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IcedCrow
19-05-2013, 19:57
Question ive asked for about a decade. What is it about games like warmaster, lotr, hail caesar, etc that repel players?

Ive heard several theories:
* too balanced. Those games are about common troops where heroes provide buffs not where heroes can level armies by themselves

* no combos to exploit

* units too similar

Do we pay lip service to wanting balance? Do players really need systems with gamist elements to min/max on to enjoy the game

Is paper/rock/scissors design really superior to anything else?

What about those systems is so inferior that you can never find players for them and if you do they are usually the older crowd?

Chapters Unwritten
19-05-2013, 20:02
Ultimately I think it is because no one is as invested in the setting.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Vipoid
19-05-2013, 20:06
Well, I don't really know much about the others, but the reason I'm not interested in getting into LotR is basically because I prefer building my own characters - rather than just using existing ones over and over.

It might be fun to do occasionally, but I certainly wouldn't want to play it as often as 40k or Fantasy.

Also, if I wanted to simulate a LotR battle, it seems like it would be more fun to try and work out a Fantasy list that simulates it. Not sure how plausible (or balanced ;)) it would be, but we have ogres, trolls, orcs, goblins, wraiths, dragons, men, dwarves elves etc., so I'm sure we at least have the tools to build some appropriate armies. :p

Scammel
19-05-2013, 20:08
Well, I don't really know much about the others, but the reason I'm not interested in getting into LotR is basically because I prefer building my own characters - rather than just using existing ones over and over.


Some characters, particularly the generic kings, boast some of the longest lists of upgrades in the game. There's definitely less scope for customisation compared to Fantasy, granted, but there is definitely some.

leopard
19-05-2013, 20:10
Historical systems are an odd kettle of swimming things, point being if you create an army for one, and it falls from favour you just pick up and play another - unless a system is very good there will always be a better one along you can use the same army with - makes playing them easy as you can just swap rulebooks until you find one you like. Investing in a historical army is pretty low risk.

LotR is an odd case, very good system, but currently far to expensive to get into - that wasn't always the problem though, I think that, and stuff like warmaster have the opposite issue - if you invest in it, and then discover you don't like it or not enough around you do... what do you do with the army?

40k & WHFB are low risk, plenty of people play them, and if you don't like it you can probably shift the models.

This is the "hump" a new game has to overcome, historicals are well served by garden shed companies who can write and turn out rulebooks pretty cheaply, anyone trying to support a commercial range of models with their own books is facing a strong headwind, people will use the models they already have.

talthar
19-05-2013, 20:21
A lot of times it comes down to marketing. If a game doesn't get a push it doesn't do well. One aspect of GW I like is that the rules for older, less popular games are still available so people who'd like to get into, say, Necromunda or BFG, can do so.

There are so many historical rule sets out there from smaller companies that the best they can do is a niche or cult following. Plus a lot of players look at playing historicals like homework. Sometimes a game like FoW hits it big but younger gamers especially like the fantasy and sci fi elements of games like 40K and WHFB.

Grimstonefire
19-05-2013, 20:22
Something I was never keen on with LoTR is that feeling that if I collected an army it would have no character, as it would feel like an insignificant part of some movie with a very clearly defined role.

Unlike WHFB and 40k, where you can build an entire back story and take your army in any direction you want.

Units looking too similar (similar issue with historical games) is a problem. Plus who wants to collect boring old historical humans when you can have zombies, elves, dwarfs, lizardmen etc.

Warmaster is a completely different issue, as the scale of the models is an enormously significant deterrent/ attracting factor. As I found out earlier today painting my first warmaster models!? Damn they're small.

stroller
19-05-2013, 20:23
Am not sure there's one single reason. For me, I've no interest in Warmaster, Epic or any other 6mm game. Doesn't matter how good the rules are, I have no interest in painting 6mm figures. I did play 1:300 ww2 tanks for a while, but the infantry never got out of the box. Historicals are too rigid for my taste: too much rank & file: I prefer skirmish. Curiously however fantasy doesn't "feel" rank & file to me.

I enjoyed LOTR but eventually I stopped playing it as the "third system". Rules updates (or old age) meant I was confusing rules from different editions of different games. Space hulk, dreadfleet and starship troopers were fun but only come out occasionally.

In a sense, for me, the reverse of the coin is that 40K and fantasy are successful because they're "easy" (by which I also mean convenient). I used to travel a lot. I used to have an army case in the car boot and picking up a 40k game somewhere was easy - lots of players around, lots of stores to play in, and didnt need lots of rule clarifications. When I tried the same with other systems I needed 2 copies of the rules and two armies before common ground was "easy". Too much hassle.

shelfunit.
19-05-2013, 20:26
What makes you think these games failed? Warmaster didn't "fail" it just doesn't generate the same level of profit that 40k/fantasy does, similarly LotR didn't fail, at least not in it's principle aims - getting more people into the GW system and preventing another company form having the licence. As for Hail Caesar! failing, where on earth did you get that idea?

JWhex
19-05-2013, 20:27
Warmaster died because of lack of support from GW. Great minis, excellent rules, well known setting, but no long term committment from GW.

Historicals are just a niche setting and there are only so many players. I think there will always be historical gamers but at a relatively low population level. If you are a history buf, then historicals are great, otherwisee the appeal is less.


LotR: When GW decided to make the LotR figs of an incompatible scale I promised myself not to spend any money on this line and have kept that promise. Personally it doesnt matter to me who makes a LotR game or how excellent the rules are. I love the books but just do not have any desire to recreate the various battles. In a way that does not make perfect sense I find the LotR, as a setting for table top battles to be much more "generic" than warhammer fantasy. You have men, humans, elves, bad guys and a few odds and ends. In whfb, you have very divergent races such as lizardmen, slann and demons that make the battles more diverse.

LotR has peaked and died, perfectly predictable that its success would be tied to the fate of the various movies. LotR table top battles are a niche within a niche and it is very expensive to get into. No surprise it has gone into decline as a game.

yabbadabba
19-05-2013, 20:30
Question ive asked for about a decade. What is it about games like warmaster, lotr, hail caesar, etc that repel players?
Ive heard several theories:
* too balanced. Those games are about common troops where heroes provide buffs not where heroes can level armies by themselves
* no combos to exploit
* units too similar
Do we pay lip service to wanting balance? Do players really need systems with gamist elements to min/max on to enjoy the game
Is paper/rock/scissors design really superior to anything else?
What about those systems is so inferior that you can never find players for them and if you do they are usually the older crowd? I think the first thing to say is all wargames die. When I was dipping my toe into the hobby as a nipper, it was WRG and DBM/DBA all the way. In fact GW wasn't considered as a wargame by an enormous number of wargamers. Not any more.

I used to think it was all about the things you have mentioned, but I think the reality is that a lot of it has to do with whimsy, fashion, prejudice and bias, and convenience of effort and laziness. As an aside Warmaster, LotR and Hail Caesar haven't failed, and this is important as perceptions are not always right, they just aren't as big as the public thought they should be. If we went back 30 odd years then all these games would be a resounding success. MtG and GW, and their offspring like Warmachine, FoW etc, have changed our perceptions so much that most things when measured against these all wargames inevitably look like failures.

dooms33ker
19-05-2013, 21:23
Well, first he have the cultural, geographical differences. In Europe the fantasy genre is considered much more popular than in the States, so that already shifts the paradigm of specialist games dealing with the genre to skew heavily towards the European market. If Fantasy continues to struggle here in America, what chance do LOTR and Warmaster have?

Second, like others have said, there are significant differences between Warmaster, LOTR/Hobbit, and WHFB.

WM the most unlike the other two in its scale and abstracted rule set, both of which generally don't appeal to younger gamers looking for detail in models and in game-play. I tried playing it for a spell, but the lack of customization and variety in list building left me wanting just a little bit more nuance.

LOTR has ample model detail, and a fairly nuanced and varied set of rules, but has been poorly marketed by GW. One of the biggest problems is that GW has finite control over the intellectual property and is reliant on the success and continued interest in the films and books. That the Hobbit wasn't all that well received certainly does not help matters.

LOTR is perhaps one of my favorite trilogy of books and films, but I can't help but think something a bit more storied and accessible like Star Wars would have made for a better IP for GW to turn into a success. Sure, GW still wouldn't have full control over the IP, but I see many more liberties being taken with the Star Wars license across other mediums like novels and video games.

With the new Star Wars films releasing in a few years, GW should re-examine if it chose to back the wrong trilogy.

Avian
19-05-2013, 21:54
I'd think that the size of the player base is an important factor. If there aren't a lot of people around playing your game, you'd probably prefer it if the models were generic enough to be able to be used in several different games.

Take LotR for example. I think the rules are all right, but the models are both very expensive and of very mixed quality, and nobody I know plays it. That makes it a no-go for me.

Warmaster was a bit better in that the models looked a lot better, but if nobody else wanted to play the game all they were good for was tiny mantle piece decorations. Not so hot.
(Also, why were Orcs only Ld8 when everyone else was 9?)

Historicals, like sci-fi, have never been my thing.

Urgat
19-05-2013, 22:06
Warmaster died because of lack of support from GW. Great minis, excellent rules, well known setting, but no long term committment from GW.

That. I'd love to play warmaster, but nobody really knows about it, there's no support, it's not really advertized. A game w/o opponent has no use to me, even if it's appealing.

Daenerys Targaryen
19-05-2013, 22:24
While I have absolutely 0 experience with Warmaster, imho, LotR & WotR both suffer from roughly the same downfall. Namely, absolutely crap balance between the Good vs Evil style of narrative game play. LotR's fight system especially is overly simplistic & moronic, and will lead to games basically boiling down to, "does my opponent who has across the board higher fight values roll 6's and auto-win every round?"

dooms33ker
19-05-2013, 22:35
While I have absolutely 0 experience with Warmaster, imho, LotR & WotR both suffer from roughly the same downfall. Namely, absolutely crap balance between the Good vs Evil style of narrative game play. LotR's fight system especially is overly simplistic & moronic, and will lead to games basically boiling down to, "does my opponent who has across the board higher fight values roll 6's and auto-win every round?"

I think generally speaking if you roll 6s for close combat attacks in any GW system you will win the combat :)

yabbadabba
19-05-2013, 22:40
That. I'd love to play warmaster, but nobody really knows about it, there's no support, it's not really advertized. A game w/o opponent has no use to me, even if it's appealing. What, just like the vast majority of wargames that somehow seem to sell, do OK, and appear at wargames shows?

IcedCrow
19-05-2013, 22:46
That's what I meant by fail. No one plays them. I can't find opponents for any system other than warmachine, warhammer, and 40k. Hail caesar is a great system, but you have to dig really hard to find players. Warmaster - haven't seen a game in a decade. I own several armies for it, I can't even get to demo it because no one is interested. LOTR - i've not seen stupid bad balance in LOTR, at least any worse then in any GW game.

yabbadabba
19-05-2013, 22:52
That's what I meant by fail. No one plays them. I can't find opponents for any system other than warmachine, warhammer, and 40k. Hail caesar is a great system, but you have to dig really hard to find players. Warmaster - haven't seen a game in a decade. I own several armies for it, I can't even get to demo it because no one is interested. LOTR - i've not seen stupid bad balance in LOTR, at least any worse then in any GW game. There is a real .... issue amongst wargamers and I am not sure what it is. it could be the post-GW psychological fall out but I have noticed that even FoW has dropped off the radar a bit. It might be that the community has fractured unnoticed and all those wargamers who were willing to have a dabble have separated from the more tournament focused gamers or even the impact of the internet creating incorrect perceptions - I'm not sure.

I can give you a uselss anecdote. It has taken me some 13 years to get some friends to move away from GW games, especially 40K. We now have FoW, Dystopia, Full Thrust and I am looking to write a Viking Skirmish game for us this summer. It was bloody hard work, and they too had a similar attitude "No one else plays it so why should I bother" or "Its a small company their support will be useless".

IcedCrow
19-05-2013, 23:01
That's awesome that you are getting into some rules design. I am also working on my own fantasy type system that makes more sense to me and is less gamist.

I realize in doing so that it will probably not get any fans other than myself but it is written for myself so that's fine lol

yabbadabba
19-05-2013, 23:32
That's awesome that you are getting into some rules design. I've seen it as a core of playing GW games since year dot. Even at my most fanatic a staff member, I was always tinkering with rules and army lists.

I am also working on my own fantasy type system that makes more sense to me and is less gamist. Its always good to hear such things :D

I realize in doing so that it will probably not get any fans other than myself but it is written for myself so that's fine lol Same here, the only people who are important in all this is my gaming friends and I.

The Marshel
20-05-2013, 00:13
While I have absolutely 0 experience with Warmaster, imho, LotR & WotR both suffer from roughly the same downfall. Namely, absolutely crap balance between the Good vs Evil style of narrative game play. LotR's fight system especially is overly simplistic & moronic, and will lead to games basically boiling down to, "does my opponent who has across the board higher fight values roll 6's and auto-win every round?"

I think you'll find a vast majority of those who have extensivly played lotr sbg will agree its easily some of the most ballanced work gw has ever produced. the fight system, while simple, is far from broken. you may think it boils down to who rolls a 6, but this is because lotr favours smart movement and model placing before the fights begin rather then a series of complex stats or special rules to gain an advantage in combat. SBG is about how you maneuver your models, be they a low quality hoarde or a small group of elites, to ensure you put yourself in the fights that favor yourself rather then your opponents. If you are finding yourself constantly in fights where you are outnumbered and/or outdone in fight value, then this is more likely due to your failure in the movement phase then issues with the rules. Wotr however was a bit wierd imo and I never gave it much of a go, so no complaints there.

As far as whether these games are failing in comparison to the larger games, its really just a player base issue. If you rely mostly on pick up games then any system without an active player base in your local area isn't going to be an attractive option. In a catch 22 way this makes it very difficult for many games to get up and going. for some like lotr or warmaster gw could make an efort to promote them heavily, but at the moment they seem much more content to sell whfb and 40k instead, and why shouldn't they given they are in the bussiness of making money and maintaining a well established game is less riskier then trying to build/rebuild the player base of a currently unpopular game.

This is less of an issue for those who play normally within a closer group of players or are influencial within their local clubs. If you were interested in say, making a hail ceaser roman army, and you had a few mates who were also interested in historical wargaming then the lack of player base is less of an issue. Granted the lack of pick up games will limit the gaming opportunities, but at the very least, if you have a friend who plays it, you have a source of gaming, and for these smaller more niche games that's usually enough. 40k and fantasy would obviously struggle just as much (if not more) if they had a similar sized player base.

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 00:17
I think you'll find a vast majority of those who have extensivly played lotr sbg will agree its easily some of the most ballanced work gw has ever produced. the fight system, while simple, is far from broken. you may think it boils down to who rolls a 6, but this is because lotr favours smart movement and model placing before the fights begin rather then a series of complex stats or special rules to gain an advantage in combat. SBG is about how you maneuver your models, be they a low quality hoarde or a small group of elites, to ensure you put yourself in the fights that favor yourself rather then your opponents. If you are finding yourself constantly in fights where you are outnumbered and/or outdone in fight value, then this is more likely due to your failure in the movement phase then issues with the rules.

And this is exactly why LOTR and Warmaster type games are the type of games that I love.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 02:58
The issue with LoTR and historical games is their Euro-centric worn settings. 'Oh look another game set in "Romans win" or "Britain wins". Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers. Yes there have been some games set in Asia but that leaves the lore of the Americas, Africa, Persian, and Middle east, almost untouched. All for the same ole historical/fantasy tropes that were old back in the 1960s. Warmaster was to small for me.

dooms33ker
20-05-2013, 03:01
The issue with LoTR and historical games is their Euro-centric worn settings. 'Oh look another game set in "Romans win" or "Britain wins". Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers. Yes there have been some games set in Asia but that leaves the lore of the Americas, Africa, Persian, and Middle east, almost untouched. All for the same ole historical/fantasy tropes that were old back in the 1960s. Warmaster was to small for me.

