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W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 11:54
Read my sig. Read it again. Digest it.


The number of people that dont realise this astounds me.

No one could be this bad at game balance without trying, simple.*


*And no thats not a cheap shot, i geuinly believe it.

EmperorNorton
03-02-2010, 12:00
Of course they are a business, but I suspect you have no data to back up this claim:

"Daemons was the best fantasy book they ever wrote from their perspective, its no coinicidence."

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:01
No one could be this bad at game balance without trying

Not just balance, but also tactical complexity (the GW core games are tactically speaking very simple and very easy to play (few in-game tactical decisions to be made) ).

And yes, this is "Other GW", where most of the posters agree that the GW core games are tactically simple and unbalanced.

The only point of contention here is whether this is on purpose (I am often outspoken in promoting the view that the GW Core Games are *excellently designed* games, albeit intended for children), or whether this is due to incompetence (and that GW are actually trying (and failing) to make their Core Games balanced & tactically complex... a view I do not support).

Few disagree and try and argue that the GW Core Games are in actual fact tightly balanced and tactically complex.

Mart007
03-02-2010, 12:05
If they are so not bothered about the rules - why are they bringing out a new version of WFB so quickly?

They are VERY bothered about the rules, its what they do! albiet not very perfectly sometimes.. but hey we are all human for gods sake!

Coasty
03-02-2010, 12:08
They are bothered about rules; they just aren't very talented.

Satan
03-02-2010, 12:08
Well, I'd bet on this thread derailing pretty fast but... Yes. I agree with you to a major extent (though not wholly).

As in response to your unstated question - I believe people don't realize this through sheer optimism. I, and my gaming group have reached a rather similiar conclusion not by being on the losing side, but rather through playing loads of games (and many apocalypse ones) and at the end of those games boldly stating our opinions only to find that we are in agreement.

While I don't consider balance to be the foremost major flaw, it does impede the viability of tactical gaming and affects the strategical aspect in a negative way I think. Simply put: I, and my friends have reached the conclusion that most GW games are not very gratifying to play. I still collect and we use the models, but now believe that it is the ability to socialize around a common point of interest rather than its particular features which is our foremost reason for doing so. That said, we rarely play 1vs1 games anymore - we prefer to choose other games which are far more gratifying under such circumstances.

And doubtlessly, people on warseer will play the whine card about getting out of the hobby, etc, etc but I think you should stand by your opinion. GW are a business first and foremost, and no matter where the blame for the state of affairs ends up the fact still remains that there are "issues" with their major products which will probably hurt them in the long run.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:13
If they are so not bothered about the rules - why are they bringing out a new version of WFB so quickly?
To generate cash?

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the 7th edition core ruleset (indeed, it's hard to contest the opinion that the game was more balanced and tactically complex at the start of 7th edition than it is now).

So the easiest conclusion to draw is that GW would like to make some money, and by releasing a new core rulebook they can ask that every Warhammer Fantasy Battles player in the world to buy the new 35 rulebook if they want to continue playing the game.


Simply put: I, and my friends have reached the conclusion that most GW games are not very gratifying to play.
Hey Satan,

Having heard you expressing your discontent with Apocalypse, have you tried out Epic? (I forget if you have or not)
I recommend it for your group as it's like 40k but all grown up. :rolleyes:

Coasty
03-02-2010, 12:13
I went hunting down all the old rule books not long ago and have decided that the best state of affairs is 2nd Ed. rules with 5th Ed. codices and models.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 12:14
Of course they are a business, but I suspect you have no data to back up this claim:

"Daemons was the best fantasy book they ever wrote from their perspective, its no coinicidence."

Every single power gamer in the world has a Daemons army, a ton of GT goers have Daemons armies, bad losers have daemons, new players from 40k start with daemons, loads of people who like converting have daemons armies etc etc etc

They are a very popular army.


If they are so not bothered about the rules - why are they bringing out a new version of WFB so quickly?

They are VERY bothered about the rules, its what they do! albiet not very perfectly sometimes.. but hey we are all human for gods sake!

Erm because a new edition means more sales? New starter box, new rulebook, reshuffle balance etc.

Have you not seen the 'new edition is a great time to start a new army' shitick they spin.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:19
They are bothered about rules; they just aren't very talented.
100% disagree.

You only have to look at the Specialist Games battle games range* to show the level of tactical complexity and balance that GW games designers can achieve when they are unfettered by the considerations of marketing their product towards a teenage audience.

*Epic, Warmaster, BoFA & BFG

Mart007
03-02-2010, 12:19
indeed, but they also know it annoys gamers bringing new core rules out to often.

What would you have them do?... leave as is or try and make it better?

And yes if they had made the these ruleset better then yes they wouldnt need to... blah blah...

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:23
indeed, but they also know it annoys gamers bringing new core rules out to often.
An average GW gamer sticks with the hobby for about a year.

New editions are released every four years (or slightly under that, for 7th edition)... so the average GW gamer isn't playing long enough to remember the last rules update, and those that do play that long are used to the constant updates by now. :)


What would you have them do?... leave as is or try and make it better?
I would have them update the core rules once every four years.

Satan
03-02-2010, 12:24
Hey Satan,

Having heard you expressing your discontent with Apocalypse, have you tried out Epic? (I forget if you have or not)
I recommend it for your group as it's like 40k but all grown up. :rolleyes:

Sadly I haven't. I think I'd rather enjoy it actually - I'm a big fan of BFG which I think is overall a very good game. I enjoy Apocalypse as a gaming form, but rolling insane amounts of dice not because you have any numerary force to speak of, but rather, Space Wolves or World Eaters (so generic you could substitute them with each other...) gets boring quite fast. It's extremely rewarding from an overall tactical perspective though. With a bit of GM'ing it just sorta... balances itself out I guess.

If I play 1vs1 it's mostly against strangers in order to explore/remember how the game works in a competitive/tournament environment as opposed to Apoc. And the conclusions with 40k just aren't there to be found anymore. WFB is much more rewarding in 1vs1.

My group has started FoW recently and it looks like I'm going to follow them into it, but thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to check out Epic as it's the universe which attracts me the most to 40k, as opposed to the rules.

And I agree with C&E - I don't think the GW crew are untalented game designers, but there's some part of the business aspect which is definitively lacking in talent or insight.

EmperorNorton
03-02-2010, 12:24
Every single power gamer in the world has a Daemons army, a ton of GT goers have Daemons armies, bad losers have daemons, new players from 40k start with daemons, loads of people who like converting have daemons armies etc etc etc

They are a very popular army.

Since these are just baseless assumptions for the most part, I'll pair them off with my own:

Power gamers are a very small minority. Most people choose an army for reasons other than its power level.
GT goers are an even smaller minority.
I'm not a very gracious loser, yet I don't have Daemons.
For every new 40K player who starts with Daemons, there are twenty who start with Space Marines.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:27
My group has started FoW recently and it looks like I'm going to follow them into it, but thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to check out Epic as it's the universe which attracts me the most to 40k, as opposed to the rules.

Aye, FoW is a pretty standard "40k follow-on" game (the other prominent one being Warmachine)... it's a pity more adult "ex-40k" gamers don't get into Epic because it shares all the cool background with Warhammer 40,000, but doesn't have to compromise the balance or tactical complexity of the rule system in order to sell toy soldiers to teenagers... and you get to play the cool battles from the background stories in two hours instead of it taking all day.

So to riff on your example, 30 Tactical Marines making their ranged attacks in Epic requires a total of 6 dice to be rolled before the enemy will be making armour/cover/invulnerable saves (if they have any), as compared to a potential total of 120 dice from 30 bolter-armed Marines in Warhammer 40,000 (assuming they rapid fire and all their rapid fire shots hit and so must be re-rolled to check to see if they wound the target; that's a huge ammount of dice!). All that saved time in dice rolling means that Epic can have to-hit modifiers (+1 for staying still, -1 for double moving, -1 for shooting into cover, etc) and some armour save modifiers too (ie: stuff you can't put into Warhammer 40,000 because it makes a slow moving game system even slower).

Epic's much more about manouever warfare and out-thinking your opponent than it is about simple target selection and rolling 100's of dice.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 12:30
1. Id say they make up more like 25% of the community. Hardly 'small'
2. True but a sale is a sale..
3. Ofc there are exeptions. I tick most the boxes i listed and dont own daemons, i dont lose with any armies i own often enough to bother.
4. Im talking 40k players starting fantasy. we all know sms sell best.

Also i and people i know have all spoken with matt ward about the book. He told me that he was told to make it the most powerful fantasy book in the design brief.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 12:36
1. Id say they make up more like 25% of the community. Hardly 'small'
Maybe in the US. Not in the UK.

Here in the UK tournament players make up a tiny minority of GW gamers. Really tiny.


Also i and people i know have all spoken with matt ward about the book. He told me that he was told to make it the most powerful fantasy book in the design brief.
I'm surprised that he'd reveal that kind of information.

OrlyggJafnakol
03-02-2010, 12:36
To wade into the Daemons Overpowered debate with my own two pence; surely any Daemon army should be overpowered as itt fits both game and fluff background. I have been in the hobby long enough to remember them back in third edition and they were real monsters. Utimately, any army or ruleset can be tweaked and adapted to suit a gaming group's requirements. This element of the social side of wargaming if very frequent in the historical scene and I am surprised how little of it I see in Warhammer and 40k. If any player or players are unhappy with a points value or rule it is very simple to change. The only individuals who should be concerned are those hyper-competitive tournament players who have to stick to the rules as published by GW.

EmperorNorton
03-02-2010, 12:43
To wade into the Daemons Overpowered debate with my own two pence; surely any Daemon army should be overpowered as itt fits both game and fluff background.
That argument makes no sense to me, as it'd amount to jamming scenario rules into a point based system.

bert n ernie
03-02-2010, 13:20
An average GW gamer sticks with the hobby for about a year.

I'm surprised you say this. Despite the large number of kids involved in the hobby, I don't think the attention span is quite that short. I'm sure it's possible most people who dip into the hobby only play about a year, but to say that is the average time a gamer sticks with them seems completely unfounded.



