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Warhammer Fantasy rebooted with space marines
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
Except, from a sales/IP perspective, that doesn't work. Anyone wanting to do knock offs can still make generic orcs or dwarves and call them that and say they're for use in many popular fantasy games. And if people want a cheaper (and not increasingly crazy looking) alternative, they can just go buy that and GW has no recourse, because no on is infringing (or cares to infringe) on Orruks, which are obviously still just Orc knock-offs themselves.


I don't think you realize just how much Games Workshop is shitting themselves right now. I mean yes, no one gives a shit about Seraphax or Doodoogar or whatever the fuck they are trying to call Lizardmen and Dwarves now, but GW lost their court case bad. The amount they don't own is frankly pretty amazing.

Here's the issue: they don't own normal words. At all. And they don't even own their science fiction bullshit words because it turns out they are all ripped off from prior art back in the eighties. So if someone wants to make a new model and call it an "Imperial Guardsmen with Lasgun" GW can't do shit about it.

But it actually goes farther than that. GW routinely writes up rules for units and then doesn't make models for them for years or even decades at a time. But it turns out that when they don't own the words, other people can make models and call them those things. If they make an Imperial Guard Sapper Squad in the rules, some other company can make Imperial Guard Sapper models first, and sell them.

And that extends to shit like Sisters of Battle with unsupported weapon configurations or High Elf elite units that haven't had sculpts yet. Games Workshop found out they didn't own the continuation of their own model lines.

So their freak out is actually pretty understandable. But their decision to make shit no one cares about so that people would no longer be allowed to use their model line names is pretty lame. "We have to do something, this is something therefore we must do it."

-Frank
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The other thing to realize is that GW is actually getting crushed by the boardgame boom. Take a look at an old article that compared GW to Asmodee (aka The Boardgame Empire):

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2015/01/games-workshop-vs-asmodee-tale-2-companies.html

Asmodee had, in just a year, overtaken GW and is set on a long-term growth path to have a showdown with fucking Hasbro in the next decade or two. Note that I'm not just talking about WotC and Magic. I'm talking about Hasbro including all of their plastic Iron Men.

(And note this was before Asmodee acquired its biggest remaining competitor, Z-man).

And what's particularly striking about the Asmodee strategy is how little (thus far) they mess with the IP and creative processes of the companies they acquire. They seem to understand that people actually want different things (not just Space Marines for everything) and that to get them to buy shit you need to offer both variety and creative quality. That's why nobody has terribly minded their quest for boardgame domination thus far. Most people - FFG and their fans for instance - actually like being under Asmodee because they continue to publish the games they're good at but get more funding and a wider distribution network.

GW's strategy by contrast has been consistently insular - to the point it's becoming the hobby version of a Brexit nutjob like Farange. They keep focusing on their existing IP and keep trying to "protect" it, when their license deals (which seem to have been signed as a quick cash grab and an afterthought) are showing how there's a big demand for their niche games like Gothic or WFB (probably because they actually do something original and cool instead of just being copied knight armor in SPACE). But no, they still keep trying to force-fit Space Marines into everything.

The court case losses were in fact a pretty big deal in the GW "management team" headspace because that in large part invalidated GW's protectionist strategies and opened the door for people to just outright copy their stuff.

What they don't realize however - aside from fan-made stuff like 9th Age - is that nobody wants to copy their shit in the first place. Asmodee isn't going to do it. CMON isn't going to do it. Hell Warmachine isn't going to do it.

And the reason for it is simple and two fold: First, as Polish Designer (and Publisher) Ignacy pointed out in his blog - stealing other people's ideas and IPs (even if legally kosher) within the gaming community is really stupid because everyone knows each other and anyone who tries to pull that stunt will just be ostracized and lose all ability to distribute and market their games credibly. Second, GW's mainline rules shit is just plainly so fucking bad and stuck with 80s design technology that nobody with modern design experience would want to copy it to begin with. They are still debating whether they're a "tournament" or a "let's have fun" kind of game when Boardgame Design had already declared "Math is Cruel and hence Your Game's Math must be Correct" as one of its Ten Commandments since the early 2000s. GW "testing" is still a bunch of guys in one basement when a small publisher like Ignacy already employs multiple test teams all over Europe and Poland for all of his games, while Vlada (from the Czech Republic) and Friese (from Germany) actually write computer programs to model and mathematically test their games for balance.

And at the end of the day it's the rules that make the game enjoyable (and therefore sellable), not the plastic figs where all the profit margin is carried.

But again, no. Rather than let FFG play with their IP and allow modern designers like Eric Lang create good Warhammer games (e.g. Chaos in the Old World, which is IMO still the best single GW tabletop game ever), they pulled the license out of fears it will dilute their own profits.


