New Wood Elves White Dwarf Leaks

The internets are aglow with many wonderful pictures of the new Wood Elf releases due out in May.

First up we have the teaser video from Games Workshop themselves:

And then there are the lovely, lovely White Dwarf leaks from Saturday’s forthcoming issue, enjoy:

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I don’t think it’s too early to say that Games Workshop have absolutely nailed this one on. The Treemen alone are enough to make me consider picking some Wood Elves up!

 

Salute in Review: Dreadball Fest!

Salute 2014

Salute, salute, salute salute salute. (sung to the tune of Black Adder) I’m sure no one minded me singing Rob’s Salute theme tune on the way home one little bit. In fact it probably made the trip back from London go even quicker [Especially as it took four hours thanks to Mat’s atrocious SatNav – Ed.]. So I am sorry to say that it is over for another year and with 365(ish) days to go until the next Salute, I am going to have to go back to buying models in shops or online like the rest of the world. Oh the horror! The whole event was great and there was some awesome stuff to see: so much variety (which is a great sign for the hobby in general), so many great people to meet and I know even though I spent the whole day trying to see everything I probably only got to see half of what Salute had to offer.

The day went pretty much to plan, with no help from Forge World. They had everything a Warhammer 40k player could want…as long as you wanted something from the Horus Heresy. However as an Ork player I was disappointed to find out that they had brought none of their awesome Ork range so I had to order the heavy weapons I needed for my Battle wagon conversion. I hope they turn up soon. Needless to say I have learnt my lesson and next year I will be ordering in advance, still at least I didn’t have to pay the postage and packaging.

Zzappa

But then I wondered over to the Mantic stand…Not only did I got a great look at their Battlezones range (watch this space), but I also got some really exciting information about Dreadball Xtreme and Deadzone and how new rules will work and I am now more excited about both games than ever. I’ll be covering that in more detail soon. Then I bought a lot of stuff for Dreadball including the new supplement Azure Forest. Review to follow. [Damn Neil, you’re gonna be busy. -Ed.] We’ve also made it on to Mantic’s reviewer list so we should be able to cover their products much more thoroughly in the future.

I also confirmed that I have definitely fallen in love with Malifaux and saw some amazing figures from Twisted, Black Scorpion, Taban and Mierce miniatures. I checked out some of the great scenery from Amera Plastic Mouldings, where I picked up a great amphitheatre piece and still regret not picking up another Dreadball Stadium, especially as by the end of the show they had them for £25! I was also really interested by a range I had not come across before – Z Clipz by Studio Miniatures.

Amphitheatre

So onto the spoils, and like I said I did buy a lot of Dreadball. I picked up booster squads for both my human and robot teams, as well as two hard-hitting MVPs Buzzcut and DRB7 Firewall and the Azure Forest supplement. Away from Dreadball I got some red dice (because red ones roll higher – it’s science), and a the aforementioned Ork Big Zzappa.

Firewall Buzzcut

Human booster

dice

It wasn’t the biggest haul I know but it was what I wanted and regrettably all I had time to get the rest of my day was meeting some of the #warmongers at the meet up, watching the mild-mannered Mat turn into a model buying machine and the rest of the day was business, meeting some great companies and talking about their new projects and The Shell Case. It should make for some great articles over the next few months.

Mordheim: City of the Damned – factions and more details

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Since our last post about the Mordheim: City of the Damned PC game, Rogue Factor have been busy working away on the game, but luckily not so busy that their lead developer couldn’t spend some time to talk to the strategy informer website about the progress they’ve been making.

The interview covers a nice amount of ground, but without masses of detail, but the key highlights are:

Core factions

The main playable factions announced so far are:

    • The Empire
    • Skaven
    • Sisters of Sigmar
    • Cult of the Possessed

It sounds as though the campaign will involve plenty of the other ‘usual suspects’ (how you keep the constituent races of the Warhammer world a secret is a little beyond me, but hey ho) possibly as fully playable factions, possibly as cameo or mission-driven elements. It’s also not yet decided whether the single player campaign will allow you to play heroes and villains, so far it’s just The Empire, apparently.

