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FrogTrigger

How popular will Rune Wars be?

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I've cut my teeth on miniatures with Imperial Assault, please don't shoot me i understand this isn't 'real' miniatures.. but it s as close as I've gotten!  I've watched people at my LGS play Guildball and Warhammer and thought those mini games look cool, I like the idea of the open field concept over the grid. But I am curious, will this game be popular? From people who actually know something about the other big miniature games out there, do you think this game will take off or is this going to be like another IA where its popular in a smaller pocket as many people are lost to X-Wing?

 

In this case FFG isn't cannibalizing itself, but from what you have seen so far will it be strong enough to draw players away from other mini games?

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In this case FFG isn't cannibalizing itself, but from what you have seen so far will it be strong enough to draw players away from other mini games?

 

I'd wager that their marketing goal is more "draw in" than draw players away.   Massive distribution, great online support and impressive discounts from online retailers make FFG products an ideal gateway.

If someone plays a LCG like Netrunner, they will be exposed to this. We'll see how many bite.

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As ecgtheow said it is way to early as we don't know the full rules and stuff yet, but as a minature wargamer i can tell the market is quite crowded these days with so many miniature wargames being Kickstarted, but this is FFG we are talking about.

And they know how to promote and support a game, and this one might get boardgamers into the hobby, so i think this game can make enough money to live and grow but i think it can't compete with the big ones in the market in the case of revenue, but this is something it does not have to do.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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Long time minis gamer here with experience in Warmachine, Infinity, Malifaux, Uncharted Seas, etc...

 

Lots of minis games exist, but not all of them manage to break out of being a niche product that only exists in small pockets here and there.  The benefit of being an FFG game is that the game will be available everywhere so it's easy to carry and many people will be exposed to it.

 

It's hard to predict popularity, not even FFG really knows at this point until the game is actually on the shelves.  The gaming community is very fickle, look at how Armada is still trying to grow while X-Wing is booming.  And those games have pretty much the ultimate theme!  This game has a more generic feeling fantasy theme.  Yes, there are other games in the Terrinoth setting, but gamers are largely unaware of it so it doesn't really count for much.

 

I expect most of the audience to be coming from LCGs, boardgames, and games like X-Wing, Imperial Assault, etc...  Maybe some ex-GW people, but I don't think you'll see that many people quitting existing "real" minis games to migrate to this.  Maybe later, but not up front.  Not until the game meets some criteria:

 

1.  Proves itself to be a good game

2.  Has a well established and strong community

3.  Has organized play

4.  Has enough releases to be interesting

5.  Has enough factions (at *least* four)

6.  Convinces people that you can buy JUST your faction and not have to buy other factions to get upgrade cards

 

At that point it can potentially be considered a viable choice by some minis gamers.  Some others may never see it as anything but a toy though.  Some may also want to see that the minis have sufficient detail to be worth painting.

 

Anyway, the trick is that we may not know how well it's catching on until a year after it launches.  It takes time for games to grow and expansions to come out.  If you want to wait until you're sure then it's going to take a while.  If too many people wait until they're sure, then the game falters because the early adoption isn't there.  Plus there are opportunities for FFG to stumble like they did with Armada's early waves.  I expect they have learned that lesson and will not repeat it though.

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I have played miniature games since 1990. I've played 40K, warhammer fantasy, war machine etc... I cannot wait for this to come out. I love battlelore x-wing and armada. I think this system is going to be very good.

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I think there is a lot of assumption right now that's sort of pulled out of thin rare rather than an assessment of what we know about the game because I would dispute this being some sort of "introductory" or "light" version of a miniatures game.  This game is really matching Warhammer in terms of how it's being presented.

 

You have a core set with what appears to be about 50 un-assembled and unpainted miniatures going for 100 bucks.  That is effectively exactly what you get with Warhammer 40k.

 

We know that in Warhammer 40k, the core set is "barely" enough to form a proper army/game and we also know that this is also the standard model for all other miniatures game that come out of FFG.  For example the Armada and X-Wing core sets can at absolute best be used to create demo games, but you need a hell of a lot more to have a proper game, most would suggest a minimum of 2 core sets.  This model is also used in their LCG's, core sets are not designed to be the "full experience".

