I am a really casual player… as beer and pretzels as they come. I would probably consider myself an assembler/converter first and a gamer a much distant third or fourth. I am happy with my approach to the hobby. I try not to get stressed out with all of the hobby stuff, it is supposed to be fun after all.
Games Workshop has created some amazing worlds between the realms in Age of Sigmar and the Universe in 40K. These two universes have me geeking out quite a bit recently. Let’s take a step back in time to set the mood.
About five years ago everything was stale and flavorless. Warhammer 40,000 was still on the precipice… as always… Space Marines continued to be the greatest of all things. Nothing was changing, the Emperor sat on his throne and the hive fleets never quite pushed into the galaxy and the Orks were always just beaten back and the Eldar were a dying race with the best tank, and the best models were produced by Forge World. In fantasy, no one was playing. The Old World was going on as normal and all the races fought and nothing much came of it. People had enormous armies and stopped buying new models. Games Workshop seemed stuck in a rut… they produced cool looking models at ridiculous prices and their CEO talked about GW as a luxury product with a luxury price. People were fleeing the hobby in droves.
Then something interesting happened. Games Workshop shook their heads out of their asses and blew up the Old World. They let the bad guys win and destroyed a setting they spent decades creating. It reminded me of when Steven King killing a bunch of characters in his epic The Stand. Kind would say he had written himself into a corner and needed to kill his characters in order to allow the story to progress. I believe GW did the same. They needed to create a new world for their fantasy setting and shake of the limits of the Old World in order to create a world in which they could really engage their customers with.
Then they brought the Primarchs back to 40k and brought the space marine chapters to the brink of extinction.
It has been glorious.
And now as a hobbyist I feel that both universes couldn’t be in a better place.
There are a few things that totally get me geeked out with the current setting. The increase in the detailed look at the weird stuff in the universe. Geller Pox infected showed us what can happen to humans who listen to the whispers of the warp and Rogue Traders give us a vision of the men and women who command the fleets in the universe, as well as showing us their unique men at arms. Men of Iron coming back to the fore and showing us that artificial intelligence is still out in the galaxy. The rebirth of the Daughter of Khaine into a force to be reckoned with in the realms. We are seeing the heralds of Slaanesh playing the harp of human flesh and beastmen have reemerged in every part of both universes (pestigors in Blood Bowl, beastman bounty hunter in Necromunda, Tzaangors, chaos beastmen in Black Stone Fortress). Throughout both ranges we have dynamic models that add range and depth to the universes. We are seeing far more female models weaved into the ranges, from the full armies (Daughter of Khaine) to the gangs in the underhive (Escher) and the female Van Saar models and Stormcasts to the Rogue Traders and Chaos Guardwomen in Blackstone Fortress. These additions are done without announcement or fanfare from Games Workshop but they all a level of depth to the universes they belong in.
Are these settings perfect? Of course not… there are some aspects that are difficult to engage with and are confusing. But that is for another blog post.
What are some of the things in AoS or 40K that have you excited?