Also i and people i know have all spoken with matt ward about the book. He told me that he was told to make it the most powerful fantasy book in the design brief.
I have no idea if this is true or not. It seems like hearsay(in terms of him actually admitting that to hobbyists) but I am very willing to believe that that was part of his brief.


Maybe in the US. Not in the UK.

Here in the UK tournament players make up a tiny minority of GW gamers. Really tiny.

I think your information is a few years out of date(if you're refering to fantasy anyway). There has been a large surge in warhammer tournament goers in the past year and a bit. Almost all of the fantasy players I know would go to 3 or more tourneys a year. Most of these are people who go to small/fun or doubles tournaments, but they still do go. There are others who are competitive, though there are less of these. Go look on the UK rankings website, I'm sure you'll find a very large list of players, and these are not all of the tourney goers in the UK.


That argument makes no sense to me, as it'd amount to jamming scenario rules into a point based system.
Whooly agree on that one. It doesn't matter what the points costs are in scenario games, so why not balance the points and then let players ignore the points in scenario games? Makes more sense.

Ultimate Life Form
03-02-2010, 13:29
Hi W0lf, we missed you! :p

marv335
03-02-2010, 13:52
I'm surprised you say this. Despite the large number of kids involved in the hobby, I don't think the attention span is quite that short. I'm sure it's possible most people who dip into the hobby only play about a year, but to say that is the average time a gamer sticks with them seems completely unfounded.

According to internal GW marketing memos, the average gaming lifespan of a new player is around 18 months.

People playing longer is the exception rather than the rule.

That 18 month window is where GW make most of their money.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 14:11
Hi W0lf, we missed you!

I know, i know ;) :p

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 15:20
I'm surprised you say this. Despite the large number of kids involved in the hobby, I don't think the attention span is quite that short. I'm sure it's possible most people who dip into the hobby only play about a year, but to say that is the average time a gamer sticks with them seems completely unfounded.
It's not unfounded.



I think your information is a few years out of date(if you're refering to fantasy anyway). There has been a large surge in warhammer tournament goers in the past year and a bit. Almost all of the fantasy players I know would go to 3 or more tourneys a year. Most of these are people who go to small/fun or doubles tournaments, but they still do go. There are others who are competitive, though there are less of these. Go look on the UK rankings website, I'm sure you'll find a very large list of players, and these are not all of the tourney goers in the UK.
Your information is largely heresay.

The UK tournament website lists 1104 players in their Warhammer database. That's, a small fraction of a single percentage point of GW's customers in any one year.

GW's annual revenue is generally slightly north of 100 million pounds, so if we assume that an average customer spends 150 per year (the cost of about half a core army... that accounts for some players who spend lots and some players who just buy a few paint pots here and there) then GW has to have over 650,000 customers in each year to make up the majority of that revenue from selling toy soldiers.

If you assume an average GW customer spends 300 per year (too high for the average GW customer IMHO, but let's assume there are many super-heavy users out there skewing the numbers) then you're still talking about 300,000+ customers per year to reach the 100 million turnover.

Add to that the fact that many tournament players bring the same army to tournaments, year after year, that many tournament players buy their models from eBay rather than contribute to GW's coffers, and that many tournaments are not GW-run (and so GW doesn't get any ticket sales from them)... well...

...optimistically I'd say that GW's tournament players across all three core systems might manage to make up 1 or 2 percentage points of GW's annual sales, if you account for all the events they go to, as well as the armies they buy... but even if that number was 5% (and it's not), it still wouldn't be worth designing the game for them, because the other 19 out of 20 players would be kids looking to play an introductory level wargame, not a tactically complex balanced tournament-appropriate wargame.

Coasty
03-02-2010, 15:56
100% disagree.

You only have to look at the Specialist Games battle games range* to show the level of tactical complexity and balance that GW games designers can achieve when they are unfettered by the considerations of marketing their product towards a teenage audience.

*Epic, Warmaster, BoFA & BFG

All with rules mostly written long, long ago when it was a different company with different rules-chappies.

Grimstonefire
03-02-2010, 16:06
From a business point of view the WH: DoC book should not have been as powerful as it was imo. Their profit margins would have been better focused on making a mainly plastic army the top dog.

I don't believe GW would want the armies to remain fixed in power for all eternity. Where daemons are strong now they could rapidly drop to near bottom, as they rely so heavily on things rumoured to be changing in 8th ed.

If GW wanted to make the game totally impossibly imbalanced simply by making each book more powerful than the last they could have easily done it. They haven't and they won't.

That is the simple truth.

Edit:
As I probably won't get a chance to reply later, I think it's worth considering the fact that the whole design team are almost definately all well aware of the feelings of the gaming community towards DoC by now. I expect Mat Ward is sick to death of the constant barrage of hatred he gets.

The fact that we haven't seen a book that broken since then is evidence that they want some balance in the game.

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 16:07
All with rules mostly written long, long ago when it was a different company with different rules-chappies.
Nope, only the designer of BFG (Andy Chambers) has left the company.

Epic was written by Jervis Johnson and Warmaster by Rick Priestley (and BoFA uses the Warmaster game engine).

And none of them suffer for not having been continuously updated and re-updated over the last eight years, in order to generate more revenue.

IJW
03-02-2010, 16:16
All with rules mostly written long, long ago when it was a different company with different rules-chappies.
A decade ago it was the same company, with a lot of overlap with the current rules writers.

If you check the credits, you'll likely find that the specialist games share rules writers with all of the current core games. I can't ay it's true for all of them as I don't have any LotR rule books, but it's certainly true for Warmaster, Epic, Warhammer and 40k.

Gen.Steiner
03-02-2010, 16:35
And don't forget Mordheim, Blood Bowl (the fantasy football rules set), Inquisitor and Necromunda.

Tolinwiz
03-02-2010, 17:11
It's not unfounded.



Your information is largely heresay.

The UK tournament website lists 1104 players in their Warhammer database. That's, a small fraction of a single percentage point of GW's customers in any one year.

GW's annual revenue is generally slightly north of 100 million pounds, so if we assume that an average customer spends 150 per year (the cost of about half a core army... that accounts for some players who spend lots and some players who just buy a few paint pots here and there) then GW has to have over 650,000 customers in each year to make up the majority of that revenue from selling toy soldiers.

If you assume an average GW customer spends 300 per year (too high for the average GW customer IMHO, but let's assume there are many super-heavy users out there skewing the numbers) then you're still talking about 300,000+ customers per year to reach the 100 million turnover.

Add to that the fact that many tournament players bring the same army to tournaments, year after year, and that many tournaments are not GW-run (and so GW doesn't get any ticket sales from them)... well...

...optimistically I'd say that GW's tournament players across all three core systems might manage to make up 1 or 2 percentage points of GW's annual sales, if you account for all the events they go to, as well as the armies they buy... but even if that number was 5% (and it's not), it still wouldn't be worth designing the game for them, because the other 19 out of 20 players would be kids looking to play an introductory level wargame, not a tactically complex balanced tournament-appropriate wargame.


Ding ding ding, Someone that didn't go "WELLL YA KNOW, DEAMONS MAKE UP ABOUT 85% of GWs players, so it was a huge success they made a ton of profit off it because all the tourney players use it".

If you want to make sweeping statements about GW's business model, please, for the love of Pete, have SOME evidence that helps your argument. Unless you just want to pander to the portion of Warseer who doesn't care about statistics, or fact, and prefers to follow the mob mentality of GW sucks. Don't get me wrong, you're more then welcome to think they suck, but don't make up facts on the spot to support an imaginary argument against them.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 17:17
I dont think GW suck. Im posting on their forums. Its not a 'omg they dont balance cos they hate us'.. its 'they dont balance becos their goal is to make money through w/e means'.


From all the warhammer players ive met and know (~200) alot of them have Daemons armies and nearly all have considered them at some point.

I also happen to know that Daemons sell/sold very well in a fair number of stores, only 2 armies that outsold last Daemons according to my local manager were WoC and DE. (fantasy only ofc)

loveless
03-02-2010, 17:19
Yay, W0lf's back!

I wonder how long you'll last this time...especially with that signature and this thread - not that I necessarily disagree with it, mind you :p

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 17:30
Lol.

I wont last long, assuming they dont auto-delete this account.

Some of the drivel on warseer makes me want to punch stuff.

Also they state this isnt a GW forum so ;)

Chaos and Evil
03-02-2010, 17:47
And don't forget Mordheim, Blood Bowl (the fantasy football rules set), Inquisitor and Necromunda.

Those are not battle games but instead "narative" games, and so balance is far less important for them (and indeed the imbalances in the system provide for cool stories).

The exception from those is Blood Bowl, which is the most balanced and tactically complex game GW have ever produced!

IJW
03-02-2010, 17:49
I dont think GW suck. Im posting on their forums.
Not strictly accurate... ;)

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 18:27
I know, but as i said 'they keep saying it'...

and left it open :P

Tolinwiz
03-02-2010, 18:34
From all the warhammer players ive met and know (~200) alot of them have Daemons armies and nearly all have considered them at some point.


Well with a statistical analysis of this caliber, and such a huge sample size, color me sold!

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 18:36
My own personal experience vs your dissmissive sarcasm.

Your right ill just agree with you.. wait.. whats that?.. you dont have a point?

I see.

Your right though, i am very stupid for believing Daemons are popular when all my own evidence suggests so. Silly personal experience, worthless. ;)

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 18:40
Empire supposedly is the top seller for Fantasy, and I haven't encountered a lot of people playing Daemons in my small neck of the woods.

Corrode
03-02-2010, 18:44
My own personal experience vs your dissmissive sarcasm.

Your right ill just agree with you.. wait.. whats that?.. you dont have a point?

I see.

Your right though, i am very stupid for believing Daemons are popular when all my own evidence suggests so. Silly personal experience, worthless. ;)

A quote you might find interesting - anecdote is not the singular of data.

Tolinwiz
03-02-2010, 18:46
My own personal experience vs your dissmissive sarcasm.

Your right ill just agree with you.. wait.. whats that?.. you dont have a point?

I see.

