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Wispur

I'm worried the game doesn't have enough factions at launch...

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I feel like there is a high correlation between people thinking that not launching with more factions will kill the game, and people who's only miniatures game experience is FFG games. Most full miniatures games don't go full burn as fast as X-Wing (although a lot of people forget that it took that game over a year to really hit its stride), but then they don't burn out as fast either. Games like this are made to have longer legs.

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2 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

I feel like there is a high correlation between people thinking that not launching with more factions will kill the game, and people who's only miniatures game experience is FFG games. Most full miniatures games don't go full burn as fast as X-Wing (although a lot of people forget that it took that game over a year to really hit its stride), but then they don't burn out as fast either. Games like this are made to have longer legs.

Ok, first of all, I think the exact opposite of your first sentence is true. 
If anything, there is a direct correlation between people who DO play a lot of miniatures games and people who think the decision to launch with only two factions was a bad one.

Second, I'm not saying it's gonna kill the game.  I'm saying it's already made the launch far weaker than it should have been, and is going to cause the game to struggle to ever gain much traction.

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If you have experience with Miniatures games, you know that almost very miniatures game ever has had at least 4 factions at launch, if not more.
Launching with only two factions available is EXTREMELY abnormal.  With only two factions, you are at risk of the game suffering from burnout before it even gets going.

Yes, most miniatures games grow over time, but they don't even release until they have at least a few faction options available on the launch day.  Then they grow from there.

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If you have experience with Miniatures games, you know that some players get really tied to a faction identity.  (I'm a Dwarf player, I'm an Undead player, I'm an Elf player) etc, and if *their faction* isn't available, they don't tend to just pick up whatever is available.  They'll either wait, or just not play and move on to a game that does have their preferred faction-type.

My best friend, who joins me in most miniatures games said he's giving this one a pass because it doesn't have any factions that interest him, ie, neither of the two to choose from.
2 other people at our game store are waiting on the elves to come out to decide if they want to get into it.

These are potentially lost players.   At the very least, they're players that aren't getting into it at the launch when they might otherwise have done so.

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If someone's only experience is X-wing, they may think "Hey, that game launched with two factions and it was fine", but most people who have played other miniatures games, especially large-scale Fantasy miniatures games know that you need a variety of factions to appeal to a variety of players.

As I said in my original post.  I don't have a solution, other than hurry the F up with the additional factions before it's too late to capture the people sitting on the fence.

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(fyi, little bit about myself, I am actively playing Kings of War, Malifaux, Frostgrave, and am trying to get Rune Wars going.  I worked for GW for 4 years, playing all of their games long before, and after that. I was the local WarCors for Infinity, and have won local tournaments playing WarmaHordes. There are very few miniatures games that come out that I don't at least try.)  I also make Acrylic tokens and accessories for Miniatures games (which I'd like to also do for Rune Wars)

My point being, yes, I do have experience with other miniatures games.
And that's why I'm concerned about this weak launch for an otherwise amazing game. :P

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I'm a long time mini gamer.  I'm excited about this game and want it to do well.  I think the core rule set is the bees knees.   I do think that having only two factions at launch is a bad idea for a miniatures game especially a non-skirmish game.  As some others have pointed out, you can get away with it in X-wing and Armada, because of the lore, and the fact that they are essentially "skirmish" level miniature games.

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Ultimately I think the game will be a success - the system is too good for it not to be - and it gives WHFB to those that actually want a good game behind the minis. 

But would it be bigger already (and in the long run) if the release itself was bigger? Absolutely. 

But the thing is with,  design, playtesting, sculpting and production lead times when this game released they probably had all of the currently announced products (+ all the unannounced Uthuk) 'in the can'. The associated costs of that (except for production) is already locked in or spent. So why not wait 6 months and just release all 4 simultaneously? 

FFG probably looked to use sales data from the core set and first expansions to decide on print run sizes for the upcoming factions. But obviously that itself is a bit of a paradoxical position to be in to start with. 

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2 minutes ago, rudedog said:

6 months seems like a long time to go without pay for all those tech's, graphic artists, designers...  I know I couldn't go that long without being paid.  :P

I sense you're just being facetious - but when did I say no one could get paid? 

