Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Blame Game and 40K

I am a little bit late to the party but I think its important for opinions like this to be voiced. 

After numerous "talks" with gamers over the internet and reading The Dice Odyssey post here and Cadias Creed Post here on pricing (mainly) of GW products currently it pushed me that little bit further to write this. 

I have been grinding my teeth reading complaint after complaint in regards to 40K. Its annoying. A lot of what they complain about does not translate well in the real world. So here is my thoughts on those who complain excessively. And there are many unfortunately. 

"The rules suck, are clearly not balanced due to a lack of being tested and don't compare to other game systems!"

I hear this one a lot. A few things jump to mind when I hear stuff like this. First off the rules suck "in your opinion". The people who complain the most always miss out this vital sentence. They state their opinions as fact. The real fact is whats great for you is not great for someone else. In terms of balance I feel its important to look at what the rules are made for. They are made to give people THE CHOICE in how to play and with what to play with. A lot of the people who complain cant seem to understand that the rules are made for THE PLAYERS to decide together what kind of game it is. 

A lot of the players who complain tend to take the best of the best possible exploiting the game (in my opinion) and then attempt to blame their lists and play style on GW. All GW did was provide the options to play it as you wish and yet they chose to "break the game" and yet still hold GW accountable. They seem to have this attitude that they should do these things because they can. Then they go to compare the game to other games (notably Privateer Press and X wing etc). This really annoys me AS THEY ARE DIFFERENT GAMES

Its ok to look at another game and want to take ideas from it, but a lot of the people I spoke to wanted the game to be just like other game systems. Which defeats the purpose of having multiple game systems. I don't play many video games but I know that its like Battlefield players complaining that the game isn't like Call of Duty, it defeats the purpose of having multiple game systems. 

Whenever I read comments like that I think to myself, why not play another game, clearly you are saying you don't like this one? Then I ask why they don't move on to another game system and I get one of a few responses normally:

"I am too invested in GW games to move on". - Well unfortunately you as a customer chose to invest. Like anything you buy research is needed. Surely you researched the product before paying so much for it. Something must have got you playing the hobby, so whats changed? many people point out that GW games have never been balanced. 

Its like buying an aluminium boat without research or asking around and then using it for skiing. Only to find out its a fishing boat not a water sporting boat. Then complaining to others how terrible the fishing boat is for skiing and how it needs to be more like a fiberglass boat instead. Then when people say why not sell the boat and get the one you want and you reply "because im too invested in this boat". Its stupid and in reality solves nothing but makes your situation worse. This is a refusal to blame yourself for you investment and instead blaming a company for making the rules as advertised and designed. Its plain stupid. 

Someone at my club says this but he admits its his own fault. He also has found ways of having fun. Which is great. Like all these comments all it takes is the acknowledgement that you yourself are at fault as the customer and you yourself can fix it. 

"Nobody else seems to play other games (and usually something about how stupid people are for playing them and not others)." - Then why are you contributing to your problem? If everyone has your attitude then nobody will play a new game. You are gonna be stuck playing a perfectly fine game you dont like unless you move on. So why they dont take the lead in fixing their problem and do something about it is beyond me!

"The only reason people play it is because they dont know better and have low standards." - Well not only is that bull crap, its also very telling of their attitude. Maybe people play it because they have found a way to enjoy a very flexible and open game in a manner in which they enjoy? The game isn't made to cater to tournament style playing. Its designed for a bunch of people with an interest in the hobby to relax and enjoy the game as they see it fit. So I have low standards because you want to play a game that people enjoy but you cant enjoy it because its not designed for you? Well then move on and play another game. We live in a time where there have never been so many mainstream options for wargaming! So go out there and enjoy it! Dont sit in a dirty bath you don't like and whine because nobody has changed it for you. Its gross. Get out and find new clean water to enjoy.

"I dont play 40K anymore because the rules are gack!" - Yes this has been seriously said by many people. There are people who complain about 40k, despite no longer playing it. I mean its ok to not like a game and move on. I think its great! But to linger around on the internet spending a lot of your time complaining makes no sense. I don't even have a response to that, except to say well shut up then, your opinion means nothing if you don't play. Especially if your complaining does nothing to add to a community.

There are many responses that could be added, and anyone that's used a forum especially will know these and more. But the problem a lot of these people have is that their problems don't translate well in real life at all. I work in a place that sells luxury boats. They are an expensive item that requires high and frequent costs along with a lot of effort to maintain and use. They also require many add on costs. To add to it there are many choices to be made. What motor? Which boat? What am I gonna use this for? The list goes on.

Table top wargaming is so similar to the boating hobby (if you change the items and phrases). Yet if any of the people who whined about boats whined like they do with Games Workshop, we legally and logically can and will shoot them down. 

