It's the end of May, and that means that the yearly GW price increase is upon us. I've taken the data, stripped out all the generic hobby and Warhammer Fantasy kits and sorted it out by product type here, and the numbers indicate a few patterns:
- Space Marine vehicles (and their Chaos counterparts) got hit particularly hard with the price gun. Rhinos are $37, Razorbacks are $41 (and still a better deal than a Rhino), anything with a decent gun on it is almost $58, and Land Raiders are almost $75. The big loser is the Stormraven, which just jumped up from $66 to $82.50, ensuring that no one will want one that badly.
- 40K Terrain is jumping up sharply in price. Cities of Death buildings and the Imperial Bastion are jumping up by nearly a third on average, and the bag of craters is almost half again as expensive.
- Everything Finecast is getting a bump, although not a huge one for the most part. Squads, on the other hand, especially Eldar aspect warriors, got a much larger increase.
- The supplemental rulebooks (Apocalypse, Cities of Death, Planetstrike, Battle Missions) are all getting a large price bump-up as well. This is especially interesting if 6th Edition is coming out, as it may very well make those books somewhat obsolete.
- MCs and Walkers got a small bump, except for the Daemon Prince; it went up 25%.
- Battleforces got more expensive once again for no real clear reason. I'd guess it was because vehicles in general got more expensive, but there are enough inconsistencies there in what's included and what got increased elsewhere that it doesn't quite fit. Once again, though, GW continues pricing the "starter kits" for each army out of the range of newer players.
- Squad boxes, for the most part, were ignored, with some minor price increases on a few older kits like Necron Warriors and Tau Fire Warriors. Tau Stealth Suits and Chaos Spawn got the biggest increases, which is fine because no one takes either of those anyway.
The two things that boggle me the most about these price increases are the steep Space Marine vehicle increases and the Battleforce increases. Space Marines make up roughly half of the 40K armies in some form or other; it's either GW trying to adjust the meta by making those armies (or at least the mechanized versions of them) more expensive, or they're just trying to wring more cash from the power armor players. Most likely, it's the latter. The Battleforces, though... that one just makes no logical sense to me. If anything, you'd want to sell those boxes at a break-even point rather than as a profit maker. Those are the kits that help new players get into the game with an army quickly (even if some of them are of dubious quality contents-wise), and putting them further out of the reach of someone who might approach the game casually is a sure way to keep the hobby from growing.
I will say this, though. I'm very glad I purchased the parts for my Black Templars army when I did, because pretty much everything I needed for it - the codex, the Battleforce, the BT upgrade sprues, and all the vehicles - just jumped in price. I hope I don't have to buy too many more things for it (apart from squads, since they're static price-wise for now), just because the prices are making it harder and harder to justify picking up things as add-ons. It also makes tournament play less appealing, as I'd rather just play casually with what I have than try to buy more models to tailor a tournament list. I can also say, with some certainty, that I won't be picking up a 4th 40K army in the future. I have 2 finished that have plenty of models left to work on, and 1 that's locked in and being built. I'll be lucky if I can afford upgrades for my Tau and CSM when their new updates come in the next year or so.