Your right though, i am very stupid for believing Daemons are popular when all my own evidence suggests so. Silly personal experience, worthless. ;)

You're missing the point entirely. Your -TINY- sample size (in relation to the totality of GW players) is irrelevant when making arguments about the success or business practices of GW. It's the type of reasoning you're making "oh I know a few guys that have demons, so that means they are the best" that leads to all kinds of ridiculous assumptions about GW. My 200 friends thinking eating dog poo is the most delicious thing ever, so I guess it is!!!!!!

So again, my point, which you've failed to realize, is, if you don't have hard statistical data to back up claims about a multi-million dollar company, and their success with a range of models, don't attempt to make sweeping generalizations about said companies business model, or the success of said model range.

Now if you want to have an opinion on the matter, that's fine. But suggesting demons are the most successful range ever, because you know a few guys that have them, and proceeding to get defensive when it's pointed out that they are indeed not the most successful range is just silly.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 18:48
Empire supposedly is the top seller for Fantasy

Since when?

WoC are the best selling army and have been for like.. ever.


A quote you might find interesting - anecdote is not the singular of data.

Yes, and when its my personal experince as the only valid data i have access to then guess what wins out?


You're missing the point entirely. Your -TINY- sample size (in relation to the totality of GW players) is irrelevant when making arguments about the success or business practices of GW. It's the type of reasoning you're making "oh I know a few guys that have demons, so that means they are the best" that leads to all kinds of ridiculous assumptions about GW.

So again, my point, which you've failed to realize, is, if you don't have hard statistical data to back up claims about a multi-million dollar company, and their success with a range of models, don't attempt to make sweeping generalizations about said companies business model.

My tiny sample size is all i have to work with.

Also ive read and heard time and time again about the success of Daemons and its obvious why.

I can claim what i want, DoC was clearly a very successful book.

Dont question my right to claim something, question the truth. Do you think GW strive for balance in warhammer fantasy? Or would you agree that sales are the most important thing and balance can take a back seat?

Tolinwiz
03-02-2010, 18:53
Since when?

WoC are the best selling army and have been for like.. ever.



Yes, and when its my personal experince as the only valid data i have access to then guess what wins out?


Just because it's the only information you have access to, doesn't make your statement of fact correct.

And the only thing I think GW is worried about is their bottom line. The same as just about any other company on the planet. It's up to them to decide if they believe balance is paramount to their success.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 18:56
Good evasive skills.

Tolinwiz
03-02-2010, 19:02
I'm not sure what I'm being evasive about.

You've still failed to answer where you're gathering your statistical data in regards to GW's success with a model range. Unless you're willing to agree that I can make factual statements based on a few of my friend's opinions of eating dog poo.

GW has an obligation to it's investors to earn money. It's up to them to decide how to do it best. I have no idea if their game testers care or don't care in regards to balancing the rules. I would assume if having an optimal ruleset for all their games would yield them more dollars they would do it, but who knows, I don't do market analysis for miniature gaming, and I'm surely not stupid enough to take the rants of a few friends to heart in regards to GW's business model.

If you have some statistical evidence to backup that a better rule system would yield GW more money, I'd love to see it. And no, I don't mean "WELL MY FRIENDS SAY THEY WOULD BUY MORE". I mean, it obviously wouldn't hurt to have a better rule system, but who knows if those dollars spent designing rule systems would yield the kind of return they're after? I sure don't.

I know you want GW to be your best friend, and make a super fun game that will make you the happiest gamer on the planet. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure GW would ban you from ever reading warhammer material again if it meant they had a huge spike in profits.

EmperorNorton
03-02-2010, 19:11
Warhammer isnt balanced and never will be. GW genuinly do not care about balance, they are a business, they care about sales. Daemons was the best fantasy book they ever wrote from their perspective, its no coinicidence.


Since when?

WoC are the best selling army and have been for like.. ever.

Well, wouldn't that make WoC the best Fantasy book from their perspective, then?
Which happens to not be overpowered at all?



Yes, and when its my personal experince as the only valid data i have access to then guess what wins out?

My tiny sample size is all i have to work with.



I also happen to know that Daemons sell/sold very well in a fair number of stores, only 2 armies that outsold last Daemons according to my local manager were WoC and DE. (fantasy only ofc)

It appears you draw rather questionable conclusions from your personal experience.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 19:14
The subtle diffrence between oppions and oppions disguised as facts seems to be your issue here :)


If you have some statistical evidence to backup that a better rule system would yield GW more money, I'd love to see it. And no, I don't mean "WELL MY FRIENDS SAY THEY WOULD BUY MORE". I mean, it obviously wouldn't hurt to have a better rule system, but who knows if those dollars spent designing rule systems would yield the kind of return they're after? I sure don't.

I cant prove it would improve sales, i cant prove it would decrease them. Personally i think broken rules do very little to effect sales.

I can tell you that GW seemingly dont prioritise balance and that any comepetant fantasy player could balance the game better then they could. Which leads me to believe they simply dont care, and i wudnt blame them.


Also im an economist, i dont expect anything from GW. Hell i dont even buy from them any more, i simply play what i own. When they produce something i want ill buy it, skaven and beastmen failed in this.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 19:17
Well, wouldn't that make WoC the best Fantasy book from their perspective, then?
Which happens to not be overpowered at all?

This would be true, the use of Daemons was mainly due to the inflamatory nature they provoke :)

They are still a highly successful armybook, from what i understand.

And i said they dont care about balance, WoC have arguebly the worst internal balance in the game. So much so my ~6K WoC hasnt seen a game in months. They are a very broken book, not over-powered, broken.

wilycoyote
03-02-2010, 19:59
The statement is correct, simply because GW impose a points value of everything but do not seem to have a fixed logical methodology for deciding on that value.

Previously the designers had hid behind the smokescreen of different synergies and playing style and the in house use of complicated game theory. Twaddle, to me a model is being costed in direct relation to the potential sales it can generate. Were the recent points value drops for balance or more sales. Easy sales, as now you need more models to fill out your roster. As a result any balance that may have been in the rule set is skewed straightaway, if it is potentially popular generally it costs relatively less.

Of course, it does not help that having produced their "balanced" masterpiece the same designers proceed to break their own core rules with the next codex release.

frozenwastes
03-02-2010, 20:34
I agree with the statement in Wolf's signature, even if I don't agree with some of the other things he said in this thread.

GW's game design goals are to make a game that sells models. When that design goal comes into conflict with the design goal of making a good game, selling models wins out almost every time.

One way this design goal is implemented is to make each release require more and more models. The biggest shift happened in 1998 with the release of third edition of 40k. Many armies had their points costs effectively halved while the standard game stayed at 1500. It's carried on to this day with even Space Marines getting cheaper and cheaper. You get free upgrades when you max out squads. Rhinos have become the cheapest they've ever been. Ork boyz have never been cheaper.

Now there's a data point that Jervis shared not too long ago. He said that about two thirds of GW's customers don't play their games at any regular rate. He referred to them as "craft hobbyists" and described them as GW's core market. It certainly makes sense. If the average customer is only with them for 18months (give or take), then they don't really have time to assemble, paint and play with a full sized army. They'll get some smaller games in. Playing every now and again until they quit or fall of of GW's radar.

So why should GW expend any more resources on making their games great? It's utterly irrelevant to their core market who will never experience any sort of regular play. They just need the idea of a game and enough of a framework that people can play in a non-serious way until they quit. They just need to string the new person along for one round of new-army marketting blitz and then they can go along their merry way.

Those of us who have played the game regularly are not their core market. Those of us who have stuck around to talk about their length of time in years rather than months are not their core market.

GW just needs a set of rules that are not serious and just sort of a mish-mash of ideas that they can use to sell the idea of a complete hobby. Balance? Why bother? Technical editing? Who cares. Clear rules and quick FAQ/support? Waste of time.

Leinad
03-02-2010, 20:34
A quick pedantic note on the sample size stats thing, while 200 gamers is only a small percentage of the whole it does note make it worthless, in fact as a percentage of the overall population I would say it's larger than a number of data sets such as opinion polls and some medical trials. The main flaw with it for making a balanced assessment would be in the unbalanced spread of the selection of the data set e.g people one person has spoken too. This isn't to say that W0lf is wrong just that it is by no means certain that he is correct.

On an other note, was it really Jervis who developed Epic, I though the current incarnation was Andy Chambers, though I could be wrong. Also Rick Priestly seems to unfortunately have had little to do with game design for Fantasy and 40K in recent years.

EmperorNorton
03-02-2010, 20:54
GW just needs a set of rules that are not serious and just sort of a mish-mash of ideas that they can use to sell the idea of a complete hobby. Balance? Why bother? Technical editing? Who cares. Clear rules and quick FAQ/support? Waste of time.

Of course one could argue that if GW made better games, more people would stick with them for years rather than months.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 20:57
GW has already shown they are more interested in a quick profit then vets.

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 21:13
Corporations are supposed to do that; smart ones figure out how to ensure that they still have a customer base for the long term.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 21:24
GW are most definatly not a smart corporation though.

That much is obvious.

Lord of Worms
03-02-2010, 21:45
Now there's a data point that Jervis shared not too long ago. He said that about two thirds of GW's customers don't play their games at any regular rate. He referred to them as "craft hobbyists" and described them as GW's core market. It certainly makes sense. If the average customer is only with them for 18months (give or take), then they don't really have time to assemble, paint and play with a full sized army. They'll get some smaller games in. Playing every now and again until they quit or fall of of GW's radar.


Theres an interesting point that may have inadvertently slipped through the cracks here. If the majority of their customer base are "craft hobbyists", whether adults, or children who never actually finish their 1500 point army, then the mechanics of the rules and codices is irrelevant to their bottom line. All that would matter is the "air-play" new armies receive when their codex comes out. Of course, there is a cynical undertone here. New players look at their codex, decide what is the best option (cough, $35 obliterator models) buy them on that basis, but never actually end up capitalizing on their "Game Winning " investment.
What GW needs to do, is develop some numbers of people who left GW for other games systems with superior rules mechanics. This was business lost.
If all of these companies can exist on GWs cast-offs, then maybe it isnt such a pittance as we are all lead to believe. It is my firm belief that making good balanced rules systems, and selling miniatures to transient teenagers need not be mutually exclusive. If they get it right, then maybe their customer base need not be so transient.
White Dwarf is already a massive advertisement anyway, coupled with the stores and everything else, they dont need to make the products we are already paying for another advertisement. We know the designers are capable of doing a good job (except Matt Ward, he is a tool) so whoever is pulling the strings needs to stop muscling them into working for the Marketing Department. Let the Games Designers make good games, goddammit.

