Games Workshop is a company that has cornered a niche market in tactical wargaming and stealing 10 year olds money while sending them high on super glue. The company owns 95% of the wargaming market, the remaining five percent being comprised by enterprising six year olds who pretend their airfix fighter planes fire real bullets.
To play a Games Workshop game such as Warhammer in the officially approved GW manner you must first purchase their expensive rulebook (£45), then purchase another rulebook specific to the army you want to collect (£20), then buy their over-priced gaming table (£155) and some model trees and buildings to decorate it (c.£60 for a decent amount), then finally you get to purchase the actual models (an army big enough to play a proper game could set you back about £200 plus paints and glue). So there you go, all it takes to get into this game is an initial investment of £500 and giving up all hope of ever owning your own home. It is reputed that Warhammer is the favoured pastime of Pentagon tacticians, who often seek inspiration from sources other than Rome: Total War and are the only ones with the funds available to play it any more.
The days of Games Workshops dominance are thankfully numbered. Companies such as Mantic Games, Privateer Press and Gripping Beast are producing better game systems and much better/cheaper/more original products (Well, except Mantic, who just seem to rehash GW's products) which are growing in popularity at GWs expense. And it's about damn time! GW have abused their loyal customer base for years, seeing them as a license to print money and everyone is getting well and truly p*ssed off with it! Therefore, don't be surprised if in the next few years you see your local Games Workshop store close down to be replaced with a branch of Poundland or Oxfam.
Many people sadly cannot perceive the attraction of wargaming because they want a life and disagree with the exorbitant prices of Games workshop products. What they fail to realise is that the concept was developed by people who think painting small lumps of plastic and rolling dice is entertainment.
Corporate History Edit
Believe it or not, Games Workshop started up as a small business run from someone's crappy council flat in the economically opulent and joyful days of 1970's England. Originally, the three high school drop-out nobodies that made up the entirety of the company's workforce scratched an existence fabricating chess and backgammon boards (a.k.a fleecing money from someone else's ideas, a recurring theme in the company's illustrious history). All this changed when one of the three picked up an American copy of Dungeons and Dragons. Having no actual life to be getting on with, he flicked through the rulebook and, in a flash of inspiration inspired by a cannabis high, thought to himself;
"Hey, we can make money from selling someone else's hard work!".
Alas, the beginnings of the most legitimate copyright infringement company in history were laid, although it would take many more years and much more concept inoriginality before Games Workshop became the domineering corporation it is today. Before long, the destitute trio moved out from their underground dungeon. This was partly because of the restraining order placed upon them by the local authorities after several complaints from neighbours of an unhealthy smell of nerd dope wafting from their council flat and suspected acts of buggery, but was mostly due to the fact that the three had made a wad of cash from selling wargames. The company flourished.
After receiving a contract from the British government to fabricate several seagoing vessels for the Faulklands offensive in 1982, the company turned back to wargaming. One day, some crusty nerd in the company thought up a way to make a huge amount of cash without sucking. The market for wargaming was beginning to boom, and with the success of Conservative Thatcherite government, there was a suprising shortfall in demand for blowjobs from geeks. This acne-riddled troglodyte came up with the clever idea of stealing everyone elses ideas and shoving them all into one fantasy wargame, which would be named Warhammer. This game turned out to be a success, with teen year olds and old hairy bikers everywhere asking their parents for a box of Generic Elves for Christmas. Debatebly, the hairy old bikers merely wanted to get with the ten year old boys, though Games Workshop encouraged this type of behaviour in the spirit of the booming wargames community. This success was followed by Warhammer 40,000, which hoped to relive the magic of Warhammer by making a big bunch of pay money for what was, essentially, glorified heroin in wargaming form.
Employee and Customer policy Edit
It is a company policy that all in-store employees must be overweight twenty-something year old university dropouts and have a body odour with equivalent lethality to Sarin nerve gas. Employees in the design concept studio must have an in-depth knowledge of Tolkien and established sci-fi authors, from which their ideas will be stolen.
