If you’ve not been paying attention to the latest gossip flowing across the web over the last couple of weeks, you may not have noticed the news regarding the new Tyranids that could be enveloping biomass on a table near you in the very near future. To give you some context, here’s a link to the page from Bols…
And a video from GW pretty much confirming that some tyranids will be up for pre-orders as of next week…
It looks like, pretty soon, the Toxiccrene and Maleceptor will be chomping their way through the galaxy. People are of course already speculating about the accuracy of these rumours and the usefulness of the models as per the rules that appeared on the above article on bols, but really, who knows? The nids have been getting some pretty sweet looking big bugs this year, so I’m hoping for more of the same in that sense. Not that I’ll be picking them up – my fear of Tyranids (both in the way my armies typically get munched by them, and in terms of the amount of minis I’d have to paint) prohibits me, but it’s always nice to see a good sculpt.
So why, given my Tyranid allergies, am I bothering to comment on this particular rumour? Well, a couple of things. Firstly, I had been looking forward to seeing the Blood Angels get some love from the hallowed halls of Nottingham, but it appears I’ll have to wait a little longer on that front. Secondly, this is the first release of its kind in the current era of 40k, and this intrigues and even potentially excites me.
We’ve been going along, relatively happily (depends who you ask of course) with the system of new minis being accompanied by a new book. Even the recent WFB releases for the End Times have had a book, even if it wasn’t an Army Book. Unprompted, and very much unexpected, we are now getting two new Tyranids which will, presumably have the rules enclosed in their box and/or in White Dwarf (unless a whole campaign book has slipped under the rumourmongers’ radars). Such a release, with no new Codex in sight, hasn’t happened in a long time for 40k.
What does this mean? Well, the flexible era of 40k may now well and truly be upon us. Who knows – maybe we’ll have a whole month of this! maybe the Tau will get a new battlesuit two weeks from now, followed by a new Ork vehicle and an Eldar aspect warriors squad before the Blood Angels stomp into action. Or maybe this is just a one off to test the waters. Maybe after this kit, it’ll be back to the steadier release schedules. Seems odd to only do it once though.
This is also where digital codices could start to really make sense. Say this pattern of more random releases goes on for a year, each week a new kit with new rules in the box or white dwarf. If you like me favour a physical codex, we might end up with a fair few loose sheets tucked into the back of it. Digital users may find their products updated within a week! That’s a very nice situation to be in.
Tournaments might become a little more random too (*gasps* and mutterings of discontent from the tournament players in the corner) as you might find army rankings changing far more often. Not every release will become a must-have, but there might be a fair few. What’s more, if you miss your White Dwarf the week before the games start, you might miss out on something that eats half your army, or that could save several games for you.
Once the sons of Sanguinius get their new book, we’ll be all up to date, if you count 6th and 7th Ed codices together – I know Necrons are technically 5th but that book was written for 6th, though they too might get a Codex in the near future. Then we’ll see what’s going to happen for real. Time sharing with Fantasy (and presuming the Hobbit will be done with after this year), 2015 could see up to or more than 26 release weeks for 40k. Will we see any new codices? Although they’re still pretty new, CSM and DA players may well be counting on it, but what if instead, we got a new Dark Angels walker that could stomp on Wave Serpents, or a unit of exalted traitors that could bathe riptides in consuming balefire? Is this a brand new era of releases truly beginning? And if it is, are we excited or horrified by the prospect? I think I’m excited, though I could do with a few less Tyranids to eat through my power armour!
It would be great to hear your thoughts, so stick them comments below, people.
Good article, echoing a lot of my own thoughts. Like you I’m not a big Tyranid fan but I’m still pretty excited about this release. To my mind, although I love physical books, digital codexs/army books are the way of the future. The ability to update each faction at the drop of a hat makes things much more dynamic and seems to make more sense than the traditional 3-4 year (at least) codex cycle.
From a gaming point of view it keeps each army fresh, you may not be at the top of the tournament tables at the moment but with everything in constant flux your time may soon come around. Plus it forces players to think more tactically, rather than accepting certain dominant tournament-winning armies or units as these will tend to go out of date comparatively quickly.
From a business stand-point it also works well, driving sales not only by regularly refreshing interest in each faction but also boosting other factions as people buy new units to counter the latest release.
As for those, like myself, who tend more towards painting and modelling, if my preferred armies receive a wave of 5 or 6 kits once every few years I’ll probably buy 1 of them, and that’s all I’ll be able to afford at the time. If however those releases are drip-fed to me every 6 months or so I’ll probably pick them up as they come out.
Fingers crossed this is the way Games Workshop plans to go, it could be the start of an exciting new era!