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Gradek
29-11-2011, 22:14
Having recently decided to get back into WHFB after being away since the mid-90s (and now actually having disposable income to spend on the hobby), I am still somewhat dismayed by the cost of the rules themselves, considering it would seem that GW makes the most of their money on the minis. I would think that this high barrier to entry is potentially keeping away prospective new gamers who (while willing to buy an army) are less than thrilled with the idea of spending $75-100 for just basic rules (which is 75-100 less they would have to spend on minis) to decide whether or not the game is for them. I would love to see GW make the basic rulebook available as a cheap (or free) pdf in an effort to bring more gamers into our hobby (because the reality is, most people are still going to buy a rulebook if they like the game anyways). What do you think, is GW missing the boat with this?

13713
29-11-2011, 22:15
It's called the starter set. I highly doubt they are going to release a book to take away any possible sales from the main rulebook.

yabbadabba
29-11-2011, 22:40
Gradek this is discussed elsewhere mate. I think the mods will close this or move it to the pricing thread elsewhere. You might want to double check your title searches before enxt time mate.

As to your question, the rulebooks and core games are big sellers, but price is always an issue with GW.

Harwammer
29-11-2011, 23:30
It's a litmus test to ensure prospective hobbyists are prepared to dump large amounts of money into things they don't really know if they want/need. Gw don't want to spend thousands of pounds on catering to people that are only going to drop a couple of quid in their 'hobby career'.

Actually I don't know why they do it. I don't regret buying any of my rule books. Have you tried 2nd hand ones off ebay? A lot of people buy the starter boy and sell their rulecool without even looking at it.

bolshie
30-11-2011, 00:28
The BRB has much more than the rules in it that would be useful to the beginner. And as others have said there is always the starter set, and you can get the small rule book on ebay.

StygianBeach
30-11-2011, 07:07
The problem is, if you make the rules free, then percieved value drops.

It would be nice if there was a cheaper crappy version of the main rules. Army books are okay as their own books, although I would like it if they had more than 1 army per book.

tanglethorn
30-11-2011, 16:35
I actually think its beneficial for GW to at least do the Army books for free online. My biggest problem is the lack of rules updates. They simply refuse to update an army book and it can sometimes take years before they release a new one. Just look at Wood Elves and Bretts as an example. Or maybe they can release new models and rules for each army on semi regular bases instead of doing one army per quarter.

Regardless, their current release schedule sucks. Its one of the reasons I stopped playing for the last few years. This time around I picked an army that was designed for 8th in mind and that generally had favorable reviews. Despite this, they really need to change.

Gorbad Ironclaw
30-11-2011, 17:25
The BRB has much more than the rules in it that would be useful to the beginner. And as others have said there is always the starter set, and you can get the small rule book on ebay.

But ironically the BRB isn't the book GW markets as being to new players. I really do think they got those two entirely the wrong way around. So even if they didn't wanted to give the rules away for free, they could certainly do more to give people access to background information I think.

That being said, I would have thought that letting people access the rules for free would only increase the number of people playing. It's not like they don't do it already for other games (Or that other games don't let you download everything for free, Infinity for instance). If I were able to go and have a look at new rules coming out I might be tempted to actually do something with them. Since I'm required to put down money before I'm even allowed to find out what it's actually about I won't.

T9nv3
30-11-2011, 17:26
I should probably point out that Bloodbowl, Mordheim, Necromunda, and Inquisitor all have free rulebooks that you can download right from GW's website.

The specialist games are a blast and can be played with a hand-full of your favorite models. Although they are not compatible with the GW core games, Mordheim and Necromunda use some of the same basic mechanics and unit stats.

I dont mind directing interested players to these games as a way to just have fun and learn some of the basics while they decide whether or not they'd like to invest in a "real" army.

yabbadabba
30-11-2011, 19:09
I actually think its beneficial for GW to at least do the Army books for free online. My biggest problem is the lack of rules updates. They simply refuse to update an army book and it can sometimes take years before they release a new one. Just look at Wood Elves and Bretts as an example. Or maybe they can release new models and rules for each army on semi regular bases instead of doing one army per quarter. Its far more complicated than I think you might realise, and GW have tried a variety of release schedules over the decades. What can't be denied is that an armybook release plus an overhaul/new edition of the models are a major sales opportunity and some lines only sell in significant amounts for the first 3 months of their release with an armybook; and nothing really changes that. At least they are keeping on top of the FAQs and Errata, a vast improvement over previous editions.

I really do think they got those two entirely the wrong way around. Cynical sales approach mate. I was there in the meetings when they first discussed the BRB/LRB split and it was very deliberate.

That being said, I would have thought that letting people access the rules for free would only increase the number of people playing. It's not like they don't do it already for other games (Or that other games don't let you download everything for free, Infinity for instance). Its a different case for other companies, GW's book sales make an impact both with the books and associated minis, as well as knock on sales. Giving things away for free does not necessarily mean an increase in sales. GW will have data for this, by tracking sales of lines after the release of WD army lists and Ravening Hordes.

If I were able to go and have a look at new rules coming out I might be tempted to actually do something with them. Since I'm required to put down money before I'm even allowed to find out what it's actually about I won't. The point is that's why GW do intro games, have open copies and encourage their stockists to do it where they can. Other wargames companies cannot do this with anything like the impact GW does; so free rules for those who want to sell minis as this helps promote their lines and push their game, but companies who purely make rules as a main/sole sales channel rarely give any of them away for free.

bolshie
30-11-2011, 20:26
That being said, I would have thought that letting people access the rules for free would only increase the number of people playing. It's not like they don't do it already for other games (Or that other games don't let you download everything for free, Infinity for instance). If I were able to go and have a look at new rules coming out I might be tempted to actually do something with them. Since I'm required to put down money before I'm even allowed to find out what it's actually about I won't.

Indeed but let's be honest, if you want to have a look at any of the books then it is not exactly difficult to do so.

Lord Inquisitor
30-11-2011, 20:43
I have NO understanding why GW don't provide their rulebooks and army books/codecies online for free as PDFs of just the rules (plus maybe pretty photo section).

I just don't get it. Anyone inclined to print off a PDF of the rulebook can do so now if they know how to google. Perhaps there's a small percentage of people that would rather not buy the rulebook and would print a PDF but do not because of their own morals and/or fear of retribution, but I imagine that's not many. Most people would still buy their own rulebook and army book because thumbing through printed rulebooks isn't a lot of fun (as anyone who's played any of the specialist games with printed rulebooks can attest to). People who collect the books for the fluff or just to collect them aren't going to be put off by PDF copies without fluff online. The fact that the special edition books sell like hotcakes shows there's a big chunk of wargamers who are happy to pay for expensive paper (including me!).

Think of all the benefits to GW! Anyone who wants to download the new Necron codex or Ogre Kingdom book can do so! Wow, cool, look at the new mega blaster death nuke ray or super big monster with yellow snowball attack!

Even more than that. Holy cow, I've just had an idea for an Eldar exodite army. Maybe I can start building a list with ideas for "counts as" models. Eh, I don't have the codex. Nevermind, maybe I'll remember it next time I'm down the game store... Probably not.

Rules on my phone! Errata amended right into the online docs! So many cool possibilities! Plus players that want to swat up before a tournament or a friendly game can look through their opponent's book online. Improved gaming experience with less "oh wait I didn't know you could do that" moments. Given that WFB and 40K are some of the most memory-intensive wargames out there...

The books are there to sell models. Sure, GW may make some profit on them, but surely the increased profit margin on the stuff they make in-house is better? If online pdfs help sell models, surely that would make sense!?

This boggles my mind. GW seem to be very backwards about this. I can only imagine that online pdf books would help sell more models, generate interest in new products and mitigate startup costs. Most people will buy hardcopy books anyway, at least for their armies.

Harwammer
30-11-2011, 22:52
I think you're right; I've printed off much of the Mordheim book and am tempted to buy a copy (possibly the box so I get an extra set of buildings). This is despite the fact that our circle has access to a proper copy of the rules on gamesnight!

