Monday, September 21, 2015

Models or Games?

I find myself in a very interesting spot of my hobby life. Here I am, finally understanding the moniker Games Workshop has always adopted that, they are a model company who happens to make games.

Our friends over at Bell of Lost Souls published an article, Inside the Boardroom: Games Workshop’s Profit Machine. It's really an interesting insight into GW's game plan approach to their company and the type of people they are selling to.

No one has been able to deny that they make the best models in the industry. Prior to this point in my life however, I have insisted that they were a game company first. If they hadn't had a game, I never would have bought their models. Quoting the aforementioned article, the author of this report claims GW is saying 20% of their customers play their games. This seems outrageous to me, but is it accurate?

Mantic Games introduced the members of Master Crafted to a company that operates almost entirely opposite from Games Workshop. Suddenly, you have a lack of model support, but the best rule-set I've experience for games to date. Seriously, every complaint an otherwise unaware GW game fan has is resolved by Mantic. It's quality, quality stuff...but their models are severely lacking. There are ranges of armies and factions that are outright missing and some incomplete. This is a stark contrast to the model juggernaut GW is.

As a company, Mantic won me as a customer in the same way GW did. I am a consumer who likes to reward a company for making a product I enjoy. As such, in starting a new army for Kings of War, I really wanted to support Mantic by giving them my business. We do a lot of battle reports and want to highlight their games and products in them. My army selection boiled down to Kingdoms of Men or Twilight Kin...both of which fall short on models, the prior being non-existent.

Before I make this seem too harsh on Mantic, they're still setting their feet as far as growth of a company. Most of their projects are backed by Kickstarter. In fact, just as of this morning their Warpath Kickstarter was launched. Go check it out if you dig sci-fi gaming. I truly believe they'll get there. My issue was that I couldn't satisfy that itch of right now I need it/want it gimme gimme gimme.

So we start to see what GW has been saying...and where I had to go to purchase a bulk of my models.  Mantic proudly allows third party models used in their games. There are a tremendous amount of alternative ranges with wonderful models available. Ultimately though, I bought as much as I could from Mantic, but then had to reach out to complete the army...and I ended up with Games Workshop models.
Twilight Kin Mega Army

The products they offered were done so in a way that I could buy a lot of models in bulk. Being a US resident, they were also quickly available. I can't say the same for a lot of other manufacturers. Those points alone were enough to keep me purchasing their products even though I am not playing their game.

So to me, they have finally and officially become a model company that happens to make games.

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