Maelstrom Games no longer to sell Battlefront

By tgn_admin
In News
Feb 23rd, 2011
144 Comments
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Battlefront have announced that UK retailer Maelstrom Games is no longer selling their products.

From their announcement:

Battlefront Miniatures Ltd of Auckland, New Zealand announces that Maelstrom Games of Mansfield, United Kingdom is no longer a retailer of its products. This applies to all brands and ranges sold by Battlefront Miniatures Ltd.

With immediate effect Maelstrom Games will no longer be one of our retailers.

Any customer who has advance orders for product yet to come out should contact Maelstrom to confirm their ability to supply or contact us directly and we will put you in touch with an alternative supplier.

  • LaughingFerret

    Miniature Market is also unloading their Flames of War… wonder if it is related or similar reasons? Is the game not doing as well as it one was, or is the company moving to a direct-only style of sales? Or maybe just they’re raising their prices to where the independent retailers don’t find it profitable enough to sell? Just curious.

    • PanzerKraken

      Yea I was wondering what was up with that. Miniature market has dropped many lines they have picked up in the past but surprising to see Flames of War being dropped as it seemed to be oen of the bigger games.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if price was involved, lot of the regular retailers who sell at a discount seem to be having a hard time with pricing FoW products and you see them often offering the product at least than normal discounts they give to other products. Some stores selling everyting 20-25% off would have FoW at only around 10% instead.

  • ScoutII

    Some one should probably tell them that. They still have Flames of War available for preorder…though they also have front page news about a new 15 mm WWII range they are stocking.

  • Veritas

    I assume this simply means Battlefront won’t be selling to them directly? I mean, Battlefront can’t prohibit a company from selling their product, right? Maelstrom would have to go through a distributor, (which I don’t think they do for anything,) but they could still sell the product. The wording of BF’s announcement makes it sound like Maelstrom is banned from the clubhouse.

  • pbeccas

    I can buy Flames of War stuff from Maelstom 20% cheaper than my local Australian store. Battlefront has a similar pricing structure to GW where they bend us Aussies over. I am guessing a lot of retailers worldwide are having a big sook that they cannot compete.

    • cybogoblin

      The same is true here in NZ. Heck, I live within walking distance of their head office (unless it’s moved recently) and it’s still cheaper to get things from Malestrom. Well, was cheaper 🙁

      • Sevej

        May be that’s why :-/

  • ScoutII

    Battlefront can’t prohibit a company from selling their product, right? Maelstrom would have to go through a distributor

    Pretty sure in the UK it is illegal for a supplier to restrict one company from selling their products for any reason in particular.

    However, I know in the US there was a relatively recent case which allows them to do as much. Battlefront likely became a PITA for Maelstrom…and Maelstrom didn’t want to play by Battlefront’s silly rules. Getting into a little hissy fit (as Battlefront seems to like to do) and Maelstrom tells them to stuff it.

    My understanding is the Maelstrom is the Europe as The Warstore is to the US. It would seem to be a very bad idea to eliminate from Battlefront’s distribution model.

  • basilbrush

    Interesting that this comes on the heels of Maelstrom announcing they will be stocking a competitors 15mm line. Its a pity its not April 1st – I buy all my flames of war from Maelstrom… well i used to anyway

  • EU regulations as implemented in the UK does mean suppliers/distributors cannot impose ways of selling on UK retailers, such as insisting on charging RRP. There are exceptions, such as perfume for example.

    Here in the UK our authorities are quite strict when compared to the rest of the EU. Just read the Competition Act 1998 and Enterprise Act 2002!

    • But strangely enough they do. I put it down to trading standards not being interested in enforcing restrictive practices in wargaming. They have pursued more general interest businesses like the airlines and the fines were huge.

  • Osbad

    It’s always been cheaper to buy non-Battlefront 15mm figs. Now, with Maelstrom stocking non-BF stuff, it will be easier as well.

    Double thumbs-up for this.

    I play Blitzkrieg Commander at 15mm, so anything that makes 15mm WWII more widely available gets my vote!

  • SirAngry

    You see I’m kinda split on this one. Yes Battlefront stuff can be more expensive than the cheap knock off alternatives, BUT it is Battlefront that give you the rules for Flames of War. They invest the time to create the game that you all like to play and companies like Maelstrom (who I use by the way) shafting them by stocking cheap knock offs is a bit lame. They’ve done it with other gaming systems to a degree as well.

    Also don’t overstate the importance or size of the Maelstrom either, Wayland Games stock a bigger range of stuff and at just a competitive price if not more competitive as do Firestorm Games in Cardiff (great service their as well). Maelstrom stock an awful lot of rubbish in their store and Battlefront CAN restrict who they wish to distribute their product to. Any company can choose not to have its product sold in places it doesn’t want it sold, UK law does allow this. What it doesn’t allow is once you’ve allowed them to stock your stuff is to dictate how you sell it, on this both GW and Battlefront are being naughty.

    • Cergorach

      So when FoW 1st edition was released in 2002 there were no 15mm WWII miniatures or rules sets? Command Decision is from 1986, I’m sure there are many older rules sets and 15mm miniatures of that period. Second everyone producing 15mm WWII miniatures is producing cheap knockoffs, and that is very good, because I don’t have any room for a 1:1 Panzer IV in my game room. If anyone is shafting anyone else, it’s all the miniature companies that produce miniatures of RL vehicles and don’t pay any license fees for the use of those designs…

      I also don’t think that it’s an issue that Maelstrom is selling Forged in Battle or the 10% discount, Wayland has been selling FiB for a long time and has recently added the 15mm plastic range made by The Plastic Soldier Company. Maybe it’s the fact that Maelstrom offers free shipping and Wayland does not. So there might be another issue that isn’t apparent.

      Also keep in mind that FiB 15mm is a bit smaller then the FoW 15mm:
      http://viewfromtheturret.com/2010/08/24/forged-in-battle-miniatures-review/
      If I look at the Tank multipacks Fib is ~35% cheaper then FoW.
      TPSC is about ~53% cheaper then FoW (don’t know how well it scales with FoW miniatures).
      The problem is that the FoW range is far larger then FiB or TPSC (~1000 articles vs. 45 vs. 2 products).

      Also what is allowed under EU or UK law is moot unless Battlefront has offices in those jurisdictions. And as it turns out BF has offices in the UK: Battlefront Miniatures Europe Ltd. in Nothingham.

      • SirAngry

        That was part of my point about Wayland games stocking more, they’ve stocked cheap knockoffs of FoW stuff and they’ve not been hammered. So my guess is its something else the Maelstrom have done, because other stock FiB stuff and it hasn’t riled Battlefront before. Perhaps the Maelstrom have decided not to stock FoW themselves or maybe there is some other grievance.

        As for 15mm games existing before, sorry its a moot point, FoW is the preeminent system right now, simple as that. They got there by supplying a product people liked and brought, people are using their rule sets and books to play the game and people riding off their backs to make a buck is allowed to annoy them and t actually threatens the game everyone likes to play, making it a less viable business. Simple.

        I have the same sympathy for the GW as well with the products they have to compete with from other companies, and while their troubles to a degree are of their own making they have every right as do Battlefront to protect their staff and business in whatever way they see fit. For me it just comes down to the age old problem of certain people being skin flints and not wanting to pay the going rate to support the niche hobby they pretend to love so much. If a game systems too rich for somebodies taste then they should do something else… that’s not aimed at anyone in particular or you Cergorach.

      • Henrix

        The Plastic Soldier t-34’s scale very well with BF’s t-34’s. Don’t know about the foot sluggers.

        • P-ko

          people riding off their backs

          That argument really doesn’t hold any water. The game might be popular, but people still play other WW2 games, and as suprising as it sounds, they might want miniatures for them. Which many different companies provide. To have them riding off BF’s back, you’d need to prove they’re producing stuff to directly fit the artificial army lists of FoW, rather than generic WW2 models.

          • Osbad

            Darn straight! I play/have played a few different WWII rulesets. FOW isn’t among them, although I own a copy of the rules. Too complicated for my tastes. And I don’t see the point of paying premium prices for branded 15mm WWII models.

