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Athrawes

Gamesworkshop's Evolving Release Strategy

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So it now looks like Lumineth Are getting at least 4 new kits with the upcoming wind temple release (Cloud mage, Wind Spirit, Kangaroo Cavalry, and Mounted Lord)

To me this, alongside the large-scale Slaanesh release that is forthcoming, heralds a giant change in the way that GW updates factions.

Go back 6 years ago, and factions could reasonably wait 4-6 years for new releases, which were mostly tied to a new battletome every other edition.

Over the past 5 years that release cycle has changed to, 1 decently sized initial release, followed by a new battletomb with the new edition and perhaps, new terrain/hero/spells.

With the massive second waves of Slaanesh (Less than two years), and Lumineth (less than one year) it seems like GW is changing their release strategy again.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

To be clear, I am overjoyed by both releases, I am 100% a Lumineth player, and Wind-Aelf fanboy, these are the models I had been hopping for last year, and I was disappointed by their lack alongside the initial release. I am overjoyed to see them so soon, but I'm not sure sure I like the precedent. 

For one, it means releases are a lot less predictable going forward, as it seems like large second waves can follow initial releases at any time, with very little heralding. If large waves are no longer tied to battletomes, and instead tied to narrative supplements as seems likely with Lumineth, it becomes really tricky to gage when to reasonably expect releases. Before January first, and the first new lumineth Teaser, my thoughts were that new lumineth before 2023 were a pipedream. Now the future is a lot less predictable, which could be good and bad.

It also means going forward it will be difficult to judge whether "that's it", whether everything we get teased for a new faction/release is everything players will be getting, or whether there is more in the pipeline short/long term.

This post isn't meant to complain, as again, obviously I'm happy to see these lovely models, but I'd appreciate hearing other peoples thoughts on how these new releases change the precedent of GW releases going forward. 

+++++++

Also just to say this once. This thread isn't to complain about oversaturation of Aelf release, or a faction bias. But rather, how you feel about the precedent these new releases set going forwards. 

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As fyreslayer player.......i cant believe how factions as slanesh and lumineths that got huge releases less one year have got new kits.......but fyreslayers with 6 years got 2!!!!!!! Non hero kits.......

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9 minutes ago, Doko said:

As fyreslayer player.......i cant believe how factions as slanesh and lumineths that got huge releases less one year have got new kits.......but fyreslayers with 6 years got 2!!!!!!! Non hero kits.......

This. While I'm happy for fans of Aelfs and Slaanesh, we got a lot of armies that feel far from finished and others that could really need a proper first wave (Skaven, Seraphon, CoS) too... so yeah, while this new release strategy might benefit those armies IF they finally get an update, I feel like the first edition armies will have to wait even longer to become proper armies now. 

Edited by MitGas
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Ironjawz, bonesplitters, firrslayers, silvaneth......

Sometimes cant understand the release prioritt of gw.

That armys really need new stuff even more than lumineth...

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I welcome the more sporadic release.

Hopefully gone are the days of your armies time coming and only getting some endless spells, terrain, and a book then faced with having to wait 2+yrs again...

I do agree though, some armies could use some love more than others. 

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One lens to look at this is that the citadel miniatures come first. I recall reading how the miniature designers just handed over the Underworlds war bands to the design studio and they were just told to figure out what to do with them. Awhile back there was a real lack of Age of Sigmar Aelves. Perhaps a second wave of Lumineth was planned with this in mind?

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Ehh, I strongly suspect these releases were carved off the tail end of their battletomes and/or were not going to be ready in time, and there was a plan to release them alongside related Broken Realms books. We knew the wind temple was imminent even before there were any hints/leaks because they were so clearly described in the battletome. And Slaanesh... could really use a rework of mechanics, probably more than any other army. I don't think these two examples are enough to call it a new long-term release strategy. Similar model releases also came alongside Psychic Awakening and Gathering Storm campaign books from 40k, even further back the End Times books for Warhammer Fantasy.

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I suspect those lumineth models might be from the 3rd edition starter box. 

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3 hours ago, Iradekhorne said:

Ironjawz, bonesplitters, firrslayers, silvaneth......

Sometimes cant understand the release prioritt of gw.

That armys really need new stuff even more than lumineth...

The first step to understanding is recognising that GW's release schedule has never been guided by which armies "need new stuff" the most...

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Don't hold out much hope for new Fyreslayers either. It was the biggest bomb of a model line GW have ever made.

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Nah, Fyreslayers are awesome. Think the Doomseeker is my favourite - such a cool model.

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1 hour ago, Bosskelot said:

Don't hold out much hope for new Fyreslayers either. It was the biggest bomb of a model line GW have ever made.

