|Kurtus Brown (email@example.com)|
|Ahhh...GW and dice!!! Oh yes, they love to use dice for everything in the game.
To GW, dice keep a game simple (too simple?), so that young people can learn the concepts of the game(s) quicker. GW also feels that 'lots of dice rolling = FUN'!!! In my experience, too much dice rolling is one of the problems with their games (maybe if they used a different die type, say d12, or d20...anything but these simple d6s). More dice = more frustration. I have yet to see a game (any GW game) where the players don't complain about the dice, at least at some point. I might add that all the die rolling really does slow a game down).
Imagine rollong 12 dice to hit...followed by 8 dice to Wound, followed by 5 dice to save; that's 25 die rolls (and imagine only one enemy model was removed from all that rolling)...nasty!!!
Too many dice for my liking!!!
|A.H. Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Is it just me, or does Games Workshop really like dice? Rolling them, I mean.
Whether it's WH40k or Warhammer Fantasy, they really like you to roll dice.
Roll to hit. Roll to wound. Roll armor save. Roll morale. Roll retreat distance. Roll pursuit distance. Roll game length. Roll to see who sets up first. Roll to see who places terrain. Roll to see who moves first. Roll to see if you get extra movement. Roll to see if you get a mutation. Roll to see how many special attacks you get. Roll to see if special weapon/magic item works. Roll to see if the gun blows up. Roll for scatter. Roll to see who is hit. Rules disagreement? Roll for it. And for a special ability you get to re-roll.
The scary part is that veterans know that I am not making that list up, nor is it in any way ususual. I could be describing either game.
Moral of the Story: If you like fistfuls of dice, play these games. However, be aware that the 36-count dice brick is a must.
|I just started playing about a year ago. I had just gotten 2000+ points
of troops, and was solid with the rules when - poof - they change
all the rules.
I was in a league, but because of school it has pretty much fallen apart.
I am now reluctantly in the process of switching to 3rd edition and playing at the Games Workshop store. I don't like the rules that much, but hope they will grow on me. The worst part is the Games Workshop store won't let you play 2nd edition, which pisses me off. The only people I can play 2nd edition with is my friend (who I always crush).
Also, I am kind of upset because I was only 13 and now I'm 14, but it still ended up costing me $200, plus another $50 for the new rules - which is a lot for a kid. It could be just me, but $7 is a lot for 2 models - and with Elder, almost all them are metal.
Oh well, nothing I can do. Thanks for listening to my gripes.
Is WH40K addictive, and if so - is it hazardous to your health?
I have played GW games for years and years. My first encounter with miniatures wargaming was when I bought WH Fantasy Battle rules in 1983. Very late, in 1995, I decided to take the leap from medieval to Sci-Fi, so I started collecting an Imperial Guards army. Though none of my WH40K-projects have yet ended in a fully painted army, I have a fair selection of Marines, Sisters of Battle, several IG regiments and a lot of odd figures, Necromunda figures etc. All in all, I own well over 1,000 figures and about 40 vehicles, but a further 1,000 figures have passed through my hands over the years. So still, when it comes to gaming, I have to borrow figures! Is this a sad story of GW-addiction?
Well, I must say that the main reason for buying so many figures is that they look so damn good! And the reason for buying more figures, is that with each new release, they look even better - well, almost always, anyway.
With my long familiarity with the GW range, I might add some perspective to the "debate" going on here. As there are so many points of discussion, I will just give a punctuated list with my own views.
Well, that's my views, anyway. I just feel that you've been a bit too negative towards GW. It is all too easy to go after the leader, but one should remember that it was not luck alone that got them into that position, and not foul play either!
|David Tan (email@example.com)|
|Thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth here. I am a historical gamer (DBR, DBA, Spearhead, etc). I have never played WH40K or any other GW game, but have many
friends who do, and have observed quite a few games.
Recently, I visited a GW shop and enquired about the products. The staff member was very friendly and informative. I pretended that I was a total newcomer to gaming, just to test him. When I mentioned that I had heard about historical miniatures wargaming and that there were many rules, figs, etc., he brushed it off and said that only GW games were really worth playing and that their's was the best system...yadda yadda..."this is real wargaming"...yadda...
You see, this is what is wrong with GW - they just don't put anything back into the hobby as a whole, only their own genre, and especially their own pockets. They can charge what they want, they can write any rules they want, their figs are very lovely to look at but at the end of the day, a whole potential generation of gamers are being kept in the dark about the hobby as a whole - historical, fantasy or otherwise.
Generally, I believe that the historical gaming fraternity is willing to share info and expose new gamers to all forms, but the reverse is the case for bottom-line-driven companies that are not interested in the hobby at large. Many young gamers eventually move on to historical later on after a stoush with fantasy. From an economic point of view, this would not be good for GW. The trouble is, there is a deliberate attempt to keep newchums in the dark and market GW as the gaming system.
I'll stop now as I could rave on for hours. Be it known that I'm not knocking GW games, just that the company doesn't put much back into the general hobby. They need to think about a bit more corporate goodwill towards the other genres. (Yeh, yeh, I've seen Warhammer Historical and that's not what I mean.)
|Mike Duffey (Mike_Duffey@vapower.com)|
|I know a lot of folks have been slamming GW for years now. The majority of
the complaints that I have seen and heard are legitimate, although we must
keep in mind that they are a business and will charge what they think the
market will bear. If you keep buying their stuff, they will keep making it!
If they raise the price and you still buy it...well, it's all up to what
the consumer is willing to bear.
As to which set of rules are the best for playing 40K, most everyone seems to have forgotten about Rogue Trader! These were the first set of 40K rules to be released, and in my humble opinion, the best. They allowed the players to create weapons, creatures, and armies in whatever manner suited them. Imagination was not essential - you could play with just the stuff they "fed" you, or you could go wild and create your own stuff and still have it mesh with the rules. GW even encouraged players to go out and buy toys and models that were interesting and create some stats for them. (It wasn't until a few years later that GW began to get high and mighty, what I call the Gary Gygax Syndrome - "if you're not playing by our rules, then you're not playing our game!!") That's when the game began to go down hill.
My advice is, go out and find a Rogue Trader ruleset. It will probably be pretty beat up (they all seemed to get a lot of wear and tear). Try it out, and see what you think. I think you'll find a set of rules that you can have fun with, use any "toys" you have available, and stretch your imagination a little as well.
|Graham Bevan (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I have to agree with the (slightly too infrequent) voices of reason on this
I've been Wargaming for many years, from ASL to Space Marine, and find this whole subject a little sad. I was under the impression that this whole hobby, with its myriad of different skills and levels of challenge, was meant to be fun. I think a lot of people here have forgotten this most important of issues.
While I have my own dislike and criticisms of GW, people are just using them as a scapegoat for their own lack of imagination. As has been re-iterated several times - if you don't like the rules, use your own. (Incidentally, i teach two courses where we instruct our students on how to build and develop game mechanics. We look at all sorts of games, including GW.)
As for the miniatures, use whatever mini's you like. I use GHQ, Scotia, H&R, Essex, and GW because I "like" them. Some of the GW mini's are exquisite, and I get a lot of satisfaction from doing a nice job (even if it is only my long-suffering wife who ever sees and appreciates them :)
As for those people who have left the entire hobby on account of GW, well, I have to say good riddance, as I know people with such short tempers and unreasonable attitudes make lousy opponents.
On a final note...Everyone's forgotten (except the younger contributors) the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby - the 4 hours of arguing about who would have won if things had been different, over a nice pint of beer in the local pub :))))
|A.H. Lloyd (email@example.com)|
|For me, price isn't the issue. You can always find ways to get cheaper figures.
The problem is the constant tinkering with the rules system, and GW's
attitude in general.
The 2nd Ed. of WH40k is great. I "defected" to it from WHFB and was immediately hooked. The boxed set gave a good start on an army, and by trading with friends I was able to build a decent force in no time with minimal outlay (okay, I play Marines...).
And then the 3rd Ed. came out.
What really frosts me about GW is how they sold supplements for the 2nd Edition knowing full well they would be useless in two months. Say what you want about their pricing, but that is horrible customer relations.
The one good thing about 3rd Ed. is that it does have systems for better organized scenarios and missions. I will still play 3rd Edition - a true gamer plays anything he can find an opponent for - but my first choice is 2nd Ed. using the 3rd Ed. scenarios.
A note for those who may be thinking about getting involved: Find a 2nd Ed. "Battle Bible" first. They are free and you can find them all over the net. They have all of the rules and supplements of the 2nd Ed. This means that you won't be tormented by the latest errata in White Dwarf that render your tactics worthless. This also avoids the "one army syndrome" where the newest army (i.e. the one they are pushing that month) tends to be the most powerful when it comes out.
Honestly, both versions of WH40k are pretty decent. The problem is dealing with the company that makes them. If you can find a way to cut them out - i.e., by playing a version you know they don't support - you'll have a lot more fun.
|I'm sixteen, and personally I'm starting to get pretty pissed off about
people nagging on young gamers because they buy GW-stuff.|
We don't have loads of cash, and when you start the hobby you usually stay with one game for some time. Because GW is so easily found, etc. it's to be understood that people first meet the Warhammer products.
