Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Old News: GW Posts Army List That Isn't Terrible; People Stunned

It's true - GW posted an army list on its main site that isn't the worst way to spend your money since the last time GW tried to 'help' with list building (here's an example I'm sure you'll remember fondly).  Super props to Kennedy for catching the existence of this thing.  Sure, there a few minor tweaks that needed to be made here and there, but that's not the important part of my discussion and there are more qualified people who have covered this

What's more interesting to me is the hoopla surrounding the list.  Take this comment from the Antipope*:

I am very surprised that they published a fairly competitive list in the GW website. I thought it was anathema to them. The end times must be drawing near.

hopefully, not antispacepope
 Its a pretty common sentiment and, largely, the evidence from GW's past behavior and all the cryptic statements the FAAC crowd holds up as Ape Law would seem to support that this is indeed odd.  But lets look at this from another perspective - maybe its not that a GW employee has crossed into the Forbidden Zone but rather that GW is doing what it has always done and it's the player base that's perhaps changing.

GW is a miniatures company.  Its what the FAAC people always say, and in this case, they're correct.  But its not out of the kindness of GW's heart or some kind of commitment to artistic excellence that this is the case.  It's simple economics and its the same reason why Privateer Press could also be called a miniatures company; It's where the money is coming from.  Sure the books are kinda costly - but there made in small runs (which means they cost more to make) and they aren't required past a certain point to play.  Theoretically, an enterprising gaming club would only need to have one BRB between the lot of them.  Hell, players using the same army could share codices.  However, everyone has to have miniatures.  Even if someone buys ALL the current codices and a BRB, the total cost is still about $90 less than the cost of the models for the 1500 point army up there.

When it comes to these little update thingies, their front page blog posts, the WD battle reports, etc - GW will always, always showcase a collection of well painted works of art when given the choice.  GW wants to sell you miniatures.  Well painted examples of the product will entice you to help make that happen.  That's the reason they have the 'Eavy Metal team in the first place.  The unfortunate side effect of this need for visual awesomeness is that the armies that get showcased are either built by goofball super-hobbyists or created out of the studio's collection of sales pitches. 

Enter Kevin Chin's Imperial Fists.  The reason this is on the GW site is because it is an incredibly good looking army.  That just also happens to have a good plan behind it.  Which is where I think that this is more firmly an example of a shift in the player base than shift for GW.  Sure GW has been going the distance on 5th edition, but the rules are a means to a miniature selling end.  Its the players that are responding to it.

------[Foot Note]--------------------------
* Not that I'm picking on the Antipope.  Its just that he commented on my blog so I didn't have to go far for an appropriate quote.

1 comment:

  1. This is embarrassing. Well, to defend myself, I had no idea that GW published this list until I saw it on your post. I was surprised, yes! But for a good reason. I am used to their beauty pageant armies on the website and WD so this seems like a major change.

    Someone in GW must have realised how much money they could make if they pushed the 'full mech' style armies. Buying a transport for each of your units probably doubles the cost to purchase the appropriate models for your list. If you also have to buy stuff from FW (like the autocannon arms for your Dreads or my Hydras and Medusas) then the cost is probably tripled. It's all good business.