Wednesday, August 8, 2018

GW and the Summer of Oversaturation

Games Workshop has oversaturated us. Their stocks are skyrocketing. Their business is on the up and up. The product release train just won't stop. But if they are not careful, they will become Icarus, and fly too close to the sun, and I think a few games will suffer for it.
"What are you talking about Gothmog? This is a great time. So much cool stuff!"

Yes. But can you afford it? Most of us probably can't. And that's fine for a lot of people. But not for GW. And not for the business model they are pushing.

Lets break it down. This "Summer" we have seen

  • Idoneth Deepkin (really back in spring, but it was a rather large release I feel)
  • Age of Sigmar 2.0 and a new General's Handbook
  • Malign Sorcery
  • New Storm Cast Subfaction
  • Essentially a new Nighthaunt faction
  • Imperial Knights codex
  • Dominus Knights
  • Armiger Knights
  • Rerealease of Renegade
  • Kill team and all its releases
  • New Terrain for 40k
  • Chaos BB team,  a new SPIKE supplement, and more accessories
  • Dark Elf BB team, a new SPIKE supplement, and more accessories
  • Cawdor Gang, a new Gang War supplement, upgrade kits and more accessories

ANNOUNCED AND YET TO BE RELEASE

  • Titanicus (a whole new game)
  • LotR Relaunch w/ the Pellenor Feilds box set (might as well be a new game)
  • Space Wolves Codex
  • Orks Codex
  • Genestealer Cults Codex
  • Kill Team Rogue Trader

That's a lot. And I'm not convinced I didn't miss anything. I am sure I did and someone will say something in the comments.

That's 4 or 5 "new games" (I'll explain), an expansion, 3 supplements, 9 new factions/subfactions and a several box sets costing over $100 USD (and a few near or over $200!)

Can your wallet handle it?

So while some of these are small, they sell to usually fanatics of their chosen game, and sell well. Necro and BB have tight but hardcore followings, and a lot of those players collect numerous teams/gangs. There are people that actually try (and accomplish!) to do all 24 teams in 24 tournaments for BB. Crazy right?!

Now for the Factions. New factions means new armies. Full, big, expensive, time intensive armies. And gone are the days of plain SM or simple skeletons. These things are gorgeous and full of detail. Which means they typically take longer to paint IMO. But the effort is besides the point. A new army just costs a lot. Especially when one of those armies is IMPERIAL KNIGHTS. These things are sweeping the meta in 40k. And they are available to more than just dedicated knight players. And with that release came 2 MAJORLY EXPENSIVE kits- the Dominus and Renegade. Now while Renegade is quite a savings if you are going to buy 2 knights (plus an awesome piece of terrain), it is still $195 USD MSRP. That's a pretty penny, even if you get it 20% off someplace. These are all large and expensive models and are going to put a dent in anyone's wallet who wants one (or 5).

Lets discuss. In this I see a few "new games". So really they aren't all "new". What I mean by this is a core release for a system designed to essentially build a player base from the ground up, or at least massively expand it. AoS 2.0, Kill Team, Titanicus, Pellenor Feilds and possibly Rogue Trader are ALL designed and intended to do this.
Lets start with a GW flagship. AOS 2.0, especially when combined with Malign Sorcery, really has seemed to energize a lot of new players and was designed and timed to bring A LOT of new blood into the game, particularly hobbyists that just hadn't dipped their toe in yet (I know I have an army planned now and am just waiting for NOVA to browse the amazing Toledo game room for conversion fuel). So you have a lot of people starting new Armies, and along with that there are 3 new fresh factions that even veteran AoS players are grabbing. Even more so with Stormcast players who really just expand with a whole new chamber. And on top of that everyone was/is picking up an $80 kit of bad ass spells (those jaws are so sweet).


Kinda a new game, kinda just 40k lite, we have Kill Team. And while you can just use your 40k models, what always sells with kill team is TERRAIN. LOTS OF IT. Beautiful BUT EXPENSIVE. And a lot of people always seems to start a new hobby project of a cool converted kill team (as they should).

I am unsure as of yet what Rogue Trader really is. Is it part of kill team? Is it it's own thing? IDK (thus 4 or 5 games) Is it just a board game with models to port into other games, like Execution Force, Burning for Prospero, Battle of Calth, Gorechosen, Space Hulk etc. etc. If so not to concerning for long term support, but still thats probably going to be a $150 USD game with a new faction for some other game (be it Kill team or 40k or both)
Another new game that isn't new but might as well be: LotR/Pellenor feilds. It is a really cool looking relaunch of the game and really seems aimed at getting a lot of people back into it. That core set is bait to get us to get MORE NEW FACTION, and I have seen a lot of hype for it. What is most exciting is it consolidates the plethora of source material for the game out there and makes that weird distinction between LotR and Hobbit go away. Its all just "Middle Earth" now, and that is great.

