Been working some cruel shifts lately and have impending exams so relatively quiet on the hobby and blogging front. Thought I would post a brief summary / review of the year and what we may have to look forward to in the coming year.
The year kicked off with a meagre model release for Necrons (a single overlord) but heralded the new style 'decurion' codex, which while a great way to organise armies had a couple of unwanted side-effects, namely introducing a two-tier power level for armies and making a lot of army book that were released in the second half of 2014 suddenly seem outdated prematurely.
February brought a pleasant surprise in the form of a Harlequin stand-alone codex and complete plastic model range, setting a new precedent as far as releases go. This was followed shortly thereafter by a new Eldar book - the first of the 6E codexes to get a 7E update. Rather than make it balanced, it only cranked the power up one level sadly. Though it was great to finally get those plastic jetbikes we all craved. Notched in between these two releases was another new trend in the form of Khorne Daemonkin, a hybrid book that fell just shy of the mark by leaving out a few key characters. On the plus side, we did get a great plastic bloodthirster model, followed later in the year by a surprising plastic Skarbrand also.
Next up was the long-anticipated Adeptus Mechanicus range, split into two distinct smaller books (Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus) for what are obviously litigious reasons following the Chapterhouse debacle. A beautiful and comprehensive model range accompanied both of these. It obvious that at some future point these will be merged into one book with some additions to the range and they are definitely on my priority list when money/time allows. Hot on their tail came two further small releases, namely an updated Knight model and book and the Standalone game execution force, which not only gave us plastic assassins (plus WD rules) but a great little game to play which is highly enjoyable.
Phew, we're almost halfway through the year now and no year would be complete without a bit of Space Marine action. A new codex marine book was accompanied by retools of the last of the outdated infantry kits, the great devastator set and not so great assault kit. A plastic terminator Librarian was also thrown in as was a plastic Interrogator Chaplain for the Dark Angel Codex that followed shortly thereafter. Both books were brought up to scratch with the other new updates and sadly in doing so they even further invalidated the other Marine books from last year with changes to scouts, dreadnoughts and the like.
We then had a few months to breathe while the age of Sigmar release took precedent, to be presented with a couple of big releases towards the end of the year. The first of these was the Tau release which not only treated us to a host of new kits but also 2 campaign supplements and some Tau scenery, both following the release trends from 2014 (namely Stormclaw and Deathstorm) and introducing the element of race-specific scenery at last. Another benefit of the campaign books (as well as a new Raven Guard model and Tau Ethereal) was that we got some amazing dataslates for two space marine Chapter (Whitescars / Raven Guard), Cadians and Farsight, as well as shedloads of Tau goodies. Again, plenty of scope to expand on this model over the next couple of years.
Lastly, who could forget betrayal at Calth. A stand-alone game that also gave us fantastic model value for marines that could be used in 40k, and perhaps most significantly the first 30k/40k crossover. A couple of unique model releases for previously limited items (assassins, BA terminator Captain) and a great new BA Chaplain also slipped in. As a footnote, who could forget the amazing FW releases this year, both with books, 30k legion models and a few biggies - Tau Supremacy armour, Admech ordinatus and, of course, the immense Warlord Titan.
It's nice to see WFB returning to the front line which also gives us more breathing space between 40k releases to actually absorb info and save for spending. I know I missed out on several armies (Harlequins/Admech) that I would always have loved to collect simply because of the pace and cost involved. Phew, one book for every month! Overall a great year for 40k which has seen new directions and given us a 'game-plan' that GW seems set on following more consistently now than it has in the past few years. The format seems established now, which can only lead us to speculate about what may be coming in....
Well, the smart money would be on them updating the 6E codexes to 7E for a cheap buck. I imagine several, such as AM and Tyranids, will be at the front of the queue as they already have an abundance of units/dataslates elsewhere that need rolling in. I'd expect limited model releases for them, but having said that the scale of the Tau release was a surprise and so perhaps a host of models will arrive with them - Nids especially and a new Guard regiment would be amazing (we can hope).
Surely Chaos must be on the horizon sometime soon. The CSM and CD books are now the oldest ones out there and when you compare the updates the loyalist marines have had in recent times the CSM codex and model range is lagging behind. Not that I don't like the flavour of the CD book, but one can't help but feel it is so much book-keeping for the player that a simpler version (as seen in K:DK) would be welcomed. Alongside more plastic greater daemons of course.
More 30k plastics and releases of items previously only available in boxed sets (such as the limited character and BaC models) are likely also. In terms of FW, I'm sure the legions, Primarchs and (hopefully) 40k admech books/models will continue. With regard to the early 7E 40K books, one day we are sure to get updates but who knows what pace this will be at and how many models will accompany them.
We now get into wishlist territory rather than probable releases. Every year I say it, and I have a good feeling for 2016, but that plastic sisters army can't be far off now. I would be all over that like a rash, as would many I suspect. Come on GW, give the people what they want! I would also love to see an 'Imperial agents' book incorporating Inquisition, Arbites and assassins, but I doubt this one. There are rumours abound of the return of specialist games (necromunda, gothic, epic) which again would be great and I would definitely get into. Epic was my first love in the GW world and I would love it to get a revamp. Also, a genestealer cult vs deathwatch stand-alone was mentioned - again would be brilliant and something people have wanted for an age.
In conclusion, lots to look forward to in the coming year. This is a busy one for me as I have entrance exams for my dream training position, which if all works out will involve a move to the other end of the country and a bigger house (more GW space!) etc so all in all a busy year already. I'm sure I'll still find time for hobby though. Happy new year to everyone!