$11,500 FOR THE EMPORER
September 27, 2013 6:08 AM   Subscribe

Got $11,500 to throw away, a lot of free time, and an unbearable urge to burn all the heretics? Games Workshop is selling the Ultramarines chapter. All of them. Almost 1200 miniatures, unpainted, unassembled, just in time for your three year retreat from all human contact. That's okay, the people you would have hung out with are probably cultists anyway. via i09
posted by Ghidorah (47 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm sure you could buy a pretty good 3D printer for $11,500.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:19 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


I never got deeper into GW stuff than Blood Bowl and the occasional foray into smaller, more skirmishy games like Mordheim and Lord of the Rings, but is there any conceivable gameplay reason to own this many separate figures? Even in a games-convention environment, running 1200 miniatures to a side sounds unplayably enormous.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:20 AM on September 27, 2013


The worst part of this is that they are unpainted. Unpainted 1200 minatures.... Good grief. I guess if you had that much money you could hire a team to paint them all...

Now we just need them to sell Hive Fleet Behemoth and the battle for Macragge can begin!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 6:21 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


their price gouging knows no bounds. i laugh now at my naivete, thinking that when they moved away from metal minatures to entirely plastic ones that SURELY the price would drop. i remember thinking when they announced 3rd edition Space Hulk that this time SURELY it would be priced sensically and produced in volume large enough to ensure it wouldn't IMMEDIATELY become a collector's item... the list goes on and on.

Games Workshop has done more to limit the popularity of their own games than any company i have ever seen, and it makes me sad. every time the fanbase grows smaller, the prices go up. it seems to be their way of maintaining internal equilibrium. eventually it'll just be two guys, each one spending hundreds of dollars per figure to battle each other on some lonely tabletop tucked away from all human eyes except the executive board, who will be rubbing their hands together and cackling.
posted by radiosilents at 6:22 AM on September 27, 2013 [30 favorites]


I have not yet crunched the numbers on this particular collection of minis though I'm thinking its the summed, stock retail price for every kit involved. Other "one-click" bundles operate in the same way, offering no savings from buying the kits individually while appearing as one would expect discounted bundles to appear.

Mantic minis, Wargames Factory, and other third party retailers are your best method for playing this game (though don't expect to take third party minis into a GW store) at half the price one would expect to pay, or less.

For models that neither company covers (tanks, aliens, alien tanks, alien dinosaur tanks, planes, etc) I would suggest DakkaDakka as the place to go for non-GW product recommendations, conversion how-to's from historical miniatures, and useful info on what does and doesn't work on the table top in terms of third party miniatures. Also expect to see the douchiest of rules lawyers if you happen into the wrong sub forum.

Finally, the used mini's market is a great place to get actual GW models for more than half off. Don't expect to find unassembled minis. That is to say, don't expect to be able to assemble a commander exactly as you want it, expect every model to be plastic-melting-glued together and inseparable (zap-a-gap and other jet-glues allow one to kinda-sorta separate pieces with a hobby knife/pliers). Don't expect to just start playing with those minis. Some will need repairs and unless you are extremely lucky all will be in desperate need of Simple Green mediated paint stripping prior to your attempt at painting.

I would avoid Ebay like the plague unless the Craigslist market for GW products in your area is truly dead. Sellers on Ebay are looking to profit or at least make a fair bit of their money back as compared to the average Craigslist seller who (like myself two times in the past) has simply been looking to get rid of an army that was collecting dust before the shame of not having used it in two years got any larger.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Games Workshop has done more to limit the popularity of their own games than any company i have ever seen, and it makes me sad. every time the fanbase grows smaller, the prices go up. it seems to be their way of maintaining internal equilibrium.

