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View Full Version : Who is the target of the New WFB Starter Box?



eriochrome
14-08-2010, 23:13
So I got a look at the new starter box. While the minis are nice, it seems like only someone very interested in the game would actually be able to learn the game from that box set. No WFB lite in the booklet, very hard to find the info about the units(buried in fluff descriptions which then have to collated with 3 or more places in main rulebook), it is just not setup at all for anyone new to wargaming. Seems like every starter we get away from Battle for Mac, the minis get more/better but as something to actually get you playing and having fun it gets worse and worse.

EmperorNorton
14-08-2010, 23:23
Yup, have to agree that it's mainly for those people who already have a considerable interest in the game.
The price is certainly high enough to keep people from getting it on a whim.
And the minis are nice indeed, but probably too detailed for somebody who is trying to paint for the first time.

shelfunit.
14-08-2010, 23:29
Tough to say.
Obviously anyone looking to expand their HE or Skaven army on the cheap is going to want this, as is any existing player after one, the other, or both starter set armies.
After this you have to look at existing GW customers who currently don't play fantasy, and those who play other fantasy wargames and know of its release.
The real problem GW have is a lack of external stockists, so new blood (in keeping with the name of the new starter) is unlikely to be anyone who is not in some way already linked to the hobby, either through a family member or friends.
As with many, many people here on warseer I came to the hobby through Heroquest (great game!) and that was only because of TV adverts, and the fact that it was stocked in Argos and other non-GW stores - primarily because of the partnership with MB, and the fact that it was not unreasonably priced and was a stand alone game.
The current starter set, at 60 quid - needing another 35 quid in army books and 110 quid (on the wife's American computer so no pound signs - sorry) thats 200+ pounds before you can really play the game as GW intend, so I really cannot see anyone coming into the hobby via warhammer from this release.
Saying this, the rich upper-middle class kids might bandwagon for a while, until mummy says "no!" to massive further purchases that may or may not ever be unpackaged, so as a single disposable starter box they may be the tertiary target, and then finally there always those people around who just want a new hobby, have spare cash, and randomly stumble upon it.

Boomstick
15-08-2010, 00:14
GW recruit primarily through their stores and by demoing their games, they then offer for free to teach people to paint, play, collect, and use those armies to a reasonable good level. If people have problems with any of those aspects then they need to go into the store and get the help that they pay for when purchasing the box set. On that basis then its perfectly suited to beginners as you buy the whole package not just a box set, thatís what makes GW bigger and more successful then everyone else and when told how much it will cost to start, parents donít get that upset about it because they see value in the help they will receive for as long as they need it.

Lord Inquisitor
15-08-2010, 00:19
As boomstick says it is designed to look great and play a good demo game so the staffers can then pull a box off the shelf and explain that everything in the demo game is in the box.

The primary target of the boxed set is anyone that wanders into a GW store and says "what's this then?"

eriochrome
15-08-2010, 00:23
And how does that work in places around the world that have no such location. Or in the new 1 man store model where that level of service is hard to maintain while stocking, hard selling all customers, and manning the till.

Reinholt
15-08-2010, 01:36
From what I can tell:

- HE Players
- Skaven Players
- People who get intro games at GW
- Existing players who just want the stuff in the box

Notably, not:

- New players who did not learn at a GW through an intro game

I suspect this set will do nothing to recruit new players to the game, unfortunately.

Boomstick
15-08-2010, 09:28
The only way for GW to measure its new customers is through its own stores where they can keep records of such things and verify there accuracy, so as far as there concerned they are the only numbers they can take into consideration for such a product. For non GW stores where people would like to consider starting then its a lot harder but the new website is now fully loaded with articles and hobby advice to help as best it can. Also if you start with a friend then learning and getting started together makes things a lot easier.

1 Man store are there because they donít make money and donít have enough footfall to warrant extra staff, the staff are trained in how to give the best service to those who need it the most. Its not as hard as people think, bad staff are bad staff but the majority get it right. So again with a priority on recruiting new hobbyists then they tend to get this right.

Now the question of will IoB recruit new gamers is silly. It will as its the only option of its kind for the game. Will it recruit more gamers than any other WFB starter set in the past? maybe. In my opinion its a lot more striking than the BfSP starter box and looks and feels more Warhammer Fantasy, that alone will probably sell it to more people looking to get into tabletop games.