            If anything BF barged into a marketplace (15mm WWII gaming) that was doing just fine without them. They created this “one stop shop” idea for WWII gaming that GW created for fantasy gaming (as in rules and figures for a single tied-in system), andchraged higher prices for flashier merchandising.

            It appeals to a certain sector of the market that is either a) brand-snobbish or b) not bothered about shopping around for a good deal, but at the end of the day, a 15mm scale model of a WWII tank is a 15mm scale model of a WWII tank – they are both copies of original designs that are in the public domain and there’s no law which says you ahve to play one game with figures made by the same manufacturer. They entered an open market place.

            This whole idea of “riding off thei backs” is just fanboi bunkum. It’s BF that are the Johnny-come-latelies trying to flog overpriced product for the market place.

          • Henrix

            The market for 15mm WWII stuff has increased manifold thanks to BF, though.
            It’s not the least noticeable in the amount of suitable terrain that has become available.

            I’m sure PP has increased their sales as well.

            But BF wasn’t the first, nor has any special rights, to 15mm WWII.

            And it goes hand in hand with the increased interest in 15mm figures all across the board, not just WWII.

          • Zac

            If anything BF barged into a marketplace (15mm WWII gaming) that was doing just fine without them.

            Perhaps in your area but the number of people playing 15mm WWII here has skyrocketed because of Battlefront. Every game store here carries their figs and rules and there is a whole new group of people playing specifically because of the way Battlefront has marketed and packaged the game.

            It appeals to a certain sector of the market that is either a) brand-snobbish or b) not bothered about shopping around for a good deal

            Wow. Is there any reason to disparage people like this?

      • Zac

        So when FoW 1st edition was released in 2002 there were no 15mm WWII miniatures or rules sets?

        In terms of mass-market rules, no there were not.

        Battlefront has always aimed at doing 15mm WWII at the same scale and level that GW does their games and from that perspective there is no other company doing what they do.

        The game was packaged so that players always knew what figures went with the periods in the game and with what nationality. Everything was packaged to match the rules.

        It was simple to get into the game.

        One of our local stores did, and still does, carry Command Decision, Peter Pig and a wide range of rules but I know that most of it sold at a fraction of what the FoW material and figs sell at.

        Older WWII or historical gamers can talk about how the hobby was there before Battlefront but they are not the target audience for Flames of War and the game wasn’t intended to be marketed at them

        Even Bell of Lost Souls does regular Flames of War articles and vidcasts as do Beasts of War. None of those sites would be doing vidcasts for Command Decision

        • n815e

          “Even Bell of Lost Souls does regular Flames of War articles and vidcasts as do Beasts of War. None of those sites would be doing vidcasts for Command Decision.”

          Which is a shame, considering that this hobby is huge and diversified. It really only goes to show how limited those sites are to restrict themselves to games that only appeal to a certain demographic.

          • Zac

            It really only goes to show how limited those sites are to restrict themselves to games that only appeal to a certain demographic.

            Or that none of the other games appeal to their core demographic. Or that those other companies don’t have the resources to reach out to sites like them. Or the desire.

            I really fail to see how people not wanting to do market research for their hobby is their fault and not the fault of the other companies in the market. If the average FoW gamer is less educated about their options then how is it anything other than a failing on the part of companies that make figures in this market.

            And I speak from experience. I can’t count the number of times I have approached companies for news and not had any response from them.

    • n815e

      Cheap knockoffs?
      Last time I checked, Battlefront didn’t invent WWII. I know some of you have a loose grasp of history and all, but this statement is ridiculous.
      There were 15mm WWII before Battlefront and there will be 15mm WWII after Battlefront.

  • Henrix

    I wonder what came first – grumblings from BF, or Maelstrom deciding to start selling other 15mms?

    What really surprises me is that it has taken so long for other manufacturers to jump on the FoW wagon. (Sure there have been some free riders, but these Forged in Battle guys and the Plastic Soldier Company have taken it to another level.)

    Small minded of BF, nevertheless. They can’t believe they can control the market, can they?

  • I’m surprised by some of the comments on here saying manufactures that produce 15mm WWII figs are producing cheap knock offs of FoW kit, it’s almost like you are saying that FoW should have the exclusive right to produce 15mm historical figures for WWII and no one else.

    Whilst that may work in a Fantasy/Sci-fi game (i.e. GW and their various battles to protect IP) it doesn’t work in historical wargaming. loads of manufactures were producing 15mm miniatures long before Battlefront came along. Ok I agree the FoW is the most popular WWII game out there but they don’t have the right to be sole producers of figures for this period.

    I’m sorry if people on this board disagree with me but when it comes to historical wargaming every manufacture under the sun is allowed to produce figures for any period, and calling them cheap knock offs is being disrespectful for the amount of work needed to produce a scale miniature.

    • SirAngry

      Maybe cheap knock off is a bit strong, but that’s kinda what some of the stuff is. I’ve seen some of it and its poor. My opinion I know but it is mine and I’m entitled to it. As I’ve said, its not just scale models its about supporting a game system people like. Look miniature wargaming is a niche hobby, its as simple as that and to make it a viable concern for companies requires them to protect their patch and their fans to stick with them. I never said FiW or any other company didn’t have the rights to produce scale models, however it is partly on the gaming community to support companies that provide us with game systems we all like to play. I’m not a huge FoW fan, infact I’ve only just brought a very small amount of the stuff from a shop, the staff encouraged me to buy the cheaper product, I looked at it and decided the detailing wasn’t as good, and the fact that I really ought to support the product range that supplies me the rule set. Simple as that, others can decide to do whatever they like, but if enpough people did that then Flames would die a death. Maybe that’d be a good thing, but I warrent their are more people out there who think it’d be a bad thing.

      • Osbad

        Have you looked at for instance Peter Pig? Their 15mm stuff is better and cheaper than BF’s IMHO. There are other manufacturers out there. Loads. Some are better, some are worse. Fewer are more pricey.

      • AoM

        Battlefront have previously stated that they were fine with people using other companies’ 15mm WWII stuff in their official events. There are good and bad sculpts for all periods of history in 6mm, 15mm, 25mm, and 28mm. Old Glory carries plenty of quality sculpts at great prices, especially with their membership discount program. Supporting the company who makes the rules you use is all well and good, but saying that all other manufacturers of 15mm WWII models are producing poor quality sculpts is an overstatement in the extreme.

        While it would be a disappointment to players if there were no longer official FoW supplements being released with accompanying models, players who like the rules could still use them. Heck, players who prefer 2nd Edition 40K can still play that too. The lack of support can contribute to the death of a game, but if a game with as large of a base as FoW dies, a much greater responsibility for that death falls on the players.

  • Endre Fodstad

    I have to agree with MikeH. 15mm WW2 models predate the WW2 miniatures gaming hobby, not to mention Battlefront. This is one of the risks when you are producing historical miniatures games: you have absolutely no rights to the “IP” of anything but the rules themselves (and company name, etc).

    But does anybody have any hard info on this? Is it BF or Maelstrom that has made the split? It would be incredibly short-sighted of BF, at least for certain markets: Maelstrom has very good reach for a web retailer.

  • “Cheap Knock-Offs”

    So Battlefront are the only producers of 15mm WW2 miniatures , and it all started with them?

    Hmm…Old Glory/Command Decision etc etc etc that predate BF by decades are time travelling knock off merchants then?

    I would venture that just because you as an individual have not heard of 15mm wargaming before BF, does not mean it did not exist. WW2 miniatures have existed in many scales for many decades, BF just “Workshopised” the process.

    • SirAngry

      I have heard of 15mm scale wargaming before, but reality is whether you or I like it, Basttlefront have popularised it massively. The community is way bigger than it was in the 80s and don’t pretend otherwise, its the reason there is such a thriving community that I’ve now got back into it sand again whether you or others like it or not that is down to Battlefront. As I’ve said if people find something too expensive then buy another product, just be aware that it might damage your hobby as a whole unless FiB decide to release an equally popular ruleset.

      • AoM

        As I stated above. FoW did bring 15mm WWII gaming to a much larger audience. If that same audience cannot continue to use the rules that are already in print with other models to fill holes in their collections, sharing the rules with friends if necessary when/if they are OOP, then it is the fault of the players.

