haldir

Warhammer 40k at Revell Germany....whaaa??

67 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

11 hours ago, Lars Porsenna said:

 

Really not sure why people have such a problem with this. GW is out to promote it's own games & miniatures, not someone else's. Mentioning the competition in official communications with your customer base is not a good way to conduct things. I work for one of the biggest credit & risk management companies in the US & maybe the world, but no where in our official communications outside the organization do we ever mention Experian, FREX, or any of our competition (unless they are a risk, haha!)

 

Damon.

This is one of the things that turned me off GW. I started collecting their stuff in the late 80s with Roque Trader and Warhammer 3rd ed. Back then I loved the scratchbuilding aspect and the random creativity of the people involved. There weren't a lot of official minis so anything was allowed. Over the years they expanded their lines and strangled the creativity aspect. Instead of books showing how to make terrain out of household items we were expected to buy expensive GW terrain. Instead of buying normal glue, tape measures and other hobby tools we were supposed to buy overly expensive, low quality GW tools. You don't need to advertise the competition but they went overboard trying to control every aspect of the mini hobby. I agree 100% with what Pingo said above.

 

I am not a GW hater. I own 5 Warhammer armies and 6 40k armies. I played their games for about 20 years. I have no problem with going to GW sanctioned events and using only GW minis although I prefer using anything I want. But there was a huge attitude shift in the early 2000s that turned me off. I saw official support drop dramatically and that they treated the people who had done the most to support them badly. Add in the churn and burn attitude, expensive minis and constant rules changes and I just got tired of it. I've grown away from GW and there is such a huge amount of great minis available now they'll have trouble getting me to spend money on them. But I do hope that they can return to what I loved about GW in the 90s.

Edited by Zink
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On 7/7/2017 at 9:49 AM, Lars Porsenna said:

 

Really not sure why people have such a problem with this. GW is out to promote it's own games & miniatures, not someone else's. Mentioning the competition in official communications with your customer base is not a good way to conduct things. I work for one of the biggest credit & risk management companies in the US & maybe the world, but no where in our official communications outside the organization do we ever mention Experian, FREX, or any of our competition (unless they are a risk, haha!)

 

Damon.

I feel the need to point out we're talking about GW on one of their competitor's forums, so clearly what's good for TransUnion is not necessarily what's good for EquiFax. Plus there's a difference between referring to your competitors directly, referring to them indirectly (In Politics it's usually "the other guy") and flat-out pretending the other guy doesn't exist. They could call it the Wargaming Hobby without even implying that they have competition - while not sounding like a prat to those of us who do know that they have competition.

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On 7/7/2017 at 7:59 PM, Zink said:

This is one of the things that turned me off GW. I started collecting their stuff in the late 80s with Roque Trader and Warhammer 3rd ed. Back then I loved the scratchbuilding aspect and the random creativity of the people involved. There weren't a lot of official minis so anything was allowed. Over the years they expanded their lines and strangled the creativity aspect. Instead of books showing how to make terrain out of household items we were expected to buy expensive GW terrain. Instead of buying normal glue, tape measures and other hobby tools we were supposed to buy overly expensive, low quality GW tools. You don't need to advertise the competition but they went overboard trying to control every aspect of the mini hobby. I agree 100% with what Pingo said above.

 

I am not a GW hater. I own 5 Warhammer armies and 6 40k armies. I played their games for about 20 years. I have no problem with going to GW sanctioned events and using only GW minis although I prefer using anything I want. But there was a huge attitude shift in the early 2000s that turned me off. I saw official support drop dramatically and that they treated the people who had done the most to support them badly. Add in the churn and burn attitude, expensive minis and constant rules changes and I just got tired of it. I've grown away from GW and there is such a huge amount of great minis available now they'll have trouble getting me to spend money on them. But I do hope that they can return to what I loved about GW in the 90s.

The early 2000s was also when GW started doing things like sending out warnings to store owners not to let their customers use GW figures for non GW-games, as well as to not let customers play GW games with non-GW miniatures.

 

The result, at the FLGS, was the owner laughing, then balling up the notice, and relegating it to the circular file. He was not running GW sponsored games, so they could go pound sand.

 

They did a very good job of alienating the local game stores.

 

The Auld Grump

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And stores not being allowed to use online shopping carts or no selling outside of your zone. They did everything they could think of to make it difficult to buy their products.