Lord Inquisitor
03-02-2010, 22:30
I just don't get these threads.

If Daemons was deliberately designed to be the best ever and to make money that way, why isn't their model range complete?

If GW want to make money by making each army book more powerful than the last, why aren't the army books following Daemons more powerful than Daemons? Wouldn't that make sense?

Argh!

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 22:36
1. The model range dosnt need to be complete to sell.

2. You dont understand balance and over-powered? The books dont have to keep getting better to sell....

starlight
03-02-2010, 22:58
According to research done up until I left GW, the average retention rate of a GW customer in the UK and NA is 15% after 18 months... Some regions were as high as 90% gone after 12 months, but the lowest numbers I saw or was told about were 80% lost after 24 months... :(


Sadly, GW's solution is to pour resources into replacing the 85% instead of reducing it by retaining existing customers... :( Given that it is (generally accepted in business) fifteen times more expensive to recruit than it is to retain, we can see a part of why GW keeps having issues... :(

Over seven years of declining sales in their core games have shown the folly of ignoring their existing customers...the ones who have already overcome the barriers to purchasing and are already actively using their product...who *could* become their best marketing device...


Oh well... :shrug:

Condottiere
04-02-2010, 08:08
Part of GW's problem is that their principal products aren't consumed, just constructed, and possibly later renovated. Models don't depreciate a lot and since there are no moving parts, no need to have constant repairs.

Planned obsolescence isn't really a factor, since that would require a new product whose properties are obviously better than it's predecessor's, though virtual values through unbalanced army books may play a part.

Satan
04-02-2010, 08:13
the ones who have already overcome the barriers to purchasing and are already actively using their product...who *could* become their best marketing device...

You mean like Apple? :)

Or Blizzard? :)

Those two examples pretty much speak for themselves.

I wish we had a "thumbs up" function for posts. If we did, that's what I'd press a hundred times to show how much I like the post above by Starlight... and I completely agree with his final conclusion.

Suicide Messiah
04-02-2010, 10:59
When looking at such figures i think we should bear in mind that GWs products are not 'cool'. Most kids who buy even once only give the product a second glance becasue of GW work over the past however many decades.

In that respect they are nothing like apple or blizzard.

That said, i do think they should cater more to the vets. Produce more (and better) content and some of the kids may not drift off.

bert n ernie
04-02-2010, 11:44
Yes, but apple used to be like that too. It hasn't been that long ago that apple managed to use marketing, and the strength of their products (ignoring the iPad) to become 'indy cool'.

In my personal opinion the reason that Blizzard have been able to stand so tall is primarily their customer service and their acceptance that any flaw in their product is their responsibility (juxtapose this with EA, who don't).
That's just my experience though.

Sleazy
04-02-2010, 12:30
Btw, Woc have not been the best selling wfb army "for like ever", I know that in 6th ed O&G were, hence every UK store was told to have an O&G army on display at the time. We were also told to do the same for 40k and spent ages painting up a nice Crimson Fists army only for them to come back and say "sorry guys, forgot to tell you it has to be Ultramarines.

Anyway, with regard to the other topics here, I dont think GW games need to be completely balanced, at least not for me and 90% of the players out there.

Oh and I agree that the UK tournament scene is small, I reckon no more than 5% of customers actively participate.

Lord Inquisitor
04-02-2010, 14:44
1. The model range dosnt need to be complete to sell.
Indeed, GameZone are probably doing very well on the sales of their "Fiendish Offspring" (cough mounted daemonettes), as is anyone with mounted daemonettes on eBay. Games Workshop, however, is not making a penny as they don't even stock the old models.


2. You dont understand balance and over-powered? The books dont have to keep getting better to sell....
:eyebrows:

Wasn't that your point? If we've all gone out and bought Daemons of Chaos armies because they're the most powerful, we're not going to be tempted into buying a new army unless it is more powerful, surely?


There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the 7th edition core ruleset (indeed, it's hard to contest the opinion that the game was more balanced and tactically complex at the start of 7th edition than it is now).
What? There's heaps of improvement to be made on the game, the stagnant monolithic mess of archaic special rules. See this post for an off-the-top-of-my-head list (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4362611&postcount=28), but my favourite example is clipping - the 6th ed FAQ made clear that the designers were aware of clipping and that it was "against the spirit of the game" but instead of actually making it against the rules of the game left it as an option and just gave us the same FAQ telling us it is "bad"! Why not fix the problem?!

Arguably, each edition of the game is better than the last, although I feel some areas have had a step backwards - as much of a pain that lapping round was, its absence has left a void large units find it hard to overcome - and many areas don't move forward. A new edition is welcome from my perspective as an opportunity to try and improve the game, even if they are going to sell me a new rulebook to do so (and I'll probably get the limited edition one too as I'm a sucker).

Earl_UK
04-02-2010, 17:02
From my discusions with GW reps, they consider the company as a toy soldier manafacturer.

They make Toy Soldiers and then rules to play with them.

Obviously the devs have a passion for there gaming, but as a business it is obvious that updates / balancing and the such is seconday to turning a profit.

Gen.Steiner
04-02-2010, 17:19
Which shouldn't be a surprise.

Good rules sets rarely come from toy soldier makers - the real exception is GZG's Dirtside, Full Thrust and Stargrunt series, IMO.

40K (and WFB etc) are fun, beer-and-crisps rules sets that are meant to be played with your mates and for a laugh. RAW and the tournament mentality has a LOT to answer for - accept the games for what they are, make rules up on the fly, and crack on.

Failing that, switch to Stargrunt II and start playing some serious SF wargames.

McMullet
04-02-2010, 17:52
To be fair, GW make a number of good games. Epic Armageddon is excellent, and BFG, while being completely unrealistic even by 40K-universe standards, is simple, tactical and fun.

Of course they don't support these games at all, so your point is essentially still valid - I just wanted to weigh in on behalf of Jervis Johnson and Andy Chambers, who had an excellent game design partnership, for a little while. :)

Spider-pope
04-02-2010, 17:55
Read my sig. Read it again. Digest it.


The number of people that dont realise this astounds me.

No one could be this bad at game balance without trying, simple.*


*And no thats not a cheap shot, i geuinly believe it.

Slight problem with your statement about Chaos Daemons being the best book they ever wrote, the Daemon armies flopped. Neither book generated the sales GW were hoping for. And unlike you own claims, mine are actually based on sales figures not hearsay and supposition.

Suicide Messiah
04-02-2010, 18:53
Yes, but apple used to be like that too. It hasn't been that long ago that apple managed to use marketing, and the strength of their products (ignoring the iPad) to become 'indy cool'.

Apple make the ipod, which plays music. Somthing that everyone listens to. Its appeal is even broader than the music it plays. GW make toy soldiers.

EmperorNorton
04-02-2010, 19:17
Apple make the ipod, which plays music. Somthing that everyone listens to. Its appeal is even broader than the music it plays. GW make toy soldiers.

Apple weren't the first to make a portable mp3 player. Their product is not the cheapest, nor is it the easiest to use. And still it is the most succesful.

The iPod may have a vasty broader appeal than GW's product, but that doesn't change a thing about the point made about Apple's marketing.

Earl_UK
04-02-2010, 20:48
To be fair, GW make a number of good games. Epic Armageddon is excellent, and BFG, while being completely unrealistic even by 40K-universe standards, is simple, tactical and fun.

Of course they don't support these games at all, so your point is essentially still valid - I just wanted to weigh in on behalf of Jervis Johnson and Andy Chambers, who had an excellent game design partnership, for a little while. :)

I spent many hours playing Battle for Armargeddon, it kept me gripped for many months!

I didnt quiet get into Horus Heresy though, not sure why.. no Orkyness i guess :D

Condottiere
04-02-2010, 21:04
Apple weren't the first to make a portable mp3 player. Their product is not the cheapest, nor is it the easiest to use. And still it is the most succesful.

The iPod may have a vasty broader appeal than GW's product, but that doesn't change a thing about the point made about Apple's marketing.The iPod is a fad, as technology surpasses it and we'll probably all start using our cellphones as media players, which is why Apple is trying to dominate that niche, and as it gets competition in this field, carve out a new one in Tablets.

Lewis
04-02-2010, 21:07
GW are most definatly not a smart corporation though.

That much is obvious.

Yeah, look at thicky, thicky GW with their thicko's number one figure manufacture's slot that they've managed to get by being all thick.


I agree that tournament players do not indicate the rest of GW's shoppers or make up part of their market strategy . We have seen some convincing statistics on that to which I would add that we have seen 2, soon to be 3, expansions for 40K that encourage knock about play. Whether tournament players all play daemons or not is irrelevant because GW doesn't care about them in their marketing.

I would accept however that, in a far less dramatic way than has been suggested, balance is affected by sales. Dan Heelan from Heelanhammer often puts forward the theory that the expensive good looking hydra model has been undercosted in points to boost its sales, and I'd go along with that. I'd also agree about the steady points drop in newer army books.

The OP's hyperbole aside I think its true that this is not the most tactical game nor the most balanced Its like that because its designed to be cool and entertaining for adolescent boys though, not because of some clever conspiracy to make us buy models through game rules: they can do that far more effectively through price hikes and halving the amount of models you get in a box.

frozenwastes
04-02-2010, 21:15
Apple make the ipod, which plays music. Somthing that everyone listens to. Its appeal is even broader than the music it plays. GW make toy soldiers.

The analogy that was made has nothing to do with what is being sold. The fact of the matter is that Apple has evangelical customers. Customers who enjoy and believe in the products they buy so much that they talk abou them and do their best to spread the good news.