        If you want to get people to play a game with you, gather them up, run demos, and get people hooked. If you want people to play FoW with, get people to play with. It sounds like you already have people to play with, actually. If BF dies years from now, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself if you stop playing.

        Tons of people play 5150, All Things Zombie, Legends of the Old West, Song of Blades and Heroes, and Stargrunt II. There are no miniatures specifically made for these settings. The games survive because players find the rules, try them out, and enjoy them enough to keep playing. They use whatever models they want, and the companies are built around producing just sets of rules. FoW will work the same way if BF ever goes away, not that I’m implying this situation has any correlation as to the relative strength of BF as a company. People will play with the rules. If they like them, they’ll buy some 15mm WWII models. BF may have to change their business model to only producing quality rules and supplements, but that certainly won’t kill the game.

        I’ve seen the Old Glory stuff compared to the FoW stuff. As far as the tanks go, you’ve got no reason to to buy the FoW versions instead of saving a few bucks other than to support BF. If you feel that you’re supporting them enough with your rules purchases and encouraging other people to get into the game, then you’re going to get just as much enjoyment out of the rules as the person who buys only the official BF stuff.

        FoW offers a neat package for one stop shopping. Players don’t need to find out who makes their favorite Fallshirmjager infantry, who gives them the best Tigers, etc. They just buy a book, look at the shelf right next to it, and get the models they want/need. The rules seem easy enough to pick up and start playing, and that just helps the new gamer get into it even easier. It’s a great idea, but with a historical game, companies who produce rules know that they are clearly not going to be the only people making the models at that scale for that time period.

      • Cergorach

        Sure, BF is the GW of 15mm WWII gaming, they have done a lot to expand that branch of the hobby, but unless I’m wrong, they target gamers. I’ve seen no BF stores, BF products are only carried in gaming stores, I see no advertisement outside of the regular gaming venues (websites/publications). So BF is tapping the same limited pool every other manufacturer is. Companies like GW promote their products through their gaming stores, use other media (computer games, books, RPGs, Boardgames, Card games, movie), and popular licenses (LotR and The Hobbit, and in turn bookstore releases with deagostini) to attract people from outside of the gaming hobby/community.

        Gamers also have a budget, a budget that doesn’t get bigger just because someone releases a good or cool product, the customer can only spend his money once.

        So BF is just as much ‘stealing’ customers from competitors with unoriginal products as those companies ‘stealing’ customers with ‘cheap knock-off’ products. They are all fishing in the same player pool and the pool isn’t getting any bigger.

        • Zac

          They are all fishing in the same player pool and the pool isn’t getting any bigger.

          That quite simply isn’t the case. There is not a single FoW gamer I know locally that played 15mm WWII or, in most cases, any historical games prior to Flames of War.

          Now you may be correct in saying that the existing 15mm and/or WWII games aren’t seeing a lot of new faces or expansion but that is another issue entirely.

          I suspect that the growth of 15mm sci-fi is entirely because of FoW and there may be some sort of growth in other parts of the 15mm and/or WWII genres but it doesn’t seem as if anyone in those areas is doing other than sneering at FoW gamers.

          • Cergorach

            I’m not referring to the 15mm WWII or historical pool, but miniature gamers in general.

            I do not agree that 15mm FoW responsible is for 15mm sci-fi. I suspect that folks have seen that you can get ‘cheap’ but detailed vehicles in that scale and not some tiny 6mm tank with relatively little detail, that might be due to FoW. Besides GW and the now defunct Rackham, there were virtually no sci-fi manufacturers that had a large range of sci-fi vehicles, it’s way to expensive to produce in 28-32mm. 15mm is the perfect balance between 6mm and 28-32mm, not to large, not to small, and not a huge range of vehicles yet available (that has now of course changed). Some sci-fi manufacturers experimented with 1:144 (10-12mm) a few years before FoW was even born, DP9 Heavy Gear, it’s still better then 6mm. They tried HO (1:87, 17-18mm) before that, and that was just a tad to big/expensive.

            If (or should I say when) I go with 15mm WWII, I’ll go with FoW rules, but I’m waiting on more 15mm WWII plastics. It’s not just the price, but also the ease of use, the weight and the survivability. Although I’ve been tempted in ordering some FoW miniatures a few times 😉

          • Zac

            I’m not referring to the 15mm WWII or historical pool, but miniature gamers in general.

            I don’t see how this is a valid complaint. You could make it against almost every company other than GW

          • Cergorach

            It’s not a ‘complaint’, it’s an observation and saying that one company rips off others or is more worthy of your coin of what they’ve done for the hobby is absolutely moot imho.

          • Perhaps locally at least for you Zac that may be the case . I can assure you 15mm WWII gamers do exist and have existed in other places throughout the world and have been playing other historical games prior to flames of war for quite some time. Though these older and wiser fish may not have liked the conditions of the this particualr pool and have moved on into calmer more serene waters else where. They still are playing as they always have.

          • Zac

            I can assure you 15mm WWII gamers do exist …

            I am sure that they do. Thanks for clearing that up for us

  • P-ko

    Eh, there goes buying BF minis I guess, considering the RRP makes them completely unattractive now and somehow the forged in battle stuff ends up looking better, at least the infantry.

    • Cergorach

      Wayland Games also supplies them at a GBP prices, a 10% discount, and apparently free shipping on FoW items (I completely forgot that).

      Important: Flames of War Flames of War
      items have zero weight and ship
      worldwide for free. (minimum order £10
      to qualify), if mixed with non FOW
      items you only pay for the shiiping of
      the non FOW items.

  • Henrix

    I must say that the models I’ve seen from Plastic Soldier Company are at least as good as BF’s.
    So they may be cheaper, which isn’t hard, but no knock-offs.

  • Hi guys

    We’ll be making a statement later on today, or possibly tomorrow. You will be amazed when you hear what has happened.

    Cheers

    Rob Lane
    MD, Maelstrom Games

    • SirAngry

      It’ll be interesting to hear your side of the story, although to be honest I’m not sure we’ve heard Battlefronts. Their statement doesn’t exactly elucidate on why they’ve taken the decision.

    • Myrthe

      Jeesh !!! It seems like there’s been so much drama in our little niche hobby over the last year or so.

      • SirAngry

        Agreed Myrthe, there’s been companies go to the wall and others struggling. Its always the way of things in any industry sadly, but even more so when times are hard. Reality is wargamers on the whole are a bunch of whingers who are never truly happy. Cost, rules, balance, release schedules… you name it and we whinge about it. TBH I’m sick of hearing people complain about companies and their products, if you don’t like Warhammer Fantasy or 40k people then quit, (like I have) if you don’t like Battlefront then guess what? QUIT. Its not difficult its a free market place and if nobody wants to buy their product they’ll go bust. Simples, it just seems to me that the historic wargamers amongst us are only ever happy if they’re playing in a niche of a niche of a niche!!! They don’t want their hobby to be popular, I hear them in shops grumbling about how ‘popular’ FoW is and how its ‘ruined it’ for ‘the real gamers’.

        • NAVARRO

          Actually I only see you ranting and talking harsh things towards pretty much every othercompanies who are not BF 🙂

          I think this subject is very interesting and I just hope its not BF attempts to limit the free market. Waiting on Maelstrom position and clarification on what actually happened in their prespective…

        • On this we can agree 100%!

          esp. the last sentence 🙂

        • Henrix

          Well, perhaps we all like things like being able to buy what we want?

          If BF makes rules you like – buy them.

          If BF makes figures you want – buy them.

          If someone else makes rules or figures that you prefer – buy them.

          If BF makes a shoddy model and another company makes a nicer and cheaper – buy that instead.

          The disconnect is when a company tries to force us to buy their stuff.

    • Endre Fodstad

      It is our new Alien Overlords, isn’t it? They want all the Battlefront miniatures for themselves?

  • Zac

    I can’t believe that I have to actually say this but can we keep this civil please?

  • As a retail store owner here are the facts as I have it from my distributor:

    You cannot sell BF product less than 10% off the MSRP and still receive BF product from BF.