Customers either meet the above description of in-store employees, or be ten years old with rich parents. If they do not meet this criteria, they are most likely in the store to intimidate and physically abuse the employees and real customers on account of being nerds, and therefore shall be ignored or exposed to the in-store employee with the foulest body odour.
All Games Workshop stores are fitted with air conditioning, but this is never turned on. Instead they turn up the heating even in the middle of summer so all the nerds will sweat and thus smell even more. Annually GW runs an inter-store tournament to see who can produce the most repugnant body odour. The 2011 champions were Sheffield Meadowhall, who produced a stench so foul it caused an evacuation of a full three quarters of the Meadowhall centre and caused several restaurants in the food court to fail food hygiene inspections.
Employees will also badger you non-stop until you either leave from annoyance or you buy something. Some even go to the realms of sarcasm if they realise you haven't got a clue what you're looking at. It's a great way to alienate your customers so they never venture into your stores again.
To sell these overpriced pieces of crap the games workshop employees must wash themselves with a Games workshop shower gel which smells like a mixture of sweat and heroin. When this is added with the natural perspiration of the employee and the smell of a games workshop interior (heated superglue and paint) it will create such a potent and intoxicating stench that will send the rich parent high. This leaves the unsuspected parent in a vulnerable position. After thirty minutes of incessant nagging from both the ten year old boy and acne riddled college dropout working in the shop, the parent will grudgingly agree to buying another ton weight book of incomprehensible rules and another box of woeful plastic pieces. All for the "reasonable price" of $149.99.
White Dwarf MagazineEdit
White Dwarf (otherwise known as 'How To Lose Your Money in 1 Read') used to be a hobby and gaming magazine which had articles on stuff which interested hobbyists and gamers, such as how to make model hills out of polystyrene/paper mache/your parent's heads. However, some time in the early to mid 2000s Games Workship decided that this approach was not profitable enough and so White Dwarf became an monthly advert for GW products (e.g. model hills, now available as a plastic kit from GW for £15) with articles aimed solely at making ten year old boys pester their decadent middle class parents to buy them the latest overpriced releases.
Games Workshop builds many weapons and tanks not only for Warhammer 40k, but for the US military; see this list of Games Workshop products.
Despite the extortionately high Profit margin of the US Military Industrial Complex, GW realised it could make even higher Profit margins selling "Plastic and metal Crack" to 10 year old boys.
For a brief summary of Games Workshops' world of Warhammer Fantasy, take a trip to your local bookstore, purchase both every major work of fantasy literature written in the past thirty years and an atlas of the world during the 16th century (this in itself will be cheaper than actually purchasing the game), then place them in an industrial-sized blender. Just add water, connect the blender to a mains outlet and press the on button. Voila! The mush you have produced is Warhammer.
Armies and GameplayEdit
The original game, currently in its 98th edition, the improvement from the 97th edition being a minor rules alteration on how you must use Games Workshop sanctioned dice or forfeight all your minatures to the nearest Games workshop employee. Warhammer is, believe it or not, a wargame inventively titled "Warhammer" after a device used to bludgeon people to death, a practice profusely used by the Games Workshop pricing team. The whole point is to collect small figures, pretend they're alive and battle each other.
Armies you MUST collect in order to ultimately win the game are:
- Humans: Come in two forms;
- Empire: Renaissance Germans...with Griffons, magic swords and magicians!
- Bretonians: Medieval French knights who worship some tart who lives in a lake. And magical swords and Hippogriffs!
- Tolkien-esque force #1: Orcs: Based on the "Chav"; a particularly aggressive and uneducated variant of Homo Sapiens found commonly in England and popular tourist destinations.
- Tolkien-esque force #2: High Elves: exactly the same as Tolkien High Elves.
- Tolkien-esque force #3: Dwarves: Pretty much the same as Tolkien Dwarves, but with guns.
- Skaven: Speech-impaired machievellian Rat men, vaguely original of the "The Secret of Nimh".
