Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gripes, Groans and Great Blogs...


There are lots of blogs out there to enjoy about Warhammer and tabletop wargaming, but one my favorites is "Fields of Blood".
Always a good read.
Always thoughtful.
Always well-written.

Recently, I particularly enjoyed two posts there by Pete Dunn, a NZ based tournament player, organizer and blogger.

The first was about how the recent change in GW policy that restricts internet retailers selling GW products outside of certain zones has resulted in loss of revenue for GW. You can find that here:
"Scorched Earth or How GW Managed to Destroy $1000 of Sales"

I highly recommend you visit Fields of Blood and go back there to enjoy the posts and other content.
That particular post allowed me to give vent to some of my own recent feelings about Citadel FineSHAFT and the policy mentioned above, which I put up as a comment (great comments and contributions from people on the post above btw), but which I shall include here...(Read the post at the link above first for context.)
"Great points here and a great discussion!
Living in Tokyo I had shared my money between the local GW operation and also international suppliers until the recent imposition of martial law by GW. I have to say that since then I have become less and less sympathetic to GW recently for two reasons.

1. The "FineSHAFT" debacle. So far I haven't seen a single decent explanation from GW about the price increases for the vast majority of these items. (Jervis could have addressed this in his White Dwarf article about Finecast, but chose instead to repeat the party line.)

As examples, (and this is where I am similar to Pete in his feelings about local pricing)
- Queek Headtaker is 18.34 GBP in Japan, or 74% more than the UK. (UK price 10.50)
- Skaven Jezzail set is 55.81 GBP in Japan, or 86% more than the UK. (UK price is 30.00)
Both are more expensive than NZ (which also suffers from grossly inflated prices.)

Yes, getting these things to Japan is expensive, but hey, now that GW don't use a commodity like Tin, and considering that the materials used are so light etc. shouldn't prices be MORE reasonable? Don't tell me that the incremental increase in the definition of FineSHAFT models justifies that price increase? (Although I guess the new material may had had millions of pounds-worth of R&D poured into it.
("Poured"...Geddit? Oh, nevermind.)

2. I recall that part of the GW initial argument about their "Scorched Earth" policy was about supporting local gaming bricks and mortar etc. What a surprise then to find that they have recently closed around 5 GW stores around Tokyo, retreating to their two main stores, including my local.

So, LESS support and MASSIVELY INCREASED prices.

All of this would probably be bearable if GW actually treated us like customers, rather than suckers.
How? Explain openly the ACTUAL underlying business reasons for these increases rather than pump out the marketing BS and spin we have seen to date.
OH, wait, that's RIGHT, the underlying business reasons are GREED and OPPORTUNISM, rather than better models and supporting the community, so I guess they have to resort to the party-line they have used so far.

Even if I am totally wrong, I still can't shake off the feeling that I am being played by GW, and I don't like it.

(Takes deep breath) Wow! Even if I am totally wrong, I at least feel better having said this now!
Just want to finish by saying that I always valued the support of the GW shop staff, their overall friendliness and passion for the hobby, so this isn't actually directed at them."

  • How do you guys feel about Finecast?
  • What are your thoughts on the "Scorched Earth Policy" (As Pete calls it?)

The second post I am really enjoying started the other day with some some thoughts by Pete about Composition Systems for casual and tournament play. Again, a really good post, with some very interesting and thoughtful replies by readers - AND further replies by Pete.
You can read the post here:
"Comp Systems - The Case for Hard Caps"
and the follow up here:
"The Case for Hard Caps - Part Deux"
I was particularly interested in this thread because as someone who very rarely gets any games in, and who hasn't ever played in a tournament or really given this area any thought at all it got me thinking about tournaments, T.O. responsibilities and the thought and time that must go into them.

  • Have you played in any tournaments? 
  • Did you enjoy them?
  • What do you reckon to Pete's points or the comments?
  • and finally, as I am enjoying reading all these other blogs so much...
  • What SINGLE WFB, 40K or tabletop wargaming blog would you recommend if you could only recommend ONE and it couldn't be your own?



