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Fans plead with GW to keep Beasts of Chaos in Age of Sigmar

After Games Workshop announced Beasts of Chaos would not receive rules in Age of Sigmar 4th edition, unhappy fans petition for a turnaround.

Age of Sigmar Beasts of Chaos Beastlord, a satyr-like humanoid with furry goat legs, humanoid torso, and horned goat head, wielding two handaxes

On April 4 Games Workshop announced that the Age of Sigmar Beasts of Chaos range would be leaving the game, with tournament rules support ending in Summer 2025. One disappointed collector has started a Change.org petition calling on Games Workshop to reverse its decision.

Nathaniel Rice launched the “Prevent the Cancellation of Beasts of Chaos Faction in Age of Sigmar 4E” petition on Saturday. At time of writing, 610 signatories have added their names, requesting the braying Beasts of Chaos remain a supported Age of Sigmar army that gets rules, lore, and dedicated model releases in each edition of the game.

Fellow-feeling Beasts of Chaos players can find the petition here.

While GW is removing many Age of Sigmar models from production entirely, the Beasts of Chaos models are being ported across to become a Warhammer: The Old World faction, the Beastmen Brayherds. But not every player will be able to use their model collection this way, assuming they even want to: Rice notes in the petition that “in my state alone, I can only find one person who regularly plays” The Old World.

Age of Sigmar Beasts of Chaos Shaggoth - a centauroid creature with the rear quarters of a dragon, muscular humanoid forequarters, horns, holding a double-handed axe

Rice also cites anecdotal evidence that “many players are feeling uncertain and even turned off from AoS now. How long before their entire model range is on the chopping block?” While we don’t have any statistical data on this, it’s something that we’ve seen in comments on articles and in social media groups. We noted in our analysis of the retirement of many Stormcast Eternals kits that damaging consumer confidence is a price for this kind of range reshuffle.

Perhaps the most influential Games Workshop fan petition ran from 2014 to 2015. It asked GW to “Refocus your business model on the sale of a game and support of a gaming community vice [sic] the pure sale of collectible miniatures”, and attracted 17,168 signatures,

Whether or not that petition led to a change in Games Workshop’s strategies is hard to judge. Some of its recommendations are part of how GW now does business, such as “support gamers, conventions, and tournaments, primarily through well-developed rules, frequent FAQ and errata updates, and supporting both relaxed and competitive play”, and “conduct market research and increase player involvement”.

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But there were other factors driving change at the time. According to former Senior Hobby Products Designer Tom Hibberd in an interview with the Painting Phase (embedded above), between 2014 and 2016 falling model sales put GW less than two months away from a cashflow crisis. The firm’s response to that led to initiatives like Contrast Paint which made the hobby more accessible to newcomers. Kevin Rountree replaced Tom Kirby as CEO in January 2015, the most senior decision maker in the company.

If nothing else, petitions indicate the weight of community feeling around particular issues, and that data is available for managers in Games Workshop to use as evidence for decision making. What they do with that information is another matter.

Games Workshop probably did not want the Age of Sigmar news cycle for fourth edition to be dominated by the cull of old kits. We’re still waiting to see if our predictions of new models – based on the Age of Sigmar 4th edition trailer – pan out (because they will be pretty sick if we’re right).