At the end of a week that has brought us yet more strange decisions by Games Workshop I feel that the time has come to step up and be heard.
Generally speaking I believe that GW's current announcements will in some part be good for the gaming community (certainly within the UK). They are effectively making people choose what to buy in these tight financial times, and this can only increase the sales of other better priced and more economically savvy products. The likes of Privateer Press and Mantic Games, for instance, will gain on the back of their decisions. Over the course of the last 18 months I have seen a marked change in army composition within my club and other clubs in Cornwall, with people mixing in more and more non GW figures. I think people will continue to play their rules but we'll see a lot more converted models and/or models from other manufacturers on the tabletop.
I must say that I cannot remember the last time I made a direct purchase from a GW store, and in over 20 years of gaming I have only ever bought three times directly from them. I do however own nearly 7,000 points of Dark Eldar, and several necromunda gangs and bloodbowl teams. I also have 3,000 points of sisters of battle which do get used on and off.
The biggest concern I have is that yet another price hike and a move to a cheaper material, which it has to be said should improve detailing, will mean that newcomers to the hobby will have a misconception that this is the cost of war gaming. So it falls to us seasoned hands to pass the news that there are other fish in the sea, other games, other manufactures and many of them are also within the UK.
A very important thing that needs to be said is that people may think that these decisions are bizzare and arbitrarily brought in by greedy suited folks sat in their Nottingham ivory tower. That is nonsense; at some time a group of said suited folks, who earn very large salaries, have talked at great length about their marketing strategies. These decisions are thought about, they're planned, and are never done on a whim just to drive people away. Whatever their reasoning and whether it works or not is irrelevant, the decision has been made.
So let's not get caught up on burning GW for their decisions; let's rejoice in all that is good within the UK gaming scene. Games Workshop have never been anything other than very supportive of the community with the great work they do on the schools league and the support they've shown the GCN over the years cannot be faulted. I do fear tho, that the line between doing good in one area and negatively impacting on that from decisions elsewhere is becoming increasingly blurred.
So, let's not burn, but inform. Spread the word; change is coming.