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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Voss wrote:
Except, from a sales/IP perspective, that doesn't work. Anyone wanting to do knock offs can still make generic orcs or dwarves and call them that and say they're for use in many popular fantasy games. And if people want a cheaper (and not increasingly crazy looking) alternative, they can just go buy that and GW has no recourse, because no on is infringing (or cares to infringe) on Orruks, which are obviously still just Orc knock-offs themselves.


I don't think you realize just how much Games Workshop is shitting themselves right now. I mean yes, no one gives a shit about Seraphax or Doodoogar or whatever the fuck they are trying to call Lizardmen and Dwarves now, but GW lost their court case bad. The amount they don't own is frankly pretty amazing.

Here's the issue: they don't own normal words. At all. And they don't even own their science fiction bullshit words because it turns out they are all ripped off from prior art back in the eighties. So if someone wants to make a new model and call it an "Imperial Guardsmen with Lasgun" GW can't do shit about it.


But the new words don't allow them to do shit about it either. The change to Astra Fuckboyeim has had zero effect on other companies (Mantic, Dreamforge, Hitech, Kromlech, Ultraforge and assorted others), and most of those were specifically designed to BE knockoffs of GW miniatures. (see Ultraforge Greater Plague and War demons, which are Great Unclean Ones and Bloodthirsters with the name scratched off). Quirky names or not, Ultraforge has been there for years, and seems intent on staying- and they're terribly small fish, so it doesn't even matter.

Quote:
But it actually goes farther than that. GW routinely writes up rules for units and then doesn't make models for them for years or even decades at a time. But it turns out that when they don't own the words, other people can make models and call them those things. If they make an Imperial Guard Sapper Squad in the rules, some other company can make Imperial Guard Sapper models first, and sell them.

Which also aren't a concept owned by that company, and as it turns out, doesn't actually cannibalize GW's sales much at all. The knockoff companies are pretty much small fish, and the few that aren't are screwing themselves over in other ways. Mantic is probably the biggest example, and they fuck themselves both on quality and by being distracted by 5 shiny new projects between every damn release. But they've still got 12 armies for their fantasy games and all but one (Trident Realms, i.e. the fish ladies) are explicit knockoffs of warhammer armies, even to the point of splitting their undead into two to match Vampire Counts and the ex-Tomb Kings.

Yes, GW went into a panicked over-reaction (and stopped doing rules without models a couple years back), but it's been an unnecessary one. The same feeder companies are still small fish, and haven't changed one iota with the change to shit no one cares about or the stupid names.

The irony is, of course, that GW wanted to stomp a nothing bottom-feeder company (Chapterhouse, or 'that guy, in his garage), out of their usual urge to toss around lawsuits and stomp people. Someone stepped in pro-bono, and suddenly they had a bunch of shit spelled out for them that spooked the suits but really made no damn difference. Because whether they admitted it or not, they've been balls deep in the public domain for years, and nothing they could do could change that, and unless they literally set things on fire and completely change everything, they still won't change that.

Which is why a lot of the re-releases for AOS changed not at all, and even the new stuff is still fairly derivative shovelware, that can be copied by anyone who feels like it, because deviating too far from what people will accept in fantasy or sci-fi means it fucking well doesn't sell.


@Zinegata- thats a damn stupid article, like most of the shit on BoLS.
GW has been a bizarrely specialist company for years (especially compared to its origin), and Asmodee is by and large a distributor. They've got a completely different business (and while that map is amazing at lying with facts, but if you actually look at it, they sell to Europe, North America and China, and that's all. Granted the big markets, and it doesn't really tell you how much share they've really got, especially in China).
Asmodee vs GW makes as much sense as comparing Staples to a specific manufacturer of office chairs.

Asmodee isn't going to get into fights with Hasbro anytime soon, even the next couple decades. $200 mil doesn't put you on fighting terms with billions.

Quote:
and at the end of the day it's the rules that make the game enjoyable (and therefore sellable), not the plastic figs where all the profit margin is carried.

You'd be surprised how often this isn't true. Especially for GW customers that will complain about how they get treated as they buy new stuff. And people who don't give a shit, and just want something cool to paint. They seriously don't want the cheaper alternatives of the same models from Mantic, because they look like ass. (except their ghouls, which have the advantage of not looking like post-apocalyptic orc mutants).
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

@Zinegata- thats a damn stupid article, like most of the shit on BoLS.
GW has been a bizarrely specialist company for years (especially compared to its origin), and Asmodee is by and large a distributor. They've got a completely different business (and while that map is amazing at lying with facts, but if you actually look at it, they sell to Europe, North America and China, and that's all. Granted the big markets, and it doesn't really tell you how much share they've really got, especially in China).
Asmodee vs GW makes as much sense as comparing Staples to a specific manufacturer of office chairs.


