Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Excessively awesome or just excessive?
Oh my. I'm of two minds with this, what is presumably a new trend for Games Workshop - bigger and more expensive books. To the left is the new Orcs and Goblins army book for Warhammer Fantasy, weighing in at 112 pages and $37.25USD.
On one hand, I think these books will be great for those that love the army or are getting into them. Full color, new art, lots of pictures of models, undoubtedly lots of background stuff. It can be something to cherish.
On the other hand, it's a close to $40 thick hardback. It's good for collectors, but poor for actual gamers, when there's probably only 20 pages or so of that 112 that you'll actually use when gaming. For someone who plays only one army, plays at home against a few mates with a limited range of armies, not a problem. For tournament players or just enthusiasts who would like to get all or at least most of the books, problem. If all the books go to this price point, you're looking at a cost of over $600 for all the army books and the core rules, not to mention the weight!
I know that it's a hobby, and that few hobbies are cheap. And as a book, it's actually a decent value. I dug out some old books and my old 3rd edition Space Wolf book was like 32 pages, mostly black and white, and had a price tag on it for $9.99. On a per-page basis, it's pretty comparable, and when you add in full color and the fact that it's a hardback, the new O&G book looks even more reasonable.
But for a lot of gamers, it's not a book. It's the access point for the army. Most of the time, they're only going to refer to the 20 pages of it that have rules, stats, and point costs.
Now, if GW changes other aspects to go along with these monster books, I can feel a lot better about them. If there's great proofreading and playtesting, and the edition cycles get slowed down considerably I can live with it. Solid books that stand up for over a decade before new ones come out; great. If that's the idea, then hardback makes even more sense. Shoddy ones riddled with mistakes and things that obviously need clarification (remember the multi-printing mess of the 3.5 ed CSM codex or the poorly-thought out and worded Doom of Malantai?) that are rendered obsolete every four years doesn't make sense...even at previous prices.
I would personally prefer for GW to break up the books. Make two books for each army - a faction book that covers the fluff and is filled with pretty pictures and hobby stuff, and an army book/codex that just has the nuts and bolts, point costs and minimal background info - the stuff that actually gets used in the game. Make the faction books big pretty productions for $30-40, and the army books/codexes light, tight, 16-32 page black and white minimalist paperbacks for $10-15.
I hope that this new O&G book is fantastic, and that it's the start of a wave of great, tight books and rules sets that stick around for a long time and provide great value. Regardless, I can foresee even more players photocopying the relevant bits of their books to save their backs come game day! As it is, I fear I may have to give up my thoughts of re-entering WHFB and save my pennies for upcoming 40K hardbacks!
Also wanted to throw out a couple of reminders:
-Check out Deepstrike Radio's auctions to benefit Flood Relief efforts in Australia
-Get your hype on for fun and prizes! Ends Friday!