Saturday, 7 December 2013

GW Ponderings

Things have been a bit sparse on the old gaming front since we had a bit of a tidy up and a lot of stuff got placed in the study. A bit of a pain, but it has allowed me to consider my painting priorities, which at the moment I'm thinking are Flintloque, military and police for ATZ and various bits for Hordes of the Things.

I've been pondering other things, one of which is the frequent GW rants that appear on TMP. Usually I browse them out of interest and then just skip to reading something more interesting, which (as a forewarning) some of you might want to with this blog post. But then I got an email from GW this morning about a new campaign book they have launched. I do rather hypocritically get emails from GW as I often find their offerings either interesting (this campaign) or ludicrously entertaining (like the offer of buying a complete Space Marine chapter for a mere £7,000!!!).

Anyway, my eye was drawn to the Sigmar's Blood campaign because one of my favourite aspects of the Warhammer setting is the gothic Late-Medieval/Renaissance styling of the Empire. Add to this that they are frequently pitted in battle against Skaven, Chaos or Undead and you've got a winning combo in my book.  And in GW's book, apparently, as the campaign is Empire versus Undead.

Warhammer: Sigmar's Blood. 
The image on the GW site conveniently comes with a present symbol to show it is a good gift. As does most of the other stuff on their site at the moment...

There is lots in its favour, including the usual stunning presentation, lots of detail and a focus on the 'narrative' of the campaign rather than strictly competitive play. The email also included links to 'one-click' collections with all the units the sides used in the campaign and a terrain set. This got me thinking, what if I wanted to take up the current edition of Warhammer and start with this awesome looking campaign. I am happy with 3rd and 4th edition (you see, I'm not a full on hater!), but this is just a what if, exercise.

I like to do things properly, so I'd want both the armies:
Sigmar’s Blood – Mannfred von Carstein’s Undead Horde
Whatever else they are, GW figures are stunning to look at.

Sigmar’s Blood – The Army of Volkmar The Grim
I wonder what it would cost to do this in 15mm.....?

Also the terrain collection, as they seem to be pieces which feature heavily in the campaign.

Sigmar's Blood Scenery Collection
The towers I'm indifferent about, but I genuinely think the graveyard looks beautiful.

The page for the campaign book politely reminds me that I'd need the rulebook and the relevant army books, so I'd better get them too. I'll assume I've got enough terrain, paints etc that I won't need anything else. The final decision is if I want the lovely looking limited edition campaign book set, which is limited to 1000 copies and comes with copy of the novella in a similar format, both books fitting into an attractive slipcase. Gosh! How could I not?!

Sigmar's Blood Limited Edition
Production quality is excellent. But when does a wargame supplement become over-produced?

Credit card at the ready, I place the items in my basket...

  • Warhammer Rule Book: £45
  • Empire Army Book: £27.50
  • Vampire Counts Army Book: £27.50
  • Sigmar's Blood (Limited Edition): £50.00
  • Sigmar's Blood scenery collection: £70.00
  • Undead campaign army: £304.00
  • Empire campaign army: £261.50
Great, I think that's it! So what does it all come to?


As a comparison, if I just wanted to buy the items promoted by the email, it would come to £685.50.

Obviously there is a subjective element to what something is worth, and there is no denying that this is not a usual way to get into 'The Hobby' (that would be a 'mere' £61.50 for the Island of Blood box set). Also, starting any substantial campaign in any new period or setting would result in a large outlay. In addition I won't find the cheapest 'alternative' and demonstrate how much cheaper it is to 'do this some other way' as ultimately you either want to play the current version of Warhammer, or you don't.

But, you know, these emails from GW always make me laugh.

For me the sad part is that the campaign itself sounds quite interesting and I wouldn't mind getting the basic version of the book and importing it's ideas into other rules or older editions of Warhammer.  But even that would be £25 for a 64 page book.

On the plus side, I now want to add my Warhamer figures to my 'must paint' list. It's nice and cheap buying them second hand from eBay...

Merry Christmas everyone!


  1. Its an interesting point. I see a lot of GW figures on various FB painting/gaming groups and they do look rather good still. But the price to me is still off putting even second hand. I love the background still which is a shame.

    1. I think second hand at shows etc is, but if you keep your head and play the waiting game, you can get amazing bargains on eBay!

  2. Very interesting post Chris. I enjoyed reading this one.

    I avoid all adverts from other gaming companies and I am not on any mailing lists so I did not know about this book.

    As for value...well your readers will figure that out on their own but hey...for that kind of money you could have a truly awesome pile for Flintloque!


    1. Thanks, Gavin. Hope the weather is easing off where you are. And yes, I can vouch for the comparative value I got from my first large Flintloque purchase, that's for sure!

  3. Nice, thoughtful piece of writing.

    I too keep my eyes on Games Workshop's offerings and have very mixed feelings about their output. Some figures are lovely (Lord of the Rings, especially), but at £15 a shot that's too much for me. On the flip side, some of their larger monsters are just plain silly. I remember thinking of one GW large animal (thundertusk?) "How can that creature possibly eat? Its oversized tusks are curled right in front of its mouth..."

    1. Yes, I feel much the same. Although as far as my Lord of the Rings collection is concerned, I think I only bought one or two figures from GW. Once more eBay was my friend in that regard. The downside being I've bought so many figures purely because they were a 'bargain'! As for the large monsters, my impression is the same as flyers and huge tanks in 40k. They don't make a great deal of sense in most games, but the figures look cool and appeal to kids and collectors. And the price tag is as one might expect!

  4. I can't believe how cheap it all is for you.
    I just put the same order together based on the New Zealand prices, and the total is $2254. That is equivalent to 1,142 quid.
    I'd love to be able to buy a bit of Warhammer - this campaign actually looks awesome - but there is no way I'd be prepared to pay $700 more than I would pay in the UK for exactly the same thing.
    Cheers for the post Chris.

    1. Hi! Wow, that is quite shocking. I'd heard somewhere that GW seem to be discouraging foreign sales, but never fully believed it until now! Thanks for taking the time to do the calculations and post your findings!

  5. Just chiming in that this is a great post! Hmm, wonder what the price tag would be for HOTT? Hmmm -- GW Scenario book, 15mm figures, HOTT rulebook -- and the time to convert the stats.

    1. Okay, Mr Caldwell, I'll bite!

      Scenario Book (Normal version): £25
      Empire HotT Army: About £20 (I've calculated I can do an army for £17, but I might want some more units for variety)
      Undead HotT Army: Call that £20 as well.
      HotT rulebook: Free from the publisher (

      So £65 with over a third of that being the GW book!

      Converting the stats is no biggie. I don't know if you have played HotT, but it is just a case of choosing the element type to best fit the unit. Perhaps think of special rules if you are playing 'informally' and want some more flavour.

      Hope this helps answer your question! :)