Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is the end... Games Workshop, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K

Much has been stated, written, shouted, and screamed about Games Workshop and their business practices. Whether you like them or not they are the premiere company that produces lavish miniatures and gaming rules covering many genres and scales. The prevailing attitude is you either deal with them or you don’t. Love  them or leave them.  

Well, I am no longer dealing. Others of course are free to do as they will and more power to them and that’s the great aspect of this hobby is that there’s room for everyone to do their own thing.

Or not to. And that’s why I’m bidding GW farewell. Rather than launch into a prattling diatribe, here are my reasons written as succinctly as possible:

Price Increases. With the recent across the board price increases and subsequent release of Warhammer 40K sixth edition, it was seemingly felt by a great many gamers that a line had been crossed by Games Workshop this time.  Prices were already getting out of hand. I mean who would really pay $49.50 for this:

Obnoxious sales associates at GW stores. If you have ever stepped into one of their retail stores, the experience is literally like you are buying a car circa 1954. Sales associates will swarm all over you and WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ALONE even after repeated statements that you wish to browse or just be left alone. If I wanted attention like that I would slather myself in chum and dive into Amity waters with Matt Hooper.

Unbalanced gameplay. This one is completely subjective but since this is my space I can say whatever the hell I want. Having played the various incarnations over the years, I think Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k is designed to be unbalanced. It is also my belief that this was done on purpose to promote more product buying. If one side gets a more powerful unit then just simply go out and purchase more units to counter. Or wait until your side gets a newly produced unit that can match that other one. Regardless, its buy buy buy. Well now its bye bye bye for me. Also, is it me or does it seem that these games are simply line up your forces on opposite sides of the board and rush to the center as quickly as possible and then slug it out? Stonewall Jackson would be appalled. Or even McClellan.

Finecast. This was truly the breaking point for me. After purchasing a Finecast model, there were several flaws in it. Okay, that happens. I exchanged it and got another one. And guess what? More flaws – worse than the first model. After another exchange I finally inquired what the story was with this new and improved miniature manufacturing process. I was told by an associate that GW is fully aware of the issues and has no plans to fix them but encourages exchanges. Huh? What about my time and gas money being wasted?  If that’s an actual business practice then whoever dreamed that up probably thought New Coke was a grand idea.

So this is goodbye to GW. That is not to say that I won’t play games made by other companies using their intellectual properties. Fantasy Flight Games does a great job with the Warhammer Fantasy license with their fine card game Warhammer Invasion.  Check it out sometime. And feel secure in the knowledge that you can play Warhammer Invasion with just the core set – you never have to buy anything else if you don’t want to and the game plays fine.


  1. Started in the early '90s when they decided to sell purely in-house products virtually wiping out the gaming hobby across the UK in one fell swoop which was cynical.

    Then to stop selling WFRP for obviously cynical profit related reasonale thus denying any High St avenue to role-playing whuch was immoral.

    The last straw for me was stopping production of Epic for no discernable reason at all which was, for me, plain insulting.

    Nothing that they now do suprises me in the slightest!!

    1. Agreed. Hopefully they will self destruct soon.

  2. I've really only been in a GW store once, and at that point I had no idea what they were. "Ooh, a game store in the mall? I gotta check this out...." I remember feeling rather awkward as the adolescent sales associate and his fellow miniature-painters just kind of watched me out of the corner of their eyes. No hard-sell or anything, just a sinking feeling like I'd just walked in to some place I didn't belong. When I found out later what their racket was, I was glad I didn't stick around any longer. I, too, will drink a toast to their quick (and painful!) demise.