In this way we started Magic, then we got bored of the commercial crap that WOTC pulled off, we looked for other alternatives: Wyvern, Middle Earth, even Dragon Dice. In the end, we stopped playing card games and stayed with good old wargames.
I personally tried Warzone 1st edition and Legions of Steel, but because the other gamers wouldn't want to stop with WH40k (they didn't want to start putting their money in another army...), we stayed playing 2nd edition WH40k until now. But we didn't switch to 3rd edition either. What I mean is, we still play 40k, WHQ and SP.H, but practically don't buy anything anymore from GW. And when we wanted to play a science-fiction skirmish, I made my own system (Skirmish Wars).
|Eric J. (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|While the Foundry has a point that pricing too cheaply can hurt a company,
that doesn't mean that no price is too high. If a company jacks up their
price too much, then they discourage new players from starting the hobby.
A declining customer base will do more damage than anything else.
Personally, I avoided miniature gaming for 15 years because the only miniature games I knew about were those put out by Games Workshop, and they were far too expensive. It has been only recently that I took another look at wargames, thanks in part to this website, and found much cheaper alternatives to GW.
I would also like to note that Foundry, the company that wrote the "miniatures are too cheap" article, charges less than half what GW charges for their miniatures. Foundry charges $11 for a pack of 8 figures, while GW charges $12 for 4 figures.
|Scott Bauman (Speleopower@yahoo.com)|
|I agree with many that GW is price gouging us. I'm an older gamer and mostly
I enjoy painting minis. Hence my reliance on GW minis for my art. GW minis
have been a big part of my life since 1987. At that time they were reasonably
priced (though more than any others on the shelves). I left the country and
did not paint or game from 1992 until early 1997. The first time I went into
the local games store in 1997, I had extreme sticker shock on the GW minis
I could not believe the prices. At that time, I decided I had had enough and stopped buying new GW minis and games. I've seen so many GW games come and go that I do not trust them. The most recent rip-offs, of course, are Battlefleet Gothic and Gorka Morka - come on GW, get with it!! I now only buy and trade from aftermarket internet sources (like Bartertown, for instance).
In regards to 40K and WHFB, I enjoy the company of new friends that I play 40k and WHFB with. Many of them are new gamers, and also seem stuck with an over-priced product and are unwilling to switch rules sets. Just try and get a GW gamer to switch rules sets. I enjoy the Epic 40k rules the most. v3 40k seems alright for a competition-style game, and WHFB is way over-dependant on powerful characters.
Well, if you don't like GW, don't buy GW. Eventually they will get the message.
|Charles Stampley (email@example.com)|
|If you have not started playing this game, I have some advice for you:
The rules have enough loopholes to drive a dump truck through, and the figures are way over-priced. Once you start, you get into a cycle of having to buy the latest figures just to stay competitive - and guess what, the prices constantly increase.
Many people blame GW's large size for their problems, but they can't be too big because I have been waiting nine months for the new Imperial Guard and Battle Sister Codexes to come out, and what does GW do? They come out with a brand new game (Battlefleet Gothic) and all but stop making 40K figures.
People say that if you don't like the game, then don't play. Well GW, I'm out of here. I refuse to support an arrogant company that thinks we are that stupid to shell out hundreds of dollars on a poorly-designed product that is a thinly-designed vehicle to get people to buy more overpriced figures. If people want to play a good beer and pretzel game, play DBA.
|I've been astonished at the post about GW good intentions.
Do you really expect the kids to keep a good memory of their "hobby"
experience when they are grown up enough to realize they were heavily
I really don't think GW is working to prepare the next generation of
gamers. They only seek huge benefits.
Another point which seems very weak to me: "They need to sell at great prices." Why?
Actually, I found out (after pondering a lot, I'm not as smart as those guys, I believe) that GW analyzed very well the nature of the tabletop games market. Think about making a miniatures games: What is easiest, if you have the money, is to produce high quality minis (GW's best point). Imagining an original and credible background is less easy. The rules are the weakest link in the chain - writing balanced, dynamic and funny rules is the heart of the task... The ugliest part of it is it's also the cheaper part of the process. Relying only on the quality of the rules is the mistake. Just imagine that a couple of genius-stricken friends can create something that may ruin your empire...
I'm playing several games (Warzone, Combat Zone, Necromunda, Shock Force, and some fantasy related others. I never forked out to play to 40K. Some friends lent me minis, and I found out that 40K didn't suit me.
When I talk to my friends, I can feel bitterness in their words - they feel stuck. Most of them have invested from 400 to 600 bucks (here in France the prices are higher) and they can't shift from 40K to another game. Why don't they sell? Because they can't without taking a great loss. An average 1500 points army costs from $250 to $300. Very hard to find someone willing to pay $125 to $150 in one shot, let alone more. And you're still losing money. I sold my former Bauhaus army for around $100. How much did I pay for it? $100. Of course, it was fully painted, but try to do the same with a 40K army. And this army was the equivalent of, let's say, a 2500 points 40K army.
Selling expensive minis is a smart way of trapping customers. You prevent them from too easily going to go elsewhere if other rules and backgrounds are fresher...
This is, I guess, the main reason why the new edition sold so well. Trapped gamers are longing for worthwhile rules at last. They hope for them so much that they can't even imagine they're going to be cheated once again. Believe me or not, GW is run by highly powerful thinkers who know how to do their job very well...
|Ray Snyder (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|In reply to Thomas,
I still believe that GW has more in mind than money. However, I will
never argue that money is not important to GW. Different aspects of GW run
different things, some miniatures are made or not made based on what
the sculptors make, and the rules tend to be made around the miniatures.
Somewhere in there someone monkeys with the price, but I don't think they design
a game or rules to make money. (Of course they make games to make money, but
I mean that it costs a lot to make better figures.)
I know that GW makes a ton of cash from older gamers who can afford to buy GW products. I know that on a whim - it seemed a great idea at the time! - I have bought armies. Those aren't cheap, and I never could have afforded that as a teen or pre-teen, and my parents would not have bought them either. Five to ten kids might equal an older gamer like me. I easily know a dozen other gamers like me and I can guess at even more. Do the kids help GW along? Yes. But do they support GW? I most say I really don't think so. Maybe if GW sold prepainted figures...
|Jeff Turner (email@example.com)|
|On Games Workshop......
While I do not play Warhammer 40K, I must err on the side of free enterprise and agree with the people stating if you don't like GW, don't buy their products. That is what our economic system is based on.
Over and over, gamers want to graft attributes of a charity onto a money-making enterprise that is paying someone's bills or mortgage ultimately. Would you want your paycheck reduced? Game companies should have good service and quality of course, but the market ultimately decides what people will pay for their products.
The game company being seen as a charity or public service entity is nothing new. The boardgame sector sees this effect all of the time. I have concluded that many gamers of all types have little business background. If they did, they would understand that businesses in the game industry as rule don't make much money. Case in point is the old book by Simulations Publications on designing board wargames, printed in 1977. The profit margin on their game World War III was 3% over its whole life. Many people have used this as a test case to make the same point I have made above. Analysis of other game companies reveals other less-than-Donald-Trump-like incomes. The board wargame company The Gamers publishes summary financial data each year and is very informative and supports my thesis too. The owner is making a living but he is not getting rich.
Although GW is a bigger business than most, it too still has salaries, taxes, and cost of production to fund. Regardless, it is against the free enterprise system to begrudge their ability to make a profit. The only way their prices will come down is if you stop buying their products, or a competitor comes out with better, cheaper products, or a downturn in the economy dries up the pool of disposable income. Or you start your own business....
Therefore, until you run your own business, don't critize those that do. Ultimately, they are risking their money and capital to provide you with rules, armies, or games.
In reply to Ray Snyder's comment about why GW caters to the pre-teens:
I worked at Games Day a couple years ago, and they explained the marketing tactics at a meeting the day before. It is certainly not "to make sure the hobby is around in ten years." It is because those kids have a large disposable income (esp. when you add on the "pester mom & dad til they buy me stuff" factor.) While the idea of them looking out for the well-being of the hobby is a nice thought, they in fact told us that the aim was to sell the kids as much stuff as possible before their short attention span turned to a new hobby.
This is really no different than many other companies. I don't really see the point in people whining about it. It's just a game.
As for the complaints about the new edition - if you don't like it, then keep playing the old one.
|The Third Edition of Warhammer 40K is all about making money. I don't know about
you guys, but the local gaming store bought enough boxes to get a free foot
tall or so Space Marine, which was like 72 boxes or so, and they sold them all!
That's right, every single one, and then they ordered more!
The fan loyalty is insane! And sadly, I bought it too, under the feeling that it had become less character based. I loved the fact that psychic powers were now just another gun. But in the games that I have played, my balanced force has been unable to stop that Khorne Lord on a Juggernaught accompanied by 5 Berzerkers to soak up fire. Impossible. His toughness of 6 is huge, especially since my Space Marine commander, no matter what, has a strength of 4, or a strength of 8 and then strikes last! Wow, in 5 battles, he has fought that Juggernaught rider (same modeel, same guy) 4 times, and has been squashed when he had a powerweapon or a powerfist, either due to being too slow or too weak!