Warmaster and LOTR both have middle eastern armies, though how many people actually play them, I cannot say.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 03:07
Warmaster and LOTR both have middle eastern armies, though how many people actually play them, I cannot say. Yeah Warmaster was too small for me. LoTR's Mideast armies were either bad or not represented in the movie,the movie that was the main selling point of said game. Warhammer fantasy and 40k. tapsinto just about every culture, for good and bad guys. They have come a long way from the Pygmies of yore.

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 03:13
So we're saying that warmaster and lotr and historicals fail because of either

* scale (28mm good, 15/10mm bad)
* factions within - no one wants to play a faction that was defeated in history or defeated in the books

I haven't seen anyone mention the mechanics yet so that interests me.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 03:19
That's just it you can have the best rules, but you need a soul. And yes like Epic, warmaster is too small for lots of people. 28 mm was chosen for a reason. I like warmaster.

Lars Porsenna
20-05-2013, 03:28
I think that is a gross simplification of historical games and gamers umm...sexiest_hero. Case in point: I own a 28mm Palmyran army!

Damon.

dooms33ker
20-05-2013, 03:52
Speaking of scale, if 6 and 10mm scales are too small, and there is no more room in the GW family for another 28mm game, why not 15mm?

Take a good look at some of the more recent 15mm miniatures to be released by other companies. They are gorgeous for their size, full of detail, yet small enough to give a large sense of army scale.

A 15mm "Heroic/Epic" mix for the 40k universe with a rule-set that combines the best of both worlds without sacrificing too much of either could be a big hit.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 03:57
Oversimple, yes, Gross Idk. Most people pick up the hobby by word of ear or seeing a game played. Say I'm a gamer looking for a new game, by now I'm just tired of ww 1-2. I'm also tired of lotr style fantasy. I'm not knocking the GREAT games or gamers. Just saying why nobody plays them. Nothing original new or outside the box . Just a lot of Ho hum/same ole.

The Marshel
20-05-2013, 04:40
Yeah Warmaster was too small for me. LoTR's Mideast armies were either bad or not represented in the movie,the movie that was the main selling point of said game. Warhammer fantasy and 40k. tapsinto just about every culture, for good and bad guys. They have come a long way from the Pygmies of yore.

But wfb and 40k are both rather tired settings by the same standards. Fantasy is very generic with it's elves, orcs and humans, and ratmen, ogres and undead are hardly new ideas not seen elsewhere. The imperial dominance of 40k also mirrors you're belief that no one wants to play "the lossers" quite well, and competes more directly with the weath of sci fi computer games then a non sci fi wargame would have to deal with computer gaming.

As for these games lacking "soul", people look for differant things in differant games. 40k and fantasy both benifit greatly from providing the option to recreate well established backround armies and battles whilst maintaining enough room for player based background creations. It's a clear and concious design objective of gw to do so. However, other games don't lack this concept. Lotr for example exist in a highly developed world with a rich background and vast amount of lands and time to cover. There is in fact a fair bit of room for amy customization. Granted not as much as 40k and fantasy, but it's there and quite possible. The reason you never see it is because gw makes no real effort to advertise or develope it, and as such someone wishing to create something unique army for lotr will have to make more effort to achieve similar results to a customized fantasy/40k army. This can of course put people off the game, but its not for lack of soul, but rather increased amount of work outwieghing how much they believe they will enjoy the game and hobby.

Historical wargaming on the otherhand has virutally no room for cusomiazbility, but in comparison, has tonns of soul for players to tap into. Historical wargaming is based on events that actually happened and people that actually lived. There is an element of realness that is hard to emulate elsewhere. A friend of my once considered making a Brittish celt army to reflect his scotish heritage. if that isn't a go show of wargaming "soul" i don't know what is. More to the point though I'd think no one gets into historical wargaming for customizabilty. The whole point of the endevor is recreation.

The differance between a highly successful game and a more obscure less successful game is very simple. Quality of rules and content matter, but they aren't half as important as player base and support. These two factors work hand in hand, creating a self fullfilling prophecy, to boost a wargame (and numerous other products and brands in the rest of the world) up the ladder of success. Support generates player base, and player base encourages support. LOTR no longer has a strong player base in comparison to WFB and 40k, so gw's support of late has been lacking. GW choose to support it less because they see less opportunity to make money on the dwindling player base. If they gave it more support, the player base might well rise. If they player base were to rise, gw would be encouraged to support it further. If LOTR had maintained its support from the trillology you can bet that gw would have created a gaming system as large, extensive and flexible as wfb by now. You'd have a wider range of units avalible, more customizable heroes as gw adapts to create a more flexible gaming expirance and a much stronger emphsis on factions rather then good and evil (such emphesis on factions has infact been developing along nicely now for quite some time). This is all very possible to set up for lotr, by doesn't happen becuase they player base isn't strong enough.

Successful non GW wargames all have strong and steady player bases and, thanks to their success, the companies creating them are able to provide great support to their lines. Mantic and warmachine are good examples this.

Content matters, but at the end of the day success breeds success. Games like warmaster and LOTR "fail" because not enough people are playing them, and activly encouraging more people to play them, for their owning companies to commit the resorces required to increase the player base. Numerous other reasons will effect the overal popularity, but the two biggest drivers will always be player base size and support

(co-incidently, lotr's middle east army, harad is actually quite a solid force in the game)

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 05:00
Mantic and WM have very unique settings. While fantasy has a lot of Tolkien in it also has a unique on lizardmen, Tomb kings and the nobody is "good" angle GW loves so much. Also GW promoted LoTR heavily with the " Upside down" White dwarfs people hated. "Hey kids don't like creating your own army? Don't like not knowing who is going to win? Wellhave we got the game for you!" It's just not fun Reading about the fellowship slapping around goblin horde #9856. These games "fail" as according to the OP. Because they don't offer what gamers want.

The Marshel
20-05-2013, 05:23
Mantic and WM have very unique settings. While fantasy has a lot of Tolkien in it also has a unique on lizardmen, Tomb kings and the nobody is "good" angle GW loves so much. Also GW promoted LoTR heavily with the " Upside down" White dwarfs people hated. "Hey kids don't like creating your own army? Don't like not knowing who is going to win? Wellhave we got the game for you!" It's just not fun Reading about the fellowship slapping around goblin horde #9856. These games "fail" as according to the OP. Because they don't offer what gamers want.

warmachine's setting is uniquie, but mantic grew from making alternative kits for gw fantasy line, and the conection between their kit's and gw's remains very clear. Your attitude to Lotr clearly shows your lack of knowledge of the current state of the game. LOTR was indeed very heavily supported at the time of the movies, and this corrosponded with it selling hugely, enjoying a strong player base and generally outdoing WFB. After the movies the hype died down, gw support dropped and accordingly the player base receeded. GW could generate that hype again with the hobbit if they wanted to. they have clearly chosen not too, and once again, accordingly, the size of the player base corrosponds with this decision.

You're mixing up what you like with what "everyone" likes. There is just as much appeal to recreating something already establish in the backgrounds of fiction then there is in customization, and plenty of gamers greatly enjoy playing out famous battles and conflicts (once again one of the key premesises of historical wargaming and not something lacking in fantasy/40k background) Anyone who has a first founding marine army knows the appeal of a pre-established force. Special characters are becoming very popular in 40k. Likely more so for their ability in game then their background, but this just show's many gamers favour in-game effect of say, vulkan hes'tan over the customizabilty of a generic marine captain.

Knowing who wins is a daft point imo. LOTR has a plot line, with a conclusion, in which sauron is ultimently defeated, but 40k has a strong established plot line too, called the horus herasy. This hasn't stopped people eargerly collecting and gaming with forgeworlds new exapnsions in the herasy era. Knowing Horus will lose hasn't dampened the hobbying spirits of anyone playing a traitor legion. The number of pre herasy armies you can go look at right now in the mp&t forums is quite impressive. Middle earth has a rich history too it. Mordor may ultimatly fall, but there is alot before hand and plenty of conflict to consider afterwards. Gondor and Harad for example are enemies for more reasons then just the good vs sauron angel. Gondor invaded and occupied harad for a long period before the times depiced in the movies, and in doing so created a strong sense of hatred for the kingdom of gondor amoung those from harad. Dunlandings will always hate rohan, even now that saruman is no longer around to fan their flames. Orcs and goblins will continue to breed and mance the free peoples.

And even if you know who wins in the narative, how does that impede the actual gameplay? I know in the demacolous wars the marines drove the tau empire back from imperial planets. This has no effect on a casual game i have against my mates tau. Victory and defeat will always feature havily in any gaming background. This doesn't have such a detrimental effect on appeal as you believe. Even hirical wargame is hardly plauged by this. Rome may have ultimatly won the punic wars, but carthage is not lacking in it's own glory, especialy hannibal, who wreaked havoc on main land italy. The Spartans are famous for the battle of thermopylae and are a popular army because of it. They lost that battle. Their opponents, the persians, lost the war and had their empire ultimatly anhiliated by Alexander years later, so we know who won there, yet persian culture ramains a rich and extensive source of inspiration, and battlefield glory for a wargamer

Your perspective on the issues is far to limited to your own feelings. Not everyone is looking for the specifc traits you seem to value so highly, let alone a majority strong enough to sink a wargame on those merits alone.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 05:51
Again you take what I say way too personal. GW didn't stop supporting LoTR because they got bored of it, it stopped making money. There is this attitude that "They didn't push it". Almost every company starts from the ground up. Great produces make their own buzz as word of mouth spreads. These games failed to get people talking or get people interested. For example I tell you "There is another fps that does nothing new or original". Or "A zombie movie I'd called "Technicly Sound".

Edit: I don't/didn't want anybody or game to "fail." But when the question is why they arn't they mega hits. We have to look reasons and not excuses. I do not agree with all the reasons like Gamer's tend to pick one game/console and claim it's the best, refusing to try anything else.

JWhex
20-05-2013, 07:36
Speaking of scale, if 6 and 10mm scales are too small, and there is no more room in the GW family for another 28mm game, why not 15mm?

Take a good look at some of the more recent 15mm miniatures to be released by other companies. They are gorgeous for their size, full of detail, yet small enough to give a large sense of army scale.

A 15mm "Heroic/Epic" mix for the 40k universe with a rule-set that combines the best of both worlds without sacrificing too much of either could be a big hit.

When epic was supported and before it was killed off I dont ever remember people I gamed with complaining about the miniatures being too small. In fact their small size does have an appeal to some and is probably neutral for a lot of people. I also do not remember people complaining about warmaster figs being too small because mostly they were quite nice.

Schmapdi
20-05-2013, 08:01
I've been waiting for a decent 10-15mm range with modern designs, plastic (or at least, not metal) and is not WWII based. Preferably fantasy instead of sci-fi, but I'd give either a shake. I think it would do better than people think.

Sexiest_hero
20-05-2013, 08:19
It's like moveis being shot in 24p, people are just used to 28mm. It's always folly to think a company would stop supporting something that was making money. Look at Apocalypse, and the Horus Heresy. Both sucessful and both got continued support.. We look back with rose tinted glasses but people hated games like the Large scale inquisitor gam like people hated dreadfleet. And like people claimed Lotr was taking away from 40k and fantasy releases.

Brother Kane
20-05-2013, 08:32
I'd say that LOTR is a great game that can become better, and well i'm sure Warmaster is fun as well. However why these games fail so badly is most likely in the way that they are being presented to the customers and the market in general when it comes to rule books and great background stuff and of course miniatures.

One of the things that bothers me about LOTR is that even though there are lost of plastic minis,there just isn't enough variation to them all like the boxed set's for both fantasy and 40k have where you can build a mini using arms A&B with torso e and legs C etc...LOTR don't give you that freedom. as for Warmaster well i cant say anything about it since i have no personal experience whit it.

theJ
20-05-2013, 08:35
Question ive asked for about a decade. What is it about games like warmaster, lotr, hail caesar, etc that repel players?
Never played hail caesar, but both warmaster and lotr died primarily because of a lack of support. There's only so long you can expect players to stay interested in a game that is never updated. Alas, GW is but one company, and cannot support an indefinite number of games. They chose to focus on 40k and whfb. We can love it, or we can hate it, but we're still gonna have to deal with it.

As for other games... GW has a lot of strengths. Some of these we acknowledge, some of these we don't.
*The most commonly brought up is probably the setting. Both 40K and whfb are vast in both scope and variety. We play warhammer not for its rules or models, we play it because it's warhammer. It's very hard for others to compete with this - because they're not warhammer.
Few games these days seem to focus much on the setting. We hear a lot about balance and sometimes a little about the models, but the setting itself is rarely brought up, and I have yet to see one that actually captivated me the way warhammer does. This conveniently brings us to the next point;
*Exposure. It's curious, I keep hearing tales of how terrible GWs marketing is, and yet anyone who's ever been on the internet has probably heard of them. Between legions of gamers former and current, numerous novels, and a few games, who the feck has never heard of warhammer(or at least the 40k version)? I keep hearing about the age of "word-of-mouth" being over, and yet, with the advent of the internet, it's only just beginning. On forums across the globe, everything from Halo to My Little Pony is being compared to Warhammer, and those who read of it obviously become curious.
*Models. There are those who complain about the quality of GW models, and pretty much everyone complains about the price, but even so, GW has one of the most evocative and extensive lines in the world. So what if one or two ain't up to snuff? They are still carried by the rest of the range... and the range that came before it. No matter what your tastes, you will find something in warhammer that catches your fancy. If not the ever-present Space Marines, then the various varieties of Elves, Orc/ks, Imperial Guard, Lizardmen, Skaven, and so on and so forth.
In addition to this, I would like to bring up the power of multi-part. Warhammer models allow you to easily mix and match to assemble the unit you want, not necessarily the unit you were sold. Helmeted or non-helmeted, uniform or chaotic, various types of weapons and extra bits... these set GWs kits apart from others, even if recent kits have been somewhat underwhelming in this regard(and once again, 40K sits a solid step ahead of fantasy... I do wish my elves had proper options outside of characters).
*Finally, GW has the advantage of bulk. GW is a massive fluffy behemoth that streaks across the sky. They can be slowed down, but at this point, they've simple got so many lines, fans, IPs, and bank to fall back on that it'd take a miracle to stop them(and yes, an evil miracle is still technically a miracle).


Do we pay lip service to wanting balance?
Yes and no. Balance in and of itself is good. That cannot be disputed. The question is a matter of priority, or put another way, "how much/what are we willing to sacrifice in order to achieve balance?".
Balance is good - great, in fact, but it is not the only thing that matters.
The great strengths of GW has always been its imagery - its looks and storytelling. Warhammer is not chess with pretty pictures, it is a storytelling device.
Speaking of chess, has anyone else noticed how unpopular that game is?
The reason is two-fold.
While chess is incredibly deep and heavily balanced... those are really the only strengths it has. Chess has no imagery, nor any storytelling. We do not experience the doomed last stand of the bishop, nor the glorious charge of the knight. A piece will not stubbornly hold on in the face of all odds, nor will a piece fail where we expected it to succeed. These things make games of chess a lot less memorable than what you'll find in warhammer.
Secondly... even in chess, one player goes first.
Perfect balance can never be achieved. And even if it could... what would we have sacrificed along the way? Would it be worth it?

No.
That does not make balance meaningless, it only means we should keep it in perspective, and always consider the sacrifices we make along the way.

Wishing
20-05-2013, 08:49
Talking about why the core games are more popular than the other games mentioned, as I see it, I think the granularity and customisation of a system has a lot to say. A system having lots of customisable detail in the army list creation is generally seen as a clumsy and unbalanced thing by games designers I think, because the way to a smooth and balanced system is to remove all the details and special rules and focus on steamlined and elegant core mechanics.

