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Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-anger-your-base dept.
mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to boardgamegeek.com, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"
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Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site

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  • by puroresu (1585025) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:09AM (#30280764)
    Games Workshop have every right to go after this kind of flagrant IP violation. After all, the company spent countless hours and huge amounts of money inventing orcs, elves, vampires, zombies and dwarves. They should be able to benefit from their creative efforts without some "fan" treating it as if it were in the public domain!
    • by williamhb (758070) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:02AM (#30281088) Journal

      Surely this is the topic where the moderation ought to be "+1 Troll".

      (And if it's a troll, I'm guessing it's +1 to the strength stat.)

    • by selven (1556643)

      I knew it! Tolkien was pirating from Games Workshop and Blizzard all along!

    • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @08:49AM (#30282420)

      You're joking, right? I can see, MAYBE, on the distributing of scans to keep games in service, but even that pushes the limit when you're talking about games with write-on-and-throw-away tracking sheets.

      Games Jerkshop have no love from me on the storefront area either. You know what they do to regular game shops, right? If you want to carry their "product" and have gamedays/tournaments, they demand 60% of your shelf space, have a list a mile long of "competing products" that you have to agree never to stock, insist you carry a certain dollar-amount of product on shelf at all times and never hold a sale.

      Then, when YOU the game store have built up the community, they plop down an "Official Games Workshop" store half a mile down the road, undercut you by selling everything at a 10% discount (remember, YOU are contractually obligated not even to hold a sale), and deliberately do their best to put you under so that nobody in the area is selling anything but GW games. Hell, at one point they actually tried to put Reaper Miniatures and D&D Miniatures on their "products you will not sell" list.

      I for one think it would be best for the world if Games Jerkshop were to fold tomorrow and their IP scatter to the four winds.

      • by navygeek (1044768) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @09:33AM (#30282880)
        That whooshing sound you hear is the sarcasm of his post over your head...miles and miles over your head.
      • by Lunzo (1065904)

        I've been collecting GW minis for on and off over the past 12 years. I've never seen what you describe, although maybe things are different in the USA?

        In Australia the independent retailers who carry GW products usually have a tiny little section of Warhammer. I've never seen any store carry 60% or more of their floorspace as Warhammer. The prices at these stores are always around 10% cheaper than GW. Warhammer can be purchased cheaper still by ordering from the UK (especially at the moment with currency

      • Well, except for the facts that

        a) Games Workshop sells to distributors at 25% below retail, which is why they can offer between 10 and 15% off shop price (see Wayland Games - an actual source, compared to your baseless rant!) and does NOT forbid sales, hence why Wayland had a sale when the Valkyries were released

        b) GW are themselves restrained from offering sales, even on damaged stock, due to a Competition Commision ruling from about 6 years ago. They can NEVER reduce instore prices to below MSRP.

        c) Our l

        • by Moryath (553296)

          Well, except for the facts that

          Funny where you turn around and lie after saying this.

          Games Workshop sells to distributors at 25% below retail, which is why they can offer between 10 and 15% off shop price (see Wayland Games - an actual source, compared to your baseless rant!) and does NOT forbid sales, hence why Wayland had a sale when the Valkyries were released

          There's a big difference between their contracts to "distributors" (internet sales) and the contracts they write/extort for brick-and-mortar stores

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:12AM (#30280778)

    meaning you have to fight for it in court which, in the American Legal System means you need to have deep pockets. Most people don't have the cash/want the hassle and so they just fold, even in extremely clear cut cases on their side.

    Fortunately, once ACTA passes we won't have to worry about protecting fair use anymore.

    • This doesn't even seem to be fair use to me. It doesn't really fit the criteria. Maybe "teaching" or "research", but you'd have to kinda stretch it – and fight it out in court, as the parent mentioned. Fair use is a lot more specific than "anything I think doesn't hurt them", after all – it, and fair dealing, have quite specific categories that the usage of a copyrighted work must fall into, as well as being fought in court if challenged on the reasoning.