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I, like most people, am a little frustrated we all can't buy our plastic crack all at once. However producing new product every few months or so is how games like this keep their legs and continue to be relevant. FFG straight up knows how to sell this stuff to their niche market of customers. This isn't a big crowd that plays their games and FFG is very discipline when it comes to not over producing a product. It is how they manage to stay in business; they never take a big loss on over production. They do often run short on supply. So that is what they are doing here, putting a little bit out there, see how it goes, adjust accordingly.  They already know they'll need to reprint the base game when they have more product to offer. They don't know how much more but will figure it out based on what is selling now. It's how they operate and yes, right now, at launch, this game isn't where it needs to be but it doesn't need to be that game yet. It will get there eventually which is why many people are just going to sit on the side lines and wait until it matures a bit more.

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50 minutes ago, jonboyjon1990 said:

But the thing is with,  design, playtesting, sculpting and production lead times when this game released they probably had all of the currently announced products (+ all the unannounced Uthuk) 'in the can'. The associated costs of that (except for production) is already locked in or spent. So why not wait 6 months and just release all 4 simultaneously?

First, their factory can only make so much at one time, so they would have to stagger production. The problem is, holding on to inventory like that has its own cost associated with it. Their margins aren't that big. On top of that you have all that money tied up in inventory that you refuse to move. It just isn't a good business practice.

Also keep in mind they are in the business of selling plastic crack. They give everyone a little taste so they keep coming back for more whenever it is available, whatever it is.

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16 hours ago, Mep said:

Also keep in mind they are in the business of selling plastic crack. They give everyone a little taste so they keep coming back for more whenever it is available, whatever it is.

The problem is that a lot of people aren't taking "that little taste." 

Many are giving it a pass because the game doesn't have a flavor that interests them.
If FFG had released a little sample of each of the four factions, I'd totally agree with you, but they didn't.
(Even if it was just the base-line couple units for each of the four factions))

To expand the analogy (with Ice Cream!), FFG has  said:
"We're opening up an Ice Cream shop, but the only flavors are Vanilla and Chocolate.   You want something else?  Well, Check back in 6 months to a year."
That's not exactly the best way to get a wide customer base at launch.

If they didn't have the other flavors available yet, they should have waited.  Even just a couple months.
But now that they've opened, they need to make sure they get those additional flavors out immediately or risk losing people to another Ice Cream shop around the corner that has a wider availability of flavors.   ...but unfortunately it seems like they're not prepared to do so, hence my post.

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I totally get that they needed to start out small and build from there.   I totally get that.
But my point is that 4 factions would already be starting out small compared to their competition.
(and would be roughly equal to what some of those games started with)

2 Factions isn't even starting small, it's starting anemic.  At this rate, they're trying to launch a new game without actually releasing the game.
Heck, even on here a lot people are saying "Wait a year, and it'll be a great game!"
Basically acknowledging that this game isn't what it needs to be yet.

And Customers see that!  People at our local game store see that, and they're waiting, or turning to other games.
All that was needed was the other two factions.  4 Factions is kinda the standard bare minimum to launch a game like this with.

I don't know if FFG was just unfamiliar with the larger Miniatures game market (thinking they knew all they needed to know from X-wing), or if they thought that they could ignore industry standards entirely, but I'm seeing firsthand that it is hurting the game.  I am having people tell me directly that the lack of factions is turning them away.

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And to clarify again, I think the game is great, I think FFG designed a wonderful game that has huge potential.  I love almost everything about it!
Which is why it's frustrating me so much to see them drop the ball this badly when it comes to the faction selection at launch.  >.<

Edited by Wispur

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The thing I don't understand is why you seem to think that if people don't play right at this moment they never will. If you have played so many miniatures games, why the short sighted opinion? The first year of x wing it was tough to find people that played even here in FFGs back yard. Now there is a store doing at least casual play every single night of the week with great attendance. How many 40k players are there right now that have been playing since 1987?

