Sunday, 26 April 2009

Curse you Games Workshop!!!

I have a friend who famously once said that whenever he buys anything from Games Workshop, he asks them to wrap it in porn mags so that he’s not embarrassed leaving the shop.

I think he was joking. It raises a point though, why do we hate Games Workshop?

The first issue is probably the one highlighted above; the shame. I popped into Games Workshop today while in town. But only after I’d checked up and down the street to make sure they was no-one I knew around that might see me. I was only after a few paints but ended up having a good chat with one of the guys who worked there, I left feeling a bit better about my GW addiction and stepped smiling into the sun outside. Only to have a woman walking past turn and stare at me as if I was some kind of weirdo. A grown man going into a toy shop? Disgusting!

Let’s back up here a minute though, why was I in Games Workshop buying paints anyway? Well, like many men my age (31) I was into Games Workshop product while at school (Mainly Space Marine (Epic) and Advanced Heroquest) and after growing up looked back on those days with disdain. How could I have wasted all that money? Pah! What a fool I was...

Of course, time passes and I got into playing boardgames a few years ago and then found the Games Workshop Specialist Games website. From this I downloaded the Mordheim rules, ‘just to flick through for old times sake...’ and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve now got gangs/teams for Mordheim, Necromunda, Blood Bowl, various paints, rules and novels and I’m being tempted by the new Imperial Guard Codex which I’m sure will lead to me spending lots of money on lots more plastic men. This is of course against my Frugal Philosophy, but I have a plan. More info in the next couple of weeks...

But anyway, the reason I don’t like Games Workshop, is because there product is so damn good. Every single thing they do; rules, miniatures, paints, terrain and ‘fluff’ (novels, etc), has been done better by other companies, but no other company does everything so well together.

So, on reflection, maybe I don’t hate Games Workshop... But my wallet may come to regret meeting them.

Plymouth Scale Model Show
Speaking of things that my wallet hates, yesterday I went to a Scale Model Show in town. It was quite a good show with lots of, erm, scale models on display and lots of stalls selling, erm, scale model kits.

I did get to speak to Orlando from the Plymouth Association of Wargamers, who had an impressive 40k demo game set up. I really must make the effort to get along to the club at some point.

So overall, the show was okay. However, the entry price was £4, which I though was pretty steep. The man at the entrance, pointed out that I could come and go all day with my ticket, but after half an hour I was done.

I did get a lot of pictures of tanks though. I thought they’d come in useful when I make my Imperial Guard army for Warhammer 40k... Curse you Games Workshop!!!


Ruarigh said...

Interesting question about GW. I think hate is too strong a word to use for me though. I find their product (except Specialist Games) too patronising and "teenage boyish" for my tastes. I also think I can get perfectly good paints cheaper - around 50p to 60p per pot on a like for like basis - from Coat D'Arms or Vallejo. Still, I occasionally wander in to see what is there. The advantage is that they are accessible high street shops, rather than mail order only. That is certainly an advantage.

I noticed you have played Runebound recently. How do you find it? I have it, and have played it but found the interaction between players somewhat lacking. Does it need a larger group of players to work well?

Dave said...

Hi Ruarigh,

I've only played Runebound in small groups (2-3 players), but still found a lack of real interaction. I do really enjoy the game though. I'd like to try it with 4-5 players, but I've heard it can really drag on, not something my gaming friends would enjoy on a games night with work the following morning!

BigLee said...

GW... Ah yes the company we love to hate...

Like you I was into their games as a kid. Warhammer, WH40k, Epic 40k... drool. I have often speculated what it is that our fraternity of gamers find so objectionable about this British success story. For my generation (I’m 40) maybe it's that we lament the demise of the old innovative and small scale GW and its rebirth as Corporate 'sell-out' GW. Or maybe – in true Brit style - we just can’t stand a company being a success. Our maybe its their insistence on playing ear splitting thrash metal music in every store. Kid’s these days have no respect for their elders!

Dave said...

Of course! It's the success we hate, if only they'd gone out of business years ago, we'd love them!

It's great being a Brit! :-)

Ruarigh said...

Thanks for the reply about Runebound, Dave.

Re: GW, I just thought about it and came to the conclusion that the thing I most dislike about GW was that they stopped stocking other games. I used to be able to go to the Newcastle GW ages ago and buy Avalon Hill boardgames, AD&D. Now I no longer have a local games shop where I can get that sort of game. I supported them a lot but I still lost them, as it were.

Jack said...

Hiya Dave,

I think the thing I hat most about GW is the cost of their products. £25 for a set of 5 plastic terminators? I can only assume that the plastic is made my melting down gold and platinum.

I'd be tempted back into some of their games if the cost wasn't so ridiculous.



Anonymous said...

Nice to see I'm not the only grown man who is leery of being seen entering/leaving their local Games Workshop!

Dave said...

Hiya Jack,

I'm sure we've had the terminator conversation quite a few times before, normally while our other halves are sat next to us rolling their eyes..

It's a point made even more incredible by the fact that you can get 5 (slightly different) terminators in the Black Reach 40k Games set, for a few pounds more, plus loads of other figures!

I suppose it means they've got the moulds ready to go for Space hulk third edition though (the rumours aren't going away)!

All the best matey.

Dave said...

Anonymous, you are not alone.

Sigmar said...

"I have a friend who famously once said that whenever he buys anything from Games Workshop, he asks them to wrap it in porn mags so that he’s not embarrassed leaving the shop."

ROFLMAO - I love it :D

There is something inherently embarrassing carrying a GW bad around, I always stuff it into something else. I expect this says more about me being 41 and a bit self conscious than GW but... oh well... it's read that some others feel the same.

PS. Is that a Matilda tank I espy at the top of the page ? I won an art competition at school with a painted Matilda (yes, we were allowed to enter models !)

Nice blog, I'll be back,

my Warhammer blogmy Battle Reports huba new WFB army - the Nauticans

Dave said...

'Would you like a bag?'

'For the love of God, NO!!!'

Sigmar said...

lol :D

Or "yes please, do you have a plain brown paper one ?"

John Price said...

I hate Games Workshop because they hate me right back. I've been out of their games for years, but back when I was very seriously into 40k anyone complaining about their ludicrously unbalanced and badly-designed rules got bashed for being a "beardy American" who didn't understand how you were "supposed" to play the game. The level of arrogance and contempt was just incredible.

Maybe they've become angels of light in the last seven or eight years, but with ANOTHER price hike in the works, I say once more **** Games Workshop!

Venom aside, keep up the good work on the blog, it's a fun read.

Anonymous said...

A "paper or plastic" option would be great.

Although knowing Games Workshop the paper bag may well be even worse and be covered in skulls or something.

strangevistas said...

I this is where the rubber hits the road for your whole "Frugal Gaming" bit. What does "frugal" mean? No new minis and just painting the ones you own? Buying minis off eBay?

Dave said...

Strange Vistas,

The idea of my Year of Frugal Gaming is to make sure that I only spend money on games I'm going to play and minis that I'm going to paint.

So at the moment, I'm painting what I've got befor I go out and buy any more figures. I don't mind paying money for good product, as long as it will eventually get on the tabletop!

All the best

Johno said...

Glad you liked the PAW demo game.

Orlando and I stepped into the breach at very short notice when the original display team had to pull out because they all got called into their respective places of work for extra hours.

Orlando provided all the models except for the squat Stompa nearest the camera.

We had a fun day story telling with the game, and talking to people who stopped by. The Guard were overwhelmed by the Orks, but the day was saved by the arrival of the Salamander Space Marines.

This year's model show did seem a bit less well attended than last year's, which is a real shame, because they work so hard to put it on.