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View Full Version : Why does LOTR face such hositity from the gaming comunity?



LuciusAR
22-01-2008, 23:36
Firstly I am posting this here as I want to get the general opinion on this matter from a cross section of the community as opposed to the LOTR fanbase hence I think this topic is more suited to here as opposed to the LOTR forum.

Essentially the question is in the topic, LOTR in my experience is often greeting with distain and often downright hostility by much of the more estabished gaming community and I'm honestly curious as to why. Mostly when I ask this question to gamers in person I get a selection of muttering about kids, or too simple rules. Neither of which In my experience are true or necessarily bad things. I'm looking for constructive reasons as to the reasons this game seems to be held in such low regard.

I can accept people not playing the game if it doesn't appeal to them, that's life, but many gamers seem to wish the game ill and want to see it banished from the shelves.

Any input is welcome.

Damien 1427
22-01-2008, 23:43
The fact it's marketed towards the younger end of the spectrum, and apparently played by younger gamers. Because it's rules are far simpler than, say, 40k.

That's broadly it. Even though the former is applicable to any GW product, and the latter isn't a bad thing - I consider the LOTR/LOTOW rules some of the best they've ever produced, and my fondness for it grows. I've even toyed about converting Necromunda (My all-time favourite) and even 40k over, if only to see how they'd play.
However, I'm not a fan of Tolkien at all, so my fascination is solely with the mechanics.

Gamers are people, strangely enough. People do have irriational likes and dislikes, and sometimes just plain don't like something. Especially if there's the old rumours about how LOTR is stealing resources, or WD space, or the New Line contract meant that we couldn't have sales any more.

From Shadows
22-01-2008, 23:46
Most of the gamers i know feel that it takes up GW's resources and time ,that could be spent on 40k an fantasy.Not to mention all the space in white dwarf,that could also go to 40k and fantasy.

warflag
22-01-2008, 23:48
I think itīs because it is not a classical game and itīs a movie license. It stinks to be a rip off for the hype of the films. Simple rules help that feeling and let it appear half-baked. If you play it, be happy. The models are pretty damn cheap on ebay, as seemingly a rather low request exists. I do not share the hostility brought to it.

LuciusAR
22-01-2008, 23:59
Most of the gamers i know feel that it takes up GW's resources and time ,that could be spent on 40k an fantasy.Not to mention all the space in white dwarf,that could also go to 40k and fantasy.

Surely this argument also applys in reverse. Every game takes potential resources away from the others and its only down to personal preference which game is the more worthy. Personally I think GW has the balance between the 3 about right.

If the amount of resorces dedicated to the game is to be determined from profitability to the company then we should not forget that figures frequently show LoTR to outsell WFB. Be careful what you wish for.......

Shadowheart
23-01-2008, 00:02
Because it commits those dreadful crimes of being different and claiming what people like to believe is theirs by right. Turns out the gaming community can suck just as badly as the rest of the world.

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 00:13
I have the impression that a good deal of long-time players of GW's systems are highly conservative when it comes to the dealings of the company. This is reflected in the reactions towards new editions of systems or armybooks/codexes, as well as a suspicions towards new concepts, like new systems (see LotR).

There are a lot of emotions involved, as many have invested a lot more than money into their game, so identification with one's favourite system is rather high. If one just views the animosity between part of the Warhammer and the 40k scene it just comes naturally that a "disturber" is treated even worse. The fact that LotR didn't follow the established way of using the Warhammer engine didn't help, whether GW was forced to do this or not.

So it's no wonder that a lot of things that happended to GW in the past years are occasionally attributed to LotR - like the content of WD, and loss in revenue.

RavenMorpheus
23-01-2008, 00:17
Firstly I am posting this here as I want to get the general opinion on this matter from a cross section of the community as opposed to the LOTR fanbase hence I think this topic is more suited to here as opposed to the LOTR forum.

Essentially the question is in the topic, LOTR in my experience is often greeting with distain and often downright hostility by much of the more estabished gaming community and I'm honestly curious as to why. Mostly when I ask this question to gamers in person I get a selection of muttering about kids, or too simple rules. Neither of which In my experience are true or necessarily bad things. I'm looking for constructive reasons as to the reasons this game seems to be held in such low regard.

I can accept people not playing the game if it doesn't appeal to them, that's life, but many gamers seem to wish the game ill and want to see it banished from the shelves.

Any input is welcome.


Well imo it's aimed at kids and every company who uses the lotr licence only does so to make more money - it's seen as a cash cow and no-one really gives a monkey's ass about the quality of the output just as long as it's ok'd by the tolkien estate.

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 00:23
... every company who uses the lotr licence only does so to make more money - it's seen as a cash cow and no-one really gives a monkey's ass about the quality of the output just as long as it's ok'd by the tolkien estate.
Why would someone not want GW to make money? I mean that is one of their major problems these days, and LotR is helping them sustain their other ranges as well.

As far as I can agree to the notion that an institution should try to stay with a "higher purpose", that seldomly pays. And if anything, GW's LotR products can't be called low quality.

edit :
RavenMorpheus, fair enough

RavenMorpheus
23-01-2008, 00:27
Ok I'll rephrase it - GW jumped on a bandwagon like everyone else does. Of course GW need to make money, but they already had a number of games they could have devoted the resources they've used on lotr to instead they chose to jump on the lotr bandwagon and in doing so kind of neglected it's other systems for a period of time, not totally but just enough for it to appear that lotr was what GW is about.

Fair enough GW branched out, they tried something new, but it was at a time when there was "hype" generated by the films, they wouldn't even bother starting with a new licence such as lotr now would they - no, because there's no hype surrounding it anymore.

The only reason GW took up the licence is as I said because they saw it as an easy way to make a quick buck - I'm surprised they haven't dropped it like they have other sytems they were supporting - the specialist games range springs to mind, but then I have seen an ad for them in WD so there might be hope yet...

GW should be making game systems because it wants to make game systems not just to please the bean counters at the top, which is why they took up the lotr licence in the first place, and if your going to use a licence such as lotr (the grandaddy of all fantasy) don't use it just as a means to make money fast.

LuciusAR
23-01-2008, 00:36
Well imo it's aimed at kids and every company who uses the lotr licence only does so to make more money - it's seen as a cash cow and no-one really gives a monkey's ass about the quality of the output just as long as it's ok'd by the tolkien estate.

Sorry to disagree but if you actually play to game you will see the game is actually anything but half arsed. Its very smooth, free flowing and well balanced game that lacks the legacy issues which frequently bog down 40k and WFB.

The game isn't necessarily aimed at kids however it has acted as an excellent entry point for new blood, a very good thing for the hobby. However the game has ALLOT to offer the veteran community and has a level of complexity and tactical challenge that ofter rivals WFB. However many seem to be to be to proud/bloody minded to give it a go.

In fact your comments seen very typical of the veterans I've met who simply shun the game out of some misguided principle.

Templar Ben
23-01-2008, 00:37
Gamers don't like it because it is different. It doesn't matter that it is better. Being different is enough. I look at LotR and then wonder why GW can't make the other games (WHFB and 40K) as elegant.

Pushing LotR into SG may make sense because it makes WHFB look foolish and immature by comparison. Just as Epic makes 40K look poorly designed.

The fact that the store staff often doesn't know LotR doesn't help the situation.

Nazguire
23-01-2008, 00:40
GW should be making game systems because it wants to make game systems not just to please the bean counters at the top, which is why they took up the lotr licence in the first place, and if your going to use a licence such as lotr (the grandaddy of all fantasy) don't use it just as a means to make money fast.

That's a dumb way of running a business. If you run a business to not make money, you won't make money and thus, you won't have a business. GW and a lot of other companies took on the LotR licence to make money, true. That's why there are action figures, card games, t-shirts, wallets and other merchandise out there with Orlando Bloom's face on it. They all did it to make money to sustain their business.

RavenMorpheus
23-01-2008, 00:52
There is making money, and then there is making money for the sake of greed. GW could have easily carried on making money without jumping on the lotr bandwagon, after all they have survived for what is it, let me see, 25+ years without a lotr game? You don't see the makers of such games as D&D jumping on such bandwagons and they do fine! Well afaik anyways...

GW turn a profit afaik, and the only reason there is doom and gloom about their financial situation is that they aren't making enough of a profit because the bean counters and share holders are greedy a-holes who don't actually care about the fact that GW used to be a producer of a hobby as well as being a business (sweeping generalisation not meant to offend any specific person or persons), these days it's business all the way.

And that's fine if your Tesco or Walmart but GW ain't either of those - is it?

Sorry starting to get tired and going off on a rant :D

Vic
23-01-2008, 00:59
the only backlash i see are from GW grognards, not true wargaming grognards. Remember, when saying "gaming community", you have to differentiate The wargaming community as opposed to the GW wargaming community. GW would have you believe that they are the only wargaming community LOL....

Shadowheart
23-01-2008, 01:06
So where are you pulling the assumption from that nobody at GW gave or gives a toss about LotR as anything beside a way to make money? Tolkien's book is excessively popular and well-loved (although it's hardly the grandaddy of all Fantasy) and the movies were then shaping up to be a huge event, and have since proven to be. If the people at GW care about any of their products, they're (Fantasy) geeks. There's bound to be at least some that genuinely like LotR. A good chunk of Warhammer Fantasy strongly suggests that as well.

RavenMorpheus
23-01-2008, 01:12
So where are you pulling the assumption from that nobody at GW gave or gives a toss about LotR as anything beside a way to make money? Tolkien's book is excessively popular and well-loved (although it's hardly the grandaddy of all Fantasy) and the movies were then shaping up to be a huge event, and have since proven to be. If the people at GW care about any of their products, they're (Fantasy) geeks. There's bound to be at least some that genuinely like LotR. A good chunk of Warhammer Fantasy strongly suggests that as well.

Fair point - I'm not saying that nobody at GW gives two hoots about lotr, and yes obviously WFB takes a lot of it's cues from it but if that is the case why haven't GW done a lotr game before the movies?

Imo (albeit a very jaded anti-greedy-capitalist-world we live in opinion) the bean counters at the top saw the movies coming and thought, hmm great way to make even more profit. To me that is not how a business primarily there to support a hobby for its customers should be run, but then I guess if I was running GW it'd have gone under years ago because it'd only be using it's own licences and the prices would be too low and other such crazy notions...

Ben
23-01-2008, 01:21
GW did do some lotr miniatures in the 80s, and many of the early fantasy miniatures were lotr "inspired" like the balrog...I mean bloodthirster. Bear in mind citadel used to do minis for a lot of licences, including doctor who and judge dredd.

Harlequin had the licence in the 90s, when it wasn't worth much. The films revitalised the IP, gave it a new distinctive look, and provided something GW could do a game off the back of. Because there was a bandwagon, GW could jump on it, but lotr was something GW would always have liked to have done.

Trench_Raider
23-01-2008, 01:34
Why would someone not want GW to make money?

Oh, someone (like me) might not be too fond of GW and wish to see financial harm come to them....

Hey! You asked! :p

TR

Imperialis_Dominatus
23-01-2008, 01:34
LotR? Who said LotR!?!? :wtf:

*foaming mouth*

HULK JACK SPARROW SMASH!:evilgrin:

That's why.:p

Templar Ben
23-01-2008, 01:34
Didn't LotR pay for the plastics technology? I have heard that said on here but I don't know how true it is. Perhaps someone that has gamed longer and comment.

Rodman49
23-01-2008, 01:46
LotR is by far the best game system of the three. I played 40k and Fantasy for 9 years but LotR is just plain better. I'll break it down:

1) It has cooler hero mechanics than Fantasy
2) All your models actually get to do stuff (as opposed to painting of hundreds of models for rank bonus in Fantasy)
3) Has generally well balanced armies (as opposed to 40k)
4) Models in scale (as opposed to the funky heroic thing going on in 40k and Fantasy)
5) Can be played in a fraction of the time (once played an entire campaign in 4 hours one night)
6) Smaller amount of models needed for armies so you end up with a larger variety of minis (IE multiple armies for a fraction of the cost of a single army in Fantasy or 40k)
7) Has a metric crapton of well balanced scenarios (Journeybooks, Sourcebooks, Legions)
8) Can be played in a smaller gaming area if necessary (4x4 as opposed to 4x6)

I don't really even understand how people can stand to play 40k after having been introduced to this system. From a Gaming standpoint it wipes the floor compared to 40k. Much like Damien 1427 my gaming group has been toying around with trying to convert 40k and possibly even Fantasy to the LotR system. We actually are thinking of redoing Warhammer Quest with the LotR mechanics also.

Ironbreaker
23-01-2008, 02:21
Regarding jumping on the bandwagon, did GW not produce Dr Who figures at one point?
Actually, they produced a few figures like Judge Dredd, AFAIK. I admit, it's a lot different to a whole other game.

Perhaps part of the aggression is because of this image people have of a declining GW. WHFB and 40K have been around for a good while so it's easier to blame the newcomer.

I agree with the whole lack of focus complaint. I don't play 40K but I like reading about the fluff and the seeing new models come out. I just don't really have an interest in LotR and would rather see the other two IPs receive all of the attention but that's just me being selfish!

CapitanGuinea
23-01-2008, 08:51
In my personal opinion, I hate Lotr because absorbed resources destined to Specialist Games, my favorite ones...

Osbad
23-01-2008, 08:51
The fact it's marketed towards the younger end of the spectrum, and apparently played by younger gamers. Because it's rules are far simpler than, say, 40k.

"Marketed towards the younger end of the spectrum"?

Hogwash!

It may be that many kids found LotR more accessible than LotR because they'd seen the film and could identify with the milieu, whereas they didn't know a Space Marine from Adam. Also of course BGiME was understood to be for kids - which it may have been for the first few issues in that it took players from level zero. But by issue 20 or so it was presenting projects that were definitely aimed at very competent gamers and modellers.

In fact LotR was actively marketed at adults, at the historical crowd for instance - with adverts taken out in Wargames Illustrated etc.

My personal take is that many 40k players, including many that wore red (or blue) shirts are small-minded and resented something new they didn't understand or ask for coming into their playground. The equivalent of the playground bully picking on the new kid in the class. Simple as.

That may come off harsh, but as someone who had come back to GW after a 13 year absence in 2002, purely because of LotR, and then did the rounds of the stores getting the brush-off in every single one from pig-ignorant 40k'ers that infested the stores back then, I have a hefty chip on my shoulder! The (then) staff at the Metro Centre store even cancelled a LotR painting competition - the only LotR-related event of the year at that store in 2003 (forget any gaming, you just were never allowed to get hold of a table), because "they couldn't be bothered" to run it as they found the Eye of Terror campaign a more interesting use of their time.(quoted from a staffer who I asked why the advertised event had been cancelled. He's now long gone from the store, as are all the other staffers who were around at the time. Yet, strangely, I and now my 2 boys, are still here, still playing...)

Fortunately, as the game has run the race, and is an established presence with (at least at my local stores) as decent a gaming presence (thanks to many young teenage players who stuck it out) this imbalance will address itself.

Sadly, there's no answer to ignorance other than education. And simply put, many of the less socially adept 40k'ers are just too bigoted and small minded to ever take an education!

[/rant]

Osbad
23-01-2008, 08:58
In my personal opinion, I hate Lotr because absorbed resources destined to Specialist Games, my favorite ones...

And why would you think that? LotR has absolutely nothing to do with the demise of SG. That was down to low sales which long predated 2001 and anything to do with LotR, not the rise of LotR at all.

Yet another misconception based on malicious speculation and no evidence whatsoever.

Have you ever spoken to any SG staff in person? I have. At length back in 2004 before the Fanatic studio got the axe. SG had been whithering on the vine for years and was only kept alive because of the passion (as opposed to rational business sense) of the staff at GW.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 09:05
I agree with the whole lack of focus complaint. I don't play 40K but I like reading about the fluff and the seeing new models come out. I just don't really have an interest in LotR and would rather see the other two IPs receive all of the attention but that's just me being selfish!

Now finally, an opinion I can respect.

If its not your bag, then fair enough, I can respect that. There are many games by many companies that are not my cup of tea either!

Thank you for being self-aware enough to realise it is purely a matter of personal taste as to which game you find "better".

Pretending that there is some hidden conspiracy that means that GW nerfed your favourite game BECAUSE they were pimping LotR is just rationalisation of a prejudice. Sure LotR may have been a distraction for busy creative staff, but there were still massive resources being put into 40k and WFB, much more than exists now for instance, thanks to recent redundancies. In fact LotR didn't even result in a reduction in page count in WD - they expanded the magazine to accommodate extra stuff back then, and in fact in many months WD gave the extra pages to 40k and WFB leaving LotR with little more than a couple of adverts!

40k'ers, do me the favour of realising that you "dislike LotR" because you simply don't like it. Don't pretend there is anything more behind it, because if you ever take the time to look for the evidence behind such beliefs, it simply isn't there. And simply put, hating something because its different has a name, and its not a very nice one...

Osbad
23-01-2008, 09:08
Well imo it's aimed at kids and every company who uses the lotr licence only does so to make more money - it's seen as a cash cow and no-one really gives a monkey's ass about the quality of the output just as long as it's ok'd by the tolkien estate.


*sighs*

So this "lack of quality" would be seen in the rules sets that have been widely critically acclaimed, and adopted into many other genres by the historical gaming community...

This would also extend to the figures sculpted by the Perry twins and Brian Nelson, which again, have been widely acknowledged as some of the best that GW have ever produced...

Or maybe even to the background "fluff" which was written by an author of world reknown, rather than a semi-literate hack like GS Goto...

Come on guy, try harder than that to rationalise your ill-informed prejudice. Or is it because you are too grown up to realise that you are living in a 40k ghetto devoid of any evidence that doesn't conform to the deviations of your closed mind?

Axel
23-01-2008, 09:28
LoTR is a good system. I like it, but I do not play it.

GW simply HAD to go for the licence because a fantasy TTG based on LoTR is bound to canibalize WFB. It would have made a perfect entry point for another company into the market.

Apart from that, there are (or used to be) lots of people in GW who like LoTR. Gaining a licence to produce miniatures for that background was an option not to miss. Anyway, the way they use (and abuse) the background for "cool" and "fantastic" miniatures they should stay on the TT-market and not stride further towards the collectors market, or the Tolkien Estate will withdraw GWs licence sooner or later - they are very unlucky with any "addons" to Tolkiens world (just lookup what happened to ICEs licence for RPGs).

The casual gamers rejection is based upon several subjective perceptions, mainly that LoTR draws resources from the other (and loved) core games. To some degree this is true. When was the last time that the Perrys made a miniature for WFB?
It also correlates with a strong downswing in the quality of White Dwarf, who has transformed from a hobby mazazine to an advertisement - in addition to the loss of pages to LoTR. Some blame this on LoTR, too. Add in the natural resistance to move from a known and loved background and system to something new, and you know why LotR is not a favourite in the 40k and WFB communities.

Nazguire
23-01-2008, 09:50
There is making money, and then there is making money for the sake of greed. GW could have easily carried on making money without jumping on the lotr bandwagon, after all they have survived for what is it, let me see, 25+ years without a lotr game? You don't see the makers of such games as D&D jumping on such bandwagons and they do fine! Well afaik anyways...

GW turn a profit afaik, and the only reason there is doom and gloom about their financial situation is that they aren't making enough of a profit because the bean counters and share holders are greedy a-holes who don't actually care about the fact that GW used to be a producer of a hobby as well as being a business (sweeping generalisation not meant to offend any specific person or persons), these days it's business all the way.

And that's fine if your Tesco or Walmart but GW ain't either of those - is it?

Sorry starting to get tired and going off on a rant :D

Every business turns a profit (as long as they arent going under...you get my point) and always wishes to make more. Any manager of a business, big or small, that says "Enoughs enough, we're making enough money, lets not worry too much about money any more" will get trumped by competition right quick. Especially in entertainment markets where numerous patents doesn't mean squat and the competition will come out with similar products in a month.

The reason that D and D don't get on the 'LotR bandwagon' is that being a wargame (role-playing whatever) they would have to fight GW tooth and bloody nail to get hold of the licence.

And no, they aren't making enough of a profit if you look at their numbers. They aren't trying to get the 'bean-counters' at the top a solid gold yacht. They are trying to make a profit to survive and thrive as a business...like most businesses.

Where did you get this no business needs to make more money then necessary? If this were the 80s you'd be locked up as a Red.

dancingmonkey
23-01-2008, 09:58
part of me likes it, part of me can't stand it...

The problem for me is due to working for GW over the LOTR hype period. Having it rammed down your throat when all you wanted to do was help promote WH and SPecialist games (both of which were low sellers in the store) didn't help.

I do like the models a lot (despite scale issues between metal and plastic) but I wish they had gone to a more unit based game when the new rules were released. I find the heroic rules are interesting, but ultimately a little flawed, especially as hero points run out rather fast.

Shooting tends to be fairly useless (except elves!) I'm sure people can shoot this down a hundred times, but its my experience so hey ho. I played uruks and Rohan, both of whom were fairly tricky to use... take from that what you will

We had a good patch with the warband rules when a lot of our necro players got on board, but ultimately it sold to kids and collectors.

The diversity of the raange is getting rather good, but I do feel the bottom of the barrel is starting to be apporached in terms of obscure references being made into units.

Ultimately they game doesn't fully reflect the mass combat of the films. I want to see thousands of orcs vs thousands of elves but the mechanics don't work brilliantly in that respect...

So I play WH!

