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The prices are outrageous

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Here's my concern about pricing compared to other FFG miniatures games.  I'm going to use the reanimate archers as my baseline for comparison, and I am talking expansions only, not core set. 

$50 gets you 4 trays of archers.  A unit of 2 trays without upgrades is 18 points.  I don't think we have a point cost on a unit of 4 trays, but extrapolating from the cost of basic reanimates, it seems like it will be around 30 points.  Let's try to get the most for our money and field 2 units of 2 trays.  That's 36 points without upgrades (and a unit that size only has a single upgrade slot that we will not be using since buying standard bearers involves ANOTHER $25 expansion that comes with ONE standard bearer.  So we have spent $50 on 36 points out of a total (if I recall correctly) 200 points for a "standard" sized force.

That's 18% of an army.  Let's look at what $50 can get us from X-Wing or Armada (these are just examples and not optimized):

In X-Wing, $50 can get you:

Imperial Aces and a TIE Interceptor.  Full Squadron right there.  If you want to optimize an ace list, you have at least 2/3 of a squadron. $5 left over.

Heroes of the Resistance.  Full squadron right there (and not a bad one, though you may need to invest in some more crew or droids).  $10 left over.

The Ghost.  Full squadron right there (but not a good idea), anyway, potentially half or more of a squadron depending on build. $0 left over

3 small ships of your choosing (less if you pick one of the 'big' small ships).  Plenty of ways there to build a full squadron, and going to $55 gets you double ARCs and Biggs.  Still not perfectly competitive without additional purchases for upgrades, but viable to put on the table.

In Armada, $50 can get you:

All in all, a lot less.  However, you can get an Imperial Star Destroyer, which, if kitted out (legally) with ONLY cards found in that expansion, can hit over 200 points, half your fleet.  In fact, the only thing comparable to the Runewars pricing is if you want to build an entire fleet of flotillas and the smallest ships in the game, but you have to actively try in order for your cash to not go further.

 

Ultimately, my point is this.  X-Wing, and to a lesser extent Armada, CAN be played on a budget.  This is important for the mental state of the consumer.  I know this is anecdotal at best, but I got into X-Wing thinking, "well the core set is only $40, and the ships are only $15 a piece, $30 for the big ones.  I won't spend that much."  3 core sets and probably well over 100 individual ships later, it's clear that I was horribly mistaken.  But it's that initial self-deception that is really important to build a larger player base.  I went into Armada far more cautiously, and this game...

I just don't know.  I love that FFG is branching out, and a minis game untethered to an external IP is a great move.  I'm sure the system will be great and the miniatures will start good and get better as time goes on, but this game just may not be for me.

TL;DR: other FFG games can be played on a budget, it doesn't look like Runewars can be.

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1 hour ago, FatherTurin said:

I don't think we have a point cost on a unit of 4 trays

oh yes, the Reanimates do cost 26 points alone for a 4 trays unit so I bet the archers are working the same way.

As per your analysis, I see your point and find it interesting. But if you include the core set, it fall slightly down. Because some peoples among the potential buyers (and not to few of them) are ready to empty their wallet a bit more if possible to buy multiple core sets and so avoid a waste of money later. Naturally there are the new cards included in the expansions but one could buy directly 2 or more core sets and then wait until the release of the expansions to buy one copy of each army expansions. Where your analysis still stand strong it's when the command units come into account. They cost a lot and you will need them in more than one copy ! So balancing the buyings between multiple core sets and fewer of units expansion can allow a player to afford the price of multiple command units. Say, buying multiple core sets has, in connection with this, a terrible bad card played : more minis means at a certain point, having many units of every kind so... you'll need many command units to safely equip everyone... But at the end of the day there are army points to respect so.... my own explanation falls like a card castle... oh well^_^

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2 hours ago, FatherTurin said:

Here's my concern about pricing compared to other FFG miniatures games.  I'm going to use the reanimate archers as my baseline for comparison, and I am talking expansions only, not core set. 

...