      Yes, it's stupid of them (since it's just

    • by abigsmurf (919188) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:47AM (#30281320)
      Fair use is a legal right.
      This is not fair use.

      They're scanning and posting Games Workshop's art, judging from the article, it's all the art relating to games like Space Hulk. They've revived Space Hulk in the past, it's not unthinkable they'll revive it again. Regardless, they're an active company, you don't have the automatic right to almost completely reproduce their work.

      They rely on stuff like codexes and boxed games for a large portion of their income. Given the traditional fantasy nature of their products, it's incredibly important they protect their IPs and trademarks.

      Think they're over-reacting? Look at Warcraft. That was originally going to be a Warhammer game. Their legal team fell asleep on the job, didn't sign a properly binding agreement and Blizzard decided that they'd just remove the GW branding, give the game a slightly different name and keep all the royalties. To rub salt into the wound, they then released Starcraft which again was more than slightly familiar to GW fans.
      • by cafard (666342)

        Think they're over-reacting? Look at Warcraft. That was originally going to be a Warhammer game. Their legal team fell asleep on the job, didn't sign a properly binding agreement and Blizzard decided that they'd just remove the GW branding, give the game a slightly different name and keep all the royalties. To rub salt into the wound, they then released Starcraft which again was more than slightly familiar to GW fans.

        They didn't seem to think that kind of things were an issue when they ripped off Aliens to

        • by paganizer (566360)

          It's just sad that GDW isn't still in business (I originally thought TFA was about GDW, which sort of freaked me out); Surely GDW could take any argument GW is using to destroy them in court.

        • by Nicolay77 (258497)

          It's the fault of GW for backing out of a good deal with the games development company.

          Must pay the price for their arrogance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by JosKarith (757063)
        They recently (as in about 3 months ago) revived Space Hulk with a new edition...
        • And then they didn't make nearly enough copies of Space Hulk available. I wanted to buy one, but I don't follow these things religiously, and only found out after all the preorders were gone. I guess that's what I get for being nonobsessive, and a student with out tons of money to buy one of the inflated copies after the fact.

          Needless to say, it sucked, and they're being overzealous / ridiculous by attacking fansites and wanting them to remove all traces of dedication to a franchise that they no longer supp

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      Games Workshop is a British company.

  • Talk about Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:15AM (#30280800) Homepage Journal

    Talk about Idiots.

    I know someone will step in with the proper history... but did you know, Blizzard was originally meant to make Warhammer games for Games Workshop?

    After they had a falling out and denied blizzard their IP, blizzard modified it sufficiently and renamed it into Warcraft, releasing the original "Orcs and Humans" game. Needless to say, they've had nothing but the most immense success with Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, various expansions, and now World of Warcraft and its Expansions. As well as giving it a Sci Fi twist and coming up with Starcraft 1 and 2.

    I've always hope Games Workshop was kicking themselves hard over their stupidity for losing blizzard to make their own even more successful franchise when games such as Warhammer Online are a total flop.

    But I guess they haven't really learned anything going by their current behaviour.

    • by Asmor (775910) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:20AM (#30280828) Homepage

      Giving Warcraft a sci-fi twist?

      I think you mean "Doing to Warhammer 40k what they did to Warhammer Fantasy."

      It's pretty obvious that Terrans, Zerg and Protoss are analagous to Space Marines, Tyranid and Eldar respectively. They barely even filed off the serial numbers.

      • by DiSKiLLeR (17651)

        I didn't even know about warhammer 40k :)

        But pretty funny if they recreated that too, with more success.

        • by Asmor (775910)

          From what I've heard (never played the tabletop wargames myself), 40k is more luck-driven and less strategic than fantasy.

          It's a reasonably interesting universe, though. Worth looking into if you like sci-fi with a bit of a cthulhoid vibe, even if the people maintaining it are douchebags of the highest order.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rogerborg (306625)

            Meh, strategy? I gave up on GW products many years ago, when they figured out that the big money was in selling high priced hero figures, with accompanying game-winning special powers.

            You can have fun games of WHFB / 40K / Epic, but they're all horribly open to abuse by anyone who buys to win. I doubt they even playtest most of their stuff any more.

