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Thread: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

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    Chaplain Aeron's Avatar
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    Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I've read many comments from posters on Warseer and other forums such as dakka saying that Fantasy is less popular. Some people even say Fanasy it loses GW money.

    I commented on a Fantasy computer game in the gaming section and a few comments;

    Quote Originally Posted by Forsworn View Post
    The hobby is awesome, and I really like it. That being said, Warhammer Fantasy is not the most well-known of games (much harder to find games than Warmachine or Warhammer 40k).
    Quote Originally Posted by sigur View Post
    Do you happen to be from the US by any chance?
    I'm not picking on these two imperticular but why must it be a US thing? Why guess America - is it true Fantasy sells less in America and what are the reasons for this. I thought all that 'medieval knights vs dragons' fairy tale stuff was well liked over there. But then I'm bringing my own bias into it....it's just hear'say tbh.

    Also, I often read that Warhammer Fantasy is really popular in Australia, considerably more than 40k. :confused:

    Is this all just gossip and peoples personal experiences or is there any reason to this perception. Why the disperate attitudes between the two?

    What about the UK? Is it 40k mad or more evenly split? If so why?

    Cheers

    Nate.

  2. #2
    Commander Confessor_Atol's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    First off, if Fantasy is loosign money in the states, it's because GW's overhead is too high. It simply set up too many mall and strip-mall stores.

    Really though it seems like 40k is most attractive to people in their teens and early 20's. They have money and time to hang out in stores. I play once a week at a friends house, or sometimes we go to a warhammer night and get a game with new people. When I go to a store, I typically know what I want and am in and out within 6 min. I can't agrue that my experience is typical of warhammer players in their 30's, but that's what I do.
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    Chapter Master Spiney Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I find in my local area (UK, North Notts) that 40K is more popular among teenage gamers, but once gamers get to the late teens/twenties its about evenly split, indeed most gamers I know who are 18+ play both WFB and 40K.

    Generally in my area WFB is perceived as a game for more experienced gamers, whereas 40K is seen more as a promo-to-the-kids, pick-up-and-play game.

    I've never, to my knowledge, met anyone who plays warmachine, although that might be because 1. I don't play it myself and 2. I haven't been looking.
    Last edited by Spiney Norman; 13-12-2011 at 14:39.
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    In my own narrow personal experience, 40k is a lot more popular here in America than fantasy is. My lgs has 3 gaming tables for warhammmer and most of the time I walk in they are filled with 40k games. Most of the 40k Players at my store have fantasy armies but even since 6th ed (when I started fantasy) 40k dominated the scene, if you wanted to play fantasy you usually had to find someone who is interested a few days in advance and take steps to get a table. That probally also has to do with my LGs being pretty small too though.

  5. #5

    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    i was under the impression that 40k vastly outsells fantasy in the US but trails it worldwide. and as someone who lives in the US, my personal experience is that yes, 40k dominates fantasy. the average 40k gaming group is triple or so the size of the average fantasy group around here (and that was before 8th ed killed the local fantasy communities). we are just now seeing a fantasy resurgence as people cross over from 40k, disillusioned by playing against nothing but space marine variants and the game being dominated by certain builds.

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    Chapter Master Nubl0's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I can imagine it struggles in america, as it not only has to compete with 40k but also warmachine and hordes. both of which have a much larger following in america than over here in the UK. Took me quite awhile to find people that played warmahordes and even then we only play it once every few weeks as we all have nice WFB armies too.

    Around here thanks to the local gw you cna get a game of 40k pretty much any day of the week, fantasy you can get one almost every day just not all the time as the people that tend to play it are older with less time.

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    Chapter Master The bearded one's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Quote Originally Posted by brother_maynard View Post
    (and that was before 8th ed killed the local fantasy communities).
    Which is in itself very peculiar, as 8th edition brought not but good and brought the game back from total oblivion to decent balance.
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    Commander theshoveller's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    40k is a much more distinctive property than WFB - in the US, WFB is competing with D&D Miniatures, Mage Knight, Hordes and so on (and broke into an already saturated market, fighting for retail space with them). While there are lots of sci-fi skirmish games, 40k is a highly recognisable product. Most gamers would recognise a space marine if they saw one, but if you asked someone to distinguish between a WFB orc and one from another fantasy game, I doubt many could make a distinction. In part, the success of Dawn of War brought 40k to a global market. WFB hasn't had a success like that in the internet era (Shadow of the Horned Rat was a hell of a game, but came out before internet use was as ubiquitous as it is today).