 

Two core sets for this game would mean you have to assemble and paint about 100 miniatures, that is hardly a "introduction" to the hobby, that's effectively throwing you in at the deep end of the pool.

 

In advertisement flavor text the game proclaims itself as having "massive" armies/battles which suggests a high model count as well.

 

So from first appearances this to me looks like a game competing directly with Warhammer and taking itself far more seriously then simply a "entry level" or "light" version of a miniature game.  Now certainly we can work under the assumption that FFG will create streamlined, comprehensive rules for the game, they have rarely failed to do that but in terms of what the game is trying to be in the market, to the consumer or as a game, I personally think it's trying very hard to cater to hardcore, veteran miniatures gamers.  Its hard to say how it would compete with the likes of Warhammer etc.  but suffice to say right now by comparison to other miniature games it's not really offering a whole lot in the core set by comparison to the establish and option rich alternatives.

 

In the end its going to come down to the game quality and for that, the release of the rule book is paramount. 

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I am interested, many rule sets are variations of rules that have been around since the 1970's and are made with that era in mind. The games were given more time, and there were not as many choices for how people were going to spend their free time.

 

Taking turns activating: Player interactions will make the game pretty interesting and then the order "widgets" and move templates will bring a degree of planning. I also like the little clip-together movement trays which may simplify some rules you find for formations and interpenetration of units.

 

I think like many games, they are as good as your ability to find opponents.

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I think like many games, they are as good as your ability to find opponents.

 

That is a really good and often overlooked point.  A game like this you need opponents and while you might find a friend willing to play with you, playing the same person, regardless of how good a game is over and over again gets very boring.  Having access to a good fan base in your local area where you can get games is actually paramount to the success of a game.  In fact to a miniature game, this will pretty much make or break it.

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I think like many games, they are as good as your ability to find opponents.

 

That is a really good and often overlooked point.  A game like this you need opponents and while you might find a friend willing to play with you, playing the same person, regardless of how good a game is over and over again gets very boring.  Having access to a good fan base in your local area where you can get games is actually paramount to the success of a game.  In fact to a miniature game, this will pretty much make or break it.

 

 

And I think this is where GW excels because of their chain of establishments where you can go and find people to help you with painting tricks, organize tournaments, etc. I would say that's the main reason they are still the leaders in the "big miniatures battles" systems... Will FFG try to establish such a chain of shops or give a lot of stuff to local stores to organize tournaments? I suppose that will be a big part of the success/failure of this game, even more that whether they have N factions at the launch.

 

Still, I think I'll buy at least the core and some expansions to try the game out. I saw the video from Team Covenant and the game seems very interesting. The minis look also quite nice.

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I suppose the real question is, all things being equal in terms of support etc... would 40k players switch?  Why do people play Warhammer?  What is the draw?

 

I mean I have played the game and I have to say with all honesty, it's a pretty awful game.  I mean take away all the glitz and glamour of the miniatures and amazing background and theme for the game, from a sheer objective position of looking at the mechanics, it is a god awful gaming system.  It's horrifically unbalanced, convoluted, overly simplified in some place, incomprehensibly complex in others.  It as a game design has few if any redeeming qualities, yet it remains not only one of the most successful miniatures games on the market, but the one that draws the biggest crowds to competitions which is kind of mind boggling because it's a game so abstracted that I don't even understand how competition is possible to be honest.

40k's success as a game never ceases to amaze me, I mean I have played at least 15 different miniature games over the years and I can't think of a single one that 40k is better than when talking strictly about game mechanics.

 

It's the same way I feel about Twilight Struggle being the number 1 game on board game geek.  It's like, I understand its a popular game but the best game ever made?  Really?  A cold war game of politics is the best thing that has ever been made in board gaming?  I just scratch my head and wonder if I'm somehow missing something.

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I suppose the real question is, all things being equal in terms of support etc... would 40k players switch?  Why do people play Warhammer?  What is the draw?

 

I mean I have played the game and I have to say with all honesty, it's a pretty awful game.  I mean take away all the glitz and glamour of the miniatures and amazing background and theme for the game, from a sheer objective position of looking at the mechanics, it is a god awful gaming system.  It's horrifically unbalanced, convoluted, overly simplified in some place, incomprehensibly complex in others.  It as a game design has few if any redeeming qualities, yet it remains not only one of the most successful miniatures games on the market, but the one that draws the biggest crowds to competitions which is kind of mind boggling because it's a game so abstracted that I don't even understand how competition is possible to be honest.

