Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Commentary - The New Games Workshop?

Doesn’t our community love to b***h about GW?  Prices, Finecast, Lawsuits, Stores, Prices… 
At the same time, we continue to look forward to the release of the next codex and roll dice.  We travel the “Interweb” in search of cool minis, conversions, conversations, rumours, podcasts, e.g.  As much as so many of us would not, at least in public admit, we still admire the root source of our hobby craziness!  Not true?  You hate GW?  Really?

I think as gamers we enjoy whining as much as we enjoy playing the game.  It is our right and frankly, in our nature.  But I will admit the last year or so has changed my opinion of GW as a purveyor of hobby stuff.  Be it models, codices, books, or epubs, the stuff that is the heart of our hobby has improved in quality and variety.

My first kudo is for the way GW has issued models at the same time (or soon thereafter) they release the associated codex.  I remember getting my 5th ed. Nid codex and thinking, “half of the units in this book have no bloody models!”  I like to build conversions, but seriously, for half the models in the book?!  No Harpy, Tervigon, Shrikes, Parasite, Doom, Deathleaper, Terranofex, Ymgarls, Tyranid Prime…and I probably missed a few!  It was disgraceful.  And I KNOW that many other armies had the same issue.  “A new codex…great…oh wait a minute, where the hell are the models for all these new units?!”  Since the release of the latest Necron dex, I truly believe that almost all models represented in the new dexes have come out right after are near so to the dex release date.  This is HUGE, IMO.  It means there has actually been some planning and logistics involved in the release of new product, rather than just throwing crap at us and forcing us to beg for scraps.

Related to this is the regularity with which we have seen new product appear.  How many codices in the last 12 months?  More than we saw in the last 3 years!  More importantly, at least from my humble perspective, the need for FAQs had significantly decreased.  Not that they are not required, but I think the community has been able to, at least to some extent, police itself and resolve rules issues due to the way the new dexes have been written.

The next positive change I see is the full on entry into the world of the digital.  Not only codices, but Apoc and the plethora of supplemental materials that are flying out of GW and Black Library.  It is great to see that GW realizes that there are hobbyists who actually PREFER the digital to the hardcopy.  I am NOT one of them by the way, but many of the younger gamers I know embrace this new way to access the information they need to play the game.  Well done!

Quality is the next thing I see as a positive change.  Where?  First in the quality of the codices.  Yes the prices have gone up, but seriously, you are getting a hard cover book with exceptional artwork, an engaging back story, great model showcases and an incredibly complex rule set so you can build and play your armies.  The transition out of Finecast is another sign of improved quality.   For GW to acknowledge this transition from metal as a failure from a hobby perspective is something I do not believe we would have seen in the past.  Finally, the responsiveness to customer concerns has improved.  I take the faulty implementation of the army builder release with the recent digital version of the Space Marine codex.  I saw many complaint initially, but when I spoke with folks at Rockcon just this past weekend, they had already been resolved.  I do not think we would have seen this with the GW of the past.

Lastly, the variety of new models released, as well as the updating of existing unit models has been wonderful to see.  I know some folks are not fans of the Marine Centurions, but after seeing some well painted models at Rockcon, I am a fan.  If I still played Marines, I would definitely be buying some.  The wide range of flyers, like them or not to play against, has been impressive.  I again credit the GW planning, logistics and design teams with being able to bring us something new while cranking out so many new rule sets.

That’s it for now.  I will no doubt be accused of being a cheerleader here…so be it.  Credit where credit is due.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    Haters gonna hate however, particularly regarding prices, we all want more for our money and some prices could go down and still be profitable. No one wants to see them fail as a company despite their obligation to make a profit as a publicly listed company.


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