View Full Version : Which Fantasy Army Sells the Best?

09-08-2009, 11:17
I was talking to another player who suggested that Empire was the best selling fantasy army, which really surprised me. (I'd have thought greenskins, or chaos maybe) I've heard in different threads that one army sells well or another poorly, but have never seen any actual figures. Out of curiosity are there any figures available? Or is something GW keeps secret.

sharky 10
09-08-2009, 12:30
Personnaly I would say its either Greenskins, Dwarfs or chaos.

09-08-2009, 12:43
According to another poster in another thread (can't remember which one) it's Empire, O&G and WoC, and I think in that order.

09-08-2009, 14:27
My guess is Chaos. They have 3 army books.

09-08-2009, 14:33
My other guess would be Elves - they have three army books. :)

09-08-2009, 15:04
Yeah, but he asked for armies, not species or alliances >>

09-08-2009, 15:42
I was under the impression that Chaos and Orcs have been the best sellers from the beginning.

09-08-2009, 15:47
My local store manager has always said O&G are the best-sellling Fantasy army in his store.

09-08-2009, 15:54
Which proves that there are enough people with a sense of humour are still involved in the hobby.

09-08-2009, 17:28
Chaos used to be the best-seller army during 5th edition in my region. Today, I'd say Empire because the all-plastic range attracts a lot of people.

09-08-2009, 21:00
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still surprised empire does so well, I haven't seen that much in my area, and most of the models I find personally unattractive, but that's just my subjective opinion.

09-08-2009, 21:08
Logic would suggest it would be the most popular horde army, so O&G are my guess.

09-08-2009, 21:19
agree with stuffburger, although chaos and orcs and gobbos may hav even poularity, your gonna buy more stuff for o&g's becaus their more or less a horde army, whereas chaos are normally much smaller.

09-08-2009, 21:50
I would strongly support that it depends on which new army book has been released, that usually tilts the sales in favor.

Otherwise, I believe for a new army it would be WoC or DoC as they require less models to paint, have alot of possibilities and are very flexible.

As for buying armies already painted do a search for painted skaven on ebay sometime. The horde of horde armies, and one of the largest to paint if you ever want to play with all of the unit types.

My experience lies with new gamers considering buying a new army and either painting 150+/- gobbos versus 80+/- demons. It depends on how anxious they are to play and experience they have with painting vs cost and number of models. I think that is a very important formula to consider.

09-08-2009, 22:59
Aye, army book effect I'd say. I think White Dwarf (from the breif skimming I give each issue) seems to highlight The Empire a lot, so I've always imagined it to be the most popular army - plus the whole human thing. I'd be genuinely surprised to learn it was Os&Gs.

10-08-2009, 08:11
I would like to see numbers also. Where I live almost no one buys empire minis let alone plays them. Three of the store owners in my area have told me on numberous occasions that empire minis are among some of the worst selling GW products. Orcs, dwarves, elves and chaos sell big.

If anything, I see the empire as an unpopular army and feel that the recent wave of empire additions without much else was hurtful to the hobby. With all the fantastical elements that draw people to WHFB, the appeal of normal humans with guns just isn't there. I can get that from 40K.

10-08-2009, 13:28
In my gaming group most new players go for High Elves or Dwarves.

10-08-2009, 13:32
Who buys Orcs?? The only two Orc armies I've seen in a year are mine (which I made on a dare) and another guy who dug it out of storage (mostly 4th-5th edition models) for a tournament. I've seen some little kids with them that they get in the starter set but quickly get frustrated and quit.

I see tons of Lizardmen and Dark Elf armies and to a lesser extent Vampires and Demons.

Hrogoff the Destructor
10-08-2009, 14:20
There are quite a few Orcs and Goblin players in the area around here. Most end up dropping the army shortly after beginning it though. I've seen three O&G players in the past month, which is not too bad considering the flak it gets.

I find it strange that the Empire is so popular as they are completely ignored around here. While I know quite a few people that own them and see people buy them from time to time, I literally played against my first Empire opponent for the first time within the last two months (apart from Dogs of War, it was the last "major" army for me to play against). Of all the time I've played, a little over three years, I've only seen them fielded twice including the game I played against them. The only army I've seen less of is Tomb Kings.

High Elves have always been a popular army choice around here. They were popular when I started the game, and are just as popular now. No one I know has really abandoned the army like so many of the "flavor of the months" teams I usually see.

Dark Elves seem to be the next big thing around here, followed closely behind with Vampire Counts, then Warriors of Chaos, then High Elves.

10-08-2009, 14:45
I think that Elves and Dwarves have consistent sales figures, Orcs may have them as well, since these are archetypal races, which means that Human armies should have rather steady sales figures as well.

10-08-2009, 15:04
One of my friends is a huge Empire fan so I've played against them a lot. However other than him I see almost no one else using them. I think Empire what GW sees as the center of Fantasy and treats them accordingly (kinda like if they were the 40K Imperium).

