GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

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GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby -Papa Gino » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:55 am

This was on a Polish forum, apparently the event took place a few days ago (early March).

www.cytadela.pl/modules.p...le&sid=678

Most of the names/text/pics are self-explanatory (unfortunately I can't get half the photos to show...drat!), but here's a brief translation of a few excerpts:

Between February 27 and March 1, there took place the first ever conference of Polish GW retailers in Warsaw, Poland. Topics discussed included GW's expansion and marketing strategy for emerging markets, and general company information. For the benefit of Polish hobbyists, we are sharing here the plans that were shared with us for the new releases in the near future.

The second paragraph talks about GW pricing strategy. Basically, they have found that prices escalate/need to be escalated by 3-4% per year or an average of 20% every 5 years. So the new strategy is to keep to +20% rate in 5 years for ALL product categories, except those where run-rate averages are already at 20%-25% (which stay the same until the run-rate average decreases). In other words, CURRENT pricing for almost all products will grow by ~4% per year, though probably not in annual increments. [My questions to GW would have been - are you familiar with the compounding effect, and what stops you from kicking prices up 20% today CLAIMING that you'll stabilize them for 5 years. Whatever.] The bottom line is - prices will rise.

Lots of Eldar releases, partly as some of the figures are circa 1988. In addition to the list of Harlequin releases, the section talks about Guardians switching over from a box of 16 to a box of 10+platform, and a Dark Eldar box of 10 Wych Elves (presumably, this means the Dark Eldar aren't dead).

By the way, the comment SPLASH (e.g. Harlequin Troupe Master - SPLASH) has to do with release timing - IGNORE THE BRET BATTALION PICTURE. The Brets were used as an illustration - first the Battalion comes out, then 3 months later you get the individual Pegasus Knights. So first the Harlequin sets (non-SPLASH) come out, then 3 months later the SPLASH-marked components (Master, Harlequins, etc.). At least that's what I THINK they're saying (my Polish isn't exactly "native").

Then there is a long section on LOTR. Lovely pics, otherwise I skipped the whole thing. Plus, I think you all can understand "Khazad Dum", "Erebor", "Durin's Host" and "Moria Army". Lots of Dwarf releases, in other words.

Terrain/paints - well, terrain, obviously. The big thing is the release of new primers, basically the paragraph explains that high-pigment paints are not-very-easy to get right on traditional primers (white/black), so they're releasing yellow/red/green/whatever. GW CLAIMS that tests showed these were as good as Vallejo comps.

Summer campaign "Nemesis Crown" - will see the terrain releases. [They claim it'll be "like" the Medusa campaign but with a few "lessons learned".] Plastic hills and trees (yes, the site claims that the trees in that pic are plastic), several ruins/"architectural complexes", towers.

Mighty Empires is coming - set has 48 hexes to make a campaign out of - pieces include castles, mines(?? - I think that word means "mines"), flags/towers for marking each hex. They are calling it "The Universal Campaign Supplement".

The summer campaign will coincide with some WFB releases, all coming for Empire, Dwarfs and Orcs (guess which armies will Nemesis Crown revolve around...). You can read the bullet points yourselves - the comments on "Dwarf Lord & Army Standard" can be ignored (talking about "collecting" the metal Lord models), "Hellguns" == plastic Helblaster/Helstorm dual-use sprues, "Empire Foot Wizards" == "will replace the current mounted/foot blisters, nothing to justify mounted mages, plus production issues with producing a single plastic mage set vs. a larger kit like a Giant". SPLASH comments as before (delayed release).

Orc megaforce contents - 40 Orcs, 20 BOs (new plastic BO set), 20 NGs, 1 chariot (Boar?), 10 Spider Riders, 3 Fanatics.

Dwarf megaforce contents - 40 Warriors, 40 Thunderers, 2 cannon/organ guns, 20 Miners (new plastic Miner set - WITH A PONY AND A CART).

If anyone has more questions on details/translations/etc., let me know.
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby VectorAWX3 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:05 am

Gahhhh!!!!! Crap, crap, and tripple crap.

If I finish my elves now, they'll release all new models which will make mine look crappy. If I finish them later, I have to wait 9 months to start playing the "proper" army. Alternatively, if I wait, I can pick up the current line of minis for dirt cheap.

Hmmm... I'm assuming they're going to release the more elite elves in plastics (as they did with some dwarves, no?), and likely leave the spearmen/archers as they are, since they're not that old. So I'll just wait for those and use the uber-ancient ones I bought off of ebay 8 years back for now.

Alright.. good stuff. At least it's on the schedule. Thanks for the update.

So Gene, at which pricing point does the hobby fall apart? 4% sounds like they're trying to keep up with inflation. Obviously, the very nature of the hobby means that people with more money buy less product (they have more responsibility, less time to paint and game, have been in the hobby for years so already have several old armies hanging around).
Jaghatai, on the Pale Rider event: I hop on this board to post a simple NEWCC question, end up looking at some interacial lesbian action and watch a religious meltdown. You guys know how to party!
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby mattbird » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:34 am

the trees look even better in those pics. great models
jer732 wrote:Birdoff makes me want to rage quit life
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby -Papa Gino » Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:56 am

Quote:
So Gene, at which pricing point does the hobby fall apart? 4% sounds like they're trying to keep up with inflation. Obviously, the very nature of the hobby means that people with more money buy less product (they have more responsibility, less time to paint and game, have been in the hobby for years so already have several old armies hanging around).