40k's success as a game never ceases to amaze me, I mean I have played at least 15 different miniature games over the years and I can't think of a single one that 40k is better than when talking strictly about game mechanics.

 

It's the same way I feel about Twilight Struggle being the number 1 game on board game geek.  It's like, I understand its a popular game but the best game ever made?  Really?  A cold war game of politics is the best thing that has ever been made in board gaming?  I just scratch my head and wonder if I'm somehow missing something.

 

Difficult to say. I would use the analogy of Facebook... Is Facebook the best social network out there? Probably not, but once some "social network" has enough size it's pretty difficult to "move away" from it... You have a lot of "investments" made on such thing to easily go away... It's not just material investment like minis, paints, books, etc. but also things that are more difficult to quantify, such as that your friends are already there, that you don't know much of other systems because you don't have more time/money to spend on them, past experiences that you enjoyed and then re-live when playing the game, etc.

 

I think Warhammer's success has more to do with their shop chains and focus on making you spend as much time+money as possible in their systems than the mechanics of the game, which I agree are horrible... It's also weird, because GW have proved that they can create mechanically amazing games (Blood Bowl and others) even miniatures (like Mordheim)... Maybe they'd like to change the mechanics of the game in new editions, but then their fans would abandon them (a bit what happened with D&D when it moved from 3rd to 4th edition) and then they are forced to keep absurd "compatibility" with horrible mechanics (a bit like Windows 95 and MS-DOS).

 

It must be tough to be the one calling the shots in these companies, as you can spell the doom of your IP if you try to make changes too fast, even if is for the betterment of the system.

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I suppose the real question is, all things being equal in terms of support etc... would 40k players switch? Why do people play Warhammer? What is the draw?

I mean I have played the game and I have to say with all honesty, it's a pretty awful game. I mean take away all the glitz and glamour of the miniatures and amazing background and theme for the game, from a sheer objective position of looking at the mechanics, it is a god awful gaming system. It's horrifically unbalanced, convoluted, overly simplified in some place, incomprehensibly complex in others. It as a game design has few if any redeeming qualities, yet it remains not only one of the most successful miniatures games on the market, but the one that draws the biggest crowds to competitions which is kind of mind boggling because it's a game so abstracted that I don't even understand how competition is possible to be honest.

But you can't leave the background out of the equation, many wargamers choose their system not because of the quality of the rules but because they like the setting or they like the miniatures, and fluff is important to identify with your army, who are they what do they want? It can also be important for armybuilding if you want to build your army according to fluff or iv you want to build a army, unit (eg. 7th Carion Lancers regiment), hero/leader that is mentioned somewhere in the fluff.

And GW is nearly everywhere, you can find players everywhere, most if not all hobby shops sell their products because they can count on selling them and they have their one shops to get people involved in their hobby, these are things you can not say about games like Infinity or Malifaux.

And as cogollo said you spent lots of time and money into it so you wont change that easily, but of course GW is llsing players, the killec WHF and not every old WHF player is playing AoS though it got nee players and seem people are also leaving 40k or at least start other games, 30K got some people away from 40k.

Also thanks to beeing the biggest thing around you can easily get in to the game via the second hand market through ebay or market places of forums, you can find well painted armies for a reasonable price there. And it's quite easy to find a shop that will give you between 10 and 20% discount.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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I think Warhammer's success has more to do with their shop chains and focus on making you spend as much time+money as possible in their systems than the mechanics of the game, which I agree are horrible... It's also weird, because GW have proved that they can create mechanically amazing games (Blood Bowl and others) even miniatures (like Mordheim)... Maybe they'd like to change the mechanics of the game in new editions, but then their fans would abandon them (a bit what happened with D&D when it moved from 3rd to 4th edition) and then they are forced to keep absurd "compatibility" with horrible mechanics (a bit like Windows 95 and MS-DOS).

 

The success of both Warhammers is mostly due to the fact that they both have 30 years of content to fall back on and 30 years of building awerness and communities around the globe. They are still going and are still the most popular miniature games on the planet by means of sheer inertia.

