THIS IS MORE THAN 10 YEARS OLD. I think I first wrote it in like 2000 or something. I haven't played tabletop miniatures games in many years. If you still do, you might want to look at getting a RepRap, or using ShapeWays, or something.
All right, here's the scoop:
Games Workshop games are excellent. As a friend said, "I've never played a Games Workshop game I didn't like." I personally have no problem shelling out, for example $40+ Canadian for a 40K Codex. Sure, it's expensive, but they're well written and books, in general, are expensive.
They're miniature prices, however, are inexcusable, and they keep going up. It's not like the quality has improved: one of the Eldar Solitaires, for example, is still the old, pre-pewter casting, he's even holding a nuero-disruptor, which there are no rules for in the now WH40K! He comes with one other Harlequin, I have no idea why, and at 15% off MSRP, comes to $12-$14 Canadian! Plus tax!
Games Workshop practices I abhor (eventualy I'd like to put a survey here):
Unreasonably high miniature prices. I have seen Games Workshop $10 single miniatures (Wraith Guard) and $10 4-packs of equal quality, similar sized miniatures produced by competitors. Sure they were lead, but that's a four times cost jump!
Using pewter as an excuse for high prices. This is what GW employees will often spew. I'm sorry, tin is not that much more expensive than lead. Also, their prices jumped when they moved to pewter. Fine. But they have also jumped many times since, which hardly has anything to do with it.
Packaging armies with games. This really bothers me, although few other people seem to have noticed why this is a problem, so I'll try to explain why I don't like it: First of all, it jacks up the prices of their main games. I can handle that: they're good games, I'm willing to pay through the fucking nose for them. But then, I end up with a bunch of cheap plastic miniatures that I can't use. WH40K comes with 10 Marines and 30? orks & gretchin. If you choose to not collect one of those armies, you're stuck with a bunch of uselesss miniatures. Also, while I am willing to pay through the nose for their games, I don't want to, and I'm quite certain that a lot more people would by them if they threw in, say, two orks and a marine (which is the configuration all the book examples use anyways).
Important Note:In the first honorable, no money-grubbing thing that GW has done in years, they've packaged the new WH40K in a format that just has the books! Yay! I'm impressed. I thought they would always be bastards in every way forever. Apparently they're just mostly bastards.
Lack of platic miniatures. This is another biggy. Remember when you could get Space Orks for close to $1 Canadian per ork, in the big plastic boxes? So much for that, AFAIK. Eldar Guardians? Metal. 5 to a box. Come with lasguns so firmly attached to their bodies that even with my dremel I don't think I could convert them (and I've turned harlequins into bike-riding harlequins). Do I want lasguns on my Guardians? Hell no, I want shuriken catapults because that's be best basic weapon in the game. Oh well. Gotta buy them two to a blister for through-the-roof prices. Sigh.
If you agree with me, mail me and maybe I'll put together a pettition. Fat chance of it affecting anything, but oh well. Alternatively, I'm also looking to put together a list of acceptable alternative miniatures.
I know a person who owned more than 10,000 points of WH40K stuff. He's gotten out of the game because of this crap. Can't GW see that they're losing their best customers? Sigh.