Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Someone on the internet...Is right?

I was desperately searching for Eldar rumors on Warseer today when I came across a post that was so well written and thought out regarding Games Workshop and such that I thought everyone who has a chance should see and read it.

So yeah, we've all seen those funny "I can't go to bed, honey, someone on the internet is wrong," pictures, but I've come across someone on the internet who I think is very right. The original post can be seen here ("Grot's" post 1/3 way down) but I just copy-pasted the full message and did some slight editing:

Because they are more similar to each other than the Space Marine legions,
they get clumped into one book...right?

     No one wants new things that don't exist. So the space marines have infinity new things, and they sell much better than the ten-year old armies with incomplete and discontinued models? So who do you think needs a new codex more? 
     To a newcomer, to a confused mother at christmas time, any marine army is the one they play in a different color. A unit of tactical marines is a unit of tactical marines, no matter the color. Bolters, power armour, ten in a box. They need a rhino or a razorback. Maybe you'll pick up a dreadnought, or some terminators. How about a land raider? There are so many copy-pasted units shared through [Space Marine] armies that every 'unique' army buys the same generic kit. Do you think the Iyanden Eldar need to buy Monoliths? How about the Imperial Guard, how many Carnifexes do you suppose the average army contains? None, because they're totally different armies. That's why they have totally different books. 

My attempt at supplementing the author's points with photoshopped

     To the newcomer learning about tournaments, they soon learn about 'meq'. Marines are the army to beat, because there's so many of them. You can essentially ignore the various 'xenos' armies [when designing your army list], because if you can kill a marine army, you can put down a low-armour army, which everyone else must be by default to be different to the marines. So you focus on killing marines. You need anti-tank for those transports. You need some way of dealing with their 3+ saves. You need some way to cut down the 2+ saves and force an invulnerable instead. How many non-marine armies have easy access to effective tank killers or power weapons? Every single space marine army reliably has these units which are purposely left out of xenos codexes for 'flavor' and 'variation'. Glaring weaknesses in [the xenos' armies]. And yet, for some reason, they're less popular at tournaments. They don't sell as well. 

     Why couldn't the thunder wolf cavalry have been included in the vanilla codex? Surely the Salamanders might have some sort of reptilian equivalent. What about all the named razorback and predator variants? Why do they need five separate books instead of a similarly lovely two-page spread like the half-dozen types of Leman Russ [in the IG codex]? There is literally a book filled with the variations on daemon types. How exactly, then, can the CSM army make due with two statlines to technically represent any of those daemons, but the types of land speeder are so unbearably different that one book cannot contain them?

     At the end of the day, the general opinion seems to be that if any army was given half the attention of the Space Marines, they'd do just as well. Look how well-received the Dark Eldar were, or how many Guardsmen appear in tournaments now. And of course, when yet another space marine army with the same slightly varied units gets another six month spotlight, it breeds annoyance amongst the players who didn't realize they were buying the 'wrong' [Space Marine] army when they started. 
Space Marine players keep cutting in line to
get their new codexes!
     While I can appreciate the space marine player's personal frustration at waiting in line for their army books with the rest of us, the Space Marine players at least have the other space marines to look to for future updates. The vanilla marine players know they're getting some kind of stormraven. It's a space marine vehicle that everyone will eventually get, like another variation of land raider. But what about the tyranids? How could you have ever predicted the Trygon in a rumor blackout? What about the Eldar? What models help foretell their future? Can the tau use 'that other tau army book' as a 'counts as' for a while until their proper book comes out? There are no rumors whatsoever, and for some reason, it's 'as intended'. While another space marine is released or re-released in finecast, holes in the xenos lines become more apparent as blisters disappear from the stores. A hard-pressed space wolf player could buy a unit of tactical marines, and using their bits box, turn them into blood claws. How exactly can my Iyanden friend convert wraithguard using the in-store models? So they'll turn to eBay, or more likely, turn to a different company's section of the store. GW doesn't see that money. So they say, 'well, the eldar don't sell as well...Release more space marines'. Every player understands this, but it's frustrating that GW doesn't. 

GW doesn't like to support the Xenos armies =(.
     But they do. Consider what's rumoured to be coming out in March, compare it to the companies that have been making unofficial GW models and selling them, apparently like hotcakes. And all of a sudden, during all this litigation, GW has been planning on making models of things they've never even mentioned before, all the while trying to kill the companies who have long since listened to the fans and made these models available in some way. Anyone could have predicted that the thunder-wolf cavalry, a new unit with iconic imagery to the parent army, would have players trying to build their own. So why ignore the unit until other companies pump out these models? 

     To summarize, when someone shows up on the forums with a rumor from 'their good drinking buddy who happens to be in GW's inner circle', people want to hear it. When it's something that makes the players stop and say 'that's stupid, tell your drinking buddy to tell GW', it's cool, because hey, GW cares, right? Feedback from the community is their reward for keeping players in the loop - it helps develop better products and a better game. But when it's been a dark ten years and GW can't even pretend to care, that drinking buddy clearly isn't explaining 'it' right, and people start to get unruly. " -Grot from Warseer


  1. I wonder if dedicated Space Marine players get tired of playing against other dedicated Space Marine players.

    I started playing a BA army, which is the first time playing any Space Marines since 1st edition and I have to admit I'm already a bit tired of playing Marine vs Marine. There are so few non MEQ armies being played it's getting stale quick. I'm already looking at bringing my Eldar back out just so the games will play differently.

    Still no plastic Wraithguard though. I remember painting the exact same WG models back in 95 or 96 when they were originally released. Any good substition models out there?

    1. Sadly, I don't think there are any really good alternatives to the current Wraithguard models. We can only hope for plastic in the next release. At least they still look cool! I have had 20 for the longest time and a friend of mine has like 50, crazy.

      If anything, you can cut and twist some parts of the model to make it more dynamic, put some greenstuff flowing cloth and wing like stuff and that goes a long way.

  2. Well said. Just found your blog. Lot's of good articles.

  3. Your right this Grot hit the nail on the head perfectly, hopefully the Dark Eldar and Necrons are a sign of things to come? Well designed codex and models = money for GW, and happy xeno players :-)