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VonUber
29-04-2010, 17:51
Hey, I dont normaly post on this section but somthings got me fired up. I game at my local GW have done since I was 12 (wow thats a long long time ago). And its a small store and has a loyal nomber of vets who game there. Its normaly a good store to game at with lots of people for fantasy and 40k.
But recently lancashire got a new area manager who decided that vets arnt good for gw (even though most of the vets spend quite a bit to field there armys). They decided to cut down the gaming area to 1 6ft bored. a single 6ft bored for 20 vetrens. Most of them are used to playing 2k games of 4k and 2.5k games of fantasy.
We have had to cut down to 1k of 40k and 1.5 of fantasy and have a 60min time limit (including geting stuff out and packing away, we have allot of horde army players...)

ITs not a big store. But they decided to cut down the gaming areas to put more intro boreds out.. which we cannot move to play on at vets kights. Seriously? who comes in for an intro game at 8pm on a week day?

We were told its because the area manager thinks vets are free loaders and kids bring in more money than them. That may be true, but the vets have been there longer and have baught lots of models over the year there.

Is anyone else having this problem?

L1qw1d
29-04-2010, 18:17
Nope- people over here are desperate for business and my store has to close Mon & Tues now because there's ONE GUY there who runs it now- but he just sounds like a jerk.

VonUber
29-04-2010, 18:21
Nope- people over here are desperate for business and my store has to close Mon & Tues now because there's ONE GUY there who runs it now- but he just sounds like a jerk.

Never met the guy but he is. The old one was awsome.

eriochrome
29-04-2010, 18:25
GW retail is all currently in throws of random changes. The presure for the individuals stores to make money has been increased and since vets often buy online from discounters the store manager might not be so inclined to support your play since his job depends on instore sales not overall GW sales. We have seen tons of discussion about who buys how much and the real issue is that GW does not really do a good job of tracking that info.

If you consistantly buy from that store you have room to complain to him, if you do not buy from that store you should complain to someplace else in GW.

Garion
29-04-2010, 18:30
I would have to say yes they do, they let people play in stores because for some people that is the only place they get to play and because of it these people collect GW armies. It is probably going to change in some of the smaller towns because of how back the world economy is but that cant be helped the world is in a huge mess financially and they will need to do what ever they can to survive. Even if they do stop in store games being played as much it will never stop all together.

Killgore
29-04-2010, 18:40
I don’t agree with GW shops being the 'only place' to game at,

What’s stopping you and the vets from finding a sufficiently sized venue to game at?

A well advertised independent gaming night could be good for local gamers in your area, free from the tyranny and constraints of a GW store?

GW stores are there to attract new gamers so I can see that from a business view the extra intro table is a great idea, there has to be some statistic GW has of extra business the inclusion of another intro table must have for the store.

Chaos and Evil
29-04-2010, 18:56
We were told its because the area manager thinks vets are free loaders and kids bring in more money than them.
Not an uncommon sentiment from GW area managers, in my experience.

VonUber
29-04-2010, 21:13
I do play at gaming clubs too. But I prefer to play at the store. Mainly because the store has nicer people and isnt abouve a pub.

The issue is that quite allot of the vets do buy from the store, the staff keep the tills open untill the end of vets because revenue is that good from them. I can understand keeping the tables as intro bordes in bigger stores were they have 2 or 3 boreds were they can game on... but in my store were left with 1 6ft for 20 vets. Thats my issue.

bigcheese76
29-04-2010, 21:27
In relation to the first post:
I have had exactly the same happen to my local store. The store used to be two shops (one had gaming tables, the other the products and intro tables) and was halved to just one. Now, I can see that having two stores was doing GW no favours so they went down to one, as I would have done were it my business. The bit they did next however, did confuse me. We used to have a very popular veterans evening which getting a table took no more than about half an hour and there was loads of painting going on and fluff discussion, generally a good evening. When the store was halved, instead of maximising the amount of tables to play on and places to paint, we went down to three tables. One of these was used for displaying the latest releases. One had the intro games and the other was one 6X4 table for a load of us veterans to game on meaning getting a game was rare, and if you did get one, everyone else was just standing waiting for you to finnish. Also, the paint tables were moved to be in a line facing the wall which kind of nulled painting discussion as rather than facing a fellow veteran, there was just a wall.

Anyway, rant over. GW want to rope in as many younger players who are going to come in and spend the most money, rather than us vets who know exactly what we want for our armies and alot of the time go elswhere for our minitures. For these reasons, I havnt been to GW more than twice since it halved a few months ago and have my own gaming table now.

VonUber
29-04-2010, 21:42
In relation to the first post:
I have had exactly the same happen to my local store. The store used to be two shops (one had gaming tables, the other the products and intro tables) and was halved to just one. Now, I can see that having two stores was doing GW no favours so they went down to one, as I would have done were it my business. The bit they did next however, did confuse me. We used to have a very popular veterans evening which getting a table took no more than about half an hour and there was loads of painting going on and fluff discussion, generally a good evening. When the store was halved, instead of maximising the amount of tables to play on and places to paint, we went down to three tables. One of these was used for displaying the latest releases. One had the intro games and the other was one 6X4 table for a load of us veterans to game on meaning getting a game was rare, and if you did get one, everyone else was just standing waiting for you to finnish. Also, the paint tables were moved to be in a line facing the wall which kind of nulled painting discussion as rather than facing a fellow veteran, there was just a wall.

Anyway, rant over. GW want to rope in as many younger players who are going to come in and spend the most money, rather than us vets who know exactly what we want for our armies and alot of the time go elswhere for our minitures. For these reasons, I havnt been to GW more than twice since it halved a few months ago and have my own gaming table now.

I agree with you 100%, its an awful thing, but dont gw realise, the kids only having 1 bored to game on... they will get bored to hell and back.. waiting with there attenchon span... they will loose the kids. And the kinds arnt like vets who will go back once they get the boreds sorted, when kids go , they go for good. this isnt a good way to maximise profits and its not a good way to keep the kids in play. and its not a good way to keep the vets comming. Eventualy there will be no kids and no vets going into the sotres and it will die out.

bigcheese76
29-04-2010, 21:46
Eventualy there will be no kids and no vets going into the sotres and it will die out.

Mabey one day, yes, but for now GW bosses are happy as they are getting decent profits in and they do have each year a new influx of children joining the ranks and as previous GW research proves a large percentage of the children loose interest and stop the hobby after 18 months anyway. For us vets though, we will just have to find other places to game properly and hope GW pull out of this greedy, must make maximum money now mind set (although this is highly unlikely, they are a company after all).

Shamutanti
29-04-2010, 22:02
Cue Yabba to come in with his 'the best thing you can do for your hobby is play outside of GW stores'.

Or something along those lines :)

Of course, he's right. Just people need to see that. Or rather, experience it.

Chaos and Evil
29-04-2010, 22:02
GW research proves a large percentage of the children loose interest and stop the hobby after 18 months anyway.
Not just "a large percentage"... "the majority". Thinking about that makes you think that focusing on selling to kids is probably the right choice, for the health of the company if not for the health of the game systems.

Boomstick
29-04-2010, 22:11
Having worked for GW for a large period of time i feel able to answer this with a yes and no. Yes because they make the store money and no because if its the same people then you carnt be bringing new people into the hobby which is how the hobby grows. If existing gamers move then new ones can take there place and you double the number of gamers. The big problem GW has is it expects gamers to be able to look after themselves with little to no help or true incentive. The GCN is a good idea but people seem to have little faith in it or misconceptions over how it operates.

There has to be a point where a in store gamers has to take that leap and do things for themselves, its not easy but help is there and the rewards are vast and then let the store recruit the gamers of the future who will expand your player base when the time for them to move on comes.

VonUber
29-04-2010, 22:11
Not just "a large percentage"... "the majority". Thinking about that makes you think that focusing on selling to kids is probably the right choice, for the health of the company if not for the health of the game systems.

If they want to sell to kids they need them playing lots of games so they like it more and more. They cant do that on 1 gaming table.

Grimtuff
29-04-2010, 22:14
Cue Yabba to come in with his 'the best thing you can do for your hobby is play outside of GW stores'.

Or something along those lines :)

Of course, he's right. Just people need to see that. Or rather, experience it.

Really?
Really?

What if, like me you cannot get to the gaming club in your town on that much of a regular basis and some asinine desicion to make all of the 1 man stores across the world closed on mondays on tuesdays (my 2 days off in the week :rolleyes:) and have their late nights on a thursday, in spite of that fact it is now competing against one of the most established and oldest (if not THE oldest) gaming clubs in the UK (Gobstyks)?

My only major outlet for gaming was at stores. Now GW have gone and pissed all over this without the common courtesy to call it rain. :mad:

Reinholt
29-04-2010, 22:23
The dynamics of this debate are also a little bit different in the US, where you have two major venues for GW games:

Local gaming stores
GW stores

I have seen a handful of successful US clubs, but nowhere near the number there are in the UK. Thus, if gaming is not a priority in US stores, gaming (in GW games) tends to die out in an area in favor of:

1 - Whatever the local gaming stores support instead, as they are not always GW friendly.

2 - Video games.

Anvilbrow
30-04-2010, 00:41
My U.S. experience is a bit different. In over 20 years of playing Warhammer, I have played in a GW store exactly three times.

I play and have played for that entire time, on a weekly basis at worst. For several years back in my mid to late 20's (pre marriage/kids) I was playing 4-6 games per week. All of that in either a)FLGS or b)a home or garage.

I have never seen GW stores as a viable gaming location here. By and large they are small (2-3 4x6 tables) and cramped and not conducuve to hanging out before/after games.

In contrast, my FLGS has 9 4x6 tables with another 3 tables for painting, card games, board games etc. They have no problem with us eating at the non-terrain tables, stay open until we are done (often well after midnight on Warhammer Wednesdays), sell at a discount, and are supportive of other games, both GW and other (such as Specialist Games, PP, Malifaux, FOW etc).

For all these reasons and more, I spend every penny at FLGS rather than the ten(!) GW stores in my city.

I personally think vets ought to move on to greener pastures with better atmospheres.

Caveat: I consider a vet someone who not only has been playing for a couple of editions at least, but is also a legal adult in every way (i.e. 21+) so that may nix some potential players...

My $.02 for what it's worth (about $.005)

Agnar the Howler
30-04-2010, 01:13
Well they screwed my gaming club over, taking away vets night completely, meaning the only times I could possibly game are saturdays (sundays are beginner games only, no other games allowed) which also happen to be the days that the store is packed with kids who 'play' 40k (if you call slamming a land raider down on the table for anything 1000pts or less playing) and only 40k...