Tarax
15-08-2010, 11:13
My main problem with the new starter set is simply the contents of the box. I mean, Skaven with their special rules, especially their war machines, and High Elves with their Griffon, which brings along another set of additional rules.
Battle for Skull Pass was simple, you got 2 reasonable sized armies, with a little bit of everything without to much additional rules. It was great to let people learn most of the simple rules, ie move, shoot, combat, and added just a bit of special features, ie cannon and troll.
With this new set new players will get swamped with rules.

I agree though that the models look great. However, and that's with most special models, if you buy multiple sets you get multiples of the same special models, be it the High Elf on Griffon or the Skaven Warlord. You probably do not want that many of the same model in your army.

snurl
15-08-2010, 12:13
Call it land mine marketing.

Ozorik
15-08-2010, 12:20
The only way for GW to measure its new customers is through its own stores where they can keep records of such things and verify there accuracy, so as far as there concerned they are the only numbers they can take into consideration for such a product.

You mean by tracking the number of starter sets sold, which can be done just as easily via trade sales.


It will as its the only option of its kind for the game

Exactly, but as it is not a good starting point for new players due to its content will this bring in more or less new players?

If GW release IoB at all it should be as an intermediate set, following on from a set with 20-30 snap fit 2 piece models and a rules booklet.

Angelwing
15-08-2010, 13:11
(on the wife's American computer so no pound signs - sorry)

Hold Alt, then type +0163 to get a £ sign.

The boxset: Well it's supposed to be targeted at beginners, but I suspect the main buyers will be ebay sellers followed by skaven and high elf players.

Haravikk
15-08-2010, 13:33
As boomstick says it is designed to look great and play a good demo game so the staffers can then pull a box off the shelf and explain that everything in the demo game is in the box.
The problem with this is that the lists are really unbalanced which means it's not that fun a demo if you're the skaven player, and if you buy the starter you only have the bestiary to refer to in your games (is that even in the mini rulebook?).

I'm hoping games-workshop will issue an advisory on how to play the demo games with this new set; it would be better with a scenario, for example with High Elves defending an objective, and Skaven able to deploy some of their troops in reserve as ambushers, while the High Elf lord doesn't deploy until turn 3 or 4. This way the game would be a lot more like the fluff of a beleaguered high elf outpost attacked by a skaven horde, being (potentially) rescued by lord on griffon.

But then that's more complicated to teach, better perhaps would just be to throw an extra unit in for the Skaven and explain that everything but that unit comes in the box, maybe do a deal if you want that unit with your start box.


I dunno, the models are wonderful, and I'll be buying a second box at some point just to get more, but as a start kit it's a bit of a mess. Even the choice of armies is weird, as with High Elves always striking first the Rat Ogres are pretty much useless, I observed maybe 10 games on pre-order day and didn't see them get to do anything before being wiped out by the prince & griffon, or swordmasters, even with a properly executed flank charge one or both rat ogres seem to die anyway.

shelfunit.
15-08-2010, 18:09
Hold Alt, then type +0163 to get a £ sign.

£ you appear to be (mostly) correct - for me it's just alt 3 - maybe because it's an old mac - but cheers for the help! :D


The problem with this is that the lists are really unbalanced which means it's not that fun a demo if you're the skaven player, and if you buy the starter you only have the bestiary to refer to in your games (is that even in the mini rulebook?).

The unbalanced starter contents are perfect for GW to turn around and say "well you only need this additional regiment box set - its a massive bargain!"
And I would assume the bestiary will be in the booklet - it is still needed so we can tell what all the new unit types are in each army.


I'm hoping games-workshop will issue an advisory on how to play the demo games with this new set; it would be better with a scenario, for example with High Elves defending an objective, and Skaven able to deploy some of their troops in reserve as ambushers, while the High Elf lord doesn't deploy until turn 3 or 4. This way the game would be a lot more like the fluff of a beleaguered high elf outpost attacked by a skaven horde, being (potentially) rescued by lord on griffon.