Games grow and change and people get in when they get in. Yes it sucks to have to wait for your faction. I would've loved it f they could've waited to get more out before launch, but with most of thier production going to catching up on Destiny, it just wasn't feasible. It's fine, give it time.

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I hesitate to weigh in, because honestly, I don't much care because these is all hypothetical and conjecture and we don't know if this is selling to expected numbers or if it's massively underselling etc. plus my local meta is VERY healthy. With that said, I think that everyone here is viewing it from a miniature wargaming perspective (which it is, so that makes sense), but FFG draws in a big boardgame crowd that may view RMG as a self contained product with no need for expansion, or not EXPECT more than 2 factions.

Boardgamers' perspective. Just a thought!

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1 hour ago, Torpid Rebel said:

I hesitate to weigh in, because honestly, I don't much care because these is all hypothetical and conjecture and we don't know if this is selling to expected numbers or if it's massively underselling etc. plus my local meta is VERY healthy. With that said, I think that everyone here is viewing it from a miniature wargaming perspective (which it is, so that makes sense), but FFG draws in a big boardgame crowd that may view RMG as a self contained product with no need for expansion, or not EXPECT more than 2 factions.

Boardgamers' perspective. Just a thought!

True. And that's actually something I hadn't even thought of. There is a good chance that starting it out smaller may attract more boardgamers who would maybe be intimidated by a larger launch. 

Anyway, as you say it's all just speculation anyway without any inside information. I guess we will see in a year or so.

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It has to have something to do with manufacturing limitations/strategy. To get this game off the ground, they chose to pump out a bunch of Core Sets to get people playing. The other  option would be to have those machines split between the factions, which means you have to carefully gauge interest in each faction, or wait a lot longer, with a lot more boxes in storage before release (I think somebody upthread mentioned this). Otherwise you have one faction sold out, and another sitting on store shelves. Then the players (or would-be players) say "Gee I'd love to get in, but my faction isn't available anywhere." That paints a bad picture for the company, too. Has FFG had problems in the past with providing enough product to keep FLGS shelves stocked? Yep. And it's no fun.

HOWEVER, I can already hear you guys saying, "But Parakitor, the Core Set is already languishing on shelves. At least if factions sold out, there would be people playing this game!" True, you have a point. But I strongly believe that FFG did their homework, and released the two factions that appeal to the widest audience. You don't hear people say, "I'm not waiting for a faction because I've already got mine," but I think that most people fall in that camp.

In other words, I think FFG is losing some sales because of limited factions at launch, but I don't think it's the biggest hurdle. I think the biggest challenge is convincing board gamers that this is one of the most elegantly simple hobby miniatures games, while at the same time convincing wargamers that this game provides immense depth and tactical/strategic complexity that is nested in a simple, yet solid ruleset.

P.S. If they get the Descent people onboard, that bypasses the lore problem which has been brought up, which is probably part of the reason they're making this as accessible to board gamers as possible. 

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I don't really know enough about the business end of miniature gaming to comment on what would be economically successful, but I can say that in my gaming group we currently have 2 players painting and playing and 1 player waiting.  If that is repeating itself on any level out there, they are missing out on sales.

For me personally, they could have released with 100 factions and I would have still played Undead, so I'm unaffected by this, but I would be pretty frustrated if Elves and Humans were the only options with Undead 6 months from release and to be honest, after 6 months of my friends playing the game, I doubt I would bother once they were released.  There is always a "fire" behind these games and you want to get in it while its hot.  It might come around again in 6 months but with my gaming group things tend to cycle, its doubtful that we will be talking about, painting and playing with the same fever we have today six months from now and I know this because every single game we have ever gotten into has cycled in this fashion.  There is always that hot game we want to play, if you miss that hotness period, getting in late is kind of meh.

I can't speak for other gaming groups of course, but this is how it works with us.  We are going to play the crap out of Runewars for the next few months, but 6 months from now, these miniatures are going to be collecting dust along with X-Wing and Armada not to mention the many other flavors of the month we have gotten into over the last few years.  They always come back around and have revivals but Im not sure I would want to get into Runewars 6 months from now or a year from now.  Its kind of like, now or never.

