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1,531 hits since 13 Jun 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2018 9:53 p.m. PST

…upsets "Fans"

"Now I am not going to focus on fantasy, I'll really get to why I ignore it later, but fundamentally it comes down to the fact that in my opinion fantasy always has hope. The Grim-Dark Future does not.

Lets start with something you all are likely very familiar with: The intro of every 40k Black Library book.

"It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die…."
Main page


Insomniac14 Jun 2018 2:13 a.m. PST

A child who has grown up in the far reaches of the Imperium, to a non-zealous family, may have absolutely no knowledge of what you mention.

If the story is from their perspective, it can be about anything.

Do all children today know about each of the main religions to a point where they can identify each deity and give a background on their story… no. Why should the 40K universe be any different (as long as they aren't too near the hub where there would be more indoctrination)?

All the upset is ridiculous. In the story 'the iron giant', the robot goes on a rampage and kills all sorts. Children can deal with that… I don't see these new books being any different.

YouTube link

magical monstrous steve14 Jun 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

This isn't quite the same thing as a children's version of WW2- people wouldn't object to that. The tone and intent behind virtually everything written intro 40k since the 1980's has been "Grim Dark" and while I can't define that exactly, one meaning of it is clear: NOT FOR KIDS. That attitude has been baked into the product from day one and is part of the charm.

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 6:37 a.m. PST

Blood for the blood god for twelve year olds makes perfect sense. Slaanesh for pre-teens.

What can go wrong?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 10:43 a.m. PST



28mm Fanatik14 Jun 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

Don't underestimate today's kids' ability to handle dark subject matters. They've been reading YA novels we've never seen when we were kids. Many of these novels are post-apocalyptic.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

GW was moulded on 2000AD comics and the zeitgeist of the 80's. It was popular to mock right-wing politics of the time with cynical parodies like Dredd, Rogue Trooper or Nemesis the Warlock. Like other stories of the period such as Dark Knight and Watchmen they are all very critical of things like violence, xenophobia, authoritarianism etc.

Take characters like Dredd or Rorschach and they were originally designed to represent pretty horrible people, but they have been reinterpreted as heroic figures.

GW's own 40K was based on the same principle that the Imperium is a horrible institution, but the ones they are fighting are just as evil and crazy. The original idea was that the Emperor was merely a corpse and the Imperium was rotten to the core, doomed to fall sooner or later.

Over the years this was reinterpreted, the Emperor was still alive and the "trick" to just sacrifice enough psykers to keep the beacon was rationalized.

GW has tried to straddle the line between selling "good guy fascism" and try to give the Imperium as many redeeming features as possible (they misunderstood the Emperor, once the Primarch return things will get better …) and defusing their own universe by admitting that it's all much worse and that nobody in their right mind should cheer for the Imperium.

And depending on who is holding the pen the 40K universe has always swung one way or the other and right now they are so desperate to draw new blood they are trying to appeal to kids with stories set in a universe where you have Imperial branches, Chaos and Dark Eldar who are pretty much overt sex fiends …

It was fun and games for twenty something punk-influenced guys having fun in the GW office basement to come up with subersive material, it's another to pretend it's all very serious and thought out decades later …

magical monstrous steve14 Jun 2018 4:11 p.m. PST

It is very serious and well thought out. Sure, at one level of analysis it's space elves and ray guns, but if you dig into it, there is a lot of depth. The franchise, and its level of maturity, has grown along with the demographics of their clientele.

malleman Inactive Member14 Jun 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

Here is a thought, buy one for your child and read it first when they come out. If you don't approve of it then don't give it to your child to read. Simple parenting trick.

I am looking foreword to when they come out to buy for my oldest son. My only concern is that it will contain a PC theme, in which case I won't push it on him.

The H Man14 Jun 2018 9:11 p.m. PST

Just to clarify. GW games have always been for kids. Unless things have changed since last I was able to get in their locked shop. Just look at any of the in store games night pics or golden demon dos in any white dwarf magazine and you will see the places swarming with under 18s. These are GW run events, thus GW see their games fit for children, or they would kick them out.

That said there have been books, if I remember correctly, marked as adult only. Over all though, they do, aim their games at a market containing children.

