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Irokenics

Can we please have an "Essentials" only pack?

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As has been mentioned, the problem is a lack of iconic small-medium ships in the films for imps. Rebels, on the other hand, is fairly popular and DOES have small ships in significant roles. So I would do an Aquitens and a Raider for imps. Not ships present in the films, but very recognizable to anyone paying attention to non-film material, and obviously hitting the imperial aesthetic for those that aren't. For the rebels, make it Phoenix Home and a CR-90. Similar matchup, good aesthetic, obviously rebel ships, and related design wise. Toss in some fighters and the actual essentials stuff and your good to go, at a much better price point. 

 

I think most potential players are going to understand that the big ships like ISDs and Home One are simply not economical to include in a starter box. 

Edited by Forgottenlore

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9 minutes ago, NakedDex said:

Again, that's increasing the price for the sake of putting in a larger ship. It's not adding major value to a new player, it's just raising the barrier of entry further.

The actual base price is more expensive, however. Large ships are nice, and really iconic, but they're expensive in their own right. Looking at the ships in the core, you can get the CR90 and the Neb-B for the cost of either the ISD or MC80, and still have nearly enough change for a pack of squadrons. The ISD and MC80 alone would be about 80% of the cost of the entire core set. 

The other thing is that one large ship vs one large ship isn't really all that enthralling as a game. Even with squadrons thrown in, without anything to activate them, it's largely a dice off to victory. The medium and small ships of the game, while not as iconic, are considerably more demonstrative of the mechanics and positional nuances of the game, along with their ability to actually utilise fighter screens. Arqs, GSDs, Raiders, CR90s, Neb-Bs, MC30s are all top notch for both learning the game, and starting a collection from by purchasing literally any medium or large ship as a compliment. VSDs are poor overall, especially without upgrades like Jerjerrod to make them somewhat viable, and the Interdictor is something of an outlier, but the AFMk2 isn't bad at all, and one could argue the Quasar Fire might be fun for a new player too. There's so much to choose from without having to rely on sticking two large ships in the box at the sacrifice of all other gameplay experience, just for the sake of them being iconic. This is, after all, a miniatures game, not a collectors set.

You're assuming an awful lot about the production costs of the ships themselves.  The reality is that they're plastic ships produced in China on the cheap, though from decent plastic stock.  The real cost is probably the painting.  The cardboard and paper elements cost next to zero.  A large part of the MSRP for Armada is paying for the Star Wars license itself.

If FFG follows the general 5X MSRP structure, then at $100/unit the core set costs about $20 to produce in its entirety, and that is a gigantic cost for what's actually in the box.  If you've seen the other minis games that FFG is also producing for that cost, you'll know that two large ships is hardly a major stretch financially (in fact, one of the reason X-Wing is so cheap is because nearly all the costs of their plastic products are in the painting - which is far easier with only two painted models per box).  Replacing two ships with one larger ship is not that significant an investment change, and if they use an existing mold it will actually be cheaper.

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Does the Runewars essentials pack contain the upgrade cards? In armada one would miss out on several titles and things like Leia. I guess in Runewars there were no unique upgrade cards in the core, like titles?

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1 hour ago, Forgottenlore said:

As has been mentioned, the problem is a lack of iconic small-medium ships in the films for imps. Rebels, on the other hand, is fairly popular and DOES have small ships in significant roles. So I would do an Aquitens and a Raider for imps. Not ships present in the films, but very recognizable to anyone paying attention to non-film material, and obviously hitting the imperial aesthetic for those that aren't. For the rebels, make it Phoenix Home and a CR-90. Similar matchup, good aesthetic, obviously rebel ships, and related design wise. Toss in some fighters and the actual essentials stuff and your good to go, at a much better price point. 

 

I think most potential players are going to understand that the big ships like ISDs and Home One are simply not economical to include in a starter box. 

I actually completely forgot about Phoenix Home. That and the Arq are kind of ideal. Not iconic from films, but easily recognisable in their design, and probably iconic to fans of the tv show. I like that mix with the fighters. It makes sense, and it offers a could field of mechanics. It's also considerably more balanced than the core.

1 hour ago, thecactusman17 said:

You're assuming an awful lot about the production costs of the ships themselves.  The reality is that they're plastic ships produced in China on the cheap, though from decent plastic stock.  The real cost is probably the painting.  The cardboard and paper elements cost next to zero.  A large part of the MSRP for Armada is paying for the Star Wars license itself.

