Warhammer Adventures

Is Warhammer Adventures Good for the Games We Love?

So, Games Workshop has decided to create a set of books for younger readers as a way to introduce them to both the Mortal Realms (Age of Sigmar) and the 41st Millennium (Warhammer 40K) with Warhammer Adventures.

From the article regarding this new release from GW:

Like you, we love these worlds, and we’re always looking for new ways to share them with all kinds of fans. Today, we’re delighted to announce a new type of Warhammer fiction and 2 new series that are sure to excite young readers and parents* eager to introduce the next generation to the joy of Warhammer.

Warhammer Community

Feel free to check out that entire article as well; it’s pretty short.

Warhammer Adventures Hate Train

Hate TrainHoly hell, the hate train is in full-force on this announcement from GW and I can’t keep my mouth shut any more.

So, people are saying how they got into the game all those years ago without children’s material. People are afraid that the lore they love is getting dumbed down for kids. The hate train thinks that Warhammer Adventures is a bad idea for the games and the brand; that it won’t work.

The Reality

Jesus, who pissed in their Cheerios? Since when is creating a way to introduce potential young gamers to something a bad idea? It’s a brilliant idea and people are being twats about it.

Let me break it down.

Child Reading Material

While many people did get into gaming with Games Workshop’s systems at a young age, and read the material as-is, the fact is not everyone is capable of that. Believe it or not, there’s actually some 8 year olds that don’t understand the complex words used in the fiction, or follow the adult themes. They’re kids!

It’s not a shameful thing to have age appropriate reading material for children with Warhammer Adventures. I mean, they aren’t given Moby-Dick to read in school when they’re 10, right?

It’s awesome that some kids can excel at reading, or that their interest in the game is so strong that they push themselves to learn, but there’s absolutely no reason GW shouldn’t cater to the wider audience here, not the exceptions. That’s called smart marketing.

Your Lore is Safe

Games Workshop is not attacking the lore we all love with Warhammer Adventures. The games’ history isn’t being retconned so that children can understand it.

What is being done is that younger protagonists are becoming focal characters in shorter stories within the worlds we love. I imagine the themes will be less adult oriented, and of course be written with young readers in mind.

Warhammer Adventures is an exciting new range of books coming next year for boys and girls aged 8-12 years old featuring younger protagonists having thrilling adventures and facing off against dangerous enemies.

Warhammer Community

Slaanesh isn’t going to become the god of birthday parties and Tyranids won’t be fun pets that kids snuggle with at night. Nothing is being torn down, but instead new characters introduced to the worlds of AoS and 40K.

Bad Idea

Again, how is it ever a bad idea to introduce new, young potential gamers to a gaming system? Having more approachable material with Warhammer Adventures isn’t going to dilute the brand in any way.

Anyone remember the books for dummies series? Maybe they’re still out there, maybe not. Books for dummies was/is a series of books where an author takes a topic and writes a really easy to understand explanation of the topic.

OK, so the mentality I’m seeing with the hate train makes me think of that.

PHP 5 for DummiesAs a programmer, I could say that anyone who read PHP 5 for Dummies approached programming wrong. I learned the hard way through teaching myself, reading complex books, trial and error, and lots of hard work. Anyone who doesn’t do it the way I did is wrong and harming the programming industry as a whole!

How absurd does that sound? It sounds a bit elitist, don’t you think?

As a programmer, I don’t care how anyone learned to code. Are you able to program in PHP? Good! That’s all that matters.

It’s no different with Age of Sigmar or 40K. How new gamers got into those systems is irrelevant, the fact is that they will, and that’s the point.

Let me give another example that more people can relate to – painting.

When you got into painting, did you start painting with an airbrush and do wet blending on all your miniatures? Probably not. More likely you learned base coating, using washes, and dry brushing. You took an easier path into the hobby, yet that doesn’t make you any less of a hobbyist today, or dilute the value of the hobby, does it?

Conclusion

I’m just failing to understand the vitriol and gatekeeping going on with Warhammer Adventures. While I realize they are just the vocal minority, it’s frustrating to see regardless.

I feel that Games Workshop is doing a great thing with Warhammer Adventures. I’m not a parent, but if I were then I would be all over this.

We often hear from hobbyists whose kids are eager to learn and read more about the rich worlds of Warhammer. At doubles events the world over, it’s a common sight to see parent-child teams having a blast and sharing their love of Warhammer gaming.

