Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Forgeworld, Australia and dead arguments.

Down here in oz it would seem people have an odd fear of Forgeworld and their rules. Now a few years ago (some where in the realm of 5-10) I can understand where they would be coming from. A lot of the arguments against IA down here in Oz would seem to be based around 4 core issues, those being:
  1.      Cost, the models and rules are far too expensive
  2.      Can’t go into a local store and pick them up
  3.      Knowledge of the rules/units
  4.   Overpowered combos, broken lists

 Now those issues above where acceptable and fair concerns back in the hey-day when Imperial Armour started finding its legs and sometimes had oddly rules that where a 50/50 split of OP and UP.

But lets flash forward to the year 2013 and what the 40k landscape is like down in OZ, I’ll even relate these directly back to the above issues.

Today I’ll cover issue Number 1: Cost.

All the Monies...
For those of you that don’t know, poor old Australians get hit with the ‘Australia Tax’ as we like to put it, this ‘tax’ isn’t an actual tax imposed by the government or anything, its more that big companies charge us more because they can. Some big companies blame it on our ‘remote location’, but even online software still costs us 50%-100% more than what the yanks pay, even though we are downloading it.

Now with that knowledge-nugget under you had, let’s look toward the pricing of FW rules and units. Lets say down her in Australia I want to start a brand new Guard army consisting of:

Codex Imperial Guard $55
x3 Company Command $121
x4 Infantry Squads $192
Valkyrie $110
Leman Russ $83
Total: $561

Now that is a fair whack of money to lay down when I purchase my run of the mill-everybody owns units. But maybe I want to run my own cool list, or even just have some premium models to use. I’ll now list the equivalent units from say a Death Korp of Krieg army (probably FW’s most popular line).
I’d also like to note before going into this, the FW models are generally amazing, their customer service is fantastic and the Imperial Armour books are beautifully written with entire campaigns documented within them, as well as army lists and many pictures and fluff.

Imperial Armour Vraks 1 $65
Senior Command $42
x2 Junior Command $74
x4 Infantry Squads $228
Vulture $92
Leman Russ $81
Total: $582

Let’s just have a look at that for a second, GW’s premium line of resin products that are fantastically detailed are only $21 dollars more delivered compared to a comparable army from the Games Workshop website (not factoring the cost of a new codex either).

I order both online, I get both shipped to my door. If anything is damaged on the GW side of things, you can take it into one of their stores and they will happily swap it over for you, FW will happily send out a new miniature and advise you keep the old one ‘just incase ;) ‘.

These both cost the same?

Down here in Australia our FLGS generally try to take a bit of a hit for us and offer anywhere from 10-20% off the RRP of their GW products, this helps mitigate the issue a little. Alas is still much much cheaper to go onto ebay and purchase from one of the (now only a few) American re-sellers of 40k that will have the majority of the stuff shipped to your door for still a good $10-20 cheaper than what your FLGS can give you.

This above point of cost has slowly dies over the years, due to GW making their box sets cost more for less models each year, where as 5 years ago FW was quite expensive, but they declined to jack up their prices as much as GW chose to do.

So on that closing note, I believe that the cost of FW is now about the same as GW and therefore issue number 1 is, in my opinion, moot.


  1. I can't speak to the costs in Australia, but for players in the USA acquiring models from places other than GW decreases the price points by a LOT. Some FW units do actually come fairly close to their GW equivalents, but many, many, many others do not.

    To compare, a Valkyrie kit is US$66 at full retail price, and you should easily be able to get at least 20% off that via a FLGS or Ebay; the Vulture kit from FW is $100 and you cannot realistically get it at a discount except by buying sketchy chinacast clones. That is, in rough terms, a doubling of price.

  2. That's fair mate, no worries there. Down here in OZ we pay $110 for a valkyrie (then we need to buy the upgrade kit to get it to a vendetta), factor the average 20% off and we are still looking at $90 odd dollars, very close to the cost of the Vulture.

    I also imagine given the similar cost of the wraithknight between here and the US, you guys will be starting to cop it in the neck also...

    So down in OZ FW and RRP GW are very similar...ebay only helps mitigate the issue with some models..(still cost $10-20 in shipping for a valkyrie)


  3. Sadly I know you Auslanders overpay for rather a lot of things in this hobby, and combined with your (I believe) superior exchange rate to the Pound it ends up making the relative costs very different for you all. So from a purely southern hemisphere perspective, yeah, the argument holds a lot more water, but that is going to vary a lot depending on location.

  4. It certainly is, so probably not a good global arguing point due to locations, but down in OZ it holds pretty strong...