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Games Workshop, An Appreciation Thread


Lorfarius
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They constantly bring out new books and new models. There is an element of "power creep" with the new stuff being better in game than the old stuff thereby encouraging players to "upgrade". Every few years once the level of creep has completely messed up the game then they release a new edition, which itself spawns new models and further new books! It is a bit like the CCG business model (and one that, sadly but understandably, WotC adopted for D&D).

Lets not also point out that the models are very expensive, and have become relatively more expensive over the years. Models that are good in the game also tend to be more expensive (funny that). And starter sets are extremely good value to get teenagers hooked!

The popularity of pick-up games (in-store) and tournaments reinforces the core rules, model and edition changes and what is "legal". Add rules to WD and you have a magazine many fans will *have* to buy. Put plenty of adverts in WD (well it is one big advert really) and you hopefully increase sales of new miniatures.

I see a lot of these complaints a lot of the time and a lot of it just isn't true. I can only really talk about Warhammer since i've not been into 40k properly for years and i've never been bothered about lord of the rings, but any issues with warhammer have struck me as being issues with how they develop the game and the developers they have rather than any focussed effort to make each army book more and more powerful.

Since 6th ed has been released (around 8 years) it's been really well balanced for the most part until a blip around the Dark Elf, Vampire and Daemon books and the books released since then haven't been considered anywhere near as powerful (a drop back to the more balanced ones before that). The problem is that GW doesn't playtest it's armies properly and the environment in the studio isn't one of cutthroat competitive gaming so some of the more exploitative elements in any given book don't properly show up until the list is out there. Combine this with their stupid insistance on not changing a book once it's out leads to any mistakes made by a developer who isn't up to the task being felt for years later.

Essentially it's all there to sell the models as you say, but they don't need power creep for this as generally the models will do a good job of selling themselves. Daemons and Dark Elves might be the most powerful armies at the moment so they might have more than their fair share of players at a tournament but down at the local shop people will generally just play what they like the look of (and at least in the shops I worked in the advice to anyone new was always just get what you liked the look of most, not omg these new ones are so powerful you'll wipe the floor with everyone so get them).

I'm not even going to go in to price as I don't think it's any more expensive than any other hobby (hello pc gaming) and I think if you want it GW provides a lot of stuff in support that you don't really get anywhere else without having to pay for that too. I've also rarely ever bought white dwarf. The only times I have are when there's been something in it that I wanted such as the Beasts of chaos playtest list that was frankly a really good thing for them to do and something I wish they'd do more (and would make me buy white dwarf more funnily enough).

Having said that the GW conspiracy theories do make me laugh :(

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They might be bigger but GW is hardly a few corner shoops. It'd be one hell of an investment spanning multiple countries.

Wizards wouldn't/couldn't buy GW. BUT Wizards is owned by Hasbro. I think Hasbro could.

(sorry to be a pedant - that is probably what everyone meant.)

Wizards is owned by Hasbro

I reckon GW would be a drop in the ocean for them

Whoops beaten to the punch!

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I see a lot of these complaints a lot of the time and a lot of it just isn't true. I can only really talk about Warhammer since i've not been into 40k properly for years and i've never been bothered about lord of the rings, but any issues with warhammer have struck me as being issues with how they develop the game and the developers they have rather than any focussed effort to make each army book more and more powerful.

Since 6th ed has been released (around 8 years) it's been really well balanced for the most part until a blip around the Dark Elf, Vampire and Daemon books and the books released since then haven't been considered anywhere near as powerful (a drop back to the more balanced ones before that). The problem is that GW doesn't playtest it's armies properly and the environment in the studio isn't one of cutthroat competitive gaming so some of the more exploitative elements in any given book don't properly show up until the list is out there. Combine this with their stupid insistance on not changing a book once it's out leads to any mistakes made by a developer who isn't up to the task being felt for years later.

