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"Maelstrom Games- Are they about to go bust?? " Topic

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1234567809 Nov 2012 12:39 p.m. PST

This does not reflect well on either Maelstrom or Wayland.

Maelstrom appear to have got themselves into around £150.00 GBPK of debt with this one supplier, so I wonder just how much they still owe in total. They have also managed to collapse the company in a way which leaves many customers out of pocket, and continued taking orders after they knew the company was going to fold, while leaving the owners free to continue their business under other names.

Wayland appear to have bought the debt in the knowledge that Maelstrom could not pay, this forcing the company into insolvency. The debt will probably have cost them about £50.00 GBPK to buy, which they will probably hope to recover quite rapidly from the disposal of Maelstrom's assests and the customers that they hope will come to them.

Pretty bad behaviour on both sides.

Shootmenow09 Nov 2012 1:51 p.m. PST

Well I'd already decided I wouldn't be purchasing anything from any of Maelstrom's 'offspring' companies and I'm now extending that to Wayland, who I've bought a considerable amount from in the past, so here's one former Maelstrom customer they won't be inheriting!

(Another Loser)09 Nov 2012 2:33 p.m. PST

You can see Wayland's response at.
PDF link

Drillmaster09 Nov 2012 3:05 p.m. PST

Thanks for the advice – I suspect that for many of us, the court fees for a money Claim will basically overtake the money owed – unless it is possible for a group of the 'conned' to submit a joint claim of a size that will actually scare the 'Names' of Maelstrom.

1234567809 Nov 2012 3:06 p.m. PST

Wayland's response = male bovine excrement.

GrumpyOldWargamer09 Nov 2012 3:07 p.m. PST

An interesting slant on things 'we were only trying to protect the customer'!

Sending an e-mail is not a very professional approach to buying a business even in this day and age.

Looks like they couldn't make Maelstrom jump so they gave them a push instead!

Drillmaster09 Nov 2012 3:11 p.m. PST

Well at least the Maelstrom websit now spells it out!

frogimus09 Nov 2012 3:33 p.m. PST

Silence over at BoW. Funny how they wrote an article about how to deal with a gaming store going under link in the midst of this. Do you think they were aware of their partner's involvement? Bit of egg on their face

Guthroth09 Nov 2012 4:16 p.m. PST

A nasty way to get rid of the competition.

No more business for them from me.

Volleyfire10 Nov 2012 3:43 a.m. PST

You think a phone call and/or meeting in person to put their case forward to Maelstrom would have been a more businesslike way of going about things. I think an unsolicited email would just make the other party more bloody minded and determined to carry on whatever the cost personally.

HumorousConclusion10 Nov 2012 3:51 a.m. PST

What about Simple miniatures role in all this? If Maelstrom's statement is true, they sold the debt on to Wayland without telling Maelstrom and they must have had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen.

Dropship Horizon10 Nov 2012 4:21 a.m. PST

Read the Wayland Games statement above and all I can say is that you owe me two boxes of Perry Mounted Men at Arms!

(Stolen Name)10 Nov 2012 4:49 a.m. PST

Very bad situation Waylands statement as to why they got involved in someone eleses business seems not to ring true to me.
I too will not be buying from Wayland or Maeltroms offshoots

scrivs10 Nov 2012 6:05 a.m. PST

I'm more inclined now to never buy a thing off of Wayland Games and to continue to support the off shoots of Maelstrom.

kevanG10 Nov 2012 6:25 a.m. PST

Let me get this right.

Company B doesnt pays its suppliers…

Company A does pay its suppliers.

Company A and B are competitors and use the same suppliers.

Suppliers struggle because company B doesnt pay them…and probably survive because company A and others do. While not paying them they spend money…that is the suppliers money, of course, on developing their own product to compete with the same said suppliers!

Company A steps in and saves their struggling supplier(s?) by buying the debt and offers to buy company B out guaranteeing payment to all their mutual suppliers….company B ignore it… Company A then calls in the debt to stop company B from continuing to run up more supplier threatening debt….Thats their suppliers too.

If some people cannot see the difference in what was being done here and especially if you are a punter who bought from company B's "sale" , I would consider that act as more reprehensable than anything done by company A.

Anyone Boycotting Wayland games needs a good slap of reality.

"Read the Wayland Games statement above and all I can say is that you owe me two boxes of Perry Mounted Men at Arms!"

Maelstrom rejected that offer didnt they?…and if I bought 2 boxes of perry stuff, I would like to think the perry's had been paid something for them.

you lost discounted cost for 2 boxes worth…some people in the supplier's companies could have been losing their house!…and wayland basically bought something they knew they were likely going to lose out on.

