For the past few years, Games Workshop has been at war with the world of tabletop hobbyists. Was it a war they intended to cause? Probably not. Was it a war they won? Debatable. All we know now is that a ceasefire has been called, the men at the top replaced and a new path for the company forged. As the dust settled, did we see a better future for their games, or a ruinous landscape of dying games and begrudged fans? Truly, you could argue either. But for this gamer, it was time to step out from the cover of their competitor games and once again brave the storm of Games Workshop, her games, and her devoted community.
I made my start in the wondrous world of Warhammer when I was 9 years old. At 23 now, I’ve been in the hobby for nearly 15 years. For some, that’s a long time. For others, I’m still young and inexperienced. But it was back in 2002 that I put my first Beak Marine together, forgot to clip the trigger from the back of the Bolter and glued the backpack on upside down. Not that it mattered. I layered on so much black spray you couldn’t even see where his eyes were. We all start somewhere, right?
What about now? Well, truth told, I fell off the Games Workshop bandwagon around the time White Dwarf went from a magazine of hobby tips and battle reports and became a catalogue. I wasn’t the only one. A market share that hasn’t risen more than 1% in two years is a worrying statistic, especially considering how much the hobby world has grown these past years. But it was Games Workshops fall from grace that led to the meteoric rise of Warmachine/Hordes, and with the recent strives by Disney into the world of Star Wars, X-Wing. Where once a hobby store might have its tables filled by Warhammer and Warhammer 40k players, now they share a wide array of tables with not only X-Wing and Warmahordes players, but a plethora of “indie” titles like Guildball, Frostgrave and Malifaux. And frankly, it’s a wonderful thing. But where do I fit in to this?
Well, it’s time to return to 40k. It’s time to pick my Pulse Rifle back u-.. yes, I did say Pulse Rifle. What do you mean? No, I don’t want to play Space Marines. Wait, they aren’t even called Space Marines anymore? What’s the Adeptu-kjsnhfbsfgfga…
40k is back on the rise. Why? New CEO, droves of players moving from Warhammer Fantasy (Which is suffering from a case of shovel-to- back-of- head) and Games Workshop, for the first time in a long time, moving towards a more reasonable business model. It first caught my eye when the Tau Start Collecting set was released. For £45 at my FLGS, I got a Fire Warrior Te-, sorry, Strike Team, a team of Crisis Suits, AND an Ethereal. Wait, a HQ in a starter set? For real?
And so my journey has begun into the world of Warhammer 40,000 again, only this time, I’m old enough to truly appreciate it and its community, and I plan on taking you on my journey from a fire-team of Tau into a true Hunter Cadre to make the Fire Caste proud. Along the way, we’ll dabble in the rift left in the wake of Age of Sigmar and the competitor games and their impact on Games Workshop.