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Ok ,let me start by explaining this topic is 40k related but may not seem that way to begin....

So with the arrival of my shiny new limited edition WHFB book due any day now i decided to take a trip down warhammer fantasy memory lane and dug out a copy of Warhammer fantasy from 1996/97, in truth its about to make its way into the loft with many other GW related items but thats another story...

Anyway i decided to remind myself of the fluff and read the army sections of the book, plenty of details and most importantly loads of photos of the minis including the old chaos dwarves and kislevites and other things we no longer see. As im looking at the pretty pictures and laughing at the garish colour scemes from back in the day i began to notice something, It was pretty apparent that (almost*) every single miniature in that book is no longer available to buy,by which i mean that the miniature may still exist in the army but the miniature on the page was long gone from the range.

Now i imagine that there are some of the minis in that book that are still current,but i cannot for the life of me identify many if any at all.
So in effect GW have managed to replace the entire WHFB range in 14 years.

So here is the tie in, how much of the 40k range is still hanging on from 1996/7 era? well a considerable number of eldar models for example that are still for sale were produced in 1994 -1997 including the vyper and falcon.
Im also fairly certain a number of space marine models including blood angels and space wolves also have minis dating from 1993 -1997. And slightly closer to our time are the dark eldar with its entire range dating from 1998,ok thats not quite 14 years but they have the privilege of being the only 40k race to have never had a mini updated (unless i missed one), and if memory serves me correctly the sisters of battle codex and current range were released in 1997 too.

Now what strikes me as strange is that 40k is considered the cash cow for GW, but i can point out certain sets of miniatures of fantasy armies that have been updated more than once since 1996 and yet a fair portion of 40k models have never had an updated.

I dont think we will ever really get to grips on the hows and whys gw do things, but i just thought i would share my ramblings in beardy Jervis type post and open up the floor to you guys.



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For a moment there I thought that you were going to tell us that 14 years is too long to be in the hobby and that you were going to quit...had me scared there :scare:.

If my memory serves me (which it probably won't) weren't the current Greater Daemons released around 2nd edition (I am not sure of the exact year but they are old none the less), and while they have had things like head swaps and the Lord of Change got a new staff, the models have remained pretty much the same?

Was the current Falcon really released that long ago? If it was then it certainly doesn't show its age.

By the looks of it the Chaos Space Marine Khorne Lord on Juggernaught is very old, same with the Chaos Dreadnought and the old style Terminators that they still sell.
 

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I believe that a lot of Sisters of Battle models are vintage '96. I know I've got a ton of them stamped (C) 1996 - and almost all of the ones with some other date stamp are otherwise identical to the '96 Sisters.

The 2e Codex: Sisters of Battle was released in August '97, but sisters were around in Rogue Trader days. The most recent codex is Witch Hunters, released in April '04.


As to why WHFB has a better rate of model update than 40k? Instinct tells me it's down to the Space Marines...

Or more accurately - all Fantasy armies are basically equal - GW favours none, at least, not to the extent that they love Marines in 40k. As such, all Fantasy armies get more-or-less equal support.

Not so in 40k - GW pour all their love into Marines and Dark Eldar can just go hang.
 

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i hadn't given this to much thought until now, but i think Bits is on to something here...

when i left the hobby [circa '99/'00] for a "sabbatical", i returned to find a lot of models that didn't need re-sculpting [at least, in my opinion] have been redone, whilst models in desperate need of a re-work; for example

1. the dark eldar, begging for it!!
2. wood elf treemen - never should have been re-done, the old ones were awesome sauce!

some of the 40k models that are 10-15 years old, are still phenomenal though [like the DA characters :grin: ], so the fact that they haven't been re-done is not necessarily a bad thing...

however, while a lot of 40k models are still "leftovers" from the '90s, there have been two new armies created and released [necrons and tau - more if you include new sm chapter codexes]. on the other hand, fantasy has lost armies [dogs of war, chaos dwarves]...

this would, i suppose, give them more time to rework fantasy armies repeatedly

not sure how much this adds to the debate, but i thought i'd still throw in my two cents :grin:
 

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As to why WHFB has a better rate of model update than 40k? Instinct tells me it's down to the Space Marines...

Or more accurately - all Fantasy armies are basically equal - GW favours none, at least, not to the extent that they love Marines in 40k. As such, all Fantasy armies get more-or-less equal support.

Not so in 40k - GW pour all their love into Marines and Dark Eldar can just go hang.
i think perhaps the reason GW pours so much love into the marines, unless i'm way off base, is that space marines are their only truly original creation...

all the fantasy armies trace their roots back to the folk tales, myths of old, and especially to tolkien's works - elves, orcs, dwarves, and so on.

in 40k, the eldar / dark eldar are just "space elves"; orks is orks :grin: ; tyranids are hr giger alien rip-offs; necrons are terminators; tau are gundam mechs etc.

the space marines are their own [their precious?], and as such, they probably love them like a child - spoiling them with all the re-sculpt attention!
 