Son of Morkai
23-01-2008, 10:47
People hate LotR because it doesn't have Space Marines. :p

Seriously, I'd say most people dislike it because it's "cool" to hate it. Either because it stole resources or it's a game for children or whatever silly reason they can think of, but mostly because it's not their game.

I LOVE some of the mechanics in the game, particularly the might points. What I wouldn't give for being able to boost my Wolf Lord's armor save roll like that... but there are two things I dislike about the game. 1) Not enough players. I can't walk in to my game store with a box of Uruk-hai and just play a game. 2) The universe is too predetermined. I don't feel like I can paint up my warriors of Minis Tirith in whatever color scheme I want, quite unlike Space Marines or Skaven. I like having room to fiddle and feel that my army is really my own, and there's not enough space in the LotR universe for me to make that Gold and Pink Minis Tirith army. I know this is silly, but it's how I feel.

LuciusAR
23-01-2008, 11:04
part of me likes it, part of me can't stand it...

The problem for me is due to working for GW over the LOTR hype period. Having it rammed down your throat when all you wanted to do was help promote WH and SPecialist games (both of which were low sellers in the store) didn't help.

Quite the opposite in my experience, LOTR was hyped at the start but no more so than say apocalypse is now, but after around 6 months LOTR had already become a ginger stepchild in the eyes most gamers I knew. Even the local stores full timers (at which I was a key timer) only pushed it at the orders of higher up.


I do like the models a lot (despite scale issues between metal and plastic) but I wish they had gone to a more unit based game when the new rules were released. I find the heroic rules are interesting, but ultimately a little flawed, especially as hero points run out rather fast.

Thats one of the key aspects of the game, Heroes can turn the tide but only when used sensibly. If they had points to burn this would take the edge of the game very quickly.


Shooting tends to be fairly useless (except elves!) I'm sure people can shoot this down a hundred times, but its my experience so hey ho. I played uruks and Rohan, both of whom were fairly tricky to use... take from that what you will

Not necessarily a bad thing, shooting can often be a little too effective in WFB. Its good that in LOTR regardless of how tooled up you are with ranged weapons all you can effectively do is harrass and disrupt. This strikes a nice balance between shooting and H2H and stops players from forming 'gunlines' which are the bane of WFB.


We had a good patch with the warband rules when a lot of our necro players got on board, but ultimately it sold to kids and collectors.

The diversity of the raange is getting rather good, but I do feel the bottom of the barrel is starting to be apporached in terms of obscure references being made into units.

Fair enough I suppose. But I do like the fact that GW have attempted to make each 'faction' playable in its own right as opposed to the hotch potch 'good' and 'evil' factions that the game started with and to GW's credit that these have all sofar been very well done and have kept the flavor of the films look whilst remaining loyal to Tolkiens' writings. A very difficult balancing act by anyones standards.

If you look at the BFME games for the PC you will see and example of how 'not' to expand Tolkien's world.


Ultimately they game doesn't fully reflect the mass combat of the films. I want to see thousands of orcs vs thousands of elves but the mechanics don't work brilliantly in that respect...

So I play WH!

Nor should it, GW already have a mass combat game. Why attempt to create another? Instead GW found a niche within its products in terms of scale of battles which just happened to suit the heroic aspects of the LOTR story down to the ground, and bravo for that.

LOTR is certainly not a cheap cash cow its a game just as valid is its siblings. That its based of a license is neither hear nor there. Most of the negativity Ive seen in this thread sofar has done nothing but reinforce my inital point that most of the games hatred is irrational and based on nothing more than a misguided sense of loyalty to the other games, which have actually done very well off LOTR's back.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 11:06
The casual gamers rejection is based upon several subjective perceptions, mainly that LoTR draws resources from the other (and loved) core games. To some degree this is true. When was the last time that the Perrys made a miniature for WFB?

Again, this is based on misinformation. The facts are that it was totally the Perry twins' CHOICE to focus on LotR. They are self-employed contractors and don't have to do anything they don't want to do. Add in the fact that Citadel and Foundry both owe a lot to them for their support in hard times, and essentially you end up with a situation where the Perries work on whatever they want to, and other sculptors get the rest. If the Perry twins WANTED to sculpt Space Marines they'd do it, but they choose not to. How is that LotR's fault? Is it somehow the game and it's players' fault that some talented sculptors prefer its iconography?


It also correlates with a strong downswing in the quality of White Dwarf, who has transformed from a hobby mazazine to an advertisement - in addition to the loss of pages to LoTR. Some blame this on LoTR, too.

And they are wrong to do so. LotR's inclusion in WD long predates its disintigration into an uninteresting catalogue. There is absolutely no correlation, not even coincidental between the two issues.


Add in the natural resistance to move from a known and loved background and system to something new, and you know why LotR is not a favourite in the 40k and WFB communities.

Well, we agree on this, and the first two paragraphs that I didn't quote.

"Hating LotR" is solely something that derives from the mentality and preferences of the players, not from the LotR game or its players itself.

I have no argument with anyone who prefers one system over another. I happen to prefer LotR over 40k and WFB because of my own predilictions. I also happen to prefer Warmachine and AT-43 to all three. But I don't "hate" 40k because of that. I merely resent the unacceptable behaviours of certain immature players of that game - who choose to blame non-existant externalisms for their own prejudices! Maybe its because they feel they are somehow in a "Majority"? I certainly don't experience the irrational and misconceived hatred of LotR from players who's preferred game is WFB or Warmachine... But then maybe that is because they have experienced their own prejudices at the hands of players of the "world's most best-selling sci-fi wargame"?

To all prejudiced 40k'ers out there: "Might does not make right". Just because you are in a majority doesn't make your poorly researched opinions any more relevant than those of the minority who prefer other games...

To you all I point out this simple fact, that means you should LOVE Lotr not HATE it: Without the revenue from the LotR bubble, GW would not have had the surplus cash to invest in their CAD design and plastics pantography equipment. And guess who have been the main beneficiaries of that new equipment? Not LotR who have less demanding plastics in their ranges, but 40k and WFB who have complicated plastic kits at the centre of their games...! If it hadn't been for the profits from LotR reinvested in new plastics technology that made it possible and cost-effective, there would be no Baneblade! So how do you like them apples?

madden
23-01-2008, 11:21
I dont mind it to much i love the minis they are excellent sculps why cant the other systems have there detail, the down sise is time to play as to me the play style is slow with lots of detail which i tend to forget,as for going at the younger player i findthe basics are fine for all.as you progres in the rules the deatail comes(see before).

Ward.
23-01-2008, 11:25
IMHO it's the lotr fans, like a single redshirt can turn you off of gw stores a single lotr player that runs around telling everyone how much better the different rules system is and how everybody that doesn't play lotr is wasting money on a completely dodgey rules system...

Personally I don't like, it has more to do with the example I gave, when my foster moms "nephew" got into it, but the "game play" rules annoy me as well, they seem more designed to give the impression of a cinematic battle rather then a chance to challenge a mate over an afternoon.


EDIT: Although I will admit that buying the IP was a pretty good idea, just wish fantasy had gotten more of the love.

Bookwrak
23-01-2008, 11:37
Fair point - I'm not saying that nobody at GW gives two hoots about lotr, and yes obviously WFB takes a lot of it's cues from it but if that is the case why haven't GW done a lotr game before the movies?

Imo (albeit a very jaded anti-greedy-capitalist-world we live in opinion) the bean counters at the top saw the movies coming and thought, hmm great way to make even more profit. To me that is not how a business primarily there to support a hobby for its customers should be run, but then I guess if I was running GW it'd have gone under years ago because it'd only be using it's own licences and the prices would be too low and other such crazy notions...

See, this is why the hate is so bizarre. Why doesn't he like LotR? He can't really say. He has no rational reason to back it up, so he makes up whatever justification he can to try and make his stance seem a little less irrational. The whole attitude really defies description, especially since, 'A property was hot, and GW took the oppurtunity to make an awesome game and make a lot of money on it,' is a spot on summary of the whole situation. I dare someone to come up with a premise as to how any part of that could be considered bad.

captain_bas
23-01-2008, 11:38
The release of the LotR rules was the first time I actually realised Rick Priestley was a genius among Games Designers.

The LotR game mechanics, far from being 'simple' and 'aimed at beginners', offer the most convincing wargame simulation and tactical challenge I have ever seen. Rather than abstracting elements such as the effect of numbers, the importance of flanking, and psychology, all of these are represented totally accurately on a 1-1 basis for every model.

Rather than two perfectly flat regiments lining up to have a pop at each other until one breaks, the LotR system perfectly replicates the ebb-and-flow of a real battle. Because the game is determined by pairing off individuals to fight, (albeit some with the assitance of nearby speamen andthe like) where some ends of the line might do better than others, might start to give way and crumble, and pockets and salients appear in the line and need to be plugged by reinforcements.

More importantly, player-determined unit formations come into play, rather than simplifying down to just ranks bonuses. Testament to the realism of such a system is that in straight up fight, an organised, defensive line of Gondorians can hold off double their numbers of orcs, whereas when they break formation and go one on-one (or worse!) in a cloud-like formation, they fold fast. This exactly replicates the strategic values adhered to by the Romans.

And for those of you who have said archery is useless - it depends. If you're firing bows into a thick mass of guys covered in armour, carrying shields, then you are doing it wrong. Just like in real-life, if you fire at unarmoured lads running across open ground, you're going to do some damage (which in the game, you will - the decimation you can cause by firing elven bows into a horde of Wild Men of Dunland is disgusting!). But if you fire at a squadron of well-armoured guys or guys with shields, you'll get (at the risk of using pop-culture as an example) the same situation as you did in 300 where Leonidas and his chaps just stick their shields in the way and don't get hit.

Then you have Heroes, oh my good god little baby Jesus how I love heroes. These guys were just the icing on a sweet candy cake for me. Not only do they have superior fighting abilities, but they also tire and become less effective as the game goes on! The hero points system is difficult to master, but when yu do, it becomes a massive force-multiplier for heroes. they can deal out disproportionate damage against basic troops, and rightly so. for a game based on an epic movie where heroes are the focus, this is entirely appropriate. And yet, despite this, it still doesn't make heroes the outrageous monsters they are in 40k and fantasy, where basic troops are ridden down like grass without any effort.

In LotR, when a hero is tired (they have used up all their points and are low on wounds), they become very vulnerable. Not so in the other games, where heroes remain fresh-faced and sprightly to the bitter end.

A lot of people also complain about the fighting system being too 'random', with too much being decided on the roll of a dice. Well guess what, it is. An orc could beat Aragorn, on a very lucky day. But guess what, he barely ever would. The mere fact that heroes and better warriors roll multiple fight dice depending on how many attacks they have removes any complaint that combat is too 'simple'. That's before we even take Hero points, assisting attacks and the effects of magic into account.

At the risk of sounding inflammatory anyone who says LotR is 'too simple' a system has no idea what they are talking about. LotR is the most tactical, least abstracted, and most realistic of GW's games (with the exception of Legends of the Old West, which uses the same rules).

More to the point, anyone who says LotR 'takes away resources' has no idea what they are talking about. Thanks to the massive cash influx from LotR, GW has been able to invest heavily in better technologies and production methodologies, meaning that more product is being released for the other two ranges than it was before LotR was even considered.

And the whole 'LotR killed Specialist Games' argument is specious. I worked in both Direct Sales and at Warhammer World for several years, and the real problem with Specialist Games was that no one bought any. For every Blood Bowl team or Battlefleet Gothic ship I sold, I sold a hundred boxes or Riders of Rohan or Uruk-hai. SG star is declining because it is no longer popular enough, and does not generate enough revenue, to warrant any studio attention.

If anyone wants to debate any of these points, that would be awesome, I love a chat. Do it here if you want or PM me if there's a risk we might drift off-topic.

cheers,

CB.

reds8n
23-01-2008, 12:00
I don't have any problems with GW having the LOTR license or producing the minis, indeed I suspect that without the income from this over the last few years GW would either be in more trouble than they are now or in the same situation a few years ago.

I think many of the minis look ace... that Balrog looks quite funky considering the forthcoming demon books...

Which nicely takes me onto what I think is a big gripe : there really, due to scale and the unique look of the rings stuff, no cross compatibility with the other games. You see the flagellants and you think I could use part X Y Z for this or that.

With regards to the content in WD... well, going by the last issue, a lot of the more interesting articles are in fact about the LOTR and it's supplements.

I wonder if this is simply because they are new ? I've never read anything about Harad, Mordor orcs etc etc, whilst, much as I would prefer a decent and original new article about marines or dwarfs whatever I think that;s going to be really hard to do as so much has been said about them already.

This last point could be changed of course by displaying a willingness to advance the story/timeline but that's another thread.

Nazguire
23-01-2008, 12:27
And the whole 'LotR killed Specialist Games' argument is specious. I worked in both Direct Sales and at Warhammer World for several years, and the real problem with Specialist Games was that no one bought any. For every Blood Bowl team or Battlefleet Gothic ship I sold, I sold a hundred boxes or Riders of Rohan or Uruk-hai. SG star is declining because it is no longer popular enough, and does not generate enough revenue, to warrant any studio attention.

cheers,

CB.

If you don't support a system you won't sell any. Specialist Games has drifted into obscurity because GW stopped supporting it. I know myself and many others would jump at the chance to play a fully supported Battlefleet Gothic games system, but unfortunately GW doesnt support it.

Your'e right in saying that it doesn't warrant any developer attention because it doesn't sell, but in order for people to start playing this potential cash-cow (which, admittedly, BFG is. After all, they have the infantry games, I'm sure people would love to step up and start playing the space battle) it needs support in its retailers. Which it aint getting (have you seen the Dark Eldar BFG range? Or the Necrons for that matter. One has two ships, the other has an army list and nothing else.)

Tonberry
23-01-2008, 12:31
It could just be jealousy, as, for a lower price, LotR players get far more models :'(

Patriarch
23-01-2008, 12:47
My take on the anti-LOTR theme:

1) LOTR used and requires miniatures which are on a completely different scale to existing players' minis. Many (including me) decided they didn't want to collect another set of minis which could not be combined with their current armies or used in other games. So they never got to play the game, and I suspect that most of them would have enjoyed it.

2) LOTR sort-of-coincides with GW dropping support for SG. Once SG was kicked out of WD, it wasn't too much of a big deal as the games were supported by other mags. Once these were also dropped, there was...nothing. Meanwhile WD was made up entirely of the three big games. So some SG players regard LOTR like Mummy's new boyfriend being brought into the house when she and Daddy split up.

3) Still on the SG theme, we see the support the game gets (including new miniatures and rulebooks) several years after the last film came out. And it's been a few years since LOTR's new output had much to do with Tolkein or the film. Do the books or film ever name the king of Harad, for instance? Meanwhile, other games get nowt.

4) Epic used to be the third core game. Thanks to GW getting the 3rd edition so spectacularly wrong, it lost its position and looks like it will never get it back.

5) WFB and WH40K players jealous of another game impinging on their turf in terms of support & coverage. Case in point, Feb WD, which is quite LOTR heavy but has nothing substantial for the other two. Although "substantial" is a relative term for anything in WD these days.

6) Perceptions of it being a "kid's" game, cashing in, etc etc etc.

That's about it. I've never played LOTR, but I'm sure its a really good game based on what players say about it, rather than sniping from embittered people who've never had a go. Plus if a game sells well, of course it will be supported with minis and coverage. GW would have been mad not to make the most of the opportunity.

Having said that, I love epic and SH, so it's hard not to feel a *little* resentful. SG players have a well-developed paranoid conspiracy theory about how SG was actually doing very well when it was pulled.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 13:22
If you don't support a system you won't sell any. Specialist Games has drifted into obscurity because GW stopped supporting it. I know myself and many others would jump at the chance to play a fully supported Battlefleet Gothic games system, but unfortunately GW doesnt support it.

Your'e right in saying that it doesn't warrant any developer attention because it doesn't sell, but in order for people to start playing this potential cash-cow (which, admittedly, BFG is. After all, they have the infantry games, I'm sure people would love to step up and start playing the space battle) it needs support in its retailers. Which it aint getting (have you seen the Dark Eldar BFG range? Or the Necrons for that matter. One has two ships, the other has an army list and nothing else.)

The problem is that GW used to "support" all the SG - at one point they had a magazine each. The problem was that they never sold in the quantities that justified that level of support, or even really paid for it, let alone turned a profit. So rather than flog a dead horse (or several dead horses) they got junked - back in 2004 wasn't it? Long before the "LotR bubble burst" of May 2005 anyhow. GW tried "supporting" them, but the returns on that investment weren't there. Bottom line, games like Epic, BFG, Inquisitor etc., just don't generate the "metal tail" (as it used to be called, "plastic tail" nowadays more like!) that 40k, WFB and LotR do. Simple as. As well as the lack of general interest in the different scales, there isn't the "need" to army-build with those games anywhere to the same extent as the "Core" games. And GW need to make those MASSIVE returns in order to justify the initial investment.

Look at it this way. You have Ģ100 to invest. You can invest it in one bank account earning 5% interest or in another one earning 50%. Which do you choose?

Turning that into GW terms, they spent Ģ1.1m on "product development" in the 6 months just passed. And they could barely afford that (they spent Ģ1.4m in the equivalent previous period). If they invested that in a "lesser interest" game like BFG and the rest, would they see that money back? I think not.

GW have limited amounts of money they can invest. So they aren't going to invest it in games that HAVE DEMONSTRATED that they don't earn large returns when they have the opportunity to invest it in games that do.

Much as it pains me to say it, SG just didn't wash their faces even with support from the top. There's no incentive to push good money after bad once the signs start showing you you're wasting your time.

Now I say this as a player of BFG, Epic and LotR. I love all three games, but there's no way I'm going to go overboard on the SG because the games just don't lend themselves that way. Much as it pains me to admit it! LotR sold many times the levels of SG. Now I appreciate it was promoted more than SG ever was, but that was only because it justified that level of support. BGiME was the best selling partwork that DeAgostini ever made. EVER. LotR sold phenomenally, and it was a no-brainer to invest in. It's simply no comparison to any SG. However much loved they are by the few that play them.

It's like saying BBC1 and ITV should show the kinds of programmes that are shown on Sky Three. Now, much as I like "Brainiac", there's no way it could justify taking up a slot of Eastenders. Its a direct analogy!

Curufew
23-01-2008, 13:31
Well I mainly a 40K and fantasy player and have no LOTR army but I don't hate LoTR at all. Here at the reasons why.

1.Their models look fantastic. I'm tired of those heroic scale models that both 40K and fantasy ranges have.

2. From what I heard and read, the rules are very interesting compared to the bland and dull 40K and the very rigid and inflexible Fantasy.

Kettu
23-01-2008, 13:33
I really like the LotR game, its far simpler to pick up and makes for quicker games then WFB or 40K with just as much stratergy involved.

However the Sisters of Battle, Dark Eldar, Slanash and Wood Elves own my very soul and I just can't afford anything past that.

I do own Tom Bombadil, Goldberry and Shelob though and every now and again I take them to battle at my local GW store.

Keravin
23-01-2008, 13:36
There is making money, and then there is making money for the sake of greed. GW could have easily carried on making money without jumping on the lotr bandwagon, after all they have survived for what is it, let me see, 25+ years without a lotr game? You don't see the makers of such games as D&D jumping on such bandwagons and they do fine! Well afaik anyways...

You really do give away your lack of experience with GW and the hobby in general.

You'll be forgetting the LOTR GW previous range.
You'll be forgetting the Judge Dredd and Doctor Who GW ranges and games.

You also don't know anything about WOTC who jump more bandwagons than Evil Kneivel with their Star Wars and other licences.

TheBigBadWolf
23-01-2008, 13:42
My take on the anti-LOTR theme:

1) LOTR used and requires miniatures which are on a completely different scale to existing players' minis. Many (including me) decided they didn't want to collect another set of minis which could not be combined with their current armies or used in other games. So they never got to play the game, and I suspect that most of them would have enjoyed it.

2) LOTR sort-of-coincides with GW dropping support for SG. Once SG was kicked out of WD, it wasn't too much of a big deal as the games were supported by other mags. Once these were also dropped, there was...nothing. Meanwhile WD was made up entirely of the three big games. So some SG players regard LOTR like Mummy's new boyfriend being brought into the house when she and Daddy split up.

3) Still on the SG theme, we see the support the game gets (including new miniatures and rulebooks) several years after the last film came out. And it's been a few years since LOTR's new output had much to do with Tolkein or the film. Do the books or film ever name the king of Harad, for instance? Meanwhile, other games get nowt.

4) Epic used to be the third core game. Thanks to GW getting the 3rd edition so spectacularly wrong, it lost its position and looks like it will never get it back.

5) WFB and WH40K players jealous of another game impinging on their turf in terms of support & coverage. Case in point, Feb WD, which is quite LOTR heavy but has nothing substantial for the other two. Although "substantial" is a relative term for anything in WD these days.

6) Perceptions of it being a "kid's" game, cashing in, etc etc etc.

That's about it. I've never played LOTR, but I'm sure its a really good game based on what players say about it, rather than sniping from embittered people who've never had a go. Plus if a game sells well, of course it will be supported with minis and coverage. GW would have been mad not to make the most of the opportunity.

Having said that, I love epic and SH, so it's hard not to feel a *little* resentful. SG players have a well-developed paranoid conspiracy theory about how SG was actually doing very well when it was pulled.