There was, last time I checked in on the culture a few months back, a fairly detailed rumor set on GW trying to sell to Hasbro. Price increases, expansion of the product line into all aspects of the game (terrain, fluff, dice, rulers, game aids, useless game aids, etc), and a few other things factored into it.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:30 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


As per usual the 9,500 Euro this goes for to Europeans is worth 1,2817.40 US Dollars, so even at this level there is a 10+% discount for having an american bank account.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2013


Yay, it even includes those Space Marines who are cosplaying a larger Space Marine.
posted by emmtee at 6:42 AM on September 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Price gouging aside, I was thinking more along the lines of 'finally, they're bringing epic scale back! Just... larger.'
posted by Ghidorah at 6:42 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although sadly not the logical conclusion of that behaviour.

I just noticed, he still doesn't have his helmet on. Put your fucking helmet on, Brother Incineratus!
posted by emmtee at 6:43 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re: my above 'logical conclusion' link, presented without comment.
posted by emmtee at 6:46 AM on September 27, 2013


Yay, it even includes those Space Marines who are cosplaying a larger Space Marine.
posted by emmtee at 8:42 AM on September 27 [+] [!]


Yo Dawg, I heard you like power armour, so...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:46 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Price gouging aside, I was thinking more along the lines of 'finally, they're bringing epic scale back! Just... larger.'

This is what 40k Apocalypse is for, with your £1100 Titan maniple and your £960 Tau flying delta wing thing.

Still, free deliver eh?
posted by permafrost at 6:49 AM on September 27, 2013


Man, if ever a hobby has cried out for digitization, this is it. They could sell digital figures, a la Magic the Gathering Online with its digital cards. Have a trading zone, an awesome painting tool, and with a computer's help maybe that 1,200-man army could actually fight. No need for a humongous space, and best of all, you can save the battle for later!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:00 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I ever play a game of Warhammer I'm just going to use a giant bag of Sorry! pieces and Monopoly tokens.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:02 AM on September 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


It's been pretty much agreed upon that this particular bundle is a publicity stunt by games workshop designed to get attention. It seems that it is working.
posted by smackwich at 7:02 AM on September 27, 2013


Man, if ever a hobby has cried out for digitization, this is it.

Its definitely out there and free, though the graphics leave something to be desired. I've forgotten the proper name though...
posted by Slackermagee at 7:03 AM on September 27, 2013


One of the interesting things about 40K is the game is essentially analog. Computerized arbitration would diminish the game.
posted by Mitheral at 7:09 AM on September 27, 2013


Its definitely out there and free, though the graphics leave something to be desired. I've forgotten the proper name though...

That'd be Vassal, which is an engine with modules for a whole enormous bunch of boardgames, wargames etc. Games Workshop, predictably, do not like the 40k module one bit - it switched developers lately, I believe, and can currently be found here (though I've not used the new one myself, not having played 40k for a while).
posted by emmtee at 7:12 AM on September 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


the game is essentially analog

Given the ridiculously few games we ever got around to playing (vs. the ridiculous amount spent on our armies), I'd have to say most of the enjoyment I really, actually got from W40k and Epic Scale was the building, painting, and planning out armies. I've played the PC games they put out a couple years ago, and even the PSP Squad Command game. They're fun, in their own way, but they can't compare to the pride I felt showing of my armies, or the sense of accomplishment for each miniature I finished.

Then again, I'm willing to be half the reason I wear glasses now is due to having painted details onto my Epic Scale squad figures.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:16 AM on September 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Games Workshop has done more to limit the popularity of their own games than any company i have ever seen, and it makes me sad.

I'm enough of a game geek that I routinely pick up rulebooks for games I know I'll never play (just this week, I dropped US$25 the 4th Edition of Metamorphosis Alpha, but I'd draw the line at a $100 starter kit even if my painting skills weren't barely at the adequate-for-marking-my-spot-in-D&D level. WH40K's reputation even among players who enjoy the game is enough to keep me away.

Anyway, I don't need to play the miniatures game to enjoy the setting; I can read the novels (Ciaphas Cain ftw) and video games, or pick up obsolete codexes at Half Price Books for a song.
posted by Gelatin at 7:17 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


One of the interesting things about 40K is the game is essentially analog. Computerized arbitration would diminish the game.

