Saturday, 12 April 2014

Games Workshop Restructures Website - Removes All Codex Erratas

A few short days ago Games Workshop briefly took down their website, replacing it with a newly restructured version of their main page. Along with the unfortunate but unsurprising removal of the Specialist Games section (including all PDF rulebooks, damn it) there is a much more streamlined look to the main page.

Advertising is visibly front and centre, with nearly all space given over to their latest products. Many sections now relate to explaining delivery services, gifts and as a whole it resembles a website store far more than before. While there is an obvious push to convince people to purchase items, on the whole this is a definite improvement. With a much more obvious search bar, each hobby sections have been divided up into less cluttered menus of items. Furthermore, it is much more customer friendly with a better laid out FAQ on the website and purchasing items. The unfortunate thing is that, as ever, while the commercial side has much been improved the hobby side has suffered. In this case the website has completely forgotten to carry over a major necessity to even playing basic armies.

Go search on Games Workshop's website right now for either erratas or FAQs and you will find nothing to do with codices or armybooks. At best you will find a handful of Bretonian units which it will bring up thinking you misspelled "errant" or "fey" and the like. There is not a single errata, correction or hint of a balancing update to be found on any part of the website. As overlooking major necessities go, this is fairly high up there.

For those not in the know, erratas and FAQs are the minor updates and tweaks added following a codex's release. These work to try and balance out certain issues and quickly solve certain problems or misinterpretations of badly worded rules. While this has certainly led to problems of favouritism and game breaking issues in the past (the Plasma Syphon being one of the most infamous items in recent years) they are a major part of keeping the game running. Often released only a few days to a fortnight following a major codex release, they are constantly referred to when it comes to certain items, rules and how to implement them. By not carrying these over, the company has just created a world of problems for many players. Admittedly, this is not a complete surprise given the last true one was released back in September.

While it is certainly possible they could be introduced in the near future, the lack of warning prior to their removal or even a hint of consideration is definitely concerning. Perhaps we will get lucky and they will soon be re-introduced with certain erratas tweaked for balance rather than giving certain armies extra power.


  1. I wonder if this means some tournaments won't allow any Errata's in them, I can think of a few armies off the top of my head that this is definitely a good thing for because their FAQ's made them much stronger (Grey Knights and Chaos Space Marines), and some that desperately NEED their FAQ's, like Space Wolves and Tyranids, whose rules are atrocious because of their sentence structure literally making entire armies die, for an example, see the pyrovore,

    In either case I think this is a huge mistake/oversight.

    1. Agreed entirely. The erratas have always been a major problem within the game but they have been an asset just as much as a game breaking failing. Even if they were considering removing them there should have been an effort to phase them out rather than just stopping entirely.

      The only hope I personally have is thanks to a move back towards what we had before. Rather than books being given to single authors with near total oversight, they are being designed by groups of individuals at a time to try and up the quality. Admittedly though, given that the Supplement Codices and the last Codex: Tyranids were the first major pushes towards this it seems as if it's going to cause a staggering drop in quality rather than improve things.

    2. I think the best way to get a balanced codex is to have either a really good editor who calls all of the authors on their BS (what they should have been doing from the start), or somebody who has the ideas for the codex, but isn't the one directly implementing them/writing them into the actual rulebook.

      The second one I think is better, because when you're writing it you'll be handing all of your ideas on to somebody else (i.e. a proofreader) to see if they can understand what you want, what you've written, and if this makes sense in the larger 40k universe, if it fails in one of those three, you need to do it over. If they understand what you want, but fail to implement it correctly/how you intended, or if they don't like the implementation, then it needs to be done over.
      It's sort of like having an editor, but they don't have the restrictions of one.

      Note though that while I haven't seen this used with any sort of game book, I have seen it used with award winning novels, and I think at the very least it'll save the fluff if not the rules.