I basically cannot game at my GW anymore, through no fault of any of it's employees (or employee now...) but through the fault of GW pulling off all the added extras and stripping it down to bare essentials. Since i'll be working days from next Tuesday onwards, and nobody is down there during the day anyway, i'll be waiting for the new independant store to open up later in May before I can start gaming again, as there aren't any other clubs I know of that are accessible to me.

To me, it seems like they couldn't care less about some gamers, namely those over the ripe old age of 12, and as long as they're still pushing their remaining employees to sell sell sell to the youngsters, they'll happily continue to ignore the veteran gamers.

Void Reaper
30-04-2010, 01:52
I've never actually played at an official GW store---the two FLGS's in my area (where I grew up) were quite friendly with their tables and terrain. Also, my local public library has a large meeting room with plenty of folding tables and chairs---all you have to do is reserve the room several days in advance. Free of charge, you can stay as long as you want, snacks and drinks allowed. Considering the rather less friendly capitalist attitude of GW, I could see gaming at their stores to be perhaps a little uncomfortable.

Note: It is, of course, GW's prerogative to try and make a buck...I just think, considering the esoteric nature of the business they're involved in, they should go about it rather differently than they do.

JLBeady
30-04-2010, 03:57
What makes and FLGS and FLGS and not a CLGS? With the recent changes being made by GW retail, which do you think GW stores are closer to being classified as?

Korras
30-04-2010, 07:47
last time I went to GW, they had about 4 6'x4' tables. but, that was about a year ago. it's too far out of my way to go there.

besides.. I've got the room and the means to create 2 6'4' or 1 6'8' table at home. or anything in between. and at home, I don't have to bother with GW people trying to sell me stuff. :p

blongbling
30-04-2010, 08:08
GW has it stores as recruitment centres, they really dont want it full of veterans. They see Veterans as more than capable of going and joining/starting a club and see this as part of the journey of a gamer.

There is also the belief that new gamers spend more than veterans, so that is where the attitude springs from

Osbad
30-04-2010, 08:26
GW has it stores as recruitment centres, they really dont want it full of veterans. They see Veterans as more than capable of going and joining/starting a club and see this as part of the journey of a gamer.

On this I agree with GW. There really needs to be a point where gamers start to grow up and do it for themselves instead of relying on a store to bail them out. Seriously. Grow up kids, wean yourself of the store-based handouts and get your own space!

Personally I live in a small village (pop. 1400) and have run a small but perfectly formed club for over 3 years now. The option of playing in my local GW store (an 8 minute drive away) never even occurred other than as a sensible way to meet people (particularly under 18's) who I'd only spoken to on the internet, rather than invite them into my own home first.

Why UK gamers can seem to manage this more easily than US gamers I am not sure. I've never lived in the US, so I can't say for definite, but I'd make 2 guesses: 1/ US gamers are bigger on competition and stores can offer leagues, and more scope for competitive play than a small club can. 2/ The population is more dispersed than in the UK.

The first I would accept as an excuse. If you are into competitive play you need a large player base to make it work and small clubs don't offer that option. But then you have incentive to grow the club! The second I wouldn't. As I said you don't need a large population base to make a club work so a small town could easily generate one if you put the effort into it. It takes hard work, but the benefit is you break the chains of the store owner and can do absolutely whatever you want. Even play with miniatures you bought at discount off the internet without feeling guilty about it (shock horror!!), or even (ssshhhHH!!) play with miniatures that aren't official GW models! Imagine that!


There is also the belief that new gamers spend more than veterans, so that is where the attitude springs from

This I would disagree with GW. After years of hearing them spout this mantra as being the dogmatic core of their sales policy I have yet to see one insy winsy piece of qualitative research in supporting evidence. The empirical observations of a few Red Shirts doesn't count. As someone once said: "The plural of anecdote is not data". I am as yet unconvinced that a few kids buying mega-hundred-£ start up loads outweighs the purchases of committed hobbyists over the years they are involved. But I can be convinced if anyone ever presents the real evidence rather than just saying "well this is what our sales staff tell us". Sorry, but much as I like the sales staff at GW they aren't qualified to present proper research data. Relying on them to collect it will ultimately result in flawed outcomes.

Chaos and Evil
30-04-2010, 08:37
I am as yet unconvinced that a few kids buying mega-hundred-£ start up loads outweighs the purchases of committed hobbyists over the years they are involved.
There are a *lot* of kids out there playing GW games.

But I can be convinced if anyone ever presents the real evidence rather than just saying "well this is what our sales staff tell us".
I highly doubt that anyone with access to hard figures is going to leak specifics; You'll just have to take it as a matter of faith.

yabbadabba
30-04-2010, 09:19
Cue Yabba to come in with his 'the best thing you can do for your hobby is play outside of GW stores'.
Or something along those lines :)
Of course, he's right. Just people need to see that. Or rather, experience it.

Wow - fame :eek:


Really?
Really?
What if, like me you cannot get to the gaming club in your town on that much of a regular basis and some asinine desicion to make all of the 1 man stores across the world closed on mondays on tuesdays (my 2 days off in the week :rolleyes:) and have their late nights on a thursday, in spite of that fact it is now competing against one of the most established and oldest (if not THE oldest) gaming clubs in the UK (Gobstyks)?
My only major outlet for gaming was at stores. Now GW have gone and pissed all over this without the common courtesy to call it rain. :mad:
I think you need to relax a bit Grimtuff. There are flaws in your statement no doubt exasperated by your emotional condition.

First this is a UK issue. The dynamics in the States are quiet different.

Second, on and off over the years GW have had real issues trying to manage a veteran population. On the good side, vets do spend money, love the games, are a source of staff recruitment and product promotion, and can add a lot of flavour and character to a store. On the downside, too many vets don't cut the apron strings, their hobby interests are often not exclusively GW (and cannot or will not leave those interests out of GW's business environment), think that their local store is their venue and not a place of business, and can come to dominate if not overwhelm an environment which is primarily, above everything else, a recruitment and sales mechanic.

This does say that this is one aspect of GW's marketing policy which works too well. I think many of the negative reactions from "vets" are from people who have fallen for this hook line and sinker and really haven't done enough research into what they are getting into. In support of this Grimtuff mentions GW running their games night on the same night as Gobstyks - I cannot think of a better time both for GW and the Gobbos. GW are generating new gamers who are already used to commiting that time to their hobby. It just remains for GW and the Gobstyks to identify opportunities for GW to encourage their gamers to move over. Its not competition and never should be.

Over-competitiveness, the obssession with officialdom, laziness, fear ... ... all these contribute to why people have difficulty making that step from the warm, soft, safe but claustrophobic environment of a GW store into the wild, dangerous exhilirating and free world of club and home hobby. I don't buy excuses of time, space or resources. This isn't a hobby of the day or week, but the years. Its been 7 years since I had my own table at home - but I still have the scenery and the aspirations even if I have to wait for the opportunity.

So lets remember its a shop and a business first, and that as Vets we should be making our own way in the hobby and not relying on GW to hold our hands.

castellanash
30-04-2010, 10:00
I can feel the pain that most people in the UK are feeling. Our local store has become a little bit annoying for gaming. I live near what is apparently the second biggest store in the UK, after Warhammer World. we have about 25 gaming tables plus 10 painting stations and 3 intro boards.

ashc
30-04-2010, 12:26
On this I agree with GW. There really needs to be a point where gamers start to grow up and do it for themselves instead of relying on a store to bail them out. Seriously. Grow up kids, wean yourself of the store-based handouts and get your own space!

+1 to this, beautifully put by Osbad (as usual!)

DeeKay
30-04-2010, 13:15
Some very insightful thoughts. Hope I don't ruin it by adding a few thoughts of my own!

I suppose it all boils down to the store's position and the vets need to recognise that position. Not every store is going to have a large enough space to cater for everyone, and they have to run a profitable business. Anyone who works in retail or sales will tell you how important profit is to individual stores. Someone has to take one for the team and that someone is the group that is most able to deal with it. The vets.

After all, vets are (supposedly) older gamers, why should it be that difficult to arrange to go halves on a gaming board with a friend (or even make one and save yourself a few quid) and arrange games in the kitchen/living room/loft etc? That way, you are guaranteed a game with someone you want to play against rather than playing against someone you don't.

I will concede the point of the social aspect of the hobby being compromised by this move, since as you are constantly playing against friends at home, you don't notice anyone else playing the game. How to get over this would be to start your own club. Rent a space in a scout hut or something, charge a fee (in order to cover the costs of the club) and that will work well if people know about it. Have a word with the manager of GW to hammer out some details such as their stance on clubs, if they can give any support (some people can be surprisingly helpful) and even see if the fledgling club can assist the store for things like games day projects. Who knows?

I know I seem to have hammered on about a solution to the problem rather than the problem itself, but it seemed so much more useful than going on about how GW is lame and doesn't support the older gamer.

With regards,
Dan.

Naeni
30-04-2010, 14:50
Personally I live in a small village (pop. 1400)

Lol, I come from a small village, pop. 50 :p you sir, live in a town!

Anywhom, yeah I can see why it would be annoying, but it is a business, and they need to make money, I can see exactly what they're doing business strategy-wise, it makes sense. Doesn't make them evil. I can see the idea of "get person into hobby...help them out...plays a few games, and RELEASE THEM INTO THE WILD TO FIND GAMES FOR THEMSELVES!" If a stores not big enough to justify vets night...then it just isn't. If they aren't making the money there'll be no shop at all. I'm not being devils advocate, just think it's important to see other sides of it.

I'd consider it a good push to form/find a gaming group, it's not hard, and you'll be (my opinion) in a much better environment and have the control.


Annie
(5 years of not entering a GW and going strong :cool:)

Rhamag
03-05-2010, 00:06
I believe GW staff can promote a local GCN club to any customers aged 12 upwards. Ultimately more games played = more hobby love = more purchases.

Becoming a GCN club requires a little bit of effort on the part of the committee (criminal record checks, public liability insurance, written constitution etc) but it's worth the effort. My local GCN club has gone from 5 guys playing in someone's summerhouse, via a pub and a room in an army barracks, to over 40 members, meeting 3 nights a week in a council-owned community centre and monthly on saturdays. They have enough cash-flow to start thinking about leasing their own venue.

Much work has been done by various chairmen and other members, but the rewards are now being reaped.

@Naeni - nice to see someone else with an anagram for a forum name!

Reinholt
03-05-2010, 02:47
There are a *lot* of kids out there playing GW games.

I highly doubt that anyone with access to hard figures is going to leak specifics; You'll just have to take it as a matter of faith.

Or you could fall back on the market research that suggests companies which have a long tail for products (as in, not companies producing high-turnover fad products that have life-cycles of months or shorter) derive the majority of their revenue from a minority of their customers.

When you have a brand, continuity in your products, and have existed for a while, it tends to be the case that loyal customers form the overwhelming base of the revenue you bring in.

