Raw Dogger on the GW Petition

Raw Dogger: Readers be ware!

Raw Dogger: Readers be ware!

Raw Dogger gives his two cents on the petition put forth and signed by GW enthusiasts.

Remember that news blip that popped up a couple weeks ago regarding a petition started on Change.org’s website?  The one requesting Games Workshop change their business model to a more game balanced focus as opposed to their current one of strictly existing to sell miniatures that just happen to have a game associated with them?  Well it just hit the 10,000 signature level.  In a time where you can’t even get two 40k players to agree on how many detachments they should be allowed to use in a standard game, ten thousand of them took the time to sign a petition letting Games Workshop know they were unhappy with how they were being treated by the company that they love and support.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can check out the page here https://www.change.org/p/games-workshop-limited-refocus-your-business-model-on-the-sale-of-a-game-and-support-of-a-gaming-community-vice-the-pure-sale-of-collectible-miniatures

So will this change anything?  If you are being honest with yourself than the answer is most likely not.  Games Workshop has long since abandoned their focus on creating a game with a balanced rules set and instead have taken the stance that they are focused on creating miniatures that can be purchased in order to be used for a game that effectively does not have any rules. What rules they do write are written for the sole purpose of selling more models.  Remember how stupid the Helldrake looked when it first came out and no one wanted to buy them?  What happened after GW FAQ’d them to be able to fire their flamer in all directions. Bad for the game, good for the bottom line. They have also taken the stance that they do not require nor listen to customer feedback.  This has been well documented not only in the Chapterhouse lawsuit but also in newsletters from the CEO Tom Kirby to the shareholders.

Some have pointed out that since Games Workshop most likely is not even aware that this petition even exists the community should focus on drawing attention to its existence to the shareholders would have more of a effect on the company.  That might work, if it wasn’t for the fact that the current majority shareholders weren’t all faceless holding companies, as well as the current accountant turned CEO Tom Kirby. The sad truth is that even if the higher ups at Games Workshop DO know if the petitions existence, it would be met with a shrug of the shoulders and business as usual.

How can that be the case, though?  Ten THOUSAND players signed a petition asking for Games Workshop, a company beloved by these same petition signers, to please focus on the balance of the game they are creating miniatures for.  How can they just ignore that many customers’ pleas?  The answer is simple.  People will CONTINUE to buy the models they make, no matter how unbalanced and unplayable the game is for the models they create.  If those ten thousand petition signers REALLY wanted to hurt Games Workshop and have them see the error of their ways they would all sign a petition stating they would not buy a singe GamesWorkshop product for one year.  That includes the author of this article.  I guarantee if ten thousand players decided they have had enough of Games Workshops apathetic attitude and didn’t buy anything for a year Games Workshop would pay attention.  But we wont do that.  Certainly not me.  Cynics will ask why we care?  Games Workshop exists to sell product and increase their dividends for the shareholders.  This is the same for all publicly traded companies.  I believe the reason we care so much is that most of us remember when Games Workshop wasn’t the faceless entity it is today.  We remember when they ran events and had a HOBBY magazine called White Dwarf.  We remember when they ran global campaigns and actually seemed to care about the actual rules for their game systems.  We don’t want to believe our hobby is driven by a company only interested in the money we spend on their products.

I applaud the writer of the petition and all those that took the time to sign it.  It makes me happy to see that so many players want the game that they spend countless hours of their life playing and modeling come together and ask for something other than a cool looking model.  We get it, Games Workshop.  You make models and you sell them.  Would it kill you to put even a fraction of your resources towards making the game balanced with rules that make sense?  Also, could you bring back the Fat Bloke?

Love Always.

RD

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

34 Responses to “Raw Dogger on the GW Petition”

  1. Skyler November 11, 2014 6:27 am
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    I’d sign a petition not to buy their stuff for a year. But then, I probably spend less than $100 a year on their products, so that is easy for me to say.

    • rexscarlet November 11, 2014 4:42 pm
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      $100 per year X 10,000 people is how much annually?
      .
      Exactly…

  2. Vidar November 11, 2014 7:21 am
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    Exercising the one corporate influence mechanism consumers have and Boycott! I haven’t bought a GW product in almost 2 years. Other games (PP and Infinity especially) provide great customer support and believe in their customers. So, I choose to put my money with them. There are other ways to get your Tabletop fix and feel great. Play other games, have fun.

  3. Thomas November 11, 2014 9:40 am
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    I don’t get the petion really. During the last couple of years GW has put a lot of focus on the game itself and adressed a lot of issues. They acknowlegded the fact that 6th ed didn’t really work and put out a new edition to adress a lot of the rules issues to improve the game. With 7th the game is now more free and tighter.

