Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Times they are a changin'

So in my continuing efforts to catch up with several months worth of hobby developments, i've been reading back dated news from the various hobby sites like Bell of Lost Souls and Beasts of War.

The main thing that has caught my eye isn't the launch of Citadel Finecast but rather their new policy on international sales via third party internet retailers.

Now as i live in the UK and fairly close to a GW store, this doesnt really affect me in any way. But i am concerned about the effect it will have on the hobby as a whole and its expansion into new areas.

From what i understand of it the move has been made because GW believes online retailers are having a negative impact on the growth of their retail stores abroad as well as their own internet sales.

Now i can see where this arguement is coming from after talking to several GW store managers here in the UK, who have found big releases undermined in store by web companies offering large discounts and so losing sales. The Stompa for example was an absolute flop in sales at the Grimsby branch thanks to online offers.

But, and this is a fairly big but, i cannot fathom how this action will benefit GW in the long term.

Hampering online stores may force customers to use GW's own service, but the market that is savvy enough to rely on online companies is also savvy enough to be able to go elsewhere for their wargaming needs.

All this change is doing is driving those who use these companies into the arms of the competition and causing a backwash of resentment amongst the online community, even amongst players who won't be affected at all. No doubt Mantic, Privateer Press and others are rubbing their hands in glee at the potential foreign sales that are likely to result.

All in all it feels like GW cutting off their nose to spite their face.

This is just one of several changes in policy i've seen emerge at GW over the last few years that has caused me concern. Having worked for a company that was driven into the ground by rash decisions by executives i really don't want to see the same happen to Games Workshop, a company whose products have provided me with a huge amount of enjoyment over the last 16 years.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

...but not by much.

Yes your friendly neighbourhood Spider-pope is back, after a stupendous absence. What was the cause of this prodigeous period of no posting you ask? An illness? An earthquake? No, a little kitten.

This kitten, who i will refer to as T, decided that the best way to ingratiate himself with me was to chew through the power cable of my laptop. How he managed to sever it without electrocuting himself is a mystery to me, but T remains to plague me to this day.

So after a massive struggle i've managed to procure access to a working laptop with internet access to try to salvage my hobby blog and catch up with almost five months worth of hobby developments. And what a five months they have been.

It seems GW was just waiting for me to lose online access to throw a ton of things into development. We've seen the release of Grey Knights, Tomb Kings, Orcs and Gobbo's and a metric ton of new kits and books all taunting my lack of ability to post my opinions of them here or elsewhere on the series of tubes we call the internet.

The Grey Knight release in particular was significant, as those who can remember as far back to my old posts will know, as i have a fully metal Grey Knight army gathering dust. And sadly they are still gathering dust as i've not had the opportunity to send them into battle since the new codex's release although i hope to rectify this soon.
Modelwise the new kits were pretty good, although i do have to say i am not fond of the power armour kit. The models just look too chunky to me, the new storm bolter style makes them look unbalanced and the less said about the ridiculous looking teleport packs the better. Fortunately the terminators match their metal predecessors in the coolness department and will certainly form the bulk of my future shiny purchases.

The other huge news was the switch from metal to resin that has occurred this month. I've not got a great deal of experience working with resin so i'm a tad wary on this switch. That coupled with the reports of significant numbers of miscasts in the first batch of Finecast mini's leaves me yet to be convinced on the resin mini front.

Hobbywise i've been working on getting my Daemons up to scratch during my online lull. With Grey Knights the primary bandwagon at the moment, i figured i should try to give new shiny players a decent looking enemy to face. Assuming i can keep access to this laptop i'll try to get some photos of my four months of efforts posted up soon.

So thats all for now, more posts will hopefully follow and within a month rather than five.