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21 minutes ago, BigKahuna said:

I don't really know enough about the business end of miniature gaming to comment on what would be economically successful, but I can say that in my gaming group we currently have 2 players painting and playing and 1 player waiting.  If that is repeating itself on any level out there, they are missing out on sales.

I'd guess is that it works out to a win for FFG if there are more Elf and Uthuk players  that buy a core set while they are waiting than there are that abandon the game completely. Elf and Uthuk players that aren't ever going to buy anything outside of those factions but end up still buying into the game when those factions are released aren't really missed sales for FFG, they are just sales that are delayed until a future quarter. 

Spreading out the product release also probably makes it more likely that players that aren't decided on a faction end up buying the core and one or more faction starter sets than if all of the product hit at the same time.

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31 minutes ago, BigKahuna said:

I can't speak for other gaming groups of course, but this is how it works with us.  We are going to play the crap out of Runewars for the next few months, but 6 months from now, these miniatures are going to be collecting dust along with X-Wing and Armada not to mention the many other flavors of the month we have gotten into over the last few years.  They always come back around and have revivals but Im not sure I would want to get into Runewars 6 months from now or a year from now.  Its kind of like, now or never.

Very similar here, UNLESS FFG gives it some serious support on the competitive scene. Which I assume they will!

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Personally, I am waiting for the elves to drop, and will then have a look if there is a large, healthy playerbase to play. Right now, its a few people who picked up the core set, but I assume they will tire of playing among themselves with the same factions and in 6 months, its all over. Which will save me some money, and there is always another tabletop game somewhere that is new and/or has lots of players.

I would prefer Runewars if I could, its a great system, but sadly its too much effort to keep a community alive with the poor support of FFG in europe, stores not helping either, and releases so badly managed. 

If they had at least 2 more factions, I d have spent about 200 or so already, but as it is now, I ll just do this minimum effort/money and see if it picks up by itself to provide a good community.

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14 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

The thing I don't understand is why you seem to think that if people don't play right at this moment they never will.

Because of experience.
Because if people are waiting, that means those people aren't playing. 
If those people aren't playing, the community is smaller.
If a community is smaller, future players hesitate to get into it.

Also, if they start playing another game in the meantime, they may not have any interest in coming back to Runewars.
Many gamers want what they want, when they want it, and are willing to go elsewhere to get it.

And this doesn't even count the people who give it a straight pass because the two factions didn't interest them.

14 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

How many 40k players are there right now that have been playing since 1987?

Not entirely sure where you're going with this, but 40k has a thriving community (and a large variety of factions to draw in players)
If anything, 40k is an example of what I'm saying.
 

14 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

Games grow and change and people get in when they get in. Yes it sucks to have to wait for your faction. I would've loved it f they could've waited to get more out before launch, but with most of thier production going to catching up on Destiny, it just wasn't feasible.

Of course people will get in and out, but the single largest chance to generate a playerbase is at a launch.  That's where you want to show people as many options as you can to entice them to stick around to try more.

People who are on the fence need a reason (or a faction) that pushes them one way or the other.  If Runewars won't give them that push, another game will.
 

14 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

It's fine, give it time.


I will "give it time."   I'm here.  I'm invested.  I'm running demos.  I hope the game picks up a year from now when more factions are present.
But that doesn't change my opinion that in the short term, FFG dropped the ball with the launch of this game.

My hope at this point is that they see the mistake and work as fast as they can to fix it.
Or, that they have plans to do a big ReRelease a year from now to try and generate a second wave of interest with more factions out.
Something.

And I wonder if there is anything that we, as a community, can do to help the situation.
Maybe someone more clever than me will have an idea to draw in players when their faction isn't present.
A way to get people to choose our side of the fence before they wander off somewhere else.

Edited by Wispur

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I bring up 40k because when it first came out it wasn't anywhere near what it is now. Neither was xwing it's first year. Neither was just about any miniatures game you can name. They all add most of their player base long after they launch. You would be lucky to find even a single player playing 40k today who was playing in when it first dropped. They add players over time as they expand. That's how minis games work. It's not rocket science.