Essentially it's all there to sell the models as you say, but they don't need power creep for this as generally the models will do a good job of selling themselves. Daemons and Dark Elves might be the most powerful armies at the moment so they might have more than their fair share of players at a tournament but down at the local shop people will generally just play what they like the look of (and at least in the shops I worked in the advice to anyone new was always just get what you liked the look of most, not omg these new ones are so powerful you'll wipe the floor with everyone so get them).

I'm not even going to go in to price as I don't think it's any more expensive than any other hobby (hello pc gaming) and I think if you want it GW provides a lot of stuff in support that you don't really get anywhere else without having to pay for that too. I've also rarely ever bought white dwarf. The only times I have are when there's been something in it that I wanted such as the Beasts of chaos playtest list that was frankly a really good thing for them to do and something I wish they'd do more (and would make me buy white dwarf more funnily enough).

Having said that the GW conspiracy theories do make me laugh :(

Good post and good rebuttal to my argument! :(

I am sure you are right as my experience with GW is way out of date. Apart from a couple of games each of 40k and WHFB in the last six months I haven't played WHFB since second edition.

I don't see it as a conspiracy theory just a business model. And a pretty shrewd one at that albeit one that doesn't necessarily promote the game.

From what I read and hear from people active in the hobby some armies are far more "competitive" than others hence all the Daemon and Vampire Counts armies in tournaments. I am less familiar with 40K but do hear similar complaints.

I think you are probably right that much of it has to do with poor playtesting rather than a built in power creep/obsolence but it is a complaint I hear frequently from Warhammer players. Surely they should do their best to release army books for all the core armies for each edition before moving on to the next edition?

It is interesting to compare it with D&D where the product was the books and not the models. TSR failed really because it grew too quickly. It spread its customer base too thinly across multiple games and campaign worlds. It also sold lots of supplements that were of primarily of interest to DMs (modules and rule books - although this changed towards the end of second edition with the complete X handbooks) rather than to players. As a player you only really needed one book. So 6 players buy one book each (at best) and the DM bbuys what he can afford of the rest (and often just makes up his own).

After TSR was bought by WotC and WotC brought out 3e D&D there were many more books and most were aimed at players. Here the problem was power creep/rules becoming too complex (a problem 2e also suffered from) and it was rebooted with 3.5e and then 4e. The fairly rapid reboots and the big differences in system between 1st/2nd ed v 3/3.5 ed v 4e has really splintered the D&D market. I think WotC aren't doing as well as they could be as a result (although they are still really the only big RPG company).

GW has avoided much of this by focusing more on the business and not fragmenting the user base but I think perhaps they have gone too far with just three games. They also have the advantage of selling models rather than books. Most people can never have enough models (particularly with 40K Apocolypse and War of the Ring - is there a WHFB equivalent?). That is why I am confused as to why they don't bring out all of the armies for a given edition and perhaps updating the existing armies during an edition's lifespan to keep the older armies relevant/interesting and to correct things, as well as, more importantly, supplementing them with new models. A sort of annual update.

As to all the stuff they do fo "free" to support the hobby they'd be daft not too. The hobby is their business. All they are doing is supporting their product.

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I think it's interesting to look at lotr and how GW have developed the system over its lifespan. The actual miniature range was fairly complete several years ago and under the original ruleset an army could be purchased for a lot less than £100. Unlike WFB and 40K GW have little scope for issuing new units or faction books (though they have tried without much success) and so encourage sales by expanding the number of miniatures needed to play with first with Legions of Middle Earth and then War of the Ring. Beyond the predictable decline in interest after the films were released it's no surprise that sales have dropped.

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As a D&D player I agree about AD&D and 2nd edition

I loved 3.5e, but to be honest admire the back to basics, newbie friendly 4e

wizards biggest problem is piracy of the books though, that and due to the nature of the game, their own line of minis is not an absolute necessity, while some of them are ok, they are a bit basic and I prefer indie minis for my games.

