.  No.  A draft horse.  Good.  Now bigger.  Bigger.  Bit bigger.  Ok, close enough.  Now add fangs, teeth, a skeleton that would make Wolverine blush, and add a dash of PURE RABID PSYCHOPATH.

So yes.  That fur is murder.  Angry, bitey, scratchy murder.

The Unloved Rhino

So why would anyone buy just a Rhino anymore.  Seriously.  $37 bucks.  Rhino.

Here’s your other choices.  Razorback, $42 bucks.  For 5 dollars more you can choose a pile of extra bits that give you a lot more flexibility in the build.  Basically for each Razorback you see yourself needing, you buy the kit and you can swap it for a rhino just by changing the top deck.

Then there’s the armored assault squad.  For $55 you get a Rhino, a tactical squad, and I do love the current tac squad kit, for me there’s a Dark Angel upgrade sprue.  Finally there’s one of the REALLY hard to find Dark Angels Squad Transfers.  I’d rather get one of the really big ones, but even these are really useful.  My current build needs at least 5 of them.  Either way, this is a steal at less than $20 more than the Rhino on its own.  Heck just the upgrade sprue is $14.  The squad is $40.  Another way of looking at it is, any Dark Angel player that wants a tac squad gets the transfers, the upgrade sprue, and a free Rhino.  Basically there’s a lot of value in these packs.  Where there isn’t a lot of value is in units on their own.  Any unit you are looking for, look for it in a package these days.

Dark Angels: The Models!

So I managed to get time and motivation to take pictures of the progress so far.  The goal for January is all the infantry for the first Lion’s Blade demi company.  I’ve got the two 6 man tac squads painted.  The 10 man squad I’m still working on the paint scheme for.  The old Mk III armor just needs a bit more to look like you aren’t mailing it in.

Command squad, 2 Tac squads on the left. Tac, Assault Marines, Dev squad on the right.

The models I have so far. Need a razorback, 5 assault marines, and a rhino for the devs (might add some meatshields to the devs as well)

 

So there’s what I have.  As you can see I’ve gotten a lot of green out there  Not much else so far.  Priority is on the big tac squad, and assault squad.  Then at least getting the vehicles colored.  I will treat myself by painting Master Balthasar at some point soon.

Detail of the Command Squad, Tac squads, and unpainted vehicles

Going to do some touching up on the tacs, but I wouldn’t mind putting them on the battlefield now.

I did some modifications on the command squad.  The sergeant has a power axe and one of the nice DA Power pistols, and the champion has a DA Power sword.  I didn’t go for the robes, but I might eventually do some.

Rather more boring

One painted model, the rest are victims of Caliban Green spray paint. Yes. I’m lazy. I am actually really looking forward to the assault squad. I do like the look and I have a chaplain with an assault pack coming.

Assault squads are really underpowered in the current edition.  I do plan on using them in a 10 man squad because I figure I need to make sure something is still there to hit when they finally arrive in close combat.

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5th Company Heraldry on the Shoulder Pad

Need to touch it up quite a bit.  I like the theme so far, but as you can see there’s a lot of details that I could add to it, but at a certain point I’m worried it will look busy, but anything short and it might look like I’m mailing it in.

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Echoed the heraldry on the front bone and black faceplate. Gold eyes. Also figuring what to do with the other shoulderpad.

I will be doing transfers on the shoulders.  That will help a lot.  But below the waist there won’t be a lot of detail, just highlighting and shading and… I’m not sure.

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More details to pick out and repair, But you can see where it’s going.

One last Mk III view.  Got to fix the eye and the helmet, but not too much else, just highlighting, the bolter, and shading.

So the next project is the Mk III tac squad.  Then I’ll probably do the Chapter Master.  Depending on the weather I’ll be spraying the vehicles I have, to get them to mean green machines.  Beyond that I’ll be working on the assault squad.  I do need to work on how many devastators I want to have in this squad (and in the other squad).

If I ran it…

So GW posted one doozy of a letter to investors.  I mean.  Wow.  Look at THIS whopper.  If he wasn’t leaving he should be thrown out anyway.

Games Workshop has had a really good year.
If your measure of ‘good’ is the current financial year’s numbers, you may not agree. But if your measure is the long-term
survivability of a great cash generating business that still has a lot of potential growth, then you will agree.

W ell, sure.  If you ignore some other facts.  Successful, capable competition, stagnating internal ideas, technological advances threatening production.  Everything is lovely!