    And my thoughts:

    That is all there is to it. This meant that yes we had to go through and re-price our entire BF inventory and yes holiday sales include the “(excluding Flames of War)” asterisk. I don’t mind honestly, actually I appreciate this (GW has a similar rule that excludes sales). I provide a retail place where people come to play games. I would like it if people also spent their money supporting said place – which our local FoW players do. It costs money to stock product. Its very difficult for a retail store like mine to remain in business when competing with Internet retailers who, on top of providing no space to play, can deeply discount the product.

    As for performance of the product, BF’s FoW and GF9 are some of our best selling brands in the store. The volume of this product has only steadily increased over the last several years. There is a reason why BF was able to buy GF9 and WI and its probably related to the fact that they make good decisions.

    • Zac

      It costs money to stock product.

      And pay rental on gaming space and also provide terrain.

      • NAVARRO

        Doesnt Maelstrom also has a physical space?

        • Yes, a physical store and huge gaming and event hall

          • NAVARRO

            Thank you for the clarification… So the all line of arguments that cfduke introduced that

            “difficult for a retail store like mine to remain in business when competing with Internet retailers who, on top of providing no space to play, can deeply discount the product.

            Does not really apply to Maelstrom does it?

          • Cergorach

            Nope. Most of the larger (read smarter) webshops either already have a physical store or are working on it, some companies give yo better pricing when you have a physical storefront (companies like GW).

          • Dangerous

            I believe the point being made is that if Maelstrom didn’t have the web footprint they do, their shop/gaming facility wouldn’t be a viable proposition.

          • Osbad

            I believe the point being made is that if Maelstrom didn’t have the web footprint they do, their shop/gaming facility wouldn’t be a viable proposition.

            Possibly not. But there was nothing stopping other B&M stores setting up webstores. If they’d done that back in the day then Maelstrom wouldn’t have had an opportunity.

            Maelstrom haven’t done anything than any savvy B&M store worldwide couldn’t have done first.

            Now they’ve gained some clear water, then crying foul about it is just sour grapes on the part of B&M stores that didn’t take the opportunity to get on the ‘net, I feel.

          • NAVARRO

            Totally agree with you Grumpy Old fart… Theres nothing stopping stores to get on the net… they choosed not to, its ok, but dont blame on others your lack of iniciative.

  • Hmm… I was never that impressed with Battlefronts quality to price ratio. Companies like Peter Pig are a fair amount cheaper and been around for years and produce quality miniatures!

    To say other companies knock off Battlefront sounds a bit like the cries of a GW style fanboy rather than a reasonable comment!

    Rant over!

    • SirAngry

      Fanboy, lol. I’m anything but, I don’t really play FoW. My games are mainly Infinity, Malifaux and Warmachine / Hordes atm. As for a GW style fanboy if my friends heard you say that they’d be rolling around with laughter. Trust me there is no one more critical of games companies with bad business models than me. My point is 15mm WWII wargaming has been popularised by BF and all I hear is people whinge about how expensive it is, well play something different, or buy something different.

  • antenociti

    Too many complaints from other stores finally forced BF into doing something about Maelstroms “flexibility” on pricing XX% off, + discount vouchers + free-postage, in combination making a mockery of their pricing policy?

    ????

    Odd though, BF havent done a thing about that in the past, why enforce it now?

    (Nothing to do with us btw, we dont sell FOW)

    • SirAngry

      Absolutely.I’ll be really interested to see what Maelstrom post tomorrow (if anything) because I don’t think this is a simple case of discounted product, free shipping or indeed stocking of other peoples product. It could be something completely left field or bizarre. Who knows Maelstrom have tried branching out into model making themselves, whose to say they haven’t got part ownership of FiB, not saying they have, but it could be something out of the ordinary like that.

  • antenociti

    BF vehicles were generally OK, their resin is cheap and nasty, but the casting was pretty good all things considered. Some of their Infantry was horrid, really, really horrid. I always went for a mix of BF/PP and skytrex infantry, with mostly BF vehicles (and lots & lots of stowage etc).

    The thing with resin casting, and I do know my resin casting, is that it is immensely difficult to scale-up to mass-production. I can produce you the finest detail panzer you have ever seen at 15mm, and have it ready for sale within 3 weeks…. in very small numbers, but to support that product across the globe with thousands of outlets and a massive range – no way…and even with BFs support, the up-scale of production numbers is extremely hard to do with resin. You ahve to sacrifice detail, to extend mould-life to allow the use of cheaper resins, with shorter cure-times to enable mass-production.

    VERY hard facts to get around, so the BF vehicles I always recognised as what they are: a good product for the money “all things considered”…and you DO have to consider all things, you cant just ignore global distribution and the actual numbers required and say “So and so make better vehicles” if they only make a few hundred a year. (Sorry, but you cant).

    Thus, the “niche” is more expensive but finer-detailed models, which is easy enough to do for a small range and a small audience… can that company expand into a BF competitor and retain the quality. Highly unlikely, if they want to remain profitable.

    Ateotd the two things are practically different products requiring/using different marketing and sales methods.

    Resin is not an easy thing to mass produce well.

    • Cergorach

      As a consumer/end-user you can definitely say x makes better resin vehicles then y, simply because you only care about the end result and not the production process. I would imagine that an operation as big as BF would by now have moved into plastics and not just a few side plates or tracks. If small startups like The Plastic Soldier Company can do it, BF should be able to do it on a far larger scale. You can get extremely detailed vehicles in plastic, your not even restricted to a two part mold anymore. Sure the investments are pretty big, but scalability is enormous. Their range is of course huge, but if they had someone who knew what they were doing you could probably reduce the 10-12 Sd Kfz 251 products to 1 product with multiple options.

      • Zac

        The Plastic Soldier Company is in the UK and probably gets their product done at Rendera.

        I suspect that if BF could or wanted to do plastics in a large way then they would. They seem to be pretty savvy business people so if they haven’t yet there is probably a reason for it.

        • NAVARRO

          “I don’t know why people think that they know a business better than the people who run it.

          This comment is like a dejavu… heard it to death about rackham decisions… guess what people did know better… If we cant talk about what in our opinions would work better and only people running wargame biz would can comment then tgn comments would be reduced by a large margin 🙂

          • Zac

            This comment is like a dejavu… heard it to death about rackham decisions

            You aren’t seriously comparing Battlefront and Rackham are you?

          • NAVARRO

            You edited what you posted and erased parts of it so my quote of your remark looks a bit silly ehehe—

            NO im not comparing companies Im comparing your comments with the comments Rackham apologists and even Rackham itself used when people expressed a contraditory argument towards their shifting ” we know whats best for our company” or ” they know what they are doing” were quite common and your similar argument was like a dejavu to me… You could say maybe people opinions are not that far from the truth and in Rackham case they were quite on target… But this is not about rackham… ^_^

          • Zac

            If you aren’t comparing them then I don’t know why they need to be brought up.

            And can we stop calling people “apologists”? Its insulting.

          • NAVARRO

            Zac I dont understand why you need to judge what I write… I dont want to go offtopic but I need to respond to your comment…

            So by putting your words ( companies know better than you) In a past context ( rackham and rackham fans similar behaviour and claims) and calling it a dejavu is by your conclusion comparing Rackham to battlefront? Sorry Zac either your missing the point or Im not explaining right… what you should be concluding by my words is that you should not underestimate the capacity of people not running that particular busines to express a VALID and USEFULL opinion. That was my point

            As for apologist being offending… I went and go to the dicionary, just in case my english was rusty and I still read the same think a apologist is “a person who makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc” Is that offending???? Or are you just inserting your judgements in my words?
            I mean no offending to anyone but you seem to be a bit way to quick in judging what is written.

          • Zac

            If we cant talk about what in our opinions

            My original response was a lot longer and more detailed.

            Essentially I don’t think that a company as large as BF can just start doing plastics without a lot of work being done to their existing plants, workflows and packaging.

            They also have in-house sculptors that I suspect have no experience doing plastics.

            And despite having an office in the UK I doubt they would want to do something as critical as plastics with a factory so far from their head office and other plants.

            As we’ve seen in the last year or so, doing plastics can be pretty damn tricky. PP had huge delays with their minis and the only people who seem to consistently push plastic figures out the door on time and in good quality are GW and Rendera.