Warhammer Community

Getting your kids into the hobby you love has forever been a dream of countless parents. Having an accessible path to do that is something I imagine many parents have waited for with GW’s games. What’s so wrong with wanting to share your hobby with your children?

Again, how new gamers get into the game is a moot point unless you’re an elitist snob. I, for one, would rather have an influx of new players into the game I love than keep hearing the same stories from the “old guard” and deal with their prickly attitudes.

What do you all think about the introduction of Warhammer Adventures?

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Chris
Chris

I don’t understand the backlash either. I do have kids, 8 and 6, who are interested in my models and want to paint them and play with them.

By happenstance I was reading my news feed on my phone with a kid on either side, when I first came across the announcement for Warhammer Adventures. I read it aloud to them and both kids were beyond excited to get these books, and upset that the books are not available to buy right now.

I can’t understand how people think this will be a bad idea. Unless the stories are terrible or unappropriate, I think this will be great for the hobby.

Death to collectivism
Death to collectivism

”…….Unless the stories are terrible or inappropriate”

Not familiar with Warhammer 40k at all, i see. Allow me to enlighten you:

These stories will be sanitizing mass rape, genocide, institutionalized xenophobia, intolerance of other religions, literal witch-hunting, and much, much more.

Please do some research on the core of the subject you are addressing next time, so that you will be better informed as to what you are exposing your kids to.

Chris
Chris

Yes, there is lots of the above in the grown up version of the 40K fluff.

This is going to be a kids version.

Someone has a choice of what the content of the books will be and I’m guessing that GW is not so stupid to make books inappropriate for kids age 8 to 12.

As far as research, I’ve been playing for over 20 years. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m getting my kids into. Hence the interest in a kids version.

Choosing to highlight the heroic stories of relatable characters, while limiting the scope of the setting to something that is kid friendly is not bad.

Lord Manton

I’m not sure what you mean by “sanitizing;” the background for 40k is a satire and doesn’t hold back in painting literally every institution as the villain, whether it’s Chaos, the Imperium or even the magical wonderful Eldar. If you think 40k glorifies any of this, then that’s on you and your messed up interpretation.

I can’t for the life of me understand why people get upset when their area of interest is opened up to others. And particularly when they get so riled up about changes to a body of lore that is full of re-writes, contradictions and varying takes on the same events and issues. There is very little, if anything, that is consistent in the 40k lore, and deliberately so.

Death to collectivism
Death to collectivism

I can: tribalism.

You can’t change human nature, nor should you try.

Castigator

I haven’t seen any negative comments about this, but then again because I don’t have kids I haven’t really paid it a great deal of attention. I do find it bizarre that people have a problem with anything that encourages children to read….shrug, it’s a mad old world we live in.

But I must stress that not only is Slaanesh the god of birthday parties, she is the god of the best birthday parties as well :-)

Death to collectivism
Death to collectivism

My little Warhammer: genocide is magic. XD

Rory

I think it boils down to whatever GW do it will upset people .

Westrider

When I first heard about these, I went and looked up the authors. Turns out they’ve been collaborating for a while on a YA Star Wars series that’s been generally well-received, except by “fans” who seem to think all SW material should be targeted directly at them, and anything that doesn’t suit their exact interest is destroying the franchise. Seems like some of the same thing happening here.

I’m pretty sure that most of the people worrying about this “sanitizing” 40K aren’t really familiar with modern YA in general. It’s not always explicit, but some of that stuff is dark as hell. The Hunger Games, for instance, or even Harry Potter.

I also suspect that some of the backlash is because the cover art clearly shows the protagonists to include non-white and female characters. Might not be so many people who would admit it, but I’m pretty sure it’s there. Compare, for example, with the reaction to Daisy Ridley and John Boyega from certain segments of the Star Wars fandom, or the people who didn’t read The Hunger Games closely enough and were appalled to find out that Rue was black.

Greggor Bloodsing
Greggor Bloodsing

I will stand by my irrational hatred of the Ewok movies thank you very much. I loved Ewoks as a kid, and even I hated that movie. I want teddy bears bashing in heads and taking helmet trophies, not walking around doing nothing.

Westrider

The problem with the Ewok movies wasn’t that they were for kids. The problem was that they were terrible movies.