Reading the books before the kids is a good idea. Then you could tell us what they are like also. Grimm, or Rowling?

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jun 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

I looked at Warhammer community to get some idea of the under 18 crowd swarming the GW events.

Here are some pics, the first ones I found.





The five o'clock shadow on that 15 year old in the last pic is wicked.

The H Man15 Jun 2018 6:10 p.m. PST

Nice try, but I have a collection of white dwarfs that prove otherwise.

Also not sure what those events are, but they don't seem to be pulling the numbers of the ones I have seen photos of.

I would not call 4 chaps sat outside a photo worthy of depicting a GW event, unless thing have changed dramatically in past years.

And your link photos seem to show some kids.

Assuming your right, for a moment, maybe the kids have all grown up and now don't let their kids anywhere near the games, hence GWs reason for the new books to try to get the kids back?

Games Workshop disagree with you:

(Found a GW Gilford photo of kids out front of the store from their facebook page, but the link made tmp go wacky, so I deleted it)



Granted it was 5 years ago, but I'm sure more recent events exist.

malleman Inactive Member15 Jun 2018 11:23 p.m. PST

They also served beer at Warhammer World when I went, and I just finished reading a post on FB about a stag party some guy had for his friend there. I don't recall any of my White Dwarfs in the late 80s being aimed at children, nor do I remember them being too explicit.

By the way that picture looks like a school field trip lecture to me.

Edwulf15 Jun 2018 11:31 p.m. PST

GW stores are usually full of kids. Have been for years. Late 80s and early 90s you'd have a mix of adults and youth. But as the 90s progressed and GW lost its sense of humour you found the crowds got younger. The big open day they used to have at Birmingham NEC was 70% school boys and their dads (maybe the odd mum).

There will always be a core of grown up gamers that suggest "for kids" is not the right phrase. Teen boys have been its target for the last 20 odd years though.

Insomniac16 Jun 2018 1:21 a.m. PST

Has anyone actually read any of the new books?

Has anyone got any evidence at all that the new books will be inappropriate for children?

Does anyone know what the stories are even about… and from what perspective they are being written from?

Surely, any responsible parent would check the reading material first, before giving it to their children… so why do so many people insist on attacking something that is likely to be completely harmless?

This is almost like a book burning… and the books haven't even been produced yet. It all seems a little premature to have such overly strong objections (I understand that the author of the books has received death threats from over-zealous fans… and he only wrote what he was contracted to write).

This sort of thing takes the 'game' out of wargame…

The H Man16 Jun 2018 1:59 a.m. PST

I too can not wait for the, no doubt, forth coming reviews.

Spot on, edwulf.

Is TV too soon to speak of? Probably some easier less mainstream web series in this case? If it does get on the air, what next? Toys, of course.

I will point out here that early 90s toy lines like toxic crusaders and tmnt and skeleton warriors so on feature as much disturbing concepts as a toned down GW line would have. We won't mention Spawn, only I did as he is cool.

Pre painted figures in a skylander style too far away? MB getting back on…wait for it…board too???

Maybe I should just stop now and go play with Toxie and Muatgen man…

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Jun 2018 5:33 a.m. PST

Your proof of your point after searching is one photo from 5 years ago?

I went to the GW community site and pulled the first two pics from the first two events I found.

You aren't quite as bad as mithmee but I do wonder sometimes if you don't work for GW just to make their critics look bad.

The H Man16 Jun 2018 6:44 p.m. PST



This is a Warhammer world event at GW HQ Nottingham. Beats your mates in the beer garden any day.

Question is, how did so many kids beat GW security and gain access to the building? I am still searching for the police/news reports on that one.

This is last year. 2017. I guess GW could have canned it for this year??

The point is GW market their games to kids. Even your photos had kids in them. The fact adults enjoy GW games or that they are aimed at them also was never in dispute (at least by myself), but, as others appear to agree, they are clearly not targeting an adult only market and never have. Even if they were ever targeting only adults, which these school kids would prove otherwise, these new books put an end to that neatly.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Jun 2018 8:36 p.m. PST

This is what you said:

"Just to clarify. GW games have always been for kids. Unless things have changed since last I was able to get in their locked shop. Just look at any of the in store games night pics or golden demon dos in any white dwarf magazine and you will see the places swarming with under 18s."