Games workshop doesn't falsely advertise its product, it doesn't practice dodgy or illegal practices, it doesn't force anything on you and more importantly you have the capacity as the buyer to choose what and why you buy. So how is GW responsible for anything? They aren't. Just like everything else in the world if you don't like it try make your money back and move on, fix it to your liking or put up with it. Why GW products get treated differently is beyond me! 

We are part of a hobby that requires a lot of passions and dedication. So naturally there will be disagreements and conflict. But it shouldn't be this bad. So if you find yourself slandering GW and complaining about it more than enjoying it think to yourself about what you are saying and how it affects the community. Imagine what people looking into the hobby think when they see comments that slander and criticize in huge amounts. It reflects badly on the whole hobby not just part of it. More importantly it kinda ruins it for the rest of us who actually love and enjoy it. 

So to those who complain, hate the game or hate GW how about you go out there and fix the game to your liking. After all that's what it was made for. Or move on to a game you feel is better. Or shutup (or at least limit the hate). 

Complain and it will only fall on deaf ears, put up with it and you are only wasting your time and money, do something to enhance the game and you may find it more enjoyable that way
or move on because after all its better to be happy than be unhappy. 

Just remember rule number 1 is have fun. Even those who believe in strictly sticking to the rules at all cost. So if you cant follow rule one then you need to consider your options. Games Workshop is far from the blame. Like everything in this hobby it comes down to you. 


  1. I do say that i am too invested in GW to quit so i feel the need to respond to what you say. When i started WHFB i was 11(or 12) so researching other systems wasn't an option, i wasn't that great of a 11 year old. And the reason why i dont quit is because i like WHFB, i am not so keen on 40k but i love WHFB.

    Also can we stop generalizing, or make more of a effort to not make blanket statements. When you said:

    So to those who complain, hate the game or hate GW how about you go out there and fix the game to your liking. After all that's what it was made for. Or move on to a game you feel is better. Or shutup (or at least limit the hate).

    Can you try and make a effort to spare those who make legitimate complaints about GW, or who make complaints in a constructive manner. GW has areas that warrant complaining about and there are people who talk about those issues in a constructive fashion, i would like to think that i am one of them. Lets be clear, you can love 40k or WHFB and still have a issues with how they do things, and those issues can be legitimate areas of concern, pricing is one such area. And you have a right so talk about those areas and i think people should be concerned about the rising prices of GW products.

    1. So GW is at fault for your choosing to invest in their product? Why is this their fault?

      I did say somewhere that the comments mentioned are to those who dont contribute to the community in how they complain.

      And you say GW deserves complaints well sorry but thats your opinion. I dont think they do. I see nothing wrong with what they are doing. If I dont like it I make fun of it for a bit then dont buy anything.

      They are a luxury item and like all luxury items they are priced as people value them. If it where the price of bread you where unhappy about then id understand. You may hate the price but people still spend so much money there, why? Because value is subjective. To me its not worth the money to buy a lot of their models. So I seek out alternatives. But to some its worth its weight in gold. Thats fine.

      Legally speaking nothing people criticize GW for is legitimate, they do nothing wrong at all. Nobody talks about petrol prices as horribly as they do GW prices. Thats ridiculous!

      Just remember what you think of GW is entirely your opinion. Some may agree, some dont. So when you say legitimate you mean your opinion.

      I will admit you arent the people above. At least you have good things to say. There are many that dont and thats whats it about.

      Id like to hear how GW is at fault anywhere though.

    2. So paying 100+ dollars for a lump of resin (the treeman model), made in china at dirt cheap cost is "Nothing Wrong"?

      GW is a fault for over charging for a product that it makes for next to nothing in china, and for reducing the amount of models per box. I can assure you that no one like only having 10 guardsmen in a box when it used to be 20. Those are my 2 areas of concern. All other issues i have with GW (pay to win, day 1 DLC) essentially link back to pricing and models per box.

      And i wouldn't say i hate the price, hate isn't a word i would use in relationship to something like price. I dislike the pricing, i strongly disagree with it. But hate, no.

      Also people i know talk about petrol prices with venom lacing their words.

  2. How do you know what the costs are?

    Hours spent sculpting the model, hours spent hitting a company to make the molds, hours spent maintaining a website and managing sales, hours spent on stationary, hours spent on trying to organize a world wide company which is also the only company that has gaming stores which draw in new players and give most of the gaming population somewhere to play and the list goes on.

    In retail its not ust the direct cost in material. Its the hours spent on wages, upkeep and the list goes on. If they made 25% profit on the product that does not mean 25% over all. Its very complicated and im sure they dont make as much as you think. The guy who runs GW only takes home 400,000 dollars base a year. Thats not much for a huge company. So where is this information on over pricing you seem to have?

