Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6th edition is Doom! DOOM! DOooOOooOOM!

I'm in full 6th edition panic mode.  I don't want to quit 40K.  Yeah, my xenos armies suck. Yeah, the prices are outrageous.  But 40K will always be the miniatures game for me.  

The problem is: I can't trust Games Workshop to release a good rules product.  You can trust GW to release a  cool model kit, but you can't trust them to release fun balanced rules.  Sure occasionally they accidentally back into something resembling good (5th edition and a lot of the specialist games), but I don't think they know how to do it on purpose.

I haven't heard anything about 6th to get me exited.  Then again, all I really want out of 6th is 5th with fixed wound allocation and with the standard cover save reset to 5+.   Some slight revisions to make light vehicles less survivable.and heavy vehicles more so would not be unwelcome either.   The core of 40K isn't broke.  It's always been the extraneous details that have been the problem.  Codexes have never quite interacted with the rules in a consistent manner across all the rule books.  Mucking with the core rules in a big way while leaving the codexes in disarray as they are will not fix 40K.  That's why I say doom.

If I trusted GW, I would be more apologetic.  I'd have more relaxed wait and see disposition.  As it is now, I feel like I should be hedging my bets.  I should be getting ready to shelve my 40K stuff for the edition cycle.

It's irrational behavior because I haven't seen the new rules yet.  But I can't be an observer in this.  I've got time and money invested in this game.  I want to continue to get a return on that investment by playing fun games.  6th edition feels like a sword dangling over my head.   When it comes down, I might end up with a couple of worthless miniature armies.  The local community could die out because no one else likes the new edition.  Even if the new edition is good, I might still have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of models to get my armies playable and competitive in the new rules.

I really wish GW would mitigate this stuff.  They should be previewing the new rules.  Building hype. Managing expectations.  Making me excited about the change.  Letting me know I'm getting what I want, or at least make me think what I want is what I'm getting  That's what marketing departments are for.  Battlefront let people officially know 3rd edition for Flames was coming months in advance.  They let people know what was changing before the book was out.  They put the rules in the hands of their veteran players first!  I don't expect a free copy of the new rules, but an official heads up would be better than incessant rumor-mongering in the blogsphere.  Better on a galactic scale.

But maybe this is GW being smarter than we give them credit for.  They know most of us will buy the new rulebook no matter what.  They don't have to do anything, because they already got the core audience by the nose due to our already mentioned commitment of time and money.

That strategy seems to be working for them so far, and companies are loathe to change a working strategy(non-working ones a lot of the time too).  You have to wonder how many times they can raise prices without raising value, how many times they can ignore the competition, and how many times they can patronize their customers before it's one time too many.

1 comment:

  1. i feel, that 22 years of living and breathing Warhammer 40k has for me, finally been asphyxiated by this latest price increase. i have loved this hobby for so much of my life it has been a much deliberated decision but the prices have beaten me. im sorry if this just seems like moaning, but the replacement of the 'new white metal' (which as i recall was another price hike strategy as even with their 'finest detail ever' mantra the plastics were still way better), with finecast still doesnt warrant these kinds of price hikes. this is actually the 5th rule change for me as rogue trader was just before i started buying the rulebooks.
    after buying all these different editions of the rules coupled with the relevant codices we are still expected to buy yet another version of these rules. this is a very lucrative deal for gw, meaning even if you have already spent a fortune on an army you will inevitably still have to buy the next update.
    if we have a previous rulebook we should get a digital download or at the very least discounted versions of the new rules to reward loyalty, instead we are squeezed for yet more cash. i would never like to see this game die but i hope others think long and hard about the direction that gw are heading in. how can we break the stranglehold they have.
    for gamers by gamers should never again be used by this company.

    in the grim darkness of the far future... there is only price increases