2021/04/30

Cursed City

Due to a certain lack of product, pictures might appear a little unorthodox for todays rant I mean post.

I have always been intrigued by Warhammer Quest. I had some bits for the original game but not the whole set. It felt like a mammoth task to get into such a heavy weight game- I only own one of the range of rule books that came with the first edition, but that alone was enough to give me cold sweats.  I did play and enjoy the mobile game when that came out but it was a bit of a limited and repetitive experience.

I played and enjoyed Silver Tower with a friend. The setting is a bit odd and not easily accessible for someone who’s not already educated in Age of Sigmar lore. I managed to get hold of a copy that I wanted to play with my partner and friends, however I never got around to paint it up, probably because it is not appealing or accessible for them, so seems unlikely we would actually play it.  (Oh, and I've also started chopping up the miniatures for Blood Bowl teams...)


So, when I heard about Cursed City I was very intrigued and my partner was curious. It's setting is the Age of Sigmar universe, which is understandable, but it is all normal fantasy tropes that people can relate to and understand. It takes place in a medieval city, in which vampires and the undead are the bad guys. There are even elven archers, Dwarven warriors and human clerics. It seemed like a more accessible game, something that tabletop gamers like my girlfriend and I could really get into. I was really looking forward to adding a great dungeon crawler to our boadgame collection. I would go into more detail at this point, however, CURSED CITY SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE ON THE DAY THE PREORDER WENT LIVE.  Even on the Games Workshop website. 


Now, I understand about popularity and accept that things sell out. As a Blood Bowl fan, I am a hardened veteran of disappointment. This post is not simply a complaint about me not getting what I want- it's a cry of frustration in the face of GW constantly undersupplying and then ignoring their customer base. And still, we return to them, eating our plastic crack right out of their hands. 


I know I didn't imagine it. In fact, when asked, GW confirmed that Cursed City would be a permanent product. These comments have since been wiped from all social media. It never happend. We never mentioned it. 


Games Workshop had put up its own site about this game and posted teasers, hyping Cursed City for MONTHS, yet for some reason didn’t even have enough copies to last for more than an hour on pre-order.  The whole idea of selling out on pre-order is ridiculous. It happens a lot with Blood Bowl but I’ve let it slide because it’s not their main line and as I've said before us Blood bowl fans are often sidelined. It could be argued that they underestimated the size of the buyer base, but if this was going to be a permanent offering from GW, why only produce a limited run? 

I just get disenfranchised by things like this, and feel the choices GW are making don't add up. They must have spent a lot of money on the sculpts, some of which we will surely see again further down the line but still, designing this game and components, all the work on the website, blog posts and marketing now seem to have gone to waste. Surely you would want to milk the market to regain those investments while there are people willing to buy? But instead, it's been just over a week since its launch, and already the game dead and buried. 


I understand that with Covid there will be problems on production lines but I, like so many others, would have been happy to be told that my order could be taken, but to expect delays. We know that their paper printers are abroad but even if they are in Germany and wouldn't be able to make a second print until June due to COVID lock downs, just be honest with your customers! Equally, there may be issues around additional tariffs on products being produced outside the UK as a result of Brexit. Some people have theorised that this has affected potential profit margins and is the main reason Cursed City has been dropped so suddenly. I could potentially buy this as an excuse if it weren't for the fact that no-one knew the pricing of the game until the release date. GW could have upped the price to cover costs, no one would have been any the wiser, and poor saps like me would still have shelled out our cash. 


To simply pretend that it never happened seems like a very weird move, one that doesn’t sit well with me. I can't understand the first print being so very limited, to the point of perceived non-existence, after so much effort to hype it. Even more troubling is the poor communication and honest-to-god ghosting after the fact. 


It's true that I’m better off saving my money for other things and that I should try to paint up some of my many other projects but it would have been nice, just for once, not to feel mugged off by GW. I suppose I can take some solace in a quote from another disillusioned fan on facebook, "Relax, you where never going to actually play it anyway."


https://ageofsigmar.com/cursed-city/



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