The problem is that a great game and a game that sells really well are often opposites. Warmaster is a great game with great mechanics. But the rules for each army type fit on one A4 page and were all in the back of the rulebook. Where were all the codexes for people to buy? Where were all the forum threads about how to customise your units?

As I see it, the reason 40k and WHFB sell well is because of the endless books with endless detail and customisation. The game is always changing. A game like Warmaster (the only one I know much about) didn't seem to be designed to have constantly changing armies and lots of tiny detailed options for fans to obsess about. It is a great game, but it didn't inspire the fans to buy new armies every month to the same extent as the big games. Hence, less sales, and less popularity.

Urgat
20-05-2013, 11:49
What, just like the vast majority of wargames that somehow seem to sell, do OK, and appear at wargames shows?

I don't go at wargame shows, and I don't care about whether wargames sell or not. I have friends, I ask them if they know/are interested in XXX, and the answer is what I care about. Do you really base your gaming choices on what people say on the other side of the world? And I'm not going to try convince them to try regardless, it's already a chore to get them to build/expand their armies, so buying anything for a new game...

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 13:44
As to chess being unpopular... I'd disagree. I can find a chess game anytime anywhere here. Begging, cajoling, and requesting a LOTR or Warmaster game here will result in nothing.

Another thing to think about - 40k is immensely popular. No question. In America it appears to be solidly the #1 wargame. And yet... over half to three quarters of its player base play space marines. Without space marines I believe 40k would tank into the realm of the other games like infinity or warmachine (both have decent followings but you have to look a bit to find the groups whereas here at least 40k can be found when you walk into any gaming store)

Same ruleset ... take space marines away... 40k i think becomes crippled. Is it that space marine models are just so awesome? (I don't think so... they aren't bad but they aren't amazing either) Or is it that their rules allow them to be easy to use and dominant with little effort?

Avian
20-05-2013, 15:39
The entry cost for chess is only a little more than zero, though. And only one player needs a set. It's not a problem if it's not very popular.

Ero-Senin
20-05-2013, 16:11
The entry cost for chess is only a little more than zero, though. And only one player needs a set. It's not a problem if it's not very popular.

This is the main point I think. Price. Two of the best games ever that GW produced (IMO) were Mordheim and Inquisitor, both with really small model counts but it all adds up. Most of the specialist games are played or started by people playing either WHFB or 40K so they have already spent alot on that and will continue to do so the extra expense of a 2nd 3rd or 4th game (not to mention the number of armies some people have) just isn't realistic. I also think GW are to balme as they push the games initially and then stop all of a sudden. Inquisitor was absolutely awesome, you could play with one model, and it got pushed really well for about 2 months. No wonder they didn't get that many people in to it.

Another major issue could be the lack of gaming in store now. I remember the days when you couldn't go into a GW store without seeing a WHFB, 40K, Epic, Blood Bowl, Mordheim or inquisitor game being played. I don't have any non GW stores near me and apart from with my 3 gamer friends I never see anyone playing anything let alone the specialist games.

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 16:44
Price could be a part of it but consider that warmaster was fairly cheap. Historicals are very cheap. I can get a historical roman army for $100 or less 28mm. My 10mm roman army cost me about $60.

I don't think price is as much of an issue considering that the really popular games (40k, warmachine, to an extent warhammer) can run you hundreds of dollars whereas the games I'm talking about you can get in on for a fraction of the cost but they are still discarded by the overall community.

Avian
20-05-2013, 17:59
If you are talking about Warmaster specifically, I think that suffered from being perceived as Warhammer in a smaller scale. The Epic system brought in larger tanks, Titans and flyers that were unknown in regular 40K at the time, while Warmaster brought in two new Undead units and that was that. Lots of units were dropped because the abstraction level made them too similar, but next to nothing was added in to replace them. It also only supported less than half the FB armies. Thus it was essentially a limited form of Warhammer with different models and without the fiddly bits (and, as the designers of Epic 40k acknowledged: GW gamers like a reasonable amount of fiddly bits in their games). I can only speak for myself, but I suspect that for a lot of people, the payoff simply wasn't there.
Also, the often hinted-at naval expansion failed to show up.

Mordheim, on the other hand, is a great example of a concept that could have done all right as a smaller side product, but which badly managed and ultimately abandoned as unprofitable because the effort was made in the wrong places (giving so many minor games their own magazines was almost certainly a bad move).

theJ
20-05-2013, 18:40
Another thing to think about - 40k is immensely popular. No question. In America it appears to be solidly the #1 wargame. And yet... over half to three quarters of its player base play space marines. Without space marines I believe 40k would tank into the realm of the other games like infinity or warmachine (both have decent followings but you have to look a bit to find the groups whereas here at least 40k can be found when you walk into any gaming store)

Same ruleset ... take space marines away... 40k i think becomes crippled. Is it that space marine models are just so awesome? (I don't think so... they aren't bad but they aren't amazing either) Or is it that their rules allow them to be easy to use and dominant with little effort?

hm... a good point. Ultimately, I believe Space Marines have the following they have for several reasons.
*For one, they are the introductionary faction. When you first go into a GW shop, and a local redshirt talks you into a demo game, s/he instantly points you towards the Space Marines. There is never the question of who/what you want to play, or even the acknowledgement that you'd ever want to play anything else. They are, in effect, treated as "the player army", fighting against "various bad guys". Obviously this introduction would lead to any new & naive player picking Space Marines as their first(and often only) army. I still believe that the best introduction would involve a cabinet full o' armies and letting the customer take whichever one they like the look of the most, rather than the current system.
*Second, they examplify the customisability I brought up in my previous post. while all armies have options, Space Marines are always the first to point to all the various heraldry, options, and even variant rules you can choose between. In fact, while I might not have a ton to back this up with, I'd recon that if you took the ever mighty Space Marine sales and split them between the five "sub armies"(DA, BA, SW, BT & vanilla), they'd look a lot less overwhelming. People like making choices, even if said choice only really involves a different colour scheme and an extra rule or two. Just ask my new Dark Angel force :p
*Third... they're the "heroes". Everyone wants to be a hero. You do. I do. Even Timmy does, despite the tentacles. While fluff-buffs might insist Space Marines are actually psychotic murder machines with less compassion than rabid mosquitoes, that is still the impression new players are given. Chaos is evil, the Eldar are manipulative, the Tyranids want to eat us all, the Guard are useless, the Necrons... well, just look at 'em! Some of us might appreciate being the bad guys, but even for us, it's still a "sometimes thing". For all the other times, there's Speehz Muhreenz. Other factions could be written into the hero role, but very rarely do, and most new players can't exactly be expected to dig through very much of the background before starting off.

Incidently, you'll find fantasy has neither a dedicated "starter army" that lasts more than an edition, nor just one "hero" faction... and none of our armies are anywhere near dominating the scene the way Space Marines do.
hm... come to think of it, perhaps creating one would help get us more players? I'd say the Brets are easily closest to it in terms of background... time to write another fandex, methinks. Cya around :)

P.S. On the topic of Chess... while you might be able to find someone to play it against almost anywhere, how often is it they who bring up the idea? And how often to they agree to play more than one or two games before they are bored out of their minds for weeks to come? There is more to being fun to play than agreeing to play a match.

Horus38
20-05-2013, 19:05
For me warmaster & epic are too small for me to customize/paint in a really defining/characterful way. My army will probably look very similar to another person playing the same faction. The only thing that made me take a really long pause was the option to take titans.

Reflection
20-05-2013, 19:37
Jeez, does NO ONE play LOTR here?


As an avid LOTR player I used to be confused why it has not been as popular due to an EXCELLENT rules set and balance. I have found in my time as a gamer its unpopularity is due to constantly being overshadowed by 40k and Fantasy pushes and the polar opposite rules of those games. 40k/Fantasy are the Apple products and specialist games the competition. The game is completely different rules wise that does not cater to the normal GW population. 40k and fantasy are both about massive destruction and death, feeling great rejoice as your opponent removes swathes of infantry in one fell swoop. LOTR is much more about tactical placements and individual fights, excelling at skirmish battles. These 40k/Fant players look at LOTR and scoff, many viewing it as unsatisfying from the lack of immediate massacring in it. Indeed I would say LOTR has the best and most clear cut rules of all 3 games, but how would anyone know this when 40k/Fantasy is pushed down throats?

Limited marketing and being tied to the movies has helped kill the player base, along with potential players being drowned in imbecilic remarks about the game from 40k/Fant players. Yes, rolling 6s causes you to automatically win a fight in most instances. What about the other 5/6th of the dice? If 6s are so easy to roll, why don't I steal initiative every game? These ignorant comments from people really hurt the game. It's also INCREDIBLY CHEAPER than 40k/Fantasy, and I have no idea what these people are talking about. LOTR armies are around 40 models at tournaments. 40k has 85 dollar models worth only 200 points. PLEASE tell me how that's cheaper.

LOTR armies can also be incredibly varied, did you know that? You can have a whole troll army, hero army, horde, Mumakil army and mixes of all sorts within. And they're all quite balanced against each other. If you're looking to destroy your opponent with limited thought and a broken army, go to 40k. If you like smaller scale battles with limited resources and plenty of gambles, try LOTR. If you're interested in the game feel free to message me and I'll tell you more about it!

Gorbad Ironclaw
20-05-2013, 20:04
Its interesting to see what goes into a game and make it succeed or not. Personally when it comes it LotR I didn't like the system when I tried it. Orcs shooting at Riders of Rohan just felt like too much dice rolling for too little gain and since I had a handful of games I was playing anyway I never picked it up.

I think that's actually a big factor. Time. I get to play 3 - 4 games a month. At the moment I focus on Malifaux and Infinity, but even just with two games it means one of them might not get players at all or only get in a single game a month. That doesn't leave me wanting new games, as I won't get to play them and the games I already like much at all. In fact I got an Epic army, and I'd like to play it, but with me already having less time to play other games actively playing that is just less attractive.

Daenerys Targaryen
20-05-2013, 20:15
My main beef with LotR is likely more to do with the fact I was the only dumb*** who chose Easterlings, (under their original Shadows in the East book), while everyone else played a combination of Uruk-hai/Isenguard, or elite Gondorians, Elven Kingdoms and/or Dwarfs... Suffice it to say, when you're the only person playing the Fight 3 army vs everyone else who tends to have near across the board Fight 4 or better, the game sucks! (my Easterlings did at least look damn sexy despite never winning a single game however:angel:)

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 20:40
Everyone I have talked to personally about LOTR doesn't like it because they say the system is too boring / too balanced / no customization or gear to make combos with, meaning there is nothing to exploit or game. They want wizards single handedly leveling units, heroes that can tear the heart out of your army, and super powered units that they can deathstar. I have heard it mentioned that LOTR and games like it are too bland because they depend on common units and that no one cares about common spearmen and swordsmen, they want elites and as many as they can get and games that hamstring you and force you to take common troops fail, and games like warmachine, 40k, etc... which are about their elites and super heroes do well.

Pricing has never come into it because we can use Warhammer figs if we wanted to represent lotr figs. The only LOTR guys that I know of here are also older historical gamers.

I've also noticed that skirmish based games with a low model count and fast game time is becoming vastly the style of choice for a vast majority of players that I know.

Avian
20-05-2013, 21:19
Real warfare was seldom (though occasionally) epic, so I can completely see that argument. Take two units of 40 Empire Swordsmen and have them slug it out using 7th edition FB rules and you can see why a lot of people find historical and historical-inspired games dull. It's more fun if heroes are heroic and magic is magical.

yabbadabba
20-05-2013, 21:22
Everyone I have talked to personally about LOTR doesn't like it because they say the system is too boring / too balanced / no customization or gear to make combos with, meaning there is nothing to exploit or game. They want wizards single handedly leveling units, heroes that can tear the heart out of your army, and super powered units that they can deathstar. I have heard it mentioned that LOTR and games like it are too bland because they depend on common units and that no one cares about common spearmen and swordsmen, they want elites and as many as they can get and games that hamstring you and force you to take common troops fail, and games like warmachine, 40k, etc... which are about their elites and super heroes do well. I think this a part of Games Workshop Syndrome

I've also noticed that skirmish based games with a low model count and fast game time is becoming vastly the style of choice for a vast majority of players that I know. I think that was to become inevitable in this day and age.

JWhex
20-05-2013, 21:23
Jeez, does NO ONE play LOTR here?


Where I live LotR players are more scarce than an unsupervised ham sandwich in the middle of the Shire.

IcedCrow
20-05-2013, 22:09
The battles in the lotr movies looked pretty epic to me and they involved lots of normal guys clashing.

Avian
20-05-2013, 22:16
That's helped by the fact that nobody in the entire trilogy ever passes an armour save.

And surely you are not suggesting that any of the battles in the LotR movies are realistic?

Jim30
20-05-2013, 22:27
an interesting debate - I do wonder how many active GW players there are versus 'historical' and 'wider' gamers = many of us play all three genres, but if you strip out the 'kiddy element' of the core demographic and look at those of us who play long term, my instinct is that GW players are probably outnumbered by historical gamers.

I actually think historical gaming is in a better state now than it has been for years. The growth of low cost plastics, the rise in production values (both inspired by GW) have led to some wonderful systems on the market. The presence of so many ex GW desginers also helps. I think a combination of better awareness, better rules/minis and reasonable prices has led to many gamers who may previously have only done GW suddenly finding a whole new genre. Its a very exciting time now, but my worry is that with so many systems and a finite resource pool, we'll see consolidation soon into a few bigger firms. Warlord Games and Battlefront will lead the historical charge in the medium term I suspect as the big players...

Oguleth
21-05-2013, 00:38
If how easy it is to get a pick up game is the measure of success, then I'd say the reason is that they never reached the critical mass to have player advocates fuel the growth enough for them to last that way...

I was about to go into a rant about people (including myself) like that "Ivory Tower" feel, that even if you don't win, you have "won" something because you managed to make an easy choice about what to pick for your army, that is better than the other choices. If choices doesn't seem to matter except for a wee bit of flavour or a marginal difference in gameplay, what's the point?

Which also relates to the fact that most balanced games tends to be decided on a more challenging actual gameplay, while in both FB and 40k a lot is decided beforehand, making army lists and so on (which generally ends up deciding what you are supposed to be doing in the game itself). It makes the whole experience more of a fun, easy to relax kinda thing. Combined with the ease of actually getting games in, the whole entertainment bit is easy to consume.

Compare that to historicals with no points values (and something to of a "must be a history buff" entry cost for some games). Warmaster which has a fraction of the units and customisation options. And so on and so forth.

Or my simple response: WHFB, 40k and WM/H requires less hassle and less of a social contract than most other games, combined with list choices having more oomph and the miniature scale is in the current fashion.

Delicious Ron
21-05-2013, 02:27
I'm skeptical of the notion that historical wargames are "failing" or some such, which made me wonder if there any statistics out there that compares the size of the fantasy/sci-fi market to the historical market?

IcedCrow
21-05-2013, 02:33
That's helped by the fact that nobody in the entire trilogy ever passes an armour save.

And surely you are not suggesting that any of the battles in the LotR movies are realistic?

Realistic no... however it is mentioned that no one wants to play a game where normal dudes are flailing against each other as that is not epic, I was saying that in the movies that those scenes involving normal dudes flailing against each other seem epic to me.

As to "failing", it is a word I'm using to describe the difficulty in finding players and organizing events for. They may not have "failed" in the sense that everyone avoids them, but it seems that finding people to play these games is extraordinarily difficult.

m1acca1551
21-05-2013, 05:35
To me it's a case of monkey see monkey do, if historics were to become more widely played then there would be more interest in them, unfortunately they suffer from the case of "I love the miniatures but I'm scared of investing to find I can't play against anyone".