To throw out some totally arbitrary numbers - a single kid blowing $500 bucks, then another $125 over a year, then never being seen again is $625. A veteran spending $25 per month is $300 per year, and if they stick around for 5-10 years, you are looking at $1500 - $3000 in revenue, not $625. This is not to say these are GW's numbers, but rather, that this pattern is typical of this kind of business.

It often leads companies to value "churn and burn" and over-commit to the short-term customer, but unless they can consistently capture new customers and predict fads, they eventually screw it up and then the company tends to fail (or shrink and often never really recover, though sometimes they do). Likewise, these people are the easiest path to short term growth, and form a sort of siren call to those who think they can capture and hold them (which is sort of like grabbing a gallon of water in your bare hands in practice); ironically, you end up selling out on long term growth by doing this.

The most successful companies in these spaces are the ones that focus on bread and butter steady customers, and cater to them. They have more predictable cash flows, a stronger base to expand from, and are not exposed to as much fad risk. This is why I say GW makes a mistake to think kids and new recruitment is the biggest issue; kids are the most profitable today, but the least profitable tomorrow, and also a lower NPV to the company overall.

GW should focus on retention, then recruitment, not the other way around.

VonUber
03-05-2010, 06:17
Or you could fall back on the market research that suggests companies which have a long tail for products (as in, not companies producing high-turnover fad products that have life-cycles of months or shorter) derive the majority of their revenue from a minority of their customers.

When you have a brand, continuity in your products, and have existed for a while, it tends to be the case that loyal customers form the overwhelming base of the revenue you bring in.

To throw out some totally arbitrary numbers - a single kid blowing $500 bucks, then another $125 over a year, then never being seen again is $625. A veteran spending $25 per month is $300 per year, and if they stick around for 5-10 years, you are looking at $1500 - $3000 in revenue, not $625. This is not to say these are GW's numbers, but rather, that this pattern is typical of this kind of business.

It often leads companies to value "churn and burn" and over-commit to the short-term customer, but unless they can consistently capture new customers and predict fads, they eventually screw it up and then the company tends to fail (or shrink and often never really recover, though sometimes they do). Likewise, these people are the easiest path to short term growth, and form a sort of siren call to those who think they can capture and hold them (which is sort of like grabbing a gallon of water in your bare hands in practice); ironically, you end up selling out on long term growth by doing this.

The most successful companies in these spaces are the ones that focus on bread and butter steady customers, and cater to them. They have more predictable cash flows, a stronger base to expand from, and are not exposed to as much fad risk. This is why I say GW makes a mistake to think kids and new recruitment is the biggest issue; kids are the most profitable today, but the least profitable tomorrow, and also a lower NPV to the company overall.

GW should focus on retention, then recruitment, not the other way around.

I agree 100% you just worded the argument I want to put foward to my store manager than area manager perfectly (I may have to steel it).

My other point, there are 2 gaming club in my city. I checked them out. The first is 40k and warmachine only. You turn up with fantasy and you get complaints. The other is at the outserts of the city. And its full of lets say... gw haters. They play gw games... just with there own changes. for example. If the majority of the vets get there asses handed to them by dark elves, they will change the dark elf list so they can beat it. One of these rules are ehem, Dark elves in 2k are limited to 3 special and 1 rare choice, the ring of hotec, pendant and asf banner count as a rare choice. (wait theres more), there sorceresses cant cast power of darkness at all. They cannot use the unbound rule. and black guard only have 1A. (my repsonce is simular to your faces right now). In case of chaos infernal gate way doesnt have the ability to remove a unit from play and you cant have a mixed mark army. Oh and the infernal puppet is 70pts not 35, and the nurgle spells have +2 added to there casting values. OH and no army can have more than 9 power dice in total. Demons are banned, vampire counts blood line abilitys count towards magic items (not there own allowence)... At this point I decided not to talk to that club any more... they even had there own alternative 7th rule book, the same for 5th ed 40k.

I did look into starting my own. but the issue is were still in a ressession and the room abouve most pubs charge £75 for 6pm-11pm. This would mean I would have to split the cost between who ever turns up,.. so if only 5 turn up 1 week its incredibly unfair. I asked around and could only get 10 yes's from vets, most of them dont want to pay to game. And most of us dont iive in big enough houses or apartments to acomidate more than 1 gaming bored. I sturgle to get a 6ft up in my house.

But if anyone knows of any gaming clubs in lancashire let me know. I might wish to check them out if you dont have silly house rules because they dont like that army :)

marv335
03-05-2010, 07:09
To throw out some totally arbitrary numbers - a single kid blowing $500 bucks, then another $125 over a year, then never being seen again is $625. A veteran spending $25 per month is $300 per year, and if they stick around for 5-10 years, you are looking at $1500 - $3000 in revenue, not $625. This is not to say these are GW's numbers, but rather, that this pattern is typical of this kind of business.



The model GW are using though, has another kid replacing the one who quits, so, using your figures, he(the recurring new player) will earn the company $3125-$6250 over the same time frame, double the income generated from the vet.

yabbadabba
03-05-2010, 07:40
Or you could fall back on the market research that suggests companies which have a long tail for products (as in, not companies producing high-turnover fad products that have life-cycles of months or shorter) derive the majority of their revenue from a minority of their customers.... {snip}....GW should focus on retention, then recruitment, not the other way around. Again, lets ignore the States for a minute as it needs a total redesign.

While I see where you are coming from I would argue that GW needs to do both. Where GW need to sharpen up is catering specifically to Vets and retention of marginal or non-wargamers through other products like computer games, ccg's, rpgs, expansions etc. So make transference to these products easier. When it comes to the numbers, it all comes down to the ratio of recruits to vets over that 5-10 year period, doesn't it?

Specifically in this case (as it is the topic being discussed), GW stores should carry on with the focus of finding and creating new long term customers. The company needs to improve customer service (essentially how they talk to older customers and I think this is an issue with the culture of the guys at the top), and creating stronger links with clubs so these "vets" can evolve their hobby beyond a store's restrictive environment. This is an important move for a wargamer's development and commitment. It is inevitable that there will be a high drop off rate throughout this period for many reasons, and in the end only a very small number of "vets" will have been created. The "focus more on retention" bit has to come from HQ and the design studio, not from the stores.

When we look at other products in this field we look at companies who rely on Indies to find them new customers from either existing wargamer customer bases (not the best of things) or from passing trade. The biggest avenue for new blood is from friends - we don't see wargames companies advertising in even off-mainstream media just through wargames magazines and shows. So getting new blood into wargaming is reliant on unreliable sources and could explain in part why wargames is such a minority activity and why GW got so big.

If we take a guess at you need 20 x 12 year olds to make 1 x 16 year old vet, that means for every vet wanting to play an exstensive and full on game in a GW store on a pokey little 6'x4' crammed into a corner, there could be up to 20 other gamers needing that table to learn and commit. Say 15 Vets on a games night - thats 300 other gamers needing (as opposed to wanting) that space. So wouldn't it make sense for the store ( which needs the space) and the "vet" (who wants to play for longer than 1 hour and with armies bigger then 1500pts) to get that vet to a club or gaming group where they can enjoy so much more, and free up that space for up to 8 learners per hour?

While believe that centrally GW could do so much more for Vets and boost that retention, I think the stores should provide fantastic customer service for Vets and links to the gaming community outside of the store. Keeping them instore will not work.

Chaos and Evil
03-05-2010, 07:48
I agree 100% you just worded the argument I want to put foward to my store manager than area manager perfectly (I may have to steel it).

My other point, there are 2 gaming club in my city. I checked them out. The first is 40k and warmachine only. You turn up with fantasy and you get complaints. The other is at the outserts of the city. And its full of lets say... gw haters. They play gw games... just with there own changes. for example. If the majority of the vets get there asses handed to them by dark elves, they will change the dark elf list so they can beat it. One of these rules are ehem, Dark elves in 2k are limited to 3 special and 1 rare choice, the ring of hotec, pendant and asf banner count as a rare choice. (wait theres more), there sorceresses cant cast power of darkness at all. They cannot use the unbound rule. and black guard only have 1A. (my repsonce is simular to your faces right now).
"My face" is seeing players taking control of their hobby and fixing imbalance problems, with the aim of increasing the tactical complexity of the games they play.

So basically, these guys you're describing sound like... adults?

What I can't see is why you seem so disparaging of them.

The model GW are using though, has another kid replacing the one who quits, so, using your figures, he(the recurring new player) will earn the company $3125-$6250 over the same time frame, double the income generated from the vet.
Quite, GW just want to churn-and-burn newbies.
As long as that keeps happening then they can continue to treat their adult fans as "second class" customers, at best.


It is inevitable that there will be a high drop off rate throughout this period for many reasons, and in the end only a very small number of "vets" will have been created.
There is one way that GW could bring in an instant supply of "new" "Veterans"... by making their games appeal to those customers who have quit playing GW's game systems, but who still play wargames.

Most Warmachine players used to play GW games.
Most Flames of War players used to play GW games.
Most... etc.

Broaden the primary target demographic (And thus the appeal) of the GW Core Games beyond just "Kids aged 11-14", and you would add a third "R" to GW's "Two R's" mantra, so as to become : Recruitment, Retention, and Re-Recruitment.

Occulto
03-05-2010, 08:36
"My face" is seeing players taking control of their hobby and fixing imbalance problems, with the aim of increasing the tactical complexity of the games they play.

So basically, these guys you're describing sound like... adults?

What I can't see is why you seem so disparaging of them.

Possibly because it would be a tad annoying to travel to the outskirts of the city with what you considered a perfectly legal army, only to be confronted with a bunch of arbitrary house rules. :eyebrows:

In a club environment, that's hardly inviting. Especially when you're dealing with things like:


Demons are banned,

I've got a pure mono-Slaaneshi Daemon army - that's taken me many years to accumulate and isn't OTT judging by it's patchy W/L record. If some club has decided that my sole WHFB army is to never grace their tables (before they've even seen exactly what I run), purely because I picked the "wrong" book, then I'm hardly going to stick around.

Banning entire armies (or rewriting the rules so you can beat a player) doesn't sound like adult behavior to me. I would've thought a more mature approach is to encourage players to self moderate, or by playing different scenarios that rely less on smacking seven shades of snot out of the opponent. Those sorts of approaches encourage more tactical complexity - not: "I don't like that unit so I'll make sure you can't use it."

yabbadabba
03-05-2010, 08:47
Possibly because it would be a tad annoying to travel to the outskirts of the city with what you considered a perfectly legal army, only to be confronted with a bunch of arbitrary house rules. :eyebrows:
In a club environment, that's hardly inviting. Its the players that make the environment mate. House rules are one of the defining parts of being a veteran gamer. However if those players cannot welcome new members in by being flexible then you have to ask questions.