    There was a lot of complaint about Codex creep, so they adressed that too. The power level’s dropped, and the next Codex isn’t by default the strongest one. This is great.

    And they put out rules like never before in order to bring all armies into the latest edition. Way back when, this didn’t happen and the game suffered from imbalances due to it. Now people cannot keep up, cannot know or own all the rules. Oh well, that’s not really a problem. You might suffer a suprise or two on the battlefield. Rather that than return to a slow release rate and lack of options.

    • Novastar November 11, 2014 10:44 am
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      The rules are super tight if you don’t mind that a bane blade can drive up different stories of buildings

      • Thomas November 11, 2014 10:55 am
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        The fact that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you can drive the Baneblade to the top of a ruin makes the rule tight. Silly and unrealistic maybe, but still tight.

    • Cameron November 11, 2014 11:34 am
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      I think you can judge the tightness of a ruleset by the length of the fan FAQs that are required in order to make the game playable. GW does not do well on that test.

      • Thomas November 11, 2014 12:11 pm
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        There is still of stuff to clean up within the present rule set. No doubt. The change from 6th to 7th is a step in the right direction. The rules are tighter now.

        • Trasvi November 12, 2014 5:43 pm
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          I can think of 3 or 4 rules problems that actually got fixed between 6th and 7th.

          And then they removed all of the existing FAQs (even the ones for problems that still exist), and wrote the clusterfrak that is the Psychic phase.

          The rules are ‘tighter’ now only because they were abysmal before and now they are only terrible.

          • Thomas November 13, 2014 3:30 am
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            Great! We both agree that the trend is clear and that it points towards a tighter ruleset. 🙂

            Personally I find the Psychic phase to be an improvement. All powers are used in this phase instead of all over the turn. Simple.

    • D-ManA November 11, 2014 11:57 am
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      Where is the like button? I wounder how many of the 10,000 petitioners complaining about balance are also the ones who are complaining the 7th ed codices lost their power button in order to bring them in balance with one another?

  4. dalymiddleboro November 11, 2014 10:58 am
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    I wonder how many will read this, choose not to buy products, and thus take revinue away from Frontline gaming? lol

  5. Jural November 11, 2014 12:29 pm
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    I’d like to hate on GW, but they have been doing better recently in my view, especially if you consider 40K to be GW + FW, not just GW. The recent Tyranid releases have been pretty solid… the Maleceptor may be trash, but the Toxicrene and pods/mines/base are solid… and the rules are in the box with an affordable WD preview… all things I wish they would have been doing all along.

    Also, only the DE codex has really stood out as being game breaking, and that’s primarily due to the WWP with Eldar allies.

    7th Edition is a step in the right direction once you decide what to play on the tabletop… Where 7th gets dicey is what limitations rational players need to agree upon before taking to the table… But I’m not sure that’s a bad thing personally.

    Why are they moving in this direction? Is it a corporate strategy? Has the stopped clock been right twice in a day? No clue… just a very inoportune time to bash them!

    • Jason
      Rawdogger November 11, 2014 2:49 pm
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      I wouldn’t say I am bashing them in the article, more pointing out how little something as substantial as 10,000 people asking them to focus on game design means to Games Workshop. Hell, 100,000 people could sign it and it would be business as usual.

      • Jural November 11, 2014 3:16 pm
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        What I meant is that now is a bad time to offer feedback of this nature (either a boycott or petition)- because they already seem to be taking a few constructive steps.

        I’m fully willing to admit they could walk that all backwards over the next 4 months though… but it’s just a bad time to say they aren’t listening to their players when they are literally doing things the players have asked for 😉

        • Thomas November 11, 2014 10:31 pm
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          Exactly! GW is moving in the right direction regarding the rules, but I for one that they don’t release yet another edition this summer. They release fluffy narrative campaign material. Free rules to new off Codex models. I don’t feel that apathatic towards the players is a very relevant way to discribe the current state of the company.

          The petition seem to miss the mark from the get go. It’s just to late or asking the wrong questions.

          • John November 12, 2014 11:16 am
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            I think the only constructive step they could take is to wipe 40K clean with a total reboot that has been playtested for a year or more…you think they are going to do like D&D did after 4th and go through years of playtesting? WoTC did what GW needs to do, but are unable to do. This has to do with WoTC being owned by Hasbro and being able to not turn a crazy profit every year to line Kirby’s personal pockets I mean the stock holders cough ahem I love when he talks about stock holders in all of his communications…he is basically talking about his own pocket book. Can’t wait for Roundtree to be the new guy to line Kirby’s pocket book with the hard earned money of all the neck beards who haven’t left 40k.