    Remember GW has gotten bigger since it once was in terms of output. So costs go up.

    And fine dislike instead of hate. Doesnt change much.

    So you are telling me they complain about petrol as much as people complain about petrol prices? Because I dont see it at all. Not nearly as bad.

    I just want to be clear that the post wasnt directed to you, just yours and grumpys post kinda speed up the writing.

    So they halve the models in a box, why is it they are at fault? Who knows what happened since then. Im sure their are pages and pages of costs involved we would never think of.

    Do you think the prices for GW models are worth it to you?

    1. For a start hate is a far stronger form of dislike, and it should only be used where you really really dislike something, so it makes a big difference to me at least.

      Secondly the things made in china aren't know for being expensive to make, especially how GW does it. First they make a beta model of the model, the they make a mold of the model and poor molten resin/plastic into the mold (thus mold lines, flash and other such things). That doesn't cost a lot to make.

      And dont worry i understand that it wasnt aimed at me. I just like constructive debate. If i am wrong then this is how i will fin out and change my views

    2. It doesnt cost a lot does it? Well how much does it cost then? Because to hire someone to make molds costs thousands if you just want a couple of models. Let alone molds that are made to cast many. How much does it cost to ship all those models. What about the price of just designing it? Well refer to my last comment about how pricing works. Its not just the one product they base the cost off, its the cost of the whole company that needs to be considered. Something you arent considering in your reply.

    3. in reply to costs, I really need to find the podcast that did it, they had a guest on that is part of the model/wargaming industry and went through a serious rundown of production costs. They are far higher then you are alluding too. The material cost of resin/plastic is only a small part of the equation to overall production costs. The resin/plastic has to be cheap, raw materials are where you start in any manufacturing based industry and everything gets more expensive from there.

      Also to claim they are making pure profit is rediculous, there margins from the last report is just under 13%, hardly the 100% pure profit that some(not you) claim.

    4. Everything in a company costs money, very little of it makes money. Nowdays its not uncommon for a business to be relying on 10%-20% Margins to survive unlike previously where it was 25%-35% margin (well here in NZ anyways). Unless we know the ins and outs we cant be sure but its very likely that it costs more money than people think.

  3. I made a comment on grumpy's page earlier to the same effect. But I'll recap anyway, what GW sells has to say all staff (in the UK at £6.31 an hour min) say for all taxes, health insurance and pensions (also compulsory in UK) gas, electric, water, shop leases, the list goes on, so saying its cheap to make models so there for there making huge profits is silly.

    As for any sizes, well first it was about 30, then 10, then 20, and back to 10, so any sizes have changed as have there configuration.

    The only rule I disagree with for 40k are the template rules, I still think wounds should only be taken from under the template and not from directing of shooting.

    1. Which is very true. Its hard to grasp all the costs involved and so on, so its a common mistake.

      Thankfully you can change the rules if your opponent agrees, but no game will be 100% perfect. But yea it makes sense to have templates only kill what they hit.

    2. Yeah, have run into that as well. Its silly, but you can adjust with model placement to get that affect in essence, though you may have to pay more attention to where to put the flamer before firing it.

  4. I could change the rules but that's a slippery slope, where do you stop. I'll play the rules as written and just deal with it. After all it goes both ways!

    1. agreed, where you think the rules should be changed is not where someone else may think. Something you think is fine someone else may think is broken. Best to not change the game unless it is something that is an obvious error or the intent of rules is very clear, if the writing is a bit garbled

    2. Thats what the game is about. Finding the point of enjoyment. Some people love changing rules and some dont. At the end of the day its not like the template rules ruin the game so no urgent need to change it.

      But yea I see what you mean. As long as you enjoy it why change it.

    3. But I belong to an awesome club so everything about gaming is made far easier because of it. We all know each others limits, likes, dislikes and so on. This results in gaming being far easier as everyone is on the same terms the majority of the time. No unwanted surprises.

  5. It's funny--you buy knock-off Forge World, you point readers towards Victoria Miniatures to fix the Taurox (and then criticize VM?!?), and then you complain about people who complain that there's something wrong with GW?

    You KNOW there's something wrong with GW--it's all over this blog.

    I can get that you're bored/tired of hearing people whinge about it--but you can't tell them that there is no problem.

    I'm also appalled at your echoing of the traditional GW apologist lines, most notably "The rules are a suggestion for play."

    The rulesets since 4th have not been great--you need only look at the life cycle of the current edition to note that even GW wants to fix it a bit (or simply grab a little more cash). Whichever your answer is, neither is a great option.

    That's not to say that a dedicated group of players can't get together and play 40k in spite of the rules, with various agreements and fixes--but that's a lot of work that should simply be unnecessary if the system works properly.