Banning entire armies (or rewriting the rules so you can beat a player) doesn't sound like adult behavior to me. It isn't, but I bet there are plenty of people rewriting the Daemon book to make it less of a pain in the butt. Nothing wrong with that. The flipside of course is a new member doesn't turn up for their first game with an auto-win cheese-fest.


I would've thought a more mature approach is to encourage players to self moderate, or by playing different scenarios that rely less on smacking seven shades of snot out of the opponent. Those sorts of approaches encourage more tactical complexity - not: "I don't like that unit so I'll make sure you can't use it." Agreed which is why clubs are so much better than GW stores :D

ftayl5
03-05-2010, 09:11
My store is quite big, I think, it's one of the 4 stores I've ever been to so it might actually be tiny but whatever, its the biggest of those 4.

It has all the stock on the walls, 6 diplay tables in the middle. 1 has BFSP, 1 has the 40K version 1 has the LOTR version (sorry I forgot what they're called) the other 3 have 2 opposing armies of about 1250-1500 pts. 1 is 40K, 1 is Fantasy, 1 LOTR, it'l be dwarfs vs vc and eldar vs dark eldar and easterlings vs minis tirth people one week and orks vs marines and beastmen vs empire and urukai vs dwarfs the next. Generally the newest army or models are more likely to be diplayed. If you didn't bring an army, the manager encourages people to play with these armies, has they're more customer attractive when in use (or something like that)

Theres also 2 tables, joined together where they host weekly BIG BATTLES!!! Last week it was battle of the ogre Kingdoms! Every ogre player brings in their army, they combine, and some people that don't have ogres combined and took on the massive ogre force. I played in it, it was great fun, Ogres won (minor victory.) With each new army release ther'l be a big battle vs the new army. When daemons came out, i took part in the non daemon side. A bone giant and orc giant combine charged some bloodletters who did not last long

'Out back' there are 9 tables, with houses, forests, monoliths, rocks, all kinds of scenery and environments. These tables can be played upon by anyone LOTR, 40k, fantasy.

So yeah, I think my store cares :) even if it is a businessy, manipulative, fiendish way to increase sales, what do I care?

ANd on the veteran topic, my store supports them too, the manager is a vet so he supports them and the kiddies.

A local 'club' which is also a GF 9, FoW, and GW product store, has 2 tables........ and no air-con

"my' club ( a mates garage with table tennis tables) has 6 players, none of us veterans, playing 2-4 years (most of us 3) we don't do house rules, but if you take 4 steggie sin a 1500pt game, prepare for an ass-whooping

Occulto
03-05-2010, 10:30
Its the players that make the environment mate. House rules are one of the defining parts of being a veteran gamer.

Oh absolutely.


However if those players cannot welcome new members in by being flexible then you have to ask questions.

Which is my objection. If a new player's just starting out, it seems a bit of overkill to spring a slew of extra restrictions to stop the most horrid abuses.

If I'm in the area for some reason, want a pickup game - then I'm there to play Warhammer, not Our-Club-Plays-This-Way-Hammer. It can be hard enough remembering the rules without having to remember that in this place, rules X, Y and Z are "improved" somehow with a heap of house rules.

It doesn't sound like they're the "we play rivers as difficult not impassable" sort of house rules either. :D


It isn't, but I bet there are plenty of people rewriting the Daemon book to make it less of a pain in the butt. Nothing wrong with that. The flipside of course is a new member doesn't turn up for their first game with an auto-win cheese-fest.

When playing someone new you should always go for the lowest common denominator IMHO. So keep it as simple as possible without too much tinkering.


Agreed which is why clubs are so much better than GW stores :D

Obviously some clubs are better than others. :p

Wintertooth
03-05-2010, 13:13
Really?
Really?

What if, like me you cannot get to the gaming club in your town on that much of a regular basis and some asinine desicion to make all of the 1 man stores across the world closed on mondays on tuesdays (my 2 days off in the week :rolleyes:) and have their late nights on a thursday, in spite of that fact it is now competing against one of the most established and oldest (if not THE oldest) gaming clubs in the UK (Gobstyks)?

My only major outlet for gaming was at stores. Now GW have gone and pissed all over this without the common courtesy to call it rain. :mad:

Either it affects very few people, in which case I can't see how they would justify the expense of being open the extra days, or it affects many people, in which case there's probably enough of you to start a Monday or Tuesday club night. Even if most can do Thursdays, if they've been used to playing on Mondays I bet they'd be interested in joining a club that meets at the old time.

Of course, it'll take some effort on your part to find a venue, scrounge up some scenery, and get people interested. But if you built it, they will come. Why not talk to Gobstyks? They might be able to help you get organized, or put you in touch with guys who play at each others' houses outside the regular club night.

If you really are the only person in your area who wants to play at the start of the week, that must truly suck, but however much GW care I can't imagine it being enough for them to pay staff an extra day just to accommodate one guy.

logan054
03-05-2010, 13:36
I do play at gaming clubs too. But I prefer to play at the store. Mainly because the store has nicer people and isnt abouve a pub.

let me get this straight, you would rather game in a small store and hardly have room to breathe while be surrounded by people that dont even know wha soap is rather a than a pub??

The mind boggles really

Reinholt
03-05-2010, 15:45
The model GW are using though, has another kid replacing the one who quits, so, using your figures, he(the recurring new player) will earn the company $3125-$6250 over the same time frame, double the income generated from the vet.

This is my point about trying to grab a gallon of water, however.

That sounds great in theory. Now go execute on that plan and see what happens.

There are not infinite kids (in fact, GW's demographic may very well be shrinking in the UK, which puts double pressure on them to retain). In the same way, the preferences of young people change rapidly, moving with fads, technology, transportation, and so on. You cannot expect that what appeals to them today will appeal to them in 5 years.

The popularity of Lord of the Rings with the 12-14 demographic would be a perfect example of this; it was high when the movies were out, then fell off a cliff afterward. You're trying to catch a falling knife with this strategy. Eventually, something bad happens.

What you responded with perfectly encapsulates the temptation to do so. However, unless you want to become a nimble, lean company that produces short-term "hit" products and then drops them the moment they fade, that strategy fails before it begins (for instance, fantasy 8th edition would never happen, and fantasy 2nd edition probably wouldn't have happened!). GW is not that company, for many structural and cost reasons (it would be insane to invest what they do in molds if they are intending to have fad buyers who are insensitive to quality be their primary market, for example).

Even companies that are good at this usually fail eventually; if you get it wrong a few times in a row, you basically are out of cash. What I am trying to say is this: if you are good at this and configure your entire company to do it, you can often make large profits before you eventually get unlucky and go out of business or get bought out. However, GW is not good at it and their entire company is configured not to do it, before we even discuss the viability of the strategy!

On retention, for Yabba:

If you can double your retention rate, you need half as many kids to produce the same number of veterans. This is what I am trying to say. However, I completely agree with your point about retention starting at the top with C-level management and the design team. You are totally on target there (and I agree with the majority of your post, in fact).

On clubs:

The quality varies dramatically. There are great clubs, and there are clubs so vile that I would not wish them upon my worst enemy (okay, I would, but I'm pretending to be nice here). This is the value of in-store gaming to GW if they can do it well: they can mandate a certain level of quality in terms of the venue and behavior. For example, consider a town where you have the option to:

1 - Game in a GW store.
2 - Game in the moldy basement of a LGS that probably hasn't cleaned in 20 years.
3 - Game with a club full of powergamers, cheeseheads, and cheaters.

I know of at least a few cities that fit this description in the US (and I wish I was exaggerating, but sadly, I'm not). I suspect there are probably at least a few like this in the UK. It is this situation, not the one where you have a strong local gaming club that does good work, that is the problem. As if you kill store gaming here, you eventually have no market.

Or GW could just run gaming clubs, but that's another story for another thread.

yabbadabba
03-05-2010, 17:26
We agree on something :eek: :D


Or GW could just run gaming clubs, but that's another story for another thread. They did, and it didn't work.

I could go into the whole club thing but ... ... to be honest it would bore the boobs of all but the most nerdish of GW commentators :evilgrin:

Max Jet
03-05-2010, 17:30
I could go into the whole club thing but ... ... to be honest it would bore the boobs of all but the most nerdish of GW commentators

You have my nerdy interest. Please tell us more!

Lord Malorne
03-05-2010, 17:32
Hey, I dont normaly post on this section but somthings got me fired up. I game at my local GW have done since I was 12 (wow thats a long long time ago). And its a small store and has a loyal nomber of vets who game there. Its normaly a good store to game at with lots of people for fantasy and 40k.
But recently lancashire got a new area manager who decided that vets arnt good for gw (even though most of the vets spend quite a bit to field there armys). They decided to cut down the gaming area to 1 6ft bored. a single 6ft bored for 20 vetrens. Most of them are used to playing 2k games of 4k and 2.5k games of fantasy.
We have had to cut down to 1k of 40k and 1.5 of fantasy and have a 60min time limit (including geting stuff out and packing away, we have allot of horde army players...)

ITs not a big store. But they decided to cut down the gaming areas to put more intro boreds out.. which we cannot move to play on at vets kights. Seriously? who comes in for an intro game at 8pm on a week day?

We were told its because the area manager thinks vets are free loaders and kids bring in more money than them. That may be true, but the vets have been there longer and have baught lots of models over the year there.

Is anyone else having this problem?

If you have a a problem with a manager complain to head office, THIS DOES WORK, managers have even been removed from stores before due to petitions. Don't be silent, complain, it is not like army books and models where you get a company line, trouble with staff is dealt with.

Reinholt
03-05-2010, 17:37
We agree on something :eek: :D

They did, and it didn't work.

I could go into the whole club thing but ... ... to be honest it would bore the boobs of all but the most nerdish of GW commentators :evilgrin:

Oh, I didn't say it would be a good idea. Just that it's off topic.

;)

blongbling
03-05-2010, 19:44
If you have a a problem with a manager complain to head office, THIS DOES WORK, managers have even been removed from stores before due to petitions. Don't be silent, complain, it is not like army books and models where you get a company line, trouble with staff is dealt with.

not when what the guy is saying is company policy it wont

Lord Malorne
03-05-2010, 19:52
You'd be suprised :)

JLBeady
03-05-2010, 20:49
Without going into too much detail, I have to admit, I am a bit discouraged by what I found concerning my options for pursuing my GW hobby in light of the recent reduction in GW store hours and such. My conclusion was that for the foreseeable future, my GW hobby will be very limited to what I do at home and participation in occasional tournaments.

That if I want to have a very active gaming experience, it would seem I should seriously consider switching to an alternative game such as FoW or Warmachine/Hordes. What surprised me was I appear to have better options for continuing to play WFB than I do 40K outside of the GW store setting.

