Today we have a guest article written by the Best Selling Author and fellow Warlord, Mr. Peter Clines.
So, I moved recently, and it made me go through a lot of old GW stuff that had piled up over the... wow, nineteen years that I’ve been playing these games and building these models. Some harsh cuts were made. I had a bunch of older Tyranids, Demons, Necrons, Genestealer Cultists, and more that I’d hauled from San Diego to LA, across LA, and potentially back down to San Diego if I didn’t re-evaluate some of it.
As I went through things, though, one thing that came up was just how much stuff isn’t supported anymore. Granted, there are a lot of things that have been... well, lost in recent times. Especially in Age of Sigmar. With the loss of the World That Was, we’ve seen the end of the entire Bretonnian line, the Empire, all of the Tomb Kings, Dogs of War, a lot of elf and dwarf sub-types. Probably a lot of other stuff, too. I never knew Warhammer Fantasy that well.
And this was true for 40K, as well. There used to be lots of metal models and elements for the grim, dark future. Some of them became finecast and some... didn’t. And then the whole finecast line sort of... well, we’re all friends here, yes? We can be honest. Good intentions, horrible execution. Now finecast is on life support in the back room and everyone’s agreed not to pay attention to it unless it coughs too loud.
But this has left a lot of armies with gaping holes. Popular models or options have just sort of ceased to exist. And the more I thought about it, the more I was struck by how many things GW just doesn’t make any more. Or only has available in limited numbers from limited sources, which is... well, really limiting.
My beloved Chaos Marines have lost a lot of their character models. Abbadon, Lucius the Eternal, and Fabius Bile have all kind of vanished into that back room. And that’s considering Abbadon’s desperately needed a new sculpt for... well, a quarter-century now? Huron Blackheart’s gone, too. No generic Sorcerers. either, except for the alt-Terminator Lord model. Has anyone seen a Dark Apostle or a Warpsmith in the past few years?
Heck, there aren’t any more Chaos heavy weapons. You can get a heavy bolter in the basic Chaos Marines pack and... that’s it. No lascannons, no missile launchers, no autocannons. I’m still using a metal lascannon guy from the 1990s because... there’s no other option. And all the Noise Marine weapons are gone as well.
Heck, what’s left for basic Space Marine command units at this point? Can you still get Chaplains or Librarians? They made a plastic Librarian a while back, right?
I think the Legion of the Damned has completely vanished. All troops, options, etc. They were metal-turned-finecast-turned-lost-in-the-warp as well.
Granted, a lot of this may be part of the slow, inevitable creep toward all loyalist marines becoming Primaris. I could see a whole quarter of 2019 or 2020 dedicated to new hero models, all in their amazing new Primaris bodies/armors/wargear. Which would probably be followed by a story about the Alpha Legion or Iron Warriors stealing a bunch of Primaris gene seed, and then... boom, Primaris Fabius Bile is in the house (do kids still say “in the house”?). Followed by an all new, swollen-with-power Primaris Abaddon, and then a scattering of new-and-improved Chaos Marines.
Well, that’s what I’d do if I was telling the story.
For such an all-inclusive group, the Tau Empire left a lot of people behind. The Vespids didn’t have a ton of options or models to start with, and they’re all gone. Same with the Kroot auxiliary beasts—the Kroot hounds and the big ol’ Krootox (with its big ol’ cannon on its back). And I don’t think there’ an actual Shaper model anymore, either. You’re just supposed to stick extra bitz on one Kroot and say he’s in charge.
Is the Tyranid Lictor still available? It’s gone from a nightmare on the board to a nuisance to... well, not even worth having a model, apparently. Same with Deathleaper and the Red Terror. And the Pyrovore. When’s the last time anyone saw a Pyrovore in the flesh-and-chitin?
So what did I miss? I admit I can be a bit narrow-focus, so I don’t know as much about armies I don’t play. Is there a big one I skimmed over?
And, sure... a lot of these are easy to make very passable versions of (said as a guy who had a long-running blog about how to do things on the cheap). I’ve been using Heresy-era missile launchers for my Alpha Legionnaires. The Vanguard Veterans set comes with all the options you’d need to make a very solid Captain Shrike. And even with the big cull, I hung onto all my metal Krootbeasts.
But considering how extreme Games Workshop used to be about no model = no rules, it’s still kinda weird to see the pendulum swing so far the other way.
Go Roll Some Dice
And Be Thankful For Your Old Ones