As a rule I generally find that historics are far more interesting in terms of rules and balance but as you said iced crow; people subconsciously want to be that guy who stomps all in his path.

Avian
21-05-2013, 05:52
You're talking about the battles with monsters, ghosts, supermen and giant elephants? There are some regular guys in the background, yes.

Gorbad Ironclaw
21-05-2013, 08:36
Hmm, what I want from a game really depends on what kind of game it is. If I'm playing a skirmish game then yes, In want the individual models to do interesting things. I actually think the original lotr game did that, we just made the mistake of not playing the story scenarios but using it as a battle game and it wasn't suitable for that. I've no idea how the new version is as I got no interest in 28mm battle games these days. If I am to play with larger forces its much more interesting to scale it up (or down, depending on your point of view) and actually bring battle formations to the table which is why I like the 15mm- range of games. I'd actually really like to try Warmaster Historical, however the problem with historical gaming is the historical thing. You might have a huge range of armies, but only so many of them feels suitable to actually play against each other. I think that an why something like FoW actually manages. Its self contained so to speak. And its not too 'heavy' on the historical aspect or requires to much research/work before being able to play a game.

So combined with limited resources, both money and time to paint and play skirmish games are just a lot more feasible for me these days.

I have noted something interesting though, our club is almost divided into two segments. The ones that play WFB/40K and the ones who play all the other stuff. Lots of different skirmish games etc. You can even tell on the monthly board game night as the GW players mainly still just play their GW game, where as the rest of us play various board games.

simonr1978
21-05-2013, 12:44
The issue with LoTR and historical games is their Euro-centric worn settings. 'Oh look another game set in "Romans win" or "Britain wins". Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers. Yes there have been some games set in Asia but that leaves the lore of the Americas, Africa, Persian, and Middle east, almost untouched. All for the same ole historical/fantasy tropes that were old back in the 1960s. Warmaster was to small for me.

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise that historicals tend to be Euro-centric really as the majority of wargamers are European or of European extraction and will naturally gravitate towards the historical wars that shaped their own nations and which they're more likely to learn about in school. I wouldn't say the rest are all that untouched though, it might not be the case currently, but as yabbadabba says Ancients, which included pre-Columban Americas, Asians, Middle-Eastern armies certainly used to be a pretty big part of wargaming as a whole. I'm not quite sure what to say about the issue of "worn settings" except that I've yet to come across even the longest term wargamer who had exhausted every era history had to offer, even just considering the more mainstream settings.


Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers.

Absolutely, if you're into WW2 as a setting finding an opponent who plays a German army is all but impossible... For those who do think about it there's a certain appeal in beating history and winning where the real Generals lost, but most Historical gamers in my experience don't tend to think of it like that and are playing that game rather than getting that hung up on the overall big picture of whether their particular faction ultimately won or lost that setting or era.

Jim30
21-05-2013, 13:01
Absolutely, if you're into WW2 as a setting finding an opponent who plays a German army is all but impossible... For those who do think about it there's a certain appeal in beating history and winning where the real Generals lost, but most Historical gamers in my experience don't tend to think of it like that and are playing that game rather than getting that hung up on the overall big picture of whether their particular faction ultimately won or lost that setting or era.

Seriously? In my local area, we've got a major surplus of budding panzer commanders due to the 'cool' tanks! FOW is great, I love it but it does encourage a certain type of gamer who loves his 'vonder veapons' and fields lists that historically are a total non starters (I've seen more King Tigers at one tournament than were operational on the entire Western Front!)

simonr1978
21-05-2013, 13:09
Seriously? In my local area, we've got a major surplus of budding panzer commanders due to the 'cool' tanks! FOW is great, I love it but it does encourage a certain type of gamer who loves his 'vonder veapons' and fields lists that historically are a total non starters (I've seen more King Tigers at one tournament than were operational on the entire Western Front!)

No, not seriously. Perhaps I should have put /sarcasm on there for clarity... ;)

fishlegs
21-05-2013, 14:01
I think in some ways this is the wrong place to ask this question. Warseer is predominantly populated by wargamers who are only interested in games that involve the warhammer universes, and as such often look down on other wargames because they do not fulfil their requirements. Many historical wargamers look down on the warhammer family of games because they perceive them to be childish. Both groups are totally welcome and entitled to their point of view.

GW messed up with LOTR because it could have bridged the gap between the two groups, but their lack of support and development of the range was poor at best. Unfortunately for LOTR, GW only target the younger end of the market which only serves to reinforce the attitude of many older, historical gamers, but games such as LOTR and the SG range have more appeal to the older players who actually want an established balanced set of rules that doesn't get changed every few years.

In terms of Warmaster, the rules system itself has been a great success and has been used in many historical and other rulesets, so in those terms it has not been a failure.

It all boils down to marketing decisions by GW. Getting the LOTR contarct was fair enough as they made a lot of cash and developed their brand. I have no idea why they went for the Hobbit licence when they clearly had no intention of supporting it fully.

Verm1s
21-05-2013, 14:24
What makes you think these games failed? Warmaster didn't "fail" it just doesn't generate the same level of profit that 40k/fantasy does, similarly LotR didn't fail, at least not in it's principle aims - getting more people into the GW system and preventing another company form having the licence. As for Hail Caesar! failing, where on earth did you get that idea?

Quoted.

For.

Truth.

Especially the bolded part.

Seems to me that the question 'why did WM/LotR/HC fail?', as put in the OP, could be just as (or more) easily phrased as 'why doesn't WM/LotR/HC appeal to WHFB fanboys?' or 'why isn't WM/LotR/HC like 40K?'

There're a few choice answers I could offer, but it can be summed up by my deep thankfulness that games like these 'fail' so hard.

cornonthecob
21-05-2013, 15:00
Absolutely, if you're into WW2 as a setting finding an opponent who plays a German army is all but impossible... .

You've obviously never played Flames of War then, they are the space marines of that system.

And on the notion of euro-centric gamers only playing their only national identity...well I find that debatable. I mean I'm English, yet I'm tempted to play as normans in SAGA and Imperial Alexandrian in DBA (admittedly the ability to use an elephant swings it...but come on war elephants are cool !)

DeathGlam
21-05-2013, 15:20
On a personal level Warmaster/Epic has never really appealed to me due to the model range and size plus not really finding major battles very exciting, to the point where i normally only manage a few 40k or fantasy games before taking a break to keep me interested, i do love LOTR SBG but always struggle to find players, i love how it plays just like the movies, as i enjoy the highly unrealistic historical film way of major battles, its the only game with more then 20 models a size that i can play every week withought getting bored but i still prefer smaller skirmish games where i can really be creative, im currently taking my first steps in to games not made my GW after 13 years in the hobby, Empire of the Dead looking like my favourite option.

simonr1978
21-05-2013, 15:41
You've obviously never played Flames of War then, they are the space marines of that system.

And on the notion of euro-centric gamers only playing their only national identity...well I find that debatable. I mean I'm English, yet I'm tempted to play as normans in SAGA and Imperial Alexandrian in DBA (admittedly the ability to use an elephant swings it...but come on war elephants are cool !)

See my follow up comment. I was being sarcastic.

I'm well aware of the popularity of Germans as a faction in WW2 games, I perhaps should have made that a lot more obvious but it amply demonstrates that the original comment I quoted that it "Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers" in historicals couldn't be more wrong.

Verm1s
21-05-2013, 18:15
Reading through the rest of the thread, I see the original situation is more complex than was immediately apparent; but I think what I said was confirmed, especially with this:


Everyone I have talked to personally about LOTR doesn't like it because they say the system is too boring / too balanced / no customization or gear to make combos with, meaning there is nothing to exploit or game. They want wizards single handedly leveling units, heroes that can tear the heart out of your army, and super powered units that they can deathstar. I have heard it mentioned that LOTR and games like it are too bland because they depend on common units and that no one cares about common spearmen and swordsmen, they want elites and as many as they can get and games that hamstring you and force you to take common troops fail, and games like warmachine, 40k, etc... which are about their elites and super heroes do well.

If these are the only gamers in your area that you can contact, then if it's not too patronising, you have my sympathy.

But on the other side of the coin...


That. I'd love to play warmaster, but nobody really knows about it, there's no support, it's not really advertized. A game w/o opponent has no use to me, even if it's appealing.
...And I'm not going to try convince them to try regardless

... I'd say that's your failure. You sound almost as comfortable in the core-2 rut as your regular gaming crowd.


Just a lot of Ho hum/same ole.
Because they don't offer what gamers want.

So very short-sighted, like most of the rest of your posts in this topic. Like The Marshel said (among an excellent few posts), you have no idea how many people think that of 40K and WHFB. Try visiting a non-GW-centric forum sometime.

And please don't call history 'lore'.


We play warhammer not for its rules or models, we play it because it's warhammer.

Yes... I've run into this 'special' viewpoint before.


Balance is good - great, in fact, but it is not the only thing that matters.

From the rest of what you say it seems like it doesn't matter at all. There are still doomed last stands and glorious charges in other games. They're not dependent on a purposely broken ruleset.


Speaking of chess, has anyone else noticed how unpopular that game is?

There's a chess club in a local library over here. It's got more members than the wargaming club that meets in the same library on the same day. You're making the same mistake as the guy above: equating your personal, limited, GW-based experience with... everything.


Take two units of 40 Empire Swordsmen and have them slug it out using 7th edition FB rules and you can see why a lot of people find historical and historical-inspired games dull. It's more fun if heroes are heroic and magic is magical.


I was about to go into a rant about people (including myself) like that "Ivory Tower" feel, that even if you don't win, you have "won" something because you managed to make an easy choice about what to pick for your army, that is better than the other choices. If choices doesn't seem to matter except for a wee bit of flavour or a marginal difference in gameplay, what's the point?

Which also relates to the fact that most balanced games tends to be decided on a more challenging actual gameplay, while in both FB and 40k a lot is decided beforehand, making army lists and so on (which generally ends up deciding what you are supposed to be doing in the game itself). It makes the whole experience more of a fun, easy to relax kinda thing.

Could be argued that, yes, it's not going to be great if you take two units of essentially 80 individuals and do the line-up-and-bash with the tedious string of WS, S, T, Sv, that WHFB's overbloated-skirmish system usually demands.

That doesn't excuse historical games, though: when I joined a historicals club I was put off by the domination of WAB in the games. (Ho-hum same-ole ;) ) But - and I think this is relevant to parts of this topic - I'd recently bought Hail Caesar and Black Powder, waved them about, and lent them out for a read. Now, there's still a few pangs of nostalgia for WAB, but the Warlord Games systems are top dog at the club.
Granted, it helped that Warhammer Historical had just shut down, and the club thought warhammer was a rubbish system for their ECW games (rubbish, you hear? :p ) but it still took a bit of application and persuasion to let the new system make an impression. It'd be more difficult if new armies were needed, but I have actual and planned twin armies for Warmaster, KoW, and other systems, for intros and demos. Not even necessary if you wanted to demo something like KoW or Warpath with WHFB or 40K players (though sadly, that'll hinge more on their devotion to herohammer), but that's what it might take, especially if you want to break through (or out of) the ubiquitous, spoon-fed shell of GW core gaming.

But I digress. Other systems have aspects of strategy and tactics that add more depth to the line-up-and-grind, beyond spending most of the 'game' listbuilding, and trying to get off a flank charge. (Though I hear even that's borked in 8th, in some players' eyes. What's the story with that?) I mentioned ECW - I've had more fun using Pike & Shotte to coordinate 'samey' regiments in command, assaults, and support in one ECW game, than every time I sat down with a WHFB army book (read: shopping list) and calculator to load out a highly individual swiss army gamebreaker, to be wound up and let go with minimal input on the table. Can't tell you how rigidly bored the idea of 'creating my own fantastic "character"' like that, for mass combat, makes me now.

I'd also ask what's the point of 40-man units, if the appeal is that latter: the loaded out hero or wizard chopping down all in their path? Seems an awful waste of time and money. Heck, you want overpowered characters and much fewer 'boring little guys', take a look at Malifaux. :p

shelfunit.
21-05-2013, 18:23
Excellent post

Not enough hours left today for the encores that deserves :).

Gerod253
21-05-2013, 18:43
Good words and true.


It is very difficult to get certain players to give up on the GW rules style. Even after those same people have stated that they are 'done' with GW and complain about the rules consistently. It seems that there is something that keeps drawing them back. Mostly it appears to be the feeling that you can 'customize' your characters and units. I've found that such feelings are rather false because people tend to take very similar 'optimal loadouts' anyway with only a very thin justification.

Personally, I'd be very happy of the Warlord games picked up more in this area. Yet, when historicals are mentioned at all, WAB still holds sway. Not giving up though. It should only be a matter of time.

Avian
21-05-2013, 19:12
I'd also ask what's the point of 40-man units, if the appeal is that latter: the loaded out hero or wizard chopping down all in their path? Seems an awful waste of time and money. Heck, you want overpowered characters and much fewer 'boring little guys', take a look at Malifaux. :p
There needs to be some kind of balance. If everything is overpowered, then nothing is. You're a hero if you are more heroic than the normal guys. If there are no normal guys you're not a hero, you're just some schmuck in impractical armour. :p

carlisimo
21-05-2013, 19:27
I like 40k because the models are lovely. I like Epic because the game is great. One’s a hobby, the other’s a wargame. There are more hobbyists than wargamers, and I don’t mean that in a bad (or good) way.

leopard
21-05-2013, 19:32
It is possible to get games played, managed to launch FoW at my old club - pretty simple, combination of the right time as it was not long after WHFB 8th came out so a few were looking for something different, ditto 40k being a bit long in the tooth in a smallish club - just put some people open to the idea of a new game. Took in the rules, plus two small painted up forces and let people use them while I attempted to get my head round the rules.

Worked with FoW, would probably have worked with anything, just be available, have the models and a willingness to share them & show people how to play - found if you turn up with everything thats needed plenty of players will give a game a whirl.

40k & Fantasy have a heck of a lot of inertia and established player bases as a result of it - easy to get a game makes them sort of default systems - never played warmaster but used to love Space Marine 1st & 2nd edition - but would have never thought of turning up at a club and expecting to find them being played. Turn up with 40k or fantasy, find out what people like, listen to the bits they don't like and find a game that scratches that specific itch and at the right time away you go.

Historicals are not everyones cup of tea for sure, the pure fantasy elements of WHFB are what attracted me in the first place, visually the game is stunning, historicals can be a bit grimy and less openings for imagination on paint colours etc.

Easy E
21-05-2013, 21:29
Question ive asked for about a decade. What is it about games like warmaster, lotr, hail caesar, etc that repel players?



Wait, Hail Ceasar has failed?

nazadsam
21-05-2013, 21:58
Main problem for me with Hail Caesar that you need large table to play (6 x 8) and also you need large army (a lot models for standard game), and one more problem with main rulebook is lack of points for armies. They did fix that later with some supplement book.
Didn't play warmaster so i cant say what did go wrong there and for Lotr I cant say that i am biggest fan of PJ version of books and Aragon from this book and Aragon from that book with horse and without . Named characters are to powerful in Lotr IMO

Nymie_the_Pooh
22-05-2013, 00:24
In order to see why Specialist Games don't do as well over time I think it's important to understand why WHFB and 40K see so much play? I think it's because those are the games everybody knows or knows somebody that knows how to play. It's a big part of why D&D saturates the RPG market. It's the system people know. You see it in many forms of community entertainment. World of Warcraft for instance was built on top of the community they cultivated through Battle.net and later became the MMO people played because it was the game their friends played. It doesn't mean that people won't play other things, but if they want to latch onto only one or two possible games and be practically guaranteed they can find a public game then they are going to be playing WHFB or 40K. Nowadays, at least locally, this means they are playing 40K and Warmahordes primarily with possibly Malifaux then WHFB and Infinity somewhere after that.

