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Catalog of the State of the Game and its Future

Horus Heresy

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#1
WrathOfTheLion

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Hello all,

 

After it has been revealed from N&R that Anuj will be leaving to do new things, I decided it would be valuable to catalog and assess the state of the game and our current observations, and what they might mean going forward.

 

This is the original thread for reference: http://www.bolterand...om-forge-world/

Personally, I do not think that this is the end of the game or anything, but it does bring up what we see going on around and any speculation on what it means.

 

So at the end of 2020, the current observations I have are:

  • Personnel changes
  • Branding has been altered on their social media
  • Branding is altered on recent black book publications, notably the removal of the Games Workshop logo from the spine. This has happened on both softback (Book V) and hardback (Book IX)
  • Extremely reduced release schedule for 2020, even considering current circumstances (66-75% reduction as compared to 2019)
  • Recent kits have been extremely successful (DA kits, Sabre tank, etc.)
  • Larger marketing campaign for Book IX, used to screen for light schedule
  • Unusually high release schedule for other Specialist Games
  • Book IX was unusually light in page count, reduced content from original plan
  • Some of the newest announced miniatures backtrack a bit (Saul Tarvitz, Word Bearers Praetors)
  • Another historic game announced - The Old World

So that is what I have observed so far. There are a lot of odd things occurring, so I think it was worth cataloging them and what we think they might mean. But I remember hearing that we would be seeing some changes coming from the reorganization, and they are starting to show up I think. I do not think these are a negative, but will leave the floor open to start with.


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#2
Irbis

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Recent kits have been extremely successful (DA kits, Sabre tank, etc.) [citation needed]

Care to provide some support for this assertion? Because even HH channels I looked at called half of recent releases garbage, both rules- and look-wise, especially Sabre and Night Lord releases. Though I admit as these are populated by extremely salty whiners my impression could have been well off but still, I don't see many people buying and painting these, even WD shows more HH armies made to play 40K than 'proper' HH ones...



#3
Marshal Loss

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Halandaar posted this in the N&R forum, which I completely agree with:

 

 

It [30k] needs tightening up, it needs a starter set, it needs a bigger plastic range, and it needs those products to be widely available and promoted as one of GWs core games. 


Without all of those things, I think the future is bleak. Hopefully 2021 heralds a brighter future for the game.


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#4
sarabando

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Halandaar posted this in the N&R forum, which I completely agree with:

 

 

It [30k] needs tightening up, it needs a starter set, it needs a bigger plastic range, and it needs those products to be widely available and promoted as one of GWs core games. 

Without all of those things, I think the future is bleak. Hopefully 2021 heralds a brighter future for the game.

100%

The number 1 complaint i hear from none 30k players is that there doesnt appear to be a "cheap" way to start/get into the game. Lets be honest im sure plenty of us would love to run some big max tactical squads but at £25 for 5 guys that makes 40k look cheap in comparison.


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#5
WrathOfTheLion

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Recent kits have been extremely successful (DA kits, Sabre tank, etc.) [citation needed]

Care to provide some support for this assertion? Because even HH channels I looked at called half of recent releases garbage, both rules- and look-wise, especially Sabre and Night Lord releases. Though I admit as these are populated by extremely salty whiners my impression could have been well off but still, I don't see many people buying and painting these, even WD shows more HH armies made to play 40K than 'proper' HH ones...

 

 

Observation - their entire stock sold out for weeks or even months.

Sabre has constantly sold out. Regardless of what they have said, it is a quite popular tank. From observation, if FW sells all of they make for months, the salty folks can be ignored. I gauge success mainly at whether they sell out their initial stock and how fast they sell out their second run. The sabre was successful at both, and thus was commercially successful.

There are no Night Lord releases to gauge. They have not released the Contekar, so we can have no data point on that. They may complain about design or influence, but the simple fact is the kit hasn't been released and thus cannot be measured in its success. That should answer your questions Irbis.

----------------

I 100% agree on a starter and more plastic. Blows my mind a core plastic range doesn't exist. That is something they must solve, and is the biggest inhibitor, not the rules. Trying to build a resin assault marine force for example is completely obnoxious.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 10 December 2020 - 12:02 AM.

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#6
Taliesin

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This seems very apt to post here, Pendraigs post from the Heresy forum summarizing the 40K open day end of November last year.

 

 

Future hopes and plans

After a long chat with the Forge World team it’s clear that the new re-structuring is still in early days and we aren’t likely to see much change as customers for the foreseeable future.

 

However, the team is aware of the main community concerns and hopes. The two key ones they mentioned are:

  • A cheap introduction for new players into the 30k games set
  • More plastic kits

 

Neither of these are confirmed as in production or development but the fact that the team are having conversations about these is positive. The team also discussed that by expanding the number of writers, it would be hoped that they could release more than one Heresy-related book a year. Once again, this is future developments so only Book 10 is in current development due to the current size of the team.