You're missing the point. Literally half of my post was exactly this - explaining why GW is being very stupid to think they are "threatened" by boardgame giants trying to copy their shit directly begin with. Nobody in their right minds will copy their shit. If Mantic is really trying to copy their shit then it's the reason why they are also dying. The real rot lies with the fundamentals of the tabletop wargaming hobby itself.

What you're not getting is that GW doesn't see themselves as a specialist company. They seriously see themselves as being a mega gaming empire at some point that can go toe to toe with Hasbro. That's why they're so protective of their IP and are trying to monetize it so hard. That's why they're pulling licenses from FFG + Asmodee.

In short, GW is so arrogant that they think they're actually an Empire instead of an insular protectionist shithole. That's why it's not actually just BoLS comparing GW to Asmodee. It's a hand-me-down from GW management thinking. Don't believe me? Then why did they pull the GW licenses to FFG and started making boardgame-like releases such as Execution Force?

Quote:
Asmodee isn't going to get into fights with Hasbro anytime soon, even the next couple decades. $200 mil doesn't put you on fighting terms with billions.


Timeline for Asmodee's rise is in the decades. Read the context. It ain't about how big you are now, but the rate you are growing and how scarily big you will be in 10-20 years if you keep growing that fast.

Quote:
Quote:
and at the end of the day it's the rules that make the game enjoyable (and therefore sellable), not the plastic figs where all the profit margin is carried.


You'd be surprised how often this isn't true. Especially for GW customers that will complain about how they get treated as they buy new stuff. And people who don't give a shit, and just want something cool to paint. They seriously don't want the cheaper alternatives of the same models from Mantic, because they look like ass. (except their ghouls, which have the advantage of not looking like post-apocalyptic orc mutants).


Sorry, but here's the thing:

Old customers stuck with big old armies don't have a choice. Because they're already too invested in the game to shift. This is exactly what happened to the Advanced Squad Leader grognards, who had already memorized dozens of binders worth of obscure rules on German halftracks. That's why to this day there are still ASL people playing despite the game being a complete horror to modern design... but that number is now in the low hundreds and the youngest player would be in their mid 30s. A game with that kind of playerbase is simply headed for extinction.

Worse, there are zero tabletop war games that have really modern design rules in the first place. Quite frankly Mantic's rules are shit too. They may be freely available. They may be better-written. But the design technology is still stuck in the fucking 70s and 80s. That is the real reason why GW or any of the competitors for this tiny niche haven't grown - it's rules systems are so antiquated it's basically impossible to get any new players for them especially when the said players can just buy Zombicide instead.

There is a reason modern boardgames have stopped using tape measures or quote real-world measurements in-game. Back in the historical wargame days people might have been excited by the "historical accuracy" of a Tiger tank that's scaled exactly as it should be, but carrying over that artifact to fantasy gaming in 2017 where people are throwing lightning bolts of indeterminate power is stupid.

Gamers in the modern day want and expect clarity. They want to know whether or not that enemy crossbow unit is in range - so they can make a decision based on that information. They don't want to guess whether the enemy unit is really within 6 inches of their cannon. In fact they consider that kind of guessing mechanic to be bullshit that just favors the assholes playing on the same table over and over for a long time.

Indeed, the only miniatures game that has even attempted to do away with tape measures was a game from fucking Milton Bradley of all companies - with their discontinued Heroscape line. That's also why virtually all CMON releases have abstracted but very clear rules on positioning and movement. Grabbing 20 zombies and dropping them down the adjacent "tile" is a lot quicker and simpler than measuring out 6 inches for them.

In short, people not wanting to move from GW to Mantic or some other tabletop wargaming king wannabe is a symptom of a much more serious problem. The tabletop wargaming hobby is in fact dying because the rules are stuck in the 70s. New blood isn't willing to put up with its bullshit rules and rituals anymore.

As for minis themselves... good craft pieces and paintable things will always sell. But if you think GW is big then you need to take one quick look at Gunpla, which already earns about twice of GW even without a tabletop game associated to it - and a lot of that is again because that industry isn't stuck in the 80s and has made a lot of improvements to their assembly tech (e.g. glue is no longer required for most models).

GW is a really small player that has an overly huge idea of what it thinks it owns and can achieve; but actually does very little in the present to make people not already invested in SPESS MAHRINES to actually start buying them. The rest of the companies stuck in the said niche are not much better off.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Games Workshop is indeed a tiny fish in a big pond. Namco-Bandai (the people who make Gunpla models) have a revenue of over 5 billion dollars, while GW is shy of 200 million dollars.

What GW does have is a pretty fierce stranglehold on the market in the United Kingdom. I mean, I've seen a lot more people playing Guildball and Marvel Heroes lately, but Games Workshop is still the elephant in the room as far as English gaming goes.

I think their relavive dominance in England blinds them to how bullshit small they are internationally. They really think that WFRP competes meaningfully with D&D for fuck's sake.

