FTW: Three changes to 40K

From The Warp blogger round table asks:

You have just been put in charge of Warhammer 40k for GW.
They would like to know what you think the company should do with the start of the new year.

What are the Top 3 things you would change about Warhammer 40k?
1.  Eliminate the paper codex and move rules and modeling to the web.

Paper is much too expensive and not part of GW’s core production line. Retain a small, pamphlet sized codex to sell with figures in the brick and mortar stores, but move the full gloss hobby photos to the White Dwarf. Use the web to deliver a full 100 page fluff, rule and hobby codex. Every customer in the GW demographic will have web access. Roll out the codex section by section & pull customers into the web site continuously with new content.

2.  The 18 month game:  themed micro-games built around a 4 sprue kit with an 18 month shelf life.

The specialist games model was great in that it allowed gamers to take a break from the core GW products without leaving the company.  The periodic release of new games also allowed GW to take break from the constant churn of the same old product (more Space Marines anyone?).  The failing of the model was the great breath of models released for each game.  The big rush for each game occurred in the first two months – sculpting, casting and releasing a 6th warband/fleet/gang one year after the initial release is and was a waste of resources.

Instead, each game will have 4 themed sprues for 28mm figures.  All kits will be available in the first month of release.  Rule sets will be published in mini-rule book fashion in that months White Dwarf with the remaining background published to the web.  First release:  Insurrection – Storm Troopers vs Chaos cultists vs Gene stealer cult vs Witch Hunters.

3.  Maintain plastic superiority by releasing the highest quality, highest detailed tank and vehicle kits.

GW is no longer the only 28mm plastics manufacture.  Technology has advanced to the point where even small companies can create plastic miniature kits.  GW must push the curve and deliver high quality plastics to stay ahead of competators.  The Predator or Leman Russ are excellent canidates for next generation kits.

  1. #1 by Paul Chana on December 4, 2008 - 8:36 am

    Have to say that i really disagree with number 1 – Part of what i love about the hobby is being able to idly flick through my codex whilst the missus is watching soaps on TV, or whilst on the tube on the way to work. This would instantly be lost if i had to fire up a computer (especially because i spend all day looking at a computer, and thats part of why i game – its away from the computer!)

    Totally love idea 2 tho. Seems to me that you have hit the nail on the head – Why does everyone except for marine and ork players have to wait 6 months for their new codex?

    Part 3 is almost identical to what i wrote in my own version of the Round table! Admittedly i was calling for plastic titans (!) but basically the intention is the same!

    Thanks for posting your thoughts. Very intersting to read 🙂

  2. #2 by chicagoterrainfactory on December 4, 2008 - 9:30 am

    While I think cutting back on codex page counts is a good cost cutting move, it also goes to a hidden bias of mine: I can’t keep up with the printing of new books! The message was driven home when I bought my 4th Chaos Codex & the realization that I most likely will not play a game with my Chaos army until after the 5th Chaos Codex is released.

  3. #3 by squighound on December 5, 2008 - 6:10 am

    I’d definately go with number 1. While codexs are quite nice glossy books, loads of other companies are giving their wargame rule away. Imagine if for a game of chess you had to either buy a £30 rulebook, or a £40 box set with a mini-rulebook… ridiculous. Or if you bought a new PS3 Game, and they sold the user manual separately.

    Make rules free! Or at least the codices. In my opinion the best book GW have ever produced was the 3rd edition rulebook with rules, fluff, artwork, AND army list for every army in the 40k universe. It was all you needed to play the game, bar the minis, and it meant you didn’t need to spend money on knowing your enemy.

  4. #4 by CorpCommander on December 7, 2008 - 2:25 pm

    I agree with these. I definitely think the codexs should be free. I don’t mind paying for the rules though a rules only PDF would be nice. I think the high production values of the hardbound book and the fun of the tiny softbound that comes in the basic set are both worth having.

    The idea of the 2ndary games is interesting. There was always a feeling of getting screwed or abandoned by GW on these over the past 20 years. This would institutionalize the screwing and make it a bit more palatable!

    The last idea is interesting. How would you improve upon current production? I think the pre-paints from Rackham are pretty good. I have 4 vehicles for 40K that are sitting in boxes until I get up the willpower to attempt building them.

  5. #5 by Tom on December 9, 2008 - 9:56 am

    Number 1 would be great, but it would ever happen. They make money on those books, why would they give them away for free on the web? Maybe if they ever felt the squeeze form their competitors, but for now no chance.

    It would be a great feature though; it would allow them to make balance changes as players discovered things they missed in testing.

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