If FFG follows the general 5X MSRP structure, then at $100/unit the core set costs about $20 to produce in its entirety, and that is a gigantic cost for what's actually in the box.  If you've seen the other minis games that FFG is also producing for that cost, you'll know that two large ships is hardly a major stretch financially (in fact, one of the reason X-Wing is so cheap is because nearly all the costs of their plastic products are in the painting - which is far easier with only two painted models per box).  Replacing two ships with one larger ship is not that significant an investment change, and if they use an existing mold it will actually be cheaper.

It's not so much assuming as basic economy of the units. They're not going to seek the core with two large ships at a significant discount to retail price. To do so would actually undervalue the product, and people would buy multiple cores just for the ships, so there's a potential net loss. They may sell them at a fraction below full RRP due to not having to give them separate retail boxing, shipping, etc, but that's about it. The price of the core is dictated heavily by the ships therein, and their retail price.

The current core, for example, is €120 here in rainy old Ireland. The VSD is about 40, and the CR90 and Neb-B are 20-25. Squadron packs are 25. It ain't cheap here... Now let's say the squadrons in the core are about the price equivalent of a half pack for each side, since there's 8 for each but there's no variety, so 25 between them. We'll go the cheap end of the scale on the rebels and say 40 for the pair, plus the VSD brings the total to 105 retail. Lets be generous and knock off 10% for group packaging, and it's 94.50. The dice and manoeuvre tool are available for diverse prices, but we'll say 5 for the pair for the sake of argument. That's back up to 99.50, which means the paperwork, cardboard, cards, and box round out to €20.

Now, retail wise, the ISD and MC80 are about 50 here, so right off the bat you have to ditch all of the squadrons to match the original price. But let's say you don't, and the price jumps to 140. What game value comes from two large ships just kind of lumbering around while some unactivated squadrons try to either furball in the middle, or predict where the ship will be in two turns so they can actually shoot? There's little to no tactics or strategy in that, which is a poor hook for a game that's literally entirely about strategy and forward planning.

It's a bit like saying to GW "those space marines and chaos marines in your new 8th edition core are nice, but why didn't you just put two tanks in there instead? Tanks are iconic, everyone loves them". The game would be boring, have no hook, and generally give the players a negative experience.

 

Large ships in this game are like claymore swords. They do loads of damage when they hit, and they look phenomenal, but they're slow, unwieldy, and definitely not for beginners.

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Runewars has more than 2 factions, so if you are not going to play either of the two factions in the core set you would want the essentials pack.

So when Armada gets a 3rd and/or 4th faction then an essential packs should be handed out.

They have dice packs and maneuver tools. Every ship comes with command dials = to command value of the ship so you can end up with more command dials than you have ships in standard game. So what is there exactly in the core set that you need multiples of, damage deck?

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3 hours ago, Xeletor said:

Does the Runewars essentials pack contain the upgrade cards? In armada one would miss out on several titles and things like Leia. I guess in Runewars there were no unique upgrade cards in the core, like titles?

Yes it does come with the Neutral faction cards.

 

On the matter of essential/new core

I would rather them make 2 60$ faction packs that hold a VSD and Raider for the Imps and a CR-90, Nebulon, Pelta for the Rebels. Give it the same faction cards from the original core to make sure people don't have to buy a 100$ core set just for some cards and ship/ships (They also seem a poorer paint quality than the current blisters)

My picks on the ships are so we can include the core titles for their respective ships and an additional ship per faction to give people something else to work with. Maybe change up the fighter compliment for them as well. But players need their Luke/Howlrunner don't forget.

 

These 2 packs can have some new content for older players while also being pretty cheap for newer players.

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Yeah I forgot about the damage deck. Lose one damage card and you have to buy a whole new core set??

OTOH - I like the victory in the core set because at least it looks and plays like a proper star destroyer - big guns, good eng and squadron capacity, high command value. Introduces that aspect of the game, rather than it being all small ships flitting around like gits.

 

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9 hours ago, thecactusman17 said:

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Runewars has been around for about 7 years now, so a lot of players already had RuneWars minis and only needed the updated rules.

This isn't accurate. Runewars the miniatures game had some sets released at Gencon but came available to the general public maybe.....2 months ago? The first expansions just dropped within the last 2 weeks. 

Granted there will be 4 factions and not everyone wants the two in the core but why can't FFG do an essentials in basically the same box as the CC? 

