Tuesday, December 22, 2015


  So we all heard that Games Workshop is bringing back the Specialist Games department.  That's the division that used to be in charge of such oldies as Epic, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Mordheim, and even BFG and Warmaster snuck their way onto the wall under that label.  Many in the grey-beard community believe that some of these are the best games that GW ever produced.

  I can't really deny that as I really fell into GW with Necromunda.  Although I was painting 40k models (and even the rare elf from Citadel), I wasn't a serious hobbyist until I ripped open that Christmas wrapping to find the Orlocks and Goliaths facing off.  From there, my Ultramarines became a real army (I had given the last one away to someone who knew what they were doing... memories...) and I even donned the Power Armour for a while!  So hearing that GW was making this move definitely didn't hurt my feelings.

  Well played, GW, well played.  I still have a crapton of Necromunda stuff (and my buddy happens to have a bunch as well), Epic stuff (IG and the obligatory chapter of Ultramarines), and BFG (Eldar, SM, IG, and I wish I had a Chaos fleet!).  But then I had a thought- what if this new division is indeed going to release some little games like that (imagine another rehash of 'Space Marine', the first Epic game), but they will take over support and production of the board games that we're coming to know.

  Let me play the 'conspiracy theorist' here- GW makes a bit of a killing from licensing fees, especially from the very success Fantasy Flight Games.  Remember that the quality of the games from them is very good, and sometimes we even wish that GW could produce as well as FF.  But wait!  They can!  Remember the release of Space Hulk back in 2009?  That game actually won some awards for board quality alone- on top of being a staple of GW gamers back to the Stone Ages!  GW definitely has the ability to produce such quality, and they're flexing they're muscles on these games.  

  Betrayal at Calth,  very much like Assassinorum Execution Force, seemed like little more than a money-grab by the evil empire.  Most people ignored the Assassin game because they already had most of those models (who needs 3 Chaos Marines, anyway?!) and nobody trusted GW after the Dreadfleet debacle (although I've heard nothing but good from people that have it).  But I, like a gazillion other people, fell for the money-grab and bought two.  TWO.  And then I opened the box up and realized just how awesome a deal it really was.  

   And then I played it.  I played it with my kids, my wife, and even my buddy from out-of-state, and they all enjoyed it.  In fact, I like it so much that I think it could be the next AOS-style adaptation of a game if GW ever had to kill 40k.  I mean, it wouldn't be too hard to switch to that system and produce fold-out hex-maps the way Wizkidz does for Heroclix...  But that's all craziness taken to its extension.  What is the point is that GW is now firing up the "new" Specialist Games division to produce these one-offs (with a future, mind you) and possibly take back the license from FF or even just 'ride that wave' that FF creates.  How much does it really make sense?  I'm just sayin'...

  Regardless, I'm super happy to hear about the resurrection of 'the old days' a bit and I'm actually impressed enough to blog about a game that I was just trying to 'get a deal' on.  Let me know what y'all think in the comments below (I love reading those even months later!).

And, as always, Happy Gaming!