Sick of DMing though and would love to get a decent gaming group together and have a really great D&D experience, but thats unlikely to happen as most people here think D&D was an 80s cartoon.

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As a D&D player I agree about AD&D and 2nd edition

I loved 3.5e, but to be honest admire the back to basics, newbie friendly 4e

wizards biggest problem is piracy of the books though, that and due to the nature of the game, their own line of minis is not an absolute necessity, while some of them are ok, they are a bit basic and I prefer indie minis for my games.

Sick of DMing though and would love to get a decent gaming group together and have a really great D&D experience, but thats unlikely to happen as most people here think D&D was an 80s cartoon.

Interesting stuff. I played B/X D&D and AD&D from about 1980. Never played 2 ed. got back into it with 3.0 which I liked. Picked up 3.5 which I also liked but detested the rules bloat that eventually came with it.

I moved and therefore lost my gaming group at the tale end of 3.5e and haven't played 4e although what i have heard I haven't liked the sound of - more video gamey.

I have fully embraced the Old Skool Renaissance. I DM'd Hackmaster 4e (which was essentially AD&D 2e plus madness). I picked up Castles & Crusades and while I like where they are going with it I don't like the SIEGE Engine or some of the design decisions taken. I like OSRIC (which is just AD&D 1e) and Basic Fantasy Role Playing (which is B/X D&D with races and classes split).

I have also heard good things about Pathfinder (3.5 tweaked) but I haven't played it. I have bought and read Hackmaster Basic 5e (not AD&D but a reimagined D&D with Hackmaster elements) and love a lot of the design decisions taken. I would want to see how it plays though.

However at the moment I am working on (mainly in my head although some has been committed to paper) my own version of D&D incorporating elements of all the above! I have no idea if I will ever play it or finish it. Perhaps one day.

I agree the D&D miniatures are awful. I really loved the old GW AD&D line circa 1986/7.

If you like indie miniatures you should definitely check out Otherworld Miniatures (old skool D&D miniatures including proper orcs sculpted by Kev Adams himself!) and red Box games (Tre Manor who scuplts for Reaper among others).

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the old gw ad&d minis were imported ral partha minis

I still have an old ral partha dwarf warrior kicking about which for me looked like the classic 80s white dwarf dwarf, moreso than anything citadel ever produced.

Must locate him and strip and repaint him with a decent paintjob

I have a copy of pathfinder and love it to bits, still havent managed a game though but it is basically what 3.5 could have been if the aforementioned rule bloat hadnt kicked in

4e comes across as a bit like wow to some folks, which in my opinion is not a bad thing as old school rpgs are an incredibly niche hobby now and wow is not, so something that plays like wow would be easier to get the newbies head around than thac0 for instance

Having said that, I once played a short campaign using the original ruleset (literally the white box edition that required chainmail) and it was shockingly hard to grasp mainly due to poorly written rules

I picked up the new Doctor Who rpg, its remarkably clear, concise and newb friendly. While it uses the Tennant era as a jump off point there is literally nothing to stop you setting a campaign in the troughton era for example and with the excellent who minis from black tree design this is even more appealing

for those who cant be bohered going down that route it permits the usage of the character option minis as well, finally a use for them and they can be picked up super cheap now

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the old gw ad&d minis were imported ral partha minis

Are you sure? I was thinking of this range:

http://www.solegends.com/citadd1/index.htm

Having said that, I once played a short campaign using the original ruleset (literally the white box edition that required chainmail) and it was shockingly hard to grasp mainly due to poorly written rules

I never played White Box D&D ("OD&D") (or Holmes for that matter). I started with the Moldvay Basic Set (the one with the Erol Otus art). I do own the White box (and all the supplements) and agree they are badly written. They assume a knowledge of wargaming and Chainmail at the very least. However Swords & Wizardry is an OD&D retro-clone is supposed to be very good.