Blizzard has them as well. I don't know how many times I've had WoWer friends try to get me into the game. It's crazy.

WotC is starting to embrace the model as well. They've been fairly successful managing their D&D brand and Shelly Manzinoble has done a surprisingly goog job increasing the number of female D&D players. They have not yet reached critical mass with this, but they've made progress.

GW has tried half baked promotions to reward people for getting their friends involved, but they invariably have been not a big reward and confined to their GW Stores and Online Store. I also think it's the wrong way to go about doing it. Apple customers and WoWers try to get people in without being rewarded (though I'm sure there has been some sort of reward for WoW at some time). GW needs to have people believe again.

How do they do that? They need to look at the types of products they sold during the time when they were expanding from a UK based games company into a global miniature maker.

Dai-Mongar
04-02-2010, 21:38
I guess it's obvious that "balance" isn't the #1 priority for GW game designers. But I think that while profit is a factor, the biggest part of design is what looks like FUN.
Yup, I said it - their GAMES are supposed to be played for FUN. :eek:
I've never played in a Wargaming tournament, except for a casual Warmachine league last year, because it seems like playing in tourneys destroys what's fun about the game. It's not just wargaming either, I found the same thing with MTG.
You want a perfectly balanced, tactical and tournament-compatible game? Go play chess.

starlight
04-02-2010, 21:40
Yeah, look at thicky, thicky GW with their thicko's number one figure manufacture's slot that they've managed to get by being all thick.

:eyebrows:

So how do you explain over seven years of declining sales volumes...? :eyebrows:

The exact term used by Tom Kirby to describe GW's recent years was "...fat and lazy..." and it remains to be seen of they can get their mess sorted out...

GW got to where they are because a group of suits picked them to build and go public and there were no competitors at the time. Now there are many other competitors, all of whom are taking market share...

Lewis
04-02-2010, 22:04
Are they a brilliant company? No they're not. Are other companies better? I'd go along with that. Are they stupid? Not that either. You don't get into that position because the company has done nothing right, lack of competition or not.

Fat and lazy is fair enough, I agree with much of what you have said about GW as a company elsewhere Starlight, but I think we can over state,as the OP did, the extent to which they have no idea of what they're doing.

frozenwastes
04-02-2010, 22:25
So how do you explain over seven years of declining sales volumes...? :eyebrows:

They changed their products to the point where they are no longer the same as the ones they sold to get them into the position of being the global miniature company that they are.

Here are the characteristics of GW's games during their period of greatest expansion:

1) Individual models mattered. While being retroactively criticized as being broken or "herohammer" individual characters were powerful and had an incredible influence on the game.
2) Lowish model count needed. Without taking any special weapons, characters, heavy weapons, or vehicles, a 1500 point standard game of 40k could include, at most, 50 tactical marines for a Space Marine army.
3) Models felt valuable. They could operate as individuals to a greater extent than current rules.
4) More maneuver was possible. With more table space per miniature, flanking and other tactical maneuvers were way, way more possible.
5) Multiple entry points were available. From skirmish games of less than 20 miniatures to games representing huge battles with smaller scale miniatures. Board games like Space Hulk and Bloodbowl were easily available, well supported and an economical entry into gaming.

Unfortunately for GW, other companies are realizing this while they are not. For example:

1) Warcasters and Warlocks are very powerful and the key element in any Warmachine or Hordes army.
2) By concentrating on Warjacks/Warbeasts and elite infantry and solos, a viable standard sized army can include very few miniatures. Even the largest infantry horde can only include around 60 models in a standard 35 point game.
3) With models targeting models rather than units targeting units, even basic troopers can shoot at priority targets and can win the game.
4) Having typically less than 60 miniatures on a 4x4 table leaves lots of room to maneuver.
5) Grind, Monsterpocalypse, Bodger games, Infernal Contraption, Voltron, Mangled Metal, Battlebox games, etc.,.

It should be unsurprising that GW has had years of declining unit sales volume since they abandoned this model while a company that has embraced it is acheiving sales growth records. While I like Privateer Press's stuff I think the Old World and the 41st Millennium are cooler than the Iron Kingdoms and I'd rather see those settings being the ones to embrace this model and succeed. But with every release, GW just does the opposite. They require more and more miniatures, they make each model count for less on the battlefliend, they fill the table up with wider regiments in WFB, they release Space Hulk but price it prohibitively high and make it a limited edition and no longer sell it.

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 10:15
To be fair, GW make a number of good games. Epic Armageddon is excellent, and BFG, while being completely unrealistic even by 40K-universe standards, is simple, tactical and fun.

I totally agree - but the problem is that, as you note, they don't support any of them beyond a tiny presence on their website. That's it. Gone are the days of WD articles, of shelf space in shops even for the boxed games... and that's a shame and a problem. Necromunda is an excellent game and so is Epic, BFG is Bloody Good Fun... and so on and so forth.


[B]GW needs to have people believe again./B]

How do they do that? They need to look at the types of products they sold during the time when they were expanding from a UK based games company into a global miniature maker.

Again, I agree completely. When I started playing in 1996, I started with 40K - a force of 30 Tac Marines, a Rhino, some Imperial Guard Stormtroopers, a Landspeeder, a Bike and Attack Bike, and a Captain. Plus some other Guardsmen. And that was pretty big! But MOST of my and my friends' forces came from the starter sets - 20 of my Tac Marines, for example, or the bulk of my friends' Bretonnian army, and so on.

Then I bought Epic 40K with my birthday money and I never looked back, I was a GW-phile (and still am). But what HAS changed is that I wouldn't recommend the place for beginner wargamers - I'd tell them to pick up some stuff on eBay, or borrow other people's figures, or play something like AK-47 Republic, or Full Thrust. But I wouldn't recommend any of the core games apart from Lord of the Rings Skirmish.

40K 5th is pants, WFB 7th afflicted by Army-Creep, and frankly the best games GW makes are the ones they're not supporting because they're not supporting them.

ashc
05-02-2010, 10:30
40K 5th is pants, WFB 7th afflicted by Army-Creep, and frankly the best games GW makes are the ones they're not supporting because they're not supporting them.

And by support you mean chasing the cash-cow all the way to the slaughterhouse, yes? :angel:

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 10:35
Errr... yes.

But I wouldn't mind if they just re-released all (or even some) of the Inquisitor, Mordheim and Necromunda stuff. Or the Epic bits. Or... or...

I could stomach NECROMUNDA v 3 - BIGGER GANGZ0RZ if that happened, I'd just carry on playing Original Necromunda and buying the new/old models.

Biggest stupid thing they did was getting rid of the Bitz service and pulling OOP EVERYTHING ever that wasn't current. Arrrgh! I wanted my Forest Goblins on foot! :(

ashc
05-02-2010, 10:39
Yeah, Necromunda and Mordheim had some lovely models they have pulled from production.

Thankfully I have my Escher Heavy Plasmagunner :)

Condottiere
05-02-2010, 10:40
It's too bad that you can't just write one set of rules and scale up from Mordheim to the equivalent of Fantasy Waterloo.

blongbling
05-02-2010, 10:44
I also happen to know that Daemons sell/sold very well in a fair number of stores, only 2 armies that outsold last Daemons according to my local manager were WoC and DE. (fantasy only ofc)

largest selling fantasy box is the Dark elf warriors!

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 10:46
Yeah, Necromunda and Mordheim had some lovely models they have pulled from production.

Thankfully I have my Escher Heavy Plasmagunner :)

Actually, it's just a 'basic' plasma gun. Nothing heavy about it - see the Van Saar HPG for a HPG. ;)

But, yes, there were some cracking models that are now OOP and shouldn't be - I mean, Middenheimer Youngbloods for Mordheim, FFS! :rolleyes:

Condottiere - you can and they (sort of) did. See 6th Edition WFB Rulebook, on Skirmishes.

All they really needed to add was a campaign-y bit - sure, it'd've been a big book, but hey, 50 for a rules system that scales up from skirmish campaigns a la Mordheim, but with rules for every race, right the way through to massed 'Apocalypse' style battles? I'd've bought it.

Chaos and Evil
05-02-2010, 11:45
I agree with Gen.Steiner, and I'm very happy that my favourite GW game (Epic) gets zero studio attention, considering how much the game would have to change if it was to be marketed to the GW core audience.

On the other hand I do actually support the 'dumbed down' approach for the core games, as it obviously does sell.

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 11:49
But then again, LotR isn't 'dumbed down', and is a relatively good system. It's not the best, but it is solid, and provides fun games with a strong element of small-unit tactics.

Easily convertable to all sorts of other periods, too.

McMullet
05-02-2010, 12:02
To be fair, there wasa campaign supplement for WFB - the Lustria campaign system was neat and simple, and it worked well enough, but all anyone ever took from the supplementary books was the zomg uber cheez armylists. I suppose campaigns are for people with a small-ish group of regular gaming buddies, which forms the possibly less lucrative veteran market.

Plus, from a commercial standpoint, campaigns are a way to use existing models in a new way (i.e., buy the book and you don't need a new army), whereas new lists require new models...

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 12:07
Actually, for 6th Edition, there was:

Lustrian Campaign
Albion Campaign
General's Compendium
and possibly something else as well.

McMullet
05-02-2010, 13:14
Good point - so I suppose it's really less the case that a campaign system was unavailable, and more that not enough people cared...

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 13:57
In fact, in 6th Ed, there was the Albion Campaign (booklet, free with WD, plus three new minis now all OOP), followed by the Storm of Chaos (Army book plus special minis), followed by the Lustrian Campaign (Army Book).

The General's Compendium was a seperate, but brilliant, resource that originated mostly with GWUS as far as I could tell.

I have all of them. :D

Oh! There was also the Chaos Warbands in the Chaos Wastes mini-campaign/skirmish rules set, which was originally a series of WD articles and was then given away free with WD. Again, I have both the articles and the booklet.

In fact, I have every single book that GW published for WFB 6th edition and see no need ever to trade up again. :)

Chaos and Evil
05-02-2010, 14:14
But then again, LotR isn't 'dumbed down', and is a relatively good system. It's not the best, but it is solid, and provides fun games with a strong element of small-unit tactics.

