Monday, February 6, 2012

Aquans all done!

Something Fishy...

     Aw... cheesy joke... so sorry.  Now that I've finished painting up my Aquans, I'll need to fix them to their bases.  I HAD magnetized all the ships in both the Aquan and Dindrenzi fleets that I have, but after my first test game and all the silly rotating these ships did on their flight posts, I'm convinced that there's no other simple solution.  Once these are all properly glued in, I'm going to place an order for the Hotz Gaming Mat that they just put up recently with a nice star field on it and get back to trying out more Firestorm.

     I'll need to get some proper Firestorm Armada terrain (asteroids obviously) at some point.  I think I'll follow what the fine folks over at did where they took some foam, and sprayed it good with some Krylon black, which normally you'd never want to do because it melts the foam, but it makes for some interesting looking space rocks!  I'll think about it because it'll represent a leap for me because I've never actually done terrain... EVER!  Don't have my own table so there has never been much point.

The State of the Table Top Nation

     Though I've been absent lo these many months, I haven't been completely out of the loop.  True, my near compulsive browsing of blogs and news sites for the tiniest scrap of gaming news has tapered off considerably, I continued to hit the highlights.  I think I can say that our hobby is nearing a turning point.  For many veterans whose shadows have darkened the gaming rooms since the 40K race that shall not be named still waddled their short stout bodies across the battlefields, I'm sure they've detected what I have: a division within our ranks.

     I don't mean this to imply sedition, or treason.  Not at all!  We weird bunch of table top gamers are certainly passionate, and thus it is notable when our collective eye wanders.  Privateer Press has been doing better, and I think we can see now that as a company it has truly come of age.  There are yet more young challengers to the Games Workshop kingdom.  Some are pioneers, looking to set themselves apart, like Corvus Belli and Spartan Games.  Some are more like the Hyena, looking for a more corporal opportunity, hoping to pick the bones clean, like Mantic Games, offering very "compatible" models for an enticing price.  Let us not forget the likes of Flames of War, or Malifaux, or even the return of Battletech with their recent anniversary box set.

     Where does this lead us?  More to the point, where does this lead Games Workshop?  I think they have a very difficult challenge ahead of them.  I was discussing this with a friend, and I expressed my thoughts on it like this:  GW is the Titanic before the iceberg.  The first question is "Do they see it?" The second question is "Do they see a threat?" And the final, most important question is "If they want to react, will it matter as they're big and slow to change, thus it might be too little, too late."

     I've expressed my dissatisfaction with GW prices over this last year, and these changes had a very real impact on my personal hobby as I now own two Firestorm Armada starters, and an Infinity starter, with plans to expand into War Machine in the near future (thanks to the news of the new Colossals and their own free army builder software).  I've declared recently that I'll likely never start another 40K army unless I sell off one of my existing ones first.  I simply can't afford it.

     I think we can all see that 6th edition 40K carries an enormous weight on it's shoulders.  It has to please an audience that is growing tired of the off-stage (and box office, if I'm using my metaphor properly) shenanigans.  Can it satisfy the casual fluffy gamer AND the more hard core tourney scene?  Is there going to be a meeting of the minds when it comes to army balance?  Will the games have more meat on them or will the rules simply be another new way to get us to buy more miniatures?

     Competition is normally quite good for the consumer, but it will likely be a painful one for the niche market of table top gamers.  I know that I struggle with an internal dialogue when I begin to think about playing other non-40K games, and investing more time and money into them.  Ultimately I know that I might be getting away from the herd and the running is thinner out there.  There will be far fewer pick-up games and places to meet.  Networking with local players will be a serious challenge as I don't have a normal gaming group.  I'm certain that I can't be alone in this feeling, and it's going to be a struggle, but I'm willing to risk it for the sake of my wallet.

     What do you think?  Is 2012 going to be a watershed moment for our hobby?  What are your predictions for the future?  Have you been thinking about trying other game systems?  Tell me what you think!



The GunGrave said...

I think i agree with you here. Though im not sure if GW is actally threatened yet. I do think that they are slowly pricing themselves out of the market though. The Vet's in full time work wont buy because, well, GW are taking the piss! The N00BS can't buy because they or their parents cant afford it. Like your very apt Titanic metaphore "will they see the iceberg in time??"

Nice to have you back!

Anonymous said...

I'm with the both of you on this one. It's kind of relative as we are all earning a good bit more wedge than we were back in the day, but they are still taking the piss with the pricing.

Good article Sam, I also really liked what you had to say about the plight of the small system gamer.

I'm actually finding that myself as I don't game at clubs and my mates are only interested in and financially committed to 40k. I tried to get them started on Warmachine (Even buying them starter sets), and have expressed interest in Flames of War and Dystopian Wars as well as having purchased 2 crews from Malifaux and a Military Orders set from PanO but it's never really taken off.

I'd love to game them all but at the end of the day I will just have to accept that some of them are hobby only.

Good having you back dude and those FA spaceships look bloody sweet!

Sam said...

Thanks for the comments guys. If GW isn't under imminent threat now, I would say it most certainly is in the short term. I think that's why 2012 will be a formative year for our hobby. It's going to be an interesting ride, at least. I think I'll need to explore the concept of the non-GW gamer a little more in the future for another little editorial.

Ash said...

Warmahordes with their move to more plastic and the interesting colossals looks better by the day, but I'll at least get my Grey Knight Army going since I've already got most of the models I need. I don't think the iceberg will strike this year, but it'll definitely get closer. In their arrogance, I doubt GW would change course in time if it is enough to sink them.