Thor

But they were cute! ;)

Thor

You’ve got a point about when things don’t target people they get upset. I still don’t understand why, but I agree. You’re also probably right about race and gender sadly, at least for some.

Greggor Bloodsing
Greggor Bloodsing

Its for the ageing fanbase to give there kids, and not a real attempt at getting brand new kids into Warhammer. The would need marketing, and lets face it, GW lets its fanbase do that for them. Now that we are all old, we can sell our kids junk too.

The fantastic push fit models are what is going to get the new kids. They hooked me with those stiff old 3rd edition marines, and even back then I though they were amazing compared to regular lego men. There Nurgle guys? insane.

as for content, hive Juves, white shields, the empires awful nepotism laws, the whole schoalla program, all crammed full of kids. Hey, Creed was a street rat kid and Gaunts ghosts had a a few of em hanging around getting into trouble. The fact that a rouge trader likes xenos artifacts and a kid skipped out on conscription to be a hive rat seem pretty normal 40k to me. And if they make that admech kids background kind fuzzy with the whole ‘clones with no mother to love him and brain surgery in the Vita Womb’ thing, it could work. The only real problem I have is with AoS, I’m not really sure where the lore stands with kids now that the empire is dead. We don’t even see the regular human soldiers all that much. could be an opportunity, who knows.

The issue is that Warhammer day came and went with out any real 40k update, and we get this a few days later. really bad timing. That weird tweet rant by that random Black Library author didn’t help. you can judge weather or not that’s the right kinda way to easy peoples fears about your very well loved product you sell to them. https://twitter.com/JMReynolds/status/999194750203899906

Thor

The push fit models are great for kids. I also don’t think it’s books alone that’s going to do it, and I don’t think GW believes that either, see afore mentioned push fit models :)

I think GW is trying to lay a solid foundation. We, adults, have the Horus Heresy, and of course all the events since and before. Kids though, it’s new territory and GW has to create that latch to seal the deal.

I totally get where that author is coming from but he didn’t do himself any favors there. This whole thing has annoyed me and I don’t even have kids; I can’t imagine how the authors feel.

Frank Ford
Frank Ford

Good article. Always great when you are so driven by what others have said that you simply have to respond. I for one am keen to see what the books are actually like, and how they tone down the level of violence and ongoing threat to make it suitable for a younger audience, while remaining true to the overall feel of the setting.

We rarely see much of children in Black Library books, and seeing more of them can only make the worlds more real I am sure.

Thor

The hate train just annoys me. I get that something may not be for everyone, but spouting off for the sake of hearing your own voice, and saying nothing interesting nor unique, gets old quick.

Yeah, it should be interesting. I’m certainly curious how they pull this off.

Benito Senence

Great Article, this is just marketing to keep bringing in potential new customers to the table top. To stay on top, they have to do this. Look at any major franchise, they are on everything. Does a monopoly Star Wars take away from Legion? This just makes a buy impulse to us, going into a book store and we see this books can drive a new customer to their hobby shops. Privateer Press, Mantic, etc are not able to do this yet and it can keep newer gamers coming to GW than elsewhere. I am not getting these because I don’t want my gets to want to learn more from the 40k universe but I do understand how it can bring in newer consumers to them. Plus kids learning from a book over a video game is a bonus

Thor

Well, wanting to learn more is a great thing, however, it is a dead end for kids right now. Hopefully they find their groove with these books and can put out more for the kids who want to pursue it, but also aren’t ready for the full-on adult elements.

Michael
Michael

Oh that’s quite easy this appears to be the first steps of marveling the shit out of 40k as all the lovely franchise killing progressive political nonsense shoved into a franchise that doesn’t have any reason to exist in the setting also let’s not forget that each and every one our little heroes in the 40k book at least are either a heretic that would be killed on site or a rapist,murderer, drug addict, deserting traitor

Thor

So, you don’t feel 40K is a setting in which children should read about and a game they should not be playing then? That it’s an adult setting, theme, and game and that’s just how it is?

Michael
Michael

No your assuming my motivation incorrectly if my kid wants to learn about Warhammer than that’s fine I will give him a Gotrek and Felix novel or the Space Wolves series and they can join in my concern is the political clap trap that goes along with making a product kid friendly

Thor

Does it have to be a political trap though? Aren’t we all, myself included, just making assumptions at this point?

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