            Unless they wanted to build their own injection moulding facility I suspect that BF would be looking to China for production to keep it close to home and we’ve seen what a nightmare that can be.

          • Gidoen

            Forgive me if I am wrong but don’t Battlefront already have a plastic manufacturing arm in Malaysia with the rest of their production?

            I thought that the track blocks for the Sherman, maybe a half-track some German tanks and the schurzen were all changed over to plastic injection moulding a couple of years ago.

          • Zac

            Forgive me if I am wrong but don’t Battlefront already have a plastic manufacturing arm in Malaysia with the rest of their production?

            I just thought it was resin and metal casting.

            There are a lot of injection moulding companies in Malaysia and they might be getting their parts done at one of them.

        • Cergorach

          BF has an office in the UK, so they could also get their plastics done at Rendera if they wanted, or what ever place they now get their current plastics done at, or they could invest in their own production facilities.

          As for a reason why they aren’t already there? Probably the same reason any big company does anything: “Why give the customer the best you can offer, when they’ll give you money for each small step of progress you make. And if there’s little competition you can do pretty much anything you want.” aka. profit.

          A few years ago they made tanks, now they make the same tanks, a little bigger, a little better. How many gamer do you know who can stand having two different sizes of the same tank in their forces (for long)? GW did the same thing with their Marine, just put the original beakies beside the current plastic kit.

          • Zac

            A few years ago they made tanks, now they make the same tanks, a little bigger, a little better. How many gamer do you know who can stand having two different sizes of the same tank in their forces (for long)?

            I’m trying to guess how long it is before you connect JP at Battlefront to the Lindburg Kidnapping. 😉

          • Cergorach
  • Dangerous

    Curious this, can’t be as suggested in some other places that it’s because they started stocking FiB as a few other web discounters do that along side FoW.

    Could be any reason I guess. Trade (dis)agreement, credit issues or even something as simple as a clash of personalities.

    Can’t say it really changes much on the whole, BattleFront’s products are still available from other web discounters so I have to admit I struggle to see where the issue is.

    • Sevej

      It’s pretty huge for me, since Maelstrom is the only one I know who has free shipping cost to anywhere in the world.

      • Blitz R

        Others have already said it, if you need to get your FOW fix from the UK check out Wayland Games:

        http://www.waylandgames.co.uk

        Their prices are as good and sometimes better than Maelstrom and for FOW at least they offer free global shipping. For me though Waylands SERVICE has been the big selling point. I have found that Maelstrom have appalling turn around times on orders. My last order took 24 days to ship…..all the items were in stock and in large quantities. In fact I needed to neckle Malestrom to even get the order sent. While I assume they must be busy, I should not have to send 6+ emails after I place on order to get my stuff sent!
        I have never waited more than 2 days for an order to be dispatched from Wayland.

        As for the other brands arguement. I must admit that my entire 15mm cllection is Battlefront, but that is mainly due to the inability to find nice alternatives. I know there are other companies out there…but finding them is a pain (if you are feeling kind enough to post links, cheers in advance). Couple that with the fact I am Australia, nearly all of the smaller companies loose any pricing benefit once postage is factored in.

        • Kaine

          I guess it comes down to personnel experience i wouldnt touch Wayland with a barge poll. I’ve had too many bad experiences with them, mainly around them not having the stock they say they have, for example flames of war battlefoam trays, and it took me contacting them to find that out.

          Also if you add anything from their wm/hordes range to the cart, then look at the next page, you’ll see the stock level is shown as infinity, really ? you have an infinite amount of stock in ? I know a few people who have been burnt making orders for wm/hordes assuming Wayland had stock only to find out they didnt.

          To be fair to them though, i hear there is a new website / stock system coming.

          But Maelstrom have never let me down on an order, their system shows the stock realtime, and show me one other uk retailer that has invested in a gaming venue to the quality they have (i.e. bar, shop, two gaming areas, open gaming on any system you want to play).

          The loss of FOW i think will hurt battlefront more than maelstrom, i certainly wont be ordering from wayland.

          • Dangerous

            Curious, I’ve had the converse experience and having visited both companies, in the flesh so to speak, for two companies with a similar amount of product lines, there is no way on earth that Maelstrom’s stock levels are ‘live’, they simply don’t have the space. Wayland’s warehouse is about 4 times the size.

          • Josh H

            Weird Khaine, I have visited both Maelstrom and Wayland. Wayland have far far more stock of everything. They have a huge warehouse full to the brim. Maelstrom though have a lovely venue but have a stockroom the about 20% of Wayland’s.

            Wayland’s service is also far superior. You might have had a bad experience but that isnt the norm. The groups I play with all use them.

            I have no idea what this fallout between BF and Maelstrom is but at least i now have something to read on about to keep me busy in the office today.

          • Dangerous

            Spooky!

            Have we met Josh? When I was up at MG with my son I thought I saw someone I recognised but I may be going barmy…

          • Kaine

            I guess first experiences count for a lot , having been burnt from the Wayland experience i wont use them.

            Never had a situation where i’ve been in maelstrom and they’ve been unable to get me something from the warehouse that shows as in stock on the website, and i shop their alot.

            I think they just turn stuff around a lot faster, but they do tend to have their stock levels accurate.

            And lets be honest, although their planning to replace it, the wayland website really is dire.

          • Dangerous

            There is that. Though to be fair, neither company are going to win any awards for web design/useability. They both look like they’ve been done by the Wonder/Charles Web Design Company Ltd.

          • NAVARRO

            I use both Maelstrom and Waylands and Mael stock levels are much more accurate than Waylands and that can make a diference.
            If I order something from Mael that is out of stock I know that I will have a bigger waiting time and as such no problem I’m prepared to wait longer for the goods to arrive… But if I buy on Waylands something in stock ( and its in fact outofstock) and Im antecipating a window of time that expires I’m forced to send a mail and then wait for reply etc… that is a litle annoying.
            But to be honest its just a small thing and both stores are 5 stars.

          • Veritas

            I, too, prefer ordering from Maelstrom as everything ships free to Japan. They COULD use a couple of extra staffers filling orders as their turn around time on getting orders packed and shipped is kind of silly. I see orders marked as “packing” for a week on a regular basis. But Maelstrom has the price advantage for me so I’m willing to overlook some slowness.

        • Sevej

          FoW is not my only game, so Maelstrom is my choice. Personally, so far they’ve been very good.

  • Mateldar

    I hope to see some answers…

    Maelstrom is my first and principal vice seller…
    and I´ll like to cotinue buing to them…

  • Henrix

    What really bugs me is that BF goes out and says this.
    Why not just stop selling directly to Maelstrom and let them sort it out? After all, they cannot legally stop them from selling it.

    • Dangerous

      They’re quite within their rights to revoke trade accounts at any time. They can’t stop MG grey importing through an overseas distributor but they can refuse trade terms. Nothing illegal about that.

      Good this though isn’t it? Bit like a soap in miniature form.

      • Osbad

        I’ve brought popcorn. Anyone fancy some?

      • Henrix

        That’s just it, the only thing they can do is stop Maelstrom from buying from them. Not from selling their products.

        So why the announcement? Is it intentionally bad PR, in some sort of reverse marketing ploy? 😉

        I’m full of popcorn, right now. Can’t take any more.
        I’ll just sip my coffee.

  • Guys,
    I appreciate all the comments here and a public statement about what has happened with Battlefront Miniatures will be made today. I’m just waiting for our solicitor to look it over before I publish it.

    To all those here who have had bad experiences with Maelstrom Games, feel free to contact us at any time to discuss what has happened with your order and why it has happened. We are only human and we do make mistakes, but it is how we deal with those mistakes that counts. If we have fallen down on anything than I apologise. Please contact us and, if your complaint is genuine, we will do something about it.

    I do find it quite amusing that a moan about us is immediately followed by a plug for Wayland. I wonder who posted that! It’s not even subtle.

    Please, Wayland Games employees and fanboys, you will profit from Battlefront’s decision regardless of whether you post silly comments about us on public forums. At least, until you don’t “toe the line”. Please try to remain professional, you simply end up looking silly.