I agree with your analysis, regarding expansions. However, I think it's worth taking a look at core sets as Elrad mentioned. If you buy the original X-Wing core set, how much of your squad do those ships compose? I think you can get just under 40 points, including upgrades. That's less than half of your army. If you get a single Runewars core set, you can get 99 points of Daqan Lords figures from a single core before adding upgrades (assuming I read the numbers on the wiki images correctly). So a single core contains contents in excess 50% of your list.

What if you bought 1 core and traded for figures or bought 2 cores? Now your X-Wing force is almost to 70 points (whether Imperial or Rebel). In Runewars (excluding upgrades), you will be around 157. ... Oh shoot. I think my example just shot me in the foot. Everyone says you can field 200 points with 2 cores, but I don't see how that happens. Let's assume you add another 20 points of upgrades, you're still about 20 points shy of a full list.

So, my example didn't work out, but the point was that while the expansions give you a lower percentage of your army per box purchased, the core gives you more. So after getting the core, you don't need to buy so many expansions to round out your army. Now, that's important in the first year, but after that, we'll all be buying expansions, so that cost will start to go up. Again, my argument is flawed.

We have been told, however, that we should be able to buy within-faction only and still get the upgrades we need. However, the previews have already shown neutral upgrades that appear to only be in one box, so I don't believe that anymore. If it were true, I would have no problem paying higher prices to avoid chasing models I don't want to fly, but if we're still chasing upgrades, the price/point-cost ratio is definitely steep.

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I am looking at getting this on release and a concern for me is that the core does not provide a complete game (but this is standard FFG and I am used to this) but the expansions will not be available at release. So the options to run the "standard" 200pt game is to buy 2 cores. I was late into Armada so I only had to buy one core, I was late into Xwing and started with one core (although now I have a total of 5 including the FA Core, but only bought 2). This one will depend on the local community and if my son is interested in playing; if he is I will probably grab 2 cores and we can both have a full army. I do wish the expansions and core were a tad less, but pricing is not GW bad.

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47 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

We have been told, however, that we should be able to buy within-faction only and still get the upgrades we need. However, the previews have already shown neutral upgrades that appear to only be in one box, so I don't believe that anymore. If it were true, I would have no problem paying higher prices to avoid chasing models I don't want to fly, but if we're still chasing upgrades, the price/point-cost ratio is definitely steep.

What upgrades were they? From memory they both shared the neutral upgrades such as Fortunes Dice in the respective army packs.

 

Anyway, the game will get expensive because no one is not going to buy the Uthuk Y'llan. Can you picture how awesome their command units will be?!

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2 minutes ago, Muz333 said:

What upgrades were they? From memory they both shared the neutral upgrades such as Fortunes Dice in the respective army packs.

 

Anyway, the game will get expensive because no one is not going to buy the Uthuk Y'llan. Can you picture how awesome their command units will be?!

I could see Warhammer Fantasy/40k demon fans getting them once they jump from that burning ship.

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5 minutes ago, Muz333 said:

Anyway, the game will get expensive because no one is not going to buy the Uthuk Y'llan. Can you picture how awesome their command units will be?!

:D

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It's looking like 2 cores actually still leaves you pretty far from 200 points. The special characters are a big deal.
I'm thinking 2 core games should probably be around 150-175 points.
@Budgernaut If you look at the cards in the command pack, there are 6 upgrade cards in both pictures that are not affiliated with the faction. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they included fortunes dice in both preview pictures to indicate that it is the same neutral cards in each box.

Edited by Obscene

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These are true, from a certain point of view.  However, the price point of the core set also needs to be addressed.  Now of course I'm not saying the Runewars core should be any cheaper.  $100 for that box is an absolute steal.  Definitely one of the better "core set" values out there for any miniatures game. 

That being said, you cannot immediately discount the fact that the X-Wing core has an MSRP of just $40.  Plus, the "blue" core set comes with more expensive (points wise) ships which bring you closer to the squad total.  Yes, two core sets gets you much closer to having two full armies.  That's $200, and you maybe aren't QUITE there yet.  Conversely, $235 let's you run Palp Aces with 2 interceptors (core set, raider, lambda, imperial aces, interceptor expansion, starviper). If you want to run the Inquisitor or Vader that goes up to $250 (and includes the dubious prospect of buying a $100 ship for a single crew card).  That arrangement can be reconfigured into several different squadrons.

