TGN Editorial – Space Hulk: Artificial Scarcity and Missed Opportunities

By Polar_Bear
In Board Games
Sep 16th, 2014
36 Comments
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TGN’s family is expanding. We’ve brought on Enrico Nardini, from Play Unplugged, to join us here with editorials and game reviews. Here’s his first article. It deals with the new Space Hulk release from Games Workshop.

spacehulkfeature2014

So take a look, enjoy the read, and take it away, Enrico!

Armchair quarterbacking Games Workshop has become such a common activity among miniature enthusiasts that I would not be surprised to hear that it had become the third most popular thing to do on the internet after uploading cat videos and searching for pornography. Its pervasive nature speaks to the devotion of its fan-base. And yes, I’m talking about the “haters” too, because they were likely, at some point, the ones most deeply in love.

Let’s get this over with right out of the gate. I own a copy of the 2009 release of Space Hulk, and it is glorious. The figures are highly detailed, the components are top-notch, and I love the debossed cardboard corridors. The gameplay has also stood the test of time. This will be the 4th time it’s been physically in print. Space Hulk has also successfully made the transition to the videogame market multiple times, including a recent touch device release that is currently pulling a 4-out-of-5 star rating in the iTunes store.

I’m not a bean counter at Games Workshop. I’m not privy to the information that went into the decision making process which culminated in the re-release of Space Hulk. But, I am fairly certain that this re-release will be successful. It will also give an opportunity for those who missed out on the 2009 release (or those who recently entered the hobby) to get a copy at a price that is uninflated by its current secondary market status. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Artificial Scarcity

There are many reasons to create a “Limited Edition” item to release to market. In some cases, a company does not have the resources to keep a product in general circulation. They may have a limited ability to produce the product, the product might have some intrinsic trait that limits its production, or the product’s appeal is limited.

Sometimes, however, a company will create a limited edition product to create artificial scarcity. This may seem counter-intuitive at first (especially when one considers the cost of tooling a steel mold). Why would a company want to limit the production of a product? If they can sell more, isn’t it better to make more? That seems logical.

Artificial scarcity works by creating an environment in which the consumer is fearful that they will not be able to purchase the product. This stimulates sales. Buy it now or never! The item gains a “special” status, and in some cases ownership can even be seen as bestowing that status (you’re a “true” fan). If the product is already desirable and of sufficient quality (and Space Hulk is), this can generate a feverish sales environment, allowing a company to sell a high volume in a short time span.

Now, I’m fully aware that companies exist to make money. I’m also aware that Games Workshop is not the only company to use this tactic. They aren’t even the only game company that uses this tactic. But this tactic is almost never good for the general consumer. Limited edition products often promote buying on speculation. If the product is of sufficient desirability/quality, this will cause its price on the secondary market to inflate. One need look no further than Space Hulk 2009, which could command prices of $300 (well above its original MSRP). In extreme cases, like certain limited edition Magic: The Gathering sets, this can even incentivize retailers to sell the product above MSRP.

Space Hulk 2014 is a very interesting case in this discussion because of the implementation of this tactic and how it relates to the 2009 release. What follows is partially speculation based on what has been detailed on the Games Workshop website.

Space Hulk 2014 is a re-release of Space Hulk 2009. Aside from the components appearing to be identical, the phrase “…16 missions (4 that are brand new)…” seems to support this assertion. A re-release is not necessarily problematic, but what is troubling is the terminology used when marketing the 2009 release. Here is a quote from White Dwarf 356 (September 2009): “A WORD OF WARNING: There is only ever going to be one print run of this great game, so when the stocks run out they won’t be replenished!”

awordofwarning

Well, that was obviously not true. Admittedly, you could assert that the 4 new missions (and possibly some new tiles) could present the argument that this is a new game. Heck, there may even be some new rules. I think, however, that those arguments rely on a technicality, not what is actually being done, or how it effects the consumer. The words above were clearly written to scare consumers into purchasing the product. The word “warning” (indicating impending danger) is actually used in the marketing copy. Yet, the 2014 version of Space Hulk looks remarkably similar to the one released in 2009.

Now Games Workshop is gambling that this tactic will work again. Here is a quote from Games Workshop’s home page: “Strictly limited numbers – Pre-order yours now to avoid missing out!” The question isn’t whether artificial scarcity will work. It is a tested business practice. The question is whether it will work a second time with the same product.