 

As an aside, it is quite widely known that GW designers realize the limitations of the rulesets and are keen to make drastic changes. Rick Priestley, one of the de-facto co-founders of the company that has quit it several years ago, has repeatedly said that his newly designed game, Gates of Antares, was in fact what he wanted 40k to change into, but that change was blocked by company's governing body. Of course, this is not surprising and in no way "bad" - if you run a multi-million dollar global company that's based solely on the inertia of its IP, you don't make left-field choices on a whim, because frankly, there's numerous people's livelihood at stake. This is why the GW design team has so much rotation - you can only do so much rewriting of the same dozen or so army books in an extremely controlled environment before it gets so tedious you want to gouge your eyes out. This is also why throwing away the entire rules framework of Warhammer with the Age of Sigmar release was a BIG DEAL and gives you an idea of how horribly bad Warhammer Fantasy must have done sales wise in the last 2-3 years of its run.

Edited by Don_Silvarro

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Most importantly i forgot to say you can still have a lot of fun playing 40K, yes it's unbalanced but if you play with friends just for fun and no one goes full power gamer you can have a good game and much fun.

And if you are going to a tournament you know you will be facing the srtongest combination of all the codices, supllements, formations and downloadable datasheets out there so you plan accordingly.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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I have great expectations, but I think the deciding factor will be the price tag. 

 

There is a huge number of Warhammer Fantasy players with existing armies, and they are (or we are, although I sold my armies long ago) missing the feeling of that game, the rank-and-file units, rear charges, the magic, and so on. For some reason Kings of War did not brint the same feeling. And although the 9th Age (an unofficial WFB 9th edition) game is well alive and kicking, without a company promoting it and releasing miniatures, it is hard to get new people into it. And both games are really just the same old stuff again - move your entire army at once using a ruler, roll a handful of dice, remove models, count casualties, roll for morale. Please note that I don't miss the old WFB rule mechanics, only the feeling of the games :-D 

 

If Runewars will have a system that is modern and traditional at the same time (and so far the demo videos seem to suggest this is the case), and the game gets good support, multiple armies (6-8 at least in 2 years), a lot of people could get really interested. And some of them will think "why should I buy more miniatures when I have a 3000 points Vampire Counts army"? Others will think "why should I buy these spearmen for X bucks when Mantic sells them for X * 0.8 bucks?"  

 

So the pricing for the unit boxes has to be right to get those people to buy the boxes (even if just for the cards and dials, selling the minis themselves) and play the game. If that will be the case, the game will be a huge success I think.   

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I suppose the real question is, all things being equal in terms of support etc... would 40k players switch? Why do people play Warhammer? What is the draw?

I mean I have played the game and I have to say with all honesty, it's a pretty awful game. I mean take away all the glitz and glamour of the miniatures and amazing background and theme for the game, from a sheer objective position of looking at the mechanics, it is a god awful gaming system. It's horrifically unbalanced, convoluted, overly simplified in some place, incomprehensibly complex in others. It as a game design has few if any redeeming qualities, yet it remains not only one of the most successful miniatures games on the market, but the one that draws the biggest crowds to competitions which is kind of mind boggling because it's a game so abstracted that I don't even understand how competition is possible to be honest.

But you can't leave the background out of the equation, many wargamers choose their system not because of the quality of the rules but because they like the setting or they like the miniatures, and fluff is important to identify with your army, who are they what do they want? It can also be important for armybuilding if you want to build your army according to fluff or iv you want to build a army, unit (eg. 7th Carion Lancers regiment), hero/leader that is mentioned somewhere in the fluff.

 

 

Fluff and background is a big part of gaming for me. I suspect that with their announcement during the In Flight report of doing more background sourcebooks like the Android one that we will see a Terrinoth book with fluff, maps, bios etc. 

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I have great expectations, but I think the deciding factor will be the price tag. 

 

There is a huge number of Warhammer Fantasy players with existing armies, and they are (or we are, although I sold my armies long ago) missing the feeling of that game, the rank-and-file units, rear charges, the magic, and so on.

 

Indeed but will they buy new miniatures? Of course you could use your WHF minis, just make a tray and put them on but we don't really know the scale yet and the LOS rules, if however you could just buy unit cards, templates. rulebook and stuff without the miniatures you could use your WHF miniatures but FFG would earn less.