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ah yes

the earlier ones were imported ral partha if I recall, and then Citadel started producing their own once they became established

think some of the earliest perry minis were ad&d

I have the original space marine beaky from talisman somewhere

Yes I think some of the early pre-slottas were produced under license by citadel from Ralpartha moulds. (I could be wrong).

I remember the original limited edition space marine. I was moving away from GW by the time Rogue Trader came out.

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Okay, I think it's about time to show you a sneaky peak of the first figure for my fledgling company. Still waiting on casting costs and dates, but quite honestly I thought I'd at least gauge your thoughts on it before I brace myself for a huge big sweep of promoting the damn thing on all the figure forums and sites!

JoekMinisneakpeek.jpg

Basically, it'll come in three pieces - the main body, the sword (with hand), and the sculpted base. I really wanted the base as it fits the original artwork, but I kind of figured it'd be silly not to at least give folks the choice to have him on there or not.

At the mo', I can't really give away what price I'll be selling it for - it kind of hinges on the casting costs. I'm looking at a figure of around £10, which puts it in line with a fair few GW figures really. Hopefully, as it's going to be in resin, the detail of the original sculpt should show through nicely and be worth the expense!

It's also going to have a fairly low first run - the idea being that if I can sell the amount I need to recover the costs, I can then start on the second figure ;) . No profit for a long time, I'm afraid. This is purely a love-in :omg:

Anyways, if there's anyone out there who wants a first bite of the cherry (with no obligation to buy), just send me a PM, or email joekminis@googlemail.com, and I can at least give you a head's up when the thing is ready :(

Cheers folks :(

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This is something than interests me actually, the perception and attitude some people have about Games Workshop. I'm not referring to anyone here by the way but mainly somewhere like Warseer, although there is a little anger seeping in to some of the posts above. It's this thing where it's almost a personal affront if they release something that's not to your particular taste or haven't released something yet that you want.

It's like the relationship some folk have with their games consoles X 1000. GW are a business, plain and simple. They develop and release rule books and model toy soldiers to play the games with. Some you'll like and perhaps buy and some you will dislike and not probably buy.

Perhaps it's because I only started 40K the year before last when I was 33. I had played GW games in the 80s but not any of the current core games so I didn't grow up with it but I can't see why the toys get thrown out of the pram so often.

I like to skim through Warseer for the discussion and gossip but I seriously expect heads to explode, scanners style, with rage.

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This is something than interests me actually, the perception and attitude some people have about Games Workshop. I'm not referring to anyone here by the way but mainly somewhere like Warseer, although there is a little anger seeping in to some of the posts above. It's this thing where it's almost a personal affront if they release something that's not to your particular taste or haven't released something yet that you want.

It's like the relationship some folk have with their games consoles X 1000. GW are a business, plain and simple. They develop and release rule books and model toy soldiers to play the games with. Some you'll like and perhaps buy and some you will dislike and not probably buy.

Perhaps it's because I only started 40K the year before last when I was 33. I had played GW games in the 80s but not any of the current core games so I didn't grow up with it but I can't see why the toys get thrown out of the pram so often.

I like to skim through Warseer for the discussion and gossip but I seriously expect heads to explode, scanners style, with rage.

Well I hope you don't think this is my view. I was fairly critical of GW up above but at all times I did point out that while what they have done probably makes sense from a business point of view I think it is a shame largely because it doesn't suit me and because I think it has helped to scupper the gaming market in the UK and has certainly affected the diversity. That said it has been good for business and who knows where GW would be had they not taken that route.

I personally don't really care as I don't have much personally invested in GW. It's 20 years since I've really been interested in them. I have started playing a bit as it is the only game I can get easily but I haven't bought anything (other than getting WAB for Christmas and that doesn't really count!).

JoeK - That is a lovely looking sculpt and it would be a joy to paint but it doesn't look to me taht the mini is right for gaming (RPGing especially) as the pose/base doesn't seem massively well suited.

Who sculpted it?

