Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Makes Me Angry and a Bit Nervous

Earlier this week I heard rumors about GW's new trade agreement.  While I'm not in the least bit surprised, I'm very angry about this.

Now, I'm not angry because I'm a cheapskate who refuses to pay retail for my toys nor am I angry because it's going to hurt the online deep discounters.  I'm angry because I truly believe this is going to have a massive impact on the FLGS, the local retailers who work hard every day to provide a place for their customers and fans of these great hobbies to play.  I'm angry because I think if GW gets away with this, the next step will be to stop dealing with independent retailers altogether and that will not only kill a lot of FLGS it will also kill Games Workshop.  If that happens, then I'm in a world of hurt because I have plans in the works to open a FLGS in the next few years and I may have to open a bar instead.

I love this hobby.  Not just the Games Workshop hobby, which to me is only a small portion of what is out there, but the entire miniature war gaming hobby in general.  I may not play historicals and actually have a bit of disdain for Napoleonics but I respect a lot of the people that are fans of those games.  I love naval combat games and space combat games and skirmish games and mass army games.  I love painting and modelling and talking about games and painting and hobbying... I really love it all.  So when my dream of being a game store owner is in jeopardy because GW has decided they need to become Apple and have brand recognition and try to be the only game in town... man, I get mad.

So what do we as a community do?  How do we help out our brick and mortar FLGS?  How do we let GW know they are moving in the wrong direction?

I have disliked it in the past when podcasts like Dice Like Thunder have called for a GW boycott and I don't think that would really help since it will still hurt the FLGS so I propose that we, as a community declare this summer, June 1 - Aug 31 2013 to be the official "Don't Buy a Damned Thing From Games Workshop" summer.

From the first of June until the end of August, no one is to purchase a single item from GW online or their retail stores.  I want them to think their website might have some major issue.  I want them to hear the tumbleweeds rolling across the floors of their Battle Bunkers.  I want all the paints in their Hobby Centers to dry up.  I want their share holders to say. "WTF just happened, mate?".  I want them to know that we, the hobby community are mad.  If you really want to buy all those cool new Tau models, feel free... but buy them from your local game store.  Give your money to the people that make this hobby worthwhile.  Don't have a local store?  Go online and find one close by that will ship to you for a small charge.  Support local!  Kick the GW shareholders in their wallets.

Can I count on you or will you all be like football fans?  Sit around and complain about the new rules that make the game no fun to watch but continue to give them all your money?  Not me, Jack.  I'm done with these clowns.

I am a very angry Syko Wargamer right now.


  1. I'm with you. Actually, I didn't buy a single box directly from them, ever. it was always from MWG. I won't buy from them until it's really necessary

  2. Funny thing is that Apple has fewer restrictions about how it's retailers can sell their products.

  3. Yeah you had me up til Apple :). I'm thinking a better comparison is Wal-Mart (or Microsoft) but I'm not a hard core Apple fan either ;).

    In terms of the proposed boycott, that's easy enough for me as I've just gotten into 40k. I've gotten most of my models and minis from eBay and I WILL purchase any new Tau figures that come out from a local store when I get home, or they will simply remain off of my army list.

    I must also say that GWs actions and seeming general disdain for their own fan base is one of the main reasons I pushed my son towards Historicals and other Fantasy/Sci-Fi games at a young age. I didn't want him getting sucked in to the hype (and disappointed by the corporation). I went to one of the local battle bunkers and saw their "game" there for what it was, a marketing scam. My son HAS played 40k and enjoyed it, but he thankfully has developed a diverse enough interest in gaming to keep GW at arms length.

    This is not to say that I don't like GW games (HUGE fan of Bloodbowl and I am a noob player to 40k but REALLY liking it), I just don't care for a company that treats its fan base and distributors the way GW does. With that, I can take it or leave it. There are plenty of other interesting and entertaining games out there (Historicals, Fantasy, Sci-Fi), and I have come to enjoy a wide range of them. GW is an occasional interesting aside for me, but so long as they continue to act as they have (arrogant, greedy etc), they will remain in the periphery of my gaming interests.

  4. Hate to play Devil's Advocate but, has anyone really questioned why there are no $ bargains on the Army kits from GW because of the internet retailers that specialize in parting out box sets? I can understand how the internet is effecting brick and mortar stores. Personally, I feel MWG is using this as renewed agreement as an excuse when they made some bad business decisions. Instead of admit that they are trying to re-direct the the reason they are closing their storefront to GW. Owning and running a game store is not easy nor do you become Scrooge McDuck swimming through your vaults of treasure. Game stores take lots of work and effort and usually run slim profits. It is hard to be successful. Even GW is learning for themselves that Brick and Mortar stores are very hard to maintain and run successfully.

  5. GW is a publicly traded company making an ass load of cash for it's investors. Their plan is to maximize their own profits. If they start losing money they'll change their business plan. The problem with any form of boycott is that the majority of their sales comes from teen boys with 100% disposable income. They don't care about policies because they don't understand money. All the savvy gamers are already buying from non direct sources. GW does sell to people who sell to other stores and you can still get away with selling boxes and bits, but if you follow GW's rules you will get your stock faster and cheaper. My point is that while GW's new policy is unpleasant for us it's good for their own profits. Like the manager of your apartment building taking the 3 three closest parking spaces for himself.

  6. YES!! Not only am I with you, I am NEVER buying anything from their website or a GW store. I run 40K events for my FLGS (Endgame, in Oakland, CA), and GW not only stopped sponsoring events, they stopped providing prize support for the events we sponsor. So guess what? That means they have NO say in what models are used in our "40K" events. In fact, I'm thinking about paying out of my own pocket for a "Best Non-GW Model" prize at my events.