            Still, I guess that is actually "strategy", in the resource management sense.

            • Then you haven't played 5th ed, where the objectives make the game a hugely tactical game - vastly superior to the attempts in 4th. It isn't "buy to win" - that is an idiotic comment. given that the most expensive hero, Marneus Calgar, is £18 (and you also get 4 vets with him) is also one of the worst, and the rest of the army will cost £150, it isnt "hero hammer" - not by long means. If you really want buy to win then look at MtG, where P9s are costing you a thousand dollars....a card.

              You ha

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Rogerborg (306625)

                Hmm, £168 is cheap? Well, I guess if you enjoy paying money to hang out with little kids then it might have improved. As I said, I bailed when it was pay-to-win, and didn't go back to see if they'd stopped beating their customers. I guess you loved them enough to change them.

                • No, £168 is a good investment in an army that you will get hours of enjoyment from painting and playing from, and will be valid for a minimum of 5 years. (13 if youre a DE fan ;)) Compare that to say, most other hobbies it compares favourably bang for buck.

                  It still isnt "pay to win"m and arguably hasnt been for 10 years (1998 for 3rd ed 40k, if memory serves) and in fact is the opposite - if heroes alone win games (you decry herohammer) then you need les of an army, and the hero is normally the cheap

              • by Asmor (775910)

                I'm going to assume you don't actually play Magic.

                The Power 9 is expensive, this is true, but it's important to note that Wizards of the Coast makes absolutely no money off the secondary market, and have no direct incentive for creating cards highly valued thereupon (though one could certainly argue that they have an indirect incentive in that it reinforces the collectible aspect of the game).

                With particular respect to the P9 and older cards, there are two reasons that they won't ever be reprinted. 1: The c

          • by mcvos (645701)

            It's a cool universe (though their fantasy setting was better back in the late '80s) with some really amazingly cool games set in it, which makes it all the more frustrating that the people in charge of it are complete morons.

          • by Cruciform (42896)

            I never even played 40k. I just bought it because the original manuals had amazing art and a detailed story of the 40k universe that brought the concept to life.
            Of course the original hardcover manual also had a binding that fell apart in the time that it took to read it from cover to cover. (As anyone who owned it can testify) And the option was either to replace it or throw it in a binder until the softcover edition with all the interesting stuff gutted from it came out a few years later.

      • by blincoln (592401)

        It's pretty obvious that Terrans, Zerg and Protoss are analagous to Space Marines, Tyranid and Eldar respectively. They barely even filed off the serial numbers.

        Fortunately for gamers, Blizzard also removed the melodrama when they filed off the serial numbers. In a parallel universe where Blizzard licensed GW's franchises, I don't think their 40K game would have sold as well as StarCraft has based on that alone. I'm not sure it's even possible to create a fictional world more over-the-top than 40K.

    • Re:Talk about Idiots (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:22AM (#30280842) Homepage Journal

      Thought I'd add:

      Blizzard of course doesn't go after Fan Art, Fan made movies, and even some of the very questionable stuff that goes on over at darknest [darknestfa...rotica.com] (such as model and skin edits in the live game!) not counting all the nude warcraft art.

      I'm not a little happy about the way blizzard sometimes reacts (bnetd, glider, etc) but they certainly give their customers and fans a lot of freedom. I wish other companies weren't so bloody stupid. Why hurt your customers?!

      • Re:Talk about Idiots (Score:5, Informative)

        by Asmor (775910) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:33AM (#30280910) Homepage

        They don't just give the fans freedom, they very actively encourage fans to use their IP (not for profit, of course). They hold regular contests for Warcraft comic strips, feature fan art on the website which ranges from decent amateur to professional quality, they encourage machinima, and of course they're always giving out loads of references to the community. For example, there's a gnome named Breanni in Dalaran who runs a pet store, and she's a direct reference to the founder and maintainer of warcraftpets.com.

        And who can forget their response to the complaints that early Diablo 3 screenshots didn't look dark and gritty enough [destructoid.com]?