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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How valuable is GW IP? For things like tabletop RPG's, board games, video games, novels, etc.

Like would Total Warhammer have done as well if the Total War guys just made their own fantasy setting? Would the Dawn of War games have done just as well with their own sci-fantasy setting?
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:


You're missing the point. Literally half of my post was exactly this - explaining why GW is being very stupid to think they are "threatened" by boardgame giants trying to copy their shit directly begin with.

They... don't think that. No one thinks that. Boardgame giants moving in was never part of anyone's scenario other than the one you just made up.



Quote:
What you're not getting is that GW doesn't see themselves as a specialist company. They seriously see themselves as being a mega gaming empire at some point that can go toe to toe with Hasbro.

No.
https://investor.games-workshop.com/our-business-model/
GW wrote:
We have a simple strategy at Games Workshop. We make the best fantasy miniatures in the world and sell them globally at a profit and we intend to do this forever.

Simple, but every part of this statement is important.

We make things. We are a manufacturer. Not a retailer. We do have outlets in retail locations and these stores show customers how to engage with our hobby of collecting, painting and playing with our miniatures and games. They are the front end of our manufacturing business


Surprise. Your theory is completely the opposite of reality.
Quote:
In short, GW is so arrogant that they think they're actually an Empire instead of an insular protectionist shithole. That's why it's not actually just BoLS comparing GW to Asmodee. It's a hand-me-down from GW management thinking. Don't believe me? Then why did they pull the GW licenses to FFG and started making boardgame-like releases such as Execution Force?

I don't believe you because you're wrong. Flatly wrong in terms of management thinking (see above), and wrong about their games. First, GW has made boardgames like execution force for literally decades. They stopped for a bit because they convinced themselves they were eating the sales of their main lines, but its nothing new. Second, those games... are primarily discount packages for the miniatures, and a cheaper first hit to get people started with armies. That is why they exist. As a variety of entry points, or discount bundles (especially games like Execution force, which existed to sell the assassin models before they went to $30 a piece)
Gorechosen and the fighter combat game are even more blatant examples of this- they exist only to sell the models and whatever rules are in those boxes are napkins they wrote on in the pub.

As for the FFG license... they pulled it because FFG decide to do a miniature wargame version of Rune Wars, and part of the license agreement between them was FFG wouldn't directly compete while publishing the licensed stuff. So both sides walked away from that deal.


Quote:

Timeline for Asmodee's rise is in the decades. Read the context. It ain't about how big you are now, but the rate you are growing and how scarily big you will be in 10-20 years if you keep growing that fast.

I did. Also the date, and the two year projection they were making (two years is up, by the by. How'd the BoLS BS writer do?) I'm also unwilling to take a growth spurt with interesting spin as an infinite projection

The context is someone was blathering, and doing it on the basis of too little information.
Quote:

Sorry, but here's the thing:

Old customers stuck with big old armies don't have a choice. Because they're already too invested in the game to shift.

Oh, good. A sunk cost fallacy. No, old customers can and will leave or switch or whatever.

Quote:
Snipped blather

No, the big obstacle to GW and other big game wargames is cost and time (preparation, assembly and painting, and that's before you get into the setup and teardown of games themselves), and lots and lots of competition from other hobbies with a lower cost and faster time.

Most people wouldn't know good or bad, new or old design if it came up and bit them. Even if they did, most wouldn't care.

They do know they can get miniature games that involve a 10-20 models (or a shit ton of things that aren't miniature games), and that is much more viable. It's how Privateer clawed into the market, and then abandoned it for a GW-like strategy of pricing, protectionism and increasing size and scale. So Guild Ball is the new hotness.


OgreBattle wrote:
How valuable is GW IP? For things like tabletop RPG's, board games, video games, novels, etc.

Like would Total Warhammer have done as well if the Total War guys just made their own fantasy setting? Would the Dawn of War games have done just as well with their own sci-fantasy setting?


It isn't particularly valuable. Most of it is generic and copypasta (the timeline of 40k is almost exactly Dune, many designs are derivatives of other things, the old Warhammer World was an Earthlike template with a Tolkien overlay and Morcockian Chaos nonsense.

But no, those games wouldn't have done as well without it. They may have done just as well with a different IP, but games without settings disadvantage themselves. Mind you Total War is a brand in itself, so could have managed with a generic fantasy earth. But licensing an existing setting removes a chunk of workload that a lot of people aren't willing or able to do.