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On 7/7/2017 at 6:59 PM, Zink said:

This is one of the things that turned me off GW. I started collecting their stuff in the late 80s with Roque Trader and Warhammer 3rd ed. Back then I loved the scratchbuilding aspect and the random creativity of the people involved. There weren't a lot of official minis so anything was allowed. Over the years they expanded their lines and strangled the creativity aspect. Instead of books showing how to make terrain out of household items we were expected to buy expensive GW terrain. Instead of buying normal glue, tape measures and other hobby tools we were supposed to buy overly expensive, low quality GW tools. You don't need to advertise the competition but they went overboard trying to control every aspect of the mini hobby. I agree 100% with what Pingo said above.

We get people that ask us all the time why we don't make our own files/clippers/pin vises/etc. When people come to us at conventions to pick those up, we refer them elsewhere, usually making an effort before show open to find which vendors we will be sending people to. There is an expectation that we should be a one stop shop, and honestly, we can't. We're starting to look at branching out, slowly, but it's mostly us putting our label on existing product (because we're not inventing new clippers yet) and that's more expensive than the generic unmarked one, which means our clippers/glue/files/etc would be the same product you can buy elsewhere, and more expensive. And that's just not who we are. We're finding ways to make miniatures cheaper than we ever could before, and investing in technologies to keep paint costs from rising, and so on. Heck, we've had discussions before about buying the company that makes our brushes, because cutting out the middleman would mean we could avoid future price increases.

 

We also occasionally get people asking why we allow people to talk about and have show off threads about GW and CMON and everybody else. Apparently it's expected that a company cheerleads itself and ignores or despises everybody. I guess they missed the parts where we were people, who also had a company, as opposed to a company that employed people.

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57 minutes ago, Reaperbryan said:

We get people that ask us all the time why we don't make our own files/clippers/pin vises/etc. When people come to us at conventions to pick those up, we refer them elsewhere, usually making an effort before show open to find which vendors we will be sending people to. There is an expectation that we should be a one stop shop, and honestly, we can't. We're starting to look at branching out, slowly, but it's mostly us putting our label on existing product (because we're not inventing new clippers yet) and that's more expensive than the generic unmarked one, which means our clippers/glue/files/etc would be the same product you can buy elsewhere, and more expensive. And that's just not who we are. We're finding ways to make miniatures cheaper than we ever could and are a very nice bunch of people before, and investing in technologies to keep paint costs from rising, and so on. Heck, we've had discussions before about buying the company that makes our brushes, because cutting out the middleman would mean we could avoid future price increases.

 

We also occasionally get people asking why we allow people to talk about and have show off threads about GW and CMON and everybody else. Apparently it's expected that a company cheerleads itself and ignores or despises everybody. I guess they missed the parts where we were people, who also had a company, as opposed to a company that employed people.

One of the recurring complaints about GW was that it has been 'taken over by the bean counters' - which leaves me explaining that Reaper Miniatures is owned by the 'bean counters' and are a very nice bunch of people.

 

And, frankly, if the folks running GW until just recently were the 'bean counters' they weren't very good ones.... deliberately shrinking your market is just plain dumb - yet they did it, year, after year, after year... until decreasing sales became 'broadly in line with expectations'....

 

It is very nice to see them pulling their heads out of... *ahem* a hole in the ground...

 

The Auld Grump - Q - one of our players, is very happy with the changes to 8th edition WH40.

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@Reaperbryan, your attitude is a big part of why I've switched over to Reaper the last few years. The bigger part is that you're producing products I'm interested in at a price I can afford. ::D: I'd much rather support smaller companies that engage with and help their customers. It's great that you actually go out of your way to find where people can buy the products you're not selling. When there was a GW store sort of local to me most of the workers were pretty good guys. They were somewhat embarrassed by the HQ attitudes and would normally help people with things like finding better tools or discussing other companies. That might explain why they had a fast turnover for shop staff. I get that business is about making money but I'll always choose the companies that treat me and their employees like people first.

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Way, way back when, it was a policy at TSR that the folks actually running the company actually play the game....

 

But then Gygax lost control of the company, and it all began to go pear shaped.

 

The Auld Grump

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2 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

Way, way back when, it was a policy at TSR that the folks actually running the company actually play the game....

 

But then Gygax lost control of the company, and it all began to go pear shaped.

 

The Auld Grump

 

Did you mean to post this in this thread?  :huh: 

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Posted (edited)

28 minutes ago, Pingo said:

 

Did you mean to post this in this thread?  :huh: 

Yes, but half the post seems to have vanished - the first part was a whinge that the folks in charge of GW for a long time were no longer gamers - and were in denial that what Games Workshop was selling were, in fact, games....