        • Schembari "Uncle Sal" Shearbolt [wowwiki.com], the arena battlemaster, is a NPC in the sewers of Dalaran and made for my dentist, Shembari Family Dentistry [schembari.net]. There are plenty of references based on people outside the game, some famous, some not so famous. In the case of "Uncle Sal", his nephew is a developer for Blizzard and made the character based on his uncle.

          As for GW going after a fan site, GW does need to protect their IP. They also need to balance allowing fans some degree of freedom without losing their IP.
    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Surely your example proves the need for them to be more aggressive legally rather than more laid back? Bad contract negotiation and being to relaxed and trusting ultimately cost them.

      Besides which, WAR, although not huge, is profitable and they're making massive amounts off of the Dawn of War franchise. They've a massive amount of IP to turn into games. Who wouldn't want to see a modern version of Space Hulk with online co-op?
    • I've always hope Games Workshop was kicking themselves hard over their stupidity for losing blizzard to make their own even more successful franchise when games such as Warhammer Online are a total flop.

      I guess you never played the Warhammer 40K : Dawn of War series of games. Relic makes a mean RTS game. They have released several games and expansions while Blizzard has released nothing new in their Starcraft franchise. Starcraft II development is starting to look like Duke Nukem Forever. They have the W

  • by Datamonstar (845886) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:24AM (#30280850)
    Wouldn't want to have people actually using our products now would we? Just keep buying the ones we tell you to buy, or else we'll punish you for not wanting to change to our mindset. It's why I stopped playing D20 games. After 4.0 came out with NO open content, I turned and never looked back. I've always stopped by their stores and thought HOW in heavens they keep afloat. A dedicated shop front for a hobiest game cant be all that efficient. Besides, there's just no way I'd drop that much cash on figurines just to play a game, but then again it's not my kind of hobby. I do play P&P PRGs, after all, and that require quite a bit of pricey dice and books, so who am I to talk? Seeing this now, I'll be pretty glad to see them going out of business soon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Asmor (775910)

      It's why I stopped playing D20 games. After 4.0 came out with NO open content, I turned and never looked back.

      Well, that's certainly stupid.

      What exactly do you mean by open content? If you mean you're pissed because they didn't allow people to republish WotC's rules and content verbatim [amazon.com], then I suppose that's a legitimate concern.

      But they certainly have opened 4.0 up, and there are plenty of 3rd party products available for it [rpgnow.com].

      I'm curious, which games do you play, since having an open system is so important? Off the top of my head, the only non-d20 game I can think of which has a semi-open license allowing 3rd part

      • Eclipse Phase [eclipsephase.com] is under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence. It's also pretty awesome; I bought a nice hardcover, full colour well bound copy. Beats pdf any day, although it's not cheap.

        • by Asmor (775910)

          Ah, that's very cool, didn't know that. They actually released their core book as a PDF for free a while ago, though I think that might have been a time-limited offer. The short fiction opening was really good.

          All in all, I hope the game and the company do well.

          • by h4rm0ny (722443)

            Incorrect. You can buy the PDF, and presumably receive any updates, but you can actually download it legally for free. A friend of mine is running it and sent me a copy (I'd normally decline a copy but this one's legal). And it actually does have a ridiculously fun setting even if you just want to read it. Good luck to the company.
            • What sort of pdf is it? Is it the normal, lazy "every page is an image" type pdf, or might it actually work right on an ebook reader?

