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Made in gb
Disbeliever of the Greater Good




Essex, UK

Like a wally I posted this on B&C while my brain was in neutral and obviously it got removed 'cos it's not 40k. So while I don't visit here often it seemed the best place to put it...?


A chum and I dropped into Warhammer World at the weekend as we'd not been there for well over a year and I wanted to pick up a Reaver titan to commemorate a parent who I'd lost just over 12 months ago. The WHW shops were having issues with a router that connected their card payment infrastructure to the outside world (it turned out to be a power issue which wasn't resolved by the time we left and unfortunately they were all out of Imperial Reavers anyway) so while we were waiting for an IT bod to show up and fix it we politely harassed a staff member in a different colour Warhammer shirt with idle chit-chat and I decided to chance asking about Cursed City and what happened to it despite GW retail staff usually knowing little more than we do.

It turns out that the chap, who will remain nameless in case he could get in bother, knew pretty much exactly what had happened with that release. Now, you guys can believe what you will - I rarely visit here these days, popularity isn't something I particularly care about nor do I have any need to make stuff up. So here's the skinny:

Games Workshop have a three year lead time on releases from when they sit down and plan stuff out to when that product gets scheduled for release. So all the stuff we're looking at now which is all fancy and new, the Design Studio started working on three Christmasses ago and have long since moved on to newer things that we'll see in a bunch of years down the line. Tooling for plastic items and print runs for card items and whatnot are kicked off halfway through that process...as an internal fact check for myself this all matched exactly with what a Jes Goodwin-headed panel told us at the 7th edition era Open Day so I had no reason to think that we were being fed a line, and the chap seemed very sincere.

When it came to planning Cursed City, GW looked at the sales figures for Blackstone Fortress and multiplied them by four. That's not launch figures, that's overall sales of the main BSF box: for every BSF box that left GW they made four boxes of Cursed City. Apparently someone put their job on the line to create that many because the initial plan was to produce less (how much less I don't know) so that unknown stand-taking warrior is blatantly a hero and was proven correct. When Cursed sold out in just over an hour, I think GW thought there was some kind of error because that level of selling out took them entirely by surprise; I got the impression that the entire stock of Cursed was to last for it's entire shelf-life, or at least a big chunk of it, and GW were shocked that it had gone in it's entirety on the initial release. I don't know the ins and outs of holding back stock for separate retail/online/trade channels, later releases and all that stuff, all I know is that the whole lot of GW webstore & trade/3rd party stock went in just over an hour.

Harking back to my earlier point, GW planned this release in or close to 2018, there's no way anyone could've predicted a worldwide pandemic marking a significant upturn in people's interest in the hobby, current customers and new/returning fans driving demand up (the nonsense of Brexit, alas was still on track and even that's gone worse than daydreamers thought it would, which impacts GW getting materials & components imported and messes with their exports to the EU which go via UPS Germany, but that's a whole other mess). So Cursed selling out entirely was totally unprecedented and very unexpected. To put that into perspective, the chap said that Cursed was their second best selling release ever, only beaten by Indomitus. Which for a boxed game, not a main 40k or even AOS release, is mental. GW Customer Services were initially unaware of the situation, so when trade clients initially contacted them for additional stock they were told that more would be made available soon as normal, which then changed at some point soon after when it became clear that GW had no more Cursed stock left to release, which is where that e-mail screenshot of GW CS saying that they don't know when the product will be back came from.

The problem that GW now have is that to get another run of Cursed done they'd have to put that same order in again to their contracted printers in China - four times that of BSF - and that is a risk that they are very hesitant to take, there's no certainty that with that number of boxes already sold they'll sell that many again and an order of that size could represent a considerable loss if it fails to shift. The other factor is that getting card printed and imported from the Far East has an 18 month lead time. So even if they did go for it, we wouldn't see any more copies of Cursed City until around 2023, which compounds the issue and makes GW doing another run even more unlikely.

So, while we didn't get a hard answer of a "no", wise people shouldn't hold their breath to see that striking black & red box reappear on shelves, which is a proper shame.

As a side-note to how Warhammer Quest releases work, we were also told that after feedback from customers who didn't like models like Zoats tied into boxed game expansions that they didn't want, the AOS team took the decision to take models marked for Cursed expansions, like Radukar The Beast & The Rat Prince, and roll them into the Soulblight Wampires welease to make them widely available and not exclusive to a more expensive box. We asked if this meant that there was the potential for "card & book" only Cursed City expansions with players buying the models they want separately, we were told that it's a possibility. So that would be kinda cool, not paying for models from a boxed expansion that you're not too keen on.