Comparing what the core gets you to Armada ends up with a FAR more favorable comparison.  The Armada core gets you nowhere close to half a fleet, and buying 2 cores doesn't fix that.  There are ways to make Runewars work on closer to a budget, but the cheapest way involves playing only one army and finding a friend who will also only play one army:

$100: core set, trade units with friend to get 2 cores worth of units.

$75: one of each expansion of the troops in the core for the unique cards (maybe not necessary depending on value of cards) - this is conjecture based on present prices 

$25+: command packs (perhaps as many as one per infantry unit, but need to see the miniatures more to determine how much conversion can work and how many cards you get)

So $200 (plus more depending on how many commander expansions you need or want) is the cheapest I see it working out.  Now, discounts can bring that even lower, and let me say that $200 is not bad at all for a miniatures game such as this.  It's just a substantial investment at the outset compared to X-Wing, and potentially a higher continued/growth cost than even Armada.

I think for me personally it's just a shift in design philosophies shown in other FFG games.  In X-Wing and Armada, if you buy a ship, you have everything you need to field that ship in a game, and those ships can be anywhere from a tenth of your squad or fleet up to half or more.  It doesn't appear that that will be the case in Runewars.

Also, I freely admit that it's way too early to tell with any degree of certainty.  Maybe a two tray unit will be absolutely viable, maybe not.  My point was merely that this game is far less budget or casual friendly than others in FFGs library.  That isn't a bad thing, just different.  It did throw a bucket of cold water on my own excitement for the game, but that excitement is still there.  

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Another point I would like to make is the cost of the core gives an expectation of the value or cost of the expansions.  

X-Wing: $40 core, $45 worth of expansions.  Core set is a good value, 2 core sets often cited as great starting point for X-Wing (although that has changed a lot)

Armada: $100 core, $80 worth of ships, hard to call the cost of the squadrons, but it would be fair to say $20-$30.  Core set is barely a value of at all, two core sets unnecessary and even counter intuitive based on unique cards in expansions.

Runewars: $100, estimated $250 worth of expansions.  Core set is an INSANE value.  2 cores is absolutely a no brainer for anyone who wants to play both armies.  

However, it makes the cost of individual expansions sting a little, and it makes people who are really interested in the Elves or Uthuk very nervous/wary.  For example, I'm kind of interested in the undead, but much more interested in the Elves.  Will there be a similar insane value for the Elves?  Or will I have to spend $250-$300 on expansions in order to field an army (on top of the $200+ I will likely spend on the undead)?

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41 minutes ago, FatherTurin said:

Or will I have to spend $250-$300 on expansions in order to field an army (on top of the $200+ I will likely spend on the undead)?

Totally taking your question out of context on purpose may answer is, Yes.

If you pull out all the tricks (swapping core factions, buying at a 20% discount which shoudn't be too hard to find, although you may have to wait) probably the cheapest you can field a 200 point army for will be $125. And that army probably will not be that great compared to the players who go out and spend $300 on their army.

It's definitely more expensive than X-Wing. Although, in fairness, there's not one 2016 World's tournament X-Wing list that comes in under $150 and many of them are near $300 or more.

However, Runewars minis is still half the cost of other fantasy miniatures games. Yes, we can him and haw about exactly how many minis you get from one system or the other, but no matter how you slice it, large-scale minis games are expensive.

I totally feel for the folks who get priced out of an awesome game, but there are other great games out there to play instead. For example, you mentioned X-Wing. There's also Battlelore, Mage Wars, and historical minis. All of them have a lot to offer.

Edited by Elliphino

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Oh, don't for one second get me wrong.  I recognize how much cheaper this game is than others in the genre, and I'm at least checking it out with a core set. 