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Totally agree. The current model worked for X-Wing because it was so cheap, but Armada costs so much more. Everyone I know who plays, only plays one faction so half the core set is just a waste of money. New players also tend to only want one faction and are put of by the high buy-in (half of which is wasted). Our local players are few in number, and its totally due to this reason. Having separate faction starter sets would have massively increased the player base IMO. 

 

Unfortunately, this is not how FFG does things :(

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Not sure I see the issue.

My regular playing partner and I both brought the starter set for $80AU. I would suggest if you can not buy it this cheap when a special is on and wave 1 and 2 fighter packs and small ships for $15au you are not looking hard enough. With free postage it is a dam fine way to get into the game.

Many other games have a higher entry point than that. Plus you don't need to buy lots of packs and paints etc to get them onto the table.

 

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21 minutes ago, Radaeon said:

Not sure I see the issue.

My regular playing partner and I both brought the starter set for $80AU. I would suggest if you can not buy it this cheap when a special is on and wave 1 and 2 fighter packs and small ships for $15au you are not looking hard enough. With free postage it is a dam fine way to get into the game.

Many other games have a higher entry point than that. Plus you don't need to buy lots of packs and paints etc to get them onto the table.

 

The issue is at the community end of trying to grow it, like where people actually play at an FLGS.

People get excited seeing other people play the game, so the first thing they will do is walk over to the shelf where the Armada core set is and then most of the time get repulsed by the price and wont give it another thought.

Sure there are the ones that will look very hard like you and your partner to get a good price but that won't support the FLGS that you want to play at or you will be waiting for the special, and when it comes to waiting us fickle gamers could be turned off during that time.

Also like many people mentioned here already is the lack of value you will get out of the core if you do buy it. Most people who enter the game now who buy the core will really on use it for the ruler, tokens, dice, upgrade cards and damage deck. The rest they will buy more or borrow off the regulars.

If you're a home gamer then thats great, i'm more looking at the issue of having a gateway for players to get into armada through their FLGS communities by having access to the "essentials" only on a budget.

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I play at my local most Sundays these days (use to play at mates place), sometimes Monday nights and a store comp ounce a month. We pay for this.

I also only mentioned wave 1 and 2. Above that ffg don't sell to some on line stores from what I can tell so we pay higher prices.

What I am saying is it is cheaper to play than nearly every other system out there. I would argue even cheaper than x wing. Shore it would be nice if I did not have to buy ships I don't use for some cards but this is normal also in the table top world.

You could say the same with value and what comes in other packs such as x wing. I never used a tie fighter ever and the starter boxes came with two. Or 40k as an example I never played orcs ever.

Don't forget you are not just paying for 6 dice, tokens, 3 ships, damage cards etc. You are paying an entry fee that cost $$ to do things such as develop and play test the rules and the corporate things that go with this. It all costs and is part of the main box set. I would suggest that each wave box as part of the pricing model that goes towards game development (ie play test new stuff, ongoing FAQ when it gets done etc). The main box has more development in it so costs more.   

From what I see around my area its not an issue with $$ or that people don't know it is there. They are just not interested, which is a shame as I think it is one of the better games out there and glad we shifted from bloat wing.

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I think you could build your own.  

Buy a movement tool.

Buy Dice pack.

Buy a range ruler - this one you will need to buy third party, but you would get it in acrillick.  

You can download the rules from FFG

The deployment zone corner things as objective markers can be had in accrilic, but they are pretty optional.  

I am pretty sure you could all this for less than $50.

Everything else you need comes with he ships you buy.

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24 minutes ago, Hrathen said:

I think you could build your own.  

Buy a movement tool.

Buy Dice pack.

Buy a range ruler - this one you will need to buy third party, but you would get it in acrillick.  

You can download the rules from FFG

The deployment zone corner things as objective markers can be had in accrilic, but they are pretty optional.  

I am pretty sure you could all this for less than $50.

Everything else you need comes with he ships you buy.

Except the damage deck...

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15 hours ago, Irokenics said:

 

Here in Australia, the core set is anywhere from $120-$180 depending how far the ocean is from you and if you are in a capital city or not. For a lot of people here thats over a days pay worth of working.

First world problems... In Hungary you'll have to work for about 4 days for the price of the core set :P

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I wonder if a single faction starter might work.  If it came with a large medium and small ship from its faction as well as some fighters.  This would be a lot closer to actually being able to play the game after buying the starter pack.  