 

A disconnect between the company and their customers.

 

I kind of suspect that Rountree is also not a gamer - but he is at least listening to their customers, who, in spite of Kirby's claims to the contrary, by and large are gamers.

 

Later TSR also had that disconnect - with an owner that really did not like the core customer base for their products.

 

(Speak not her name, lest you be cursed....)

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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I can dig it.

In the early nineties, I played Warhammer. I had a great Orc army, and a great Undead army, and I was getting into this new thing, Gorkamorka, a 40K spinoff.

 

Then I noticed that a Personality figure, a named figure, sold for five times the price of a rank and file figure... for no apparent reason. Same amount of metal, same amount of packaging, just cost waaaaay more. What's up with that?

 

Then they split the Undead faction into two separate armies, and never the twain shall meet. Well, okay, I've still got Orcs while I decide what to do with my Undead...

And they changed the rules for Goblin Doom Divers, and the FLGS where I played said, "Sorry, you have to have the new model in order to use Doom Divers. And instead of a blister, it's now a boxed set. For each Doom Diver. And no proxy figures from now on." 
 

And then they decided Gorkamorka wasn't going anywhere, and abruptly quit supporting it.

Around that time, the OTHER FLGS where I played simply told their customers, "Games Workshop is demanding that we buy $(x) worth of product every month, if we want to carry ANY GW product. A certain fraction of this product HAS to be product that we know we cannot sell, stuff that simply won't move. Therefore, we regret we won't be carrying GW from now on."

Later, I read something -- a rumor, admittedly -- about how a GW management type had remarked, to the effect, "Well, if you don't have money, you're not buying our product, so why should we try to sell to you? And the number of kiddies coming INTO the market certainly offsets the whingers who quit. We're good."

And that pretty much cemented my attitude about GW, right there. Not only do you need to be buying stuff CONSTANTLY, but you need to be buying stuff you may or may not NEED. Because otherwise, we won't LET you play in our ballpark. And when people wanna accuse me of whining, I say, "Stop right there. Any ONE of these listed items, I could have managed. It's gaming. It's a marginal market, and sometimes things go banana shaped. I can DEAL with that. But when you make a specific point of kicking your market in the teeth, repeatedly, this is not a mistake; this is a company that thinks they can shake down their customers. I will not operate within that paradigm. If I won't take it from Big Tobacco (to which I was addicted at the time, but working on quitting), why would I tolerate it from a toy company?"

So I quit GW. And cigarettes, for that matter. Freed up quite a bit of paycheck.

TSR's problem, near as I can tell, was somewhat different, and somewhat the same. The people at the top seemingly had no understanding of the market to which they were selling product in both instances... but instead of attempting to force or strongarm their market, TSR seemed to have the idea that as long as they kept pumping out product, the market would buy it. Just because.

Jeff Grubb blogged about how there HAD to be a boxed set several times a year, with two booklets, a map, and some handouts, regardless of what was actually in there. Ryan Dancey has blogged about how they kept producing new campaign worlds, regardless of how other older ones were doing.

 

And the whole time, TSR went out of their way to keep people from talking about D&D on that newfangled "internet" thing, presumably to prevent the transmission of homebrew material for free. At least, I can't think of any OTHER reason you threaten to sue your market for ... talking about your product.

This wound up biting them HARD when Magic: The Gathering suddenly sharply lowered the number of gamer dollars in the market available to be spent on TSR products. I can produce my own adventures and monsters. Can't do that with Magic cards!

Upshot? Both companies antagonized their fanbase/market. Both companies badly misunderstood their market and its motivations. Which is a shame. Both companies had rabid markets with a great capacity for brand loyalty. At least until you spit in their faces once too often.

Reaper, without getting too fanboyish or buttkissy, simply makes a point of avoiding these errors. They keep in pretty close touch with their markets. Sure, the company's run by accountants, but they've never been anything but sweethearts to me. And as far as I can tell, the business philosophy is "What do they want, and how can we produce it, and sell it cheaply while maintaining quality and cool factor, yet larding it with sweet sweet profits?" No one resents a company for being a company; it's how business works. 

But when you start kicking the goose to make the golden eggs come faster...
 

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1 hour ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

...

 

Then I noticed that a Personality figure, a named figure, sold for five times the price of a rank and file figure... for no apparent reason. Same amount of metal, same amount of packaging, just cost waaaaay more. What's up with that?