1234567810 Nov 2012 7:12 a.m. PST

kevanG, that only works if you take the Wayland statement at face value. Also, where did Wayland "guarantee payment to all their mutual suppliers"?

Mark Watson10 Nov 2012 7:29 a.m. PST

Well said, kevanG. Anyone thinking Wayland effectively took out a competitor should bear in mind:

- Maelstrom had sold down all their stock and don't seem to have had a mechanism for replenishing it. The sell-down was ostensibly to replenish stock and fulfil orders. I'd be interested to know what supply orders have ever been placed with the money raised.

- The highest margin goods and services had already been moved to separate but connected (shared directors) companies (Mierce Miniatures and Eye of the Storm, renamed Mansfield Games in Oct 12) some time before these steps were taken. So Maelstrom were also effectively cutting off their own cash-flow on any goods they themselves did not have to supply.

Maelstrom had no way of returning to a position whereby they could be an effective competitor to Wayland. Whatever else has happened here, Wayland have not "taken out" a competitor.

I have no interest in or relationship with Wayland, and was a customer of Maelstrom (my credit card company has re-credited the outstanding orders).

"I'm more inclined now to never buy a thing off of Wayland Games and to continue to support the off shoots of Maelstrom."

You're kidding, right? Just ask yourself where all the money for these outstanding customer orders has gone, if not to the suppliers. Salaries?

Petrov10 Nov 2012 9:11 a.m. PST

So did Wayland just try to take over so there isn't a flood of cheap inventory from creditor auctions?*

Please not I am not implying this but asking, yes I am a little dense and trying to read between the lines here.

Phillip Forge10 Nov 2012 9:28 a.m. PST

So Maelstrom Games owed Simple Miniature Games £100.00 GBPK. How much did they owe other suppliers? For example, how much do Maelstrom Games owe Warlord Games, North Star, Esdevium, Mantic and Games Workshop? Their last financial statement, published April 2012, suggests debts of £567.00 GBPK.

madaxeman10 Nov 2012 9:30 a.m. PST

If Maelstrom had inventory they presumably wouldn't have been in so much trouble for so long…

Even though the Wayland statement seems a little clunky, the more I see and read about it on this and other forums the more I start to suspect that Wayland did the right thing.

Everyone can have an opinion about the motives, but the facts in the public domain are that Maelstrom owed their suppliers over half a million quid by earlier this year and the people behind Maelstrom have been setting up new, legally unconnected entities to trade in the same product lines for the past few months.

I personally find it hard to draw any conclusions from that other than Maelstrom have been a zombie company for some time, many folks in the supplier community in the UK had been extending too much credit to Maelstrom, and they were all probably on the point of taking a bath when Maelstrom put into action an exit plan they had clearly been setting up for some time.

If Wayland have forced the issue and brought this to a head sooner than it inevitably would have done anyway, and they have given one of the suppliers (at a guess) something in the region of £60.00 GBPk that they wouldn't otherwise have seen in the process, well fair play to them.

Petrov10 Nov 2012 9:42 a.m. PST

You folks in UK should find out who the owners are and what companies they run so you dont get burned again. Spread the word.

kevanG10 Nov 2012 9:47 a.m. PST

face value? Has there been any denial?

"Also, where did Wayland "guarantee payment to all their mutual suppliers"?

It was all suppliers….not just the mutual ones.

"In early May we decided to offer to buy Maelstrom Games, including honouring all liabilities for the business. Our email was ignored."

"I'm more inclined now to never buy a thing off of Wayland Games and to continue to support the off shoots of Maelstrom."

I think you may find that somewhat more difficult than you imagine as I would suspect that a lot of 'burnt' suppliers may be less than happy to supply them. These may be people who may be suffering an awful lot of sudden financial stress

Natholeon10 Nov 2012 11:40 a.m. PST

Wayland Games – good, fast service from a company trying to make a profit (shock horror), and who have put their case upfront.
Maelstrom Games – previously good service from a company that couldn't run itself properly and knowingly took 300 pounds worth of orders from a buddy of mine when they were about to go bust (this was just before the fire-sale e-mails).

I will continue to support Wayland even more now. I would not go anywhere near Maelstrom or its off-shoots. Those thinking Wayland are the bad guys here are being disingenuous.

Natholeon10 Nov 2012 11:47 a.m. PST

And this from the Wyrd forum from Simple Miniatures Games who are the suppliers for many of the popular lines in the UK:

Statement Regarding Maelstrom Games Ltd
On the 1st October we made the difficult decision to assign the debt owed to Simple Miniature Games to Wayland Games Ltd for a nominal fee.

