Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Storm Warning

Games Workshop have announced a summer expansion for Warhammer called Storm of Magic. Go check it out on their website if you have not already. To summarise, it sounds like Warhammer with supersized magic and monsters.

I guess your response to this is broadly one of three. You might be jumping up and down with anticipation, eager to get your hands on another monster or two, or keen to try out some really destructive magic on your mates' armies, salivating at the prospect of cataclysmic mayhem. Or maybe you are hopping mad, ranting on a forum somewhere about dumbing down and pandering to the demands of kids, the lack of balance this will bring/exacerbate, that the emphasis should be on updating the army books.

Or maybe you are a bit like me. A pretty boring middle of the road guy, shrugging at the latest attempt by GW to raise a bit of money with a Hollywood style blockbuster. Just like the typical big budget summer action movie, it will be all spectacle but little substance. And just like the latest action movie, you may well see it, be impressed by the special effects, laugh at the plot and dialogue, enjoy it for a couple of hours and then forget it about.

It brings to mind the previous big expansion for Warhammer, the Storm of Chaos. A book containing several new army lists, a massive online campaign and a raft of new minis to support the project. Some players built armies and took them to tournaments, and for a while it was absorbed into the mainstream. Eventually, the campaign ended, the army lists were dropped and were no longer considered official, some players were left with unplayable collections.

However, I am a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I will say that I am cautiously looking forward to the new models. It's always good to see new minis, that's what makes us hobbyists tick, so hopefully there will be something in among the new releases to please everyone. I say cautiously because the latest releases have not really been to my tastes (giant robots, surfing skeletons and dancing snakes just don't do it for me). The terrain I am guessing will be magic effects, craters, shattered buildings, chasms, whatever. Okay for the occasional game but not something I would expect to see on a permanent basis. Hopefully there will be some new wizards in there, not just to fill the gaps in the Empire range but perhaps for other races too. But I can't help thinking back to the Albion campaign, when armies could employ mercenary wizards and it all got a bit silly. If it turns out that dwarfs have access to magic over the summer, that's it, I am throwing my popcorn on the floor, and storming out, as it were. I can wait a few months, the storm clouds will blow away and Warhammer will get back to normal.

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