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Resisting the Siren's song


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Maybe it's me being a pessimist here but I'm pretty sure GW's emphasis is far more on satisfying share holders than on it is on "the hobby". The second they decide they'll make more money by going prepainted they will. Right now GW is selling a lot of starter boxes that just end up half assembled and unplayed with in peoples basements. If they figure out that this is happening because 13 year olds generally don't have the commitment to build a painted 3000 point GW army, then the switch to prepaints looks pretty obvious. GW seems to have already upset a lot of their older fans, and thus have already to some degree (large degree if you ask me) sacrificed "the hobby" in favor of "the buck". The logical next step is to reach a wide audience with prepaints.

 

I'm waiting to see what happens to Rackham with their switch to plastics (are they all prepaints now?). If Rackham actually succeed and eat into GWs market share then I'll expect GW to go prepainted. Privateer Press has already grabbed a huge amount of GWs market share among the older more mature hobbyists, atleast in Europe.

 

::P: The issue of GW satisfying the shareholders first is exactly why I dont think that we will see prepaints from them in the near future. GWs business model is built up on selling bulk. This means the paints, glue, modelling tools, over-priced basing materials, etc.

 

I am one of those 'older fans' and absolutely agree that they have sacrificed the 'hobby' for the 'pound' (they are a UK company, what-what!). However, a larger audience is secondary to the profits. They have also proved time after time that they are notoriously bad at reacting to outside influence, or even listening to their customers.

 

Priveteer have gained a market share with Warmachine first, not a pre-paint game. This shift is more due to GWs attitude to gamers than any real model or metal product.

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Yeah I agree. My thought was that Warmachine has cut deeply into the number of GWs older customers. Someone else successfully launching a game with prepainted minis (if Rackham succeeds for instance) could cut deeply into their younger fan base. I don't think they care too much about PP taking the older players, since it's not that customer segment GW is going for anymore. Prepaints however could threaten the whole strip mining operation GW has going selling starter kits to 13 year olds, who then quickly move on to other things.

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Let me jump on the band wagon...

 

 

I went to a Historicon in '94 as a little kid and bought a Dark Angels squad, a box of plastic marines that became blood angels, and that's when it began. Back then I feel they were still more of a mini company than money company. I still like the universes, warhammer and 40k are still great, almost all of their models including some of the LOTR ones look good, but the way they do business is too hard to get around.

 

Pricing by worth in game rather than cost is really annoying. Honestly, 5 plastic terminators for $50? are you kidding? There's less sprues than a 10 man squad and I won't take excuses about production. I keep hearing that they're having trouble making drop pods and some tanks and infantry in plastic, but considering they have their own tooling facilities in in country and utilize modern methods/software their staff is grossly incompetent or they sit around and lie about what they're doing.

 

Game wise, they jack around with the rules all the time and either over complicate or over simplify them far too much. It often feels broken and the only time my friends and I had fun playing was in very small sized skirmishes. Now their making the game as huge as possibly and in our opinion the rules broke at 2000 points let alone the 3 or 5 or more thousand point games they want you to play now.

 

I'm so tired of GW blundering around ruining their own games. I'm not very interested in Warmachine/Hords, I like some of the models but from watching it play I'm not attracted to it. Most of the other games are too cyberpunk for me to be interested in also. There's no game like 40k and sadly 40k isn't even 40k anymore.

 

 

Well, that's my 40k rant, I'd still play it it if it wasn't so expensive and mis-managed...

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If you like the miniatures and the art and the fluff, why not play them in a different game system? 5150 or Defiance for example?

 

http://www.mj12games.com/ link on the left to Defiance. With a few limits, you can make pretty much anything fit into the game, from multi-turret tanks to flying exploding suicide troops to "weapons" that break squads and troopers with fear rather than violence. Works for similar sized battles to the current 40K (or smaller or larger). For 2nd Ed 40K fans, Defiance has Rad grenades and other cool stuff that no longer fits into the 3rd-4th Ed 40K game framework. Most shooting is resolved with one die roll on a d10 per firing trooper.

