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Games Workshop promises not to sell out of new Warhammer 40K Kill Team set

The British publisher has lately been a victim of its own success

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A gunline of Krieg in green holds back an onrushing group of Orks along a barricade. They’ve brought an explosive animal with them. Photo: Games Workshop
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Ever since the launch of the 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000, it seems that boxed sets of the grim wargame have been hard to come by. Now publisher Games Workshop is making an unusual guarantee: In a news post on Monday, the company promised that everyone who pre-orders a copy of Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Octarius this coming weekend will actually be able to get one.

Compared to other publishers, the Games Workshop release cadence is a little bit different. First the company will announce a new boxed set, usually with a splashy trailer and a series of high-touch photographs. Then, while it spends a few weeks doling out piecemeal information, preview copies begin making their way out to the press. Once the embargo on those preview copies drops, pre-orders are soon to follow. Only then is the final price of a boxed set revealed, often at the very same moment that it appears up for order online.

Trouble is that overly rabid fans and well-practiced scalpers know all too well how to game the system, leading to boxed sets that sell out in minutes only to show up on the secondary market. It got so bad with the launch of Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus that GW tried to make amends by taking print-on-demand orders for the better part of two months. Now it’s effectively carrying that policy forward.

“We know we’ve let you down in the past,” GW said Monday, “so we’re going to do something about it, right now. This weekend, Games Workshop is making a promise to everyone who orders Kill Team: Octarius during the pre-order weekend — we guarantee you’ll get a copy. Simple! So, feel free to answer that doorbell or take your cat downstairs knowing you don’t need to scour the internet and pay some dirty scalper a cut just to get the latest boxed set.”

We still don’t know how much Octarius will cost, but we expect it to fall somewhere near $150. Thankfully, the contents of it are well worth the trouble. It’s a complete reboot for the small-unit skirmish game, and greatly expands Games Workshop’s narrative scope for Kill Team. Details on how Saturday’s pre-order at the Games Workshop website will roll out across international time zones are expected later this week.

Deathwatch Kill Team Cassius

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Prices taken at time of publishing.

The Deathwatch has featured prominently in recent Warhammer Community articles. Expect them to be included in the fun with the release of Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Octarius.

  • $70 at Amazon