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GW: WTF?
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TOPIC: GW: WTF?
#28647
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
Picked up the new Vampire Counts skeleton warriors today -- GW upgraded the skeletons, and from the looks of things, they did a great job. The sprue comes with a ton of armor options, so you can put together skeletons almost as basic as the older skeletons, though slightly less cartoonish in proportion (LESS cartoonish? from GW!?!) but you can also make full-on rotting armor fully dressed walking corpses. Very nice.

But the main reason I'm posting is because until today, the website only listed these guys as "coming soon" and they still don't show up in the "new releases" page. It was literally impossible to detect from GW's own site (US version, anyway) when these guys were coming out -- until today, when I found them. I still don't know how long they've been available.

GW, if you're going to make it impossible e-tailers to carry your product, YOU MUST MAINTAIN A BETTER WEBSITE.

Sheesh.

EDIT: Oh, and for example -- I picked up an old issue of WD, from two months ago or so. The one with Vampire Counts on the cover. In there, there are pics of the new Chaos stuff, due out in May. From looking on the website, I had no idea. And the mag had it MONTHS ago. What the hell, GW?

L
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"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."

-- F. Nietzsche
 
#28648
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
I've had a chance to assemble the new skeletons, so I thought I'd post a quick review of them -- I'll probably have more to say after I've painted them up, both about how easy (or not) they are to paint, and about how satisfied (or not) I am with them as a finished product.

But for now I thought there was enough to say about them even at this early stage, especially since it's been so long since GW gave us new skellies. Expect (eventually) some pics of these badboys, painted up, contrasted with other skeletons (namely, DF, Reaper, and WOTC)....

I was wrong about one thing I mentioned -- it would be very difficult to assemble "regular naked" skeletons with these sprues -- the skeleton legs tend to have tattered rags and armor on them, with only two bare legs (and that's the same sculpt used twice). That means that for every batch of ten skeletons, you get two bare ones. And the sprue has all ten legs, so if you tried to "bitz order" them, you'd face the same 8:2 ratio. For people who want bare skeletons, this is a bit lopsided. On the plus side, it is POSSIBLE to make bare skeletons out of those legs -- plenty of regular skulls and arms and torsos to use, so you can get 0-2 bare skeletons out of each set of 10.

Another neat thing -- these are NOTICEABLY smaller. I mentioned before they seemed a bit less cartoonish in proportion. But it's more than that. They really look like the skeletons of 28mm figures -- they seem appropriately scaled, as if you stripped the flesh off a Reaper figure. They're SLIM, they're spindly. They really look like they'd fit in a body, you know?

All ten share a basic pose, which is walking forward, leaning very far forward, with head erect (or, I suppose, if you wanted it, drooping down). That can be good or bad. It makes for great "regiment" poses, which is of course what GW wants. It's a bit lame for other things, though. Skeletal guards won't QUITE work, but some can work as basic "action" poses if you handle the arms right.

The skull selection is AWESOME. There are tons of regular skulls, probably enough to do all ten with just plain skulls (I didn't count). There are at least 6 or 7 in elaborate shattered helmets of some kind. But what I like most are the ones with loose or open jaws -- one is screaming, a few have jaws that are falling off... very effective. The variety of "faces" you can get is therefore pretty impressive.

In general the set is designed to give the individual skeletons some unique "personality" -- unlike the old set where they all looked like though could be "posed" to suggest some variation, these guys would be nearly impossible to put together a uniform bunch. The legs are all in different outfits, the heads are possible to do differently, there are various armored bits that can go on the torsos, the shields are different. You could get SOME uniformity, but there are no more than 2 of the same shield for them all, and you wouldn't be able to use the same sword, or the same spear, more than a few times. In general, the set prods you to make 10 distinctive, individual figures. Makes painting harder, but does mean you feel like you got ten actual minis instead of one undifferentiated mass.

Biggest problems I encountered so far:

1. The feet are tiny, as a result of being less cartoony -- still not QUITE in realistic proportion, but smaller enough that gluing them to the base is a bit of an issue. The plastic is so light they tend to glue on easily and I only had one give me any trouble -- but the resulting connection is tiny, with such small feet, so I feel that these will require careful storage, especially for plastics. I see these falling off their bases if treated too casually.

2. The stuff is so tiny you have to be VERY careful with your glue. I already messed up and put too much glue (it's been awhile, I'm out of practice) on the arms of three or four of these guys -- it ran into the ribcages and promptly marred some of the detail. Oh, it still looks decent enough, but it won't "pop" as much as it would have, the depth is a little reduced from having glue in there. When I paint 'em up, the right half of their chest is going to look a little muddier, a little less sharp than it might have. With such detail and such small parts, you have to be VERY sparing with the glue. I think it was a combination of falling out practice with zap-a-gap, and also being a little overly zealous because the parts seem so thin and small I was afraid that they'd just fall apart if I looked at 'em funny so I erred on the side of "More glue, Igor!" They don't look terrible or amateurish, but they won't be prize-winners either.

