Quite often on this site we come to a point in our discussions where we marvel at Games Workshop’s ability to survive despite the bewildering actions of their management and their curious pricing. Yet clearly the company is doing something right as they have managed to turn themselves around in the last few years and are once again making a profit. One can argue whether that profit is being made from fewer fans and gamers or perhaps infused by money made from IP licensing deals but GW is once again a company making money.
Games Workshop have even been, for better or worse depending on your outlook, been updating their core games with new rules and the most recent of those has been the 8th Edition of the Warhammer Fantasy rules.
Now I am clearly not a fan of the company. I think the management and, especially, their legal team are pursuing goals that are at cross-purposes to their fans. I also still bear a rather substantial grudge against the company for their decision to terminate the Specialist Games range and, my favourite game, Epic Armageddon. If you think that old-school Confrontation fans are still mad at Rackham then you clearly have never got a pint or two into me and asked me about Epic.
And none of this really helps to explain why I have a new Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition rulebook on my gaming table and the beginnings of a Chaos Daemons army.
That is right, I am indeed working on creating a Warhammer fantasy army. An army for a game that is produced by a company that I have a very public dislike for and whose pricing policies I think are rather insane and whose legal tam appears to act as if their fans are the source of their problems.
Now the question I am left with is why. Well, I know the specific answer to that question. It was the Bloodcrushers of Khorne. As much as I dislike GW as a company I love the Chaos Daemons. I loved them in Epic, I love them in 40K and I especially like them in Warhammer. So when Games Workshop previewed the new plastic Bloodcrushers my ability to withstand the allure of the new Warhammer Fantasy rules was overcome. Bloodletters on Juggernauts? Yes please.
But what is the more general issue at work here? Why is it that some plastic toys are enough to get me to forget all of my reservations about the company and buy into one of their games? Is it simply the magpie nature of our hobby? Are we attracted to shiny, new toys and this attraction is enough to make us forget why we don’t like companies or games? I don’t really know the answer in general but it appears that for me my desire to have certain figures or gameplay experiences is my driving factor. Plastic Bloodletters on Juggernauts is enough for me to forget my feelings for GW.
I don’t think that I am unique in this. We see this quite often in the hobby and perhaps the issue is that ultimately this hobby, despite all of our commentary, vitriol and heated debate is just about toys. We want to have fun, we want to enjoy our free time with our toys and that is our deciding factor. New toys and new games are fun and perhaps this is what we want. Fun.