One thing I will say for PDF rules, based on my experiences with Mordheim and FAQs is they are a godsend for searching for well-hidden rules! Oh, and a second thing, the PDF of the rules actually includes loads of updates. It's way easier to get the rules right when you don't need to check the FAQ/Erratas (we accidently ended up with a group of 2W henchmen when we only had the proper book on us)!

Maskedman5oh4
01-12-2011, 00:32
tl;dr

If GW is one thing, they are consistent. They do not give away their IP for free, ever. They may have good customer service, they may replace bad product no questions asked, but they never give anything away for free.

Also, they would rather sell print copies than provide (even at a cost/subscription) rules/codexes online- that is how GW operates- on average a decade behind the current technology.

Duke Ramulots
01-12-2011, 04:53
Having recently decided to get back into WHFB after being away since the mid-90s (and now actually having disposable income to spend on the hobby), I am still somewhat dismayed by the cost of the rules themselves, considering it would seem that GW makes the most of their money on the minis. I would think that this high barrier to entry is potentially keeping away prospective new gamers who (while willing to buy an army) are less than thrilled with the idea of spending $75-100 for just basic rules (which is 75-100 less they would have to spend on minis) to decide whether or not the game is for them. I would love to see GW make the basic rulebook available as a cheap (or free) pdf in an effort to bring more gamers into our hobby (because the reality is, most people are still going to buy a rulebook if they like the game anyways). What do you think, is GW missing the boat with this?

I have a hard time swallowing that you have disposable income if $75 is too much to spend on a book you'll need for every battle you play durring 8th edition.

yabbadabba
01-12-2011, 08:21
If GW is one thing, they are consistent. They do not give away their IP for free, ever. They may have good customer service, they may replace bad product no questions asked, but they never give anything away for free.

Also, they would rather sell print copies than provide (even at a cost/subscription) rules/codexes online- that is how GW operates- on average a decade behind the current technology. You might want to check out the Specialist Games section of their website.

jack da greenskin
01-12-2011, 08:26
I have a hard time swallowing that you have disposable income if $75 is too much to spend on a book you'll need for every battle you play durring 8th edition.

Most games I honestly dont need a rulebook. We settle stuff pretty amicably and would rather take the fairest interpretation of the rules than RAW.

So yeah, I wont pay 45 for a bloody heavy book I'm expected to lug to games nights.


Compare this to malifaux - The rules manual is offered free online. The same can be had in book form for 8. EIGHT POUNDS. It's small, compact, and great. Well played wyrd.

Cambion Daystar
01-12-2011, 08:46
I have a hard time swallowing that you have disposable income if $75 is too much to spend on a book you'll need for every battle you play durring 8th edition.
Some of us have trouble with that amount of money yes.

Drakon
01-12-2011, 08:47
i have all the pdf versions of the books ranging all the way back to 2nd. However I also own all the codecies from DA onwards (time i got back into it) up till now minus necrons as i just havent brought it yet.

I perfer the physical book but like stated before the electronic versions are easier to search with the right tools and more portable i.e. phones tablets etc.

Duke Ramulots
01-12-2011, 08:50
Some of us have trouble with that amount of money yes.

I was questioning his stating he has disposible income. It didn't make sense with the rest of the post. I understand there are poor people, I'm one of them. Thankfully warhammer is a very cheap hobby.

jack da greenskin
01-12-2011, 09:39
Thankfully warhammer is a very cheap hobby.

Eh? REVEAL YOUR SECRETS.

Cathel
01-12-2011, 10:12
I don't need a free rulebook, but I would really appreciate if I could buy a rulebook cheaper without the painting/army/fluff section.

Come on, I have several old rulebooks at home, several editions of army books.
For someone who has been in the hobby for years neither the starter box is interesting (not my armies) and the painting fluff I have already (several times).
I would have liked to buy a smaller (less heavy) book to carry around. Besides spending less money for the book which might have gone into new models.

Duke Ramulots
01-12-2011, 10:15
Eh? REVEAL YOUR SECRETS.

You can buy a battalion box and army book for the cost of taking your girl to see a movie and out to an applebees level dinner. It's all about priorities.

Chickenbane
01-12-2011, 11:19
You can buy a battalion box and army book for the cost of taking your girl to see a movie and out to an applebees level dinner. It's all about priorities.

Less sex involved too.

Gargantuan
01-12-2011, 11:31
Eh? REVEAL YOUR SECRETS.

It isn't very expensive when you compare it to many other hobbies like for example:
Motorcycles
Hockey
Travelling
Hunting
Shark Fishing
etc

theunwantedbeing
01-12-2011, 11:50
I would love to see GW make the basic rulebook available as a cheap (or free) pdf in an effort to bring more gamers into our hobby (because the reality is, most people are still going to buy a rulebook if they like the game anyways). What do you think, is GW missing the boat with this?

Why would you give something away that people are willing to pay for?

Brother Haephestus
01-12-2011, 11:51
I would go so far as to say, if you can't afford the rules book, how are you going to afford to put together a basic force? And, if you have no commitment to the IP, wouldn't you just buy cheaper miniatures elsewhere (as many already do)? And, if all this is true, how is this going to increase GW sales just because more people are getting rules for free and playing with other company product lines?

Erazmus_M_Wattle
01-12-2011, 12:43
Why would you give something away that people are willing to pay for?

This I believe is actually the entire crux of the matter. It is what GWs sales plan is built around. I'd have thought that was obvious to be honest. There not refusing to sell PDFs or give them away because they are short sighted and behind the times. It is totally intentional.

jack da greenskin
01-12-2011, 12:46
You can buy a battalion box and army book for the cost of taking your girl to see a movie and out to an applebees level dinner. It's all about priorities.

Know which I'd rather do.

The fact I can buy a bunch of plastic for cheaper than a night out is irrelevant - The price is still too high for what it represents IMO. Nevertheless, all pricing discussion will take place in the pricing feedback thread, feel free to throw me a bone there ;)

Korraz
01-12-2011, 13:13
It isn't very expensive when you compare it to many other hobbies like for example:
Motorcycles
Hockey
Travelling
Hunting
Shark Fishing
etc

Yeah. I doubt that.
For example: All I needed was eighty bucks for a good knife and some shorts I had anyway, and I was good to go for Shark Fishing. :eyebrows:

Voss
01-12-2011, 13:30
What do you think, is GW missing the boat with this?

I think they realize that its an experiment with no evidence to suggest its validity, which will cost them a lot of money if it goes badly.

Its more of a wish from 'the something for nothing' culture that tends to get louder when economic times are a little tight.



I should probably point out that Bloodbowl, Mordheim, Necromunda, and Inquisitor all have free rulebooks that you can download right from GW's website.


This is a good point, and pretty much argument number 1 as to why a free rulebook won't push sales. As fun as the SG games are, SG models don't sell very well. You can argue that GW doesn't support these games anymore, but the heart of the matter is that making the books free (and pdfs to boot!) didn't result in an increase of model sales. That right there should be an indicator to anyone in GW that free rulebooks = bad business plan.

Gradek
01-12-2011, 13:47
I would go so far as to say, if you can't afford the rules book, how are you going to afford to put together a basic force? And, if you have no commitment to the IP, wouldn't you just buy cheaper miniatures elsewhere (as many already do)? And, if all this is true, how is this going to increase GW sales just because more people are getting rules for free and playing with other company product lines?

It isn't about affording the rulebook per se, it is about profit margins and increasing sales for them (because I am going to assume that they have a much higher margin on the minis than on the books). First, anyone who wants to can get the pdf's online for free in about 30 seconds, so it isn't like they aren't available. Second, since it is almost certain that margins are higher on the minis than the books, the $75-100 one spends on the rules makes them more money if applied to the minis. Third, unless they have data that shows that tons of people buy the rules, but never buy anymore models (which I doubt), they are potentially costing themselves more customers by not making the rules available online for potential new gamers to read and get hooked on the game (especially the army books). Fourth, it is a great way to tease existing customers to cross to 40k. And finally, it is still highly likely that most gamers still buy the books anyways.