- Tomb Kings: A rip-off of the mummy series. No, not the shitty dragon one. The egypt ones.
- Vampire Counts: Not the gay twilight vampires, but when they were cool and had cool clothes and ghosts. OoOoOoOoOoOoO!! is their battle cry.
- The Bad Guys, aka Chaos: The scary bad boys of the Warhammer world. Include Demons (spelt "Daemons" because thats how the cool kids spell it).
- Lizardmen: The highly original name gives it all away really.
Warhammer 40,000 Edit
Take a gothic-styled Imperial Roman Empire. Throw it 38,000 years into the future. Add enemies by taking every major sci-fi film nemesis and ripping them off, or by simply giving the Warhammer Fantasy races guns and floating tanks. Add half a cup of Dune backstory, make it so unbelievably dark and edgy that a GPS is powered by human sacrifices, throw away all that nonsense about physics, and add salt to taste. You now have Warhammer 40,000. Although the game is set 38,000 years into the future, the preferred way to defeat an enemy is to expend their ammunition with useless cannon fodder and eventually kill them by bashing them over the head with an over-anticipated power fist that you need 20,000 10 sided dice for. It is rumoured these tactics have been adopted by the U.S Westpoint Military Academy.
Space Marines: Imagine a whole army of monastic Rambos, with rapid-firing rocket launchers and encased in space armour. With tanks. And some with jetpacks. The staple of Games Workshop, and thus have been made invincible through the "And they shall know no death" rule- this effectively means that should any player play against Space Marines with a non-Space Marine army, they automatically lose on the basis that no sentient lifeform would ever consider shooting at Humanity's Finest. Understandably favored by new comers to the game. It should be noted that a Space Marine Chapter, the Salamanders, are all black. Their successor chapters include Peckerwood Eliminator's and the Tokens. They are the only black people in all of 40K. When asked for advice on painting black and Asian skin onto models by an Imperial Guard player, an employee of a Games Workshop in the north of England was heard to say "but the Imperium is all white...". NO JOKE
Chaos Marines: See above. Add generous amounts of horns, chains, skulls, loose Morals, depravity, insanity, Blight and Gut rot. Includes Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as Roadies, oh and Daemons (cos they're better than standard demons).
Eldar: Space Elves. With guns. And floating tanks. Feel guilty after thousands of years of Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll and accidentally gave birth to a new God of Pleasure. Sound Good? It isn't, imagine an Aggressive Transvestite Insane Clown Posse Appreciation group on LSD.
Dark Eldar: See above, look like Cradle of Filth after a show. Likes Sadomasochism and torturing things dislikes EMO's.
Tau: Space Minotaur Manga Commies. With bigger guns. And floating tanks. Weeabo, Desu, Gundam etc etc.
Orks: Space Orcs. With backfiring guns. Their technology only works because they believe it will, and their insane stubbornness bends the laws of reality. No joke.
Imperial Guard: Standard humans with piss-poor armour and laser pens. There to make everyone else look good, unless you include tanks, in which case your men are replaced with between 5 and ten tanks which will proceed to kick everyone's ass, which is why the Imperial Guard is the favorite army of Erwin Rommel. If equipped with "Special" Weapons can take down anything - *Note to IG why don't we equip everyone with Special weapons?*
Necrons: See original two Terminator films. The third was shit, apart from the bird with the nice rack.
Tyranids: Reference Starship Troopers and Alien. Probably created by the Engineer
Bitch Hunters: Space Nuns, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. More commonly referred to as Battle Bitches or Slapper of Battle. Latent arsonist tendencies.
Games Workshop's spin-off games (officially distributed under Specialist Games for some reason) were big in the 90's. Many of them had a good fan base and were a lot of fun to play, but some time in the early 2000's, GW decided to sack them off and instead concentrate on ruining their two main games, which were much easier formats to use to print money. On the plus side, you can download all the resources needed to play these games for free from
GW's website seedy third parties. In early 2014, GW has officially discontinued supporting Specialist Games, even though the cost of doing so amounted to some spare disk space on a server. Fans of Specialist Games and certain charitable distributors still carry digital copies for sharing.
