Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Disparity By Design

So the title of this blog is Noakes' rant, yet up till now I've done very little actual ranting. Time to change that...

I'm sure most Australian gamers are well aware of companies based in the UK and US like mealstrom and wayland games.These companies are internet based gaming distributors, and they sell product at an incredibly reduced price, as an example i recently got suckered in (hard) by the new grey knights, and after digging out my old metal grey knights from 8 years ago, decided to build an entire army. I bought nearly 2 thousand points worth of GK, for the princely sum of $320 AU, including shipping, not too shabby at all, now look at the GW price if i'd bought from them, and it would have been just over $700 AU, more than 200% the price..before shipping! ridiculous!

Any way for a long time now I've been buying from mealstrom for any large orders i wanted to make. As of 2 weeks time, GW have banned all european stockists from selling to people outside of Europe, in essence attempting to isolate us and force us into buying products from them at exhorbidant prices.

The thing is, I cant help but think this will do more damage than good, when the choice is put to me of either A-having the item cheap, B-having the item at a ridiculous price compared to the rest of the world, or C-not having it at all, ill choose A every time, show me someone who woudln't, however when you take that choice away from me, i think i'll have to go without, a choice alot of the australian gaming comunity is starting to make.

On paper this might seem like a fantastic move in that you basically monopolise an entire segment of the market, but in the long run i cant help but think that this will drive people away from games workshop products.

With the rise of other minature companies, notably mantic, and privateer press, i feel that you will be seeing alot more "games workshop" armies, without a single GW mini in them. I for one just purchased an entire spartan army from crocodile mini's (pics inc). And i'll be looking at as many alternative methods of getting my gaming and modeling fix as possible, ( no chance i'll be going cold turkey, ill freely admit im an addict).

There are alot of arguments that, GW's bricks and mortar stores here are struggling, also local stockists are having a hard time, all due to internet purchases, and this is true. However, if GW brought the prices in australia into line with the prices overseas, i think we'd all happily be buying from stores. The fact is however, in australia we pay 200% more for GW products than the equivalent in the UK. Fix this disparity and fix the problem with your stores heamoraging money. Force us to pay your exhorbidant prices and you'll drive us away, its as simple as that.

Now in other outrageous GW news, they've introduced "finecast" products, pulling all their metal miniatures and replacing them with resin. The initial press release explaining this change stated that it would produce crisper models, that hold better detail, wich is true to an extent, but it also stated that it would be cheaper to create the models. This final point is true, resin is markedly cheaper to produce than metal, as well as transport. So why then do all these new products have a significant price increase attached to them? I'm not sure who you think you're fooling with this bullshit GW...

I realise GW is a corporation, and the bottom line is profits, profits, profits. But theres a line between good business, and straight up gouging customers, and this feels like they've not just crossed the line but given me the finger afterwards.

When im called into court to show on the dolly where the bad man touched me, I'll be pointing straight at my wallet.


  1. thanks champ, thankfully im a compulsive hoarder when it comes to wargaming, and i have enough to last me a fair while of converting and painting, entire armies worth.. but, new players wanting to get into it from here on out.. i dunno

  2. Well said man, in the end its hard not to feel the GW are truly out of touch.

  3. There are plenty of ways to get the mini's in bulk from ebay. I've been using a seller that sells them at just about the same price Maelstrom did, with 5$ per box of shipping, which still ends up being incredibly cheap. There is no way I will EVER pay for a model or kit from a games workshop store unless I NEEDED it there and then.

  4. yeh even if i needed it then and there i'd hit up a local like mindgames or mil sims for me, just out of principle at this stage! but yeh 5 bucks per shipping starts to add up when you do stuff like me and buy an entire army in one go, mealstrom having the free shipping anywhere was just.. too awesome