GW is still making a character-based game because characters cost $$$! And so did remaking a game and making it worse. I liked it at at first, but then my 2,500 point force became like 1,500 points. And then the Eldar kicked ass! Then marines got a Codex, and that gave them quite a few bonuses.
But the Blood Angels were the last straw! What was that? And even worse, what will they do to the Space Wolves?
The new edition is unbalanced and unfair. I've sold a lot of minis now, and I plan on selling more. Get out while you still have your money and your pride as a gamer.
|Ray Snyder (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Games Workshop is a great company, It's made up of a few suits that try to
make money, and a bunch of great guys trying to make a great game.|
Why do they appear to cater to 12-16 year olds? To make sure the hobby is around in ten years. These young punks are the next gen of gamers, and as such, they need to go through their bored teenage years digging the hobby - then they go into the "we like girls, beer and rebelling" stage. They will most likely forget about the hobby until their college years...and lo and behold, they are the folks you like to play now. Look to the future.
As for the GW pricing, nothing that eats time like GW games is as cheap. You play poker, a deck of cards costs nothing, but you will lose money (less you're a rounder or something). Golf, biking, movies, clubing, video and computer gaming, being in a band - all very cash intensive.
You want a cheaper hobby? Make little paper chits, and use those, or some other tacky invention. I want a new car, but I settle for my 10-year-old vehicle - but maybe I should gripe at Ford, Chrysler, and GMC? If I told them their cars are too expensive, maybe I can get a Viper...
My biggest problem with GW is waiting for stuff to be released. I saw figs six months ago at the GW Games Day that aren't out yet. That bugs me. I understand it - it just bugs me.
|I religiously played the GW hobby for many a year until the release of 3rd ed
40K. It was then I got sick of the entire mentality of GW and what it stands
for - MONEY. They couldn't care less about someone's comments or conversion
piece or whatever, unless it gives them a opportunity to flog some separate
parts to make more money.
(Granted, they're not in the business to lose money, but a smaller company with a reputation for tardiness and overpricing like that of GW would soon go out of buisness.)
These days I play Tactical Strike, made by Enigma Miniatures, and work on the design team for the same company. The best decision I ever made (well, in wargaming terms). Only problem is that there aren't enough people with spines to play something other than GW. At least NetEpic is getting bigger. Hopefully, one day there will be some more variety in wargaming and the miniature hobby, because GW aren't doing a thing for the hobby that won't make them money and that's a blatantly obvious fact.
|I'm not going to spend long on this or be subtle. Okay, the prices are
expensive, and White Dwarf is becoming completely full of sales crap, but some things
are getting better. Take the new moveable kits for 40k. They are okay models,
but the prices are beefed up - why do you think the company sold for something
like 124 million pounds a few years ago?|
The message to Games Workshop is clear - cut the bloody prices!!!
|Aaron Lewis (email@example.com)|
|I am so fed up with White Dwarf. Reading it is like watching a propoganda
film. Their writers and editors have got to be the most brainwashed bunch
of freaks I have ever seen. Everything is a sales pitch to try and get you
to spend money on something that you don't need.
I have also noticed this disturbing trend (and who hasn't?) with the Games Workshop system as a whole. Every 3-4 years, they re-release a game system to force you to buy more.
Games Workshop owes its loyal customers to listen to what they have to say. Not listening is saying "we don't care." And if they don't care, why should we? Use their old game systems. Don't fall into the re-release trap. Use other companies' miniatures. If Games Workshop thinks they can screw us over, they've got another thing coming.
|Shan Palmatier (Shanhome@aol.com)|
|I have played 40K for 3 years now with some excellent older wargamers.|
I find that the key to making this game successful in the long run is player discipline. Much of the rules and structure you'd expect from the game designers just isn't there. If your gaming group can agree to run characterless or wargear-limited scenarios on a frequent basis, then the good parts of the game can really shine. Campaign games with a group of agreeable players is really required to make this game as fun as it used to be.
As far as GW goes, they really aren't winning any friends and it is a small industry. One day, the influx of new gamers won't be there and GW will be gone, unable to retain people for what is a really good, fun, minatures wargame. But I won't care becuase I've got my models, don't use 3rd edition, and know that they are really a bunch of leeches anyway.
|Neil Dutton (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|OK, people, I've been playing 40K since someone said, "Hey, marines in space,
now there's an idea."|
In their current incarnation, I think the rules are adequate and the miniatures excellent. The real problem is, of course, GW itself. To Steve Spence, the number of stores GW has opened world-wide, and will soon open, shows just how fast their market is growing. If you genuinely believe that $48 Canadian for a SPG Battleship is a purely 'commercial' rate, then you have my sympathies. To suggest that the prices they are currently charging show the first time that they have been commercially viable is ridiculous. If that were the case, then they would have gone under long ago.
I don't begrudge GW its success. However, it is the market it serves. How else could it get away with, amongst other things, releasing the Assassins Codex weeks before they make it 'officially' obsolete? GW has literally no competition, and is therefore able to charge and do virtually what it likes. (Ee would expect no less in similar circumstances from any other company.)
What is unforgivable is their total lack of respect for their customers. The fact that they now 'sell' from every pore is a symptom of this. Nigel Stillman's articles in White Dwarf on the wonders of having huge units in FB was simply transparent. That 'Special Characters' have been toned down in 40K3 should be no surprise. Why would they encourage you to buy one model, when you can replace it with twenty??
That they operate in a vaccum is not their fault, and perhaps we shouldn't expect them not to take advantage of it. Legitimate competition needs to emerge (TARGET??). The fact that they don't recognise and give due (or any) credit to their customers for putting them where they are now is, frankly, sickening. I'm almost on the point of thinking that they barely care what rules they put out. (I know they don't care what we think of them.) I genuinely hope that they are not so far gone that they cannot change....40K4th edition: "OK, troop movement is, let's say, as far as Andy Chambers can spit. Missile fire hits on heads and misses on tails. To resolve hand to hand, just throw the charging models at the defenders and see which stay standing. Your models might break you say? Well, it doesn't matter, they're all obsolete anyway. Buy the new versions now, or roast in Hades, you consumer scum!!!!"
I like Warhammer, I really like their models, I despise GW.
|Richard Brown (email@example.com)|
Steve Spence is right, but I feel I have shake some sense into all you American gamers.
I apologise for ranting like that, but it has to be said.
|Face it - if you're here, you love the game.|
I play Warhammer mainly, and a bit of Necromunda on the side. Nothing is more fun and bummy to waste an evening with your mates. That's why I hate to see the hobby degenerating so quickly. A lot of comments here say that the hobby is aimed at 14-18 year olds. This is true, but it was not always so! Back in the golden age of Warhammer (~1990), I could go down to the GW on Queen (Toronto) and not feel as if I were entering a trap. The staff didn't have those predatory eyes, nor that overbearing yet insipid demeanor. They didn't even have uniforms! The place was just a hang-out for fantasy wargammers, most of which were over 20. Alas, now it's worse than a sleazy used stereo joint.
The "officialness" of the company is annoying, beat only by the poorly play-tested crap. If you want evidence, look at the Outlanders supplement (which a friend of mine was unfortunate enough to buy). Even before we played, it seemed to us that Scavvies and Redemptionists would be unplayably crappy, and that Spyerers would be nigh invincible. Only two games later, Redemptionists: eating dirt, Spyrers: yup... invincible.
What keeps GW going is their fabulous minis (better than anyone.... except maybe Heartbreaker). I am seeing a move toward plastics and lower quality. Well... once their minis are no longer the best, they will go down fast.
Oh well...the fantasy battle hobby is not synonymous with GW.
|Steve Spence (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|There's a very good article on the Foundry's web-site, which makes a convincing
case that wargames miniatures are too cheap, not too expensive.
The point being that the gaming community is not growing very quickly - if at all - and that there are only a limited number of figures that any gamer will ever want to purchase. Ergo, all those companies producing inexpensive figurines will eventually saturate their market and be unable to sell any more.
Now, I started gaming in 1973 and I think of the companies that have come and gone in the intervening period - Minifigs, Hinchcliffe, Lamming, most of the Airfix range, etc., etc. Why are they gone? Their figures were too cheap, and they never made enough money to make range expansion (and - ultimately - survival) pay.
I know it's controversial, but the theory is analogous to the Linux/Shareware idiots that honestly think that software should be free. If you create a market for something, you must be able to support that market in its timeframes, or they'll go elsewhere. Producing figurines is a time-consuming, difficult task. In order to guarantee that your skilled sculptors and casters are going to stay with you and spend as much love and attention on the ranges in which they have no interest (but the customers want) as well as the ranges dear to their hearts, you have to reward them adequately. To reward them adequately, you have to charge a commercial rate for their output.
This is the GW model and it works. If it means that 16-year olds can't have three or four 12,000 point armies, then shame, but they can't have a Rolls-Royce either (mostly).
