Tuesday 24 May 2011

The first rule of Geek club

Is that you don’t talk about Geek club. Very similar to Glee Club, Tea Club or any other club with Brad Pitt in (yes he does follow this blog). other rules of Geek Club include (but are not limited too) making sure you spend all day in your room painting Warhammer, avoiding social contact, and prioritising Geek activities over everything else. Behold my contribution to Geek Club this week:

This has essentially taken me ages to get to this point. And for some reason, the model really stinks. Think its cos I spray painted onto unset green stuff. Meh. The bits that aren’t so grey painted are going to be red squad markings. The mix is Bleached Bone/Boltgun Metal at a 2.5:1 ratio. Ive actually used so much on this guy that I had to go to GW Leicester to replenish my paints today specially. I said to the staff member in there that it was for my xwing, and he said “oh you’re the guy that's making that.” which pleased me! Whoever it is that is telling people, please keep raving about me! All for a good cause (my ego).

In other news, I was supposed to play fantasy tomorrow night. I have found (hopefully) a new group of people to play with now Stranded Ninja is going to Glasgow. I think that this blog may grow a little into a Fantasy Blog as well, even though project Far Far Away remains my primary concern. I already feel behind and its May lol.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

GW Price Hike

Now. working in retail i understand that things are getting more expensive. being single and having loads of spare cash price hikes are more of annoyance than something that will stop me playing. but i think i agree with the overall sentiment of this article. seems to me that certain areas are getting a raw deal... this was written by Kirby over at 3++.

I normally hate these type of posts and avoid writing them like the plague. Most of these type of articles just end up complete whining or asshatery (though I did love SandWyrm's) which isn't really necessary but what has happened recently has lead me to write this. Before we get to the letter though some information. Games Workshop has changed their terms and conditions for stores in the United Kingdom to only allow shipping to countries within the European Union and other parts of Europe. They have increased their prices again come June and have announced the released of resin and mixed resin/plastic sets instead of metals with an approximate increase of 2.5-25% depending upon the set. None of these sets are new but rather re-casts.

Letter time!

To Games Workshop,

Why? No seriously, why? I'm sure the excuse of cutting off Australasia and other countries (Canada, India, Korea, South American countries, etc.) to benefit the independent and GW store sales in Australia sounded good but unless you cut the prices here to not be a ridiculous 200% higher price than overseas, it's not going to happen. Let's look at this logically. You've stopped us from buying from stores like Maelstrom and Wayland with an embargo agreement in your Terms and Conditions (remember globalisation? how's that going btw?). Does this mean we are going to now buy at RRP in Australia or other countries? No.

There are other outlets overseas we can buy from which are still much cheaper (hi America), other companies which you cannot touch without raising a helluva lot of crap (hi ebay) and people who are willing to ship to us overseas (hello family and friends) without the 200% tax. We won't be getting as huge a discount as before but it's much better than buying here at RRP. The other option is of course going to be quitting which I imagine some people are going to do. Check out this thread on WargamerAU where a lot of people are indicating they are. The ultimate bottom line? Your bottom line suffers (more people leaving) and the retailers in Australia do not benefit.

Now I'm all for one in supporting the locals. I buy all my products such as spray paint, paints, plasticard, magnets, drills + bits, modelling putty, brushes, etc. from Australia. As an aside, do you actually stock good quality merchandise for all of those options? I don't see you selling plasticard, magnets, good sized drillbits, custom bases, etc. I'd be happy to pay a 5-10% premium on these objects compared to other stores to support your business but then again, I don't really want to support your business currently do I? The point of any business is to make a profit but the problem with your business model is you do not do this whilst concurrently supporting your customer base. We don't ask for much but a short list would look like...

not raising prices every year, without fail, regardless of the economic situation or inflation rates
basing prices around the world upon exchange rates (I wouldn't be averse to paying 20% more in Australia compared to the UK or America locally but I am adverse to paying twice as much) - there are circumstances in each country that make operating there more or less expensive but you need a base retail price for your product which is then translated by exchange rates at a given time (i.e. quarterly) rather than a price set many, many years ago. It's part of being in a global market.
regular and quick FAQs - you've done a fantastic job IMO of creating some pretty balanced books for 5th edition, fix the grey areas quickly.
official erratas - man up and admit you've made mistakes (hi Tyranids) and work on erratas that are official and re-print the books with these amendments. Admitting a mistake and fixing it isn't a problem and I'd applaud you for it. Ignoring a problem is.
fix Fantasy - you did it with 40k, why go backwards with Fantasy?
don't think your customer base is moronic - the resin re-cast to be cheaper than metals whilst hiking prices, not fooling anyone.