I have no problem (and will) buy the rules (IoB) and an army, but it would be nice (since I haven't played WHFB since the 90s) to be able to read through a few of the books for the armies I like before I choose what to get.

tanglethorn
01-12-2011, 16:10
Why would you give something away that people are willing to pay for?

because you would expand your player base, thus selling more minis and accessories...

More players = more money

tanglethorn
01-12-2011, 16:14
I think they realize that its an experiment with no evidence to suggest its validity, which will cost them a lot of money if it goes badly.

Its more of a wish from 'the something for nothing' culture that tends to get louder when economic times are a little tight.




This is a good point, and pretty much argument number 1 as to why a free rulebook won't push sales. As fun as the SG games are, SG models don't sell very well. You can argue that GW doesn't support these games anymore, but the heart of the matter is that making the books free (and pdfs to boot!) didn't result in an increase of model sales. That right there should be an indicator to anyone in GW that free rulebooks = bad business plan.

Well in honesty, this isnt in the same context. A lot of people don't even know about SG games and GW doesnt promote them, at all. So of course releasing the rules for free didnt result in a large sales increase for SG games...

If they made a profit off the SG games you bet the rule book would no longer be online for free...

Voss
01-12-2011, 16:24
Well in honesty, this isnt in the same context. A lot of people don't even know about SG games and GW doesnt promote them, at all. So of course releasing the rules for free didnt result in a large sales increase for SG games...
Now, yes. But at the time the rulebooks initially became available for free, SG products were still sold in GW stores (at least in the US), were available at Games Day and they are right there on the website.


If they made a profit off the SG games you bet the rule book would no longer be online for free...
If they lost money on them (the alternative to making a profit) they wouldn't be available _at all_.


because you would expand your player base, thus selling more minis and accessories...

More players = more money

If it works. You are presuming that the expansion of the player base is automatic _and_ that it would result in more sales of other products, but there is simply no evidence that it would happen. The second part is also inherent fallacy anyway, since making the books free doesn't mean that players need larger armies, so there really isn't anything that drives extra sales of models- they are more likely just to spend the money they didn't spend on rulebooks on other forms of entertainment. Third, they do have evidence that new books drive model sales; but updated pdfs would involve a different sales model that wouldn't necessarily drive sales the same way. You are suggesting that a business should cut off a revenue stream on an unprovable assumption, and that simply isn't a risk a sensible business would take.



And as another thought, this should really go to general discussion. It isn't a Fantasy topic.

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 16:31
This is a good point, and pretty much argument number 1 as to why a free rulebook won't push sales. As fun as the SG games are, SG models don't sell very well. You can argue that GW doesn't support these games anymore, but the heart of the matter is that making the books free (and pdfs to boot!) didn't result in an increase of model sales. That right there should be an indicator to anyone in GW that free rulebooks = bad business plan.

The fact that they provided the free rulebooks at the same time as axing the SG support and removing all SG advertising and models from the stores probably isn't going to give a good impression.

Anecdotally, it's been easier to persuade people to plump for a Necromunda gang or what have you when they can download the rules for free.

And GW have done the same with free pdfs of WFB and 40K and all their codecies for the Japanese market. That's probably a better indicator.

The point remains that assuming they make, say 25% profit on books and 50% on models, if for every two people that don't buy a rulebook or book one person spends the same money on models, they break even. Ten people download pdfs instead of buying books is going to be worth it if they persuade ONE friend to start playing! Particularly since that's the sort of thing that might put someone off and possibly cause them to turn to another game.

It doesn't seem like good business sense to me, it seems to be stubborn refusal to actually address the bigger picture.

theunwantedbeing
01-12-2011, 16:35
because you would expand your player base, thus selling more minis and accessories...
How can you be sure that free rules would expand your player base?


More players = more money
Well yes but giving them free rules = less money spent on rules.

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 16:57
Well yes but giving them free rules = less money spent on rules.
Most gamers I know have a relatively limited income to spend on models. If they spend that money on models instead of books = more profit for GW.

But if we assume that free rules will result in more players even by a small amount, just one person extra buying a full army will offset a large number of people not buying the rules (because the profit on books is lower). Let's not forget that anyone who wants a pdf book now can get one online. Most people who buy the books now would still buy them.

I know the army books and pdfs online would make me more likely to buy a new army and I have more models than I will ever even assemble.

Druchii Monkey
01-12-2011, 17:01
The rulebook they have as part of the starter set is already good value - you don't have to buy the bigger one, which is a bit of a premium purchase.

If GW would move with the times a bit more they should have discounted online versions of the book, and maybe 25% off if you trade the old one in would work quite well.

If you want to get a feel for the armies before playing them the GW site has good "Getting Started" sections on it's site which introduce each army and it's style of play, and there is this forum of course.

I don't think free rules necessarily increases the customer base.

Duke Ramulots
01-12-2011, 17:15
Yeah. I doubt that.
For example: All I needed was eighty bucks for a good knife and some shorts I had anyway, and I was good to go for Shark Fishing. :eyebrows:

You're a beast, so you dont need a speargun, fins, mask, or snorkel? :rolleyes:

Harwammer
01-12-2011, 17:33
Yeah. I doubt that.
For example: All I needed was eighty bucks for a good knife and some shorts I had anyway, and I was good to go for Shark Fishing. :eyebrows:


You're a beast, so you dont need a speargun, fins, mask, or snorkel? :rolleyes:

To be honest I thought Korraz was being far too lavish bothering with the knife! I never have.

I think the free SG rules arguments are a hard call. To me it seems most players prefer a more personalised warband converted from whfb figure ranges. I've also seen many people using Mordheim models for characters/troops in WHFB armies (I purchased the beastmen warband and the thing in the woods exclusively for these purposes).

I almost think the SG games section is a gimmie for old-school gamers. It's a very handy resource and I know I've spent a lot of money on minis on account of it being there.

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 17:35
Bah! I don't bother with a knife or shorts when I got shark hunting!

Morkash
01-12-2011, 17:39
I heard the Inquisition uses Orbital Bombardment to hunt sharks, so I guess a knife is useless indeed...

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 17:54
Only way to be sure...

Voss
01-12-2011, 19:04
If GW would move with the times a bit more they should have discounted online versions of the book, and maybe 25% off if you trade the old one in would work quite well.
Why would they do that? I've worked in the book trade- older mass produced books (as opposed to century old rare books) are essentially valueless- paperbacks, for example, that don't sell after a couple months in stores literally get tossed in the dumpster. They certainly aren't going to do GW any good- they'd have to pay someone else to get rid of them.

GodlessM
01-12-2011, 19:33
I would love to see GW make the basic rulebook available as a cheap (or free) pdf in an effort to bring more gamers into our hobby (because the reality is, most people are still going to buy a rulebook if they like the game anyways). What do you think, is GW missing the boat with this?

Not even slightly. Very few people will be turned away from the game by the price of the rules (especially since in a group ye only need one copy and stores have their own; I never buy the main rulebooks). The pitiful amount of money they would lose from the loss of potential gamers to this end palls in comparison to the amount they would lose on rulebook sales were they to make it free.

A lot of people seem to forget that in order for GW to be a gaming company and supply us with the games we love, they have to first and foremost be a successful business. This also includes making the required quota to keep investers etc. happy, so prices will be what they are. The 'all for the gamers' company so many complain GW should be just isn't a feasible idea. As for those that would compare to Mantic or Privateer Press, again investers. A multi-million corporation has a lot more peope to keep happy than a smaller seller.