I'm willing to pay GW prices for their (generally) outstanding figures, because I believe that this will ensure that they're still producing those figures, or their successors, in 10 years' time.
|For god's sake GW, sit
down and have a think about it. The way it is now, people can only afford
to play one game at a time, and barely that. It takes years to get an army
together due to the fact that prices are so ridiculously high, and once you
do actually complete your army, the new edition of the game comes out
and blows it out of the water. You guys in the U.S. think you got it bad? Try
A$17.95 for a terminator captain (about US$14......). What a joke........Free
World my ass....am I living in Ethiopia or something????
As a fan for over 8 years now, I feel cheated, and it makes me sick to think that the small fortune I wasted, the effort I spent promoting the game to other people, and the time I spent painting the mini's has all been in vain. As for White Dwarf, it's now nothing more then a commercial, with the same articles every month featuring pictures of staff armies that have every new mini in them that we won't be able to get for another 6 months (if you look hard in the photos), and the stores that used to be comforting to enter are now full of hard-sale techniques and up-sell suggestions, even when you're just dropping in to pick up a pot of paint. If I wanted fries with my Tactical Squad, I would have gone to Macca's down the road, thank you very much!
To hell with it all, I'm too disgusted to carry on any longer with the hobby (as is my bank account). Long live the GW cult and its constant influx of brainwashed, whining children and their obliging parents/cash supply. May the unseen god sitting on his throne in GW HQ have fun swimming in his pool of money. I'm out of here..........
|I play Warhammer 40K a lot.....usually
the 3rd edition, which is better and
more tactical than the second edition. Characters are still
overpowered, but the psychics are more limited.
I know that GW is pulling off a lot of money, but you don't have to run with it. Check out good, free games like Tactical Strike, along with Adeptus Titanicus and Space Hulk (the best games released by GW, ever). Use the Tactical Strike rules to "simulate" 40K combat - the rules are better, and you can easily fight battles with the immensely cool background story of 40K.
Anyway, the GW models might be expensive but they are great!!!! I have yet to find a better miniatures company (And believe me, i have seen a few).
| As much as I hate the pricing, I love the game.....anyone think of
petitioning GW? Or worse? Does GW see these complaints? I believe they do,
but it would be easy to ignore it.
I see a lot of complaining, but no one does anything, and no single person can do anything about the state of the hobby\game, either. If there are any valid ideas as to what a group of people could do to grab GW's attention, I'd love to hear it...
Until then - $6.00 for a single plastic Terminator.
|Sure, GW has expensive prices, but sometimes even I think it is worth
buying some more of their miniatures.
Sure, the rules are streamlined and not as flexible as Rogue Trader or even V.2, but I happen to like being able to play a game in under 5 hours. (I play using 1000-pt armies against my cousin - I like to be able to 'visit' with my family, then play a game.)
I still don't like their prices, but the game is fun when it is played properly (that is, moving things along, not arguing about rules [we just make up new ones], use an army with background, etc.)
Sure, the army lists may look overpowering, but in the end, it all comes down to tactics. I like that. I also like GW's minis, though not the price. I wish that I could head to the GW store every few weeks and come back with a new squad, but sadly, that is far from the case.
|Tom Crandall (email@example.com)|
|Todd Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Let me start off by saying that I'm old. At least for a GW gamer. I didn't
set out to be a GW gamer though, it just sorta happened real slowly, over
a period of ten years. It started in '89 when a friend of mine
introduced me to something called Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. After
playing my first game, I gleefully went down to the local shop and purchased
36 plastic Space Dwarves for around $15. Little did I know then, that I'd
be writing this GW expose 10 years later and $6,000 poorer.
So, why play the game, you ask? Because it's fun - not realistic. I played my share of "real" wargames (heck, I started with Avalon Hill's Squad Leader and ASL) and I found that I just didn't like playing them. I understood the games, but unfortunately most of the individuals playing them were too anal retentive for me. I'd much rather roll 20 dice and count up the hits, than to flip to rule section 184.108.40.206.6.7.8a.
I like GW games for four reasons:
Before anyone accuses me of being a GW fanboy, consider the following: I think the prices have skyrocketed out of control since 1993. Of course, that doesn't mean I quit playing. I've just had to find alternative sources like Bartertown (sell and trade GW minis site) where I spend my money. I do play other games, some CCG, some roleplay, etc. But it's that narcotic mix of model trains and army men that keeps me coming back to Warhammer. Ah, the nostalgia of the sandbox ... I can use my imagination to model anything I want and then fight over it.
Even though I have purchased several items and minis for newer GW games, I haven't purchased anything new directly from GW for quite a few years. I hafta agree though, that since 40K 2nd edition came out, the rules have been in a continual and delibrate "one-upmanship" contest. Whoever said "Warhammer is like Magic:CCG except with miniatures", hit it right on the head. Players are continually encouraged to buy new minis and versions of rules and armies. Keep in mind though, you don't gotta buy new stuff! If you buy something relatively change-safe (Necromunda, for example), you'll be playing for around $100.
GW games are best played amongst a good group of friends that are already established in life and don't intend to move. However, rest assured, if you move, you will be able to find some GW gamers in your area to play games with. The same may not be true for some more "realistic" systems.
|I believe that Games Workshop is producing good games and cool miniatures, but their prices have gone rocket high. I have been playing WK40K for only 3 years, but the new Blood Angels Death Squad (10 pewter miniatures) is twice the price of the old squad. But other than the price, the games are just as good.|
|Mike Freeman (email@example.com)|
|I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something positive about GW -
Warhammer 40,000, to be specific - if nobody minds.
Now I won't make any claims about its superior gameplay, because I agree that I have often come to one of the many "grey" areas in the rules, and I will not defend the general image of the GW staff as Imperialistic fascists, because they are possibly the most annoying staff to deal with in the world. However, I will defend the hobby, in general.
And why might I be doing this, you ask? Well, essentially, I appreciate the ease in which I can participate in a game of 40k. It's fairly popular in my town, and two or three stores carry GW's products, making acquiring opponents and miniatures failry painless.
I am sure that there are better wargames out there, and if I made the effort I could pick up a Warzone or an Ancients army and have a thouroughly good time with it. But that would raise a few problems. For one, no one I know plays them. Meaning sure, I could marvel at the rules, but have no one to challenge them with.
I won't defend GW's pricing strategies...as an Imperial Guard player, I know what it feels like to drop a cool 50 on a hunk of plastic, and see it wiped off the face of the table the first turn. But hey, in the end, it is just a hobby to me. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't curse the benevolent powers-that-be at GW for their injustice, but merely take the "prole" (1984 term, read the book) attitude and continue on my happy way.
Basically, for me and my friends, 40K is a beer-and-pretzels game where you can plop down an army, spend an evening rolling dice, cursing and cheering and generally enjoying yourself instead of staring at the TV screen blankly. I know a few people will be saying "What about girls!" Hey, girls are all well and good, but there's nothing quite like the feel of blowing something up with an Earthshaker Cannon.
Anyway, 40k appeals to the sub-level wargamers of our society - those who don't have the drive to get into anything less popular. I will agree with the proposal that it is much like Magic: The Gathering, with its constant rule revisions and new and fancier products. But, in the end, it is not unenjoyable, which is the bottom line for me.
Long Live the Emperor and the Imperium of Man! (The mandatory fanboy signoff, of course!)
|John Maxwell (Maxwell-DMIA@att.worldnet.net)|
|Games Workshop games play as if weighted in favor of some armies and against
others, and you are a couple of hundred dollars in before you realize that
it is not your imagination. I noticed playing demo games of Battlefleet
Gothic this was still the case - the Chaos ships are faster, hit farther,
and generally have better weapons. One missile's range increases when used
If you choose Chaos or Elven/Eldar armies, you will likely enjoy WH40K and Fantasy Battle. If you choose a human army (Space Marines are mutants) in a GW game, you play with the weakest troops, the weakest heroes, and the least damaging weapons (either weak or unreliable). Perhaps there is a deep Freudian reason for this, but I suspect it is sloppy design and poor play-testing.
It's not embarassment that keeps us playing, it's refusing to waste the $200-300 we have invested.
Games Workshop is not a miniatures company - they almost never release figures that are not game pieces. When a model is no longer used in a game, the model quickly becomes unavailable; those not in the current game edition are only available from the archive service, and GW charges a pretty penny to find out what is left in the archives.
GW has ignored excessive cost complaints for at least ten years (their prices have never been competitive), and they have lost a lot of their edge, both in figures and rules. It is my opinion that they don't pay much attention to existing customers, preferring to cycle through the younger crowd. I have bought my copy of Warzone, too, but I still like the variety of races in the 40K universe. I hope GW will make an effort to save it.
|I have been playing wargames for 14 years, and like most people, have tried a lot
of systems. I worked for GW retail in Australia for awhile, and can tell you
Why? Because they have over 200 stores alone in the UK, 14 stores in Australia, and so on. They have the money to flood the market, which they have and still do. Yes, I have my bitches about them, but at the end of the day I am the only one to blame, because I am the fool who keeps handing them my hard-earned money.