Missed Opportunities

Regardless of one’s feelings regarding Space Hulk and the business tactic of artificial scarcity, this re-release will make the game available again at an acceptable price point. So long as you can get a copy through a standard retail chain or directly from GW, you will be better served than if you had to purchase it from the secondary market. That is a good thing, but another issue that dampens my enthusiasm for this particular release is that it squanders an opportunity to do something new or revisit another of their previously released, popular properties.

For example: When I first watched the teaser trailer that would eventually become a trailer for Space Hulk 2014, I realized that it was almost certainly a Space Hulk trailer, but I harbored a secret hope that it would be Space Crusade. What’s Space Crusade? Space Crusade was essentially a HeroQuest game, but instead of taking on the role of fantasy heroes, you take on the role of Adeptus Astartes. Wonder if it was fun? I honestly have no idea (I missed out on Space Crusade), but these kids seem to be enjoying it!

I did not own Space Crusade (or Advanced Space Crusade), but a box of figures for Tyranid Attack (another HeroQuest like game by GW) was one of my earliest 40K experiences. I can’t attest to Space Crusade’s quality, but I can say that HeroQuest was the game that “launched 1,000 ships” for me in terms of introducing me to gaming, and I think games like that could do the same for a new generation of gamers.

It’s also just good business. HeroQuest-like games are currently on the rise in terms of popularity. Games like Descent, Myth, Castle Ravenloft, Super Dungeon Explore, and more, have seen great commercial success. This has recently culminated in the wildly successful Dungeon Saga Kickstarter, which raised over a million dollars. Fantasy is not the only genre where this approach has been successful with games like Zombicide and Project Pandora: Grim Cargo.

Maybe you have no affection for Space Crusade. Ok, but would Games Workshop be better served releasing another specialist games from their back catalog? Necromunda, Blood Bowl, Epic 40,000, and Warhammer Quest are games I am constantly seeing brought up again-and-again in forums as fan favorites. Isn’t there some way to bring them back, even if it must be in a more limited format? Heck, they could bring something out that is new altogether. I’m fairly certain that Dreadfleet did not sell in nearly the volume that GW had hoped, but that doesn’t mean you stop taking chances.

Is the re-release of Space Hulk a bad thing? It certainly has benefits to recommend it. Customers will once again be able to purchase a great game at a decent price. There will be a complete-in-one-box game experience that can introduce new players to the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Games Workshop will even be releasing a set of digital supplements to expand the game. If they can be used with the 2009 edition (and that better be the case), then GW will be able to profit from both releases.

But, despite these advantages, I can’t help but look at this as a continuation of the GW’s current holding pattern. It’s a bit “meh” to me, in a way I can’t quite quantify. Despite being a leading company in our industry, they seem content to tread the same ground, and that’s just boring to this miniature gamer.

So what are your thoughts? Are you stoked to be battling the insidious Genestealers again? Is there a franchise you wish Games workshop had revisited instead? How about a new game idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

-Enrico Nardini, Associate Editor TGN

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I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • Stu

    Only a fool would trust Games Workshop’s marketing department, now or back in 2009. It was fairly obvious the 2009 ‘limited release’ was never going to be limited if the game sold well. The only real surprise for me personally was that it took them this long to re-re-re-issue Space Hulk.

    Games Workshop are a dinosaur these days. If we see any new IP from them it’ll be in a one-off abandoned form like Dreadfleet – which I believe was their last new IP effort? What was the last new army for 40k or WHFB? For 40k I’d hazard a guess and say the Tau who were released in 2001.

    There are simply better game systems out there to play if you like sci-fi or fantasy settings. Particularly if you’re willing to forgo the 28-32mm scale for a smaller scale like 15mm or lower. Spartan Games in particular scratch my wargaming itch these days.

    • GreenJello

      Exactly. Didn’t they end up “finding” some missed boxes a little bit after the 2009 release?

      • Grindar

        Are you sure that wasn’t just the ones they held back for replacing damaged goods from the main release?

    • Grindar

      Imperial Knights is technically a new army.

      • odinsgrandson

        Oh, I think you’re right. Imperial Knights are technically a new army.

        It’s easy to miss them because it was a single mini, and they were clearly intended to work as allies to everyone else, but they did get their own book and are technically playable as their own faction.

    • odinsgrandson

      Yeah, I suppose it is a little moot to start talking about all of the other properties they could have done instead.

      They clearly wanted to do this without introducing new costs (they did not create new artwork or sculpts). This particular event comes at the end of a poor sales year for GW, and they’re trying to min-max their build (most profit for minimal investment).

