Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Shift in Gaming

Over the past few months I have noticed a shift taking place at my local game store. Many of the regular gamers have started playing more skirmish games and are drifting away from the GW games. Talking to the guys at the shop they all seem to have a different reason for making this shift. A few of the reoccurring reasons are as follows:

Cost: With yet another price increase from GW it is getting harder to get into the game or another army. I just purchased an army for Malifaux, the rules, playing cards and custom bases and spent less the $180. With all the models that I purchased I have what is considered a large army. You can’t beat that price tag when you think about how much your 40k army cost you.

Play Time: Many of the skirmish games take about an hour to play. This give a player the opportunity to get a few games in while at the shop and play more people. This is good for the gamer that goes to the shop after work and wants to play a game however does not have the time for 40k or WFB. A quick game of Infinity and then go home to the wife and kids.

Transportation: Lets face it, transporting armies has been a issue for many gamers. Packing up your army of 100 plus models can be a task. Yes there are all types of transportation option on the market however it can still be a task. Most skirmish games only require 10 models and can be transported in a cigar box. That is small enough to take with you ever time you go to the shop.

Painting: Only having 10 models in my army, I can get that painted in a week. You see a lot more painted armies on the table and we all enjoy the game more when the models are painted.

Change of Pace: I think this came up more then anything else. We put some much time and energy into our large armies and get board playing them. You can change your list and play different people however the rules are still the same. Games are a lot like a girl friends. Fun and first and then they start to loose their excitement. I feel that many of the regulars are just wanting something new and are just taking a break from the bigger games.

I am enjoying this shift taking place at the shop. I can walk into the shop and see different games being played and the shop owner is supporting these games with product on the walls. So if one of these games catches my eye I can pick up an army at an affordable price. I am not sure if this is just something happen at my local game store or is taking place at shops across the nation. I just found this to be an interesting shift taking place locally.


Andrew said...

This happens from time to time. There are lots of new Skirmish games on the market now with very cool minis. Malifaux and Warmachine spring to mind. While I don't see Warmachine as a skirmish game many do. For all the reasons you have given people like playing skirmish games. GW in the past didn't have much real competition, other games to be sure but no real WOW models and rulesets. Now that has all begun to change.

The latest price increase is hurting them since the buy in cost is so high that many people just don't want to gamble with it. Maybe I will like playing toy soldiers and maybe I won't is something most people won't plunk down 500 or 600 to find out. There are already too many other barriers. Modeling and painting being the big ones. 500 or 600 to most kids is another video game system or something else.

Does it really shock you that there are so many card players at the game shop on the weekend? Lower initial cash outlay, sure they spend more in the long run but they are being slowly milked. Miniature gamers will spend most of their money at start up. However the change is coming with the skirmish games allowing a small buy in and the ability to keep buying one or two here and there to expand the army. It makes sense that GW is loosing ground and unless they change they will continue to lose ground. Won't go away but may not be the dominant presence they are now.

Anonymous said...

have you seen galaxy in flames version of killteam?

Kiwi said...

Some very good points.
Have you heard of deathsquads? It is a fan-based 40k skirmish game the rules can be downloaded at

Da Green Skins said...

Kiki thanks for the comments. I have heard of Deathsquads however I have not downloaded the rules. Thanks for the link and will download the rules.

Kiwi said...

You will have to register though that shouldn't take long. The new version is due out soon. Your orks look perfect for a squad.