Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Business Plan ?

White Dwarf, natch. 

I caught this interesting article about WD over at the Artificer's Workshop (pretty ladies in power armour).  Which raised some interesting questions about the content of WD and what it's for.  Obviously the answer is 'to advertise the miniature range', we know that.  But as previously discussed, WD could be so much more.  There may well be opinion led articles by Johnson and Vetok (to borrow Artificer's phrase), but this is barely enough to warrant the description 'magazine' rather than 'advert'.

White Dwarf. 

I picked up the Eldar issue (because it has the Eldar in it) and quite frankly, If I played WHFB or LotR, I would be a bit disappointed, to say the least.  I know that a lot of discourse on various subjects is available online, and that these days, many many people are online almost all the time.  However, comma, if someone has bought WD then they are looking for something to look at whilst not on line (they might be on a rural bus service, or fishing on the Amazon* or something).  

So there are things you get with a real comic, but not on a smart phone.  In WD's case this manifests itself almost entirely as huge carefully staged pictures. It seems that precious little else is included; Content for the games system not being featured is minimal and the wise words of two GW stalwarts are not enough or varied enough to warrant shelling out the cash.

The Amazon.  Not an online retailer.

Just my opinion, you understand.  

Just my two'penneth for subjects:  Mr Johnson on the subject of financial investment vs return in relation to balancing your hobby against the expense of the rest of your life(style). 

Mr Vetock on an actual campaign background; the fact that logisitics and travel are going to be the defining factors in intersellar warfare and that in terms of concentration of force, Astartes strike forces are a one shot wonder. 

Col Killgore.  Everyone's favourite Apoc General !

Anyway, on to Apoc, which was the substance of the WD that Artificer reviewed: He asked who the Apoc formations were actually aimed at.  Well, me, obviously.  I would buy the IG formations and some of the Eldar ones as well.  In fact, when the Apoc formations dried up within 18 months of the first release, I was surprised.  I hadn't imagined that Apoc formations wouldn't be on offer forever; after all, the suppliment was not going to be withdrawn or anything. Anyway, I am on record as saying that I would be putting my hand in my pocket, were the Apoc formations ever to be released again. 

However, this is predicated on the not unreasonable premise that the apoc formations would be competitively priced. The prices they are listed at are (for example) 10 x RRP. Which is not really helpful; If I want to Fist the Emperor, I'm still going to buy ten LRMBT from Wayland, not one Emperor's Fist from GW*. 

Even at 10%, people would begin to think twice about that.

The other thought that was crystalised by brief contemplation of these diverse but connected things is the overall GW strategy; The Deamon Hunter and Witch Hunter codices have been replaced by Grey Knights and Sisters of Perpetual PMT - Inquisitor (the large scale game) is not supported and Necromunda, Mordheim, Epic, BFG and the various lines of interesting IG have all now gone the way of the dodo.  Without as much as a whisper in WD;  If you wanted some interesting things to talk about, these would have been interesting.   

Anyway, as I have said before, GW is going to do what GW is going to do regardless of my opinions and what I personally want from the hobby.  I will continue crafting what I see as an interesting exposition of an IG based campaign, trying to drag in ideas and so on from fellow hobbyists.  So no change there.  

But, with Kickstarter and alternative manufacturers increasing providing what I am looking for, And GW increasingly not providing anything I want (yeah, the Wraithknight may well be a nicely constructed game winning model, but that's not why I'm playing.  And it's head is still too small), their share of my hobby pennies looks set to diminish. 

*For anyone who has forgotten (or never knew), the Amazon has been a river since north and south America collided, and only been an online retailer for a few years. 

*unless in this particular instance all of the IG Apoc formation purchases include a vehicle accessory sprue; which would be over £75 off.  Which would be good, were it to be true, [telephones GW] Nah, no accessory sprues in there, just the new got-less-bits Leman Russ.  


  1. All very true. It's been a long time since I bought WD, and although I got that Eldar one too I was very disappointed with the long-trumpeted 'rebrand'. I'm sick of those carefully-managed photos of which you speak, but I'm not fussed. Now the blogging/internet scene is so well-developed that if you're a Dark Elf player, you don't have to buy WD and hope there's something in it; you can just go straight to the blog and gorge yourself.

  2. Yup. Four years now, I thin, since I bought it.

    And I LOVE your note about the vehicle accessory sprue!

  3. I think what I find annoying is the inclusion (within the pages of WD) of the occasional useful item. ie the Sisters of Battle mini codex and spearhead (the tank battle suppliment)items amongst others.

    I think these would be must better in something like the old "Chapter Approved" compilations (that I did not buy the first time 'round due to discovering gurls and motorbikes).

    Putting this material in WD allows it to reach the WD buying audience; which must be quite modest compared to twenty years ago. Having it available on line makes it available to another segment of the market (possibly the greatest take up of GW's target audience), but I spend a lot of my professional life reading things on a screen and don't want to spend too much of my free time doing so as well.

    Moving swiftly on; what GW is offering it the imaginary convenience of one click shopping to obtain an apoc formation. Buying this from (for instance) Wayland Games, one would simply click on the item and then alter the number to match one's megalomania. So it's not really any more convenient at all. I suspect that if GW had made these a bargain (ie by including the vehicle accessory sprue without making the customer pay for it) they would fly off the shelves. But the thing is, that as a luxury item in the first place, those people who want an apoc formation are going to buy one anyway, one way or another. So making the apoc formation bundles a bargain is only going to shift a comparatively small number of items. So I'm going to shut up about it.