As best as I can tell the lack of options seems to be the consequence of GW formally having a via strong and vet friendly retail presence in my area and that their success has lead to those LGS's that are still around having very limited or no support for GW core games to a large extent in favor of other games. As for Clubs, the often mentioned option and preferred venue for vets, I could only find references or bonafide contact info for 2 clubs in my US metro area of 5 million people. Of those two clubs, one is at a local uni and appears to be only open to students (though they host a annual tournament open to all). The other club appears to be active and meets on weekends only. Charges dues of $35 US / month. I dont' know what gaming space that have access too or the other logistics about the club, but as far as I could tell GW core games are not their current focus (though they do mention GW games as games they play). Instead it seems they are more into FoW at the moment.

ooglatjama
03-05-2010, 22:51
a lot of the vets in my area buy off eBay and then bring in the OOP models to play in the store. They play every weekend and they constantly enter tournaments and powergame their way to prizes. The little GW tournaments aren't there to become free prize day for long term players, they're supposed to get newer players into the game and buying more. The vets suck away money.

Lord Malorne
03-05-2010, 23:04
I thought they where for seeing who the best player was ;)

lanrak
04-05-2010, 09:18
Hi all.
Just a quick comment on the original topic.
GW seems to be confused about what its chain of B&M stores are supposed to do.

Be a costly recruitment centre,or an inefficient retail outlet.:D

If you want to churn and burn new customers , then top flight recruitment centres (and insular marketing) are the way to go.
You throw money at hooking new customers with free games , free painting lessons and paint , free day care etc.:D
EG how GW used to run its 'Hobby Centres'.

The high RRP prices pay for this expence.(The B&M stores take millions out of the profitability of GW.)

In the recent cost cutting ideas from the 'MIC',at GW plc.
They want to reduce the overheads of the stores by cost cutting excersises!

Now this simply reduces the ability to be a recruitment centre , so make the stores an ineffcient retail outlet.

In short , GW plc only care about you giving them money.And they want to give you as little as possible in return.

Other companies that compete in the open market, tend to offer better value for money.As they have to fight to get your buisness!

Something GW plc may have to do soon....:eek:

TTFN
Lanrak.

Sircyn
04-05-2010, 09:29
Interesting discussion of GW policy aside, I'd recommend to the OP to try and work with your new staff rather than be antagonistic and strop about things. You are firstly reinforcing the stereotype that the vets aren't any good for the store and secondly it's not getting you anywhere positive.

I'm a regular at a small GW store that has just suffered from reduction in staff, hours and being moved down to one games night. We still have two out of three 6x4 boards thanks to the intro games all being placed upon the same board. The lack of time and space can be mitigated by a friendly store manager allowing players to book tables. The system we had was if you phone in advance you can book a time slot on a table for two hours for a game any day apart from beginners and vets nights. This allowed people to play games, didn't fill the place with people who just loitered and helped mitigate the over crowded vets nights problem. It was a fair compromise I found. Perhaps you could suggest a similar kind of solution to your manager to enable people to get games in? If you are a regular paying customer who isn't scaring off newbies with a bad store culture I can't see why a reasonable manager wouldn't at least hear you out.

yabbadabba
04-05-2010, 09:38
Hi all.
Just a quick comment on the original topic.
GW seems to be confused about what its chain of B&M stores are supposed to do. GW stores have always been for recruitment Lanrak. what GW have never worked out is the most profitable way to maintain that and deal with vets in a store environment.

If you want to churn and burn new customers , then top flight recruitment centres (and insular marketing) are the way to go.
You throw money at hooking new customers with free games , free painting lessons and paint , free day care etc.:D
EG how GW used to run its 'Hobby Centres'. And many of them still do.

The high RRP prices pay for this expence.(The B&M stores take millions out of the profitability of GW.) But those B+M sales put in far more sales than dedicated trade accounts. So smaller GW and smaller costs and possibly less impact in the market, or bigger GW, higher overheads and a dominant position in the market?


In the recent cost cutting ideas from the 'MIC',at GW plc.
They want to reduce the overheads of the stores by cost cutting excersises!
Now this simply reduces the ability to be a recruitment centre , so make the stores an ineffcient retail outlet. No disagreement there, but it is not the first time GW have tried to cut costs in retail, and it won't be the last time that those costs will rise through extra staffing when the chain becomes more successful.


In short , GW plc only care about you giving them money.And they want to give you as little as possible in return. As would any business or plc surely? I thought the aim of any business is to get as much money out of their customers with as little cost to themselves? Its how that is presented that makes the difference.


Other companies that compete in the open market, tend to offer better value for money.As they have to fight to get your buisness! Something GW plc may have to do soon....:eek: Two ways to look at that. Either they already have been (computer games, discount sellers, alternative hobbies and past times) or its unlikely (another wargames company having a dedicated global retail chain).

Osbad
04-05-2010, 12:20
As would any business or plc surely? I thought the aim of any business is to get as much money out of their customers with as little cost to themselves? Its how that is presented that makes the difference.

QFT. This, to me, seems to be GW's greatest PR disaster. The perception that they are out to screw their customers is widespread, and being passed on from one generation of gamer to the next. Yet all companies exist to provide profit for their owners, and GW no less, even back in the Steve Jackson/Ian Livingston days.

So what's their problem?

As I see it in any business you can try to maximise profit in one of two ways:

1/ Offering premium price for a premium product. Low demand, low supply. or

2/ Offering a bargain price for a low value product. High demand, high supply.

GW seem to want to offer the first option, but their customers (or at least those that complain and/or stop buying) seem to not agree with their perception that their product is legitimately a premium one.

Perhaps some of this comes from them offering stuff made from plastic and the perception that little plastic toy soldiers and tanks *should* be cheap, because they don't cost much per unit to make (or don't have to anyway).

This could veer into an anti-price rise rant, but we've been over that territory numerous times.

However, it is a truism that the more the "free value added" that you appear to offer with the product, the less people object to premium pricing. In-store gaming comes obviously into this category. I personally object (because I never game instore, and haven't for years) to paying the high price charged on models, when it is justified in terms of supporting the GW retail chain. On the other hand, some people currently feel it is justified to "pay where you play". However, what would be the justification if that in-store gaming totally ceased to exist. Premium prices would be being justified ssolely on the basis of keeping a retail chain open? What? Seriously! Customers are explicitly expected to pay the producer a 20% mark-up simply for the right to walk into a store and buy something? When is that ever going to make any sense as a business model?

burad
04-05-2010, 21:49
"Premium prices would be being justified ssolely on the basis of keeping a retail chain open?" Well, yeah, that's how many smaller retailers survive. If you're not Wal-Mart, you don't have their economy of scale, and you have to charge more for the same thing. OTOH, compared to an independent retailer, one would think that GW probably could afford to offer a discount, because they do have economies of scale compared to an independent retailer. But they also have a lot of overhead as well, so who knows.

Reinholt
04-05-2010, 22:58
Most small retailers charge premium prices for premium products, however. The idea is that they offer a superior product and/or service for your goods, and they make their money on larger gross margins with lower turnover.

This sort of business model is what you would expect of, say, a high-end jewelry store, a luxury clothing store, or something similar. In short, pay more, get more (often in the form of either brand name, customized service, or both).

Small retailers that do not offer a premium experience but charge higher prices die off. Look at what Wal-Mart did to local stores when they expanded. Look at what Starbucks has done to local coffee shops. Look at the troubles that Sears is having being wedged between luxury premium department stores (Nordstrom) and low-end pricing competition (Wal-Mart).

You cannot charge a premium just to charge a premium; you have to offer an effective value proposition in order to justify that premium. This is where I think the greatest flaw in the GW retail strategy (especially in the US) currently exists:

Why should someone buy from your store instead of on the internet at a discount?

That is the question they have to be able to answer, and answer in a way that convinces the consumer; I think the right answer is very likely to involve the in-store game experience and quality of offerings to be found there, but I am not sure GW sees that.

viking657
05-05-2010, 19:57
Guess I've been lucky with GW stores as I've moved around the UK

Manchester has loads of tables and has always encouraged gamers old and new, granted its a big store.

Stockport is tiny but the manager went to great lengths to make use of the empty room above the shop and finally managed to get permission from GW to put tables up there even though anyone who went up there had to have a health and safety talk about the stairs before they were allowed up there.

Chester has plenty of tables and is one of the stores with a battle bunker - a big room full of tables.

I agree they favour the young gamer but I found plenty of space and welcoming arms for vets at these stores.
Having said that GW policy is to expand the independents and have them pay for gaming space.

mdauben
05-05-2010, 20:23
Just some thoughts of my own.


After all, vets are (supposedly) older gamers, why should it be that difficult to arrange to go halves on a gaming board with a friend (or even make one and save yourself a few quid) and arrange games in the kitchen/living room/loft etc? That way, you are guaranteed a game with someone you want to play against rather than playing against someone you don't.
Part of the problem with this is your gaming becomes somewhat... incestuous. You play with the same one or two people who are using the same one or two armies over and over. It also tends to segragate players by age. Certainly, I have played plenty of teens and even pre-teens in retail store gaming areas, who given today's society I would never invite into my home to game (Suspicious old man inviting young boys into his house? He must be some kind of pervert!!!). :rolleyes:

Larger groups in more public venues, in my experience, create more synergy, with people getting excited over new relases and even whole new games, getting chances to face different tactics, newbies joining the group, and different styles of playing and socializing with a larger circle of gamers. I have a game board at home that I sometimes use, but mostly I game in retail stores. Over the years, every long term gaming buddie I have I met through a retail store venue.


How to get over this would be to start your own club. Rent a space in a scout hut or something, charge a fee (in order to cover the costs of the club) and that will work well if people know about it.
I have been gaming in the US since the mid-80's and, ourside of school clubs, I have never found a gaming club that operated independent of a retail store. I'm sure somewhere in the US there must be one or two, but its just not the norm here and does not seem to be financially viable.


I know I seem to have hammered on about a solution to the problem rather than the problem itself, but it seemed so much more useful than going on about how GW is lame and doesn't support the older gamer.
I guess I don't see it as being as much of a problem with GW, as its what I expect there. I have never gamed in a GW store, never wanted to game in a GW store, and the couple times I visited a GW store to buy something they managed to drive me out with their pushy sales tactics and annoying staff. :shifty:

burad
05-05-2010, 20:42
Yeah. I haven't seen many gaming clubs outside of store or school based ones either. There is one here in this county, but their schedule seems to indicate they play a lot of board games. The ones around here that see long term success tend to be clubs that put on games at the big HMGS gaming conventions three times a year. That effort focuses a good bit of their time and also kinda guarantees some level of interest.

Osbad
06-05-2010, 09:09
I have been gaming in the US since the mid-80's and, ourside of school clubs, I have never found a gaming club that operated independent of a retail store. I'm sure somewhere in the US there must be one or two, but its just not the norm here and does not seem to be financially viable.

