A New, Newer direction from the GW Marketing Team?

Hello all,

Rawdogger here to talk about what the hell the Games Workshop development design team is smoking, and to inquire as to if they have any to spare for a homie. The latest (mostly confirmed) rumor is that the upcoming Tau Codex will be nothing more than the current Tau codex updated to include the info from the new kits that have been released and nothing else. No update to the point costs of non-updated units and wargear options, no sparkly new formations where they get free wargear items for purchasing a certain amount of models, nothing. Huh.  It appears that there will be a campaign book released that will not only include the rules and stats for all the new and updated models we’ve seen released these past three weeks but will also most likely be stuffed with sparkly new formations that give them free wargear items if the customer purchases a certain amount of models. HUH?! So basically Games Workshop is giving current Tau players 3 options.

  1. Use your current codex and use the copies of the rules from the White Dwarves from the past three weeks or get them from pictures in Google images.  You will also have to find images for the formations if you do not want to purchase the $75 campaign book.
  2. Use your current codex and purchase the campaign book.
  3. The ‘Tuttle’ method of purchasing the new codex as well as the campaign book. Well, a couple of them just to be sure.


Look, it’s no secret that the design team is actually just the marketing team at Games Workshop. Every point you see, every word in the description of a new model’s wargear is designed in a way that will maximize sales of their product (models). We know this and now let’s move on.  I’m mostly shocked to see such an abrupt change in the codex design and release.  When 7th edition hit we were given a couple of codices where it seemed that Games Workshop understood the madness in power levels and were actively trying to tone it down. If I recall we had the Grey Knight, Ork, Blood Angel, and Dark Eldar releases during this time period and though a lot of powerful stuff in the codices was removed we got a kind of collective sigh of relief that finally, FINALLY, someone at Games Workshop was starting to bring the ship under control.  Well, apparently these minimalist codices just weren’t moving enough models and the bottom line began to take a hit, so we began the era of the SUPER CREEP.  No, that’s not what the girls call Reece at the club on Friday  nights, the super creep is the era of the Necron, Eldar, Mechanicum, Space Marine and Dark Angels codices.  GW turned it up to 11 in terms of in-game power levels and began the marketing program of free wargear items and models if certain units were purchased, conveniently including the newly released kits.  This isn’t a critique, believe me.  I appreciate a good marketing program and just going off the anecdotal experience of taking orders and shipping out Games Workshop product to customers the program seemed to be working, big time.   Keep in mind, all of the releases that I just touched on were over the course of at most a year and a half.

So why this supposed change?  Of course we don’t officially know just yet if this will be the case but if this DOES hold out to be true what the hell is going on in Games Workshop to warrant such a radical change?  Personally, I think the new method of keeping a codex unchanged and just updating some of the units and adding new units when new models are released is the right way to go about it.  But what about the Orks? What about Chaos Space Marines?  If those two armies don’t get a complete overhaul they will ALWAYS suffer from the same issues that they currently suffer from.  Eldar got a power boost that shot them through the moon, why are the Tau remaining as they were?  Why was the Blood Angel codex so poorly written and needlessly nerfed?  What really concerns me the most is the inconsistency at which these codices are being released.  I was OK with the period of toned down releases and I was OK with the era of super power and free stuff, as long as all of the codices were eventually brought into line.  But here we are again with a complete 360.


I kind of understand the direction the GW marketing team is going with this new release.   Instead of having to pay people to play test changes to a codex or analyze what new wargear options should cost point-wise, they simply have to copy and paste the old codex, throw in a couple of new and redesigned model kits to boost some sales, and throw a bunch of formations that reward purchases into a new $75 campaign book and call it a day.  They not only get the existing player base to purchase the new and redesigned kits and the new campaign book with the new unit stats and formations but they get any new Tau player to purchase the models, the “new” codex, and the campaign book (remember the formations will not be in the codex).  From a pure sales tactic it is fantastic and I applaud them.  However, from a rules and game design standpoint it is lazy and really disappointing. I know I will get a lot of flak in the comments for being cynical and for being a GW hater but it’s simply not true. I can’t be the only one that is just frustrated by the inconsistency I’m seeing with increasing frequency from Games Workshop.  I know they don’t owe me anything but I don’t think it’s too much for them to listen to the fans that want a tight rule set with some semblance of balance.  We have been hearing over and over that they are a company that sells models and most of their customers are not gamers but collectors and unfortunately if the rumor turns out to be true it would just re-affirm the community’s fears that they are hell bent in their path to make these statements true.

So what do you think? If the rumors are true are you ready for the new marketing push of adding new models and updating older ones and just leaving the codices alone?  Are you like me and wish they would spend more time trying to fix what is wrong with current codices instead of trying to push the latest models or formations on the customers? Let me know your thoughts.




About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

24 Responses to “A New, Newer direction from the GW Marketing Team?”

    • Fagerlund October 22, 2015 12:27 am #

      Ie it looks like pretty much the same thing they have been doing with the last couple of books. They’re just up front with it being a copy-paste.

