Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Patronisation - on sale now at Games Workshop!

I may have the odd rant about things in this hobby but in general I accept that Games Workshop will always charge as much as they think they can get away with. In fact Jervis Johnson himself once told me this was their strategy. Fair play to them, they're a business not a charity. If people don't like it they can vote with their money and simply not shell out for it. However, we all know that we'll want whatever plastic crack they send our way and they'll still make a fortune no matter how up in arms we are about it.

That being said I remember a time when Games Workshop used to do deals. They used to offer a free miniature with White Dwarf and would issue "collector cards" so that once you bought all of the models on the card you got something free. Granted neither of these were particularly great deals but the idea was there. Oh and don't get me started on the decline of White Dwarf. In recent times Games Workshop seem content to allow third party suppliers to offer all the deals whilst they rest assured that people will still ignore the third parties and buy everything full price direct from them.

Now I accept that GW have often bundled their models together in the form of Battleforces, Megaforces and in the recent collection of 3-in-a-box sets like Warwalkers, Vypers, Windriders etc. None of this is anything new, they've done it before. These kits still represent good "value" compared to the GW prices and when combined with an FLGS discount the prices are almost reasonable. They've made some kits cheaper too by making them into plastic e.g. Tau Pathfinders and Eldar Wraithguard. On the flip side of that some have got ludicrously more expensive for no good reason, I'm thinking Eldar Dire Avengers here. Anyway, all of this I can forgive as they're well within their rights to put their own prices up, no matter how much we might dislike it.

What really grinds my gears (thanks Peter Griffin) though is the new trend of "One-Click Miniatures Collections". I'm sure some people have been suckered into thinking these offer some sort of bulk-buying discount. The latest example of this is the "Iyanden Ghost Warrior" collection. This collection offers £407 worth of models for the bargain price of..... £407. Now this is nothing new, they've been doing this a little while now. Doesn't mean to say it hasn't irritated me thinking of people falling for it (more fool them I suppose). The kicker though is Games Workshop saying "limited time only". This collection is only available for the next 24 hours!!! 

I know Games Workshop think we're all stupid (and often we give them plenty of evidence to support this) but seriously, a limited time offer that doesn't actually save you any money? Let's say nothing of the fact that you need 2 codices and a rulebook to use these models!! Don't get me started on the codex supplements either. The idea that I need two £30 to use an army is insulting. As I understand it there's only a couple of different rules in there too. Don't get me wrong it's a good idea for doing all of the Space Marine chapters or CSM legions but surely they could just do an all in one book that contained Iyanden fluff but with all of the Eldar rules?

Anyway, the point is that Games Workshop have got it into their heads that if they make everything seem Limited Edition we'll drop a fortune on them. I'd bet most of the limited edition codex sales are to people wanting to flog them to idiots on eBay. It's £20 for a dustcover people! 

Whilst I wouldn't want to see Games Workshop go out of business as some would, this sort of thing doesn't really help their case. For me their current marketing strategy is just retarded. This secretive launch of each codex is borderline comical when their website hints at a codex that everyone has already seen pictures of across the web!

I suppose the thing we have to remember is that the majority of gamers/hobbyists don't read anything on the internet. They probably shop at their local GW store rather than an FLGS and aren't aware they're being treated like morons. It's the same thing as buying a DVD from a high street store when Amazon/eBay (or another site) is £5 cheaper. Perhaps I just like to think the 40K player base is a bit more intelligent than that. Mind you reading the "new Eldar codex is crap" posts, I'm hardly won over....


  1. Yeah. Intelligence in gamers. The way GW keeps putting up these 'limited time' deals suggests to me not all our hobby co-hort is as switched on to pricing issues as they are obviously worth adding to the store as someone must be buying them.

    The limited time is what I dont understand. How is a bundle like this that saves no money a limited time offer - I can build that bundle in the web cart using the individual components whenever I want and still pay that price? Unless they are going to raise prices the day after the offer ends - which then makes them chumps I guess?????