Proper warbands

It looks like the full range of on-going conditions are likely to be present in the game, with the ability to hire in new members for your warband, permanent injuries (like losing an arm) and even death.

We’ll be able to customise equipment, gain experience for warband members and even hand-pick which team to use for each particular mission or match up. It sounds as though some factions may have built-in restrictions in terms of equipment use (Sisters of Sigmar can’t used ranged weapons) so each warband should have its own particular flavour that matches the Warhammer fluff.

Wyrdstone weirdness and magical chaos

One interesting addition is the role of wyrdstone as both the major ‘currency’ but also as an element with an in-game effect. Picking up wyrdstone may trigger something suitably chaotic and it sounds as though you might even be able to try to actively ‘use’ it to swing things your way. We also get spell casters in the game, but the designers decided to use the chaotic origins of magic to perhaps make it less game-changing than it otherwise might have been, again through the use of random consequences from its use.

Campaign and dynamic maps

Players in multiplayer games will be able to switch between procedurally generated (i.e. pseudo-random) maps and the campaign maps, so things should be kept interesting.

Games Workshop enthusiasts

One of the key things with Rogue Factor is that they appear to be tabletop gamers through and through. As you’ll see if you go and read the interview for yourself they have a real desire to get things right for the Warhammer fans, not simply in terms of making the 3D renders match up with expectations but also in terms of creating a game that reflects that original sense that Mordheim the tabletop game gives you of a grimy city crawling with critters, with everyone struggling for survival and influence. If they get the ongoing warband elements right and get you to really care about one-armed Jim in the same way that I’m sure we all mourned when our best bowman lost an eye, then it should be a cracking game – it’d certainly get me to dust off my PC again!

 

Salute in Review: Aftermath

Salute 2014

This was my first time at Salute and I didn’t really know what to expect. Especially as my last experience of an event at London ExCel had been a pretty average Star Trek related event. So when I rolled up and saw the crowds it was kind of amazing.

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That wasn’t even half of it!

I’m glad to say though that Salute didn’t disappoint. Though a bit overwhelming at times (not helped much by the map, which seemed to be a bit off on some of the stands locations) it nevertheless managed to combine the feel of a big event with the friendliness of a much smaller one.

Marking themselves out as I walked in were Hawk Games, whose Dropzone Commander large-scale model drew the crowds in with its elegance.

After that I had a bit of a ramble around to get myself acquainted with the layout of the place. What caught my eye was the diversity. Though admittedly the mainstay was futuristic military sci-fi games and the fantasy hack and slashers that every wargamer loves, dotted around were some more unusual fares.

From the Dark Age skirmish game Valhalla, to a strategy game about building a bee hive and making more honey than anyone else, there was plenty of variety if you were willing to look.

In typical wargamer fashion, more people were interested in the foam dice than the board with colours beyond red brown and metal.
In typical wargamer fashion, more people were interested in the foam dice than the board with colours beyond red, brown and metal.

Then it was time to meet up with the rest of The Shell Case team, who had bravely risked their lives trying to collect orders from the Forge World table during the peak time of the day. Plunder in tow we stopped to chat, grab a bite to eat and stare at all the pretty miniatures.

The standard was so high this year with an appearance by Mierce Minatures, though it seemed everywhere you looked there was something new and wonderful. Black Scorpion being nestled away in the corner with some fabulous models were another highlight, along with West Wind’s Secrets of the Third Reich line.

Then it was off to look at the KR Multicase stand. They were great guys and more than that, they had chairs available to the public – “And there was much rejoicing amongst The Shell Case Crew”. [Dogs were starting to bark by then. -Ed.]

What did surprise me was how inventive the folks running the stand were, constructing all manner of things out of the blue foam, including their banner, which could be clearly see from the other side of the hall.

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I managed to grab myself some deals too, topping up the gangers I already have with some reinforcements from Heresy Miniatures, some very solid resin terrain from Simple Box Miniatures and a couple of rule sets that caught my eye (you’ll hear more on those in the future).