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 19:49
So let me get this straight, Godless:

You're saying:
- people won't be turned off by the price of the rulebook as they can get the rules elsewhere
- if GW were to make the rules free they'd lose money hand over fist

These don't add up. If people can get the rules at their club/store/internet or whatever and GW still sells rulebook, then people must be buying the rulebooks even though they can potentially get access to them for free. If people don't have access to them for free, then the cost of the rules is a barrier to people playing and buying more toy soldiers!

yabbadabba
01-12-2011, 21:13
If people can get the rules at their club/store/internet or whatever and GW still sells rulebook, then people must be buying the rulebooks even though they can potentially get access to them for free. That's only an issue if the majority of your customers are members of clubs, and those clubs have access to those resources

If people don't have access to them for free, then the cost of the rules is a barrier to people playing and buying more toy soldiers! Not necessarily. Again its all about knowing the person who is going to buy the product.

To a crusty old wargamer who is now used to getting stuff like rules for free, then there is a chance that either they will not buy GW stuff, or that they will get into SGs and then moan about the lack of models.support/new stuff/attention.

For the average GW customer none of the above may apply. Without knowing the demographic of GWs customer base all we are left with is extrapolation based on anecdotal evidence and observation. These are not the basis of good business decisions, so we are left criticising something we know little or nothing about.

GW is no longer a wargames company like every other wargames company; while we might wish it was, or think it should be it means that it will not act like other companies. To compare it to others is now like comparing an apple with a cactus.

eron12
01-12-2011, 22:57
You can buy a battalion box and army book for the cost of taking your girl to see a movie and out to an applebees level dinner. It's all about priorities.

I know movie prices have gone up, but you have to be getting a huge deal on GW products for this to be true. The cost of a new army book alone is almost as much as dinner (at Applebees) and a movie for two. Add in a battalion box, and you're talking about three night outs worth.

What movie theater are you going to where two tickets plus Applebees runs you $150?


A lot of people seem to forget that in order for GW to be a gaming company and supply us with the games we love, they have to first and foremost be a successful business.

Given GW business decisions over the years, I'm not sure this is entirely true. Or at least it depends on one's defintion of sucessful.

Duke Ramulots
01-12-2011, 23:16
I know movie prices have gone up, but you have to be getting a huge deal on GW products for this to be true. The cost of a new army book alone is almost as much as dinner (at Applebees) and a movie for two. Add in a battalion box, and you're talking about three night outs worth.

What movie theater are you going to where two tickets plus Applebees runs you $150?


.

Two movie tickets $26(3d movie) two drinks $10, Dinner for two at a sit down restraunt $50+, drinks $50+.

So thats one night out in exchange for a new starter army. It was just an observation because nobody seems to understand what a budget is on here.

Lord Inquisitor
01-12-2011, 23:26
Whoa, big spender there... You must really like her :p

Korraz
02-12-2011, 00:12
To be honest I thought Korraz was being far too lavish bothering with the knife! I never have.



Bah! I don't bother with a knife or shorts when I got shark hunting!

Stop hating on me. I'm still a beginner. :cries:


Personally, I think rules should be available for free on the website, while Fluff, with illustrations and so on, should come in books. Actual, well written fluff, that advances the storyline.

The reason, however, for this is not really to bring players in with free rules. The point is to have a Living Rule Book, that allows balancing, finetuning and the removing of mistakes on the go, without the need to wait five-to-ten years to fix stuff like the Hydra or the Beasts Book.

Duke Ramulots
02-12-2011, 00:41
Whoa, big spender there... You must really like her :p

If a woman is willing to "let me in", the least I can do is feed her( I dont take them out though, I'm a really good cook):cheese:

eron12
02-12-2011, 01:24
Two movie tickets $26(3d movie) two drinks $10, Dinner for two at a sit down restraunt $50+, drinks $50+.

So thats one night out in exchange for a new starter army. It was just an observation because nobody seems to understand what a budget is on here.

Okay, when you add the $70+ dollars of extras you inculded in your break down then it makes more sense. However you acutal example of movie for 2 (~$20) and dinner for two at a sit down resturant (~$40), doesn't come close to a starter army, but would get you a book and some paint, or almost get you the rulebook.

But I guess to someone who spends $50 on drinks during dinner Warhammer is a cheap hobby.

Shadowsinner
02-12-2011, 02:16
I wish GW were more like paizo. For those of you who dont know who they are, theyre the company who developed the pathfinder rpg (otherwise known as D&D 3.75)

Their business model runs around the productions of hard books for 40- 50 each, but with the option to buy the pdf of the same title online for 10 dollars. Because of this they've been able to expand tremendously, as most players who buy the pdf will most likely buy the hard copy for play. If GW did this by lowering the rulebook price (say 20 for the standard and 40 for deluxe big version) alongside a cheaper version of the standard rules on pdf, then you would see a higher consumer base. army books should be about 30 for hardback and 10 for pdf as well

this would benefit the company because

1. there are lots of players who want to invest in the whole collection of books for the fluff or to master their knowledge of all armies, but many wont want to pay 40 per book. as a player if I could buy army books at 10 bucks a pop, I'd be more tempted to complete the collection. this means more money in gw pockets.

2. they would save on production costs as they are now selling virtual products with means more revenue

3. by making the rules sets cheaper it makes customers want to bu models. every online game and membership website follows this rule. give them a sample and then to get the full experience customers must pay to upgrade. If I read the rules and like them, I am more likely to invest money into a product to play, than say a new curious consumer who has to approach a 70 dollar rulebook before he's even bought the models.

Duke Ramulots
02-12-2011, 02:22
Okay, when you add the $70+ dollars of extras you inculded in your break down then it makes more sense. However you acutal example of movie for 2 (~$20) and dinner for two at a sit down resturant (~$40), doesn't come close to a starter army, but would get you a book and some paint, or almost get you the rulebook.

But I guess to someone who spends $50 on drinks during dinner Warhammer is a cheap hobby.

Fair enough, if two people having two mixed drinks each is extravigant then I guess i'm rich...lol

Harwammer
02-12-2011, 10:07
When I last went out to the movies we met in the pub first (round of drinks), hit up the city centre cinema (13 quid per ticket), got cocktails whilst waiting for a the restaurant to clear out then finally got dinner with drinks.

I don't think that's at all excessive but still it came to over 40... each!

So I do think Duke has a point. Even going duch on a cinema/dinner date can run up a bill large enough to compete with a decent warhammer purchase (insert toy soldier joke to taste).

Shadowsinner
02-12-2011, 10:11
buying dinner for a date or buying expensive models... the question is which purchase got you screwed? :P

Zywus
02-12-2011, 10:37
I'm not so sure it would be a good idea. (for GW)
What Warhammer has to offer compared to other game systems is certainly not the quality of it's rules system but the setting and the vast background available. A new player starting Warhammer will probably either buy a starter set (which include the rulebook) end/or start playing at a club or gamesstore where the rulebook is available so I don't really think the need for a rulebook throws anyone off starting the hobby.

Learning the rules through reading the massive rulebook draws you in to reading the background and stories in a whole other way than if you simply have a digital pdf-file.

Nobby
02-12-2011, 13:28
I think that GW strategy is quite smart, if I look at different aspects:

- Suppose that GW is indeed missing the boat, and then it will be because they do not understand much of the book selling business. But as a company you should focus on things you are good at. Making potentially risky experiments with something that is working when you do not understand the consequences seems a bad advice.

What is the idea behind a free version of the rules? The costs are cannibalizing the own book selling business, making less profits and increase the prize or decrease the quality of the book. These costs should be compensated by an increase in gamers. However, I think the discussion miss some aspects

- A large part of the costs of a book for me is the time I spend reading it. For a novel this could be that I might read a cheap but rather boring novel instead of the more expensive but more interesting book. For a rules book, it means that a major cost comes from the fact that I read rules rather than do something more interesting. If I'm willing to sit down and invest say 4 hours in reading the rules, I could work instead and earn the wage for four hours. Thus, I already pay considerable costs to read rules. Therefore, I do not expect many additional people who would willingly spend time on reading boring rules but who are not willing to pay the price of the book. Especially for a market leader who is most likely the company who brings the people into the hobby of war gaming. Free rules from an alternative system are fine to bring customers of GW to another wargame. These people like to read rules (or suffer less from it).

