Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Annual Price Rise Bitching?

So that time of year has come again, the season when GW decides that they need to raise thier prices, again. Many have pointed out that GW does this annually, and every year gamers whine and bitch, then keep buying the products at the higher prices.

I really hope this year fills the hole as the proverbial straw on the camels back. I am certainly noticing a distinct difference in a number of posts within the wider blog-o-sphere, with a level of animosity that seems more intense than years earlier. Here is a nice swathe of blogs I have read, and refer other readers to.

So this is my blog, let me get some of my thoughts out there for those who are interested. I curtailed my GW spending last summer with the price rise in 2010. I recently posted on a Facebook comment thread that since May 2010 I have spent less than $200 on GW products. This is not entirely true. I did some thinking and here is my support to GW directly:
  • Tape Measure and Templtes for a game at the GW St. Thomas store (supporting the Manager there) - $30
  • 3 Ruined Towers and 1 Witchfire Tor from Huzzah Hobbies (my local game store - GW is at a 10% discount here) - $155.25 retail
  • Grey Knights Codex from Huzzah Hobbies (my local game store - GW is at a 10% discount here) - $29 retail
  • 1 can Chaos Black Primer, 4 pots of Citidel Wash, 2 pots of Citidel Paint (my local game store - GW is at a 10% discount here) - $37.20 retail
  • 2 Island of Blood box sets (my local game store - GW is at a 10% discount here) - $180 retail
  • 1 box Dark Eldar Reavers (my local game store - GW is at a 10% discount here) - $34.75 retail
So there we go, a total of $466.20 retail of which I actually spent less than that due to discounts at my local store. I know, thats an awful lot of money for curtailed spending, I agree. It actually makes me sad to see I even spent that much, although I can say its far below what I have spent in years past. From an economic and business standpoint for GW, I am one of the loyal customers I imagine they do not want to lose. My typical GW spending from 2007 - 2010 was on average $150 per month, plus around $500 for Christmas specials, plus paints, glue, and primer as needed. Lets see, that is an average of at least $2,300 per year, plus the odd $3 purchase of hobby supplies.

Is the assumption that I spent less money on my hobby last year than I did in the years before? I can say that I have not. In fact, readers of this blog are very aware where the bulk of my money has gone. Its gone to Malifaux. I have also picked up a used Privateer Press hordes army, and picked up some Forge World.

So, lets talk about Forge World for a moment. Forge World is making resin and on average, their resin is overpriced, especially when you look at what Spartan Games and Privateer charge for their resin. Add to this the other companies who work with resin, and there is a distinct "tax" to purchasing the Forge World resin models, a GW Tax. FW is in the process of working through and releasing a new Imperial Armour book, and a line of new models for the Eldar. I love my Eldar army, and this really excites me.
 It also saddens me, as I am now stuck with the conflict that as long as I keep purchasing Forge World I am also supporting the overall sales and business practices of GW. FW is part of GW and profits and success on the FW side only reinforce overall practices at GW central. I fear what impression the GW management would get if FW sales spiked while their own fell.

So what does this mean overall? Does it mean I am joining the ranks of interwebz bitching over a price rise. Well, yes. Honestly, I am disgusted with GW's treatment of the Australian market. I am disgusted with the continuous price hikes with no real reason. To that end, I am endeavoring to purchase no additional GW products over the next year. P3 or Reaper paints, Krylon sandable primer, and no more models or Army books or Codex's. Malifaux is simply a better game anyway, and I love the support the company gives.

Will I be getting rid of my Eldar? Simply no. I have a 5th edition 40K rule book and my existing Codex's. Basically I am confining myself to playing with my local group once the game progresses into a new edition or new codex's come out. Will I buy the new Eldar codex once it is released? Probably not. I will find a way to continue to paint on the DTP and if that means stopping playing 40K so be it.

What about WHFB? Well, I have 2 armies. I have Dwarves that are assembled and painted. I have High Elves who are un-built and waiting for my attention. This should be good for years to come. But what happens when those new Army Books are updated and released? Same as 40K, I either play with the old books in a local group, or they also get shelved and I spend more time playing other games.