My thanks go out to all the #warmongers who met up with us on the day, the traders who were happy to chat and the many, many people running intro games, especially Christina, who graciously overlooked me calling her Selvig by accident after looking at the name on her t-shirt. You made Salute 2014 a great day and I’ll be glad to see you next year.

Now, where did I put that pen and paper? I have armies to plan!

Wild West Exodus – A First Look

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Howdy Stranger! Eat hot lead!

Out of the rising darkness come the heroes and villains that make up the world of Wild West Exodus. Set just after the American Civil War, Wild West Exodus combines the still raw battle scars and rivalries of the Union and  the Confederacy with a looming dark power, embodied by those known only as The Dark Council. Against this backdrop, a new wave of outlandish cybersteam technologies and spiritual attunement are transforming the conflicts between the factions and threatening to wreak havoc and tear apart the fragile peace…

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After initial setup. Dave has some great scenery from playing lots of Dead Man’s Hand, so the game looked great on a desert prairie board

One of my main purchases at Salute, the Lawmen posse I picked up, got their first run through last night courtesy of one of the club regulars, Dave. He was playing the Outlaws, and we decided to keep things fairly simple with a $500 limit on hiring our posse (spending dollars being the ‘points’ system that Wild West Exodus uses). This meant I was using Wyatt Earp as my boss, a UR30 Lawbot (this model reminds me so much of the movie West World), my light support deputy with a gatling gun (lots of bullets!), 2 long range deputies and 3 close range deputies. Dave had Jesse James and his incredibly annoying gun of death, Cole Younger, a light support bandit with a quad barreled shotgun, 3 close range and 3 long range bandits.

The game itself plays really smoothly. All either of us had done was flick through the quick start rules and glance at the full book before setting out across the prairie, and when we met in the abandoned town of “Tharsasnake in Maaboot” the lead started flying faster than a cat on a hot tin roof. Or something.

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The Lawmen and the Outlaws close each other down, at this point I’m still doing pretty well…

There ain’t no law in these parts

No laws, but some good easy to grasp game rules. The basics are straightforward, each model has a stat-line that describes how good it is at doing physical stuff like jumping, climbing and hitting people in the face with their fists (or with their handy pet snake, which we’ll get to later, yes, seriously, a snake) and how accurate they are at the all important activity of shooting their opposition across the street like the low down, good fer nothin varmint that they are. It also covers the number of actions they get each turn, how far they can move, how likely they are to turn tail and hop it and all of the other fairly standard game stuff.

The game has an alternating activations mechanic with an initiative roll at the beginning of each turn to determine who is fastest on the draw. Each activation ‘chunk’ allows you to pick between 1 and 3 models and perform their actions according to what you want them to do, whether that be move lots, move then shoot then move, or just blast away at that threatening looking cactus that said something mean about your dear old ma. All actions that require a dice roll use D10s rather than your standard D6 and this gives things more of a probability range, which is a good thing in general. Though not when you roll lots of 1’s as I did at some fairly critical moments last night…

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Lawbot UR30 surveys the scene of his impending destruction…

Influence matters in this town

The extra spice comes in the form of a concept called ‘influence’. Various models in your posse have an influence stat and this gives you a number of influence tokens each turn that you can use to re-roll a specific die. You have to nominate exactly which die you want to re-roll and you have to do it before you roll that die for the first time, but you can throw as much influence as you like at it. So, if you really, really, really want to hit that pesky hill-billy swanning across the street like he owns the place, but your weapon is only Rate Of Fire 1 (meaning you only get one roll to hit), you can assign 2 influence (assuming your posse creates that much influence each turn, of course) to your marksmanship die roll and then if the first one misses, you can re-roll, then if the second misses you can re-roll that as well. The kicker is that you have to accept the result of the re-roll, even if it’s worse. Given that there is such a thing as a critical hit (a natural 10) and these are generally good, particularly if the hill-billy in question is wearing lots of armour, you may want to re-roll even if you’ve already hit – but the cost could be that you miss completely instead.