You have summed up my ideas aswell, i dont care what osbad says money was diverted to lord of the rings that should have been spent on SG, 40k, WFB. and as for the coverage in wd its shocking, i remember there was once 9 pages of 40k and like 50 for lotr, and you are trying to tell me that the money spent there wasnt diverted from somewhere else. GW shafted SG for Lotr. If they had put some inverstment into SG, more models, (not even more models but keeping some in production), rules, articles etc instead of Lotr they would not be in the state they are now. I remember when epic was the third core game and it was a better time for 40k and WFB

Osbad
23-01-2008, 13:50
... i dont care what osbad says ...

Fair enough, live in your own fact-free, self-opinionated bubble then.

Do you care about what someone who was actually working at the hub of GW while those changes were going on says though? If so read this post: http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2287585#post2287585

On the other hand you could carry on perpetuating a completely untrue and unsupported opinion....

Personally I like to follow the evidence and listen to the opinions of those that actually can support what they say with historical facts, but each to their own!

Adept
23-01-2008, 14:02
I have the impression that a good deal of long-time players of GW's systems are highly conservative

You got that right. I don't know what the word for 'an irrational fear of change' is, but GW gamers seem to have it in plague proportions.

Every new codex, every new army book, every new supplement and every new edition is greeted with an overwhelming tidal wave of complaints, fears, moans and groans.

"Oh, why did they do that? I can't believe they did this! They've lost me as a customer! I'm selling all my models! GW are so stupid! They've ruined my favourite game! Woe is me!"

As such, it's only to be expected that new games given a decent stall in the GW stable will be given the cold shoulder. It's new, it's different, and that means it's evil and should be shunned.

TheBigBadWolf
23-01-2008, 14:08
Fair enough, live in your own fact-free, self-opinionated bubble then.

Do you care about what someone who was actually working at the hub of GW while those changes were going on says though? If so read this post: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4253849.stm

On the other hand you could carry on perpetuating a completely untrue and unsupported opinion....

Personally I like to follow the evidence and listen to the opinions of those that actually can support what they say with historical facts, but each to their own!

That link is so mature:rolleyes:

look the energy for Lotr came from somewhere and it was SG

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 14:17
While I do appreciate the quality of the Specialist Games (Mordheim being an exception, but that's a personal ;) ), I doubt that Specialist Games would have had the impact that LotR had. So even if (a big if here), GW promoted LotR over SGs, I think it was the better economic decision.

During the golden LotR-years, I doubt many new players would have looked into starting any of GW's systems while another company would have hyped up a LotR game.

Regardless of what could have been instead of LotR, not having LotR would have seriously hurt GW.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 14:20
That link is so mature:rolleyes:

look the energy for Lotr came from somewhere and it was SG

Oops! Sorry for any offence caused! I cut and pasted the wrong link from my browser...

I meant this one: http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2287585#post2287585

I've amended my original post now. Mea culpa mea maxima culpa!

A senior moment...

Osbad
23-01-2008, 14:24
While I do appreciate the quality of the Specialist Games (Mordheim being an exception, but that's a personal ;) ), I doubt that Specialist Games would have had the impact that LotR had. So even if (a big if here), GW promoted LotR over SGs, I think it was the better economic decision.

During the golden LotR-years, I doubt many new players would have looked into starting any of GW's systems while another company would have hyped up a LotR game.

Regardless of what could have been instead of LotR, not having LotR would have seriously hurt GW.

Good point, well made. My own supplementary point is that the profits from LotR back in 2004 were so huge that they could still easily have afforded to promote the loss-making SG range if they had wanted to. Instead they bought new plastics manufacturing tooling kit.

There never was a choice made between LotR and SG. If SG had had the faintest chance of producing a profit then they would have continued to support them irrespective of LotR. It wasn;t an "either/or" choice. If there was any "competition" for resources it was between tooling up the plastics technology or keeping printing Fanatic magazine, which only ever sold a relative handful of copies... Forcing stores to back SG's would have been a waste of time as it was clear the market for those games was just not there in the volumes GW needed.

And I will champion my sources for that opinion (several GW staff members, as well as over 20 year's training and practice in project evaluation techniques) over TBBW's uninformed opinion any day of the week ...:P

Tazok
23-01-2008, 14:37
Tom Kirby himself admits that GW neglected 40K and Fantasy in favor of LOTR.

"We have not been paying enough attention to the hobbyists."

"We need to get back to our bread and butter,'' said Tom Kirby, chairman and chief executive of Games Workshop.

"It was all a bit too easy. We forgot the basic skills,'' said Mr Kirby who blames the bubble caused by the Lord of the Rings for the group's current woes.

From the The Daily Telegraph (LONDON) January 6, 2007 Saturday--article is titled, Retail Games Workshop 'forgot its core market'

explorator
23-01-2008, 14:44
I do not know one person who plays LotR, and I have never seen anyone buy a LotR model or rulebook. GW paid a significant amount for the LotR licence and put themselves in the postion where it has to pay-off, no matter what. Game designers, figure sculptors and painters, etc. were put on the LotR project after being pulled from other areas. GW has made LotR into a large game system which has a loyal fan-base. I am hostile towards LotR because I play Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, Necromunda, Mordhiem, and Blood Bowl, all of which have suffered in the LotR 'era'. SG are now an afterthought at best. GW continues expanding the LotR universe by making entire armies avialable that are only mentioned in the books/movies in passing, while the games I love are marginalized. I cannot imagine a circumstance where I would play LotR, so I have no interest in all the coverage in White Dwarf, it is just so much wasted space. If I want LotR background I re-read the books. :)

Binabik15
23-01-2008, 14:51
This link was painfull! She wanted to...err.

I have to admit, that I also highly disliked the LotR game and most of itīs miniatures and the amount of attention it received BUT thatīs mainly becaus I was really, really disappointed with the LotR trilogy ad how much time Iīve wasted on it. Reading those 2,5 books was a chore (I didnīt finish the third, something I hardly do) and not rewarding at all.

They were so hyped at the time and I had planned to read them for years, basically from starting WHFB LotR was always in the back of my mind and everyone online and eve some people that I knew waxed on and on how good those books were, even if they normally disliked fantasy.

I hated every page of it and could not believe how people were not only able to read this, but also LIKE it when so much better fantasy literature is available. Even the stuff that "ripped-off" LotR (which itself is oh so original and totally awesome, yeah) was miles better.

So when page after page of WD was filled with this stuff and every conversation about models or Warhammer or literature or movies ended with people trying to tell just how awesome LotR was, I basically wanted them to spontaneously combust!

I liked some of the models like Uruks, the rider guys from the horse nation that were dead cheap, the trolls are ace, the elephant thing, the Balrog and the goblins, I liked the fact that Alessio was busy doing something unrelated to writing unbalanced Skacen books (my poor, poor rat-ratthings). But I was p*ssed off that the plastic models could be so cheap and the fantasy stuff was getting more and more expensive and even though Iīm sure that the rules could be quite good I just donīt want to buy something with LotR on it.

Well, at least I never cried over it online or attacked itīs gamers, the only thing I did was doing the roll-eyes when my friend showed me the LotR minis he got for christmas (he could have gotten Space Wolves or more propper WHFB Orks, but no).

If the rules were adopted for WHFB skirmish Iīd give them a try, but if I have to buy a rulebook with a ring on it...eurgh.

After explaining myself I just want to add one thing: Someday Iīll put a plastic giant on the plastic elephant to make [I]superheavy[/] superheavy Ogre Kingdoms cavalry. Most hated model ever?!

rkunisch
23-01-2008, 14:57
All those who think, that GW should not have bought the LotR license, should keep in mind that most certainly another company would have done so. I do not think that it would have helped GW if a competitor used the films to place miniatures on the market.

On the SG issue: There was the time when Fanatic was founded, when they all have gotten a lot of support, but they still had no good sales figures. I like and play quite a few of them, but I think that the idea with enough support they would flourish is just wishful thinking.

Have fun,

Rolf.

WallyTWest
23-01-2008, 15:00
My Two Cents.

Jealousy?
LOTR is better designed, more fun and has better models?
40K is marketed to a younger audience.
LOTR has more tactical depth than 40K will have for years.
Fantasy costs 8 times the money for equaly fun gameplay.

At my shop in NH, 40% of gamers are LOTR players and the average age of a player is 30 years. Strong leagues and plenty of action, games always run till closing with the victor only being decided in the last minutes.

Vastly superior to 40K, Fantasy and easily competitive with War Machine and FOW.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 15:01
Tom Kirby himself admits that GW neglected 40K and Fantasy in favor of LOTR.

"We have not been paying enough attention to the hobbyists."

"We need to get back to our bread and butter,'' said Tom Kirby, chairman and chief executive of Games Workshop.

"It was all a bit too easy. We forgot the basic skills,'' said Mr Kirby who blames the bubble caused by the Lord of the Rings for the group's current woes.

From the The Daily Telegraph (LONDON) January 6, 2007 Saturday--article is titled, Retail Games Workshop 'forgot its core market'

Which is a complete misunderstanding. LotR generated huge revenues which GW DID invest in other games. They chose not to invest it in SG because over the years those games had demonstrated however popular with some players they didn't have sufficient mass appeal to justify that investment, and they chose to invest it in 40k and WFB lines by improving the model production technoology rather than the rules of the games.

That latter was a mistake in my opinion, and you are right to be resentful of it, but IT IS NOTHING TO DO WITH LOTR!

Let me get this straight: Somehow, in your thinking the fact that LotR earned many millions of profit that were ploughed straight back into 40k and WFB was somehow a PROBLEM? Get real guys!

Blame GW staff for making the wrong choice of the way to invest the money, but don't blame LotR for generating it in the first place.

And as for the LotR bubble. If it wasn't for that LotR bubble and the ongoing LotR sales (currently around 10% or so) that are still continuing, there would be no GW to produce models and rules at all. The company would have gone bankrupt two years ago! Sales of 40k and WFB have been declining since 2001. Sure the company may have pretended that they weren't, and been distracted by the LOTR bubble, but that is the fault of the management, and it is just irrational to blame a perfectly good game for turning their heads.

Right. I've done with this thread. I'm getting pee'd off and thats not a good headspace to be in. If you guys continue to insist that black is white and prefer pure fantasy to the simple, straightforward, proven facts of the matter, then we are living in different worlds...

Sheesh. I've met more rational, sensible debaters in the Gallowgate end... and they were Makems! :P

Osbad
23-01-2008, 15:03
My Two Cents.

Jealousy?
LOTR is better designed, more fun and has better models?
40K is marketed to a younger audience.
LOTR has more tactical depth than 40K will have for years.
Fantasy costs 8 times the money for equaly fun gameplay.

At my shop in NH, 40% of gamers are LOTR players and the average age of a player is 30 years. Strong leagues and plenty of action, games always run till closing with the victor only being decided in the last minutes.

Vastly superior to 40K, Fantasy and easily competitive with War Machine and FOW.

*sighs*

At last. A fellow believer...

Tazok
23-01-2008, 15:08
Osbad, I guess you know more about GW than Tom Kirby. Did you see the article title and quotes. He states clearly that during the LOTR bubble time, they focused too much attention on LOTR and neglected 40K and Fantasy. I said nothing about SG.

Stating that GW would be out of business if not for LOTR is pure conjecture. If they'd hadn't been focused on LOTR for several years, the current state of 40K and Fantasy would likely be far different and who knows how their revenue situation would be.

DhaosAndy
23-01-2008, 15:15
I have to say that I don't resent LOTR, I just don't like it as a system, I've played it a few times and it doesn't do anything for me. I collect the models, at least the ones I consider to be in keeping with JRRT's work. If people want to play it that's fine with me, it's just a game I don't like, I don't like warmachine either, shrugs.

What's happened with specialist games is regretable but, probably has very little to do with the LOTR game. The only issue I have with it is the twisting of JRRT's work that goes on within it, but I have that issue with the films too (which I don't like) and I had the same issues with ICE when they where doing the RPG.

I think the reason fundamentaly why I don't like it is it's not a unit based mass combat system, which is how I like my fantasy. For LOTR battles I use WAB rules.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 15:16
Osbad, I guess you know more about GW than Tom Kirby. Did you see the article title and quotes. He states clearly that during the LOTR bubble time, they focused too much attention on LOTR and neglected 40K and Fantasy. I said nothing about SG.

Stating that GW would be out of business if not for LOTR is pure conjecture. If they'd hadn't been focused on LOTR for several years, the current state of 40K and Fantasy would likely be far different and who knows how their revenue situation would be.

I guess you didn't read my post properly then.

However, to add to my point I don't believe Kirby's telling the whole truth. Certainly it is unwise to take the "Chairman's preamble" from an annual report at face value (I know, because I've written a few for my own Chairman and CEO in my time...). Its all face-saving PR.

Sure LotR took the senior management's eyes of the grander strategy, but as I said, that 40k as neglected is the result of poor management, not directly of Lotr. Directing "hatred" towards the successful game (the good management decision) instead of the bad management decision of believing 40k as it stood was "good enough" is simply irrational.

40k players can't hit out at the management so they vent their ire at LotR players who are more accessible.

As I said above, its playground stuff. The old guy picking on the new guy because its easy.

As for whether GW would have been bust without LotR. Yes its conjecture. Maybe they'd have smelled the coffee and revised 40k. I suspect not, I suspect they would have thrashed around and beaten their chests. LotR threw them a lifeline they are still hanging onto. If the current "5th edition" revisions were done 4 or 5 years back would it have saved the game? I'm not convinced, yet even with the gun against their temples, this is the best they can come up with. I don't think (but of course, i can't prove) that they would have only done what they are doing now. And it isn't the radical surgery the game required.

Also, as I said above, "I'm done".

The_Patriot
23-01-2008, 15:18
@Binabik15: I would like to say that Tolkien is not for everyone. The thing about Middle Earth and what J.R.R. wrote is the sheer amount of depth and backstory that serves as the backdrop for all of his books. You started with Lord of the Rings which people would assume would be the place to start. This is not the case since you really should start with The Silmarillion then read The Hobbit. Granted that The Silmarillion is more fact based then the others, but it supplies the necessary background information for the events that occur in Lord of the Rings.

As to your point about J.R.R. Tolkien's work being rubbish and newer authors are better at the fantasy genre is outright wrong. None of the fantasy writers post-Tolkien have written their own languages nor had a huge back story that it's turned into a life's work for their children (Christopher Tolkien) to finish. Not a single one and certainly not any of the best sellers. This isn't to knock off these newer writers, but they use an awful lot of what Tolkien set down as their basis for their worlds. In fact, all modern fantasy races are direct copies of Tolkien's races with zero change in how they act.

To the topic at hand, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game rules are vastly superior to either WHFB's and WH40k's rules. The way the mechanics interact are excellent with little confusion on what to do and little argument over rules. The system itself would scale up nicely if they would incorporate unit coherency from 40k and turn it from being a skirmish to a tactical level game. The way they combined Toughness with Armor Save is brilliant with just one stat to determine if you caused a wound. The fact that you always have a cover save makes it even better with the shooter having a 50% chance of missing due to a terrain feature like a tree. The scaling of the stats makes sense and allows for even greater spread between the different units presented. The best idea for a game mechanic is that mounts are shootable and if you kill the mount and your opponent does not have a dismounted figure the entire figure is lost. What better sales mechanic? ;)

DhaosAndy
23-01-2008, 16:00
@Binabik15: The thing you have to remember about LOTR and the Hobbit, etc is that they are merely the commercialy successful offshoots, of the development of the elven languages. The Silmarillian and the accompanying essays are the history of middle earth, necessary to drive the development of those languages.

You're entitled to your opinion of course and I've read and enjoyed many more modern authors, but none of them can match middle earth for depth of background (or even get close).

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 16:01
Tom Kirby himself admits that GW neglected 40K and Fantasy in favor of LOTR. ...

Hmm, I don't remember the whole preamble, but I think he didn't mean GW neglected 40k and fantasy with these sentences

"We have not been paying enough attention to the hobbyists."

"We need to get back to our bread and butter,'' said Tom Kirby, chairman and chief executive of Games Workshop.

"It was all a bit too easy. We forgot the basic skills,''

I think he meant GW's marketing practice of neglecting veterans in favour of newbies, focussing more on trying to break into the mainstream market, by orientating the product to a younger audience, and giving less ressources to establsihed hobbyists.

said Mr Kirby who blames the bubble caused by the Lord of the Rings for the group's current woes.

As far as I remember, what Kirby adressed as the LotR-bubble syndrome was that the LotR license lifted GW(-s share price) to unsustainable heights, thus furthering the expectence of investors, and that it would be impossible to deliver, and complicated to get back to normal.

Nowhere did I see any indication of Kirby saying LotR hurt WFB or 40k as opposed to the LotR-succes making things difficult for the company as a whole.

Don't forget GW had a lot more things brewing during the time they were in the LotR-bubble, be it their US-schemes of alienating independents and banning online sales, or their decision to simplify 40k and spoon-feed their model ranges.

This is what I think he meant with "forgetting basic skills".

The_Patriot
23-01-2008, 16:19
@Binabik15: The thing you have to remember about LOTR and the Hobbit, etc is that they are merely the commercialy successful offshoots, of the development of the elven languages. The Silmarillian and the accompanying essays are the history of middle earth, necessary to drive the development of those languages.

You're entitled to your opinion of course and I've read and enjoyed many more modern authors, but none of them can match middle earth for depth of background (or even get close).

Well I can name one author off the top of my head and she did a ground breaking series of novels that combined fantasy with science fiction. Her name is Anne McCaffrey and her series is the Dragonriders of Pern.

Tazok
23-01-2008, 16:19
The quotes I provided are not from a preamble, they from an article from the Daily Telegraph. The title of the article is "Retail Games Workshop Forgot its Core Market". The core market are their traditional products (40K and Fantasy). He later went on to say (in other publications) that GW was "fat and lazy". Why did GW become fat and lazy? They concentrated on LOTR too much.

Whether LOTR is a good game is really irrelevant to the discussion of why 40K and Fantasy players don't like it. The simple fact is it took away from GW's core products (sculptors, focus, etc.). Kirby acknowledged this multiple times over a span of a few years.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 16:23
The quotes I provided are not from a preamble, they from an article from the Daily Telegraph. The title of the article is "Retail Games Workshop Forgot its Core Market". The core market are their traditional products (40K and Fantasy). He later went on to say (in other publications) that GW was "fat and lazy".

Well, if you check where the Daily Torygraph and the other publications got their "quote" from it was the GW press release, which itself was just extracted from the Annual and Interim Reports preamble.

In anycase that's irrelevant. It's all just Kirby's "spin". I wouldn't trust him to tie my shoelaces, let alone sell me the truth...


Why did GW become fat and lazy? They concentrated on LOTR too much

No, they ignored the wishes of 40k and WFB players because they made the erroneous assumption that the players' expresseed opinions were less important than the prejudices of the design team regarding those games. That's a rather different issue. Its the same thing that plagued GW with the release of "Epic:40,000". It was a "good game", but ultimately failed because the designers produced it in defiance of the wishes of the gaming public. They then had to backtrack with EA, but then the moment was lost. Such design decisions are endemic to GW's lazy un unconsultative design processes, and nothing to do with "distraction" by GW. GW were "lazy" because they presumed that just rolling out more and more of the same kind of product rather than really making the effort to get to understand what makes the players "tick". GW's opinion of what is "not" lazy is retooling the game by introducing new stuff like Apocalypse and COD... being creative and original, rather than just rolling out half-assed codex revisions and a whole new army every 6 months...

Damien 1427
23-01-2008, 16:36
As to your point about J.R.R. Tolkien's work being rubbish and newer authors are better at the fantasy genre is outright wrong. None of the fantasy writers post-Tolkien have written their own languages nor had a huge back story that it's turned into a life's work for their children (Christopher Tolkien) to finish. Not a single one and certainly not any of the best sellers. This isn't to knock off these newer writers, but they use an awful lot of what Tolkien set down as their basis for their worlds. In fact, all modern fantasy races are direct copies of Tolkien's races with zero change in how they act.

Tolkien created a setting from scratch. He created a world by his lonesome, a feat to be praised. However, his actual books were some of the dullest things I've ever read. The only one I could truly reccomend was The Hobbit, simply because the pacing wasn't slower than Lost on sleeping tablets.

The fact a lot of modern Fantasy authors simply can't be arsed to do any innovation of their own does speak for his influence (Which no-one can deny, his influence on the genre is vast) but also something about the authors themselves.

Then again, I'm just not a Tolkien fan. I am, however, a LOTR/LOTOW fan.

Tazok
23-01-2008, 16:40
Quotes from GW executives are "irrelevant" to you because they go against your argument. They're actually one of the few items of evidence that GW has neglected 40K and Fantasy (how often do companies publicly admit they've made mistakes?)

During the LOTR bubble years, codex and miniatures for their core products did not come out as often as before (early 3rd edition 40K for example). That's direct evidence that LOTR pulled resources away from their core products.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 16:40
Tolkien created a setting from scratch. He created a world by his lonesome, a feat to be praised. However, his actual books were some of the dullest things I've ever read. The only one I could truly reccomend was The Hobbit, simply because the pacing wasn't slower than Lost on sleeping tablets.

The fact a lot of modern Fantasy authors simply can't be arsed to do any innovation of their own does speak for his influence (Which no-one can deny, his influence on the genre is vast) but also something about the authors themselves.

Then again, I'm just not a Tolkien fan. I am, however, a LOTR/LOTOW fan.

Tolkien was writing in the '50's to an audience of the day. If he were writing the book now it would read very differently.

But it's still great literature, if somewhat less "accessible" than modern tastes would like.