 

One final point that we discussed in a jokey manner was the ‘Heresy is dead’ mindset. It was mentioned that currently Heresy is still producing very healthy sales figures alongside other Specialist Games and the successes of all the games is allowing the company to invest heavily into new facilities and staff. One member of the team stated that there are so many long-plans for the Heresy that they expect that within two years, “everyone will be playing Heresy”.


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#7
sarabando

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This seems very apt to post here, Pendraigs post from the Heresy forum summarizing the 40K open day end of November last year.

 

 

Future hopes and plans

After a long chat with the Forge World team it’s clear that the new re-structuring is still in early days and we aren’t likely to see much change as customers for the foreseeable future.

 

However, the team is aware of the main community concerns and hopes. The two key ones they mentioned are:

  • A cheap introduction for new players into the 30k games set
  • More plastic kits

 

Neither of these are confirmed as in production or development but the fact that the team are having conversations about these is positive. The team also discussed that by expanding the number of writers, it would be hoped that they could release more than one Heresy-related book a year. Once again, this is future developments so only Book 10 is in current development due to the current size of the team.

 

One final point that we discussed in a jokey manner was the ‘Heresy is dead’ mindset. It was mentioned that currently Heresy is still producing very healthy sales figures alongside other Specialist Games and the successes of all the games is allowing the company to invest heavily into new facilities and staff. One member of the team stated that there are so many long-plans for the Heresy that they expect that within two years, “everyone will be playing Heresy”.

 

the last paragraph is what we have heard for a while. the problem is we the customer are not seeing any evidence of this. At a minimum, GW/FW needs to step up their communication game with the heresy community.



#8
Omega-soul

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Halandaar posted this in the N&R forum, which I completely agree with:

 

 

It [30k] needs tightening up, it needs a starter set, it needs a bigger plastic range, and it needs those products to be widely available and promoted as one of GWs core games. 

Without all of those things, I think the future is bleak. Hopefully 2021 heralds a brighter future for the game.

100%

The number 1 complaint i hear from none 30k players is that there doesnt appear to be a "cheap" way to start/get into the game. Lets be honest im sure plenty of us would love to run some big max tactical squads but at £25 for 5 guys that makes 40k look cheap in comparison.

 

 

But that is the Feature - not a bug. GW considers HH as top level system - the most complex and most expensive. 

So they aimed for a player base of 40k.

 

The problem is - that in 7th edition transfer between 40k to 30k was the smoothest. In 8th edition radical rulset change flopped player intrest. And now in 9th edition it's not just different rules - but also a different model ranges.

In 7th edition my investment in HH model range mean that I can play not just 30k, but a 40k as well. So i was sured that all expenses were not in vain.

Now there is a widening gap between Primaris and Manlets. Not sure if manlets will be scrapped in X edition, but in XI-th they will for sure.

 

And this is an exsitential problem for a game system - in a golden age of 30k it was basically an add-on\supplement for a parent system - with shared ruleset and shared model range.

Now it has to be successful as standalone wargame on their own.

Oh and now it's also without genious author that basically created all this.

 

With all this in mind FW have to think twice before they wish to proceed. Because if they proceed as if nothing happened - HH doomed. Because so many things have happened since early 2017.

In the age when enthusiasts make a 3d printable miniatures from a pre-view materials - it's something that should be also considered (talking about model-boutiqe status).

Affordable 3d printers (for a Forge-world pricetags-wise) with a decent level of detailisation is not a future - it is a current reality.

When they speak about 2 years they might not consider world progress on a 3d printable goods.

 

And I see this progress in a form of many local 3d studios with various upgrade packs, and some studios even provide real alternative and high quality miniatures.

 

To say that I'am sceptical about future of current 30k system is to overstretch the word sceptical.

 

For me - I wish FW finish black books in a current Pre-siege of terra status, releasing Khan and dozen HH characters. Maybe with Emperor and Malcadore as final point.

Aaaaaand then - Starting from where it's all begun - Epic Horus Heresy. 

It will have a separate ruleset (from a 40k)

It will have a separate model range (different scale)

It's already have a base in form of Adeptus Titanicus (and Aeronautica) model-wise.

And downscale to epic will justify use of resin for another 3-5 years.

