Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Madness from Games Workshop..."145"

Like many of you, I am on the GW email marketing list.

For the most part, the emails I receive are rather unremarkable. Pictures of new models, announcements, that sort of thing.


Then today I got an email announcing a "teaser trailer". "Servitor 13... has managed to intercept a new transmission"!!! Cool, I think. Perhaps a sneaky look at some new models or something.

Then I click through to the video... *SPOILER ALERT* the video consists of the numerals "1", "4", and "5" floating about in a rather dull way. "145"... what could it signify?

a) The number of price increases visited on GW customers in the last 5 years?
b) The number of people worldwide who think Finecast is actually an improvement?
c) The number of meltagun shots possible in one turn from a listhammer 2k points Space Marine army?
d) The number of skulls sculpted onto the latest uber-Chaos Lord model?
e) The number of paints in the new Citadel Colours range?

Correct answer... (e). You can read about the latest Citadel paint rumours all over the Web, but suffice to say that it is the end of the line for Skull White and all of our other old favourites. Gotta change things up a bit to get the old cash flow freed up again, eh? Why have a range of 70-odd paints when you can have over 140... with a corresponding price rise in the "mega paint set" kit. (As an aside, does anyone buy the Mega Paint Set other than single parents trying to buy the love of their child?? or perhaps the same benighted souls who lay out $16 for a can of Citadel primer?)

Anyway, the paint rant is one for another day. This rant is concentrating on an epic fail in GW's marketing department on what is a neat idea (teaser video) executed lamely. I know that some marketing bods would say that any press is good press and the fact that I'm blogging about their piece of **** video is a "win" for the brand. But to me this "teaser trailer" is just more evidence demonstrating the Culture of Fail at GW.

[/rant off]

ps "Adding Comments" was disabled on YouTube... I wonder why??


Inso said...

My thoughts exactly! 22 seconds of my life wasted by a completely lame video.

It really sums them up doesn't it...

Grenzer John said...

The Evil Empire strikes again. <{Cue "Imperial March" with cash register percussion}>

Dave Garbe said...

I was 99.99% sure this referred to the new paints.

I can't see to fathom wiping out their current line of paints... think of all the tutorial material that refers to specific paints... that said, now that I've been using P3 and GW paints, I tend to be more generic in my tutorials.

But still, people "know" their paints. Now, to buy new ones, they'll have to bring in an old dried up bottle and try to colour match it in the store.

It's a great move, doubling the gradients available, if GW doesn't want to promote real artistry and mixing paints.. instead, just buy all the paints you need!

Anonymous said...

came across your blog on a random trawl to find more info about this 145 thing. i read your posts and the comments and i have to say this:

here's an idea, if you all hate GW so much why don't you all leave the hobby alone for the rest of us who are fans. if you don't like their company/product/business model, just leave it alone, go play something else. it gets me really angry when i see people thing its OK to bad mouth something i enjoy spending my time doing. have a little respect for the people who do still want to participate

Dallas said...

Hi Anonymous. First of all, thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to post.

Regarding your comment, I would humbly suggest that you take some time to read a few more of our posts before condemning us as "GW haters". Most of the guys in our group are committed Warhammer/WH40K enthusiasts (I myself have Vampire Counts, Skaven, Chaos Dwarfs and Chaos Warriors armies for WHFB, and Black Templars, Tyranids and Plague Marines for WH40K - all at 2-3K+ points) as well as playing other GW games such as BFG, Space Hulk, Mordheim etc... we are fans, and there are countless GW-positive posts and stories on our blog.

However, we tend to hold GW up to a higher standard simply because we love what they've created - it's part of our own hobby DNA - but their business practices and how they treat customers really gets on our collective tits.

Please don't think that our mockery of GW's asinine marketing and business practices is "bad mouthing your hobby" - because it's not. In fact, your hobby is our hobby too!

Samulus said...

Well said Dallas :)

But shame he'll probably never return to read it :(

Jay Adan said...

I can see anon's point. The rage displayed in the post seems a little over the top for a teaser about an increase in the paint line. How is drastically increasing the paint options a bad thing? And, if it isn't, why make it seem like it is - even for yucks?

Dallas said...

Hi Jay. What incensed me about the teaser what its complete lack of... anything remotely related to the topic it's supposed to be "teasing". Hence my (admittedly mocking) speculation about what "145" signifies...

As for "rage"... well if you think that's "rage", you ain't seen nothin' yet ;-)

Chris said...

I'm not at all enthused about the switch in GW paints. There is no money in teaching people how to mix colors, but if you can sell them every possible mix than all your shareholders will be your BFFs.

Dallas said...