 

http://www.angelfire.com/az3/twohourwargames/5150.htm Honestly, I know nothing about 5150- but here's a link. I'm a Defiance shill (they once gave me $10 and published a picture I drew) but there's plenty of other games out there. No idea of the scope or scale.

 

http://warengine.darktortoise.com/index.php?title=Main_Page "Shock Force: Battles in the Remnants of America" is now a free Wiki, of all the things! This deserves a look just for being a once-commercial game that you can now read, download, hack and potentially upload again. I understand it to be at its best with a couple of squads and a vehicle or two, or smaller. Uses lots of dice, if you like rolling lots to help smooth probability.

 

That's three systems I know of that allow you to pretty much build any troops you like from the ground up.

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I've got a copy of 5150 and All Thing Zombies from 2 Hours Wargames, and they are both fantastic.

 

You can download the Chain Reaction 2 System (which the games are based on) from the two hour wargames site. If you like them, there are also western rules, generic skirmish rules, WWII rules and bug-hunts.

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Having injection molding tooling facilities in-country is not necessarily an economic benefit. Often, it is much cheaper to outsource the tooling production to China where its a fraction of the cost (as opposed in the UK or US...)

 

Damon.

 

Yea, the good side being you don't have to wait... Some one suggested that they do some outsourced work, like how reaper does work for other companies, so that it's not just eating money when not in use.

 

 

As for playing 40k with different rules, we were thinking of making a 40k game with RAGE after we modded the normal 40k rules and force organization to make a ship-to-ship boarding action game. It's on the back burner but we'd love to do it some time. Like I said we all love the minis and the universe, but hate the company.

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Well the sole problem is within the rules I think. The background story and figures look good for the most part, though a few too many skulls on things, as we all know, one skull makes you tough, two makes you a villian and, 3+ makes you games workshop. Anyhow it is the rules that get me.

 

When you see a rules change and can see that it only serves to sell you more plastic, why bother playing that game. I know they say it is about the hobby but if that is so then why are they so down on using your old gw minis and such?

 

Too many bad rules changes just to make a dime, that is what kills it for me.

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Well, I just listed three different ways you can just forget about any miniatures-sales driven rules update ever again. I know for some people that's not really the point, but I like to collect what I LIKE to collect- and I also like to game when I get the chance.

 

Saint Rigger- can you tell us what 5150 does, for the sake of comparison?

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Well, I looked over those links for the other games and that war engine one looked pretty good for a freebie. Seemed pertty flexible but kind of reminded me of the old days of herohammer with lots of ways to load up your big guy. Though not that you have to do that or such, just kind of had that feel to me from the read through.

 

The real trick is having friends to play with that are willing to try (Learn) something new. I'm already having a hard time getting some of the guys in the group to even talk about the new D&D, (Heh, old timers. Some of our game group used to sit at the table with the man himself even.) So throwing new mini rules out there takes a bit of work. Got to get them all polished and shiny an do all the work. However if you wave the balogna in front of the dog long enough it will take a sniff and then try a bite.

 

I really did enjoy 40K and fantasy years ago, but when the company started to change and rewrite a lot of the background just to sell me minis thats when I started to loose interest.

 

So to keep true to the title of the thread I'll try and list a few things to help people resist. (I'm not saying don't buy the minis, just if you want to play the 40k look into the rules before you jump in with both feet, or you may not enjoy the game.)

 

5. Rules changes for the sole reason to sell you minis.

 

Seems like a questionable tactic at best to get your money but it happens quite often. Also it does not take a full change over to a new edition for this to take place either. Usually it involves a new codex release, such as. Your 1K sons no longer can use bikes.. after you've got your plastic and not so fun to strip bikes all painted up in their colors. OR, your character just had his stats lowered because a new fellow that does the same thing the old fellow does just was released. New vehicles released that are really no better than the old ones until the rules change so you need the new ones to take the place of what the old ones did before (Rhino rush=Drop pod rush more or less) When three books come out within the span of one year that changes the points value of your army, eye of terror, new IG codex, chapter approved 2004 for example.