Specialist Games don't have that presence. Lord of the Rings sold well early on, but from everything I have heard most people were buying their models and going home with them so even people in the same regions would not know people outside of their little closed off group that played. GW wasn't pushing it in public the same way they were pushing their big two systems in years past so it never got that same level of public exposure. It never got the same chance publicly that GW's two main lines did once upon a time. For a while now their models also don't seem to measure up to what was done in the same line in the past or GW's other lines so it feels like GW is just going through the paces with the Hobbit.

GW has enough pull in the market to where if they wanted their other games to have some prominence then they would. It's pretty easy to teach WHFB players how to play Mordheim as an example. Many WHFB players don't even know it exists however and even those that do need to convince other people to take time to play a game that hasn't seen support in over a decade. It's a hard sell and it's one of the easier Specialist Games to get people to try. People are not going to let themselves get invested in a game which they feel the company behind it has given up on when there are existing games that see active support. As another example, the only people I know who play Battlefleet Gothic had been playing for the past decade. It's near impossible to get anybody else to even try it, but you can get people to try Firestorm Armada because the company is still active. Looking back at the World of Warcaft example I brought up earlier, many people feel that the company is not giving the game the same level of attention they did in the past. It's not the sole reason, but most of the examples people give for no longer playing can be traced back to that as an overall reason for many of the specific reasons I have read.

If GW wants to encourage people to pick up their other games then they need to encourage them to get out and play in public. They haven't done this in a long while and the only reason it hasn't affected 40K is because the communities for those has been set up in the past are still playing in public spaces, but we're starting to see the affects in WHFB as it declines in public play. It didn't hurt sales at first as not playing in public meant people were playing in their own homes and still buying. Over the long term it meant that finding new players was hard. Outside of GW stores both of these systems are completely dependent upon the local communities to bring in new players and alternate forms of media to act as advertising. Bringing in new players is not going to happen if the existing players aren't playing in public.

Hengist
22-05-2013, 00:36
'Failure' is highly relative as a concept. Is every game that doesn't sell as strongly as 40k a failure?

GW abandoned Warmaster years ago because, despite its system attracting praise from 'proper' wargamers, it never took off among the one demographic at which it was marketed: Warhammer players. That it didn't is no surprise: where's the appeal in a new game in a different scale when you have already invested in a well-established and well-supported game. Warmaster Ancients (and its 28mm descendant, Hail Caesar) have done pretty well among the historicals crowd - indeed I could nowadays more easily find a game of Hail Caesar at the local club than Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

Lord of the Ring is a different case entirely: LotR sold by the bucketload on the strength of the hype surrounding some very popular movies, and died a predictable death as soon as that hype evaporated. Evidently there just aren't enough Tolkien fans - rather than fans of the films - to support a game line of its size. Just as was the case with Warmaster, however, LotR's sad fate (well, sad but amusing; it's always fun to see GW flounder) had nothing to do with its system, and everything to do with the market.

Coldhatred
22-05-2013, 04:09
Evidently there just aren't enough Tolkien fans - rather than fans of the films - to support a game line of its size.

Just to reply to this to give some perspective on the LOTR part of the topic. I'm a HUGE Tolkien fan, and I picked up the first set when it came out. I tried the rules, thought they were pretty good, but no one else was playing it, and could never get anyone to give it a go. I think it stems from the idea that people don't want to mess with Middle Earth, like in pen and paper RPGs you don't see a whole lot (relatively now) of people playing campaigns in Middle Earth, likewise the way the game was first portrayed, as acting out scenarios from the movies/books wasn't appealing to many. If GW had started off with the warband kind of approach they took with LOTR later in its life cycle, I think things would be different.

m1acca1551
22-05-2013, 04:23
Use a hypothetical; would Game of Thrones be a successful game or would it "fail" like LOTR?

Geep
22-05-2013, 04:42
Marketing method is important to how well a game does.

Warmaster never had an introductory box of shiny plastic minis. There were army boxes for the main 6 races, but the armies in those were barely enough to play, and you still had to make at least 3 purchases to have the equivalent of what a big box would have done.

Battle of Five Armies was a Warmaster big boxed game, and I liked it, but hands up who even knew of its existence? This game received no advertising, no White Dwarf space, nothing. I don't get why GW clearly set this game up to fail.

Epic 40K did have a big box, and despite many people not liking its rules, I remember it being pretty popular. It maintained a solid place as 'the 3rd game' with GW for a good length of time. The reboot, Epic Armageddon, saw no big box and even more limited army boxes than Warmaster. Coupled with only 3 starting armies the appeal was pretty limited. This, plus GW focussing on LotR as 'the third game', saw Epic slump, and although supplements came out to help Epic it was too late.

Smaller scale games also have the problem of model re-use. I can take a Warhammer or 40K model and use it in Mordheim, Necromunda, for Role-playing, as a board-game piece, etc. A 6mm or 10mm model isn't so great in skirmish size games, or much else really. Epic can probably be used in Flames of War, but the models are a bit small even then- and Flames of War is relatively new.

Lord of the Rings I can't say much about, but from an outsider's perspective it looks hard to get into. There was/is a boxed game, but I think its outdated by now and the game is so flooded with supplements I really have no idea what books I would need to get to make a 'legal' collection.

Gorbad Ironclaw
22-05-2013, 07:11
Epic models can't be used for Flames of War. The scales are massively different, Epic is 6mm, FoW is 15mm and of course Epic models won't look like anything out of WW2 either. As an aside, FoW is over 10 years old now.

m1acca1551
22-05-2013, 07:28
As an aside, FoW is over 10 years old now.

10 years, I didn't know that. And they seem to be going from strength to strength, FoW is a great example of a niche market that is slowly growing and evolving with its incorporation of plastics to attract a larger fan base.

Historical certainly can't be labeled alongside LOTR as "failures" but again as niche markets for hobbyists, historical wont die but I doubt they will become much more than they are currently. LOTR is a failed game because it is tied to something seasonal and unfortunately something that was popular.

IJW
22-05-2013, 09:18
I think it stems from the idea that people don't want to mess with Middle Earth, like in pen and paper RPGs you don't see a whole lot (relatively now) of people playing campaigns in Middle Earth

That's definitely something that's changed over the decades, without having figures to back it up (too long ago and no released figures), I'd argue that MERP in it's heyday was the second or third most popular RPG. Certainly the number of modules, scenarios and add-ons was phenomenal, including ones produced by GW as well as ICE. EDIT - oops, that was just White Dwarf material, not actual products.


Use a hypothetical; would Game of Thrones be a successful game or would it "fail" like LOTR?

As a tabletop wargame? There have already been two licenced RPGs, one of which failed when the company folded.

Avian
22-05-2013, 09:57
Battle of Five Armies was a Warmaster big boxed game, and I liked it, but hands up who even knew of its existence? This game received no advertising, no White Dwarf space, nothing. I don't get why GW clearly set this game up to fail.
Word going around at the time was that GW were contractually obligated to make another standalone game, but reckoned it wouldn't be profitable, so they just put the absolute minimum of investment into it. I don't know how true that is, but it seemed quite clearly to be a willed failure.

Hengist
22-05-2013, 14:20
The issue with LoTR and historical games is their Euro-centric worn settings. 'Oh look another game set in "Romans win" or "Britain wins". Turns out nobody (not many) wants to play the losers. Yes there have been some games set in Asia but that leaves the lore of the Americas, Africa, Persian, and Middle east, almost untouched. All for the same ole historical/fantasy tropes that were old back in the 1960s. Warmaster was to small for me.

You seem to overlooked the popularity of the Third Reich and Napoleonic France among historical gamers... and that of the Traitor Legions among 40k players for that matter.


Everyone I have talked to personally about LOTR doesn't like it because they say the system is too boring / too balanced / no customization or gear to make combos with, meaning there is nothing to exploit or game. They want wizards single handedly leveling units, heroes that can tear the heart out of your army, and super powered units that they can deathstar. I have heard it mentioned that LOTR and games like it are too bland because they depend on common units and that no one cares about common spearmen and swordsmen, they want elites and as many as they can get and games that hamstring you and force you to take common troops fail, and games like warmachine, 40k, etc... which are about their elites and super heroes do well.

The kids may well want their wargames to be deckbulding exercises; they may even be in the majority. Don't let that delude you into thinking there aren't players who want balanced games decided by manoeuvre, however. So long as systems like Hail Caesar, Impetus and WAB are popular in their intended niche, it's daft to assert that they have 'failed' - indeed I'm unimaginably grateful for their 'failure' to be marketing exercises like 40k and WFB. As a passing thought, also I've never felt the need to be told by the rules that my troops are elite heroes; what makes them so (or not) is what I do with them on the field.


I think it stems from the idea that people don't want to mess with Middle Earth, like in pen and paper RPGs you don't see a whole lot (relatively now) of people playing campaigns in Middle Earth, likewise the way the game was first portrayed, as acting out scenarios from the movies/books wasn't appealing to many. If GW had started off with the warband kind of approach they took with LOTR later in its life cycle, I think things would be different.

You may be correct, though thinking about it, I wonder if there isn't another explanation: that the LotR game just came around too late, decades after games like WFB (and D&D) which had hijacked the 'experience' of Tolkien's novels had established their own fanbases. I'd attribute the dearth of Tolkien roleplaying to the same cause - and to the lack of a presently-published system. It's interesting to note likewise that FFG's LotR LCG and (Knizia-designed) board game are both, according to BGG, fairly popular, but both of them are overshadowed in their given niche by generic fantasy equivalents.

Verm1s
22-05-2013, 15:20
Two pieces of praise in a row for one of my rants... I'm not sure how to process this. :eek: Ta though.


Mostly it appears to be the feeling that you can 'customize' your characters and units. I've found that such feelings are rather false because people tend to take very similar 'optimal loadouts' anyway with only a very thin justification.

Exactly! I could've typed out another rant about that, and I think I'll type out a bit now.

In the context of this topic and GW's overall appeal, it seems like a red herring. "I play 40K/WHFB because I like to build my units, and assemble and paint my models the way I like!" There are a few thoughts I have about that.

- part of the hobby (or The HobbyTM) it might be, as Carlisimo says, but it's arguably missing, or sidestepping, one of the main points of gaming.

- not being able to paint historical troops in a variety of colours is simultaneously missing one of the main points of appeal, and just (http://www.photographersdirect.com/buyers/stockphoto.asp?imageid=1769462) a (http://pinterest.com/pin/246853623295400657/) scooch (http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/napoleonic_uniforms.html) ill (http://usna.edu/Users/history/abels/hh381/vikingsrevised_files/image047.jpg)-informed (http://www.blackbirdmedia.org/miniatures/?view=armies&which=angloDanes&full=1). (Where d'you think GW got the ideas for Bretonnian knights and Empire state troops?) Though if that's still not enough, go to The Miniatures Page and do a search around the message boards for 'imagi-nations'.

On the customisability of GW products...

- I've already agreed with Gerod about the customisability of characters, and it's the conceit that you're 'creating a unique character' that especially gets my goat. You're not; you're slotting pre-made flat-pack parts together to make a bland killbot. Especially with optimized loadouts: how many of you "I like it because of the drama" types are going to give your flying, regenerating, ward-saved-out-the-wazoo vampire the Brass Knuckles of Phar'Phig'Neutonn for +1 attack for a good ol' struggle, rather than Beardy McBroke's Falchion of Instantkillyunitstabbiness? How many GW gamers overall, would?

- The customisability of kits: characters and monsters and some odd units like some possessed Chaos thingies or whatever, might have a few extra bits and options, but I'd hazard your Space Marine chapter master or HPA will still look as much of an individual as aaaaall those others put together from mass-produced kits. What about rank and file? Woop, you turned that space marine's head to the side and twiddled the arms a bit. Congrats, it's a mindblowing expression of self that historicals can never match. Now put it down among all those other space marines all decked out in the same armour and colours, pointing their boltguns in the same direction. Oh, and you can spend a load extra to get some FW pads, that're about as personally individual and creative as me ordering a bunch of bunnets (http://www.warlordgames.com/store/pike-shotte/pike-shotte-armoury/bonnets-pack.html) to turn my parliamentarians into covenanters.
To pick another example, something I'm working on myself: clanrats. Now, I think they're nice models, but I do not think they're nice models because of their 'customisability'. (or for that matter, because of the rules or the 'story') What've you got? You can switch the hand weapons for spears and give them shields. Brill. Other minis don't know what's coming to them, especially those poxy historicals.

- The customisability of painting: is this really a huge draw for the core 2? What proportion of GW gamers will go for other than blue and white for high elves; black and purple for dark elves; mid-brown for beastmen; red for khorne; green for wood elves, nurgle, clan pestilens... heck, green for greenskins? Sure, there are exceptions, and very nice and interesting they usually are too; but they do tend to be the exceptions that prove the proverbial. I'd hazard that most GW gamers go for a certain army or certain colours for that army, for the same reason that a lot of historical gamers do, that 'one of the main points of appeal' I mentioned above: because they got a big dose of favourable first impressions when they saw the spectacle of an army (minis, pictures, movies etc.) all formed up and decked out in 'official' colours.
I mentioned empire state troops, and there's a slight problem there too. There are plenty of colours available, but they are 'official' colours too, doled out by GW to each province. I wouldn't mind knowing how many empire players pick and follow one or two of the prescribed schemes rather than go their own way. And yeah, there's nothing stopping them carrying out the latter, but it's really no more adventurous than picking a colour or two for an ECW regiment's uniforms, or the heraldry of a 12thC knight's men-at-arms, and maybe less so than proud saxon thegns and viking hirdmen glowering at eachother over their own personal shield colours.

TL;DR: you can do what you like with your GW minis, but don't kid yourself that GW has any kind of monopoly or 'good deal' on customisability. That's just a sop and a poor distraction.


Personally, I'd be very happy of the Warlord games picked up more in this area. Yet, when historicals are mentioned at all, WAB still holds sway. Not giving up though. It should only be a matter of time.

Warhammer is an awful, clunky thing for mass combat. Like I said in my last post, dealing with a whole army of individuals, with the half-a-statline that you have to roll for every time someone looses an arrow or bumps into an opposing unit. Gets even more coma inducing when you have to account for and remember and squirrel away dice for some extra difference like the unit leader's extra attack(?) with the slashy sword-o-doom* or how many in the front rank still have dane axes and remember to keep them last and remember they don't have shields like the rest and figure out if they died in the meantime and how many are left in the back for the rank bonus and don't forget the musician... guuhhh... I've got four-five more units attempting a refused flank and some kind of breakthrough over here. I'd like to resolve it sometime today, please.

*I see unit leaders get limited magic items in fantasy now. I bet that improves the game. :rolleyes:

Better when people realise they can keep their fantasmagorical ubercharacters and stat nitpicking for skirmishes and warbands and move onto unit/element based systems for mass combat. So much smoother. Keep it up, Gerod. :)


you're just some schmuck in impractical armour. :p

I certainly agree with that. :p And take a few silurids.


Main problem for me with Hail Caesar that you need large table to play (6 x 8) and also you need large army (a lot models for standard game) and one more problem with main rulebook is lack of points for armies. They did fix that later with some supplement book.

GW/tourney-mentality problems. One thing my club didn't like about Black Powder was the movement rates. Solution? Cut 'em down. Table too big? Use a smaller one. Units too big? Count 'small' as 'standard'. In fact there are several points in the books that mention 'these are how we liked the rules, but change any bit of them you don't like'.
I realise this looks like a lengthy step for for the average GW gamer, but I've already said that some seemingly lengthy steps might be needed for someone starting to look beyond the marketing-driven cosseting of GW. :p And as Nazadsam said: supplements. Loads of period army lists for the price (or less) of one GW army book. The worst thing is you might not get a two-paragraph story about how the armies in the supplement invaded and destroyed another dwarf hold. ;)


if they want to latch onto only one or two possible games and be practically guaranteed they can find a public game then they are going to be playing WHFB or 40K.

