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Vorpal Sword

Would you buy print-on-demand upgrades?

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I'm forking this from a discussion on BGG. Someone brought up the point that many of the upgrades in Wave 2 are exclusive to one blister pack or another--if you want three tournament-legal copies of Expose, that will cost you $90. If you want to outfit a flight of A-wings with Daredevil, you would need to buy $75 worth of Imperial ships to do it. If you want a pair of Engine Upgrades for your Bounty Hunters, it will cost you $30 worth of Milennium Falcon.

And so on. I think going forward many people will be borrowing or trading or proxying or even forging cards, because acquiring additional upgrades in excess of the number of ships you want is prohibitively expensive. To put it another way, I would bet the people in FFG's audience who think that $30 per copy of Expose is a reasonable price are a tiny minority.

But there's an easy solution: FFG has an existing relationship with print-on-demand suppliers. They could feasibly print and ship a "Wave 1 Upgrade Pack", containing copies of each of the generic upgrade cards from that wave, and I bet they could do it fairly inexpensively.

I would pay probably $5-7 for such a pack, depending on the number of cards in the wave. If they included 2 or 3 copies of each upgrade, I would pay $10-15, which is the cost of another expansion pack to me--but I bet FFG's profit margin would be a lot higher on upgrades than on minis.

This seems like a win-win: X-wing players get tournament-legal upgrade cards at a much more reasonable price than they would by buying additional expansions. FFG gets a set of new products for the X-wing line, with no additional development costs and a drastically better margin than the full expansion packs. And they could be sold even to players who are otherwise "saturated" with product; I'm very unlikely to buy more ships from Wave 1, but I would buy a couple of packs of upgrade cards tomorrow.

What do you all think?

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The idea of extra card packs and pilots etc. has been discussed here a few times now and from what I can tell the concensus is positive toward buying packs like this.  Print on demand weapon, astromech and pilot cards would be useful to keep costs down so yes I would pay for these if they didn't produce physical packs.

Personally I would prefer to buy physical card packs instead since having to buy decent paper and use up my wife's printer ink is a headache :)

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I doubt I would buy POD packs unless that was the only way to get cards (and I hope it never is).  I would much prefer and would happily pay for released sets of upgrades and additional pilot cards though.

I'm not a fan of POD as I'd rather have FFG produced, nice cards, than print them out myself.

I'd also prefer released packs so that I could get them from my FLGS instead of being forced to go direct to FFG.  My FLGS provides me with a place to play and a ready pool of plastic-crackheads (Ooops!  I mean gamers!) so I would prefer to leave them in my purchasing loop.

Jim

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I fully support this idea, and I would add that if they made packs that included all the upgrades so far, they could also throw in a couple extra astromechs and maybe another ship modification. This would undoubtedly make some upset that you "had" to buy the POD release to get them, but would be cheaper than the current setup as you have pointed out.

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Carist said:

 

You would not print these cards out yourself.  Print on Demand means Fantasy Flight prints out the cards when you order them.  

Read about it here:

 

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_npm_sec.asp?eidm=59&esem=1

 

 

Now that I have been properly educated (THANKS!), I amend my position.  Yes, I'd be interested in pod cards, especially since I could get them through my FLGS instead of direct from FFG.

Jim

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flvolunteer said:

I would be interested in PoD upgrade, pilot, etc.. cards.  Also would love a "token pack" with extra shield, stress, dmg, etc… tokens.

This, except replace "would be interested" with DO THIS NOW.

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Sounds like a good idea, thought I suspect FFG may be reluctant to do that, since there is less incentive then for you to purchase their more expensive expansion packs, which include them.

Appears to me they are following the GW model, where the good options are limited, and you have to pay dearly to obtain them.

It won't be an issue for casual games, with friends, but will be if you want to play in official tournaments.

 

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I do not have any experince with PoD.  My only concern is that not all casual gamers would be in tune with it and it could create a disadvantage to those that know about it.

FFG already has a precedent for releaseing card packs as they did multiple times with Wings of War.  I would definately be in favor of that.

I am new and so far really like the concept especially since I am a WoW/WoG player.  I do see not including more upgrade cards or selling an upgrade pack as a major drawback especially since the upgrade cards that come in the expmasion packs are not unique to a specific ship.

