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View Full Version : Should there be a set scheduale on rulebook releases?



The Anarchist
03-02-2011, 23:30
Does anyone feel it would be good for GW to have a defenative list they issue each year of which army books will be released over each new eddition? I know its an old gripe but it really annoys me when some armies get two rule books in between other armies getting one. A friend recently pointed out to me if you buy an army it seems a fair expectation for the company to support your army as equally as any other.

The analogy given to me was i pay equal for my Electric as my next door house, okay their house is bigger and so uses more electric, but we pay equal per watt of energy and get equal treatment if either of us has a problem in our electric.

I play woodelves and still love playing them but feel they get a bit forgotten behind other armies, and would love to see a commitment from GW that they would support certain armies. seems that Orcs, Empire will be getting new army books soon, long before WE can expect one. meaning they get two books between WE army books.

Now please don't use economics to state why GW do this, I studied buisiness and Economics so do understand the math. I mostly wonder whether others would like GW to at least state they intend to support certain armies well and others less so or show us a sheaduale that states the order they will release army books.

Gatsby
03-02-2011, 23:39
I agree, a more open businesses strategy would be nice, knowing when 2nd waves and when new books are coming out would be better for all involved.

Evil Hypnotist
03-02-2011, 23:47
No, projects like this undoubtedly run over time and cut into other deadlines. I would rather have the schedule kept from the public than to be let down by a late release, or worse, a rush job being put out to make the right date.

Darsc Zacal
04-02-2011, 00:02
No, projects like this undoubtedly run over time and cut into other deadlines. I would rather have the schedule kept from the public than to be let down by a late release, or worse, a rush job being put out to make the right date.

Exactly This. It's bad enought when it happens in the videogame industry, which is frequently. I wouldn't want to see GW follow that route.

Little Joe
04-02-2011, 00:10
Since this is about GW, no. First thoughts:

1) If they do this deadlines will have to be met, resulting in disastrous rules because they will not invest more. They mainly want to be a miniatures producer according to GW.
2) If a lot of players see they will not get support many will lose hope and that may lead to some armies with such low revenue that GW sends them to the chaos dwarfs and dogs of war.
3) Starting players will look at this schedule and more likely choose well supported armies and again diversity, this time first on the table, will be in decline.

By no means do I like the current way GW deals with information towards us customers and I would like to know at least what is in it for me for the next six months. But GW wants to depend on kids and they are such fickle people.
I also would love regular and better support but the buy more and make everything more expensive approach killed any thought of expansion. And I am lucky since I already have three full armies so technically am not in need of more.

And in this void I find many other interesting games and I move on which is fun and very exciting. So thanks GW for not sharing!:cool:

Haravikk
04-02-2011, 00:10
It'd be nice for core rulebooks to know well in advance. For army books though no, the Skaven one was riddled with mistakes, if anything they should feel free to take longer on them until they're sure they're solid, as nothing's worse than getting a new army book and finding a bunch of the rules are really fuzzy and you need an FAQ to hand to figure it all out. Still a nice army book, but it really could have had just an extra read-through or something!

MarshalFaust
04-02-2011, 05:03
While it may be nice to know for us this would be a horrible business decision for GW. it would guarantee little to no sales on the model ranges and books that they plan on redoing that year and as soon as a project gets pushed or dropped or whatever there would be massive amounts of crying on this forum.it would be a PR nightmare and whoever would be responsible for it would be sacked.

i personally think they should release all armybooks at the same time as the new edition rules release and then stagger the miniature releases in waves over the next 4-5 years or longer. this way everything for that edition is updated and on a level playing field and still gives people something to look forward to in miniature releases.

sulla
04-02-2011, 05:56
It doesn't seem logical to me to force books out at a certain rate. If the sculptors and designers are not enthused or have no clear direction for the models, should they still churn out products? If so, expect more razorgors and dire wolves. Should the writers rush out books they are not happy with?

Even the giant compendium idea would only really work IMO if it collected and reprinted existing books for at least half it's content. I did like the old compendiums, but the lists in them had a real cut&paste feel to them. Modern lists are much more labour intensive.