I'm not singling you out, Nymie, but I find this a ridiculous justification whenever I see it. The only way I can see this as being a strong reason is if tabletop gaming was some kind of wandering pilgrimage, with no idea where or who you might be playing next.
Obviously you're not going to get many other games in a GW shop, and yeah, it might have a point if you occasionally visit an unfamiliar, faraway club; but what about a gamer's local, attended clubs and LGSs, or game nights round at someone's home? You don't get to know and regularly socialise with other gamers there? You don't get to discuss and gain insight into eachothers' gaming likes, dislikes, and changing tastes? You don't get the opportunity to say "yeah, I agree, warhammer's getting stale and that new thingy looks fresh and interesting, let's all check it out"?


Warmaster never had an introductory box of shiny plastic minis. There were army boxes for the main 6 races, but the armies in those were barely enough to play...
Battle of Five Armies was a Warmaster big boxed game...
Epic 40K did have a big box... The reboot, Epic Armageddon, saw no big box...
Lord of the Rings... There was/is a boxed game, but I think its outdated by now...

The obsession with big-box starter sets is another ridiculous justification in my eyes. You've got a point about how they're marketed, but aren't the core 2 marketed to 12-year-olds who know little, if anything, about wargaming? If you're much older, can't single out a main rulebook, and can't go forward and choose your own forces from there, then there's something drastically wrong.

And the comment about Warmaster... since when did the core 2 big boxes contain complete or even legal armies, at least to the 'optimal' degree that GW would like and that most GW gamers seem happy to oblige?


Epic models can't be used for Flames of War. The scales are massively different, Epic is 6mm, FoW is 15mm

I have no idea if you're replying to someone but this is a goofy thing to say anyway. See HC/BP comments above. Size of the models should be the least of the potential problems.


Historical certainly can't be labeled alongside LOTR as "failures" but again as niche markets for hobbyists, historical wont die but I doubt they will become much more than they are currently.

40K/FB certainly can't be labeled (sic) alongside LOTR as "failures" but again as niche markets for GW gamers, Games Workshop won't die (soon) but I doubt they will become much more than they are currently.

IcedCrow
22-05-2013, 17:31
The kids may well want their wargames to be deckbulding exercises; they may even be in the majority. Don't let that delude you into thinking there aren't players who want balanced games decided by manoeuvre, however. So long as systems like Hail Caesar, Impetus and WAB are popular in their intended niche, it's daft to assert that they have 'failed' - indeed I'm unimaginably grateful for their 'failure' to be marketing exercises like 40k and WFB.

That was one reason for posting... I've never seen Hail Caesar or WAB (never heard of Impetus) have more than a handful of guys at any one time, and getting games for those systems here is very difficult.

Bad monkey
22-05-2013, 17:38
Ultimately I think it is because no one is as invested in the setting.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

This, in the likes of 40k and FB you are pretty unrestricted in a background

yabbadabba
22-05-2013, 18:09
LotR a failure? No.

Is it as successful as 40K and WFB? No, but that doesn't make it a failure. If any other wargames company had made it, with that level of turnover, they would be feted from the office roofs.

There is a lot of subjective perspective colouring people's observations here.

Also if you go to most UK wargames shows Historicals and Historical derivatives are the majority on sale. This shows that these perspectives are very much influenced by locale.

Nymie_the_Pooh
22-05-2013, 18:19
I'm not singling you out, Nymie, but I find this a ridiculous justification whenever I see it. The only way I can see this as being a strong reason is if tabletop gaming was some kind of wandering pilgrimage, with no idea where or who you might be playing next.
Obviously you're not going to get many other games in a GW shop, and yeah, it might have a point if you occasionally visit an unfamiliar, faraway club; but what about a gamer's local, attended clubs and LGSs, or game nights round at someone's home? You don't get to know and regularly socialise with other gamers there? You don't get to discuss and gain insight into eachothers' gaming likes, dislikes, and changing tastes? You don't get the opportunity to say "yeah, I agree, warhammer's getting stale and that new thingy looks fresh and interesting, let's all check it out"?

I find it ridiculous as well, but that doesn't mean the sentiment doesn't exist. Not everybody wants to dive into a game where they don't know anybody else that plays when there is a game they already know and people are actively playing it. You not only have to invest into the new game yourself, but if you're spearheading the effort to bring a new game into a community then you are investing beyond what is normally required and are likely to be the one organizing everything while trying to convince other people to invest as well. Warhammer might be getting stale for the group, but they are already invested and a new person coming into it doesn't have to invest beyond their own army and there is a lot of support there from knowledgeable players. It's hard to get people to invest in something new when their existing investment is sitting there staring them in the face. If you want to introduce something new you generally have to buy a minimum of what is needed for two players, and possibly more than that before you even know if you will like this new game or not.

I'm blessed in this regard locally. There are a lot of games to choose from, but 40K and Warmahordes are the big two everybody is invested in and everything else is smaller splinter groups, and even in those smaller groups we play the big two if we are ever looking for pick up games.

leopard
22-05-2013, 19:18
Never thought of playing Epic, using Epic models but the FoW ruleset, that would probably be pretty simple to play out - infantry are infantry, marines are F-V infantry, power armour? give the marines armour 0/0/0, terminators perhaps 1/1/1 to force firepower tests - could see it working pretty well actually - pity I no longer have the models.

cornonthecob
22-05-2013, 22:12
Warhammer is an awful, clunky thing for mass combat. Like I said in my last post, dealing with a whole army of individuals, with the half-a-statline that you have to roll for every time someone looses an arrow or bumps into an opposing unit. Gets even more coma inducing when you have to account for and remember and squirrel away dice for some extra difference like the unit leader's extra attack(?) with the slashy sword-o-doom* or how many in the front rank still have dane axes and remember to keep them last and remember they don't have shields like the rest and figure out if they died in the meantime and how many are left in the back for the rank bonus and don't forget the musician... guuhhh... I've got four-five more units attempting a refused flank and some kind of breakthrough over here. I'd like to resolve it sometime today, please.


To be fair though it's technical genius compared to 40k, 40k's recent update has made me want to pack away my stuff and I'm very tempted to sell.

Verm1s
23-05-2013, 10:48
This, in the likes of 40k and FB you are pretty unrestricted in a background

Me bum. What is it about 40K's and FB's ever-more congealed and ring-fenced canon, welded to their prescribed, ready-meal model kits, that makes them so much more 'free' than other sci-fi and fantasy games, or the broad stretch of history? Bad excuse for rather unnecessary devotion.

Hengist
23-05-2013, 13:36
That was one reason for posting... I've never seen Hail Caesar or WAB (never heard of Impetus) have more than a handful of guys at any one time, and getting games for those systems here is very difficult.

I suspect the answer is that you just need to look harder (and not in the same places you'd find GW games played). If you're in the UK, and actually looking for ancients gaming, then The Society of Ancients (http://www.soa.org.uk/) would be a good place to start. The problem remains that if you're asking a question in good faith, then leading terms like 'failure' and 'repel players' aren't helpful.


Ultimately I think it is because no one is as invested in the setting.

This, in the likes of 40k and FB you are pretty unrestricted in a background

Words fail me...

Chapters Unwritten
23-05-2013, 13:47
Me bum. What is it about 40K's and FB's ever-more congealed and ring-fenced canon, welded to their prescribed, ready-meal model kits, that makes them so much more 'free' than other sci-fi and fantasy games, or the broad stretch of history? Bad excuse for rather unnecessary devotion.

Not really. Every fantasy and Sci Fi trope (or at least, good number of them or their archetypes) are represented in those games. The new games also desperately try to hit what few marks GW doesn't, and I think this resonates with people.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

IcedCrow
23-05-2013, 15:58
The problem remains that if you're asking a question in good faith, then leading terms like 'failure' and 'repel players' aren't helpful.

Well our area has five stores with five decent sized groups and a half dozen smaller groups that I know about. None of them want anything to do with these games I am discussing so "repel players" seemed pretty apt as did "fail" since it has failed to get anyone interested in it, and it actively causes some hostility and at the very least negative responses when trying to promote it.

We have one group that lives about an hour away that does historicals and LOTR and they are all for the most part older guys that have been around the hobby since the late 70s / 80s. Few of the 30 somethings want anything to do with it and hardly any of the 20 somethings or teens would touch it with a 10 foot pole, hence my question to the overall community.

Hengist
23-05-2013, 17:46
Well our area has five stores with five decent sized groups and a half dozen smaller groups that I know about. None of them want anything to do with these games I am discussing so "repel players" seemed pretty apt as did "fail" since it has failed to get anyone interested in it, and it actively causes some hostility and at the very least negative responses when trying to promote it.

We have one group that lives about an hour away that does historicals and LOTR and they are all for the most part older guys that have been around the hobby since the late 70s / 80s. Few of the 30 somethings want anything to do with it and hardly any of the 20 somethings or teens would touch it with a 10 foot pole, hence my question to the overall community.

Historicals appeal to a different demographic; this shouldn't be news to anybody. In all the places I've lived in the UK, I've never found the slightest difficulty locating a club which plays historical games; go to any UK wargames show and you'll find historicals at least as prevalent as SF&F if not more so. Maybe the thought of historical games does repel the average 40k/Warmachine player; I can say from experience that the prospect of playing GW's games for reasons of anything other than nostalgia is equally unpalatable to the typical DBA-playing grognard. The difference is that I wouldn't frame a discussion of SF&F games in terms of how they had 'failed' because they didn't appeal to me and my fellow cardigan-wearing, real ale-drinking pipe-smokers, because then I'd be asking a meaninglessly leading question.

IcedCrow
23-05-2013, 17:49
Well from where I sit (not in the UK), the vast majority of the gamer population overall won't play anything that is not 40k, whfb, or warmachine with some dust tactics thrown in and flames of war for good measure.

Trying to promote LOTR, hail caesar, etc... results in failure and no one showing up to demos or showing any interest in playing.

That's failure to me. Its failing to attract a player base.

cornonthecob
23-05-2013, 17:55
Historicals appeal to a different demographic; this shouldn't be news to anybody. In all the places I've lived in the UK, I've never found the slightest difficulty locating a club which plays historical games; go to any UK wargames show and you'll find historicals at least as prevalent as SF&F if not more so. Maybe the thought of historical games does repel the average 40k/Warmachine player; I can say from experience that the prospect of playing GW's games for reasons of anything other than nostalgia is equally unpalatable to the typical DBA-playing grognard. The difference is that I wouldn't frame a discussion of SF&F games in terms of how they had 'failed' because they didn't appeal to me and my fellow cardigan-wearing, real ale-drinking pipe-smokers, because then I'd be asking a meaninglessly leading question.

It's difficult.

Sf&F gamers view history as 'boring' where as Historical gamers view SF&f AS 'silly' (or more likely that it has bad rules, and to be fair you don't see many SF&F games called 'balanced'). Amusingly the LOTR mixes both to a wonderful level, there's enough fantasy to garner your SF&F player and enough historical accuracy to garner an ancients player.

Nymie_the_Pooh
23-05-2013, 18:28
I didn't approach historical war games for a long while. The reason being is that I was under a false impression that they were historical reenactments and not games where each player was trying to win. I wouldn't mind the odd historical reenactment here and there, but generally speaking I prefer to play games where people can try whatever they want on the field instead of following a script. Again, I know now that this is not the case, but once upon a time I did not and it kept me from even thinking about looking into historical war games. Therefore, I stuck to the scifi and fantasy games where I knew I could try out new things I hadn't done before.

Coldhatred
24-05-2013, 02:36
The big thing for the few people I've talked to about this subject is that with historical games they really felt like they had to know the history of the period and all of them said they weren't interested in history in relation to a wargame. A shame really, as some of the historical games look pretty cool, especially the smaller scale ones, but alas there is no presence here.

Caiphas Cain
24-05-2013, 03:54
The big thing for the few people I've talked to about this subject is that with historical games they really felt like they had to know the history of the period and all of them said they weren't interested in history in relation to a wargame. A shame really, as some of the historical games look pretty cool, especially the smaller scale ones, but alas there is no presence here.

That's a fair point to make, I think. Certainly better than everything else that has been said. I know I've been somewhat intimidated by the Thirty Years War and the history behind it, and that's definitely a reason behind me not getting into it. Same with Napoleonics.

That said, who doesn't know at least something about WW2? And all of us were around for the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror. Everyone knows enough about that to have some fun Middle East skirmishes/battles with the Force on Force rules. I'm sure some of us have played Call of Duty. Wouldn't it be fun to set some Russians against some US/UK/German/Your Country of Choice armies?

One of the best things about historical wargames is the what if scenarios. You don't even need to play history with your historicals! There's a ton of possibilities to make your own fluff, at least as much as 40K.

cornonthecob
24-05-2013, 09:06
Cold war gone hot is always fun. Hell most of the bigger novels out there are based on this, red storm rising .

Tarax
24-05-2013, 09:28
It took me a couple of days just to get through all the posts. Now, I've finally time to put in my comments on the issues. (It's been a great read though, so no misgivings to all.)

So here goes: I only just started with FoW. It's been great so far. The only problem I seem to have is that I only have one opponent to play regularly against. This wasn't the first time this has happened to me. I have invested in other Historical rule sets, but since I've never found other people to play against, they are all just gathering dust.
One of the things that occured to me when reading those rules, was the different scales and basings these rules used. While not written in stone, it seemed very impractical to have the same units in different scales and differently based, just to play a different rule set, in agreement you could use the same models each and every time.
But that just made it more difficult. Which rule set was the one that everyone played? And which models on which bases would I have to get? As stated above, I never found out.
FoW, like WFB and 40K, now comes in a box with enough models to play the game. Someone said that the models (ie armies) aren't balanced or legal. IMO they don't have to be. They are there to give new players a start-up army and some models to learn the rules with. In time they can buld up these armies to satisfying standards.

I like to comment on people who responded to unbalanced games, notably LotR-SBG, where the heroes always win. I try to look at those games from a different angle. These games are based around scenarios from books. You know the outcome from the book. But what if you played it differently? What then? Also, you can play a game and afterwards switch sides and play it again. Heck, this is one of the recommendations in Space Hulk!

'Balance', this is one of the most populars words used in these kind of threads. Is balance needed? What is balance, both internally and externally (ie within an army and between armies)? This all depends on the people you play, the setting you're playing in (historical, fanatasy or SF) and the rules.
Balancing the rules is the most important. Without it you will get one-sided armies, either in composition or everybody plays the same army. If you get the balance right, where every model in each army has a right of being, then you can go on.
But balancing is probably one of the most difficult parts of writing rules, especially army lists (most notably point values). Even the most autistic person can not imagine all the different situations that can occur on your battlefield. The famous rule 'Roll a die for it' comes from here.
Just be grateful for having a rule set to play with. Embrace it and find other people who do the same.
A little bit of personal history can clarify the next bit: My first contact with wargaming was during a convention where I saw a huge Warhammer battle played out. I didn't know what it was, but it looked great. Huge blocks of troops moving forwards, while rank upon rank fired away. Having purchased the boxed set and started playing, I noticed that, from amongst others WD and other gamers, most battles weren't focussed on those huge blocks, but on characters and big monsters. This had put me of, but since I only had a couple of people to play against, and none of them focussed on the characters, this wasn't a big issue. Yet, every new edition put its focus on other things than huge blocks, which in the end has put me off altogether.
Now my point: You can choose to play any game you like, but know what the game is all about. If you want to play HeroHammer, than do so. But if you don't, either play another game or play with people who also don't want to play HeroHammer. It's that other form of balance.

