The Games Workshop Situation
Currently there is a stack of Games Workshop boxes in my basement available to all my friends on a first-come first a served basis. These represent my final break from Games Workshop. I haven’t been buying their product for a long while but I was holding on to these games: Mordheim, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Epic 40k. These games were where I started with miniature wargames. They represent my past. It is time to stop holding on to my past and face reality: I won’t pay what they are asking for their products.
It’s not just the prices, which are significant, that are keeping me away. I need to say upfront that I’ve never been exactly thrilled with their background. It’s just not my kind of scifi. I like scifi worlds that I’d like to live in. I wouldn’t want to live in the grim darkness of the far future.
Even that I could live with. The final straw for me was do I want to buy their products. Some companies make we want to buy their product. Paizo’s Pathfinder game really feels like it is made with love and Paizo is constantly working hard to make cool things for their games.
Corvus Belli’s Infinity is another example that I just want to love. They offer an international tournament systems (the name escapes me at the moment) and a narrative campaign book. They have a web-based army creator and provide their rules for free.
Games Workshop has moved beyond un-liked into the realm of un-like-able. With their constant cease and desist letters and draconian trade terms, Beasts of War’s experience being merely the latest, I would hate to be in the position of defending them.
They are a large company and their IP is being infringed in multiple very real and damaging ways. They have a right to protect their livelihoods. I just think their methods are both ineffective and damaging to the community.
I am keeping my painted stuff, especially my Battle of Five Armies set which is one of the few games I have fully painted. I hope to get some more plays with it someday.
Instead I will play Infinity because their free rules hooked me. I will play Deadzone because it reminds me of Necromunda but isn’t expensive and Mantic seems truly enthusiastic in wanting to make fun games people want to play. I will continue to collect my War of 1812 forces in the hopes of one day playing it with the excellent Republic to Empire rules.
I will not buy another Games Workshop product.