The upcoming Warhammer 40k Apocalypse is designed to allow you to play 5000+ point armies in epic scale battles with 28mm figures. Here’s a snippet from a promo email I recently received from Vagabond Games in New Zealand.
Apocalypse Rulebook + Baneblade for $250 (normally $285)
Apocalypse Rulebook + Apocalypse Templates for $130 (normally $145)
There are also a number of boxed sets being released at the same time, including a squadron of 10 Leman Russ Battle Tanks, an Eldar Windrider Host and an entire Space Marine Battle Company!
The question I have is who do Games Workshop think is going to buy these kits? For example let’s take the ‘squadron of 10 Leman Russ Battle Tanks’. Here in New Zealand a single Leman boxed set costs $55nz. So let’s be kind and say a single box of 10 will set you back $500nz locally. How many will need you need to field an Apocalypse sized Imperial Guard ‘Steel Legion’ Armored Company?
Based on the army lists from the venerable 6mm scale Epic 40k game armies are typically around 3000pts, with a a unit of 10 Leman Russ tanks costing 650 points. Judging from some of the promo shots for Apocalypse this vehicle count isn’t a bad estimate. I can count around thirty armored vehicles in that photo on the Imperial Guard side.
So let’s be kind again and say maybe you’ll need two boxes at $500nz each, and maybe another box of 10 x Basilisk Artillery tanks for support at another $500nz. That’s $1500nz for what will be quite a basic force in 40k Apocalypse. After all we haven’t included any HQ or Infantry support yet!
At those prices who’s going to play 40k Apocalypse? I’ll hazard a guess here and say almost nobody. Particularly when you consider GW’s target audience for 40k is roughly 16-24 year old men. How many of them have $1500nz plus to spend on toy soldiers in one hit? Then of course you’ll have to paint the things!
I’ve already mentioned Epic Armageddon which is a large scale 40k war game in it’s second edition from Specialist Games, an often neglected spin off from Games Workshop. Epic is a 6mm scale game and you can buy a 10 Leman Russ Battle Tank boxed set for 20GBP or roughly $55nz. So you could have the same army (in 6mm scale rather than 28mm) for a grand total of $165nz.
Then you could take that army and play Epic Armageddon (the rules are free to download btw) or if you really feel like it could spring for the 40k Apocalypse rulebook and play those rules instead using your reasonably priced and quite attractive 6mm tanks.
I honestly cannot see the point to 40k Apocalypse, why would anybody play it? Although I am quite curious to get a look at the rule set because I would not be at all surprised if it’s derived from Epic Armageddon!