TaKtiX: Warhammer

News, reviews, events, tactics and reports for Games Workshop's Warhammer & Warhammer 40K series of games and related lines.

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Warhammer 40,000 RPG, Same Old Games Workshop

Don't get me wrong, I am as excited as the next person (which happens to be, at the time of typing, a stuffed toy) about the New W40k RPG, but having managed to stop hyperventilating about just how much I've been waiting for something like this to come along, I read the press release a little more closely.
"After this basic game, two further games released eighteen months apart will allow the players to progress and explore the universe first as Rogue Traders and alien pirates, and eventually experienced players will be able to roleplay the devastating warriors of the Adeptus Astartes Deathwatch."

As much as I love the idea of a roleplaying game set in the "grim darkness of the forty first millennium", I do not particularly like the idea of having to purchase three seperate games for something that I feel should be included all in one book. It seems that Games Workshop is willing to branch out into (hardly) new ground, but isn't willing to change the amount of money people are going to have to fork out to use their products. In an ideal world, everyone will vote with their feet and wallets by refusing to buy the product. I will see you all in the queue to buy the first of the three rulebooks.


At Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:24:00 pm, Blogger MatGB said...

Oh, I dunno; think of them as expansions.

Pretty hard to create a game big enough to encompass everything that's in the background in one go.

Besides, games companies have to make money; the problem with RPGs is that there are less peripheral sales to make money out of, that's why roleplay companies never do as well as CCG/wargames companies.

Want them to keep it supported, hence they have to make money to justify it.

At Saturday, March 18, 2006 5:56:00 pm, Blogger Mapp said...

"Pretty hard to create a game big enough to encompass everything that's in the background in one go."

"Each of the games will consist of a core rulebook accompanied by regular releases of sourcebooks and adventures." (taken from the press release)

I don't mind the idea that you can't fit the entirety of the Warhammer 40,000 background into one book, but you can present enough background information for a GM to run a game and you can easily fit the system into one book (if you can't, then something has gone seriously wrong!).

But the fact they have pegged it as three seperate games, each with it's own (expensive) "core rulebook", makes it look like a fairly standard Games Workshop money-making scheme.

A fifteen pound supplement for playing Marines in the system, fine. A thirty quid core rulebook for playing Marines in the system, not so great.

At Saturday, March 18, 2006 6:05:00 pm, Blogger TaKtiX said...

Ah, see what you mean. However, he says, trying to be fair and open minded), it's probably a marketing strategy thing.

Whether we like it or not, there are those that are only going to be interesting in playing Marines killing aliens. That's actually a pretty big market for them. ergo, those people will both dislike 'how to roleplay an Eldar' sections (it's an alien, kill it) and confused by extra rules for stuff they don't need.

I reckon there might be a supplement for Marines, but for those that only want to play marines book pluss supplement is a bigger rip off than just book.

And I've just noticed it's anonymous comments only, and that I'm logged in as the admin superuser. Ah well.
*goes to fix*

At Saturday, March 18, 2006 7:46:00 pm, Blogger Mapp said...

The first, ahem, game will be people playing an Inquisitor's retinue. Kind of like, dare I say it, Inquisitor, with Death Watch Marines at the _end_ of the game line. It is, of course, great business sense to put these things at the end, because it'll force all the people who want to play them to buy the other two "core rulebooks" with their pocket money.

It would not be too much to ask for to have basic rules for the different races in one core rulebook, and then "extra" rules for them in sourcebooks, pretty much like every other roleplaying game. The more I look at it, the more obvious it is that this is a game with the evil hand of Games Workshop behind it.

(The fact that I'm slagging off G.W. on a blog that's ostensibly about Games Workshop products doesn't set a good precedent, does it? Oh, and, why does Blogger not let you use the italics tag?)

At Saturday, March 18, 2006 8:01:00 pm, Blogger TaKtiX said...

Nah, we want to be critical.

I haven't read what it's going to be TBH, but it is a little strange to restrict what you can play in that way, you're right.

Still, they've got a year to get it right.

(and I think you can use the tags, I reckon it's you not closing them properly)

At Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:43:00 am, Blogger Mapp said...

They've got plenty of time to change their minds about it and use the same business model as everybody else (ie, one core rulebook, loadsa sourcebooks, try to make money on the sourcebooks).

(I think the italics show up funny in the preview, but not in the actual post. Claiming that I cannot use the italic tag is an insult that'll get you a very mean look next time we cross paths, Mister Mat!)

At Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:47:00 am, Blogger MatGB said...

OK, have found it (and edited), it doesn't like i tags, but accepts em tags (and span font italic). I'm told em is better practice but care not; feel free to have a look at the source, it's possible that something in the css is turning i off, no idea what to look for, it works on NLE.

At Sunday, March 19, 2006 12:47:00 pm, Blogger PaulJ said...