But then that's more complicated to teach, better perhaps would just be to throw an extra unit in for the Skaven and explain that everything but that unit comes in the box, maybe do a deal if you want that unit with your start box.

I dunno, the models are wonderful, and I'll be buying a second box at some point just to get more, but as a start kit it's a bit of a mess. Even the choice of armies is weird, as with High Elves always striking first the Rat Ogres are pretty much useless, I observed maybe 10 games on pre-order day and didn't see them get to do anything before being wiped out by the prince & griffon, or swordmasters, even with a properly executed flank charge one or both rat ogres seem to die anyway.

I really feel they could have put an additional sprue in the box, with one of the "mysterious terrain" pieces in or something different. Maybe they will do an expander box set - additional troops to make up to a legal 1500pt army for example.
But yes, the set will sell on the models alone if all else fails, even un-painted they are excelent sculpts.

Reinholt
15-08-2010, 19:25
To be clear, my concern with the starter box is not the models, but rather, how is it really a starter box?

There are cool models in tons of boxes that GW already produces; this is nothing new. What about this one makes it easy for people to start the game if they know little to nothing about miniatures gaming? What about this one helps to make the early part of the hobby exciting? What about this one helps to get people playing early, and exploring fun scenarios, rather than spending a huge grind assembling a 2,000 point force before they can play?

These are my concerns. It's a nice box. I'm just not sure how "starter" plays into the picture.

yabbadabba
15-08-2010, 19:34
I'd say the look of the box indicates that it is aimed at a variety of customers. As long as there is something in that "Getting Started" booklet to link the absolute beginner with the scenarios in the rulebook then it will support new hobbyists as well. By the looks of it every unit type is present too, so a new person can experience that side as well which I think is better than the BfSP (no cav/flyers?).

Lord Inquisitor
15-08-2010, 19:42
The problem with this is that the lists are really unbalanced which means it's not that fun a demo if you're the skaven player, and if you buy the starter you only have the bestiary to refer to in your games (is that even in the mini rulebook?).
I'd wager that most good staff will play the Skaven when giving an intro game. Indeed an unbalanced set is a good thing - it's a good idea to have stack the odds in favor of the new player. It happens that sometimes the dice just go your way and there's nothing you can do to stop the customer losing but that's pretty rare. And if two new customers are getting a game against each other then they won't know that high elves always win... ;)

No, the starter set isn't remotely fair. Funny how the marines always get the more powerful force in the starter set, no?

eriochrome
15-08-2010, 21:35
I'd say the look of the box indicates that it is aimed at a variety of customers. As long as there is something in that "Getting Started" booklet to link the absolute beginner with the scenarios in the rulebook then it will support new hobbyists as well. By the looks of it every unit type is present too, so a new person can experience that side as well which I think is better than the BfSP (no cav/flyers?).

Very little in the Booklet to help the starter out. If you have a copy of Black Reach Booklet, they have a page like "your first game" but they have all the minis out for it, I do not think they had a page like "Learning the Rules", On the pages with the marine and ork units replace all the army list type text with with codex fluff text, No page like "expanding your forces" where they tell you the points costs of the units so you will not know how unbalanced the battle is.

UberBeast
16-08-2010, 01:55
2nd edition 40k was a great starter box. They had a story driven scenerio book which slowly introduced you to each unit in the box set and increased the size of the games... It also had three whole books: the rulebook, the weapons book, and a book just for background info.

It included not only the models, but also terrain and various quick reference charts, beginner's chart for quick play, and chits for marking units actions.

I remember how exciting it was the first time I played the gretchin vs the 5man units of spacemarines, and how after reading the story behind the engagement I really felt involved in the game developing in front of me.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 03:30
Since we all know that GW did starter boxes that actually had scenarios and a path to learn the game in the past, why are those things missing now? If they asked me I would have told them that the training stuff is Skull Pass was worthless not because it was not required but because it was not fun.

iamfanboy
16-08-2010, 08:05
Since we all know that GW did starter boxes that actually had scenarios and a path to learn the game in the past, why are those things missing now? If they asked me I would have told them that the training stuff is Skull Pass was worthless not because it was not required but because it was not fun.

Laziness?

Seriously, there's no reason to not have them in there. I also remember the 2nd Edition scenarios, and they were good.