Personally I love the book, but even so find some of the long passages of poetry rather less than "gripping"! I've never found an author yet who could describe a landscape as well as he could though. He brought Middle-earth alive!

DhaosAndy
23-01-2008, 16:41
@ The_Patriot: "Well I can name one author off the top of my head and she did a ground breaking series of novels that combined fantasy with science fiction. Her name is Anne McCaffrey and her series is the Dragonriders of Pern."

Of which I have read and enjoyed many. However, I stand by my final paragraph. :)

Each to his own.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 16:42
Quotes from GW executives are "irrelevant" to you because they go against your argument. They're actually one of the few items of evidence that GW has neglected 40K and Fantasy (how often do companies publicly admit they've made mistakes?)

During the LOTR bubble years, codex and miniatures for their core products did not come out as often as before (early 3rd edition 40K for example). That's direct evidence that LOTR pulled resources away from their core products.

*bangs head against brick wall*

Read. My. Posts. Before. You. Reply. Please.

Am I speaking Chinese here?

The_Patriot
23-01-2008, 16:51
Whether LOTR is a good game is really irrelevant to the discussion of why 40K and Fantasy players don't like it. The simple fact is it took away from GW's core products (sculptors, focus, etc.). Kirby acknowledged this multiple times over a span of a few years.

And you come to this conclusion how? The system, itself, must be part of the discussion as to why it's hated. It is simply to large of a thing to dismiss considering that the system and its support boosted GW to new levels of technology etc... for all of their games.

Mr. Kirby only acknowledged one thing which was, "This is the best thing I can think of to save my ass from being fired by the shareholders."


Quotes from GW executives are "irrelevant" to you because they go against your argument. They're actually one of the few items of evidence that GW has neglected 40K and Fantasy (how often do companies publicly admit they've made mistakes?)

During the LOTR bubble years, codex and miniatures for their core products did not come out as often as before (early 3rd edition 40K for example). That's direct evidence that LOTR pulled resources away from their core products.

Don't you mean 'selected and taken completely out of context' quotes?

Tazok
23-01-2008, 16:51
I've read them and don't agree. You don't believe Kirby, so you simply ignore that direct evidence that GW moved resources and energy away from their core products and to LOTR. What evidence do you have that LOTR didn't take resouces away from their core games. GW's saying they did? They said it more than once over multiple years.

PS weren't you done with this thread like many posts ago. Oh, wait maybe your not true to your word . . .

Lord Damocles
23-01-2008, 17:08
Well just to toss in my 2 cents, the two main reasons why I hold such an 'irrational' hatred of LoTR are:

- To an extent LoTR did take resources from the core systems (at least where I am) - the sheer amount of space taken up by all the LoTR stuff in my local GW store is increadible. 40K races now only have four blisters each, yet there are about ten different blisters just for Urak-Hai:wtf:. Also,as far as I can remember, the introduction of LoTR to the store coincided exactly with the removal of all SG stock exect for one copy of each boxed game:(.

- GW is blatantly just trying to squeeze as much money as they can out of LoTR now. Its getting embarrasing watching them scape the bottom of the barrel for new troop types which aren't seem in the movies or even mensioned by Tolkein:eyebrows:.

Llew
23-01-2008, 17:11
Context matters. I can find a quote in the Bible that says, "...there is no God."

Removing Kirby's quotes from the context of the report, and also looking at them in the context of him desperately trying to justify why GW was losing it's butt changes things. I seem to recall that the focus on LotR was focusing on the money it was bringing in, while not paying attention to broader weaknesses in the business.

Calgacus
23-01-2008, 17:11
If it is true, as some people have been suggesting, that the problems with Warhammer and 40K are down to them being neglected in favour of LOTR (though, on the other hand some claim that they were going downhill before LOTR) then it doesn't say much much for the biggest TTG company in the world and its management that they couldn't handle 3 games at the one time.

"I have the impression that a good deal of long-time players of GW's systems are highly conservative"

For more evidence of that have a look at some of the responces on the thread on prepaints. A quick way to give some 40K gamers apolexy would be to suggest GW bring out a prepainted LOTR Game!

Cheers

Calgacus

Llew
23-01-2008, 17:15
Heh...only one problem with that, Calgacus. Conservatives can sometimes be persuaded to change their minds.

Osbad
23-01-2008, 17:25
What evidence do you have that LOTR didn't take resouces away from their core games. GW's saying they did? They said it more than once over multiple years.

I have the testimony of various members of staff that have worked within GW at varying levels an Kirby himself. You are misinterpreting what he says. He isn't saying "GW took away resources", he's saying "we took the eye off the ball with 40k and WFB". There were more than enough resources to go around if they had thought 40k and WFB had warranted them. That they didn't think they needed the resource says more about their complacency with 40k and WFB customers than about the need of LotR to suck up scarce cash, time or whatever.


PS weren't you done with this thread like many posts ago. Oh, wait maybe your not true to your word . . .

I was, I must be a glutton for punishment...:eek:

Tazok
23-01-2008, 17:38
Those conversations you had can not be verified in any way. Everyone should just take your word for it? If LOTR didn't take away resouces then why were the so few 40K and Fantasy releases during the bubble years? The release of 3rd edition codex before the LOTR years were at much faster pace.

LOTR took resouces away from store space, White Dwarf, sculptors time, and in other ways that can't be directly measured.

sheck2
23-01-2008, 17:41
Hummm...I play LOTR and like(d) it. My 'problem' with it is that they keep increasing teh model count...if I wanted to play fantasy with LOTR models, I'd have bought LOTR and used fantasy rules.

Oh I forgot - I also dislike the LOTR community's distain for anything that does not match Jackson's vision of LOTR. I like Jackson and his movies, but they are not the gospel on the subject.

Rodman49
23-01-2008, 17:55
Hummm...I play LOTR and like(d) it. My 'problem' with it is that they keep increasing teh model count...if I wanted to play fantasy with LOTR models, I'd have bought LOTR and used fantasy rules.

Oh I forgot - I also dislike the LOTR community's distain for anything that does not match Jackson's vision of LOTR. I like Jackson and his movies, but they are not the gospel on the subject.

I agree 100% with this post. Tournaments are now *********** 700 points, wtf, they used to only be 500 and had more options. At least from the tourney pick-up game standpoint they are trying to make it to much like the traditional games (Fantasy and 40k) in my opinion. I also love many of the new models. Stuff like the Harad and Mahud look like they would not only be great for LotR but would also be awesome for other stuff like Historical wargaming (you could make some sweet Persian/Arab/African armies from those models).

The_Patriot
23-01-2008, 17:58
Those conversations you had can not be verified in any way. Everyone should just take your word for it? If LOTR didn't take away resouces then why were the so few 40K and Fantasy releases during the bubble years? The release of 3rd edition codex before the LOTR years were at much faster pace.

LOTR took resouces away from store space, White Dwarf, sculptors time, and in other ways that can't be directly measured.

Store space is not a resource nor is White Dwarf and the unqualified 'other ways'. Store space is inventory management which is not related to a resource like time or money or physical stock. White Dwarf is a catalog for GW and has been that way for many years. Albeit you have to pay for it, but it is a catalog nonetheless, so that's not a resource.

Now let's look at the flipside, Osbad correct me if I'm wrong, the LOTR license gave GW the money to expand their existing plastics technology due to the incoming revenue from the sales of LOTR. This allowed GW to develop things like the Baneblade for 40k. Care to argue that purchasing the license was still a waste of resources?

Trench_Raider
23-01-2008, 17:59
This is not the case since you really should start with The Silmarillion then read The Hobbit. Granted that The Silmarillion is more fact based then the others, but it supplies the necessary background information for the events that occur in Lord of the Rings.


Wow.
You really do want to turn people off of reading Tolkien, don't you? The Silmarillion is probably the worst written and dryest of any of the Middle Earth books that Tolkein wrote. I would never recomend it as a first book in the genre. It's a kid's book, but I think The Hobbit is a much better starting point.

Of course I'm not a huge Tolkein fan. He was vastly influential in the fantasy genre, but I far prefer Robert E. Howard for classical fantasy literature.

Anyway, on topic....

I don't have any problem with LotR as a game and yes the miniatures are nice. I've read through the rules but have never actually played a game. But I've played a bit of "Legends of the Old West" which uses the same game mechanics and have found that to be a sound system.
Personally I don't like the tendency to streamline/dumb down wargame rules that has become popular in the last ten years or so. I honestly prefer a more detailed set. But they are playable.

TR

Tazok
23-01-2008, 18:13
Store space is not a resource nor is White Dwarf and the unqualified 'other ways'. Store space is inventory management which is not related to a resource like time or money or physical stock. White Dwarf is a catalog for GW and has been that way for many years. Albeit you have to pay for it, but it is a catalog nonetheless, so that's not a resource.

Now let's look at the flipside, Osbad correct me if I'm wrong, the LOTR license gave GW the money to expand their existing plastics technology due to the incoming revenue from the sales of LOTR. This allowed GW to develop things like the Baneblade for 40k. Care to argue that purchasing the license was still a waste of resources?

I'm not going to argue the values of White Dwarf, but it is a form a direct advertizing to some of GW customer base and as such is a resource. Retail space is also a resource, other than White Dwarf, it's the only way that GW really advertises its products at all, so its not just inventory. Inventory on display in prominent retail locations is advertising. I like how you like how you try to dismiss them both right out of hand.
As to the improving technology, yes added revenue did help this along, but it is impossible to measure how much of that revenue came from LOTR versus everything else they produce. We'd have to know specifically how profitable LOTR was, and GW hasn't broken down those percentages by game-system. I still think GW's resources would have been better spent continuing their core products without the LOTR license.

If LOTR was such a great move for GW, why is GW now saying that they won't do license agreements like that again?

Llew
23-01-2008, 18:27
If LOTR was such a great move for GW, why is GW now saying that they won't do license agreements like that again?

Because they managed it horribly?

Because it gave them a huge cash influx that disguised fundamental business problems?

Because there's no available license that could generate the sales that LotR did in it's time? (In other words, the licenses they could make money on are already sewn up.)

Because they inadvertently developed a game that showed how bad their traditional flagship systems had gotten?

Because it didn't fit their write/revise/reissue business plan which is the only way they think they can sustain success?

Because it made them think they could be a bigger company than they are, but they don't have the skilled managers to guide them?

I dunno. I can't think of any reasons.

Tazok
23-01-2008, 18:38
Which all show that GW should have never done the LOTR license deal.

According to Michael Sherwin, the finance director, said: "Boom and bust is not good for a niche business as ours," Mr Sherwin said.


He said the group was getting back to basics, with the bulk of sales now made up of Warhammer-brand products, another quarter from hobby materials such as paints, glue and dice, with only 10% of sales still tied to Lord of the Rings.

Llew
23-01-2008, 18:46
Boom and bust isn't good for any business.

Just because GW was incapable of handling things well doesn't mean that it was impossible to do so.

The_Patriot
23-01-2008, 18:47
I'm not going to argue the values of White Dwarf, but it is a form a direct advertizing to some of GW customer base and as such is a resource. Retail space is also a resource, other than White Dwarf, it's the only way that GW really advertises its products at all, so its not just inventory. Inventory on display in prominent retail locations is advertising. I like how you like how you try to dismiss them both right out of hand.
As to the improving technology, yes added revenue did help this along, but it is impossible to measure how much of that revenue came from LOTR versus everything else they produce. We'd have to know specifically how profitable LOTR was, and GW hasn't broken down those percentages by game-system. I still think GW's resources would have been better spent continuing their core products without the LOTR license.

If LOTR was such a great move for GW, why is GW now saying that they won't do license agreements like that again?

Mainly because advertising is not a resource. Advertising is spreading word of your company and your products which sitting on store shelves and in a catalog produced by the company is not a resource. White Dwarf is a massive drain of resources as is managing inventory systems. In business resources are classified as time, money, or raw material. Does finished product or a magazine fit within the criteria of a resource? No, it does not. Since it's not a resource then it becomes part of overhead (drain on company resources).

Maybe, they don't like the confines such agreements place them in when it comes to creativity? It's far different when you control the IP and GW has always been the one to operate independently of other companies. Also, look at who GW has to deal with when it comes to Lord of the Rings. Christopher Tolkien makes GW look like an amateur when it comes to protecting IP. He single handedly took down one major RPG company due to their mismanagement of Middle Earth. GW is stepping lightly when it comes to dealing with him.

Supremearchmarshal
23-01-2008, 18:59
Just to add my 2 cents: I don't play it because it is based on the movies, which I consider far inferior to the books. If GW had done it before the movies came out, it would have interested me far more.
In other words, it just doesn't have right "feel" to keep me interested. I do agree it has better rules than the other core games.

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 19:02
...
The title of the article is "Retail Games Workshop Forgot its Core Market". The core market are their traditional products (40K and Fantasy). He later went on to say (in other publications) that GW was "fat and lazy". Why did GW become fat and lazy? They concentrated on LOTR too much. ...

That's speculation - I don't think GW's core market can be defined by games system, more like by target market/veteran vs newbie, product type/miniatures vs game system, ressources spent in keeping customers vs recruiting new ones and their like. Of course that's an interpretation as well.

Fact is I have never seen Kirby say they neglected two systems, and never seen him say they prefered another one. He said the neglected their core market which includes all three systems.

This is what Kirby meant when he said the forgot their basic skills :

... No, they ignored the wishes of 40k and WFB players because they made the erroneous assumption that the players' expresseed opinions were less important than the prejudices of the design team regarding those games. That's a rather different issue. Its the same thing that plagued GW with the release of "Epic:40,000". It was a "good game", but ultimately failed because the designers produced it in defiance of the wishes of the gaming public. They then had to backtrack with EA, but then the moment was lost. Such design decisions are endemic to GW's lazy un unconsultative design processes, and nothing to do with "distraction" by GW. GW were "lazy" because they presumed that just rolling out more and more of the same kind of product rather than really making the effort to get to understand what makes the players "tick". GW's opinion of what is "not" lazy is retooling the game by introducing new stuff like Apocalypse and COD... being creative and original, rather than just rolling out half-assed codex revisions and a whole new army every 6 months...That has nothing to do with a product line more or less - they couldn't have held their WFB and 40k players with the methods they used the last years, even if there hadn't been a LotR.


... During the LOTR bubble years, codex and miniatures for their core products did not come out as often as before (early 3rd edition 40K for example). That's direct evidence that LOTR pulled resources away from their core products.
May I remind that GW considers LotR as one of their core products? When you say core product it includes 40k, WFB, and LotR. And I doubt that will change soon - even if some don't like it.

On LotR stealing ressources from WFB and 40k, well, sure, ressources that have been shared by two systems have been used by three, though I think they also increased overall ressources. But that's natural when two things become three. One could as well say, WFB stole ressources from LotR...

Then I ask what would have putting more ressources into 40k and WFB have achieved under the marketing guidelines of those years? Next to nothing I say - look at what good Apocalypse did for 40k - GW barely breaking even this half year, and that was a newer approach, not the crap the tried the years before. At least LotR payed for itself (not to re-emphasize the point that it paid for a lot of the two other core systems as well).

Etienne de Beaugard
23-01-2008, 19:16
Good discussion. I think for further discussion it would be beneficial to consider not only the initial reaction of LotR but how that reaction has changed over the years. From what I've seen on the board, the number of people who accept LotR as a valid game has grown. Certainly there are die-hard supporters and detractors, but a shift seems to be occuring toward greater acceptance.

Personnally, I initially dismissed LotR for a variety of reasons:
1) The LotR license looked a prime to be GW short-to-medium run game. With the movie hype guarenteed to die down after 4 years, LotR could have been a game that GW hyped and then dropped (like so many skirmish and 15mm scale games before it.) That GW declared LotR as a 3rd core game appeared disingenuous (Though I was proved wrong on this point.)

2) A bunch of designers were reported to have been pulled off long awaited army books for other games. When I found out my Bretonnians would be delayed yet again, I was a bit grumpy.

3) At first glance, the LotR game engine looks simplistic and for many, the expectation of tactical play was low. (Again, this assessment proved incorrect.)

4) By dint of being a game and being related to the hot movie of the time, LotR attracted many younger players. This was a personnal turn-off. (Sorry, I generally prefer opponents at least of legal age to drive themselves to a game. It's a personnal bias.)

5)The original game appeared very hero-centric. When FotR was launched, third age armies were basically the fellowship vs. hordes of generic monsters. I prefer to have more flexibility to design my own characters into the army. (Again, this changed. The move toward themed armies with only a few named heroes has been positive in my book.)

While these are the reasons I was initially turned off by LotR, most have proved incorrect in the long run. I suspect I am not alone in my growing acceptance of the game. Now lets hope GW doesn't lose the license.

--On the Resource Diversion Debate
To those who insist that GW did not divert resources from the WH games...When GW first won the LotR license, several studio design members were taken off assignments in early development to build LotR. I particularly remember Alessio Cavatore being moved from his work on Bretonnians to LotR. As FotR was released, GW moved releases around on the schedule to accomodate the third game. By TTT, things had settled out. Resources were diverted with a noticeable impact for the initial LotR releases, but that seems to have hit egos mostly, which of course contributes to some peoples negative views of LotR.

To those who blame resource allocation to LotR hurt the core games... IIRC, early 3rd ed. 40k saw the worst cases of codex creep, oversimplified rules, and the min-maxible shoot-charge mechanic. By the time LotR came out, 40k was coming into better balance, the trial assault rules were out, codex creep was largely under control, and we were seeing new, more flexible books. WHFB 6th was generally praised, but some of the highlighted issues (weak elves, ratling guns) were already in print. The books and models that came out during the initial LotR era were of comparable quality to what came before. Other factors,like pricing, competing with established retailers, etc. plagued GW more than resource re-allocation for LotR. For a while, the frantic release schedule of the WH games slowed down, but that just gave us more time to paint our minis.

Bookwrak
23-01-2008, 22:40
Which all show that GW should have never done the LOTR license deal.
Okay, this is hilarious. Can you actually justify this statement in any way, aside from with more completely out of context quotes?

Batwings
23-01-2008, 23:28
With regard to the notion that The Lord of The Rings diverted resources away from both Warhammer systems, it's certainly true that the Perry twins, two of GW's most talented and prolific sculptors, have worked on nothing but the movie licenses since (I believe) 1999.

Binabik15
23-01-2008, 23:31
I donīt know if itīs off-topic because it has not much to do with the game itself, but whatever.

Yes, people told me that I should read the Silmarillion and the Hobbit and stuff, but that doesnīt bother me because hey, they were ******* fanboys. I tried the Hobbit and found it equally dull and uninteresting. I have to admit that I didnīt go for the original books but the translations and much can be lost in the process, but I just donīt care enough.

Developing languages is nice and a respectable amount of care, work and probably love went into his universe, but that doesnīt make it a better read.

Itīs like telling somebody that he should learn both modern and ancient German and all about the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the different and complex structure of the non-existing Germany during Schillerīs lifetime and his personal relationship to Goethe as well as their different views on mankind and literature in order to read/watch his "Kabale und Liebe". It would be preferable and would help you understand much more about the characters and their personal situation BUT it is still an interesting play, entertaining but deep, without it.

What I read from Tolkien was just plain boring, uninspiring and weird. I donīt care how good Elf cookies taste and that theyīre super-mega-über because of handwavium and the included Hobbit-Elf, Elf-Hobbit dictionary.


If I want to learn a strange language impossible for man to pronounce and write with incomprehensible grammar to impress unaturally beautiful and alien women Iīll work on my French, thank you.

Oh, and read a book by George Martin about bloody warfare or by Tad Williams (about a huuuuge castle build by elves, then conquered by humans and almost re-taken by elves; that happens in at least two of his series, hehe) or featuring elves living in skyscrapers, that was awesome! Or many, many more authors who maybe also should have the privilege to get minis from "OMZGzOrz money making basturds" GW:p

But Iīll let Tolkien-lovers live as long as they donīt go on about it being an absolute must-read even if you tell them that you already tried it. Not directed at you guys, btw. So, enough, Iīm tired, my laptopīs battery is getting low and Iīll get peppered with arrows from guys in brownish green tights anyway :angel:

Templar Ben
23-01-2008, 23:34
It could just be jealousy, as, for a lower price, LotR players get far more models :'(

Not to mention better. LOL


Those conversations you had can not be verified in any way. Everyone should just take your word for it? If LOTR didn't take away resouces then why were the so few 40K and Fantasy releases during the bubble years? The release of 3rd edition codex before the LOTR years were at much faster pace.

LOTR took resouces away from store space, White Dwarf, sculptors time, and in other ways that can't be directly measured.

As was pointed out by others, you don't understand what is meant by resources. As to the change in the release schedule you allude to, a different poster gave some evidence but simply saying that they slowed down doesn't support that they took away resources. Know what else doesn't support that? The fact that they added development staff. Also, the fact that they contracted out sculpting to the Perry brothers doesn't really scream it taking resources unless you mean something else. We have established that you have a different defination of resources.


I'm not going to argue the values of White Dwarf, but it is a form a direct advertizing to some of GW customer base and as such is a resource. Retail space is also a resource, other than White Dwarf, it's the only way that GW really advertises its products at all, so its not just inventory. Inventory on display in prominent retail locations is advertising. I like how you like how you try to dismiss them both right out of hand.
As to the improving technology, yes added revenue did help this along, but it is impossible to measure how much of that revenue came from LOTR versus everything else they produce. We'd have to know specifically how profitable LOTR was, and GW hasn't broken down those percentages by game-system. I still think GW's resources would have been better spent continuing their core products without the LOTR license.

