Saturday, 30 June 2012

321 "Dear Games Workshop..." (a genuine complaint)

I just sent them this. Pity.
Dear Games Workshop,

I have been playing Warhammer 40000 since its Second Edition, and have always been loyal to the company. Despite - like many long-term players - being dismayed at disproportionate price hikes over the last decade-or-so in particular, and despite your apparent unwillingness to listen in any meaningful way to your 40K customer base, I have always striven whenever possible to buy my models and rulebooks directly from GW. 

A last week I pre-ordered my copy of the new Sixth Edition rulebook. Like so many others I have been full of positive anticipation for it and the new direction in which I assume you will be nudging the game and the hobby, encouraged, of course, by your trailers and publicity for the launch. Imagine, therefore, my displeasure and disgruntlement at not receiving my pre-ordered rulebook today. This after having received an email on Wednesday 27th June informing me it had been shipped. I find this utterly, utterly unacceptable.

I live in a rural area. By no means am I in the back of beyond: I'm only 25 minutes from Plymouth - a major city, postal hub and (for that matter) GW store location. However, other family commitments, coupled with the cost of travel, parking etc. and an apparently misplaced faith in your ability to post a book to me in a reasonable amount of time meant that I knew I'd be unable to get to a GW store on the feted 'launch day', so I chose to take advantage of your pre-order service. In the past my use of this service has resulted in the receipt of your products in a very timely manner indeed - my copy of Codex: Imperial Guard, for example, arrived the day before its official launch. This made me a happy customer. To wait until an 11am post in order to discover I did not receive something posted three days ago and then be in a postition to be able to do nothing about it is simply not good enough.

I called your helpline, and a pleasant gentleman called ++++ reassured me that I ought to receive my order "in the first half of next week" - "hopefully Monday", and explained that they don't usually get products to home addresses for launch days, suggesting that I ought to have gone to a store to pick it up. He also provided me with a tracking reference (although what help that will be on a Sunday when nothing travels in the post or on Monday when I'm hard at work I don't know) and (only) after listening to my complaint gave me this address to which I might email my thoughts on the matter. Please be clear: my grief is not with ++++.

I fully anticipate and appreciate that there would have been some notice/tickbox/small-print etc. advising me that delivery time might be upto 28 days or somesuch, but what was certainly lacking was a HUGE warning clearly stating something to the effect of:


Maybe this could even come with an addendum: "...EVEN IF IT GETS POSTED THREE DAYS EARLIER AND YOU LIVE ON THE UK MAINLAND".

Please forgive the flippancy there, but I hope you get a sense of my frustration (and this really is the crux of my complaint): If it had been made clear that I probably wouldn't receive my pre-order on or before the advertised date then I wouldn't have pre-ordered it. In fact, I would have planned to visit GW Plymouth or GW Exeter and I almost certainly would have purchased more of your products whilst in store.

In short, you have lost the faith of someone who really ought to be a valued customer; you have lost money I would have spent; you have almost certainly lost my direct custom, which will now most likely go to independent traders who seem not only to be more friendly but also a damned sight more efficient; and you have lost an awful lot of goodwill in someone who has always championed your work in a rather public and widely-read context, albeit anonymously. 

I respect that you still run your business primarily from the UK, and I applaud you for the friendliness of your customer services team. I only hope that (a) someone has taken the time to read and understand this complaint, and (b) someone has the wherewithal to reply to me personally. I hope you are able to take my comments on board, and I look forward to your response.



Wednesday, 27 June 2012

320 Wait - Did You Say There's a New Edition Coming?

Ach, well - I guess no-one's going to be reading my stuff for a while. But I got a notification today that my book's been 'dispatched' so hopefully I'll have it before too long...though doubtless I'll miss the post and have to troll down to the Post Office to collect it.
Meantime, I thought I'd come up with a wishlist of 5 things that would make playing my ol' Guard a little less painful at times, along with a link:
  1. Fix voxes somehow. Even in a pdf update. Make them useful and fluffy like they should be.
  2. I hope in GW's/Mat Ward's plan to make everything impossible to kill that Guardsmen don't now die too easily...
  3. Vehicles should use their side armour values when assaulted
  4. Please don't make all the bloody terrain into fiery Guard-deathpits
  5. Let's have a glimmer of hope for humanity, please? Just one?
Here's to it...

- D.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

319 Fighting Siph's Relictors...

...was absolutely great...
...and I took an absolute thrashing. Six of the best, trousers down. Seriously - it was the most comically unfortunate game I have played in a long, long time.

Don't get me wrong - I was squarely and fairly beaten by the very personable Siph Horridus and his beautifully painted Relictors, and Siph played a good game, but I was definitely unlucky with my rolls. Comically unlucky.

Siph's done a great job of relating the story (did we really only manage three turns? Jeez!), and I implore you to visit this link to his site, but he also sent me copies of the photos, so for the sake of completeness I shall include a selection of them forthwith.

Key moments in the game?
- With all my units neceassarily bunched and half in the open, Siph steals the initiative. Ouch!
- His shiney new storm talon flies 36" (thirty-six bloody inches?!) across the board and promptly gets blown apart by my hydra;
- Both his chaplain-led jump pack squad AND his close asault terminators fail their charges through terrain and are elft standing there like loonies.
- My lone meltagunner and his sergeant...flawlessly failing to hit the landraider 4" in front of them and yet resolutely steeling themselves for an onslaught of very slicey terminators. 
- My reserves not really bothering to show up. Especially Marbo. Git.

Until next time...thanks, Siph!

- D.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

318 Amazing, Beautiful New Terrain!

The title says it all - here are some sneak peeks at the new scenery tables being worked on for the 40K campaign weekend coming up next month at my FLGS, The Giant's Lair. Seriously, there guys really know their onions when it comes to busting cool-looking tables.

Part of the idea for these is that they each represent the terrain on the different moons over the system being fought over. Firstly, the stunning 'Chaos Volcano':
Next, an incredible 'Ice' table - I've never seen its like before. None of this comes out in the photo, but trust me when I say it has about 6 different layers of iceflow, which all look as if they're actually moving and which are topped by a sheet of perspex, upon which additional terrain may be placed:
And thridly, a pretty huge third table (I think the 'water' is temporary:
I'll take more when I can!

- Drax.

Friday, 15 June 2012

317 Battling Gravis Part 3: Game 2 [more pics]

Hullo, gang.

Sorry for the delay - but here are the pics of the second game Col Gravis and I played last week. We played 'Prepared Assault' from the Battle Missions book at 2000pts with fairly fun and fluffy lists. And Gravis brought along his beautiful, beautiful Malcador defender too.

If you're unfamiliar with Prepared Assault, it's attacker vs defender with the 'stray rounds' rule, whereby half-inch squares of paper flutter down like stray battlecannon sheels. It was good fun! I was defending, and to cut a long story short, I conceded defeat at 11.20pm after gravis had played a good tactical game and I'd been a little unlucky. It was a fight well won.

Here's some of the proof. Forces beforehand, then my and his deployments, then a few shots from the game. As the evening got later the photos grew scarcer:

- Drax.