Sunday, 18 September 2011

Dreadfleet: I'm trying to be balanced here but...

...Its really, really difficult. So they've announced a one off game in a box. Nothing wrong with that board games companies have been doing that for years now and to be brutally honest I expected nothing less really considering the Games Workshops business plan. They have an overly bloated retail chain that quite frankly skews their entire busuiness model because the retail chain struggles to support itself and the company with just the 3 core games they have now. There's much more that I could go into about how in effect the games development wing and the commercial wings of the company are effectively hampering each others performance, but I'll leave that for now and return to it in a later blog. For now however lets just say I do have a problem with it because I can't help but feel its a very, very cynical marketing move on behalf of Games Workshop. I still want to be positive about them I honestly do but here, with Dreadfleet I think I have a product that just sums up everything that's wrong with the Games Workshop right now in a nutshell.

First off I think most of us who follow the hobby as intently as the like of me will have heard rumblings months before Storm of Magic was released that there was going to be a one off game like Space Hulk this year, which made sense to me. Because in the previous year the sales bump was provided by the new Warhammer Fanatasy Battle rulebook and 6th edition 40k just feels like it's still a little way off for now. I hoped and prayed they'd do something sensible like bring back Warhammer Quest, something that might actually help them sell a few Warhammer monster miniatures and stuff as well, but they haven't. I still think Blood Bowl is 2 years away because we'll have 40k in 2012 and then in 2013 we'll get the Blood Bowl 25th aniversary edition. You see I started hearing about 2 to 3 months ago now that it was going to be a Warhammer Naval game, not a Man-o-War remake but some sort of spiritual successor. We then started getting the recent drip feed of John Blanche artwork, which all but confirmed for me it was a naval game probably based around pirates. Now regardless of whether you like John's artwork you can't say it doesn't have a distinctive character now can you? Plus it got the interweb a flutter, sadly many felt it might be the return of Man-o-War and even better a return to supporting specialist games properly because you can't have a naval battle game with just two fleets can you? I love optimists I really do, but how misguided...

So after seeing the information, or lack thereof on Dreadfleet on Games Workshops website I decided to pop into town with a mate genuinely interested to see if we could get some more information on the game from the staff at the Birmingham store and maybe see if they had been sent any early preview stuff so we could get a grasp on the quality of the product. Boy were we wrong, we knew more about it than the staff and had to point them towards the information on the website, and I felt really sorry for the staff, standing there trying to be enthusiastic about the game when they knew sod all about it, and I got the sense that this launch might be a lot different from the Space Hulk one.  With space Hulk customers already had an idea of what to expect from that release, with Dreadfleet its a total unknown and customers sounded way more negative and unimpressed. I had a staff member claim the ships were all as big as chariots if not bigger, the manager quickly dispelled that notion especially as I pointed out if you compared the dice to the ships in the pictures you can get a good estimation of their relative size and that in length alone the 'chariot size' claim was probably a little bit off, and if you wanted to be nit picky then such claims could constitute false advertising... and the Birmingham store manager is far to professional to let his staff get away with silly over exhuberant claims like that... but I feel sorry for them because they've been told nothing. Head Office has once again hung their staff at the coalface out to dry on a release.

Well it looks like it has a fair bit in the box doesn't it?

Now I've heard people in the blogging sphere claim its all because people like me will criticise the game before it has even released, and hell maybe there is a grain of truth to that. However with the lack of information it does annoy people like me and has certainly made me far more inclined to be negative towards the product than if I'd been given more details and been able to see the game in action, or even just the ship spru's in the flesh. However we've had nothing really and its out soon so I have to ask the question what's with the total blackout on info? Maybe they don't want us to know how bad it truly is, or maybe its because they didn't want their staff having to deal with built up expectations in the shops and wanted them concentrating on the day to day business of selling their 3 core games. Whatever the reason this information blackout is in stark contrast I feel to some of the other companies out there who are involving the community in their product development, and keep us all informed and engaged. Its like Games Workshop view us as consumers as a necessary evil, we're the conduit through which their profits flow and they don't like that we get in the way of them grabbing their money and that's the impression all of this gives me.