    People complain about GW because it was great--once. They want that back.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I wrote a huge reply, but realized I misread your comment.

      As you know, I do dislike much of GW and what they do. Dont get me started on the new Imperial Guard Codex haha.

      Now what I am really annoyed about, is not that people complain. Its about what they complain about. A lot of what they complain about can be put on the players. How many people do you hear complaining about riptides? Then look at how many rip tide lists there are... The biggest complaints about GW are that they give options and players generally use those options to the fullest. In my opinion, the blame goes to the players using units and combinations that bring down the game for others.

      So its more of what they are complaining about. What GW does wrong is make it harder to let your modeling creativity go wild for example. I hate how they treat models and conversions now days. But I cant hate GW for how players play the game.

      Now you write about the rules not being great since 4th edition. Well I was doing research, and people have been complaining about prices and rules etc of GW since the late 90s. So was it really a better game? Or where those people just complainers and todays complainers are right?

      It doesnt take a lot of work to fix up issues with the game really, but it all depends what you want. I for example, am looking forward to 7th edition however I still look back at 5th as being my favourite (I only started at the end of 4th) but its all personal preference. Unfortunately in this hobby we all prefer different things.

      But I know what you mean, I just dont agree with ALL the complaints.

      As for the knock offs, well I dont know if you have purchased anything from FW, but their models are the worst out of the box quality products I have ever seen. And they charge premium. I would happily pay their prices if they actually put effort into making their models high quality.

      As for Victoria Miniatures, I love them. In my opinion my criticism was constructive. I just wanna see more originality thats all. Add to variety rather than offer copy paste alternatives. So im hoping to see more original models from that site soon, if they do a catachan alternative ill be disappointed for example.

      I appreciate the comment though. I know I complain about complainers, but if we all had the same view point, how boring would wargaming be :P?

      I just think players need to look at themselves and ask if what they are doing is detrimental to the hobby, instead of blaming GW when their well thought out internet list defeated all armies with ease. It takes 2 to ruin the game.

    3. Thanks for your response.

      You're 100% right that people have always complained about prices--from 2nd Ed 40k forward. Before that, there were actual deals to be had (and we do get the occasional one even now). And it is annoying that people complain about prices--and continue to buy. But this is where your final category of complainers comes in--people (like myself) who no longer actively play or buy 40k, for principled reasons, but who miss the "world" and the style of game. It is not a coincidence that Flames of War has met with massive success, fueled in part by disenfranchised GW players.

      I also wanted to respond briefly about rules. I agree that players are a big part of the problem with rules, but someone wrote those rules to begin with. Yes, players should show some restraint and not flog rules exploits to death--but why do those rules exploits exist in the first place?

      It is really only in the last couple of editions that we have seen a gross attempt by GW to sell as many of the biggest and most powerful figs by means of opening up army lists to Riptide (or Necron flyer) abuse. GW has demonstrated that they desire this state to exist--and have retired from the tournament scene so that they don't have to actually address the problems in the field.

      A good game group can resolve this issue, I agree--and historical players have been doing such for years on the model of historical refights or accurate forge orgs. This is much harder at your LGS and impossible in competitive play.

      Reflecting on your own games--in the editions you've played, how much of your fun came from winning based on the power of your list and your buying power compared to that from playing a satisfying "game" compared to engaging in a challenging (and fulfilling) battle with your mates? And how much of the lack of fun came from disagreements over interpretation of the rules or being rolled over by a list you could never hope to counter?

    4. Well in terms of 40k, its obviously the more enjoying games have been a more even playing field and the worst where the one sided ones. Which is correct.

      Before I continue I havent played almost any pick up games in my life, but the ones I have played were not really as many pick up gamers describe it. We still talked before the game and still worked out what was gonna be the quick rules and lists and so on.

      I liken GW to be the fuel and we are the fire. We lap up and consume whatever they give us, but hate them for it. It works both ways though. If they stopped fueling it, it wouldnt be a problem. If we stopped consuming it, there wouldnt be a problem. But this is not the case. Instead we got the problem where we are (through sales and so on) spurring GW to carry on.

      In my opinion GW will never change, so its the players that need to change. Or the cycle will continue. Hence why I believe the players are at fault for a lot of issues that could be fixed with a quick chat before the game.

      I think we are pretty much on the same page here though. There isnt much we are disagreeing about. Just minor difference in who is at fault.

      I will admit since writing this post, my opinions towards GW and 40k have become more negative. I still play 40k, but not frequently.

      But I still stand by that if players keep taking what GW gives them, GW will keep giving it. GW will only stop, when people stop taking it. So when I see so many people hating GW while doing the very things I see them complain about, I can only blame them really.

    5. "In my opinion GW will never change, so its the players that need to change. Or the cycle will continue."

      Truer words were never spoken.