That's how I see the conclusion of 30k


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#9
MegaVolt87

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No one will bother 3D printing HH if the game sees transitions to plastics, consistent rules, support, availability, accessibility and releases. People keep going on about 3D printing, it will be more like 10+ years at this rate to match or exceed GW plastics, for such tech to be cheap and widespread availability for the average joe to become a major problem. FW is killing itself right now by cutting it's catalogue and the re-casters move right in to resume supply of things like Mk II marines, Legion termi pads/ chests etc. Re-casters who can do a better job than FW in quality for cheaper and make the discontinued FW products are far more of a threat than 3D printing to FW's operations.
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#10
Vazzy

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No one will bother 3D printing HH if the game sees transitions to plastics, consistent rules, support, availability, accessibility and releases. People keep going on about 3D printing, it will be more like 10+ years at this rate to match or exceed GW plastics, for such tech to be cheap and widespread availability for the average joe to become a major problem. FW is killing itself right now by cutting it's catalogue and the re-casters move right in to resume supply of things like Mk II marines, Legion termi pads/ chests etc. Re-casters who can do a better job than FW in quality for cheaper and make the discontinued FW products are far more of a threat than 3D printing to FW's operations.


This is extremely accurate. There are recaster who ship faster, have consistent stock (OOP and current) are cheaper and good customer service that would make any buyer go : “Wait...FW charges how much?”

And yes, I’m aware that FW has to pay more people. But most players don’t care. They just want Mk 2 or legion upgrades that FW doesn’t sell. Heresy is thriving in a lot of places, but it’s not thanks to anything FW is doing. If something doesn’t change, the player base will be those who have enough to buy legit, and those who know a guy. And that’s bad.
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#11
sarabando

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Mega is spot on about the 3d printing too for a 250quid investment I can and have been cranking out upgrade kits all lockdown. I need 40 studded shoulder pads? Done for a cost of about 80p and 6 hours time. I can flip poses and hands so that cool sword is now held in the left hand not right, I can add targeters to helmets that don't have them etc. it's a huge game changer and it feels like FW are just sticking their heads in the sand and hoping it goes away. But that being said GW drops a plastic Mk6 squad that I can.get.for £24 at my local flags like mkIII marines then I'd probably stop printing them just to avoid the hassle of dealing with the liquid resin.

And I think that is the crux of the GW/FW issue supply and demand. We have lots of demands and they have no need to supply us.
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#12
Redcomet

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Mega is spot on about the 3d printing too for a 250quid investment I can and have been cranking out upgrade kits all lockdown. I need 40 studded shoulder pads? Done for a cost of about 80p and 6 hours time. I can flip poses and hands so that cool sword is now held in the left hand not right, I can add targeters to helmets that don't have them etc. it's a huge game changer and it feels like FW are just sticking their heads in the sand and hoping it goes away. But that being said GW drops a plastic Mk6 squad that I can.get.for £24 at my local flags like mkIII marines then I'd probably stop printing them just to avoid the hassle of dealing with the liquid resin.

And I think that is the crux of the GW/FW issue supply and demand. We have lots of demands and they have no need to supply us.

Good for you, but not everyone has the space, time, money or option of 3d printing.


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#13
Bung

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Recasting is part of scale modelling.
I do cast parts i need for my own use in a regular basis, Shoulder Pads, Tank hatches etc. As i am not willing to buy full upgrade kits like that for Phalanx Warders when i only want the Veteran Shoulder Pads.

As for Anuj leaving, Artists tend to die that. Remember Duncan which wasnt long ago. And after reading Banshees anecdote from his book about working for GW as an artist i dont Wonder if they leave the ship after a short time.

The question is, is GW willing to invest more recourcess into the Heresy or are they Happy with sales as they are.
Cause the plastic kits you buy for Heresy armies still go into Space Marine sales for 40k as there is no destinction for them.

#14
The Scorpion

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Recasting is part of scale modelling.
I do cast parts i need for my own use in a regular basis, Shoulder Pads, Tank hatches etc. As i am not willing to buy full upgrade kits like that for Phalanx Warders when i only want the Veteran Shoulder Pads.

As for Anuj leaving, Artists tend to die that. Remember Duncan which wasnt long ago. And after reading Banshees anecdote from his book about working for GW as an artist i dont Wonder if they leave the ship after a short time.

The question is, is GW willing to invest more recourcess into the Heresy or are they Happy with sales as they are.
Cause the plastic kits you buy for Heresy armies still go into Space Marine sales for 40k as there is no destinction for them.

 

What was the Banshees anecdote?



#15
Halandaar

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Cause the plastic kits you buy for Heresy armies still go into Space Marine sales for 40k as there is no destinction for them.


Over time this is becoming less and less true though, as the 40k Space Marine range leans more towards Primaris and away from "Firstborn" marines.

While there are no doubt people who are still building Tactical Squads and Devastator Squads and so on, or who would still love to add plastic MKVI to their 40k Raven Guard armies (for example), many others will have left that smaller scale behind. Then you have the new 40k Chaos Marines being infinitely better than the old ones, so the need for Heresy-era kits to fill that gap has decreased too. The opportunity for cross-system sales is definitely lower than it was when the initial Heresy plastics came out, so this may be a factor in why we haven't seen more.