 

4. In the far future there is only stabbing with pointy things and beating with guns.

 

What? Well, the old school base game was built up from around hand to hand combat. Ranged combat is questionable at best in the system and often times makes little or no sense. Some problems can be attributed to scale (To be addressed later) and other problems I think come from game designers that have never been shot at. There is little or no reason for it to be so easy for normal troops to miss someone running right up the battle field at them with no cover yet if you are big and tough enough their shots just fly. Hitting and not wounding is fine and works well with the armor system they use but even the lowest IG troops are given some traning. Also when a guy with a sword runs up on me I'm not going to pull my knife I'm going to shoot him as long as I can keep the gun pointed his direction until I am out of ammo, and if by that point he is still after me, yes I am going to run. So in the far future of advanced weapons and such, hand to hand combat is vastly better than ranged combat.

 

3. Range and scale changes depending on what you are doing.

 

Range when moving is different than range when shooting and this was the explaination that was given to me by the ol GW. What it breaks down to is if you can shoot 12 inches or move six and assult another six you are not moving as far as you weapon shoots. Now I understand weapons have a maximum effective range, however bulletts just do not stop or vanish after that point, they just usually don't hit where you would like them too. So how does the range issue work. Well it works because you are shooting a lot greater distance than you are moving, the distances and scale changes depending on your actions. So if there is a rock that is 7 inches away and I want to get to it I can move. In game terms while I am moving that rock is about 42ish feet away. However I can only move six inches or about 36ish feet give or take, so the rock is les than ten feet away in movement at that point. Could a man within reason jump or dive or such and try to get cover as best he can to an object about six feet away, maybe but once your move is finished the distance to that rock is closer to 20 feet away, had it been two inches more like 50. ?what you say? Thats because you gun can shoot a much greater distance than you can run so the scale changes when your movement is over. And thats also why when you are one half inch short on an assult it goes from being 2 or three feet to about 12. This then is brought over to large weapons where the range changes even more so, being why a tank fire across the board, because if it stayed in scale it would be shooting across the room, that is a given with most games mind you where armor is brought in.

 

2. Some things just make no sense.

 

So you say my scouts, are not scouts and do not have the scout ability, I need a motorcycle to have the scout ability? The race with the smallest population and most to loose by giving up a single life uses some of the shortest range weapons in the game for it's standard troops? So technology just keeps getting worse not better, because my imperial guard used to have jet bikes, then motorcycles, and now horses? One guy in my squad moved one inch or six to eight feet but my heavy weapon guy who did not move can not shoot his heavy weapon? You can't really run me over with a tank? I'm evil but I can't shoot into melee combat? And the list goes on really.

 

1. The worst reason in my opinion is that the game does not seem to matter when sales are brought up.

 

So all the nice back story that was written and people fall in love with gets changed quite often. That is not a big deal most of the time, looking at other games when editions change the game usually gets some clean up writing done or such, but in this case it just makes little sense other than to sell plastic. Take for example, The good ol SM's take such care of their vehicles, they are held in great reguard and are sacred relics. Entire wars have been waged just to recover ones that were lost in previous battles and none are left behind even after destroyed unless they absolutely have to be..... UNTIL the new rhino model comes out and gw puts out an article on how to turn your old one into terrain, then half the games day tables that year had broken down rhinos on them. IT would seem the SM's had been slacking off for a while or just did not care cause they got some new ones, and no they were not all imperial guard ones, a lot of them still were in SM colors. AAAAH, who cares about fluff look here is something shiny and new, all we got to do is a quick rewrite of the back ground and it's all okay.

Also if they really were all about the hobby and not the sales why have rules that frown upon using your older models in games. You don't often see any armies in the White Dwarf with old out of date figures, even when they do win the tourneys, you get the guy that took second place showcased and a foot note about the winner because number two had a huge new plastic army.