About GW bringing out new models: 90% of the models that you want or need have been made. Why? you ask. Simple, GW will only bring out a couple of new models a month because they think they will make more sales. They make you wait for that Landraider that you need, in the hope that when one of the Predator variants are brought out, most people will buy one because they need some heavy firepower, and sadly enough it is true. You get sick of waiting, so you believe that it will fill the void until the Landraider comes.
But I still play WHFB and 40k, because they are fun.
|Kevin Rodkey (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Yeah, I fit into the stereotypical GW target category. I have copies of
Warhammer, WH40k (2nd ed and 3rd ed rulebook only.), Necromunda, and Man O'
War. Between all of these, I have the rules for 5 games and enough miniatures
that came with them to "supplement" the troops that I don't have. (Yes, I did
buy an entire High Elf and Skaven fleet for Man O War, but that only ran me
about US$80 for both and they were well near 1250 points. Not bad for all
those ships. But, back to the subject...)
GW's new 3rd edition has streamlined the game (not as much as possible, but fill in the blanks with house rules). As for missing models (Space Marine jetbikes, etc.), up the points cost 10 or 15 and make them a skimmer. Also, no one says that you need a 4,000-point army. Take a commander and two squads of 5 men, two bikes, and maybe a tank, throw out squad coherency, and play. Ignore leadership if you have groups of 1 or 2 guys.
GW has great games. They aren't meant for realism, they're meant to be enjoyable. I do enjoy WH40k and all of the others that I have. They add a fantasy that isn't in realistic wargames. I've seen Napoleonic wargames played and they are great, they are more real, but they aren't fantasy.
The new 3rd edition has balanced troops more, and taken out the so-called invulnerable troop (you know, Terminator chaplin with Rosarius, Conversion Field, and one more almost unbeatable save). Besides, most of your games are with your friends, modify the rules as need be (but not to the extreme) and add in the old deleted troops.
Just play to have fun. We (my friends and I) have added tons of new stuff - Cannon of Khorne, Tempests, and other voided troops. Don't be afraid to play around with rules and who cares if you buy another brand's miniatures. I've never told anyone that they couldn't play with me because they have a Ral Partha Griffin - after all, I was using 5 Bretonnian Warhorses to represent 5 Chaos Fleshhounds!
Play for the fun of the game, and if you can't modify it to please you, play something else!
|The Greatly Weakened Hive Tyrant Jrrlixx (GrinningSphinx@yahoo.com)|
|GW's pricing stinks. GW's playtesting stinks. GW's customer service stinks (most
of the time). GW is out of touch with its gaming base.
That pretty much sums it up.
|Ronald E. Strickland (email@example.com)|
|I am an old timer - WH40K, Rogue Trader and 30ea plastic "beakie"
multipose marines were the items I bought after I bought the "Star
Soldiers" from GW that soon became the IG, MK.I. It was a good game,
allowed us to use almost anything, encouraged the use of GM scenarios, and
thinking painlessly while enjoying the game. Pretty soldiers, aliens, and
monsters. Eventually nice-looking vehicles were added under V2.
Gang, do what we have done when confronted with changes and stupid pricing. We just continue to use the ideas from RT, modified V2 to be what we wanted, ignore/limit the stupid super-character rules and anything else that we do not like! I guess we play RT-V2. Our armies do not vanish into the warp because of word from on high! The IG guys that bought Predator Tanks, Rhinos, etc, before The Word arrived saying scrap them and buy new ones - just file 13 memo, and continue to game! Same with the orders to dump support weapons, servitors, etc! Buy the New, Improved and More Wonderful Rule - yeah, you just hold your breath, buddy!
Sure, we buy something new - if we want it, not because we are in deep doo-doo without it!
Official GW-sanctioned tournaments - who needs them! Gamers that are into that stuff can have it.
I personally broke down and bought some over-priced Cadian/Catachan IG rocket launchers and mortars because I could see a logical tactical use for them in my IG. It was breathtaking!!! But you will not find my IG tossing all the man-portable Heavy Weapons of Olde and replacing them with WW II light antitank guns! That is one of the truly stupid ideas!
As for the overpriced "official IG and SM," who wants them! Storm Trooper clones (paint one white and look at it) and extras from a really bad Hollywood Epic. IG troopers now look like an extras casting call - not soldiers! Cadians look like soldiers, but the Catachans are Arnie and Rambo clones!
What customer service? I called to ask why was it that my order for a Cadian LT, some Necromunda Eschers, and a Necro Weapons pack was sent to me disguised as a SM Chaos Dreadnought and some ugly Nurgle SM. For too long a time, some jerk tried really hard to sell me a 100-year subscription to White Dwarf magazine so that I, my children and my grandchildren could all enjoy a lifetime of uninterrupted issues!!! Arrogant, rude, money grabbing, and - worst of all, I think - taking advantage of kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I do not play their game! I do not buy their new rules! And neither do the approximately 50 other gamers in my area who are "over the hill!" And we actively search out fresh gamers to show them that there is life after the new additions!
|People...I started playing WH40K about 1-2 yrs ago and I like the game
alot. Yes, the mini's are expensive and the rules are for 12-18-yr-olds,
but I assume all of you aren't watching Barney and Sesame Street
anymore. It's a phase for the younger and/or non-serious wargamers,
out there to find a game that looks great and is fun. Remember, the word "fun"
I have also heard WH and WH40K described as hobbies. Not games, but hobbies. Like paintball and making furniture, neither of these are cheap if you are serious about them. I have read and listened to hundreds of the wargamers complain about GW stuff and I would like to have them try to understand it as a hobby that takes little tactics, looks great, and is easy to learn. Have fun, fellow gamers!
|Richard Brantley (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I've followed the GW rants in many different places and am becoming amused by
them. If Target Games (or any other company) held GW's market share they'd
get all the same complaints too.
I've played for about 2 years or so, both 2nd ed and 3rd ed, and I have enjoyed them both. It's a game. It's not about realism or balance or anything serious wargames are designed around; it's about having fun with colorful models and a highly imaginative background.
I found the 3rd ed rules, once I got used to them, much faster to play and resulted in less rules arguments and fewer indestructable models in the game. My complaints are minor.
Prices are high, and I don't care for them anymore than anyone else. (There are other British companies whose models are in the same price range, but I don't hear anybody complaining about them.) I choose to pay these prices, but it does mean that I have smaller armies that take longer to collect. It also means that each model I get is important and significant to me.
That said, the models are well sculpted and the castings are usually quite good. If you do get a bad casting, you just call customer service and they'll take care of you.
I think people that enjoy 40K are not that deeply concerned about the rules and mechanical details. They're concerned about models, and the setting. That's what attracted me to the game, and that's what keeps me in the game as opposed to another system like WarZone (nice game, but I find the background lacking variety). (And if you think I am a hopeless GW freak, I'll take Chronopia over WHFB anyday.)
|Steve Spence (email@example.com)|
|So don't roll 36 dice - use a little initiative and produce a few probability
charts derived from the various hit/penetrate/save combinations and roll two
percentage dice instead.
As long as I've been gaming (1973), people have complained about the rules - some keep using them and keep complaining, others adapt and amend. It's your bloody game, don't take the GW-provided stuff as anything more than guidelines.
|Peter Osepchugov (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Please pardon my English, because I'm Russian.
I know almost all the websites with Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 contents for the last 2 years had messages like "I don't even know what to do with the damn rules and prices - I want Rogue Trader WH40K back." Some websites have whole sections about how much they hate Games Workshop and love Rogue Trader.
Everybody keeps saying that Games Workshop must go down, and it will if you people stop supporting them. The first edition was flexibility itself. Even orks had landspeeders, but now more than half of my armies are obsolete.
I've stopped visiting Games Workshop stores. I only play with people who use normal 1st or acceptable 2nd edition rules, and we do use the old obsolete units and we don't give a damn about new rules.
When I tried to buy 2nd edtition WH40k, I bought Blood Angels spray paint and the salesperson told me to buy a primer. I said, "No, thank you." Then he started talking to me like I'm an idiot, and told me about six times that I needed a primer. When I said that I have Armory primer he was shocked - he said that I needed a Games Workshop primer because it was better. The moron didn't even know that Armory primer is one of the best primers available. He was insulted that I was using non-Games Workshop product!
I am not putting up with Games Workshop crap. Now I buy Demonblade minis. They are cheaper!
I stopped playing Warhammer when I realized that I had just rolled 36 dice to knock out four figures. (hit, penetrate, wound, save.)
|Keith the Pathfinder (email@example.com)|
After reading all of the messages below, I have come to the conclusion that not too many people like 40k. But there are still lots of people playing it...Why?
I think the answer is - they have so much money invested in it, that they would feel embarrassed to admit the game sucks and they have been steadily ripped off for a long time.
(I still can't believe that you move your whole army, then they move their whole army...)
|Squat 208 (LStiers@Usa.net)|
Games Workshop is going downhill.