As a vampire count player i'm interessted in the undead but of course it would be good if i could use the miniatures i already one, woudl save me money.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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For what it's worth, while I don't consider myself a "miniatures" gamer despite the fact that I play both X-Wing and Armada, not to mention having played Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, I do feel very confident that I have my finger on the pulse of the community at large.  I'm constantly surrounded by miniatures gamers, I participate in tournaments, I'm in a weekly gaming club.  Not to mention that I watch a lot of podcasts, tournaments ... lets just say I'm very involved, it's kind of part of what you need to do to write your blog.

 

With all that said, I'm 100% certain at least about 3 things.

 

1.  Theme.  I totally agree with Toqtamish and I believe this is a sentiment a very overwhelming majority of miniature players will agree with (even if not on this forum) that Theme is of paramount importance regardless of price, quality of the game or quality of the miniatures.  People will play a crappy game mechanic over a really amazing one just for the theme.

 

Right now Runewars at absolute can be described as extremely generic fantasy, everything we know about it we learned through a few scribbles among a couple of board games and that's pretty much it.  I know more about the lives of Smurfs then I know about this game world.  It's effectively theme-less right now and given the importance of theme, I think this is going to be a huge hurdle that Runewars must address and they need to do it very soon.

 

2. Price.  I'm not talking about price of miniatures per say, but general cost to play the game.  The core box set comes with 2 armies and will cost 100 bucks but what we don't know is are those two full armies?  Or are those miniatures just enough to have a demo game like X-Wing and Armada?  How many more miniatures will you need to have a sense of completion and a robust option filled game?  How much diversity will each army have and how many armies will there be?  All of these things will ultimately drive up or down the cost of the game and while you could argue that it's "cheaper" then X or Y game the truth is right now we have no real clue what the cost will be, no one can say its cheaper than anything else right now.

 

I honestly don't believe there will be very many people that will go in blind into a miniatures game like they would a board game and buy a core set for 100 bucks not knowing exactly what that core set will be in the light of the game as a whole.  Consider Armada for a second.  Even with 2 core sets you could barely make a 400 standard army.  With X-Wing you would need at least 3 core sets to form a 100 point squad.  How many of these things will actually be needed and how complete will the game be with what you can get for 100 bucks?  200 bucks?  

 

No one knows and I think if you want to get someone to start collecting a miniatures game you are going to have to make all that crystal clear and the usual "sales pitch" stuff won't work like it did with X-Wing and Armada because those two games both had something Runewars does not.. theme... see no. 1 on the list.

 

3.  Last but not least a player base.  As strange as it may sound, one of the key reasons I believe a lot of miniatures games don't take off is because they don't have a player base and one never forms because everyone is sitting around not buying the game waiting for one to form.  It's like a chicken before the egg problem, people want to play it, can't find opponents so they wait for the game community to grow, which of course it doesn't because everyone else is also "waiting and seeing" what happens.

 

This weird phenomenon has rendered the large majority of miniature games on the market today effectively dead.  Sure the companies don't die, there are always some semblances of a player base but most of these games effectively "survive" they aren't thriving.

 

It's going to be very interesting how FFG addresses these challenges, but I really do believe they have their work cut out for them.  I don't think this game will be able to sell itself based on FFG's reputation and former success of games like X-Wing and Armada because these beasts had theme that came with a built in audience of millions, Runewars certainly does not.

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I have great expectations, but I think the deciding factor will be the price tag. 

 

There is a huge number of Warhammer Fantasy players with existing armies, and they are (or we are, although I sold my armies long ago) missing the feeling of that game, the rank-and-file units, rear charges, the magic, and so on.

 

Indeed but will they buy new miniatures? Of course you could use your WHF minis, just make a tray and put them on but we don't really know the scale yet and the LOS rules, if however you could just buy unit cards, templates. rulebook and stuff without the miniatures you could use your WHF miniatures but FFG would earn less.

As a vampire count player i'm interessted in the undead but of course it would be good if i could use the miniatures i already one, woudl save me money.

 

 

Based on a comparison picture with a Descent 2e figure that I had in hand and know the size of, I can now without any doubt tell you that the scale of RWM will be mid-sized 28mm, akin to what Mantic or historical plastics manufacturers offer. Relatively compatible but with slightly different proportions when compared to what GW offers.

