Games Workshop – The Universal Language of Wargamers

Games Workshop HQ Nottingham

So the recent threat of further price hikes, generally above the level of inflation by GW is nothing new. This is something that has happened pretty much every year to us gamers. Fortunately, GW products tend to be pretty good, enjoyable and liked by many people.

One problem with the wargaming community as a whole is that there are a million and one rulesets for every million gamers. GW games tend to be universal. If I collect a 40k army, I can take it pretty much anywhere where games are played and find an opponent. This is a pretty rare occurance in wargaming generally.

For example, the first ruleset of Napoleonic battles I played was ‘In The Grand Manner’, which I played for several years at my club. The next club I joined insisted upon ‘Age of Eagles’, but even this was not the favourite ruleset for these type of games, and there was much heated debate as to the one of many rulesets the club should adopt. New county, new club, and they don’t even play Napoleonics. But every single one of those clubs played Warhammer or 40k. GW products are the same wherever you are, and while the ‘pipe and slippers’ wargamers may publically decry GW as kids stuff, secretly all of them either own or have owned a GW force.

I think GW actually do the community as a whole a massive service. They, and they alone, promote wargaming to the world. Their intellectual properties, tie-ins with other media are all obviously self promoting, but ultimately bring wargaming to people’s attention. And lets not forget their stores – I doubt severely whether these outlets seriously make any money due to internet sales. The stores take people in, teach them to play, teach them to model and paint and run gaming sessions. I suspect this is why their products are so expensive – they have massive store overheads to cover. But as a result, when we buy GW products we aren’t just buying a box of miniatures. We are buying guaranteed opponents and investing in the promotion of wargaming to new gamers through the promotions by GW stores and media. And this cannot be an entirely bad thing.