As with the other core games, those tactics are largely self-evident and for LOTR are based around using the stats and special rules of particular models in "killer combos" rather than the game being based on tactical manoeuvre.

That being said, it is probably the most tactically complex of the core games at this point (40k being greatly hobbled by its core rules and army books into emphasising strategy over tactics, and Warhammer being hobbled by its army books in the same way), but placed alongside a properly adult-intended wargame rules system it is left looking distinctly "dumbed down".

Gen.Steiner
05-02-2010, 14:46
Ah, but if you ignore the 'killer combo' issue and field forces of troops led by generic captains and the odd standard, it makes for a nice game.

As so often the problem is in the special characters - I think, anyway.

OK, so it's not Song of Blades and Heroes, but it's good enough to enjoy and have to think about, too.

Chaos and Evil
05-02-2010, 14:57
Ah, but if you ignore the 'killer combo' issue and field forces of troops led by generic captains and the odd standard, it makes for a nice game.

As so often the problem is in the special characters - I think, anyway.
Ah so if you ignore half of the unit entries, and the inertia of the game system itself (which promotes "killer combos" as the way to win fights), then you can have a vaguely tactically complex game experience (which will still look "dumbed down" next to any adult-intended wargame system).

And as long as you play at very low points levels, the game won't take all day either. :angel:

/Devil's Advocate.

TonyFlow
05-02-2010, 19:04
On the other hand I do actually support the 'dumbed down' approach for the core games, as it obviously does sell.

As is illustrated very well by falling sales in the latest years.

Lewis
05-02-2010, 21:26
I have to say that I think specialist games, with the exception of Blood Bowl, only hold a positive place in our minds because they are not hed up to the scrutiny that the main games are. Necromunda's rules are highly randomised and can leave you with a WS5 heavy stubber wielder, if we spent more time thinking about these games rather than the main ones, we'd end up just as disappointed in them.

Lord of Worms
05-02-2010, 21:45
I have to say that I think specialist games, with the exception of Blood Bowl, only hold a positive place in our minds because they are not hed up to the scrutiny that the main games are. Necromunda's rules are highly randomised and can leave you with a WS5 heavy stubber wielder, if we spent more time thinking about these games rather than the main ones, we'd end up just as disappointed in them.

I don't really think so. Nobody gets the idea that Necromunda is a better game than 40k by playing Necro infrequently. People I know who play SG tend to play them a whole lot more than the Core games.

To be fair WS 5 heavies aren't really the end of the world, and to be honest a BS 5 heavy stubber guy is pretty damn serious so I think it's pretty important to balance that with the 'randomizing'. I realise it doesn't make much sense, but there are a lot worse things in the core games than that.

bert n ernie
05-02-2010, 23:12
I think it's very difficult to compare rule sets where your previous battles often affect what you can take to your current one, with a rules set that has a points limit that is (by player choice) often set in stone.
It is perhaps that much of what the different gangs have available to them are very similar to what any other gang has available, which makes it so balanced. I remember the mutants(on mutant horses) in gorka morka being unbalanced.
I think that some of these games would hold up to as much scrutiny as the core games frequently get, largely because they were made within a shorter time frame by a smaller set of people, and updates/FAQs tend to be built upon through genuine consultation(as far as I can tell) and not reactionary pieces often handled by someone who didn't even write the book in the first place.

McMullet
06-02-2010, 01:05
I've always found Mordheim to be an excellent narrative game (and I assume Necromunda and Gorkamorka work out the same). They aren't meant to be tactical, they're closer to role-playing - except you're making a group of characters and building stories around them. Your WS5 Heavy (just like my Stupid, T2, one-armed, one eyed marksman MH warband Leader) may not be tactically useful or balanced, but he is amusing...

Chaos and Evil
06-02-2010, 01:27
I have to say that I think specialist games, with the exception of Blood Bowl, only hold a positive place in our minds because they are not hed up to the scrutiny that the main games are.

I play Epic, BFG and Necromunda far more than I do Warhammer 40,000 these days... because Epic and BFG are much more tactically complex/balanced, and Necromunda is (for me) simply more fun.

Since the entireity of my peer group has stopped playing the core games anyway, I don't really have the opportunity any more.


Necromunda's rules are highly randomised and can leave you with a WS5 heavy stubber wielder,
Balance isn't the point of Necromunda... for Necromunda it's the story, something Warhammer 40,000 isn't very good at in comparison, in a large part due to the simple-playing game mechanics.


...if we spent more time thinking about these games rather than the main ones, we'd end up just as disappointed in them.
Nope.

Also I'd note that I'm not disappointed in the core game mechanics... they're just intended for a different purpose.

Pink Horror
06-02-2010, 04:21
It's too bad that you can't just write one set of rules and scale up from Mordheim to the equivalent of Fantasy Waterloo.

I wouldn't want this. When people play a small skirmish game, they want more detailed control over what every model does. With an enormous battle, everything needs to be abstracted. Sure, you could shoehorn the two competing styles into one rulebook, but then you just have one big bloated game which has most of its rules out of scale for whatever-sized conflict you happen to be playing at a time.

Scaling is difficult in game design. Realistically, 40k is lucky to still be about the same feel down at 1000 and by 3000 you have an entirely different style (hence Apocalypse). And I know many people who have quit trying to play Warmachine/Hordes with more than one caster. It just bogs everything down in that game. And in a similar vein, there are all those board games that say something like 2-6 players on the box, but that might only work well with 4-5.

frozenwastes
06-02-2010, 07:46
People are not just giving the Specialist Games range games a pass because they are played infrequently. People who love them play them a ton. Warmaster, Epic:A, BFG, Bloodbowl, etc., are superior in game design to the core games. Play them a ton and they won't show their cracks like the ones that are readily apparent in 40k and WFB. LOTR only shows it's cracks when you start trying to play with too many models on the table.

As for myself, I still like GW's fictional worlds and a large portion of their models. So I am basically recreated what I liked about GW's rules during their largest periods of growth. I use the models I want with alternate rules and concentrate on the hobby and story side of things. It's the same approach used by the =I=munda guys on DakkaDakka.

So what happens from here for GW? What happens if they don't go back to the product characteristics that got them big in the first place? What happens if they keep recruiting people through small retail outlets into a game that doesn't have staying power? (Their own numbers expect you not to be their customer within 18 months). Well, they'll keep getting dwindling unit sales. They can raise prices and streamline their operations to make that as profitable as possible, but the fact remains that they're going to end up with less and less gamers or unit sales every year. During that time, they'll work their asses off to get more license royalty income to offset the ever shrinking unit sales.

In the mean time, the current trend of other producers increasing their size and distributorship will continue. Privateer Press has stated that they now have yearly revenue in the multimillion dollar range. Whether that means they pull in two million or ten or twenty, they aren't just a couple guys working out of their basement. They're using the same model that got GW to become an international company and it's working, all while GW has stopped using that model.

We know it works. GW proved it works when they went from a game importer and seller to the UK to the largest international miniature maker in the world. Privateer Press is now proving it works with record sales of their games.

I wish GW would take a look at the which periods included the largest amounts of growth and look at the characteristics of their products during those times.

Condottiere
06-02-2010, 09:46
This can go a number of ways, and since I like PC analogy, let's assume that GW is Intel; when Intel got fat and lazy, they produced the Prescott, which achieved upto 3.6GHz but was excessively hot which caused deterioration of performance, as the lower clocked cheaper AMD processors achieved the same performance with a lot less overall cost.

AMD in the meantime stumbled and Intel got it's act together, otherwise, they probably would have an equal sales volume today. The same will probably happen to GW. All that's required is the exposure of a superior product to the consumers, with a small community of respected enthusiasts extolling it's virtues (especially price versus performance).

Lewis
06-02-2010, 18:55
To what extent has the minature wargames market contracted since GW's growth period? Whilst I accept that Privateer et al do a lot of things better than Gw I might be inclined to argue that GW's falling sales are more to do with the hobby competing with new technologies that vastly change the market place rather than them having got the sales of minature games "right" in the 90's and "Wrong" now.

I was wrong in what I said about specialist games btw, I'd forgotten about epic and bfg. I would say that the "Necromunda is about story" argument is fine ( and I agree Necro does it better) but then one could make that case about 40k too for many gamers. Its the status of the core games as competitive affairs that leads to much of the grizzling.

lanrak
06-02-2010, 21:11
Hi Lewis.
I think everyone realises that some shrinkage in the table top minature games hobby has happened over the last 15 years or so.
However if you look at the difference across demographics, the main switch over to 'fast fix' type hobbies generaly appeal to the newer generations that are not as aware of the extra rewards the extra effort brings...generaly speaking.(No offence meant!)

Those older folks,( like me), have grown up playing with toy soldiers, rather than console /computer generated warfare, tend to stay with the old fashioned bits of plastic and metal carefully asembled,and painted to bring our imaginations life...:D

However ,as GW plc have decided to chase the 'easy to please' rather than improve thier core rule sets to meet the expectations of a wider range of gamers.(Taking the path of effort again.:rolleyes:)

They have suffered a 'double whammy' of reducing thier demoghraphic, substatialy, and the demoghraphic they chose is now being erroded by the appeal of other hobbies...:rolleyes:

Pink Horror
06-02-2010, 22:09
I believe the next big thing that takes down GW, if that ever happens, will be a game for the older folks that they can start playing with their current collections. Quick skirmishes are fun but there are still a lot of people out there who want to play a big game, and as far as I know, only Flames of War is really written to compete at that scale. Unfortunately, there weren't any space marines or aliens in World War II (at least none that the government lets us know about).

static grass
06-02-2010, 23:07
No one could be this bad at game balance without trying, simple.


I agree with this statement entirely. Empire and O&G both got relatively weak cav, fast forward to the HE and you can a large improvement on cav. Then the VC come out with their blood knights who are so powerful you are looking for typos. It is pretty obvious they the studio changed their mind on the relative power level of cav in the metagame. That elite cav units should be able to break most infantry units with a frontal charge.