...

 

 

Not a huge fan of GW, either their aesthetic, their game designs, or their business practices (taste, mostly), but I wanted to address this.

 

Minimum cost to make a profit comes from variable costs, which you've addressed above, and fixed costs, which you haven't. You need to account for the costs of a new product: sculpting, mold making, creating new packaging, painting up a demo version, ....

 

If your run is short, that can significantly increase the necessary price to break even. And you need to run 5 to 10 times costs for your retail price to actually make money on a product, so even fairly small differences in actual costs can necessitate noticeable retail price differences.

 

That said, I suspect that even short run pieces from GW are not all that short run, so the difference they charge for "better" figures might be (have been?) driven more by "what the market will bear" than underlying cost considerations. But it's not quite as simple as "They're the same size, they should cost the same."

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19 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Not a huge fan of GW, either their aesthetic, their game designs, or their business practices (taste, mostly), but I wanted to address this.

 

Minimum cost to make a profit comes from variable costs, which you've addressed above, and fixed costs, which you haven't. You need to account for the costs of a new product: sculpting, mold making, creating new packaging, painting up a demo version, ....

 

If your run is short, that can significantly increase the necessary price to break even. And you need to run 5 to 10 times costs for your retail price to actually make money on a product, so even fairly small differences in actual costs can necessitate noticeable retail price differences.

 

That said, I suspect that even short run pieces from GW are not all that short run, so the difference they charge for "better" figures might be (have been?) driven more by "what the market will bear" than underlying cost considerations. But it's not quite as simple as "They're the same size, they should cost the same."

Yeah, I just don't buy it. That's like Hasbro selling MtG Starter Decks for $50 because they know a player only really needs one. The odds that GW will actually report a loss on their leader figures is pretty darned low, so they could just as easily spread a couple of nickels around the entire army and just let the coolness factor of the HQ minis allow for a 20% markup. 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Dr.Bedlam said:

I can dig it.

In the early nineties, I played Warhammer. I had a great Orc army, and a great Undead army, and I was getting into this new thing, Gorkamorka, a 40K spinoff.

 

Then I noticed that a Personality figure, a named figure, sold for five times the price of a rank and file figure... for no apparent reason. Same amount of metal, same amount of packaging, just cost waaaaay more. What's up with that?

 

Then they split the Undead faction into two separate armies, and never the twain shall meet. Well, okay, I've still got Orcs while I decide what to do with my Undead...

And they changed the rules for Goblin Doom Divers, and the FLGS where I played said, "Sorry, you have to have the new model in order to use Doom Divers. And instead of a blister, it's now a boxed set. For each Doom Diver. And no proxy figures from now on." 
 

And then they decided Gorkamorka wasn't going anywhere, and abruptly quit supporting it.

Around that time, the OTHER FLGS where I played simply told their customers, "Games Workshop is demanding that we buy $(x) worth of product every month, if we want to carry ANY GW product. A certain fraction of this product HAS to be product that we know we cannot sell, stuff that simply won't move. Therefore, we regret we won't be carrying GW from now on."

Later, I read something -- a rumor, admittedly -- about how a GW management type had remarked, to the effect, "Well, if you don't have money, you're not buying our product, so why should we try to sell to you? And the number of kiddies coming INTO the market certainly offsets the whingers who quit. We're good."

And that pretty much cemented my attitude about GW, right there. Not only do you need to be buying stuff CONSTANTLY, but you need to be buying stuff you may or may not NEED. Because otherwise, we won't LET you play in our ballpark. And when people wanna accuse me of whining, I say, "Stop right there. Any ONE of these listed items, I could have managed. It's gaming. It's a marginal market, and sometimes things go banana shaped. I can DEAL with that. But when you make a specific point of kicking your market in the teeth, repeatedly, this is not a mistake; this is a company that thinks they can shake down their customers. I will not operate within that paradigm. If I won't take it from Big Tobacco (to which I was addicted at the time, but working on quitting), why would I tolerate it from a toy company?"

So I quit GW. And cigarettes, for that matter. Freed up quite a bit of paycheck.

TSR's problem, near as I can tell, was somewhat different, and somewhat the same. The people at the top seemingly had no understanding of the market to which they were selling product in both instances... but instead of attempting to force or strongarm their market, TSR seemed to have the idea that as long as they kept pumping out product, the market would buy it. Just because.