I think some of the reason behind Fyreslayers is that for years people had been crying out for a full Trollslayer army (in plastic) for WHFB.  They arrived in the tumultuous early stages of the mortal realms being born and people didn't really know what was going on, let alone what to do with a load of half naked duardin who hammered runes into their flesh.

Going a little off tangent, I'd love to see smaller games become more popular so that some of the forces with smaller ranges actually get to see the field a bit more.  Of course that would also need a bit of work as I don't think all battletomes scale very well to cater for games that aren't at the 2k size)

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To me, it makes a lot of sense to release armies in the Lumineth style.

You get a release that is substantial enough to play and collect, but small enough to not be overwhelming. Plus, it's got to be easier from a production/logistics standpoint. And then after a little while you get a second wave, which results in another hype infusion and makes people who already have their 2000 points of Lumineth bought buy more, new stuff.

I could see how that would result in higher sales and, honestly, I don't even think it's especially anti-consumer.

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I'm not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, new stuff is nice to see - especially for smaller armies. On the other hand, likely in the case of Lumineth, it can mean more books necessary to play the army if they get an additional supplement for the new models. And in the case of Slaanesh, while they had a pretty poor battletome before, I imagine there are quite a few Slaanesh players who bought the old battletome with very little chance to use it before the new one was announced. 

I think two years is probably the minimum time they should have between non-single hero releases. Otherwise you can have people with piles of rulebooks needed to play one army (which I think it what ended up happening in 40k 7e). I personally think two rulebooks should be the maximum needed for an army.

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9 hours ago, Doko said:

As fyreslayer player.......i cant believe how factions as slanesh and lumineths that got huge releases less one year have got new kits.......but fyreslayers with 6 years got 2!!!!!!! Non hero kits.......

cries in Freeguild

 

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5 hours ago, Bosskelot said:

Don't hold out much hope for new Fyreslayers either. It was the biggest bomb of a model line GW have ever made.

Any sources for that? Or just your opinion. 

Edited by Kramer
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What irks me is that they no longer support their product lines for as long as in the old times, and this is tied to releases.

Sometimes they'll release something, like fyreslayers, that one cannot help but wonder if it won't be killed without a word of warning like Chaos Dwarves.

So, release cycles are erratic and show what they believe they can push more, and they seem to "squat" things more frequently. Either hard squat (Chaos Dwarves), or soft squat (fyreslayers getting absolutely no love).

A bit more commitment, please!

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20 minutes ago, Greybeard86 said:

Sometimes they'll release something, like fyreslayers, that one cannot help but wonder if it won't be killed without a word of warning like Chaos Dwarves.

 

I think fyreslayers are save. It’s absolutely no garuantee of course. But they are produced by GW proper, not their sister in law company that they are reorganising. 
its proper plastic, relatively new molds, and a much seen army over the last few years 😁

the no warning thing is annoying I agree. 

22 minutes ago, Greybeard86 said:

lease cycles are erratic and show what they believe they can push more, and they seem to "squat" things more frequently. Either hard squat (Chaos Dwarves), or soft squat (fyreslayers getting absolutely no love).

 

How did you feel about the removals surrounding the cities release? 
I felt it sucked at the time. I went from 3k dwarfs to only 1300 pts. Because the new irondrakes etc were released after I went to uni and didn’t collect during that time. 
so many cool sculpts lost. :( 

On the other hand I do get it. If those models would have not place anymore, they shouldn’t be in the game. And if they’re not in the game they shouldn’t be sold. 
can you imagine the mess cities would be if all those models would need to be in there. 
 

but dang, I would instabuy some of those sculpts. Just for alternative models in Warcry. Like the witch hunter and the priests 😍

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I understand they want to rebuild entirely the range for AoS.

That said, to keep selling kits after WHFB was killed and then retiring them over 5 years is just terrible from the consumer's perspective.

This happened in cities but I also hear that orks suffered from it badly.

I prefer releases of "newer" and "improved" versions that are more backwards compatible. For example, why are swordsmen free guilds restricted to the old empire kit? I believe that if the theme is "militia" many of the old dwarf units would fit there:

-- dwarf warriors with two weapons / miners -- > halberds.

-- dwarf warriors with shields --> militia with shields.

-- thunderers / quarrelers --> crossbowmen and gunners.

Make that official (I know many people just do that) and you'll have happy players. Or, in other words, re-think how you treat "legends".

Collecting miniatures is expensive and time consuming; while I understand they would love for us to constantly replace old ones with their newer releases, this is not a card collectible game that can work in "seasons". 

What happened to the company that was happy simply re-sculpting old minitature ranges? How many space marine versions are out there? And people still bought them without the need to go full primaris on them.

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GW release cycles run on several factors

1) Designer led - ergo they are not always looking to fill in key slots to armies but to design what they like

2) Money led - marines sell and get a lions share of releases.

