Leaking Games Workshop releases early is a time honoured tradition that goes back almost as long as Games Workshop itself. In the early days leaks would be hand carved into clay tablets which would then be sanded down with rough pumice stone to achieve that classic blurry look. These tablets would be passed around surreptitiously in back rooms by Games Workshop employees who desperately wanted you to think they were cool. A blind eye might be turned to these leaks as they helped to meet annual sales targets by convincing impressionable young players that they were absolutely going to need at least 6 Skaven Doomwheels if they want to win games after Christmas . Plus, if they can just be the first player to get them painted up they can establish themselves as a legendary competitive superstar! Just ask the resident old bloke in your gaming club, he’ll tell you. It’s all true.
These days the internet has made the proliferation of leaks much faster and easier. With players desperate to know what’s next for their army the leakers themselves have naturally become very popular and beloved members of the community (citation needed). No doubt you want to get in on this action, and establish yourself as a Warhammer influencer for about two weeks before Games Workshop’s lawyers bring their righteous fury down upon you. Don’t worry friend, we’re here to clue you in on how to make a traditional Warhammer Leak the right way!
Step One: Source your leak
Everyone and their dogs seem to have the inside scoop on some dramatic changes that are just around the corner these days. But unless you’re mates with a member of the rules team or employed somewhere along the distribution network getting your hands on these coveted titbits might seem impossible. Even those who consider themselves active members of the community must stop and wonder sometimes: “where is everyone getting these spicy hot leads?!” Don’t worry friend, it’s not that you are out of the loop. The secret to a truly great leak is being a total, remorseless liar!
Many of these “leaks” are in fact “creative fabrications”. Often the leaks that inflame the community the most are the ones that don’t hold up to even the briefest moment of scrutiny. But that’s fine because the aim has never been to provide people with useful information. The aim is to accumulate clout through constant crashing waves of hype and outrage. Think of it like Fox News for toy soldiers.
So if you don’t have any genuine information to leak, just make something up and credit it to “a reliable source”. Who could dare doubt you with those credentials?!
Step 2: Write your Leak
In our example, I’ll be leaking an update for the fourth Lumineth Realm-Lords battletome. This is perfect, because the mere insinuation that an elf army may receive yet more support is enough to reduce most Warhammer nerds into a frothy puddle of liquid rage. There’s no need to exhaust ourselves by faking an entire book. Just a couple of “facts” taken completely at random will be enough. Behold.
This is typical of the type of leak you will see in group chats and facebook posts all around the world. It contains just enough information to tantalise, yet is extremely stingy on the specifics leading the reader to speculate wildly for post after glorious post. Make sure to include rules that are both absolutely ludicrous, and yet totally believable coming from a Games Workshop game. If you really want to seem legitimate, sprinkle a few spelling errors and grammatical mistakes in your text because as everyone knows, leakers can’t read.
Step 3: Tart it up
This step is optional, but highly recommended. If you have any graphic design skills let’s put them to work to add an air of authenticity to your work. If you’ve faked your leak entirely then you’re going to need an extreme close up of the rules so you don’t need to include any pictures of new models. However, faking rules for an existing model will look a lot more legitimate. Through fairly simple photo editing I have transposed a new rule onto the warscroll for Ellania and Ellathor. It’s like fan fiction!
As well as adding my creative new rule, I’ve gone ahead and added 1 attack to each of their weapon profiles. Like Bob Ross and his trees, this is just a little treat to myself and any eagle eyed readers who are smart enough to notice the difference, but dumb enough to believe it’s true because they saw it on the internet.
Step 4: Blur the F out of it!
A blurry image isn’t just a leaking tradition – it serves a valuable purpose! By lowering the quality of the image we can reduce the tell-tale signs of our photoshop work and help sell the reader a narrative they’ll believe. This wasn’t a malicious attempt to deceive them in order to gain literally minutes of attention. This comes from a diehard fan who infiltrated Games Workshop headquarters to hastily snap a single photo in between dodging security guards and spike traps!
Your method of blurring is unique to you, like an artist’s signature that tells other leakers who’s responsible for this particular pile of steaming hogswollop. You may choose to reduce the image size and increase compression to create plenty of lovely jpeg artefacts obscuring your slightly off-colour font choice. Personally, I love a good picture of a picture. Channel your inner Facebook aunt who has never heard of the print screen button and simply hold your smartphone up to your monitor.
Part 5: Revel in the Glory of your Instantly Forgettable Nothingburger
All that’s left to do is post your work to the poorly moderated group chat of your choice and watch the community work itself into a collective blather. Enjoy reading arguments over whether its “Games Workshops latest insult to Kruleboyz players” or “a long overdue update to a neglected battletome”. Once that rumour hits YouTube, you’ve made it! You have successfully incepted the internet, and you can rest safe in the knowledge that your contribution has made the community slightly more annoying to be a part of. Good job weirdo.
(Please note, this post is intended as satire. Everyone please stop lying for clout. It’s so lame.)