Leaving aside what I consider to be "Extreme Marketing Fail" in the ludicrous teaser trailer video, my own concerns with the re-imagining of GW's paint line has more to do with consistency in the Citadel Colours I use and have used for years.

"Skull White" is a poor example, but a better one is one of Conscript Greg's favourites, "Desert Yellow". Will DY continue to be produced under a different name? If not, this sucks, since Greg's German armour has all been painted with DY and if he wants to add to his current holdings, he's into mixing and matching... and I'm afraid that this might be what happens since GW appears to be moving away from Foundation/Paint/Wash to what they call Base/Layer/Shade (plus Texture? and Dry?) and adding many more variations of each. But we shall see what we shall see! (I'm sure folks like me thought the world was coming to an end when they deleted Nipple Pink from the range ;-)

Muskie said...

Comments are so 2000s... Its 2012 feedback is irrelevant unless it goes viral.

Muskie said...

I'm not so sure about Blogger but I don't see why you just don't disable Anonymous comments. Seems like it would just be used for spam half the time and random abuse the rest...

Dallas said...

Hey Muskie, how's it going? Thanks for the comment.

Comments on the blog are individually moderated. I allowed the comment from Anonymous because I don't mind hearing a dissenting voice if one is raised (even if the commenter doesn't have the stones to post using his/her/its name), I think it gives more flavour to the discussion. I have deleted one abusive comment on another post though, in case anyone gets ideas ;-)

Lillian Charles said...

Christ, such hatred and whining. Increasing the range of paints isn't just a way to "generate money" FFS - more paints equals more variety. OBvious. But hey, don't let your hatred of GW get in your way of bitching.

Oh and seriously? Digs about fine cast is so last year. Maybe if you actually buy a few finecast models you will notice that the majority them are perfect. Of course some will have problems - but the same happens with ANY COMPANY.

Greg B said...

Wow - nothing brings folks out like 40k.
Dallas has it all well-covered - this kind of lame marketing snaps our crayons because we don't understand why GW has to be so deliberately ridiculous.

As for the paint changes, I am trying to keep an open mind, but I am cringing because I am concerned about GW bringing the same "fix what isn't broken" mentality that has rendered 40k to its current state. More paints? Fine. Way more paints? Well, OK. All new paints, knocking over what is established to start again? Sucks hard.

Colin j :) said...

After speeking to a gamesworkshop area manger ( who I have known for years ) - he did drop about a month back that gw's current paint supplyer has had one or two "issues"
(like one of the paint manufacturing machines explodeing and turning the factory into a jiant rainbow ) -
so I guess if they are changing supplier its also a convenient time to bulk up the range ?
I hope they try to ADD to the existing range and not wipe it all out and start again !

Greg said...

Here's a number: 245.
That is how many paints Reaper produces.

Here's another number: 9. That is the number of paints that I buy from GW. (Snot green for my Salamanders, and their 8 washes).

Reaper wins! And they didnt even have a lame video

Anonymous said...

A different Anon here. More paints means more choices and options. What paints I use depends on what I am going for, be it Reaper, Adikolor (now OOP), Testors, Tamiya, Coat d'Arms, Vallejo, PP, even some old Warzone game paints, they all have their uses in my assorted painting and games.

I despised Foundation paints when they first came out, if I had not gotten a set for free by the LGS for hosting a paint clinic, I'd never have tried them. I'm on my third pot of Mechrite Red now.

I already do A LOT of mixing and making my own custom colors, so maybe this will fill a niche I have been doing myself.

Lame promotion, sure, and I AM a cheap bastid, so if this means even more cost, I'll just do what I've been doing - mixing my own and hoping for new paints as payment for paint clinic hosting.

Anyways - just to wrap it up, expanded consumer options and choices are ALWAYS a good thing.

Spifferson said...

If the change in supplier is true. I wonder if they will still be manufactured in China. As a self confessed brush-licker I find myself questioning that non-toxic label given the track record of some exports.

SC John said...

Dallas- you are right on the money, I watched that BS clip twice because I thought I lost half of it in buffering or something.

I like GW washes, have been looking for a reason to buy Vallejo paints, now I have one.

Also Finecast still sucks, I have heard folks say that it was just the old metal molds and that new finecast only models will be perfect, but just check out the new Mangler Sqigs and rejoice in the crap molding lines and defects all over the place, the best thing about finecast is buying the old metal models on discount on ebay.

Cheers and keep up the good work.

John, Santa Cruz Warhammer

JP40kegger said...

GW is without a doubt the world's best manufacturer of minis. They are NOT the world's best manufacturer of paints, as many have already pointed out. So, why do they have to go and do something like this? It makes me frustrated because they could be spending their time doing more of what they actually do best: make minis.