So what about FW? Lets be honest here, I am going to pick up Imperial Armour 11 and some of the new stuff coming out. I will be giving it a much closer look and thought before picking it up. I have a Titan, maybe I will pick up a second. I want a Phantom, but may not end up buying one next year as planned. A lot will depend on the climate of 40K. I will probably pick up another Reveneant, as a pair would be nice on my shelf. FW also adds into playing in a local group with friends, as I can use the modified rules there and not in larger games.

So whats the future? Well, it looks like more Malifaux (if that's possible) and an increase in PP games. I have a Legion army, time to look to more games there. I will continue to work on my DTP until its completed, and I owe some pictures to the readers.

Thus go my thoughts.


  1. Nice rant. I noticed the increased whinging too from blog to blog. It has pretty much put the final nail in the coffin as regards me playing 40k any further.

    In fact, since discovering Malifaux, I am in the process of selling all my 40k gear on Ebay (ironically it's financing my escalating collection of Wyrd miniatures). The review of the Grey Knights Codex on Gamers Lounge didn't help my current skewed perspective of the game and the future of 40k which is a real shame considering the years logged at tournaments and gaming.

    Long live Malifaux and Wyrd!

  2.  Your angry, I get it.  So is everyone else.  However swearing off something when you have no idea what the future holds is a bad idea (trust me, I do it all the time and regret it constantly).  We are going through a hard time right now.  Money is tight for everyone, gas is expensive, life in general is expensive.  Then our hobby, what we do to relax and get away from stress gets more expensive too!  We all hate it.

    However long story short it is our hobby and is what we do to relax.  Interests are going to flux and change and GW will come back as your primary game.  It may take some years and a full new line of kits and pricing schemes it will happen.  I have seen the flux with my own gaming over the years and eventually we all get nostalgic for for armies and first games and repaint or redoing new versions of old armies.

    You are young in the hobby, give it time.

  3.  Its funny how much this is showing up overall. Looking back over the years, searching forums and other blogs, I have to say that there seems to be a different tone this year than previously.

    With that said, I heartily welcome the large number of people commenting on how great Malifaux is, especially on the GW Facebook comments. Gives me quite a chuckle.. especially since I agree.

  4.  I think your missing the point of my post. Will I give up my 40K and WHFB armies, not at all. Will I be purchasing anything new in the foreseeable future, no. Last year I committed to curtailing spending, and that's what I did. Currently, I am disgusted with the current GW market. 5th edition is fine. The Eldar I currently have are fine.

    So, will I keep playing, sure, as long as the friends I wish to play with are ok with using the current rules and models I have access to. Will I attend tournaments, possibly and only as long as I do not need to update what I have. Once that happens, I will drop to playing friendly hobby games. No worries there.

    PP games are built for tournaments. Malifaux is a better game overall. These will be the directions I head in, which I am pretty sure is what I said above.

  5. Welcome to the club.  I have a fully functional Tau army, a fully functional Black Templar army (full-on conversion work for the terminators), and a large collection of 'nids.

    Then I picked up some Privateer Press, and frankly?  I'm not sure GW really knows what they're doing.  I haven't played 5th edition in 6-8 months, though I've had the occasional offer, and sadly, I'd rather play Warmachine.  It's cheaper, the company is more responsive, and the game ends up being a more fun, faster experience.

    I still love the whole 40k universe and still enjoy Dark Heresy, but the tabletop game just keeps getting more expensive, and the release schedule has 3rd and 4th edition codices playing against ones tweaked for 5th, which can hose someone who's invested $400+ in an 'older' army.

    I can keep on doggedly waiting for GW to fix my army again, pay $400+ for a new army, or take my business elsewhere and find a more balanced game.  It's like the fallacy of sunk costs; "I've spent 4 years and several thousand dollars on this hobby.  If I wait another few years, I can play my dark eldar again!"

    No.  Just, no.  I still use GW hobby supplies (well, paints and washes) but that's all I've dropped on GW in this calendar year and the last third of the last one.

  6.  And what I am saying is you are looking to short sightedly.  Short term less GW, long term who knows.  You are going to want to update your Eldar when the new book comes out next year and play in tournaments again eventually.  Could take years but times do change.  I am talking from 20 years experience of fluctuating hobby interest.