When I was teaching people to play 40k, I would set up scenarios and even though the armies would be balanced, I'd make sure they had an edge I didn't - an extra character, defensive emplacements, minefields, that sort of thing. So IF this set was used something like that (with the experienced players taking the role of poor, hapless Skaven) then it would make sense.

But one thing I'm wondering with this is how unbalanced are the two armies? I haven't looked at the Skaven book yet so I have no idea just how out of whack the two are - but it doesn't look TOO terribly bad. How do the points stack up?

Wintermute
16-08-2010, 08:48
Since we all know that GW did starter boxes that actually had scenarios and a path to learn the game in the past, why are those things missing now?

Simple, its to get people into their stores.

isaac
16-08-2010, 09:21
That seems counterintuitive,, this is a worldwide box set and that is a silly strategy that only has a chance of working with the UK.

Wintermute
16-08-2010, 10:17
That seems counterintuitive,, this is a worldwide box set and that is a silly strategy that only has a chance of working with the UK.

I never said it made any sense ;):p

isaac
16-08-2010, 10:52
I can understand lack of terrain, but a couple glossy manuals make it a better way to hook people.

Boomstick
16-08-2010, 11:20
You mean by tracking the number of starter sets sold, which can be done just as easily via trade sales.

That just tells them how many they have sold not who too.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 13:32
It just seems that this box set is clear aimed at their existing players which is why it has to be sold at a 100 dollar price point since you do not sell losses leaders to existing customers.

isaac
16-08-2010, 16:08
So why is it a starter set then? They are cannibalizing their own sales this way.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 16:11
So why is it a starter set then? They are cannibalizing their own sales this way.

Probably to encourage players to start additional armies. That rush of sales for building the new force would be higher than the sales for expanding existing ones. I am sure Skaven and High Elf sales will be higher than normal.

I really cannot guess beyond that. Maybe they in fact think this is a great box to get people started on the Hobby which might be true. I just think it is a bad box go get people started on the Game.

Gazak Blacktoof
16-08-2010, 16:20
So why is it a starter set then? They are cannibalizing their own sales this way.

They're probably also increasing them. My brother probably wouldn't have gotten any new skaven to replace his old ones if it weren't for the starter set. Now he's thinking about expanding his skaven and replacing all his old rats.

Ozorik
16-08-2010, 17:56
That just tells them how many they have sold not who too.

Just like the number of boxes that they shift via their stores then. This could be linked with intro games but it would not provide any useful information as the numbers would be too small and very location specific.


I also remember the 2nd Edition scenarios, and they were good.

The Adeptus Titanicus campaign was very good. It not only taught the rules in a logical manner it was a good introduction to narrative gaming as well.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 18:02
The only reason I can think of for not having the some of those skirmish style missions to teach the fundmentals is that they do not really show the how the full game is played and might give players the wrong impression of the type of game it is.

Llew
16-08-2010, 18:07
I could have picked this up yesterday. (My FLGS has a manager who doesn't keep up with the minis stuff, so when stuff comes in when the minis guy is out, it goes on the shelf.) The minis looked great for the GW style, although I still think the claws on the griffon look silly.

If I were enthused to buy High Elves or rats, and just couldn't wait to get my hands on more GW stuff, I'd have bought it. But I'm past that phase. If a new player had friends to split the minis with and he knew they were all going to play, it might be worth it. But as a genuine starter product, it's not a stellar example.

The $99 I spent on Dust Tactics at Gen Con last week felt more worth it. I got a complete game that I can play out of the box -- almost no assembly time (5 minutes?) -- and it has a ton of scenarios to get me into the game. You get 4 vehicles that compare favorably with the GW scout walkers, and 16 troops per side. (The minis are all primed too.) The forces are balanced and varied, and it's a fun little game. My friends and I read the rules last night and whipped off 3 games in the evening. The first was a throwaway, and the second two were very competitive as we got the hang of the system. We'll definitely play it again.

It's a more limited product as it's a relatively self-contained game, but they've got expansions coming down the road. You can also see just how much room there is to expand the system based on the stat cards. Now *that* was a starter box that got my interest, and will get me to buy more product later. This is because it was a whole, complete game with good replay value and some really good quality minis.