Which brings me back to historicals. Having drifted from GW and onto FoW, which brings me more balance in rules and in armies, my biggest issue is still with finding opponents. I neither live in a sparcely populated country, nor far away from any urban centre. Maybe there aren't that many wargamers here. Or perhaps the wargaming community is largely underground. There are some GW-stores and also shops that sell FoW, but they don't have a real view of the whole gaming community, not least of where I live.
And, since I started with the British, but also want to play the Germans, finding other players who play other Allies (or even other British) has made my chances of playing the Germans rather slim.

And on that final not, I'd like to thank you all for reading.

TL;DR: Finding other players can be hard and balance is not always there, yet you can make your own.

budman
24-05-2013, 09:44
Well it's that any other game will be constantly overshadowed by 1st 40k and 2nd Fantasy.

40K sells so gw put effot into it and so 40K sells.
Everthing else is 2nd or 3rd or 4th.
And rightfully so why waste time and money on a product that's a dud... and it's gonna be a dud if you don't spend time and money on a product.
it's a feedback loop.

tldr gw don't tell the fan's to buy it over a long time and so don't

Hengist
24-05-2013, 15:11
Well from where I sit (not in the UK), the vast majority of the gamer population overall won't play anything that is not 40k, whfb, or warmachine with some dust tactics thrown in and flames of war for good measure.

Trying to promote LOTR, hail caesar, etc... results in failure and no one showing up to demos or showing any interest in playing.

That's failure to me. Its failing to attract a player base.

Now I can't comment on your local area - if you're in the US, I could understand why you might think as you do, since the stereotype of US historicals gaming is that it's ACW and WWII obsessed to the exclusion of everything else. You shouldn't, however, assume that your experience necessarily reflects wargaming across the globe - I see more games of Romans and Napoleonics than I do Warhammer, but I don't conclude from that nobody plays Warhammer.

To provide an example, Warlord do 25-or-so plastic sets for Hail Caesar alone - the costs of plastic tooling are such that can't be done without confidence in a significant playerbase to buy them. (To put that in scale, that's not many fewer than PP make for Warmachine - it's also equivalent to about a quarter of GW's WFB plastic line.) People are evidently buying and playing these games and miniatures, it's just that there's very little overlap between those people and the ones playing 40k, Warmachine, etc. I reiterate that it's ridiculous to consider historicals a failure simply because they are intended for a very different demographic, just it would be for me to assert that 40k was a failure just because most grognards view it with undisguised contempt.


The big thing for the few people I've talked to about this subject is that with historical games they really felt like they had to know the history of the period and all of them said they weren't interested in history in relation to a wargame. A shame really, as some of the historical games look pretty cool, especially the smaller scale ones, but alas there is no presence here.

I suspect you (and Cornonthecob) are indeed on to something with this. The teenagers who, thanks to GW, make up the bulk of the wargaming market, are - without wishing to be rude to anybody of that demographic reading this - more apt to be interested in a game the background to which comprises pulp tales of superhumans clobbering each other with chainsaws than in one for which the background reading is Caesar's De Bello Gallico (or indeed a 1,200 page novel written in the 1940s by an Oxford professor of linguistics).

This needn't be, however, a judgement on either type of game; the world is quite large enough to accommodate both.

IcedCrow
24-05-2013, 16:13
You shouldn't, however, assume that your experience necessarily reflects wargaming across the globe

I don't, that's why I posted the question on here to get views from other areas / regions.

Litcheur
24-05-2013, 17:26
Well from where I sit (not in the UK), the vast majority of the gamer population overall won't play anything that is not 40k, whfb, or warmachine with some dust tactics thrown in and flames of war for good measure. Trying to promote LOTR, hail caesar, etc... results in failure and no one showing up to demos or showing any interest in playing. That's failure to me. Its failing to attract a player base. From where I used to sit, playing historical and knowing about the "fluff" gave me the sweetest job I ever had. Mind you, travelling across Europe, scuba diving, taking two or three photographs, sunbathing, and being paid for that. Whereas debating about 40k fluff just is weird, taking about history that kind of fluff with beautiful girls people knowing a lots of things about that was really interesting.

"Wow, you're an engeekneer and you know things about Polybios and Scipio ? Which one ? Both of them ? This is just AMAAAAZING."

I didn't even know anything about most roman leaders before reading some fluff about that. Not history. Fluff. Because reading stuff about these guys is not better nor worse than reading stuff about Sanguinius or Nurgle (but probably much better than anything involving Draigo).

Introducing them to 40k would just have met some harsh comment like "Toy soldiers ? Seriously ? Please. Grow up."
They actually liked the idea of playing a "what if" Second Punic War with DBA.

So, I guess historicals works with italian girls. Or maybe just with archaeology students (mostly girls) living in Italy (mostly italian).

One of them is my fiancée now.

Note to 40k players : switching to historicals may be good for you. :D

Caiphas Cain
25-05-2013, 05:09
Note to 40k players : switching to historicals will get you laid. :D

To sig or not to sig...

Done. :D

Litcheur
25-05-2013, 05:16
To sig or not to sig...
You just made me have a look at a dictionnary...
The word I used didn't really mean "having a romantic relationship". Well, sort of, but not exactly what I had in mind...


Note to non-english speakers : ALWAYS check the true meaning of slang terms you may have heard somewhere. :D

Caiphas Cain
25-05-2013, 16:12
Signature (the bottom parts of peoples' posts) = Sig

I've used it as a verb in this case. Sorry for the confusion. :p

Litcheur
25-05-2013, 20:21
Oh, god, I thought it meant "signalment" or something like that...

Well, I guess it can also work in a slightly less romantic way. :D

yabbadabba
25-05-2013, 21:27
Me bum. What is it about 40K's and FB's ever-more congealed and ring-fenced canon, welded to their prescribed, ready-meal model kits, that makes them so much more 'free' than other sci-fi and fantasy games, or the broad stretch of history? Bad excuse for rather unnecessary devotion. I think you are wrong here. I think that unnecessary devotion to idiotic concepts like "canon" and "raw" by the community misses the huge variety and opportunity that is present in both settings. I also think that GW have capitalised on this in conjunction with an every tightening grip on their IP.

For the average gamer, the settings of 40K and WFB offer an almost infinite range of possibilities.

Hrw-Amen
25-05-2013, 21:29
For me the reason LoTR failed was in part due to the different scale to Warhammer & W40K. You could not interchange the models. It would have been better the same scale and been able to build or convert the regular models to characters. Use things like Empire / Orks existing ranges or with very little conversion. This is what a lot of people did when Citadel minatures first were around before Warhammer days. They pretended the armies were from LoTR at least some of the time. It gave versatility, having to buy a complete new range of non-compatiable figures put people off especially if they were on a budget.

I liked EPIC and Warmaster same as I loved Man O War, but they never got support from GW in the long term so died.

I think BFG does slightly better as it is tied in so strong to W40K and out of any of these other games, large scale fleet conflicts especially running with the current HH series keep people interested. In effect you can easily run a BFG campaign alongside your W40K one if you like. The two compliment each other. That could have been the same with EPIC, but i think in a way (Even though it is not on the same scale.) Apocalypse now fills that void for W40K players.

Also it is quite easy to scratch build BFG ships if you want to, or even just use cardboard markers to represent them at a push. BFG scenes also features in a lot of the Black Library books, the warships names and histories are part of the whole cannon of W40K history so people remain interested.

I think part of the problem with EPIC/Space Marines was the large number of huge wacky named vehicles that seamed to be taking the mick out of proper W40K as well, it just felt like a child's game at least to me!

yabbadabba
25-05-2013, 21:34
For me the reason LoTR failed It hasn't failed. It hasn't the longevity of 40K, but there again not many wargames do.

was in part due to the different scale to Warhammer & W40K. You could not interchange the models. That was a requirement of the license.

It would have been better the same scale and been able to build or convert the regular models to characters. Use things like Empire / Orks existing ranges or with very little conversion. I am not sure that is an issue other than within a small GW section. What I do think was there was a fair degree of snobbery and fear of a different scale, and that did contribute to the hard time LotR has had. And if you are relying in cross compatibility to make a product successful, then you might as well expand another product to deal with that hole.

Zywus
25-05-2013, 22:34
As yabbadabba points out. Using the same scale as the Warhammer franchise were not an option.

Had it been I don't really think that it would have made the LotR system a bigger hit. It would probably have boosted LotR model sales a bit as people would have incorporated some LotR models into their WHFB forces but I doubt that it would have been much traffic the other way around.

IJW
25-05-2013, 22:42
I think part of the problem with EPIC/Space Marines was the large number of huge wacky named vehicles that seamed to be taking the mick out of proper W40K as well, it just felt like a child's game at least to me!

Out of curiosity, which ones are you talking about? I'm a bit confused, given that a whole bunch of current 40k vehicles actually originated as Epic units...

redben
26-05-2013, 00:32
Haven't read all the posts so excuse me if this has been covered.

Leaving aside considerations of whether Hail Caesar has or hasn't failed, it doesn't belong in the same discussion as LotR or Warmaster (assuming people mean the fantasy version). The historicals market is a different one to the fantasy/sci-fi market and do not underestimate it's size. It may not generate the numbers that 40K does but it's players stay within for far longer. Foundry recently mentioned that in March they sold 25,000 historicals minis through their ebay account alone, and their website is where they do most of their business. That's just one company out of a huge number of historicals minis makers. One of the biggest differences that separates historicals players from fantasy/sci-fi players is they do not tie themselves to systems in the same way. They buy armies for historical periods that interest them with little consideration to the system they'll be using them and they'll likely use them in many different systems over the course of a long period of time. 40K players buy 40K minis to play 40K with and most will have quit for good within a few years.

The point being that you can't judge the success or failure of a historicals system in the same way as a fantasy or sci-fi system.

ntw3001
26-05-2013, 01:30
Me bum. What is it about 40K's and FB's ever-more congealed and ring-fenced canon, welded to their prescribed, ready-meal model kits, that makes them so much more 'free' than other sci-fi and fantasy games, or the broad stretch of history? Bad excuse for rather unnecessary devotion.

I'm not really sure what you mean by any of this. That GW's multipart plastics are somehow more difficult to convert and kitbash than other companies' offerings? That 'things which have happened in history' or 'fights between these couple of dozen guys in magical Victorian London' is a more open canon than 'things that could feasibly happen somewhere in a future galaxy where magic is real'? There's an awful lot to dislike about GW, but you seem to be taking the two things that are actually good and declaring that they are actually the opposite of what they are. All I can read from this post is flat-out denial.

Caiphas Cain
26-05-2013, 04:43
I'm not really sure what you mean by any of this. That GW's multipart plastics are somehow more difficult to convert and kitbash than other companies' offerings? That 'things which have happened in history' or 'fights between these couple of dozen guys in magical Victorian London' is a more open canon than 'things that could feasibly happen somewhere in a future galaxy where magic is real'? There's an awful lot to dislike about GW, but you seem to be taking the two things that are actually good and declaring that they are actually the opposite of what they are. All I can read from this post is flat-out denial.

Verm1s is (I think) saying that 40k's and Fantasy's background has just as much freedom as LotR's or any other game to create what you will of it. The quote about model kits is the mistaken idea that Space Marines can only be used in 40K games, and that the Space Marine kit makes only Space Marines. The fluff has somehow become part of the models, if you will, and that doing anything but what GW says is wrong.

Gorbad Ironclaw
26-05-2013, 08:48
I think part of the problem with EPIC/Space Marines was the large number of huge wacky named vehicles that seamed to be taking the mick out of proper W40K as well, it just felt like a child's game at least to me!

Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying that 40k is not a wacky kids game? Really?
Especially when you see the love for huge vehicles and critters released by forgeworld, painting at Epic and saying it have all the big wacky stuff seems out of tune.

The_Real_Chris
27-05-2013, 11:13
Use a hypothetical; would Game of Thrones be a successful game or would it "fail" like LOTR?

There is a couple of log standing games based on the books and the newer FFG wargame.

The_Real_Chris
27-05-2013, 11:17
It may not generate the numbers that 40K does but it's players stay within for far longer. Foundry recently mentioned that in March they sold 25,000 historicals minis through their ebay account alone, and their website is where they do most of their business. That's just one company out of a huge number of historicals minis makers.

Had a mate who opened a painting service in Bangladesh. His staple were historical orders where people would say here is £25 grand, I would like Napoleons army. He didn't bother with GW after a while as the volumes didn't justify the fiddlyness.

redben
27-05-2013, 13:38
Had a mate who opened a painting service in Bangladesh. His staple were historical orders where people would say here is £25 grand, I would like Napoleons army. He didn't bother with GW after a while as the volumes didn't justify the fiddlyness.

I can well believe it. Sci-fi/fantasy gaming is a little like pop music. You see it and hear it everywhere and all the kids are into it, it gives the impression that it sells more than any other type of music. Meanwhile, things like country music, heavy metal, etc., are quietly selling millions and millions in the background.

Hrw-Amen
27-05-2013, 20:04
My local toy store/games shop still has half a dozen Dreadfleets they are trying to sell at the original price. The box art is beginning to fade now from the sun light though! Pity they don't have any other specialist games in stock still.

Tastyfish
27-05-2013, 23:47
Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying that 40k is not a wacky kids game? Really?
Especially when you see the love for huge vehicles and critters released by forgeworld, painting at Epic and saying it have all the big wacky stuff seems out of tune.

I love epic, but there is difference between a Forgeworld 40K Minotaur and a Space Marine Bubblechucker or Landtrain.
Barbed Heirodule vs Dactylis?

A lot of the older epic stuff looked pretty silly, and had even worse names.

IJW
27-05-2013, 23:59
The period when Epic Orks had bubblechuckers was the same period where 40k Orks had Madboyz charts with something like 50+ random psychoses results and telescopic legs that let you put the model on top of an upside-down cup to draw LoS.

Tastyfish
28-05-2013, 00:47
The period when Epic Orks had bubblechuckers was the same period where 40k Orks had Madboyz charts with something like 50+ random psychoses results and telescopic legs that let you put the model on top of an upside-down cup to draw LoS.

True, and Epic 40K actually predates 3rd 40K by a year - but 40K had moved into something quite different in the mid '90s whilst Epic hadn't. Bubblechuckers made it into Final Liberation but not 3rd ed 40K...

There's not a lot in 2nd ed 40K that'd look out of place in the modern game, the same's not true for Epic from the same earlier era.

Gorbad Ironclaw
28-05-2013, 05:55
That wasn't really my point, looking at today's 40k, are you really saying its not a wacky kids game, especially with the increasing focus on big stomping X.

Note: There is nothing wrong with being a wacky kids game, but 40k isn't and never pretended to be a serious tactical simulator or anything like that and have always included a heavy dose of wacky and silly ideas.

Tastyfish
28-05-2013, 20:21
I don't really think 'Wacky' or 'Kids game' are quite the right words, particularly if you're bringing FW into it. It's not a kid's game - as that would really imply 12 and under, and it's definitely too complicated for the majority of children (11-12 are on the borderline - but it's definitely not a game for the under 10s in the way action figures or Lego are). Teenagers/young adults are more the focus than actual children. Not sure I'd agree large single models are 'wacky' either, a lot of the old epic models are very wacky (some pretty much straight out of the Wacky Races!) but the modern 40K and FW interpretations have definitely focused on trying to take a more 'realistic' approach with the initially silly concepts.

There's space between 'kids game' and 'serious tactical simulator'. I think 40K aims to be more of a representation of action movies and computer games than an accurate simulation of war, and is more focused on this level of 'simulation' than the 'game elements' (i.e. the opposite to more 'gamey games' like MtG or Warmachine).