My comments were more directed at how surprising the prices were to me (when they shouldn't be) and comparing the pricing structure to other FFG games (which admittedly involves several unfair comparisons). 

A lot of it really is just perceptions.  I got into X-Wing with wave 3 and Armada from launch, so the money I have spent on those games is spread over literally years, making the...oh dear god...

The $1695 spent on X-Wing and $720 spent on Armada...feel more spread out.  Until I do the math and cry in the corner.

Edited by FatherTurin

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12 minutes ago, Orcdruid said:

Everyone comparing this game to xwing and armada take a step back, look at the amount of plastic and tell me again why these games should be similarly priced.

In no way, shape or form am I criticizing the cost of the core.  That set is a steal from any perspective, it's even a better deal than Blood Bowl (Blood Bowl comes with two fully legal and ready to play teams, but the league rules are extra).  And no, I'm not about to compare Runewars with Blood Bowl.  Apples and oranges.

The core is not an issue.  The only thing I have a mild level of annoyance about is the expansion pricing.  Even then, as I stated, it's more perception/psychology than anything else.  I admittedly need to start looking at it in terms of GW and Privateer Press, not other FFG games.

Also, just an aside, "look at the amount of plastic" is not a great argument.  Going by those guidelines I could just point to an Imperial Star Destroyer at all times to make nearly any other game seem overpriced.  Massive, fully painted and gorgeous miniature for $50?  AND it's 1/3 to half of a full fleet?  The comparisons just don't work across game lines in ANY regard, something I know intellectually and just have to impress on my gut a little more.

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25 minutes ago, FatherTurin said:

Also, just an aside, "look at the amount of plastic" is not a great argument.  Going by those guidelines I could just point to an Imperial Star Destroyer at all times to make nearly any other game seem overpriced.  Massive, fully painted and gorgeous miniature for $50?  AND it's 1/3 to half of a full fleet?  The comparisons just don't work across game lines in ANY regard, something I know intellectually and just have to impress on my gut a little more.

That's one model versus 8 in the archer expansion. Pre-painted is easy with a single model (or up to three with some expansions) but not the number you play in Runewars.

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when did we get back to the Xwing/armada vs rune wars and how are you getting a full army in runes wars as $250? are you just buying multiples of the expansions to fill trays? I mean if you are buying multiple archers and reanimates to get to different deployments then you should just be getting more cores for the trays and such.  Also if you want to split 2 core you can easily get to 200 points with models and upgrades buy a command pack for more options then if you want stop there. If you want to get Archers cool then you get archers and some more upgrades, but you don't need to...its the same as when you you x-wing/armada release a new ship you don't NEED to get them but they may be beneficial because of cards and such but unnecessary to purchase to get past the full list you have collected.  The same way you don't need to pay more than $100 for a full 200pt army from teh core or $125 (lets be real $105 after store discounts) to get a full runewar list with either command card upgrade or a unit expansion...I feel like we keep going around in circles...

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19 minutes ago, Budgernaut said:

I'm not seeing how you can build a 200-point army with 2 cores' worth of units from a single faction. Maybe I'll have to try again, though.

I think you probably can with upgrade cards.

Would it result in an army that's much good, that would be interesting, or give you much flexibility and replayability? I'm guessing probably not.

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I'm assuming you buy one core set and trade armies with another player. For this post, I'm building a Daqan army. Here's what I've been able to build so far. Parentheses show how much individual components cost. The bracketed numbers show the total cost of each unit, including upgrades. The important thing to realize is that you can't double-up on upgrades if you only bought one core and traded armies.

Kari Wraithstalker (32) [43]
-Heartseeker (10)
-Wraith Step (1)

Rune Golems (17) [17]

Rune Golems (17) [17]

Oathsworn Cavalry (20) [25]
-Shield Wall (5)

Oathsworn Cavalry (20) [20]

Spearmen (30) [36]
-Metered March (2)
-Master-Crafted Weapons (4) 

Spearmen (30) [32]
-Trumpets (2)

TOTAL: 190

This army is just shy of the 200 points necessary. As @Elliphino mentioned, the army doesn't look very good. To squeeze as many points as possible, I had to refrain from combining units. Even though you can pack more upgrades onto a bigger unit, the cost of the added upgrades are smaller than the cost of fielding separate units.