I have been collecting Warhammer Fantasy and 40k for about 4 years. When I first started to collect, the prices were good, the rules were good, and all the miniatures were ok. These days when I go to a hobby store to buy miniatures, I get all excited when I can afford a box of guardians..or even find a box of guardians.
I remember back in the days when I would get a few bucks and come back from the hobby stores; my arms full of blisters. GW is really starting to make me angry. The prices have almost doubled, the new rules suck...I could go on for days...
(The only thing I like now is the new paint containers, which you can open and not splatter paint everywhere.)
Sad...Sad...Sad. I have been involved with the wargaming hobby for nearly 12 years now. Having played everything from Kriegspiel to the aforementioned 40K, I have to say that I find the complaints about 40K pathetic.
To bitch about the price, army lists, points values and "realism" in 40K only points out your own ignorance. If you want realism, go play Corps Commander or Squad Leader or half a dozen other "hardcore" games. Face the Facts, people! GW designs its games for a 10-13 yr old market. They are under no illusions about what they do. Even Rick Priestly knows that Fantasy Battle and 40K are not going to satisfy a hoary old wargamer!
People play GW games, not for their realism or playablity, but because new opponents are widespread and the models are magnificent. Cite any other reason, and you're kidding yourself. "Yeah, I'll spend $80 on the new 40K because its rules are so streamlined!" I think not.
I haven't got anything against griping about rules or models, we all do it. Just be honest enough in the end to say you play the game because it gives you a measure of enjoyment. Otherwise, quit playing and go give another game a try. Just don't get upset if no one leaves with you.
|Peter Kradolfer (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
I am a 40k player from Holland, and have played this game for about 3 months. My army consists of 25 Space Marines and a Dreadnought.
I like the game because it has a huge variety of models, and you're never sure what kind of army your opponent has planned for you (assault or heavy weapon).
Before I started playing 40k, I played Epic, which is a great game. I have 4 warlords, 8 reavers, 12 warhound, and 4 thunderhawk gunships. But the problem was that all my friends with whom I played moved to other cities for school, so I turned to 40k (which is played very much in Holland).
But when I bought the game (2nd edition), I heard that there were new rules so I had to buy the new rules too - which in Holland are very expensive, FL.80,-NLG. But when I bought the Dreadnought and a squad of Space Marines I was shocked, because it was very expensive.
So I think that GW has to check the opinions of the gamers, because I think that many players will quit the game because of its expensive nature.
|Robert Laplante (email@example.com)|
I must say something. I know it may seem crazy, but I actually enjoy playing WH40K. I have two very large armies - one complete Battle Company of Space Marines with all its support vehicles and squads, and an Imperial Guard army with about 7 companies of three squads each supported by about 14 vehicles.
I am preparing a special game - based on the Heretic battle report in WD187 - to play my Marines against my Imperial Guard somewhere this summer. But in the new edition, I usually play with armies between 1750-2000 points. I know that most players of 40K like to play with big armies (in last edition terms, between 2000-3000). The new rules are very fast. A game of 2000 points in the new edition (about 3000 in the old one) lasts for about 4 hours. The same battle with the last edition would last for most of a day.
The new rules are much more simple. For example, the new rules for armour are much simpler. You don't have to go find a datasheet each time one of your tanks is hit, or to find out if your tank can move up to 6" or 8". Now, they all use the same table, and anyway, with the old rules with individual tables for each vehicle, you would have the same results if your armor was penentrated... The new rules allow players to field large armies and play a game in a few hours.
I play my games on my custom-made 5 foot by 10 foot table with lots of scenery, so I have plenty of place to maneuver. In a 2000 points battle, my space marines can deploy in less than half my table. But my Imperial army may deploy itself across the full length of my table! So, you may outflank some armies easilly, but other armies (like the Imperial Guard or the orc) are just too numerous!
Don't forget that an inch on the tabletop is about 2 meters (see the first edition) in "real life," so in the beginning of a game, both armies are about 50 meters apart ! That means that all the "grand tactical" maneuvering is done, presumably before the game. The game start when the "real" battle starts.
The new rules are much more clear, and if you have any questions, just send an email to the "roolzboys" at GW. You will usually receive your answer in the following week. And the new scenarios are interesting.
If you want a true small skirmish game, I think you should choose another game.
But the miniatures are still awfully expensive.
|Eric Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
My friends and I agree with most of the sentiment being expressed on this page. We hate the game, love the miniatures, hate the prices. We, too, had a list of house rules a mile long. So finally, we came up with our own miniatures wargame. It was designed to use the Games Workshop universe (so we cannot attempt to publish it without changing all the names!), but is flexible enough to accomodate miniatures from any manufacturer.
I completely disagree with those who have said it is not the game designers' fault that their games suck. Games Workshop designers are as much at fault as the big company that employs them. They could iron out the kinks and make better games, but they have consistently chosen to degrade the quality of games to the lowest common denominator: kids. Simplify, simplify, simplify. How do you make a game so simple that it becomes inflexible, yet somehow also make it so cumbersome as to need 12 books to play? Put the name "Games Workshop" on it.
The other ridiculous thing is a box of plastic miniatures that cost twice what the metal version did only 3 years ago! How long will GW be able to keep this up? Or is this already a sign that things are not well in the financial structure of the company? But I suppose for every one of us they lose as a customer, they gain 2 kiddies. I wish it were not so.
|George Chambers (email@example.com)|
After a long absense of nearly 10 years, a friend and I decided to get back into Warhammer 40K. Inspired by the movie Starship Troopers, we decided upon Tyranids vs Imperial Guard. However, that was until we costed out the armies. We are both single professionals with good incomes, but we found that raising sufficient forces would be just too expensive. Then the new 3rd edition 40K rules were released, and they would make our armies cost even more to raise.
Needless to say, we abandoned the whole project. Instead we've gone back to playing Necromunda (which we think is a great game, and the closest thing available to the original first edition 40K rules). We were attracted to these rules by:
One of the things that we've hated down the years has been the steady escalation of 40K from a good skirmish game at the squad level, to a bad battle game at the battalion (?) level. To us, Warhammer 40K is ridiculous at that sort of scale, and Epic 40K much better for higher level games. Many of the vehicles in 40K look very good but really don't fit the table top very well in 28mm scale.
So for science fiction gaming, we intend to stick to using the Necromunda rules but applying them to ordinary 40K situations as well. Any extra information we need, we can take from relevant articles in White Dwarf and modify slightly.
I think if I wanted to explain WH40K and Games Workshop to people unfamiliar with their marketing tactics and game design, I would explain it this way:
When you think of it this way, Games Workshop is easy to understand. Of course they are not concerned with selling rules. Is Wizards of the Coast concerned with selling the pamphlet that explains how to play Magic, or are they concerned with selling hundreds of cards? The whole game, in other words, is designed to make you buy miniatures.
It's a brilliant idea. But it sure sucks for the consumer.
If you don't like the new rules, play with the old ones like I do.
Hey, GW -Remember when there were rules for building your own tanks and army lists? That was fun. We were gameplayers and not rule lawers!!!!!!
In most respects, I can only echo the sentiments expressed by others here, since I feel that they have captured the essence of the Warhammer/Warhammer 40K universes with their remarks about rules written exclusively to sell figures, and the introduction of increasingly more powerful units and personality figures causing an "arms race."
Someone else suggested a correlation between GW's approach and that of Wizards of the Coast. As an inhabitant of Seattle, I can say that about half of the Wizard's flagship store is set aside for GW products. And of course, their marketing strategy mirrors that of GW in terms of price-gouging and targetting gamers who are too young to fully understand how simply WRONG the prices are. I have often watched in amazement as youthful players of Tragic the Garnishing begin their early addiction to a game that consumes wads of bills as rapidly as a hand flamer, and thought to myself, "God! I didn't have that kind of money when I was that age!"
Of course, having your marketing aimed at teenagers has other advantages: your game will often be the first wargame they have ever played. If this is the case, they will have no criteria by which to judge and recognize poorly designed, wildly imbalanced games. Applying anything like realism or logic to the game universe will also be completely optional; much like plot in an action movie. Provided there's plenty of explosions, the average 10 to 15-year-old won't care that the film's story-line makes no sense.
The other factor in your favor is a trait that will likely be familiar to any cross-over wargamers who also do roleplaying games. If you've ever been in an RPG with a a young player (or an adult whose maturity level is lurking right around 15-16 equivalency), the concept of having a character whose personality is more than a list of equipment is often a vague concept. I'm not generalizing, there are exceptions! But far too many take the whole concept of "monty haul" gaming to new and nauseating levels. I have often seen the amusing image of the experienced, battle-scarred veteran of many quests with his few hard-won items of power standing alongside the 4th level fighter who has so many magic items he's called "Christmas Tree" behind his back. He's wearing the best armor possible because, of course, he was born the Crown Prince or some such, and probably has at least one artifact that he took off the corpse of a major Demon Lord or Demi-God that he killed with his bare hands on their home plane.
People to whom that sort of "power gaming" is appealing make perfect initiates to the Cult of Games Workshop, where not only does "might" (as in more powerful new models/figures) make "right," it makes "sales," and transcends the need for anything as trivial as "strategy."