That's, like, your opinion, man. I can tell you there's zero chance I will ever play the game as it is. If it was digitized? Hell, yes. I can't be the only one.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:20 AM on September 27, 2013


I get the distinct impression that the success of the Reaper Kickstarter project has unnerved someone.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:22 AM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


£960.00 for this baby.

Admittedly, it is huge enough to contain it's own army.
posted by Artw at 7:43 AM on September 27, 2013


I get the distinct impression that the success of the Reaper Kickstarter project has unnerved someone.

Ha, if you want to put Games Workshop prices in perspective, scroll down to the Vampire Pledge Reward to see what $100 can buy you, and keep scrolling... and scrolling...
posted by jason_steakums at 7:46 AM on September 27, 2013


Admittedly, it is huge enough to contain it's own army.

I've been trying to work out what that reminds me of and I've just got it.
posted by permafrost at 7:47 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The words "Games Workshop" will always, in my mind, be associated with these.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:00 AM on September 27, 2013


I've been trying to work out what that reminds me of and I've just got it.

Reminds me of this.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:09 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


A wargaming friend of mine moved to Flames of War, apparently largely due to the costs of the miniatures as compared to Warhammer.
posted by exogenous at 8:17 AM on September 27, 2013


and best of all, you can save the battle for later!

The corruption of Chaos never stops.

But yeah, I don't think it's coincidental that my friends who played W40K/F had well-off parents. Then again buying instruments is rather expensive too and no one complains about that.
posted by ersatz at 8:24 AM on September 27, 2013


Games Workshop has done more to limit the popularity of their own games than any company i have ever seen, and it makes me sad. every time the fanbase grows smaller, the prices go up. it seems to be their way of maintaining internal equilibrium.

Wondering at the popularity of anything can be a futile task. (See latest pop hit, box office smash, mainstream sitcom, etc.) But Games Workshop's popularity and success has always been opaque to me. The rules are so-so, the setting seems fit only for nihilistic 13 year-olds, the figures are expensive and often (to my eye) strangely cartoonish. Yet, you can go to small towns in the UK where there are no toy or game or arts & crafts stores and find a GW store there. There are "gamers" who just play GW products. It's massively popular. Why?

However, a couple of years ago I got to speak with someone who has worked with GW over a long period of time. His opinion was that GW was an un-paralleled money-making machine. Not a cent leaves the enterprise:

- you use GW rules to the the game
- you use GW figures for the game
- the figures are painted with GW paints
- the figures are based with GW materials
- you take part in a GW-run tournament
- you read about the game, figures and tournament in a GW magazine
- for a while you could listen to metal bands sponsored by GW

Allegedly, GW hired a consultant to look at their business and see how they could make more money. Answer: they couldn't.

I'm sceptical that GW is shrinking or failing in anyway. They have a peculiarly integrated and vertical business and defied common sense for a long time, no reason why they can't keep doing it.
posted by outlier at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The sale of WH40K miniatures is likely a move to recoup losses from Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, the MMO-focused franchise adaptation that was forced to declare peace.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:27 AM on September 27, 2013


buying instruments is rather expensive too and no one complains about that

Oh yes they most certainly do!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:00 AM on September 27, 2013


buying instruments is rather expensive too and no one complains about that

Oh yes they most certainly do!


When I wanted to join the band in 6th grade, I tried out on the tuba, the baritone, and the french horn: the three instruments that were so expensive that the school would always provide them.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:33 AM on September 27, 2013


emmtee: "Its definitely out there and free, though the graphics leave something to be desired. I've forgotten the proper name though...

That'd be Vassal, which is an engine with modules for a whole enormous bunch of boardgames, wargames etc. Games Workshop, predictably, do not like the 40k module one bit - it switched developers lately, I believe, and can currently be found here (though I've not used the new one myself, not having played 40k for a while).
"

Well, that is certainly better than the recent digital re-release of Space Hulk.....
posted by Samizdata at 9:42 AM on September 27, 2013


Steely-eyed Missile Man: "One of the interesting things about 40K is the game is essentially analog. Computerized arbitration would diminish the game.