Buy it now... but we're not going to tell you anything concrete about it. Here read the Dreadfleet press release and see if you can glean any really useful information about the game and whether or not its for you. I sat watching this video from Phil Kelly trying to do the same:

and I thought, gosh that's an awful lot of bluster and not a lot of fact. You see I'm a psychologist and I was trained to pick up on things like non-declarative statements, sentences that sound like they say a lot but when broken down actually say very little, or nothing at all. Politicians, Marketing professionals and Lawyers are masters of this art form, Games Workshop sadly for them are not. Now compare this video to any of the exceptional videos done by Fantasy Flight Games explaining their games and products and also the tutorial videos from Corvus Belli for Infinity and many others I'm sure within the industry. It just shows how totally out of touch they truly are, they've seen other companies doing these video's and that we gamers quite like them, so they've done a video too... but totally missed the point and its not the first time they've done it either! I sat there thinking, how many more times can he say 'cadavour' or fecking 'broadside' and just how the hell can a ghost ship be cadaverous? I found it cringe worthy. Now I'm sure Phil is a top guy and an all round lovely chap, but it really didn't work. He's clearly not a presenter and looked uncomfortable and what was with the bad voice changer on the pirate voice over, dear God guys stop it already... and I won't even mention the 'flying piranha' bit, oh snap I just did, lame! In many respects it was worse than the efforts by Ronnie Renton at Mantic, because there at least Ronnie knows his video's are amateurish and embraces that fact and plays up to it. However here this video is trying to be professional and just feels... well cheap.

This should excite me... but it doesn't
Now if you've seen my blog over the last few months you'll have noticed I've kinda been buying an awful lot of board games recently, you know 'games in a box'. I like them. So I have to be honest with you and say that in many respects the idea of Dreadfleet giving me everything I need in a box is an appealing one, but here's the thing it looks like a wargame, not a board game. Is there a difference I hear you ask? Well yes you see board games give you everything you need to play the full game in a box, we're used to it with things like Monopoly, Cluedo and Risk. Now maybe its years of conditioning, but I've been taught by Games Workshop, amongst others, that the great thing about wargames is that you choose your faction (normally from more than two) and then choose the composition of your force based on the options available to your faction. With a wargame you're buying into a living and breathing system that will grow with you as a hobbyist. Here's where Dreadfleets first really major failure as a product is for me, the factions and the forces are chosen for you. That sits awkwardly with me. What if, and I think it could be a distinct possibility, Phil Kelly has written an awesome set of rules that are really fun to play? What if he's actually created the best set of naval fleet rules the world has ever seen... OK so that might be stretching it, but what if? Well its a game in a box with set fleets and in many respects those rules will be wasted. That will lead to a certain amount of frustration amongst those who buy the game because its potential hasn't been fulfilled.

Because lets look at the facts shall we. We know its a limited release, now this means that the game isn't going to be supported beyond the initial run... even if they manage to magically 'find' some more copies in a warehouse like they did with Space Hulk. Actually lets look at that shall we for a second. The last limited release Games Workshop did, Space Hulk, proved really popular, probably because of the huge nostalgia factor. They sold out of the limited run pretty quickly, but then miraculously they 'found' a warehouse full of them that they'd 'forgotten' about. Now let that roll around in your head for a second or two will you... a bit longer... and I think we're done. You see the idea that a company could just forget it had stock somewhere in a warehouse seems incredulous to me. Now if it did happen then clearly it tells you an awful lot as a consumer about how utterly rubbish and incompetent the management of Games Workshop truly is. On the other hand if we take the other possibility that they sold out and realised they could sell a shed load more and then did another print run... well that shows not only a lack of forethought and business planning but also a scant disregard for their consumers who'd purchased the 'strictly limited' copies of Space Hulk in the first place. You see the whole value of buying something that is 'strictly limited', is just that, its limited you know you have a product only a few select others also own. But back to Dreadfleets limited run...