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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, whether Total Warhammer was a good business move or not really hinges upon how good of a deal they got. The few sketchy metrics I have seen indicate that it's outselling the previous release, but that's not unusual for Total War games and either way we're not talking about anything near Dawn of War numbers. That makes sense because fundamentally this is exactly the sort of partnership that fires up the base rather than really broadens appeal. Mashing up the two makes a superficial sort of sense because they're both British war game companies and thus can get coverage in the Guardian for no good reason but ultimately you're still just combining two small properties that already had a lot of overlap rather than anything that can jump you into the big leagues. Basically, it's way more akin to TekkenxStreetfighter than Lego Batman.
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
No.
https://investor.games-workshop.com/our-business-model/
GW wrote:
We have a simple strategy at Games Workshop. We make the best fantasy miniatures in the world and sell them globally at a profit and we intend to do this forever.

Simple, but every part of this statement is important.

We make things. We are a manufacturer. Not a retailer. We do have outlets in retail locations and these stores show customers how to engage with our hobby of collecting, painting and playing with our miniatures and games. They are the front end of our manufacturing business


I don't know if you're being deliberately stupid or just can't accept that GW does have delusions of grandeur.

At least a third of GW's revenue nowadays is from non-minis products - particularly the Black Library novels. Again, that's the whole fucking reason why they extended the Horus Heresy novels to ad-infinitum and tried to create another long-running series that nobody wanted. Again licensing is the only reason they even exceeded market expectations.

In short, the idea that GW is just a minis companies that wants to be best in its category is laughable. They are not even a minis-only company anymore, and in a few years minis might not even be the majority of their income anymore.

But hey, let's believe the Corporate Statement of the company that's so out of touch with reality that it thinks adding Space Marines to everything is the solution to any problem. Does that sound like a company that wants to make the best minis ever, or a company that's actually ruled by exploiting its IP to make money any way possible?

Quote:
No, the big obstacle to GW and other big game wargames is cost and time (preparation, assembly and painting, and that's before you get into the setup and teardown of games themselves), and lots and lots of competition from other hobbies with a lower cost and faster time.


You say sunk cost is a fallacy and yet you complain that money+time is a big barrier to entry? You're pretty much invalidating your own post.

They're linked. People who spend a lot of time and money only to realize they got into a shit hobby aren't necessarily going to quit the hobby. The usual reaction in fact is to double down and to post-justify the time and money spent. That's again why Tabletop Wargaming as a whole is in its ASL sunset era. It's full of people who are stuck with the hobby rather than people who are naturally happy with the hobby.

Quote:
Most people wouldn't know good or bad, new or old design if it came up and bit them. Even if they did, most wouldn't care.


And that's exactly the 70s design technology attitude that is causing Tabletop Wargaming to die.

People, in fact, determine good and bad design. The designer's job is to observe and figure out what it is, rather than pretend their own pet loves are good design. That's why modern design is able to lower the barrier to entry by getting rid of shit rules that only add to downtime.

But hey, sure, let's stick to fucking tape measures from an era where minis were actually scaled to the size of real figures even if it adds at least an hour of downtime to pretty much every game.

Let's ignore stuff like Heroscape even though I was literally able to sell two copies of the starter set with just one demo to a group of kids... the oldest of whom was 9 years old.

Quote:
They do know they can get miniature games that involve a 10-20 models (or a shit ton of things that aren't miniature games), and that is much more viable. It's how Privateer clawed into the market, and then abandoned it for a GW-like strategy of pricing, protectionism and increasing size and scale. So Guild Ball is the new hotness.


They abandoned 10-20 models because they realized that they weren't getting a lot of new players after the initial wave and the only way to survive was to monetize the fanboys who are going to double down on Privateer rather than admit they were playing shitty games.

Because again, what you think is a GW problem is not limited to GW. The whole tabletop wargaming hobby is in trouble because everyone is stuck in the 80s.


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Checking out 40k space book groups it does seem like most people are novel readers... because all they talk about are primarch's and only mention non-humans as punching bags for their favorite chapters

Does AoS also have novels? I really don't see anyone ever talk about the fluff, just occasionally share images of new models
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Checking out 40k space book groups it does seem like most people are novel readers... because all they talk about are primarch's and only mention non-humans as punching bags for their favorite chapters


It's less "seem" and more of "some Horus Heresy books have actually made the NYT bestseller list".

On the fantasy side however...

Quote:
Does AoS also have novels? I really don't see anyone ever talk about the fluff, just occasionally share images of new models


Warhammer Fantasy novels have by and large been a failure in recent years and there is no major attempt to bring AoS to life. There were a bunch of novels that tried to depict the End Times, and there were also a bunch of stuff that tried to anthologize the founding of the Empire before that. Neither did very well and certainly not to the Horus Heresy levels.

That said, it boils down to the quality of the writers. The best Warhammer Fantasy books are the older ones - many by writers who ended up making the Horus Heresy as big as it is. One of the best Warhammer Fantasy books for instance was on Kislev - a faction that's basically never seen on the tabletop - by the simple virtue of having Dan Abnett as the writer.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Zinegata wrote:
Voss wrote:
No.
https://investor.games-workshop.com/our-business-model/
GW wrote:
We have a simple strategy at Games Workshop. We make the best fantasy miniatures in the world and sell them globally at a profit and we intend to do this forever.