I definitely see myself getting at least one other set of these guys, at $22 for a box of ten it's a tough deal to beat. Given the popularity and quality of the old GW skeletons, it's pretty surprising to me that these guys came out at all. I do hope they keep the old ones around, though -- there is something to be said for BOTH styles, and nobody else makes a quality batch of cheap plastic assemble-how-you-want-em skeletons. Plus, the old sprue came with a lot more leftover cool bits than the new one, which only leaves you with a handful of skulls and an extra few shields. The old sprues were a goldmine of bony accessories....

L
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"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."

-- F. Nietzsche
 
#28649
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
L;

Be careful; you REALLY do NOT want to get me started on GW. I tend to rant 'n' rave, and ain't NONE of it pretty. Blood flows deep when I start in on the boys from Britain; it's where I first earned my nickname of Mad Yank! Because they REALLY make me MAD!
Thorpe and Co. seem the have the attitude of "we will do what we will do, and if you don't like it, @#$ you!"
And that's AFTER I cleaned it up for a family-oriented Web forum! They dominate the European - or at least, the British - sci-fi wargaming/collector market, and they know it. They are nearly unassailable, they run rampant whereever they go, they are proud of their Stormtrooper tactics, and they quite frankly just enfuriate me!

(pauses to catch his breath and step back from the thermal detonator button)

I went to Games Day 2003 here in Baltimore, and watched the rah-rah-rah when they had the 'Rumble in the Jungle' with the introduction of the new, plastic Catachans armies. They had one guy, from the Glen Burnie USA HQ, I swear he was 6'6" tall, dressed in camo fatigue trousers and jump boots, green T-shirt, shaven-head and camo-makeup, parading around chanting and rah-rah-ing all morning. I knew the guy; normally, he is a real Clark Kent-type of guy; quiet, soft-spoken, generally helps little old ladies across the street. That day, he'd have grabbed the little old lady, THROWN her across the street, and probably bolt-gunned her before she hit the curb on the other side! Of course, it would have been a stunt-woman (hopefully, unless a REAL L.O.L. wandered into the set), but still, you get the picture I'm painting for you.
And they're ALWAYS like that in the stores! Especially on "special days!" I won't go past the store in White Marsh on Saturdays with my wife with me, because I don't have my CCW permit, and I'm not ABOUT to take on a horde of maddened teen-aged and early 20's guys unarmed! Even when I was fresh back from 'Nam, I didn't go one-on-ten bare-handed! I'm the MAD Yank, not the Stupid Yank.

No, I don't like GW marketing techniques, I don't like their prices, and I don't like their business practices. I DO like their models, and (if they'd use a better container) I'd like their paints; Citadel paints are good paints for miniatures, but the bottles are oxygen permeables, and that just screws up the paint too fast.

/rant over
jkratzer
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Jim Kratzer, a/k/a The Mad Yank
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#28650
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
They dominate the European - or at least, the British - sci-fi wargaming/collector market, and they know it.
hehe the funny thing is, i don't think of them at all when it comes to Sci-Fi. My first thought is not WH:40K or what ever the stuff they do is. It was on of my biggest points of contention with the rabdo virus infected vulpes. He was all over them and Sci-Fi as if they were the end all be all of Sci-Fi, i just don't think of them when i think of Sci-Fi there are about 100 other things, (even before we hit games) that i think of first when it comes to sci-fi. When you hit Games, they are still in the bottom/last to think of. I think they are a very niche thing, yeah they have the little Sci-fi war game, but eh who cares....

but that's just me, i think there are loads of other things that even for the Brits would not me the collector market, yeah they may have a war game but that's all i think of when some one mentiond them and when some one mentions wargames, or sci-fi i don't jump tp GW...

YMMV
Ghenghis Ska
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More Sci Fi Please, request a DEAD END for Sci Fi Passages
Classes of the Old Republic
Some RPG and mini stats including the Exodus and AAT (along with good source of a Mini scale version of the AAT).
 
#28651
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
I swear he was 6'6" tall, dressed in camo fatigue trousers and jump boots, green T-shirt, shaven-head and camo-makeup, parading around chanting and rah-rah-ing all morning.
I'm sorry, but that RULES!
blairgb
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Advanced Builder - Cavern x2 - Cavernous Passages x3 - Deluxe Room x2
Den of Evil x 2 - Fantasy Floors - Narrow Passage - Octagonal Room - Ogre's Den
Room and Passage x2 - Room Set - Traps Set 1 - Traps Set 2 - Wicked Additions
Wicked Additions II - Accessories - Furniture - Treasure
 
#28652
GW: WTF? 6 Years, 3 Months ago  
I swear he was 6'6" tall, dressed in camo fatigue trousers and jump boots, green T-shirt, shaven-head and camo-makeup, parading around chanting and rah-rah-ing all morning.
I'm sorry, but that RULES!

It's OKAY, blairgb; Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. That's why they make Fords & Chevys, etc.
Hey, you still buy DF, dontcha? That makes you okay in Our books!
A little whack, but then so is just about everyone here anyway, so why should YOU be the only one normal here?

See YA!
jkratzer
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Jim Kratzer, a/k/a The Mad Yank
Proud Vietnam Veteran, LOUD VFW Lifer
insane GM
 
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