  7. I can totally see your point about short sightedness but I think Bill has it right. The reality is that it is not GW that goes through peaks and valleys, it is only our interest in the company. The reality is that GW has been on a long slow decline for several years. For example:

    -Ending Bitz sales
    -Stopping support of Specialist Games
    -The transformation of their website from a community hobby site to a shopping cart
    -The price hikes
    -The IP hammer tackling positive members of the hobby community
    -The end of hobby focused content in White Dwarf / the website
    -Taking over markets by opening their own stores, driving local stores out of business and then closing.
    -Firing experienced personnel and rehiring then at lower salaries
    -This whole Australian debacle.

    I've been part of the Hobby for 20 years too and I have had my share of year or two year burn outs, after which I eventually come back to the game. But every time I do, this list just gets longer. I'm far from a GW hater: I dislike Warmachine and , in particular, the GW hate that is part of that games culture. However, I really think they are on to something.

    The feeling I get being a GW gamer these days is the same feeling I equate to having a really bad job. They don't care, they don't listen and every day they take away one more thing and, so far, we just shrug it off. We don't quit because we don't know what the next step would be.

    But I don't think this is just a matter of being angry or the economy being in the dumps. And I don't think this is just an expression of frustration from a community that needs a new codex to buy. I think this is really a case of enough is enough.

  8. all that time and I post it in the wrong place. I meant this as a reply to HuronBH. 

  9. Thanks for linking me up there Hopefully people can understand why I'm going to be stopping my building of forces... And that's all it's been for a while. Building... I haven't played a game of 40K for around a year now but I'm just going to finish what I have and go onto other games.

    I might finally pick up a Pulp City starter and get my Superhero on!

  10.  I get what your saying but do you really see GW dropping the prices so it is affordable at all again?

    Now I know I get shafted more than those in the UK or US but when it's cheaper for me to get a Forgeworld Tau Battle Suit over a GW one in the store here how can that be right?

    For me to go and get a squad of 3 from a store here WITH a 20% discount will cost me $90 but for me to get it from overseas sources for $51 including shipping...

    If they decide they will correct the cost to what the exchange rate is then I'll be happy and I would come back and finish what I have started but really...

    Show me when that has ever happened. I remember buying Bloodbowl teams back in 92 for $30 and now they are $90 for the same box...

    I was to be proved wrong but I doubt that it will.

  11.  I got ya.  I get your points and agree that short term a lot of people are going to hang it up.  However GW isn't going anywhere, they are still the industry leader and the first out the door for all the new modeling tech (except the plastic resin, which was pioneered by Kraken Miniatures; however it has never been done well in my opinion, not even by Privateer Press).  It may be a while but most players will come back to GW, few if any of the people shouting to the hills that they are done are actually so.  Everyone is just over reacting.  I wish we didn't have to go through the pre-summer release GW bitch fest every year as GW raises its prices, but I guess it is just a fact of life now.

    Oh and Yetischool, the first GW models I ever bought way back in 1989 were from a GW store.  Yes there were only 2 in the US until the early 90's but those two have been around since 1987 (Faircity Mall, VA closed just after the Springfield, VA shop opened however the Annapolis? (might be college park instead) shop which was the first one in the US is still around I believe), so the GW stores aren't really a new thing.


  12.  I get where you are coming from and you have every right to be pissed.  What GW is doing to you guys in really low.  However, I think you example need work.  You are assuming we all buy online getting that sweet 20% discount.  I know I do not and purchase from the local store near me.  Also the Tau suit to FW Tau suit holds true even against the American prices.  They are about the same price, with the command suit and the broadsides actually being more expensive then the FW versions.

    GW has done some proper price corrects in the past.  I'd say 5 or 6 years ago several prices actually went down thanks to the exchange rate changing.  Will we ever see GW purposely lower their prices... No probably not.  However without GW companies like Mantic would not exist as the technology they use for make their models was first pioneered by GW.  Why do you think the Fine Cast stuff is actually more expensive then the original versions in metal?  Because they had to rework all their machines to make the existing molds work with the new casting material.  That is a huge up front cost which we are paying for.  Could they have chosen to use lower quality metals giving us lower quality models.  Yes definitely.  Would you be cool with that?  I know I wouldn't.

