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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dreadfleet has sunk

Alas, we hardly knew ye. Now rot in your watery grave, you unasked for boat game.

It's official.
Dreadfleet sank. In order to deal with unwanted, impossible-to-sell stock (of a 'limited edition' game), GW recalled all its own caches. As you're reading this, they're being chewed apart by industrial machinery, or burnt to lovely crisps of plastic and fancy cardboard.

This might seem strange to some, but destruction of stock is usually a far better solution than cutting prices. Well, if you're selling a luxurious brand. So not 'boats with skulls, the limited edition game.' Yeah.
Let's not question GW's bruised ego, however. It's very likely they did this to make use of some tax evasion trick, because - as we all know - modern GW will never cut prices, hold sales, or heavily discount slow stock that's sucking up space in their warehouses.

As for the game? It's bad. You know this already, but being bad is rarely a factor related to selling/not selling (Twilight).

1) Candyland with skullboats. No, mister Kelly, I do not enjoy pulling cards that magically destroy my boats for no reason.

2) no promotion peo
ple cared about. They didn't advertize the game mechanics, largely because they knew they were flawed beyond salvation.

3) improper release.
Rather than try to force skullboats down our throats for almost five months, GW should have concurrently dropped thunderwolves, more tyranids (never gonna happen, due to extreme sucktitude making shifting stock impossible at this point), fantasy plastics, tie-in campaigns... You know, so the core buyers wouldn't feel so alienated.

4) way too rich for your blood.
You were expecting us to pay what for skullboats, GW?

5) no clear customer focus.
Kids can't afford it. It's too new for the fluffbunnies to accept it. Actual gamers don't want a mess of randomness and cards. Collectors instantly realize skullboats have little value.

6) limited appeal.
So we pay all this money for a game you've said yourself won't get any expansions or future coverage, it uses cards, and you get a mat to shuffle your boats around on? When people want a random boardgame like this, they pick up monopoly, or a starter box for battletech. Dreadfleet is so overpriced, in fact, that you could have gotten both of those, munchkin, and super dungeon explorer.

7) limited functionality.
Space hulk gave you almost two full squads of terminators, a librarian, plus over 9000 genestealers. Both sides' models are useful in the actual game (40k), and it could be argued that buying a hulk 'saves' you money, over getting equivalent items. They also looked badass, unlike skullboats and dragon ships.

8) value.
You get ten skullboats, skull islands, a ruler you have to assemble, deck of cards, and a mat...for that? What's wrong with you, GW!? Ten models. Count them. Ten.

9) no Ward.
We're living in 5th edition. Kids and new players in the real world are talking about 'Wardexes.' Being a 'Wardex' signifies enduring quality, options, effective rules, over-the-top background material, and the general promise that everything included will be at least partially useful. This was made by Phil Kelly - master of aspect warrior'ing orks. Virtually every other gamesystem currently in use by GW was written by Ward. Phil Kelly? Really? What does he know about making an actual system? Apparently, not a whole lot, because this one's all about pulling cards, and randomly determining effects in overwrought fashion

10) what were they thinking?
I've concluded from this release that GW are completely clueless why certain kits sell, and others don't. For instance, space hulk sold because it was a) space hulk; b) 11 terminators and 20 genestealers; c) high quality. Being that this is boats and a mat, of course it didn't sell. There was no audience for this. Perhaps Wells and Kirby decided that since their last 'boardgame' sold so well, they should launch a second? Maybe if it'd been actual bretonnians, versus actual tomb kings, and they were both using these catapults to launch knights and scorpions onto each other's boats. You could have carrion battling pegasus knights for aerial supremacy. Grail knights charging tomb king boats over the water. Maybe? Actually, yes. Then it'd have had appeal. Crazy shit, starring your favorite fantasy factions. We're on a boat, motherfuckers.

The SS DEADFleet will haunt no more white dwarves.

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