This resonates well with my fears. I do not agree 100% with the conclusion that game is beyond repair but still.I'm afraid this game has no way of getting any new players.
It might get a handful, when someone succesfully convinces a friend to play, but that is it.
This way of playing fantasy games is outdated, and to top it all, the barrier of entry keeps rising. You may kid yourself that people can play with empty bases, cardboard, UB, but at the end of the day, if you want to go to a tournament or play at a club, you need miniatures, not neccessarily painted, but assembled and stuck on bases. And as the rules evolve, you need more and more miniatures.(yes there are outliers, but generally you need 10-15% more miniatures than warhammer 8th)
Some say that they want bigger armies, as they feel that is what massed battles is all about, which is fine. Just accept that the game gets harder to get into. And that it moves away from any modern games design. A massed battle is way better represented by a smaller scale.
Making an army is hard work. Even to just assemble all the stuff. It takes so much time(and money). It takes skills to do, and you need someone to teach you. Youtube guides are fine for some, others(most people in fact) needs a live person to show them how.
My point is that 9th is a game made for a dying breed of gamers. And all the stuff we love in the game are what keeps new players, modern players, from loving it. Maybe spending less time focusing on stuff that can't be helped and more on the stuff that makes making the project fun is a better use of energy?
Most of us came here form Warhammer Fantasy Battles. We were drawn to the hobby by what I call magic. Magic of well painted armies, magic of larger than life Background, magic of seemingly endless possibilities to design your army. None of us was attracted by rules.
Manufacturer of the game has decided to discontinue it. It was a marketing decision and probably one not taken lightly. The game was dying, with incomes from WFB much below 40k. I've skipped 8th, hardly played any 7 and for me units and even factions introduced then are... well... I am not a fan of them. They are prove the world around 6th became complete and each new design was more bizarre than the previous one. It was the reason to destroy Old World but it was not the reason of falling incomes. Lack of new players was.
For decades WFB was a gateway to wargaming world. A lot of people that later moved to SF or historical systems had started with painting their first dozen of greenskins for WFB. But the game lost that function somewhere it stopped attracting new players and became elite legacy game. The fault was on manufacturer side - at one point it decided to focus sales on existing player base and started to pump the size of the armies required to play. The game became "too big to survive". When GW has taken this path there was no way back, they could not make the game smaller again: even if they gained new players market would be flooded with second-hand miniatures and their sales would suffer even more.
How has T9A addressed the issue? In most suicidal way possible, at least looking at it from VS POV. Starting unit sizes have been increased even more. It is not enough to purchase a box called 'regiment' to create a single unit. Starting box EoB which contained two units of clanrats a unit of ratogres and allowed you to start your collection (47 models including weapon teams and characters) is just enough to create a single unit, you need two of those to START playing. For me: common sense sacrificed on the alter of balance.
Project attempts to address it. The Quickstarter rules are sign that there are people who noticed the problem and look for solutions. People propose teaching the game with paper proxies. However do you remember why you started playing WFB? The magic part? For me QS and playing with tokens kill the magic. QS gives you no option to customize your armies and army building is for many people better half of the fun they ever had with WFB. It does not address unit size issue as it tries to provide unit legal for full game. And playing with paper proxies... are our rules really that cool to win with paper proxies agains AoS/40k starter? I doubt it...
On the other hand we can't reduce size of our game. Most of the community would view such change as betrayal. For Old Guard the sheer weight of their armies is a value, Quantity becomes Quality. So it seems we are more or less in the same spot the GW was...
My proposed solution I already posted in a few places is to rework format of the game called warbands to make it introductory stage for new players. Implement rules tweaks that will allow half the number of models on table but not the number of units. Size of the unit 0,71 x number of units 0,71 will give you the same effect. It will allow players to create their first playable unit faster. To extend their collection with new units, to explore endless possibilities each army offers without having to paint each time models worth $100 to be able to field a new unit.