Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Mantic and GW...a failure to connect. A rant.

Droogies, Boozers, strumpets and losers...welcome to krusha's cosmos...well, not really, but welcome to Grumheldens Grotto at least, I wonder how many people reading this remember krusha?  He was big around the time a new game arrived on the scene, and was as instrumental in my development as a 10 year old with too much imagination as that game was.

VERY METAL \../. .\../

Yes, that was really just a convoluted intro to a riff on last months 25th anniversary of Warhammer 40,000.  Its hard to believe that the franchise has existed for my entire adult and teenage life, and worse, that my entire outlook has been shaped by it.  It was the game that got me into gaming, that cemented my love for sci fi and it went hand in hand with that peculiarly teenage obsession of loud music and moral absolutes.  I was into metal, then punk and the whole 40,000 universe was obviously informed by the same imagery and politics that the music I was listening to was.  As I got older both the music and the game got more popular and more commercial, which was good for one and not so good for the other.  As sure as the punk of the late 70's and early 80's(and all its myriad sub genres) lead through commercialisation to Avril Lavigne, the wide open, humorous and back of a fag packet Rogue Trader lead the entire hobby to where it is now.  Bad deal for music, pretty good deal for wargaming!
And this brings us to Mantic.  Oh, Mantic, how we despair.  My good friend and spiritual leader El Presidente(of the G3) puts it something like this:  "I am a working man who can afford real GW toys, why would I spend less money on an inferior quality,cheap knockoff by a company that does everything GW does in a slightly poundland way?"

My initial reaction was to glorify the choice and options that mantic provides, to rail against his curmudgeonly ways, to espouse choice, to praise the plucky underdog.  You know, to be very British about the whole thing!  But i slowly realised that he was correct in his assessment.  The total cost savings are *not* offset by the sneaking feeling that you are wearing cotton when you could have had silk.  Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes cotton is just the dab, its not as sweaty and you mind so much when you have to replace it, but there is a visceral joy to wearing silk knickers that you just don't get with cotton.   Shirt...not knickers, SHIRT!

Then there's the general approach to customer interaction that pisses me off from both companies.  Have a look at the colossals video from Privateer Press and you are looking at a company that treats its customers like grown adults who enjoy cool toys.  Contrast and compare this with Mantic and GW; they both treat you like a special bus passenger who has to be spoon fed information in condescending, saccharine chunks.  They talk down to you, talk at you, and expect that you have the sense of humour of a biffy comics character from sometime around 1950.  They are just hopelessly out of touch with the reality of who buys the stuff they make.

As an aside, we are not all a fucking 10 year old called Tarquin whose father works in the City, while mum polishes the AGA and goes on three holidays a year, and hasn't had a haircut yet because his mum thinks his golden hair looks positively splendid and isnt he so cute, just like a pageboy at kate and wills wedding. I resent the idea that the boys in Lenton have that the majority of its customers(paying customers, not the ones who hang around in the shop all day) are upper or middle class future leaders of industry.

The whole thing this week on the main GW site..the 145 teaser video with the words"were not even sure were allowed to show it".  Just. Fuck. Off.  Your like the guy in the office who introduces himself as "wacky" and "zany".  Your fucking neither, you're a boring twat with no sense of humour who thinks that fucking whoopie cushions are the height of being naughty.  Fuck off, just sell us your shit and stroll on.  I'm not buying your bunty comic bullshit, I'm buying your fucking plastic. Shit pirate voices , a marketing department that probably genuinely drinks Pims with no trace of irony and thinks a three day working week is barbaric just put me off, and I cant be alone.   You see , I buy your stuff IN SPITE of your marketing, not because of it!  The recent BBC article was proof positive that the majority of people who spend money with you are not the majority of people you try and target.

That mantic ape this bullshit approach with jolly, jovial fucknugget simpering and rubber masks and shouting "waaaaagh" whenever the adults are out of the room just proves El Presidente's point that they are Poundland to Games Workshops John Lewis.  Everything they do is kinda similar but not as good.  Yes, they embraced youtube faster and the videos make me wince less, but they still make me wince.

We grew up on space marines, but we grew up...throw us a fucking bone and treat us with a modicum of decency eh?