- Free rules are already available as some posters mentioned. However, the free copies you find are qualitatively bad. Electronic rules from GW would have to be on a better quality and thus would make it less likely that somebody will buy the nice hard-cover rulebook afterwards, because the value added of the original to the copy is less. As the market leader in book depending games such as RPG or wargaming, I would look only that good copies are not available and profit from the advertising potential of illegal copies you find on the internet. The hobby is large enough that it is not hard (for people who know how) to find a copy, but it would be very hard to prevent the access. They have already sort of a free copy. And honestly, I'm not sure whether I find the rules first somewhere in the internet rather than on the GW homepage. The free bad copy rules have in my perception the same reach as free official rules.

- Since a lot of wargamers are already willing to pay for advertisements as the WD, why should GW not sell them further advertisements? I perceive about half of the rulebook as advertisements. I enjoy looking through the pictures of the painted armies on a high quality printed product and the pictures in the army books increase the amount of models I buy. With a cheap produced free rules document, I would less look on the pictures and thus, I would be less inclined to buy more models. They need your payments to sell the good advertisement to you, to further increase their sellings of models. For others, the easy available background stories in the rulebook might have the same effect on the buying behavior as the pictures have on me.

- Free rules will not attract many new customers. Beginners to the hobby have to catch interest for the hobby first. I would guess that this happens mostly over friends, who can lend you the rulebook firstly or copy it for you, or within a store where the sellers are usually willing to explain the rules to you. People who decide to get back into the hobby usually do know already the important things about the hobby and the system they will chose could be either the one they already know or where players are around. After some years the financial situation typically has improved so that the costs of the rules book are bearable. The only thing I can think of would be adding the rules as an advertisement on computer games. For example warhammer online makes a campaign that every customer receive a free copy of the rules (which can be watermarked), thus some table top gamers would buy warhammer online to get the free rules and some online only gamers who are already interested in the table top start the table top game.

tanglethorn
02-12-2011, 21:54
I'm not so sure it would be a good idea. (for GW)
What Warhammer has to offer compared to other game systems is certainly not the quality of it's rules system but the setting and the vast background available. A new player starting Warhammer will probably either buy a starter set (which include the rulebook) end/or start playing at a club or gamesstore where the rulebook is available so I don't really think the need for a rulebook throws anyone off starting the hobby.

Learning the rules through reading the massive rulebook draws you in to reading the background and stories in a whole other way than if you simply have a digital pdf-file.

So the bottom line is that an 80$ basic rulebook does not turn away potential players?

I'm sorry bit I call Bull on this one.

I actually have some friends that wanted to get into Warhammer because they saw my armies, but they said the cost of the book alone was enough to dissuade them...

Lord Inquisitor
02-12-2011, 22:16
buying dinner for a date or buying expensive models... the question is which purchase got you screwed? :P

Dinner & movie - maybe
GW figures - definitely

By that reckoning, models are better value :shifty:

Druchii Monkey
02-12-2011, 22:34
Why would they do that? I've worked in the book trade- older mass produced books (as opposed to century old rare books) are essentially valueless- paperbacks, for example, that don't sell after a couple months in stores literally get tossed in the dumpster. They certainly aren't going to do GW any good- they'd have to pay someone else to get rid of them.

Fair enough. Does not sound workable. I'd just be interested to see how they could treat the newer version of the rulebook as an upgrade for those who have the previous version.

Zywus
02-12-2011, 22:50
So the bottom line is that an 80$ basic rulebook does not turn away potential players?

I'm sorry bit I call Bull on this one.

I actually have some friends that wanted to get into Warhammer because they saw my armies, but they said the cost of the book alone was enough to dissuade them...
Well of course it will be the straw that broke the camels back for some people but no, I don't think it turns away that many potential players.
My experience with people starting the warhammer hobby is either A) they buy a few models, paint some, hangs around a store or a club and read the rulebook there. The entry cost is not that steep and they don't contemplating buying a rulebook until after quite a while. (it took me several years before I ever considered buying my own rulebook)

Or B) Two friends get together and buy the starterpack. The rulebook come included and the entry cost would be steep even without the book. (not as steep obviously but still in the same league)

The trick isn't to get people to start the hobby, it's to keep them in. You probably all remember a lot of guys who bought a few boxes, hung around your gaming circle a bit but never really had the patience to paint their stuff properly and quit quite soon. Without a lavish rulebook to inspire people and draw their imagination into the setting of the warhammerworld that number would probably be higher.

Lord Inquisitor
02-12-2011, 23:18
Without a lavish rulebook to inspire people and draw their imagination into the setting of the warhammerworld that number would probably be higher.
Wait... your argument is that if they made their lavish rulebook available for free online less people would be have access to and be inspired by said rulebook?

Zywus
03-12-2011, 00:10
Wait... your argument is that if they made their lavish rulebook available for free online less people would be have access to and be inspired by said rulebook?
More people would have access to it sure, (or rather it would be easier for people to access it). I just don't believe it would be as lavish or as inspiring in online form.

Reading out of a book is still a different experience than reading a PDF document. I might be stuck in the analogue age a bit and nowadays with reading tablets becoming more advanced and commonly available the experience probably is getting more close to a paper book. Still I just don't think you get the same feeling from reading a digital document on a computer as reading from of a real book.

jimbo2
03-12-2011, 13:25
Keeps out the riff raff :P.

FirestormXL
03-12-2011, 18:29
More people would have access to it sure, (or rather it would be easier for people to access it). I just don't believe it would be as lavish or as inspiring in online form.

Reading out of a book is still a different experience than reading a PDF document. I might be stuck in the analogue age a bit and nowadays with reading tablets becoming more advanced and commonly available the experience probably is getting more close to a paper book. Still I just don't think you get the same feeling from reading a digital document on a computer as reading from of a real book.


Yea, I simply had to register to respond to this nonsense. I have been playing Warhammer Fantasy for about 1 year now. I saw that rulebook cost and said, nope. I will never purchase it, ever. 80$ for a basic rulebook, that is idiotic. If you bought it I consider you a fool. The thing is half chock full of pictures ffs.

No, I went with a much better alternative and bought the mini isle of blood book off Ebay for a cool 20$.

But I would never buy a basic for 80$, I've been playing 40k for the better part of 2 years and still don't have any for of any edition of the basic monster rule book. And frankly, never will. That's 80 dollars I could spend on army mini's. And with GW's assenine price increases yea, I'm having a hard time rationalizing small bits of plastic at around 35$ per 5 figures.

Lathrael
03-12-2011, 18:44
I go pirate for the books. I'm involed in hobby for 8 years, spent more than 3k$ by now, but i refuse to pay that sum to a book that printed in china. Also PDF is easy to carry on phone.

jimbo2
03-12-2011, 19:53
Past spending doesn't pay current wages.

It certainly doesn't entitle people to steal whatever they want.

Duke Ramulots
03-12-2011, 21:34
Past spending doesn't pay current wages.

It certainly doesn't entitle people to steal whatever they want.

I agree and support this message.

If you want to play warhammer, please support the company that makes warhammer.

Lathrael
03-12-2011, 21:51
Past spending doesn't pay current wages.

It certainly doesn't entitle people to steal whatever they want.

I don't try to justify, or claim it is right. I just do and i'm just being honest about it. You may claim otherwise but i bet at least %70 of users here have army book pdfs in HDD or somewhere.

Korraz
03-12-2011, 22:35
Past spending doesn't pay current wages.

It certainly doesn't entitle people to steal whatever they want.

If pirating the books gets the current authors fired, I'll order an e-book reader right now.

zoggin-eck
03-12-2011, 23:00
Great idea guys, tell a company they should make things for free!