Last but not least, Titanicus. At a whopping $290 for the Grandmaster Edition starter, this is a LARGE investment. A Titanic one if you mind the pun. And its a whole new game, at a whole new scale, so there will only be MORE releases to come AND it requires its own, uniquely scaled terrain.

So as you can see, that's a lot. And really, its a lot of $$$. A LOT.

The problem as I see it is 3 fold

  • GW has crammed too many flashy new releases too close together, giving us little time to get past the hype of one and into the hype of the next. Ideally, you would wait for the hype of a new flashy release to start dying off and then BAM hit us with a new one. But if people are still playing and excited by the new Kill Team, why are they going to bother with Titanicus or Pelenor Feilds?


  • Too many EXPENSIVE releases too close together. Some of these kits are MASSIVELY expensive. You may get great savings in them, but still, a new Start Collecting box, malign sorcery, Renegade and a Dominus knight, kill team and some new terrain and now you are a already over $500+ dollars. And that is BEFORE Titanicus and Pellenor fields even release, 2 new games intended to draw in ENTIRELY NEW PLAYER BASES.
  • AND THEY DID IT ALL DURING THE SUMMER! Summer is already super expensive. I have to pay for increased electricity bills (AC ain't cheap), activities for the kids, vacation, buying back to school supplies for the kids. There is just a lot of REAL WORLD demands on people's finances this time of year. In the end, if people can't afford to dive into what GW's peddling while the hype is still there, people probably won't play it.


My ultimate point here- If there is too much to buy, something won't be bought. And that means a release will FAIL. And you do not want new GAMES to fail. Their business model is centered around games being SUSTAINABLE

To me, this hurts Titanicus the most, and to a lesser extent LotR. The advantage LotR has is 90% of the catalog of models for the game ALREADY EXISTS. There is already a playerbase (small yes, but enthusiastic for sure). And it has a hook for people NOT already in the Hobby, and can share terrain with other games (AoS, historicals, other fantasy games, and even sci-fi games like 40k). However, it is following EVERYTHING and people are going to be stretched thin and may just not have the money to buy it. And if it has a poor launch, that ultimately hurts longevity.

Titanicus DOES NOT have ANY of those advantages that LotR has though. It is 100% new. New scale. New terrain. New models. New playerbase. On top of that, its kinda ticked off some hardcore vets by being a  new scale, set solely in Horus Heresy (so no Xenos in the foreseeable future) and thereby incompatible with old Epic players or people not interested in Imperial Pattern God Machines. As a 40k/30k port, it really doesn't hold the attraction to people outside the hobby that Lord of the Rings has. So it is banking off and existing base of enthusiastic hobbyists diving in...

At a $290 price point.
GW... as I pointed out people have already spent over $500 this summer on your stuff. Where do you think $300 FOR A STARTER is coming from. Its an instant turn off for A LOT OF PEOPLE. Especially when they know they will need MORE UPGRADES (as there is only 1 weapons loadout) and MORE TITANS (Warhounds haven't even been previewed). And this means even FEWER players. Oh, and there is the fact I need MORE TERRAIN and can't cross it with anything else really (maybe some obscure games like polyversal. Maybe dropzone. But overall, nothing really. Not nearly the utility of all the other games).

Lastly, people are just DYING for the last of the 40k codicies at this point. There are indicators that we will see the first of them (Orks? Fingers crossed) by the end of the month. There are people that are just going to hold off COMPLETELY on current purchases hoping that their faction will release soon.

What, in my own humble opinion, should have been done differently OVERALL


  • The AoS 2.0 release is fine. Started the summer with a bang. Good Deal.
  • Imperial Knights should have been followed up with CODEX ORKS and GSC. Give the XENOS players something to celebrate too. Invigorate the whole 40k community/meta. Plus give us 2 more codicies closer to completion
  • There are a lot of rumours involving Leman Russ returning surrounding the release of the SW codex. If that's true, that should have been lined up to be the end of summer release.


