Monday, January 9, 2012

We Can Only Blame Ourselves

Recently BoLS started a conversation on their site about why folks felt WFB was in decline. The common response was that the entry point for the game was too high (entry being prices and model count). Personally, I tend to agree with these observations, but I do think that maybe this situation is a result of how the community responded to the release of 8th edition.

Generally speaking, most players decided to jump up the average game size from 2000 to ~2400 points. This alone would not be a major factor if it were not for the fact that every army book released since 8th edition was released has typically dropped the point cost of most core choices. Take for example Ogres. A basic ogre costs 30 points now, compared to ~35 points in the prior book. Now factor in that a player needs 600 points of core for a 2400 point game. This means that a player must now field 20 ogre models, where in comparison they would only need to field ~14 models at 35 points a model and ~17 models at 30 points per ogre. Basically by raising the game size, players have caused the entry level of the game to increase dramatically (in my example, a player now needs to buy another box of ogres just to meet the minimum requirements).

The easy response to this is that GW is still to blame since they are the ones that lowered the points in an attempt to generate more sales. While I agree that does make sense, I would counter such a response with the observation that GW never specifically states what they consider to be the standard game size. The community generally sets the norm and it is appears in this case that we raised it too quickly.

So what is the solution to the problem? Does the community embrace the idea of going back down to 2000 points as the standard? Doubtful. Should GW lower the price per model (which can be done in a couple of different fashions)? They could, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. This leaves us with only one viable solution and that is for current players of the hobby to lift themselves up and celebrate their love of the hobby. Another way to put it would be to say that we need to make the cost of entry appear to be worth more. This seems to be the only viable solution, though I hope maybe others can suggest something else that would work.


  1. OR... They could just go back to playing 2000 point games.

    The one and only true fix is to eliminate the bogus percentage system for unit selection.

  2. Eliminating the percentage system only works if special and rare choices are a better pts/$ ratio, which isn't true in all cases.

    I think that FLGS's need to promote lower points levels in entry level games and tournaments. 1000-1500 pts is not a bad level, it allows you to have a hero, some core choices, and 1 or 2 cool units, perfect for an introductory game and beginning armies.

    Personally, I would never buy 2000 pts of an army at once, its just crazy, it promotes building the army quickly and not painting, both of which I think should be emphasized as an important part of the hobby.

  3. @Oni - I disagree with the idea of removing the percentage system as is it helps to prevent min/max building to a certain degree. The slot system was simply to easy to break when it came to army design. Also, if GW did bring it back, I wouldn't be surprised if they suddenly raised the minimum size of most units to compensate for sales.

    As for GW going back to advertising, I mean Battle Reports, at 2000 points, I would not expect to see it.