Seriously, I do see where people are coming from trying to argue for it, but it isn't going to happen. On a personal note, I'd rather pay the money for a real book, simply becuase I see them putting in less effort if they new the book would be free. The 8th ed book to me was totally worth it, glad I bought it.

The only other thing I'd like to see, is the "mini" version of the book being sold on its own. The book already exists, and is already so easily bought through ebay sellers. I guess they think it'd detract from the starter set, but I see a smaller book being bought by existing players anyway.


If pirating the books gets the current authors fired, I'll order an e-book reader right now.

Cool, let us intentionally hurt a game we apparently care enough about to spend the weekend writing about it on a forum.

yabbadabba
03-12-2011, 23:05
I don't try to justify, or claim it is right. I just do and i'm just being honest about it. You may claim otherwise but i bet at least %70 of users here have army book pdfs in HDD or somewhere. I'd love to see the survey that came from! Got the link?

Lord Inquisitor
04-12-2011, 04:33
More people would have access to it sure, (or rather it would be easier for people to access it). I just don't believe it would be as lavish or as inspiring in online form.

Reading out of a book is still a different experience than reading a PDF document. I might be stuck in the analogue age a bit and nowadays with reading tablets becoming more advanced and commonly available the experience probably is getting more close to a paper book. Still I just don't think you get the same feeling from reading a digital document on a computer as reading from of a real book.
I agree, and so would the majority of wargamers, I would wager. Would you buy it even if it were available online (rules only perhaps)? I would. I have the limited edition 40k and WFB rulebooks and I bought the limited ed books last edition. I'll pay premium for a permium book. Other people won't want to pay for paper and they can get the pdfs elsewhere.

So why not provide them for free? There are so many advantages and what seems to be reasonably constant is that people who buy the books probably would buy them anyway even if it were available for free and those who don't want an expensive book probably won't buy it anyway.


I agree and support this message.

If you want to play warhammer, please support the company that makes warhammer.
You can support them without buying the books. Indeed if you take that $75 or fifty quid or whatever and spend it on models, GW actually make more profit on it!

That's what gets me. Why do GW even want people buying the books, at least at first? Why do they work towards it being a "core" purchase? Sure it doesn't hurt for a bit more money but shouldn't they focus on the New Gamer buying his army first? The books are an add on. Why don't you download the rules and buy MORE MODELS so you can get playing faster, more likely to get hooked by the game and buy MORE MODELS and yes, probably the books at some point when you get fed up of trying to read pdfs or printouts?

Duke Ramulots
04-12-2011, 07:42
I agree, and so would the majority of wargamers, I would wager. Would you buy it even if it were available online (rules only perhaps)? I would. I have the limited edition 40k and WFB rulebooks and I bought the limited ed books last edition. I'll pay premium for a permium book. Other people won't want to pay for paper and they can get the pdfs elsewhere.

So why not provide them for free? There are so many advantages and what seems to be reasonably constant is that people who buy the books probably would buy them anyway even if it were available for free and those who don't want an expensive book probably won't buy it anyway.


You can support them without buying the books. Indeed if you take that $75 or fifty quid or whatever and spend it on models, GW actually make more profit on it!

That's what gets me. Why do GW even want people buying the books, at least at first? Why do they work towards it being a "core" purchase? Sure it doesn't hurt for a bit more money but shouldn't they focus on the New Gamer buying his army first? The books are an add on. Why don't you download the rules and buy MORE MODELS so you can get playing faster, more likely to get hooked by the game and buy MORE MODELS and yes, probably the books at some point when you get fed up of trying to read pdfs or printouts?

I dont agree at all with your reasoning. With how many people try to sub other companies miniatures for the GW one's you bet they are going to charge for the rules. All of the GW haters on these boards would just download the rules and get cheaper crappy minis to play a game that GW spent time and money to make. Yes that's all the way on the extreme side but it's probably close to how they see it.

jimbo2
04-12-2011, 09:52
If everyone pirates the books and just buys the miniatures instead some manager will get the idea that the rules development is not making a return on its investment and will downsize the design studio because "After all, look, we're selling the miniatures anyway. Why bother dropping a couple of hundred thousand on the rules development team when we could fire half of them and just crank out new books with less effort. They'll buy the miniatures anyway and we make more profit."

Commissar_Kahl
04-12-2011, 09:58
I don't believe a free rulebook would increase the amount of people playing the game. If you are to cheap or poor to buy a rulebook than this game is not for you. However, the price of the hardcover rule boook is insane! $80 is off the hook and anyone who tries to justify the price of that book has lost touch with reality as much as GW themselves. I can walk into a bookstore and buy some pretty massive hardcover books with better art for way cheaper than that. $80 is GW pushing what they can milk out their customers to the limit. So I believe a cheaper rulebook would help GW's cause because you want your introductory stuff cheap to lure people in.

PS the rulebook in the IoB boxed set sucks.

-Loki-
04-12-2011, 10:04
Yea, I simply had to register to respond to this nonsense. I have been playing Warhammer Fantasy for about 1 year now. I saw that rulebook cost and said, nope. I will never purchase it, ever. 80$ for a basic rulebook, that is idiotic. If you bought it I consider you a fool. The thing is half chock full of pictures ffs.

No, I went with a much better alternative and bought the mini isle of blood book off Ebay for a cool 20$.

But I would never buy a basic for 80$, I've been playing 40k for the better part of 2 years and still don't have any for of any edition of the basic monster rule book. And frankly, never will. That's 80 dollars I could spend on army mini's. And with GW's assenine price increases yea, I'm having a hard time rationalizing small bits of plastic at around 35$ per 5 figures.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and assume you play for the game, rather than the hobby?

While the book costs a lot (hey, it's $124 in Australia), it's an absolutely fantastic book. The IoB book gets you the rules and scenarios, which is fine if that's all you want. But sitting around pouring over the art, showcase section, reading the fluff, even the campaign section at the back, it's not something I'd want to miss.

But then again, what do I know. I just ordered Tamurkhan Throne of Chaos. I don't play any Chaos army (Vampire Counts here), I have no intention of playing Chaos Dwarves, and the only two things in the book useful to me are the scrolls of binding for the Encarmine Dragon and Toad Dragon, which I'm sure I could find for free somewhere. I got the book for the fluff and art, for inspiration.

Not trying to offend you or anyone else - there's people that would prefer the bare bones rules, in PDF format if possible, because they're in it for the game. But, nothing will beat lying around on a rainy day, reading through that rulebooks hobby sections.

yabbadabba
04-12-2011, 10:16
The problem is Lord Inquisitor that GW sells lots of books, there is no evidence to suggest that what you propose would increase sales (theoretically it might), and amongst GWs core market there is no evidence to suggest this would even be an approach they would want. A good example of this was Ravening Hordes which was free, we had to bin loads of copies in the end, and didn't lead to any noticeable increase in sales. Finally an army book release is a major sales event and a book+models always does better than models or book alone, by a significant factor.

In 2003/2004 I suggested in a meeting that GW put all the army quick reference sheets online for free. I also suggested a slightly more advanced version for adult online members and that the company build an adults only, in an area dedicated to adult gaming. No takers.

Lord Solar Plexus
04-12-2011, 10:31
That's what gets me. Why do GW even want people buying the books, at least at first? Why do they work towards it being a "core" purchase? Sure it doesn't hurt for a bit more money but shouldn't they focus on the New Gamer buying his army first? The books are an add on. Why don't you download the rules and buy MORE MODELS so you can get playing faster, more likely to get hooked by the game and buy MORE MODELS and yes, probably the books at some point when you get fed up of trying to read pdfs or printouts?

The books are definitively not an add-on, they are a core purchase. Contrary to public belief, GAMES Workshop is not a miniature company, it is a GAME company. Without the books, there would be no games, and while there would still be model sales, it would be little different from Lego or Playmobile or whoever is in the business of selling models only.

With more models and no books, or models before books, nobody would be playing any faster. I'm surprised how you can suggest this, Lord Inquisitor - that's so obviously false. How would you play at all, and what? Make shooting and hitting sounds like Dark Helmet...?

