Monday, July 20, 2015

Newton's Law

I was looking at what models I had bought this year…..mainly as my bank balance seemed unusually healthy.

Since the turn of the year I have purchased the following stuff:

  • Clampack Grey Seer (new) 
  • Clampack Warlord (new) 
  • Stormfiends box (new) 
  • Metal White Lions (subsequently sold) - used 
  • Metal/Plastic Chaos Dwarf army – used but unpainted 
  • Metal Archaon on Foot –used 
  • Metal Shorgar on Foot –used 5 
  • Metal Phoenix Guard and Eagle Bolt Thrower - used 
  • Tabletop World Bridge 

The great thing is that I have sold off more than enough to cover those purchases plus new airbrush(es), air brush paint set and weathering powder set. There have been less than 5-6 GW paints purchased in the year so far.

So I guess the Games Workshop premise that veterans don’t buy is at least partly true. However I would say that that is also – in part – self-imposed. Typically in the past I would spend $2-3,000 net on product each year. This is my main hobby and pastime. In addition to product spend I would have outlays attending events, many overseas. The local GW pricing policies have removed virtually all my local spending – apart from immediate requirements – because I don’t like being played for a fool. I therefore use a UK supplier such as Element Games or Firestorm Games and the Youshop service provided by NZ Post. This has in the past given savings of up to 40%. With the recent fall in the NZD this has diminished somewhat.

The other thing that curtailed my GW spending was the past year’s “cloud” around releases. GW has had in place a “no forward promotion” policy for the past 3 years – which I find ludicrous as it goes against pretty much every tenet of marketing. Compounding this we had the “End Times” and the wait for "9th".

 The ET release galvanised parts of the community who did not like the fluff direction. I enjoyed the story progression but felt the model/rules release –particularly in retrospect having seen the entirety – lacked the support and commitment that I would have expected from GW. In light of subsequent events it is hard to see it as anything other than a money grab from the company.

And this is probably what annoys me the most and has definitely factored into my buying habits.

Games Workshop knew 12-18 months ago that there was no “9th Edition”. They knew they were discontinuing the game and yet they sold expensive sourcebooks with rules they knew would be invalidated in 4-8 months. IMO that was a kick in the balls to the people that bought them. The target market was hobbyists/veterans and they sold them to them knowing full well they were shitting all over the very world they were shilling.

Yes you can use the models in the new game. But it is a new game. It was a radical departure from their behaviour of the past thirty years and they deliberately kept it hidden while they squeezed the last juice out of the orange.

Now I’m lucky. I hate the aesthetic of the new Stormcast models. I’m not looking for a new skirmish game. That makes it easy for me not to give Games Workshop my money. In effect, they have created the very situation of reducing a veteran’s hobby spend to zero. I appreciate I’m not their target market anymore….but you know what? I’m not sure I want to be the target customer of a company that treats its customers as GW has done over the past 18 months.


  1. I don't really buy it Pete.
    The expensive books were anything but source books. They contained hardly any new rules, and only really specific to the new models, plus a few campaigns. I've always thought of them as being expensive story books.
    These where aimed at "veterans" or collectors if you will IMO, and was a way of "finishing" the story as opposed to just abandoning it. The new story line starts off from the old.
    Its quite possible the models such as Nagash and the Glotkin where scheduled for release in the normal scheme of things, but once the decision was made to can 8th, they formed the backdrop for the end. Could explain why we had no updated models for the heroes on the "good" side.

    Let this be a lesson to you Pete. You need to buy more wardollies or they will destroy your other games!/sarc

    1. Sourcebooks - story, scenarios, etc

      As opposed to rulebooks.

  2. I thought the no forward promotion was a result of their restrictive contract over the hobbit

    1. Didn't see too many hobbitts in the End Times :-)

  3. My situation and annual spend was similar Pete, with a similar reaction to the chain of events. I feel equally deflated at the moment, also with a pile of lead and plastic that I am struggling to get motivated to build or paint, either to play 8th Ed, or anything else.

  4. Certainly sounds like the End Times all right! Do you think any part of the community will try to come up with their own rule-set in order to evolve the game down the line? That's what I thought should have been done for a while now.

  5. I have spent zero dollars on warhams (fantasy or 40k) since they nuked the world. I have happily been dropping my hobby dollar on Infinity and Flames of War (late to the party on that one I know :P). Seems GeeDub have succeeded in moving veteran hobbyists (been into fantasy last 2 years, 40k on and off for the last 15) out of the picture.

  6. In the current year I have picked up a few second hand items off trademe just for something different to paint. My direct to GW spend dropped to nothing around the ET: Khaine book time and I'm glad for that.

    I still intent to play WHFB 8th, Mordheim, 40k, 40k kill team. In terms of new purchases though I'll be looking at other games (Infinity, Malifaux and KoW primarily).

  7. I'm still gonna buy your sewer module. I just need to find a new house ..less that three weeks. Thanks again.