Precisely what happened to me after I finished grad school (and found a job; the two need not be one and the same). [Perhaps, if I go back, I might yet be able to turn back time...of course, that would mean my salary would regress as well. Curses!]

Here's the thing. Far from all businesses in the world - especially subscriber businesses, which is what GW is, more or less - peg their pricing to inflation. If an industry is operating in a steady state - no price wars, no operating cost issues, etc. etc. - then you'll pay the same $50 for your cable, the same $20 for your magazine subscription, the same $2500 for one of the more tricked-out Dell PCs, etc. A LOT of products do not obey the "price-to-inflation" rule, at least so long as there isn't abnormal or hyper-inflation (in which case everyone doing business in that particular currency is up a creek).

Basically, if competition is present, price increase has to either be sector-wide or based on content differentiation (e.g. different oil fields pump out different kinds of oil, some cheaper, some more expensive); if no competition is present and it's an unregulated business (e.g. Microsoft), you raise prices in so far as demand elasticity allows you (at some point, each incremental $1 loses you just enough volume to make the revenue impact $0 or negative, so you wouldn't do it). If it's an oligopoly, or a Multiple Large Players type of business, you have a combination of the two models - drug companies raise prices so long as they can get away with it; Ford/GM cannot, at least not WITHIN a given product class. Neither can AMD/Intel (who are having yet another price war as we speak). Neither can cable providers, since they're trying to retain subscribers and do not necessarily possess vastly different content.

So at that point, a business can either strive to increase volume or cut costs. Or both. If you drive volume up, especially in a high-fixed-costs business (airlines), each extra $1 you get in sales gives you an increasing share of profit (10% to 15% to 20%, etc.). Even in a low-fixed-costs business you can still nudge your margins up past the rate of inflation if said rate is low enough and you drive enough growth. On the cost-cutting side, you can improve margins by doing more with less - moving your plants to China, outsourcing accounting functions, keeping wages low (and note - the average real wage in this country has not really kept pace with anything in the past 20 years), cut pensions/benefits, tighten work rules, hedge input prices, etc. etc. etc.

So - that's the general state of things. In GW's case, the story is - to me - somewhat bifurcated. 10 years ago they were THE provider in their market segment (depending on how you define their specific market - e.g. do you include Starfleet Battles or not, do you include D20 games/video games or not, etc.). At that point, content didn't matter quite as much - it was what it was. Pricing also didn't matter quite as much, so long as they kept prices below the limit imposed on them by demand elasticity (i.e. at some point even upper-middle-class gamers are going to say "screw this" and buy little enough new product to force a revenue drop). They were Con Edison, and NYC had to take it or leave it.

NOW, we have the following trends. Competition - both from other gaming companies (Privateer, Battlefront - each thus far not repeating the mistakes of Target & FASA), and from alternative modes of entertainment (things like video-game penetration and MORPGs - which had existed even in the 1980s - remember MUDs? - but didn't have quite their current volume). At the same time, GW has increased its fixed costs - more stores (it had a store-based expansion strategy). Think of it as if Time Warner had built out a new cable infrastructure in NYC, and then faced inroads from overbuilders (lease TW lines to ship content to subscribers), satellite, guys like Verizon doing triple play plans, and TV viewership challenges like streams and Ipod videos.

The only way you can raise prices in this environment is if you have sufficient content differentiation to get away with charging a premium. I.e. if only Time Warner had HBO and Cinemax. Otherwise, at some point the subscribers will pick their service on price (and reliability). In order to grow, GW has to underprice the competition OR offer premium content. Or, if it chooses to do neither, it can try and cut costs to retain profitability through inflation, etc.

Well, having a lot of stores (and opening new ones) by definition leaves you exposed to fixed cost issues. You're left with driving volume. If you can't drive volume, well, you have issues, if not now, then when the cycle turns and EVERYONE gets hurt for a time. Especially if you're getting beat on content (at least arguably).

NOW that you've read all of that, provided that you're still awake and coherent, NOW consider GW's stated policy of raising prices. They are effectively behaving like a quasi-monopolist, whose only constraint is the price elasticity of demand. Based on their stated belief that their content is so far above all other alternatives, that their subscribers will remain loyal. While their expanding store networks will generate sufficient new subscribers to grow the business.

What do I know. They could, potentially, be right. Of course, thus far they're in their third straight year of significant sales declines, and at least 1-1.5 years past the point where they could be attributed to LOTR.

Very predictable. Doesn't mean GW doesn't have a prayer - on the contrary. It can survive on the margin for a long, long time, at least if it doesn't actively shoot itself in the foot. And can even make a bit of money if it finds a competent manager to address the cost structure of the business (at least!). However, the fact that they're addressing their financial condition with price hikes speaks to me of almost desperation. "We can't drive volume like we thought we could, so we'll drive price." Works until it doesn't.
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby -the black prince » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:35 pm

Quote:
They claim it'll be "like" the Medusa campaign but with a few "lessons learned"


like just doing it like the eye of terror, mehopes.
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby Ring87 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:59 pm

No Offense, I have a couple of degrees in Economics and that was a bit dry for me. I do like those woods though:D . How about those Ogres?

High Elves Book, High Elves Book, High Elves Book.....
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby WickerNipple » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:03 pm

Woods ain't modular.

Means they're pretty, but no one would play on them even if we bought them.
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Re: GW new releases/etc. from a GW event in Poland

Postby Ring87 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:18 pm

True..difficult terrain maybe.
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