      In 2009, we got very excited that maybe they were going to re-introduce one of their old games every year or two as LE. It doesn’t look like that will ever happen.

  • mweaver

    According to the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Games Workshop Marketing division went on the become the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Marketing Division, and we all know what happened to them.

  • Haibane

    It does seem crazy that GW haven’t capitalised on the heritage of Necromunda & Bloodbowl given the number of skirmish games and fantasy sports games out there, and their evident popularity.

    I could do without Epic if it’s just going to be another half-hearted re-release. Doesn’t matter how good the new rules play if you don’t put in enough support for new models and plastics.

    I’ve always thought that 15mm would have been a perfect scale for a Horus Heresy era game, but I guess the whole FW range put paid to that ever happening.

    • Stu

      Just not worth their while I don’t think. The figure counts they’d sell for those games are simply too low. They are good games, but as they’ve been left in a vacuum for decades, competitors have simply moved into that space (Bloodbowl in particular) and executed the whole skirmish level ‘sports’ game much better than GW ever did.

      • odinsgrandson

        This is exactly what I think they’re missing the point. They think that the pool of gamers that buy their stuff is fixed, so they figure that if they start selling Blood Bowl, people will pick up a new team instead of picking up a 40k army this year.

        I honestly believe that they’d sell minis to customers that aren’t currently buying anything from them. Especially with Blood Bowl.

    • Considering how many companies survive almost solely on making minis for “fantasy sports games” (Willy, Impact, RN Estudio, just to name 3 off the top of my head), it does always surprise me that GW doesn’t do everything in its power to make Blood Bowl a huge thing in the gaming world. Obviously people want to play it, since producing alternate models for it is a decent business decision, so why not support it?

      • odinsgrandson

        And while I’m sure that some of those fantasy sports games do get played, I think that a strong number of those sales are to people who are using those minis for Blood Bowl. Some of these companies go to lengths to make sure that their minis will work well for Blood Bowl as well as their own game.

        The Blood Bowl community has gotten to the point where people don’t expect you to use GW minis at all. And now, you can’t even get proper Blood Bowl minis.

        Games Workshop could make Blood Bowl a very strong property if they wanted to support it at all.

        They might be considering it. I’ve heard rumors that a new edition of Blood Bowl is in the works for quite a few years (many of these are from credible sources).

        But I don’t think that was an option vs. Space Hulk.

  • Misterork

    I used to be sad when GW made another mistake like this latest Space Hulk debacle. But I think we all appreciate now that the last thing they think of is their customers: I think Fagin from Oliver Twist would compare more favourably (at least he looked after his staff!)! 😉

    But time to move on, as the report and its follow ups suggest, we’ve all grown up and moved beyond GW. That honeymoon period was sweet and I think we all loved GW at one stage or another; they were my introduction to wargaming after all.

    At their passing or acquisition, I think I might suffer a pang of regret at the missed opportunities – after all they were once the biggest and the best. 🙁

  • Soulfinger

    Sure, Dungeon Saga made a million dollars in KS preorders, but that’s not actually all that much money. Kingdom Death did double that, but I expect that production and shipping expenses devoured a big chunk of the profits. When you look at the bigger picture, these Hero Quest comparable games do well for small companies in a very small industry. Games Workshop, on the other hand, last reported an annual revenue in the ballpark of $200m generated solely by three games. I expect that the logic is that a staffer can generate $100k (pulling numbers out of my anus for illustration) of worth working on WH matterials or $60k doing a side project, like Necromunda or Blood Bowl. They’d still make money making those games, but another way of looking at it is that the unrealized profits amount to losing money. Unlike the privately held gaming companies, they have stock holders to appease. All factors taken into account, it isn’t necessarily good business for them to diversify their product lines.

    • Great points SF! Here’s my push back:

      Dungeon Saga made 1 million in pre-orders on what is effectively a brand new IP. Even if you count it as a part of Kings of War, it’s still very new. I don’t think that can be understated. Any of the games from GW’s back catalog would have the strength of a known and popular IP. Not to mention a publicity machine they don’t even have to pay for.

      If they remade Space Crusade, they’d be tapping into their most potent IP, the Space Marines. Nothing is a sure thing, but Space Marine items tend to do well. Plus, there really is no accounting for momentum. GW is in a down-cycle and their hunker-down-and-hope-that-this-all-blows-over strategy is clearly not working. I think they need to shake things up, if they want to remain viable in a market with a growing list of awesome alternatives. Now honestly, who knows? Their next quarterly report might be a total home run, and if I’m wrong, I’ll own it.

