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Is the "evil company" really so evil?


Maceswinger
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Is the evil company really so evil?

Most of us have played there games, the have a huge following, they make decent Miniatures (too cartoony sometimes), good paints, and have alot fluff for theyre games and monthly magazine to suport there games. So whats not to like?

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Well...then theres the overpriced Miniatures, paints, rulebooks, army books, terrain, the rule changes every few years that can make entire armies obsolete (well speaking of rule changes and updates WotC holds spot #2 on my "evil gaming company" list for that ::D: ), random price increases even on plastic stuff, 40$ for aquarium plants and the our game nothing else mentality that tells me one thing...

 

THEY ARE EVIL

::D:

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Well...then theres the overpriced Miniatures, paints, rulebooks, army books, terrain, the rule changes every few years that can make entire armies obsolete (well speaking of rule changes and updates WotC holds spot #2 on my "evil gaming company" list for that ::D: ), random price increases even on plastic stuff, 40$ for aquarium plants and the our game nothing else mentality that tells me one thing...

 

THEY ARE EVIL

::D:

overpriced miniatures: Partially agree, mostly disagree. A box of 16 multi-part plastic figures will run about $30, or alittle less than $2 a figure.. hard to beat. Where they get ya is on the unique metal characters, or figures that people will field fewer of.

 

paints: around here, the gW paints are pretty cheap, at $2.50 a pot (compared to $3 for vallejo, and $3.50 for most other paints, ie: model masters, tamiya)

 

Rulebooks: Agreed, overpriced for the most part.

 

terrain: agreed.

 

Rules changes: I generally consider rules changes to be a good thing.. it means the company is interested in keeping the game alive. I am VERY glad we're still not using 3rd edition 40k. And what was the last army to be made "obsolete"? I honestly would like to know...

 

aquariam plants: agreed.

 

random price increases: *shrugs*, mostly agree.

 

GW is no less evil than any other company... companies exist to make money... if people are willing to pay, companies will continue to put out.

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To be honest I like their products. I like the fluff and the minis, and I enjoy playing warhammer fantasy battles. My problem is with the companys lack of respect for their customers, I have never gotten a response to any of the letters/emails I've written them over the years. As a customer I feel unappreciated, and used. Only other company I buy minis from is Reaper so it's the only company I can compare GW with, and while I'm sure Reaper makes money, I don't feel I'm being milked. Whenever I've contacted Reaper I've been treated great and with a quick response. That's the difference, Reaper appreciates my business and tells me that they are in so many ways. It's a pleasure buying Reaper products, and I like supporting Reaper. When I buy a GW product it's less peachy.

 

Not that their greedyness and unappreciativeness will stop me from buying their products, it just means that although GW bought me into the hobby, they're only getting a tiny fraction of my "hobby money", the rest goes to reaper.

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I can play Devil's Advocate on alot of these issues.

 

First let me start by saying I do love their models - especially the 40k stuff. I'm a big fan of the dark and brooding, over the top gothic and baroque look. I like the fact they go with a historical influence and then slap skulls and cherubs on them. Like the imperial guard is modeled after the russian army, their equipment is al WWI vintage, the space marines are roman legionaries in space with a healthy dose of the catholic church mixed in... etc..

 

Fantasy is the same way.. Bretonians = 100 year wars, Empire = renesance armies, kislev = russian and polish...

 

I adore their models. They have had over 20 years to develop their fluff, and it shows. The backgrounds for Warhammer and 40k are so richly developed and there is such a wealth of information and fluff for them. I enjoy all the 40k novels and flavor books that come out - like the Adeptus Astarte series of books as well as the 4 Liber Chaotica.

 

I do get very frustrated with their prices, however. I have two emperor's champions models in their blister still.. one I bought a year ago and it was $7 and the latest one is less than a year old and is marked $10. Apart from White Dwarf, I don't buy anything GW anymore unless I can grab it at a decent sale price - because I don't believe the value is there. They have priced themselves out of what I am willing to pay for their product.