  6. Tom November 11, 2014 1:09 pm
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    Just my opinion from my perspective…
    The thing that bothers me is that there business model isn’t optimally sustainable. It is a short sighted foolish business model. The reason that it works as well as it does is that the fan base has been there so long and loves the fluff so much. A more efficient and sustainable growth model would be to create balanced rule sets and have lower profit margins on their models. Before anyone freaks out that I said to lower their profit margins on their models let me explain: I have been playing warhammer for 12 years. I know how the price has increased since that time and yes- they make more money PURE UNIT SOLD with the higher prices, but because of those higher prices there are plenty of models nobody will invest in because they are simply too much money combined (especially fantasy with horde rules). This has been said elsewhere a million times so I’m sorry to repeat it. But once upon a time I had a real goal to own 2500 pts of every army. They would have made so so so much money off of me in the end. But the constant price hikes made all of my friends drop from playing.
    To bring it back to the rules and why I mentioned prices. If they focus on the high profit margin models approach- the only way to get people to buy them (like mentioned above with the helldrake) is to have unfair game rule advantages that they switch back and forth to prompt different buys. The price of the models is exactly why the rules have to remain broken. They will not fix the rules because they would sell way less models if they do so. In conclusion their business model is one of the dumbest I have ever seen for any industry. They will continue to bleed revenue which means bleeding profits which means (cause they are dumb, they could reverse this) they will have higher prices for fewer models, which will mean more people leave and they will bleed through that cycle again.
    Sorry for the long post. Some pent up feelings in there about my favorite hobby

  7. TinBane November 11, 2014 3:08 pm
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    We’ll see. I’m a little more positive.

    In the last few months, we’ve seen staggered off-codex releases, with rules in the white dwarf, and available online for free. Sound like the GW of 6 months ago to you?

    There’s no doubt, it will take time to turn around something as slow as balance. But GW is changing. And as for boycotting their products, they are facing loss of revenue. They can’t afford to continue to ignore their consumer base, because it’s not working. If they aren’t already turning the boat, they are going to face losses in two or three years.

    However, I think the boat is turning already.

    • Jural November 11, 2014 3:20 pm
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      This is why their CEO is such an odd duck. They clearly had some of this in the works for months, but rather than own up that GW is taking a step towards their consumers (or at least pretend to), he comes out with the whole …”…demographic research, focus groups, (asking the market what it wants) …are otoise in a niche” crap

  8. Noah November 11, 2014 3:26 pm
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    Can we start a petition to get the community to stop referring to the game as “unplayable”? There are few statements more often repeated and more complete crap. No game is perfect, but from where I’m standing, this article is pretty rich coming from someone who plays an “unplayable” game so often 😛

    • Vlad78 November 11, 2014 5:42 pm
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      Well, if after 30 years and 7 editions, you think it is acceptable to not have balanced rules not just designed for kids, good for you.

      40k is not unplayable but you have to severely restrict yourself to enjoy the game;

      The rules are limited and clumsy. The balance between codicies is poor.
      The tactical aspect of the game is weak, The entry cost is much to high.

      AND the miniatures are more and more hit or miss.

      The diversity once offered by other GW games like BFG and epic amongst others is gone.

      If the background wasn’t so fun and the playerbase so big, there wouldn’t be any reason to play 40K. (FW notwithstanding)

      This year, I’m starting xwing and drop zone commander which look like to be much better at everything.

    • Painjunky November 12, 2014 2:49 am
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      40k is unplayable out of the box.

      You have to agree on limitations and rule interpretations within your group/club/store/tournament in order for it not to be a soggy mess.

      Signed the petition btw but more importantly I vote with my wallet. It will be interesting to see GWs half yearly financials which should be out soon.

  9. Feindusmaximus November 11, 2014 4:32 pm
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    Besides GW paints/washes, I have not bought anything sense 7th ed rules/cards/pys powers.
    Next week I get to play in my last 40K tourney until they fix the rules. Only going because I pre payed before 7th came out and they have SW/DzC on Fri/Sun. Oddly enough the 3-4 games on play on Sat will be my 1st 7th ed games. i expect to go 0-4. I suggest if you really want to boycott gw, every time you want to buy one of their products = put the money away in a cubby hole (don’t want the domestic supervisor to find it). 365 days later see how much you saved and buy something else w/ the money.
    I know that does not work for game stores that sell their products, but they are hand cuffed to GW. Can’t bash the plastic krack you are pushing too much and still want to sell it.

  10. Madcore November 11, 2014 5:51 pm
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    I would sign that petition. Don’t get me wrong, I love 40k, I love the universe and I love the game but it is unbalanced. Some armies are super strong while others are struggling,simple as that.

    I have an Imperial guard army, chaos deamons and chaos space marine army, Necrons, eldars, space wolves and a whole bunch of other stuff…you could say that I use to spend more than 1k a year on this game if not more….that being said, I have started to play other games like hordes and warmachine and wow, I can honestly see a difference.

