Specialist Games Forum
Fanatic Magazine Resources
Welcome, Specialist Gamer
Welcome to Specialist Arms, the online home of Games Workshops Specialist Games range. This site exists as a rallying point for players and the communities of each of the seven Specialist Games, as well as games which may now be considered Specialist - such as Aeronautica Imperialis, Dark Future and Gorkamorka.
The site is organised into a number of distinct zones. The Specialist Arms forums are at the heart of the site, with sections devoted to each of the games. This is where you can chat about the games, get rules questions answered by our experienced gamers and players, show off your latest paint job or discuss the development of new rules. In addition, we have a general resources zone which contains any articles and downloads which may apply to multiple games, or to no games - such as Fanatic Magazine downloads or convention reports. The remainder of the site is divided in either zones, one for each of the seven Specialist Games, and the final zone as the adopted home of games which were never released under the Specialist Games banner but which are generally considered to be Specialist Games.
This site exists to keep the torch for these games burning and in support of them, and as a hub for players. We welcome any and all suggestions, comments and contributions for the site, and believe that the best sites are true communities, in which everyone can get involved. So, if you have anything to say, jump on over to the forums, sign up and start a thread there or drop a message to either myself (CyberShadow) or Lex. We look forward to hearing from you. Spread the word, the more people who get involved here, the brighter the future becomes for the games that we love.
What Are Specialist Games?
Perhaps you have stumbled across this site without really knowing what the Speclaist Games are. Specialist Games are a range of (originally seven) games, created by Games Workshop. They were designed to expand on the core games range (Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Lord of the Rings) for two main purposes. Firstly, they would allow games set in the same background to exist, which showcased different aspects and comflict scales. For example, Epic Armageddon takes the Warhammer 40K battle and pulls back. Where a traditional game of 40K consists of a battle consisting of a platoon or two of around 100 troops, a game of Epic involved Company wide conflicts, entire squadrons of tanks and multiple huge striding war engines, while Battlefleet Gothic takes the 40K battle into space as city sized vessels exchange fire in the heat of battle. At the other end of the spectrum, Mordheim takes a handful of hopeful adventurers out of their Warhammer Fantasy army, and pits them against other warbands in a desperate struggle for survival and scavenging.
Secondly, Specialist Games exist to give experienced gamers scope to expand, or alternatives to, the core games. You may find that seek alternatives to another game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, but one still steeped in the background and lore that you love, and Warmaster exists to allow you to take your games to another level. Specialist Games are often overlooked, but actually offer a wealth of opportunities, scope and expansion, either as an alternative to the core games, as in partnership with these games, or simply in their own right, and provide some diversity and new challenges to the wargamer.
For anyone willing to glance outside the core Games Workshop systems, the Specialist Games range provides a deeper, more involved wargaming experience, still backed up by the rich mythos and background of their universes, and can be incredibly rewarding and emersive to delve into.
Specialist Games was set up by Games Workshop around 2002, to provide an umbrella for their existing non-core games, and as a development house for these games, additional rules, and future games. Unique amongst GW development was the involvement of the player community in the development and continuation of these games. A number of key players were designated into teams for each game, and they would draw on the experience and comments on the players to shape the game. Central to this was the use of an online forum, opening up this process to anyone with a computer and a network connection.
In a familiar pattern of rise and fall, the Specialist Games were a victim of Games Workshop pulling focus back into only their core games, and as such Specialist Games ceased as a distinct entity around 2009. Instead of dropping the established network and player community for the games, and due to some very appreciated work by Andy Hall, the SG forum was reborn under fan organisation as an annex of the Tactical Wargames Network site.
In 2012, the Specialist Games annex was split off from its sister site, free to grow and develop as its own community and entity.