The cool thing about influence is that it can be used to re-roll any of your own die rolls any number of times (but you can’t influence an opponent’s die roll), including initiative, which Dave did. A lot. Because he had tonnes more influence than me, which was completely unfair! It actually kept the game really interesting as I had to be really careful with my choice of how I spent my 2 influence each turn, whereas Dave could be a little more carefree with his 4. The influence mechanic, combined with being able to group between 1-3 models each activation kept each turn different – it wasn’t a race to get to a certain model each time and you could obscure your intentions by activating a model in one group in one turn and then another in the next, it’s a nice fluid way to keep things moving and gives you lots of options when planning your turn as you only declare the group when it’s your activation.

My gatling gun attempts to cover the street with a withering hail of suprresing firepower. Then remembers this is the Wild West, not Warhammer 40K and dies.
My gatling gun attempts to cover the street with a withering hail of suppressing firepower. Then remembers this is the Wild West, not Warhammer 40K and dies.

The game itself (oh yeah, I remember, that’s what I’m supposed to be telling you about…) was great fun to play. It started off well for my Lawmen posse, with me plinking a few points of lifeblood off one of Dave’s bandits hiding behind some barrels and completely wasting another. Then it started to go bad, particularly when Dave discovered that Jesse James is, effectively, armed with an ICBM (OK, maybe my rubbish positioning had something to do with it, but… meh). One of my core ‘mechanics’ is called Forward Echelon, which basically gives my guys an armour buff when in base to base. Jesse James, however, is armed with a fiendish weapon that not only halves your armour, but also is very high power and uses a 3″ blast when it hits. This meant for some very, very messy shooting and I suddenly went from a slight numerical advantage to having three guys left as my boss attempted to call out Mr James! I did at least set him on fire and when he failed his ensuing courage test I like to think he lost some serious face running around like a little sissy-girl yelling “Sumbaaady put me outt!” What in actual fact happened was that he rolled on the ground, put the fire out and then got up and blasted my face off. Similar to what I thought, but subtly different one could argue…

Jesse James, on fire last night.
Jesse James, on fire last night.

It of course didn’t help that I was swanning across open ground with my guys as though the fact that they were huddled together would throw Dave off the scent (weirdly, that only encouraged him to shoot me, stupid bandits), and a large measure of the end result (a very clear win for Dave) was my fixation on wanting to stand in the middle of the street and call him out. Yeah, that didn’t work, he hid in buildings and behind scatter terrain and picked my guys off (or, as previously mentioned, blasted them off the face of the earth).

Trouser snakes and ICBMs

The weaponry itself is interesting and varied, with plenty of options for even your low-level bandits and deputies to pick from each activation, including Jesse James’ personal nuclear arsenal. My close combat deputies have one of the oddest options I’ve ever seen in a game, an actual snake (well, an Asp, anyway) that has a 2″ range. Er… yeah. Suffice it to say we had a good laugh about my deputies attacking Dave with their spitting trouser snakes, sadly he never got close enough to risk that threat. Next time Dave. Next time… [This sounds like a night out with Phil – Ed]

The last stand of Deputy Dawg

My last stand was a lone deputy with a rifle squatting on the ground next to an outhouse who, despite the reek of effluent in the air, was stubbornly and stupidly passing his courage rolls and trying in vain to take out any of the approaching swarm of bandits. Sadly, as expected, he didn’t make it out and the long-departed town now echoes to the sounds of descending vultures, coming to pick at the fresh corpses of Wyatt and his posse. Jesse James and his low down dirty gang flee justice once more, escaping the hangman’s noose for another day!

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Awww crap. Literally.

I definitely can’t wait to play our next game (I get now that my guys are closer range, hence the snakes I suppose?!) and am really looking forward to getting on with painting the models. I really like the 35mm scale (though it does make the 28mm scenery we were using look a little odd) and the models fit together and clean up beautifully – they are great sculpts as well. Lots of character, movement and variation such that even the deputies in my Lawmen look great.

See you around, strangers…

Salute in Review: So long and Thanks for All the Models…

Salute 2014

Salute 2014, you are done! What a day!

