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?