There is certainly interest in them as a faction, and from a background perspective. Even people who might not pick up a Chaos Dwarf army often find them fascinating. So they mention them as they are an interesting part of the warhammer world.
Part of it is also to probably keep prodding the interest for people to do a Chaos Dwarf army, so that if (hopefully when) they do get around to it people will have been gently reminded of them enough for it to seem exciting and interesting and a lot less random. Plus, new players can be slightly told that the CD are a faction.
I think the writers want them to still be considered a valid part of the fluff, so even if the players field nothing more than converted Dwarf armies there won’t be people saying “they don’t exist anymore”. Even though Gav got kicked out years ago, his contributions have made a huge impact on keeping us relatively valid. As long as CDs keep getting mentions, they won’t be “squatted”.
you cant just write them out of the fluff even if they are not going to release a new army, chaos dwarfs made Black orcs and have a huge influence in th orc history and the are still in the chaos army book (hell canon). hey are here to stay for at least another 2 new rules sets.
I thought Rick Priestley did a good job with it the first time around fluffwise. The rules survived pretty well all things considered, even with the changes to make into RH. Rick seems to be out of the game now though, in his new job heading the fantasy forgeworld section.
Although it was not really well balanced at all, Phil Kelly also did a good job with WoC imo. I’d rather Jeremy Vetock didn’t do it though.
There are also often mentions of Cathay, Fishmen, Ind, Hobgoblin Khanite, Araby, Nippon… others too perhaps.
Thing is that you have to consider that there are different levels at play in Games Workshop.
1) The writers who want to create the most dynamic, interesting, enriched world in which there are tons of creatures of every imaginable sort and endless numbers of heroes and other legendary figures both alive and dead who have contributed to the formation of the world into the way it is. If the writers had free reign without other restrictions, then all of the armies above would be playable… in some format. Think D&D.
2) The sculptors who have plenty of artistic ideas that they want to implement, presuming they love to sculpt new models and ideas. Of course, there are some ideas that writers come up with that might not engage them enough to want to create enough sculupts to fill out an entire army. If the sculptors had free reign then probably there’d be very few “complete” armies to speak of, but rather there’d be a huge mash of disjointed models, each of which looked dynamic and cool. The entirity of WarHammer would probably be made up of Dogs of War choices and Special Characters who you could just mix together and play with regardless of whether it made any sense. Think Reaper Miniatures or another Miniature company that isn’t really held down by a particular story or setting or need to fill out troop selection options.
3) The game designers who want to streamline and balance things out. Now, they don’t always do a perfect job, but if you’ve played a game like WarMachine… you know they could do SO much worse. In order to create balance, you can’t have every model on the table have its own unique, funky rules. In fact, it is preferable that the models are all parts of units that all refer to some basic core rules. It’s much easier to determine the value of an Orc Boy vs. a Hand Gunner (ie: how many of each would someone take so that each side has a roughly 50% chance of success) than it is to determine the value of a Fantatic or a Steam Tank. This means the game designers need a mass amount of identical or, at the very least, identical functioning models for the game to work. The number of regular, vanilla units vs. the number of weird, unique, bizzarely functioning units tends to be the result of comprimise between the game designer and the above two categories (which CAN happen internally within the same person). Also, once things aren’t streamlined there are only so many army books they want to do before they return back to the older projects. It seems it takes 3-4 months for them to revise an old book, it would probably take much longer to create a nonexisting book unless players were content with 90% of it functioning almost identically to other armies. I also have a very strong suspicion that a lot of this time is spent on the Magic and Magic Items as well since determining proper value for those things is a painful experience, because those are the things that turn out to be the most easy to abuse.