Jeff Grubb blogged about how there HAD to be a boxed set several times a year, with two booklets, a map, and some handouts, regardless of what was actually in there. Ryan Dancey has blogged about how they kept producing new campaign worlds, regardless of how other older ones were doing.

 

And the whole time, TSR went out of their way to keep people from talking about D&D on that newfangled "internet" thing, presumably to prevent the transmission of homebrew material for free. At least, I can't think of any OTHER reason you threaten to sue your market for ... talking about your product.

This wound up biting them HARD when Magic: The Gathering suddenly sharply lowered the number of gamer dollars in the market available to be spent on TSR products. I can produce my own adventures and monsters. Can't do that with Magic cards!

Upshot? Both companies antagonized their fanbase/market. Both companies badly misunderstood their market and its motivations. Which is a shame. Both companies had rabid markets with a great capacity for brand loyalty. At least until you spit in their faces once too often.

Reaper, without getting too fanboyish or buttkissy, simply makes a point of avoiding these errors. They keep in pretty close touch with their markets. Sure, the company's run by accountants, but they've never been anything but sweethearts to me. And as far as I can tell, the business philosophy is "What do they want, and how can we produce it, and sell it cheaply while maintaining quality and cool factor, yet larding it with sweet sweet profits?" No one resents a company for being a company; it's how business works. 

But when you start kicking the goose to make the golden eggs come faster...
 

GorkaMorka was kind of a special case - it almost destroyed GW.

 

Necromunda was a skirmish level game, and it sold like gangbusters - bringing new people into the community- Hurray!

Mordheim was a skirmish level game, and it sold like gangbusters - bringing new people into the community - Hurray!

 

GorkaMorka was a skirmish level game  - so GW was convinced that it would sell like gangbusters - bringing new people into the community... but it only had two forces in the initial release - orks, and those ever so slightly different orks....

 

And the figures were given a smaller scale and different bases - so that the orks from GorkaMorka could not be used with the regular 40K.

 

So it didn't sell like gangbusters - and GW had produced an enormous amount of product - in four languages. And those in German, French, and Spanish sold less well than the version in English. (If you wonder where Kirby's hatred of translating Warhammer as WH40K comes from, it was, in part, bitter experience.)

 

Which left them with a warehouse of unsold product - and because the orks were sized and based differently from WH40K, they could not even break the boxes down and recover the figures.

 

Kirby, being the sort to throw the bathwater out the window - along with bathtub, baby, and soap - decided that the mistake was in having games aside from their core games.

 

He prided himself on knowing the market - better than the customers, so got rid of such unnecessary expenses as advertising or market research - boasting about this in the stockholder reports. (The Economist quoted him... in an article on how not to run a company.)

 

Bit by bit, he narrowed down GW's focus on just two, then just one, game - the few attempts otherwise included such luminary successes as Dreadfleet - a game nobody asked for, or wanted - that had rules so randomized that battles could be determined by a single card.

 

And which GW ended up destroying in mass quantities, rather than selling off at a discount, and 'devaluing' their product. (Remember - the primary market was 'collectors' - not gamers.)

 

While the previous limited release game - a new edition of Space Hulk - sold out in a matter of days, since nowhere near enough had been manufactured.

 

One of the first things that Rountree did when he took over was start doing some much needed market research - finding out what people liked and didn't like about the current rules.

 

Sadly, this was a bit late for Warhammer Fantasy Battle - since GW had already done gone and blowed up the world. But don't worry! We can keep playing, only our armies are now nothing but Sigmar's dreams! Hurray!!1! (I deeply and truly loathe Age of Sigmar. I would have put that part of the post in purple, except that is exactly what happened to the Warhammer world, and the background of Age of Sigmar... So only the hurray is in sarcasm purple.)

 

*EDIT* Like TSR, GW started sending out C&Ds to websites supporting their products - and still do, to a lesser extent, mostly over images nowdays. By comparison, Paizo/Pathfinder handles the image problem by providing illos to be used on fan sites....

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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Yea, so, I really don't feel bad anymore for buying certain GW sets...

 

I bought a Storm of Sigmar set(roughly 15 figures) for $30 a couple week ago, and it was an impulse buy! I've been eyeing the new WH40k Dark Imperium set, because even though it's $160 it comes with the 8E rulebook, 53 minis, a mini-index for the included units, and some dice. That's actually a decent deal. And I just saw that they have some new starter sets that aren't as big, but they're priced at $40 and $80. They come with little bits of cardstock terrain and a rules intro book rather than the full rulebook, but they're still a good deal in my opinion.

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