    Our “tiny warehouse” holds around £500,000 worth of stock, so it can’t be that tiny. Our stock levels are indeed live, and if anybody wishes to visit and see our stock levels in the flesh we are more than happy to accommodate you. We don’t allow many people in our warehouse, usually only manufacturers, because obviously that is our workplace, but if “Dangerous” lets us know who he is I can tell you whether he’s seen it or not.

    We are not in the business of deceiving people, we are honest and straightforward, and we do not have infinity stock levels, which is plainly ridiculous.

    Regardless, thank you to those who have posted kind comments about us, it is always appreciated.

    Cheers

    Rob Lane
    MD, Maelstrom Games

    • Josh H

      Mr Lane,

      I’m perplexed, customers of yours can post in support of you, which funny enough I am a customer of yours and have been since i got back into gaming a few years back. But customers that mention a competitor that happens to also do a brilliant job are connected people? The 2 big players in this market are Wayland and Maelstrom hardly a shock that where one is mentioned a discussion of the other or comparisons are found.

      I’m quite offended to be honest, its not a great way of winning support. I have no connection with Wayland or yourselves for that matter apart from being a customer of both. I wont be a customer of Maelstrom’s any longer though as your attitude to comments of customers is poor.

    • Dangerous

      Rob,

      No need to be so defensive.

      Firstly I can assure you I have no connection with Wayland whatsoever, other than being a happy customer of theirs and, on occasion of yours too.

      There’s no nexus here, just an observation from an interested wargamer.

      I hope this clarifies matters.

      Best,

      D.

    • RogerMcDodger

      We are not in the business of deceiving people, we are honest and
      straightforward, and we do not have infinity stock levels, which is
      plainly ridiculous.

      Your stock levels for Infinity seem to be working fine to me.

    • Blitz R

      I can appreciate what you said Rob, but your assumptions while potentialy justified can also been seen as slightly insulting by some people.

      While I, upon reviewing my own comment, may be guilty of not providing an overall account of my dealings…to simply assume that I am an employee/fanboy or whatever, I am not sure how I take that. Kindly? Probably not.

      So, my own experiences with your company were and have been for the most part really good. Easily good enough that I have referred a lot of other gamers to check out your webstore. I have been buying from Maelstrom for a couple of years, everything from Privateer Press, a lot of FoW and lately a few GW kits as well as replacing a number of my Vallejo colours. I can honestly say that one order from your store currently holds my personal all time record for fastest turn around ever (from an OS retailer…I live in Australia) getting to me in 5 days (from the day I placed the order)! But you also hold the record for the longest as well. The past 6-9 months I have noticed that the time from when my orders are placed to when they are packed and dispatched is taking far too long (on items that are showing IN stock and in good quantities). Sure I can email, but they are sometimes not answered for days at a time either.

      I cannot comment on wharehouses and such, I have never seen either let alone set foot in the UK (Zimbabwe is about a close geographically I have managed to get), I must question staff levels. I am assuming the volume of internet orders you guys get is pretty huge, but do you actually have adequate wharehouse staff to deal with them? This is where my complaint would be aimed. I know others here say they always get their dispatcher really quickly, my own and other friends experiences in the last 6-9 months has been anything but quick. ALL of my orders in this time have taken 1-2 weeks to be dispatched, for items that are showing LIVE in stock…..would that not seem a little excessive?

      Compared to Wayland…..well it is early days yet, I have only been using them for the last 4-5 months. No order has ever taken more than 2 days (and in most cases the next day) to be packed and shipped. Again, I have no real idea how many orders they take, but I am guessing it is less…most people will have heard of Maelstrom in passing, I cannot say the same for Wayland, at least not in Australia.

      In summary, I have had great experiences with Maelstrom games. I WILL be ordering from them again (and in fact did only 2-3 hours ago). Recent months have proven to be quite frustrating, but nothing that would force me to totally change my shopping habits, and I still will recommend people check out the site before shopping elsewhere.

      Back to the topic at hand. I am truly waiting to see what Rob and the guys at Maelstrom have to say about the matter. I KNOW that Battlefront will not make any comment, the more I see the more that BF is turning into a little GW clone. Hardly surprising seeing most of the guys there worked for GW in the past. So, while the public will only see one half of the story, it still should shed some light as to why this occured.
      Personally, I think Battlefront will suffer more from this than Maelstrom.

      But as keen as I am to see the annoucement, I am more interested in the new 15mm WWII lines that Maelstrom have mentioned. I just wished Forged in Battle would get rid of the bases on the vehicels.

    • Zac

      I do find it quite amusing that a moan about us is immediately followed by a plug for Wayland. I wonder who posted that! It’s not even subtle.

      I don’t think you need to look for ulterior motives this sort of thing is pretty common.

    • Cergorach

      I would apparently be one of the ‘fanboys’, I’ll try not to be offended by that. I am certainly not employed by W, and don’t have a business to business relationship with them. I use you both, W gives me better prices then M and that quickly adds up when you make 1000GBP orders. I sometimes use M for things I need between the large orders with W or when you guys have something W doesn’t have.

      When W screws up, I call them on it as well (take a look over at Warseer), just as I would with you folks. The rest of your swipe against customers is just ridiculous! No one made BF mad at you, but you, somewhere the relationship between retailer and supplier broke. You can’t blame us for that, if BF made the statement about W and M was still able to supply BF products I would also point them to M. That’s what fellow hobby community members do, they help each other out. We’re not here to promote businesses, we’re here because we share a hobby. You might take a queue from your own book, stay professional! Your clearly sitting in your business chair, while we’re sitting in our hobby chair, guess who needs to stay professional?

  • Game shop owners – please stop taking hissy fits because of posts from people on the net! Don’t descend to the level of us mere wargamers and our love of hissy fits. Look at how ridiculous other companies and people look after recent hissy fits. Wargames Factory ……

    Although I am intrigued about the whys and wherefores on this issue, as a business owner there is no way I would make public anything like this! Not making any comment and quietly carrying on your business is the best policy. And don’t feed the trolls or become a troll yourself, however honest, true or open your intentions are. Keep quiet and carry on.

    Having said that I will be reading Maelstrom’s version of the story with delight and then waiting for BF’s response, munching my popcorn as MG/BF/WG/GW/PP/Whatever staff and fanboys make up various theories and post to support/dis their favourite game shop and game systems.

    • antenociti

      Don’t descend to the level of us mere wargamers and our love of hissy fits.

      Ah, but many shop owners ARE mere wargamers too… ¬_¬

      • Cergorach

        Of course they are, but when they are communicating with their business hat on, they need to behave like a business person. Your here with your gaming hat on 😉

    • antenociti

      I’m also going to disagree with your suggestion on “keeping mum”.

      In this instance BF have made a rather public and global statement saying they’ve cut Maelstrom off… I dont think that is something one should leave unanswered for a number of reasons, both business orientated and other.

      • Zac

        I agree. A public statement has been made and its appropriate for a public response to be made

  • Guys
    Thank you all for your comments on my recent post.

    I would simply like to say that Maelstrom as a company have honourable intentions at all times, and we do not intentionally create problems for our customers in terms of stock and if we make any mistakes it is because we are human.

    We remain a very healthy business, but sometimes when reading negative comments made on public forums old, current and potential customers must understand that 99% of our customers do not post anything positive about us because, effectively, we have done our job. We sent well over 120,000 packages last year worldwide; we must be doing something right.

    Bear in mind, too, that we have a dedicated customer support team that aims to respond to all e-mails within 24 hours and answer phone calls when they are made. Usually we can resolve any problem very quickly, and a lot of the time problems occur through our use of other companies – such as Royal Mail and in turn local post services. I’m sure anyone who runs a mail order company will understand this. It is frustrating because immediately a package does not turn up, we are blamed, when 99% of the time it is simply not our fault. Regardless, we will correct any mistakes that postal services make immediately, at cost to ourselves.

    I’m sure you have all read Matt Wilson (head of Privateer Press)’s comments on his company’s production shortcomings; sometimes, we cannot provide stock because we cannot get hold of it ourselves. Yet, of course, it is ultimately us that are responsible for that, and we do try to hold enough stock and swallow all of these problems because we are not, when all is said and done, whiners. This post is a rare example of me explaining the problems we face because I do believe, like Phillip, to keep quiet and carry on. Perhaps I am getting less professional in my old age.