I totally believe this. I read lots of comments to this effect from US posters on here and other forums. It is something I just don't understand.

I can't believe that access to suitable, reasonably cheap local rooms is much worse in the US than in the UK. Here I have seen and read about clubs meeting in church halls, community centres, pubs, social clubs, private houses, public libraries, town halls, village halls.... pretty much any largish public room really. Do such places not exist at all in the US? No bars with "function rooms" for hire? No schools willing to rent out a classroom, no civic halls to rent?

If there are, then perhaps there is something different in the UK psyche compared to the US psyche? Are we more "public spirited" and less "commercially minded" over here? I think there may be something in the mindsets that makes "you guys" more tolerant of the profit motive and the whole thing of private versus public enterprise, and us Brits more resistant to someone making a profit out of our hobby. Perhaps that has something to do with it?

I certainly don't believe there are less folks in the US with the time and the energy to set one up as I think Americans generally tend to put a whole lot more effort into life than us Brits, who tend to be pretty lazy as a nationality! And I really, really don't think the generally more dispersed population has anything to do with it as you really don't need many interested folks to get a club off the ground (we did it with 3 of us).

Is something like this: (http://www.gobstyks.co.uk/) really not achievable in the US? Is no one willing to even give it a try?

Any ideas welcome!

Grimtuff
06-05-2010, 14:09
Of course, it'll take some effort on your part to find a venue, scrounge up some scenery, and get people interested. But if you built it, they will come. Why not talk to Gobstyks? They might be able to help you get organized, or put you in touch with guys who play at each others' houses outside the regular club night.

If you really are the only person in your area who wants to play at the start of the week, that must truly suck, but however much GW care I can't imagine it being enough for them to pay staff an extra day just to accommodate one guy.

Right, i'm going to sound a little... arrogant here but you really have to live in Lincoln to understand the situation going on here.

The manager was fighting tooth and nail to get the hours to remain as they were due to him having a fledgling group of gamers that they had FINALLY managed to claw back in due to stupid policies by the managers that preceded him (e.g. running Iron Halo on the same night as games night. Store is full of kids=Vet's don't come in, yes this IS a Vet's night as the kiddies have theirs on a Sunday night. No-one under about 14 appears on Monday nights).

Chris (the Gobstyks prez) is contacting GW regarding this change as well, as if GW worked like, lets pick a not-so-random example here of Tesco, and gave it's store managers almost 100% autonomy (eg. you know what the area is like, you know what customers you get in on a regular basis, you know due to outside factors when customer levels will wane during the week) then there would not be this problem.

The fact is NO-ONE will come to this night as everyone that attends it also attends the club on a thursday night. Lincoln is a small market town that just happens to look big on the surface as it has a Cathedral and a Uni. The town is dead after about 5:30pm so no customers will really appear either. The manager know this, and much to his chagrin has had to accept these changes.

I've already sent in a letter of complaint (as have several other regulars), so hopefully of voice of the people can be heard.

yabbadabba
06-05-2010, 14:35
The fact is NO-ONE will come to this night as everyone that attends it also attends the club on a thursday night. Lincoln is a small market town that just happens to look big on the surface as it has a Cathedral and a Uni. The town is dead after about 5:30pm so no customers will really appear either. The manager know this, and much to his chagrin has had to accept these changes. I am sorry, but I do not see the problem. The bit I have highlighted suggests that having the Games Night on the same night as the club is a good thing. Games Night should not have to compete with the club as people attending either should be at different stages - in fact it can benefit GW as the store is now open on the club night providing sales for club members who forget something or who want an impromptu sale.
The manager now needs to concentrate on populating his games night with new gamers (something he would have to do anyway) and see his games night as a part of the natural progression from new hobbyists instore to vet in a club.

The issue here is both the club and the store seeing themselves in competition when there is no need to be, instead of intrinsic parts of the journey of a gamer.

blongbling
06-05-2010, 14:38
I've already sent in a letter of complaint (as have several other regulars), so hopefully of voice of the people can be heard.

Dont hold your breath

Reinholt
06-05-2010, 14:58
I totally believe this. I read lots of comments to this effect from US posters on here and other forums. It is something I just don't understand.

Depending on where you are in the United States, I find this totally plausible. One of the big issues is travel time; having a gaming club is certainly possible, but given how geographically dispersed America is, finding the right place to put it to minimize the travel time of people who would want to come is a big issue.

Or, to ask it differently, would you still go to your gaming club in the UK if it took you five times as long to get to and from?

Second, there is something cultural about it; there are not as many common spaces in the United States that can be easily rented (for instance, if you were to ask around in the town where my parents live, there are zero that have that as a stated purpose, and you'd have to make an independent deal with one of the retailers in the area). Beyond that, people tend to be a bit more individualistic, and it just seems not to happen very often.

So can you do it? Yes. Will it happen? No. It's just like when I ask why you fools drive on the wrong side of the road!

;)

Grimtuff
06-05-2010, 17:00
Dont hold your breath

Well, there's not a lot else we can do is there? :(

Schmapdi
06-05-2010, 20:36
I can't believe that access to suitable, reasonably cheap local rooms is much worse in the US than in the UK. Here I have seen and read about clubs meeting in church halls, community centres, pubs, social clubs, private houses, public libraries, town halls, village halls.... pretty much any largish public room really. Do such places not exist at all in the US? No bars with "function rooms" for hire? No schools willing to rent out a classroom, no civic halls to rent?

Any ideas welcome!

Well, giving some thoughts to my own local area:
Churches - some might work, especially if any of your clubs are members, some of the more "conservative" might balk at what your doing though, especially with all chaos-y stuff. Personally - I wouldn't feel very comfortable hanging out in a church.

Bars/Restaurants with rooms to rent - prohibitively expensive I'd say - unless everyone wants to chip in a ten spot to rent the room. You might be able to find a cool owner who'd let you in on the cheap - during off hours. (ie no 5-8, 12-2) They'd prolly expect you to buy food too.

Schools - Big No here. At least in my area, schools got really paranoid and careful after the whole school shooting craze of the late 90s/early aughts. They would not want a bunch of guys wandering about, etc. I came back to my highschool one year after I graduated to get my senior year book, I was escorted out by security. Yearbookless no less!

Civic Halls - well, there are VFWs and stuff that are cheap - but they tend to be drab, depressing places that are decades out of date. Plus they are full of crotchety old veterans! I can think of one "civic" hall in my area - it was pretty expensive to rent too (we rented once for an anniversary party) and we had to secure it well (month +) in advance.

I really can't think of a good free/cheap place that'd fit the bill. Maybe the YWCA? I've honestly never set foot in one of those - but they might do. Some youth centers too maybe - if your group is made of youths. Otherwise you'd just have to hope someone has a big garage or something.

ftayl5
07-05-2010, 09:31
Over in AU theres tons of halls and rooms and lounges which are bookable, but we're talking $50 (AU) an hour, and a game does not go for an hour!

The best place for 'club' gaiming is your place. Free, familiar, free. I guess it depend show big said 'club' is. I mean my 'club' if it can be called such, has 6 people. We meet every sunday at a mates garage where there are 3 table tennis tables which we cover with a textured board thingy and play all day.

Like I said, I dunno if 6 people in a garage qualifies as a club but it's fun, theres a fridge full of soda, comfy chairs, its quiet and you don't have random kids throwing skittles at you (no offence majority of youngsta's playin warhammerz).

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 09:47
Like I said, I dunno if 6 people in a garage qualifies as a club but it's fun, theres a fridge full of soda, comfy chairs, its quiet and you don't have random kids throwing skittles at you (no offence majority of youngsta's playin warhammerz). Its the heart of the hobby fella :)

Osbad
07-05-2010, 10:37
[color="Orange"]Or, to ask it differently, would you still go to your gaming club in the UK if it took you five times as long to get to and from?

Hard to say. I'd certainly not be so regular. But I did consider going to two, one of which was a 30 minute drive away, and another an hour. In the end I decided setting up my own club in my own home was less hassle and ran with that.

However, I think the whole "distance to travel" thing is a little overstated. Sure if you live out in the sticks and don't have any neighbours as many US folks (and TBH, UK folks) do, then sure I see your point, but if you live in any sort of town, even a small one, then you've got a good chance of finding a few like minded people to set up a club with I'd have thought. To that end it is totally irrelevant how isolated that town is from any other centre of population. In the country that invented D&D I don't expect that folks who like fantasy/sci-fi and would enjoy gaming are any fewer per head of population than they are here in the UK. As I said before I live in a village of around 1400 souls. And there are enough of us to have regular games every Thursday night. I don't see why if you live in smalltown USA things should be any different. A small town is a smalltown is a small town whether its in the US or the UK or in Oz, I'd have thought.


I really can't think of a good free/cheap place that'd fit the bill. Maybe the YWCA? I've honestly never set foot in one of those - but they might do. Some youth centers too maybe - if your group is made of youths. Otherwise you'd just have to hope someone has a big garage or something.

That's a shame if that's the case across the US. I've heard some talk that the US is not very "clubbable". Here in the UK and in Germany too there is a great tradition of local clubs of all sorts - angling, gliding, sailing, whatever the hobby - even drinking beer, folks get together to pool their recources so they can enjoy that hobby as reasonably as possible, and purchase group facilities such as a clubhouse, fishing rights or whatever. Wargamers here are no different, and from what I've heard in Oz they do that too.

Maybe you guys across the pond have something to learn from us in the Old Country then! And as for paying for the option, even, say $10 a session or somesuch per member... why not? If you buy your toy soldiers at a 25% discount off the internet, then the saving could surely fund premises? Or are you all freeloaders that buy discounted miniatures of the internet and expect a store owner to sub your playing space for free? Even coming from the socialist outpost of Great Britain, I understand that if you want something you shouldn't expect it to be free. This issue is just about how you pay for it. Personally I'd rather pay someone for my models and shop around for the best deal, and then organise my playing space seperately, and get the best deal there too. Rather than being reliant on cross subsidy. Although of course I can see the convienience of the latter.

And there's nothing wrong with playing in someone's garage, as yabbadabba says. Most clubs start that way. Mike Walker, one of old-style WD's greatest writers used to regularly regale us with tales of the club of mates that met in his garage to throw down!

I really would encourage any US gamers feeling dispondent at losing their store to think outside the box and stop seeing all the reasons why it "can't work". One things for sure, if you don't even try it will never happen! It's your funeral! Stop looking for excuses and make it happen, is my advice. Unless you want to accept that you are trapped into a life of dependent consumerism.

ashc
07-05-2010, 10:43
Its incredible to see the US vs. UK difference in view of private clubs.

I think it also probably shows another nail in the coffin for GW US sales strategy.

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 11:51
I think it also probably shows another nail in the coffin for GW US sales strategy. I'm with Paul on this one. Its as much to do with the gamer's own motivation as it is with resources. If US gamers are such fair weather hobbyists then maybe GW should quit the US?