 

Warhammer and 40k aren't great games. They are OK. Mostly it's let me line my guys up across from yours and then we just bash it out and see who did better in the army selection phase of the game. Warhammer has a little more strategy involved... but still pretty mediocre (note, this doesn't mean "sucks"... just on a scale of 1-10 they are about a 5 or 6) Some of the other stuff that GW has put out in the past is really good. SpaceHulk, Warmaster and their skirmish games like NEcromunda and Mordheim are all really decent. Also, if GW introduces people to the world of miniature games and wargaming, then I'm for it. Aside from a few pockets here and there, wargaming is getting to be an older hobby, meaning the people who play are getting older and older, and there aren't as many younger kids getting involved. If this gets people introduced to the idea of wargaming, and then looking at other systems - or even historicals - then I'm all for it. My area is pretty much GW territory - but I'm working on getting those guys slowly converted over to warlord (the price difference and the fact you don't need as many models is a good sell).

 

 

I've also gotten really great support from the GW-UK group. I did manage to get an E-mail out of the blue from Rick Preistly about some 10mm wargaming questions and stuff, and I also got a great response from Andy Chambers who also kicked my question along to Jes Goodwin, Graham McNeill and a few others in regards to a project I've been working on.

In the US, I got to meet up with Steve Fuller in Baltimore, and Tim Huckelberry is usually on top of any questions or comments about the hobby as well.

 

 

On the topic of paints - I like quite a few of the GW colors, but an interesting experiment is to take a new pot of GW paint and pour it into a dropper bottle and see how much you get. ;) Then that $3 for a bottle of vallejo or master series all of the sudden seems like a much better deal.

 

As far as rules changes go.. I still got my Rogue Trader book (well, a replaced copy after mine got detroyed in a flood)... and it still has the words printed in it. They didn't disappear after the later releases come out, so I guess I could still manage to play with it if I wanted to. ;)

 

I am with Gabe on the plastic regiment sets tho, the price of figures in there is hard to beat. Guardsmen in particular.. I think a 20 member guard force is about $30-35. Thats a little under $2 a model for a really nicely detailed plastic you can pose up, or cut up and convert with minimal effort - and a bunch of kit to boot... even if you just want some sci-fi/near future figures for a skirmish, thats still a decent deal.

 

$15 for a single plastic commander model isn't.

 

So there are a few of my thoughts in a nutshell. I have much respect for the mighty juggernaut that is GW. They make a decent product - they have quite a bit of a market hold, although this is slipping some, largely due to their business practices and pricing - and in my experience, have a highly motivated and enthusiastic support staff. If it wern't for the price, I'd still be buying alot of their models for use with other rule sets. :)

 

As it is now, I've found an inexpensive and hella-fun skirmish game that has totally absorbed my attention as of late - and it's fantasy to boot. Now if there was a sci-fi version of this game, I'd be so giddy I'd explode.

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And what was the last army to be made "obsolete"? I honestly would like to know...

:devil:

 

All the metal Cadian Imperial Guard figures pre-current plastic/metal issue. Also, several imperial tanks. <_<

 

"One Taste Worldwide" gaming! :blink:

 

Meh. I've bought their stuff now and again over the years - some of it good, some of it not so good, in the same way I've eaten at McDonald's now and again... :huh:

 

 

 

...and some time afterwards, wondered why. :lol:

 

Tommy. ^_^

You can still use your old-school miniatures... nothing says you HAVE to buy the latest minis.

 

As for the tanks... they're still available via Imperial Armour.

 

Either way, neither of those really fit the question. His statement was entire armies made obsolete. I think that was either Squats, or Harlequins :unsure:

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At least with mini's, you have something that will last a very long time and can be used over and over again regardless of what game you are playing. I don't play the table top games and have no interest in GW over-priced figures, however, I have a few hundred Reaper figures that I can use for my charecters, and will continue to buy new releases that interest me even if I never get to use them.

