Games Workshop is set to release Lost Patrol, a new game in its Warhammer 40,000 universe. Its release marks another shift in the company’s approach to the gaming market. Lost Patrol is a game for two players and is slated to last only half an hour. Yes, thirty minutes. Most Games Workshop games I’ve played have taken that long to set up.
Lost Patrol continues Games Workshop’s recent trend of releasing complete boxed games, coming on the back of Betrayal at Calth and Deathwatch Overkill. It is clear that the company is hoping to appeal to a more mainstream audience. The game will not only be available in GW stores, but also through general hobby, game, and toy stores too. On top of that, Lost Patrol will retail at the competitive price of $60 (£35, €50)
The game is described as a “fast-paced two-player game of survival and death (but mostly death) in the jungle”. One player controls Space Marines and the other Games Workshop’s legendary Genestealers. The Marines are lost in a hostile jungle trying desperately to reach the safety of their drop-pod. The Genestealers are looking for lunch and have heard there’s a new buffet in town.
The board, which represents the jungle, consists of hex tiles and continually evolves throughout the game. The odds are stacked against the Space Marines. Lost Patrol is designed for multiple plays in a session, switching roles after each game, with the true mark of success being winning as the Space Marines.
The box contains five Space Marine Scouts, twelve Genestealers, six “Infestations” (Genestealer spawning pods), thirty hex tiles, dice, and a full set of rules. Figures are unpainted and require assembly. They are not recent Citadel stock, the sprues being copyrighted in 2004 and 2005. The figures are not of the same quality as those provided with the latest incarnation of Warhammer 40,000, Dark Vengeance.
I’m pretty excited about this game, not least because it looks like the easy, affordable route into the world of Games Workshop that I’ve been wanting for my boys. Additionally, (along with the news that new points values are coming for their Warhammer flagship product Age of Sigmar) it suggests the company is listening to their critics and doing the one thing everybody says they can’t do–adapt. The back of the box also has a “complexity level” graphic (set to one out of three). This type of infographic could be a one-off, but again, this is a new approach from Games Workshop and suggests that it has its sights set firmly on the mainstream market.
The game releases in June. I’m lucky enough to have an advanced review copy, so between now and then I’ll play a few games and report back whether, with Lost Patrol, Games Workshop has found its way.