Like most hobbyist and wargamers, I was brought up on GW products. I had never even heard of an Orc, until little 10-year-old, tomboy, me was shown a Games Workshop store. I remember the store being full of boys (of all ages) and it smelling funny, but neither of these things deterred me from wanting to know more.

Bombarded with all the colours and variety of these things, referred to as miniatures (not the kind I usually sneak a sip from, at Christmas).

Once my senses had settled, I asked my friends Mark, Adam and Aaron a question.

“What do you do with them?”

These are the answers I got.

Mark: You build them.

Adam: Paint them.

Aaron: “Batter” each other with them.


…16 years later (factoring in a few years break, where all I did was go out drinking and chasing girls.) I’m still building, painting and “battering” people with miniatures.

Just like I matured, so had the hobby.

With Games Workshop price hikes and their aggressive policies on just about everything they have become an Imperial Empire, a force to be reckoned with. Which left me and I’m sure many other hobbyists with a bitter pill to swallow, we love our hobby but we are not about to be mugged off by greedy c*nts.

So where does that leave us? Fear not Warmongers because there is life beyond Games Workshop! To quote a friend we are in the “Golden age of gaming.” With games like

Just to name a few, there is something for every taste.


For me personally, I have taken to Malifaux and with its popularity increasing, it’s a big F*ck you to GW for its brazen attitude towards their veteran consumers. Not only have Wyrd created a fantastic range of gothic looking miniatures, they have created a rich alternate world, with more fluff than a teenage boy’s top lip. Don’t even get me started on the game mechanics…abolishing the dice and using a deck of cards, being able to “Cheat Fate.” All of this along with a well-established friendly gaming community really does fill me with joy. Just to know that one day even if GW prices itself completely out of the market or starts slaughtering kittens for fun, I will always have…

        • Miniatures to build
        • Miniatures To Paint
        • And Miniatures to “Batter” people with.

Please leave comments below and share your hobby love.

  • For the record I am a woman 🙂

    • TheSchwartz

      Well written my lady then! 😉

      • Lol thanks 🙂

  • So much depends on the flavor of games you enjoy and your personal opinion on the various companies. I am like many an old gamer, on the verge of rage quitting now the added insult of White Dwarfs death is imminent (not that it was much cop anymore). But here are my thoughts, take them with salt as like everyone else, this is just my opinion.

    Straight up lets get it simple. None of us would be here without them. BUT… Successive changes have slowly changed the games company we all love to hate. The biggest mistake GW ever made was floating on the stock market. At that moment in time the games designers jobs were taken over by shareholders.
    The quality of model has always been at the top of the market. The only company to exceed this is Wyrd.
    As an old time gamer i have watched what i deem the decline in the quality of the actual game and hobby side of GW. The GW forums went and their fb/twitter pages closed. That stopped any real community input. White dwarf has been is a slow spiral since Chambers and Paul sawyer left.
    For me, i don’t really know where is stand on gw anymore. I want to quit and walk away due to the changes and aggressive policies. But it’s like abandoning your parents.

    Privateer Press.
    I played warmachine a long time ago and loved the game. They don’t deem to fiddle too much with the game which is a good point. But they very much fall into a love or loathe slot. The minis are a touch below GW but not massively. I do prefer Warmachine, but my fiancee prefers hordes. Price wise in reality they are there on par with gw.
    The reason they sit behind gw in the market, is simple to me. They don’t have the stores. Which means in places like Norfolk here in the UK, the community is very limited. But this goes for many of the non gw games.

    What is not to love about these guys really. I started out in Malifaux way back in v1. I was a henchman and tried to break the local scene. But around the time of the Avatar development i left as the feel of the game changed. It went from gritty victorian steampunk horror, to something akin the anime manga. That put me off what was otherwise a fantastic game with the most innovative mechanic i had seen in a long long time.
    But V2 is around now, the minis seem to have gone back to the grittier feel and the game is appealing once more. I am looking forward to dipping my toes back into the wyrd world.

    Spartan Games.
    I love the idea these guys and trying to put forward.
    But the rulebooks need some desperate work (apparently already in the pipeline).
    If you can get your head around the ruleset, the game is fun and challenging. The models are middle of the road, but then the scale is relatively small so there is only so much you can do.
    They do have fantastic customer service though.

    Warlord Games.
    Your gonna love or hate them as they focus on historical battles mostly.
    They have some fantastic people at the helm, mostly from the early gw days.
    I personally love the models but then i am a fan of ww2 and historical games.
    The quality is mid range, the price relatively cheap.
    Their interaction on the forums is 1st class.
    I can’t say too much more as i am relatively new to the games and rulesets.