              • by h4rm0ny (722443)

                It's certainly not every page as an image. It looks to have been put together very carefully. That said, it's over 400 pages of A4 sized book with lots of colourful artwork - there's no way you can compare that to a text-only novel like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I don't know if you'd be able to run the PDF on your eBook reader or not, but your eBook reader isn't really designed for this sort of book. it's designed for text that you'll read through at a steady pace, not an illustrated rule book that
      • My wording was wrong. I still do play D20 games, mostly D&D 3rd/3.5 and Star Wars occasionally. But I have stopped supporting 4th. I don't even look at 4th stuff cause I won't buy it. I don't need the game and the license repackaged just so that Hasbro can effectively do the same thing GW is doing here if they decide to. They forgot that it was the game worlds like Forgotten Realms that sold the product in the good old days, not the actual D&D game. And by open, I just mean games published under th
      • A reinterpretation of D&D 3.0/3.5 - I don't recall if it is the exact same OGL that D20 originally used. But it is a mostly open-gaming license. The Pathfinder Bestiary [amazon.com] is currently #4 (bestseller) in Roleplaying Games on Amazon (#4,490 in Books). The Core Rulebook [paizo.com] was in the Top 5 for quite a while as well - but Paizo underestimated demand and it sold out the first print run in August within the first couple weeks.
    • When 4.0 came out, my first thought was "This is a P&P version of a computer RPG"... Specifically, it reminded me of the Baldurs Gate games for PS2.
      Then when they pulled all their PDFs, I just said "fuck 'em"... Actually, I'd said "fuck 'em" a while earlier, this time was "fuck 'em and forget 'em".
      (Although the writing was on the wall with that one, given how they wanted to do so much with their online system).
      I'd like to try out Pathfinder (supposedly an indie 3.5), but can't FIND it in deadtree.

      As fo

  • by Asmor (775910) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:27AM (#30280866) Homepage

    A while back there was much gnashing of teeth in the RPG community because GW's book publishing arm, Black Industries, decided to cancel the RPG (which, by most accounts, had a reasonable level of popularity and success) so they could focus on the novels. This came right around the time I was tentatively getting into Warhammer, and after they did this I went to the GW store at the local mall and asked the manager there to relay the message to his corporate overlords that they'd lost a customer over there actions. And before you start yelling at me, I was polite and I know it wasn't his fault; I just felt that was the best way for me to personally send a message.

    Then a few weeks (or months?) later, Fantasy Flight Games got the license to produce the Warhammer RPGs. Of course, by then I'd already gotten the WH bug out of my system. Which in retrospect was good, since the GW store actually shut down not too much later, meaning if I had gotten into it I wouldn't have had a place to play anyways. /Cool story, bro

    • I don't play their kind of games much, but I have BIG respect for Fantasy Flight Games for their adoption practices. They buy the games fans still love which no longer fits with the old publisher's business plan. They even seem to make money on it.

  • 1. Roll 12-sided dice and get above 20, release Warhammer under Creative Commons license.
    2. Roll 12-sided dice and get below 20, go after fan sites.

    • by JosKarith (757063)
      You are joking, right? The only dice GW understand are D6's, D10's (for WFRP and DH) and scatter dice...
  • Open Source Gaming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dartz-IRL (1640117) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @04:48AM (#30281000)

    How long before somebody finally gets frustrated and motivated enough a GNU project for wargames? Call it OpenWarfare, and start with the basic Tenant of the Free Earth Federation,-v- The Corporate Aquilan Empire. Then build from there. All the IP is open, the ruleset is open and independent of any miniatures line. If anybody wants to add to the IP pool,. they can... provided they allow others to make changes. If anybody wants to sell compatible miniatures, they can. Sourcebooks.... Even build their own proprietary IP universe on top of the ruleset if they want.

    How long?

    Probably never, but it'd be a cool idea.

    Damn... I might have to give it a go over Xmas.

    • by Teancum (67324)

      There is nothing stopping you from doing this, but I'd have to say: Making up a whole gaming system is hardly trivial or easy to accomplish, particularly trying to balance out all of the aspects of the game so that it is just complicated to keep smart people interested, letting folks of...er... lesser intellect to also enjoy the game in some aspect, and to keep the "arms race" under control so you don't have to introduce god-like creatures just to provide a minor challenge.

      In the process of coming up with

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slim (1652)

      I'm reliably informed by the colleague sitting next to me, that there are "loads" of free wargame and RPG rules out there.