Lathrael
04-12-2011, 10:51
With more models and no books, or models before books, nobody would be playing any faster. I'm surprised how you can suggest this, Lord Inquisitor - that's so obviously false. How would you play at all, and what? Make shooting and hitting sounds like Dark Helmet...?

Uh... Because the money would be spent on miniatures instead of books? Yes GW is a game company that sells mostly because of the game instead of quality of products. Giving them free or not, they have develop the rules to keep going on.

yabbadabba
04-12-2011, 10:56
Uh... Because the money would be spent on miniatures instead of books? Why? There is no evidence for that across GWs customer base.

Empirespy
04-12-2011, 11:03
Think about if GW made you pay what you want for a PDF, more people would buy it for a collection of fluff and knowledge of armies, whilst they would probably still buy some books, because it's nice to have a proper copy of the book. How much does it cost GW to put these on the website? Nothing, they are already paying for the site, and the Book is already on a computer, so they just have to upload it to their site. This may give them a profit, but no loss, then it expands the customer base, and encourages existing players to start a new army (they might love some aspects of different armies). Sure some people will not pay anything for it, but then there are honest people who will pay something for it, it may be a small amount, but it's still a profit.

Lord Solar Plexus
04-12-2011, 11:38
Uh... Because the money would be spent on miniatures instead of books?

Now I'm confused. I didn't ask "why", so what does "because" refer to? :confused:



Yes GW is a game company that sells mostly because of the game instead of quality of products. Giving them free or not, they have develop the rules to keep going on.


Then it makes sense to get some money out of this task. Companies won't give customers anything for free unless there's a chance that this will translate into more money over time. Apparently, GW doesn't think that providing free rules would result in higher margins or more profit. Even if the books' margin is lower (which I don't believe at all), they are guaranteed revenue. Free PDF's mean a guaranteed loss of this revenue while customers could spend (part of) the savings on Coke or fuel or fags or whatnot. It's just not certain that the whole 50 € would go towards more models or paints.

Don't get me wrong, it IS possible. It's also possible that the margins vary wildly, so that even if we spend only 25 € on models their profits would come out ahead but with no hard facts as to relative costs, your guess is as good as mine.

Lathrael
04-12-2011, 12:43
Now I'm confused. I didn't ask "why", so what does "because" refer to? :confused:





You said "how you can suggest this", "because" refered to that and i tried to explain his logic.


Sales deparment may think otherwise, and that may be right. But take two examples.

A friend of yours tells you about a cool game and hobby. He gave you a bit info, and you went curious about it. You go to GW website in your spare time check the products ect, and;

First: Find out you have to pay 50 plus 20-30 more to order a book to get a clue about the game or have to go a hobby store. Unless you are already in hobby, you are not the person most likely to make time for the latter.

Second: Download the book and take a look at basic rules, ect, and limited if not complate rules and background about the army you are interested in.

Which of those do you think will most likely buy his first box?

And this game is an addiction. Only a few will stop by with that first box.


@yabbadabba: Sorry no survey, but that will be great idea! It is based on my personal observations.

And for second question, fortunately i never worked in GW to provide you such evidence. So again my personal observations.

And yes i might be wrong.

And yes the margin on books are lot higher than the miniatures themselves, probably. Such book that is printed in china will cost like 3-4$ and shipping can't be more than 1$. I don't know how many copies they sell for a book untill the new one come out, but i guess it's enough to eliminate the cost of design team. Still, i think bringing one more person to hobby is much better for them, that's why drug dealers give some free samples to their victims before they got addicted.

jack da greenskin
04-12-2011, 13:04
I don't believe a free rulebook would increase the amount of people playing the game. If you are to cheap or poor to buy a rulebook than this game is not for you. However, the price of the hardcover rule boook is insane! $80 is off the hook and anyone who tries to justify the price of that book has lost touch with reality as much as GW themselves. I can walk into a bookstore and buy some pretty massive hardcover books with better art for way cheaper than that. $80 is GW pushing what they can milk out their customers to the limit. So I believe a cheaper rulebook would help GW's cause because you want your introductory stuff cheap to lure people in.

PS the rulebook in the IoB boxed set sucks.

How so? I'd like to read some fluff and draft a few lists before I buy an army, or even the book to be honest.

And the rulebook in the IoB set is amazing IMO. Best thing in this goddamn hobby. No need to carry a massive book, has all the rules, no skewed page number ala little lotr book, no skewed summary pages ala 40k.

yabbadabba
04-12-2011, 13:16
Here is a simple idea. Each army book comes with a voucher for money off a box set from that army.

jack da greenskin
04-12-2011, 13:32
Here is a simple idea. Each army book comes with a voucher for money off a box set from that army.

Whilst I'd support anything <s> that gave me money off </s> that Rewards future purchases, I still think it's too late by then to decide if you like an army. Not everyone has a collection of PDFs/a group of friends with most books/ a local store who dont mind you flicking through to browse before you actually buy anything.

yabbadabba
04-12-2011, 13:38
Not everyone has a collection of PDFs/a group of friends with most books/ a local store who dont mind you flicking through to browse before you actually buy anything. Are you kidding? There is enough crap on th'internet to give you more opinion than you actually need. Within 3 months of release on here most armies will have had a full run down, so there is no need for thumbing through a codex for rules, and the models will be plastered everywhere so the visual aspects will be covered.

The real issue is with those who need to feed their shiny new toy syndrome, but them's the breaks.

rodmillard
04-12-2011, 14:08
I would love it if GW struck a deal with Amazon to release Kindle editions of everything. Kindle files are currently much harder to get hold of illegally than PDFs (which would be a bonus for GW), but the ability to carry the core rulebook and every supplement and army book to a tournament in your pocket would be a godsend for tourney players and judges alike, while the ability to download the rules before you buy would probably boost internet sales to people who like the idea of an army but don't live close enough to a store to go in and browse.

Anecdotally, I have been doing this with PDFs of the army lists before starting on recent projects (and I'm sure many other gamers do the same). Before I embark on a project, I used to buy the army book and read through it, looking for a nice theme in the fluff and planning out a rough army list before I bought a single figure. These days, I can't afford to lay out 20 for an army book that I may never get round to using, so I download the relevant PDF to plan out purchases and see what my XXXX point force would actually cost me in pounds shillings and pence.

If I decide not to go ahead with it, I can delete the file and I haven't lost anything - only if I definitely decide to do it do I buy the hard copy. For the record, I have bought paper versions of 3 out of the last 5 army books I downloaded - with the other two, I want to do a Harlequin themed army for 40K but still can't make up my mind whether to use craftworld or naughty Eldar (whichever list I decide to use will be the one I buy).

jimbo2
04-12-2011, 16:57
I find it somewhat bizarre how some people act that being cheapskate is a virtue and that those of us who choose to spend money on nice things like hardbook books are a fool. I spent a lot of money buying a person an old collection of the Narnia books once, a lot more than $80. Technically I could have gone and bought them the cheap modern copies but I didn't want to. Just because I choose to spend some money acquiring a premium version of a product that doesn't make me a fool at all. I personally wouldn't spend more than a few thousand on a car, doesn't mean I think people who drive BMWs are fools.

There is however such a thing as perceived quality - the cheaper something is the more disposable people will treat it. If the rules are free many people will assume a lower quality associated with that product which can see them dropping it that much easier. By raising the cost of entry you make it more likely for consumers to stick with it due to the natural need to justify their past expense.

As for the poster who can go to their local book shop and easily acquire loads of 450+ page, hardbound, full colour books with better artwork for less money I have to ask really? Name one. I've paid double that for softback black and white textbooks before and have never seen anything the quality of the Warhammer hardback rulebook in the same price bracket in Borders, Waterstones or Smiths.

