Monday, February 8, 2010

Battle Missions: More Like Butt... Missions...

Looks like the much anticipated Battle Missions book is on its way - pre-orders went up today.

I'm gonna take a moment to discuss the actual book before I get into what I'm actually interested in with this wave of releases. Over the last few years, there has always been a pretty persistent rumor that a missions book has been in the works. Once 5th edition hit and a consensus was reached on the lackluster mission rules therein, the rumors got a little frantic... a little more desperate. Everyone was hoping for something that would offset kill points; something that would really open up some mission possibilities for tournaments.

Now that the book is almost on us, it seems like it might just be a repeat of the REAL ULTIMATE FUN (tm) of Planetstrike. To be less sarcastic, the blurb put up by GW makes it seem like Battle Missions could be another douche-rocket. Tastytaste over on Blood of Kittens covers the the salient points.

Here's to hoping Battle Mission is a damn sight better than the unbalanced heap that is Planetstrike, but I think we're stuck with "Super Fluff Mission Book #4: Revenge of the Story Missions No One Likes."

Despite the various mission books having a tendency to be fairly lack luster (Cityfight, Apocalypse, Planetsrike and, now, Battle Missions), they've always been accompanied by pretty sweet kit releases. Which is what I really care about.

The buildings from City Fight and Planetstrike are pretty freaking cool - even if they are only terrain. But as someone who's spent a bunch of time making buildings, 20 -25 bux is a small price to pay for getting a quality building without having to scratch build it. Apocalypse came with some pretty amazing (if less than 100% useful) super heavies and the really solid Master's of the Chapter set. Not too shabby.

Now, with Battle Missions, we're getting a bunch of new hotness applied to some pretty old and janky kits. The Ork dreads and the venerable dreadnought all replace some very boring, very old and very expensive metal kits. The original venerable dreadnought was particularly showing its age. And SHEE-YIT, the new Ork kits are boner-poppingly cool.

Lastly, we have the two Imperial kit re-releases. I'm sure people will complain about them (some of my friends already have - hah!), but these were also pretty old kits that really did need updating. They might not be the Basilisk, Hydra or Death Strike Missile you wanted, but we're talking updates for kits that were 15 damn years old. I remember buying a Chimera when it first came out in 19 Batman Forever 95!

[personal testimony] As someone who has been dealing with older plastic kits a lot lately (cough, Eldar, cough), I can't tell you how frustrating it is to work with the new kits and then have to go back to the stuff from the 90's. The new kits are just so much better - the process GW uses has matured and quality is just so much higher. The Eldar Wave Serpent in particular is full of all kinds of strange imperfections on the kit - strange nubbin's on the surfaces and a poor fitting top/bottom design. And don't even get me started on the Fire Prism - great looking machine, poor model kit.

The Imperial releases fit in with the overall theme of the new kits - updates of old stuff that was due for an update that will likely get people thinking about codices that aren't as fresh in people's minds as the Tyranids and the Space Wolves. Plus, look at it this way, if updated versions of the Chimera and Basilisk that match the Hellhound exist, how far away do you think the rest of the family is?

All the updated kits will do a lot of things to make things to make things easier on the new guys and vets alike:
  • Better, possibly cheaper purchasing options
  • Easier to assemble kits ease frustration with the 'soft scores' side of the house
  • Way more options for customization
  • Better codex support
All of these things will get people spending money on their armies again AND get new people thinking about older books. All of these things equal sales for GW. Which is as good for them as it is for us. Must be that sustainability that Stelek was talkin' 'bout.


  1. Hey! when are you going to start on your Dinosaur Army of Ultimate Dooooom (tm) I am keen to see whats going to happen with them.

  2. so here's what grinds my gears about the situation with the IG releases-
    -I saw the fucking CAD for the Medusa in person at games day Chicago last year. I get that if they've made a new main chimera chasis to be used in the hellhound and other newer chimera based kits, they may as well release a new chimera too, but GW missed out on a golden opportunity to do something beyond a reboot here. Marines need a master of the Forge still, A/C arms for dreadnoughts. IG needs so many things that it makes my boner cry. And orks, well i'm sure they're missing some codex option, but who cares about orks (who i agree, consequently got the best looking models in this crop of releases and deservedly so...those oldies were janky as hell).

  3. There are AC arms for Dreads, that little planetstrike kit is top notch for it.

    Marines need a master of the flub? Whatever for. He needs to be bike mounted, and man...what I wouldn't give for a cool non-UM bike model to convert the hell out of.

    As it is now, I used a SM scout biker as who the hell uses that anyway. :P