Many of you gamers in the UK will have been watching the saga of Maelstrom Games' very slow and painful death. Over the last few months, a steady stream of rumours and some rather odd decisions crept out of Mansfield; notably their website wasn't getting updated, the vast majority of items were out of stock, the Bane-whatever range was transferred to another company, a suspiciously similair website cropped up, as well as announcements from Wyrd and North Star about the debts Maelstrom held them.
There were also a series of heavy discounts on their remaining items, culminating in last weeks 50-70% sale on everything they had left in stock. Now that their website "is currently offline due to maintenance" it appears the saga is over.
I've used Maelstrom for the last 3-4 years almost exclusively for my nerd purchases, so I'm sorry to see them go if they do. They always seemed to have lots of events on and run plenty tournaments. However, my view is probably coloured by the fact that I never had any order or service problems with them, quite the opposite. I know plenty of other gamers who have had far different experiences from me.
I did put in a tiny order for a couple items they had left in stock; a set of their generic (Everblight) spray templates for Hordes and Warmachine, their generic double smoke templates for Flames of War and a set of SS Artillery crew again for Flames of War. All items I want to and will use, but the total coming to less than a tenner, so no biggie if Maelstrom shut up shop before they arrived. So a pleasant surprise this morning to see that all three items were dispatched; not only that, but the order was doubled, with a duplicate of each in the box. Nice.
As a quick aside, I feel the need to highlight that over the last few years, our 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!
So I guess my business is up for grabs (hint hint any online retailers reading this!) Despite the fact I live in a city, the nearest non-GW wargame store is over seventy miles away, so I rely almost exclusively on t'internet for my shopping. I've ordered from IGUK recently without any problems, but I for some reason I really hate paying for postage. I guess Amazon and Maelstrom have accustomed me to getting it for free.
Btw, as the duplicate items I ordered are fairly redundant (you really only need one set of templates and the crew are for some loose guns I have lying around,) feel free to drop me an email if you want them. Not looking for a profit, just the cost or an swap job if anyone fancies it. If not, they'll get shoved up on eBay sometime.