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POD is not for me. I'm old school. If you don't buy the kit, you should not be able to get the goodies that go along with it.

I may be in the minority here, but to me,  this is a Minitures game that uses Cards. It is not a Card Game that uses some Minitures. If you want the cards, buy the kit.

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magadizer said:

I fully support this idea, and I would add that if they made packs that included all the upgrades so far, they could also throw in a couple extra astromechs and maybe another ship modification. This would undoubtedly make some upset that you "had" to buy the POD release to get them, but would be cheaper than the current setup as you have pointed out.

 

I'd be fine with that, but I'd hope the new cards were doubled up in the packs so we didn't have to get full bunches of all the current cards for each copy of the new ones we wanted.

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I find myself inexplicably agreeing with Chairborne. It is interesting what is happening with the game - really good upgrades available to all ships, but included only with the bigger, more expensive expansions. Sure, everybody wants to put Stealth on every ship they have, but to do so you have to purchase multiple copies of the Firespray, which makes it pricey not in a game sense but a pocketbook sense. The idea of limiting the best upgrades to the more expensive expansions is a form of balance - you must choose wisely which ship to bestow it upon, or spend ridiculous amounts of money for ships only to get the upgrade cards. If it were to be readily purchased in, for example, a POD expansion, the balance would be upset.

The deeper I get into this game, the more I realize how elegant it is in the composition of costs. I can't believe how many times I have said "If I had one more point, i could do this…"  and then struggled to figure out how to get that point, only to realize I had to drop some other significant part of my plan to get it. In this way, and in many others, I'm finding this game to be brilliant and challenging.

And that's before I even get to the table.

 

 

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Chairborne and Ziggy have it right. It would really upset the balance of the game. There is a reason miniature games are expensive, and X-Wing is by far one of the cheapest ones to do. I could suport a pack of cards with new pilots for already released ships.

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I'm keen on POD packs for existing cards only. I don't think POD only upgrades allows for an even playing field, just as exclusive prize cards don't.

Another alternitive would be to amend the tournament policy, only requiring each player to have 1 copy of each upgrade card they are using for reference purposes. I know it's not as elegant as having one copy per ship using the upgrade, but it would remove the need to buy multiple expansions JUST for an upgrade card or two. To be honest my gaming buddy and I only bought the Tie and X-wing expansions for the upgrades/pilots/ otherwise we would have just split another starter and he would got an extra Tie out of the deal for a few bucks more.

I kinda understand others have said about 'if you don't buy the expansion, you shouldn't get the kit' (i'm I CCG player originally, so I had to make the same arguement to players wanting to allow proxy cards at events). But for me its in the same field as having to buy another whole ship because you've lost one of the bases of broken a peg or two (Seriously, are FFG gonna start selling spares anytime soon?). It wouldn't be so bad if it were a small ship that had the single copy of a awesome card, but Slave 1 or the MIl. Falc. is pushing it. I'm a rebal player who splits costs with an Imp player, i'll be lucky if I ever get my hands on a stealth card.

Perhaps there is a comprimise between these two options. Have POD packs available, but you need to have an original copy of the upgrade card as well i.e. POD could only be used for the 2nd and beyond copies of the card.

I guess the 3rd option would be for me to support FFG's current model of only offering upgrade cards with ships, and thank my lucky stars that i'll likely only face 2, maybe 3 copies of stealth in any one game.

 

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Just would like to point out a couple things:

1) The Slave 1 picture that was released with all the cards splayed out in poker hand format shows 2 copies of the stealth upgrade (as well as 2 copies of a bunch of other stuff)

2) POS cards, to the best of my knowledge, look identical to the cards that would come with the expansions. They aren't something you get a PDF of and print at home, they are packs produced by FFG and sent to the stores or homes that they were ordered from, which brings me to my next point

3) POD packs won't result in an uneven playing field. Sure, your FLGS may only stock the ship expansions, but just as they will run out of stock or take special orders for larger bunches of ships, they will be able to order POD packs if they are desired. In fact, if the POD packs sell well, stores might even stock them just because.

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1) good point, i was going off the Team Covenant unboxing video, which only shows one copy of each card.

