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.
I’d love to see their justification for this this time around, because generally the spin they put on what is essentially their own doom (TM) is usually laughable. I think last time it was ‘…Erm, the cost of ink has gone up so we’re slapping an extra £2 on books…’
Now I say their own doom because essentially this is fast becoming a possibility. It saddens me greatly as a die hard GW fan, but price rises seem to be coming too frequently, and they are now in my humble opinion, reaching ludicrous proportions. Sure, it doesn’t price me out of buying GW stuff. But there is something within everyone’s shopping brain which assesses fairness and whether prices are reasonable, and I imagine many people are already past a threshold here. People who are in the know with non-GW games realised the extent of the cost differences between GW games and ‘old man pipe and slippers’ wargaming years ago. This is a shame, because GW on the whole make some excellent products. Unfortunately it takes two to play a game of 40k, and I don’t want the hassle of having to cross an ocean for a gaming session with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
Rumours have circulated around the Internet for some time regarding a Battle Missions book and Games Workshop finally acknowledged this with this weeks newsletter. It also provided some interesting previews for some new 40k models.
There was also a preview of a new Venerable Dreadnaught kit but as Space Marines are such a marginalised and rarely faced opponent I didn’t bother posting anything up. I look forward to the battle missions book as there will be stuff in there specifically catered to the individual armies which will make for some interesting games. However, I feel the major need here is to address the pricing that GW have slapped on these new models. Now, I have some Orks and although I am a big supporter of the “moar boyz” approach to problem solving that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate some armour. I have two Killa Kans already and they have performed admirably for me, however, there just isn’t room for them in my current list. The new box contains 3 for £27 and I consider this to be good value, I consider the Ravener box to be pricey for what you get but maybe this is just down to the points values of the respective units. Three gribbly alien gophers cost a lot less than three stompy grot dustbins so my perception of price is more favourable when looking at the Kans.
However, we have a problem when it comes to the Deff Dread. I do not own one currently, the £35 price tag puts me off considering what it’s worth in-game. Although I own three Greater Daemons which cost the same kind of price… go figure. Now, brace yourselves, this plastic kit is……….. £30, a massive five-pound saving on the current metal figure. It’s a nice looking model but at that price point I still find myself thinking I probably won’t get one. The normal Marine dread is £25 and I can stomach paying that but that slight increase just gives me pause. I am sure there are a raft of options on the sprues but I feel GW have missed a trick here. Had they priced it at £25 I reckon they’d have flown off the shelves, but now, even without considering the general expense making an Ork army incurs, I don’t think people are going to rush out and buy it. I have the funds if I wanted to but it’s £30, I can take my wife out for dinner for that much or get a full-sized unit of something for the same price. Maybe I’m just wired wrong but it is not much cheaper enough than the metal one to make me stand up and get over to the local gaming store to grab one. I can definitely see me increasing my Kan contingent though, 9 in 1500pts could be interesting.