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the space marines are their own [their precious?], and as such, they probably love them like a child - spoiling them with all the re-sculpt attention!
If we go by that range, they wouldn't have bothered with updating any of the WFB armies to the current editions. Because those are certainly generic-fantasy inspired ;)

It has everything to do with the fact that Space Marines is what the kids want.
Just look at everything in general gaming lately, the Halo franchise has a space marine equivilant. Gears of War as well.

Space Marines sell. Emo space elves that cut themselves do not. (keep in mind I am generalizing on the Dark Eldar part.)

And you could say everything GW has right now is their own work. They have their own backstory for anything, and the only thing that could have possibly been someone else's (malal) doesn't really exist in the fluff.

Sure, they are inspired by something else but what in the world isn't these days? :)


Also, off-topic much? :unsure:
 

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Well, John Steakley and Robert Heinlein (to name but two) might take issue with the idea that Space Marines are original to Games Workshop, but I agree that some 40k models do not need updating, while others do.

I deliberately did not take issue with Sisters models not being updated - they are glorious. Dark Eldar models are ugly as sin (and not in the way that they should be).

S'far as Space Marines go - I don't really dislike them, but I am very much of the opinion that their popularity has more to do with the support and focus GW gives them than with their own (very real) qualities. It's one of those self-fulfilling prophesy things...

Anyhoo - back on-topic: Is it possible that, 40k being the cash cow, GW are of a mind not to fix what doesn't seem to be broken?

It's also possible that GW feel the need to update the fantasy minis more often because there is more competition in the fantasy mini market, and because almost all mini companies make dorfs and elves and whatnot, and if GW want to keep selling theirs, they have to keep up with the competition.
 

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The last thing the Dark Eldar go was platic Wychs and most items reboxed.

Fantasy is what started GW, more or less, and seems, imho, to be the foundations of GW's structure, it may not be as 'popular' with the 12yos, but it started everything, it makes sense for GW to shine more attention in their direction. HOWEVER, this is by far, not an excuse for the ridiculous breaches of the plastic miniatures existance rights :biggrin:

whether it be 14 years or not 40k is in a dangerous place compared to Fantasy. Majority (not sure on figures) of army books for fantasy have been updated to 7th Ed. so are at a reasonable level to move into 8th Ed. 40k on the other hand have their codex updates smeared from 2nd to 5th Ed. DE, Necs, DH and WH are the worst, all stuck in 3rd or 2nd, whilst all other armies flit around in 4th or 5th Codices, given that even some of the 4th Codices are having troubles in 5th with unbalanced rules, adn old upgrade system and void wargear, you have to think what of the 2nd and 3rd Codices, they have the C:4th Eds. problems, PLUS more.

It is understanable the GW is a public company and money leads first, but that can't be an excuse forever, for the blatant ignorance given to such colourful 40k races, which given the adequet support can still give GW revenue.

From this:


To this:


Is it a sign of things to come? Only GW really knows....

Grish
 

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The ork warbuggies and wartrakks models are still around from GorkaMorka. They are so small that it isn't even funny compared to the new ork model range.

In game play it actually can work for ork players and opponents want to complain about the size but they are the only current model available so they are still legal.
 

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40k on the other hand have their codex updates smeared from 2nd to 5th Ed. DE, Necs, DH and WH are the worst, all stuck in 3rd or 2nd, whilst all other armies flit around in 4th or 5th Codices, given that even some of the 4th Codices are having troubles in 5th with unbalanced rules, adn old upgrade system and void wargear, you have to think what of the 2nd and 3rd Codices, they have the C:4th Eds. problems, PLUS more.
Just nitpicking but Dark Eldar, Necrons, Grey Knights and Sisters are all 3rd ed dexes.
All minis with exception to Sisters are 3rd ed. Sisters are still 2nd ed metals. (First produced 1996, didn't go on sale till 1997 with the dex)
I know it feels like it's been since 2nd ed but it isn't.

The big '2nd ed' sticker on the DE dex is to inform us that it is the full 3rd ed dex and not their half baked one from the start of 3rd.
 

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WarlordKG - those are metal wyches still not plastic, but on topic more so B&K I agree totally, it's sad to see that the whole fantasy even though I'm sure they only just (if they do at all) reach the same profit margin as SM's get all updated models but half the 40k range either 1) has no model for units or has not got an updated range yet for over 10 years. If you look the main units in Fantasy that I've seen that don't have own models are those ones they want you to convert or are not so special special characters.
 

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IIRC the Skaven Vermin Lord has to be over 14 years old. But yeah I think thats pretty much it.
 

