Monday, March 18, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back

Over the weekend news emerged that Games Workshop has started to move against the bits resellers in the USA. These are the companies that buy kits and then break them up into their component parts.

In an age of shelf companies it is hard to see how GW will be successful. The reseller will set up an affiliate that buys the product off them and puts distance between the direct transaction with GW. As the product has passed to a new set of hands, GW would have little leverage.

However what is more likely to happen is that GW will just pursue the strategy they did with Maelstrom Games (prior to ROW embargo). Here they limit the supply to the reseller and lengthen the delivery time. This worked with Maelstrom effectively moving them from 5-10 day delivery to a 20-30 day delivery (or in the case of the Dark Eldar Wracks 11 months).

What is does show is that GW is concerned about the developing market in broken down boxes and is looking to apply pressure to limit it off. The US is a different animal to the UK and I expect they will face a tougher fight against businesses and gamers who see their rights being infringed.

Some have said that the move foreshadows a move by GW into the bits business. I call bullshit on this. The time and effort is just not worth it for a company their size. Where their benefit comes from is shutting down  web based suppliers so that gamers are forced (if they want specific bits or sprues) to buy the full kit.


  1. Games Workshop is latin for "idiots with lead poisoning"

  2. Disappointed that GW seems determined to force the people outside of EU/US to pay costs based on 1990s exchange rates. This will definitely impact my spending habits, at least until the next work around is established.

  3. Hope this isn't the reason why my order from the US has been processing for 12 days

  4. I'd like to get a plastic High Elf Dragon and two High Elf chariots, to round out my army. I could get them from the States for around NZ$120, or from the friendly GW in town for NZ$202. There's no way I'm paying $202, and if I can't pay $120, I guess I won't be buying them at all. GW may consider this a win, but I can't see their logic.

    If Trade Me doesn't fill the void, I'll do without or see who else makes dragons (elf chariots might be harder to fill). The funny thing is, I'm so fricken' annoyed with GW that I'll pay GW prices to another manufacturer, but I refuse to pay them to GW. I don't know how many others feel like me, but it must be helping other manufacturers find space to grow in our niche market. Which might be the only good thing from GW's pricing policy.

  5. So you've accepted Dwarfs are are dying race and got yourself a real army that actually moves, does magic, shoots and fights.

    1. So replace one dying race with another....? Not that anyone should take GW fluff seriously. The background is generally excellent, but it's so shot full of contradictions, mistakes and unworkable tenets that to take it seriously is a short road to madness.

      As for buying High Elf stuff, I have every unit in the Dwarf book now, even the entirely useless Flame Cannon. So until GW make something cool and affordable, or Avatars of War make something cool, I might as well buy another army that I'm keen on.

      I'm still suspicious of playing an army that uses more than two game phases; seems like pretentious showing-off to me. Still, it might grow on me, and I'm fairly certain I can play in three whole game phases without becoming too ostentatious.

  6. So they are intent on making converting and hobby building more difficult. I think with this move, should they actively go ahead with it, is a hobby killer in my eyes. I buy parts and convert models for my games; if they proceed, I think I officially see the cut off point for me an GW. Without access to parts I cant afford to be creative.

    After 25yrs of gaming/modelling with GW kits, I will not abide this kind of behaviour, so utterly anti-hobby.. hell, what a bunch of idiots if they do so.