  • Release Kill teams in the wake of ALL the 40k codicies. All the factions (SoB excepting, but we know to be patient for them not) would be out, people would be interested in doing one for their faction, and be looking for terrain for their now COMPLETE EDITION OF THE GAME (minus sisters, yes, but as I said, we get it).
  • Chaos BB was fine. I would have waited a little longer for Dark Elves myself.
  • Why was Cawdor and Gand WarIV released RIGHT ON THE BACK OF KILL TEAM? Doesn't make a lick of sense. They are competing skirmish games. If GW was hoping to snag more necromunda players with a new Gang, they were all distracted by Kill Team and adding onto factions they already own. The two should have been distanced by at least a month IMO. Probably more. And I would have done Cawdor and Gang War first personally. Snag more necro players. Get them pumped about Skirmish. Then hit them with Kill team.
  • As much as its been hyped, TITANICUS and LotR should have been saved for the Fall. I would have done LotR first, sometime Mid-fall (early Oct-ish) after everyone has recouped from the summer and all the hype of all that new stuff from AoS and 40k has trailed off.


  • TITANICUS should have been the BIG Christmas Item. It is EXPENSIVE. Ride that excessive materialism time of year. People would be WILLING to spend $290 on it for a Christmas gift. You would get players who wouldn't buy it themselves, but WOULD ask for it.  FUTHERMORE the Horus Heresy novel that is tied in with it "Titandeath" releases in December! And the game has apparently had some production issues which is why there is no Warhound yet. Would have been nice to see that and more weapons options at release, which delaying could have allowed for.
  • There should be 2 Editions of the Game. The Grandmaster with 2 warlords. BUT there SHOULD have been a second set, with ALL THE SAME STUFF, except instead of 2 warlords, 2 REAVERS! What this would have done is set a lower price point for game entry. $290 is tough, no matter how good of a deal the box is over buying it individually. It is just A LOT OF MONEY. A $180-$210 starter with Reavers would have just been EASIER for people to manage, even if it is technically a lesser amount. FURTHERMORE people that want to go FULL ON into the game would have bought BOTH EDITIONS and have a full maniple RIGHT OFF THE BAT with enough terrain for a full game. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
  • GW should have made it MUCH CLEARER that the average game is only 3-4 titans (as Ive read in WD). I really don't see Titanicus being that big of an investment overall. You don't need alot to play. Just a really high start up cost. And a lot of people seemed to have missed that.


I really hope Titanicus and LotR do well in the long run. I would like to do both (but Forge World Dwarves are expensive too!) I can see Titanicus being a great game for Cons, and if you are worried about new players, get enough for you to always provide for 2 players (about 10 titans overall from what I've read) and just go to cons and play there. It will all be okay. BUT I think it is not as great as it COULD have been and it is all due to just too much too close together at too high of a cost.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hobby Progress: Prophets of Bark and the Spooky Bunch, Part 2

This post is about the continued progress of Discordians Mandrake army, first shown HERE.


Probably should get around to painting my warlord......



Anyways. One big thing I wanted put into this army most macabre, was ravens. So I started with some scourge.





Simple stuff right, but why stop there. How could I talk about Dark Eldar ravens without you know talking about Voidravens......







Working on the weapons now from random assorted bits, hopefully will end up being cool looking bird backpacks.



I also got a game in with them recently. The below picture was a turn after most of my army dog piled a Tau Commander and 2 Ghostkeels in a goofy team game.

The Commander ran away, the Ghostkeels were not given the chance.

Additionally, I cant stress this enough. Battlefoam Stacker Boxes are just great.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Showcase- Captain Slam: Blood Angels Jump Captain Conversion

I finished up my version of the infamous Slamguinius. Captain Slam is must be armed with a Thunder Hammer, a Storm Shield and pretty much necessitates the Eagle's Wing for a Jump Pack, but he definitely needs a JP. 

The concept of his use is simple- he is a tactical Nuke. Point him at something your want to die. And it will.

My slam is made from a Blood Angels Chaplain with a Deathwatch Helmet (with the =I= symbol
filled in), Custodes Shield & Spear, Death Watch heavy thunder hammer head and BA Primaris blood drop tokens set into it.

     

Monday, July 16, 2018

NOVA Narrative: Fury of the Ancients (All Blood Angels Dreadnought list set)

This year at the NOVA open I will be participating in the Narrative Campaign. It is a set of 7 games, 4 recon patrol games (which I am not doing) and 1 Apocalypse game. You can check out the primer here. 