Do you ever get over to the Frothers forums?

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Ooh! I remember the old Ral Partha 'Chaos Brew' (or was it 'broo'? Or Brue? I dunno) - bloody fantastic figures at the time.

Were they the ones that were 1/3 the size of regular 25mm scale minis? So bigger than GW epic stuff but still titchy? I had a bunch of them, some orcs and elves I think with different weapons and a couple of standard bearers... and some giants which were about the size of regular figures (!). Bought them from Virgin Games / Future Zone because I thought they looked cool, some of the last miniatures I ever bothered to paint.

EDIT: Where / were... ;)

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JoeK, that's great! Is that a 25mm sized base on it? Trying to work out the scale of the thing heh. :)

Well, it's a 30mm base - decided on the lipped ones when I sell 'em on, but it'll fit on any of them with a bit of glue! It measure around about 32mm from foot to head - it's about GW size I guess - maybe a little bit more, but as a 'hero' character I suppose it wouldn't matter.

JoeK - That is a lovely looking sculpt and it would be a joy to paint but it doesn't look to me taht the mini is right for gaming (RPGing especially) as the pose/base doesn't seem massively well suited.

Who sculpted it?

Do you ever get over to the Frothers forums?

Well, I'm gonna hope it's nice to paint, as I'm going to have to paint one up for the web-site (fingers crossed on that one)! I think it should be - whilst the figure's got a nice lot of detail on it, I deliberately wanted smooth, clean areas for folk to do what they wanted to do on it. I'll happily admit that it's pure fantasy (unashamedly!), but it should be able to be painted up how you want. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what people do with it!

As for being right for gaming - well, whilst as a one-off figure, I really wanted to have that base on it, but I realised that if I were buying the thing, I'd not want to be forced to use it, so it's completely seperate, and I think the pose - whilst dynamic - could work well in some sort of dark elf army. It's certainly not a rank and file soldier thought :(

As for who sculpted it - well, after speaking to an absolute load of different folk, I chose to work with a Polish chap called Kul Asyrk (the link is his Cool Mini or Not gallery - although as I type CMON seems to be down at the mo'). He's been absolutely brilliant to work with, and he's an exceptionally talented bloke - he's done a vast majority of the Discworld figures. As I mentioned, I've spoken to so many different sculptors and whilst Kul's not as well known as many, my eye always got drawn back to his stuff. And I'm pleased with it!

As for Frothers...yeah, I venture on there, although I prefer to lurk most of the time - it's a vicious, vicious place at times! Good fun though, and some really good advice given, if you can get by the swearing!

Were they the ones that were 1/3 the size of regular 25mm scale minis? So bigger than GW epic stuff but still titchy? I had a bunch of them, some orcs and elves I think with different weapons and a couple of standard bearers... and some giants which were about the size of regular figures (!). Bought them from Virgin Games / Future Zone because I thought they looked cool, some of the last miniatures I ever bothered to paint.

As far as I recall, they were the same size as regular GW figures at the time. Although, I was smaller so maybe my spacial awareness was a bit borked!

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As far as I recall, they were the same size as regular GW figures at the time. Although, I was smaller so maybe my spacial awareness was a bit borked!

I must be thinking of a different series, these were literaly tiny, you could fit 5 of them on one of the standard size GW square bases. I'm sure they were made by Ral Partha though...

Your miniature looks amazing by the way. :)

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As for Frothers...yeah, I venture on there, although I prefer to lurk most of the time - it's a vicious, vicious place at times! Good fun though, and some really good advice given, if you can get by the swearing!

Yeah, it makes this place very friendly, un-cliquey and full of extremely well adjusted renaissance men. i love it! :)

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Yeah, it makes this place very friendly, un-cliquey and full of extremely well adjusted renaissance men. i love it! :)

:(

I think that's why most of the chaos on RLLMUK passes me by - this place is tame compared to over there!