Assuming you did purchase 2 core sets and had access to multiple upgrades, you could do something like this:

Kari Wraithstalker (32) [43]
-Heartseeker (10)
-Wraith Step (1)

 Rune Golems (17) [17]

Rune Golems (17) [17]

Oathsworn Cavalry (20) [26]
-Master-Crafted Weapons (4) 
-Trumpets (2)

Oathsworn Cavalry (20) [26]
-Master-Crafted Weapons (4)
-Trumpets (2)

Spearmen (30) [37]
-Metered March (2)
-Shield Wall (5)

Spearmen (30) [37]
-Metered March (2)
-Shield Wall (5)

TOTAL: 203

So with doubling-up on some of the upgrade cards from 2 core sets, you are able to break past the 200-point mark. Granted, there should be nothing wrong with fielding a 190-point army. We are assuming the maximum army size is 200 points (not minimum), so this second army would have to cut some upgrades to be legal. But I think this is a point worth making -- it appears that you cannot create a 200-point army from buying a single core and splitting it with a Waiqar player. You can get close, though. Very close. So if you are planning on, for example, buying the commander expansion as soon as it releases, that will get you to 200 points and probably allow you to start merging units even if you only bought a single core and traded.

Edited by Budgernaut

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For Waiqar, I'm getting the following army with a single core and traded figures:

Ardus Ix’Erebus (37) [43]
-Reaping Blade (4)
-Ancient Technique (2)

Carrion Lancers (15) [19]
-Rank Discipline (4)

Carrion Lancers (15) [15] 

Reanimate Archers (18) [18]

Reanimate Archers (18) [18]

Reanimates (26) [33]
-Terrifying Heraldry (5)
-Metered March (2)

 

Reanimates (26) [31]
-Bull Pennon (3)
-Trumpets (2)

TOTAL: 177

It's a bit farther from 200 than the Daqan army was. Unlike the Daqan army, though, buying 2 cores for the extra cardboard does not seem to get you a full army.

Ardus Ix’Erebus (37) [43]
-Reaping Blade (4)
-Ancient Technique (2)

Carrion Lancers (15) [19]
-Rank Discipline (4)

Carrion Lancers (15) [19]
-Rank Discipline (4) 

Reanimate Archers (18) [18]

Reanimate Archers (18) [18]

Reanimates (26) [33]
-Terrifying Heraldry (5)
-Metered March (2) 

Reanimates (26) [33]
-Terrifying Heraldry (5)
-Metered March (2)

TOTAL: 183

Using the most expensive upgrades I could find and keeping the units split into smaller units so that they cost more points, I'm still shy of 200 points for a Waiqar army from 2 core sets. If someone can build a more expensive one, I'd love to see it.

This little exercise has reinforced my pipe-dream: buy two core sets and trade one of the Waiqar armies for more Daqan troops, but don't trade the second box's Waiqar because I want to keep a basic army for casual skirmishes.

Edited by Budgernaut

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@Budgernaut, thanks for breaking those down!

I thought it was interesting that command upgrade cards such as banner and musician come in the core box, even though the minis for them don't. I think if people are OK with those models not being present when you have the card, then the reasons for buying the command box are 1) access to more cards 2) access to a wizard 3) aesthetic. I guess what I'm saying is, folks who want to do Runewars on a budget could probably forgo the command boxes if they wanted to and just spend their $$ on more archers and Oathsworn for the time being.

Totally tangential question: do we know that only one of each upgrade comes in the core set?

 

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@Elliphino You don't require a mini for all the upgrades in the core set except for the ones that put the hero character in the squad, a rune golem, or the carrion lancer. These upgrades can be *killed* by accuracy attacks and the like before you ever to get use them, so that is something to consider as a weakness. Sometimes it is also a buff, FLRG effectively doubles the wounds of one trays worth of spearmen.

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