    Warhammer's place in the US market isn't going to be representative of its place within the company, or in the gaming market in general. GW is a British company and looks on Britain as its primary market (and the nature of our economy means that they're likely to look towards Europe as the next most important).

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    Chapter Master loveless's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    We Americans like our automatic weapons, missiles, and tanks. Fantasy is lacking a bit in that department.

    That said, I think the biggest issue with Fantasy around here is still the rank-and-file nature of it.

    "I need to buy how many boxes to make one unit?" compared to smaller box counts in 40K and Warmachine. Honestly, I'm not sure why GW packages WHFB the way they do - they throw out 10-man boxes for WHFB when a standard unit size is going to be 20+ in most cases.

    40K has its own packaging problems, but they're less apparent, IMO. A 5-man Terminator squad is perfectly usable, even if the max size is 10. The 5-man Troop/Elite boxes are questionable, but are often bulkier than equivalents in WHFB. It's odd to say, but I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck when I'm working on $60 of 40K vs. $60 of Fantasy (notable exception: plastic Zombie Dragon - worth every penny).

    The other thing that springs to mind is the widespread knowledge of the Dawn of War and Space Marine games. GW has struggled to license out a good, positively memorable WHFB-based game. W:AR was (is?) quaint at best and a useless exercise in PvP at worst. The RTS version of Fantasy (Mark of Chaos?) never seemed to catch on.

    Personally, I like WHFB (especially 8th), but I have trouble painting (let alone buying) 200+ plastic rats or 100+ plastic undead when a square piece of cardboard does the same thing - 50%+ of those models are just glorified wound counters.

    With 40K, if I buy 10 Necron Immortals, all 10 have a definite chance to contribute to my army's rate of fire and damage output. 10 Terminators means 10 bruisers who have a damn good chance of getting stuck into a combat and individually wrecking face.

    I think you get more of a personal connection with 40K models - you can really go to town with posing and conversions and single Troop models. Your opponents can learn to fear Brother Nero, the tactical marine firing a bolter in one hand and a bolt pistol in the other because he managed to pick the last wounds off the Ork Warboss after the rest of his squad died. Hell, back at the beginning of 4th, I had one particular Arco-flagellant that had accomplished such ridiculous feats of murder that he quickly became the go-to target for my regular opponents.

    With Fantasy, the most "locally renown" models were Lord and Hero choices - the troops and such were just meaningless placeholders while Wizards blew them away and heroes cut through them with the Enchanted Sword of Truthiness. Skeleton #27 isn't very likely to stand out from his fellows, nor is High Elf Spearman Ellisyr or Ork Boy Grum Toothcracka.

    Fantasy often feels like you're just moving blocks around while 40K can feel like an interactive war movie (and there are games that do it a lot better than 40K, as well!).
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    Chapter Master The Low King's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Fantasy is very strong in my area...i see many more games than 40k

    Near my Uni it is also very strong....played a lot by teenagers

    8th really gave it a boost here, we love it

    this is in the UK

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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I think my area is a bit different than normal. I think Fantasy slightly edges out 40k, though I think Warmachine/Hordes is slightly more popular still.

    However, the other game store I'm familiar with apparently has no fantasy players (barring a friend of mine who has never been able to play there) and one owner has an "in progress" fantasy army.

    As to why that is, I've always found more Americans to be fans of SciFi over fantasy when it comes to genres.

    And of course it doesn't help that GW is so UK focused. I was going to refer to the North American market as GW's redheaded step child, but then I remebered Australia/NZ.

  12. #12

    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Quote Originally Posted by loveless View Post
    Text.
    You bring up alot of good points. I've never thought about it that way.

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    Commander Lyonator's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I stopped playing Fantasy when the current edition came out and nerfed my Woodies.
    (I had a hard enough time winning games BEFORE they got bent over)

    that being said, Fantasy has died off a lot locally since the current edition released, so it's probably not just me.
    We'll see how the game fares next time around.
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    In general I saw people played W40k as it was cheaper/easier to get into and quicker to pick up. Afterall buy a squad of space marines and you can get right into a skirmish.... it isn't as easy with WFB.