10-08-2009, 16:02
I've always heard it was Chaos [Warriors now]. They have always been a popular army, they have for a long time been supported by a good plastic range. They are one of the 2 main forces in the game [alongside Empire], they are fairly easy to pick up and play with, they are fairly easy to paint. They are on most of the Warhammer posters etc.

If you think of an iconic Warhammer Fantasy image, I think a big spikey Chaos Warrior is up there. In a league of its own really, an Empire Soldier? No, you get guys like that in historical gaming so it isnt really iconic. An Orc? they are everywhere now in most game systems. Etc

10-08-2009, 16:06
i've been under the impression that it's been empire, at least statistically speaking.

otherwise at this point i'd almost expect VC, considering how popular that army is now that there are so many idiot-proof builds and the fact that you have to carry about 50% more models than you actually field.

Lord Khabal
10-08-2009, 16:09
I dont think it is a very fair question, since O+G (and even empire or dwarfs)will require a lot more units (and therefore a lot more sales) to reach the points limit than Chaos WOC or, say, ogres...

10-08-2009, 16:42
Actually, the real question is, which army nets GW the most profit.

10-08-2009, 18:29
VC O&G are what I was lead to believe sell the most right now. Empire has never been a big performer.

10-08-2009, 19:24
Actually, the real question is, which army nets GW the most profit.

Indeed it is, but even if (Warriors of) Chaos has a bigger fan base then Orcs & Goblins, but Orcs and Goblins sells for minis, that is still an important figure, as the army with the biggest fan base has the biggest potential for profit.

The SkaerKrow
10-08-2009, 19:24
Empire sells well enough to justify almost the entire range being released in plastic.

To my understanding, Orcs and Goblins have always been at or near the top of the sales sheets for Warhammer Fantasy. I do not have hard numbers to back that up, only discussions with store managers and my own observations as a Warhammer player.

10-08-2009, 21:56
I think orcs and goblins have benefited by being the race many people got their early experience with. Being in 3 of the last 4 starters means a lot of people were introduced with them. They have cool models and wacky rules. There's a lot to draw you in with them.

And the empire is the centre of the universe. They're the human race, but they're an interesting take on it. Lots of great plastic models probably helps as well.

If an army is bought because it's the strongest, it'll only get bought until it isn't the strongest anymore. It's the races you really like for the playstyle, the background and/or the models that people get attached to and generally will grow into the huge armies.

And models is where GW makes money so more model sales and making the most profit essentially mean the same thing.

Karrig stern
10-08-2009, 22:31
It doesn't matter what army it is as long as it is purple! Try it :p

10-08-2009, 22:50
I think Ebay is very instructive when it comes to sales.

Beasts of Chaos (66)
Bretonnia (242)
Chaos (849)
Dark Elves (370)
Dwarfs (388)
Empire (738)
High Elves (348)
Hordes of Chaos (146)
Lizardmen (322)
Ogre Kingdoms (142)
Orcs & Goblins (336)
Skaven (122)
Terrain, Scenery (111)
Tomb Kings (104)
Vampire Counts (328)
Wood Elves (197)
Other (370)

10-08-2009, 23:27
Empire and Chaos ahead by a nose - but part of those numbers must include people dumping their armies.

10-08-2009, 23:41
I've always found O&G to be the biggest selling army. Most players seem to have a small force of orcs. Usually a group get into the game and a few people play the good guys, usually one elf and a other, while one dude gets the boxed set stuff and becomes the orc guy.

Used to be heaps of competition for orc stuff on ebay but as the dex creep blew out in this edition the demand has dropped and ive been able to snag some sweet deals. Though that could be a symptom of fantasy in general?

Danger Rat
10-08-2009, 23:50
O+G were the best selling range when I worked for GW but that is going back 4yrs so it may have changed, I know quite a few people with O+G armies you don't see them that often at tourneys but thats no indication of what sells.

11-08-2009, 02:19
The old Canadian site use to have a pie chart of the armies and there sale %. The pie chart was based off of 2007 IIRC. At that time pretty much every army sold in the same percentages of 5-8%. I think this was right before the WE release and after the Ogre Kingdoms. Unlike 40k I do not believe there is really any difference when it comes to popularity of fantasy armies. The newer released armies at the time were in the 8% while the oldest released armies were in the 5%. I think its probably safe to say that that trend has continued and is probably the reason fantasy tends to always be geared toward "what was just released", while 40k tends to be "what was just released, but hey don't forget about space marines!".

I have not looked into it, however if anyone knows where/if Warhammer Online has total character counts on the six races that could also provide some insight keeping in mind many of those players may not purchase any models, but should still give an idea of some popularity between Chaos, Orcs, DE, HE, Dwarf and Empire.

11-08-2009, 03:27
Nah, no parralel between W:AR and WFB. It's an online game, so people play the toughest class, period. When I left, the vast majority of order players were either ironbreakers or bright wizards, because those were the classes that ownt. Nothing else to it really.