Well, it seems that the design aesthetic of my beloved Iron Kingdoms has run it's course and is now moving to the imitative/derivative. Nowhere is this more apparent in the latest release for my fucking Hordes faction, Greasus Goldtooth. Err, sorry, Dominar Rasheth. In complete opposition to the Skorne racial ethic of discipline and all round harshness, the only reason this guy still exists, apparently, is because of his skill taming and training warbeasts. Probably threatens to eat them. However, don't take my word for it, here is the new dominar on the block in all his corpulent glory:
And here is a link to a picture of the Ogre Tyrant overlord, Greasus Goldtooth. Now, I agree that a certain commonality of design will become apparent because the new breed of concept designers have a standardised style due to the film and videogame industry. This is unavoidable, and an ironic reversal of the earlier trend of just plagiarising wholesale from our hobby (Blizzard, I'm looking at you).
However, while homogeneity and a unified logic of design is vital for the film and game worlds (for example, Stuart Sumida can extrapolate how a dragon will move based on his knowledge of real-world comparative anatomy and has taught classes to 3d artists worldwide) this kind of detail isn't really needed in the wargames/role play worlds as pictures and toy soldiers need to stay still and, in the case of toy soldiers, not fall off their bases. The more ridiculous the better, as far as I'm concerned. However, all the World of Warcraft knock-off shit that is oozing through the mini community can fuck right off. You want to pay a fortune to use a chat program with a pretty interface, go right ahead. You want to make models that are integral to my armies look like that shit? No thanks.
Another thing that isn't needed is massive price rises and premium pricing for models based on their in-game effect. Not content with the bare faced (ass) cheek of copying GW's models, Privateer have bravely followed GW's lead on this recently by introducing a Bane Thrall UA that costs £20. That's £10 a model. Just because of what they do in game. Which means a basic baneswarm (because let's face it, one of Goreshade's tiers will remove FA from the Unit Attachment) of 3 minimum-strength Banethralls will cost £90 for the 3 units and £60 for the 6 (yes, fucking six) additional models, bringing the grand total up to £150 without Warcaster, Warjacks or anything else.
What the fuck is going on? As soon as you get success that's it? We're all walking wallets to you? I am pretty disappointed with this attitude at the moment, because I love the Warmachine/Hordes game. Not too keen on the background, although it's getting better. But all this is doing is encouraging the web-based discounter to make it untenable for brick and mortar stores to operate without them diversifying into card games (eeewww) and plastic crack. This has the effect of diluting the customer's spending power which results in less money spent on the thing the shop was set up to sell which means there's less stock ordered and pretty soon you have a cabal of pricks dictating what goes where while they have the manufacturer's collective scrotum firmly attached to their mouths.
It's all about removal of choice.
Angry at people in particular ...