Friday, July 6, 2012

Warlord, the new Games Workshop?

Over the course of the last year I have noticed a very interesting trend in the business model at Warlord Games that makes me think they are making a strong push to be the "Games Workshop" of historical wargaming.

To own the space and dominate the market, one must first publish a wide array of rule sets, expansions and army lists. Warlord has done this with the release of Hail Caesar, Pike & Shotte, Black Powder and, the brand new set, Bolt Action. These are all very polished and seemingly popular rules and books that get people playing and, more importantly, brand loyal.

Next comes the wave after wave of models that any player will need to support all of the rule sets. Individual models, boxes of plastic sprues, starter kits and complete boxed armies. All produced and sold to a market of your own creating. Brilliant.

Of course, there are some negative connotations when having a conversation about Games Workshop but I am not here to make a judgement call - only time will tell us if Warlord goes down that same path - but I cannot help notice the empire that they are building. Something to keep an eye on.


  1. I totally agree with you on this one!!

  2. The bit that will keep them honest, I hope, is that they don't own the IP, so if they get shitty, people can move on and competitors can up their game and step in and offer good product.

    From what I've seen, Warlord seems to actually value their customers, so that is a step up.

    I do like their rules so I'm glad they are covering all of the eras that I'm interested in.

  3. If I hadn't been trying to write this post from my phone, I would have gone into a little more detail. I do want to make it clear that I am enjoying the Warlord Games stuff very much and I am thrilled that they are doing what they are doing with all of their products... like I said, only time will tell where that leads them. Hopefully, it will be good for the hobby as a whole.

    Good point about the IP Aaron.

  4. Very interesting point Jonathan. I never noticed the similarity until you mentioned it. Though with out the competition side to their product there won't be the drip feed of newer stronger units and rules up dates that I think annoys people about GW. IP=intellectual property?

  5. Thanks for stopping by David. I probably agree with you to some extent about the lack of "competition" play driving up stats to more "powerful" units that everybody feels they must have.... after all, you can't just go around making up new types of soldiers that fought in the Roman army.

    However, I am certain that there will be a steady "drip" of supplements, rules, army lists, etc. from Warlord to keep it all moving along...

    ((and yes IP = Intellectual property))