They say the systems are interchangable though, so although they will introduce new characters and new backgrounds, they will essentially be supplements for the main game.

The big question is how restrictive the first game is. If they're blatantly leaving things out to be covered in later expansions, then that's not really on. If they're simply adding extras on to further the game, then they're noly doing the same as every other RPG maker ever, which isn't really too bad.

The other thing which will ruin it (which I have more than a sneaking suspicion that GW will do) is when they release errata to the original rulebook in the second rulebook, essentially making the second book a compulsorary purchase. In other words, we'll see something like WH40K v1, then v2, then finally v3 - you wont just be buying to play extra classes, but in order to keep up with the latest rules.

But that's just me being cynical. What I really want to see is how they will adapt a mainly close combat system in WHFRP, to a mostly ranged combat system in 40K. Ranged combat in WHFRP is slow, boring and a bit wooly in terms of what's going on. They'll need to fix that to make 40K a really good game.

At Sunday, March 19, 2006 3:52:00 pm, Blogger MatGB said...

I wonder if we're being too cynical about the whole thing? What is it with GW that brings out the cynicism in all of us?

Wait, I know that one already. You're right of course Paul, the big change from close to ranged combat is always the hardest to make for a generic system; same applies in WHFB/WH40K; but the balance is wrong in that anyway, missile fire is far too effective in WHFB.

Ah well.

At Tuesday, March 28, 2006 5:09:00 pm, Blogger Mapp said...

I don't think they'll focus on ranged combat at all. The trend in Warhamster £40k has always been towards making close-combat all-powerful. Shooting is woefully ineffective in comparison to beating people to death with your own hands or, ideally, the hands of your opponent.

At Thursday, April 06, 2006 3:59:00 pm, Blogger Shakalooloo Doom said...

At least they're being up-front about there being more big, expensive books later down the line. And hey, all inventive games masters should be able to use their imagination and make stuff up if they don't have the rules, right?

Starting with inquisitorial retinues as the 'simplest' entry point into the universe seems a little odd though. Suits me just fine, but I'd have thought that Rogue Traders would have been a lot simpler, with no need to worry about internal politics and all that jazz; just exploring a galaxy, trading baubles to dopey aliens and shooting those that disagree. Would have been fitting considering that the first 40k book was called Rogue Trader, to boot.

Ah, I guess they want to have a reason to let people play Chaos-worshipping parties from the get-go. Deviants.

At Thursday, April 06, 2006 4:28:00 pm, Anonymous matgb said...

Laurence, I suspect they've done inquisitors first because all the source material is done already, cheaper that way ;-)

At Monday, April 17, 2006 5:02:00 am, Anonymous Kiwi Eldar said...

I have tried over the years to run 40k roleplaying (necromunda style) small gang warfare. It was a lot of fun.

However, whoever says that missile fire is too effective and out of balance just needs to take a leaf out of reality.

In any fight (mass battle that is) Ranged combat is king. You can decimate opponents with a good volley of arrows. A good sniper will always take down a melee combatant and bringing a gun too a knife fight, nine times out of ten the gun slinger wins.

Guns are unbalanced because they are unbalanced.

As for rules....... I think that a core rulebook with a concise set of rules (players and gamesmasters) like DnD would work just fine. Then some handbooks for the races or factions (Imperium, Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Orc etc) would be perfect. Then GM's could have generic games of their own devising instead of pushed in the direction that Games Workshop wants people to go....

At Monday, April 17, 2006 10:32:00 am, Anonymous MatGB said...

Mr Kiwi; I said missile fire is too effetive in WHFB, not WH40K. Guns are powerful, yes.

But bows and arrows were not as effective in their period as the WH system lets them be, Warmaster gets the balance better in that it's mostly a deterrent and disruption device.

Vary rarely (thinking of Agincourt as an example) was bowfire as effective as WH lets it generally be.

At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:26:00 pm, Blogger Shakalooloo Doom said...

Shooting shouldn't be king in an RPG, though. If you want to gun people to bits from a distance when you can just see the whites of their eyes, that's what wargames are for.

RPGs are all about being up close, where you can trade banter with your opponent while trying to make them deader'n you. Sure, snipers may be able to blow someone's head off from a building several streets away, but where's the fun in that? How much roleplaying is involved in saying 'I pull the trigger'? Slightly more than if you're the poor sap who gets ventilated in the brainpan.

There should be no circumstances in the RPG where the range of a gun really becomes an issue. All combats should be taking place in dark, musty cult headquarters, on board badly-lit space hulks, creeping down the naves of Imperial churches, etc. Open battlefield warfare should be right out, especially for an Inquisition-based game. I cite the Eisenhorn trilogy as an example of how a 40k RPG should ideally be played.

At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:26:00 pm, Blogger Shakalooloo Doom said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Thursday, May 04, 2006 11:57:00 pm, Blogger Shakalooloo Doom said...


Some justifications in BI's FAQ...


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