Just dumb time management in my opinion. This is the 25th anniversary of arguably the best sci fi tabletop game ever made. Why can't they just commit to that?

Curt said...

Dallas, you have such a negative attitude about The Hobby. Hate, hate, hate - that's all I hear on this blog - you're such a hater. You obviously don't see that Games Workshop is a blessed gift to hobbyists everywhere (except, of course, for those who do not buy their product). Finecast has been a revolution, nay, nay, a REVELATION to us all. GW's products are wasted on those such as yourself who doubt the acumen of 'the world's best manufacturer of minis'. 'Pearls before swine', I say. That's right, you don't deserve these auto-redundant, over-priced, over-hyped products. So sit in the darkness, rock back and forth, and rue the day you deigned to criticize the best miniature hobby company on the planet. So there, consider yourself sorted.

(Otherwise, keep it up, your blog rocks.)



frogprince said...

Hi, original anon here again (see i did read the reply!)

feel like i owe you guys an apology, must have been the fanboy in me getting blinded. also may have been the warseer effect.....

have just found that you guys are in Canada so i probably have to factor in the fact that being British, i probably have it better than you, i know there are certain 'issues' with products outside the UK.

i understand that some people out there have issue with the GW business model, however, i would like to point out that, as a hobby, it's not that bad. OK, so some companies produce certain parts of the hobby better, but here in the UK, NO other company has the support offered to gamers like GW does. referencing the fact that they are the only company that provides a high street presence. unfortunately that does translate to higher costs.

again in this respect i may be blinded by the fact that I also like SCUBA diving (expensive) and want to get into motor sport (very expensive) so a few quids now and again on toy soldiers doesn't seem so bad!

also, as for having the 'stones' to post using my real name, there is also the fact i didn't realise i already had a my blogger account and didn't really want to have to create one for a little post, but this time i got it so you don't think i'm hiding behind a computer monitor.

having said that, i have the feeling the blog i do (very occasionally) contribute to might get a bit angry at me that i have been a bit vitriolic on someone else's blog......

(TL;DR - sorry guys, thatt'll teach me to be so reactionary)

grumhelden said...

Frogprince...well done for responding and well done to all for keeping it so civil. Long time reader, first time poster here :) It is possible to love something but still be able to see its flaws. We all love GW products, but there is a growing swell(unscientifically based on my google reader feed this morning and the overwhelming tone of the posts) of feeling that the marketing dept. at GW is doing more harm than good. They talk down and at the customer, not with him. Other companies get the tone right, so why should GW be exempt because it happens to have more emotional resonance than a car, toothpaste or film? The marketing is asinine, out of touch and condescending. They have access to the same information as anyone else, so how could they not know that its common knowledge that the paints are changing? I mean, just go into the shop and observe the empty paint racks?!

Oh, and dont read my blog *at all* if you thought the original post here was "rage". Seriously.

MFraser said...

This blog used to be about the miniatures. You've changed, man.

Dallas said...

Welcome back frogprince. Thanks for the post. You are a class act!

grumhelden, I'm checking out your blogs. That is some class "A" rage there, my friend!! Well done!

Thanks for all the comments!

Greg B said...

@MFraser - LOL! You're right, but who needs miniatures? :)

Greg B said...

@grumhelden - LOVE your blogging :)

DaveV said...

I wonder what it is lately with lame marketing? That video didn't make me want to buy paint, despite the changing colours of the overspray in the vid.

(Off topic, in a similar way the official marketing for the movie "John Carter" didn't encourage me to see what turned out to be a great movie. See it in IMAX 3D!)

Don't get me wrong, I love 40K and those related products that GW gets right. Their washes are the cat's ass, and I wish I could buy Devlin Mud in litre bottles.

However, say I want to airbrush camo my Eldar tanks (as I do). What kind of support from GW do I get? Don't get me started on their hand flamer-shaped spray-gun. Testors Acryl paints blown from a good double-action airbrush is what I rely on. Say I want to wet blend faces. Tube oil paints. Two-part epoxy putty? A yard-length ribbon from Kneadatite is cheaper in the long run.

There's a lot of competition out there for our hobby dollars. The onus should be on a manufacturer to convince us why we should spend out hard-earned money on their products.

Sean M. said...

So let me add my two cents on the GW paint issue.

KFC tastes much better in Kentucky. And they have buffets. I have never tasted a better Double Down in my life, which was probably shortend by three years for eating said Double Down. But bacon, cheese and chicken; how could you go wrong?

But seriously, I'm still using the same Ral Partha paints I was using four years ago, so I'm probably not going to rush out and get new paints due to some slick ad that is now sitting unopened in my Trash folder.

I'm not cheap or anything, though.