    Flames of war.
    Another love or loathe game depending on your view of historical gaming.
    I used to pay this but the local scene is now non existent. A shame as the rules were easy, smooth and fun.
    The models are decent enough for scale but expensive for what they are,

    What to say about Mantic. They know how to throw games out is one thing. Kings of war, deadzone, mars attacks, dreadball etc.
    But they feel like they want to be GW. The games are all, and this will sound harsh. Dumbed down version of GW games.
    The models are middling quality. But the restic material is evil. I personally would prefer finecast over restic and i hate finecast.
    Like i said though, the rules are simple and fast, quick to learn and hard to master.
    But Mantic don’t sit right with me at the moment as i feel they are abusing the kickstarter system and throwing out too much too quickly. I do fear they will try to be the next GW without really learning about what is hurting GW.

    There are other games out there i haven’t played but maybe one day i will. These include- dust tactics, infinity, sedition wars, dropzone commander. I haven’t tried the games or looked closely at the models so i can’t comment on them fairly.

    In review, I think i feel like a portion of the veteran gamers out there. GW is like that first love that doesn’t work out. You always hanker for the feelings it gave you. You want to walk away but it’s not easy and always yearn to return.

    Some serious changes are needed by GW, to win me over again. But i honestly don’t see it happening as they are very much geared towards the new players and don’t bat much of an eyelid at us old vets.

    That’s my 2 penneths worth anyways, like i said at the start. A large pinch of salt required as it is just my opinion from my own corner of the wargaming world.

  • OK I’ll consider alternatives:

    -Malifaux: honestly not bad, quality close to GW, prices are similar btw, no real advantage
    -Infinity: I can’t stress this enough: the whole universe sucks, miniature are ok, but GW has better quality, they still have a lot to learn.
    Mostly human based factions=> booooorrriiiiiiing!!! I really hate human factions in 40k, I’m exclusively a multiple xenos player
    -Warmachine: you love or hate it, I don’t like it frankly. Quality of the minis is close to GW, prices still pretty high too a bit like malifaux except that fluff sucks.
    -Hordes :universe is just OK, minis less than GW, too few options, not attractive at all
    -Flames of War: quality of the minis is very low, can’t do much at this scale.This is an advantage for some, easier to paint, easier to build an army. I’d rather have quality for a higher price => I’d rather go into GW, malifaux, even warmachine any day
    WW II setting? Booooring, I really find it so boring. Sure movies about the WWII are interesting, but a miniature game, as far as I’m concerned, I really couldn’t give any less interest.
    -Mercs: First time I hear of these, I won’t even bother looking them up.
    -Dropzone Commander: not bad at all, very different from GW, not really better or worse in therms of minis, but still a limited amount of minis, that’s the main weakness in this system.
    -Kings of War : A cheaper version of the GW fantasy. I don’t even like the warhammer fantasy, no reason to like this, besides the models are lower quality than GW. Argue all your want, but it’s true.

    -Kromlech is ripping off GW. In the Roman period people copied eachother’s stuff no problem, it was even encouraged. Now everybody wants to be original, the law enforces this too. GW made Kromlech possible, as well as various other polish and russian miniature producing companies. None of these guys did original work like GW did, they’re just copying, those lazy fraks. Quality of minis is very fair, but not at GW standards yet, GW plastic kits beat their ass.

    -Another rising french miniature range is : Raging Heroes.
    Very nice range, almost as good as GW, the models are really nice, but also copy of GW, no original stuff.

    There are other ranges like X wing too, but frankly I couldn’t care less about star wars, movies were ok, but that’s it for me.


    Quality has no price. Miniature collecting is a PURE LUXURY, it’s not a life or death necessity. Do you hear car collectors complain about how expensive their cars are? Yes, but they continue doing it anyways, because they love their hobby.

    Now GW, a couple of other miniature companies are close to the same quality, but GW is still the num 1, simply because they’ve been doing it for a long time and they’re learned a lot. It’s a fact that everyone should be able to confirm, if you forget about prices, GW policies, their models are top class. I Also collect other models, but GW are my favorites, they are simply top clas models, just so insanely detailed. Forgeworld, it’s a sub company from GW, not 100% GW, but still HQ is at warhammer world, for some reason, probably legal ones, they made this separate division. Why am I mentioning forgeworld? Take a look at the primarchs they’ve produced. Completely insane models, I’m not an imperial player, but those model blow me away. The big imperial titans, same thing, completely amazing models, just so detailed, so well made. I won’t ever buy them, but they’re such amazing models. Some of the plastic GW kits are incredible (not all, but some are), this tech is not possed by all, a lot of other companies still work with resin only. GW has been producing some extremely high quality models these last few years, we have been spoiled, not just that, they’ve been releasing more models than usual.

    Now GW being so old also reflects on the amount of minis they’ve got, it’s pretty safe to say their miniature range offers the biggest amount of mondels from all. You can even get the old stuff through ebay if you want, making the range even bigger. You’ve got 40k (biggest sales), fantasy, the hobbit & other specialist games plenty of choice.