Having said that there is a level of incompetency within the studio. Useless units - dwarf rangers, or crazy over costed magic items. They tend to give the impression of game design by tick box.

It has been several years since I realised that warhammer was as tactical as top trumps regardless it is fun. In this way WFB is more successful although DoC are not much fun to play against unless you know the opponent well and you talk about how you want to play.

I struggle to understand how they manged to make such a mess of the magic phase though. Given that they took it out of 40K they should perhaps be aware of the dangers of a rampant magic phase.

Lewis
07-02-2010, 00:00
I agree with this statement entirely. Empire and O&G both got relatively weak cav, fast forward to the HE and you can a large improvement on cav. Then the VC come out with their blood knights who are so powerful you are looking for typos. It is pretty obvious they the studio changed their mind on the relative power level of cav in the metagame. That elite cav units should be able to break most infantry units with a frontal charge..

But that's not what he's sayinng at all. He's saying that new rules get released with a power boost in order to sell models, you're saying that they've changed their minds, which sounds far more likel gw, changing something because it seemed like a good plan right at that moment.

If you think about th op's theory it doesnt make a lot of sense. By making one set of models desirabe you decrease the attractiveness of other models vy making them worse in comparison. In theory you could have "codex creep" with peope constantly dashing to the new most powerful army, but that hasn't been the case in the wfb releases of late at all. As it goes GW would make the most money from a range of balanced armies chosen to the players tastes. They must be losing money on ogre kingdoms right now, right?

Condottiere
07-02-2010, 00:19
I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have separate development of the rules by an independent company, but then I realized that that would commoditize the miniatures, allowing anyone to build up or upgrade their armies through any other source than GW, and place beyond their control a vital marketing tool; I'm thinking, of course, of IBM and Microsoft.

frozenwastes
07-02-2010, 07:42
To what extent has the minature wargames market contracted since GW's growth period? Whilst I accept that Privateer et al do a lot of things better than Gw I might be inclined to argue that GW's falling sales are more to do with the hobby competing with new technologies that vastly change the market place rather than them having got the sales of minature games "right" in the 90's and "Wrong" now.

If the miniature wargamer population is dwindling, then I think it actually exacerbates my point. In such an environment, it's even more important to produce the kind of games that make you successful than it was during the good times. Even during this overall contraction of miniature gaming, PP is using the model GW used to get big and is making new sales highs each year. If it really is an issue of competing with new technology, then doing what works to make your company grow is more important, not less.

Lewis
07-02-2010, 09:59
Doies anyone know what the actual split of the market share is between the larger companies?

frozenwastes
07-02-2010, 20:38
I imagine the larger distributors might be the only ones to have reliable data and even then they'd be using extrapolations.

Verm1s
07-02-2010, 23:39
I believe the next big thing that takes down GW, if that ever happens, will be a game for the older folks that they can start playing with their current collections.

Like, er, Apocalypse?


Quick skirmishes are fun but there are still a lot of people out there who want to play a big game

Like, er, Apocalypse and Epic?

Chaos and Evil
08-02-2010, 00:00
Like, er, Apocalypse?
Apocalypse is no more aimed at adults than the rest of Warhammer 40,000.

Verm1s
08-02-2010, 00:16
I was concentrating on the 'they can start playing with their current collections' bit. Of course, a lot of those with large collections tend to have accumulated them over a number of years, too. :p

Pink Horror
08-02-2010, 03:14
Like, er, Apocalypse and Epic?

Basically, yes.


I was concentrating on the 'they can start playing with their current collections' bit. Of course, a lot of those with large collections tend to have accumulated them over a number of years, too. :p

I put that bit in there because, if you make a new game that requires 1000s of miniatures, you might as well try to convert a few people who already have 1000s of miniatures.

frozenwastes
08-02-2010, 06:34
I still think Apocalypse was about lowering their on hand inventory levels through bulk box sales while they transition to a more "just in time" manufacturing model. An example of this are the Tyranids that are out of stock. Less capital in stuff just sitting there. You make *only* what you think you'll need for a given time frame.

Hena
08-02-2010, 07:29
I believe the next big thing that takes down GW, if that ever happens, will be a game for the older folks that they can start playing with their current collections. Quick skirmishes are fun but there are still a lot of people out there who want to play a big game, and as far as I know, only Flames of War is really written to compete at that scale. Unfortunately, there weren't any space marines or aliens in World War II (at least none that the government lets us know about).

Like, er, Apocalypse?

I put that bit in there because, if you make a new game that requires 1000s of miniatures, you might as well try to convert a few people who already have 1000s of miniatures.
I don't see Apocalypse being any better for an old gamer as such. It doesn't fix the major problem (that I anyway have) with 40k. Namely rules. It only actually makes it worse.

For larger armies Epic is much much better as a game. For 28mm minis I'd like a proper small scale battle (with 50 -100 models) with good rules that I could use my Space Marines. I was attempting to create my own but it really is a huge amount of work and got derailed to playing and developing Epic instead :).

starlight
08-02-2010, 07:35
It wasn't supposed to fix anything...it was just supposed to legitimise playing larger games and provide some added infrastructure...mostly applicable to longer term gamers... :)

Hena
08-02-2010, 08:28
Well I do consider that I'm a long term player. I've played same army from RT onwards, though no longer play due to rules :).

IJW
08-02-2010, 09:58
I still think Apocalypse was about lowering their on hand inventory levels through bulk box sales
Surely that would have meant repackaging of existing product, given that most of the bulk boxes were in different newly designed packaging? Not very cost/time effective. :(


I don't see Apocalypse being any better for an old gamer as such.
As Starlight pointed out, Apocalypse isn't about being 'better' for old gamers, but there are plenty of things like Vortex and Anti-Plant which only really make sense to older gamers who remember them from the first time around.

Personally, I think the biggest 'benefit' of Apoc has been to encourage people to move away from the tournament mentality and go more towards free-form narrative play which is where 40k has always been at it's best. That it happened in an expansion that encourages people to buy more would be a commercial decision, of course.

static grass
08-02-2010, 10:51
But that's not what he's sayinng at all. He's saying that new rules get released with a power boost in order to sell models, you're saying that they've changed their minds, which sounds far more likel gw, changing something because it seemed like a good plan right at that moment.



You have not understood what I wrote. Cavalry have gotten better and BETTER with each new army book release. Thus they are getting a powerboost to sell more models.

One one side after DoC, VC and DE came out the power level has subsided. Lizardmen have their crazy dinos whilst Skaven I think are not quite as powerful as Lizzies (about the same). However... there was no way they could have continued their power creep at that rate. Given the cries for help over DoC, I think even the most hardnosed GW stock holder would realise that GW was about to canibalise their game inorder to sell some minis now.

This is what codex creep focuses on: Getting people to buy new armies in order to be competitive. This is not only a tourney thing. In a small circle of friends you might be the only TK player and your friends all play VC or DE. After a while you might tire of not being able to give your friends a good game and so buy a skaven army too.

Don't forget over the last 2-3 years GW has for a company of 300? employees has made virtually no profit. Their volumes of sales fall whilst their prices go up. They needed the cash. Cash comes from people buying figures. Well if the studio was told to make sure people would buy the new army (looking at you DoC) then they would.

Verm1s
08-02-2010, 18:36
I don't see Apocalypse being any better for an old gamer as such. It doesn't fix the major problem (that I anyway have) with 40k. Namely rules. It only actually makes it worse.

For larger armies Epic is much much better as a game.

No argument here, but I know adults who love 40K and apoc. They get to push a lot more uberleet space marines and FW titans about the table. It might be a deplorable situation in our view, but it's a real one. ;)

Pink Horror
08-02-2010, 20:10
Personally, I think the biggest 'benefit' of Apoc has been to encourage people to move away from the tournament mentality and go more towards free-form narrative play which is where 40k has always been at it's best. That it happened in an expansion that encourages people to buy more would be a commercial decision, of course.

Yes, this is what I was thinking. There's no reason why free-form narrative play and commercialism cannot go together. :D

Lord Inquisitor
08-02-2010, 21:53
Personally, I think the biggest 'benefit' of Apoc has been to encourage people to move away from the tournament mentality and go more towards free-form narrative play which is where 40k has always been at it's best. That it happened in an expansion that encourages people to buy more would be a commercial decision, of course.

Absolutely, the Apocalypse "rules" was to me and to many a slap in the face saying "you don't need to follow the FOC you know!". More than that, it was a way of saying, "Hey, want to have a fun sort of game and I'll bring some crazy stuff like a titan or something" in shorthand. We got in a sort of funk where bringing Forgeworld or homegrown units was seen as sort of cheating even in friendly games. Well, now there's one word for that sort of thing - hey, how about a game of Apocalypse? - and both players know what the deal is and to approach it in a fun rather than ultra-competitive manner (hopefully!).

I think Apoc was an excellent addition to the game, even to hoary old gamers like us. I think the 3000-points-plus "rule" was something of a mistake, they made Apoc too much about HUGE games when I thought the really important part was far more the mindset that attended such games.

Gen.Steiner
09-02-2010, 10:02
There's no reason why free-form narrative play and commercialism cannot go together.

STILLMAN WAS RIGHT!!

All hail Stillman! Stillmania lives!

lanrak
09-02-2010, 10:48
Hi all.
Just going to agree that when free form narrative play is promoted as the driving force behind minature sales it works very well.(Old GW pre plc days did very well out of this.)

When GW plc focus changed to 'instructing' customers , rather than 'inspiring' them , it all sort of went wrong IMO.

JackBurton01
09-02-2010, 12:50
I never realized how little they do in sales. 100 million a year is nothing. That has to be wrong they would not even bother if that was the case. Does anyone know how much they really sale a year? A good walmart store will sale 120 million on it's own.

frozenwastes
09-02-2010, 13:30
Well, it is in British Pounds. So that 100 million is really more around 160 million. So the same as one good Walmart location rather than an average one.

GW is a small fry. They may be the biggest current miniatures maker, but they're still a small fry.

