Meat for Meta: A Talk About Heresy

What does the possible Plastic Horus Heresy Set mean for Games Workshop?


Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.

The talk and rumors about a possible Horus Hersey plastic set are heating up. I have been mostly avoiding this rumor as it seemed from the very beginning to be vaporware, but as the evidence continues to mount, I think it is about time we talk about it.

Let us start by getting everyone up to speed, for close to a year rumors have been swirling that Games Workshop is working on a Horus Heresy miniatures outside of the Forge World umbrella. Basically, 30k for the masses with models in plastic. The rumor has evolved over time, originally paired with rumors Forge World would be completely integrated into GW, to Horus Heresy being nothing more than a board game like Space Hulk. Since the rumor has changed so many times I never really took it seriously, but a few months ago leaked images of plastic 30k models on sprue seemed to confirm the possibility.

Now, over the last few weeks rumors have started to float around about Horus Heresy coming Mid-November. This contradicts other rumors concerning; Tzeentch Daemonkin, Tyranids, and more Age of Sigmar appearing around the same time. If history means anything GW has traditionally released one-off games around this time. We had Dreadfleet, Space Hulk, and Space Hulk 2.0 all around this same time.

So with the histrionics settled, how will this affect GW and Warhammer 40k going forward? Here are two hypotheticals.

The best scenario is Horus Heresy as a standalone board game with plastic models usable with Forge World 30k if you want. This makes the most sense, because GW can sell tons, and use it to sell people on Forge World. If they were smart it would be timed with having Forge World purchasable in any shop globally. Under this situation, Forge World still remains in control 30k and the game is more a promotional tool not a competitor to Warhammer 40k.

Or GW could choose the balls to the wall route, releasing Horus Heresy as a mainline game; supporting it with new models in plastic, and taking control away from Forge World. Under this scenario the risks are very high. GW could Sigmar the rules for 30k, and use it as the ultimate guinea pig for 40k. It also means Warhammer 40k gets a direct competitor, cannibalizing sales by splitting players between systems. Of course, GW assumes this endeavor would expand the playerbase, but if done sloppily it would alienate players hurting them in the long run.

It would hurt Xenos players the most, by having less folks to play as many would be off brofisting in the 30k universe instead. Since GW thinks we are just collectors, we are going to buy everything they throw at us regardless of faction or universe…right? What about the hate 30k players would have currently enjoying the fairly balanced rules provided by Forge World, to suddenly deal with the current directionless GW design team.

The primary concern as I mentioned before is dividing the 40k community, a community that has grown smaller over the last couple years with bad rules and ever rising prices. A community getting another game would only distract Games Workshop from devoting the needed time to maintaining and expanding the games they currently support.