My head is still spinning slightly to be honest. This year Salute was everything I’d hoped for in some ways and something of a missed opportunity in others. Anyone who knows me in real life is well aware of my propensity for taking on way too much stuff (still, it works out occasionally, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, here and wouldn’t that be a pity…) and yet again I managed to overcommit my time for the day. Worst of all it meant that, for the second year running, I missed out on the #warmongers lunch time meetup. Boo me! Boo I say!

Thing is, I distinctly remember my phone alarm going off at 12:45 and then snoozing it, about 14 times or so… Damn… Then I walked out of the hall at about 2pm, rang Phil to find out where everyone was and it was all over. Not even a trace residue (okay, I just made myself feel ill) of #warmonger was to be seen and I trudged disconsolately back into the hall to BUY ALL OF THE THINGS instead. [Mat would be proud. -Ed.]

That’s part of the problem with being on a stall most of the day I suppose (I have a nefarious alter-ego, beware!), but to tell you the truth I really enjoy that aspect as well. It means I get people coming to talk to me (the poor mad fools!) and I get to ask them all about the hobby they’ve been doing, what they’ve seen at the show and what shiney things they have been tempted into buying. It’s a brilliant thing to be able to get so many different views on the hobby with people covering everything from 6mm historical right through to the usual suspects like Games Workshop and the like. The big difference from last year were lots of folks talking about Malifaux, Warmachine, tonnes and tonnes of X-Wing, and a bit more Bolt Action chatter (I think Phil will have more to say on that front in the not too distant future).

It’s obvious that the hobby is in an amazing state at the moment, with almost too much going on to be able to keep track of it all and it’s generating masses of enthusiasm across the community that without doubt followed me home!

The haul ™

It was my most satisfying Salute haul yet I think. I picked up the three main systems I had planned on, didn’t get massively distracted by anything else and found a couple of little bonuses along the way. Here’s a lovely picture of all of my awesome shiny from the day

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Besides three new skirmish games: Wild West Exodus, Dark Age and Saga, I also picked up Zombie Dice (which I’m looking forward to being a staple family game) and a lovely dice bag from @TheDiceBagLady. All great stuff. I’ve already been cracking on with the assembly of my Wild West Exodus miniatures clocked my first game (see my article going live tomorrow), watch this space for a lot more on that front as the miniatures are gorgeous! I’ve also had a good peruse of my other figures and I’m very pleased with my choices. I’m loving the character of the Irish war band with the wolf hounds (one of my favourite breeds of dog besides my own of course) and the Core models from Dark Age have a nice alt-feel to them despite the obvious superficial comparison with the Convergence models from Warmachine.

I also got the chance to meet all of The Shell Case team for the first time and they’re all quite normal (yes I said ‘quite’) and a great laugh to mooch around a show and generally enthuse about the hobby with. We made some great contacts and are all really excited about what’s happening with the site over the coming months, stick around, it’s going to be ace!

Dreadball Chromium Chargers – A Review

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When Phil asked me to join The Shell Case team he did so saying that I could look after the Dreadball content seeing as I’m a bit mental for it. Oh how he’ll rue the day… If for no other reason I find myself reviewing the Chromium Charges and I know how much he, and most of the other team members, wanted to get their hands on them.

The Chromium Chargers are a team of robots built by some very bored scientists who wanted to see how good a Dreadball player can be, and backed by some large Corporations, keen to show off their newest robotics which can transform at will into whatever type of player the situation calls for. Now, transforming robots aren’t the most original idea for anyone that has owned a TV or been to a cinema over the last 30 years but, but let’s be honest it’s fun and therefore it’s a good one. And as they say “if an idea ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. From a manager’s point of view the way the team works is certainly interesting; having an entire team of Jacks and changing their role throughout the game can lead to a very different and reactive style of play compared to other teams.

