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EccentricCircle

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Everything posted by EccentricCircle

  1. I absolutely agree. I've been listening to a lot of the Black Library audio books on audible recently, from both the old world and the new, and there is such a stark divide in the quality of the storytelling. Not so much in how the prose is written, but the atmosphere and the attitude of the books. The older novels are more rough around the edges, but they feel more believable, and I think are much closer to being actual fiction for its own sake. They are writing books which happen to be set in the shared universe of warhammer. Not writing warhammer books to be warhammer books because that's the brief. I think there is a key difference in the demographic of people who write games now, from how it was when warhammer was getting started. In essence gaming is now big enough that you can have professional game designers who do it as a day job (not everyone mind, but certainly everyone at GW). And gaming is now old enough that you have people writing warhammer products who grew up reading warhammer books. The probably read other fantasy as well, but there is a fair chance that warhammer itself was one of the big cultural influences on their work. After all, they are now working for Games Workshop. This means that you have a kind of ouroboros effect, where things become more and more self referential, and the in depth knowledge of the original inspirations are lost. If you go back twenty years, being a gamer was much less common, if you go back 30 it was basically impossible to have grown up playing these games, because they didn't exist. The original crew of Games Workshop brought with them a varied suite of interests. They were fans of historical wargames naturally, but that also meant they were fans of real world history, because the folk who are into those games tend to be very knowledgeable about it. They clearly had an eclectic taste in movies and fantasy novels, you can tell just how widely read they must have been by the amount of weird stuff they were referencing and parodying. Lastly it wasn't yet a big business, so they weren't taking it as seriously as they do now. You also get the definite sense that there was a counter cultural element to it, which isn't the case any more. So what we got was an anarchic, "punk rock" fantasy setting of over the top parody of history, and because it wasn't filtered through a corporate entity, it was free to reflect that anarchic politics and ideology. It was satire. Read any of the old Gotrek and Felix or Genevive novels and its all about class war, its about corrupt nobles, and totalitarian regimes (especially 40K, but still WFB to a great extent). They were commenting on their own politics through the medium of fantasy. They were writing about the 80s through the lens of the far future, and parodying the Holy Roman Empire of all things because they happened to be quite knowledgeable about it, and those were the cultural touchstones they had. The touchstones for the younger generation of games writers, are games. And that means that they probably don't have as deep an understanding of the stuff that inspired those games, or if they do then its out of having deliberately researched it, not because of having lived it. I bet relatively few of the people writing Black Library novels today have an in depth knowledge of the Holy Roman Empire, because really who does? So they aren't going to create a nation in the new setting with as well thought out and historical of a foundation. I'm sure that there are good world builders among the GW staff, but I'm not convinced that they are writing in a space which will allow them the freedom to go all out on creating an in depth and believable setting. They probably aren't writing what they love. Many of them are probably doing work for hire, writing to a brief, or writing a pitch which they think will sell. This means that the attitude and atmosphere that made warhammer what it was is diluted. The grimdark is there because that's the brand, and that's what they have to write, not necessarily because they want to make a salient point about society. Its just the difference between someone within a corporate framework, and a hobbiest who's turned their hobby into a job. In many ways the former potentially has advantages. They have more resources, more stability, more people looking into what will sell well, and what won't. However, they don't have creative freedom unless the company decides to give it to them. We often hear that GW has a models first approach. For better or worse they decided that the sculptors were the ones who needed that creative freedom the most, and it filters down from there.