This debt at the point sold stood at just under £100,000.00 GBP and has been outstanding at that level and higher for over 12 months. This debt built up during a short space of time during the busiest period in our 10 year history just after significant amounts had been paid for other invoices. Promises were made to clear a large portion of the debt within a short space of time but that payment never materialised. A repayment plan was then agreed which should have seen the debt reduced significantly beyond the point that it actually has been. Unfortunately many of these payments were consistently declined and at the last the payments were continually declined.

It was around this point in conjunction with our reading into the accounts of Maelstrom Games that we contacted debt recovery and debt purchase specialists in order to take further action and begin the recovery of assets to cover some the debt.

Demands for the reimbursement of the failed payments and for payment of stock supplied on the 12th September for Maelstrom Games customer orders were completely ignored. As such on October 1st 2012 the debt was sold to the company which offered the best solution, not immediately for us, but for what I considered the best long term solution for our industry in the UK. We chose Wayland Games as they have a vested interest in the hobby and industry and will offer better protection to potential customers, suppliers and manufacturers, other companies would not.

We have continued to trade as normal during the entire period of this debt and continue to order from our suppliers and pay them on time. Maelstrom Games are only one customer out of several dozen and our whole customer base is far, far greater than any one company.

You should understand that Simple Miniature Games have supported Maelstrom through the last year even though we knew they were struggling but with our support they would continue to trade. However there are only so many broken promises that you can listen to and it became perfectly clear that assets of Maelstrom Games were being moved to other companies that had been funded by monies which should have been paid to suppliers including ourselves. There was no way Maelstrom Games could pay the debt and it would appear that steps were being taken to avoid the debts and protect other assets.

This debt has not adversely affected Simple Miniature Games as a company as we can afford to continue to trade with this debt outstanding due to the reliability of our customer base and strong product lines. It has however affected myself and my wife personally as the reserves we have built over 10 years of hard work have had to cover the debt. It was always our intention to use around half of this profit to expand our warehouse and bring in another two or three new ranges including manufacturing our own. However this will now have to wait whilst we consolidate and build up the reserves for our future once again.

link: link

So tell me again how Wayland are the bad guys and Eye-of-the-storm etc should be supported?

kevanG10 Nov 2012 12:32 p.m. PST


As I now undersand it…..

A company runs up a half mill of debts in the wargames industry..

One guy accepts a loss of 100k …sets his own company back years…. so that someone else can try to take over a company and accept its indebtedness such that it writes off his own companies profit for the years it takes to get back into the black and paying all the original maelstrom debts…..Well obviously, these guys should get slaughtered over that!..and we should obviously support the phoenix company that did the ripping off….because they are the good guys.

After boycotting wayland games, maybe we could start a lynch mob to get mother teresa…or we could get real

Volleyfire10 Nov 2012 12:54 p.m. PST

Moving assets to other companies when you know that the company they are being stripped from is going down the pan is fraud and whoever at Maelstrom was doing it should have their collar felt.

Goose66610 Nov 2012 1:00 p.m. PST

Thanks for the advice I suspect that for many of us, the court fees for a money Claim will basically overtake the money owed unless it is possible for a group of the 'conned' to submit a joint claim of a size that will actually scare the 'Names' of Maelstrom.

The cost of making the application is small and if you win, which frankly you should as they have failed to fullfill their obligation or refund, then these costs plus expences are charged back fully with your claim by the court, to you.

So don't worry.. UK Money claim is basically the swift online version of the small claims court. It is the only way you will get your money back, if the business goes insolvement.

However Maelstroms games statement means it was knowingly taking money when it could not hope to fullfill orders, that is illegal.

And criminal activity gets paid out before purchased debts. As victims of crime come first so i am told. So I would urge anyone who has orders out standing to lodge their claims quickly.

With regards to Wayland Games actions.. I can possibley see their motivation, but then it was upto the suppliers who were owed money to get the money back and cease trading with them, surely?? Not for a 3rd party to step in an buy the debt..

It smacks too much of a quick way to put a cometitor out of business.. which is a fair business move, but in a small community type market like ours, I can see them getting the blame from those who are left out of pocket.

It may not have been the wisest move. Better to have helped their suppliers to seek payment of the debt, than get involved. So hmmm..

Looks like a right old mess all round.

HumorousConclusion10 Nov 2012 1:02 p.m. PST

The more I read about this the worse Maelstrom appear. Shame, as I rather like a lot of the Bane legions miniatures. But there's no way I would trust Mierce miniatures at the moment.