As to distance I know some Australian gamers who frequently travel a couple of hours or more to got to a club to game, and according to them that is not unusual. So the motivation is there. So maybe it is the culture.

ashc
07-05-2010, 11:58
I'm with Paul on this one. Its as much to do with the gamer's own motivation as it is with resources. If US gamers are such fair weather hobbyists then maybe GW should quit the US?

As to distance I know some Australian gamers who frequently travel a couple of hours or more to got to a club to game, and according to them that is not unusual. So the motivation is there. So maybe it is the culture.

Oh I do agree too, my point was that it seems to be yet another thing that GW have not considered. :)

Osbad
07-05-2010, 14:09
Oh I do agree too, my point was that it seems to be yet another thing that GW have not considered. :)

One of many. The fact that senior management's idea of "customer research" is simply believing every empirical excuse their regional managers give them instead of garnering genuine impartial opinion from as wide a customer base as possible, might just have a little something to do with things... :D

blongbling
07-05-2010, 15:10
One of many. The fact that senior management's idea of "customer research" is simply believing every empirical excuse their regional managers give them instead of garnering genuine impartial opinion from as wide a customer base as possible, might just have a little something to do with things... :D

oh hush, likes that true :)

I was invlvoved in quite a few SWAT meetings when there so there is a level of awareness within the business, however the overriding belief is that nothing truly threatens them in terms of competition, quality and pricing.

That complete arrogance, apart from being so anti the core principles of GW, is something that they need to address though

AndrewGPaul
07-05-2010, 17:33
Having read The Miniatures Page for a while, there are gaming clubs in the US, even if some of them are just garages or basements. Perhaps you could ask on TMP if anyone knows of a club local to you?

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 17:44
Having read The Miniatures Page for a while, there are gaming clubs in the US, even if some of them are just garages or basements. Perhaps you could ask on TMP if anyone knows of a club local to you? Well that would require effort ... ... :evilgrin:

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 17:46
...overriding belief is that nothing truly threatens them in terms of competition, quality and pricing. ...That complete arrogance, apart from being so anti the core principles of GW, is something that they need to address though And that is what brings empire's crashing down more than any external threat.

edit: Sorry for the double post.

eriochrome
07-05-2010, 19:27
I'm with Paul on this one. Its as much to do with the gamer's own motivation as it is with resources. If US gamers are such fair weather hobbyists then maybe GW should quit the US?

As to distance I know some Australian gamers who frequently travel a couple of hours or more to got to a club to game, and according to them that is not unusual. So the motivation is there. So maybe it is the culture.

Those are dedicated gamers but remember if GW wants to look to the US for growth it has to be looking at casual gamers and if these people cannot play in the store they will probably need some more serious attempts by GW to get clubs linked in so they can direct the players to where to go.

I think the player to population ratio is worse in the US currently which added to the extra distances can cause problems with maintaining clubs.

JLBeady
07-05-2010, 20:09
Having read The Miniatures Page for a while, there are gaming clubs in the US, even if some of them are just garages or basements. Perhaps you could ask on TMP if anyone knows of a club local to you?

Yes, there are clubs in the US. In fact I found two.....only two......in a metro area of over 5 million people that covers a geographic area larger than greater London. Of course maybe all the clubs are underground and you have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone......


Well that would require effort ... ... :evilgrin:

It did require effort, a significant amount more than what I expended finding clubs in the UK (which thanks to organizations like GCN, was very easy) Which brings up a couple of interesting observations;

There is no analog to the GCN in the US as far as I am aware of. Not sure what views people have of the GCN, but its very existence speaks volumes about the level of organization and sophistication of the club scene in the UK vs. the US.

GW North American as far I as can tell does not offer any support, not even this http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=4300008

According to the GCN website, there are 70 GCN approved clubs throughout the UK. That is one club per ~900,000 people or one club every 1,350 sq. miles compared to the US where based on my research there appears to be 1 club for every 2,850,000 people* or one club every 5,390 sq miles*

*These numbers are based on an extrapolation of data from the 10 largest US metro areas and does not include the total US population and geographic area which I believe would have skewed the numbers and not provided a “apples” to “apples” comparison given the irreconcilable difference in urban vs. rural development in the respective countries. In other words though I am sure there are GW and miniature war gaming enthusiasts in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, etc. there population densities have no analog in the UK and would disproportionately dilute the per captia numbers.

With respect to community resources that apparently exist in abundance sufficient to lower the barriers to organizing and sustaining a club in the UK. Comparable community resources are not generally as available in the US or are not seen as acceptable venues (Bars and churches). Of the two clubs that I am familiar with in my area, one is at a local Uni and is a registered student organization and thus has access to certain facilities but whose official membership can only include students, the other apparently meets in a local storage facility and rents an environmentally controlled storage unit.

Curious as to the specific experiences of people in the UK. How did you get involved in a club? Is the environment such that you visit a GW and look on a bulletin board for clubs in your area and then go visit them? What is the process typically employed by clubs to recruit new members?

AndrewGPaul
07-05-2010, 20:50
Yes, there are clubs in the US. In fact I found two.....only two......in a metro area of over 5 million people that covers a geographic area larger than greater London. Of course maybe all the clubs are underground and you have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone......



It did require effort, a significant amount more than what I expended finding clubs in the UK (which thanks to organizations like GCN, was very easy) Which brings up a couple of interesting observations;

There is no analog to the GCN in the US as far as I am aware of. Not sure what views people have of the GCN, but its very existence speaks volumes about the level of organization and sophistication of the club scene in the UK vs. the US.

GW North American as far I as can tell does not offer any support, not even this http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=4300008

According to the GCN website, there are 70 GCN approved clubs throughout the UK. That is one club per ~900,000 people or one club every 1,350 sq. miles compared to the US where based on my research there appears to be 1 club for every 2,850,000 people* or one club every 5,390 sq miles*

*These numbers are based on an extrapolation of data from the 10 largest US metro areas and does not include the total US population and geographic area which I believe would have skewed the numbers and not provided a “apples” to “apples” comparison given the irreconcilable difference in urban vs. rural development in the respective countries. In other words though I am sure there are GW and miniature war gaming enthusiasts in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, etc. there population densities have no analog in the UK and would disproportionately dilute the per captia numbers.

Strangely enough, one of the TMP members, alxbates, is part of a thriving (IIRC) group who play Wargods, among other things. In Anchorage :)


Curious as to the specific experiences of people in the UK. How did you get involved in a club? Is the environment such that you visit a GW and look on a bulletin board for clubs in your area and then go visit them? What is the process typically employed by clubs to recruit new members?I started out playing games at friends' houses (and they at mine). Gaming in GW came later - I started gaming at the age of 11, and wasn't allowed out on my own at night (GW games night was until 8pm on Thursdays) until I was 15 or so.

A couple of years later, GW were going through a phase of running their own clubs - GW Glasgow's was in the upstairs room of the Iron Horse pub. Sine upstairs was a separate venue, under 18s were allowed in, even though adult members could get a pint or two in from downstairs at the bar. After a while, that folded, amidst vague rumours of petty theft, and we ended up gaming in GW Glasgow's basement, not the most perfect venue, unless you were a heliophobic hobbit. A few of us decided we wanted somewhere better, so we got together, phoned round a few venues and, after a couple of false starts, we've been going for 10 years.

Rhamag
07-05-2010, 23:34
Curious as to the specific experiences of people in the UK. How did you get involved in a club? Is the environment such that you visit a GW and look on a bulletin board for clubs in your area and then go visit them? What is the process typically employed by clubs to recruit new members?

I had been playing in my local GW for about 5 years before it occurred to me that this "club" the more experienced players were talking about was something I might be interested in. Since then, there has been another club started, which are GCN registered. I now go most weeks to one or the other. Club fees are £15 for life membership, and £3 per night for members. The club runs 6:30 till 9:30. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the venue is a room or rooms in a local council-owned community centre, which is the cause of the slightly early 9:30 finish.

The club has almost enough members (and thus cashflow) to consider leasing their own space somewhere, where boards could be left up on a permanent basis and have much more room for scenery storage etc. They have found warehouse space for around £200 per month, but slightly too far out of the town centre. When something better comes up they'll go for it.

As the club is GCN registered, they have business cards with the days/times & venue in the local GW, and staff there can promote the club and give cards to new and old gamers alike. I have heard of local GWs donating old boards and scenery to GCN clubs as well, since it's all part of building the local hobby community.

For reference, my town/city has a population of around 180,000 people. This is not small by UK standards but certainly not large by US measure I reckon.

Occulto
07-05-2010, 23:47
The best place for 'club' gaiming is your place. Free, familiar, free. I guess it depend show big said 'club' is. I mean my 'club' if it can be called such, has 6 people. We meet every sunday at a mates garage where there are 3 table tennis tables which we cover with a textured board thingy and play all day.

Like I said, I dunno if 6 people in a garage qualifies as a club but it's fun, theres a fridge full of soda, comfy chairs, its quiet and you don't have random kids throwing skittles at you (no offence majority of youngsta's playin warhammerz).

This (although replace soda with beer).

A mate of mine has a shed that he's got 4 tables set up in. We regularly have days where there's multiple games going on, a BBQ and a chance to catch up with people we've met through the tournament scene.

Once a year he holds an event in his backyard: Link (http://www.wargamerau.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=86777&st=0)

Yes, that's a misting tent and wading pool (due to it being over 40C/104F) all weekend).

I'll take that over a cramped, smelly GW store any day.

JLBeady
08-05-2010, 14:58
This (although replace soda with beer).

A mate of mine has a shed that he's got 4 tables set up in. We regularly have days where there's multiple games going on, a BBQ and a chance to catch up with people we've met through the tournament scene.

Once a year he holds an event in his backyard: Link (http://www.wargamerau.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=86777&st=0)

Yes, that's a misting tent and wading pool (due to it being over 40C/104F) all weekend).

I'll take that over a cramped, smelly GW store any day.

Got to ask, is the beer considered impassable or difficult terrain? :D

Occulto
09-05-2010, 01:24
Got to ask, is the beer considered impassable or difficult terrain? :D

Depends on your tolerance. :p

Osbad
10-05-2010, 10:43
Yes, that's a misting tent and wading pool (due to it being over 40C/104F) all weekend).

OK, I'll bite!

What on earth is a "misting tent"?

I live in the UK, and I've forgotten what warm weather is all about...

mdauben
10-05-2010, 15:05
I can't believe that access to suitable, reasonably cheap local rooms is much worse in the US than in the UK.
I've never lived in the UK, so I don't really know what its like, but I think despite our shared language, the cultures are quite different on each side of the pond. I'm sure with enough determination and hard work it could be done here, too, but its just easier to do it in a game store, where the owner has already provided the basics (room to play and tables to play on). Also, in the US independent game stores are much more common than they seem to be in the UK. There are many times as many independents as GW company stores here.