You are honestly suggesting that the tremendous growth during what GW calls the "LotR bubble" is anything other than growth directly attributable to Lord of the Rings. Wow. I mean you have said some very foolish things but that takes the cake.

Just so you know 40K and WHFB aren't a market. Those are products. Markets are the vets they sold them to. It is very common on here to have people say that vets were abandoned. Normally people say they were abandoned not because GW has a different game but because the armies are fundamentally changed and the games are made to appeal to young kids.


If LOTR was such a great move for GW, why is GW now saying that they won't do license agreements like that again?

Llew gave several good answers.


Because they managed it horribly?

Because it gave them a huge cash influx that disguised fundamental business problems?

Because there's no available license that could generate the sales that LotR did in it's time? (In other words, the licenses they could make money on are already sewn up.)

Because they inadvertently developed a game that showed how bad their traditional flagship systems had gotten?

Because it didn't fit their write/revise/reissue business plan which is the only way they think they can sustain success?

Because it made them think they could be a bigger company than they are, but they don't have the skilled managers to guide them?

I dunno. I can't think of any reasons.


Which all show that GW should have never done the LOTR license deal.

According to Michael Sherwin, the finance director, said: "Boom and bust is not good for a niche business as ours," Mr Sherwin said.


He said the group was getting back to basics, with the bulk of sales now made up of Warhammer-brand products, another quarter from hobby materials such as paints, glue and dice, with only 10% of sales still tied to Lord of the Rings.

You are right. LotR is taking up less and GW is not able to turn a profit. Funny that. Then again you were saying that without LotR we have no reason to think that GW would be in the shape they are in now. Again that just shows you have no clue about that which you are writing.

Gaebriel
23-01-2008, 23:36
There is saying that "people either love or loathe Tolkien's work - there is no middle ground".

I found that to be true.

edit :
That's towards Binabik15's post, before Templar Ben ninja'd in :p

Axel
23-01-2008, 23:42
The facts are that it was totally the Perry twins' CHOICE to focus on LotR. They are self-employed contractors and don't have to do anything they don't want to do. Add in the fact that Citadel and Foundry both owe a lot to them for their support in hard times, and essentially you end up with a situation where the Perries work on whatever they want to, and other sculptors get the rest. If the Perry twins WANTED to sculpt Space Marines they'd do it, but they choose not to. How is that LotR's fault? Is it somehow the game and it's players' fault that some talented sculptors prefer its iconography?

Yep. It IS the games fault :-)

Without LotR in the hands of GW the Perrys would not have dedicated all of their GW work almost exclusively to it. Perhaps they would have done no work at all, but chances are that they WOULD have taken a hand in the redesign of the Empire. They worked in one of the earlier incarnations, and did the whole Landsknecht range for Foundry. I own several hundred of these dogs of war, and the way the new Empire worked out without the influx of the Perry was a major diappointment for me.

But that is just my personal grump with LotR in the hands of GW. I don`t blame the actual game system nor GW for licencing it. I think its sad, however, that the Perrys cannot even take advantage of that license with their skills. The created cultures are all "tainted" by the movie. I prefer Chris Tubbs version of Middle Earth (who made the 600+ minis in the Mithril range) in miniatures to those done by Jackson (and thus the Perrys) by several degrees. This holds true even before we add in GW-inventions like the Gulmorvin or Halftrolls.

I think the fact that I do not like the way many cultures are represented by Jackson and GW is the major factor that I do not play LotR, and collect only very few of its range, though I am both a Tolkien and Perry fan, a TT player and an almost indiscriminate miniature collector. Otherwise the system is imho great.

Temprus
23-01-2008, 23:55
Christopher Tolkien makes GW look like an amateur when it comes to protecting IP. He single handedly took down one major RPG company due to their mismanagement of Middle Earth.

Not quite, they were smacked over so certain rights could be regained that were needed to let the movie (and related) licensing deals happen. Addition IP that belonged to them, not the Tolkien estate, were also violated during said deals/productions.

Ironically, this thread has made me more interested in buying LotR. I was not supporting GW at the time LotR was added back into their portfolio of products, so I don't have any "latent anger" at it "taking away resources" needed by Warhammer.

Did LotR take away resources better used on Warhammer/40k/SG? Not really, because said resources made back more money/resources than they would have if invested in GW IP at the time. LotR has only recently started to "fail" GW. Most of which is their fault, as they apparently never planned on what to do when LoTR started to slide off into lower sales. Supposedly, LotR's "10%" sales mean it is still doing better than Warhammer Fantasy, except that the licensing fees (and such) might balance it out to meaning the same return as WFB.

GW's real problem is that their shareholders are more important to the company than their customers. That is what is "killing" GW/"the GW Hobby".

/rant :angel:

A13X
24-01-2008, 01:13
LoTR isn't that bad. I have quite a few modesl from the range and it is fun. What I like about it is how every single model can be moved and such, you can create a squad with a mixture of archers/spearmen/swordmen etc. and actually manipulate the battle formations - which is downright cool. The models lack the detail of WFB and 40k but they arn't that bad. I thin GW overdid LoTR quite a bit, when they should ofbeen focusing on their 2 core games.I would have also liked them to expand on some of their specialist games (especially Battlefleet Gothic) and expanded them into their core market.

What I do disdain about LoTR however, is the "closedness" of it's fluff. For example, in 40k, it is easy to imagine and create your own stories and campaigns, i.e. an aspiring chaos lord leads his followers into a crusade on the imperium, starting at a hive world, unknown to both forces howver is the dormant presence of a necron tomb pyramid below the planets surface. The necrons have awsoken and there you have a cool, origional 3 player campaign. The same could be said for WFB's fluff. With LoTR since it's based on a series of books and movies, I find it harder to play the game. What GW created with LoTR is more of a story world that follows the movies too much, where 40k and WFB both share the sheer openendness of their universe, which is so appealing to many people. GW spent too much effort on LoTR and what they have is a fun game which however will never match either 40k or Fantasy in any aspect. Also they're probably going to find the number of LoTR players will drammatically decrease over time as the hype from the movies wares down, while 40k and WFB remain popular...

-A13X

Cirrus the Blue
24-01-2008, 01:19
Honestly, I have to agree that LotR isn't that bad! It's just not my thing 'cause I find it sorta dull, but I did give it an honest chance and that's just how I feel about it. *shrug* Dunno why so many people are all up their asses about how it's the devil's poop and the fact that LotR killed their parents and ran over their dog, though. "BAAAAHH!!! WORST GAME EVER!! I WANNA MURDER THE GUY WHO THOUGHT THIS UP AND THEN BURN DOWN HIS HOUSE!!" Seriously.. What the heck is so enfuriating about this game? If someone doesn't like it, they don't need to play it, but why waste so much energy on bashing it, especially when there's nobody who's of any importance around to hear it? :p

- Cirrus

Stella Cadente
24-01-2008, 01:27
LotR is perhaps one of the best Games GW has ever made

Simple but effective rules keep the game simple, fast and fun
The plastics are of a very good quality, and are very well priced
Its perhaps the Best system to do siege games with due to the simple rules again
its better scaled figure wise
AND the fluff doesn't change every 5 seconds
and the most important bit.....NO SPACE MARINES!!!!

And I don't know why all the haters make such a big fuss and rant about it.....because nobody is reading your pathetic post thats about as convincing in LotR's rubbishness, as Michael Jacksons defense is.

Templar Ben
24-01-2008, 01:47
There is saying that "people either love or loathe Tolkien's work - there is no middle ground".

I found that to be true.

edit :
That's towards Binabik15's post, before Templar Ben ninja'd in :p

Tolkien is the literary Marmite.

Templar Ben
24-01-2008, 01:50
LoTR isn't that bad. I have quite a few modesl from the range and it is fun. What I like about it is how every single model can be moved and such, you can create a squad with a mixture of archers/spearmen/swordmen etc. and actually manipulate the battle formations - which is downright cool. The models lack the detail of WFB and 40k but they arn't that bad. I thin GW overdid LoTR quite a bit, when they should ofbeen focusing on their 2 core games.I would have also liked them to expand on some of their specialist games (especially Battlefleet Gothic) and expanded them into their core market.

What I do disdain about LoTR however, is the "closedness" of it's fluff. For example, in 40k, it is easy to imagine and create your own stories and campaigns, i.e. an aspiring chaos lord leads his followers into a crusade on the imperium, starting at a hive world, unknown to both forces howver is the dormant presence of a necron tomb pyramid below the planets surface. The necrons have awsoken and there you have a cool, origional 3 player campaign. The same could be said for WFB's fluff. With LoTR since it's based on a series of books and movies, I find it harder to play the game. What GW created with LoTR is more of a story world that follows the movies too much, where 40k and WFB both share the sheer openendness of their universe, which is so appealing to many people. GW spent too much effort on LoTR and what they have is a fun game which however will never match either 40k or Fantasy in any aspect. Also they're probably going to find the number of LoTR players will drammatically decrease over time as the hype from the movies wares down, while 40k and WFB remain popular...

-A13X

I find that LotR is like a fantasy historical game. It draws the same type of people.

Shadowheart
24-01-2008, 02:21
There is saying that "people either love or loathe Tolkien's work - there is no middle ground".

I found that to be true.

Well, for my part I've found "you either love it or hate it" to be said about pretty much everything that people have been known to love and hate. And I've found that, looking past that bit of polarisation, there's always a middle ground. I suspect it's just a cliche that allows us to dismiss opinions opposite our own as just one of those things the universe does.
I see a lot wrong with Tolkien's work that the vast majority of Fantasy readers (and writers) are evidently blind to, but I've still enjoyed reading it, to an extend.


Anyway, as to the "they took our jobs" debate... I think it's beside the point. Let's assume GW did, at least initially, shift resources intended for their established games onto the new one. Then what?

It strikes me that a lot of GW customers have a rather disturbing attitude towards being GW customers. They identify themselves with the ranges of their choice, to the point that when GW releases something for said range, it's not so much a matter of a company releasing a product that they have an interest in, it's a group of people getting something from GW. Like there's some personal relationship going on there beyond exchanging cash for miniatures at the counter.

If you take that imaginary bond out of the equation, what's left of this resources issue? No betrayal, no denial of your god-given rights to GW's attention. Just a company releasing a bunch of products you have no interest in.

Also worth noting by the way that the release of FotR coincided with that of the Tau. And that during the next three years, (the "movie years"), they also released the Necrons, both Inquisition factions and Tomb Kings. Ogre Kingdoms followed just two months later. Then there were also the Eye of Terror and Storm of Chaos campaigns and a new edition of 40K. That in addition to the revisions of armies such as High Elves, Chaos (all sorts) and Imperial Guard, of course. Not to mention more Index Astartes articles than I ever wanted to read.

yabbadabba
24-01-2008, 02:43
I was, I must be a glutton for punishment...:eek:

Back with another diamond quote Osbad. Might have to nick that ;)


Hummm...I play LOTR and like(d) it. My 'problem' with it is that they keep increasing teh model count...if I wanted to play fantasy with LOTR models, I'd have bought LOTR and used fantasy rules.



I agree 100% with this post. Tournaments are now *********** 700 points, wtf, they used to only be 500 and had more options. At least from the tourney pick-up game standpoint they are trying to make it to much like the traditional games (Fantasy and 40k) in my opinion.

Both these quotes need addressing. The model count hasn't increased for the game you can still play with what you want. For the tournaments the increase was at the behest of the players to allow a better mix between heroes and troops. It also allowed players to take themed armies (like the Fellowship - even though they tend to be under powered in my opinion). Talking to one of the UK events team, one of their biggest challenges is always the number of games played at an event vs the quality of those games vs the size of the armies being used.


I also love many of the new models. Stuff like the Harad and Mahud look like they would not only be great for LotR but would also be awesome for other stuff like Historical wargaming

True - my Rohirrim often double up as some Dark Age army or another :)

The LotR system is extremely effective as a mechanism, as witnessed in LotWW. Without doubt for me it allows heroes just enough power to be heroic without giving the option of running off on their own too often. It is a "fantasy" game as opposed to a "realism" game. I can play with as few or as many models as I choose. I think it is one of the best games GW has produced and fits snuggly in that hole between Necromunda et al and WFB.

As for resources, there are too mnay variables to say what effect LotR has had on 40K and WFB. I will say three things on it though.

*To those who claim that the Perry's have been tied to LotR exclusively - this maybe a condition of their continuing employment by GW. The Perry's have their fingers in so many pies I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.

*As for the rate of model and codex release, this is in part driven by the sales companies and not exclusively by the studio. The "3 month" window of release time is set to allow sales the maximum opportunity to make the most out of a release (sales drop off considerably after that) and is the minimum work time that the studio need to produce the models, books and supporting articles. The long and the short of it is that 2 releases a year would give you a substantially better product, but GW would collapse as a sales company!

*The final thing is GW will not do another licensed product because the company is not set up to take the maximum from it. It has messed up their sales, (willingly) forced them to adopt infrastructure set ups which they had no guarantee of needing post bubble, and has not only created a boom and bust sales effect, but has created the same effect within the company structure. All this has cost them too much money as opposed to what they got out of it.

Osbad
24-01-2008, 09:30
Those conversations you had can not be verified in any way. Everyone should just take your word for it?

Yes they can as many of those "conversations" happened on Warseer and Portent and other sites like TLA. In fact there is a post by an former staff close to the "GW core" only a few posts up this very thread. I suggest you do a little more research. Pardon me if I don't do it for you...


If LOTR didn't take away resouces then why were the so few 40K and Fantasy releases during the bubble years? The release of 3rd edition codex before the LOTR years were at much faster pace.

Because GW staff didn't believe the games needed them. They believed (wrongly) that the games were totally fine just as they were and didn't need much input from them to continue to sell in droves. GW believed that they could just roll in the clover generated by massive LotR sales and very healthy 40k sales well into 2006/07 without having to lift much of a finger. Again, there are posts on Warseer from staff who attended those meetings saying just that. Some readers may remember them, I suggest you go hunt them out - some were posted by a former staffer called "The Way and the Light", who hasn't been around for a while now.

This is NOT LotR "taking resources away" from anything else. It is pure and simple management being lazy because they thought they didn't have to bother. The resources were there, but management at the time thought it was better for them to be invested into new manufacturing processes instead of making their product lines more robust.


LOTR took resouces away from store space, White Dwarf, sculptors time, and in other ways that can't be directly measured.

No it frikkin' didn't! Read my lips "GW HAD PLENTY OF RESOURCES, LOTR DIDN'T TAKE ANY AWAY, IT MADE SUCH A MASSIVE PROFIT IT ADDED RESOURCES TO THE POT"! I'm shouting now and its rude, so forgive me, but you just don't seem to be getting the message and are simply repeating the same incorrect and disproved statements time after time after time. Why is this very simple concept so hard for you to grasp may I ask?

Stella Cadente
24-01-2008, 09:33
Why is this very simple concept so hard for you to grasp may I ask?
because people are ignorant and refuse to face facts, if the believed you they wouldn't be able to slag off the only decent game GW has made in years, and there lives would no longer have meaning and they would vaporize

Osbad
24-01-2008, 09:43
It strikes me that a lot of GW customers have a rather disturbing attitude towards being GW customers. They identify themselves with the ranges of their choice, to the point that when GW releases something for said range, it's not so much a matter of a company releasing a product that they have an interest in, it's a group of people getting something from GW. Like there's some personal relationship going on there beyond exchanging cash for miniatures at the counter.

If you take that imaginary bond out of the equation, what's left of this resources issue? No betrayal, no denial of your god-given rights to GW's attention. Just a company releasing a bunch of products you have no interest in.

Well said that man!

There is a sort of tribalism at play here I think. 40k being the most popular game has perhaps more adherents who behave tribally than the other 2 core games.

It is also noticeable that the tribalism exists with players of games from other companies.

Its time to "get over it" really.

Games are different and appeal to different players for different reason. And just because a particular game doesn't appeal to me enough for me to invest in it, doesn't mean I have to rag on those who play it.

For instance WFB and other "ranked up" fantasy wargames really don't appeal to me, so for many reasons I won't buy into WFB. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some aspects of the game -such as some of the models or painting, and be interested in how the game plays out, or enjoy chatting to someone about it and appreciate that they find it rewarding.

In the end, players of WFB, 40k, LotR, Warmachine, Wargods of Aegyptus, Infinity, Horders, AT-43, Confrontation, Armies of Arcana etc., etc. have more in common with each other than they have differences. Fighting over who's daddy is the biggest is just peurile!

Whenever I hear that tired old "LOTR is teh SUXX because they took resources away from my favourite game" from some whiner (no names, no pack drill :P) it reminds me of some 8 year-old in the playground whinging that "I hate you because you like Batman and he suxx 'coz he hasn't got superpowers like Superman does..."

Guys, its a product you buy. Discuss the relative merits about what appeals and what doesn't (For instance I can appreciate the point that some don't like the smaller scale of the models in LotR as opposed to the heroic scale in WFB/40k, just as I would expect someone to respect my own preferences that lie the other way!) But the game you like isn't you, its just a game you like. Don't take it personally. And above all, get out a bit more. Try other games, look at other worlds. You never know, you might find one that appeals to you even more than your current favourite.... Take the risk!

gitburna
24-01-2008, 09:54
I dont know if its been written in the thread yet, but GW did the LotR license because they wanted to and because it made sense to.

As i recall, Tolkien is one of the main inspirations for long-timers in the company like Rick Priestly and obviously the GW backdrops borrow quite a lot from him.

But also, if they had let another company come along and do it, they would have taken gamers and business from warhammer/40k. You cannot deny that it made more sense for GW as a company to go for the lord of the rings franchise than to turn their noses up at it

Edit _ Lol at the indepth nature this thread has taken.. i should read it properly next time before posting an entry level comment

rkunisch
24-01-2008, 09:55
Why is this very simple concept so hard for you to grasp may I ask?
Because you mix up common speech and professional speech. All the time you get words defined in professional context which are used different if you talk with people not studying the same topic. I think "resources" in this context are meant as "ways to have an influence on the customer" and for that space shelves and WD articles qualify.

I am not saying you are wrong, I just think that the arguing about the correct terms is not helping the essence of the discussion.

To add to the discussion at hand, I would like to point out, that concept of "stealing resources/opportunities" is nearly as old as GW. I can for example remember when people cried out loud about the release of the Ogres - why for heaven's sake GW dared to release a new army before they made a Wood Elf/Chaos Dwarf/Fishmen book? The answer is - I think - obvious: A buisiness like GW has to try new ways then and when. That is the only hope if you like to grow. LotR allowed the company to grow and re-invest some profits. Some of it helped all the lines (like improved manufacturing), some was wasted (Warhammer Online, anyone?).

In the end the worst a company can do is to stand still.

Have fun,

Rolf.

jedipenguin
24-01-2008, 11:29
LOTR hating is so 4 years ago....

ChrisAsmadi
24-01-2008, 11:40
I personally am a big fan of Tolkein's books, yet I dislike the miniature game.

Why?

Because it lacks all the cool stuff from the Silmarillion.

Osbad
24-01-2008, 11:44
Because you mix up common speech and professional speech. All the time you get words defined in professional context which are used different if you talk with people not studying the same topic. I think "resources" in this context are meant as "ways to have an influence on the customer" and for that space shelves and WD articles qualify.

I am not saying you are wrong, I just think that the arguing about the correct terms is not helping the essence of the discussion.

Thanks for the help. Somehow I was getting the feeling I was speaking Chinese and not what to me is plain English. If its a question of misunderstanding terminology, then I can take that.


To add to the discussion at hand, I would like to point out, that concept of "stealing resources/opportunities" is nearly as old as GW. I can for example remember when people cried out loud about the release of the Ogres - why for heaven's sake GW dared to release a new army before they made a Wood Elf/Chaos Dwarf/Fishmen book? The answer is - I think - obvious: A buisiness like GW has to try new ways then and when.

Another good point. And this is hearking back to the point made earlier about tribalism. Some gamers even get tribal about "their" army, not just about "their" game.

I've got 3 kids, aged 5,6 and 8. The youngest particularly gets a bit jealous if its not his turn for the treat. My wife and I try and treat them all equally and fairly, but inevitably they have to wait and take turns, and inevitably they don't all like the same things, so sometimes we end up treating 1 or 2 and the 3rd misses out this time, but it gets made up to them later in a different way.

Its a little bit like that with GW and their various "factions" who get jealous when someone else gets a bit of love and it feels like they are missing out.

It makes no sense to complain that GW don't treat everyone all the time. When LotR was launched it was like the older kids had to get used to their parents' time being split 3 ways not just 2 ways anymore. Anyone who's had young kids and then a baby will know what I'm talking about! Tantrums? Boy, if ever!

Sure it is justifiable for supporters of one faction to complain if there is something broken that needs fixing and GW aren't doing it. That's like a kid who's asked his dad to mend the puncture on his bike and he just won't find the time to get around to do it. We've all been there - and for instance, like with issues about Orks (no codex for 8 years) and lack of FAQs (just when are they going to sort that thorn out) sometimes they are legitimate. But a big company like GW should be able to juggle its time and finances to meet those relatively minor demands.

It's not legitimate for one of the kids to get jealous when one of the others has a birthday for instance however. That's naughty behaviour and, in my household at least, merits punishment! If its one kid's birthday and they get lots of presents, then the others should be happy for him/her and not begrudge the birthday boy the extra attention. And most competent games companies, just like most good parents, will not neglect one aspect of their business just because it is the turn of the other part for some extra lovin'! And most surely if it does happen, it isn't the fault of the other child (or game and its players) but that of the parents (management).