I'm sure some people will find it fun, but so far I'm not sold

By limiting the run the Games Workshop are sending out a clear message to us consumers and its in two parts; 1) Buy the game now or else miss out forever and 2) that it's already a dead game guys because there isn't a cat in hells chance we're supporting it. Again absolutely nothing wrong with this at all per se, I'd just prefer my wargames to be supported, but if others don't then more power to them. No its the complete dearth of information on the actual material content of the box and indeed the paucity (read nothing at all) of information on the rules. They're in effect asking me to buy a product pretty much blind. Lets be honest here the only companies that do that are those that are normally not convinced what they're selling is any good, and don't want it subjected to closer scrutiny. So its a cash cow, simple as that, their staff don't need to know about the product because it'll sell out. They don't care if they're shoveling a pile of shit onto their customers. I've been told its a run of 7500 for the UK market and I think they'll shift that no problem and from there you can do the maths really to see why its quite a nice little cash injection; £70 per boxed set, times the 7500 copies at a 70% mark up (this is a conservative estimate based on similar mark ups for entertainment products) means a not inconsiderable cash injection of £367500. Now remember that's possibly for the UK market only, so you'll see a similar, if not larger run shipped to the USA and Canada as well as some to mainland Europe and they might even sell a copy in Australia if they're lucky. Its not inconceivable that it could net them £1m as a product, which for a company the size of the Games Workshop isn't too bad at all. It'll all be Just in time to help massage those half yearly figures AND far too early to impact on the normal holiday period sales that the Games Workshop, like many other retailers, enjoy every year.

Dreadfleet Island scenery or is it Castle Grey Skull?
So am I impressed with what I have seen then? That would be the photographs of the miniatures and stuff. I'm going to come clean, I like the look of the blue fabric mat, I think it looks pretty cool, unfortunately I've just started construction on a Sea board at home for Uncharted Seas and Dystopian Wars so its not really a selling point for me. But if it is good quality then it should be a selling point of sorts for many. As for the miniatures, well... no I'm not impressed. They look like kiddies toys and the sort of things a 5 year old might pick up from their local toy shop or poundland. The aesthetics of the miniatures don't 'do it' for me and its the continuation of a visual trend for garish colours a childish stylings started by Storm of Magic that I just don't like. Visually the ships for both 'factions' are an absolutely horrid hodge podge of ideas all executed in my opinion badly. The islands all look a little bit like castle Grey Skull from He-Man, and its not really the first time recently that the Games Workshop has borrowed quite heavily Mattel's masterpiece and I'm not the first person to point this out:

White Dwarf Storm of Magic double page spread

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Somebody at the Games Workshop, it seems used to have a crush on Prince Adam when they were a kid... and scarily possibly still do. Now don't get me wrong we'd all like our own Battlecat but I think these sorts of images and art direction show that Games Workshop are driving their product at an ever younger audience, soon they will be selling 6th Edition 40k to unborn foetuses!!! They're aiming at a totally different audience now to the one they used to aim their products at and its clear to me they're not really arsed whether the likes of me continue to play their games. That too is fine if they think they can keep pushing young kids through the sausage factory so to speak, but kids nowadays are savvier consumers than they once were, they're unimpressed by Nintendo's 3DS and want iPhones, iPads and their like, how the hell are the Games Workshop going to sell to those kids? Its not even a cheap alternative for parents anymore.

 This is the flagship... it looks like a kids toy

So there we have it for me, the Games Workshops direction in a nut shell. They're aiming product at a much younger audience than they ever were before, to be blunt it looks childish, in a bad way.  They're also not really concerned about whether they give their consumers the required information, or indeed engage with us. The attitude seems to be they just want to shovel product our way without any real care and just want us to put up and shut up, almost like they think they're still the only show in town. They haven't even given their fans a chance to save for this 'one off' product really, so those loyal Games Workshop fans who are finding times a little tight right now might not get a chance to buy this, as finding £70 is a big ask for some people in these hard times. Then there is the fact its limited, its not a game in a box, its a short term fiscal solution to a cash generation problem the accountants are having with the mid year report to shareholders... yeah I'm being that cynical as it might just be enough to 'bump' the share value enough to stave off any predatory companies out there who might be eying the Games Workshop and their IP right now. Yes they're a business but previously they used to be one with a heart and soul, now I don't even think it'd know what either of those things were. So I think its another first for me with the Games Workshop, it's the first Games Workshop game I won't actually be going out to buy, and I don't feel sad about it, I feel like I'm making the right choice. Peace out!


