A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Games Workshop: I am pretty sure we are through.

This really has been a long time coming but I think it has finally hit the point that finished bringing me over the point of no return.

Ok, this recent news is what was the knife that cut the rope I was hanging on over the cliff.

See I got my first GW product in 1991, a copy of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader that was actually a mistake order from a mail order seller when I had in fact ordered the fantasy RPG Warhammer had.  (Not that I would have had ANY chance of playing it at that time.  Even less than now. :( )

I looked at it and fell in love.  I have always been more a Sci Fi fan than a Swords and Sorcery one.  I read it, loved it, but didn't really have much else to do with GW stuff outside of wanting some of the early computer games until 1993-94 when a friend on the Navy ship I was on (the Puget Sound) said he played which was all I needed to have an excuse to hop in.

Come to find out he had like one squad or two and had played maybe half a game of Rogue Trader but oh well.  I got into GW stuff and HARD.  Built up multiple armies, tried nearly every game they had.

Yet even back then some of the rules and procedures and pricing GW did annoyed me.  But... they got worse.

You see I had the luck to mostly play casual folks and in non GW stores so we were basically allowed to do whatever the damn well we wanted.  Any army size, any house rule we wanted, any proxy minis from other manufacturer.  We never had any of the ridiculousness GW store gamers dealt with.

(One group I played with had a HUGE laugh at GW store rules when I had made a pilgrimage to the one store in my area, nearly an hour away.)

The first big strike came in 1998-99 when 3rd edition 40K came out.  The store we had been playing in had taken a mostly hands off approach with us.  We bought stuff and played how we wanted.  We had a great time.  I had even organized a mega game demo for the opening of their second store.  (Whose manager's actions are mostly to blame on it and the home store closing down.)

But when it came out said second store manager and even the owner of both (to a lesser degree) started coming down hard on painted vs unpainted, what types of games we could play, what rules we were allowed to use.  Hell, even if we were allowed to have an OPINION on the new rules!

A group of people who had been playing for over a year basically all quit playing within 3 months.  I was actually one of the first to just give up on it.  (And then took a LOT of my business away from the store.  They clearly weren't interested in my concerns so the only way I could voice myself was to shut up and cut a good 2/3rds of my purchasing from the store out.)

I found another venue I played 40K for 6 months or less, until everyone switched over to one of the absolute worst miniatures games I ever played, Clan Wars.  (2 of us went back to 40K but one moved out of state and that was pretty much that.)

Until roughly 2006-2007 I didn't play much if ever.  A few games with a friend who turned into such an unbearable powergamer I would have rather punched myself in the junk than played him.  The pain would be a lot faster.

I finally got back in with a local scene roughly around the time this blog started.  GW was still doing their same old thing but stuff cost more now.  And the local crowd over time basically ran themselves out by running everyone else out via douchebaggery.  I quit showing up one day and while I sometimes go down for D&D Encounters that group is a mere shadow of their former selves and they maybe show up one week out of two months.

(Being racist to the predominantly black fighting video game players so they would go somewhere else.  Being rude and hateful.  Outright being so cruel and abusive to one 14 year old kid he broke down in TEARS. )

I realized a couple months back I haven't actually played 40K since May 2010.

The store had a sale going on and I wanted the new Chaos Space Marine army book.  Then I saw how much it cost.  50 dollars MSRP.  Yes it was hardback.  But not a couple months back I got equally full color  Warmachine and Hordes rule and army books for less than that hardback, and with even cheaper softback options.  For a MUCH better game.

That was mostly it.  I even stopped reading the 40K novel I was in the middle of.  What little enthusiasm I had left for this company and its products was GONE.

And now this news:


The company whose rules continue to be poorly written and playtested, whose products cost more than much smaller companies do while usually being of lesser quality, who treat their customers, potential business allies, and essential retail partners like crap are now going after anyone they can.

Why do I want to keep buying anything from a company who constantly raises their prices while making new products that effectively make the old all but USELESS?  A company who really only wants kids of rich parents to drop 200 odd dollars and get the hell out so they won't know or complain about things getting worse in spite of the fact customer retention SPREADS THE GAME AND THUS SALES?

A company who has used independent retailers to get inroads into a region then effectively hung them out to dry?  Who is so authoritarian they do their best to make sure you cannot even sell their product online like every other blasted company does?

Why should I put up with this?  GW makes the "Art Project" the primary goal anyhow.  The game?  SIDE BIT AT BEST.  If you read that linked thread you will see experiences worldwide with these bastards.

I really still like the 40K universe.  But in general?  Unless something changes (aka their business plan finally falls apart and some other company ends up buying them out) I won't be buying much of anything from them, nor promoting their stuff.

With games like AT 43 and Warmachine I don't have to.  And it isn't like my old favorites like Necromunda and Space Hulk still can't be played.  Heck, I even felt some glee selling off 2 Fantasy and 2 40K forces over the last few years.  I liked that I was costing Games Workshop a couple hundred dollars in sales while making most of my money back if not more thanks to my cheapskate buying and their continued price hikes.

Those of you sad and pathetic fools that keep enabling GW's actions though?

Shame on you.

GW isn't the "Big Man on Campus" any more.

And companies like Privateer Press are more than happy to pick up all their business.

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/