I'm looking at some of the GW event pics. I posted them.

They aren't swarming with kids. You have to go to a School's website for your pics.

Your bias is so bad it is bordering on lies.

Insomniac17 Jun 2018 2:07 a.m. PST

Judging by the bickering on here, maybe it was 'mental age' rather than 'actual age'?

I'd have said that, originally, GW aimed their products at the RPG crowd… which were generally young teens onwards.

Occasionally, they would bring out games for younger players but predominantly, it was young teens and older.

That doesn't matter at all.

This is a new thing… children's books… for children. They haven't done that before… they are branching out.

Whether previously, they aimed stuff at children, adults or a Bugblatter beast of Traal is completely irrelevant.

I sincerely doubt that the reading material in these children's books will cover the depravity of Slaanesh, the concept of Exterminatus, disembowelling by Tyranids or any other such adult content because… it's children's books.

… and no one has read them yet… so it is all hearsay and conjecture… and it is most probably a storm in a tea-cup that is really not worth getting so wound up about.

In the big scheme of things, it's all down to how parents shoulder the burden of parental responsibility.

When the books are out and available and can be read and reviewed… then is the time to get upset or not.

The H Man17 Jun 2018 3:14 a.m. PST

Agreed 100%.

Centurio Prime18 Jun 2018 4:38 a.m. PST

I don't know about Europe and UK, but in the US I did not see ANY kids at the NOVA Open 40k GT. There were a few kids around, but I didn't see any in the tournament. I will ask my friends who attended the LVO and Adepticon. In our local stores, there are two "kids" playing… one just turned 18 and graduated high school, the other is 17. In all my time playing GW games, I only met a few people under 18 who played. My experience is limited to the eastern half of the US however, maybe out west there are tons of 6th graders playing.

Andy ONeill19 Jun 2018 12:04 a.m. PST

The vast majority of players are not tournament players.
Millions of kids take up gw games for a year or two.
Then they move on.
The few thousand adults who travel to tournaments are a tiny proportion.

Go ask a regular non wargamer.
Or chat to people.
"I used to do that…. When i was like 13" is a fairly common sort of response from blokes.
Here in the uk anyhow.
These are kids / young adults games.

If you go into a gw shop over here, they're full of kids.
But of course, most kids buy or are given their toys and play at home.

malleman Inactive Member20 Jun 2018 11:06 a.m. PST

I think there is a difference between UK and US experiences. In my experiences, hobby stores in the US are not packed with kids. Some early teens, but mostly you see young adults on up. The only time I do see young people is during Pokémon tournaments. I have two hobby stores that carry GW products where I live. The nearest GW store is about a three hour drive for me and the next nearest one is about four hours in the opposite direction.

Every time I have gone into a GW store here in the US the only kids I saw were mine. I have only been into a couple in the UK and to be honest I don't remember seeing children. Granted that was over ten years ago now

Centurio Prime21 Jun 2018 5:22 a.m. PST


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa21 Jun 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

If you go into a gw shop over here, they're full of kids.

I'd second that. GWs relied on that churn for years – probably to the extent that they ignored more mature gamers. Lets just say I'd would love to see GWs market research over the last few years!

The H Man22 Jun 2018 3:56 a.m. PST

And don't forget the internet. These days people can just buy from home. So perhaps less kids get to go to the stores these days, as parents would prefer them stay home and order online. It may also account for the poor opening hours I keep running into.

Also I wouldn't think arranged tournaments would appeal to kids more, umm, casual playing styles. Also money, transport, time for parents standing around and such could also impede their ability to participate.

Centurio Prime22 Jun 2018 4:16 a.m. PST

Hmm, not at conventions, not at local stores, not buying at local stores, not participating in local tournaments or events. Maybe the Warhammer Adventures books will cause some of this huge base of invisible customers to show their faces.

We have lots of kids in the local stores and at conventions who are playing Magic, RPGs, and Super Smash Brothers. I wonder why the kids that play GW games are hermits, hiding away in their room apparently.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 8:45 a.m. PST

In my local stores we have no kids playing GW games. The Necromunda group is almost entirely over 30, I think we have two 20 somethings. Most of them are over 40.

Ditto with the AoS group.

