As allusive as Games Workshop behavior seems, they have over the ages created opportunities for fans and small business to exploit, such is their magnanimity.

When GW got out the of the tournament game, fans and shops picked up the slack and created amazing events. An "underground" market for what GW unsupports becomes inevitable.

When GW left gaps in their product lines, third-party companies filled the void, creating models as stand ins. When GW decided to no longer offer bits direct, a bit cottage industry popped right up.

It goes to show just how profitable the GW universe is, when a small business can thrive off of GW chaff.  Inevitability, GW at some point takes notice of the mice underneath their house and tries to exterminate, that was the case when third-parties dare tread on a loose IP foundation. More recently, GW has decided to go after independent retailers, by not allowing stores or online retailers to sell components separately, leading to the demise of the GW bits market almost overnight.

Unbeknownst, GW might have done something they will regret later. This is the time and place for third-party manufactures to fill the larger than expected bits market void; you can see this happening by looking no further than companies like Puppet War and Maxmini, the second the images for the new Grav guns appeared these companies went right to work fabricating equivalents. It isn’t really anything new, but now these companies have the market all to themselves.

When bits were kept in-house or at the very least through independent retailers, GW had some sort of control, but now they have very little recourse to reign in on manufactures completely outside their grasp. This doesn’t mean GW won’t let unleash the legal team at a whim, but hopefully GW's defeat at the hands of Chapter House will give third-party manufactures better legal standing to operate.

Importantly, as prices rise, more players are less likely to purchase that second box if all they need is another lascannon, instead players will look more and more to alternatives.

Loyalty to “official components” isn’t once what it was, and as third parties catch up in quality and variety that gap continues to close. Then there is the modeling possibilities, as more players want armies to look unique and with no incentive (minus random Games Days) to stay pure.

There is no enforcement or incentive for people to buy GW only products outside the core components; GW stores are one-man soulless operations, and the lack of support for tournaments leaves the door open for those third-party folks to fill.

This all points to a boom waiting to happen. I already notice changes over the last year; as more and more conversion and especially specialty bases appearing at more and more retailers. As I speculated last year this would be a good time for GW to get back into the bits game completely, not just overpriced Finecast add-ons.

They have already closed the codexes to having units without models, why not just offer bits direct online and kill all the birds with one stone. However you look at it, GW operations continues to pump out draconian edicts making the Princess Leia proverb ever truer, "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”


Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.