So there you have it. I thought that it was best to share this, given that there seems to be a significant unknown factor around more Cursed City boxes hitting shelves, and it seems that it's very unlikely. I hope that helps people who were maybe holding out for more and also helps people understand how GW releases work. In the short term their release schedule is fluid as they have a pool/queue of stuff to chose from and shuffle about as issues arise, but their boxed games containing card items have a very long lead time, especially if they were perceived as and scheduled to be a limited run outside of the main AOS & 40k lines. I'm happy to field questions, but I don't really know much more than what I've shared already.

   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran



London

Interesting. Chatting to a chap who does consulting in the game trade, his and his colleagues assessment was difficulties with sourcing components was also a big factor. GW has big supply bottlenecks currently (and are thought to be considering a SKU and sprue cull), China supply is affected by the obvious and to crown it all rules of origin are a bigger thing now. They have to produce significant content in the UK of any box to make it profitable enough to sell in 3rd countries (all of which precluded a print on demand like indometus).

Top it off there were errors in the inventory system that lead the staff to believe they had more copies than they did, leading to the dire comms with trade accounts.
   
Made in fr
Been Around the Block





Very interesting, thanks for sharing!
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Mauler, that is very kind of you to share that information and put to bed the whole Cursed City fiasco. Also, I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your parent and only wish for you better times going forward.

Its a shame Games Workshop didn't reach out to the community on the knowledge that the CC-expansion models were bought forward early into the AoS Soulblight range launch. Honestly, it could have defused a lot of ill feelings on the matter, knowing that GW was acting upon customer feedback and thus treating us early to those models.

There are two things I'd like to see going forward that would go a long way; firstly, White Dwarf articles that provide rules to include those models. There is no harm in supporting those customers who did buy into the game and can only serve to sell more models as a result. I'm not one of those who own a copy but I wouldn't begrudge fellow gamers their good fortune...

And for those who sadly could not get a copy of Cursed City, the AoS team could put together a special solo-coop campaign for that range like they did last year with Glymsforge, the Troggoth King and Heroes of the Hinterlands. Straight away, there is potential for the Ven Densts to go ghoulie hunting and maybe even bag Radukar and his Grandma while they're at it...

Once again thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Casual gaming, mostly solo-coop these days.

 
   
Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

I think AoS rules would only worsen ill feelings about the game.
It would bring the issue back into the light when I'm sure GW is just hoping to bury it, and it would bring the issue to a whole new group of players; those that play AoS but not Warhammer Quest.
   
Made in gb
Khorne Chosen Marine Riding a Juggernaut




Southampton, UK

Thanks for posting. Makes sense, and ties in with a lot of what people were saying previously around the card-stock components being the limiting factor.

Still disappointing to hear that I basically missed the (one hour) window on getting a copy.

So it's probably going to be a year or two before GW's current work-in-progress catches up with current demand then. Preorder scramble still required for the foreseeable future... :(
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut





Thanks Mauler, sorry for your loss mate- my dad died the day after I got my Cursed City box so I've not looked at it since, the bad feelings online have just amplified that.
Sounds perfectly reasonable- 4 times BSF and still selling out in an hour is hectic- especially as BSF is still available. GW really should just come out and tell this themselves, and explain how difficult it is to reorder it. I think most people would understand. Hope they do something with it and it encourages them to do another similar game in the future.
   
Made in us
Confident Goblin Boss




Australia

Thanks for shedding some extra scuttlebutt on what actually happened to CC. I was really looking forward to collecting it (I miss Mordheim), but it seems like I'll never get my hands on this either. The fact they set up a completely separate website for the game to (apparently) provide dedicated and ongoing support, but then utterly failed to provide proper supply lines for it is beyond stupid.

 
   
Made in us
Battlefield Tourist




MN

Idle chatter here:

I wonder what business situation is would take for the design team to get instructions to eliminate card stock from their designs to improve supply chain issues?

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in si
Ravenous Beast Form







I believe the part where OP went to Warhammer World and was fed this story by a GW employee.

(this is a repost)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/15 15:57:00


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