    As Phillip states, it is usually the best policy to never air your dirty washing in public. In this case, however, I feel it is justified that we make a public statement regarding what has happened as I feel we have been very badly treated indeed and I do not want anybody to think Battlefront have dropped us because we have done anything wrong, illegal or against the terms of any contract.

    When we publish our public statement, it may show you all the pressures that retailers are put under by manufacturers, which most of the time we swallow, and within it you may realise that on many occasions it is simply not our fault that we cannot get stock to you on time.

    Regardless, I thank all of you that have shopped with us in the past and hopefully you will all continue to do so.

    Cheers

    Rob Lane
    MD, Maelstrom Games

    PS Roger McDodger, thanks for making me laugh on what has been a stressful couple of days ;o)

  • Dangerous

    Blimey, 120K orders per year.

    One every 2 minutes, if you run 7*8 hour days with no holidays or stock issues at all.

    That’s highly impressive, especially from a warehouse that’s not much longer than the artic that’s delivering to it, if the perspective in the pictures is right here:

    http://events.maelstromgames.co.uk/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=234

    Well done!

    • antenociti

      Dangerous, you are coming across now in a way that isnt conducive to considering you entirely neutral in all this.

      Maelstrom are a large going concern and, in this industry, that stock room and that amount of stock is about as big as it gets until you get to the likes of PP, BF and GW.

      Taking the P and questioning their honesty, when their stats seem more than reasonable to me, isnt doing your neutrality claim any favours whatsoever.

      • Dangerous

        Wasn’t my intention to come across that way at all, I’m genuinely impressed by the operational efficiency that MG offer. It’s genuinely incredible and I’m sure many businesses can only envy that level of throughput.

      • antenociti

        and, as it seems “un-obvious” webstores run 24x7x365… also, fwiw, we handle around 30,000 packages a year and operate out of 55sq meters with a workforcee consisting of me, and Mrs me.

        • Dangerous

          That’s equally impressive. I have no frame of reference for this stuff due to the fact that I’m a vet.

          Thats big rubber gloves rather than Vietnam.

          • antenociti

            lol, well this year ours will be down to only around 20 i expect, by our year-end anyway. the troubles with our website last year hit us extremely hard.

            but its surprising what you can do from a very small space…

          • ScoutII

            I think a lot of people really don’t quite understand how “small” this hobby actually is. Many of the largest manufacturers are little more than cottage industries…a few guys working out of a re-purposed garage. Even with the really BIG retailers and distributes, they are smaller than an average grocery store.

            At the other end of things of course, you have places like Amazon that ship 8 million plus orders a month.

  • Josh H

    Thats a better reply.

    I’m a financial hack for my trade. Would you let me write a piece on you guys?
    I have to do some background stuff first but would be more than happy to out an article to go in front of our editor to be a flagpole tale of small business in the UK today.

  • Zac

    NAVARRO wrote:

    Totally agree with you Grumpy Old fart… Theres nothing stopping stores to get on the net… they choosed not to, its ok, but dont blame on others your lack of iniciative.

    This is utterly stunning in its presumptions. Despite not knowing anything about the state of the people involved you think its okay to make this kind of sweeping generalization?

    Have you ever tried to open an online store? Have you ever tried to co-ordinate physical stock with online ordering? Have you ever run a physical store and an online store at the same time?

    If you haven’t then you have no basis to be so flippant about the work involved and the costs involved.

    • NAVARRO

      So many questions and continuous judgemental behaviour from you towards my posts here… Zac your comming across very srange… I dont feel inclined to answer your constant snipping for negativity in my posts sorry.

      One last time, you assume you know what I do or did and keep flipping the argument “If you didnt do it you dont know”… There are many forms of knowledge and not everything comes from first hand experience…
      Yes yes much and most I learned in the flesh but much also is learned by other ways… Why do you feel entitled to call on my personal experience? Why do people and general have no right to COMMENT if they arent directly involved?… Surelly your a great manufaturer, online store owner, brick store owner, distributor, publisher, sculptor artist and all those things… because hey if you didnt experience that you know nothing about it… and have no “basis to comment”…

      What is utterly stunning is you continuously antagonizing and creating issues were there are noone.

      • Zac

        One last time, you assume you know what I do

        I asked you a series of questions and then posted a qualified response based on it.

        If you don’t want to answer them then feel free but you leave the issue unanswered and questions remain about what basis you have for making sweeping generalizations like that.

        What is utterly stunning is you continuously antagonizing and creating issues were there are noone.

        You denigrate a series of people that you don’t have any information about and you think that is okay but when I respond to you its a problem?

        Why do you think that you should be able to disparage people like that with no response?

        For the record I have built and implemented several online e-commerce solutions using various solutions and even a simple online store is not easy to build.

        Some of the issues involved:
        Does your POS bridge or connect to your online store
        Does your credit-card processing system allow online transactions
        Can you connect your current processing system to your online system
        If not who do you go to for credit card processing
        Do you have shared inventory for both online and B&M stores
        How do you handle processing of orders in a shared stock system
        Do your suppliers have different terms and restrictions for online sales
        Are your sales records kept centrally or in two systems
        What sales taxes do you need to collect
        How do you charge for out of state and out of country postage

        This is a small list of issues you have to deal with.

        And lets not forget that many B&M stores are sole proprietorships. You have to run your existing store and then plan and implement an online presence.

        And then once you are online then you have to compete with stores like The Warstore.com, Maelstrom and others. So once you’ve spent that money you need to compete with companies that offer flat-rate or free shipping as well as a discount.

        The reason, I suspect, that most people don’t do this is because it is a lot of work to then have to compete against existing companies that already have scaled to large enough operations that they can offer discounts and shipping deals that a small B&M operation couldn’t possibly duplicate

        So you can’t really say that these B&M stores could just go online and do the same sort of business because I don’t think it is really possible.

        So I don’t really think you can be flippant about this and write off people that haven’t built a web presence.

        • NAVARRO

          Excuse me Zac, I have not asked for your curricullum because it means nothing to me…thats not the way I address people comments as such i dont feel inclined to provide you with mine.

          Yes I have a couple business but that should not determine my ability to make a educated comment towards something… You know there are all kinds of professionals the good and the bad ones and assuming just because you work on one area makes you competent and in the know how is a bit naive 😉 Thats why to me personally everyone’s opinion is just as valid as the man who is behind a company.

          Please tell me were I was ofensive in some way to anyone? Many if not most brick stores do express a disrespect for online only stores… and i have seen a couple decades of flags going down and always the same arguments… sure its not easy to set up a online biz, no one said it was… I just said and repeat that if you dont have the iniciatives in the right times ( like mael had) you should not look for anyone or anything to blame but yourself and your incapacity to deliver what market wants… that observation is offensive to who may I ask?

          I didnt hinted anyone were not hardworkers and determined, sometimes your just limited to what you have in hands and have to do the best you can… sometimes you need to take risks… some fail some dont its all about abit of luck and hardwork.

          PS-Im having a bit of trouble to see what do you mean by qualified in ” I posted a qualified response based on it.” But lets not drag this please and leave it at just that. One thing I can asure you your aim is crooked 🙂

  • Wayland_Games

    Hello Chaps,

    Thanks everyone for mentioning Wayland. I’m working remotely today so this might be formatted like a monkey typed it.

    I’ve been reading some of the comments and I’d like to state quite clearly that no one connected with Wayland Games has made any posts whatsoever on this thread and if I found a member of the team doing so, they would be disciplined. I don’t appreciate being involved or mentioned in such a manner regarding an issue that has nothing to do with us whatsoever. It is purely an issue between Battlefront and Maelstrom.

    Customers can pick and choose who they buy from and a few posts on a forum will not in anyway sway customers one way or another generally. Maelstrom were a big influence on us entering this marketplace and we absolutely have no ill will towards them whatsoever and again would suggest that the discussion focus on the issue in hand without it becoming a retailer vs retailer discussion.

