(I'll catch real shit for this, but screw it... )
So over the last few weeks I have been following along with increasing mirth to rumours that Bretonnia will be phased out of Warhammer because this is the secret reason their metal and finecast kits have been removed from the GW web store. The rumour was recently expanded to include Wood Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings and now it's the turn of Dwarfs.
No, seriously, no. I thought this was silly with Bretonnians. I thought it was bafflingly absurd when the list was expanded to include two armies that received updates within the last four years. Now that one of the four principle races of Warhammer is involved... well, you see that image at the top of the post?
The simple fact is that there is a predictable cycle of fan panic attack that surrounds these things and this is how it goes, using recent Dwarf events as a guideline:
Event 1: Rumours of a new release for army X, probably started in part by GW itself to test the waters on the idea. In the case of Dwarfs rumours surfaced in November that they'd be early this year (pegged as January rather than February but these things aren't 100%).
Event 2: Games Workshop's online store removes listings for redundant and outdated models in that army, usually white metal and finecast kits. GW is currently working to phase out finecast and white metal is actively obsolete as they destroyed the casting equipment some time ago. In this case Dwarf Hammerers and Ironbreakers have disappeared, both super-expensive fincast 5-man rank sets. (Not Slayers, which worries me).
Event 3: Opinion is divided straight down the middle with one half of commenters forgetting Event 1 and commencing the wailing and gnashing of teeth that the army is being phased out or “Squatted” in the parlance. The other half, remembering Event 1, advise caution and point out that this happens for just about every release, especially for those armies that have large numbers of kits still in metal and finecast. This second half speculates about what might be in the release and how the army might be added to in new and characterful ways.
Event 4: The first half berate the second half as being “GW apologists”, “hopelessly naive” and bang on about how GW thinks of nothing but “destroying their hobby”. Intemperate language is employed by both sides. The first half claim that X army doesn't make enough money and so “must” be on the way out. The second half point out that under that logic GW would cease production of anything except Space Marines who make up 70% of their revenue. The first half then moves on to how Fantasy will be dropped entirely, how every release in the last two years has been completely botched and how GW will go out of business soon but don't worry their mate has a friend who has a cousin who has a Kickstarter that will totally do things better than GW ever could and be as big within a few years!
Event 5: The army gets a new release. Kits are released to replace the ones taken down from the online store. There is rejoicing in the streets, livestock is slaughtered in celebration and in a comment section somewhere the heart of a doomsayer breaks a little more.
EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.