Re: Death of the warhammer-soul
Agree with this. The current Grimdark I find pretty camp to be honest. Warhammer was obviously never supposed to be realisitc-it's fantasy after all- but what seperated it from much of it's competiors at the time was that it's fantasy was more rational and less hyperbolic than was the case at the time. It took much of it's inspiration from history and historiogrpahy, and the intellectual fantasies and myths of the past. A real effort was made to ensure that it's races had a cultural and social element which you could believe in, as if fighting battles was just one of the many things that went on in the Warhammer world. You could tell that it didn't start out as a game for fighting battles. Becuase it was closer to our world, the darker stuff was pared down and had a sense of proportion and one could relate to it. War in our world is seen as a disater becuase of what it represents- the break down of society and civilization etc. If War went on for ever we would get used to it eventually. Or we would all die. But either way, our perception of it would change. In order for us to understand something is dark, there has to be light to provide the contrast. Now a days it just seems as though everyone in Warhammer is super earnest and overblown and bombastic. There's not much character or art in that in comparison to the subtleties of the world in the past.
Originally Posted by Grimbad
A good indication of this is the current tone of the models. There has been a move towards making models look "realisitc" as opposed to fantastical. This is not a default obvious choice. I rememeber when I first got into the hobby that people wanted models to look more life like, and you would think it would better compliment the grimdark of the warhammer world. But in hindsight unless something is spot on in terms of it's realism it will look odd becuase it will never actually look quite real enough. The latest Krell is an astonishing model, make no mistake, but he is spot on. Ditto much of the Forgeworld range. But alongside these truly excellent pieces much of the other realisitc models look flat and off.
My favourite era was from about the 5th Ed Dark Elves up until 7th edition. Those models were very accurate in terms of anthropology but had subtle fantasitcal accents which gave them a conservative, gritty heroism, and just a touch of humour/madness/darkness to them as appropriate. Sometimes all three. The majority of models produced in this era are as good as I remember them being ten years or so ago, and the consistency across the range is really very strong.
Re: Death of the warhammer-soul
There have definitely been changes in how GW plans its kits, designs books etc. Some of those have been driven by the retail team. Personally I don't mind that if the end result is a great product.
Have GW models got less soul now than in the past? I don't think that is true, at least universally. The Ogres strike me as a good example of GW giving an army a stronger identity and something more personal. The quality of kits has increased hugely. Models like the Mortis Engine couldn't even be considered until recently. It seems clear that GW has been bringing in more large models. My guess is that this makes the armies more eye catching and they're harder for other companies to produce alternatives for. In general I think the push towards dual-purpose kits has lend to some 'vanilla-fication' and choices with weak background. It seems like a lot of new units get created because they are looking for another option to build a kit into (Vargheist/Crypt Horrors being a blatant example).