  1. Oooo... you rebel. Not buying the toys when you're told to. It'll be the Naughty Step for you, my lad.

    I've taken a slightly more pragmatic view on my blog:

    As I haven't started making a sea board yet, I will probably get it, knowing that I can use the mat for Dystopian Wars at any rate. And my Masters of the Universe game :)

  2. heya Jake, I read your blog and I guess we're not a million miles apart on it really. You're not tired of their shit and I guess I am!!! lol. :P I'm sure Phil will have done an OK job on the rule, but I already own a load of board games I don't play enough of, you might have heard of two of them. Review of the second on incoming by the way... nothing wrong with He-Man, just disappointed Dreadfleet doesn't have a Battlecat.

  3. Yeah this product is pretty lame. I like the idea of the skaven ship but its just not enough to make me buy it. I watched the video too and I couldn't find out what were the unique selling points of this game over Pirates of the Crimson Coast. That game was extremely difficult but still fun, and you don't have to paint any miniatures. The ships were all constructed from plastic cards, so they bascially came painted AND it didn't have such a hefty pricetag.

    Unfortunately another bad move by games workshop, that will, like LOTR, drag down the other more popular games. Really, just stick to what you do well - 40k and fantasy. These half-assed forays in other games just drag GW down.

  4. I would guess the run would be about 100K units for the world. That nets enough revenue to really make it worth it at 10M dollars given that it cannibalize a bunch of sales from existing customers. I do not see this product selling to non gw current customers since it lacks the name recognition of space hulk. I see a lot of units getting purchased and left wrapped in hope of shifting them on the secondary market for a profit in 6 months to a year.

    I agree with a lot of your post. It is pretty much a blind sale with a cost of 115 dollars over here which is well beyond impulse. I can get the DND boardgames for like 40 plus shipping so assuming the standard 20% off a local stores/websites this will be about 90.

    One problem with GW boardgames (and their other games in geneal) is the focus on 2 players. Makes it hard to take it to gaming get togethers where like 5-6 people will be. Makes it hard to teach the game to several people at once and have them be interest enough to get it themselves.

  5. @OSL everyone in my gaming group has pretty much expressed opinions very similar to yours. Pretty much face palm comments... in fact one friend sent this as a text:

    'Dreadfleet = Face palm'

    So yeah so far from a straw poll of 12 gamers only one is considering buying it, but I'm really not sure its aimed at us.

    @erochrome, as I understand it Space Hulk had a run of 10k copies here in the UK and only 15k in the USA and Canada, now that's not me plucking figures from my ass, that's someone involved in sales at GW HQ. This same individual has said they do not expect to doing a print run quite on the scale of Space Hulk and have planned for roughly 25% less sales. I believe in total Space Hulk was somewhere in the region of 30k to 35k sales in total. You see what you have to understand is the consequences of doing anything more than that on shareholder expectations. You have a great fillip one year then they're going to expect similar performance next year with a little bit of growth and as someone who has had dealings with board of directors / shareholders trust me they can be ruthless if there is a perceived 'slump' in performance. The Games Workshop senior management didn't want Space Hulk to be too successful they wanted it to serve its primary cash cow function and then die quickly, the same will be true of Dreadfleet. I agree re your comments on board games as well. If you read my blog a bit more you'll see I'm having a bit of a board game resurgence of late and loving it. But a 5' by 4' mat or whatever it is, isn't really normal board game played on coffee table territory either now is it? I'm unsure of how you'd pitch this game as a long term product so that in and of itself tells me it was only ever considered as a short term sales fix.

  6. Meh. I'm picking it to give it a go. I figure better to be out $115 US and be disappointed than the thousands of dollars I'm out do to codex creep. :(

    Worst case = It sucks. Oh well.
    Best case = It rocks and my group gets a few months entertainment out of it.
    Most likely = We'll enjoy it a few times and move on.

  7. Heya Jordan and lets hope its the best case scenario for you, and it could well be. But I've personally got that many cool games to play and get stuff for that Dreadfleet would be way down my purchasing list anyway. Plus I've got the awesome looking Super Dungeon Explore popping up around the same time as well as the third D&D game the Legend of Drizzt. That's more than enough to keep me busy and happy for now.