Those few times I was lured by nicely cast figures, well-made terrain, and impressive paint jobs into trying the games of the modern GW, I encountered the fact that while many may indeed find these "games" entertaining, and while they involve combat, they are not truly "wargames." A wargame is a strategic simulation. To quote a military leader of the past: "Victory goes not always to the biggest guns..." Each time I tried to make a maneuver that might have in another, more conventional wargame turned the enemy flank and routed his army, my opponent checked my attack, not with better tactics or with superior generalship, but rather with the skills of an attorney - he knew the rules well enough to slip away through their various loopholes and escape. When I would point out to my opponents the amazing inaccuracy of some of these rules, they would simply say, "yeah, we know it makes no sense, but that's Games Workshop for you". Boy, that's the kind of loyalty some religions hope to see - unquestioning obeisance.
If the rules stink, and you know it - why use them? Either change them (though if you cut out all the bad rules you would mostly have a very expensive collection of lovely interior art) or.... here comes some real heresy...play with a different ruleset!
I've been a wargamer for a number of years, and I can say that many (close to most) in the serious wargaming community view GW products as serious wargames about the way that the U.S. government might view the family boardgame Risk as a useful way to plan global military strategy.
As a dusty old fossil, I remember when some buddies and I were looking for a set of Fantasy Miniatures Rules, back in the days when most games were historical, and most wargamers looked at you like you were seriously feeble-minded if you wanted to recreate fictional armies. How would you know what color to paint the cuffs of their uniforms? But I found a few rule-sets, most of which are long out of print, but one of which was an unassuming set of rules you would not now recognize...called Warhammer. At the time, Games Workshop was just another of the many companies in the industry struggling along in a hand-to-mouth existence on the small gamer market. There was no Warhammer setting (you used whatever world you wanted to - I drew up maps for my own). And people who played Warhammer used whatever damn figures they wanted. I played it using 15mm ancients (25mm for things like Ogres) from a colorful assortment of nationalities - including as I recall, some Mongols that got used for Orks. Back then the game was simpler, cheaper, and in some ways, more fun. The company had yet to become "an establishment" a little too full of itself and dissassociated from the players to whom it owes every bit of its success.
If you're fed up with Games Workshop, don't get disgusted and quit a great hobby that can promise you many years of enjoyment marching armies under dozens of banners - just use better mechanics by a different manufacturer! And know once more the thrill of victory achieved not by "overkill gizmos" but by better plans and tactics!
I started playing WH40K and got so confused by everyone bringing in greater, larger, more powerful armies. It started being not fun, as I was beginning to spend serious cabbage on keeping up with the Joneses...
I decided to try Warzone. Although the range is not as broad, the figures are very cool. I have painted a Bauhaus Army which Rocks, as well as a Cybertronics Army. I did a small comparison a while ago, and worked out that I got 60% more figures by buying Warzone than 40K. The rules are similar, and I actually find them slightly easier to play. I like to game with friends whom I don't have to argue with over every operation.
Warhammer is probably owned at some level by Rupert Murdoch - hell, he owns everything else in the world that costs huge money to get into.....
We have to remember one thing about GW, and that's that it's not the game designers' fault that a lot of their games stink. (I think Warhammer Quest and Necromunda were both great games.) We have to remember that the 'higher ups' of the GW company have a lot of power over the product that is put out. The fact that they require a new version of their rules every 3 years or so, or create new 'crazy' rules to allow the addition of a 'new' character model (or unit), shows this. GW is a miniatures company; they create rules solely to sell their miniatures. That's why we see so many new rules for new miniatures. It's just their policy to do so.
Look at games like Man o' War, Space Hulk, and Warhammer Quest - really great games. However, the fact that these games sold so few miniatures in the long run meant that they had to be side-lined or dropped completely. It is GW's hope that these games will lead players into buying and playing their 'main' games (Warhammer Fantasy and 40k).
Again, this stinks for us gamers. But as I said, we need not blame the game designers. Look at Rick Priestly - in order to create a great game without the pressure from GW higher-ups, or to face incredible deadlines to produce something, or be limited because the game had to promote/sell miniatures, he formed a separate game company with the Perry twins. The result we see is Warhammer Ancients, and from what I hear the game is great - even promoting you to play with any models on the market!!!
Bottom line: GW is a big company. Big because they know how to sell things (too bad for us, I guess).
Just keep in mind one more thing. GW is its own hobby!!! "The GW Hobby" is seen everywhere on their products. They have their own miniatures, magazines and conventions. Because of this, we who are involved in gaming outside of "the GW hobby" make a mistake when we judge them so harshly. They are simply a separate hobby!!! (Even though they play with miniatures, etc. like we do.) Of course, by making themselves 'separate' from the rest of the hobby, they have allowed themselves to become quite different in regards to marketing a product. And I feel that's why we critique them so harshly. But is that fair?
|Steve Balog (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with strong dislikes toward Games Workshop and the crap that they've been putting out.
I must admit that James is correct in saying "fix it with house rules." However, the flaw to that is that you can't use house rules in a tournament. And the tournament (at least here in Dallas) is supposed to be a showcase for the game.
I've met many people that were at first interested in playing, until they went to a tournament and saw the ridiculous games being played. A friend and I have written so many "house rules" to fix the flaws that we are currently considering releasing them as a whole new game.
All that the folks at GW really care about is how much money they can convince you to cough up. And until we all tell them to stuff it, they will continue to raise the prices. You want to get the message to them? Don't buy any more stuff!! Use WarZone miniatures or any of a dozen other makers. Let's give the little guys a chance to fight back!
|Phil Willows (email@example.com)|
I recently returned to miniature wargaming. Needless to say, there was a high degree of sticker shock.
As a historical wargamer, I hear it all the time: "Warhammer 40K is a bucket of dice game." Guess what? Any game that uses even 1 die is subject to the god of luck. I played a game of SeeKrieg. On a critical turn, two of my 18" shells failed to explode; so says back-to-back 96's! Plan B - Shoot the manufacturer :)
To the idiot that said "This game is so realistic!" - What planet did he just get off? Compared to what????? Can I see your Melta Gun?
What I like about 40K is that it is just downright fun.
As for the prices, well, I do everything I can to avoid paying full price for any of it. I purchased 40K and Epic 40k and paid less than US$100 for both. The primer and paints, I buy at arts and crafts stores (less than US$1 for a 2oz. bottle of acrylic paint). I used a 99-cent black gel pen to draw the crosses on my Black Templars. They look great (if observed from the adjacent county).
This isn't meant to let GW off the hook. Their greed seems to know no bounds. To raise the price of Tactical Marines from US$19.99 to US$22.99 is disgusting. To charge US$155 to play in a tournament is, well, disgusting. Of course, I don't think they really care.
My son bought a bag of soldiers at the dollar store. I called them Yellow Eldar. The bazooka man was a missile launcher. Cool game. The rule book is about a B+. How about another 2 pound of useless drivel to bring it up to an "A" and a crane to carry it around?
When sales drop, they drop a few pieces from the line. Pull the stats from the rulebooks for those pieces. Introduce a new line. Version 4, good bye beakies. Start raking it in...
Well, Warhammer 3rd edition has arrived, heralded by much fanfare. What have we got for the change? A whole heap of codex that will have to rereleased, at a substantial mark up. A new points system that makes all your existing figures worth between 25-50% cheaper (gotta buy even more miniatures) and a new range of plastic figures that are as expensive as pewter and a hell of a lot less impressive to look at. This follows on the illustrious example set by the conversion to 2nd edition, which reduced the points cost of figures by some 45% across the board. A 2,000 point army prior to 2nd edition is today barely 700 points in 3rd edition.
The trouble, as many previous posters have noted, is that GW is running a business selling miniatures, not games. Play balance, enjoyment, rules clarifications, and so on are all secondary to selling more and more miniatures. The rules themselves are obviously aimed at a market of young teens. After all, GW doesn't like us older gamers - we remember what prices for miniatures used to be like in the "old days," say three years ago. In those days you could buy two metal terminators for A$7.95. Now a single heavy weapon terminator can set you back some A$17.95. For this reason, GW policy is to cultivate new gamers, the younger the better. They lack our experience and perspective and have an income stream which is almost entirely discretionary.
That said, I will probably continue to play the game, simply because it is a social activity I share with my friends. Besides, I have too much invested in my current army.
It has to be said, though, that Games Workshop leaves a filthy taste in my mouth every time I deal with them.
|Robert Laplante (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
I have played all of the editions of Warhammer 40K, starting with Rogue Trader in 1986. It is one of my favorite wargames. I have played Space Marines/Adeptus Titanicus for a long time, too.
For the new version of WH40K, I only regret that some of my favorite old rules are gone (like the one for ramming things with vehicles).
But the miniatures are very expensive. I remember buying their first box of plastic marines for C$30 (Canadian). At that time, there were 30 marines in that box...now, with the same price, see what you can buy! Same thing for the Land Raider: I bought a box with two Land Raiders for C$20, and another one (3 Rhinos) for C$30 when they came out... I can think of many other examples.
