Sunday, 1 July 2012

I will buy nothing more from Games Workshop

At the beginning of July, Games Workshop put their prices up, by up to 60+%.

At that point, taking advantage of a no-postage deal from one of the online stores, I picked up another modular gaming hill and two packs of movement trays.

And that's it: the end.

I no longer want to buy their paints. I'm certainly not investing in their new range, or wasting my time trying to figure out what colours from their old range translate to. I can do that just as well with Army Painter's new range.

I have no further need for movement trays - GW's were pretty neat, but not at a 60% markup over what I was paying- I'm pretty sure by the time I'm done with the two new packs I'll have enough of all the sensible sizes, and I can reuse them when I need to.

Any more scenery I'll build myself or buy from someone else.

If I ever have a desire to play a scifi-themed wargame, I'll either play WarMachine or Sedition Wars. I'm certainly not about to pay £45 for the sixth edition of a set of rules that seems to get a new release every two years along with tournament rules that render half my army obsolete, and all of it illegal if I don't buy it from them at their inflated prices.

If I ever have a desire for a fantasy-based wargame, I'll play Kings of War. Also, see above re legality of armies.

If I ever can't find opponents for WAB (and, let's face it, I can't pay ForgeWorld for any more material for it, even if I wanted to), I have Hail Caesar, or I'll explore War and Conquest.

Likewise, for WW2 I have Operation Squad and I Ain't Been Shot Mum. Kampfgruppe Normandy was beyond a joke at its RRP, even before Warhammer Historical got canned.

I certainly have NO remaining desire to fill the pockets of a company who have canned the only products of theirs I cared about, and price their rules and miniatures at a level that is frankly an insult to my hobby, and a detriment to new blood with shallow pockets.

Not only that, they've removed their one path to accidental discovery of other wargames settings, since after all, even when Warhammer Historical was alive, you couldn't buy its products in their stores, or play them at their premises. Their cultish, closed-shop policy is hiding the real joys of my hobby, and the historical learning aspects, from a potentially large percentage of the next generation of wargamers.

Since they don't call their hobby wargaming, and take great pains to mark the distinction at every chance they get, then I'm going to take them at their word.

"The Games Workshop Hobby" is not wargaming.

The Games Workshop shop is not my friendly local wargames store.

I am a wargamer.

End of story.

17 comments:

  1. I haven't bought anything from GW since they stopped stocking other people's products. Mind you, I've hardly gamed in years...

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  2. I have two things I'm thoroughly ashamed of for spending money on as they are connected with evil corporations* and you pointed out one of them.

    But I try to buy off my sins by supporting independent artists (local and worldwide - musicians and podcasts especially) and venues. Seriously, the biggest artist in my collection having anything to with the record industry of old is Peter Hammill. He is easily 10 to 100 sizes bigger than any other on my list. For any other form of art or games, I'm trying to make it as indie as they come.

    If Warhammer geeks would have let me play with them back in 1987 I would have been in and out of the Hobby(tm) already, Now I only started in 2010. Seriously, if a wargaming club (not the one I'm in now, which didn't exist back then) holds an open day and you go there, they should welcome you and explain what they are doing, not utterly ignore you. The worst was a club focusing on historical wargames. Apart from actually saying it, they made it clear that non-members were but a nuisance on the open day they themselves advertised.

    Ah, that feels better :-P

    You may be happy to know that for other games (RPG and stuff) my initial plans to go GW even there are cancelled. Except for Warhammer Invasion card game which I could get for 25 pounds and the occasional novel.

    As for my present club, I went in there in an ordinary day, struck up a conversation within 10 seconds (I hadn't even dropped my backpack much less found a chair) and the second time they let me play along letting me command a flank using a rule system in development by a member.

    Yes, GW will get some money out of me in the coming years. But I have a cunning plan to put a maximum to it, in time and money. Historical wargaming will be in the near future too (I'm inclined to go with the Field of Glory system - any thoughts?)

    *no, I don't think those two automatically go together

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    1. Not played FoG enough to be able to pass comment. Depending on how big your armies are, you might want to look at Hail Caesar/Black Powder, or War and Conquest (or even WAB, if you can find a copy without breaking the bank).