      I Googled, and he's right. Sample hit: http://www.miniaturewargaming.com/index.php/mwg/category/Rules%20Universal/ [miniaturewargaming.com]

      Do we have the technology for Open Source miniatures to work? It's certainly easy enough to make a lossy reproduction of a suitably designed miniature, by making a mould and melting some lead. 3D printing could become mainstream soonish. It just needs enough people to be inte

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        From your link - http://www.spirit-plumber.com/emlia/ [spirit-plumber.com]

        Do we have the technology for Open Source miniatures to work? It's certainly easy enough to make a lossy reproduction of a suitably designed miniature, by making a mould and melting some lead. 3D printing could become mainstream soonish. It just needs enough people to be interested.

        I have a couple of thoughts here...

        1) Are we necessarily bound to a physical presence? Why not push this to go digital along with everything else in our era? Imagine an iPhone app for wargaming in a turn-based scenario sort of way. There's a lot of promise here. However, finding any sort of uniform, open digital art can be very challenging.

        2) Can we simplify the models? Because if we don't need any specific, exact kind of orc we could probably get s

        • by slim (1652)

          Are we necessarily bound to a physical presence? Why not push this to go digital along with everything else in our era?

          Well, I'm not a wargamer. But I am a board gamer, and I think the pleasure of touching physical things would a shame to lose. Who doesn't prefer to play chess with a beautifully crafted wooden chess set, than on a computer screen?

          Can we simplify the models? Because if we don't need any specific, exact kind of orc we could probably get something going to where generic figures are produced that could be customized later. I'm picturing a series blank figures made from carve-able plastic and a standard set of accessories to be glued onto them (armor, weapons, and the like.) Customizable, and there-by open.

          It's been done in the proprietary world -- in the late 80s Games Workshop came up with plastic skeletons and dwarves. They were sold as a cheap way to get a big, nondescript army, and they were also ripe for customisation.

          Lead is easier for a hobbyist to work with, however. That's

      • by Chelloveck (14643)

        Do we have the technology for Open Source miniatures to work? It's certainly easy enough to make a lossy reproduction of a suitably designed miniature, by making a mould and melting some lead. 3D printing could become mainstream soonish. It just needs enough people to be interested.

        Sculpted miniatures are nice, but the games play just as well with cardstock cut-outs [sjgames.com]. The ones I linked to are for sale, but Steve Jackson has no proprietary claim to the technology of printing a figure on a piece of heavy pap

    • Game design is all about statistics. I hope you're good with calculating probabilities, bud. Balance is paramount.
  • Space Hulk (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:08AM (#30281128)

    BGG's game ranking charts are quite influential in the board-gaming world. A lot of local hobby stores have them up on the wall as a quick guide to some excellent games. Until quite recently, Games Workshop's new edition of Space Hulk was in the top ten games. It's now dropped to number 170.

    Well, I guess that's what happens when you value greed more than public relations or your fan base (although BGG isn't really oriented towards GW's bread-and-butter of miniatures wargaming).

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Space Hulk is currently sold out. The reason it's dropped down the charts is because people can't buy it. I'd say the game is doing fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LDoggg_ (659725)
        You're wrong.

        It went from #7 to #170 in 3 days following the cease and desist. It had nothing to do with availability and everything to do with the reaction to Game Workshop's actions.
        • And you'[re misinformed (a more polite way of saying "you're wrong") - space hulk was a limited run and they are not reprinting.

          given that you cant buy it new any longer it would struggle to stay high in the sales charts, doncha think?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by LDoggg_ (659725)
            I'm not misinformed about this. The discussion didn't have anything to do with any sales chart. It was the game ranking on boardgamegeek.com which is based on how well liked a game is, not how well it is or was selling.

            I know very well that the game was limited print run, I made sure to pick up a copy before it sold out.

            abigsmurf is wrong about why it fell on the game rankings chart. The game was #7 three days ago which was already well after most places have sold out. Had it not been for the cease a
          • Trust me, BGGers hate GW now. Yes, space hulk was a limited run, and hard to get, and that only made people want it more. Then suddenly every rule summary, player aid, scenario, card list, etc. for every single game that had at one point been owned by GW was lost in the black hole of their legal departement. Suddenly people weren't NEARLY as eager to get one of those limited-run space hulk re-releases.