    • Rawdogger October 22, 2015 7:26 am #

      I just don’t trust that the campaign book will have everything the codex does. It certainly won’t have the units and wargear that are not new. It’s all just rumors at this point but I don’t trust Games Workshop to restrain themselves from trying to have customers purchase as much as they can.

  1. WestRider October 22, 2015 12:43 am #

    The leaked WD page says that the Dex includes 9 Formations along with the new Units, a Detachment, and the unique tactical objectives. I may be off base, but it really reads like if you’ve got the old Dex, you have the option of either buying the Kauyon Campaign book or the new Dex, and either way you’ll end up with all the Rules.

    That said, I really hope this isn’t the sign of how things are going to go for CSM and Nids. Those Dexes have issues that a handful of Formations ain’t enough to fix.

  2. rgMarkon October 22, 2015 2:47 am #

    I don’t think they will do this with the CSM codex for one reason alone. The old codex is gone from shelves. GW stores are unable to restock and you cant get it on the webpage anymore (unless its the small format and thats also only until stock lasts). So it would be pretty hard to do the same as the rumored tau codex.

    But I personally like the idea of running updates, but the execution has to be right. I guess we will see how it pans out with the Tau codex if the rumors are true

    • Mantic Fan October 22, 2015 5:26 am #

      I bet it’s exactly what they do with CSM. Items in Khorne are a cut and paste. They’re pulling the old books to replace with the new book (which is the old book with like 10 new pages).

      Flip side, if they aren’t going to modify the unit entries (unless they have a new kit, or new dual-unit kit), it may mean the secret is all in Formations.

      Sure, a unit of CSM has issues (mostly leadership). If there is a Formation (which could then be part of a bigger formation) that required say 3 units with 10+ CSM, and a Chaos Lord, but gave them all Stubborn (or even Fearless from the Lord). It fixes a big problem with the unit, but doesn’t change any point costs. The formation made of formations is the future.

    • Dbiesto October 22, 2015 10:40 am #

      The chaos book is still available if ur a Frenchie. (No Disrespect intended). Also, the short format book is available for purchase for $10 less, so the vibe it gives me is Chaos sales are crap, so they are slowly going to make them available for orders only. Also, from the perspective of business, releasing new shiny models, while keeping the old core models with the same rules and stat lines IS RETARDED in the mind of long time GW fan boys like myself.

      HOWEVER, with the new models and formations, it DOES make people buy more models, and pay the price for whatever book the new formations will be in. So,that marketing scheme works. Old players MUST buy new models/ formation requirements just to win games, and MUST buy a supplemental/ new rule book for their army. They definitely know how to make a profit.

      KDK are the first book for Chaos with formations I have read, so it seems they will just toss a few new models and a few formations in each new book to make players buy new crap just for some extra special rules. What we will probably see for CSM eventually is stuff like: Ahriman/ Tzeentch Sorceror with 2-3 units of thousand sons will let you upgrade a Sorceror to Lvl 2. If you take Kharn, a hell brute with dual fists, and 2-4 berserker units, they get furious charge in addition to rage. These are probably the kind of things GW will do to each old book to update it for this edition. Again, this is just my own perspective predictions and thinking on a sales basis.

      I think this is the way GW is going to sell old models that weren’t selling, Gorepack formation is a PERFECT example, hell almost ALL KDK formations up sell units people used to never use. Possessed are crap but MUST be taken for one formation. People almost NEVER use Chaos bikes(at least in tournaments) or flesh hounds (hounds get gunned down and can’t shoot back), and I think there were hell brute formations somewhere (again, hell brutes were almost never taken before their formation update). I would expect 2-4 new units per army ( hopefully) but with some armies, I feel like like if you just play to win, you should find an army that you think can win you games and pray your favorite army gets an update eventually.

  3. greggles October 22, 2015 2:58 am #

    It’s ok, by the time they get back to orks again, they’ll be back to nerfing everything again.

    • tag8833 October 23, 2015 5:51 am #

      Most likely. The complete and utter lack of consistency is frustrating. Codexes released months apart are formatted completely differently. They have been doing this for far too long to just experiment by throwing things at a wall for a couple books, then going in a different way for a couple books.

      I used to think that they were mad geniuses orchestrating us to buy things with a high markup, but as I’ve seen the radical strategic shifts, and things like the Maleceptor (a new kit) having the worst rules available to any model in any army, meanwhile Warp Spiders (an Old kit) have become so aggressively undercosted that ….. [Angry Rant Removed]. Basically, at this point it is clearly incompetence rather than geniuses. They are just bad at their job, and any successes are just as random as any failures.

  4. CWDub October 22, 2015 5:28 am #

    I think it’s a horrible new trend and just effing lazy on GW’s part.

  5. Hush October 22, 2015 5:55 am #

    I’m not too worried about this seems a good way to.remove barriers especially newer players. However I have no idea how a TO is ever going to manage change and what’s in and what’s out, unless a list is provided of which edition is the latest rule set for each model.

    • ReeciusMakeMeABaby October 22, 2015 7:31 am #

      How is that going to remove barriers?

  6. jlong64 October 22, 2015 7:28 am #

    Well I have long wondered (from the practical perspective) why GW hasn’t gone to a “binder” type approach to the codexes etc. I mean then they could update it by sections or make additions easily and still make some bank on them. But in the light of day i guess the profits are better on “new” rehashed barely changed codexes.

