Privateer Press fires a serious shot across the bow of GW in the GW vs Privateer Press war for the hearts and minds of gamers

GW’s biggest competitor in the skirmish game market has been Privateer Press. Yes, Mantic has done amazing things and made inroads with their fantasy and new science fiction lines, but Privateer Press along with their Warmachine and Hordes products are the games that keep GW up at night. Privateer has always constructed their game by one of their mottos: Play like you got a pair. The rulesets encourage aggresive play. The rulesets also encourage using small armies (when compared to GW), thereby saving gamers money.

Personally, I have a Trollbloods army and love them. The cost of getting my army up to speed was probably the cost of a batallion box and a command blister. For GW, that is barely enough to have the bare minimum units. Forget about playing a decent sized game, that’s barely enough to do starter battles. No, for the same cost, I’m able to get a really playable army. What is this about? VALUE

The Value Issue

Gross cost is something that frankly doesn’t bother most people. What bothers most people, and what GW seems to forget, is that consumers tend not to be price sensitive but are value sensitive. What is value? Bang for the buck. Frankly, $200 won’t get you much at a GW store, especially if you are just starting out. You can get a battalion box, a codex, and maybe a bister. For the same amount, I got a starter set of Trollbloods, a full deck so I can proxy, and three or four boxes of additional units.  Feeling. I have faith that most people are like myself and will sit and look at the $200 they’ve spent and think that they got a much greater value from the Privateer purchase than the GW purchase.

Gargants Vs APOC

So What Is The Hubub About First, and I think significant but not indiciative of GW’s screwed up culture, is the release of Khondor Colossal. This news was broken by the awesome fellows and lady over the The D6 Generation. (If you’ve never listened to their free podcast, you are missing out.) This screams “we’re here and we are entering into the Super Heavy marketplace.” So, fans of ridiculously oversized models, you don’t have to rely on Games Workshop Titans. Plus, Privateer is making them usable in regular games and not forcing you to buy and learn yet another ruleset ala’ Apoc. Jeff Wilhelm did the sculpts and I must say that they are beautiful.

The thing I’m most excited about and frankly I think says so much about our industry is the second sweet morsel of news. That is the pending release of <cue musical fanfare> The War Room. Take a brief look below and then see my comments as to why this little bit of code is really important.


Enter the electronic shot across the bow

War Room's original logo

Warmachine War Room software launch logo

Game Changer? This is a piece of software that I feel will make the game easier, much more user friendly, less logistics tracking driven, and frankly faster. That is what I think most people want in a game. Of course, you would never ever see GW doing something like releasing the software like this for free. Chances are, you’d have to buy a copy of White Dwarf, pay a monthly license fee, and agree to name your next born child Tom Kirby. I know that Army Builder serves a similar function. However, it’s far from free, very far from being liked by GW since they are convinced it allows you to build armies without having purchased a codex, and not nearly as functional ala’ wound tracking and list checking. Seriously. This is a beautiful piece of software. I think it may be a game changer in the tabletop industry. I know people have been murmuring in the industry about using technology to enhance gameplay at the tabletop level. I think that this is something that may really signal the future.

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Of course, GW will come late to the party, they’ll make it more expensive and much more laborious and DRM locked, and they will call it groundbreaking and an industry first.

Still, I am very glad to see this bit of innovation in the tabletop gaming industry. It may not be perfect but by golly, War Room is the future of the industry.   Am I blowing smoke? Let me know what you think.