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    2. [as is my tendency, I'll now go on and write a lot - feel free to skip at your leisure ;-) ]

      My 10yo son loves history, especially hunter-gatherers, early agricultural societies, Roman empire and medieval. He also wants to be an archaeologist (he knows it's not Indiana Jones :-) ). Wargaming-wise I guess only Romans and medieval have any reasonable system to work with. I'd really love to hook on to that, especially as it quite closely resembles some of my interests. For example, I've always been utterly fascinated by how it must have been for humans to go from semi-randomly frolicking about to forming societies and how customs etc came about. But I digress. Right now, 'cool monsters' is part of his wargaming love. Next year, maybe starting with boardgames, I'll throw historical games into the mix. We already played some of it and as for historical wargaming, we have a lot of that at my club.

      Partly (mainly even) because of your article I suddenly felt I would rather spend time doing the Warhammer thing at my club and buy the models at the GW stockist (is that a proper term - sounds like GW speak - never mind) a few minutes from there. It is a shop I really love, they have big stock of board and card games, model kits and more quality toys than the big chains. They skip video and computer games completely. Such stores should not disappear. Not before their time at least. Sometimes I just go there to look.

      As for my 7-almost-8-yo daughter, she likes nerdy things but also horses, like many girls (she is an odd mix, definitely a kid of mine :-) ). I archived your articles on horse painting and will cleverly piggyback it into our conversations.

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  3. I hadn't realized GW ever did a historical line. W40K 6th looks as if it will fix some of the stupider bits of 5th, but at the cost of new sillyness (there is no sane way that aircraft (some with a "Supersonic" rule) fit on a 6' by 4' table at 28mm scale).
    http://www.manticgames.com/Shop-Home/Warpath/Corporation.html appears to have a basic business model of "similar in style to GW, but cheaper, and not so similar as to infringe IP", but I've no idea what the ruleset is like.

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    1. "I hadn't realized GW ever did a historical line."

      That would be the one they didn't advertise, only sold by mail order through Foregworld/Warhammer Historical, wouldn't sell in their shops, wouldn't ALLOW you to play on their premises (because they made no figure ranges to support it), and just closed down because it wasn't making them a profit/worth the effort?

      No wonder you hadn't heard of it.

      Mike (not bitter much, honest)

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  4. Well, as Mantic are sensible enough to see the rulebook as a loss leader... why don't you find out :D

    http://www.manticgames.com/News/Article/111111-Warpath-Rules-and-Army-Lists-available-for-free-download.html

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  5. Totally agree Mike. I used to love white dwarf and I must admit that I enjoy the Dawn of War PC games but paints, models and brushes? Never.

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  6. Can't stand them, the only thing I buy from them is a pot of red paint every now and then, apart from that they can kiss it!

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  7. I don't blame you one bit. An inside source told me about some of GW's business practices fifteen years ago. It was enough to deter me from ever buying their products in any shape or form. I always shop at independent retailers.

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  8. On an of course entirely unrelated topic (cough), is there a system that would enable one to use miniatures from different manufacturer. Suppose one has invested in a certain set and is looking at other systems but does not want to shelf the miniatures and start from scratch.
    What are the best options in this 'hypothetical' situation? Mind you, one is not averse to anachronism nor mixing historical and fictional settings.
    In absence of a solution one is seriously considering writing one's own set, especially since a member of one's offspring has proclaimed interest in writing games (of the Steve Jackson type but with a little twisting, who knows?)

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    1. Depends :D I see no reason why Mantic's SF and Fantasy rules (Warpath and Kings of War) can't be used with anything you like, and it wouldn't take a genius to produce army lists for non-Mantic figures. I certainly intend to use them for a more war-game like campaign with Sedition Wars figures.

      As far as historical goes, I don't think *any* systems I know of are tied to specific figures.

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  9. Well done Mike - and the best of luck for a non-GW future. Whichever way anyone looks at it, whether a die-hard GW fanboy or a GW-phobic, the hobby and wargaming worlds are far wider than just Games Workshop. "Different strokes for different folks" is undoubtedly the way to go - celebrate the diversity of the hobby, mate, and welcome (again) to the non-GW side of the world!

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    1. Of course, the crying *shame* is that there are several sets of WH rules which are (I guess, 'were'?) well worth exploring, aside from WAB - Great War, LOTOW, Gladiator: all of which I have, and will (continue to) play.

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  10. Good luck on going GW-free

    On a separate note - congrats - you've won the Panzergrenadier HQ in my prize draw. Please let me know where to send it :)

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    1. Oh! Awesome, and thank you!

      Drop me a note at fleetfootmike@gmail.com and I'll wing you an address.

      Delete

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