    • tag8833 October 23, 2015 5:53 am #

      Books make them so much money. Also the rules writers think fluff and pictures are much more important than rules, and a basic “Rules in the Box” approach wouldn’t allow for those things as effectively.

  7. winterman October 22, 2015 8:37 am #

    It was rumored (multiple times on this very site via Signals From The Frontline) that eventually we would see less ‘new versions’ of existing codexes and more additions to them when new models come out (ala Tyranids) OR brand new stuff (like Admech). To me this is the first indication that is what is indeed going to happen.

    And it may not be necessarily a bad thing even for CSM and Tyranids, assuming you like the composite detachments, free stuff and continual addition of new super heavies.

    • N.I.B. October 23, 2015 1:56 am #

      It would be a good thing for Tyranids indeed, if we got free stuff (as in units and upgrades that doesn’t cost points) and GMC’s with good rules. But to this point we haven’t.
      The new kits are collecting dust because their rules suck. Haruspex, Toxicrene, Tcyte, Malceptor. They won’t suddenly start selling just because they are gathered up in a codex.
      Tyranids need a major rewrite of their rules as a faction. Too many things to mention here.

      • tag8833 October 23, 2015 6:07 am #

        It could be accomplished via formations if they wanted to. And formations are a bolt on.

        For instance: Formation “Buy Malceptor kits”
        Contents: 2 Malceptors, 1 Brood of 5 Zoenthropes.
        All may take a free Tyrannocyte.
        All psychic powers cast by these units go off automatically without having to roll.

        On the other hand I F**ng hate formations. HATE. HATE. HATE. They are GW writing our lists for us which leads to less list diversity. If the formation above was introduced, I would have to buy 2 Malceptors instead of just 1. It raises the cost of list diversity and experimenting. Some of the formations do cut down on spam by requiring a diversity of units, but the lack of consistency in the power and bonuses of formations creates a situation where 90% of formations are effectively unplayable, and the meta forms around a few which boxes out players who don’t want to play in exactly the way GW would like them to.

        Formations were a fun idea in Apoc, but have become a force of pure malevolence in 40k.

        • punchymango October 25, 2015 4:57 pm #

          I’m not sure what you could do for Tyranids that would make them more than just Codex: Flyrants. That’s the litmus test, and the cleanest example of power creep as a destructive force in design that I’ve seen in a long time. All their iconic strategies are punished badly by mass grav and the just general extreme amount of torrent fire in the game these days.

          I think the design team is just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. ‘cuz you’re right, most of the formations in these books are terrible. Did anyone really buy 5 sternguard and 5 vanguard kits to do that BA formation?

          But there’s always one or two that are, entirely by accident, really powerful, and so the quad-flyrant list or whatever enters the meta.

  8. marandamir October 23, 2015 9:15 am #

    Bah, we can hate GW all we want. They are a crappy business that is aligned only with profit and not customer service. If the majority of their customers were indeed just collectors who just modeled and painted then any changes to the actual 40k game they make is entirely aimed to affect those who play the game. So its not enough they bilk the collectors out of their $ for their overpriced plastic, they gotta make crappy game changes to drive up demand for it as well.

    3D printing is around the corner. When you can scan and print a copy of any GW model for a few dollars worth of plastic then GW will get its due. Until then its up to you to decide if you feed their profit engine with your hard earned money. I for one am not. I fully intend to sell my Tau army to the highest bidder and will likely do the same for Orks and maybe even CSM if they don’t get an update soon to take them out of the crapper. I can play my fully fleshed out demon army and have plenty of fun with them and GW won’t get another red cent from me.

  9. Chosen of Khorne October 24, 2015 7:48 am #

    If GW continues to mess up its rules, then it will be certain to drive away all the gamers, so the only one still buying stuff will be collectors. GW’s 80/20 statistic will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Problem is, people will look into other gaming systems, and will become too invested in them to come back. I know that I am already looking into other games to try. It seems that GW might be giving up or getting too lazy to balance the game part of the hobby, so I might be inclined to give up too.

    • punchymango October 25, 2015 4:59 pm #

      This is really what we ought to do. The more we keep buying this stuff, the more we send the message that their customers will accept being treated with giggling contempt, and that’s bad.

  10. Lord Krungharr October 25, 2015 6:17 pm #

    Can I use my self-written Cult of Malice instead of my CSM Codex yet? I can’t wait any longer for a more competitive vanilla Chaos book dammit!

  11. Jewelfox October 26, 2015 2:56 am #

    You know, everyone was saying the previous Tau codex was really solid. I don’t think Tau really needed a lot of tweaks to bring them up to the 7.5e standard. Just a Decurion and some new units, like infantry that isn’t crap and a superheavy with D weapons. Both of which we got.

    … well, actually I think the jury is out on the Breachers, but it’s a nice effort at least. ^^; I can’t wait to try out that airdrop gun turret.

  12. Black Sword October 30, 2015 6:44 am #

    The “Tuttle” method. That make me laugh. I wonder how many 30K box sets he’ll get?

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