            List of the things removed in the purge [boardgamegeek.com].

            Go in and look on the discussions as well; a sizable number of Spac

          • WTF, didn't see the egregious mistake: BGG's game ranking is not a sales list! it's based on player ratings.

  • GW (Score:4, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @05:17AM (#30281194) Journal

    GW have become the biggest problem in Wargaming, their game systems are terrible and their approach to making profits is "Jack up prices to make up for less customers". They keep releasing new editions which dumb the rules down and then they release army rulebooks where there is no balance (in Fantasy there are 3 tier 1 armies, you play 1 or you lose to them, in a game of 15 factions or so), but little kids buy into GW as the gateway drug. They are only just starting to release nice models, but you need so many of them it becomes insanely expensive to build any sort of real army.

    If you're a wargamer and wish to play a good game and support a good company then get into Warmachine/Hordes. It's a more mature game with better quality miniatures, with balanced rules and a company that supports it's fans. Privateer press are updating to a MKII version for January, in doing so they have released the rules for every model and the main rulebook for MKII for free on PDF. They also consider fan feedback in balancing things, they are currently running a fieldtest for the beta rules for Hordes MKII, fans get to play the game and they can give feedback on how to buff/nerf a model if they wish. PP take this into consideration and did fix issues with Warmachine MKII models.

    Privateer also support their game systems. They started out making D20 books but moved onto Wargaming (and now boardgames) and intend to return to the roleplaying side of things where possible, but in their bi-monthly Magazine you will always find 5 pages dedicated to a new scenario for the roleplaying, as well as about 10 pages of solid fluff for the Iron Kingdoms, some examples are alchemist guilds famous through out the land to how humans discovered magic and the secret society that grew up from that. To supplement this, their roleplaying books are now out of print, so they have put them up as PDFs for people to download from several E book sites.

    Privateer press are not perfect and maybe in the future they will become the new GW, but as a wargamer I am happy to support a company that tries to support the community around it. One example that sticks out in my mind is there was a new faction released recently, on the forums people were discussing what their robots were made out of, no one was quite sure and one guy requested some official word. 20 minutes later the lead writer had posted with at least an A4 page's worth of text explaining every possible detail you could wish on the subject. PP isn't a small company and yet it's staff members still do things like this and get "into the trenches" with the fans.

    Disclaimer : I play PP games, I don't work for them in any way. I dislike GW because I see what a mess they make and yet they keep selling people their personal brand of crack, which restricts the wargaming industry and does more harm than good in general.

    • Re:GW (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:25AM (#30281842)

      They keep releasing new editions which dumb the rules down

      I keep hearing this, but I got into 40K on the second edition (first if you don't count Rogue Trader) and it was an unplayable mess if you went in with more than a dozen miniatures and two players. It was a great skirmish game as Necromunda showed but it was an utter dog in the large-scale games it was originally designed for. Dumbing down the rules to allow actual strategic play instead of 2 hours of dice rolling per turn was essential. That was accompanied by a shift towards good, cheap, plastic miniatures for army-building (likewise in Fantasy Battle), which hugely improved the ability to actually build an army. I got out shortly afterwards, but from what I can see, GW's games are cheaper and more playable than they've ever been. That's not to say that they're cheap, or playable, but they're a sight better than they were in my day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nosferatu1001 (264446)

      Huh?

      GW keep wargaming alive, as they bring in new players. Hence the term "Gateway drug" - PP would die a death as it tends to attract people who already play WG. THey also have the money to invest and actually innovate - like the washes, foundation paints, full 3D rendering and production of HIGH cost plastic moulds (you say they are "cheaper plastics" - only once you have paid for the mould, at £30k per avg sprue, £90k for the Baneblade sprues. Still think theyre cheap? Or you still talking

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Might as well mention the fan-made video game Space Hulk ... former Space Hulk that is. After getting threatened by GW and stalled for a long time they apparently pulled a Blizzard and rebranded the game with their own scenario.

