Sunday, 13 March 2011

Those Grey Knights...

I have a number of topics I want to look at in the coming weeks but the new Games Workshop Grey Knight release has somewhat caught me by surprise and with uncanny timing...

Now this is not going to be my gush on how lovely the new plastic Grey Knights are though they are indeed lovely. This is rather something else regarding what has been done with them rather than what they look like...

In my Apple Miniatures ramble last week I was talking a bit about plastic kits with wider options. This has not been how recent Games Workshop kits have worked for the most part. Well, that's unfair. Many of the kits have options, typically two weapon types for example. The new, larger kits, often have a couple of basic builds too. The basic Power Armoured Grey Knight kit goes a step further. Not only does it have a tremendous array of weapon options (and in many cases enough of each to equip the squad) but it makes up four entire unit types from the Grey Knight Codex. To put this in perspective it's not unlike making a regular space marine kit that makes Tactical Squad, Veteran Squad, Assault Squad and Devastator Squad. Okay, the Grey Knights are a little more focused in style so not quite that crazy but still... Four squads! And the Grey Knight Terminators make a couple of squads too... and with boatloads of options too (want to give your entire squad two swords each? Go for it!).

I'd suggested basically that rather than having ten figures on a sprue with a few options it is better to have five on their with lots and lots of options. This seemed like sense to me and was a little unsure why this wasn't happening more but assumed I was missing something. And yet, the day I post this stuff, barely a few hours later GW does exactly this. Promise I hadn't a clue. I knew the Greys were coming but wasn't expecting this...

So, a new way of doing things. Not going to say it's the first (The Blood Angels Death Company were along these lines but not as wide reaching in scope) but is this to be the way of the future of plastics? I kind of hope so as the biggest problem with plastics is that there's a finite amount of frames per release and so we can end up a little limited in options while we wait for future waves. Can't help but notice the Grey Knight range is practically complete with just three kits released in it's first wave. Impressive thinking.

So, what's GW's next trick? Warhammer Tomb Kings are next up so maybe a skeleton kit that does pretty much everything? That'd be nice...


  1. I have also been thinking about box contents. I would like to see a standard space marine kit loaded with leg, arm, torso, head, and helmet bits. Enough to make 10 marines of completely different poses,

    In addition, sell a devastator upgrade sprue with the heavy weapons. Maybe one sprue for each weapon type, containing 5 of each weapon, and one sprue with one of each weapon. Sell an assault squad upgrade sprue containing the jump packs and chain swords. Ideally, the running legs are already in the standard marine kit. Sell weapon sprues. One sprue with power weapons, one with special weapons, one with combi weapons. (bolt guns and pistols and knives should probably be in the standard box).

    Ideally, there of several bits of each type of weapon, each with its own aesthetic to lend character to the army. For example, the space wolves have space wolf looking bolt guns, and the blood angels have blood angel looking bolt guns. I want that sort of thing for codex space marines.

  2. Problem with all the choice, it seems, is the price tag that comes with it.

  3. its certainly a far more complex series of decisions and equations than any body could ever imagine ......

  4. I can imagine much swearing...

  5. ho no nobody swears in the studio ever, honest .............

  6. "...the Grey Knight range is practically complete with just three kits released in it's first wave. Impressive thinking."

    Efficient product developement and release = easy spends for the end user = happy shareholder :D

  7. There are a whole heap of things that are considered when the frames get planned, and these considerations change as the pendulum of opinion swings.

    The usual barrier to frames like the power armour guys is what is known as 'redundancy', having loads of parts left over when you've built your chaps. Some people like this, some don't. Generally if it's heads or weapons you have extra then nobody minds.

    @Sigismund. Doing a range as a modular set of frames is something that has been tried before, but it makes for complex combinations in packing, making mispacks more likely and packing times longer. Longer packing times=increased costs etc. etc.

    Cross compatibility within ranges is a current hobby horse, it was a major factor in the Dark Eldar planning.

    Alex swears, in Swenglish! the rest of us are shocked on a regular basis.

  8. Personally I'm happy to have a bunch of leftover parts. Take the Grey Knights, I'd much rather have the leftovers than have the Interceptor and Purgation squads as metals just so that ten marines can be jammed on the sprue.