    All the best

    Richard

    Wayland Games

  • Osbad

    to get back on a positive note while we wait on Maelstrom’s official announcement, I have dealt with both Wayland and Maelstrom via the Internet, and have visited Maelstrom’s real store as well. Both have given me good service and good prices.

    It’s a fact of life that mistakes can happen sometimes, or suppliers take a long time to deliver (look at PP’s recent woes for instance). What amazes me is the impatience of some customers.

    2 or 3 days turnaround, whoever gices it, is AMAZING service. Particularly as has been said, when the companies involved are are relatively small family-owned concerns, not mega-million-pound international companies.

    Back in the 80’s and early 90’s before the internet, we used to have to rely on the telephone and catalogues to get mail order, and back then “Please allow 28 days for delivery” was the norm. And quite a lot of the time it would take most of those 28 days for the order to come through.

    Skipping forward a couple of decades to nowadays, and some seem to see waiting for 4 weeks for a product as being some sort of problem and intolerable! When really, what has changed in that time? Paypal/Email/websites make delivering cash quicker than sending cheques in the post was, but even back then you could give your credit card details over the phone. Nope, the fact that nowadays companies deliver as a norm in a few days rather than a few weeks, and tend to keep us informed about the status of our order in the meantime, is down to improved efficiency and quality of service driven by innovation and quality of service.

    You young ‘uns don’t know you’re born, with yer fancy-shmancy “next day delivery”! Back in the day, this was all trees round here!

    • Osbad

      D’oh! Of course that should read “driven by innovation and competition”

    • Dangerous

      I remember that.

      Joy would take 28 days and allowing you to use your flexible friend if you’re lucky.

      (Sounds like a girl I once knew)

      • NAVARRO

        Good Ol’ days were not that good XD Over here before internet time we got things in some stores and most of stuff was in catalogues, no pictures and items were bought by name only…
        Today I feel spoiled heheh and by consequence I tend to cave in and buy more… its just one click away. Both stores are like I said before 5 stars and the reason I got into less popular ranges.
        Its a loss for Maelstrom to lose things like GF9 but Im 100% sure they will find a alternative line of items to cover it. Crossing fingers this turns ouf for the best for all.

        • Zac

          I don’t even recall having catalogues but then I didn’t do a lot of historical gaming when I was younger. Stuff showed up in the store and that was about it

      • Zac

        Its probably back to that now for US shipments with the increased security on overseas parcels.

  • Yith

    Heh, Of course I just found this all out after sending in an order to Maelstrom for some FoW stuff that nobody else seems to have in stock… I do hope my order isn’t affected!

    • Should be OK. They just cannot get new stock in. Also they will continue to hold FoW events in their gaming centre.

  • antenociti

    I was trying to convince my god-son that “in the BAD old days” if you bought a PC game for the computer, and it didnt run, you had to send off to the company, by snail-mail, with SAE, so they could send you back a 3.5″ disc with a/the patch on it, and sometimes you also had to pay for the diskette itsel.

    He didnt believe me…just falt out “You are having me on”

    No internet back then, I said,,, … he couldnt imagine it. ;-0

  • mephiston

    And pre internet gaming really made Salute the special event that it was. All those manufacturers in one place, with product you could see for real before you bought. Happy days

    Back on topic I find the whole thing pretty strange but await Maelstroms statement and not doubt a further statement from BF after that 🙂

  • Yith

    Maelstrom have published a statement on their website.

  • If you read the Maelstrom statement and the letters that preceded it you can see the reason that Battlefront pulled the plug is that the ‘10% discount rule’ was breached (in a special offer). That would seem to be against EU law to fix prices, as indeed pointed out to Battlefront. Battlefront now claim that Maelstrom are not a ‘brick and mortar store’ which is patently ridiculous – I have walked round it – and of course the Battlefront UK staff will know this.

    I have no doubt that if Maelstrom choose to pursue the matter, they will win as under EU law all contracts that involve price fixing are automatically invalid.

    • Zac

      Battlefront now claim that Maelstrom are not a ‘brick and mortar store’

      I think the claim is that they don’t generate a majority of their revenue, or a high enough amount, to be considered a brick and mortar store.

      • ScoutII

        I think the claim is that they don’t generate a majority of their revenue, or a high enough amount, to be considered a brick and mortar store.

        Sort of irrelevant really. The majority of the major online retailers make much more online than they do through their B&M storefront. Most of them keep the store either to meet some ridiculous trade terms or because they like the idea of a game store.

        As I mentioned way at the top when I guessed at the source of the issue (Battlefront having a hissy fit) and was reaffirmed by Justin over at VVV…EU and UK commerce laws don’t even allow them to dictate such things.

        Like so many things though, without someone who is looking to challenge it – nothing will change. If I were from Maelstrom though, I would likely send an inquiry to the Office of Fair Trading over in the UK and politely ask for an opinion regarding Battlefront’s business practices. Specifically Chapter 2, Article 102 of The Competition Act of 1998.

        The possibility of a 10% fine on all worldwide business for Battlefront would likely make them think twice. That is why GW hasn’t said much about discounters in the UK and EU (though they can’t even have a listing in the US). Of course, it would take someone to stand up to it…

        • Zac

          Sort of irrelevant really.

          I doubt a lawyer spends time using irrelevant phrases in a letter 🙂

          Depends on what the arrangement they have with BF is and how that is phrased.

          • ScoutII

            I doubt a lawyer spends time using irrelevant phrases in a letter 🙂

            Actually they do all the time. It is a legal tactic in fact…sort of like bluffing in poker.

            In this case though, the arrangement that they have with Battlefront is irrelevant as well. The Act (chapter and article) that I mentioned would supersede any agreement that they might have with Battlefront.

            Specifically it prohibits a company from refusing to supply retailers with product. It also prevents manufacturers from setting prices for materials…with the exception of magazines/newspapers.

            If Maelstrom actually wanted to press the issue, they likely would win. If a retailer wanted to sell any product (Battlefront, GW, PP or anything else…except magazines/newspapers) at a loss because they were discounted so much – they could, and Battlefront wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.

            If they were to dork around with the supply shipments, the OFT would deal with them. If they attempted to set special pricing as a result, the OFT would deal with them. However, Maelstrom would have to actually decide to fight the issue as opposed to saying “Thank you sir, may I have another” 😉

  • Josh H

    Sorry been reading up on this all afternoon. Perhaps I won’t be writing an article.

    I note that only snippets of emails and exchanges are shown, they are not going to convince me either way. And the most telling item, the insistance of a change of terms so they (Maelstrom) no longer have credit. Well there is only one issue that leads to credit being withdrawn that I tend to know of.

    More interestingly, I would like to know if Maelstrom actually have planning consent for their gaming centre, and if not how on earth they are protecting their customers on site when any policy would be null and void if the site was being used against allowed consent for any period. The reason I ask is that there doesnt appear to be consent, though a restrospective application is underway. God help any customer that is injured on site.

    • I think they will be OK and I sure that the planning authorities will get round to it eventually.

  • Josh H

    Just to chime in here having written quite a few articles on competition law. The OFT won’t look at it for more than a few moments. There is no juice in that there vineyard.

    Just checking also, a claim of 500k stock, and accounts that dont match that with the profit to create that holding. Not a wise claim to make on the internet when HMRC are all over the net at the moment looking for indicators like this of evasion, of course the next set of accounts are nearly due and so i will post a apology if they show a stock holding of 500k and a profit figure to justify that increase.

    I’m not posting anymore as I think though there is not going to be an award winning article there is a skip load of dirt here to sift through.

    • Well since there are letters from Battlefront admitting the policy, life is simple and extra money (from the fine) is always useful. A bit of a no-brainer really.

  • ScoutII

    The OFT won’t look at it for more than a few moments. There is no juice in that there vineyard.

    Possibly, however they will not look at all unless a complaint is levied against Battlefront. As I understand it the OFT has been trying to act more effective in recent years, so it might just be that they see this as an easy coup to get.

    In either case, for a smallish company like Battlefront – the idea alone of dealing with government regulators is often enough to get them back in line. It is just to costly for them to risk actually being fined, let alone the extra costs involved in being investigated (the last OSHA investigation we went through cost us nearly $75,000 and we were found to be in the clear at the end of the investigation).