Wednesday, May 27, 2015


In which GW announces a new codex for Space Marines, and I say, "enough".

This is primarily a hobby blog. Deet and I don't get to play often, and we try to keep rants about pricing, balance or other sore spots to a minimum. But, after seeing GW's tease of the new Space Marines release, and having a "codex burnout" discussion only a few days before, I felt the need to post about it.

The short of it is, I'm done. No more books from GW. Period.

Since entering the hobby in January of 2012, I've gone from seeing armies that hadn't been updated for two versions of the main rules, to a deluge of releases on a monthly basis that outpaced even the most ardent collector's wallet.

Admittedly, the new codexes (codecies?) are well organized and illustrated, and the interactive ipad editions are packed with tons of large format images, 360 model turns and narrated voice clips. So, because I could afford it, and because I believe in supporting creative content, I purchased the space marines codex for my ipad.

Now here we are, less than two years later, and GW is asking for another $60 for a revised book. It's just too soon.

It's not like the forces in the codex are underpowered, and need to brought in line with the 7th edition rules. They simply lack the model-selling formations that the most recent codexes have been built around. So instead of publishing a small supplement, like "Leviathan Rising", and charging a nominal fee, GW has once again, over-reached, and is attempting to sell an entire book.

I have over $200 in digital codexes on my ipad. In fact, they take up over half of my device's storage space. And honestly, that's crazy when you think about it. I've spent more than $300 on the rules (just the RULES!) of this game for the four armies I play. And now they want more. In what world is that OK?

So, no more money from me, GW. I'll certainly play using the new codex, but it won't be from a copy I bought legitimately. Your over-reach has turned a player who was willing to purchase through proper channels into a pirate willing to torrent your stuff.

- trip


  1. I'm in the same boat, they've gone too far.

  2. If they were sensible they'd charge a fee for an "upgrade" for the digital editions. This is the way to go I think if they release this quickly now

    I don't play marines but got the codex for the fluff and see the differences for my Wolves. I'd pay $20 to go to the latest version but won't buy a new codex

    Fair play to them on one point though, they updated the assassins dataslate for free. I know the rules were in White Dwarf but they still could have not done it

    1. They'd have me at a $20 update as well.

    2. I agree that the pricing structure of the codexes is completely wrong. They kinda of lost the vision and purpose of them over the years.

  3. I'm usually in agreement with this. However, I also enjoy supporting a company that provides me with entertainment. I consider it to be my penance due. I know it is rather silly, but I do it to offset the amount of recasting done that causes them to lose money.

    1. While I agree with this in principle (of supporting content), they've created their own monster. By charging over inflated prices, they've priced their own consumers out of the market and created these recasting houses. It's a classic business mistake. Healthy businesses (ie., not GW) can focus on improving their margin. That's what you do when you're profitable- make more profit. Unhealthy companies need to focus on topline growth- lower prices, sell more, expand your user base. What they're doing here is unsustainable, and I'm pretty surprised their shareholders haven't demanded a different course of action.

      It's clear they've got a product people want and are highly passionate about. That's an unbelievably difficult thing to do. While I do think they've done some smart things on the content side lately, they seem focused on pissing off their consumers in the process.

  4. I stopped buying books a long time ago. The reason for me was the price they were asking for the hardback books, coupled with the copy-and-pasted fluff and the dropping artwork quality. I actually appreciate the new Eldar and Space Marine books. Means that I can pick up the previous issues for cheap on ebay for my collection.

  5. To Deet's point, I have been saying this for years: Appropriate lowering of prices would almost certainly bring a proportionate increase in sales volume. And as he said, more new peeps would be willing to give it a try as well. Either way, though, the hobby is expensive, and likely always will be—relatively speaking. I don't ever see this going mainstream to the point where Walmart-level quantities being produced will make kits affordable for every boy and girl...

    However, I see the issue of content release as a separate matter. Sure, the expense is a minor factor, but honestly, I spend more on coffee in a month than I do on a new codex. If anyone is balking at $50 every TWO YEARS, they may want to consider a new hobby. These are gorgeous books which serve as entertainment, hobby inspiration, and rules for playing. I've purchased video game and movie sequels that give me less value. Heck, I'd pay $50 for a print of Swanland's cover art alone.

    The debate about refresh timing has been going on for years. When books are out of date, people cry for a new one. When they refresh the most popular armies in the game after two years, people cry it's too soon. While I think there are other armies that could use more love first (Sisters, FFS!), if Eldar and Space Marines are the big sellers, it makes sense for GW to make their books the most current. Yes, they may be largely the same in terms of fluff and just have some formations and points adjustments, but that's how publishing works—when content is updated, a new edition is released. Think about people starting the hobby today as opposed to 2 years ago. Do you think they should have to purchase an out-of-date book AND a supplement to bring it current? Of course not. It would be nice if there was discounted "upgrade" pricing, but that would really only work for digital, and could have a negative effect on their print business.

    Don't get me wrong, if anyone feels the pain of these "rapid" refreshes, I do. I recently decided to go Time Life Books style and purchase EVERY codex in the new style (I think starting with 6th ed Eldar), as well as a few supplements. I even bought a hard copy of Space Wolves after having the iPad version for months, just to complete the collection. Since then, I've seen Craftworlds, Imperial Knights, and now Space Marines come through again. I don't know as I'll be getting all the refreshes moving forward, since I don't actually play all of them, but I personally wouldn't hesitate to pick up a replacement if I wanted to take that army to the table. In my opinion, these books are a big part of the experience, and totally worth every penny.

  6. I agree with Graymantle. I'm pretty excited to see the SM book updated, and I'm happy to buy it. Not a slight against people that aren't, but just chiming in that I'm not finding it a big deal.