Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reading the Tea Leaves?

Eighteen months ago Games Workshop used to support the local tournament scene through their Premier Events programme. This system was brought into replace their discontinued Grand Tournament events as “running tournaments is not our core business”.

GW were probably right in doing this because in Australasia, at least, their running of Grand Tournaments was becoming more and more problematic – the Auckland 2007 Grand Tournament being a particular low point.

Premier Events was a very generous programme. If you were an event that attracted more participants than an agreed threshold you were showered with GW prize support. My 2009 Fields of Blood Grand Tournament had $2000 worth of vouchers from the company and 30 people walked away with at least a $50 voucher. I’m going to hazard a guess that each voucher was matched with additional purchases of at least the same amount.

Unfortunately reality bites. The GFC and the state of the pound vs. local currency spelt the death knell of the Premier Events programme. I can’t say I blame GW too much. Rumour has it that the system was royally abused in Australia and more and more sophisticated local buyers were bypassing local GW stores and going to UK-based internet retailers such as Wayland Games and Maelstrom Games. If you aren’t going to buy from the local GW you can’t really expect the local GW to support you.

Last year they introduced their “new” support package – which was actually their old package from circa-2002. Tournament organisers could purchase product from GW at a 45% discount to retail (or roughly the same price as Maelstrom) and also purchase some pretty funky trophies (Chainsword – 40k and Warhammer – Fantasy). For 2010 Fields of Blood Grand Tournament I passed on the opportunity, mainly because I already spent $1000 on plaques.

I found out today that GW have now canned that support package. Now they will provide advertising in White Dwarf but that is it.

And that got me thinking. I wonder why? Is this a cost cutting measure by the company? Or does this signal something else?

Games Workshop have resurrected Games Day for Australia in 2011. I wonder if we are going to see the rebirth of Australian Grand Tournaments.


  1. It does not make alot of sense Pete.

    Particularly I am puzzled why the trophies were taken away.

    They were mass produced in China, and stocked and kept at GW Mail Order... perhaps it got all too hard for the Mail Order guys to coordinate these trophies... or they ran out of stock, and did not think they had enough of an uptake of the original stock ordered? Who knows.

    All I know is I have 2, and wanted a 3rd for that trifecta look :)

  2. Oh, and to add.

    I dont think they will go back to GT's.

    Last year in a cost cutting excercise, GW Adelaide had to stop paying for a storage location where they kept all of there terrain previously used for tournaments, and GT's in particular. They offered the terrain up to all the clubs of Adelaide, and it was rather a score, as about 40 tables were distributed into the greater community.

    However, it all pointed to me that GT's were a long way out of the equation now.

    If they did put together new terrain for more GT's, perhaps it would all be the Citadel Terrain only, as has become there policy with the tables seen at local GW stores now... all the nice custom made, fancy, hobby stuff of old has not been seen for a long time and it is policy that only Citadel gear gets displayed.

  3. If you've got two Tom it just shows how far standards have fallen!!!

    Back in the day you used to struggle to make the Top 30 of any self-respecting event.

    I don't think they'll revive GTs either.....well they shouldn't, because their latter events were very poor.

    I'm surprised they are reviving Games Day. I suspect the words "EPIC FAIL" were invented to describe that.

  4. I agree RE Games Day.

    As far as Chainswords go mate, dont worry about my form these days, I might even have to have a sober weekend for Fields this year and give it a proper crack for once!

    I might even start taking this Fantasy game seriously and visit you on more familiar turf :)