Saturday, September 17, 2011
Dread Fleet Surfaces (kinda)
Sooooo it is Sept 17th and GW has had teasers in their shops and on their website about their upcoming secret box. The last big box was of course Space Hulk which ran a hefty price but provided amazing one off models for Marines and Tyranids as well as a good beer and pretzels game. Well GW was even more secretive this time around (not even releasing a name for the game that was be released though it had been leaked that Dread Fleet or Fleets would be the title).
I woke up, had a lovely brunch with great friends, hit the gym and stopped by GW to check out the insanity. They had Pirate metal blaring, staff dressed up as pirates, treasure chests, regulars dressed as pirates, wanted posters AND... Nothing... HUH? I walked in asked asked about the models and the game and was told the name. I was then walked to their computer and was shown photos from the GW website... Really? This really stinks of kurfuffal to me.
Two years ago GW charged $160 for 11 or twelve termies, a changeable board and a pile of genestealers (plus broodlord). The models looked great and were immediately usable by those of us who play 40K (GW's bread and butter game). The price tag was stupidly high for a board game but most of us fanboys bit the bullet and got stuck in (and some of us bought two). I want to make a point by repeating something. The models were of a scale that perfectly integrated with a popular game system. They were detailed one of a kinda. Ok... moving on... I thought at the time it was a risk selling the game at that price point but it worked and worked well.
Wellll.... They are trying it again. This time with a new game. Dreadfleet. Ok the models are once again "one of a kind" and really sweet (as you can see with my liberal pasting of the piccies throughout this post). The game has a nice rulebook and includes a playing mat, terrain, all kinds of counts, and three sea monsters!!! (oh and ten ships from a variety of races) Sweet right... Welll... This time around after years of global financial crisis Dreadfleet is being sold for a whopping $190! Great Googley Moogley! That is a hell of a price tag for a glorified board game.
Now here is my biggest problem... The models are not integrateable with any existing GW game or scale. This is a problem because as GW keep pointing out as a selling point, the game is a ONE OFF. It is not going to stick around, there are going to be no expansions and it will never be supported again. That is a hell of a price for a game that is limited like that and whose models cannot be used for anything else.
To combat this GW needed to be really proactive about getting the game out there and selling the hell out of this. I worked for GW sales back in the day and we believed that in order for a sale to occur you had to show people that GW products are a superior product. OK, well that is not happening here. In a real world where Dystopian Wars is gaining popularity by the day and Spartan games is about to rerelease their fantasy naval game using the Dystopian Wars success as a foundation, GW had to really get their game face on. A blog article, some pictures on a website AND NO MODELS IN THE SHOPS (or real information for the pirate dressed staff to pass on) does not cut it. GW has let the ship sail so to speak. I feel for the old Red Shirts out there. This does look like a good game but selling it is going to be tough given these factors.
I do like the look of the game but I am really disappointed in the way this is being done. I understand that GW wants to control releases a bit better but cutting their staff off at the knees (and annoying customers) is a crappy way of doing it.
My 2 yen
(All prices mentioned in this blog are Australian and are in Aussie dollars... Which is crazy since it is worth more than the greenback at the moment. In the US Dreadfleet will run $115ish... What a crappy price difference...)