Simple, but every part of this statement is important.

We make things. We are a manufacturer. Not a retailer. We do have outlets in retail locations and these stores show customers how to engage with our hobby of collecting, painting and playing with our miniatures and games. They are the front end of our manufacturing business


I don't know if you're being deliberately stupid or just can't accept that GW does have delusions of grandeur.

At least a third of GW's revenue nowadays is from non-minis products - particularly the Black Library novels. Again, that's the whole fucking reason why they extended the Horus Heresy novels to ad-infinitum and tried to create another long-running series that nobody wanted. Again licensing is the only reason they even exceeded market expectations.

Novels written by the rules designers they aren't paying to write rules anymore are not licensing income. That you don't have any fucking clue what constitutes 'licensing income' is rather telling.

Novels aren't even a great money maker, the return on books is not good. Its _easy_, since its just some random person's time and some cover art, but the margins are not high.

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In short, the idea that GW is just a minis companies that wants to be best in its category is laughable. They are not even a minis-only company anymore, and in a few years minis might not even be the majority of their income anymore.

No one claimed they were a minis-only company. It is their focus, more so than it was for most of their history, when they were churning out shitloads of board games, tabletop minis games, variants, specialist ranges, rpgs and all sorts of other crap. Then after the Lord of the Rings bubble collapse, they shrank their product lines and closed up most of their side projects. That was 13 years ago, and since then it's been minis, minis and more minis, with very churn and burn gamebook releases, most of which is copypasta and light editing. 6th to 7th edition 40k was basically a 10 page FAQ and some old magic rules tipped in from Fantasy.

Licensing to other people instead of trying to do things other than minis is not contradictory to being a minis-focused. It hasn't even been good for the most part. Most GW computer games are shit, and the FFG RPG products aren't worth wiping one's ass with.

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But hey, let's believe the Corporate Statement of the company that's so out of touch with reality that it thinks adding Space Marines to everything is the solution to any problem. Does that sound like a company that wants to make the best minis ever, or a company that's actually ruled by exploiting its IP to make money any way possible?

You do understand that putting bald face lies about their strategies and business practices in their investor statement and annual reports would be a criminal offense, right? Finesseing numbers (profits are down because currency fluctuations) is one thing, outright lying to investors (by definition, people with money) about the companies goals and strategies is quite another.

Putting Sigmarines in AoS is... surprisingly not the 'solution to any problem.' It was an attempt to relaunch a failing product line. It failed (and personally I detested it), but I can easily see the reason for it- Space Marines are a stupid high percentage of their income from 40k, and if fantasy was going to be a continuing product line, they had to prop it up somehow. It was a terrible way to go about it, but I could see why it might appeal to the kiddies and the bean-counters.

If they're exploiting their IP to make money any way possible, they're doing a really bad job of it. FFG has moved on, the Relic snafu apparently buggered up their licensing terms, the current products aren't reflected in the popular computer titles at all, the new Space Hulk shooter is a fucking disaster, and they keep adding their IP to complete clusterfuck titles time after time, to the point that 'Warhammer Computer Game' is almost completely synonymous with 'utter shit.' The exceptions are few and far between, and very much dependent on known and reliable studios, rather than the random assholes they seem to prefer.

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Let's ignore stuff like Heroscape even though I was literally able to sell two copies of the starter set with just one demo to a group of kids... the oldest of whom was 9 years old.

I'm impressed and proud you were able to rip off some children. That clearly demonstrates the scope of the entire industry. ROFL
Personally talked 8 and 9 years olds into spending money, impressive skills indeed. Did you throw in some candy?

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They do know they can get miniature games that involve a 10-20 models (or a shit ton of things that aren't miniature games), and that is much more viable. It's how Privateer clawed into the market, and then abandoned it for a GW-like strategy of pricing, protectionism and increasing size and scale. So Guild Ball is the new hotness.

They abandoned 10-20 models because they realized that they weren't getting a lot of new players after the initial wave and the only way to survive was to monetize the fanboys who are going to double down on Privateer rather than admit they were playing shitty games.

Uh... no. Actually Privateer was absurdly popular after its initial wave, to the point that they had to completely restructure production because they couldn't keep up with demand. 5 or 6 years after release they were scrambling to keep up with orders after their second edition because it was doing really damn well.

They crashed it by rising prices, doing big expensive stuff that warped the metagame to the breaking point, and pulling GW levels of nonsense by dictating sales terms to retailers and licensing digital products to incompetent partners. 3rd edition didn't help either, as they admitted to completely fucking an entire faction, convincing people to rebuy the card decks for everyone then 'suddenly' changing their stat card strategy and voiding large chunks of the model-specific rules for buckets of errata to fix all the shit they buggered trying to rush out the new edition.