Ultimately people in Australia and other countries go overseas for their Games Workshop products for a reason: it's significantly cheaper (I.e. half price). What motivation is there to therefore buy from our locals when you aren't treating your customers with loyalty and support? People will walk away and your bottom line will hurt. A simple solution: care about your customers. Change the Australian (and other countries) prices so they are at least similar to the UK and US. This doesn't have to be the exact same price but some parity would be greatly appreciated.

Here's a quick example. If you could buy a similar product for $45 compared to $150, what would you do? How about if the product was the exact same but if you ordered it overseas it was $80 compared to $150 by the time it reached your door step? I'm pretty sure you'd want to take the cheaper option correct? For you as a company, you make your profit margin through the reseller regardless of where it is purchased. You may make more money off a direct sale at an Australian store compared to an Internet sale from the UK but you have already achieved the profit margin from the Internet sale already. The Australian stores may be hurting but this is down to the initial price you have set, not market trends. Simply put, you are alienating customers from a large and developing market.

I and many of the readers here obviously enjoy your game. We've played it through thick and thin (4th edition...) or come back thanks to an improvement game balance (5th edition) and don't want to leave. We will though sooner or later if you keep piling on idiotic choices on us. Other companies like Privateer Press did very well in the early to mid-2000s for a reason and people will migrate to other gaming systems if you continue to mistreat them and their loyalty.

As it stands I question why you do the things you do. Raising prices every year annoys me but I cannot complain too loudly as your products are a luxury item but you do not provide excellent customer service one usually expects with such goods. I certainly find minimal fault with your staff or when your product is damaged/faulty but your overarching business model seems counter-intuitive to maintaining a customer base. Even if you are getting a large amount of new customers imagine how much better off your company would be if you had maintained a significant portion of your repeat customers. The model you are running currently to me does not seem sustainable as your turnover rate in customers is just too high. I applaud your efforts in making 40k 5th edition a more competitive game but what you've done to Fantasy 8th edition doesn't bode well for the future.

Please, look to satisfy both the shareholders and the customer rather than just the former.


P.S. Anyone who agrees with this, I would greatly appreciate this being re-posted on your blog so we might actually garner GW's attention and hopefully move forward together. That is the ultimate goal, I want Games Workshop to succeed as a company so I can continue to enjoy the gaming systems I do but to do that, Games Workshop must look at altering their business model in the long run to maintain a steady customer base.

P.P.S. keep it civil in the comments kids and don't bitch, discuss.

Joining The Dark Side?

So, after a week of silence I thought I should update. Not much has happened since I built the first X-Wing, but here is a run down:

• Lost to Stranded ninja twice in the last week. Once in anhilation and once in Capture and control. He knows my dirty little tricks now, and that's how my army works....

• Have ordered all the lascannons I need of ebay, and they are on their way to me now  excited!

• I now have two fully painted squads of penal legion / Rebel pilots. One Star Trek squad and one Battlestar Galatica Squad. I did some nice freehand on the sergeants shoulderpad. Unfortuantly there is no pic to go with this at this time. (I will try and update that shortly)

• I've realised that I love Lego

Essentially my plans now are to really try and being to nail the models. What with Stranded Ninja moving to Glasgow in just over a week I'm loosing my gaming partner and my best friend. Both of these things suck, but its gonna leave me with loads more time. Some of this will be taken up by the Bible Group Leadership that I'm starting, but I intend to try and paint loads now.

Other exciting news is that I may have found another gaming outlet. There is a club called the Leicester Sabres that meets near me at a time that I can go to. Plus somebody I met at church actually goes, so I'm hoping that that's a way in. As ever, the road to every epic fail will be covered right here......

Wednesday 11 May 2011

I Have A Bad Feeling About This

So, I have not post on here, probably for two weeks. But that's because I haven’t done anything overly new. I've been painting my pilots, (I'm now up to 13 guys hooray!) and I finally assembled the beast below with stranded ninjas help.

Man this turned out to be much more of a pain in the ass than I thought it would be. But, it looks AWESOME. Ok I accept that the wings are not quite in proportion compared to a real X wing, but considering my goal is “GW or Bust” and not to use any other models, I'm quite happy. I kinda want this army to end up in a display cabinet at GW Leicester, but I'm not sure that it will (as it is Star Wars). That is of course much more likely if its just GW models. Plus I kinda like the challenge. So those are my reasons.

I intend to slap some Lasscannons on the ends of the wings, and it will be a wizzywig Vendetta. Awesome right? Homework wise... im considering printing Tshirts for the Tourney with star wars (or familsy guy star wars) quotes on. what are peoples favourites? mine is "I really hope they dont have giant robot camels" from something something darkside.