So it would seem that the Specialist Games part of the Games Workshop will be closing its doors. Although Games Workshop had left the greatest of all its children out in the cold for years now, it did still produce the models and make the rules available. Throwing their pariah child the barest scraps to keep going.
Despite this, Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim and Epic Armageddon and others found a place in many a gamer’s heart. Including mine. Gothic is still my favourite game and Mordheim the most played amongst me and The Chaps. This love affair has endured despite no updates since Fanatic magazine and some truly terrible sculpts that would put most gamers off. It has endured through price hikes and restricted ranges. It. Has. Endured.
But no more. Games Workshop has announced that when the current stocks of metal models sell out, that’s it. No more. Ever. And, sadly Forge World are towing the company line and will be withdrawing from sale all Battlefleet Gothic and Epic lines from their site.
This doesn’t come as a surprise as the moment they announced Finecast I knew Specialist Games’ days were finally numbered. It’s a genuine tragedy that the most loved games the company have ever produced are the ones they loved the least and supported even less than that.
What this means of course, is that if you want to get your hands of anything for those games then you’ll have to be quick. It also means the second-hand market is going to go mental.
Although it’d be nice if the rules were still made available but with no models it’d be pointless so it really looks like this is it. It’s an inevitable course of things I suppose. All good things must come to an end but I’m struggling with the thought that when I speak about Battlefleet Gothic or Mordheim to a novice or returning gamer I will have to do so in the past tense. That soon gamers won’t have that same pang of excitement I got cracking open a box of Imperial Cruisers or a Battleship is just terrible.
Worse still, new gamers coming to the Games Workshop for the very first time won’t even know they existed.
I don’t particularly blame Games Workshop for making the decision. I’m amazed it took them this long. They tolerated the Specialist Games range far longer than their current business decisions suggested they would. But I suspect that the Specialist Games ranges were making a loss and that would only be tolerated for so long.
It’s an end of an era for Games Workshop – even with a limited boxset of Blood Bowl rumoured to be on the horizon – and it’s an end of an era for me and many others.
To the Specialist Games range and all those that have written rules and scenarios and sculpted models: I salute you. And will miss you dearly.