  8. Legend of Drizzt? O.O Guess we'll have to hurry up and get through Ravenloft. (We got stalled out by a lot of imaginative Lunch Money the past few weeks. lol

  9. PMSL shit happens mate!!! Ravenloft isn't too bad and I've found with the right peeps it's actually an awful lot of fun. Wrath of Ashardalon is a bit different and is more of challenge in gaming terms... but I like it as much as it has less character. I'm hoping Legend of Drizzt is a good blend of Ravenloft and Ashardalon, with Ravenlofts character and Ashardalons challenge.

  10. I dunno, this feels super cynical to probably aren't off-base on GWs motivations (read: money) but maybe this is an experiment to contrast with Space Hulk. SH was a no brainer hit. If this game succeeds we may see lots of interesting releases in future years. If it doesn't, they know that these one off games need to be restricted to stronger nostalgia plays, or maybe closer to the more popular 40k ip. I don't think it's such a big's a product, which customers can buy or choose not to. Those who aren't interested just carry on with whatever they usually buy and play. It looks fun to me as a stand alone game and I'll definitely give it a try. Meanwhile I will continue painting the new ogre stuff which is amazing. GW gets a bit more money from me, but no biggie it's pretty much my primary hobby. I just think people are over-reacting basically.

  11. @Minijunkie, I personally don't have an issue with the idea of the product. For me its the attitude of the company towards its customers, just leaves a little bit of a sour taste. I'm certain if other companies get as big as the GW they'll end up operating in much the same arrogant ways. If people like the look of Dreadfleet go get it and snap up your copy now because as I say I'm in no doubt it'll sell out. I can understand people being peeved at things like this though I honestly can, all I'm saying is its not for me, don't hate it, don't wish it to fall flat o its face and get Phil Kelly the sack and cause the GW financial harm. I'm just saying people who were expecting more should readjust their GW expectation levels now and if they really don't like it don't buy it.

  12. Here is a quote from a fellow kiwi from his blog

    "The pre-order cost for Dreadfleet in the United Kingdom is $70 GBP. This converts to 133.34 NZD.

    The pre-order cost for Dreadfleet in the USA is $115 USD. This converts to $138.75 NZD.

    The pre-order cost for Dreadfleet in New Zealand is $220 NZD. This converts to $155.45 GBP.

    I live in New Zealand.

    Will I be playing this game? No... No I will not..."

    'nuff said!

  13. Dear God that's extortion!!! Exchange rate fluctuations my big fat hairy arse. That's just plain old ripping people off. Well perhaps we should start calling it Deadfleece!!! Those of you in New Zealand who want this game have my sympathies. That's a despicable amount to charge.

  14. I touched on a few similar things in a much more desultory manner in my last post on my blog, so I agree with what you've been saying.

    BUT! Since I'm a pedant, and this is the internet, I am compelled to correct you! ;) You can actually see the sprues on GW's website, same as you can for most of their other products. Don't know if that helps you at all, though. I'm certainly not paying $115 for something they haven't convinced me to care about.

  15. No I mean physically 'see' the product Abakus, I have no idea what the product is actually physically like. Pictures are nice and all that but its no substitute for actually holding the product in your own hands and looking over it. I'm trying to be as fair and balanced as I can be in my coverage of Dreadfleet I really am... but they don't make it easy do they? Its Almost like they want people to take pop shots at them. I suppose if none of us cared enough to write about them that'd be even worse for them wouldn't it. But as I said to a friend, on the weekend Mantic finally launch their Warpath mini's and on the eve of Spartan releasing the new digitally sculpted Uncharted Seas stuff we're all talking about Dreadfleet aren't we? Job dne for the Games Workshops marketing team methinks!!! ;)

  16. i am starting to feel sorry for them because what ever they bring out will divide opinion but i was disapointed that there has been no access to the rulebook or the good old fashioned "intro" game. with the change in WFB 8th edition i really do think games workdshop think the rules are are not important.\i think the success of games like infinity and malifaux providing a good rule set before commiting to buying is a new model to follow

  17. 30K units does not seem very many given that GW moves like 6M units annually so 500K per month. I guess a no risk sales of 3M is pretty good but that is really just a small effect on sales.