    Fluff is amazing, 40k is better than Star wars, better than star trek, a lot more detailed fluff than any other model company. The universe is huge, very detailed and just extremely awesome. ALL of the other model companies lack the fluff, sometimes it’s pretty decent, but yet not as detailed and expanded as GWs fluff.
    Codex that have been coming out cost more, but they’re hardback, thicker than ever, amazing artwork, very detailed fluff, huge amount of fluff too. The old codices are nice jokes compared to what we have now.
    The thing I said on infinity how it sucked that most of the factions were human, the 40k world is full of non humans, a huge amount of xenos, one of the major flaws in Stars wars too, same for stark trek, too much attention on humans. In 40k you can be even a tyranid for all I care and still have an identity of your own, plenty of culture, your own language, a very detailed non human life.
    I’m a hardcore eldar player (all factions: dark eldar, craftworlds, corsairs, exodites, harlequins), when I get into my eldar role, I even start to consider humans like minor faction in the whole 40k universe, I forget all about being human, it’s fun.

    Now another obvious point: money. Yeah some companies are cheaper, like Kings of war, but they’re also lower quality. The biggers companies like malifaux, warmachine are as expensive, even more expensive for some things in fact. Money is a BS argument, like I said: miniature collecting is a luxury, money shouldn’t be an issue.


    I don’t move to another system because money doesn’t bother me and I already play 6 xenos armies, plenty of stuff to paint. I do keep buying stuff and increasing my armies more. I keep my purchases of non GW miniature ranges to a minimum as I don’t want to start another system and when mixed with GW stuff, you’re not allowed to use at official GW events. I’m happy with GW, stuff is getting more expensive but so is the quality of models. Fluff is as awesome as ever, I really have no reason to quit loving GW.

    • I know, as I live in Nottingham and have friends who work at the HQ. I agree quality wise they are awesome. My issue is aggressive policies. I don’t respond well to bullying or aggressive behaviour in all aspects of my life.

  • Christopher James Smith

    Check out Spartan Games for navel games, their main games are Dystopian Wars (steam punk, vicotrian WWI sort of thing) dystopian legions (28mm skirmish version) and Firestorm Armada (my favorite, sci-fi futuristic space battles) with a 15mm planetary invasion/drop zone style version coming soon

    • Christopher James Smith

      their models are also fantastic quality and very reasonably priced too!

  • Reg06

    You can play skirmish games with GW- while they don’t support the specialist games anymore (though you can still find the rules and buy the minis) there are rules for playing small scale game of WFB and 40k. So you can play a GW game for as much, or less, than most other skirmish games.
    Privateer Press is by no means any less expensive than GW. I don’t know a single Warmahordes player who has spent less per force than a typical GW player would. Granted PP is almost all metal and gorgeous, but it’s not a cheaper alternative to GW.

    I’ve read, and I havea suspicion it is true, that GW minis now are roughly the same price as they were back in the day once inflation is accounted for. But I don’t have a source for old school prices. The GW price hikes mostly just keep up with inflation and the rising cost of plastic and tin (other companies have done the same).

    I’m not saying GW is beyond reproach, but on a financial note most arguments against them come from a bitter or ill informed place. What I do find truly regretful is howGW has abandoned the hobby in favor of the game. What I mean is, where once we had a fantastic company that tried new things, supported many lines, and had personality, now we have a company that has abandoned all the fun and flavor in order to make sure it’s flagship games do well.*

    *which has had some benefits. The new plastic minis are truly stunning, and this is largely because GW focuses on WFB and 40k. I play GW because I like working with their minis.

    • I agree their models are stunning and I love my Dark Eldar army. I think your comment hit the nail on the head, with them forgetting about the hobby in favour of the game. The thing that really pisses me off is the company’s aggressiveness and hostility towards online resellers, hobbyists and others wargaming companies.

  • Malifaux minis cost even more than GW, though.

  • The “golden age of wargaming” is true if you ask me. So many games, so many minis and so much fun to be had.

    I’m not boycotting GW or owt like that (I have two warhammer armies to finish for one thing) but I am spending more of my hobby time and money with the smaller, more fun companies.

  • Well, and even if you’re still doing Games Workshop games, there are tons of alternate mini options out there, many of them better than GW’s own sculpts(in my opinion). Kromlech, for example, does some incredible orc stuff that would counts-as very well for GW orks. They may be the same price(or a bit more expensive), but they’re alternate options if you’re not happy supporting GW with your money.

  • I’m enjoying Flames of War right now, and looking forward to getting into Kings of War and Deadzone. You’re right about Wahammer losing popularity because of their price-hikes and customer hostile attitude. Thankfully there no shortage of alternatives now, and Games Wirkshop is going to end up having to change, or die.

    • Almost finished assembling the whole Open Fire! boxed set, painted about 1/4th of them. I also picked up a British North Africa Infantry Platoon at the same time, so that’s another 100+ minis to pained as well.

      Fun, but it’s taking a while 😀