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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Games Workshop New Paint Range

Well I received a "sneak preview" video in my inbox from Games Workshop yesterday, which I think is intended to generate some awareness of their 145 new paints in the "all-new" range that's been heavily leaked already. Apart from the sneak peak being pretty obscure (you'd really have needed to know that they were about to release a new paint range to know that's what it's about), I must say I'm very underwhelmed by the prospect of a load of new paints. Having got used to the properties of Citadel paints over the past years, and having a large stock of them, I'm not about to chuck them all in the bin and buy a new range. If I did go for a new range, I'd probably move away from Citadel and the Games Workshop franchise for reasons of quality and price. Unless the new ranges turn me into an instant artist, I'll be greeting them with a hearty "meh".

Now, I'm not against improvement, but a wholesale change of something as fundamental as the paints is something different. Think of the tens of thousands of paints out there already, and those in GW stores...at more than 2 GBP (about $4) each, I'm thinking that the reason GW want a new paint range is more about economics and profit than painting. I welcomed the washes they brought out, and even went for the foundation paints (not 100% convinced, though I do use them), but I'd have thought this was also the way to bring out further additions to the range (and apparently their are other "types"), whihc would have had more "buy-in" from their customer base. I'm afraid it really smacks of GW not actually caring what their install base thinks, just what new custom they can buy. This has been an underlying theme in their rules changes and codexes, where whole rafts of (expensive) models suddenly become redundant (thinks Necrons and Pariahs, for example).

As a businessman, I'm afraid I find this approach just a tad too cynical for my liking. It's not like their aren't other games companies out there, and they have very different attitudes than the leviathan that GW has become. Oscar and I have been getting into Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games, where a complete starter fleet will set you back the same as a single carnifex from GW. So for 40GBP each you and a friend can buy a complete fleet, rulebook and cardset and be playing deep-space battles. In fact, you can spend 15GBP and do the same as they provide downloadable cut-out fleets so you can try before you buy the models, so you can even get a feel for how they play before you commit to them. That's pretty good. Granted, the rulebook does have less gloss, background and integration than some GW publications, but it's also less than half the price and, in terms of gameplay (which is what really counts, after all!), works extremely well.