I think there are definately opportunitites for compendiums though. A greater chaos compendium would allow a rebalancing of all chaos forces and have space for alliance rules. You could do an Elves of the Warhammer world book with a bunch of USR for the 3 races. Anything bigger than that and I think players wold be balking at the price of the tome.

Gorbad Ironclaw
04-02-2011, 07:33
I think there are definately opportunitites for compendiums though. A greater chaos compendium would allow a rebalancing of all chaos forces and have space for alliance rules. You could do an Elves of the Warhammer world book with a bunch of USR for the 3 races. Anything bigger than that and I think players wold be balking at the price of the tome.

That touches on something I'd like GW to do. Rather than releasing individual army books they would release something more like the books you get in Flames of War, so focusing on a theatre or area of the world.

It could be anything from a Civil War book featuring High and Dark Elves, a Border Prince book featuring Orcs and Goblins, Human settlers, Barrow Kings, Dwarves to an Empire book featuring the Empire(obviously) the Beastmen and Chaos cults living there, OnG Raiders, Necromancers and Vampires.

It would also give you the option of having several different takes on a given race. You could have settled Orc and Goblin tribes in a Border Prince books, mobile raiders and Waaghs in an Empire book, underground Night Goblins in a World Edge Mountains book, etc. letting us see a much bigger slice of what the world actually have to offer and at the same time not necessarily requiring a redo of an entire range of miniatures with every list. And while I know that GW lives by selling miniatures having multiple ways for people to use those miniatures would surely be an incentive to try them out/add a bit to what you already have.

And you could also cover more people with each individual book, as there will be lists to please more than one armies players, and you even get the bonus of having rules there to entice people into trying other armies for that book.

I doubt it would happen as it would be a massive shift to how the books have been done for the past 15+ years, but I think it could be a real interesting way to try and keep things updated.

Spiney Norman
04-02-2011, 09:46
Honestly I think a schedule is a bad idea, I just wish they'd get it into their heads to fix the most needy armies (TK, WE) before redoing a well-functioning army just because its popular (O&G).

After spending some time thinking about it its pretty clear that more than 2 army books a year is unrealistic at present. As far as I'm aware there are only what 4 game designers working for GW at present (Vetock, Ward, Cruddace and Kelly, anyone I've left out) and two systems to keep going. Clearly they need the time to do a good job and having people work on overlapping projects (possibly for different systems) probably isn't the best idea.

Just be thankful they've left the LotR rules to rot otherwise the designer's efforts would be split 3 ways

scarletsquig
04-02-2011, 10:00
Are there really only 4 people writing the books?

GW just plain needs to hire more staff, then. A core of at least 6 experienced writers is need. No shortage of talent out there.

Also, they'd be better off splitting the "rules writers" and "background writers" off into 2 separate positions. Having one person lumped with both the prose and the mathmetical game balance is not a good idea, you can't be perfect at both of those things, all 4 of the writers have their own weak points.. Kelly is better at writing 40k books (O&G being redone so quickly, and the fact that he hasn't worked on another fantasy book since is probably an indication of this). Ward's prose is lacking, Cruddace's internal balancing isn't very good, and Vetock isn't good at writing clear rules.

Spiney Norman
04-02-2011, 10:37
Are there really only 4 people writing the books?

GW just plain needs to hire more staff, then. A core of at least 6 experienced writers is need. No shortage of talent out there.

Also, they'd be better off splitting the "rules writers" and "background writers" off into 2 separate positions. Having one person lumped with both the prose and the mathmetical game balance is not a good idea, you can't be perfect at both of those things, all 4 of the writers have their own weak points.. Kelly is better at writing 40k books (O&G being redone so quickly, and the fact that he hasn't worked on another fantasy book since is probably an indication of this). Ward's prose is lacking, Cruddace's internal balancing isn't very good, and Vetock isn't good at writing clear rules.

Well Vetock did Skaven (over a year ago) and has presumably finished O&G by now, Andy Hoare did beastmen, but he left just before finishing it, Alessio has gone, Ward's last project was Blood Angels, he is allegedly now working on Necrons, Cruddace' last book was Tyranids and it looks like he's currently working on Tomb Kings. Phil Kelly authored Dark Eldar and is presumably doing something else now (no idea what as theres no firm indications of what will follow TK for Fantasy or Necrons for 40K), perhaps 40k Sisters of Battle or WFB Ogres?