3) Manager bias

4) Dice rolls

Basically never look for a pattern because you won't really find one. Sometimes armies get update after update after update even if others are more in need; sometimes armies get left out for years and years; sometimes GW releases a lot all in one go and sometimes its drip fed. They do it all and there's not really any concrete pattern save the rate of releases.

One thing that has changed is in the past GW used to tie big releases to the codex/battletome and they came out much slower as a result. So whilst you got a lot in one big go, you might wait year upon year and it was possible for some armies to go several editions with nothing. Today GW is faster all round, but they are also more willing to do smaller side releases as well as big chunky releases. But as to what faction gets it, that's almost totally random from our point of view.

 

Don't forget though that prior to last year Slaanesh had gone a LONG time without any new models and had one of the smaller Chaos God ranges even to the point of people thinking GW was going to write them out of the game (both games) entirely. Part of why this wasn't an issue before was because Chaos God armies didn't exist until AOS, in the past they were all one single demonic army. This meant Slaanesh didn't need ranged weapons, you got them from other Chaos gods as needed. You could run pure, but you were basically running a fluffy niche list. 

When GW spread the gods out in AoS it meant that some wound up very small in diversity. Slaanesh getting two releases is clearly bulking them up like the other three core Chaos Gods. 

 

I'm somewhat surprised Lumineth are getting a new slew of models so soon, esp when Ossiarchs and others didn't. However as I said sometimes its a bit random and Lumineth were "high elves reborn" and thus GW was likely banking on a higher popularity. Still Daughters of Khain, Flesh Eaters, Fyreslayers are all smaller factions that can easily take big updates and players of those factions want those updates. When or even if they will come is unknown - FE and DoK have had some drip fed releases (FE got the count and DoK have had an underworld and Warcry warband and one new leader). Heck look at Skaven and Seraphon - big diverse armies in need of a big overhaul of a lot of their models (esp skaven) and both are very popular and sell well and yet they've not had anything much more than a token update here and there (heck have Seraphon had anything in AoS? I think their Underworld Warband might be their first update and Skaven have only had one new leader model - although in fairness they did get some nice stuff from End Times)

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As someone who collects every army, I would like GW to get on a better diet, take some fiber, and have some regular releases.

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Always excited for new releases, its good to remember that people making the decisions is only a small team, just like the rules teams its under funded, or by the looks of it completely bodged together, bringing out battle tomes then bringing out models not in the battle tomes or bringing out models lets go kurnothi with no follow up, shaven release still buying ancient acolytes and night runners or marauders. Also kits like the start collecting slaves not coming with a command sprue something that a 5year old would of picked on.

So even though i am a GW suck up its clear in all aspects they lack the most basic of management and communication skills, not only within departments bu as whole, you could take any mid level manager or army cpl  and stick them in charge of a department and with no understanding of the game they could organise releases, customer communication, inter department communications. 

from an outsider looking in, its just many individuals that can produce high levels of work not working to gather but working independantly and the hashed together.

Edited by TimM85
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It’s important to bear in mind that we don’t fully know the extent of how much COVID-19 has affected their release schedule, nor how far along each release was or is, despite how much we can speculate.

They could have quite easily decided to shift things around to make room for the smaller games. The more entry level products like Underworlds, Warcry: Catacombs, Warhammer Quest and a new Kill Team box being brought forward makes more sense than full faction releases, when a lot of people are either in some form of lockdown or only have access to immediate family and partners. 

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I'd wager that the plan last year was Lumineth and Gargants in the first half of the year; Necrons and Marines in the middle then Vampires in the last part of the year up toward Christmas. The new Lumineth being shown off now are a curiosity since they aren't in the book yet its very close to when the book sold; perhaps they sold really well and GW is pleased  or perhaps the bovine designs didn't catch enough peoples imagination and GW is reacting by pushing out more diversity into the army quickly to get its popularity up.

Could be anything; might just be that "its done when its done" and those got done sooner so GW is letting them out. Lumineht certainly had perhaps the worst of it last year for launches because covid hit right at their launch time and stalled it dramatically - worse than for gargants that came all at once (well one model and book). 

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1 hour ago, TimM85 said:

So even though i am a GW suck up its clear in all aspects they lack the most basic of management and communication skills, not only within departments bu as whole, you could take any mid level manager or army cpl  and stick them in charge of a department and with no understanding of the game they could organise releases, customer communication, inter department communications. 

from an outsider looking in, its just many individuals that can produce high levels of work not working to gather but working independantly and the hashed together.

I imagine that making those sort of decisions requires an understanding of the hobby, which I expect a lot of the management doesn't have. Or maybe they do? Some of the folks around here worked there, care to enlighten us?

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