Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition Rule Book: Because books are meant to be viewed and not purchased

So the Warhammer Fantasy Battles book is now available for pre-order here. It's a staggering $75.

Don't get confused here. The 75 dollar sticker isn't some kind of fluffy deluxe edition with a nice hardcover, leather binding, tassels or a pretty carrying satchel (satchel?). No those are available here and here to the tune of $124.

No the basic core rulebook for Warhammer Fantasy Battles is 75 bucks. Deal with it I guess. We're supposedly willing to pay it according to GW's market research. For those of you who don't want to dig through a PDF I'll post the money paragraph (pun intended).

"The business model all our businesses follow is that of the niche marketer. Niches have some wonderful natural advantages. They are largely protected from macro economic factors, their customers are dedicated and loyal, and price isn't the number one consideration. To retain those advantages it is vital to have high quality products and services, and vital that the business should keep its focus and specialisation. The tabletop fantasy wargames niche that we have built at Games Workshop over the years has these advantages, and we do work very hard to provide the right products, the right services and to retain management's focus on our specialised offer."

To be fair to the price, the book is massive. It's chocked full of photographs. We're more interested in pretty pictures than we are actual content apparently. Thus justifying the substantial cost of the basic rulebook in the eye's of GW.

I don't currently play Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I'm not sure if I want to try 8th edition. My impression of 7th edition is that it's a terrible game. I'm interested to see if 8th edition is a major improvement. However a $75 rulebook I may not even want doesn't help me want to play the game or even try it out. I certainly won't be buying the book just to have it. I'll be considering acquiring it only after hearing input from other people regarding whether it's a quality game or not.

Here's a hint GW: Try making your rulebooks as a low margin product or loss leader so you know, people new to the game might actually want to buy it, read it, and then buy your other products with massive margins, you know like the plastic models that are required to play? It was good enough for Dungeons and Dragons to do this and they didn't even have models to sell. Their core rulebooks back in 3rd edition? Twenty bucks on release (ok fine we can adjust for inflation and call it 25 or even 30) but still dirt cheap. $75 for the basic rulebook? That's cost prohibitive to new players or those on the fence. I mean really isn't this rulebook just a massive hardcover White Dwarf magazine? Those magazines are essentially just an advertisement that people actually pay for. Again, feel free to release awesome rulebooks and charge a premium, but maybe make sure there is a cheaper core option for the newcomers who won't drop all their disposable income on gaming right off the bat before even attempting to buy a plastic model.

Perhaps I'll just wait for the 8th edition Battle of Skull Pass pocket rulebook. That rulebook is basically what I'm talking about. Still not sure about that though because that might require to drop another $80 on a bunch of plastic models I won't need.

More discussion on this topic over at Yes the Truth Hurts here. I'll be sure to let everyone know in which way I cave to this price point as soon as possible.

2 Response to "Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition Rule Book: Because books are meant to be viewed and not purchased"

  1. George June 24, 2010 at 8:25 AM
    I agree completely. GW is trying to milk a dying cow. Gamers are getting older and I don't know many teens who can afford to shell out $75 before they even purchase their first box of miniatures at another $50. I stopped buying White Dwarf when they raised the price $9. It is merely a lengthy advertisement for the latest army. Perhaps I'm not like other gamers, but I like my Bretonnians and I don't want to waste my funds buying each newly revised army. I believe they would do better to promote an aspect of the all armies every two months, like skirmishers, flyers, cavalry or champions and issue a new model for each of the armies. That way, all players will be constantly be purchasing new product and enthusiastically playing to try them out. As it is, I haven't bought any new Fantasy items in several years. I most certainly will not buy the 8th edition rule book.
  2. MrKnify October 2, 2011 at 9:22 AM
    the best part is economy, in canada we get a huge price hike for the books, miniatures and everything. so i buy online from the states, so i don't have to pay 100$ for a core rule book, or 70, for a hq/elite choice, with express shipping and handling i'm still saving $$. GW FAIL!@#

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