Another thing I regret is that, from one edition to the other, some of your miniatures became obsolete. For example, my robot maniple (first edition and later revision) are no longer legal. Same thing for my 4 Imperial Guard Land Speeders (they dropped them in the Codex of the second edition), or my marines on Jet Cycles (another victim of the second edition), or my Genestealer hybrid army, or my Imperial Guards with the old heavy weapons, or my old Marine Dreadnought (the new ones are much bigger), or my Imperial field artillery. I know that the other armies have the same trouble. It costs so much to buy their miniatures now, they should at least assure us that they will still be usable in the next edition!
THE GAME that got me into miniature wargaming. THE BEST figures and a very good system that has provided a lot of fun the last few years. Alas, like all real life stories, it didn't end happily ever after.
I saw a very fun game that I spent a small fortune on gradually devolve into utter silliness. I saw a shift from basic troopers to large levels of specialized units and characters and vehicles. I had boxes of troops that were being rendered obsolete with every new release that came out. The game was no longer one of strategies in the normal sense of the word, but of a new interpretation. It only matters what troop type you take, and what wargear to give your unkillable hero in order to win the game.
Some of these objections can be overcome. I admit that the miniatures are getting better with each new release, and provide excellent models with which to paint and play. Some articles have been helpful in revising some inherent game deficiencies, although some clearly are in violation of their own rules. (See the White Dwarf article about dreadnoughts, and read the ork suggestions while having the ork codex open to the dreadnought listing. Nine-tenths of what he suggests is impossible to do under the rules.)
However, the big problem is Games Workshop themselves. Never in my life have I spoken with such a bunch of self-righteous, arrogant, snobby people in my whole life. The last 4 box sets I purchased had pieces missing. When I called the number listed for Customer Service, I was handled in a rather condescending manner and told to be more careful about opening the box at the place of purchase so I wouldn't have to keep calling them! Customer Service is not even the worst - try to talk to an outrider, or write a nice letter with questions about some inherent rule problems, and they act like you are spitting on the BIBLE! It's a game for crying out loud, and if you want people to play it , fix it. They act like a responsible person trying to enjoy the hobby is a Satan-spawned critic lashing out on their holy relic.
Last, but certainly not the least reason, is the amount of moeny it takes to play the game. The arms-race style of the game is compounded by the ever-increasing price structure. An army should not cost several hundred dollars to collect. When I started playing 4 years ago, the most expensive item in the game was the landraider at a whopping US$22.50. What can you get for $22.50 now? Not even a rhino! I'm sick of it. Farewell, I will find something else.
|Kyle "The Destroyer of Worlds" Cruickshank (email@example.com)|
Warhammer 40K is a challenging game that has pitted my friends against me in a slim chance to overthrow my winning streak. As it goes, I am still the undisputted Chaos Lord and will be for so long.
What I would like to really say is that this game is a great hobby. You can do so much with this game. I mainly paint all of our armies, while my friend builds the terrain. I only wish that there were some rules for multiple players. I have three opponents lined up to take my title, and I want to know if there are any special rules for 3+ player games. This way I can show them what I am really made of.
|Malar Subramaniam (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
Wow, a place to talk about one of my mostest favoritest games in the land! Warhammer 40K filled a void in my life...but you don't need to know about that...if you do, write me...please! Back to the subject at hand...
I love this game, man! A game this simple to learn, that is intricately difficult at the same time, comes around once in...a..uh...a really long time, okay? The main reason for this comes from your opponent, as in most other wargames, yet why is this one different?
Beats the heck out of me, really. But I can give you some possible answers...the models are grade A1 quality, the bestest of the bestests. And I'm not just saying that...but alas, Games Workshop must feel that if their models are the best, they must also cost the most! I have found that the best things in life are free...or at least cheap...okay, the best things in life don't eat away three-day's pay from a twenty-day paycheck (I don't get paid much for being a student, okay? Geez, just lay off a bit!). Seriously, GW is starting to get on most people's nerves right about now with this model price thing (especially after recently raising them again!)...personally, I like to buy my new models used from friends because of the skyrocketing sticker prices...sorry guys, I love the game but I don't gotta like the cost!
But back to the game! Yes, WH40K is a wondrous game that challenges the strategist and artist, stimulates the sci-fi buff, and allows the fisherman to blow yet more exploits out of proportion! Sitting around with the buds playing WH40K is a relaxing way to get away from it all and just let go! I love the game, I love the guys at GW, I love White Dwarf, and I love myself! I must be nuts, but hey, I love that, too!!!
Anyway, anyone who wants to write to me and swap the BS, please do...later!
|Warmaster of Chaos (email@example.com)|
Hi there! I'm from Sweden, and there is only one word to say about Warhammer 40,000 - BSET or TESB or what was it.....ooooh...you know....better than better.......oh...BEST. It is so great...oh...I must go and play! And if anyone reading this has WD153 and has seen the Blood-Slaughterer rules, talk to me.
Games Workshop is the Microsoft of the Tabletop gaming industry; and Warhammer 40,000 is the reason I gave up wargaming.
I played 40K avidly for about three years; until the Tyranid Codex came out. In this book I discovered my Genestealer/Tyranid army (a completely legal army at the time) had become two seperate armies; one Genestealer cult (which had been thoroughly castrated) and a Tyranid army, which would have been very impressive had I only wanted to spend 100.00 on the all-new minatures (imagine that). This is not an uncommon story; the Eldar Harlequins and much of the Chaos Marine Chapters got the boot as well. Consider yourself warned.
The rules are in admittedly the most beautiful packaging in the industry; and Mark Gibson's interior art is a series of masterpieces. However, the rules themselves are aimed at the 10-14 age group, and are unplaytested. It took these astute geniuses over two years to figure out the Displacer Fields were being widely misplayed; and probably close to 5 years to decide the "win the game for free" Virus Outbreak card is a bad idea.
One Example Flaw: In a game between Tyranids and Space Marines; the Tyranids set up, then the Space Marines set up, then the Space Marines move, then the Space Marine fire! Then any surviving Tyranids can move and fire if you still feel the urge. You probably won't.
It pretty much goes downhill from there.
Also be prepared, they base the point value on the figs to sell miniatures, not ensure game balance. Whenever a new fig comes out it is invariably more effective point-value wise than the ones already in players' hands. It's a viscious arms race as players try to keep the newest figs possible on the field.
If you enjoy being shafted price-wise; and being told how to, what color to, and on what day to, paint your figs, go ahead and join the Cult of Games Workshop. The helpful acolytes in the local shrine (disguised as a "Chapter-Approved" gaming store) will help you along the way.
Warhammer 40K is a great game. Sure, it has a few rules flaws, but all games do and enthusiasts (read: addicts) of 40K don't care about the flaws, or just fix them with house rules.
40K is also versatile. You can play a tiny skirmish in a village between some Imperial Guards and Orks, or you can have massive battles with entire infanty and tank platoons on the board.
My only qualm with Games Workshop and 40K right now is their prices on miniatures. Yes, I admit that the figures are incredibly well-designed and cast, but compare a GW figure to a Ral Partha figure. They are both well-cast, beautifully sculpted, but there is a US$2-3 price difference. US$5.99 for a blister of two figures is way too much. It's a shame there aren't more people who express their disappointment about Games Workshop prices. Maybe then we could get those excellent figures for an excellent price.
Other than that little price thing, Games Workshop and all of its games, especially 40K, is wonderful.
|Chuck Dale (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
Warhammer 40,000 is not so much a game as a universe. Once you get involved, you will start getting offended when someone tells you that the evil Chaos forces don't exist, and that the universe is not threatened by the invasion of a disgusting alien force called the Tyranids.
The rules system is very strong, and battles can be from perhaps one hour to days in length. The game has become simpler with 2nd edition, but is still fairly complex.
After reading your page, I must say that nearly every opinion on 40k had a legitimate claim, from the one complaining about the Tyranid rules revisions to the price gouging by GW to make a buck.
That said, I have another gripe that nobody has voiced yet: am I the only one dissatisfied with Games Workshops' inability to bring anything out on time? I started playing Space Marines last year in about June, and was assured that numerous new versions of old models would be out by Christmas "at the latest" (direct quote from a local gaming shop). As near as I can tell, the Squats codex is nowhere near done, though GW has had it in "development"; there is still no model for half the characters in the Chaos codex; when the Imperial Agents codex came out, it was only partial: the Sisters of Battle and Assassins came out in seperate codexs (obvious price gouging tactics there!), and the Tech Priest and Adeptus Arbites codexs are nowhere to be seen!
Finally, by far my biggest gripe, is that a number of models - notably the Space Marine Land Raider, the Orc Battlewagon, and the Imperial Guard Sentinel - have been "out of print and being revised" for over 2 years now. These were once staples in their respective armies, now unfindable, even in mail order to England! Though they can increase prices at will and create new models, they can't even recreate the proven sellers? Sounds like GW has been taking lessons from Wizards of the Coast!
Thanks for suffering through my rumblings.....
If you would like to add your opinion to this webpage, use the following form or send email to the editor.
|22 October 1999||comments by Kurtus Brown|
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