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Because again, what you think is a GW problem is not limited to GW. The whole tabletop wargaming hobby is in trouble because everyone is stuck in the 80s

So far, you've only impressed me with your depth of ignorance. What you think is wrong with the games industry seems to be founded on shit and mushrooms, and lacking any sort of knowledge and especially history of the companies you presume to yammer on about.


Last edited by Voss on Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zinegata
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

Novels written by the rules designers they aren't paying to write rules anymore are not licensing income.


That's why I mentioned "Black Library novels" and "licensing income" separately. But hey strawman's all you've got? Bring it on junior.

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Novels aren't even a great money maker, the return on books is not good. Its _easy_, since its just some random person's time and some cover art, but the margins are not high.




Black Library novels make the NYT bestseller list? Check. Black Library is actually owned by GW so all its sales go directly to the revenue ledger? Check. Your average BL book is actually more expensive than your typical novel of the same size? Check.

So what the fuck are you talking about with your insipid claim that their books don't make that much money?

They have high enough sales to make a best-seller list counting all book sales. They actually make higher margins (because they price higher) and it all goes to GW's bottom line. And while books may not be all the rage these days, they're still a 28 billion dollar industry in the US and actually grew last year.

But yeah, sure, GW is an innocent little minis company that doesn't publish books.

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No one claimed they were a minis-only company. It is their focus




It's readily apparent you're a shit-for-brains who's too busy shifting goalposts because you can't see anything beyond your puny little minis world.

The main money-maker of Gundam is model kits. They make more off models than any of their other stuff combined - that includes the movies, TV series, books, and comics books.

Yet no one in the real business world would classify Bandai to be a "model" company or a "model kit-focused" company like your shitty attempts to spin GW's outright lies.

Bandai is an empire. And they're an empire because they're actually good at mixing their media and their physical model kits business. When Bandai promotes a new Gundam show, the model kit line specifically for that show is already waiting in the wings because they have developed a simple technology called "scheduling". So when the new Gundam Barbatos does something cool in the show, the kid watching the show can run to the local Train Station Hobby store and buy a kit immediately.

By contrast it's obvious that you're completely unaware of GW's attempt to copy the Bandai-Namco Empire, given your constant denials of Black Library's existence.

For instance, do you even know that they tried to feature newly released 40K era model kits (specifically the Imperial Knights) into a Horus Heresy novel (Vengeful Spirit)? Which was really stupid because Imperial Knights was a model kit for the 40K line, and Horus Heresy was supposed to be stories from the 30K era?

That you think that licensing is inherently bad is the problem. Licensing can be very profitable and add to the core business. Bandai wouldn't be a five billion dollar company if it didn't do TV shows and movies to help promote their little plastic Gundams.

The problem consistently is that GW is shit at managing their IP, and people like you keep getting duped by how this shit is acceptable because "they're not supposed to focus on other things! They are supposed to focus on minis!"

Here's the thing, junior. GW's minis are shit. They are nowhere near the best in the world. And the idea that their minis technology is even acceptable in 2017 is laughable.

In the 35 years since Gundam's inception we've had numerous improvements in kit technology. They introduced the "HG" line in the 90s which no longer required paint or glue. This may be galling to old-timers but that meant that people in tiny Tokyo apartments no longer ran the risk of choking themselves to death on glue and paint fumes. They've since improved core frames that allow their model kits to not only be assembled, but posed and played with. And then they added polycaps - which allow components to be switched around easily for customization (with the added benefit of multiple customization options in one box by simply adding spare components to the sprue)

By contrast what exactly has GW done to "improve" its minis in the same 35 years? Shift from fucking metal to plastic? Realize that they can make more money by selling giant models directly rather than outsourcing it to Forge World? Create giant terrain pieces that further add to the cost of entry?

The reality is that GW has invested nothing in actually improving their models. Indeed, they've been incredibly lazy at releasing even small updates to their sprues.

The Cadian sprue for instance doesn't even have provisions to give the squad melta guns (you have to buy a command squad or buy second market Space Marine ones), and this was from an "update" that was released seven years ago. The Space Marine sprue did get an update back in 2013ish, but that was ten fucking years in the making. How exactly is a company "focused" on miniatures when it can only be bothered to update its supposedly best-selling kit once a decade?

So fuck you and your "GW is a minis-focused company" bullshit. Saying that is just a combination of a monstrous lie and a cruel joke.

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You do understand that putting bald face lies about their strategies and business practices in their investor statement and annual reports would be a criminal offense, right?


Hey, look at someone who obviously hasn't worked for a Sarbanes-Oxley compliant company and deigns to pretend he knows about corporate honesty.

What you're describing are not "strategies and business practices". That you think they are tells me that you've never worked for an actual corporation or have a fucking clue how they work.