Does this make sense to anyone or am I waffling away in my own head?

yabbadabba
24-01-2008, 12:28
Does this make sense to anyone or am I waffling away in my own head?

I think warseer's forum rules prevent me from truthfully answering this one mate!

Osbad
24-01-2008, 12:32
I think warseer's forum rules prevent me from truthfully answering this one mate!

Har-de-ha-ha!! :p:D

Patriarch
24-01-2008, 12:58
Osbad, you are spot on with the children analogy. I have stopped trying to be fair between my kids, and hope it balances out over time...I'll only know for sure if they both visit me at the old folks' home...

Anyway, were you part of GW during the time of the SM2/TL period of epic? I ask because this is the closest analogy to the coverage and support LOTR receives now. If it was generating a significant chunk of GW's revenue at the time, would it be fair to say that, assuming the "quality" of the games is about the same, the success of either is based on GW's exposure of it? This goes to the heart of the SG "chicken-and-egg" decline theory.

To those who seem to regard Tolkein's work as derivative, maybe you have been spoiled by the wealth of fantasy literature these days. Back in the 50's there were the classics (Homer etc) and the odd pulp stuff, but nothing recognisable as "modern fantasy".

Shadowheart
24-01-2008, 13:49
To those who seem to regard Tolkein's work as derivative, maybe you have been spoiled by the wealth of fantasy literature these days. Back in the 50's there were the classics (Homer etc) and the odd pulp stuff, but nothing recognisable as "modern fantasy".

If you're defining modern Fantasy as Tolkienian High Fantasy, then, well, yeah. Otherwise, you already had, off the top of my head, MacDonald, Morris, Dunsany, Eddison, Cabell, Peake and Anderson. Swords & Sorcery had already gone from Howard to Leiber, so that was an established genre.

CapitanGuinea
24-01-2008, 13:49
err... the last phrase is incorrect...



To those who seem to regard Tolkein's work as derivative, maybe you have been spoiled by the wealth of fantasy literature these days. Back in the 50's there were the classics (Homer etc) and the odd pulp stuff, but nothing recognisable as "modern fantasy".


Lovecraft (last 1800)
Fantasy and immagination stories on pulp magazine (early 1900-1930)

Conan the Barbarian was written down in the '30s
Fantasy Culture does not begin with Tolkien, but has been fairly rielaborated by him for a most important subgenre: fantahistorical fantasy...

Osbad
24-01-2008, 14:01
Anyway, were you part of GW during the time of the SM2/TL period of epic? I ask because this is the closest analogy to the coverage and support LOTR receives now. If it was generating a significant chunk of GW's revenue at the time, would it be fair to say that, assuming the "quality" of the games is about the same, the success of either is based on GW's exposure of it? This goes to the heart of the SG "chicken-and-egg" decline theory.

I didn't really get involved with GW during the 90's at all. It was only the buzz over LotR that brought me back to wargaming, and TBH the fact that GW were doing it was a turn off, as I never really liked that whole "WAAAARGH" phase (if you know what I mean) that GW went through and was scared they wouldn't respect the look and feel that New Line and Tolkien had created. I like my wargames more restrained. Personal choice of course. Nothing wrong with it if you prefer a more "in yer face" approach to games!

I can follow the "chicken and egg" argument. Sure a game isn't going to take off if you don't give it a chance. And I do think that GW have been guilty of underselling some SG titles, and made other mistakes. And I speak as a fan of BFG and Epic: Armaggedon both of which I learned to play and build up forces for in the last 6 years. A classic example was Battle of the FIve Armies which they went to all the cost of developing and then only did a limited release of which sold out in the US within weeks. What a waste!

One does wonder whether greater promotion within stores would generate more sales of these games. My understanding though is GW are pretty convinced that they won't because they have the evidence of not receiving any blips in sales when they have advertised the games to a wider audience. Their evidence points to them being "a niche within a niche" and that there is only limited crossover sales potential. They believe that there simply isn;t the market for them, at least in the volumes that would justify the costs of extra promotion.

Now, I take you point about SM/TL and its popularity. And that sort of apparently gives the lie to the whole "SG can never be popular" argument doesn't it?

Some points that spring to mind that might make it a special case are.

1/ Back in the early/mid 90's GW was still a "games" company rather than the "Miniatures" company it is now. It was only in the late 90's that they realised that "games" weren't what earned them mega-profits, and that if they wanted to grow at the rate the stock market needed them to they would have to cease being a games company and focus on the miniatures side. By which they meant 28mm miniatures. If it hadn't been for special pleading by the staff and Kirby's soft heart all SG would have been axed then and there. They were profitable, but not profitable enough. Everything I have heard anecdotally here and elsewhere convinces me that SG can be profitable. But GW need a VERY high level of profit to cover their overheads and they can't justify the time and effort to distribute SG via the channels the "core" games are distributed in as there just isn't the potential demand.

Lets face it, if GW felt there was a decent buck to be earned off SG they'd be in there like a ... very fast thing. The only reason LotR broke into their core games was because of the phenomenal worldwide appeal of the franchise. Nothing else would have even been considered as the cost of forgoing capacity to sell 40k and WFB (in terms of shelf space and distribution capacity) would have been too great for justification.

2/ The way fans reacted to the replacement of SM/TL with Epic 40000 put the kybosh on things. It was a bit like what happened to Rackham when they stopped developing Confrontation 3.5 and announced that in a year or so they were going to bring out a 4th edition with prepaints. The sense of betrayal amongst the fans that their beloved game was replaced (even though the games were passed their sell-by dates and were in need of a massive overhaul) was just overwhelming. EA is a great game, and if it had had even a fraction of the fanbase that SM/TL had got it would have done well, but the poison that surrounded the whole Epic genre because "they had replaced SM/TL with this rubbish Epic 40000 game" was very detrimental. I see echoes of that experience in GW's handling of the whole 4th and 5th edition upgrades. GW are VERY wary of radical change nowadays in the style of their rules.

So if EA had been really pushed in the shops, would it have taken off and got back to the levels of SM/TL? No one knows, but GW didn't believe it was worth trying. My understanding was that they felt so little response from the promotion in WD and in Fanatic magazine that they did do, that they were convinced the market was no longer there. I am pretty certain (but I haven't spoken to those that would make the decision, so I am only guessing here) that IF they had seen a half-decent uptake of the game after their initial pumping in WD and in Fanatic, then that would have prompted a bit more promotion, and then if that had seen a return further promotion would have followed, and then maybe ultimately we would have seen 4 core games in the stores. But for GW at least, there were no encouraging signs that they would ever see the volumes of sales needed to justify the cost of that extra promotion required. They knew Epic could make a profit, just they didn't believe it could make a BIG profit, and so they abandoned the project. GW don't need to sell a few hundred copies of a game to justify its development, they have to sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions of copies. That is a tall order! IIRC there were only 400,000 copies of BotFA produced, and that was considered a "small" and unsupported game. The likes of Mongoose and Rackham likely flip through hoops if one of their main games sells that many copies! When LotR is dismissed as an insignificant game by the "40k crowd", at 10% of GW's output that's over Ģ10m of product annually and was something like Ģ50m a year at its peak- something between 2 and 10 times Rackham's annual turnover! At one point Jervis said that they had sold more plastic Uruk-hai than the size of the population of New Zealand! When they were released the metal Swan Knights of Dol Amroth outsold everything GW had ever produced, including Space Marines. Even now, when many believe it is dead, the game is a relative giant in the market place. Other than in comparison to 40k, by any other standards LotR is a MASSIVE game and one of the most popular out there. I can't see a 6mm tabletop game ever reaching those proportions.

Remember my point 1 above. GW in the 21st century is a different company than it was in the 90's so what they want to achieve from a product range is very different now. I'm not supporting it, or saying that is a good thing. Far from it. I too preferred GW the way it was in 1986, but it's not LotR's fault that it "cut the mustard" and GW decided it was worth promoting, while Epic, BFG, Inquisitor, Warmaster, Man O'War, Space Crusade, etc., etc. all no longer meet the board's expectations for a product range.

All just my 2p based on what I've seen and heard anyway.

JodiePascal
24-01-2008, 14:14
Okay folks, look...GW is a UK based company. LOTR was written by Tolkien who had stated several times that it was his goal to reinvent the English mythology, something that he devoted his entire life to, and he did well. It is only natural that, seeing the popularity of the "rings" in the UK, that GW would "jump on the bandwagon" as it were.
While, yes, the advent of the movies did bring LOTR back into the mainstream with the fans and GW was right to jump on this, but unlike other companies who destroyed the LOTR image, GW has resurrected it. They have created nothing but quality product, a fast and effective rules set, and have been given the blessing of the Tolkien Estates to delve into the background of the books! If you know anything about the Tolkien Estates, it is extremely difficult to work with them, and rightly so. They are protecting the sanctity of J.R.R's lifelong work.
I say that GW is finally doing the "rings" right and should be commended. Sorry to those who feel differently. As to the argument that GW is losing resources to LOTR, you are wrong. GW has a completely seperate team dedicated to the Rings only.

Thanks for letting me rant.


JPB

Templar Ben
24-01-2008, 14:25
Perhaps this should be a new thread but are you suggesting that GW has treated LotR differently than other companies because both are British? If so please start a new thread so we can explore that.

Osbad, I agree with Five Armies. I looked all over for it. I suppose I should have special ordered it. I think GW really just made BotFA so they could point to Warmaster/Warhammer and Epic/40K and say "see LotR is a core game too". Just my uninformed take on it.

Huw_Dawson
24-01-2008, 15:32
There is actually a copy of BoFA sitting in my LFGS, iirc. Nobody has ever bothered to buy it. xD

- Huw

Batwings
24-01-2008, 18:01
"I think GW really just made BotFA so they could point to Warmaster/Warhammer and Epic/40K and say "see LotR is a core game too". Just my uninformed take on it."

Actually, it was a Rick Priestly 'vanity' project. I don't say that as a criticism, Rick simply had a hankering to make the game and the company got behind it.

Kind of like the Olde GW Days!

Templar Ben
24-01-2008, 18:23
There is actually a copy of BoFA sitting in my LFGS, iirc. Nobody has ever bothered to buy it. xD

- Huw

PMed you.


"I think GW really just made BotFA so they could point to Warmaster/Warhammer and Epic/40K and say "see LotR is a core game too". Just my uninformed take on it."

Actually, it was a Rick Priestly 'vanity' project. I don't say that as a criticism, Rick simply had a hankering to make the game and the company got behind it.

Kind of like the Olde GW Days!

Fair enough.

JodiePascal
24-01-2008, 19:30
What I am saying is that the British take LOTR a lot more serious than other countries of the world. I have friends in Newcastle that claim there are some in the country who have a higher respect for Tolkiens work than they do the bible! There is nothing wrong with the British taking pride in LOTR, we all have different reasons for our love of J.R.R. I commend them highly for having such pride. I think the British are the only ones who could even and are even, doing justice to such a great literary work.
But that is only my opinion...

RobC
24-01-2008, 20:04
I doubt LotR being 'British' has much to do with GW's decision to take the licence. It's simply that GW was founded and is still (despite all the stories of the company being run by bean counters) mostly staffed by people who are full-on fantasy/sci-fi geeks, and Lord of the Rings is the great grandfather of them all. It was also a major coup, considering how much of a splash the films made on release.

Batwings
24-01-2008, 20:31
"I have friends in Newcastle that claim there are some in the country who have a higher respect for Tolkiens work than they do the bible!"

I think that says more about The Bible than it does about The Lord of the Rings.
In the last British census 400,000 people listed their religion as 'Jedi'.

- Human
24-01-2008, 20:58
Because it took attention and resources from all the other games we already loved.

The_Patriot
24-01-2008, 20:59
Because it took attention and resources from all the other games we already loved.

Which has been disproven many times in this thread already.

Roguebaron
24-01-2008, 21:12
I wonder if some of the hostility isn't garnered from the stores that are forced to carry lotr even though they've never sold a single one. Our local store here says he'd love to put out more 40k and fantasy, which is what he needs, but GW forces him to carry all three games, so he has to dedicate some of his space to lotr. He has nothing personal against the game, but for him, it's dead, and he'd love to use his limited space for gaming for what is going to provide him with more profits. And before you say you need to support it to sell it, he had, but it just wasn't moving in our community after a year, and he'd like to drop the line. Now as a gamer, knowing GW is forcing stores to carry a product that they don't want because sales are week, it does foster some resentment of the game.

W0lf
24-01-2008, 21:25
Most of the vets at my store (myself included untill recently) resent LoTR as it is the game that seems to be played by all the small annoying store children.

Some of the LoTR-only players are douches.

The_Patriot
24-01-2008, 21:30
Most of the vets at my store (myself included untill recently) resent LoTR as it is the game that seems to be played by all the small annoying store children.

Some of the LoTR-only players are douches.

And WHFB and WH40k players aren't? :angel:

Stella Cadente
24-01-2008, 21:33
Because it took attention and resources from all the other games we already loved.
*Blasts your face off with a Plasma gun*
bloomin trolls

Most of the vets at my store (myself included untill recently) resent LoTR as it is the game that seems to be played by all the small annoying store children.

Some of the LoTR-only players are douches.
and with that attitude what are your vets?

Templar Ben
24-01-2008, 22:27
I doubt LotR being 'British' has much to do with GW's decision to take the licence. It's simply that GW was founded and is still (despite all the stories of the company being run by bean counters) mostly staffed by people who are full-on fantasy/sci-fi geeks, and Lord of the Rings is the great grandfather of them all. It was also a major coup, considering how much of a splash the films made on release.

I took his comment more about how it was treated by GW after they got the license.

VetSgtNamaan
24-01-2008, 22:51
Well I know one thing that has come from all this talk about Lotr. It makes me want to give it a second look. I pretty much passed by it since no one I knew played it but I do love the books and I think it is worth a little investment in time and money.

Imperialis_Dominatus
24-01-2008, 23:15
Because it took attention and resources from all the other games we already loved.

Nasty hobbitses stole our precious, yes, must kill them, sneaky evil icky hobbitses yes, our precious precious. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

lanrak
24-01-2008, 23:28
Hi all.
Do you think it could be a bit of green eyed monster creeping in?

GW have been mucking about with 40k/WH for years and years...
This New Line License pops up , and all of a sudden they create an elegant and efficeint rule set that makes the 40k rule set look like unadulterated crud...
And they churn out NOTHING BUT GREAT MINIS for LOTR.

All perfectly proportioned and just ,just soo damn loverley!

So GW give its own IP the worst game/gamer support , some dodgy minis, down right abstract and very bizare rules.

But LOTR seems to get all round best efforts of all concerned...

Nah 40kers and WHers wouldnt be jelous of tons of support GW gives/gave LOTR would they?

Llew
25-01-2008, 02:02
PMed you.




Darn you, Templar Ben!

JesseO_o
25-01-2008, 02:34
It has become clear that Osbad has been controlling this argument with some false premises.

To begin, i worked for GW in retail for three years, and visited the studio in Nottingham as well as forgeworld.

In my experience, Games Workshop stores have transformed from what many people would call hobby centres, or fun places to practice the hobby, or places geared towards existing customers, towards centres aimed at attracting new players AT THE EXPENSE of the attention and generositydisplayed previously to existing customers.

This, to me, and i have been vindicated by sales at my store and wider GW financial position, has been a foolish action because the games are simply NOT geared towards your average jow who walksin off the street. Sure, some kids who come in might nag their parents or some model painters might discover GW and be impressed, but on the whole it is extremely hard to sell the massive upfront products needed to start the hobby to interested customers.

The removal of paints available for use, the excessive policing of in store games and the COMPLETE lack of any sort of sale, ever, with the exception of the opening of new stores leaves long time players feeling neglected and harms Games Workshop gravely in the long run. This is what Kirby was talking about in the quotes supplied earlier and this is the fundamental reason that many people feel GW took the wrong road when presented with a fork.

To many veteran gamers, the introduction of Lord of The rings and its promotion to third core game coincided with this change in direction.

Osbad has been writing his posts as though Games Workshop has always displayed the utmost business sense, and that anyone who argues with their decisions simply doesn't understand. This is demonstrably untrue.

The decision to cut fanatic and Specialist Games was not simply a smooth culling of an arm of the company that was not making money, it was a grievious failure because it represented a mismanagement of resources, an abandonment of several highly profitable, well designed games systems, and to this day i cannot understand Games Workshop;'s stubbornness in refusing to import BFG models for interested gamesrs here to Australia or other countries.

It is a testament to how popular these games could have been that fans continue to participate in the development of existing rules on the official specialist games site, and that the models continue to sell despite the total lack of advertising and the requirement to order them from the UK.

If GW were to put design resources into a game like BFG, which is closely tied to 40K, doesnt require many models to play (thus conserving store space as well), and is visually stunning, it could be a real profit turner.

The decision to go with Lord of the Rings as a permanent addition to the catalogue has pleased those who enjoy the game (though i hardly think it is reasonable to be saying that one system is :"better than" another, when such things are so subjective. I enjoy WHB and you enjoy LotR, and that's ok), but represented to many other gamers slickening of the GW corporate machine into one which appears sure of itself yet has lost the confidence of those who would so avidly defend it were it more consultative and less brash, and a death knell for specialist games design and development.

Another symbol of this change in direction is the degeneration of white dwarf into an advertising and money. If we are buying a magazine devoted exclusively to GW models with a view to learning more about how to use and paint and model our armies, why do we deserve to have additional advertising rammed dwon our throats instead of well developed articles like there used to be? because it is cheaper to do so. Cheaper is not always better, and one day GW will realise that cost-cutting, whether in staff or design or attitude, has cost it loyalty and support across the board.

In summary, many people's gripe may not be with LotR, but with what GW business strategy has become since LotR was introduced. You cannot argue that LotR had nothing to do with this change, because the confidence they felt from increased profits most certainly made GW think that they could afford to market increasingly to new gamers at the expense of programs designed to keep the vets happy. Time and time again i have heard the argument from store managers and other people in GW that we had to market to new people because the regulars would be back anyway to spend their weekly GW allocation regardless of how much we allocated to them in resources such as our time as staff or space in our stores. This attitude is at the core of what really makes GW stink.

Gaebriel
25-01-2008, 02:48
So, basically you're suggesting that LotR was a catalyst for the 'bad' changes in customer relationship and to a degree questionable product decisions GW made over the last years?

That is. Bold. I'd say. But I don't have the knowledge to evaluate that, because I do not know when those things started - not having been around "the hobby" between 1995 and 2003.

I am not too sure Osbad did advocate things in a way you state he did, but I think he can retrace his arguments easier.

JesseO_o
25-01-2008, 03:26
I am not suggesting that LotR was solely responsible, but simply that it did impact on GW's confidence to make such changes and the initial "bubble" led them to believe that this was a sustainable course of action to pursue.

Also, I hadn't read Osbad's last post and i think he addressed some of the same concerns , but i think his attitude to the reasons for Specialist Games being withdrawn (particularly that it was "unprofitable" to make these games when there were so many mistakes made and underinvestment in them that it is impossible to determine such things), and even the idea that these games couldnt be picked up and developed now, is strange.

Baltar
25-01-2008, 03:59
I probably would play LOTR if I didn't have the sinking feeling that GW was going to stop supporting it at any moment, and if ANYONE in my area played the game.

A huge Mordor army would be pretty sweet.

Bookwrak
25-01-2008, 07:54
They're not going to stop supporting it at any moment. Their license for the property runs through what, 2010? You don't pay a premium price for a license like that and then drop it while you can still use it.

Axel
25-01-2008, 08:35
With the announced two movies based on "The Hobbit" I doubt that GW will let the licence lapse if they have any choice.

yabbadabba
25-01-2008, 09:49
There is too much blurring of lines here. Let's clarify and possibly over simplify:

LOTR:

Why did GW do it? Because they would have been mad not to. They designed a good game, with good figures, cashed in on a media phenomenon. I think it was one of their better business decisions.

Did LOTR take resources from other systems? Arguable. GW has attempted several times in the past to get a game as the "third core game". Epic, Mordheim, GorkaMorka were all touted as such. There were no such issues then. You could argue that the resources for LOTR were only there because of LOTR, as in the resources were put in as part of the agreement for the license. I think what limits the evolvement of the systems is hindered by the management decisions of what the product should be, and the needs of the sales companies to rely on new releases to make targets.

LOTR is responsible for GW's current situation No. Poor management decisions about the direction the business should go in is responsible for that. For me the prime example of that is communications with their customers - it is almost non-existent. I think LOTR was a catalyst for those decisions due to the large amounts of cash, but those decisions were inevitable with the current upper management.

Osbad
25-01-2008, 09:58
Also, I hadn't read Osbad's last post and i think he addressed some of the same concerns , but i think his attitude to the reasons for Specialist Games being withdrawn (particularly that it was "unprofitable" to make these games when there were so many mistakes made and underinvestment in them that it is impossible to determine such things), and even the idea that these games couldnt be picked up and developed now, is strange.

A very interesting read JesseO_o, thanks for taking the effort to post.

If I came across as a GW-apologist, then I must have misrepresented myself. Checking back on my posts over the last view years should convince you otherwise... ;)

The idea that LotR generated so much revenue that it catalysed a change in mentality is an idea that I have heard before. Certainly I have heard many who were staffers in the period 02-04 say that selling LotR in-store was a doddle as the stuff just walked off the shelves. I remember my local store staff being just gobsmacked when they sold out their stock of Mumakil (a Ģ50 kit) within a week.

