I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.
Games Workshop’s latest boardgame is Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower. Let’s have a look inside shall we?
I wish I could open a Games Workshop boardgame without whinging about how much it cost. Sadly, the painful sticker shock really takes the edge off the enjoyment for me. Luckily, I managed to get this latest game from an Ebay seller at a price that was NZ$145 cheaper than GW’s retail price in New Zealand, and it was still considerably more expensive than a normal ‘big box’ game in my collection. Now that’s just madness.
I mention price yet again because not only is GW asking crazy amounts for their games, but I’m also seeing obvious attempts to cut corners in production. Even the days of Dreadfleet seem like good value in comparison to this one: while you get 51 miniatures in the box, the miniatures are almost all small and thin creatures, with only one larger sized monster figure. There’s a bunch of heroes, but then two identical sprues of beasties. And that’s it! Compared to the amount of stuff that CMON shove into a box these days, it can’t help but be disappointing.
In addition, there’s no embossing on the 4 sheets of map tiles, the monsters don’t even get reference cards of their own (you have to look up their stats in a book), and the character cards are flimsy and start to curl right out of the box. There’s no attempt to illustrate the treasure cards, so they’re just slabs of text.
It all adds up to taking the shine off the whole experience. Rather than make great games that fill you full of excitement and wonder, GW seems to be coming up with ingenious, pernickety strategies for shaving dollars off their production costs, all while they stick to the same sky-high RRP. It even feels baked into the game concept and design – in this case, the otherworldy nature of the silver tower means no corridor sections or doors!
By all accounts, Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower is a fun dungeoncrawler, and I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl. But when a middle-aged man with a reasonable amount of disposable income baulks at the cost of your game, it’s time to revisit your pricing policies. Personally, I think Games Workshop is simply charging too much for what they’re delivering, and while this new range of boardgames might be successful in the short term, they could be shooting themselves in the foot in the long term as people get fed up with having to pay so much. There seems to be just too much competition out there now, no matter how detailed and spiky GW’s plastic minis are.
Then again, other publishers might start thinking, well if they can charge US$150, why can’t we ..?
What do you think? Are you happy to pay GW’s prices, as long as they keep churning out the games?
I’m kind of with you, but GW’s plastic figure quality is light years ahead of their competition. They are way more detailed than anyone else. Is it worth it? I don’t know for a board game.
The games need to be like $30-50 USD cheaper or start including more cardboard. FFG throws so much cardboard at you for a lower price point, for the price GW is charging, they should be able to match it.
The miniature quality is undeniable, though personally I think the minis are over-designed. There’s so much spikyness and swirling bits and bobs and crazy detail that the personality of the model gets lost amongst all the frills.
Price-wise, I can only compare with historical levels and other similar games on the market, and by any measure the retail price is exorbitant. Personally I don’t think the extra detail on the miniatures is worth the 50%+ more GW charges than other companies. I could indulge myself occasionally it if I felt I was getting value for my dollar, but I know I’m just paying because GW has high shareholder profit levels to meet, not because of extra stuff in the box. Which leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and a feeling of being ripped off.
It saddens me, because I want to buy these games.
I toyed with idea of Silver Tower, but I bought the card game and feel a bit miffed they released this so soon after. And why do GW insist on making up build our own miniatures? CMON, Wizards, Privateer Press (board games, not war-games) and others do the gluing for us. At least you can play out of the box instead of spending hours assembling first.
The card game was by Fantasy Flight; different publishers sharing the same IP (in name only; FFG are using ‘trad’ Warhammer types, GW are pushing their new Age of Sigmar archetypes with their new, trademarkable names).
Warhammer Quest may enjoy a distinguished pedigree, but in the end, it’s a dungeon crawl. To my mind, there are probably just as many dungeon crawls that are equally (?) enjoyable… for a lot less money and you don’t have to assemble the minis first.
True. It has a nice mix of systems and a some fun atmospheric text added, but it is yet another dungeoncrawler.
I’ve come to the conclusion that GW’s miniature quality is a tautology (and the fact they nearly rhyme doesn’t make my point any less true). “Games Workshop produce the finest miniatures on the market” is a term I’ve read in so many forums and blog posts that I’m starting to feel it’s a statement bandied about by rote. I’m sorry, but I remember Finecast and looking at their plastics nowadays, yeah, okay they’re GOOD but they don’t make me want to spend my weekly food allowance to get them. And I just can’t being myself to prop up their management’s retirement funds, which is why the prices are so damn high.
That’s just marketing blarney. And everyone knows ‘Finecast’ was a complete debacle. But we can’t deny the plastic miniature quality is very high: the detail is crisp and clean, the plastic excellent, the pieces fit together well, and the sculpts are impressive, though very often too fiddly with the detail in my personal opinion. But I’ve certainly always been a vocal commenter on their outrageous pricing, which is obviously for the benefit of their shareholders and stock price. The thing is, people keep paying the prices, so GW has no incentive to change their very profitable system, sadly.
I am a dungeon crawler fanatic and never had the chance to experience the original Warhammer Quest; in that sense, I forked over the admittedly high amount of Euros (€ 125 in Greece) PLUS another € 80 to have the miniatures assembled and painted.
While I need the physical presence of figures when I play, I never had any problem with the quality or the design of my Hero Quest figures. So, in my case, the superior quality of the figures on offer serves only to hurt my bank account. Don’t get me wrong; they ARE the best figures I have ever seen in a board game and, being painted, they are a sight to behold…
But I’ll tell you what…
After having played the whole of the game solitaire, I would pay the full price for this game alone, miniatures be damned. I had soo much fun, I couldn’t believe it! And to find out, after reading the lately published FAQ from GW, that I have played it all wrong! So, it seems that I am going to have a better, more enhanced experience the next time!
It sucks that the quality of the figures makes someone like me, who has no time or skills to assemble and paint them and who still wants to experience a game at its full, have to pay obscene amounts, somewhat north of € 200. It sucks, because I AM going to do it again…
I’ve only played once but I certainly wasn’t as impressed as you were George. Hoping the game improves on further plays!
No, I feel you!
First chapter (and the second… And the third) are stupid easy.
And then it gets serious. And by serious, I mean not craaaazy difficult, just enough so that you feel good with yourself for beating it.
If I want impossible, I can always play pre-errata B-Sieged…
One thing that drives me nuts are really easy ‘tutorial’ scenarios/chapters/adventures. We’re not stupid, we can learn the game (especially something as easy as this). Don’t give us content that isn’t at least roughly balanced whose utility is then for one play at most. It can also turn people off if they play their first game and find it too easy. Balanced games (or, in this case, as balanced as they can be) from the get-go I reckon.
I have to agree with this. In WQ:SL. it is impossible to lose during the first 2 (4?) quests…
Well that’s just bad design.
Have you player Silver Tower beyond first adventure? Looks like a typical GW dice fest (when will they discover polyhedral dice instead of just d6?), but there seems some (simple) tactics to deciding which dice roll to use for what.
You know, I haven’t yet gone back to it. I played the first adventure a couple of times (and possibly the second) with different players and it fell a bit flat each time with everyone. It was all a bit simple and straightforward. Still, I should give it another go, if only to justify all the time I spent painting the minis!