GrumpyOldWargamer10 Nov 2012 2:02 p.m. PST

Who in their right mind would let a company have £100,000.00 GBP credit in our industry!

kevanG10 Nov 2012 2:03 p.m. PST

"It may not have been the wisest move. Better to have helped their suppliers to seek payment of the debt, than get involved. So hmmm.. "

As a creditor, they can pressurise the liquidator to pursue any asset stripping that has been done…can also comment about such assett value as they are the same business, and they can also bid to buy the remaining stock assets.

But exactly WHo put who out of business?….. Maelsrom could have appointed an adminisator to protect them from this type of action and their inaction says that they wanted this….They didnt want assets sold as a going concern..In fact they want no leftover assets at all to even pay a liquidator because that would leave the creditors to foot the bill or walk away wihout ever knowing if they have been ripped off by having assets syphoned off..Wayland has tried to stop this and has tried to secure the remaining assetts for the benefit of the creditors?

3rd party debt purchase is common….buy debt at 2p in the pound…. settle for 5 p in the pound on liquidation or 10p in the pound for a CVA. Of course, had there been a company purchase, Our chap was offering the creditors 100p in the pound. Unfortunately, they were not in administration even thought they probably should have been, since an administrator would have jumped at that deal.

(Another Loser)10 Nov 2012 2:48 p.m. PST

A company runs up a half mill of debts in the wargames industry.

That's chicken feed to what some football clubs owe ?
Wonder what these 2 would do if the banks called in the deubt ?

frogimus10 Nov 2012 2:50 p.m. PST

People are surprised that we question Wayland's motives? We're geeks – we invented conspiracy theory.

Goose66610 Nov 2012 3:50 p.m. PST

@frogimus – harsh but fair! :) LOL.

Shootmenow10 Nov 2012 4:04 p.m. PST

As I have posted previously, I think Maelstrom's behaviour towards their customers throughout this sad episode has been quite despicable. None of their offspring companies will get a penny from me. If others wish to offer them custom then that is a matter for them. However, I feel that the dressing up of Wayland's actions as somehow having a philanthropic motive is just silly. Wayland acted to protect their own business interests – nothing more and nothing less. They have not done anything illegal and time will tell whether it was an astute move but it was business, not philanthropy.

Gottmituns20510 Nov 2012 4:57 p.m. PST

You can't sweep your problems under the rug, and expect your foe's to play fair.

Maelstrom had it coming.

The venue is nice, but the food is garbage.

CorSecEng10 Nov 2012 9:19 p.m. PST

Purchasing the debt may have been a move to eliminate a large portion of the outstanding debt they would inherit if they did out right buy the company.

I'm not sure of all the dates on this because the "emails" where never given a time line.

If Wayland sees them floundering then they could have been aiming to grab Maelstrom for a song and liquidate it all. They can keep the important part (the website and customer base). I'd bet they didn't know about the life boat companies and shady stuff that was going on. They could have been just cutting their losses and forcing Maelstrom to cease their questionable activities before they could complete the transition.

This also shines a big light on the actions of Maelstrom and preemptively sinks the other companies before they can do it again.

kevanG11 Nov 2012 3:00 a.m. PST

"I'd bet they didn't know about the life boat companies and shady stuff that was going on."

if you read their statment, This is what triggered them buying the debt and then calling it in. The offer to buy he company would appear to have been before buying the debt.

There seems to be too much 'outrage' about stopping someone bhaving despicably because "I lost the value of my 20% discount purchase.'..combined wih the ignorance of what and who was actually putting the company under.

My sympathies lie 100% behind the suppliers.

former member11 Nov 2012 5:23 a.m. PST

Some Basic Information about Maelstrom Games Ltd and related business entities.

Maelstrom Games Ltd. (active company; registered 07/04/2003) has one listed Director Robert Lane. It has two listed Shareholders, Robert Lane and Jonathon Paul Price. Net Worth: -132,432 based on the accounts filed in 2012.
Maunsfield Gaming Ltd. (active company; registered20/06/2012) was previously known as EYE OF THE STORM (MANSFIELD) LIMITED and has one listed Director Robert Lane. Shareholder details are not yet listed. Accounts are required to be filed on or before 31/01/2014.
Penda Strategies Ltd. (active company; registered 15/06/2012) was known previously as Maelstrom Wargames Limited until 06/09/2012; Robert Lane is the only listed director. Shareholder details are not yet listed. Accounts are required to be filed on or before 31/01/2014.
Anglia Games Limited was registered 15/06/2012; Robert Lane appears to be a director.
Mierce Miniatures Ltd. was registered 26/02/2009; Robert Lane is the sole listed director. Shareholder details are not yet listed. Net Worth: £0.00 GBP, based on the accounts filed in 2012.
There is a dissolved Maelstrom Games Ltd.