  2. The other game to compare things to is Lord of the Rings. Like HH really shows that the whole "GW only write rules for characters with models" isn't true at all when its not one of their flagship games. For the current edition there is a core rules manual, and then a big book of army stats for each of the Lord of the Rings era and the Hobbit era. Between them they listed every model which had ever been released for the game. That was then followed up by a series of campaign books, each focusing on a specific part of the War of the Ring (E.g. Gondor, Rohan, the Scouring of the Shire). All of the old plastic sprues are kept in production, as are enough of the resin and metal to form a core set for the most popular armies (Rohan, Gondor, Mordor, etc.) They then rotate the less popular armies (Dunland, Harad, the Shire etc) into and out of production so that they always support the areas they have covered in campaign books. Old metal heroes are gradually getting new plastic releases, and new heroes in forgeworld resin are coming out fairly regularly. There have been new plastic scenery kits pretty regularly, but we've not got new plastic troops fora while. That said, the bases are largely covered at this point. I really don't think it would be hard at all for them to give Old World a similar level of support. I absolutely think that they will be able to have rules for all of the classic factions, definitely within a couple of campaign book releases, but likely even in the first wave. In terms of model support, there is already a lot of stuff they can draw on. Lets break down the old WFB factions into Ready to go, just need some heroes appropriate to the era: Warriors of Chaos (Mostly still out there as S2D) Beasts of Chaos (All still in production as themselves) Skaven (All still in production as themselves) Lizardmen (All still in production as Seraphon) Ogre Kingdoms (All still in production as mawtribes) Dark Elves (Almost all still in production as part of CoS) The Empire (Almost all still in Cities, but might need an update to match the aesthetic of the earlier era, if Dawnbringers are coming, expect there to be Crossover potential!) High Elves (Half the Lumineth range is usable as updated High Elves) Vampire Counts (Half the Soulblight range is usable as updated VC) Night Goblins (Half the Gloomspite range is usable as updated Night Goblins) Still have a core of models, but would benefit from more variety Wood Elves (Still a few in Cities, and half of Sylvaneth covers the tree spirits, mostly. New Glade Guard, Ariel and Orion, and Tree kin, and you'd basically be there. I could see that and a few other shiny things coming with a "battle for Athel Loren campaign book, and us being done!) Dwarfs (They still have a core of stuff in cities, but are missing enough that they would need a fairly big release to cover the gaps. You can't really use fyreslayers as slayers, we need thunderers, quarellers, regular dwarfs, and of course heroes, if dispossessed are coming, expect there to be crossover potential!) Savage Orcs (You could make the case for expanding bonesplitters and making a more solid Savage Orcs army at the same time, but they were always a subfaction anyway, so I don't think its that likely they'd get devoted support) Can't really use anything currently on sale, so would need a rerelease: Tomb Kings (None of the current undead really fit, but you could put the Sphynx, Snake and Tomb Guard kits back into production, and then you'd basically just need skeleton archers and some updated chariots. Since we've not got skelly archers in soulblight there could even be some crossoever potential there if they did a Nu-lamia update paired with an updated Tomb Kings release.) Chaos Dwarfs (but there are all those rumours right? I'd expect that if they do come, half the range will match their old loadout while the other half with be realms-y like the elves and vampires.) Brettonia (This is the first big one. Like Tomb Kings they have a lot of old kits, but I feel like fewer hold up, and would be likely to be rereleased as is. I think that a Kislev style campaign/expansion where they really update and expand them would be sure to get them brownie points with the diehard fanbase though. I could see it being one of the earlier campaigns. Until then though people can probably muddle through with old models or knights and peasants from other manufacturers. Somewhere a GW accountant would be crying, but the fanbase would be ok.) Orcs and Goblins (This is the other really big gap in the line, and in my opinion the most important one. We could get by without Bretonians or even my beloved Tomb Kings until such time as they saw fit to do an expansion centred on them. Classic orcs and goblins though as such a central threat to the old world that I think they would have to do something with them. Again I'm not sure that the old kits hold up too well, and its not long since they were phased out. Unlike the other recently updated armies Kruleboyz just don't replicate the classic army. so wouldn't be usable as proxies I don't think. We've not heard much about orcs in the previews so far, but if I had to pick a faction to be invading Kislev in the starter set, its they and not chaos whom I would choose.) So there you have it. All three Chaos factions already have pretty good support, as do High Elves and possibly The Empire, who were always the other most popular hero factions. It would take a few solid releases to get full coverage, but not out of step with the kind of support blood bowl or necromunda gets, averaged over a year or two.