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Indeed but will they buy new miniatures? 

 

 

That's where the price tag comes in. If the boxes are reasonably priced (and you will be able to mix and match the models with the mantic ones for example) then they would buy into the game I think. I hope they will sell the trays separately though.

 

And of course it would mean less purchases in short term for FFG, but the larger player base would compensate for it in the long term.  

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2. Price.  I'm not talking about price of miniatures per say, but general cost to play the game.  The core box set comes with 2 armies and will cost 100 bucks but what we don't know is are those two full armies?  Or are those miniatures just enough to have a demo game like X-Wing and Armada?  How many more miniatures will you need to have a sense of completion and a robust option filled game?  How much diversity will each army have and how many armies will there be?  All of these things will ultimately drive up or down the cost of the game and while you could argue that it's "cheaper" then X or Y game the truth is right now we have no real clue what the cost will be, no one can say its cheaper than anything else right now.

 

3.  Last but not least a player base.  As strange as it may sound, one of the key reasons I believe a lot of miniatures games don't take off is because they don't have a player base and one never forms because everyone is sitting around not buying the game waiting for one to form.  It's like a chicken before the egg problem, people want to play it, can't find opponents so they wait for the game community to grow, which of course it doesn't because everyone else is also "waiting and seeing" what happens.

 

 

To your number 2, TallTonyB (the guy who did the GenCen Demo) said this in the Team Covenant video thread:

 

 

1st quarter 2017 is a ways off so things may change, but as of the rule set that was current the day of the demo the squad point limit of a full size game is 200 points. The human army in the demo was 99 with no upgrades and the undead was about 94. The regulation play size is 3'x6' with is twice as wide and a few inches deeper than the demo table. The scoring system is very similar to Armada in that kills get you points, but you will need to rock the objectives also to pull out a win. It's limited to 8 rounds.

 

 

and to your point number 3, you can always try and build a scene for a game yourself, yes it's not easy but it can be done, show the game to friends, your local gamin club, talk to your local shop and so on.

Edited by Iceeagle85

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I will tell you this...I was the first in the trenches with star wars Imperial assault in my area and no one played...so I will wait on this. I learned my lesson and I live on a very limited budget...money and time.

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Another important thing these day can be the website, is it more than background, news and a shop? The old GW site had fluff information about their worlds and factions, basic painting tutorials, i can't remember if terrain building was on the site but they certainly had articles about converting, the US site also had the Black Goblin which if i remeber correctly was all about conversions and they also had rules on their site, one halloween they had some zombie rules/game for WHF on their site and i remeber weather rules for 40K.

And the old Wwite Dwarf was also a nice magazine, you got painting, conversion, battle reports and terrain tutorials in it, they talked to they designer about their books and miniatures, it had rules i remember creature rules for 40K and i really was a fan of the 4 or whatever number it was generals artilce series.

For those of you who don't knwo what that was, well they took 4 or whatever the number was people from their company and they then build new armies, and in the WD they talked about why the choose which amre or unit, showed of thei paint scheme and explained it, talked about their army list and or course they had to play against each other so you had small battlereports or reacps of the battles and they taled about their strategies and if the worked or not and so on.

Aw, man those were the days  ;)

 

These are things nearly no game has today, Privateer Press has a magazine and in the begining when i was playing their games they also had painting, converting, battle reports in it, i remember the article when they talked to Werner Klocke about his sculpting of the Totem Hunter and i really liked that articel and they also had a 4 generals article, but because i don't play it anymore i can't say if the No Quarter magazine still has this kind of articles and i can say nothing about their website.

 

What could also help to promote the game would be to go to well known miniature wargaming sites, the guys at Beast of War have done weeks for several games, like Infinity, Team Yankee, Dropfleet Commander, Warzone and i think also Dark Age but i didn't watch that. In these weeks they show of the game or whatever new thing the system is releasing, normally someone from the company is also there and tals about the decision, rules, new stuff and sort like that, in the Infinity weeks you even get to see new profiles sometimes that were never shown before and of course you have battle reports, either between the guy from the company vs. someone from BoW (like with Carlos from Corvus Belli against Killian) or 2 BoW members againts each other and the guy from the company teaches them the game (like they did with teh Team Yankee battle report)

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