Sunday, 9 June 2013

From the geeky kid to the bully. GW losing it's way

First off let me apologise for the lack of updates this week on the Dystopian Wars front. 7 straight shifts has destroyed what little hobby time i hoped to have.

I want to just say this isn't a straight up 'gw hate post'. Just the thoughts of a long standing and increasingly disillusioned gamer.

Somewhere in the darkest past, maybe 25 or 26 years ago now. I stumbled into GW Hammersmith. It was the first proper GW retail store and based on Dalling Road. All i had was a MK1 Landraider and a desire to learn more. I wont bore you with the whiffs and woes of time thought.

Fast forward to the current end of times.
Over the last few years i have struggled in the hobby in all ways to be honest. Now i have been an almost exclusive GW gamer, apart from Henchmaning for Wyrd, not much else has been played etc.
But just recently i got back to thinking what had changed and where my enthusiasm had gone.....

I'm no saying it's the same for everyone, but i think for me it's been the changes overall at GW.
The warning signs were there the day Andy Chambers and co walked off the good ship Workshop.

For me a minor irritant had been the 'bully boy' tactics GW have started employing over the last few years. Now I'm not meaning the whole chapter house crap, for me the had it coming as they were in blatant infringement of IP. I don't personally blame GW for protecting their IP, BUT i do think they have gotten somewhat out of hand in their approach to online retailers, bits suppliers and 'compatible part manufacturers'.

A big part of the hobby is converting that awesome mini, and now it seems GW want you to have to fork out £50 for that extra shield from the big kit box. For me bits suppliers don't hurt GW, they still have to get the bits, we still have to pay.  But lets not get off track, it's one needle in a haystack of needles.

For me the biggest blow has been the stores.
My local GW is Norwich. Its not open Monday or Tuesday for starters, Monday is one of the few days off i get.
Then there is the destruction of 'veteran nights'. I used to work at GW years ago, vet nights were great fun. As an ex-staffer they were even more fun. Guaranteed games, banter and general hobby enthusiasm.
But finally there's the trend in staff now. As a member of staff and as a customer i used to love banter with the customer/staff/fellow gamers. Talking army tactics, painting ideas etc etc. Nowadays it's a case of. of your struggling with that but this, oh and this and don't forget this. I got more years in the hobby than most of the staff have in their lives. I think i can figure out whats wrong with an army. If I'm talking about my list/scheme it's because I'm trying to share hobby enthusiasm, not looking for the auto build costalist.

I do love the background of Warhammer/40k etc. But for me a combination of the above has reached a point where i feel GW's policies are in danger of destroying the hard work of those who went before them. I find no joy in visiting the store, reading White Dwarf or getting 'buy this' mind waves off their blog.

A large part of me regrets parting with nearly £250 in gw a month ago, but maybe given time i will find some joy in returning to the High Elves of Ulthuan. But a large part of me doubts it.

I know some of you will say, just go to the indy stockist. Hey i live in Norfolk and we have NO indies. I could order online i know, but then if i am going to order online i might as well look into the other games out there that also lack 'bricks and mortar' stores.

Well that's my little rant over with me thinks. Im' off to trawl the internet and see what games might tempt me. Maybe Warmahoardes will call or something. All i know is my GW stuff is now on indefinite hold until something refreshes my desire to play the game.

I will of course continue posting on this blog as i want to share the adventures in Spartan games and others.