Here I have seen and read about clubs meeting in church halls, community centres, pubs, social clubs, private houses, public libraries, town halls, village halls.... pretty much any largish public room really.
They do in some cases, but there are often problems. Churches, for instance, can be kind of twitchy about hosting groups that play games involving demons and magic (it seems silly, but true). In the US bars are not really the sort of social centers I think pubs often are, and there are often restrictions on having children in places that serve alcohol (unless they are actually resturants). Privately owned halls and meeting rooms tend to be too expensives and not all libraries have meeting spaces at all, or ones suitable for gaming (no tables, for example). There are various social clubs in the US that often own their own meeting halls, but unless you have an inside connection they will generally expect to rent the space to you, rather than just letting you use it when they are not.


And I really, really don't think the generally more dispersed population has anything to do with it as you really don't need many interested folks to get a club off the ground (we did it with 3 of us).
In the US you would have a hard time justifying the use of a public space for just three people, and they could never afford the rent on a commercial space. Honestly, here 2-3 players are better off just meeing in their homes. I used to live in the suburbs of Chicago, one of the largest cities in the US and we had to draw from around a 30 mile driving radius to have enough players to form a real club (a dozen or so dedicated "core" members, and perhaps as many again occasional players).

In the end, I'm sure it could be done but its not really as easy as it seems to be in the UK. :(


What on earth is a "misting tent"?
Its usually just a cannopy of some sort for shade, with a set of water "misters" (think superfine shower heads) that spray water onto people to cool them off. They are quit often seen in open-air public venues in areas where the temps can climb into the 90's or even 100's (32-38+ deg. C) and heat exhastion can be a real problem.

O&G'sRule
10-05-2010, 20:33
It doesn't care in the slightest. Its just removed the vets nights from 1 man stores, for me thats the only time I play so no longer have a reason to buy their stuff, the company is being run very dangerously at the moment imo. Oh well those new trolls looked nice too.

yabbadabba
10-05-2010, 20:46
It doesn't care in the slightest. Its just removed the vets nights from 1 man stores, for me thats the only time I play so no longer have a reason to buy their stuff, the company is being run very dangerously at the moment imo. Oh well those new trolls looked nice too.
So if your local supermarket stopped selling ready meals would you stop eating too? Seriously mate there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy this hobby including playing games if you put the effort in. Thats if you want to make the effort, and if you don't maybe this isn't a good hobby for you?

Reinholt
10-05-2010, 21:19
So if your local supermarket stopped selling ready meals would you stop eating too? Seriously mate there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy this hobby including playing games if you put the effort in. Thats if you want to make the effort, and if you don't maybe this isn't a good hobby for you?

Are we going to follow up with "You got a problem? Wanna step outside?"

;)

Various people are always going to have varying degrees of effort they are willing to put in. Maybe he can't play at home, or just doesn't like to do so (more than he likes to play). Maybe it's a logistical issue.

Or maybe the underlying issue is that, without a venue to play in, the cost/benefit is no longer compelling compared to other entertainment options. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable for people to quit over this kind of thing (and if the past is any indication, they probably will!).

But let's not be rude about it. Everyone who comes and goes through the hobby always has their reasons.

:)

yabbadabba
10-05-2010, 21:29
Are we going to follow up with "You got a problem? Wanna step outside?" Why, you up for some? ;)


Various people are always going to have varying degrees of effort they are willing to put in. Maybe he can't play at home, or just doesn't like to do so (more than he likes to play). Maybe it's a logistical issue. Its quite funny how some people like to put pressure on others with painting their models, saying there is no excuses not to paint, but when it comes to gaming (or my other bugbear, making your own scenery) ... ... the excuses are allowed to flow.


Or maybe the underlying issue is that, without a venue to play in, the cost/benefit is no longer compelling compared to other entertainment options. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable for people to quit over this kind of thing (and if the past is any indication, they probably will!). There are always options Reinholt, and this thread appears to suggest far more options in the UK than the US, so opportunities for venues shouldn't be the issue. My point is reflected in your point - if this hobby is not viable for this gamer without someone offering free gaming services, maybe this isn't the hobby for them? Finally, why abandon a hobby, which is a long term commitment, just because of a minor short term obstacle? It only requires a little effort to overcome, and talking about that ...


But let's not be rude about it. Everyone who comes and goes through the hobby always has their reasons. I am not being rude, but I am pointing out this hobby needs effort. If you can't be bothered with that effort, maybe its not the right hobby?

Rude, no. I would have said something like "Seeya, and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out". Direct, yes.

burad
10-05-2010, 21:34
There are young folks who are regulars at the local GW store here - which will be shut down this month. Some of them are dropped off by their parents. I fully expect that a good chunk of those young folks will cease playing WHFB or 40k, as their parents will be less inclined to take them down the interstate to the next closest GW store - which is MUCH smaller, and they don't play at home.

O&G'sRule
10-05-2010, 22:13
So if your local supermarket stopped selling ready meals would you stop eating too? Seriously mate there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy this hobby including playing games if you put the effort in. Thats if you want to make the effort, and if you don't maybe this isn't a good hobby for you?

Stupid comment, been playing the hobby for 15 years, slightly redundant idea that it might "not be the hobby for me. Patronising. A bit like me suggesting the lack of flintstone models means its not the hobby for you.

as for the supermarket point, how is that even relevant?

yabbadabba
10-05-2010, 22:18
Stupid comment, been playing the hobby for 15 years, slightly redundant idea that it might "not be the hobby for me. Patronising. Sorry, didn't realise I had known you for those 15 years :rolleyes:. Welcome to the internet, a bit of background to your post might have made a difference. You could have been playing for 6 months. And why are you playing at a GW store after 15 years?


as for the supermarket point, how is that even relevant? Its an analogy.

O&G'sRule
10-05-2010, 22:24
Sorry, didn't realise I had known you for those 15 years :rolleyes:. Welcome to the internet, a bit of background to your post might have made a difference. You could have been playing for 6 months. And why are you playing at a GW store after 15 years?

Its an analogy.

Because thats where everyone plays in my area. :wtf: , you don't play the same people over and over

It's anal something for sure

yabbadabba
10-05-2010, 22:26
Because thats where everyone plays. :wtf: Not anymore eh?

Start a club. join a club. Play at home etc, etc, etc. Just because decide not to have a games night for you doesn't end your gaming experience.

I hope that GW get off their backsides and make more effort with the point that this is a hobby to enjoy everywhere else other than a GW store. Especially after 15 years.

O&G'sRule
10-05-2010, 22:32
Not anymore eh?

Start a club. join a club. Play at home etc, etc, etc. Just because decide not to have a games night for you doesn't end your gaming experience.

I hope that GW get off their backsides and make more effort with the point that this is a hobby to enjoy everywhere else other than a GW store. Especially after 15 years.

Take away the gaming from stores, what is the point of the store? it would make more sense for the whole business to go online. Anyway, you're clearly just a guy with nothing better to do than try to wind someone up so cheerio

yabbadabba
10-05-2010, 22:53
Take away the gaming from stores, what is the point of the store? it would make more sense for the whole business to go online. Anyway, you're clearly just a guy with nothing better to do than try to wind someone up so cheerio The stores are for recruitment and new customers. If you have been hanging around GW stores for 15 years you would have realised that.
The single greatest investment you can make in this hobby is to get it out of a store and into a club or just as good, at home. Only playing at a GW store after 15 years is for me the wargaming social equivalent of living with your parents because its easier if your mum cooks your meals.
I am not winding you up, but you are definitely misleading yourself.

Occulto
10-05-2010, 23:15
Its usually just a cannopy of some sort for shade, with a set of water "misters" (think superfine shower heads) that spray water onto people to cool them off. They are quit often seen in open-air public venues in areas where the temps can climb into the 90's or even 100's (32-38+ deg. C) and heat exhastion can be a real problem.

Yup.

They use them a lot at the big summer music festivals here in Australia.

At that particular tournament people it was probably around 50 degrees in the shed. :eek:

Still smelt better than a GW store during school holidays.

Osbad
11-05-2010, 11:10
Yup.

They use them a lot at the big summer music festivals here in Australia.

At that particular tournament people it was probably around 50 degrees in the shed. :eek:

Still smelt better than a GW store during school holidays.

Quite a different set-up to here in the UK. I game in my dining room, because I'd freeze my backside off if I gamed in my garage - even through most of the summer!

Occulto
11-05-2010, 12:06
Quite a different set-up to here in the UK. I game in my dining room, because I'd freeze my backside off if I gamed in my garage - even through most of the summer!

Oh I've done the freezing side of the equation too. Ended up looking like the Michelin man with the number of layers of clothing required. :D

Back on topic, I'd hate to have my gaming dictated by opening hours or table booking sheets. The thought of turning up to "gaming night" and not being able to actually play because it's too busy is completely alien to me.

Grimmeth
11-05-2010, 12:11
I've just ran this whole argument past a law student, who amusingly thinks that, as GW have provided space to play for so long, and now have cut that down in many stores (or abolished it completely in some from what I gather) arguably you could sue on the grounds of misrepresentation and/or custom.

I probably wouldn't risk my money on this, but if you feel that disgruntled by all means let me know how it goes - me, I'll carry on trying to find a venue for my own gaming night :D

Reinholt
11-05-2010, 15:52
Funny, but would not work. You might get them to settle with you for nuisance value, though, so there's always that.

At least in the US. I wouldn't try this in a "loser pays" legal system.

Grimmeth
11-05-2010, 19:09
I'm in the UK, so likely some difference there.

Like I said, theoretically you'd have a case - in practice I can't see it working too well mind. Of course, if everyone starts chucking letters to head office with those lovely buzzwords of "Misrepresentation" and "custom" then who knows? ;)

yabbadabba
11-05-2010, 19:12
Don't Grimmeth, the idea is so laughable its making my ribs hurt.

blongbling
12-05-2010, 08:27
What Yabba said......never trust a student when it comes to legal advice.

Grimmeth
12-05-2010, 09:48
Don't Grimmeth, the idea is so laughable its making my ribs hurt.

Don't worry, I like coming up with amusing ideas that could conceivably work, musing over them and then never ever acting on them.

It gets me through the humdrum of the 9 - 5!

I do agree about the club thing, I've gamed in GW for years and while it's ok, I've had much more fun gaming at home where I can play with custom rules/different modeles etc. Building a gaming club is going to be the next logical step for me (after I get married anyway, planning for that takes enough of my time at the moment!).
I feel sorry for the GW staff expected to now do two or three peoples jobs, it can't be easy for them and a lot of the ex and current staffers love playing, chatting and throwing ideas around with their regulars.