Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

A model for the game or the setting?

Something that I feel games Workshop would benefit from doing is making models for their Warhammer 40,000 setting without their needing to fit into one of their games. These days the setting is popular enough that many of these figures would sell themselves, games use or no.

Warhammer Community recently previewed the Vanus assassin and I was surprised to see it.

The Vanus clade debuted in the Horus Heresy novel Nemesis and haven’t been seen since. Information is their stock in trade and weapon of choice and so they have little role on a battlefield. Typically they wouldn’t deploy to a battlefield at all, or even a planet, staying out of sight in orbit, working their way with information systems to achieve their goals. being brought to battle generally means they have failed.

However, Warhammer 40,000 is a game and so rules are seen as necessary. Now we have a Vanus for the battlefield. Venenum is the other unseen clade featured in Nemesis. As the name suggests, their preferred method is poison. Perhaps we shall see them, too.

I don’t object to game rules for these models, I just think that seeing everything in the setting through the lens of a tabletop game is not always the best way of looking.

13 comments on “A model for the game or the setting?

  1. Guru PIG
    September 5, 2022

    Song of Ice and Fire have an excellent mechanism for those characters that do not take part in the battle but nevertheless play an important part in its outcome. Each of these has various traits that can be used by the player during the game.

    For instance there is the very unlikeable free Folk character Crastus. In the Song of Ice and Fire game context he is a Free Folk non combatant character that allows units to replace wounds. With the lack of armour amongst Free Folk units this makes him an essential if unsavoury addition.

    You still have to buy the figure and have them placed on the non-combatant table off board to use them so there are no sales loss issues for the manufacturer.

    There just needs to be some innovative game design mechanisms! GW are slowly becoming locked in a time warp with design and relying too much on new “toys”. Sadly over the last decade they have become more of a toy company than a game one!

    Mind you they have very nice toys!

    Liked by 4 people

    • davekay
      September 5, 2022

      Sounds like a good way of having non-combatants influence a battle without needing to be fighters, but I’d prefer a 40k range that doesn’t need the game at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. deturnation
    September 5, 2022

    You’re very right.
    GW is expensive enough to just produce models for the sake of collecting. And if they were as clever as their competitors, they’d just say, this is “generic model x” we called her “y” (insert fancy name), she can be used for our game systems as “unit/character z” from “army alpha to gamma”.
    She reminds me a bit of this nice model, I have printed from print minis https://c10.patreonusercontent.com/4/patreon-media/p/post/69841254/dcd123cb4bb74357a40e3ef572912919/eyJ3Ijo2MjB9/1.jpg?token-time=1663632000&token-hash=6rTe14BZqtYPuHyF8FcnSJLNqc28ZB51xzjRJGnUd1c%3D

    I think this is one of the nicer paint jobs, as it isn’t just base-coat, wash, highlights, but also seems to have a fair deal of blending in it.

    But as someone, who isn’t allowed to be named said, and I somewhat believe it, GW isn’t about making profit anymore, but rather about creating an universially marketable ip to sell to hasbro.

    Liked by 3 people

    • davekay
      September 5, 2022

      That model looks cool, and I have to say that re-reading the Heresy books is making me notice so many good characters who would have no place in a tabletop game, but whose models I would like to see.

      Liked by 3 people

      • deturnation
        September 5, 2022

        Thinking of that, I started playing in 6th edition fantasy (roughly 2002ish) with Empire. Back then there were almost no characters. Yes there was Luthor Huss and Balthasaar Gelt who had models and special rules. Karl Franz didn’t have any in the official book, as his 5th ed model had been discontinued until 7th ed. Same for the Grand Theogonist.
        Interestingly there were a number of elector counts (prince electors) models, like Boris Todbringer, Marius Leitdorf, Aldebrand Ludenhof, Valmir von Raukof as well as Grand Masters of the White Wolves, Knights Panther and Knights of the Sun that had been kept around from 5th edition. Those models all were kept around and became ‘generic’ either elector counts or grand masters, (which in 7th became General or Captains). The interesting thing about those were, that they had a ton of Empire-only spefcific and lore-affin magical items, armors and weapons they could get from the empire and general pool, so you could make them ‘special’. I think this was a great idea; normal guys can acchieve greatness without becoming special gods, but they could still be depicted as different humans.

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        September 5, 2022

        Yes, I really liked those old Elector Count models with their individuality. Wasn’t there one with a hawk?

        Liked by 1 person

      • deturnation
        September 5, 2022

        Yup; Aldebrand Ludenhof

        Liked by 1 person

    • Faust
      September 6, 2022

      I think there are a large number of hobbyists who are doing just that “collecting”. It seems there are a lot who just love the lore and the GW universe and buy lots of their minis, mainly to paint and/or collect them. Some have intentions to play, but then get to wrapped up in the painting part.

      Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        September 6, 2022

        I feel personally described by that comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Faust
        September 7, 2022

        Haha, I wasn’t singling anyone out! It’s just something I’ve noticed, which also is a bit foreign to me as minis have always been game pieces to me. Although I’ve also been guilty of buying things from GW that I’m not going to paint anytime soon and sometimes minis that just look cool but won’t necessarily be used much in a game. The first set of referees for Blood Bowl, most of the Star Players, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        September 7, 2022

        It’s something that happened to me over time, but I can’t pinpoint when. Certainly when I ordered the original Bones Kickstarter I had no game in mind to use the models in.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wudugast
    September 6, 2022

    It’s a cracking model and I’m glad to see the Vanus get a miniature at last. I think GW would do well to do more with these characters that bring a lot to the background of the settings without ever setting foot on the battlefield. They’ve already explored the idea with things like hangers-on in Necromunda and coaches, cheerleaders and so on in Blood Bowl, and it’s something other companies are doing (the non-combat characters from ASOIAF that Guru mentioned being a good example). That said there will always be an element of the fanbase which thinks any model that doesn’t have rules for 40k or AoS is “useless” (the ones who want to take Necromunda gangers as part of Imperial Guard armies for instance) and GW tends to pander to them so I expect the Vanus will get 40k rules in the end too. Looking at makes me wish GW would bring back Inquisitor though (in a sensible scale this time) to give a home to these characters and encourage them to explore more of the fringes of the setting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      September 6, 2022

      Yes and on the subject of Necromunda I think part of the reason the genetic hive scum sold out so quickly is because people looking for setting models also wanted them

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2022 by in Miniatures, Tabletop and tagged , , .
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