  3. That may be how general language evolves, but not technical language. Insect and arachnid, beetle and spider all have very specific meanings and refer to how those animals fit into a well defined system of classification. Even if it becomes common usage to call spiders "insects" in either English or Polish, it will still be wrong.
  4. Well you were talking about a gradual shift into painting, so the change to colour as the post goes on is certainly thematic!
  5. I'd argue the trick is to not make them racist. I absolutely see where you ar coming from though. The non human options are great, and I certainly don't want to lose them. It would just be good to have more diversity within each culture. this is I think one of the best things about the AoS setting. Any race can come from any realm, and there is no end of narrtive and hobby potential in that. It just takes a bit more work than the ready defined a relatable old world. The question s just, is it relatable to everyone?
  6. I don't know how unpopular this one actually is, but here goes: They should have brought back Felix instead of Gotrek. Gotrek, while not a completely uninteresting character, isn't the focus of the old stories. He is a belligerent force of nature and exists as the catalyst of adventure. He drags Felix into whatever ridiculous scenario they are going to be mixed up in, and then gets them out of it by brute force and determination. As the Narrator of those stories, its Felix's voice that you hear, not Gotreks. The point of those books is for him to go and experience a bit of Warhammer lore, comment wryly upon it , and somehow escape with his life. He has most of the more meaningful relationships, and the more interesting character development. Gotrek gets relatively little of either which wasn't set in stone before he became a slayer. So why would Felix be a better fit for AoS? Well, simply because he is the worse fit for AoS. As a nigh indestructable demi god with issues Gotrek isn't really special in the new setting. He's just one of a whole pantheon of powered up WFB characters, who have become forces of nature in the new setting and are now wandering around dictating the narrative. Bringing him back doesn't add anything new to the Realms, and his perspective on them isn't very interesting to read about, because a) its completely predictable knowing what we do about him, and b) he is never a viewpoint character anyway. If you brought back Felix, you would get that perspective on the Realms from the Old World view point which they like to claim Gotrek brings. You can pair him up with any other crazy character, or maybe more than one, and send him off on over the top adventures. Then he can comment wryly on them, and you get to see the realms through his eyes, and explore all those weird little corners of the setting like they did with WFB. You can have a rotating cast of characters as his companion to highlight and feature different factions. Since everyone in the Realms is over the top, they will all work pretty well as a catalyst for adventure. (And despite his protestations Felix never actually needed that much convincing, his being more happened upon than happening is pretty much an affectation by the middle of the series at least.)
  7. The narrative crowd here have discussed why this might be a few times. We've largely come to the conclusion that there is just more to talk about when it comes to rules and matched play. People are constantly discussing lists, rules, advice, army building etc. All of that is quite faction specific, and so spawns a lot of different threads. Whereas there tend to be just a couple of pretty contained threads when something major happens regarding the lore or background. It just doesn't generate as much discussion. What you do see people post as narrative players are hobby blogs, or threads where they share their fiction and background. However, these don't really inspire debate. They are fun to read, but all you can often post is "This is great, keep doing it!" Everyone's narrative lore is their own at the end of the day, and so it doesn't need to be policed or interpreted in the way that rules changes do. Those sorts of threads also take a lot of work, as do those that post the story or set up of a narrative campaign in a lot of detail. Its far easier to casually interact with the threads on matched play than it is to dive in to writing up all of your narrative, even if that's what you are having most fun doing with your games. Narrative threads also tend to be tucked away in the narrative section, where they don't get nearly as much traffic. I know that despite describing myself as a 100% narrative player, I rarely have time to read that section in depth, so tend to just skim a handful of threads here in AoS discussions. I'm not sure there is really a solution, but rest assured when a narrative thread does spring up, we will all be there to discuss it in a heartbeat!
  8. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check that out!