      My understanding (and I could certainly be wrong) is that GW’s income already includes some diversity. At the very least you have Black Library (books, audio dramas, etc.). They also license out their popular IP. FFG, a company 20 years younger, generated over 30m in revenue offering an extremely diverse product range using their IP. Now you have to account for the Star Wars factor, but I don’t think Dark Heresy or Relic are hurting them.

      That being said, I totally agree that this was probably a numbers game in their eyes. They already have the molds tooled and the processes in place to make the components. It has Space Marines in it. It will sell. I’m interested in seeing what the final outcome is, and I certainly love discussing it.

      • Soulfinger

        My point was more along the lines that Dungeon Saga made 5 times less than the campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow. FFG may be a bit of an anomaly with their sharp growth over the past three years, but I’d still hazard to say that they are making a fraction of what an equivalently sized and structured corporation would be generating in another market. It is not an industry anyone goes into for the love of the money, although KS has been a true boon for it. There’s also the question of how much of Dungeon Saga’s KS earnings are actually profit and what they were able to achieve with the income. Reaper was brilliant with their KS because they funded numerous costly molds and centralized their production facilities. Typically, they would have been dropping $30k+ on each mold at an overseas facility and then factoring recouping that investment into their sales projections. This way, they structured it so that they grew as a company, became more profitable in the long-term, and eliminated outsourcing. When others fail to emulate this with their own projects, that results in KS that are more of a flash in the pan.

        I don’t expect GW could ever do Space Crusade on account of it being a Hasbro property, originally produced by Milton Bradley in conjunction with GW, just like Heroquest. I think the issue is also that releasing a game like that now is a double-edged sword. A Space Crusade-like game at a $50 price point in stores like Target would be a great introductory game that might generate new players. However, to achieve a reasonable price point for that market (can’t do a loss leader on that scale), they would have to compromise on quality, which — all GW-bashing, ‘Finecast sucks’ criticisms aside — also compromises the image they want to project of being a premium model company for the discerning gentleman. Added to that, you know what a space marine is and I know, but the majority of people don’t. We tend to forget things like the idea that a 12-year-old could buy some proposed starter set and then next thing his parents know, there is a unit of big-tittied demons on the dining table. Many parents are not cool with this or with “good guys” named after ancient demons and devils who worship a corpse on a golden throne. There is not only the chance of weak sales, but the more mass market they go, the more that whole dark future shtick becomes an 800 pound gorilla. It is very likely they have done market testing on this. Having worked a Games Day, I can tell you that the average kid there was polite and relatively bright (with a disproportionate number of doctors and lawyers as parents or volunteers) versus the more run-of-the-mill nerds at GenCon and the average kids at my son’s school who would think WH40K is weird, way too hard, or dumb. At tonight’s school board game night, one kid commented on how “weird” my copy of FFG’s old Delta V was. He thought it was dumb that the languages listed on the back didn’t include Indiana.

        I don’t like the direction GW went, but they have a crystal clear mission statement, and I think the recent ‘hunkering-down’ is more of a phase as they streamline their production process and generate an effective policy for combating IP theft and knock-off production. From an outside perspective, GW’s recent belt-tightening very much looks like what I saw my father doing when a company brought him in to implement lean manufacturing techniques — not necessarily implemented well, but I do think that they are defining “value” within their corporate culture. If I recall, their diversity is still only getting them $1.5m in licensing, for example. Crap, this is too long.

        • [email protected]

          I have to agree: GW does indeed seem to have a mission and a game plan to somehow come to an end of it without losing too much.

          WHF got me into this hobby in 1994, but I learned to really love it with Necromunda. Back then, there was no competition on the market, people were buying GW products because there were not a lot of other choices – and close to none with similarly nice miniatures.

          The times have changed, there are several companies that play in the same league as GW, Privateerpress and FFG being the most prominent ones. But: their games are good. I mean: really good. Their attitude towards their customers and fans are exceptional and something that was longed for for a very long time.

          Now, these companies and their systems attract a lot of players and, consequently, quite a bit of money. And they manage to do so because they offer a diverse portfolio of different games and systems, some of them compatible (think Warmachine and Hordes).

          GW has decided to put all its eggs in a basket of three franchises instead of letting some smaller systems run and generate an additional small income.