That said, some seem like absolute no-brainers. All the Deimos variant vehicles from FW provide you with a plastic Mars Rhino that you then replace half of with massive chunks of resin anyway, it's got to be more effective just to have a plastic Deimos Rhino kit so FW can drop production of the hull pieces altogether. That has application across a huge range of units and across factions too; even discounting Marines.(because Primaris can't use Rhinos) Death Guard, Thousand Sons, Chaos Marines, Sisters, Talons and Inquisition could all make use of that one.

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#16
Cadmus Tyro

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@halandar, interesting point about “cross system sales”. Although I’m not sure this is a major influence on whether they develop a plastic kit, given the fact they have just announced the production of “Treebeard” for the LotR system. I mean, that’s a pretty niche product to put into plastic production!

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#17
Bung

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@The Scorpion
To rephrase it, he sculpted bare heads with more caracter for the Red Butchers.
Even after positiv Feedback from the Fans he had been told to drill out the heads and replace them with helmets.
Only so His superiors could see his reaction and how he would fit into the company.

Edited by Bung, 10 December 2020 - 02:01 PM.

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#18
Noserenda

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I think its a very bad period to judge sales by items being sold out, wargames demand in general is much higher than usual and Forgeworlds production has more than halved (I hear third hand) so while i suspect the Sabre has been quite popular, there is a real possibility that FW is only making a handful at a time and selling them. 

Thats a good point about the 3d printers too, i was still thinking we were a few years from wholesale mini printing but things like upgrades? Hell my buddy got a resin printer on special a couple of months ago and printed me some Scythes for my 40k marines just as a tester, and printing a few epic scale bits to put on titan bases is rapidly escalating to possibly making epic armies because little things are verrrry dooable already.

But GW/FW plastics? Still years off, if ever.


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#19
Gederas

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Noserenda is right

 

@halandar, interesting point about “cross system sales”. Although I’m not sure this is a major influence on whether they develop a plastic kit, given the fact they have just announced the production of “Treebeard” for the LotR system. I mean, that’s a pretty niche product to put into plastic production!

Cadmus

GW has a contract where they MUST MAKE new Middle Earth products to keep their contract for the Middle Earth game. Treebeard is probably their mandatory plastic kit for the upcoming cycle.


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#20
Robbienw

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I think its a very bad period to judge sales by items being sold out, wargames demand in general is much higher than usual and Forgeworlds production has more than halved (I hear third hand) so while i suspect the Sabre has been quite popular, there is a real possibility that FW is only making a handful at a time and selling them.


The Sabre went on pre-order on november 29th 2019. That's 3 1/2 months before any covid restrictions were placed upon FW's production capabilities. It first went out of stock within a day of going on pre-order, and went out of stock and back in a few more times before covid restrictions came in. So you cant really claim covid restrictions on production capability had any impact on its release and first months of sale.

Besides, even if FW production has been halved and they are casting smaller restock batches of stuff, you can still tell some things are selling well because they are constantly going in and out of stock noticeably more than other stuff. Stuff like the Sabre, the DA Interemptors and Companions, Sicaran tanks, the Spartan, and many of the Custodes units have been constantly going in and out of stock since FW re-opened in June.

Edited by Robbienw, 10 December 2020 - 04:19 PM.

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#21
WrathOfTheLion

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Sabre came out in 2019, don't know what you're on about. It sold out and did well before any of this as Robbienw says.

 

For DA kits, we can also look at the Praetors and Dreadnoughts that came out in 2019, which also were sold out for weeks and months.

 

So these data points can be assessed outside of any contemporary circumstances.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 10 December 2020 - 05:44 PM.

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#22
Noserenda

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I mean you did say recent releases, its ok to judge 2019 recent if you need to but thats not what most people would expect i think? :D 



#23
WrathOfTheLion

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I picked things from 2019 because the current scenario is atypical. You mention that the current circumstances make it hard to judge. I agree. This is why I picked releases from just prior as more accurate data points.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 10 December 2020 - 08:45 PM.


#24
sarabando

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Sabre came out in 2019, don't know what you're on about. It sold out and did well before any of this as Robbienw says.

 

For DA kits, we can also look at the Praetors and Dreadnoughts that came out in 2019, which also were sold out for weeks and months.

 

So these data points can be assessed outside of any contemporary circumstances.

easy to have kits sell out when you make them in small batches.



#25
The Scorpion

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Why is FW so reclutant to release a new Heresy box? It's all the fans ever ask for these days. Well, that and MK2 armor. Or is it because GeeDubs fears it will remind people that non-primaris marines exist?


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