4) The sales perspective. From a sales perspective, the best way for WarHammer to function is to sell the fewest number of kinds of different models and the highest number of those models. Space Marines are the wet dream of the sales people because they only need a few models that suddenly become 7 different (and the most popular!) armies and so they can sell a constant high volume stream of these things all the time. Now, it does help to have a new item to sell every now and again, but not too many. They’d prefer to have 1-2 new items that help push all the old identical items out the door. Constantly coming up with new items means that they have to make a mold for every single new model which is quite costly… which means you need to move a certain amount of that product out the door before you break even much less turn a profit. However, existing models’ molds and such have already been paid for… so everyone you sell has an increasingly higher profit margin. In short, if the sales people ruled GW then the only thing they’d produce would be Space Marines and the only new models would be occassional Special Characters who could get people to buy even more boxes of Space Marines. Fantasy would have been dropped long ago because there isn’t a core super-seller army that one can use the models of to make half a dozen armies simply by painting them a different color.
So really, if you think they are teasing you with Chaos Dwarfs (or any of the others), it’s really not the case. Chaos Dwarfs have been dropped due to negotiations between these different levels. The writers would LOVE to utilize them (and all the others I mentioned), the sculptors might like to do a few choices from each of those nonexistent armies but I doubt they want to create a whole new model line for them, the game designers don’t want to touch them because they have too much on their hands already and the sales people say they are selling too many different types of models already and should be dropping existing armies rather than creating new ones.
Remember that the writers and the games designers are the same people though. You can tell when you read some of the modern books - Rick Priestly, Andy Chambers, Jervis Johnson, Nigel Stillman et al were writers who liked to design games, whereas the newer guys are hobbyists and games designers who try their hands at writing. Here’s a drinking game you can play with the Space Marine Codex: take a shot every time you read the phrase “And so it was…”
Look, Thommy, don’t misunderstand me. I never intended to suggest that these roles could not take place within the same person.
For instance, I am an amatuer game designer/writer at heart. Over time I’ve slowly realized that I don’t care for either playing nor for GMing, that I’d rather design a world, a system, come up with races or armies or cities or what have you and then let people take off with them where they are. In that whole “world design” perspective is where I prefer to reside.
And even within myself, if I am trying to come up with a new army list I struggle between the two views of “I want to create a cool new unique unit” and “I want this to be simplistic enough in game function that I can assign it points”. In my list this is a conflict between writer and game designer, but it happens within myself.
The same thing happens in Games Workshop. Make no mistake, we are not talking about immortal gods when refering to the people leading this company nor are we even necessarily talking about the people who would be best suited for their positions in the world, no doubt they have done a wonderful job and their success is proof of this, but maybe there are people who could do better and never got a chance.
And, as absolutely bizzare and outrageous as it may seem, we aren’t even talking about a large group of people who could have a large pool of ideas. We are talking about a handful of people-- there are literally more people on this forum or who regularly play at any given gaming store than there are in the pool of writers and game designers at Games Workshop. As unlikely, as crazy as this may seem… it’s true! The people creating this game are a small, semi-incestious group.
Moreover, they are both outnumbered and overpowered by the people who are in it for the money, presuming (unfairly) that they aren’t, that instead they are driven by creativity. There is a whole corporate structure around Games Workshop that is aimed towards beating down ideas, killing originality, and sueing anyone who aims to expand the hobby and game in a way they don’t make money directly from. From all accounts of those who have had contact with this company, it is an overbearing, aggressive, repulsive corporate entity with no respect for anyone and a insatiable to desire to dominate the market. This was not always true, 20 years ago that company was unimaginably different.
However, the important thing to understand is that WarHammer first and foremost was a fantasy world. Within that fantasy world tons of ideas were inserted and explored. Some were tossed out, many more were expanded on. This was and is all aside from it being a model game. Within this world there were many, many different factions and elements.
And back in the day, Games Workshop was quite happy to go out and explore and expand on them all. The goal was to create this world in as many ways as possible to make it full and robust, to make it great and interesting…
But between the new inhumanly corporate attitude that focused solely on selling as many of as little variation in models as possible and the reality that you can’t have a game with 30 different armies if you want them to fit into a model game where everything is tournament fieldable… that original idea was totally lost.