IJW
09-02-2010, 13:30
Jack, I don't think you realise how tiny a niche market tabletop wargames are. ;)

Anyway, in the 2009 report it was 125.7m which is a fair amount more than $100m - at today's exchange rate it's about $195m. Given that GW are about ten times the size of their nearest competitor, that gives you an idea how big the whole market is. :(

frozenwastes
09-02-2010, 13:42
Given that GW are about ten times the size of their nearest competitor, that gives you an idea how big the whole market is. :(

I don't think it's a bad thing.

While I would love it if everyone would take the time to realize how much fun and joy they could have if they just painted and played with miniatures, I think the best model for the hobby/industry is at more of a cottage industry level. And with the internet that's even more viable. It's never been easier for a customer to get in touch with so many different small miniature makers. Small press rules have started to take off in that way as well.

What GW definitely has going for it though, is their complete package approach. Unfortunately, they've decided to sacrifice the integrity of the rules portion of the package to sell more miniatures. The end result is that they've created a product that is actually harder to get into than easier. And one where the rules actively devalue your purchases in the hopes that you'll buy more to make up for it.

JackBurton01
09-02-2010, 14:36
Frozen wastes makes my point for me if you are only doing 160 in sales you really should not be trying to run at a corporate level. There is just way to much overhead. Are we sure they didn't make 160 in profit? That would fit Gw alot better. That would be about 20 supercenters or one region which makes a lot more sense to me.

frozenwastes
09-02-2010, 14:50
Nope, check their financial statements. It's total revenue.

Kirby was actually featured in the financial media as one of the most overpayed CEOs in the world relative to the performance of his company.

GW = tiny.

And you're right, running it with the administrative layer of a multinational corp is a huge waste of money.

IJW
09-02-2010, 17:24
Technically, they are a multinational corporation, given that they are incorporated and operate on a multinational basis. ;)

frozenwastes
09-02-2010, 18:13
We're getting into off topic land here. The thread is about how the rules are not about good game play but are instead about sales/marketing.

To tie it back to that topic, I'd say that GW operating with a full multinational admin layer is one of the reasons for such an approach. There's a reason Kirby was widely criticized for pulling millions in bonuses out of the company while their sales continued to decline. If they really want to know where the money went to pay the dividend that they cut, Kirby's bank account is the first place to look.

GW has extra overhead that prevents them from being a game company that sells through established distribution channels. So instead of concentrating on making a game that is worth playing, they concentrate on selling the idea of a complete hobby where the rules are there to sell models rather than to provide the best possible game experience.

bert n ernie
09-02-2010, 21:30
Kirby was actually featured in the financial media as one of the most overpayed CEOs in the world relative to the performance of his company.

Link please :)

If it was only about having the whole package then I don't think GW would exactly be there. I do agree that that's the way it's being sold right now, but even though players have been trying other games(those that started with GW ones) it seems to me that the huge number of options is almost helping GW in a weird way. It means that there is no mass exodus (from what I'm aware of) of gamers straight to one particular game, which would make that game a very large, obvious and direct competition to the GW games. Instead these gamers are going for all the games mentioned here, which will make the growth of any one of those games (to the extent of rivaling GW) take longer than if there was very few.

Pink Horror
09-02-2010, 22:54
Kirby was actually featured in the financial media as one of the most overpayed CEOs in the world relative to the performance of his company.


Link please :)

Seconded. :)

Chaos and Evil
09-02-2010, 23:34
Seconded. :)

I recall the article he's mentioning, but can't be bothered to go look it up. :angel:


...instead of concentrating on making a game that is worth playing, they concentrate on selling the idea of a complete hobby where the rules are there to sell models rather than to provide the best possible game experience.
Agreed.

IJW
09-02-2010, 23:36
GW has extra overhead that prevents them from being a game company that sells through established distribution channels.
I'll take a wild stab in the dark and guess that you're not in the UK.

There IS no established distribution channel here apart from GW, because GW drove the vast majority of independent games shops* in the UK out of business in the late Eighties and the Nineties.

*Whether this was through being better than the competition or though more underhand means is irrelevant - all that matters at this point is that indies here are few and far between...

bert n ernie
10-02-2010, 01:03
To add to your point IJW, there are some non-gamer toy shops in the UK and Ireland which I have encountered that used to sell GW products, but no longer do. This is because they felt that as soon as the products started to sell well a Games Workshop was set up nearby to steal all of their customers.
However I only have information from 4 toymasters and related toy shops, so perhaps it is only that company/franchise that felt slighted.
So an even smaller channel.

Lord of Worms
10-02-2010, 02:50
To add to your point IJW, there are some non-gamer toy shops in the UK and Ireland which I have encountered that used to sell GW products, but no longer do. This is because they felt that as soon as the products started to sell well a Games Workshop was set up nearby to steal all of their customers.
However I only have information from 4 toymasters and related toy shops, so perhaps it is only that company/franchise that felt slighted.
So an even smaller channel.

This sort of thing happened here in Toronto. Many FLGS used to stock GW, but now practically none do. Whenever I ask, when I go to a new one I get this look from them like "what, are you out of your mind"? They seem to act as though dealing with GW is suicidal or something.

frozenwastes
10-02-2010, 05:00
Seconded. :)


I recall the article he's mentioning, but can't be bothered to go look it up. :angel:


Sorry guys, but my google-fu is failing me. I looked with various terms for about 10 minutes. Here's what you can do though, you can look through their annual reports for the amount paid to Kirby in bonuses and total itself up yourself. Then look at it in terms of percentage of revenue and profit and then compare that to what CEOs are paid at other companies. What you'll find is that Kirby got bonused at a staggering rate. In terms of pounds/dollars, he took on the same level as the CEO of Walmart, but in terms of percent of revenue or percent of profit, he took hundred of times what the CEO of Walmart took (after all, GW's revenue represents about a couple Walmart's annual sales even during the LOTR height).

These are all publicly filed documents if you want to check out the numbers for yourself.


I'll take a wild stab in the dark and guess that you're not in the UK.

There IS no established distribution channel here apart from GW, because GW drove the vast majority of independent games shops* in the UK out of business in the late Eighties and the Nineties.

*Whether this was through being better than the competition or though more underhand means is irrelevant - all that matters at this point is that indies here are few and far between...

Yes, sorry, you are right. I should have specified that such an approach would be for North America.

starlight
10-02-2010, 05:19
Nanaimo? Why there...?

:p

You should check in when you're in the neighbourhood... :p

frozenwastes
10-02-2010, 06:44
Got some friends there. I'll also be heading down to Victoria. I also used to live in Vancouver, so I'll be going there as well. I'm traveling for a while before I pick a place to live. First stop is Nanaimo, but it's not necessarily where I'll end up. I'm just counting the days because well, I'm in Winnipeg. :wtf:

I read in some old posts that you were in the process of developing some sort of gaming club. Any progress with that? How is Victoria for gaming? Any good indy stores?

starlight
10-02-2010, 07:13
Sadly all the indies that I know of have either gone under or don't carry GW anymore. Drop Zone in Nanaimo is supposed to be okay, if a bit snooty. South of that...not much... :(

The gaming club (store actually) got put on hold, where it remains...for now...

frozenwastes
10-02-2010, 09:04
I've always thought that the best model was the club model. People who work together to make terrain, find a suitable place to play and take charge of their hobby on a non-commercial basis. These activities can all be funded by what is saved by ordering online. Perhaps this could be integrated into a co-op/buying group model. If you want to grab coffee or something when I'm in Victoria, send a PM my way.

I know what you mean about Drop Zone. I called there a while back as I was interested in exploring the gaming scene at possible relocation sites. He told me some pretty interesting things. Sound like the community surrounding his store has some bizarre characteristics. I'll reserve judgment as to whether or not Drop Zone puts the F in FLGS until I've actually been there though.

Chaos and Evil
10-02-2010, 11:59
Sorry guys, but my google-fu is failing me. I looked with various terms for about 10 minutes. Here's what you can do though, you can look through their annual reports for the amount paid to Kirby in bonuses and total itself up yourself.

This is the article I recall: http://www.fool.co.uk/qualiport/2005/qualiport050726.htm

Not from the financial times, but from "fool.co.uk" a stock investment research website.

And a related article: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-12348045-fat-cat-pay-still-soaring.do

I can't find a mention of Tom Kirby in the financial times in the same kind of context, I think perhaps you're also remembering the article from "fool.co.uk" and thinking that it was from the FT.


Sadly all the indies that I know of have either gone under or don't carry GW anymore.
The nearest indy to me that sells GW games and also has gaming tables is about 100 miles away.

frozenwastes
10-02-2010, 12:53
I don't think I mentioned the Financial Times. I think I said "financial press" as in press/news related to finance. I remember the fool article, but I also remember another one from a larger paper.

I'd just like to say that Kirby's pay was the result of his efforts. He did lead the buy out and transformation of GW into a global company. He did lead the LOTR licensing push. GW made a ton of money because of him. I think he was overcompensated for it (enough to make "fat cat" lists) though.

The main reason I think he was overcompensated for it is that while LOTR was going on, GW was cranking up prices and seeing falling non-LOTR sales. So Kirby is also the one who made GW "fat and lazy" (his words) as well as the one who has contributed the most to their falling unit sales and their current undesirable approach, which brings us back to the subject of the thread.

GW has reached a place in their business model where game play quality isn't a priority for them.

ashc
10-02-2010, 14:03
Thanks Chaos and Evil, makes for interesting stuff.

starlight
10-02-2010, 23:57
I've always thought that the best model was the club model. People who work together to make terrain, find a suitable place to play and take charge of their hobby on a non-commercial basis. These activities can all be funded by what is saved by ordering online. Perhaps this could be integrated into a co-op/buying group model. If you want to grab coffee or something when I'm in Victoria, send a PM my way.

I know what you mean about Drop Zone. I called there a while back as I was interested in exploring the gaming scene at possible relocation sites. He told me some pretty interesting things. Sound like the community surrounding his store has some bizarre characteristics. I'll reserve judgment as to whether or not Drop Zone puts the F in FLGS until I've actually been there though.

Will do. :)

Melchiah (http://www.warseer.com/forums/member.php?u=9488) is local to Nanaimo and knows Drop Zone if you want a customer's view... :)