          Both Necromunda and Mordheim were fantastic games, completely different to their big brothers 40K and WHF. They could be used both as introduction and “specialist games”. It really was a different thing with Battlefleet Gothic and Epic 40K – they were, in my eyes, for advanced players only.
          A lot of people tend to forget, however, that there were more games in the past – a step into narrative RPG-tabletop with the large scale Inquisitor (still the best minis GW has ever produced!) and the game with the biggest fun and madness factor of all of them: Gorkamorka.

          Of all the above, Mordheim and Necromunda would have been able to survive if GW had decided to bring in some new minis and rulesets from time to time – they were the first elaborate small scale skirmish games in their respective backgrounds (sci-fi and fantasy).

          I have pre-ordered a version of the 2014 Space Hulk board game – I have played the original (which has long been lost at a friend’s house, a birthday party or in the depths of my parents’ cellar) and loved it. I actually did not get the 2009 version, but wanted one.
          Could this work for other franchises? Yes! We still play HeroQuest in our weekly geek hours, I’d play StarQuest/StarCrusade too, if I had it.

          Dungeon Saga provided us with a new option of a classic dungeon crawler system with some nice minis. Why shouldn’t I pay money for that? People were paying a lot of money for Kingdom Death: Monster – because of the aesthetics and because of the new approach of funding a very different game via a very new medium, namely kickstarter.

          Long message short: GW seems to see the need to focus on a very limited number of franchises with the occasional high cost alternative board game (completely forgot Dreadfleet…). If they can manage through the recent storm and survive it without too much damage, we might see different, limited products every now and then – and continue to hope for a miracle with the return of some of GW’s old and nice games…

          We’ll see what the future and the fiscal year 2014 brings…

          • odinsgrandson

            GW has the attitude that they are always mining the same market. Their strategies have been to get the most money out of the same consumer base.

            Hence, they see the small scale games as competing with themselves. That’s why they don’t pay attention to Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Mordheim, Warhammer Quest and the rest.

            That’s why they won’t make Space Hulk a permanent release.

            Their competitors have very different attitudes. No matter who you are, Fantasy Flight, Privateer Press, Coolmini and Wyrd have all made something that doesn’t appeal to you.

            And many of those products that don’t appeal to their core crowd have been successful. That means that their customer base is expanding.

            But the guys at GW don’t think that they could support Blood Bowl, and attract a lot of gamers who aren’t interested in 40k or WFB (or the Hobbit).

  • surprize

    You know the line from ‘The Usual Suspects’; “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist”?
    Well the greatest trick GW ever pulled was convincing the world a games company has to maximise its revenue streams.

    When you think about it we all buy into this assumption that back in the 90’s would have seemed absurd. It’s a niche industry in which talented people could make far more money doing something else. Of course people don’t want to starve making games, but turning a modest profit and making ends meet while making great games is not a bad thing. At some point it ceased to matter whether a game was any good, only that it made money (and not just to GW, but to a lot of mid/large gaming companies). I’m not saying there are no good games coming out, that’s patently false, but I’m saying for a lot of ‘companies’ it not the first consideration.

    • Veritas

      Unfortunately, since it’s a publically traded company, GW does indeed have to maximize its revenue streams. GW is more beholden to share holders than customers which makes no sense, but is the way of things when you are a publically traded company. Putting GW on the London stock exchange was where GW truly started its downward spiral. If GW had remained a private company run by its game developers we’d still be playing Necromunda and Mordheim to this day.

      • Daniel36

        Actually still playing Mordheim to this day. Don’t need GW to release new rules for it, still buying new GW models for use in it, so why would they need to release new rules for it? They are still making a profit off of me even without supporting the game. Bought that Empire special character archer guy last month to use as a Kislev Hired Sword. Happy times!

  • Toxik

    I don’t think the ruleset stand the test of time, my last session of space hulk was ok (I own the limited not so limited now 2009 version), the atmosphere is great but the interaction and possibility are a bit limited, especially when you compare it to a game like incursion which is imo much more fun and interesting. It does not have the same pull in term of miniature and setting but the gameplay is vastly superior.
    Anyway I think GW is desperate for some money to reprint a game, the expanses are not great on their part (dusting the old molds, have a designer come up with 4 mission) and I found the way the monetize the whole thing (Get the other chapter for $15!!!!) nauseous. Good for people who miss out, honestly it would have been bloodbowl, mordheim or necro and I would have been all over it.

  • dasbilligealien

    Just some things about the moulds.

    From my understanding GW is using aluminium moulds for smaller runs. These are significantly cheaper than steal moulds but last only fpr around 10.000 runs.
    If i remember corretcly they are producing these in house at a relative new facility. Which allows for a cheaper production.