After being told by a sales rep that it is a hobby game, and there is no such thing as too much for a hobby (Price Wise). The giant held such a huge market share for so long they pretty much could jack prices and change sales practices how they wanted because they were the only game in town more or less, though that lead has been getting cut down. When your sales contracts with local game stores allows you to send them what ever you want them to sell and not what is selling, that is not customer friendly. GW actually has staff that goes into local shops and takes an inventory of what they have depending on the kind of sales contract they have and can either pull their sales of the product if they do not keep enough in stock or will fine them over it.

Once you have bought into the game and reached the point where you are not needing more figures or models you do not matter as a customer to the company. This is where the rules changes come into play, to keep older players having to buy, and not to make the game better.

 

I know evey business has to make money to stay in business and that is not the issue so much as the business model they follow. A company can still work for its customers, keep prices down, build a loyal customer base, and still grow and profit. Thats one of the reason I love the reaper products, as a company the are much more hobby oriented most any other game company I've had dealings with. Customer service, and business ethics in my opinion more imporntant than share holder values and such, and I am sure it is a very fine line to walk keeping the business end happy and the customer end happy but We do have examples of that it can be done.

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Good post, J-P. Personally, I think that one of my biggest reasons is the 'shoehorning of scale'. There is a shift emphasis onto tanks and armour, which simply does not fit with the scale of the game. When armies of 1500 points attempt to have 'mechanised' and armour forces, things have just gone too far, and sacrifices and concessions have to be made which just spoils the game for me.

 

Personally, I have a huge selection of 40K miniatures, and although I own the latest rules, I dont use them. I play the old Advanced Space Crusade as often as I can, and Defiance is my 28mm science fiction set of choice. That said, my regular opponent likes games more 'streamlined' and so we have also recently picked up 5150.

 

For me, 5150 is not perfect, but it is a quick and elegant system. Models have a rank which dictates most tests, simply rolling under this rank for a variety of uses. This also makes creating your own stats fairly straightforward. While the game states at the beginning that there are 'not too many tables' this is clearly 'mis-informed'. There are LOADS! However, this reliance on tables does make things fairly easy to follow, and also allows alien races to behave differently. Got an alien species which has limited intelligence and likes to charge the enemy when confused? Create a specific reaction table for them.

 

5150 also is aimed at skirmish level games. If anyone has questions about 5150 and/or Defiance, and their relation to 40K, I am happy to answer any.

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Cybershadow has it - I like All Thing Zombies best, but 5150 is a fairly decent set of rules.

 

Basically characters and squads are defined by stats - in particular their reputation. This will cause them to react certain ways under various situarions - so if a trooper sticks his head out around a corner and get a few pot shots taken at him, depending on his rep he may keep his head, duck back or totally freak out. Models are broken into "Stars and grunts" Grunts are more or less bound to reactions and stars have free will. The game I think was written to have a cinematic feel to it.

 

It is also nice because aliens will also behave in certain ways, and alien races "feel" different when playing or fighting them. So certain aliens might simply go for the closest target, others may have a different motive.

 

You can grab a free copy of CR2, actually - http://www.angelfire.com/az3/twohourwargames/cr2.htm

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Yeah, I think it works for smaller skirmishes best. All Things ZOmbie is bloody brilliant - but it still works for larger games OK. 5150 is supposed to work better for larger scale battles. The necromunda rules are pretty good however (and are free now, which isn't bad) We used to play a WWII modification of the rules called nazimunda which was a blast.

 

 

I'd like to get my hands on Defiance actually, that too looks like it might be a decent set of rules. I'm one of those guys who adores the 40k universe, loves the models and generally doesn't care much for the rules - although the last few times I played, it was fun (mostly due to who I played with)

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It sounds like CR2 (or derivatives) would be ACE for necromunda style gang fighting. It also makes me feel like I should check out the system, since it's clearly a different niche to Defiance's larger skirmish warfare focus...

... so many games, so few opponents.

 

Check out mj12's Ares. It's skirmish scale and can even be tweeked to play sci-fi. Someone's already done the work, there's a file on mj12s yahoo group.

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