The only time I see kids in the store they are buying Magic or just looking.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa22 Jun 2018 11:05 a.m. PST

In my local stores we have no kids playing GW games.

Then I'd may be wonder about where the next generation of hobbyists is going to come from! An awful lot the gamers my age and younger in the UK cut their teeth on GW product. And that existential question may ultimately be behind the book release…

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

I think, at least in the US, it is something that kids start to get into when they are in their upper teens. I bought a lot of the figures when I was in the 11-15 age range but mostly used them for D&D. I was in college before I started playing GW games.

The H Man22 Jun 2018 5:29 p.m. PST

I still feel releasing kiddy books will turn off more people than may be turned on to GW. Especially if most of their customers are in their late teens or older. I doubt they will be reading them. The aim must be for older players to buy them for their kids in a bid to win them over. However, how many kids want to do things their parents do? (Yes, I know some do, but there is that age when they want to go their own way). Up hill battle springs to mind.

GW must be planning more beyond the books, like new games or other media, merchandise, to cash in on the readers before they grow out of the (Warhammer adventure) books and many may move on.

And I'm still waffling on about it…

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa23 Jun 2018 1:20 a.m. PST

I bought a lot of the figures when I was in the 11-15 age

And I'd say that's been their marketing target. Knowing that they're going to loose them in large numbers – but keep a high spending core for longer. I'd bet a box of the (hopefully still) upcoming new Titanicus that their marketing data is showing a drop off in the new entrants!

I'd agree that for the generation above mine D&D was an important gateway, but my local club who are all considerably younger than me I'd say 75% children of GW, the rest are MtG and/or boardgamers.

Andy ONeill23 Jun 2018 6:59 a.m. PST

According to GW their core demographic is 12-18 year old boys:

"GW's core demographic is 12 – 18 yr old boys. The GW purchaser is often their parents. To support their purchasing requirements requires the acceptance of multiple payment methods. "

PDF link

IIRC you have to be 13+ to play in a uk store. I think that's due to legislation meaning they'd need to screen and train staff for younger children.

Somewhat anecdotal but:
My ex's son played from the age of around 9. Almost all his many friends had some 40k figures.
This was admittedly a while back now.
He didn't buy any of the stuff himself or even go into the stores. His miniatures were a mix of stuff.
He and his friends ignored rules and a fair bit of the play was "bam-bam-bam your big guy is dead, I shot him with my blaa".

Since I'm a computer contractor I work at a lot of different client sites. When hobbies and interests are mentioned with co-workers if I say I do tabletop wargaming they will often – like 90% say "You mean Warhammer?". Usually in a rather doubtful "that can't be right" kind of way. If there's much further discussion it usually turns out they played up to about 13 or 14 and moved on from "kids games".

This is my observation.

alpha3six23 Jun 2018 8:26 a.m. PST

Next time tell them you run tabletop conflict simulations.

malleman Inactive Member23 Jun 2018 2:13 p.m. PST

Like I said i believe there is a difference between the UK and the US. I didn't get a chance to read the pdf, but I am wondering if that is for their world marketing plan or UK plan. Also I would be curious to see what their earnings are just from UK sales vs US sales.

Can you buy GW items at non GW stores in thu UK? I know you can buy from internet stores, but I am asking about brick and mortar stores.

The H Man23 Jun 2018 6:08 p.m. PST

European trade sales.

I suspect computer games have changed things over the past decade or so. Especially with more GW comp games. A lot of new people must drift over from that. Or even drift over TO that and skip or give up on minis. How many people watch Marvel movies Vs read the comics? That said, the movies would have given the comic industry a boost.

Also the number of GW alternatives in miniature games seem to have exploded over the same time. Many fans, observers or workers from 10+ years ago now have their own GWesque business with games and minis. Some may be cheaper or in other ways easier to get into (subject matter, location, so on).

Centurio Prime25 Jun 2018 5:21 a.m. PST

I don't think these kids books will hurt GW's sales. There is a chance they might help, but I guess that remains to be seen. Hopefully they WILL bring in new players. I wouldn't buy or read them myself though.

Obviously there is a difference in demographics between the UK and US gamers. Like I said, I see very few kids under 18 who play.