Also I thought Matt Ward wrote the last O&G book, not Phil Kelly, are you sure on that one?

shelfunit.
04-02-2011, 11:01
I think with a bit of tweaking this would be a good idea.
Maybe a very basic schedule - one with no set dates, just a "over the course of this edition we will try to update X,Y,Z books, in this order...", along with their reasoning behind why "X,Y,Z" books will be updated and not others.

Grimstonefire
04-02-2011, 11:29
I think it suits GW very well not to say when things will be done.

For those concerned with competitive gaming if they said 'we won't be updating dark elves (for example) for the next 5 years', I imagine sales would dip severely over time.

jimbo2
04-02-2011, 11:54
No, projects like this undoubtedly run over time and cut into other deadlines. I would rather have the schedule kept from the public than to be let down by a late release, or worse, a rush job being put out to make the right date.

This is precisely how I feel, rules development isn't an exact science.

I like Gorbad's idea though of having books centreing on specific conflicts with associated army lists. GW did this with Epic and it worked a treat.

Odin
04-02-2011, 13:06
In answer to the question, no.

Grimstonefire
04-02-2011, 14:55
Something I think is interesting, after reading in WD that the storm raven and furioso were basically gap filling releases between major armies/codexes, it's got me wondering why they feel that doing this for something they released in the last couple of years is better than doing it for something that hasn't had any major release in 6+ years?

That would be a temporary solution to the release schedule I think.

In the long run I think they need to realise that they are primarily a manufacturer (models based), but that old rules are holding back sales of whole armies for years and years.

Imo they should already have done a pdf update of all armies that didn't get updated in 7th, excluding those that are due to be done in 2011.

GW could even put armybooks/ codexes over X years old for free on pdf to boost sales of the army.

Odin
04-02-2011, 15:48
Something I think is interesting, after reading in WD that the storm raven and furioso were basically gap filling releases between major armies/codexes, it's got me wondering why they feel that doing this for something they released in the last couple of years is better than doing it for something that hasn't had any major release in 6+ years?

That would be a temporary solution to the release schedule I think.

In the long run I think they need to realise that they are primarily a manufacturer (models based), but that old rules are holding back sales of whole armies for years and years.

Imo they should already have done a pdf update of all armies that didn't get updated in 7th, excluding those that are due to be done in 2011.

GW could even put armybooks/ codexes over X years old for free on pdf to boost sales of the army.

I think you're probably looking at it a bit wrong (but only a bit).

The stormraven and furioso are rather more like an extended release for the BAs, rather than a pure space filler.

I suppose you could also argue that releasing new kits for armies that are quite old is not ideal. If they haven't started seriously working on the next army book for that race, they don't really know what might change (for example this rumour of TK skeletons with "khopesh" weapons. They'd look pretty silly if they released a new skeleton warriors kit, then start working on the new army book 6 months later and decide they want to introduce a new weapon which wasn't included in their recently-released kit. It takes around 18-24 months to develop an army, and a similar amount of time to develop a plastic kit. So it might be inadvisable to start working on a new plastic set for a race unless you are sure that either you won't be releasing a new army book for them in the next 4 years, or you definitely aren't going to change the options for the unit you're making.

Now, I'm not 100% sure I'm convinced by my own argument there. But I think it's a fair point. Chaos Knights recently got their lances back, but if the unit had been made a couple of years before the army book to keep Chaos fans happy, the unit would now be missing one of their weapon options. When models were mostly metal it wasn't such an issue, because it was quicker and cheaper to make the kits. Now when so much is plastic, GW need to be pretty damn sure that the kit they're making will do its job for around 10 years.

Naxn
04-02-2011, 18:23
Yes. This is a business and there should be deadlines. If they can't handle creating some kind of development plan and stick to it, they certainly can't handle making balanced rules for all the different armies.

/end frustration

Satan
04-02-2011, 18:33
Oh god yes. They should be distributed with basic rules in the complete rulebook or as their own compendium like Ravening Hordes with expansions adding new units or the army being available as PDF files for download and updated once every year. With subsequent overall FAQ updated once per month.