As for rule books, I started playing D&D back in the late 80's and had to spend money each time a new edition came out, and with the d20 open licence, anyone and their mother can release a book and that can get a bit expensive if you try to keep up. However, mini's can be used for any edition in most RPG's and one of my players still uses his old Ral Partha figs made from lead.

Rambling will end......NOW!!!!

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While I don't know that "evil" would be the best description, I can see some issues with GW. Just like MANY people I've met, GW was my introduction to the hobby. I find mini-painting a very soothing, enjoyable hobby and I do enjoy many of the GW sculpts. I like that they have resources (ie internet articles, White Dwarf) that give you ideas on painting, play, etc., so their game/hobby is not completely unsupported. That said....

 

An 11 year old 'friend' of mine (I'm his nanny of the past 5 years) is the one who introduced me (and reintroduced my hubby) to GW. As a little thank you, I took him to a conflict event here in my home town. We paid $10 to enter the door-each. So for the same price I paid to go to reapercon, I got myself, my husband, and Matt into Conflict. We got a badge.

 

We had gone on the internet to read up about the event and had been looking forward to all the wonderful things they told us about. Mini painting contests, trials of the games, paint-and-take (which the website led us to believe included some instruction) new, unreleased models, fully stocked store. Matt entered a model in the painting contest (LotR), we couldn't get into the game trials as they were playing 2000 point games on ONE table and wouldn't let you sign up-you had to be there when the previous game ended, the paint and take consisted of a lady handing us a black primed mini and telling us to have fun (one for the three of us to share!), the new models were interesting, but they couldn't give us a time frame (even as far as in a few months) and the store only had books and box sets-Matt had his hopes up to purchase a blister we couldn't find locally.

 

I emailed GW to let them know I had some thoughts on improving their conflict event for next year as I had just shelled out $30 to look at some other peoples painted armies. No response.

 

Went to Reapercon this year. $30, but received $36 in merchandise including an exculsive mini-was able to preorder an exclusive t-shirt. Unreleased minis were on the shelf for me to buy. Professional painters/sculptors whose stuff I could look at-not gaming quality, display quality. Was able to take classes with aforementioned painters (for what I felt was a VERY reasonable price). Games you could sign up for, people at paint and take who were willing to share advice (and if not, the painters were), sculptors who could give you lessons on conversions as well as sculpting your own minis. On top of this all, the owners were out roaming around, I got a factory tour, I was able to raid the bits boxes, I could look at countless painted minis that belong to reaper that I had only seen on the internet, they had FOOD-priced VERY cheaply, and I felt more than welcome. BIG DIFFERENCE.

 

So, long and short, although I wouldn't consider GW 'evil' I also don't consider them saintly. I guess the simple fact that I don't HAVE to buy their products, that they don't call and harass me if I don't, that I'm not stuck on some stupid program where over-priced poorly sculpted minis show up at my house with no way to return them while I'm charged makes me disinclined to call them evil. Can we settle for unfriendly and unresponsive to customers?

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Steve and I own a fair collection of GW models and until recently he even subscribed to their Mordheim zeen..until it amalgamated into a Now-Buy-These-Games-Too zeen.

 

Mordheim was a fairly fun game, but Warlord is simply more funner. Since then, we've traded away a fair bit of our GW with friends who still play their games.

 

I won't say their evil. They're like Wal-Mart. They have a market and they make alot of money off of those folks. The folks who buy their stuff seem content to continue doing so.

 

Of all the things Reaper does that GW does not, let me be the first to commend Reaper on taking a huge lead over GW in the category of environmentally-friendly manufacturing and packaging.

 

I understand there is no way to toss plastic sprue back into the melter and reuse it. It's just the nature of the stuff. Lucky for GW it's cheap too, so they don't have to worry about plastic-waste. They simply pass the extra plastic along to the consumer along with the models in an oversized box. At first those extra "bits" seem like a real cool bonus, but when you've spliced and mix-matched and converted all those bits into useable models and still have three boxes of extra left-arms, they sooner or later end up in landfills, along with tons of sprue and those oversized boxes. Add to the waste-menace all the models that you painted but are not satisfied with that can't be dipped because they will dissolve, all the empty glue-tubes and all those hours spent snipping and pinning models that could have been spent planting a tree for your tomorrow.

