Sunday, May 15, 2011

Old Soldiers Don't Die They Fade Away: Specialist Games

Well I played in the “Def Race 2011” Tournament yesterday. I did not place. Congrats to Bill Kim AKA Centaurian99 on DAKA DAKA, though who took first and gave me a sound beating in round one with his Daemon army. Old School Terminator Took second with his Tyranids. This rascally Dakafexes were at it again. Sadly I did not get to play him.

The tournament was a 2250 Spearhead tourney and I have to say this was the first time I have played spearhead. It is also probably the last. I really do not like the expansion at all. This really was a very thinly veiled attempt by GW to sell tanks. The rules for the expansion are not real clear and not very well thought out.

Although I promised the 5th foundation of Vengeance I have a bit of a rant because this whole experience got me in a nostalgic mood. Spearhead is yet another example of GW not really supporting expansions and games that are not Fantasy and 40K. Granted Spearhead is a 40K expansion, but after the issue of white dwarf it was in you have not seen any real mention of it. This could have something to do with the fact it is not great. If they were judging by number of issues sold it also I think their appraisal of popularity is thrown off by the fact the rules for the Night Spinner are in the same issue.

So to my rant. GW has never really supported their “Specialist Games” well. They come out with the game make models for it and then relegate it to obscurity. They really seem to have the attention span of a 5 year old when it comes to these games. Back in the day, and by the day I mean the mid to late 90's, there were lost of GW games that now fall into the “Specialist” category. Games like Necromunda, Mordheim, Battlefleet Gothic, Man'O'War ( for you really old gits) and my favorite Blood Bowl.

Blood Bowl was my gateway drug into the hobby. I had an undefeated, albeit very mauled , Skaven team for 4 seasons. We had a big league at the FLGS. As I played that I stemmed into 40K. I played the crap out of Battlefleet Gothic as well. After a while though these games just kind of went the way of the dodo as others were released. GW sited many times that the game was not popular enough to continue full support. I saw it as short attention span though. They did not support it enough so people did not play. If you had rules but no models it is kind of hard for people to justify starting to play. It gets boring playing one or two fleets in a game when you have the rules for 6 or 7.

Lots of people still play these games and its a shame they were not given a fair shake. It is hard to support a lot of product lines from a business standpoint, but trust me GW is not hurting. They could stand to give a little on other areas due to massive earnings in the main gravy train that is 40K and fantasy.

SO rant over. Next time the 5th Foundation of Vengeance: Truth

Until next time.............



  1. i know how you feel i've even started buying two forces just so i can give my opponent something to play with.
    specialist games are usually smaller sized forces (mordheim, necrmunda, blood bowl) so arent cost effective for GW to continue to run as a "core" game.
    i am saddened that most of the battle of the five armies is totally cut down to just the box set, i'm lucky i managed to get my Smaug when it came out.

  2. I miss Blood Bowl.... You and your rascally Skaven always got thumped by my Undead!