Chromium-Chargers-Robot-TeamThe Chromium Chargers box contains 10 models – 6 Jacks, 2 Strikers and 2 Guards, and whilst this is more figures than other teams get, [Unless you count the mispacks. -Ed] it actually only gives you 6 playable figures as all have to start as Jacks, but with the Chargers 6 is all you should need. Like all of the main teams it would be well worth picking up the team expansion as unfortunately all 6 Jacks come in the same pose. That said it is one of the better poses Mantic have done and I am pleased to say the same can be said for the Strikers as they are really dynamic and the Guards do look like they could dish out some damage. Plus with a whole team costing less than £15 it is hard to be anything but positive about them.

The Chargers have been designed really well and with a high level of detail on each one, they do genuinely look cool. They are a much better design than I would have imagined; sleek, thin and they look like they would be mobile and capable of moving at pace. Mantic have done well managing to make the robots look as though they were built for sport without looking so solid that other races would just bounce off of them. This is important in making the models appear believably competitive but not invincible. I am also pleased that Mantic were also able to make the transformations look like they actually work and the great looking diagrams in the Season 2 rulebook helps to support this further.

The models were also surprisingly easy to build, and this is coming from someone who is very much about the gaming first and the hobby second. Just like all the Season 2 teams, there was far less flash on the models to contend with than the Season 1 range. This made the building process a lot quicker and a whole lot more enjoyable, plus with each model being made up of only 3 parts, it further speeds things up but obviously limits your ability to make the figures in any way individual without conversions.

Once the Chargers were built, I couldn’t wait to get them on to the neodurium [Neeeeeerd! – Ed.] and see how they played, and the fact is the team plays really well. The team has the all-round qualities you would expect to find in the human teams but their ability to transform them gives them a real feeling of flexibility. At the start of a game your team is obviously slightly hampered by having only Jacks and you will feel like you are missing out on the big tackles and tough shots, but with the Quick Change Artist special rule that will swiftly change. There is something extremely satisfying about watching an opponent’s face as without warning two of your players transform into guards and smash a hole through their line then a second pair change into strikers steal the ball unchallenged and score to take the lead.

Despite this once you have played that one obvious tactic, throughout a whole game they are not always the easiest easy to play with and the Chromium Chargers do pose a truly enjoyable challenge to use. They would suit a gamer who is tactically aware as it is vitally important that you always have the right mix of players on the pitch for each situation that comes up and that you conserve some actions for changes at vital times. They are a great addition to the Dreadball Universe and are fun to play both with and against.

The Chromium Chargers are available from Firestorm Games priced £13.49. This team requires the Season 2 expansion book available from Firestorm Games priced £8.99.

FaQs are dead! Long live the FaQs!

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One of the immediate hot topics of conversation (OK hobby rage) after the launch of the new Games Workshop web site was the notable absence of the FaQs section. Any attempt to access them via saved links was met with a pretty clear message:

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Well it would appear that all is not lost. People are reporting receiving a common response to their enquiries to Games Workshop customer services about the missing FaQs which looks like this:

Thanks for the email regarding the FAQs on the new website.

Currently the FaQ’s are not available on the website, as the design team are taking this opportunity to fully update all the FAQ and Errata articles. This is only temporary and these FAQ’s will be made available again in the very near future. 

So, really it’s a case of “good news everyone!” as it would appear that not only are the FaQs not dead, they aren’t even just sleeping, they are getting a full refresh! Hopefully that’ll see some of the more glaring issues with some of the newer codices and army books dealt with (Lizardmen, I’m looking at you with your skink characters on terradons not being able to join units) and a nice fresh set of random rules (undead crumbling randomness, you know what you did) for us all to pore over.

 

Calas Typhon Unboxing

I’m back from my adventure to Adepticon, and I brought home lots of goodies! One of my favorite pieces came from Forge World, the fearsome Calas Typhon [So much want – Ed]. I’ve unboxed him so you can get a decent look at him.

I haven’t been too keen on a few of the Horus Heresy character models that Forge World has released, but Calas really strikes me. He may move to the top of my painting queue. He’ll certainly be assembled this weekend.

Also in that queue are several other Horus Heresy characters including Angron, Fulgrim, and Abaddon and Loken. I eventually plan to have the whole set of HH characters, which is getting harder to do as they release them at a faster pace. Originally, I had just planned on getting the Primarchs, but the other characters have been such interesting models that I decided to go for them all.