  • darkendlight

    I really want to get excited about this but since there has not been support from GW on this game since the previous release (correct me if I am wrong) it seems like buying a one shot game that will only see fan based additions. And I already have a couple of games like that.

  • Lemminkaeinen

    I’m always flabbergasted when people say that Mordheim was a great game. The ruleset was made from a mass combat game and just ported into a skirmish game leaving very, very little actual decision making into the game aside from choosing where to move your models. The balance was completely out of whack and the missions were lackluster. The only good part was the campaign system, which, admittedly, was very nice. But the actual game part of Mordheim was horrible.

    By far the worst skirmish game I’ve ever played and I’ve played a lot.

    • mrwolfe

      the rules were lackluster, i agree. but the campaign system and the development options and the ways you could build a campaign using several of the missions were really nice features. and the models made up quite a bit for it.

    • KelRiever

      I agree wtih Lemminkaeinen – the rules were AWFUL. From a balance perspective.

      As inspiration for someone else’s rules, or for fun to read, sure. But if rules lead to a failed game experience, who cares? Honestly Necromunda is the same way. People want to believe some fun fluff and some fun concepts make a rules set, but they don’t. Play Mordheim 2-3 sessions and your ‘campaign’ is over too.

      GW never ever really made good games. Blood Bowl is an exception and it was probably a mistake that it was any good. I love the setting of Mordheim. Painting up figures is always fun. But you are better off making a diorama than playing the game.

      • surprize

        I think the rules lead to a fun game, but not necessarily an in-depth involving tactical challenge. The problem with Mordheim was/is the additional rules (from journal/WD) that were piled on which totally threw balance out of whack, and that it only really worked as a campaign, rather than a one-shot system. The original game (and possibly the first expansion) were fine. There were a lot of quirks (i.e. dual wielding was statistically far superior to any other weapon option/load-out) but it wasn’t a bad game by any means.
        Necromunda was a bit of a mess as a campaign as by the 3rd-4th game you had loads of models running round with wildly divergent stats and legacy injuries and models with one leg, one arm, an eye patch, 4 attacks and a plasma cannon!

        As for GW never making good games – I can hate with the best of them, but I have to give fair props to Warmaster and especially the Warmaster Ancients variant which is a fantastic game (present tense intentional).

    • Stu

      We still play Mordheim occasionally too this day. However we forgo a lot of the original rules – for example we have abandoned the stupid I go, you go system in favour of a Bolt Action like ‘draw a dice and activate a figure’ system which works better for Skirmish.

      The Specialist Games ‘Living Rulebook’ edition of Mordheim also did the game a lot of favours before GW predictably abandoned that effort.

      • mrwolfe

        living rulebooks for the specialist games would’ve been a nice option. together with new releases every now and then, the games would still be here today, better and more balanced than ever.

        oh well…

  • elril

    Necromunda rules weren’t “horrible” at first, they just got there after playing a few times. It usually started out pretty balanced as well. Things changed after playing for a while though.

    • mrwolfe

      the balancing within the game after some sessions or within a campaign was rather bad, but overall, i liked it.

      as long as gangers leveled up and new equipment options could be bought without OPing, it was all fine…

      it’s a similar thing with blood bowl, really: after some clear wins in a league, you’ll have less and less opponents that can keep up with you.

      • odinsgrandson

        Well, Blood Bowl does a better job of it than a lot of the other games. There have been a lot of ways over the years to balance out non-mirror matches.

        There is a bit of a trouble with the way that these games all reward players winning- so that the players who are already outplaying their opponents get to have more tools in their toolbox.

  • Sejanus

    GW continues to exemplify how to alienate your core support.
    What they do or fail to do only makes me all the happier to hand my money over to Warlord Games and 4Ground for my mini wargaming fixes.

    Our local bricks and mortar shop is finally cluing in that there are alot of other ponies in this horse race as the one time leader begins to show its age and lag. It is now only a question of when it goes to the glue factory. It has been said GW is too big now to fail. Tell that to former employees of their shops and one man store fronts that continue to shutter.

    The exodus of players from 40K during the last new edition worked out to no less than a solid 45% of players bailing, selling off GW stuff and going Warlord. It was incredibly telling.

    The hobby will be forever greatful for the talent that passed in through GW arches and then out the exit to create better gaming options for us.

    • odinsgrandson

      The exodus away from 40k with the latest release is telling in that Kirby did not mention it in his report to investors.

      He didn’t want to say that the company performed poorly in a year when they released a new edition of their flagship game.