He also announces he’s stepping down.  Thank.  Almighty.  God.  For those not paying attention that’s their chief lawyer and their CEO.

So I thought of what I would do if they picked someone more capable.  I figure there’s got to be 4 to 5 billion people who could do a better job running GW than the buffoons right now, and for once that’s not hyperbole.  This company is still operating like the economy is going great, there’s no source of information on alternatives or their own activities, and that local brick and mortar stores are unnecessary to their operations.  None of these things are true, and their inability to realize this is leading them down a dark spiral, and they are even ignorant to this fact.

So what would I do?  Well first off the whole pricing structure needs a radical restructuring.  Prices for GW minis are absolutely ridiculous even granted their high quality.  The prices for the books are even worse.  I would operate on the theory that bringing new people in is absolutely essential to the game.  Books would receive between a 50 and 75% price slash.  If that meant selling them for a loss then so be it.  People without books are people not playing my game.  I want this to be the marketing scheme for next year:

The second thing I want to do is change how the boxed armies are done.  I think GW is inching in this way already (look at the dwarf one for example) but they need to really look at how things are being done outside the company.  They can outprice Privateer Press handily and still attract fans.  Their games are good and their fans are rabid, but they need to encourage more people to pick it up.  Here’s my ideas for their established products:

OVERALL

  1. Get rid of Finecast.  Yesterday.
  2. Reprice all books to 25-50% of their current cost.
  3. Better staff and stocking at GW stores.  These places should be destinations, palaces of GW hobbies with examples and demos going on every hour.  Not sad slovenly stores stocking the most basic material.
  4. Stop.  Suing.  Everyone.  It pisses people off and it is being done far in excess of what is necessary to preserve copyrights.

WARHAMMER FANTASY

  1. Every Box like the Dwarf Box!  Useful models, a good solid core and a little something extra tossed in.  Islands of Blood is another great example.  For $100 dollars you get at least 3-4x what you pay for AND the rulebooks.
  2. Box sizes should equate to regiments.  20 for elite infantry, 30 for line, 40 for swarms.  Pricing will also be going down.  3$ for elite minis, 2$ for the rank and file, 5-7 for cavalry.
  3. Army books brought up to date for legacy armies, Brets, Skaven, Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings, look there’s a lot that needs some love.

WH40k

  1. 1 Book for Marines.  3 Tops.  Not a dozen.  (Not counting CSM)
  2. Price reduction on boxes.  Box sizes are ok.  40 bucks for 10 basic tactical marines isn’t.
  3. Rebalance everything.  I mean a serious balance pass.  Fliers especially but every army needs a good hard look to avoid spamming of OP units.
  4. Encourage the “skirmish” aspect.  Too many games end up like WWI slugfests with neat weapons rather than fast sci fi games with Marines shrugging off loads of fire to desperately try to accomplish their objective.

Other Games

  1. Epic 40k will be back.  Armageddon was a great ruleset that rubbed people the wrong way.  That can be fixed.  Big battles in 40k have always been amazing and there’s no reason not to have this product out there.
  2. Blood Bowl is GW’s best game ever.  Seriously it’s fun, it’s fast paced and it needs to be out front.
  3. LotR… does anyone play this?  How much are we paying for the IP?  Create some fancy models and move on.
  4. Necromunda.  Am I showing my age yet?  This is a hoot of a game and should be re-release with gorkamorka as a twofer.  Maybe even a “big scale” 54mm model game.  Something to throw down once in a while to mix things up.

Finally attempts have to be made to reach out to the community.  A lot of the games biggest supporters have been turned off by GW’s litigious nature, and heavy handed treatment of the humble LGS.  This has got to end.  GW should be proud of each and every store and should offer incentives to high performing stores, not harsh quotas and minimums.  For example a store that runs a tourney every month with a minimum of 10 players gets free scenery packs.  X amount in total sales gets a discount on product, or more favorable payment terms.  Finally I would practically dismantle the GW website for orders.  Let the retailers handle the retail.  Every GW sale takes dollars out of the pockets of the brick and mortar stores that host most Fantasy or 40k games.  Treat these stores well and they will reward GW with higher sales.  Treat them badly and they will wither and it will be more and more difficult for gamers to find a place to play a game.  It will be more and more difficult to bring new people into the hobby, and it will be more and more difficult to increase the companies sales.

This was fun.  Next up:  Privateer Press, and then CCP Games!