  9. So this one might be slightly difficult to explain, but here goes... So there is often a lot of talk about how old WFB models were more "generic fantasy" and games workshop have (to a greater or lesser extent) been trying to move away from that and make their ranges more unique. For me though, this raises a few points, which I suspect might be a little controversial. First I don't think that they will ever completely phase out their generic fantasy line, and if they did I think it would actually be a massive misstep. They've gradually done this with 40K, because 40K is the biggest tabletop game in the fantasy genre, and so the majority of people who are painting sci fi minis either want 40K ones, or want ones which are hyperspecific to a rival brand like Star Wars or whatever. That isn't the case with fantasy, where actually the "standard fantasy setting" is so prevalent that it is kind of a bigger brand than AoS will ever be. If they stopped making normal dwarves, skeletons, elves, etc. I think they would just be leaving money on the table. People are always going to want those things. You need them for D&D, you need them for most other games on the market, and trying to make AoS more unique or distinct doesn't make all of the more traditional expressions of the fantasy genre less popular. I think GW know this, and that's why the unique and "weird" models for lumineth and gravelords have also come with a lot of reimagined versions of the really traditional high elves and undead stuff. They don't want a situation where someone walks into a Games Workshop store and says "Can I have some skeleton warriors please" and the cashier has to say "No sorry, we don't sell those, these are the reasons why Ossiarch Bonereapers are awesome, and you should want those instead" and the new player doesn't care because they don't actually play warhammer. They should always want to be able to sell that box of skeletons, regardless of whether they convert someone to warhammer or not, not have the sale be dependant on the conversion. Now the really controversial bit... the more unique and Age of Sigmar specific they make those models, the more like off-brand toys they look. Ironically in striving to avoid genericity, they make them look really, really generic to an audience who isn't already primed to know about and like AoS models. I find this makes the game a really hard sell for people who I game with, whereas WFB always gave newer players a foot in the door, by being on the surface a setting they were more familiar with.
  10. Narrative is far and away my favourite. I'm not a very competitive player at all, and really its all about the story that we create. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't actually enjoy playing mass battle wargames for their own sake. I really enjoy painting big armies, and creating entire tables of terrain to fight over, but playing the actual game often leaves me burnt out. I find it frustrating, tiring and not especially rewarding. What I think I really want is a sprawling strategic scale RPG, where warhammer battles are used to resolve big scale conflicts, and every battle advances the plot of the more personal and story driven RPG campaign. I suspect that's quite an unusual stance though!
  11. Much as I love the old world, it is pretty much a textbook example of the Orientalism inherent in designing fantasy counterpart cultures. By making the humans your baseline "standard" faction, an making other non human factions orbit them, and draw on different cultural influences you sort of inevitably get the problem where your humans are all say, medieval germans, and everyone else in the world are orcs, skeletons, etc. Its great that the other human factions of the old world are finally getting some love, and it would be great to see that there are sub saharan-african inspired human nations in the south lands along with the lizardmen and orcs.
  12. Here's a lore based one to lighten the tone. Radukar is actually a pretty good ruler, probably better than a lot of the dukes of sigmarite cities. Why? Well, I recently read the cursed city novel, and when a serial killer was loose in his city the guy personally took his secret police and investigated. He visited every crime scene at great personal risk and didn't rest until the killer had been brought to justice! Now... the protagonists certainly had an uncharitable interpretation of his actions, and thought he was just a blood sucking fiend trying to prevent anyone from eroding his power base, but really, how many leaders of human cities would take such a personal interest in police work and the public good?
  13. Some one brought up the elves vs dwarves rivalry. I'm not convinced that there is a real disagreement in the fan base. I think most of what you see online is people role-playing the in game rivalry, and joking rather than serious animosity. I certainly like both!
