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Home Forums The Gaming Room Betrayal at Calth – Another cash in or actually quite good?

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    roy batty

    Hi all,

    So, I am a big critic of GW – not ashamed of it. As a 40k player since 1989, I’ve lived through all the ups and downs, and I haven’t purchased a single product from them in 9 years, I was too disillusioned and angry with the way they treated veteran gamers. Until now…

    I always keep track of what new ‘scam’ or ‘cash-in’ the company I once loved was getting involved with. I’d scoff at it and move on, ‘ha!’ I’d say, ‘more stuff to draw in the kids’ I’d say.

    Today, I went out and I purchased Betrayal at Calth. What. Was. I. Thinking?

    Well, it was my 5 year old daughter’s fault. She’s not a gamer (yet…) but we were discussing not trying a certain food stuff (greenery) and I was impressing on her the importance of trying new things, not dismissing stuff just because of past experiences etc etc. Then it hit me. What a hypocrite, huh?

    So, I went and brought it. And you know what? It is actually pretty darn good.

    Cracking miniatures (I didn’t even say ‘yeah, but they’re not RTB01 marines with needle pistols, are they’ once!)
    Great design on the boards and the pieces.
    All round, high production values (well, it was £90! Yes, I know, its lots more in New Zealand).

    Now, the rules.

    They’re fun. They’re intuitive. They’re dripping with character and class. They’re reminiscent of everything that GW used to be. Now, I’m not saying that GW are forgiven. I’m not saying that they are back to their best, or have attuned for the sins of the pass. I am most certainly NOT a fanboy. But, I am impressed, and I shall be playing this game a lot. It captures all the things that RT did, that 2nd does (its what we still play), that Space Fleet, Space Crusade, Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine did. IT’S FUN.

    Rant over, thanks for reading (assuming you got this far).

    Oh, I almost forgot, the only thing its missing is a rules summary…

    Now. Where are those paint brushes? I think my Blood Red has dried up…

    Universal Head

    Hey Roy. What’s this? You’ve bought a new Games Workshop game and enjoyed it? You’ve seen things us people wouldn’t believe…

    I was there in the first days of GW (sent them a job application once, way, way, way back) and loved all their early non-tabletop games. So it’s been interesting to read the relatively positive reports for this one. Still, it’s an utterly insane NZ$265 down here, and while it looks like a bit of fun, it’s also just a basic move, shoot, throw in the occasional special event card kind of combat game. I really want something very special if I’m paying that kind of dosh.

    Still, this coupled with the news that the Specialist Games division are back, may mean that a few people are waking from their long sleep and blinking at the sun up there in GW land. Here’s hoping.


    UH… that chip on your shoulder about GW looks a bit spiky 🙂

    And if they start making decent stuff at a reasonable price, you may lose it.

    I submitted a board game to GW once, but it was rejected. It was a bit ‘chess-like’ as I recall with spells and monsters… probably a pile a crap, but that was in my youth when we all dream of being games designers!

    roy batty

    UH: Yeah, that is excessively pricy for what is in effect a ‘beer and pretzels’ game. Still, like you say, who knows where this will end? A decent tabletop game?? Never! Also, wish I’d thought of that Bladerunner riff myself, gawd darn it.

    8thP: Yeah, its a chip, but one that has been nurtured and fed by shady games and crazy pricing. And excessive negativity on my part. Maybe. I too submitted something to GW in 1990! It was an add-on to Dark Future if I remember rightly. Never heard back though…


    Not saying I don’t have chip. Last GW products I paid full price for was Ravening Hordes for Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

    Made the mistake of buying Death Angel off eBay. Lent it to a friend and he got a migraine trying to make sense of it.

    Also picked up damaged Rogue Trader at Expo for half price.

    Universal Head

    8thPagan, I doubt very much that GW will ever start charging reasonable prices, I’d take you up on that bet any day of the week! But really, I have no hard and fast position on GW that won’t happily be torn down by a change of attitude from the company. If they start making really good games I’ll buy them, and I’ll probably be first in line if they make good remakes of old favourites like Necromunda.

    If BaC gets discounted I’ll probably get it, but I’m not paying NZ$260 for a beer-and-pretzels game. I can get almost two excellent CMON games packed with minis and fun gameplay for that price.

    But if I was magically the CEO tomorrow, I’d also see the company interact with their customers like any normal company in the 21st century, allow their fans to support their games without the threat of litigation, let customers buy their products online from any seller worldwide, and stop price-fixing for different countries. And I think if they did all these things GW would establish their future in their industry long-term and be an even more successful company. Possibly someone there is waking up to the fact that the corporate strategies they’ve been hanging onto for so long are now outdated and old-fashioned for a modern large company. If so, there might be a bright new era for GW over the horizon. I hope so, because they’re a beloved part of my personal gaming history.

    But bloody destroying 30+ years of development of the Old World and replacing it with He-Man and fantasy space marines? I reckon whoever came up with that should be pilloried in the public square. 🙂


    I liked the ‘Old World’… despite being only a wargame when I was introduced to it (Warhammer Fantasy Battle 2nd Edition) and enjoyed the RPG (1st Edition) which was very atmospheric.

    Wiping out the world as they did with Sigmar is just wrong. It’s like destroying Middle Earth between the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings!

    If you provide the pillory and whoever is responsible, I’ll provide the rotten fruit.


    it is a pretty good game. I bought just the rules, cards, dice and boards on ebay for less than $20 and proxied all the models. I found the rules to be quite clear and only the usual line of sight issues to be of question.

    the only criticism that I have is that it only has 6 scenarios. this game really needs more. perhaps, in the future, with the new Specialist Games development at GW, expansions will be released. or, I will just do my own rules much like with Space Hulk.

    Universal Head

    Good idea – if I had my old W40K minis with me at the moment I’d do that too. They’re so old they pretty much look like the 30K space marines in this set anyway. 🙂


    I ventured into the Sydney last week and saw the Betrayal at Calth table in all it’s glory. A rather impressive box of stuff.
    The GWer said it plays a bit like the old Space Crusade (which I remember buying for $20AUD aeons ago). He did say you could replay the scenarios with differently configured squads.

    But $265AUD (same as NZD !?) even discounted to $225 is way too much by atleast $100.

    Universal Head

    It’s $265 in Australian dollars? Wow, that’s surprising, you can get it here for the same in NZD (but not from GW, from Mighty Ape).

    I’d go up to $150 if I was in the right mood but there’s no way I’m paying $265 for it.


    $265AUD appears to be the RRP and $225 was a “discounted” game shop.

    The NZD & AUD were almost on parity at one stage this year – maybe GW set the prices then.
    Or more likely think both countries are the same.

    Yes I’d say $150 is inline with what you would expect for a big box board game full of miniatures these days.

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