Monday, May 12, 2014

40k 7th edition ... too little too late ...

As they say:  Disappointment = expectation divided by reality ... 
This sums up where I am with GW these days! 
Ok so the world of mini gaming is abuzz with talk about a new edition of 40K (already?!?!).  
At first I thought ... wow ... maybe finally they will do something to the game to make it more accessible for me and the people I know who all used to love 40K but just don't have room in their lives for it anymore ... maybe ... just maybe! 
Then I see the descriptions and I see where this is going, as expected down the GW sales driving rabbit hole.  GW is just opening things up to more required spending, more time sink and more required space to stay in the game.  Nothing is changing for the better and pretty much things are just going to get worse.  Oh sure "unbound" lists give people more flexibility, yada yada, but the point levels, the gi-fucking-gantic, super expensive apocalypse models are here to stay in regular games, etc. 
I don’t have time, nor do I know anyone (that I’d care to hang out/play 40K with) that is willing to play 6th style, apocalypse 40K. Needing a 4×6 table, needing 100+ models, 3-4+ hours, etc. to play a single game against a single opponent.  All this means that a busy adult with kids, a significant other, a job, in short a life, is just not going to be able to play this monster of a game. I’ve been in that place for about five years now. There are all sorts of options for playing 40K on a skirmish level, but those rulesets are “fan” rulesets that aren’t very well balanced, not well playtested and of course not very well supported. Necromunda is super dated and getting new people into that is impossible, same with Mordheim. I still have a glimmer of a hope that I might be able to do some of the LoTR/Hobbit stuff sort of board game style with my gaming group … but even that is a long shot.
For years I’ve hoped that GW would see the handwriting on the wall, that people are now spending 10+ hours a week messing around on the internet, which means fewer people painting, playing, etc. due to the really stupid levels of cash and time someone would need to devote to 6th ed. style 40K., simple common sense dictates that there will be fewer players and those players are going to be unemployed kids, stinky store trolls/anti-social types, etc. The cool working professional 40K player is something that was common 10-15 years ago and something that is a exceedingly rare these days.  That means that any interesting players are either in small garage groups or they have just moved on to other gaming options.  I have hoped GW would realize this and create an official “option” for people to play the game at smaller point levels, but alas they have not.  Also I guess things in the UK and Europe are very different than they are here, their model with their huge number of stores in the UK, etc. is very different there.  In the US with our sparely populated gamer concentrations (at least out west) GW does no favors to those of us who would like to see more people get into the hobby in fact GW seems to be actively doing whatever it can to dissuade new players (or cool former players) from getting into the hobby.  
Anyway clearly nothing to address any of the core problems are going to happen with 7th ed. from everything I’ve read it is simply more of the same old GW. Their expectation is that 40K is your ONLY hobby, that you are going to spend 10+ hours a week on the game and spend thousands annually supporting your addiction. For me, this is the final nail in the coffin for 40K. It just isn’t viable for me personally and I will now continue to slowly eBay off my massive collection. I do have to say though that the silver lining of GWs endless price hikes is that I can sell all my old stuff off and get most of my money back. So there is that, and I can’t complain about that at all. I’ve been able to buy lots of board games and Privateer Press stuff (a game I enjoy at the boxed set level, on 4×4 tables, with game that can easily be played in under an hour … including BSing). I am sad to see the old friend that 40K is fade from my life … but it just isn’t viable anymore for me … best of luck to those of you who still have room in your life for it, I envy you …

3 comments:

Mori kun said...

Very interesting post.

I felt like that a bit 1-2 years ago when I left once and for all the "GW way of life".

I don't know the situation in USA but in Europe, specifically in France, the "One-man stores" is now only full of chouting kids... All the "veterans" are gone for a very long time.

I sold all my WH Battle stuff except 10 skaven miniature for a personal project in Mordheim and I just keep (but I don't know for how long) my 2 "little" chaos space marine armies...

GW Magic is gone, I supported it since 15 years but I've had enough and now I really enjoy myself with Infinity or Ronin. Another games, another gamers... and really really another pleasure ^^

Don't worry my Friend, things and peoples change... unfortunately GW not.

Serviteur,

The Lord of Excess said...

Well said and I totally agree. As always the worlds of tabletop gaming move on and somehow GW doesn't seem to. Sad for them, but the rest of us there are always other games!!

Rob Wilkins said...

This was always where things like Necromunda and Mordheim really shone. You can set up the game and play so much more quickly, and you need to invest so much less time in actual preparation.

When I was seventeen, and through in to my early twenties, I loved those big battles. One big battlefield, a week spent on nailing down my army list just the way I wanted it, spare income thrown at Tyranids and Skaven, what have you (though I was never great at sitting and painting the miniatures for hours on end, I always preferred to just paint one interesting one, so I ended up with a large unpainted army accompanying some very pretty looking characters).

But it's been a while since that worked for me. I tried to restart my interest a while ago, but like you, I don't want to pour all of my spare time into just one thing. And it seems like, as 40K progresses, that only becomes more and more of a requirement -- no doubt a product of GW shifting away from being a bunch of people making cool games to play, and towards the corporate model of consistent sales and profit margins. In the last 10 years, the only GW game I've actually found time to play was Space Hulk.

Fortunately, gaming's come on a long way since I was that teenager, and there are plenty of other games out there to fill the gap. If GW won't give me what I need, there are plenty of others out there who will. GW have pretty much lost my business by this point, as they make nothing that suits my needs anymore. I miss it sometimes...but thanks to the other companies, not nearly so much as I might have.