Saturday, October 6, 2012

PSA: Maelstrom Games going bust?

It seems like Maelstrom Games is going under. The thread on Dakka has been going on for quite some time now without any representing MG chiming in. A lot of people have been posting there to tell about orders taking forever to ship, or in many cases, so long that they have requested a refund.

Rumours say that they have a huge debt and are moving stock & current assets to other companies in order to be able to fold the company in debt. Which means that if you order from Maelstrom Games (if this all turns out to be true) your money will be in limbo.

Of course, forums are what they are, and I can understand if you as a business really don't care about all that's written on them. But if you look at their website there sure isn't much in stock. It's actually hard finding anything that's in stock at the moment. Further reinforcing the rumour that they're out of money. Even though they supposedly are moving warehouses and such (and has been for a while now...) it seems like a -really-bad- business decision to let 90% of your website show items as "Out of Stock".

I suggest you subscribe to the forum thread to watch for further development. Hopefully this is just a rumour that's gotten a bit inflated. Hopefully. 


  1. Hard to come to a different conclusion other than they're about to go under. Website not getting updated, nothing in stock, moving Bane-whatever range to another company, no new GW stock on pre-order. Looks pretty grim to be honest.

    I've used Maelstrom for the last 3-4 years almost exclusively for my nerd purchases, so will be sorry to see them go if they do. They always seem to have lots of events on and run plenty tournaments.

    Constant delays getting my copy of X-Wing, Iron Kingdoms and some Warlord games figures meant I've had to get a refund and buy from elsewhere.

    Oddly, over the last few years, the industry seems to have coped remarkably well (with obvious exceptions,) even to the point that we've seen plenty new entrants and existing companies expanding their range. I guess we just love our plastic crack!

  2. I guess that the ROW-embargo and the hubub with Battlefront was what broke the camels back. :/

    In times of hardship I guess we all spend some more on the stuff that makes us happy. No matter how contradictory that might be. :)

  3. If that turns out to be true, it would be ugly news... I preferred MG over Waylandgames. You could order small quantities w/o shipping costs and the stock numbers were a bit more honest that the traffic light system WG used.

    I think I started using UK stores back in the day before the VAT increase, when the euro:pound exchange rate was ~1.12:1...I remember paying 40pounds (45€) for a eldar battleforce, compared to the German RRP of 75€. Maelstrom always delivered, never had a faulty order with my 40k stuff.

    When I switched to WM/H last year things did change. Waylandgames lost me as a customer, after ordering stuff all showing green lights, getting a "out of stock at the supplier" mail only after I opened a ticket more than one month after ordering my stuff, and while they cancelled and refunded me through paypal, they didn't change the availability status of their stock.

    Still ordered my plastic kits from the UK... My first PP-stuff order at Maelstrom including tokens, the core rules book and a plastic heavy kit, took 2 months to ship me the the jack&tokens and additional 2 months and another ticket, until they shipped me the book. At that point I already got my hands on one of the new 2 player boxes, so I had two may guess that I didn't manage to sell my book without making a loss.

    Sadly I ordered through them again twice two weeks ago, buying some of the templar forge templates for me and some other club mates and I made the error and threw in a bunch of plastic kits (which were not "out of stock at the supplier, but standing on "order now"). They shipped my first order consisting of templar forge templates only withing day (incl. a fantasy arc of sight template instead of the steam fantasy arc of sight template). The other order incl. the PP stuff hasn't been proceeded yet and after reading your blog posting and the dakkadakaka thread, I sent them a ticket asking for a delivery date of the plastic kits from their supplier and a cancellation&refunding of my order, if they can't get their hands on the items over the course of the next week.

    Hope they will reply honestly and I don't think I will order from them in the near future. The pound:euro exchange rate doesn't make UK such a kind of bargain anymore and if I only save 5%-100% or less, I rather order through my local store. Which helps keeping it afloat and I don't have to pay upfront.

  4. I actually decided that the 10-20% discount wasn't worth the hassle of dealing with the UK "big shops" due to weird stocking systems and turnaround on orders being measured in months instead of days. So I made the same decision as you did. Local stores.

    They usually sort it out with you if there is any problems, and you can always talk to a real person face to face instead of shooting off e-mails.

  5. Yeah, but there are a few things where buying in the UK beats buying at your local store. Right now I "only" play 3 systems, if I discount the relic knight kickstarter, which won't ship until early 2013.

    SAGA: Historical skirmish game, I picked Bretons and went for a elite pure cavalry list. You play 4-6 points and my force ranges between 21-29 models. Bought myself two Norman Knight boxes with 15 guys each through my local store for ~50€ total. UK RRP for a single box is ~24pounds... no reason not to buy at my store.

    Dystopian Wars: I'm down to one fleet (France), after starting the game with Prussia and Japan, dropping both of them over the course of this year. UK webstores are notoriously out of stock and I may save 5% or less. Really not worth the hassle.

    Warmachine/Hordes: Prices of the metal models are roughly the same, since they get cast in Europe. Plastic models are another story. If you manage to get your stuff from Maelstrom, you pay 20 pound w/o any discounts for a warbeast kit. Let's say you wait and get the 17% voucher Maelstrom hands out more often than not, you pay ~21€ for the Set. German RRP right now is 31.5€ afaik, but the German distributor will raise it to 35€ in the near future. So even with a small discount, you pay roughly 10€/50% more... there is one German onlinestore with a 20% discount, but it stocks only a limited part of the WM/H range.

    That makes buying in the UK tempting...

    Regarding MG: They do have some credit left and I never had a unfriendly person on the phone, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt until Tuesday.

    If they don't answer my mail or can't guarantee that they will get a restock over the course of the week, I'm gonna call them on Wednesday and ask for cancelling my order and refunding me. Then I'm buying my 3 kits at the German online-store for 25€ each with free shipping and fast delivery. Costs me 15€ more compared to Maelstrom, but I don't have to wait until kingdoms come, fearing that they will go bust w/o delivering...

  6. By the way...did you read their latest newsletter? Someone c&p it into the ongoing dakka thread....

    ...they also split up one of my orders (with templar forge stuff) and told me on the phone, that they intend to get everything ordered that's currently not in stock into the new warehouse and start working through all old the orders after they moved next week.

    Let's see how that goes... if not, I can still write a ticket of complain to/through paypal...

  7. I did. And I wrote an angry post about it. :) What theyre doing is not OK.

    The option of using Paypal has also been removed from the checkout. Usually that means that PP has closed their acc. What that does to your money paid via Paypal I really don't know. I suggest you try and find out in case Maelstrom goes under :/

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  9. Second try...I hate it when I can't edit my stuff...:)

    Send out a ticket, then remembered that they hadn't answered my first one from Monday either. Then I called PayPal and asked how to proceed: Shall I call MG first or should I directly go through PayPal. The friendly women on the phone listened to my story (not being able to ship stuff in timely matter due to a warehouse move, problems of the company with their Paypal button) and then filed a complain to MG through the PP system.

    When I managed to get a friendly guy on the phone again at MG (after roughly 10 tries), he said that he would like to cancel the order, but can't do it because of the PP complain. That can only be done by his manager, who has access to the PayPal (bank) account, but he will forward the case to him and MG will notify me on the process.

    Let's see how long it takes to work that out, the only time I got money back from a UK store was from Waylandgames and it didn't take very long between the cancellation notification and the money showing up in my PP account.