I have a lot of strange feelings towards Games Workshop as a company. I'm sure a lot of you can relate. Their business practices often get in the way of what might be the "best move" for the customer, I feel. Price hikes on metals, then on plastics... discontinuing bits store, issuing Cease&Desists to various third party bits vendors (whom I often turned to for the occasional final piece for a conversion I was working on), discontinuing supplements, etc. For the longest time, one of these things has been how easily half of the army codices go entirely ignored for several rules permutations. Now granted, this time around it does seem like they're trying to roll them all out for this current rules set ... though you'll have to forgive me if I'm a little hesitant. For all that I seemingly "loved" GW and 40K throughout the years, I did get the feeling like I was in a kind of abusive relationship with GW. I often considered just walking away.
The same thing happened to me with regards to Wizards of the Coast and their Dungeons & Dragons franchise. The constant supplements and re-issuing of rules sets just drowns you after a time in a feeling that it's never enough. I always happily jumped to whatever was new out of their doors... but this last edition (4th) just took it all out of me. I tried it out with some friends a few times and I just couldn't get past this feeling like it was just... disappointing. It was just bad. I went through a phase where I swore off D&D. I felt betrayed, in a way... I know how silly that sounds, but we're talking about feelings here and they're often irrational. Then I swore off the whole d20 system (switching to the d6 system developed by West End Games for similar type campaigns). Lately some friends of mine brought me around to trying another D&D game (v3.5) and I rediscovered my love for it. The great thing was that I didn't have to worry about constant revisions and additions to the rule-set. Version 3.5 was done, and solid. It was a strange and freeing kind of realization that I can enjoy D&D again without being run through the wringer by WotC anymore.
So, back to Warhammer 40k. Having toyed with the idea of just walking away from the franchise like I had D&D, the thought came of what to replace it with? I started looking around for other miniatures games. Most of them I couldn't get into because the models were terrible. I looked for a long time at Warmachine, by Privateer Press. It's probably heresy to even discuss Warmachine on a 40k blog, but there you have it. I purchased a model to paint (like testing the pool with your toes before jumping in):
Adeptis Rahn was fun to paint, and I could see myself getting into this... but I also had a tremendous sense of loss when I even considered it, especially when I'd look at all the painted 40k models I already had. This was something more than the situation with WotC. With them, it was just the collection of books and supplements. This was not only a collection of books, but a collection of miniatures I had poured countless hours into. Much harder to walk away from. I had bought the Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marine codices... and stopped there. The thought that came to me was that IF they rolled out ALL the army codices right here in this current rules edition... I might just have an opportunity to crystallize my 40k experience similar to D&D. I would collect all the codices, and basically stop there, regardless of further released editions/codices. I was never much into the tourney scene, so this was entirely feasible. It was just me and a few friends who got a game in once in a blue moon. The thought excites me, but I'm trying to moderate my expectations.
Further disappointing, was when GW announced that they were discontinuing the specialist game lines. I had collected a few Battlefleet Gothic minis and courted ideas of playing that as well, and seeing that fall through was a further downer pushing me into a slump. I looked at Firestorm Armada for a while, and like with Warmachine, nearly took the plunge on that as well... but I kept thinking "I'll collect them and just apply the 40k fluff to the Firestorm Armada minis and game system." It was a sad thought, really. I was so entrenched in the 40k universe I couldn't even consider getting into an alternative sci-fi board game.
Coming out of all that, I wondered what to do with this blog. Let it die? Change the format/topic? How would that go over? Should I open it up to gaming in general? Post about video games I've played, or even D&D sessions? This is an area I'm still conflicted on, to be honest. I'd love to hear any of your thoughts on the matter.