    I will never stop playing 40k, I have been in love with that universe for more than 15 years but I am not buying anything new anymore and when I do, I often go for chinese stuff…why?

    Simple, it simly pisses me off that a company like them does not give a damn about me, that they change the rules not to make the game balanced, but to sell more stuff, making some of my other stuff irrelevent and dust collectors.

    All my money is now going to Privateer Press, they at least give a damn about me.

    This is my opinion of course and I totally get it that some may not share it and I respect that. That being said, those that spend as much as me in this hobby, tell me that it does not piss you off when they make your stuff useless….

    And I am not even talking about their prices…..

  11. bigpig November 12, 2014 12:29 am
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    +1. Well written 🙂

  12. MR November 12, 2014 6:35 am
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    Let’s say that GW in a world of finite resources has the capacity for 2 true core competencies, which one would you choose and which would you sacrifice?

    – Miniatures
    – ‘Fluff’
    – Rules

    Would you rather have the greatest rules and butt-ugly minis?

    • Trasvi November 12, 2014 6:00 pm
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      Other companies routinely prove your premise wrong.

      Moreover, if they could achieve all 3, their resources would be less limited and thus allow them to afford to do all 3.

      GW are in their 7th edition of 40k, their 8th edition of fantasy. Neither game has seen significant change to the core rules in 4 editions or 15+ years. By now you think they could have solved some rules problems simply by luck. Lack of resources is obviously not what is preventing them from writing good rules.

  13. John November 12, 2014 8:24 am
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    Great article and with the announcement of Roundtree as being new CEO we know it will be more of the same until GW files BK in two or three years. You know its bad when they are rolling out Space Hulk again…probably the only thing that has sold well for them in the last six years.

    I too am voting with my wallet. After 7th edition dropped, I started selling most of my 40K items and have not bought a single GW anything since that time. I would have rage quit later anyways after seeing what they did to the Grey Knights had I actually remained in the hobby. They literally nerfed every single figure I had painted and modeled in one fell swoop….I had probably 8,000 or so points of them and they were one of my primary armies with models dating back to the 2nd edition slotta base days. There is absolutely no excuse for what GW did to either the game as a whole or even the Grey Knight codex IMO….Fortunately quite a few suckers bought all of my GK stuff on ebay and that was more money for me to throw at PP.

    PP has gotten all of my love and attention (and money since then). Let me tell you something…. they deserve it too. They listen to their fans and support their community. In addition, the rules of the game don’t change every five minutes and you can actually buy, build, and paint an army before new releases or faqs grind it into oblivion.

    GW killed 40K just get over it and move on to the next thing. I am just waiting for Gates of Antares to get my Sci-Fi kick again. Can you imagine they are doing a community play test and then adjusting the rules accordingly? That is right, someone is actually playtesting the game and they are making changes……if you play 40K your head probably just exploded at the thought of someone other than bob the intern crapping out the weekly unplaytested dataslate garbage on a weekly basis.

    GW deserves all of the hate that it has coming its way and the most ardent GW fanboi/apologist can not rationalize away their unbridled hate and disdain for their own customer base…how dare you buy our figures, here is your reward…higher prices you plebians muhahahaha….

  14. Johnny Kryptonite November 12, 2014 8:28 am
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    Tom Kirby is no longer the CEO..

  15. Nightman November 12, 2014 12:27 pm
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    Haven’t they already started to balance in regards to new codex releases? Communicating with customers would be nice, but kinda have to respect the blatant ignoring as well, atleast they are honest.

    This is actually a pretty fair blog post, but listening to podcasts and reading articles every customer is a fucking expert in economy/product pricing/market research. Are GW making mistakes? Probably, but they are not just doing random shit for fun.

    Warmachine, Infinity, X-Wing and other games would still be eating up market shares even if GW were licking our assess and balancing like the game Blizzard style. The competition was pretty much non-existant 15 years ago.

    • Jural November 13, 2014 1:29 pm
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      You can even argue the competition exists because Games Workshop really grew the market.

      Hopefully the competition will help GW figure out in what ways they need to move towards their customer base…

  16. Charlie November 15, 2014 4:02 am
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    I signed it. I hope GW does listen and does something. I started in 1989 and continued playing up to this year. The game has just gotten so bad on so many levels, I’ve put all of my stuff into storage. My son, 7 years old, noticed and was bummed as he wants to learn how to play tabletop war games. I showed him X-Wing and there’s no more talk about dad putting his 40K stuff away. As it stands, there will not be a second generation 40K player in this household.

    How do you get new young players into the game? Create a product the long time gamers can teach their kids.

    • Madcore November 16, 2014 4:52 pm
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      I am about to do the same thing man. Show him how to play Warmachine/Hordes, theres a company that care about their customers.