  14. Many of the older sculpts which people are desperate to see replaced are fine. I really like the old saurus and kroxigor, and think that most of the old Lizardmen resin models hold up pretty well. Beyond the initial phase when miscasts were a problem, there was nothing wrong with finecast except the pricepoint and the fact that they dishonestly marketed a cheaper material as a premium one. Resin is great for some things, terrible for others. And while I hate trying to put things together with superglue more than most since I am allergic to it... Metal is great, and makes for far more solid and characterful models than they usual do in plastic. I'd rather have five hero options in metal than one in plastic which gets to be overly detailed and has to be all things to all people. Bring back the days of looking through the blister packs in the shop to find the different variants!
  15. The original Underworlds models were study models which had been made for various factions, and which the rules guys had kicking around. They wanted to do something with them, so designed a new game to go with them. So basically they were the stage beyond concept art, where different ideas were being played around with, and experimented with. Basically those models have always been made, and were always going to be, but they hadn't historically had a good way to releasing them, especially with fewer small scale hero and champion models than during the metal days. I would imagine that now that underworlds is popular, they are designing figures specifically for it, rather than just using study models, but its possible that some of the sculpts still originate in the concept-ing stage, and that's why they don't always end up with equivalents on the table for the mass battle game. Its also possible that some of them are a proof of concept for reworking different factions, but the results of that process could be two or three years away.
  16. Hmm, so presuming that the next core set will also be followed by two warbands, then it means that overall there will be as many as usual, but more of them will be locked up in expensive core sets. No idea how that affects underworlds itself, but that's not so great for those of us who just like to buy the odd individual warband for painting or for AoS.
  17. I definitely agree that the detail on the newer models has gone too far. I think I've said this recently in another thread, but I've gotten really burnt out on warhammer the last few months. I invested in some really exciting, detailed models, mostly for Warcry bands and Daughters of Khaine. In principle I love them, they look fantastic in the art, and on the boxes. I'm sure that for a professional painter, or someone trying to do impressive stuff for Golden Demon then they are great. However, I've found them nearly impossible to get finished. I'm not the best painter in the world (partially sighted and with dyspraxia, so that certainly doesn't help). It takes a lot of practice to get things looking the way I want them, and the more fiddly the models are the harder it is. I got stuck in a complete rut trying to paint my models and was genuinely worried that I was losing interest in the hobby as a whole. Then I needed to paint up some Reaper minis for Stargrave, and just rocketed through them. It was such a breath of fresh air, and I really remembered what it was I enjoyed about all of this in the first place. So I sat down to compare the models, and its not even that the Reaper ones are less "detailed" per se, rather its a range of factors. They are generally one or two piece figures. That means the poses are sometimes less dynamic (though not always, I am dubious that GW need to cut their models into quite so many strange pieces to achieve their heroic poses...) The models do have a lot of detail, however, its less fiddly (partly due to being in metal) Its less "cluttered" for lack of a better word, and there is an elegance and a simplicity to them which modern warhammer is sorely lacking. In life as a whole, I'm not overly drawn to minimalism, but when it comes to miniatures there is a lot to be said for it. These figures are at such small scale that something which would look great in real life or in a painting just isn't appropriate. A good mini should almost be a caricature of the subject, capturing the "feel" of the subject in as simple a set of expressive elements as possible. Why try to pick out every stitch or pattern when something more expressive would get the job done, be easier for the painter to paint, and look better at a distance? Less is more, and its time Games Workshop remembered that. I realise I feel quite strongly about this, because in a sense its an accessibility issue. When you pick up a box of models you implicitly want them to look as good as they do on the box. But if that isn't actually possible for a non-expert painter to achieve then that's a major problem. How many people new to the hobby will be put off when their models prove to be beyond their skill, and the only help which online tutorials can provide is inane memes about thinning your paint? I'm going to be painting older models and ones from other companies who are less cluttered for the time being. I hope that I'll one day be able to come back and finish my DoK army, but for the time being I'm not in a rush to try.
  18. I'd not even thought about the book. Sadly I never did get my own copy of Tamurkhan to go with my models! Edit: Goes to check Ebay to see what the prices are like these days... Nope. Sadly I never did get my own copy of Tarmurkhan....