    I guess one of the advantage of these items compared to spending the time updating an old codex and new models for the mainline is that the player base in not automatically factured in different armies so you can try to sell the one product to all your customers.

  18. Great editorial. You've touched on many great points, and cheers to Black Hand for linking my small voice of outrage at the NZ cost :)

  19. @Chris, if you like you can view GW as the pioneers, and what normally happens with pioneers is that some people see what they did, make notes, learn from their mistakes and come along and do it better. The fact that the industry is littered with the carcasses or should that be cadavours of others who have tried and failed as well means that the new breed of games companies are currently bang on the money. Nothing to say they won't turn into the new GW though.

    @eriochrome, now you're thinking like a GW accountant. That's the spirit. The majority of GW's sales if you look closely at their accounts or ask any of there store managers are done around the holiday period. All they need for their half yearly figures is a nice little pick me up... you also have to understand that the GW works like many other luxury goods stores. So you've brought the game, what about paints, glue,have you got White Dwarf oh yeah and there's this great book and didn't you say you collected... Dreadfleet will bring people into their shops and as any good nerd will tell you once you're in a hobby shop you want to spend money anyway.

    @Vent, mate we're all just small voices on the internet at the end of the day. I've been doing this blogging malarky for about 3 to 4 months now so I'm also just a small voice... its just that I like the sound of mine so I tend to write a lot :P

    I think the cost of this in NZD and AUS is outrageous. No wander you guys are boycotting their product and looking elsewhere for your gaming fix.

  20. while i cannot fault your business commentary in this post (indeed, it is all depressingly true) i have to disagree on the appeal of this product.

    i am going to come right out and say that i love everything about it! the models, which you say look like kids toys, are to me, perfect encapsulations of each of the Warhammer World races in a single model - and that is what they are meant to be. they are supposed to be evocative, fun models, not accurate representations of naval combat. this is a world where entire buildings, cities, and civilisations are held together by magical forces alone, so to me it is not such a stretch to imagine that ships could be weird and fantastic as well. if you combine this with the theme - pirates and privateers (which i love, many other people love, and ALL kids love) i think you have great potential for strange and fantastic ships.

    that aside, i have to agree 100% on the irritating lack of rules information, BUT it is only Monday, and when you wrote this article, it was only Sunday. GW never releases info over weekends, so i think we should wait and see what comes out in the next week before judging too harshly on that score.

    finally, £70 is clearly too much for this game, regardless of how much i love the models or how good or bad the rules turn out to be. games like this retail at £35 or maybe £40 max from other companies. it is a shame, because even at £50 i could justify this on the models and theme alone, but £70... yeah not going to happen, i have rent to pay.

    sorry for the rambling reply, i just had to point out that there are a lot of people who are really excited about this for reasons purely to do with how cool we think it is, regardless of price and regardless of who is producing the game.

  21. @Atreides rambling replies are good. I actually don't think £70 is too much when I look at other similar products on the market. I just think dumping a £70 product onto the market without much warning to its loyal customers in these hard times we find ourselves in is utterly wrong.

    I also disagree over the rules, sorry but the video went up on Saturday, why not put rules commentary in like the FFG videos or Infinity video etc. etc? If the product is on sale and its limited they should fully disclose what that product is!!! Simple as that, otherwise they're doing exactly what I'm accusing them of doing, asking us to buy a product mostly blind.

    As for the ships and boats I know Warhammer is a fantasy world, I used to play Man-o-War with High Elves, Dark Elves and later on a Chaos Fleet, so trust me I know about fantastical looking ship designs, but these look like kids toys. I had a scoot round the internet and I'm not the only one saying it as well. Obviously that doesn't make the opinion 'right' as its just an opinion and therefore everyone is entitled to one, but it shows its a popular opinion and therefore for many these sculpts are a swing and a miss.

  22. Firstly- GW really needed the voice-over guy from the Gears of War board game presentation.
    All I heard in this was 'Something Something Cadaver...Something Something High Seas.'
    Eeesh...poor Phil Kelly.

    As for me, whenever GW does something silly (I was LIVID when they renewed the LoTR deal for the forthcoming 'Hobbit' movie), I just shake my head...and move on.
    I'm fairly 'moved on' now, frankly.

