It could happen. It's happened to other games and companies in the past. What if the worst was to happen: Games Workshop, our price-gouging overlords, suddenly ceases trading? What will the world's WHFB, 40k and Hobbit players do? In today's feature, I share some thoughts on what I would do, mainly sticking focusing on 40k.
First rule of GW club, you do NOT talk about GW club....or their prices
No matter what happens, there will still be people in the world who love 40k, WHFB and the Hobbit/LoTR (don’t laugh!). People are still playing Rogue Trader, space Hulk and Epic, so it's very likely people will want to play 40k to. But this is where it could drastically change. Without a big company dictating the style of play, we could see the game evolve, devolve and change in a matter of years, and here's why:
"My favourite edition"
In every edition of the games there are people who say, 'last edition was better'. With no more support, people might be inclined to revert back to older, preferable editions, depending on what the local groups thought of it. Those hating 6th edition’s randomness may go back to 5th or 4th, whilst veteran players may go all the way back to Rogue Trader or 2nd edition. Without a formal tournament setting (i.e. GW’s rules guiding global tournaments) there is likely to be more variation in the style of play. Whilst this may affect the ‘pick-up game’ it may benefit tighter communities of gamers
Another outcome is that the ‘fan-codex’ will evolve, and flourish into a ‘fan edition’. Whilst editions of 40k have been fun, each one needs some sort of refinement. Players and clubs might take it upon themselves to produce a refined and improved rulebook. It could happen: I’ve seen some very flavourful, fun and balanced fan-codexes, from the Horus Heresy to Chaos Space Marines, everyone’s favourite target when it comes to codex-bashing.
Sod this, I’m playing ‘x’
To a few, the rules for the game are just...wrong. They might find that they have more fun adapting another system entirely. Whilst a number will abandon the game entirely, models and all, some might want to bring new rule-sets to their games. I have no gripes with 6th edition, but I have considered this path as an experiment. I’ve been toying with the idea of using and modifying the rules from Bolt Action by Warlord Games. The simplicity of the game and a focus on infantry, not tanks and monsters, is a drastic shift, but one which might prove a fun experiment.
What about the models?
|Almost entirely made from 3rd party bits, still fits into 40k.|
The elephant in the room is of course the models. With no creator, where would you get supplies from? For original kits, it will be down to the second hand market and EBay to keep it alive. Expect to pay higher prices for these now-rare items.
There is another way though: third party sellers and other models companies. Third party groups, in my opinion, would flourish in a post-GW world. There are already tons of ‘not space marines’, ‘not eldar’, and dozens of count-as guardsmen models out there, as well as other sci-fi and even historical models just waiting to be modified. It wouldn't matter if you used them, there would be no GW to tell you off. And lately, there are many models and bits which even surpass GW in terms of quality and design.
On top of that, there are hundreds of amazing sculptors, kit-bashers and scratch-builders who might take it upon themselves to supply the world with fresh models.
So there you have it; my thoughts on how to survive a less-than-likely GW-pocalypse. Remember that this is only a theory, and remember to enjoy the game how you want to.