Lord Inquisitor
04-12-2011, 18:16
I dont agree at all with your reasoning. With how many people try to sub other companies miniatures for the GW one's you bet they are going to charge for the rules. All of the GW haters on these boards would just download the rules and get cheaper crappy minis to play a game that GW spent time and money to make. Yes that's all the way on the extreme side but it's probably close to how they see it.
How many people play with non-GW models now? I've seen a few mantic undead armies but mantic are the first company to offer cheap alternatives to whole armies and yet I still see very few. On the whole, while people might have the odd model from another range, most people spend most of their money for GW armies on GW models (although there is a big second hand trade but that's neither here nor there).


The problem is Lord Inquisitor that GW sells lots of books, there is no evidence to suggest that what you propose would increase sales (theoretically it might), and amongst GWs core market there is no evidence to suggest this would even be an approach they would want. A good example of this was Ravening Hordes which was free, we had to bin loads of copies in the end, and didn't lead to any noticeable increase in sales. Finally an army book release is a major sales event and a book+models always does better than models or book alone, by a significant factor.

In 2003/2004 I suggested in a meeting that GW put all the army quick reference sheets online for free. I also suggested a slightly more advanced version for adult online members and that the company build an adults only, in an area dedicated to adult gaming. No takers.
Ravening Hordes was a different kettle of fish entirely. That wasn't army books, that was a bare bones list to get you by with the models you already own!

I'm not suggesting that GW need to necessarily change their book+models system. Indeed, free pdfs would add to the hype around a release! Day of release (or even preorder) made them available online - how much more furor will there be when everyone can discuss and spitball the rules as soon as they're released! I find that by the time I actually get to sit down in a game store and read through the book the models are old news to me. I've ignored the Necron discussions because I haven't been able to even flick through the book yet. If they're had been rules online I would have read right through even printed them off to read and there would have been a voice in my head that said "go on, you could make a list, you could buy this army, they're dead easy to paint!" Yet because GW don't put the rules online, I didn't even really notice the Necron release.

I can't speak for every customer GW has. But for the me and most people I know, anything GW can do to promote us discussing or reading new books will increase the chance we have a moment of madness and preorder an army.


The books are definitively not an add-on, they are a core purchase. Contrary to public belief, GAMES Workshop is not a miniature company, it is a GAME company. Without the books, there would be no games, and while there would still be model sales, it would be little different from Lego or Playmobile or whoever is in the business of selling models only.
GW have on many occasions said they're a miniature company foremost and rules are "miniature-driven". But more than that, miniatures have a higher profit margin as they're not a printing company.

Furthermore, give the players the rules and they'll find it easier to play the GAMES.


With more models and no books, or models before books, nobody would be playing any faster. I'm surprised how you can suggest this, Lord Inquisitor - that's so obviously false. How would you play at all, and what? Make shooting and hitting sounds like Dark Helmet...?
:eyebrows:

I'm suggesting the books still be on sale, but rules for them be online. So everyone has access to the rules whether they buy the books or not. You'd play using the rule available to everyone. Exactly why is giving people the rules a barrier to playing the game?

You need models and rules. Models have better profit margin and you need a whole bunch of models to play. Give the people the rules and they can spend their money on models - and get playing faster. Using, y'know the rules. That everyone has, because they're free. No Dark Helmet noises required (although amusing).



Here is a simple idea. Each army book comes with a voucher for money off a box set from that army.
Doesn't help generate interest in the books at all. Doesn't give me what I want - a digital copy of my books - even, indeed particularly ones that I actually own a hard-copy of. I want pdfs for my phone, for my computer (useful when debating rules on warseer!) for when I forget my army book or rulebook at a game, for spitballing ideas for armies I might buy, etc.

Giving me a voucher (hey, I wouldn't complain!) wouldn't be a good business decision. I won't buy an army because of a money off voucher. Usually I won't buy a book unless I've already decided to buy or expand the army, in which case I'd buy it and the models anyway and the money off voucher just costs GW lost profit on people without enticing new purchases.

Free pdfs = more money spent by me in total and me a happy gamer
Voucher with army book = less money spent and I still want digital rules.

Commissar_Kahl
05-12-2011, 01:26
As for the poster who can go to their local book shop and easily acquire loads of 450+ page, hardbound, full colour books with better artwork for less money I have to ask really? Name one. I've paid double that for softback black and white textbooks before and have never seen anything the quality of the Warhammer hardback rulebook in the same price bracket in Borders, Waterstones or Smiths.

I can walk into my Barnes and Nobles and pick from shelves and shelves of bargain discounted books full of nice art that no one wanted to buy because they were priced to high. (anyone see the irony?) I bought my daughter a giant book of horses for $9.99 last year, I have a huge book on trains I got for $14.99 etc etc. But yes, a 450 hardcover book full of art is pretty expensive at full price - you are right there. However, clearly they don't cost that much to produce as they get discounted heavily.

I guess therein lies the difference is how you view the book, I don't perceive the rulebook as worth that much, to me it is just a rulebook. I don't like the GW fluff, I think it is poorly written. I don't see any collectors value in it as it will be obsolete the next edition which seems to be more and more frequent. The book is a giant paper weight to me that I have to lug around and if i take the smaller IoB book it doesn't have everything I need. Plus I don't want to damage something so expensive so i don't want to take it out of the house and have it damaged.

I don't fault you or anyone else for buying the book, as long as you enjoy the book and can afford it. Clearly you see a value in it as a collectors item and I am glad you pointed that out to me. i did not consider that point of view. To me it was an over priced rule book that is a barrier to new players entering the market. You have managed to change my mind on the subject.

I still wish there was a middle of the road option, a good well put together rulebook that wasn't a massive tome. In the meantime I just photocopy what i need and put that in a binder. I have done that ever since I have had previous army books fall apart on me. That way my book stays nice and only my copies get damaged.

Duke Ramulots
05-12-2011, 05:01
I can walk into my Barnes and Nobles and pick from shelves and shelves of bargain discounted books full of nice art that no one wanted to buy because they were priced to high. (anyone see the irony?) I bought my daughter a giant book of horses for $9.99 last year, I have a huge book on trains I got for $14.99 etc etc. But yes, a 450 hardcover book full of art is pretty expensive at full price - you are right there. However, clearly they don't cost that much to produce as they get discounted heavily.

.

The amount they end up selling the book for has little to do with proffit made if it's been sitting on the shelf for a long time. After product has been in the store for a long time it actually starts costing you money to keep it on your shelves. So they could sell you your horse book for a $10 loss and still then make money off what replaces it on the shelf that will sell for a big proffit.

yabbadabba
05-12-2011, 16:32
Free pdfs = more money spent by me in total and me a happy gamer
Voucher with army book = less money spent and I still want digital rules. That's nice for you, but again it doesn't really answer the question of why GW should do it, apart to satisfy you, especially as you are not GWs core and most important market.

To be honest its the same sort of argument as with SGs, and that doesn't wash either. What I can say, 100%, is that GWs army/rule book release pattern before I left was far, far more successful than at any other time, so why would they want to jeopardise that when there is no guarantee of a similar return off a different strategy, and they have access to the impact making the SG rulebooks had on those games? In this case its the same with the arguments of dropping the retail business. While their approach doesn't work in every culture there is no way anyone can guarantee a similar sales volume return with any other strategy.

And that's the problem. In the current economic environment, why fix something that is working? GWs real issue at the moment is their prices and until the economy bucks up that will continue to be their achilles heel.

Just as an aside GW will not do apps etc. What they will do is see if another company will do it at a price they want with the guarantees what they want. GW value their IP more highly than any other facet of the company, except save the moulds room and Tom Kirby's DB9, but they do recognise that they are in the miniatures business, and that is as far as they want to go in the current climate. What will make this viable is how they make money out of it; remember there is a good chance that every pdf/app army list sold is a lost book sale. The counter argument I have used for this before is that you release the quick reference guide on the day of release (as it gives a sniff but is almost useless without the book) and this gives those who cannot or will not get the book a small insight into what they are missing.