Sunday, January 16, 2011

Old News: GW updates FAQs

For the guy still living under a rock, GW went ahead and did the unthinkable - they updated the Dark Angel and Black Templar codices to make the rules and equipment more in line with the rest of the marines.

I wont get into to the rules updates (the blogosphere is awash in posts about it), but suffice it to say: I am super excited about that.  If you go back far enough in my archives, you can see me rage quitting the Dark Angels rigt around the same time the harbinger of all things marine to come was released.  The Dark Angels have always had a special place in my heart and its just plain good to see them being made good again*.

Prior to the new FAQ,  Jessica Alba was the only dark angel nerds cared about.
Especially since the last time GW addressed the equipment problem they handed us a load of "the most important rule' bullshit.  This is what really drove me up the wall in the last FAQ.  They might as well have written this:

Q:  Is there going to be an update to bring the DA equipment options in line with the Vanilla Marines?
A:  No.  FUCK YOU!

Of course, this was back in the early days of the 'new' GW and there was still plenty of the old Jervis mentality left to spread around and for whatever reason, the accountants let that happen.  Its like the company went out of its way to piss away its intellectual property.  I mean, with all the time and energy the spent tracking down copyright infringement to protect their brand, you'd think they'd have an interest in actually making money off of their ideas.

The new DA and BT FAQs are a stroke of financial genius.  With a few simple bits of text added to a couple documents, GW has completely revitalized interest in two whole armies.  All without having to spend practically anything on development (all that equipment has been play tested already).  The fans are happy and GW makes money while looking like they care.**

It seems the realities of actual business competition have set in.  I think we have Privateer Press to thank for that.

Prior to Warmachine getting popular, if you wanted to play a table top miniatures game that wasn't made by GW, then you were shit outta luck.  Sure there were other games out there, but it was all specialized and hard to find.  For the most part, you couldn't just walk into a store and expect to find people waiting around to play a non-GW game.  Then those crazy steam robots walked into our lives.

Over the years, the game began to collect the dissatisfied 40k and fantasy players.  Especially since the company released ALL the models they had rules for AND seemed to care about the rules.  The fact that all the books had a 'no whining' page may have been a factor too.

I obviously can't say much of anything with certainty about PP's influence in GW's businnes practices, but we are seeing some changes with the 40k and Fantasy rule sets that are a marked departure from the way things used to be done.  Funny how those trends tend to look like what Privateer Press has been doing all along:
  • increased release schedule
  • move towards complete model ranges for ALL army books options
  • increased FAQ frequency / FAQs that address actual rules concerns
  • increased game balance for factions (codex creep is dead)
On the flip side, PP is actually taking cues from some of GW's long standing practices:
  • plastic kits+
  • factions broken up into faction books++
  • expansion into new game systems
  • decreased amount of FAQing (seriously, MkI was a nightmare of constant rules changes)
Competition is good for the consumer.  Who knew?

Hear that GW?!

------[Foot Notes]-------------------

* Seriously, the awesomeness of 3++ hammernators with a 2 shot cyclone missile launcher is beyond my capability to use words.  I guess 75 point MM Typhoons is good too or something.
** Cynical thought #1: You could make a case that all of the 'counts as' marine armies are hurting GW's ability on make money on their intellectual property.   A lot of what GW sells is marines - when a few marine books are so good that they completely eclipse the use of the old ones, you lose the ability to convince people that maybe they should have a Dark Angels army AND an Ultramarines army.
 +Cynical thought #2: PP was all about metal miniatures for the longest time.  Then the company got too big and the backpedaling started.  Metal is great for specialist games and limited use models.  It's terrible when you need to mass produce things while making the kind of profit a game company needs.
++Mercs are now a faction.  Like GW, PP isn't immune to the hubris of the game designers costing them money.


  1. Color me one of those "dissatisfied people that left for Warmachine.' I'm still into the 40k world ( in, owning all the RPG stuff for that world, which is no small amount of books...)

    Frankly, it surprises me that it took GW THIS BLOODY LONG to realize that bringing the old guys into line with the new gear-wise was a good idea. One of the reasons that I finally shrugged and said 'screw it' and took the dive into Privateer Press games is that they (at the very least) seem to give a damn about selling a tight game.

    It was faster, cheaper, required fewer models and came with a company that was a little more into paying attention to the consumer (IE: the guy handing them fistfuls of dollars).

    It's good to see that GW is waking up and being sensible. I remember reading an old comment about how 'GW had opened up the market and let other companies in.' No, GW hacked off a bunch of people and that's why there was a mass-40k-exodus (or at least cross-over) of 40k players into Warmachine/Hordes.

  2. Cynical point: PP has taken another cue from GW by releasing rules for which the models take a long time to materialise. Anyone seen those Man O'War Bombadiers yet?

  3. give it 5 or 10 years but PP will eventually sell their product like GW...

    i will be playing against a revived Deathwing army this thursday... i had a taste of Loganwing... but wasn't impressed as they lost half their numbers walking towards me... i lost the game on objectives because it ended on turn 5 (rolled a one)... one more turn and i'd fried ALL the termis with my meltaguns.

    the irony? the army lost all the stormshield guys on the way in... oh... cruel dice... just one more turn!

  4. Yeah, I really wish I liked the game of Warmachine itself as much as 40k. I love the game 40k too much as it is- I'd love to find a game I liked better and be able to quit 40k. I don't feel like I get enough love from GW for having spent thousands of $$ on their toys.

    Also, having to depend on GW to not fuck the next release up too bad is pretty annoying- PP has been pretty consistent in what they've done so far, and have made sure anything stupid (like old codices not getting updates to the point that nobody even considers playing them) gets fixed right away. I also like the PP tournament format quite a bit better.

    That being said, I'm slated to go to 4 major 40k events across the country this year, and zero warmachine (except as 'side' events, before the GT itself starts up). I just wish I liked Warmachine better...