I just don't buy into this being somehow "LotR's fault". The blame has to, as I said in my post, be blamed at management's door, not that of the game, or of the gamers who play it.

The fact that management drew incorrect conclusions from the facts laid before them about gamer mentality and how best to "exploit" it is a management flaw. I have said that all along. So by all means rail against Kirby and his cohorts for stuffing up 40k and WFB, but don't rail against the one good decision they made in the last 7 years! That's my message. Blaming LotR is letting management off the hook for disrespecting the 40k gamers.

I think we are largely singing from the same hymnsheet on that topic.

As for SG. Again, I perhaps have come across a bit too supportive of GW management. Without access to the actual sales figures I only have the testimony of people such as yourself who give anecdotal evidence as to their popularity.

I don't deny that "something could be done" with SG. For instance, what I would love to see would be the games licenced to a smaller company (like they did with WFRP to Hogshead) and see them sold via indie retailers. I'm sure they could more than wash their collective face on that one. But it seems GW would rather leave the games in the parlous state they are in rather than try anything like that. Boo to them!

What I was trying to say (at more than appropriate length!) was that for whatever reason GW appear convinced that SG "aren't profitable enough". That is certainly what I was told was the message from management to staff at Lenton back in 04 (or was it 05, I forget now) when the Fanatic Studio was discontinued. Whether it is true or not I cannot vouch, but that was the story, and I have no reason to believe that management believed otherwise. Of course management may have been wrong, but that is by the by. The point is that it was nothing to do with LotR, it was an independent thinking. It may have been catalysed by the belief that they had discovered the midas touch and anything that took too much effort to promote (like SG did and LotR didn't) wasn't worth their attention, but so much the worse for them. Again, not LotR's "fault", just the fault of dubious reasoning by management and somewhat of a coincidence.

Other reasons for this belief of mine are that 4th edition was published in 04, at the height of the LotR bubble. If GW truley were "starving 40k of resources" would they have bothered to develop and release a new edition of the game right when they were rolling in LotR's popularity? Doesn't make any sort of sense to me.

Similarly, things like the LotR design studio recruited 2 new staff: Mat Ward and Adam Troke who worked initially exclusively on LotR, and later spread out to the other games: didn't Ward write the Wood Elves army book, and Troke is certainly credited in 4th edition - so again, contrary to the "common wisdom", the actual evidence says it was the case that LotR subsidised the resources of 40k and not so much the other way around. Same for miniatures design: the Perry's own projects were doing so well, the likelihood is that they wouldn't have done any more for 40k or WFB whether or not LotR came along. Who knows? And lets face it, 40k owes LotR for taking up Gary Morely's time thereby diverting his "talents" away from ruining 40k sculpts into ruining LotR ones instead... :p

So getting back to your point that:


I am not suggesting that LotR was solely responsible, but simply that it did impact on GW's confidence to make such changes and the initial "bubble" led them to believe that this was a sustainable course of action to pursue.

I wouldn't disagree with the basic premise that management made some incorrect assumptions based on the the revenue flows from LotR that adversely affected players of all their games. But I am making suggestions that pointing the finger of blame at LotR itself is the wrong place to point it because if management had said "look at LotR: its popular because it is a well thought-through game and has beautiful miniatures, which are relatively reasonably priced and a strong back-story, lets bring our other games up to this standard and we'll be billionaires" then we wouldn't have anything to "Blame" LotR for. LotR was a "force of nature" in that regard. It isn't the game's fault that management took "lazy" desicions based on its popularity. If indeed that is what they did.

Osbad
25-01-2008, 10:04
There is too much blurring of lines here. Let's clarify and possibly over simplify

I pretty much agree with that analysis!

This is getting to be a habit... we are going to have to find something to disagree on again soon yabs!

yabbadabba
25-01-2008, 10:50
I pretty much agree with that analysis!

This is getting to be a habit... we are going to have to find something to disagree on again soon yabs!

Sorry mate, I have to disagree with that :evilgrin:

Osbad
25-01-2008, 13:44
Sorry mate, I have to disagree with that :evilgrin:

Now that's just plain wrong! :skull:

the anti santa
25-01-2008, 14:49
I really love the LOTR game, I play all 3 core games and quite a few of the specialist ones.

It took me a while to get into LOTR as I didn't like that they changed the rules after every film, so only bought the ROTK rulebook and then the newest version.

But i feel it has some of the best rules of all GW games, since they released the armies supplement the small amount of cheesing people did in that game has largely vanished too (dwarfs, backed up by cheap gondor spearmen with elf archers).

The models are a nice change from the fantasy ones too, the realistic scale and more natural colours presented a nice painting challenge and I collected many long before I played the game.

Sadly it's all too hard to find people who play the game, young new gamers seem to play all 3 systems. But in my local area the mid range (late teens/early 20's) only want to play 40K, they also tend to be the ones who revile LOTR, whilst us vets who've played 15+ years appreciate the strengths of all 3 systems and like some variety.

That said LOTR does have some issues, it tends to get bogged down in larger games with messy combat taking forever, especially with low ST high armour units like easterlings vs minas tirith. And the way you have to buy lots of different army books and "journey books" to get the rules for certain heroes and armies can be a pain. But they seem to have cut back on that and now put all the old rules in each new book.

sabreu
26-01-2008, 03:35
Personal Opinion Alert:

Hope this helps shed some light on how some people might view it (rather than all the dramatic polarisation both sides are doing in this debate). I am a very avid LoTR fan (all the novels, artbooks, movies, huzzah!). I own half the available armies for warhammer 40k. I absolutely have no interest of ever playing LoTR, despite it being hailed a great game.

I play Warhammer 40k for it's grittiness, not so much for the 'perfect game system' but for what appeals to me in a 'game setting', which I think alot of people tend to forget is the real driving factor. There's nothing else that competes with the setting (but plenty for game systems). When the LoTR system came out, I wasn't really interested; I knew mostly everything at the time, having had the books available to me since I was 10 and on (does anyone remember the animated movies?). Not to mention I haven't seen any large scale swing to LoTR in the Northeast usa. I've seen more Warmachine players (I picked up on that, go Khador!).

I guess...it's just LoTR just gives you more instant gratification playing the video games, watching the movie, and if your more literate minded the novels.

:p

AllisterCaine
26-01-2008, 06:43
IMO, LOTR is a **** game, i mean seriously. they should just make a dice meant for LOTR to have a side labled "six" and all the others "not a six" because that is like the only number that matters.

not to mention slow as hell...great miniature range though.

Templar Ben
26-01-2008, 13:40
Just curious but did you play someone that ran a hero into your line and so you quit in turn three?

I ask because I am truly trying to see how you could come up with that view.

Osbad
26-01-2008, 15:20
@sabreu: I respect your personal opinion. THe "Look and feel" of the core games are indeed very different, so it is inevitable that somewill prefer one over the others.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What I think people are not entitled to is turn that personal preference into rudeness and hatred directed at the players of those other games. No one is entitled to exert their opinion over anothers, if that is all it is. And that is what I have sought to do in this thread. Defend LotR against those who seek to justify what is only a personal opinion based, perhaps, on erroneous information and personal prejudice. Someone who says "I hate that game because it is different from40k" is being honest, and there's no arguing with that point of view. Someone who says "I hate that game because it ruined my favourite game" though is just plain wrong, and such a falsehood cannot go unchalleneged as it poisons GW stores and gaming clubs around the world.

Also, I believe those that try to justify their prejudices on factors other than just "personal taste" had better be prepared to justify their position and demonstrate what those factors are, or they will be exposed as irrational "haterz".

If someone has a different opinion than me, I believe I am entitled to disagree, and if they explain factors behind that opinion that are incorrect, then I am entitled to point them out. I hope I would extend them that courtesy in return. Certainly I always seek more information, and if someone has facts at hand - such as conversations with (ex-) senior staffers that contradict what I believe is the truth then I am always willing to modify my opinions. Over the years my opinions of what went on in the upper eschelons of Lenton in the period 2001-2005 have altered radically as I have gleaned the internet, chatted to staff and ex-staff and put 2+2 together. I still may be making 5, but we'll see...

Pointing out the incorrect and irrational can do no harm. I certainly would never seek to alter someones personal point of view, as long as they admit that that is all that is involved.

And I like Warmachine too which I curently play a lot more than any GW game, LotR included. And Khador is my faction - so go us!

And also for the record, I don't believe LotR is the "perfect" system either. It still has several flaws and inconsistences in its current incarnation - GW are still GW after all GW, and their proofreading and playtesting skills appear poor in many instances (I believe Legions of Middle-earth even rivals the 40k Wargear book for errors and inconsistencies). But I do believe it is an excellent game system with basic strengths (such as good faction balance and a relatively low cost to entry. THis latter may be why, other than the more accessible background, you see more kids playing it - just thought of that!)

Happy thoughts!

Codsticker
26-01-2008, 16:25
IMO, LOTR is a **** game...Although I disagree with this generally...
...they should just make a dice meant for LOTR to have a side labled "six" and all the others "not a six" because that is like the only number that matters....that is kinda funny.:p

I don't find too many LoTR players around my neck of the woods (I know only one) but I don't hear anyone hating it either. That may be because I don't know anyone who plays any Specialist Games.

TheBigBadWolf
26-01-2008, 17:19
Other reasons for this belief of mine are that 4th edition was published in 04, at the height of the LotR bubble. If GW truley were "starving 40k of resources" would they have bothered to develop and release a new edition of the game right when they were rolling in LotR's popularity? Doesn't make any sort of sense to me.

Are you intimating that 4th edition had serious effeort put into it:wtf: if GW didnt have its resources devoted to Lotr then the 4th edition wouldnt be the shambles that it is, if Lotr wasnt on the go we could have had a much better rule set, but oh wait the Lotr bubble has burst and 40k is getting a proper set of rules finally.

Damien 1427
26-01-2008, 17:32
Are you intimating that 4th edition had serious effeort put into it:wtf: if GW didnt have its resources devoted to Lotr then the 4th edition wouldnt be the shambles that it is, if Lotr wasnt on the go we could have had a much better rule set, but oh wait the Lotr bubble has burst and 40k is getting a proper set of rules finally.

Hah, no we're not. We're getting a set of planks to hold up a creaky rule-system. It's still the same old system with a few minor changes. The core mechanics are the same as they were ten bloody years ago, and they're not any less crap.

The fact GW doesn't have the balls (Or has too much respect for the fans... I know, I know, but anything is possible!) is why we haven't gotten a new ruleset. Not because they were too busy reaping the rich, green harvest of cash-money from the LOTR cash cow. Because they are lazy, lazy buggers who don't want the bitchfits of the 2nd/3rd transition again.

Templar Ben
26-01-2008, 17:41
If 40K was getting a proper ruleset now that LotR is over then why are we still getting a 5th edition (actually 3.2 edition) that pales in comparison to LotR?

yabbadabba
26-01-2008, 20:10
GW aren't going to change the core mechanics of their 40K/WFB system. It is too ingrained in what they do.

What both games lack (WFB to a lesser extent) is the checks and balances needed to make an IGOUGO game a tactical challenge. Much has been made over the years about the benefits of moving first, setting up first, shooting first e.t.c.

It's been my experience over the years is that one factor is the overwhelming influence on both games, terrain. If you use too much or too little it changes the effects of the rules.

LOTR doesn't have that - although my elven archers standing behind my dwarven warriors behind a wall has generated a few swear words in it's time ;) .

Marked_by_chaos
26-01-2008, 20:28
I think it is a shame if LOTR attracts any stigma. I personally have never been drawn in although i think the models look nice.

The problem i always had was that LOTR coincided with the sidelining of specialist games from white dwarf and from mainline support.

It was specialist games that drew in myself (and lots of other vets) and i think that is why it has often enjoyed a bad press.

I also would love to see specialist games get a separate branch of the company or to be sold under licence.

LuciusAR
26-01-2008, 21:19
Firstly I want to say a bit thank you to all who have taken the time to respond. This thread has been more popular than I ever would have dreamed.

Anyway Ive now got a bit more of an insight into gamers thoughts on the game and the following strikes me:

No one (or at least very very few) seems to have an issue with the game per say, the overall consensus appears to be that the quality of rules and miniatures is excellent, barring of course the whole heroic/real scale debate which ultimately comes down to nothing more than personal preference. However many games seem to resent the the fact the game came at the same time that GW made 3 decisions or changes in their methods.

1) To remove the specialist games from the main stores and move them to mail order only and to subsequently lower from the amount of support for them.

2) The shift away from a focus on established players to attracting new blood. The effect of which can be seen in the shifting of game nights and other events aimed at older players.

3) That resources be shifted away from the existing lines and the established core games to make and support LOTR.

Many players feel that LOTR is a cause or at least a symptom of this change of direction and as a result have no wish to acknowledge it as a main game as they consider it representative of a dark period in GW's treatment of them as hobbyists.

As to whether any of the above holds water is something that has been knocked about plenty in the debate already. I'm certainly not saying that I agree with the above and though I feel GW has made some mistakes in their treatment of certain gamer groups I also feel that LOTR has been scapegoated somwhat.

Anyhow thanks for the eyeopener.

Hagraz
26-01-2008, 22:24
Lord of the rings is by far the best game GW do. I like it a lot :D
Dont like it, Dont play it, dont complain :)

rkunisch
26-01-2008, 23:46
1) To remove the specialist games from the main stores and move them to mail order only and to subsequently lower from the amount of support for them.
Well, I think that is not true. While I would prefer more support nowadays, wasn't it LotR which allowed Fanatic to be launched or kept open? Fanatic was a good step for SG players.

Have fun,

Rolf.

VetSgtNamaan
27-01-2008, 01:53
Firstly I want to say a bit thank you to all who have taken the time to respond. This thread has been more popular than I ever would have dreamed.

Anyway Ive now got a bit more of an insight into gamers thoughts on the game and the following strikes me:

No one (or at least very very few) seems to have an issue with the game per say, the overall consensus appears to be that the quality of rules and miniatures is excellent, barring of course the whole heroic/real scale debate which ultimately comes down to nothing more than personal preference. However many games seem to resent the the fact the game came at the same time that GW made 3 decisions or changes in their methods.

1) To remove the specialist games from the main stores and move them to mail order only and to subsequently lower from the amount of support for them.

2) The shift away from a focus on established players to attracting new blood. The effect of which can be seen in the shifting of game nights and other events aimed at older players.

3) That resources be shifted away from the existing lines and the established core games to make and support LOTR.

Many players feel that LOTR is a cause or at least a symptom of this change of direction and as a result have no wish to acknowledge it as a main game as they consider it representative of a dark period in GW's treatment of them as hobbyists.

As to whether any of the above holds water is something that has been knocked about plenty in the debate already. I'm certainly not saying that I agree with the above and though I feel GW has made some mistakes in their treatment of certain gamer groups I also feel that LOTR has been scapegoated somwhat.

Anyhow thanks for the eyeopener.




I would have to say you nailed it pretty much dead on from what I have seen. Of course there is always things we would like a company to do but regardless of what they did to specialist games how many would actually play them? I know there is alot of talk around my area about playing things like gorkamorka and necromunda again but nothing ever gets organised. We always default to the tried and true of 40k or flames of war.

It matters very little how much something is supported or not if people see the game being played the new younger plays will get into the game. It just so happens right now that heroclix is the king of games. YOu have a large player base with boosters at around 10 dollars and alot of vets willing to either give or trade very well the figs they do not use to help new players.

yabbadabba
27-01-2008, 09:34
1) To remove the specialist games from the main stores and move them to mail order only and to subsequently lower from the amount of support for them.


I think this is a distracting reason. My money is on the bean counters removing SG and not LOTR directly. They probably said "we think that LotR will make Ģx per square foot while SG make Ģy per square foot (where x is substantially bigger than y). Which do you want in the store?
Some doughnut head, who had no understanding of how SG can be used to prolong a young hobbyist's existence in the hobby, and help him mature as a gamer (along with the benefits to Vets) then said "OK, I never liked it anyway. Get rid of it."
Without the stores support, the cash flow dwindled (from a not huge amount anyway) and SG were condemned to a slow GW death online.

Again, poor management decisions. Noticed I did not offer the proper alternative, which was a compromise. I would put money on it never being discussed. My impression from my sources was that some influential parts of the sales management team, who came in it a higher level and did not come through the stores, have never wanted SG's in stores and made no effort to understand their part in the synergy of the GW hobby.

newpaintbrush
27-01-2008, 10:37
Firstly I am posting this here as I want to get the general opinion on this matter from a cross section of the community as opposed to the LOTR fanbase hence I think this topic is more suited to here as opposed to the LOTR forum.

Essentially the question is in the topic, LOTR in my experience is often greeting with distain and often downright hostility by much of the more estabished gaming community and I'm honestly curious as to why. Mostly when I ask this question to gamers in person I get a selection of muttering about kids, or too simple rules. Neither of which In my experience are true or necessarily bad things. I'm looking for constructive reasons as to the reasons this game seems to be held in such low regard.

I can accept people not playing the game if it doesn't appeal to them, that's life, but many gamers seem to wish the game ill and want to see it banished from the shelves.

Any input is welcome.

Different locales have different communities of gamers. One area may be generally receptive to Lord of the Rings, and another area may be very disdainful of it.

As far as wishing Lord of the Rings to be banished from the shelves -

There are three good reasons I can think of offhand to support that position, none of which I support.

1. GW attention towards Lord of the Rings means decreased attention to Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. I suppose this wouldn't be viewed as so much of a problem if GW didn't put out such crap product for Warhammer Fantasy and 40K (crap product as far as a cohesive and well-edited set of rules and codexes / army books; they're all terrible, and some models are rather bad as well).

2. Customer attention to Lord of the Rings means the same. Now you have people playing Lord of the Rings. But Mr. Old School has 4000 points of Space Marines, 2000 points of Tyranids, 11000 points of Empire, 3000 points of Dwarves, and doesn't want to pick up a new army of Uruk-Hai and learn yet another rule system. Mr. Old School has nobody to play with; they're all off playing this new game.

3. Little kids. Now, I have no objection to little kids that are well-behaved. But a lot of parents want to use gaming places as nurseries. So the little kids run around and pick stuff up and drop them, steal dice, and ask inane questions that you have to repeat the answers to, pick up your models and try to see if they have moving parts (and if they don't, they try to MAKE them move). Generally, of course, kids, even young ones, don't act like that. I'd have to say that it's the exception where I go. But there are PLACES that have exceptions, where you have hordes of little kids charging around, and for some odd reason the store owners are apathetic and don't talk to the parents. And such places are often those that push Lord of the Rings. (Warhammer? Never heard of it. Don't believe in it.)

Note - I don't support 1) because I think GW is going to do a crappy job on codexes no matter what. I don't support 2), because I don't mind picking up an army of Uruk-Hai and learning a new ruleset, and I don't support 3) because somehow kids don't make a lot of problems for me.

But I can see why some gamers would support those various viewpoints.

Osbad
28-01-2008, 10:29
Just to chuck some more items to consider into the pot regarding the whole "discontinuation of SG" debate.

Again, for the record, I like and play a couple of SG's and do wish I could buy stuff for them, in store at reasonable prices.

The SG's were not one single entity. There have been various SG's over the years that have come and gone, some long before the differentiation of "Specialist" versus "Core" games formally existed within GW. For instance Gorkamorka. This was a "wildly popular" game if you belief the fanatics who rant on about it over the internet, yet it was discontinued, presumably because it was unprofitable, long before LotR ever was on the horizon. So GW has had a long, long history of introducing and shortly afterwards discontinuing non-core games. What has changed since the Fanatic studio changed is that no new ones have been released.

That, I believe is the key decision that is "different". BFG, Inq, EA, WM, BoFA, BB, Necro etc were all introduced over a long period of time when economics were entirely different, and its not necessarily fair to consider them all equally as one single entity.

arkle
28-01-2008, 14:05
The only thing I don't like is the fact specialist games have been all but forgotten in preference for the three main systems.

swordwind
28-01-2008, 15:00
You don't see the makers of such games as D&D jumping on such bandwagons and they do fine! Well afaik anyways...


Would these be the same makers of D&D who have licences for Star Wars, Pokemon, Transformers, Maple Story, all of Avalon Hill's old games and thanks to the Open Game Licence system have their fingers in the pies of things like World of Warcraft, Everquest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Babylon 5, Starship Troopers, Judge Dredd, Doctor Who, Stargate and dozens more I cant be bothered to think of?


IMO, LOTR is a **** game, i mean seriously. they should just make a dice meant for LOTR to have a side labled "six" and all the others "not a six" because that is like the only number that matters.

not to mention slow as hell...great miniature range though.

Thanks for that detailed and well reasoned argument...

Stella Cadente
28-01-2008, 15:52
IMO, LOTR is a **** game, i mean seriously. they should just make a dice meant for LOTR to have a side labled "six" and all the others "not a six" because that is like the only number that matters.

not to mention slow as hell...great miniature range though.
yeah its so stupid making a game where you have to roll dice and to beat your opponent, hoping you roll lots of higher dice than him, who on earth would make a game like that.........................................oh wait, thats every dice game EVER MADE
anymore stupid comments troll boy?

LuciusAR
29-01-2008, 14:36
IMO, LOTR is a **** game, i mean seriously. they should just make a dice meant for LOTR to have a side labled "six" and all the others "not a six" because that is like the only number that matters.

not to mention slow as hell...great miniature range though.