2) Forgot to put in there that the POD could have a watermark or something, identifying them as copies. Again, this is a less than ideal solution, but a comprimise none the less

3) My experience with POD has been getting it direct from the interwebs, forgot that store can also stock them. As someone mentioned before, a casual player is less likely to be shopping for the stuff online, and would be at a disadvantage by not being aware of the POD stuff. But as you said the stores can stock it, so it's less of an issue.

 

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I want 2 things.

First off, I want POD card packs for each wave.  These would contain a small cardboard sheet of extra tokens (shield, stress, etc).  Also it would contain 1 of each non-unique card of that wave (every upgrade, secondary weapon, etc).  NO PILOTS.  I don't even play tournies, but would like multiple copies of some of the cards for my own use….and I don't want to get 4 falcons to have the cards I want.

Secondly, I want pilot packs.  1 pilot pack per ship.  The pilot packs would have 2 new unique pilots, 1 new non-unique pilot (on the back side of both unique base tiles), and all the cardboard you need to play them (base tiles, tokens, and a dial).  It could also have a new non-unique droid, or power or something.

If these were reasonably priced, I could see them flying off the shelf, and I'd bet FFGs profit margin would be greater with these than with the minis.

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kmanweiss said:

Secondly, I want pilot packs.  1 pilot pack per ship.  The pilot packs would have 2 new unique pilots, 1 new non-unique pilot (on the back side of both unique base tiles), and all the cardboard you need to play them (base tiles, tokens, and a dial).  It could also have a new non-unique droid, or power or something.

The only thing redundant here is the dial. If you have a mini of the ship, then you have the dial required to use the ship, a new pilot isn't going to change the maneuver dial. Unless, of course, that's a direction FFG wants to go in, is different pilots have different maneuver templates… but that would require a huge change to the game as is. I think they accomplish enough maneuver changing with boost and barrel roll now, and the ability to add in new maneuver actions / pilo abilities later.

I like the idea of the 4 pilot cards per pack (2 unique, 2x 1 generic), and would definitely get those to round out my collection and increase my options for play. I can already see Corran Horn, Piggy, and Rogue Squadron Pilot as the first X-wing pack for that release scheme.

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Eruletho said:

kmanweiss said:

 

Secondly, I want pilot packs.  1 pilot pack per ship.  The pilot packs would have 2 new unique pilots, 1 new non-unique pilot (on the back side of both unique base tiles), and all the cardboard you need to play them (base tiles, tokens, and a dial).  It could also have a new non-unique droid, or power or something.

 

The only thing redundant here is the dial. If you have a mini of the ship, then you have the dial required to use the ship, a new pilot isn't going to change the maneuver dial. Unless, of course, that's a direction FFG wants to go in, is different pilots have different maneuver templates… but that would require a huge change to the game as is. I think they accomplish enough maneuver changing with boost and barrel roll now, and the ability to add in new maneuver actions / pilo abilities later.

I like the idea of the 4 pilot cards per pack (2 unique, 2x 1 generic), and would definitely get those to round out my collection and increase my options for play. I can already see Corran Horn, Piggy, and Rogue Squadron Pilot as the first X-wing pack for that release scheme.

 

I also doubt they'd change the maneuver dial. Most likely they'd just give the pilot an ability like the R2 Astromech that would allow them to treat certain red manuevers as white and/or certain white ones as green.

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I am warming up to the PoD idea if it was something sold only through stores and individuals did not just order them (Unbalancing the playing field argument) similar to the exansion packs that have been done for wings of War.  Not requiring a card for each ship in tournament play would also resolve this issue.

Another thought I had that has proved successful for the Wings of War line would be a deluxe expansion set.  Now that we have wave two coming out release another core set that includes 1 each of the Tie Advanced, Tie interceptor, Y-Wing and A -wing(ships not in the core set).  Include all the basics that were in the core set as well as all the upgrade cards and pilots released to date.  So it is not just another copy of each ship give them each a new paint scheme and another pilot or two unique to that paint scheme.  Do this for MSRP of $60 or less and I think they would sell as fast as the current core set and compliment it as well.

As an example Wings of War releases 4 planes in a set with 3 paint schemes of each model(12 models total) and then a 4th paint scheme of each model is only available in the deluxe set.  They include all the game mechanics and updated rules in each deluxe set so you are getting the complete game for what the 4 models would cost or less.

Just a thought.

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