5/14/2014

The Cycle Tightens & We Lose

With rumors and news of the next edition of Warhammer 40,000, I find myself incredibly unamused. At first the prospect of a v6.1 was fine by me - sure, Sixth has its flaws and it's certainly not my favorite edition - but it sounded nice having some rules clarified and others tweaked. No big deal, or so I thought until this week.

The changes in this upcoming edition are far beyond "minor adjustments" as people first reported. It's clearly an entirely new edition of the game, with so many things altered and added that it couldn't possibly be named v6.1 and be considered accurate. Perhaps these tabletop game reporters are unaware of how version numbering works?

Regardless, I'm not even close to excited. To give a label to my current feeling towards this product would be melancholy at best, angry at worst.

Why? Just two years ago I paid $75 for a rule book that was previously priced at $50. People were assured by GW fanboys that the $75 pricetag was worth it since it'd last at least four years. Wrong. Now we have to buy a new edition... and guess what? It went up another $10! To spend $85 on a friggin' book is ridiculous. I don't care at all that it's supposed to be a trio of books like they did in Second. I was already very upset that to field an Imperial Knight you had to buy the model itself for $140 and the codex for another $40, making the Imperial Knight effectively cost a player $180 plus tax and/or S&H.

And yes, I became a hypocrite when I bought them (albeit at discounted prices) but now I've learned that D-strength weapons will allow invulnerable saves for "most" attacks. Are you kidding me? The codex is only a few months old and already it's permanently nerfed against the re-rollable 2+ invulnerable armies - which was the only reason I bought one! To make matters even stupider, codex always trumps rule book, and within the codex it specifically states, "...no saving throws of any kind are allowed ... including special rolls such as Feel No Pain or Necron Reanimation Protocols." So, what, is GW going to print a new version of the Imperial Knight codex and charge us $50 for that 'updated' version?!

To add to my frustration, I stopped buying GW's expansions once I realized in Fifth that it was a growing trend for each edition to essentially absorb previous edition's expansions. What a waste of money on the consumers behalf and paper on GW's part. I'm far from a treehugger but does nobody care about the environment anymore?

Now let's take a look at something really grinding my gears. This is a breakdown of the life cycle for all editions of the game. Notice a trend?
Rogue Trader, 1987
+6 years
Second Edition, 1993
+5 years
Third Edition, 1998
+6 years
Fourth Edition, $45, 2004
+$5, +4 years
Fifth Edition, $50, 2008
+$25, +4 years
Sixth Edition, $75, 2012
+$10, +2 years
Seventh Edition, $85, 2014

Aside from Third Edition, the books have had shorter and shorter lifespans and yet the prices of each edition are going up way faster than inflation! Mind you, I joined the hobby during Fourth so I don't know how much the prior editions cost and I can't seem to find any prices online. But I'm willing to bet they also fit the trend of price increases.

As it stands now, I've grown sick of this game. I never thought I'd become that guy. You know, the one who bashes a company for trying to make money. But I'm drawing a line here, and GW will undoubtedly and arrogantly just walk across it. I won't, however. I've recently discovered games like BattleTech, Dropzone Commander, Mercs, Malifaux, Super Dungeon Explore, and Zombicide that are priced better and are just as fun.

But am I quitting the hobby? Well, I spent over eight years of my life collecting and painting these miniatures, so they will still get some use if anybody is down to still play Sixth, and I definitely won't try to sell or trade them. I'll hold onto my stuff until GW either learns the error of their ways... or goes bankrupt from greed.

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