    In fact if you wanted a boxset each side in WFB it would be a very boring game (charge, 1 turn of combat, oh I won); you *need* multiple units and larger units to truely appriciate the game. I honestly think WFB is a *lot* better game... but w40k has a *lot* better lore/background and is easier to pick up. GW have done it right in one way... the games play *completly* different and its not just like replacing guns for spears... or even bows.

    Because of the smaller scale of w40k however you could turn up at a mates house with 5 terminator models and have a great time - not so easy with WFB. You can't exactly fit 40 dwaves, 2 characters in 3 units and a warmachine in your coat pocket. (and that's a small useable skimisher force from one of the SMALLER armies!).

    This is prob why necomunda and bloodbowl were pretty popular...
    Last edited by boli; 13-12-2011 at 15:46.

  15. #15

    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Most people I know love Space Marines and the SM history/mythology. Americans in general like really big guys with guns shooting everything in sight. GW admitted that WFB does less well everywhere and there's a concentrated effort to catch it up with 40k's popularity.

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    Chapter Master The Low King's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    This is the kind of statement i find interesting in these discussions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyonator View Post
    I stopped playing Fantasy when the current edition came out and nerfed my Woodies.
    (I had a hard enough time winning games BEFORE they got bent over)

    that being said, Fantasy has died off a lot locally since the current edition released, so it's probably not just me.
    We'll see how the game fares next time around.
    Because i started playing again then 8th came out because my dwarfs could now do well....the local woodelf player also felt it was now easier to win

    i guess it depends on your point of veiw

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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Quote Originally Posted by loveless View Post
    We Americans like our automatic weapons, missiles, and tanks. Fantasy is lacking a bit in that department.
    Skaven have automatic weapons, missles, and the Empire loves it some STank action. Just saying.

    But in going with the rest of your statement, I kind of agree with you. I LOVE Fantasy, and my friends only recently invested in minimal 40k armies to just experience it and move back to Fantasy.
    But I can completely see your point of view that out of the 50 Skeletons in my VC army, I put effort into 3 of them. Once my command was done. The rest got the dry-brush white treatment, and are really just there to be killed, and raised back again.

    I do think that Fantasy is a more difficult game to play though. There are easier lists that win more, but for the most part there is a stratagy of placement, objectives and tactics. While 40k ( to me at least ) seems to be mostly a game of "Shoot them while we get close enough to punch them!". I know there IS a tactic to it, but I'm just missing it... ( Most likely hard to see through all those 3+ armor saves in the way ).
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    Chapter Master minionboy's Avatar
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    I play in San Francisco and we regularly have poor 40k nights and packed fantasy nights. It's probably more based on where you live.
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  19. #19

    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    My job requires me to travel internationally a lot. I have visited quite a few stores and talked to people and they all seem to agree on the same points. 40K is a lot more popular than Fantasy in the US (by a wide margin). The same thing goes for the rest of the world, but in the US the difference is a lot more pronounced. The main reasons seem to be the following, based on what I have heard / know.

    First of all as a previous poster eloquently put it Americans love guns! Tanks, robots all these things draw people, especially younger ones.

    Second 40K has received a lot more exposure than Fantasy. By that I mean computer games and even the incredibly successful HH book series.

    40K is a lot more "cost effective" than Fantasy because it has a greater number of plastic kits, thus cheaper armies. Fantasy has taken quite a few steps to remedy that with the introduction of more plastic kits, but even so it is nowhere near 40K. In addition to this you need fewer models for a 40K army compared to a Fantasy one, thus lower expenses. This also explains why young people tend to prefer 40K, given their usually limited budgets compared to older players.
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    Re: Warhammer Fantasy: Americas red headed stepchild??

    Quote Originally Posted by The Low King View Post
    This is the kind of statement i find interesting in these discussions:



    Because i started playing again then 8th came out because my dwarfs could now do well....the local woodelf player also felt it was now easier to win

    i guess it depends on your point of veiw
    When 8th first came out our local woodelf player was all gloom & doom

    "Oh no, my woodies are doomed!"

    I think he's won 3/4 of his games in 8th.

    He had to change his lists dramaticaly, but it's working for him.
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