Games
2000 Point
1000 Point
1000 Point Doubles
2500 Point
1000 Point
1500 Point
1500 Point Doubles
3000+ Point Apocalypse

I wanted to run a theme for this event and decided this was the perfect opportunity to break out my Dreadening Concept. So I give you my all Dreadnought Force

FURY OF THE ANCIENTS
Dreadening 1k version 1- 994
Spearhead Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Librarian Dreadnought: 187- Furioso Force Halberd, Furioso Fist, Melta-gun; Smite + 2 Psychic Powers; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Moriar the Chosen): 189- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 237- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolters, Atomantic Pavaise
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannons
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannons
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 109- 2 x Twin Heavy Bolters

Dreadening 1k version 2- 999
Spearhead Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought: 204- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Heavy Flamer; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Furioso Dreadnought : 169- 2 x Furioso Fist, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 237- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolters, Atomantic Pavaise
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannons
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannons
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 119- 2 x Assault Cannon

Dreadening 1k version 3: 995
Vanguard Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought: 204- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Heavy Flamer; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Moriar the Chosen): 189- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Cassor the Damned): 179- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Magna Grapples
Elites- Furioso Dreadnought : 149- 2 x Furioso Fist, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Contemptor Dreadnought: 165- Dreadnought CCW, Comb-Bolter, Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 109- 2 x Heavy Bolters
Dreadening 1500- 1499
Vanguard Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought: 204- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Heavy Flamer; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Furioso Dreadnought : 149- 2 x Furioso Fist, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Cassor the Damned): 179- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Magna Grapples
Elites- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 237- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolters, Atomantic Pavaise
Spearhead Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Librarian Dreadnought: 187- Furioso Force Halberd, Furioso Fist, Melta-gun; Smite + 2 Psychic Powers
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 119- 2 x Assault Cannon
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 109- 2 x Twin Heavy Bolters
Heavy Support- Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: 315- 2 x Storm Cannon Array, 2 x Heavy Flamer, Hunter Killer Missile

Dreadening 2k- 2000
Vanguard Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought: 204- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Heavy Flamer; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Moriar the Chosen): 189- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Cassor the Damned): 179- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Magna Grapples
Elites- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 237- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolters, Atomantic Pavaise
Elites- Contemptor Dreadnought: 165- Dreadnought CCW, Comb-Bolter, Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon
Spearhead Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Librarian Dreadnought: 187- Furioso Force Halberd, Furioso Fist, Melta-gun; Smite + 2 Psychic Powers
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 119- 2 x Assault Cannon
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannon
Heavy Support- Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: 356- Cyclonic Melta Lance, Leviathan Siege Claw, 2 x Heavy Flamer
Dedicated Transport- Lucius Pattern Drop Pod: 80
Dreadening 2500- 2495
Vanguard Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought: 204- 2 x Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Heavy Flamer; Warlord, Relic: Veritas Vitae
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Moriar the Chosen): 189- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Death Company Dreadnought (Cassor the Damned): 179- Blood Talons, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Magna Grapples
Elites- Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 237- Anvillus Autocannon Battery, Twin Heavy Bolters, Atomantic Pavaise
Elites- Contemptor Dreadnought: 165- Dreadnought CCW, Comb-Bolter, Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon
Elites- Furioso Dreadnought : 149- 2 x Furioso Fist, Melta-gun, Storm Bolter, Smoke Launchers
Elites- Furioso Dreadnought : 169- 2 x Furioso Fist, Melta-gun, Heavy Flamer, Magna Grapples
Spearhead Detachment (+1 CP)
HQ- Librarian Dreadnought: 187- Furioso Force Halberd, Furioso Fist, Melta-gun; Smite + 2 Psychic Powers
Elites- Redemptor Dreadnought: 206- Heavy Onslaught Cannon, Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Dreadnought CCW, 2 x Fragstorm Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 119- 2 x Assault Cannon
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannon
Heavy Support- Mortis Dreadnought: 135- 2 x Twin Autocannon
Heavy Support- Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: 356- Cyclonic Melta Lance, Leviathan Siege Claw, 2 x Heavy Flamer
Dedicated Transport- Lucius Pattern Drop Pod: 80

Friday, July 13, 2018

Allies of Inconvenience: Episode 11- 8th Edition 40k Anniversary Retrospect


This Episode the Allies of Inconvenience Crew discusses 8th Edition 40k a year on, what we like and lament about it, as well as where we desire to go from here (and the usual side tracks along the way). We also dive into our personal hobby progress, and discuss Chris' "Prophets of Bark and the Spooky Bunch" Drukhari Army. And I think we have our best audio settings yet as I finally figure this podcast stuff out.

And we have a new logo!



00:00 Intro
02:59 Hobby Progress
21:14 8th Edition Anniversary Retrospect

Songs and Soundclips
Blue Mark- Atlan Urtag
Kaap mere- Bugotak
Clip 1 - Conan the Barbarian
Clip 2 - Conan the Barbarian
Clip 3 - Conan the Barbarian

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Blood Angels Venerable Chaplain Dreadnought

Just slamming out another Dreadnought for NOVA. Glad I picked this guy up before he went OOP (though FW still sell his claws). The symbols on the arm and the banner are all freehand. Base was made with a Green Stuff World roller and crystal with Secret Weapon Miniatures crushed glass snow set.

 
And the banner is a canon design