That's, like, your opinion, man. I can tell you there's zero chance I will ever play the game as it is. If it was digitized? Hell, yes. I can't be the only one.
"

Over 303 hours in Dawn of War: Soulstorm according to Steam (and that doesn't count the playing the originals or my pre-Steam DoW time)?
posted by Samizdata at 9:46 AM on September 27, 2013


I have played way more DoW2 than I like to believe (thank you, Steam stats), but that's really not the same thing.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:52 AM on September 27, 2013


Steely-eyed Missile Man: "I have played way more DoW2 than I like to believe (thank you, Steam stats), but that's really not the same thing."

Of course not, you picked DoW 2, which in my mind really screwed up the equation. Warhammer (in general, in my opinion) is all about big, sweeping battles, not intimate little encounters. DoW versus DoW 2, in my experience is like the difference between a stadium concert and a jazz club.
posted by Samizdata at 9:56 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think GW's normal bundling does not offer any discount, but this massive army might be a 15% reduction over purchasing each set individually. At this scale, however, the discount is pretty inconsequential.

I tried playing 1500- and 2000-point games, which averaged around 50 to 75 models (more or less depending on the specific army or unit types). Each game took almost 2 or 3 hours to complete. I can't imagine the logistics involved in playing an entire chapter, let alone a whole company.

I was a big fan of "40K in 40 minutes" which emphasized smaller games, and "Kill Team" is a more-recent addition that is the official version with slightly modified rules. What I really want, however, is a return to the 3rd Ed Kill Team that let you develop specialist squads that did not adhere to typical unit organization. I always felt it led to more intimate games without a huge time investment.
posted by CancerMan at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2013


Unpainted 1200 minatures.... Good grief.

I think you meant to say, "Great god damn!!" á la James Brown.

In the 1980s my family went to England on vacation, and my favorite souvenir was a big box of unpainted miniature dwarves from the Games Workshop store in York. I still have one of them, too!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:39 AM on September 27, 2013


CASH FOR THE CASH GOD
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:19 PM on September 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


The words "Games Workshop" will always, in my mind, be associated with these. (Link to Wikipedia on the The Enemy Within FRP campaign.)

Hogshead here is of Hogshead Publishing, who published the later edition of that. I'm not sure he's still with the company though. Maybe he'll chime in? I remember he has a different outlook on Games Workshop's business methods than some of us do, maybe he can provide some background, if he shows up?
posted by JHarris at 1:38 PM on September 27, 2013


Part of me suspects that this is to make it easier for WH40K hobbyist Robin Williams to order his minis.
posted by mobunited at 2:00 PM on September 27, 2013


- for a while you could listen to metal bands sponsored by GW

Bolt Thrower - Realm Of Chaos (Slaves To Darkness)

Still one of the best death metal albums of all time, and with the gatefold artwork and many paged insert one of the top 5 LP's to look at while listening to ever.
posted by mediocre at 4:04 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The sale of WH40K miniatures is likely a move to recoup losses from Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, the MMO-focused franchise adaptation that was forced to declare peace.

You've got the wrong end of the stick. EA paid GW a large sum of money to use that license for five years. The five years is up, and now Warhammer Online is shutting down entirely (not just Wrath of Heroes) because it wasn't making enough money to justify paying GW another large sum of money to renew the license.

(I did not work on WAR, but I worked at Mythic while it was being developed.)
posted by restless_nomad at 11:22 AM on September 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a decent, honest-to-the-style-of-play Epic scale game years ago, for the PC. I can't remember the name of it, but you got to play full-on, with Titans, Marines, Imperial Guard, and the whole works against Orks. I played the hell out of that, and that's roughly what I'd like to see, a decent, large scale, turn based game on the PC. If it were scalable (skirmishes, a la 40k, to battles, a la Epic), I could pretty much die a happy man.

And... if they could make an army designer, when you could put together your own chapters, develop your own heroes, well, I doubt I'd ever leave the house again.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:35 PM on September 29, 2013


That was Final Liberation, I still load it up from time to time. Slitherine Strategies recently got the license and announced Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon. Which sounds a lot like what you want.
posted by the_artificer at 8:50 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


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