    I was a bit tentative regarding 'investing myself' in a scene?
    But I've been extremely impressed by Battlefront and the FoW scene as a whole.

    A real forum? An official Podcast and YouTube Channel? Free Army lists, done in a PDF that resembles the books?
    Here's one that really hurt my feelings (being a longtime GW fanboi)- A request from the company, asking the gamers what they want in the next bunch PDF's.

    GW's 'blackout policy.'

    And now more wasted resources, time and effort and money spent making THIS, when their primary systems are bleeding players away to smart, aggressive new upstarts, who actually listen to their customers.

    This is becoming....sad to watch, actually.
    6th edition 40k will need to amazing, cuz it may be 'sink or swim' time by then, the way things are going.

    As for me, by that time they may have a hard time convincing me to let go of my lil' Tankies...

  23. SinSynn, I hear you. Tomorrow though I'm putting an article up that might make you feel a little bit better about it all and your move to other gaming systems... so watch out for it and I think you might feel a bit better after it!!! I actually wrote it after chatting with you on one of your articles to try and make you feel more comfortable about switching. I guess you could say you inspired me... ;)

  24. I'm in the States, never played Man o' War but did have a man at arms action figure. Dreadfleet has no appeal to me. I loved Space Hulk but wasn't about to drop a $115 us on it when it launched. Then they found more copies, I swear GW is convinced the only people that play their games are rich 8 year olds. And at $115 US I have no desire to get a game that appears to be played on water, with what appear to be boats. I don't know for sure as GW hasn't released any tidbits on the rules. Phil Kelly if that ask you get infront of a camera again you run screaming for an adult.

    GW brilliance in black out marketing means you continue to spend money on their other systems up until they have this product magically in the stores. I didn't realize this insane strategy extended to their stores. Imagine if your employer dropped a new product on your self and told you nothing of it. But your expected to sell it and be knowledgeable. Congrats GW you just undermined the limited credibility your employees may have. Shameful and sad for your employees and for you. Look at your partner Fantasy Flight Games. They let the product speak for itself ahead of time. They give you the rules they give you details of the components they let you get he information you need to make a purchase of a board game of that expense. Pennywise and Dollar foolish way to go GW.

    If you want to buy it buy it, but as for me and my house we will not. Consumers have a right to know.

  25. @Rancor709, I think you're like most consumers, and you're certainly like me. I want to love Dreadleet, I want to be excited by it I genuinely do but the lack of concrete info genuinely makes me very, very wary. I actually liked Phil Kelly's work on the Dark Eldar book and I thought all round he did a sterling job and part of me would like to see what he could do with an entire game system... but that lack of info. I just can't justify this to myself more than anything.

  26. @Frontline Gamer Exactly I would love to love it but you have to sell it to me. I started on Gw and have since expanded to other game companies with better consumer policy's. I'm voting with my dollar being a capitalist this is all I can do. The monopoly only exists if you let it. I too am a huge fan of Phil Kelly I have said for years he should write ever Xenos book. He can't be allowed near power armor again but I digress. I would love to see what Phil could do with this rule set, but expecting me to shell out money without a basic idea of the rules is preposterous. When your competition or at least game companies producing similar priced board games of equal or better quality have their rule sets exposed for the consumer to see if they would enjoy it.

    I just grow ever more tired of GW's corporate mindset. I'm not against making money, I'm against the way in which GW goes about the majority of its business because they are costing themselves money in the long run and in the short run. I hope GW realizes the long term effects of their policies before its too late.

  27. So it's now nine months on or thereabouts and.....

    There are still stacks of Dreadfleet boxes to be found easily. Guess the gamble didn't pay off.

    1. Well I think it's fair to say the gamble almost certainly blew up in their faces. A popular game it is not!!! I still see copies kicking around third party retailers here and there... gathering dust. I saw a guy with loads at a recent local trade show who said it was an utterly dire seller... he mentioned a certain review of the product that he said he agreed with 100%, but he wished had never been written:

      I thought it best not to let him know who I was. ;)

    2. Good call. Nephew 1 seems on the ball, and my initial decision to not play this and to just have "stupidly big" games of the old Wizkids CCG Pirates ship game was apparently a good one.