The High Cost of Grim Darkness

warhammer 40k crimson fists rogue trader

Blog deal in outrage. It’s what they were made for really. As hard as we try to stick to stories about awesome news stories or amazing Kickstarter project’s we always seem to come back to the things that piss us off. Earlier this week Chris touched on the outrageous business practices of Games Workshop, and I admit that it is easy to hate them. It’s also easy to love them. I for one cannot decide if the appropriate metaphor is that of an abusive spouse, or drug dealer, but try as I might to quit them, I keep coming back for more.

Passion is the common thread though, and though I sometimes hate the company, I am certainly passionate about the world that they have woven.

Last week I burned through all 3600 pages of the Gaunt’s Ghost series, and traveled with them across the vastness of space from First and Only to Salvation’s Reach. I’ve mentioned before that I am a voracious reader, so the speed at which I devoured them shouldn’t be taken as a sign of adoration; I enjoyed the trip, but all-in-all, it was a mixed bag. The main take away’s I had were:

  • That it is apparently okay to describe horrific deaths and maimings in graphic detail, but not use actual curse words
  • Each planet of the Imperium gets only a single curse word, and they are all different (even though the rest of the vocabulary stays the same between planets)
  • If you write dozens of novels, you will eventually get pretty damn good. This isn’t to say that I disliked all of the first few books, as the first one was pretty good, but the writing of the last couple books of the series is certainly much stronger than the first few.

It took Mr Abnett 12 years to write those words, and it took me less than 12 days to read them, so I suppose now I will have to find something else to fill my time. Fortunately, as I read the series because I was thinking about getting back into the most expensive hobby around: Warhammer 40,000, I’ll soon be able to while away dozens of hours painting.

Like Chris, I find the price of Games Workshop’s digital wares to be abhorrent, but unlike him I only find the prices of their real products (printed game books and miniatures) to be annoying. Though the price of a GW rule book or boxed set is significantly higher than their competitors, it is still in the realm of reasonability, and I would imagine is due (at least in part) to import duties and exchange rates. Further – even though GW tries to monopolize the sales spaces of the internet with their own store (you cannot list a price for a GW product on your website,) a savvy buyer can easily find reputable dealers willing to sell new products for 25% off with a little digging.

Let’s look at the main book for instance. The 452 full color pages that make up the 6th edition rule book is no great bargain at the cover price of $74.25, but when purchased online at $55.69 it starts to become slightly more reasonable. The book, is as beautiful a gaming book as was ever created, and worth the price for the serious miniature connoisseur or admirer of grim dark futures. Roughly half the page count is devoted to the rules, and roughly half of it is devoted to fluff. All of it though, is filled to the brim with amazing art, snippets of fiction and tiny little Easter eggs. It’s a real beauty, putting even the illustrious (and equally expensive) tomes of Fantasy Flight’s RPG in the same universe to shame.

The mini’s will come in time, though anyone who has read the aforementioned Gaunt books, should be able to guess that I am seriously considering the Imperial guard. When I work out an army list, as well as it’s style and theme, I imagine I’ll have more to say on this topic, but for now you should save yourself, before you too are infected by the grimdark.

Anyone want to try to talk me out of it? Before I get in to deep?

This entry was posted by David Winchester.

9 thoughts on “The High Cost of Grim Darkness

  1. You know, there’s a set of Gaunt’s Ghosts minis in the collectors section for Imperial Guard, on GW’s website. And they are some of the butt-ugliest minis that you can still buy, on there. My Eldar still needs more units but, if I started a new one, I think it’d have to be Tau with IG allies, just because it’d be nice to have so many races together (even if it’d lose every game).

    • I don’t think I would be building a ghost themed army, but thanks for the tip. I like IG because I want to paint tanks, and they get a lot of those. I also really like the imperium, but don’t want to go space marines.

      The Tau are mechanically interesting, but I don’t find their fluff compelling.

    • And I just saw that, on the goodreads panel on the side of this page, you’re giving Charles de Lint 2 stars, and 5 for Animal Farm. And now I hate you a little bit.

      But I agree that GW is on the pricey end of affordable. It’s not completely outside the realm of reasonable, but it sure pushes that boundary as hard as it can.

    • Against your finely painted army, I’m guaranteed to lose no matter how badly your husband plays! Everyone knows painted miniatures roll better.

      I’m kidding Chad – please din’t hurt me.

      • Lol, that just means that he’s got to make sure you two play a few games before yours are painted. I’m sure once you get yours done things will be able to be in their proper place with you winning and Chad in second — you didn’t hear it from me but its good for him to lose games against you :). But be warned he is adaptable, eventually he may start being able to beat you, you probably never have to worry about me though, especially in 40k cause by the time I actually decide to purchase dark eldar and learn to play, your army will have been painted for a while and I’ll never get the advantage:).

    • I was actually thinking about doing something Adeptus Mechanicus themed. A Titan’s auxiliary force is some such.

      Apparently 6th edition makes vehicle heavy armies less advantageous, but we’ll see. For now I’m thinking about color scheme. Apparently Dawn of War is a must have, as you can make guard color schemes.

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