With the Games Workshop's limited release of Space Hulk last year, it's had me thinking about how else they could make some easy money (which is important in the current climate) but also please thousands of gamers. Would a series of limited releases over the next few years not become a goldmine for the GW? Whilst I'm not an expert on the profit/loss margins, I'm certain that they made an absolute killing on the Space Hulk release last year. £60 sold a few thousand times, in full knowledge that all the sets would be sold with the limited edition label, with no need for additional releases (such as extra minis etc.) - it was surely a win-win situation for our favourite games manufacturer.
With that in mind, I've come up with a few suggestions for the Games Workshop which could both make them money but also satisfy the cravings of many a veteran gamer.
1. Warhammer Quest: whilst I never got into this when it was released (1995), I did like the premise (a much better version of Heroquest, a classic from the late 80s!) and the fact that a number of individual characters were released to add to the already huge game. It currently sells for over £100 regularly on Ebay and a limited run by GW (perhaps with a few of the additional character sets) would be a certain winner and, in the spirit of causing the least impact on the now three system GW.
2. Necromunda: now I know that the gangs can be purchased from the GW website, but the release I'm thinking of here is the original boxed game - in particular, the brilliant urban scenery which accompanied it.
Again, complete box sets go for £70-80 on Ebay and this would be another surefire winner. Whilst it's probably more lucrative for GW to push the selling of the Imperial Sector and other 40k terrain kits, the romanticism of the Necromunda box set would surely be much more appealing. They could even include two new gangs (Escher, Van Saar or Delaque instead of Goliath and Orlock?) to ensure they sell within a few days.
3. Tyranid Attack: now this might seem like a bit of a left-field suggestion but I remember being more impressed with this than some of the Space Hulk campaigns because of the seemingly endless map (there were 6 board tiles and when the first tile was empty of troops, it was rolled around to the end creating an almost never-ending map).
Furthermore, not only were there genestealers with the game but tyranid warriors with ranged weapons! And the tyranid minis themselves were huge (to my adolescent eyes) compared to the scouts who were fighting against them. This game could be released in exactly the same way as the recent Space Hulk game - no additional support or minis would be required and it would be another lucrative sell for the GW. I can also see many gamers using their tyranid collection to add to the game (imagine the impact of a carnifex or hive tyrant?!). This could be done because the board tiles in the game were much larger than the cramped Space Hulk corridors.
4. Mordheim: as with the Necromunda suggestion above, my suggestion here is for a re-release of the original boxed game with the brilliant scenery which was included. These regularly sell for over £40 on Ebay and sets of scenery alone sell for just as much suggesting that GW are really missing a trick by not stocking the game any more.
5. Epic: Armageddon Tyranids: this suggestion is probably the least likely to appeal to the Games Workshop but again, would be unbelievably lucrative. For reasons unbeknown to many, almost as soon as the Tyranid minis had been released for Epic 40,000 (in 1998 if my memory serves me correctly), they were shelved, as was the entire system (to be replaced by Epic: Armageddon in 2003).
The epic scale tyranids are now the most sought after and expensive minis I have ever come across. The tyranid titans like the heirophant and dominatrix are quite readily available and sell for about £30 but boxes of the rank and file troops sell for upwards of £50. Even a small run by GW would sell out almost immediately and since they offer no support for Epic: Armageddon (other than selling minis), they wouldn't need to start following a tyranid release. As is the theme running through this list, it would merely serve to satisfy the craving of many veteran gamers and would make them a shedload of money. They could conceivably release an army box set (as they did in 1997 with Space Marines, Orks and Eldar) which could bring costs down.
This list probably sounds like the desperate ramblings of a GW addict but the Specialist games of old were some of the best things GW have ever produced. Look at the current Forgeworld advance orders of the Badab War (which Epic: Armageddon Swordwind is based upon) - the ability to create SM armies which are different to the norm, those which hark back to some of the GW classics, are sure to have great appeal.
I know I've missed off a number of GW games which have a huge following (Man O War being the most obvious - but since no minis are currently available, I dismissed it as being too much effort for GW to consider bothering with, oh and Gorkamorka) but the list is an attempt at being cost effective and therefore a viable option for the next few years. I am going to send this list to GW (or maybe just Jervis) and wait for a reply. Maybe, just maybe, one of my suggestions could be realised.