That Chaos Dwarfs (or Hobgoblins or Cathay or Ind or Fishmen or Araby or Kislev or… whatever) isn’t feldable but is contantly mentioned in the story is not an attack upon the players and fans of those army types nor a gift to them either. It is simply an express acknowledgement that the vision that the writer side of these people have can’t really be expressed in the terms of a model game where people are fielding over 100 unique looking models. But the writer side of these people don’t want to simply discard and bury all these ideas, particularly not when they are turning out an army book every 3 months and a couple white dwarf articles every month… but at the same time reality beckons and when 20,000 people are complaining that their army book is underpowered or the 10,000 sales peope who want them to release another type of Space Marine so they can make mad commissions off of selling the same boxes they already have in stock… do the 50 people who say they’d actually buy and play X have a real voice?
Hey, I more than anyoe would love to be able to play a totally fieldable Hobgoblin army. Do you know how many people would actually be interested in it?.. Well, near as I can tell the answer is less than 10.
The number of people who’d buy and play a Chaos Dwarf army? Oh, perhaps 100. The number of people who’d buy and play a Chinese army? Probably 5x that (regardless of what the internet polls on WarHammer fansites might indicate, because a Chinese model line would more bring in people who aren’t already on those WarHammer fansites than an evil Dwarf army).
However, the people who’d buy and play the already existing Wood Elfs or Ogre Kingdoms or Beastmen or whatever? Many times even that!
CD’s, as well as many other factions, are part of the “background” of the WarHammer world-- in that you say that all that matters in WarHammer is the fieldable armies in the model game and nothing else.
If you consider WarHammer RPG or WarHammer novels or games based on the fictional world, then they could take an equal or even more central role in the theme than many of the more “mainstream” factions could take.
I don’t really know what we’re discussing, Hobgoblyn, or what point we’re supposed to be disagreeing on. I was just saying, like you (?) that the conflict isn’t between different groups in the GW studio, because some of those groups are the same people. So if there is some kind of huge sea change in the way they do business (which there isn’t, actually - there was no golden age) it’s not because a certain group are marginalised now, and cool ideas are being sacrificed for game balance, because the guys trying to ensure game balance are the guys writing the fluff sections too. It isn’t compartmentalised: the books come together as a whole, with one guy doing most of the legwork for the whole thing.
The part that annoys me though isn’t the cool ideas being sacrificed for game balance-- for instance, you could have a group of Orcs that are armed with everything from long swords to maces to axes, etc. and just call them all ‘hand weapons’ instead of coming up with individual game rules for every imaginable weapon…
It’s the sales team that bugs me. That possible army ideas or model ideas are being shot down in terms of deciding what they can sell large volumes of. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that Citadel won’t spend 1 day on any model that won’t sell 10x as high as it would produced by any other model company. And that’s really unfortunate.
I suppose the Game Balance quesiton does screw things up as well. Back when Games Workshop was a less corporatized company, White Dwarf served a real purpose and at least 4 times a year within White Dwarf you’d get rules and ideas for new units or characters you could field. Sometimes they’d give you whole army lists! I think the most signifigantly memorable ones were the Kroot Mercenaries and the Adeptus Arbites lists, but also the Dogs of War were all done through White Dwarf.
Now the magazine exists as nothing more than a huge pile of ads with a couple boring ass game reports breaking it up, the game reports written in such a way that they also promote the newest models and try desperately to hide the flaws in the game balance which, nonetheless, often come through glaringly obvious.
I just cannot imagine what kind of sap actually subscribes to that magazine any more. And would you believe that originally the magazine was about creating D&D adventures and monsters? It was a publication started because the people doing it had tons of ideas they wanted to share to the world and it’s been reduced to nothing more than a bunch of ads you pay for. Frankly, its sickening.