Maelstrom Games Ltd., Anglia Games Ltd., Penda Strategies Ltd., Maunsfield Gaming Ltd. and Mierce Miniatures Ltd. share the same registered address:
NG18 3DH

Lardie the Great11 Nov 2012 6:48 a.m. PST

Maybe if GW had bought the debt instead of Wayland it would be seen as the kindly act Wayland intended, protecting the industry for all! three cheers?……….. never thought of the gaming industry being this machiavellian makes you wonder what goes on with big business.

Goose66611 Nov 2012 7:17 a.m. PST

Hmmm conspiracy, well here is one, what if.. ( and lunacy time, but hey, its funny.. what if???) GW, were working with maelstrom to deliberately run up a huge debt to take down some manufacturring competitors, without suffering the backlash..

Now that would be machiavellian .. :)

A cunning way to cripple/impair and cause trouble for, or even possibley put out of business, smaller makers/manufacturers.. of course I am sure GW wouldn't ever have considered such a move.. or would they?

At the end of the day, business is a ruthless thing most of the time.

Will the industry be better off after Wayland Games actions and the demise of Maelstrom.. guess time will tell.

HumorousConclusion11 Nov 2012 7:52 a.m. PST

I don't think you need to see Wayland's behaviour as philanthropic, just sensible and reasonable given the circumstances. Maelstrom's behaviour was hurting their suppliers, who were also Wayland's suppliers. Wayland has an obvious interest in protecting its suppliers.

kevanG11 Nov 2012 11:06 a.m. PST

Wayland Games actions have at most affected the timing of the demise of Maelstrom.. Maelstrom directors actions have caused the demise of Maelstrom

Lion in the Stars11 Nov 2012 12:54 p.m. PST

never thought of the gaming industry being this machiavellian makes you wonder what goes on with big business.
Well, usually big business is willing to take the initial buyout offer, instead of forcing someone to buy up all their debt and call it.

I'm less likely to call this dirty pool, having read a bit more. And I strongly encourage people that have lost money to Maelstrom to file criminal complaints with the UK authorities (and/or with the postal authorities in your country).

frogimus11 Nov 2012 1:12 p.m. PST

Personally, I see this as good reason to walk into a nearby shop, pick up one of the dusty boxes, pay full price, and actually have the item in hand that you just paid for. 2 or 3 months waiting for an online order? Who convinced you people that's the way to shop?

It's nice to have the online access to the things you can't get local. But if you're lucky enough to have a local shop, stop screwing over your local gaming group just to save a buck or 2. Yeah, group – cause everyone will suffer when the store folds.

Deadone11 Nov 2012 3:50 p.m. PST

It seems Wayland brought the debt as a killing blow to Maelstrom's flailing corpse.

Nick R11 Nov 2012 11:47 p.m. PST

I still want to know if suppliers, one in particular interests me being BF, are going to condone what is in reality a phoenix scheme and continue to supply any spin off of Maelstrom which operates from the same store, same principles, etc. Should the manufacturer actually care about there end customer and the ethics (or lack there of) of the middle man, I strongly suggest yes.

GrumpyOldWargamer12 Nov 2012 4:20 a.m. PST

The new Eye of the Storm has Battlefront/.Flames of War products listed so presumably the answer is yes they are going to supply the new entity.

But then again I believe the guy who runs BF Europe is big buddies with the director of Maelstrom/EotS!

Manflesh12 Nov 2012 6:51 a.m. PST

I can't understand why anyone blames Wayland for Maelstrom's demise. Maelstrom seemed to be doing a fine job of that themselves, and nuts to anyone who owed them money on the way.

Wayland simply shot the stampeding elephant before it could further damage them, their supply base and the industry as a whole. Not altruism necessarily but good business sense even at the most basic mercenary level.

How anyone can trust one of the offshoot companies with their cash is beyond me. I'm saying this as a former Maelstrom customer, and having never bought anything from Wayland.


6milPhil12 Nov 2012 8:46 a.m. PST

It's a sad turn of events but I'm not sure why Wayland get's any flak for it.

Thanks to all those who've posted financial/company facts – it reveals more than opinion.

AFPU4412 Nov 2012 10:54 a.m. PST

In light of the way that many have been treated by Maelstrom Games, one course of action would be for all to avoid purchasing anything from either Eye of the Storm or Mansfield Games.

Once bitten twice shy.

They will certainly be on my black list of suppliers!!!

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