There has been plenty of interesting developments with the latest releases, such as Chaos Space Marines with their dreaded Baleflamer Heldrakes, Dark Angels and now, most recently Chaos Daemons.
I have to admit I have found the new Chaos Daemons releases the least inspiring products to be seen in a long while. They are probably my least favourite of the entire 40K product line including Tau. I know Games Workshop are going for the whole corrupted chaos theme but there needs to be an aspect of coolness. The new Plague Drones went in the right direction, but didn’t quite get there. There isn’t really anything I would just buy for coolness/paintings sake…
Some of the older OOP Daemon lines are far better than the current crop, which really says something about the design team. Going your own direction is great but as with Tau at the end of the day you need to appeal to a big player base for successful releases.
You look at Dark Eldar which is a stunning line, or Necrons which I personally think are great and maintain the armies theme very well. CSM have a solid array of models, while Dark Angels have a few notable additions.
Hopefully the next few releases, like Tau receive some really amazing products. Amazing releases has always been a sell point for GWS, most of my current armies started when I saw a new release and had to buy a certain unit or two. Had Dark Eldar had really up to date, competitive rules in 5th I firmly believe it could have been a massive, massive sell point, particularly with the allies rules being introduced with 6th. A more open mercenary system would have helped of course.
The other draw point is really solid, fun or themed rules. The Black Library novels give a lot of inspiration but it isn’t just hardcore tournament players who choose an army based on their rules.
The mentality that GWS are only a model company is really insulting to all the players and prospective buyers. Even as someone who mainly collects rather than plays I still purchase and build my armies around lists I build.
I’ll admit I am worried for the future of the hobby, the hobby centres are no longer in prime positions, pricing is prohibitive, entry is a huge investment, new releases aren’t as inspiring, rules are poor… It wasn’t that long ago either that (prior to closing) my local store let me know they no longer supported painting in store.
It’s always been an expensive hobby but everything that got me and my friends involved is disappearing. Where will the new generations come from.