  1. Cool blog man!! im a skavens fan too, 2 me is the coolest, funiest army ever!
    about finecast... i very disapointed w it price went up but quality went totally down....

  2. @dancing platypuss (great name btw!). Thanks for the comment! I'm not a big fan of Finecast, but I'm surprised you say that the Finecast quality went down though. It looked about the same to me...
    ...did you buy a particular model? Could you share which one?

  3. Thanks for the exposure Squeek.

    We try and keep it interesting and to foster good quality debate!

  4. hey man firstione i had was queek the headtaker.. i already had thato ne in metal , but wanted to rty finescast so i bought the new version.... wrong stuff? well ... deformed shields, missing parts of the face... air bubbles beyond ur imagination... honestly .. total crap.
    And also i have master of death snitch.. since its only aviable in finecast.... i went to the store and the guy opened me the blister before buying it...
    we have to open 2 blisters before i found and acceptable one..( but still way worse than the metal version)
    Next week or so ill post pics of it on my blog

  5. I have only purchased one Finecast model, Gorebad Ironclaw and whilst the detail is nice when all the bits went together there were some gaping chasms. Now I appreciate that some tidying up is required on any model, but some of the fits were so bad I had to cover with additional items.

  6. Hey Squeek,

    Sorry for not commenting on your blog for a while. I finally moved to Japan, and my college life in Akita is about to start. I couldn't resist bringing all my painting equipment and a fair amount of skaven models with me, as a good companion throughout my journey. I read all your posts, and you can count on me becoming an active reader again in the future!

    As a side note, I brought 20 skaven stormvermin with me, but there are no painting schemes on the net at all. Are you considering painting these any time soon, or do you first have some other projects?

    Kind regards and cheers,


  7. Hey me again! Firstof all congrats for ur blog , been taking a look on ti at it pretty cool!!

    And now .. i have another question... im sorta beguinner here, i mean been painting minis for al ong time , but barely played... thing is i have a game coming soon...against orcs...it wont b a very big game ( 1000-1500 i guess) but would like to know if u have any suggestions about the army i should bring against those green hunks.. i have thought of mainly clanrats and slaves.... storvermins r cool.. but not sure if theyr really worth it... also i have a warplighting cannon.. and considering using the screamming bell too.... what do u think?

    congrats for the blog again man!!!

  8. Hi guys - sorry not to post for a while, been a bit busy!

    @dancing platypuss that experience with Finecast sounds pretty surprisingly bad! Most of the reports I have seen on Finecast don't seem to mention these kinds of problems. Glad that you got a better one in the end.

    @Fnurgn...you too? We are all used to getting minis where a bit of covering up or Greenstuff is necessary - was it much worse than a metal mini.

    @Shendar - welcome to the land of the rising sun! I hope that have a good time in Akita and enjoy your studies! I actually do have a set of x20 Stormvermin undercoated and ready to go, but most of the reading I have done points me towards doing my other units first...Slaves - essential, Gutter Runners - more useful for taking out warmachines etc. etc.
    I really like the Stormvermin models, but I have heard that they aren't THAT useful (as I don't have Queek Headtaker in my force). I DO think they are really cool models though! Next up is Night Runners/ Gutter Runners, but maybe after that?

  9. @dancing platypus (about your upcoming battle) First thing is that I would check out the Army Lists forum on http://underempire.net as you should find lots of good discussion there. Like you, I do not have a lot of games under my belt, so other people might like to comment...
    BUT, my ideas would be:
    - Definitely large, large blocks of Clanrats and Slaves - especially slaves.
    - Difficult to use, but how about some weapon teams (warpfire throwers/ Poison Wind Mortars, although PWM maybe not so good against ORC toughness etc.)
    - Warplightning cannon a good idea for shooting into his block or sniping any independent characters.
    - Others may disagree, but for the points, I'd leave the SV behind and get bigger blocks of slaves or CRs.
    Hope that helps!


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