Seriously, have you ever played a proper game of LOTR? I cant see how you could hold this opinion if you had its as inaccurate as it comes.

LuciusAR
29-01-2008, 23:39
Sorry to double post but another thought occurs.

Looking back at some older threads where some official GW figures where posted (admittedly these where about 8 months old) it became apparent that not only are LOTR boxed sets doing well but they are often outselling the WFB boxed sets. I have no reason to suspect this has changed since then.

SO my question is that given the apparent fact the LOTR is still going strong and making GW a solid amount of money, even if this is less than a few years ago, where the hell are all the players?

My local store and club seem to bereft of LOTR gamers over 15. In fact at my local club LOTR is treated like radioactive waste. As a result, despite owning 2 armies and loads of bits, I havnt played an LOTR game in over a year and I'm very annoyed at this fact.

My theory on this is 2 fold:

1) Gamers are not playing at the store as generally staff are failing to promote it. Much preferring to push for events based around 40K and WFB. Many staffers even go as far as to attack LOTR in front of gamers and customers and certainly fail to promote it as a potential game to new customers. Obviously this is not always the case and does vary from store to store but is certainly representative of my experience.

2) Many veteran gamers (again not all) frown upon the game for reasons already covered as these make up the majority of club members LOTR isn't played as the few LOTR gamers in attendance may well be put off by this elitist mentality.

Now obviously the game is still being played as the figures show it is selling well and GW are still supporting it. The logical assumption is that most players are now playing at home or their own dedicated clubs that exist outside or traditional gaming circles.

A few on this board seem to be predicting the demise of LOTR with glee. Now this is not something I agree with in any way and I don't believe for one second that LOTR will stop just because some on here hope it will. However this does have the potential to become a self fulfilling prophecy in terms of the games potential popularity.

I honest believe that the only reason LOTR gaming is not more in the public eye is because the staff and community arnt promoting and supporting it. Perhaps if they were and the LOTR gamers could be encouraged to game in the open, the game may well do even better and many potential LOTR players who have never seen the game outside of the Intro games in store will get the chance to be exposed to it and realize just what a damn good game it is.

LOTR has good future if thing continue the way they are, it could have a fantastic future if the mentality of the stores and clubs changed. Im convinced that thousands of closet veteran LOTR players are out there waiting to come back to the stores and clubs.

Thoughts?

Rodman49
30-01-2008, 01:15
SO my question is that given the apparent fact the LOTR is still going strong and making GW a solid amount of money, even if this is less than a few years ago, where the hell are all the players?

My local store and club seem to bereft of LOTR gamers over 15. In fact at my local club LOTR is treated like radioactive waste. As a result, despite owning 2 armies and loads of bits, I havnt played an LOTR game in over a year and I'm very annoyed at this fact.

I have a feeling that many LotR gamers don't play at stores. I mean take a look at the Journeybooks. They give you tons of awesome terrain and painting guides. They promote that you build your own terrain and such which seems to me the LotR are more made for gamers who do not play at stores but rather at private residences.


My theory on this is 2 fold:

1) Gamers are not playing at the store as generally staff are failing to promote it. Much preferring to push for events based around 40K and WFB. Many staffers even go as far as to attack LOTR in front of gamers and customers and certainly fail to promote it as a potential game to new customers. Obviously this is not always the case and does vary from store to store but is certainly representative of my experience.

Never had such an experience. I believe these experiences are just more likely to be reported on the net than the times when people are kindly introduced to the game.


2) Many veteran gamers (again not all) frown upon the game for reasons already covered as these make up the majority of club members LOTR isn't played as the few LOTR gamers in attendance may well be put off by this elitist mentality.

I don't know who you consider "veteran gamers" here, I'm thinking this probably applies to the 15-20 age group for some reason. I really can't see anyone above 20 who would "frown" upon people playing LotR. If someone older gets irritated because other people play a different game of toy soldiers then they have other issues.

Jedi152
30-01-2008, 08:26
Bear in mind this post is my opinion, nothing more.

Whilst i can see the game is clever, intuitive, well supported and a classic example of easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master, the honest truth for me is that i just find the Tolkien universe plain dull.

That's why i don't play.

Osbad
30-01-2008, 09:35
My local store and club seem to bereft of LOTR gamers over 15. In fact at my local club LOTR is treated like radioactive waste. As a result, despite owning 2 armies and loads of bits, I havnt played an LOTR game in over a year and I'm very annoyed at this fact.

My experience of my local stores (up and until a couple of years back when they discontinued Vets Night and I reverted to starting my own club which now services my gaming needs) mirrored yours. There was a vicious circle of anti-LotR bias amongst players and some (not all, Dave you beauty!) staff. LotR players were put off joining in because nothing was happening and nothing was happening because no LotR players were coming along to join in. Many staff seemed to lack the will or direction to do anything about it.

That seems to have reversed a lot now and it now appears that there are as many LotR events going on as anything else. Although looking at the ages of those signing up, the LotR crowd on average are in the 12-15 age bracket and the 40k/WFB crowd are in the 16-20 bracket.

I believe it was a combination of peer pressure and ignorance, combined with lack of adequate training for store staff who weren't prepared to go through the pain of breaking the vicious circle (which inevitably have been by setting up LotR events that were poorly supported in the early stages) that alienated the older teens from the game. Just my opinion and just based on what I saw in front of my eyes at my local stores, plus some anecdotal evidence from the intermaweb.

There's also an innate bias created by the LotR background which attracts younger crowd because it is more accessible - they have seen the films and can identify with it, whereas they haven't heard of a Space Marine. So come their 12th birthday, which game are they going to ask for 90% of the time? It also appeals to the 30+ crowd in that it's models are less "cartoony" and fit in with a more serious aesthetic, so many don't feel as "silly" buying them (not that heroic scale models are silly, but again, I can report that LotR models have been given more respect amongst the historicals players I have talked to than the standard GW 40k/WFB models are, which are generally dismissed as being "silly".) Also, many 30+ year-olds have been awaiting a LotR game their entire lives as they have been "into" fantasy from the '70's back when LotR was pretty much the Gold Standard of fantasy. Amongst the under-30's though LotR is less well respected, due to the plethora of alternative fantasy stories that became available by the late 1980's and which have their own appeal.

LuciusAR
30-01-2008, 09:45
I have a feeling that many LotR gamers don't play at stores. I mean take a look at the Journeybooks. They give you tons of awesome terrain and painting guides. They promote that you build your own terrain and such which seems to me the LotR are more made for gamers who do not play at stores but rather at private residences.

My point exactly, just how more sucessful the Game could be if LOTR gamers wernt being forced to play at home.


Never had such an experience. I believe these experiences are just more likely to be reported on the net than the times when people are kindly introduced to the game.

As I said this likely varies from store to store. However I regularly frequent 2 stores. In in the town were I live and one in the town I work in. I have not known LOTR be actively promoted in either for a number of years. For instance I have had the new Ork codex shown off enthusiastically to me on multiple occasions in both stores (nothing wrong with this) and also been shown the sample VC stuff in one store. However at no point has anyone offered to show me the new Harrad book. Even when I asked to see it it was pretty obvious that the book hadn't even been opened.



I don't know who you consider "veteran gamers" here, I'm thinking this probably applies to the 15-20 age group for some reason. I really can't see anyone above 20 who would "frown" upon people playing LotR. If someone older gets irritated because other people play a different game of toy soldiers then they have other issues.

Actually the average age of gamer at my local club is about 35. One of the prominent members is known for not playing LOTR. In fact I remember an incident when he came into the store at the same time as me and he asked to have a read of the new WD. Now this was in the middle of the school holidays and the store was fairly crowded. Upon turning to the news section and seeing some new LOTR figures he proclaimed loudly "oh for gods sake why to the keep putting LOTR in WD no one wants to read about this rubbish". Now my response to this was to wince but bite my tounge. However the then full timers response was to laugh out loud. I would have least expected him to tell the Vet that he was entitled to his opinion but he should at least keep it to himself in store. Trouble is I know this attitude is prominent amongst the other games as well. Don't get me wrong I do get on with the Gamers at my club very well aside from this one point of contention.

I know this is only one experience and I only frequent 2 stores. But I honestly believe the Game isn't being promoted to its full potential and entire hobby is loosing out as a result.

AllisterCaine
30-01-2008, 21:51
yeah its so stupid making a game where you have to roll dice and to beat your opponent, hoping you roll lots of higher dice than him, who on earth would make a game like that.........................................oh wait, thats every dice game EVER MADE
anymore stupid comments troll boy?

So says the guy who said "english is made up of WORDS not LETTERS". Agressive comments? maybe, stupid ones? Sorry, you already took that job of making those. :angel:

Of course I have played the game, and yeah, i didnt enjoy being stuck there for 3 hours trying to kill a freaking goblin. I find enough people agree with that comment to justify it mostly because ITS TRUE.

Another thing is, the evil guys gets all the cool stuff. They have freaking trolls, dragons, the balrog :cheese:, sauron, and the good guys get- talking trees...gay eagles...and...oh thats about it.

Imperialis_Dominatus
30-01-2008, 22:58
So says the guy who said "english is made up of WORDS not LETTERS". Agressive comments? maybe, stupid ones? Sorry, you already took that job of making those. :angel:

So... you gonna stop flaming anytime soon?


Of course I have played the game, and yeah, i didnt enjoy being stuck there for 3 hours trying to kill a freaking goblin. I find enough people agree with that comment to justify it mostly because ITS TRUE.

And from what I've seen 'enough people' are not in this thread.


Another thing is, the evil guys gets all the cool stuff. They have freaking trolls, dragons, the balrog :cheese:, sauron, and the good guys get- talking trees...gay eagles...and...oh thats about it.

You're right. Good guys should get dragons, balrogs, goblins, supreme evil overlords... oh wait, not even GW could make that much of a c*ckup of the background. Nevermind.

swordwind
31-01-2008, 00:07
Evil gets all the cool toys because they had all the cool toys in the book. Its one of the subthemes you see. Good will always triumph over Evil even if Good has a toothpick and Evil has a MOAB. Stout, purehearted, free men will defeat the forces of darkness and slavery no matter how insurmountable the odds are. Also, what is there to suggest that the Great Eagles are of a homosexual persuasion?

AllisterCaine
31-01-2008, 01:22
Evil gets all the cool toys because they had all the cool toys in the book. Its one of the subthemes you see. Good will always triumph over Evil even if Good has a toothpick and Evil has a MOAB. Stout, purehearted, free men will defeat the forces of darkness and slavery no matter how insurmountable the odds are. Also, what is there to suggest that the Great Eagles are of a homosexual persuasion?

Eh, guess thats very true, wont argue with that. To answer that question, have you seen them tackle the foul beasts? (no, i was just making **** up :D)

Patriarch
31-01-2008, 13:21
AC you have what appears to be an eagle as your avatar. Are you trying to......tell us something? ;)

Matt121
31-01-2008, 15:22
I was in GW HQ once (few years ago) & i spoke to a certain member of staff whom i shall not name but you'd be suprised as to who it is; i'll put it this way, without this individual GW would be in the **** (more than they already are anyway). The words used when we spoke about lotr was 'its a **** system', never appealed to me to be honest but there are people in HQ who are of the opinion that its crap.

Osbad
31-01-2008, 15:40
Sounds to me like these dyed-in-the-wool 40k-fan staffers who badmouth LotR are these "dangerous" individuals whom GW should root out as being off-message...

Honestly, who seriously thinks its a good idea for their business to have staffers prominently talking down a product that is as popular and as key to GW's survival as LotR is?

Personally if I had any influence (which of course I don't) I think any employee who treated a major product with such disdain should risk a disciplinary for "gross misconduct".

Such a deep-rooted snotty attitude lost them the business of many LotR fans, and probably significantly contributed to the early demise of the "LotR bubble".

Brother Loki
31-01-2008, 16:34
I think you have a point there Osbad. That's likely the kind of thing that was meant by the 'dangerous' comment. However, from anecdotal evidence it seems to instead have been interpreted as anyone who disagreed with anything a higher up said, or tried to suggest a new initiative.

Stella Cadente
31-01-2008, 17:02
sounds like all the LotR haters are from 40k forums

Imperialis_Dominatus
31-01-2008, 17:34
sounds like all the LotR haters are from 40k forums

But not all those from 40k forums are LotR haters. :p


AC you have what appears to be an eagle as your avatar. Are you trying to......tell us something?

I lol'd.

Damien 1427
31-01-2008, 17:48
Such a deep-rooted snotty attitude lost them the business of many LotR fans, and probably significantly contributed to the early demise of the "LotR bubble".

I'd say the fact they made models that boiled down to "Gimli... with a new hat!" didn't exactly help. There's only so many variations of the Fellowship one can take.

Andyalloverdaplace
31-01-2008, 18:12
I play 40k, and some Fantasy. I do not "hate" LOTR, but I do not play it. Basically, when it came out, I dismissed it as yet another "hype it for 2 months, support it for 6, after that, you are on your own" specialist game. Sure, the redshirts told me there would be long term commitment to LOTR, but I was then already getting the impression that they would tell me the moon is made of tapioca if it increased sales.

LOTR has become the third system, and I accept that. I don't have enough time to run 2 systems, let alone 3. I don't know if LOTR, now that the movies are a fond memory, will remain an asset or become a drag. I do know that I'm not going to start collecting it now.

As far as LOTR versus more specialist games is concerned, I got into the hobby because of Gothic. Specialist games do have the benefit of attracting new players and providing something new to the old hands. Some of the best nights at my local club are where a bunch of us pull out Necromunda boards, crack open the inquisitor books, and use those rules to play necromunda with each person controlling single models. The fact they aren't putting any particular emphasis on new specialist games takes that avenue away.

The only thing that really annoys me about LOTR is that it does mean that 1/3 of white dwarf is useless to me, and since usually there isn't that much in WD that applies to me anyway, I've stopped picking it up, which in turn cuts down on my involvement in all game systems.

If I had to pick the fourth game system for GW, it would be BFG, which is still reasonably popular today, an achievement considering the scarce support all these years later.

yabbadabba
31-01-2008, 19:01
I'd say the fact they made models that boiled down to "Gimli... with a new hat!" didn't exactly help. There's only so many variations of the Fellowship one can take.

I think that had more to do with the license than anything else. You don't see that going on currently.


I play 40k, and some Fantasy. I do not "hate" LOTR, but I do not play it. Basically, when it came out, I dismissed it as yet another "hype it for 2 months, support it for 6, after that, you are on your own" specialist game. Sure, the redshirts told me there would be long term commitment to LOTR, but I was then already getting the impression that they would tell me the moon is made of tapioca if it increased sales.

I think there were loads of people who made this "mistake". GW's track record on these things hasn't exactly been consistent, but you know you would have got at east 3 years worth of solid commitment out of them ;)


As far as LOTR versus more specialist games is concerned, I got into the hobby because of Gothic. Specialist games do have the benefit of attracting new players and providing something new to the old hands. Some of the best nights at my local club are where a bunch of us pull out Necromunda boards, crack open the inquisitor books, and use those rules to play necromunda with each person controlling single models. The fact they aren't putting any particular emphasis on new specialist games takes that avenue away... ...

If I had to pick the fourth game system for GW, it would be BFG, which is still reasonably popular today, an achievement considering the scarce support all these years later.

SG's didn't attract new gamers that often. What they did do was attract old gamers, gamers from other systems e.t.c. as well as providing somewhere else to go if you got bored with 40K and WFB. In my opinion that was really important to the success of keeping somebody in the "hobby".

However this does reflect an aspect of GW hobbyists that really gets on my nerves. Like everyone I like to see new stuff for old games coming out but the long and the short of it is GW doesn't owe us anything for the games they have realised. We are, in essence, to lazy to pick up run with something. There are vibrant communities centred around the SG's. Aside from sales, GW has no need to add to the games they have realised.

And Andy you have highlighted something important. You have crossed Necromunda with Inquisitor to have a great night - something GW has never promoted. So how would continuing support of SG's encourage this sort of creativity?

As a business thing, I think GW is making a big mistake not promoting SG's. As a hobbyists, I have everything I need from GW for SG's and if I want more I am content to get on with it myself - I don't need GW's " official" stamp to make it any more important for me.


The only thing that really annoys me about LOTR is that it does mean that 1/3 of white dwarf is useless to me, and since usually there isn't that much in WD that applies to me anyway, I've stopped picking it up, which in turn cuts down on my involvement in all game systems.

Yes but pre-LOTR if you just played WFB, that still rendered up to 50% of the magazine as a waste anyway so nothing has changed really. At least the painting/scenery/modelling guides can be used for all three systems.

Andyalloverdaplace
31-01-2008, 19:58
Yabba,
Good point about the specialist games bringing people over from other systems, I picked up gothic because, as a Star Fleet Battles player, I wanted something a tad simpler that I could play with people without a 4 hour lesson on power management. Mission accomplished.

Your argument regarding additions to Specialist games can just as easily be applied to LOTR of course. I might be mistaken, but I think they've now released models for basically the entire movie, and are starting to produce models for forces that were not present in the movies, and now are starting on the people who were mentioned in passing in the original books. By this logic there's no need to add models, so we can stop supporting the system, same as all specialist games.

It really doesn't matter I guess. I've come to the realization that, if somebody doesn't want to serve me or sell me something, I don't need to be there, and I certainly don't need to waste my time trying to convince them to sell me the stuff. That goes for restaurants, retail, the whole lot. I think that the only flaw (marketingwise) with LOTR is that the bits don't really translate well to the other systems.

GW might be well served to package the rules for skirmish level combat in a box set modelled after Warmachine, but as far as the big stuff goes, I doubt they are going to innovate much in the near future.

Patriarch
31-01-2008, 22:51
IHowever this does reflect an aspect of GW hobbyists that really gets on my nerves. Like everyone I like to see new stuff for old games coming out but the long and the short of it is GW doesn't owe us anything for the games they have realised. We are, in essence, to lazy to pick up run with something. There are vibrant communities centred around the SG's. Aside from sales, GW has no need to add to the games they have realised.


There's a grain of truth there, but I don't think its the real issue.

It's not

"I will forget how to play SG if GW don't keep releasing stuff for them"

but

"If GW don't market and support SG (and be seen to support it) I'm not going to find any opponents for my SG games"

It would be flippin' hard to convince people to start playing the game when you (and they) know there won't be any shiny new toys coming out for it...ever. This isn't really like introducing someone to Risk...the other guy will have to expend time and money to get an army be able to play against you, which is a big commitment up front.

W0lf
01-02-2008, 18:59
say what you will but the end of the day the reason i (and many i know) Hate LoTRs is thus:

2k is the game size for Fantasy, we have very very few fantasy players who cant play 2k in 2 hours.

1.5K is 40K standard, games also usually last around 2 hours.

Then the LoTRs... full of store small people who play nothing but LoTRs, spend their time annoying others whilst waiting for a game themselves then play 1,000 pts LoTR and take the gamign boards up for 4-5 hours.

Simply put last saturday there was a LoTRs game that lasted from 12-7. In that time (on the other gaming board) There had been 2 40K games and 2 Fantasy games played.

Its not the game.. its the players.

Stella Cadente
01-02-2008, 19:13
Simply put last saturday there was a LoTRs game that lasted from 12-7. In that time (on the other gaming board) There had been 2 40K games and 2 Fantasy games played.
by the sounds of it you also have idiotic staff in your store, none around here would allow that, if you wanna play 1000pts thats fine, but it MUST have a set time limit

W0lf
02-02-2008, 20:07
It was a six turn game...

Nice huh?

Imperialis_Dominatus
02-02-2008, 20:36
Yet the incompetence of your club's staff and the immaturity of your club's LotR players need not be the brush by which all those who endorse LotR be painted.

AllisterCaine
02-02-2008, 22:43
AC you have what appears to be an eagle as your avatar. Are you trying to......tell us something? ;)

Touche, THAT is good humor.

Stella Cadente
03-02-2008, 09:39
It was a six turn game...

Nice huh?
so? if six turns is going to take from 12-7, so 7 hours (a fact I think your exagerating anyway) then a staff member should put a time limit of 2 hours on the game, its that simple, if they want to continue that game they can next time they come in, they simply record the rough posistions of there troops and finish next time

W0lf
03-02-2008, 11:17
but my store loves the new players.

They come in and the staff are all over them.

They would rather some 7 yr old LoTR player was happy then a regular.

In other words they throw the vets in the 'keep net'

Also i dont judge people who play LoTRs outside my own store, merely exaplined why i dislike it.

Ward.
03-02-2008, 11:19
I think I brought up the "it's the players" point earlier in the thread, but he's right.

Imperialis_Dominatus
03-02-2008, 11:51
I honestly don't think you can judge an entire game by the limited experience (relatively) that you've had with them. I always was told that this was stereotyping and was awfully close to bigotry. Naturally, it doesn't seem as serious when applied to separations of people who play with toy soldiers, but the same undertones exist.

RobC
03-02-2008, 12:37
Lord of the Rings has caused problems with GW - but indirectly.

When GW acquired the licence for the LotR game, huge chunks of its shares were bought up by speculative private equity firms. They had a pretty good idea that the game would be big, taking full advantage of the film. They were right.

The problem is, LotR was a blip - and now the shareholders expect GW to continue with unsustainable growth. Cue all the recent cuts over the last few years, slowly eroding what made GW such a big market player.

The company should invest massively in the design studio. It should not be slashing BLP to ribbons, nor allowing Specialist Games to exist in limbo. But shareholders only think in the short-term, wanting profit now at the expense of the company's long-term success.