Its not as if I have been away from Games Workshop and its unique pricing structure for a long time but I recently stumbled across the latest 40K Dark Angel releases at Sentry Box and I was really quite taken aback by the prices. A box of the new plastic Terminators was $70 Cnd for five miniatures. To be fair that box does come with the ability to make one of three different types of Terminators but it, as well as the prices for the other new figures really surprised me.
Now I have spent more than a few years debating the rather unorthodox pricing scheme that GW uses, their frequent price updates and voracious desire to gouge as much cash from their customers as they can. That was before I started spending my time, and money, with board games and war games and the difference in the amount of material that you get from these types of games is really staggering.
I recently picked up the Beyond Valor module for Advanced Squad Leader. The box contains 14 sheets of counters that cover almost all of the troops, weapons and vehicles for the Soviets and Germans in the Eastern Front in WWII. It has ten map boards and 24 printed scenarios. MMP, the publisher, also links to eight free scenarios on their website that you can use with the module. All of this for $115. For $70 GW gives you five minis and a load of bits. Beyond Valor is also the most expensive game I have purchased in a while. Combat Commander: Europe from GMT Games was $79 and it came with 630 counters, 6 double-sided maps, 220 cards, rulebook, scenario book and some game aids. Combat Commander: Europe only has twelve scenarios but it also comes with a random scenario generator to use to create custom games.
And these are relatively expensive wargames. Its not as if I am deliberately picking cheap games for the sake of making my case seem more compelling.
Tabletop gaming is expensive, far more than any comparable board gaming experience, but it really has become apparent to me not only how much more expensive it is in general but how ridiculously expensive Games Workshop games are. Heck GW is currently offering a pre-order bundle for the new Warhammer Chaos Warrior army that includes the new army book, a large monster, three regiment boxes and a Chaos Lord figure for $369.50 Cnd. For the same money I could buy Combat Commander: Europe, Mediterranean, Pacific and the Normandy, Stalingrad and New Guinea expansion packs.
It really just does stagger you when you do the math and compare the small box of plastic bits you get from GW and the amount of product you get from FFG, GMT, MMP or any other boardgame producer for the same amount.
Even if my condition would allow me to get back into miniature gaming I really wouldn’t at this point.