One of he hard thing about the starter pack that we have is that it doesn't really go a very long way to get you really to actually play the game.  

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13 hours ago, Norell said:

First world problems... In Hungary you'll have to work for about 4 days for the price of the core set :P

haha well an essentials only pack would apply even more so greatly for your situation good sir!

 

15 hours ago, Radaeon said:

What I am saying is it is cheaper to play than nearly every other system out there. I would argue even cheaper than x wing. Shore it would be nice if I did not have to buy ships I don't use for some cards but this is normal also in the table top world.

Right, and what i am saying is you can tap into the large pool of people who just turn away once they see triple digits on the price tag.

 

15 hours ago, Radaeon said:

You could say the same with value and what comes in other packs such as x wing. I never used a tie fighter ever and the starter boxes came with two. Or 40k as an example I never played orcs ever.

Yes and the xwing starter is two to three times less than the Armada starter so people will jump into that quickly hence its popularity (amongst its mechanics of course), hell they even manager to push out a second edition core set. I've seen people give it as a gift because its in that price range or affordable yet considerate.

As for 40k, you have the option of just buying the rule book, thats your "essentials only" pack. And i gather thats what most people do (or did?), they bought the rule book, codex and the models the wanted to play with. You didnt even need to buy the rule book and and just share with a mate.

15 hours ago, Radaeon said:

Don't forget you are not just paying for 6 dice, tokens, 3 ships, damage cards etc. You are paying an entry fee that cost $$ to do things such as develop and play test the rules and the corporate things that go with this. It all costs and is part of the main box set. I would suggest that each wave box as part of the pricing model that goes towards game development (ie play test new stuff, ongoing FAQ when it gets done etc). The main box has more development in it so costs more.  

Well to produce an essentials pack that is only the damage deck, obstacles, tokens, some upgrade cards and the range ruler is considerably cheap and the player would still pay the development cost. It would be the same in the above 40k example if a player shared a rule book or codex with someone.

They're doing the essentials only pack now with Runewars, another FFG game so the developement fee is in there too.

What im trying to get at here is a new player could buy this essentials pack and do what those people in 40k do, share stuff. And the more they play it, the higher the chance that will buy more stuff.

 

15 hours ago, Radaeon said:

From what I see around my area its not an issue with $$ or that people don't know it is there. They are just not interested, which is a shame as I think it is one of the better games out there and glad we shifted from bloat wing.

What area are you from? I can rebutt by saying that in Sydney several FLGS owners have said to me whilst we film Master of The Fleet battle reports that people get turned away when they see the core price. Heck, people approach us whilst we play / film interested in buying in but then change their minds when they see the cost. I even run a facebook community page that gets messages about somehow accessing cheaper core sets and sharing cards and ships to people who dont have them but want to run them.

Like you know those orcs you never used? a mate of yours could be buying a codex and then borrowing those orcs in a game with you. like that.

I'll reiterate my point that by making an essentials only pack you don't lose anyone, you simply access customers that you never had before.

Edited by Irokenics

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Over here in SG all of us signed the Lend-Lease Act so we pretty much just holler ofver Whatsapp for stuff we don't have.

Plus we got some leaving players that sell off their fleet and we pretty much prioritise the new comers over the old timers

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The biggest problems I see is retailers who still put their standard markup on core game sets where there are piles of expansions for it.

I've made the suggestion, repeatedly, to a few FLGS in my area that any core/starter set for any system should be priced barely above their landed cost. So factor in their wholesale price, add a bit more for the assorted time it takes to order/receive/stock/sell the product and put only a small markup to cover all of that. The profit centre on the product isn't the core set, it's all the add-ons. It's a challenge for many old-school game stores who don't think this way. Beyond that, if any game company is putting minimum advertised pricing on their core sets, they're shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.

Edited by Slugrage

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damage deck: find/rent a high quality printer and paper. Print the scans. sleeve them. Your own damage deck for approx. 8bucks

range ruler: Print the scans. Paste them on balsa/other kinds of wood. cut to length. Your own range ruler for approx. 2bucks(they're just-as accurate as any other rulers)(ffg allows third party rulers anyway)

I'm not for bypassing official product, but if this is about community building there is no issue to using not-so-official product. No point squeezing your coffers to enjoy a great game. Also helps if you looking for replacements or don't wanna damage the originals like me.

Any other essentials that I missed out that are not officialised yet? :)

EDIT: want lots of dice? official ffg dice app gives all you need

Edited by Muelmuel

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