Well…guess it’s time to get on the bandwagon and share my thoughts on the last year in GW, and what a year it has been. 2015 was basically a roller coaster of releases and new stuff. This has easily been the most disruptive and unexpected year of releases since I started this hobby (which granted has only been about 6 years). I’ll try to briefly go over the various releases that happened this year and give my opinions on them, although I may skip some that didn’t really affect me and I’m sure I’ll forget and miss something. Also this will be covering all releases, so not just AoS. Well here we go!
We started off fairly strong in January continuing the End Times saga with the release of Thanquol (although I understand many didn’t like the book) and some great Skaven models. Not being a Fantasy player at the time I can’t really comment on the rules and such, but I believe the Stormfiends were controversial. I absolutely love the Verminlord models though. For me the bigger news was the new Necron codex coming out which was much overdue and also started the new paradigm of 40k releases with the “formation of formation” lists. According to some this threw balance totally out of whack, but I play Eldar so those concerns don’t affect me ;). Speaking of that the end of January also brought the massive shock of Harlequins getting their own codex and release! Something that hadn’t happened in over 20 years and most thought would never happen.
February was basically just the release month of the Eldar Harlequins. We got their codex and their releases. The army ended up being alright and I know some people have made it work by itself, but it was obviously designed to be allied with one of the other Eldar armies. The models however are still some of the best GW has done IMO. The new blood thirster also went up for pre-order at the end of February and I was tempted yet again to buy a model that belongs to an army I neither collect nor like. At this point I was pretty much ready to pull the trigger on getting a Harlequin army…except around this time we also started hearing some interesting sounding rumors for next month…….
Holy crap what a month! First to kick it off GW destroyed the WHFB world…wow. 30 years of gaming history gone, at least as far as anyone knew. Of course in hindsight things weren’t QUITE as bad as everyone thought they would be and AoS ended up being more of a continuation than a reboot. At the time though, thanks to a massive failure in communication, no one had any idea what the hell would happen with their investments and many jumped ship. As I have said I wasn’t a WHFB player, but I certainly felt for everyone affected. After that bombshell (almost literally) GW then unveiled a freaking Adeptus Mechanius army! The only thing that seemed less likely than an actual Harlequin army (other than a Sisters of Battle update) was this, which people have been wanting since they were introduced in the lore. This pretty much killed my plans for a Harlequin army and is what kick started my “find every single thing I don’t use that I can eBay phase”. Hooray new armies!
In April we saw the Skitarii models ship and then continue to release. Near the end we also got a new Eldar codex which somehow made one of the most OP armies even more OP. Ignoring thing like Jet Bikes and Wraith units this codex probably had some of the best internal balance of any codex GW has released. Just about every unit in the book is viable and fun to play with. Of course being an Eldar player as well April was especially hard on my wallet :(.
Oh my good lord. In May we got an update to Imperial Knights, followed by another Adeptus Mechanicus army the Cult Mechanicus, with the Assassinorum board game releasing at the end. Of course having a couple Imperium armies I wanted to get another Imperial Knight, and already having one I needed to get the Codex. Having gone all in on the Ad. Mech meant I needed to continue collecting them with the CM release, and I couldn’t hold back and had to order the Assassinorum set since I always wanted to use Assassins but held back due to the crappy models (the box included brand new plastic versions of all 4 assassins which at the time were exclusive to it)…and btw I haven’t even assembled the assassin models yet :/. Somehow the models just kept getting better at the time and people were asking for a break from all the 40k releases. In years past GW would have spread out the releases from any of these months over a year.
So…I’m pretty sure I have a problem. June brought an update to the Space Marines with a few new models releases, and for some reason I decided I had to start an Ultramarine army as well. Anyways as usual for a Space Marine release this was a fairly big deal for GW and we go another extra large codex. The new model releases were again IMO great and I think the rules changes really helped bring up their power level. We also saw them get a new formation that allows them to take free transports, some say this makes them too OP but again I main Eldar so I may have a skewed perspective ;). At least from my experience they are still very fun to play against.
Here we go, this is when the internet imploded (at least the small part of the internet that cares about GW). July saw the release of AoS, and is also when I started this blog (obviously the larger event). We had lots and lots of rumors about what was going to happen but I don’t think anyone really thought the release of AoS was going to be this extreme. New races, new lore, new game system, FOUR PAGES of rules, etc… this changed everything for WHFB players. Of course after more releases and a bit more hindsight we can see it isn’t TOTALLY different. We still have a lot of the same old races and characters to varying degrees. Anyways I won’t go too far here as I have made my opinion know in other posts on this blog. In short I am a big fan of the new original lore, I really like the looks of just about everything released in the AoS era, I think the rules are great, and I like the new races. Of course this didn’t help my finances much either ;).
August really just continued the July releases. We got the massive Chaos Dreadhold and lots of other Stormcast and Bloodbound releases. Not a whole lot to say really. The models continued to be excellent. August is also when we had to move out our old place inbetween closing on our new house, causing the start of my putting hobbying on the back burner. Oh and of course classes started near the end which meant even less time. All that being the case I was much less aware of the releases for the rest of the year.
September was basically the same as August with more Stormcast and Chaos releases. We did get the Celestant-Prime which of course cause a slight controversy over price. I did end up getting one but he is sadly still in the box waiting patiently. Around this time I saw lots of complaints from 40k players online saying they felt neglected, which IMO considering the first half of the year was totally insane.
Oh boy a Tau release! I don’t think this is what most 40k players wanted when they were asking for another release ;). Even though I had put the hobby on pause at this time as usual the new release was still very tempting. I think the new models look great and the studio paint scheme is made up of my favorite colors and looks amazing. Crap I think I’m talking myself into a Tau army by typing this… The general consensus is they are way OP with their new stuff and sadly I haven’t had a game against them so I can’t comment. Personally they don’t look too bad, but as I keep saying I main Eldar soooooooo…
As if Harlequins and Ad. Mech. armies weren’t absolutely insane enough we then get this. Actual plastic Horus Heresy armies. We all heard the rumors, possibly years in advance, of a plastic Horus Heresy box set, but just like the AoS rumors I don’t think it really sunk in. Where in the past $125 would get you slightly more than a 10 man squad of 30k marines now you could get half an army. Plus we also got some more Tau and Stormcast releases in November as well! Needless to say I begged my wife to get be the box set for Christmas, which wonderful woman that she is she did…although sadly it is still in the box (notice a trend?).
And finally to close out the year we got some more Chaos releases including a FREAKING AWAZING Archaon model. Now I don’t play Chaos so I can’t comment on how well he does on the table, but my god is this model great. I will almost certainly get this model at some point just to have it. Also we got a crazy looking Tzeetch summoner and a new book. I like the look of the summoner but I could see how some wouldn’t as it doesn’t look all that “Tzeetchy” to me, although looking at the picture of it in WD around some other Tzeetch models he does seem to fit in.
Wow what a year. As I said at the start this has been one of the biggest and craziest years ever. I don’t think we will see this much crazy unexpected stuff from GW for awhile. Even a Sisters of Battle release would pale in comparison to scrapping one of their game systems. That being said I am still extremely excited for 2016. I can’t wait to see what surprises they have in store for 40k (really hoping for the aforementioned SoB release, if 30k will end up replacing the Middle Earth stuff as was rumored, and I am most excited to see what the other races will look like once they are AoSified. As usual I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts in the comments, and looking forward to an amazing 2016! Thanks for reading!