Wednesday 5 November 2014

Supply, demand and Bretonnia

So a couple of days ago, completely out of nowhere, the long-missing resin Bretonnia kits just reappeared on Game Workshop's webstore: Grail Knights, Questing Knights, Grail Reliqueae, Field Trebuchet, Battle Pilgrims, the Battle Standard Bearer and the Bretonnian Lord with a lance and Harry Hill's collar. We're still missing Mounted Yeomen (which is no great loss) and the Questing Vow Lord that looks like Sean Connery (which is) but they were never made in Finecast so that's not surprising.

By the time I got to the store the next morning to order some of the things, with the clear intention of ordering the lot, all that was still in stock were the Grail Knights and the Battle Standard Bearer. Harry Hill is now back in stock (so the “temporarily out of stock” tag seems legit) and you bet I'm ordering it today.

This is not the first time, even this month, that GW has been surprised by demand. The second End Times book came out last weekend, it had sold out on pre-orders within twelve hours and even a really big GW store like Reading could only get five copies on release day. Now a bunch of old models from a very minor army with the oldest and most out-dated army book still in service get a new pressing and sell out in a day. So I guess what I'm saying is this:

Can we please, internet, end this idiotic comment meme about how “No one plays Fantasy so why does GW support it?”, a comment exclusively written by idiots for idiots.

First of damn all, we have two separate examples of GW being surprised by demand for Fantasy products. I can understand why they would have under-produced on Bretonnia resins for all the reasons I just listed but The End Times: Glottkin was designed as a marquee product so that actually surprises me.

Now, I'm under no delusions of why the Bretonnia resins were resurrected and why they sold out so rapidly: Bretonnia is a huge part of Glottkin. They just got an enormous marketing push with a load of really cool visuals and background and the models were pressed to capitalise on that.

And they still sold out.

I guess I am just sort of gloating at gamers on the internet (one extremely irritating individual in particular) who keep insisting my favourite army is getting the chop. Proof has just been delivered that if given the product the fanbase will buy the product in enough numbers to not only justify but exhaust a production run based on a huge marketing push. Now imagine what could be achieved by replacing those resin kits with more highly-detailed multi-part plastics?

So yes, internet, people play Fantasy but they need different forms of encouragement than 40k players, who tend to be younger and more prone to switching between armies than Fantasy players. Once GW engages Fantasy players they'll lay down the cash. The End Times has been engaging (and creating) Fantasy players like nothing I've seen since Storm Of Chaos. I admit, of course, that it isn't as big a seller as 40k but the idea that GW has an entire product line they pour real cash into to zero profit is an insane claim given its usually voiced by the paranoid and delusional individuals who cry foul at the very idea that a corporate entity might have to make money to support out hobby.