I don't think the IoB lines up well against that. Having a "starter" product that is really only useful to people who already play your games is a bit silly.

Ozorik
16-08-2010, 18:07
They weren't really skirmish style. They used the core rules and just build up in size and complexity as the campaign progressed.

Yes fantasy doesnt work that well in low point games but it would still be workable with a little creativity.

isaac
16-08-2010, 18:30
I think BfM was a good example of a starting game that leads into buying more minis and be narrative.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 18:55
I think BfM was a good example of a starting game that leads into buying more minis and be narrative.

That was my first 40K box and I liked the structure quite a bit. Ofcourse I played other GW games back in the 80's(Blood Bowl, Warhammer RPG, Dark Future, Space Marine) but never either of ones that become the Core games.

If I remember correct BfM even had bonus missions online which gave rules for using other minis like a Dread, Assault Squad, Biovore, and Warriors. Encouraging people to pick up those models not in the box before they worry about building a large army. Sure you got half the stuff you get now in the box but it was also half the price.

de Selby
16-08-2010, 19:17
I haven't got a look at the starter booklet yet so I'm intrigued. Is it really that bad? It seems absolutely crucial that the booklet should enable the easiest possible 'pick up and play' games or it just isn't a good starter set. Seems like the rules designers have really let down the mini designers if so.

Anyway, I'll buy one (instead of the hardback rulebook) and maybe another one (unless I can just get a second set of skaven for cheap). But that's not worth anywhere near as much to GW as recruiting another hobbyist like me from outside their current customer base.

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 19:33
The skull pass booklet was dominated by the teaching the rules. At best this booklet has a 2 page spread and all unit information is written as flavor text with the stats with the complete WHFB army stats in the back of the rulebook.

BobtheInquisitor
16-08-2010, 21:18
Is it possible that this starter set is mostly aimed at converting 40k players to fantasy?

eriochrome
16-08-2010, 21:54
Is it possible that this starter set is mostly aimed at converting 40k players to fantasy?

Possible but moving a existing customer from 1 game to another is not going to generate as much new revenue as bringing in a total new customer since one would assume that they would have spent some of the money they are spending on fantasy on their 40K armies.

Torga_DW
17-08-2010, 07:51
The problem as i see it is that a newbie will want all the background and stuff contained in the big book, plus models (and terrain, is there any terrain?) in the boxed set. But they don't sell it like that, and together it costs somewhere around $300 oz (roughly). Which is not a cheap starter. I'll be getting it, but mainly for the cutdown rulebook (and partially for the griffon, which incidently +lord costs like 450 points or so and therefore requires a 2k army, which isn't supplied by the box). Just who they're targetting is a little obscure to me.

Blinder
18-08-2010, 21:04
I agree that IoB doesn't look all that great as a starting point for a brand-new never-played never-modeled customer (not enough "first game" detail and way too many things to assemble/deal with) but it's anywhere from a decent to a great (depending on who wanted what army) set to get started with for bringing someone into the hobby (depending on how much experience at least one person has with basic modeling/painting from model airplanes and such), father/son (or whatever elder/protege relationship you want) type stuff where the higher model count is better (more "quality time," and also allows for pretty easy "what to get next" decisions since you have a solid base for both armies, even if they're 100% standard-scenario legal). The add-on costs don't have to be handled right away (you don't really *need* the army books for anything in the box if you're still learning the basics. Anyone know if the booklet says the HE have ASF? That'd go a decent way towards trimming back the points difference when you look at it as an existing player since it'd get rid of the rerolls) and until you do there's plenty to keep you busy.

The one real deficiency I see is that they don't do a decent job of catering to the new-to-modeling crowd. A "starter hobby supplement toolkit" sold on the next shelf over might be a good idea, bundle up a pair of snips, a knife, some glue, and maybe a can of primer and a "be sure to check out our introductory paint sets!" sign. Something to make it easy to walk in, pick up two or three packages, and have everything you really need to get started with a hobby (including a nice big box to wrap up as a gift). Much more approachable to parents than, "oh don't forget the glue, a hobby knife, and these clippers, and some paints, and this spraycan here, and the brushes over there..."