Companies like publishing general mission statements - but for the purpose of gaining press or customer mileage only. They often have very little to do with their actual strategy. Because only a fucking idiot declares their business plans to the public - which by definition includes your competitors.

What's you can't lie about are your financial performance numbers - e.g. revenue, sources of revenue, expenses, EBITDA, etc. And these numbers are actually audited.

Why? Simple twofold reason: The government wants to know how much you really earned for purpose of taxation, and for listed companies your real performance is public knowledge in order to prevent ENRONs.

Auditors are not required to audit general motherhood statements for the consumption of brainless people like you. There would be no point to begin with, because GW can just argue that changing sprues once every ten years represents them being "minis-focused" whereas Bandai doesn't count as a model kit company because they have TV shows and video games despite having a 35 year record of actually improving their model kits in real ways.

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I'm impressed and proud you were able to rip off some children. That clearly demonstrates the scope of the entire industry. ROFL
Personally talked 8 and 9 years olds into spending money, impressive skills indeed. Did you throw in some candy?


Actually, I just demo'd the game, stepped back and let them play, and they found it so fun that they bugged their mom to buy a copy. From their excitement level, she ended up buying two.

I wasn't selling it myself (it was a gaming con, people are supposed to have fun and not buy stuff) - but yeah sure I ripped off some kids instead of the kids realizing the game was fun on their own; because again your design thinking is stuck in the 80s. Because nine year olds aren't allowed to choose what they find fun, only you can dictate it for them.

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Uh... no. Actually Privateer was absurdly popular after its initial wave, to the point that they had to completely restructure production because they couldn't keep up with demand. 5 or 6 years after release they were scrambling to keep up with orders after their second edition because it was doing really damn well.

They crashed it by rising prices, doing big expensive stuff that warped the metagame to the breaking point, and pulling GW levels of nonsense by dictating sales terms to retailers and licensing digital products to incompetent partners. 3rd edition didn't help either, as they admitted to completely fucking an entire faction, convincing people to rebuy the card decks for everyone then 'suddenly' changing their stat card strategy and voiding large chunks of the model-specific rules for buckets of errata to fix all the shit they buggered trying to rush out the new edition.


You're really fucking clueless how companies really work.

A company in the minis business unable to keep up with demand is one of two things: They are either incompetent, or they are lying.

These are not fucking hand-crafted models. They're molds and all you need to create another batch is to pour molten metal or plastic into them. If they can't do this simple shit then they just need to close shop. Hell, it's so simple that there are suppliers in China that can produce stuff like this by the millions already and even paint them for you! That's why FFG already sells pre-painted minis for X-wing. And if you dare bring up the bullshit "but GW models are better quality line!" I will point out Disney's QA for merchandise is far more draconian than anything GW could dream of.

The much harsher reality is this: They lied. Yes, there was a Warmachine phase. No, it was never that fucking big. It just got players mainly from 40K, and in any case they were getting far fewer models than 40K.

So at some point either enough people keep buying for Privateer to be profitable, or they finally had to confront reality and realize they had to go with higher pricing. The latter, not the former, is what happened.

In short, you're still in denial that you can't scale up minis to a $250+ dollar per person hobby without becoming GW because you're stuck with 70s era stupid rules; and you instead want to create a fantasy about this golden moment where Privateer nearly snatched the market from GW... when in all likelihood they just pumped the perception of demand by creating a false shortage.

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So far, you've only impressed me with your depth of ignorance. What you think is wrong with the games industry seems to be founded on shit and mushrooms, and lacking any sort of knowledge and especially history of the companies you presume to yammer on about.




Says the guy who quoted GW's bullshit and then act all hurt and indignant that their corporate statement is full of lies. And then you ridiculously pretend that laws on corporate disclosures should protect you from being an idiot.

Your hobby's dying and you never really liked playing it. That's the real reason why you're so busy pulling your strawman and goalpost crap instead of confronting how shit tabletop wargames like 40K really are from a playability perspective. It's always easier to blame somebody else than admit that to yourself that you've wasted your time on shit.


Last edited by Zinegata on Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:23 am; edited 6 times in total
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Voss
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, yes, blah, blah. You're very angry and it's certainly impressive. Not full of anything resembling facts, but impressive nonetheless. The personal attacks about the stakes I have in the discussion are... confusing. (Good laugh on the 'PP nearly snatched the market' tho, really out of left field).

So, remember when GW 'exploited its IP to the fullest' (as you put it) and made t-shirts, beltbuckles, all sorts of kitsch, card games, CCGs and so on and so forth? You know when they aren't doing that? Now.

Remember when GW made all sorts of third party products for other IPs? Like Judge Dredd, Elric, and even D&D? When they even sold other companies stuff in their stores? Know when they aren't doing that? Now.

Which is the kind of shit they'd have to do if they were really trying to be a competitor in the general games market.


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