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Is Forge World Providing a Lantern of Hope in the Grimdark?

    How’s it going heretics? I’m new so please go easy on me. Who am I kidding. Do your worst neckbeards.

    Anyways, in short, I’m android. I love 30k, and I’m going to be providing you all with some of the goodness, and trying where I can to get some more of you into it, because I’m all about broadening your horizons in the gaming world. For the sake of comedy, think of me as Erebus, and yourself as Horus – unless you’ve already joined me with 30k… in which case you’re some kind of a daemon I guess.

    Anyways, without banging on I’d like my first point of discussion to be a bit of an overview of how this relatively new element of 40k is shaping up so far.

    Setting the Scene

    In 2012 Forge World released their first Horus Heresy “Betrayal”. This was released in a period when GW had a relatively easy game to pick up with 5th edition, albeit it was unbalanced (I’m talking to you leaf blower guard!). However, compared to what we have now I’d say it was certainly more streamlined, although still far from perfect. Either way, when Heresy started kicking off it had already been 6 years since Dan Abnett’s release of Horus Rising, so demand had been getting increasingly more intense for someone to set the clock back to the 31st millennium in 28mm. At the time I would have been 14, and I was relatively naive to Horus Heresy fluff, but certainly liked the look of that Angron model. For me this initial opening signalled a rise in Forge World and the Horus Heresy, and a decline in Games Workshop and 40k.

    The Story so Far

    So I think it’d be safe to say that in recent years gone by (but not particularly 2016!) GW’s games had taken a turn for the worse. The loyal gamers who had built the company up, such as myself, found ourselves rubbed out of GWs list of priorities and replaced with, yep you guessed it – money. So needless to say, traditional gamers, and loyal collectors, felt pretty bitter and the community wasn’t to happy with old GW for the most part.

    With the release of 6th edition I fell out of love with the game and literally missed the whole show, to the point that when I returned 7th was in full motion! I returned with a new-found sense of optimism, and found myself relatively disappointed with what GW had been up to. I was completely blown away with what Forge World had released in my absence. Primarchs had been released, and kits that looked so amazing that I couldn’t believe just how much modelling had matured.

    I really do think we have to take a step back and appreciate that Forge World Horus Heresy webstore. Damn they have been busy, and achieved something the USSR only dreamed of, quality and quantity. The downside was of course the price. I mean, no one in their right mind could afford a large army at this time, and it was a big commitment. If you did just a little bit of adding up for a 10 man tactical squad using FW resin the price make your jaw drop. Regardless, I found myself drooling on the window of Forge World’s imaginary shop, and still the Primarchs kept coming as did those lovely tanks.

    Warhammer 30K

    As these few years passed, 30k was really just shining, and was really showing 40k up. An ork looks all the more ugly when you put it next to Sanguinius (no prizes for guessing who represents 30k and 40k in that analogy). So yeah, with the constant layering of unnecessary rules by GW in a rather obvious attempt to have new releases fly off the shelves, I was left feeling like my favourite hobby was selling out, quite literally. All the while FW was applying balanced layers to their own game with the release of their new products, and I found myself more and more attracted to it.

    To add some context, Mechanicum and Solar Auxilla had been introduced, and now we even have Custodes. All of this crunch was carefully added to the game, whilst still staying true to the fluff . The legion rules are so fluffy that any traditional gamer was considering taking the plunge, and then in the summer of 2016 I did.

    When GW announced they’d gone and stuck their noses into the game I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was happy to have the chance to potentially afford some of the damn stuff, but on the other hand I was concerned, like seriously concerned, because even though I wasn’t part of the 1% with the 30k models prior to Calth, I was still happy to see a game in the Warhammer 40k universe feel so real and tactical. It seemed to me that mainstream GWs involvement could prove disastrous if they took the same approach to 40k. Now, I can say I’m really happy with GW as they’ve done nothing but supply affordability to the game, and as of now haven’t so much as breathed on the rules for the miniatures.

    Of course, in all of this it’s very important to view FW as merely a department of GW, but over the years I’ve began to think of them as a separate entity in their own right, a label they’ve really earned. On a side note, I cannot express enough just how impressed I was with GW’s 2016, and see it as a near U-turn in many aspects that have now set the company in the right direction. So, with 8th around the corner I’m quietly praying for a Daemon Mortarion, and I even bought myself Traitor Legions, which is on a fluff level that makes me grin. Well done GW.


    So that takes us to 2017. I began my own Alpha Legion Heresy army in the summer of last year, after Calth it just made sense and with Prospero there’s never been more reason to follow me. I mean as of right now the game is still getting more and more exciting (we’re getting Inferno in a few weeks!)

    So, in conclusion I’d like to take my hat off to both GW and FW for their contributions to Horus Heresy, and whilst I know I may sound like a FW fanboy I do genuinely find it quite hard to fault the models or the game they have created thus far, and I have to thank all they have done for myself, and how they gave a group of disgruntled TGs some much needed love.

    But please, that’s just my take. Let me know if you agree, if you disagree, or have any questions about anything to do with Heresy.

    I’ll see y’all traitors later



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    Joe B
    7 years ago

    I agree that FW did a great job at focusing on the customer while GW flopped around a bit. It’s also interesting to see how they are running both as fairly separate groups and yet support each other. Like the Calth box enabling 30k for more people and special characters for Blood Bowl and other games.

    7 years ago

    Welcome to the team, and a great first article.

    Admittedly, 30K holds no interest for me. I love the Heresy, but playing a game of power armor vs power armor has no appeal. I’m sure the rules are great, the models are nice, but it’s a setting I prefer to read about than play.

    That being said, I agree that FW really stepped up. They’ve created some great stuff. GW was smart enough to let that be, to add some value to it, but leave it in the hands of FW. As a whole, GW has been steadily improving the past 6 months, and I can’t wait to see more positive stuff like this.

    7 years ago
    Reply to  dylan davies

    Yeah, it makes sense because of the history, no argument there. Maybe someday I’ll give it a shot. We’ll see.

    7 years ago

    What exactly makes 30k a different game from 40k, aside from the lack of any other armies besides Astartes?
    Like Thor, I can’t see the appeal of power armor versus power armor slap fights, regardless of how fluffy the Legion army lists might be. You do have Mechanicum and Auxilia, but they fly in the face of the “all about money” gripe you had early on in your article because they require a kings ransom to build a functioning force.
    I’m not bashing you or 30k, it’s just a common theme I’m seeing over and over when people talk up 30k over 40k. It’s not any cheaper unless you run nothing but Calth/Prospero models en masse, and the rules are only more balanced at the expense of variety in armies and units.