- Lord of the Rings: A wargame designed as a blatant, thinly-veiled cash in of Tolkien's movie adaptions, licensed after Games Workshop spent 25 years selling a franchise designed as a blatant, thinly-veiled rip off of Tolkien's written works. (To be fair, a lot of fantasy rips off Tolkien.) Officially licensed as GW's third core game; but it's shit, hardly supported, and nobody plays it, so it's widely considered to be a recursive spin-off of Warhammer Fantasy.
- Battlefleet Gothic: A 40k wargame revolving around spaceships and naval battles. Need I say more?
- Necromunda: A 40k narrative skirmish game with RPG elements, set in the eponymous arcology and designed to simulate a grinding gang war. It had a surprisingly comprehensive game system, complete with supplements and tie-in novels and comics. It Was canned after GW realized that people would spend more money on miniatures if Necromunda didn't exist to distract players from the main two games. Or give them a game which only required them to buy a maximum of 20 miniatures. I miss the old days...
- Mordheim: Necromunda set in the Warhammer Fantasy world.
- Inquisitor: An RPG/skirmish wargame set in the 40K universe, where the player character work, surprisingly, for the Inquisition, working investigations and working over heretics and the like. Popular theory holds that it was the result of GW's miniature factory accidentally producing a larger scale set of models, which was then quickly batched together into a new game so that these models could be sold off. While pretending they were "limited edition" miniatures and sold off or prizes in a Wonka-esque contest might be similar, the game proved to be a hit for GW staff. But in between the increased cost of the models in plastic and the player characters that would survive anything short of decapitation (or possibly a holy stake through the heart), Inquisitor was eventually outsourced to an RPG company (which wouldn't have to produce any models), and quickly retooled and renamed as Dark Heresy, which had enough crit charts that the book had to be regularly cleaned to keep the pages from getting glued together by players' tear and player character blood.
- Blood Bowl: Warhammer Fantasy world approach to American Football, including a realistic attention to the unlimited addenda, rule changes, and updates of the real world, leading to it being re-titled "Blood Boil". Blood Bowl was restricted by Games Workshop after too many potential customers complained about it making their head hurt.
- GORKAMORKA: A 40k Skirmish game set on the eponymous Ork world, and looks to the casual observer like Mad Max with Orks. A 40k fan would point out that it's just Orks in their native environment, since Mad Max is a movie about humans living as an Ork society, though with emotional baggage and females instead of space travel. It's not confirmed if the game was ever played, mainly because it was mostly bought up by Ork players who wanted lots of transports for their 40k Army. All things considered, it was probably either bad or could start a cult following.
- Epic: Essentially 40k with the models scaled town to "tiny", and the armies scaled up to "huge," so that you can have a massive army with thousands of men, dozens of tanks and several titans that would fit into your pocket. Of course GW got rid of it once they realized they could convince people to buy massive 40k armies with £500 40k scale titans instead. Also the game required tactics and mental skill, something which gets in the way of selling giant robots to children.
- Man O' War: A naval wargame in WFB. Like Battlefleet Gothic, but with old-timey ships instead of spaceships, which, by itself, makes Man O' War several degrees of magnitude less cool. Also, it would encourage children and your circle of friends' resident dickhead to talk like a pirate.
- Warmaster: Epic set in Warhammer Fantasy. Considering the relative level of popularity of both Epic and Warhammer Fantasy, it's not entirely certain if this game had actually existed.
- Aeronautica Imperialis: A 40k wargame revolving around aerial combat and AA defences. It used Epic-scale miniatures and was oddly distributed and supported by GW's Forgeworld division rather than Specialist Games. As it was produced by Forgeworld, models were likely made with high detail resin made with the GW board's leftover cocaine added into the mix, as Forgeworld does this to "justify" the "cost of materials" for their unreasonably priced models.