This weekend followers of the Sherriff’s plan to drain the world of all money sicked up in their mouths a little when they popped open the official site to see just what all the fuss was about with the rumoured zombie pirate board game release. Please note that this particular writer was in no way consulted despite my obvious undead swashbuckling credentials!
For the princely sum of £70 you can be the
proud owner of the newest product on the GW block, Dreadfleet. This is going to be another one-off, limited edition release similar to what we saw with Space Hulk, except that this game doesn’t have the cult following, nor the reputation that exists for Space Hulk. Oh, and you can’t use the miniatures from this for any other game either. It’s also not a rehash of Man O War so you can’t use that to judge it.
To be fair I obviously haven’t played the game, although I have watched Pirates of the Caribbean which this seems to be ripping off quite heavily. Therefore much of what I have to say may reek of bile or some kind of pathological hatred for Games Workshop. However, I do have a nice Dark Eldar army and have recently purchased some of the new Ogre goodies (Internet discounted of course) so I am not exactly a massive detractor. What I do object to is something that is this expensive! Space Hulk was £60, had figures you could use in Warhammer 40,000, had a number of missions to play and an already established name. I see a lot of people out there in Webland creaming over the quality of this set. We already now that GW pride themselves on the quality of their releases (yes, we are not forgetting about Failcast) so that should be no surprise. People are also touting that other board games are also £70, yes they are, but the difference is that those other board games get continuing support and expansions, something that will not happen with Mortgagefleet. The only other game I’d look at in this price bracket with a view to purchase would be Dust: Tactics a game that you can add to and expand which therefore changes what you play. I get the impression that Dreadfleet is going to get very samey and there are other naval wargames out there. Spartan Games prides itself on naval wargaming and you’d get a lot for your £70 although you’d have to provide your own terrain in that respect.
Personally I find solving a Rubik’s cube easier than figuring out how GW comes out with ideas and prices. There are still a number of army books for their core games that are in desperate need of an update and they’ve obviously put in a good number of hours coming up with this. If the rumoured 35,000 units is to be believed that would earn GW and little under £2.5 million if they all sold. Imagine what they could get from an army release? You’ve got a £20 army book for a start at minimum, then all the extra kits you’d sell for the new units etc… I reckon you’d eclipse that figure in short order.
I’m not against these little diversions but you know that after a couple of spreads in White Dwarf nothing will be heard of this game ever again, it will fade into obscurity like so many that have come before it. The only real value I personally see in this is to pick up a copy, hold onto it for a while and then resell it. However, even that is risky because this isn’t like Space Hulk where the following is there to start with. A lot of what I have been reading from other people seems to be the same lack of interest that I myself feel towards this. It may be a really cool game but I don’t see it coming out all that often after the initial fun and then people will just go back to their regular gaming. Perhaps that is what the Sherriff wants? You drop £70 on something you’ll play twice, forget about and then go back to buying ludicrously expensive Mattel grade resin.
GW really do baffle me, they are sitting on a potential gold mine with their market presence but they make questionable decisions that we can see from their financials are reducing their profits. There are many people who would love to see a return of the olden day GW classics, Man o War, Necromunda et al but GW won’t do this, they produce three core lines that they will give floor space to and that is it. They’ll probably sell out of these boxes which is an obvious win for GW so I should just shut up, but I think they could be doing more with their time and doing better things overall.
Dreadfleet, so scary my wallet won’t come out of my pocket!