  19. Speaking as someone with a forgeworld Chaos Dwarf army, the price point is not comparable to other WFB armies from the time. The Battleline troops were hugely expensive compared to regular troops (though AoS models have since caught up. I have one unit of each, and never even considered getting any more, because it was far easier to fill out the army with cheaper alternatives from other companies. Every other model is close to being a big centrepiece, which again was less common back then. They are great, and I love them, but they were in no way an easy army to collect, so its no surprise that more affordable alternatives are common. As to AoS vs WFB. I've often summed it up thus: The Old World is a bad idea executed to perfection. It is a carbon copy of earth crammed with a mishmash of fantasy cliches. It shouldn't work, except that some talented game writers spent thirty years adding so much hidden depth that it became a classic. You only have to scratch the surface to see how it cleverly deconstructs and plays with its most cliched tropes. It will always be beloved. Age of Sigmar is a brilliant idea, executed quite badly. It has massive potential, and they have really done well at fleshing out as much of it as they have as quickly as they have. The scale and scope of the setting, and the diversity and variety which it allows really makes it stand out. However, its still in its early days, and is still haunted by the legacy of the undefined vagueness, which put people off at the start. The silly names and unclear history make it a very hard sell for a lot of people who would love it if they gave it a chance.
  20. True, but the point Neil is making isn't so much that they were more popular than they seemed five years ago. Rather its that their popularity has actually improved in the years since they have been gone. I think this is likely true, and that there are a few reasons. Clearly total war has made a lot of those old world factions very popular with an audience who wasn't really aware of them during 8th edition. Nostalgia is also a thing, and I think Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. There will be people who always thought "I'll play tomb kings, some day" or "as soon as they replace the derpy skeleton warriors and make everything the same quality as the snakes I'm in!" Those people never got that chance, so if it comes back will likely jump on it. Even as a solid collector of Tomb Kings before hand, I feel my appreciation for them increased when it was clear they were going away. They were always in my top three factions, but that last scramble to finish my collection really pushed them to the number one spot, and they kind of remain there to this day. Some of that is wanting to be a bit maverick and have a dead faction as my favourite, as I joked in my first post. But also, their squatting makes them this rare and valuable thing, which wasn't true when they were on the shelf.
  21. Yeah, I think that is most likely. That said they actually still sell a surprisingly large amount of metal models, mostly for Lord of the Rings (and Skaven). I could see them going the LotR route actually, for that game the gradually rotat e the models which are on sale, keeping the core stuff in production and then rereleasing niche factions like dunland and the ruffians to go with the relevant campaign books.
  22. I need to get the book out and check the map, but the tomb king icon likely marks the tomb from the 2e Whfrp adventure "Lure of the Liche Lord" which is about a Nehekharan mummy hiding in the border princes. I'll be delighted if Tomb Kings are involved im the old world campaign. If we end up getting both them and Chaos Dwarfs in the space of a few years then those of us who obsessively clamour for the niche discontinued factions will be overjoyed! ( and then promptly have to start obsessing over the return of gitmob grots or something!)
  23. All the listed metal models ultimately got converted to finecast with the exception of tomb swarms. Those are the versions I have, and when they did a made for order of Settra and Khalida it was resin. I'd love them to make new models in any medium though.
  24. While there are a lot more stormcast than there need to be at this point, I think they fall short of having the space marine problem. The issue in 40K is that the ideas of having an army of Vikings, vampires, crusaders etc in SPAAACE! are generally good ones, but by making them all different flavours of Space Marine they make it so that there really isn't much if you don't like that power armoured aesthetic. While GW have made a lot of stormcast they basically all have the theme of crusading knights, and when they do release vikings, vampires etc, they have a much more varied look to them. This keeps the game as a whole a lot more varied, but it does mean that there is less space for Stormcast to develop into, because they can't just make stormcast versions of other faction's archetypes without it seeming weird. In 40K so many of the factions are space marines already that making a new faction more power armoured super-soldiers doesn't seem out of place, and they can make more unique variant units.
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