40k in the US seems to be more "serious business" at the various tournament conventions. (I've never been to a UK convention but I'm observing this from podcasts, youtube channels etc). It seems like most games in US stores are "tournament practice" using the same points/scenarios/rules as tournaments. Maybe this discourages the younger players, but honestly most of the young people who ask about GW games just end up saying they are too expensive.

I am not against kids playing, in fact I try to get my kids to play as often as possible, but they would rather play video games. We have many middle and high school kids who play MTG at our store, or just sit in the store playing video games.

Andy ONeill25 Jun 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

Yes, other shops do sell GW games.
Hence the pdf.

Kids don't play tournaments. As I described above, Fran and his friends didn't bother with pesky written rules as far as I could tell. Playing in a tournament would have been a bit of a problem.
As the quote itself explains, it's the parents that buy the product.

It could well be the only difference between the US and UK is that kids don't play in stores in the US.
The UK has a GW store in every town and it's a smaller place. Probably easier for any theoretical youth to get to a UK store.

From a generic wargaming perspective.
Some time back the distribution of wargaming magazines was such that there were as many sales to the UK as the US. Accepted wisdom at that time was there were at least as many wargamers in the UK as US. The UK only being one teeny bit of Europe.

Centurio Prime25 Jun 2018 8:39 a.m. PST

I'm going to check with my local store owner and ask him how many kids/parents he has noticed buying stuff.

(Our local store is not GW BTW)

The H Man26 Jun 2018 3:41 a.m. PST

We all have an opinion on the percentage of kids to adults buying GW product or attending stores. It would be good to hear actual stats. Good on you Centurio Prime for asking. Perhaps others can follow his lead and we may get some interesting info from it.

I remember the notion than GW stores would try to move people who played there on to local clubs. This would make sense to keep numbers of people in their wee stores low on gaming nights. However it may have also had the effect of having less adults in the store at these times also.

Andy ONeill26 Jun 2018 4:04 a.m. PST

A local independent owner told me the vast majority of players are kids.
When he started game nights and encouraged all comers he found he had to teach the rules and add an age limit.

I'm not sure where you expect to get actual stats from.

Store staff will have some sort of an impression. One might imagine gw thought about this and asked a bunch of em before they wrote that document.

Andy ONeill26 Jun 2018 5:16 a.m. PST

I took a quick look for anything about where sales are made. Couldn't find much about location, let alone demographics.

" Most of the growth is coming from outside the UK with international sales accounting for nearly 70% of turnover thanks to expansion into markets like Asia."

If I follow that correctly that's saying ~ 31% of product sold is in the UK.

The H Man26 Jun 2018 5:02 p.m. PST

Store manager anecdotes are good enough for me. However they will likely vary, which is a double edged sword (real facts Vs each store being different). Though its a bit less polished than a compony document, which is a good thing.

I wonder how many languages these books will be in? Also if there will need to make any changes for foreign markets. Monster in my pocket had issues in India, suggesting Kali is a monster. Will an undead Necron or magic users have similar troubles somewhere? I don't expect riots, but some group or person may take umbrage, over some of the possible content of the books?

Centurio Prime27 Jun 2018 4:03 a.m. PST

I'm not really trying to get "actual stats" so much as just see what is going on in our local area… Since we never see or hear of anyone below the age of 17 playing GW games (and very few of those that are 17), but there are lots of younger kids at the store playing MtG and other things, I wonder if there are any who are buying but playing at home.

All the areas I have played 40k and WFB in (WV, VA,DC,OH, KY, GA, TX) are apparently the opposite of what the normal demographic is.

chromedog29 Jun 2018 10:16 p.m. PST

Kids have been part of 40k since the early days.

Even in the fluff.

Cadians called them "White shields".

Orks called them "rashuns".

Tyranids called them "biomass".

joedog09 Sep 2018 5:41 p.m. PST

I started with RT back in 1987. Some of my old gaming buddies (no pun intended) play 40k with their kids, and now some have grandkids who they would like to have become gamers in the future.

I know other gamers who are younger than I am, and who are tryin g to get back into gaming after taking a few years off while their kids were being born and going through early childhood, and are hoping to be "gaming dads".

The idea of a "kid's level" introduction to the 40k universe is a good marketing thing (like the Star Wars cartoon series have been for the kids of "Star Wars dads")

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