 

Ugh.. was that my inner-elf blogging? Maybe I ought to shush up now. :lol:

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The fluff consistently prevents me from getting into their games. Or I should say the parts of the fluff, or the people who read the fluff, that take it way to seriously.

 

Also the two lines that I would really be interested in (Epic and BFG) seem to be spottily supported.

 

But evil? Nahh.

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I have attempted to play a 40k game and found its rules to be just like the magic the gathering, and other CCG's. whoever spends the most $$ will have the better stuff. With D&D its all random and it doesnt really matter if the mini your playing with has a sword and your character uses a mace. Plus here where I live the only paints in my LGS are GW (they did do a "test run" on 1 triad of the reaper stuff that I bought as soon as a saw them) so my vote is EVIL!!!!

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That's the reason I stopped playing constructed magic. I still do drafting, because there it's all luck and skill, not money.

 

I own a fair number of GW minis, mostly high elf archers and shadow warriors, but won't be buying many in the near future, because of pricing. The new high elf character models are $12 a piece!

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And what was the last army to be made "obsolete"? I honestly would like to know...

:devil:

 

All the metal Cadian Imperial Guard figures pre-current plastic/metal issue. Also, several imperial tanks. <_<

 

"One Taste Worldwide" gaming! :blink:

 

Meh. I've bought their stuff now and again over the years - some of it good, some of it not so good, in the same way I've eaten at McDonald's now and again... :huh:

 

 

 

...and some time afterwards, wondered why. :lol:

 

Tommy. ^_^

You can still use your old-school miniatures... nothing says you HAVE to buy the latest minis.

 

As for the tanks... they're still available via Imperial Armour.

 

Either way, neither of those really fit the question. His statement was entire armies made obsolete. I think that was either Squats, or Harlequins :unsure:

My brother-in-law will vouch for the orcs getting huge changes everytime, that makes whole squads of troops obsolete and unusable.

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The fluff consistently prevents me from getting into their games. Or I should say the parts of the fluff, or the people who read the fluff, that take it way to seriously.

 

Also the two lines that I would really be interested in (Epic and BFG) seem to be spottily supported.

 

But evil? Nahh.

I used to think we were on the same wavelength, Nanite - but I feel I don't know you anymore.

 

;)

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Well, I'm not so sure I would call the plastics a good deal anymore though; not when I can buy similar figures (and - yes - at a higher quality) in metal. Case in point: compare the plastic Dwarf regiment (16 figures that I've found I cannot base up together) with the old Harlequin dwarfs range. No comparison, as far as I'm concerned (and I bought them too). GW has been sneaky in how it does its price increases here. When you buy a plastic box, you feel like you're getting a deal. "Only 2 bucks each for this? What a deal!" thing is, this time last year, you could get a similar box where each figure was around $1.50, or even worse, $1.25. What changed? Dropped the number of figures from 20 to 16, and then jacked the price $5. Not so great a deal, IMHO.

 

While I agree that the army figures are competatively priced (IIRC the dwarf Ironbreakers are still hovering at around $4 each mark, though when they first hit this pricepoint, I'll point out that Reaper was selling them cheaper), the character models are too outrageous. Sure you're only going to buy one, but you NEED that one figure (cause your army is illegal without, say, a general), so you spend $15 on a slightly more ornamented 28mm figure and feel ripped-off afterwards.

 

I'd definitely love to see a REAL competator step in to grapple with WHFB FREX. Currently there really isn't anyone that offers a "generic" fantasy wargame in the same league as Warhammer (yeah, I know, being on the Reaper boards I'll get the "Go try Warlord!" type comments, but IMHO its a skirmish game and I'd rather have 100+ figures on the board instead of a dozen). Maybe Reaper will step up and offer a viable "generic" fantasy wargame in this league someday. One can only wait and see...

 

Damon.

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