    It's called Alien Assault now: http://teardown.se/ No more free PR for Games Workshop I guess. Instead, lots of negative publicity all around gaming sites :D

  • Lesson of TSR (Score:3, Interesting)

    by markov23 (1187885) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @07:51AM (#30281994)
    We used to have a company called TSR that behaved this way -- they sued all of the their fans that tried to keep D&D alive and didnt understand the economics of this type of community. When wizards got the license -- regardless of all of the harping on this forum about them -- they embraced this type of community and created the OGL. Their discussion with publishers was we can either fight over each piece off the pie or try and make the pie bigger. It was a completely different approach and it worked amazingly well. GW will figure that out at some point -- or go away like TSR. GW has every right to protect their ip -- it is theirs and they spent a lot of money developing it -- it just may be bad business to go about it the way that they are. And Im sure ill get abused for this next comment -- but with all of the slamming of wizards in this forum about them not being open -- you are confusing open for free. Open is important for the community -- free is not. If free is the most important aspect of a gaming system -- stay away from rpgs -- I play them and I want professional content created by talented people -- and those people like to get paid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Remus Shepherd (32833)

      Of course, the company that invented the OGL has now abandoned it.

      Which means one of two things. Either they have learned the opposite lesson -- opening your IP is not good for profits -- or every generation of managers forgets the lessons learned by the ones that came before.

      Either way, it doesn't look good for GW's future.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by WWWWolf (2428)

        Of course, the company that invented the OGL has now abandoned it.

        My gut feeling tells me the abandonment of OGL was Hasbro's doing, not WotC's. Hasbro is the type of company that isn't concerned about people actually using the products for anything at all, just that people shut up and pay for that stuff. (And yeah, I'm feeling a bit weird defending WotC, who itself believed in gutting money from people with their cardboard crack. =)

        But yeah, I'm fairly certain that somewhere, somehow, there was a change in management and a new boss forgot to figure out all good things th

    • What fan-suing did TSR engage in? Yes, they were atrociously run, so I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand, but I can't remember anything like this.

  • I started playing Warhammer in about 1995, and have played off and on since then. In that time, they've modified the background on most of the world they ripped off... er, created so much that a lot of the original miniatures and rules no longer work. They've also introduced, with great fanfare, and then eliminated a whole lot of games. What are some of GW's best games? Mordheim (discontinued), BloodBowl (discontinued, though I expect it will come back now they've got a computer version), Battlefleet Go

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by habig (12787)

      They've also introduced, with great fanfare, and then eliminated a whole lot of games. What are some of GW's best games? Mordheim (discontinued), BloodBowl (discontinued, though I expect it will come back now they've got a computer version), Battlefleet Gothic (discontinued)...

      Blood Bowl is actually a post-GW success story, independent of the computer game. The rules have been updated continuously by the player base, which has really cleaned the rough edges off what was already a pretty good game (google o

      • by Carik (205890)

        Very true -- Mordheim is much the same, actually. It's being supported by a bunch of third-party groups, even though GW dropped the ball.

        The point still holds true, though. GW introduces new games, runs them for a while to draw in people who want to buy just a few minis and have a game to play with their friends, and then drops them. The fact that other groups are picking them up and running with them doesn't change that.

  • My wife brought home a nearly-complete box of Heroquest from a yard sale a while back. I was all nostalgic, but it was my son who truly fell in love. He's seven, you see, and loves to do cool stuff with his dad.

    Used to be, you could get scans of cards, rulebooks, and other things that were lost or damaged on the internet. I guess not so much anymore.

    The sad thing is, there's no replacement on the market either. Software, music, movies and the like I can understand a bit better. I don't copy, I go buy a

    • You might want to consider HeroScape [wikipedia.org]. It is similar in nature and available from WalMart, Toys'R'Us, and Amazon [amazon.com]. I've been looking into using it for our D&D campaign.
  • I'm deleting the Warhammer demo from my Steam account.

    That will show 'em!

Business is a good game -- lots of competition and minimum of rules. You keep score with money. -- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

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