Games Workshop has just recently released its “latest” games system, The Horus Heresy - Age of Darkness, which many of you will know is a rework of the now, quite old, heresy series from Forge World.
The Horus Heresy game system started way back in 2012 during the life of 40k’s troubled 6th edition. One of the biggest problems with 6th edition was that there was very little consistency of units across armies, lascannons could smash open tanks with ease but would be simply shrugged off by monstrous creatures that had a lower points value. When Heresy was released though this wasn’t the case.
What made the original game work was the fact that rather than two different styles of armies going against each other, you both pulled from the same book. Granted you had little tweaks here and there for different army styles and some rules that would only apply to your force but for the vast majority of the game, you were on an equal footing.
The games I had with my regular gaming group were fantastic and very evenly matched and we spent a good few years collecting sizable Heresy forces. Books would come out with additional rules for the legions with some cool additions if you were led by your Primarch. This was pretty thrilling for many players at my club, but as a Blood Angels player, I had to wait….and wait….and wait before I finally got rules for my Blood Angel forces. And some of the weakest Primarch rules in the game.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I had seen all of my gaming buddies come across fantastic rules and stats for each of their traitor legions with some really fluffy style rules for each of their Primarchs. By the time the Blood Angel stuff had come out you could tell the Forge World design time had clearly lost interest. The book the rules were released in was shared with the Dark Angels and while I didn’t mind that (had to do that in 2nd Edition 40K) the rules were barely several pages long. The Primarch rules didn’t make sense and t did make me laugh the Corax, the one with the Jump Pack, had better-flying rules than the one with natural wings he had grown up with. Adding to that something which I refer to as the leviathan problem, where Levithan dreads were OP to fuck, my love for the game had dwindled to nothing.
Fast forward to today's release of the NEW Heresy Boxed set with all of its plastic goodness and I’m left wondering if this will happen again. If this game doesn’t sell well, is it going to be abandoned again, just like the Forge World one was? Let’s be fair this is a pretty expensive edition to get into. £180 for the initial boxed game with another £42 on top just for your faction rules, which if you collected a traitor and a loyalist side then that another £42 good sir to get the opposing book.
Personally, my house energy costs have quadrupled, my patrol costs have doubled and am paying more and more for basic groceries. Factor in that I play Necromunda, Blood Bowl, and 9th edition 40K than I truly do think I’ve got enough on my plate.