Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warhammer 40k: Flyers and Price Increases

Well it looks like the Summer of Flyers is actually happening and I am slightly let down.  I was planning on buy a flyer for my Ultramarine and BT armies just for the fun of it.  That was before I took a closer look at the picture on BoLS and saw the WD says for Codex: Space Marines.  Here is the link but the picture says, "Offical Update to Codex Space Marines on page 66."  That's a bummer and puts it lower on my purchase list. 

Frontline Gaming wrote a neat OpEd piece about the price increase and market factors. It's written in normal English and doesn't require an MBA to understand it.  I think they wrote it that way so GW can understand it since it's obvious business is not their strong point. 

The problem I have with the price increase is it reduces my desire to buy more directly from GW.  GW has done some bonehead moves in the past to reduce the impact of independent retailers on their bottom line.  You cannot advertise a lower price online than GW retail price.  You cannot use a shopping cart for online sales of GW (something to that effect).  These things have often drove my late night spur of the moment purchases to Privateer Press.

Last Thanksgiving, I was flush with some PayPal cash.  Miniature Market and The Warstore both had sales.  The Warstore also dicounted their GW mechandise to about the same price as Miniature Market.  The problem is I didn't feel like contacting them for an updated price list and generate an order (NOTE: Both stores would have been happy for me to call them during business hours and sell me GW stuff but I was lazy).  What did I do?  I purchased a Cryx army which I just painted.  That was a nice chunk of chain. 

Looking at GW's strategy to just go after new players with disposable income, I can see a lot more deals on eBay and Craig's List for armies.  Kids that buy a bunch and then want to sell inorder to buy their next new thing. People with money buy them on the cheap.  GW is missing out on a lot of sales in the same way the video game market hurts from used game sales.

Read the Frontline Gaming article and let me know what you all think.


  1. Interesting article. On the one hand I can understand the idea of GW focusing on the new customer. When you are talking about kids that either have their parents paying for their hobby or otherwise have large sums of disposable income because they live at home, price increases are no big deal. But I'm also a new customer, considering I haven't played in over 20 years and don't own any minis. The fact is I thought the current prices were too high, so I went to Ebay. After the price increase? I'll probably never buy a brand new Citadel miniature again, at least not from GW.

    To be fair, it isn't because I think the hobby is too expensive. My other hobby is music. I've spent thousands of dollars on guitars amps and other musical gear. I have a full PA in my garage. If miniature wargaming was my only hobby, I could easily afford to buy 1 or 2 armies a year at full GW prices. But as everyone is realizing, there are other games out there, and almost all of them are cheaper. Historical wargaming is particularly cheap compared to Warhammer, and thankfully the Mid-Atlantic area has several good clubs and conventions dedicated to historicals. The problem that GW has is in perceived value. Yes their miniatures are very nice, but they viewed as overly expensive, and a poor value. All you have to do is look at the kits that Perry miniatures is producing to realize how overpriced GW is.

    GW should look at what happened to WotC and D&D 4e. If they continue to make bad decisions, some other company will come along like Paizo press did with Pathfinder.

    1. I agree. If you look at Privateer Press and their conversion from metal to plastic. a box of the new plastic is more expensive until you look at the per miniature cost. They actually increase the number of models from a min unit to a max. They are also expanding the game so you need larger armies. If I am forcing higher and higher point games, people will buy the miniastures to play. My prices don't need to change because I am selling at larger quantity. Every year...drop an x-pac and sell more models. It could be fun in a few years to see how this strategy works when you have all these young bloods in the game.