After two and a bit weeks of frantic house-hunting and then the pain of waiting for references to come back from employer, bank manager and current landlord I now have a flat lined up and can return to discussing the things that really matter:
Faeit 212 (the rumour site where you behave or he slaps you, I love it!) has posted up the rumoured GW release schedule up to October next year. Now a) this is just a rumour and so pinches of salt all round and b) my opinions on this are based on no knowledge whatsoever, they're just my opinion. That said, let's get started.
The rumours actually name check all the 6th edition holdovers: Dwarfs, Wood Elves and Bretonnia. They all share similar problems: rank-and-file units and war machines in expensive resin; no plastic characters; and even the odd unit without models. As far as I recall Dwarf Rangers are made by combining parts from the Warrior and Thunderer kits.
God, we're getting spoiled. I remember when this sort of thing was normal.
Plastic Slayers would be fantastic (Doomseekers upgrade? Please please please, GW?). Hammerers and Ironbreakers could probably be a single kit if Executioners and Black Guard can be released together.
February and March: Imperial Guard
I was cynical that Guard would get a two-month slot a la the Dark Elves but thinking about it there are a lot of gaps in the range. Ogryns, Rough Riders, Storm Troopers and Regimental Advisors all need plastics, there are no Penal Legion models and a plastic Commissar wouldn't be unwelcome. There are also a whole bunch of tanks in the current book that don't exist.
The persistent rumour that Mordian Iron Guard would become plastic for this release help sell the two-month concept to be because that's three kits in itself: Command Squad, Infantry Squad, Heavy Weapons Squad. Inevitable new flyer, as well, I suppose.
April: Wood Elves
Dear God does this need doing. I am a touch surprised they aren't rumoured for a two-month stretch, there's so bloody much to do on the existing range before even considering new stuff.
Of their four characters classes none have plastics and one (the Branchwraith) doesn't even have a generic model. A plastic Forest Dragon seems inevitable to bring them in line with the other elven ranges. The list of Finecast units is huge: Eternal Guard, Wardancers, Warhawk Riders, Wild Riders, Tree Kin, Treemen and Waywatchers (Great Eagles aren't urgent, everyone uses the The Hobbit ones anyway). The Highborn on Great Stag could stand to be redone but I just say that because I hate the model. That's at least seven units and a monster. I can't offhand work out many that would work as dual-pupose kits. Wardancers and Waywatchers, conceivably, and Warhawk Riders with optional riders that can also be Great Eagles.
I am, with my Dark Elves army and High Elves mercenary force becoming a bit of an elf fanboy, it has to be said.
Again, a whole lotta Fincecast units and Ork players have been without decent Deffkoptas since Black Reach went out of production. Though I suspect the loss they feel most keenly from Black Reach is the disappearance of the best Warboss ever.
Let me just say AT. BLOODY. LAST! Bretonnians were my signature army all through university and for a number of years afterwards until Vampire Counts for their seventh edition book. The redoes are actually pretty simple: dual-purpose Questing Knights/Grail Knights box, Mounted Yeomen, Trebuchet and Grail Reliqueae, plastic Lord/BSB, bish bash bosh.
July: Warhammer Fantasy Battles 9th edition
With the three 6th edition holdovers dealt with I'm less cynical about a new edition coming out before GW makes a complete cycle of the Army Books. All that's left at this point are Skaven (who had so much new shit since their last book new ideas must be thin on the ground) and Beastmen (whose players are kind of used to being ignored for long stretches of time. Hello, Matt!). The other thing that convinces me comes in September/October.
August: Space Wolves
Meh. I mean: as far as I'm concerned the current Space Wolves range are the best Space Marine plastic GW has ever done but I'm kind of off 40k right now and even more off the idea of More Bloody Space Marines so, yeah, meh.
September and October: Orcs & Goblins
You know, I initially thought “Like bollocks do Orcs & Goblins need two months!” but then I flicked through the current Army Book and a) realised how far production values have come since this, the first full-colour hardcover and b) there are a lot of gaps. I guess I've got used to how much comes out with an eighth edition army book I forgot that the release strategy was a big less generous at the start of the edition/
There are a couple of character classes that could do with plastic, not least a Warboss on a Wyvern. The generic plastic Warboss is showing its age (not big enough). They actually have a gap in their Core choices, Arrer Boyz, which I assumed was confined to the 6th ed. holdovers. It's mainly Goblin stuff that needs to be redone: the Wolf Chariot, Squig Herds and Hoppers, Snotling Pump Wagon, all the war machines.
And doing this over these two months means that like Dark Elves this year means they get the Games Day showcase treatment and the September release, traditional home of new edition starter kits. This new edition's rumoured starter kit is Empire versus Orcs so that'll be a good crossover hit.