  2. It's really simple, even if shockingly idiotic: you have a limited time in which you can get all the stuff with just one click instead of spending five more minutes loading the cart. GW doesn't want their dear costumers to get tired clicking some buttons, you know, so the offer here is not an economic one, they offer you to save your time and get all the stuff you need with just one click. After all, time is money, everyone knows it.

  3. I saw the exact same thing, it's just embarrassing for both the company, and the suckers who fall for it.

    I really think the upper management of GW really doesn't understand its player-base. I have never seen a company approach customer service, retail and long term strategy like Games Workshop.

    It's sad, as I don't want to see it go out of business either. I do think that if the GW management were suddenly replaced by some young tech savvy management - GW would become a company that everyone loved again.

  4. The 1-click bundles are a-ok. Sure they could give us some better deal in the price, but if you really want the new shiny (or collection of stuff), it's nice and comfortable.
    What really pisses me off lately is the new digital releases you see on Black library. They seem to be nice articles about wargear and characters. But they come with a price!
    In the past I'd have expected these kind of things in the codex or in the White Dwarf. I guess the issue is, the codex all have to have the same amount of pages, so once it's full, there won't be any further fluff.
    And on the White Dwarf... well, I guess we all know, what good for the White Dwarf is these days...


  5. Gotta agree wholeheartedly, though not sure the "Limited Time Only" thing is new, though this is on a whole other scale. I can remember at least five models/kits I was told were limited or would be discontinued that never were. To be fair, there were three others that actually were limited. But falling for "Limited Time Only" on a single model isn't that bad compared to something on this scale.

    And I agree, I look at GW policies and think "that's idiotic," but they must work because they keep doing them, and keep seeing success. Not to mention, I may disapprove of their practices, but as you said, they're a business, and they sell a product I like and enjoy, even if I would love to pay less for it.

  6. Good god I just posted about this too! They really must they we are completely daft. It's just too insulting that they think we don't see the free shipping offer at the top of the page, and can't add up the sum total of the individual pieces of the bundle.

    Don't they think that people who would be inclined to get this bundle wouldn't first do the math to see what sort of financial incentive there is to buy it?

    Or do they think they are doing us a service by reducing our effort by 10 or so "clicks"--thanks a lot!

    1. "Or do they think they are doing us a service by reducing our effort by 10 or so "clicks"--thanks a lot!"

      Yes, as i wrote above, they think exactly so.

  7. Good post, I think a large part of the community is agree with you. But How can we do ?
    Make responsible purchasing, but difficult we are passionate.

  8. "Let's say nothing of the fact that you need 2 codices and a rulebook to use these models!!"

    Actually you only need the main codex, not the supplement as well as the codex. In fact even with both you still can't use ALL those models in a single force org because you only get 3 heavy support slots regardless.

    1. To run an "Iyanden" army you need both the supplement and the codex. To run a normal Eldar army you just need the codex of course.

      It's my understanding that in the Iyanden supplement you can take a wraithlord as a HQ but I haven't seen the book.

    2. The Iyanden Supplement adds a new warlord trait table, a new primaris for spiritseers, a new list of equipment for HQs, teh ability to take 1-5 spitseers per HQ slot and the ability to nominate a wraithlord or wraithknight as your warlord(it remains a HS).

      Wraithguard can be taken as troops in the standard codex.

    3. I've finally been able to read the book thanks to a friend who have it on i-pad version. I must admit the e-book is really beautiful and interesting from a fluff-wise point of view. What's absurd is that you should need this book to play. There's 2 pages of rules in the whole 194 pages that makes the book, 1 of which is a list of new gear, and in the other one they just wrote that you can use a wraithknight or wraithlord as a general. Quite litterally. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't have included it in the main codex tbh. So it's just my humble opinion but if you want a lot of well written fluff about Iyanden, a lot of great artwork and some missions buy it, if you just want the rules, get the 2 pages from a friend or from the internet and copy it.

  9. In my opinion the price of rule books has become ridiculous. When you need a £30 codex + either a £45 rule book or £61.50 starter set just to start playing the game how can any new players justify taking up the hobby?

    As for the one click bundles, GW has been doing that for years and from the looks of things are still getting away with it.


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