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I had a very interesting chat with some GW staff during lunchtime a few days ago.
Both of the guys were lamenting the demise of the Fantasy Battle genre. Apparently their weekly game night is now virtually 100% 40k games. I games there one night and was the only table out of 6 with a fantasy army, there wasn't even any LOTR games going on (also, I could not find a singel person, other than a charitable staff member, who wanted to play WHF.
I know there is a new round of releases coming up, like High Elves on 11th Nov but have GW left it too late ? Is the end coming for the Fantasy game (trampled into the ground under the boots and armoured tracks of the 40k machinery ?)
The staffer I spoke to said that 40k was so popular because it was easier to adopt and the fantasy rules had become too complex !?! You should have seen WHFB 20 years ago if you think the rules are too complex now !
Oh well, I might now go to order my coffin, I shall be buried next to my beloved WHFB rules
I don't think it's too late for Fantasy, and it will always be around because it's GW's baby. (Though 40K is certainly the moneymaker.)
It does suffer from lack of exposure, and this Lord of the Rings rubbish only serves to split its potential audience. The rules complexity hinders younger players, but isn't a deterrent for anyone who's even just played a few games of 40K.
Most of the people I know who play WHFB started in 40K, and moved to WHFB when they found it's nicer to win a battle through maneuvers, rather than just comparing lists. (I'm not knocking 40K, here. I love it as much as any other GW Game...except for Battlefleet Gothic, which is my all-time favorite.)
I don't play at a GW store, I play at a club where it's certainly easier to get a response to, say, "I've got 1500 points of Ultramarines! Who wants some?!" than it is to get a response from "2000 Points of Dwarfs say I own you!" We have an older dedicated weekly WHFB night as well as an Everything night, which is mostly 40K.
The upside of all of this is that the Fantasy players will be older, more mature, and more experienced. GW knows this audience won't think twice about buying a hundred dollars worth of figures because they have jobs and can afford it.
Fantasy's not going anywhere, but it might become more expensive.
WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons
Dont let the crowds attending GW stores fool you.
WHFB players tend to be among the older gamers, who generally stear clear of the stores, due to all the screaming 14 year old 40k players (generalising).
Theres no question that 40k is bigger than WHFB, but WHFB isnt dead or dieing. It's just more 'underground' than 40k (more veteran gamers who have their own clubs or gaming rooms etc)
Dark Elves - Game #28 vs High Elves: Draw
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I started playing WHFB cos of a chance pick off the shelf of my local model shop (Brettonnians) I took my knights and Archers to GW Portsmouth and I found it relivaley easy to learn thanks to the awesome staff members there. I have dabbled in 40K but found that a lot more compliated that WHFB, so now, with the release of the new High elves, I'm going back to square bases
Although I might continue to buy 40K models cos I love the background and there are some really nice models.
I think that generally Sci-Fi is bigger now than Fantasy as a genre with 'the kids' and as such 40k appeals to them more, plus its slightly easier to play a basic game of 40k than a starter game of WHFB.
When i started with the hobby circa 1990 fantasy was the be all and end all, its only in the last 10 years or so that 40k has become the number one game, whats to sasy this wont reverse in the next ten years?
I think that this forum shows that there is a large and vocal WHFB following, they are generally older and more inclined to be stuck with the hobby now for the rest of their lives, so i cant see it dieing out that easily.
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I believe the league near me had 30 people sign up last time to participate, so it seems to be doing pretty well. I'm looking forward to joining in.
Like the others, I wouldn't say that FB is dead.
I also ended playing the same guy at the store over and over because everyone else was into 40k, and that's on a Vets night.
I think FB players just do their own thing a bit more, are more involved etc. But I haven't played for ages, so I can't say what it's like now.
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In my local store and club, I would agree that 40k is probably in a majority, but WFB is definately still a presence.
In Europe, WFB makes up the huge majority of sales for GW, so there is no chance of it vanishing.
If you are concerned about not being able to play WFB in your store, why not talk to the staff and seeing if you can run a campaign or a tournament or something...
They will be more than happy to let you do their work I imagine =)
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I don't know about the rules being all that much harder. But Fantasy is definitly harder to get into.
With 40K you need a Dark Angels codex, $200 worth of plastic, and then 13 painted models later you're playing a 1000pt game. Maybe in a tournament since some run that low. Or maybe you need to paint one more model to go to the 1250pt tourney.
With 14 painted models in Fantasy you've just about got one unit ready.
Now that's an extreme( though not at all uncommon! ) example, but generally you're on the table in 40K with a lot less money and painting. This isn't helped by Fantasy being played at 2000pts standard while 1000-1500 is more common for 40K.
So I'd look to the old guys for Fantasy.