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Ooh! I remember the old Ral Partha 'Chaos Brew' (or was it 'broo'? Or Brue? I dunno) - bloody fantastic figures at the time.

Hmmmm. "broo" were runequest/gloranthan chaos beastmen and where GW got their beastmen from*. Citadel produced some, pre-slotta, as part of a licensed runequest range.

http://www.solegends.com/citrq/citrqbrooc2.htm

I don't remember Ral Partha's.

* I think it is fair to say much of the early Warhammer univers was derived from lots of different sources. Chaos from Moorcock is a prime example.

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Hmmmm. "broo" were runequest/gloranthan chaos beastmen and where GW got their beastmen from*. Citadel produced some, pre-slotta, as part of a licensed runequest range.

http://www.solegends.com/citrq/citrqbrooc2.htm

I don't remember Ral Partha's.

* I think it is fair to say much of the early Warhammer univers was derived from lots of different sources. Chaos from Moorcock is a prime example.

Ah! Yeah, they're the ones I had :) . One of the first box sets I bought! They're still fantastic designs.

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Well I hope you don't think this is my view. I was fairly critical of GW up above but at all times I did point out that while what they have done probably makes sense from a business point of view I think it is a shame largely because it doesn't suit me and because I think it has helped to scupper the gaming market in the UK and has certainly affected the diversity. That said it has been good for business and who knows where GW would be had they not taken that route.

Not at all mate, and this thread is probably the best place on the web to discuss GW and related stuff with friendly helpful people. All other GW related forums I've looked at have more than their fair share of mentalists with Warseer being the worst. Does anyone know of any GW related forums with a general vibe similar to this thread?

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Not at all mate, and this thread is probably the best place on the web to discuss GW and related stuff with friendly helpful people. All other GW related forums I've looked at have more than their fair share of mentalists with Warseer being the worst. Does anyone know of any GW related forums with a general vibe similar to this thread?

I'm not sure I do. I tend to hang out on Frothers! Unite Forum but it is a bit of strange place. Older crowd and primarily about minis and painting rather than games. I don't think Warhammer or 40K gets much love there and GW is sometimes referred to as the Evil Empire, but on the other hand they like their vintage citadel/GW, a number of sculptors past and present, Kev Adams and the Perry Twins for example, and they seem to like the LotR game but at the same time there is a 15 page thread on how shit the new GW minotaurs are. (But then they are shit.)

I don't really check out any other miniatures forums other than the Otherworld Miniatures forum.

How about the other games section of rpg.net? There is plenty of chat about WFB and 40K there although it isn't exclusively GW. EDIT: Thinking about it that may be a good bet try here:

http://forum.rpg.net/forumdisplay.php?f=25

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Not at all mate, and this thread is probably the best place on the web to discuss GW and related stuff with friendly helpful people. All other GW related forums I've looked at have more than their fair share of mentalists with Warseer being the worst. Does anyone know of any GW related forums with a general vibe similar to this thread?

All of the ones I've come across seem to have similar level of nerd rage mentalists, someone on Bolter and Chainsword has started a facebook group called "GW hates DA players" :(

On the subject of Games Workshop, I think they're doing what they have to do to survive as a company. They survive by selling minis, and if that means releasing a new 'dex or rules edition to generate sales, so be it. I spend far more time painting then playing (only managing a game every other week at the moment), so any excuse to buy new minis is welcomed !

I also like the fact that they maintain a presence on most British high streets; I could theroectically go and get a pick up game in most places in the country during any day of the week

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Joek will hopefully back me up on this but dvanced Tau tactica is a rather good GW forum. Granted it's somewhat slanted towards Tau but the level of respect between posters and the accepting attitude to differing views makes it a quality place to visit. It's also rather good for learning about painting and game stratagies.

I have to admit that I kinda like the new beastmen stuff, yeah even the minotaurs. I think the biggest gripe people have with them are that the paint job on the display models are abit naff.

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