Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DLT Boycott of Planet Strike

Things have been crazy lately and the posts I expected to put up recently just have not made it onto the blog. I played a game last Tuesday (6/16) and learned a bit, and also got some modeling and painting completed this last weekend. I need to dig up the time to get those posted, and I commit to do that this week.

On another note however, the guys at DLT (a great podcast for those who have not listened) are organizing a boycott of the new Planetstrike book. Specifically the book, not any of the new terrain that is part of the release. Here is their reasoning:

I've received a few emails asking me to lay out a list of why we are Boycotting the Planetstrike book so that those who choose to join us can site why when asked by store staff.

1) We aren't going to support new books until they support old ones. Planetstrike doesn't support all the armies equally, leaving two completely out, the Inquisition. Even Chaos Daemons only gets a passing mention. If Inquisition players have the same treatment to look forward to as Apocalypse then this product needs to ignored.

2) It doesn't actually have anything new. It gives rules for something players have already been doing. The entirety of the rules can be summed up in 3 bullet points, all that you are missing are the assets, which have several redundancies from previous books and 3 codex's given short (if any) attention.

3) The state of the FAQ's and Codex's is down right insulting and planetstrike is only going to make that worse. The fact that some players are having to wait over a decade to see their army supported by GW is a travesty. GW is wasting a release this year on a book that has nothing new rather than supporting codex's desperately in need of it such as Necrons and Dark Eldar. Rather than address the problem with simple online web updates and giving someone who really needs it a new codex they release planetstrike.

4) GW doesn't believe that veteran gamers can affect their bottom line. It's time to show them that if they aren't going to support us it will hurt them. Players quickly graduate to "veteran" status and find themselves wishing for more responsive support. Putting a dent in their profits on one product shows them the real long term risk. We can flex our muscle here and GW might just start taking players who want a balanced and updated game seriously.

This is what is called a "soft boycott". Hopefully plenty of you choose to join us and help us send a clear message to GW about the current status of the game. That is, of course, assuming you agree! We don't want to put GW out of business, just flex a little muscle... or find out if we have any!

Some have suggested that we endorse players downloading the product rather than buying it. While I am sure many will do this, it doesn't send the proper message, it tells GW to be afraid of the internet rather than embrace it. We need them to understand that we want what they are selling but are willing to spend our money elsewhere if they are going to ignore groups of players.

I am not convinced that this is going to be effective. One of the DLT board members (Osbad) posted the following, which was an interesting read:

The lessons I learned from this in dealing with GW about stuff.

1/ Those of us that have strongly held beliefs on the internet are de-facto a minority. The majority of GW's customers are an unthinking horde, willing to scoop up any crap GW produce just because it has an official lable on it.

2/ Of all the forms of protest we tried, formal, old-fashioned, polite letters were the best received. While other forms of protest may or may not be effective, organised financial "blackmail" is of no effect if a billion unthinking fanbois ignorant of your campaign still buy the crap anyhow! On the other hand a handwritten, stamped coherent letter addressed to a named person of authority is likely to be read. Several will be read. While GW will NEVER, EVER admit they are wrong, the designers and others inside GW are still human beings who prefer, given various alternatives, to produce stuff that people want rather than what they don't want.
Those interested in reading more of the discussion, check it out here. I was only luke-warm originally on the planet strike book, and planned to look through it at the local GW prior to purchasing. If the book holds with the reviews, this is definitely a no-buy for me


  1. Does no good to insult people and simultaneously try to bring them into a mass movement. Seems to me the "boycott" organizer quoted is just loud & possibly trying to use the boycott to promote their pod cast.

  2. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is no reason to boycott this book over a slight bias or ommision, you can read the demo copy at your FLGS and decide for yourself if its worth the $25-27, I fully agree with CTF on this one, its just generated hype, and again as mentioned over at Hogs of War I remember cities of death catching almost the exact same crap, this is not the 6th edition rule book release, this is just another way to play the game, and I highly recomend we stop circulating this story. The revolution is never coming, we are not an angry mob, this is not a civil rights movement, you are the consumer the one with the power of the all mighty dollar (or pound) so come release day it is up to you to make the choice.

    BH Senior Editor

  3. After glancing through the Planet Strike book recently I asked Phil, the manager at GW Sugarland some questions based on the same points made in the first part of your post and this is how he responded.

    GW is not making Planet Strike for the Veterans, the guys that have played dozens of campaigns and Apoc games featuring their own scenarios and who already have a sense of how to imagine and create new scenarios for their games. Planet Strike is for the new player, the newb who is just getting a 1500 or 2000pt army together and is just beginning to have an inkling of bigger games like Apoc. It is a set of rules and scenarios for those who are asking what next and struggling to find the answer.

    Also Planet Strike is a way for GW to flex more of its new scenery making muscles and is a good excuse to add defined style bunkers and barriers to the range of terrain.

    So, am I excited about Planet Strike? No, not really. Am I excite about the terrain and the influx of people wanting to play 40K again? Yeah, definitely. Will I purchase Planet Strike? Maybe, not right away though. And the examples used of books need to be redone were poor ones. The inquisition is just as strong or stronger after the new options they received in the new Marine and IG books. Also Necrons and Dark Eldar are just as nasty as they ever were. Sure how they play might have changed a bit, but I dare you to name a codex where that isn't true after 5th.

  4. I read the post and I didn't see anyone insulting anyone else... so I'm not sure what you're refering too Chicago Terrain Factory. It sounds to me like they really don't like the book and are just giving solid reasons why they are boycotting it.

    I'm going to buy it... probably. At least a bunch of the terrain... but I don't know what insults you're refering too.

    I don't know, seems like they are being perfectly sane to me.

  5. @Glorylander:
    Second box quote references the "unthinking horde" and "unthinking fanboys".

    Its possible that I'm mixing up third party quotes, but I read the statement a conflict between an educated and knowing gaming minority that is trying to accomplish something and a majority of brainless mass consumers which will foil any attempted boycott. Its pretty obvious which camp the author belives he is a member of....

  6. @CTF - the second quote was not from the DLT guys, but from another poster on thier forum (Osbad). What I find most interesting about his post (and the snips I put in) is the comments and suggestions about writing a hand-written note and mailing it to GW opposed to approaching them via the internet.

    -- Overall I will probably not purchase the book unless the reviews are completely full of crap. I will certainly purchase some of the blastscapes and will very likely pick up a battlescape when its released.

  7. Yeah, I think you're getting the wrong impression from the combination of the two quotes. The DLT guys feel (and I agree on this issue but disagree on many others) that more aggressive online updating would be better for everyone... not just veterans and tournament players.