My wallet weeps.

I hope you enjoyed getting to see Calas Typhon!

New Games Workshop Website Live!

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After the mysterious activities on the Games Workshop website yesterday, presumably just to build tension (given that these days there is no technical reason to take a site offline for a whole day to launch a web site!) it’s back, it’s new and, er, well is same but different.

It’s still just Games Workshop

No clever attempt at an integration of the Forge World and Black Library sites (as expected really, given that at no point yesterday did these sites disappear), it’s just the Games Workshop website, with some differences (see below). This is a good thing in my view, Forge World and Black Library have great individual identities and if they had been subsumed into a new ‘pure eCommerce’ site like this one then the community would have lost a significant amount of the flavour that they bring to our hobby.

The new design

Isn’t a million miles away from the old one. It’s still image-driven but now it’s even clearer that this is a retail store. Pretty much all of the ‘hobby’ content, bar the “What’s new” and “White Dwarf” sections, has gone and the menu layout and options are definitely geared towards purchasing, with options to select by price range and force organisation/ army composition rather than just driving you through the standard ‘army’ channels.

There are some good tweaks here, specifically to make the site more generally accessible across more devices, and as a result the hover menus have died a necessary death. It’s slightly annoying that you have to click on check boxes, not words as that gives you a smaller target area to aim at (especially on a mobile device), but I definitely prefer it over the last front end, much cleaner and easier to read and the new ‘list’ of products view is nicer.

One potentially useful new feature is the ability to select multiple categories at once from the side bar, very much a standard eCommerce feature but I’m not sure how necessary it is for this site. Unless of course you really need to look at Beastmen and Dwarves in one product list…

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Mobile/ tablet friendly

Probably the biggest change folks are talking about (on Twitter, where Games Workshop notably still are not) is the introduction of a ‘proper’ mobile site. My feeling on this is, yup it’s nice, but really if there had been a site relaunch without some response design to accommodate mobile users then that would have been a serious negative point against it. It’s good to have, but should be auto-include for a retail web site these days.

FAQ off!

This is probably the ‘biggy’ in this revamp, Games Workshop have completely stripped out the FAQs section.

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This isn’t totally unforeseen, after all the FAQs haven’t been updated in a long while, and Games Workshop’s general shift towards digital content might suggest that they’ll simply shift them into automatic codex/army/rule book updates plus possibly a return to the old days of ‘official’ update books? I think that latter option is unlikely, Games Workshop have put considerable effort into their digital offerings of late and I suspect they want us all to just buy iPads and receive over the air updates so that we’re all using the version of rules they consider to be ‘the right ones’. Not that that’s much help if you don’t have a fruit-based tablet, of course…

We will have to wait and see what impact this has on the tournament and general hobby scene. After all if Games Workshop have taken them down, does this mean they won’t allow them at Warhammer World events? Most tournaments, I suspect, will still count them as valid (after all, they’re still an official Games Workshop offering), but how will new players get hold of them if not from the Games Workshop web site?

Your account is dead, long live your (new) account!

Part of the revamp involved a new platform and I guess rather than attempt (and therefore pay for) a migration of existing accounts, Games Workshop have scrapped all existing accounts and wish/gift lists. Not a massive issue really and certainly not worth holding up a new site for, but something to be aware of nonetheless!

Final thoughts

So all-in-all not a bad revamp, but clearly another step towards Games Workshop’s online presence being about two things, retail sales and retail sales. Oh wait, that’s the same thing twice. I do think they’re trying, with the White Dwarf revamp, the weekly release schedule and the hiving off of all social content to the stores to explicitly split off our relationship with Games Workshop HQ as a retail body from our relationship to the stores, hence retaining the store Facebook pages. It’s an interesting move on their part and I guess time will tell how successful a strategy it is, but with their one-man store policy and a clear desire to drive footfall back into stores as hobby centres you can see a picture developing where we go back to the days of our primary relationship to the Games Workshop part of the hobby being bricks and mortar centric. At least I suspect that’s what Games Workshop are trying to achieve.