Colonel Kolm
04-02-2011, 18:34
absolutely not. to set a deadline means they now must rush into production models, and army books/codices that just are not what they could or should be. should there perhaps be an internal deadline made by the staff themselves in order to get them to focus on their specific projects perhaps, but an overall company deadline saying this should be out no later then this date just is not realistic nor is it wise.

BigbyWolf
04-02-2011, 18:40
Yes. This is a business and there should be deadlines. If they can't handle creating some kind of development plan and stick to it, they certainly can't handle making balanced rules for all the different armies.

/end frustration

Personally, I think an improved product is better then having something forced out to reach a deadline.

As for sticking to a plan, I'm pretty sure they've been saying that OnG are getting redone for the early part of this year...and as far as I'm aware that's when the new book is due out. They probably have their own deadlines/ schedule, but don't publish them to avoid the nerdrage that they would receive if they published a schedule of releases 2 years previously, then failed to live up to them.

Odin
05-02-2011, 11:27
Yes. This is a business and there should be deadlines. If they can't handle creating some kind of development plan and stick to it, they certainly can't handle making balanced rules for all the different armies.

/end frustration

I think you're getting a bit confused here. They do have deadlines. But their deadlines are internal to the company, not set by gamers stomping their feet.

And what they don't do is set silly deadlines like setting out the release dates for every army book years in advance. Because you just can't be that precise that far in advance.

Grimstonefire
05-02-2011, 16:01
And what they don't do is set silly deadlines like setting out the release dates for every army book years in advance. Because you just can't be that precise that far in advance.

Just out of curiosity, why can't they be that precise?

They know at least 18 months in advance of release which plastic models need doing, so presumably that much has already been worked out for every upcoming release for a while.

On the rules/ writing side, it strikes me that whilst some armies take a lot more playtesting/work than others to get right, they shouldn't really be vastly different in the time involved.

So fair enough they could give a 3-4 month window and juggle things around a bit, but other than that I would be really surprised if things were so chaotic there that they couldn't tell within a 6 month window for instance when things were to be finished.

My understanding is that GW sit on a lot of finished things; models and books, things that have been finished for at least a year already and are just waiting for their release where they can be the "focus of the month". :rolleyes: I'm sure that if GW wanted to they could increase the model releases by at least a third. They would make for a very mixed WD, but they could be done.

The delay in rules releases, but increase in models is why they have let some rules writers go without being replaced imo. In 6th ed they had a lot more authors because of the rate of release. Now they only need 4 or 5 guys. If they had that many people still they'd have books stacking up ready for release years in advance of when they were needed.

Gork or Possibly Mork
05-02-2011, 16:18
Im sure they already do have one internaly somewhat.

It allows them more freedom and flexibiltiy not having one publicly set in stone.

Tokamak
05-02-2011, 16:23
Even though It's a huge international company. I still like the creative process just be some guys having with with creating new content rather than a bunch of pushy businessmen with profit margins.

Spiney Norman
05-02-2011, 17:54
Even though It's a huge international company. I still like the creative process just be some guys having with with creating new content rather than a bunch of pushy businessmen with profit margins.

No offense, but "pushy businessmen with profit margins" is probably a better description of GW. The space-marine centric production schedule of 40K is sufficient evidence to convince me of that. Just because they don't advertise their production schedule and it has nothing to do with the needs of the game or gamers does not indicate that it doesn't exist.

Sparowl
05-02-2011, 18:01
As is pointed out every time a thread posts about their practices, they are a business. Competent businesses tend to have business plans. Plans tend to have dates and deadlines.

Whether they don't have one, or do have one and have decided that we can't see it is irrelevant. As far as we know, one doesn't exist.

Honestly, I'm not surprised by this thought. GW reels from one project to the next like a drunk from bar to bar, and I'd be surprised if anyone actually knew what was going on.

Besides the suits, who say "Make more Space Marines, because they sell!"

(Probably because you keep making new stuff for them.)


Even though It's a huge international company. I still like the creative process just be some guys having with with creating new content rather than a bunch of pushy businessmen with profit margins.

Yeah, I remember those days too.....It is a shame that they aren't like that at GW anymore.