As someone who’s invested quite a bit of cash in Games Workshop models over the years, I continue to keep an eye on what they’re releasing. Although it’s been a while since I purchased, or even played any GW games, there’s no denying that their miniatures are some of the finest sculpts available.
Despite not investing in GW products for a couple of years I’ve watched with interest as they’ve released a number of standalone games. Aside from the usual big box releases for Warhammer 40k, GW have been targeting gamers who want to itch that “grim dark future” without having to invest hundreds of £/$’s in miniatures and large hardback books.
I think this is a great way to satisfy that itch, or at least provide a taster of the hobby before people go “all in”.
Recently we’ve seen a couple of standalone releases in the Age of Sigmar realm, with Warhammer Quest and Shadespire. And then there’s been the resurgence of Blood Bowl and Necromunda. Games from the mists of GW history getting a reboot and upgrade in game mechanics.
Again I think all these releases are a great introduction to the miniatures and gaming hobby, where the investment is reasonable; they provide a game that can be played almost straight out the box – especially where the models are push fit, and the rules are generally easy to get into.
All of these products are a big change for a company that for years had a very narrow product set, and 2 games in Warhammer Fantasy and 40k that had become hulking behemoths in terms of rules and investment.
So, this week I was further surprised when I spotted an ad online for a Games Workshop model subscription service.
This is a weekly magazine series focusing on Warhammer 40k, the background stories, the models, painting and gaming. Each issue comes with models and or brushes and paints and a magazine filled with articles.
As with most of these types of Subscription, the initial issues are discounted from the regular price of £7.99.
The content of the first 4 Issues is shown on the website, and for anyone starting out in the hobby they represent fantastic value for money. For a parent, it’s a slightly lower cost investment to see if your young one is interested before heading out to buy a full army or a large boxed set.
But here’s the key… this is aimed at newcomers to the hobby (OK, and possibly those looking to get into Warhammer 40k from another GW game). The Subscription is unlikely to appeal to those who already have huge collections of 40k models and are already bought into the game.
For me though, this is a great idea. It’s a taster. And it’s pretty low cost. Possibly pocket money level for some kids today.
And if you’re wondering about being locked into the subscription, you can cancel at any time. There are incentives to stay, a list of free gifts that kick in over the subscription period. But there’s no lock in….. unlike those gym memberships you sign up to for 12 months and never use.
I like this new direction Games Workshop are taking with their product, trying to make it more affordable, and making entry to the hobby a bit easier. This is how we ensure the games industry will continue to grow, as it has over the last few years.