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The WOC Chariot is from around 96/97. I found a Pic of it in my old WHFB book and it's the same mini as the one I bought a few months ago.
 

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Its mind blowing to me the fact that there are so many codex's that are so old... you would think that it would make sense to go with the oldest codex and update it and reintroduce that Army to the 40K community with new vibrant plastic updated models, give it six months to a year then go to the next one and do the same thing...(like they did with Skaven and Beastmen)... get the really old codex's a refresh and maybe a PDF update to the not so old codex's... and you have hype and interest for the year with just updating two codex's and Armies... I realize this is harder then it sounds but when you have a codex that contridict's the current rulebook it is embarrassing...
 

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Wartrak, Warbuggy and Skorcha desperately need an update... Hopefully my local Store Manager is being honest (He's pretty good on new release rumours... for a store manager) and there's a new one coming out within (probably) this year. Looks more like the current Trukk.

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Its mind blowing to me the fact that there are so many codex's that are so old... you would think that it would make sense to go with the oldest codex and update it
'Make sense' is a broad phrase.

Firstly, GW consider themselves a miniatures company, not a ruleset company. (This doesn't excuse ancient, bad-looking models like most of the DE range)

Beyond that, Space Marines sell. GW can be cast-iron sure that if they print a SM codex, they will sell boat-loads. So they do, it's sound financial sense.

Updating the codex of a less popular army is far, far riskier. It might make that army more popular (Orks, f'rex), but then again, it might not - so they don't do it very often. It costs just as much money to update any army.
 

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Azezel - I agree with what your saying but lets face it they would more then make there money back because you have those out there that have the 'Hey there are new models and an updated army lets buy it mentality' (no offense to anyone) ... Then there are a lot of people (myself included) that are just bored with the SM (pick any chapter)... Some times bread and Butter are just not enough and that is when you want to get into the OTHER Armies, lets take your sisters of Battle... Excellent looking minis but some more variety or look with an updated plastic kit would rock, so many people really like the DE feel but don't want to hassle with old rules and the older models... and you can not tell me that GW couldn't just have a little area that is a few guys that look at rules of the older codex's and come up with ways to change point costs or rules that could be put out in a errant/PDF...well that is my 2 cents
 

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There is a lot of money to be made from the fantasy ranges though, Armies tend to be bigger and 14 years ago the core units were ugly plastic sets and the best models were mainly metal.
Given that GW have moved away from metal and into plastic it stands to reason that more of the fantasy ranges are replaced while less popular 40k armies that haven't had a new codex or major update still have dated models.
The only real travesty here is the metal marine characters from the wolves and bloodangels that are still in circulation and costing twice as much as they did on release date like ragnar,tyco and mephiston especially as these models look so bad when compared to the newer charactrs in their books.
 

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Azezel - I agree with what your saying but lets face it they would more then make there money back because you have those out there that have the 'Hey there are new models and an updated army lets buy it mentality' (no offense to anyone) ... Then there are a lot of people (myself included) that are just bored with the SM (pick any chapter)... Some times bread and Butter are just not enough and that is when you want to get into the OTHER Armies, lets take your sisters of Battle... Excellent looking minis but some more variety or look with an updated plastic kit would rock, so many people really like the DE feel but don't want to hassle with old rules and the older models... and you can not tell me that GW couldn't just have a little area that is a few guys that look at rules of the older codex's and come up with ways to change point costs or rules that could be put out in a errant/PDF...well that is my 2 cents
I agree with what you're saying - but it is still a gamble for GW. We might believe that they would make their money back - but would they make as much money back as they would be cranking out another Marine 'dex?

It's not just a matter of tinkering with points-costs and out-dated rules - people wouldn't stand for it. People are still bitching about the White Dwarf Blood Angels army list to this day.

And even if GW did decide to go down that path, it's not the rules and points tinkering that costs, it's the six moths of playtesting.

It's frustrating as all hell, but god help me, I'd do the same if I were in charge of GW. That's what having shareholders means...
 

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Theres a tonne of 40k models that are still current from 2nd ed, eldar bikes, warlocks, and avatar, Ragnar, Ulrik, Abbaddon the previously mentioned orks, power armoured calgar, SoBs to name a few. Grey knights however are about 10 years old so no where near that age yet.

For fantasy its harder to find the old ones as they tend to renewed more equally, Alot of the grandmasters of the empire are old, the Vermin lords ancient, the GDs haven't changed much, dark riders and Ellyrion Reavers are old, the trolls and boar riders were up but just got an update, Isabella Von Carstein, Volkmar the theologist is ancient and Eltharion on stormwing is old oh and Ikit Claw. But I'm running out of ideas now though

I like old alot of old models but that may be me showing my age, and theres alot of new models i hate
 
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