    No one has mentioned anything about how GW has been striving to make plastics better and more detailed.  Or how instead of lowering metal quality like some other companies have done, they have switched their entire manufacturing ability over to resin instead of metal, and in only a few short months.  Do you have any idea how much money GW has spent this year alone on bring us the best quality models they can?  Millions at least.  I applaud GW for taking these steps.

    And naturally part of that cost is transferred to model prices. Does it justify the increases we are seeing?  I don't know.  But try for once to concentrate on the positives.  I know it is difficult and I have this exact same problem with looking at Malifaux, the flaws always distract from the bigger picture. 

    Yes 10 marines used to be $10 back in the day, I own many of such marines.  However if you compare the models you got back then to the models you get today in a marine box, where your extra money is going is apparent. While those beaky marines were and still are very cool.  They stand around a head shorter then the current ones and have little to no sculpted detail on them what so ever. You get what you pay for.  In recent years I can remember being appalled when the tactical marine box went over $30 and to be honest, the contents of the current marine box is pretty much the same as it was then.  However the number of other plastic kits since that time had expanded drastically. 

    Long story short yes GW is an "evil" company that gouges us with over priced models in order to make money.  And there are very few certainties with this hobby, companies come a go.  However you can bet that GW isn't going anywhere.  GW prices are always going to rise, they are always to to strive and advance technology to make the best models that they can, and we the wargamers are going to reap the benefits and grown at the cost.

    In the quest to play games with finely craft models (that is why I'm here, the finely crafted models, crap models means I don't play that game) GW is the standard all others are judged by.  Now you guys either need to get with the program or get off the bus.

  13.  I have not really been grabbed by Pulp City, but I can certainly understand the super hero bug. There are so many good miniature games out there currently.

  14.  I think I am going to have a couple struggles around the hobby supplies. I realize I may keep buying the washes, unless I can find a wash better than the Citidel washes. The Citidel washes are just easy to use, and I like the colors.

    As for actual models or codex/army books, I am not worried about my resolve there. Despite HuronBH's opinion, I can be fairly stubborn. As I said, it doesn't mean I will stop playing, but I can withstand buying new eldar models. Hell, they are not in my codex, and as far as I am concerned, GW games for me released the last 40K codex with grey knights.

  15.  and I am getting off the bus. I am pretty sure thats what everyone has been saying. There is no reason for prices on books (Army Books/Codex), existing kits, Starter boxes that are still in stock (not being re-issued), model boxes that have been identical for over 3 years (May Eldar and Tau boxes), and other such items to go up in price. Your argument would hold some water (not much mind you) if the prices were only going up on the new casts, the new Fine Cast items, or the new models and sculpts being released. The increase across the board is bewildering and insulting in my opinion.

    To further issue new T&C edicts restricting global trade, and to improperly set exchange rates is just downright unconscionable.

  16.  Well you know my history and since I do a lot of comic related things on other sites as well as a couple of published stories I can't go away from my Spandex covered meta humans...

    I have some old friends that want me to try at least and since they had the free rulebook first up it's good for a look.

  17.  I know I can go to one of my local stores that will give me 20% off the GW RRP which is the price I quoted there.

    For a better example of how we are getting jipped over is the Storm Raven as I posted on my site.

    GW Australia's Price $110
    Empire Games Price $88 (a local store I go to)
    Wayland Games Price $50.10

    What would you do if you had to pay a minimum $38 more for the same thing?

    I don't assume that everyone gets the great online prices as I do support local stores but for things like that I would go the cheaper price and for the smaller items I will get locally...

    I'm not saying that GW have shaped the way gaming is today with the quality of the figures... I still remember my metal Imperial Guard Land Speeders for my Genestealer Cult armies But with everything there is improvements...

    Look at my Comic Collection... back in the 90's I was paying $2 - $2.50 an issue and today I'm paying $3 - $3.50 an issue... That's including the improvements in art quality, paper quality, overnight shipping across the world AND when the AUS$ goes good the prices we pay reflect it by going down to the point you can see the prices changing week to week.

    So at this point in the miniature game the smaller company is reap the benefit if what GW has done in the past but do you think we will see these smaller companies take a new approach to what they are doing with miniatures and do things the larger companies like GW won't take the risk with anymore.

    Then we get into speculating on where the hobby is going to go from there which I can't think of apart from they will be too detailed for us to paint!