Yes, they may lose a few players who don't want to wait for their faction, but in the long run they will gain more players by having a balanced slower building game. Even with four factions at launch you would have people who have to wait for their faction. Where are the dwarves? Where are the dragons? How is it any different? 

Besides, they physically couldn't get all factions out by launch. They had to shift a ton of their production to try to catch up on Cash Cow The Card Game. Which from a business perspective is a no brainer. Runewars will never bring in that much money.

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10 hours ago, TallTonyB said:

I bring up 40k because when it first came out it wasn't anywhere near what it is now. Neither was xwing it's first year. Neither was just about any miniatures game you can name. They all add most of their player base long after they launch. You would be lucky to find even a single player playing 40k today who was playing in when it first dropped. They add players over time as they expand. That's how minis games work. It's not rocket science.

Yes, they may lose a few players who don't want to wait for their faction, but in the long run they will gain more players by having a balanced slower building game. Even with four factions at launch you would have people who have to wait for their faction. Where are the dwarves? Where are the dragons? How is it any different? 

Besides, they physically couldn't get all factions out by launch. They had to shift a ton of their production to try to catch up on Cash Cow The Card Game. Which from a business perspective is a no brainer. Runewars will never bring in that much money.

I think what your saying has a lot of validity, its absolutely true that most miniature games in the past launched with a pretty slim lineup.  I think the main issue is that its not 1986, its 2017.  Players have a wide range of miniature games to choose from and if your a new player looking to get into a game, its more likely that an existing and robust game full of factions to choose from is far more attractive then "you can be skeletons or humans".

I think what Runewars kind of has going for it is that Warhammer Fantasy died and Age of Sigmar is... lacking mechanically for the lack of a better word.  FFG certainly chose the right moment to put out a game.  40k is certainly an option for players, but again, I think mechanically its trapped in the 1980's and Gamesworkshop seems unwilling to rock the boat. 

I think Runewars has a bright future ahead of it, but its going to be a slow bumpy road while we wait for the game to develop to what it should be. Two years from now, Runewars is hopefully going to be a faction and option rich game that has the mechanical advantage of being a game designed using modern game mechanics.  In a sense, it would kind of be a first of its kind unless you count X-Wing and Armada.

 

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2 hours ago, BigKahuna said:

I think what your saying has a lot of validity, its absolutely true that most miniature games in the past launched with a pretty slim lineup.  I think the main issue is that its not 1986, its 2017.  Players have a wide range of miniature games to choose from and if your a new player looking to get into a game, its more likely that an existing and robust game full of factions to choose from is far more attractive then "you can be skeletons or humans".

I think what Runewars kind of has going for it is that Warhammer Fantasy died and Age of Sigmar is... lacking mechanically for the lack of a better word.  FFG certainly chose the right moment to put out a game.  40k is certainly an option for players, but again, I think mechanically its trapped in the 1980's and Gamesworkshop seems unwilling to rock the boat. 

I think Runewars has a bright future ahead of it, but its going to be a slow bumpy road while we wait for the game to develop to what it should be. Two years from now, Runewars is hopefully going to be a faction and option rich game that has the mechanical advantage of being a game designed using modern game mechanics.  In a sense, it would kind of be a first of its kind unless you count X-Wing and Armada.

 

That is very true. A lot has changed in minis games since then. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say it's ideal or even that I like it that there is only two factions at launch, but at the same time I just can't agree with the opinion that it's a major hurdle. It's a major hurdle to a game with a crap rule set because you need a better hook. This game will easily live on it's mechanics till the rest falls into place. Waiting 6 months isn't that long in the lifetime of a minis game.

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Most of FFGs cost is sunk at this point. Design, art, sculpting, and tooling. They probably have a year or two of content in the pipe already. 

Plenty of time for the game to grow organically 

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For a lot of products, having poor sales upfront is very problematic and costly.  FFG is very disciplined when it comes to their production runs, so they rarely have the problem of not selling through their stock. Also, they don't work with a lot of retailers that charge them shelf space. So they avoid a lot of the pitfalls that initial poor sales brings. They'll be supporting this game for a couple of years at least. It can't do any worse than Descent and how much has been produced for that game?

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