The_Real_Chris
29-05-2013, 01:47
I don't think 40k aims for that at all. It aims to be a listbuilding game with very straight forward tactics in order to appeal to younger players. The complexity also gives a feeling of reward when you crack some idea to annihilate your oppo through whatever combo. I think the cinematic etc stuff is added after this core as a game designed for that (and there are many) can be very different, or indeed compare to its origins in 1st ed.
A game like warmaster is far more difficult to play well (can only speak from the other iterations) than 40k/Fantasy, as a result it is a far harder sell to GW's core audience. It also, as has been said at above, lack the model style used by the rest of GW. I love small scale fig, yet I know most people prefer bigger and when it comes to GW and others deliberately miss proportioned, often to comic extremes (reference all those comments about dwarves and stuff).

Tastyfish
29-05-2013, 09:35
I seem to remember Rogue trader's opening blurb was something along the lines of it being a rule system designed so that you could refight all those exciting moments from film, perhaps even with the Battle of Hoth specifically mentioned.
The 'list building' elements are a lot closer to developing the character of your army/collecting a set of models that look nice together than something like Warmachine or MtG, there's not really a lot of devastating combos as most units are pretty independent. It's story telling/RPG first and game second, and kind of always has been.

Epic is definitely the better system in that universe though, I've often wondered how easy it'd be to incorporate a lot of the elements from it into 40K (the orders, suppression and turn sequences specifically). However I do still enjoy the RPG-like aspect of 40K, the smaller scale and larger models can make the armies (and the individual soldiers) a lot more characterful than Epic ones.

Also don't really think you can throw too many correctly proportioned stones when you're talking about 6/10mm vs 28mm.

[edit]This is probably the answer the question, if it was rephrased as "Why does WFB/40K do so much better than Warmaster etc" - the continuing life of a game like this is the setting and backstory, and 40K is heavily focused on getting you involved in it - you are your warlord, rather than just controlling your units, coming up with backstories for your particular force etc, whilst the miniature scale makes it easier to get invested in your troops. At the same time, the scale of the battles are a step above most skirmish games, so the scope of the stories are that much larger. There are tanks and vehicles, it is an army rather than just being a gang of adventurers or a small band of soldiers.

The_Real_Chris
29-05-2013, 10:27
I seem to remember Rogue trader's opening blurb was something along the lines of it being a rule system designed so that you could refight all those exciting moments from film, perhaps even with the Battle of Hoth specifically mentioned.

Yes quite hence saying above compare to 1st ed...


The 'list building' elements are a lot closer to developing the character of your army/collecting a set of models that look nice together than something like Warmachine or MtG, there's not really a lot of devastating combos as most units are pretty independent. It's story telling/RPG first and game second, and kind of always has been.

That doesn't seem to hold up though to killer lists wiping out all before them... Granted GW doesn't encourage this, not least because it puts people off buying stuff... I think because it is a poorly balanced game with an awful lot of complexity that is inevitable and GW's response is too emphasise the story/rpg bit and not the list building people do.


Epic is definitely the better system in that universe though, I've often wondered how easy it'd be to incorporate a lot of the elements from it into 40K (the orders, suppression and turn sequences specifically).

You may as well play one of the other games out there at that point. Epic is aimed at streamlined mass 40 style battles, combining that with which pistol to equip your sergeant with ends up being a mess. Far better to go with a system designed from the ground up for that (and there are many), though of course it is hard to then get something that allows 40k density level of models.


Also don't really think you can throw too many correctly proportioned stones when you're talking about 6/10mm vs 28mm.
You know nothing of the obsessiveness of the 6mm tank player (I tend to fall into the C&C camp for proportions http://www.pfc-cinc.com/page/page/312977.htm)... Though that point was more comparing GW sculpts to correctly proportioned ones - people seem to prefer the GW style.

Chaos and Evil
29-05-2013, 11:57
I don't think 40k aims for that at all. It aims to be a listbuilding game with very straight forward tactics in order to appeal to younger players. The complexity also gives a feeling of reward when you crack some idea to annihilate your oppo through whatever combo. I think the cinematic etc stuff is added after this core as a game designed for that (and there are many) can be very different, or indeed compare to its origins in 1st ed.
A game like warmaster is far more difficult to play well (can only speak from the other iterations) than 40k/Fantasy, as a result it is a far harder sell to GW's core audience. It also, as has been said at above, lack the model style used by the rest of GW. I love small scale fig, yet I know most people prefer bigger and when it comes to GW and others deliberately miss proportioned, often to comic extremes (reference all those comments about dwarves and stuff).

Listen ye all to The Real Chris, for he has spake the truth.

Seriously, this covers pretty well why GW's core games sell, and GW's erstwhile games that aimed at an older audience have slipped away.

Hengist
29-05-2013, 12:31
I think part of the problem with EPIC/Space Marines was the large number of huge wacky named vehicles that seamed to be taking the mick out of proper W40K as well, it just felt like a child's game at least to me!

Whilst tanks with names like 'Bowerburna' and 'Spleenrippa' are undeniably silly, I think you overlook the fact that the 40k background of the time was rather more light-hearted and satirical than the po-faced grimdark setting it is today. What's ironic is that as the setting has grown more superficially 'mature', 40k has become ever-shallower as a game, as GW chase the custom of 12 years old kids.


That doesn't seem to hold up though to killer lists wiping out all before them... Granted GW doesn't encourage this, not least because it puts people off buying stuff... I think because it is a poorly balanced game with an awful lot of complexity that is inevitable and GW's response is too emphasise the story/rpg bit and not the list building people do.

If GW didn't want to encourage the list-building approach to 40k, they would write a game that didn't encourage it. If they cared about producing a game that gave rise to a meaningful narrative, they could do that, rather than throwing in a few extra random charts and calling it a day. As things stand, 'Forging a Narrative' is a marketing flim-flam to cover the obvious flaws of their list-building game compared with their competitors.

Litcheur
30-05-2013, 20:47
A lot of the older epic stuff looked pretty silly, and had even worse names.
So right you are, my friend.

Epic used to be almost as silly as the Monty Pythons.
40k has a more serious, realistic approach. Think Michael Bay.

Tastyfish
31-05-2013, 00:11
So right you are, my friend.

Epic used to be almost as silly as the Monty Pythons.
40k has a more serious, realistic approach. Think Michael Bay.

Michael Bay with hints of Monkey Dust, hard to really narrow it down to another similar type of thing. One of the true joys of the setting is how it draws you into the madness by making it make perfect sense.
It's still very much a Punk Dystopia with a Hollywood veneer, it's just the elements of punk need to be hidden slightly further down compared to the 80s and because it's become more mainstream, because that's how a punk setting works.

However, it's probably very easy to have very different interpretations since it's so vast and wide ranging. But the recent efforts to bring back it's core have warmed my cold British heart somewhat (by stoking the cold flames of sarcasm and a fondness towards fatalism and tragedy).

TheMav80
01-06-2013, 03:13
I think one of the main reasons people might not play historical games is because (in my case at least), video games have that covered.

I have put about 200 hours into Shogun 2 Total War. I must have put the same amount of time into Empire, Medevil 2, and Rome. I cannot wait for Rome 2 later this year.

I put just as much time into Company of Heroes and cannot wait for CoH 2 next month.

It is a hell of a lot easier to have a massive Roman army on m PC than it is to buy up that many models, paint them, and have a place to play them and someone to play against. If Creative Assembly made a Warhammer Fantasy game I would definitely just ebay the rest of my Fantasy army and buy that game instead.

Enfid
01-06-2013, 08:31
I think one of the main reasons people might not play historical games is because (in my case at least), video games have that covered.

I have put about 200 hours into Shogun 2 Total War. I must have put the same amount of time into Empire, Medevil 2, and Rome. I cannot wait for Rome 2 later this year.

I put just as much time into Company of Heroes and cannot wait for CoH 2 next month.

It is a hell of a lot easier to have a massive Roman army on m PC than it is to buy up that many models, paint them, and have a place to play them and someone to play against. If Creative Assembly made a Warhammer Fantasy game I would definitely just ebay the rest of my Fantasy army and buy that game instead.

Funny you mentioned that... (http://www.creative-assembly.com/sega-and-creative-assembly-announce-partnership-with-games-workshop-to-create-warhammer-games/)

Nkari
01-06-2013, 09:43
The specialist games fail because they get zero support, simple as that.

And LOTR is/was not a failure, sold a ton. =)

xxRavenxx
01-06-2013, 09:53
With specific regards to Hail Caesar, the issue I always encounter as a retailer is this:

The old blokes hate new things. The new kids aren't keen on historicals.

Its a fantastic game played by the tiny sliver of people willing to do a historical army, and play with a semi-trendy new ruleset.

yabbadabba
01-06-2013, 09:56
The specialist games fail because they get zero support, simple as that. Not true. SGs didn't fail and they did get support.

drakken
01-06-2013, 10:05
Not true. SGs didn't fail and they did get support.What support?

yabbadabba
01-06-2013, 10:53
What support? There was plenty of it until they got pulled and sent to MO. Even then SGs were still getting support. There just hasn't been anything for about 5 years now.

ntw3001
01-06-2013, 20:57
They had a fair amount of support in the olden days (when they were in shops). GW tried a number of ways to maintain magazines for the games, and new rules and models did make appearances. They later dropped to the bare minimum, but it's not true to say that SGs weren't supported. They were supported, and apparently didn't make enough returns for the moneyfolk to consider them a good use of shelf space. People seem to forget that these games had existed for years before they went mail-order only.

Verm1s
02-06-2013, 17:58
I think one of the main reasons people might not play historical games is because (in my case at least), video games have that covered.

I hear half of all 40K players abandoned their minis and codicies when Dawn of War and Space Marine came out. :p


The old blokes hate new things. The new kids aren't keen on historicals.
It's a fantastic game played by the tiny sliver of people

I think that's mostly your misfortune to have dozy customers.

Kisanis
13-08-2013, 02:01
On the historical bashing: I'm 26 and got into historicals 3 years ago. Now, mind you, I have a degree in history, but age has nothing to do with it... its what interests you. I love sci-fi and fantasy. I love history. I love wargaming. My bank account hates me.

As far as the specialist range is concerned, the biggest problem when I was younger and these were supported in store, was finding people willing to take that plunge. Everyone played fantasy or 40k, most people in our area had an army of each system. When you're 14 years old do you take the plunge into a system thats a maybe? Gothic looked great, but it lacked the same level of support and range that the 2 systems had. That was the issue. Can I play the army I want? Can i find people to play it against. No to both, meant no one took the plunge. The cycle continued.

just my thoughts

nedius
13-08-2013, 15:26
For any game to survive it needs a money-spending player base. Games like LOTR and any other SG will die when people stop spending money on it.

I'm going to use Necromunda as my example here - exploring it's life and death.

To begin with, Necromunda was very successful. Why? I'd say that there were a number of things. 1st, it was an offshoot of an established, popular universe (40k), so it got over the first hurdle there and then - establishing interest. Secondly, the buy in wasn't huge. The starter set wasn't a silly price (£40, I think? Good birthday/Christmas present money), but as long as you knew once person with that you could get a starter gang for even less, easily a few weeks worth of pocket money saving would get you a gang. After that, the cost of continuing to play was minimal - a few extra gangers here or there were all you needed, the rest could be proxied as equipment changed. The game itself was great fun, and exploring a new 'army' was as easy as a few weeks of saving to get a new gang starter set. Additional factors included that the scenery itself was hugely useful for 40k games as well, meaning buying a set enhanced another game too.

The reason it went on surviving was that GW did a lot to support it. There were WD battle reports and terrain tutorials, new miniatures and gangs released, an expansion pack released. There was even an interesting battle report where they fought a small 40k game using the Necromunda rules. They had tournaments and products in stores for people to see and be tempted by. This kept Necromunda ticking along.

However, it couldn't go on forever. There are only so many ideas for new gangs that would work, so many new things to add to the game that would bring in a good return on investment. The decline began with Necromunda being removed from stores, and shifted from WD to the 'fanzines'. Suddenly, the up front support diminished rapidly. The reason for this is easy - However active the player base, they'd stopped spending money. Those active fans had all the gangs they needed. As the support left, the player base dwindled, meaning even less money. Eventually, even giving all the rules free wasn't enough too keep people buying the miniatures. And once no one was spending any money on it, it died and, along with the other SGs, vanished.


This process can be tweaked for almost any game;

1. Establish interest (setting, miniatures, rule quality etc)
2. Promote product
3. Establish active, money spending player base.
4. Support with revenue generating activities (new products, advertisement for existing product)
5. Revenue generation begins to drop / active player base reduces
6. reduce support accordingly, accelerates decline
7. Slow, painful death.

The hows and whys for each of those stages can be explored, but will eventually prove true for even really big, long standing games like 40k, warhammer and so on.

It's a rare game that can beat that process. There are some - D&D springs to mind. But even that will one day vanish. They've just been better than most at re-inventing themselves again and again.

arthurfallz
13-08-2013, 16:53
Incidently, you'll find fantasy has neither a dedicated "starter army" that lasts more than an edition, nor just one "hero" faction... and none of our armies are anywhere near dominating the scene the way Space Marines do.
hm... come to think of it, perhaps creating one would help get us more players? I'd say the Brets are easily closest to it in terms of background... time to write another fandex, methinks. Cya around :)

I would say the Empire. It has a lot of space dedicated to it in the books, and the maps are very Empire-centric. It certainly doesn't have the same focus the Imperium and the Space Marines get in 40k.

I would say, as a commentary, that Space Marines have identification outside of W40k, and this is why people jump into them. People hear "Marines" and they think of an elite fighting force, see a psuedo-knight order pasted on top and say "awesome."

And seriously, they are cool. All the SM hate here is pointless, and I play Orks! Let people play what they want to play, when I played SM my army didn't win more often because it was a sales leader or painted blue.

buddy_revell
13-08-2013, 17:45
for me, the reason i have zero interest in LotR is simple; i dont wish to re-enact battles, be they fictitious or historical. i also dont want to re-create an army that already exists. if i were to play a medieval/fantasy-themed army, i dont want it to be "the men of gondor", because personally, that bores me. i want to create my own back-story, my own colour-scheme, my own heroes. sure, i could stick boromir on the table and pretend its a character of my own creation, but it just wouldnt feel the same.

with 40k or fantasy, you have pretty much limitless creative control. theyre more like settings than stories. with a game based on an existing, outside IP, you have a finite source of material to work with. which is why we have these stupid things like "the men of dale".

i suppose its the same reason i dont want to play historicals. re-writing history isnt my thing.


with regards to why the SG line from GW "failed", i guess its because, well, if something is pushed into a cupboard and forgotten about by the company, then newer customers dont know its there to buy.

Kisanis
15-08-2013, 05:02
Inquisitor, Necromunda, and Mordheim could all survive a re-lease a-la dreadfleet or Space Hulk, but they would not survive as long term game systems. They could come up with one or two boxed sets, draw from the current range (inq28 not 54) and milk the cow for a year maybe 2 tops. Then shut it down for another 5-7 and do it again. These games have a life cycle, and its most active around the initial release.

Epic is hard because of the scale differences... I doubt they could be make epic work again.... for the above reasons. Cool as it may be, its expensive to maintain niche games when the main 2 (mostly 40k) rake in a better return on the investment.

From GW's perspective, thats all it is. 1$ into specialist games gets them 1.50$ back. Great. 1$ into 40k proper gets them 3$ back. Where would you rather invest?

For all our whining... our wallets are the votes and the consumer research GW listens to. I love these games, but I didn't spend anywhere near enough on them compared to the main systems...

Hellebore
15-08-2013, 06:55
As much as people laugh at the 'GW Hobby', I think this is actually one of the reasons other games haven't done as well.

People talk about GW being a gateway to wargaming, but it's actually a social training ground for a very specific way of thinking. GW have had great success developing their image and selling it extensively. They have turned hype and excitment and false uniqueness into a continuous wave of euphoria that keeps customers engaged with them, too busy to look elsewhere. They also become convinced that they are so invested they can't leave and why would you, when it's just sooo amazing? A bit of cognitive dissonance rationalising the sunk cost fallacy.

Even if you leave their 'hobby' they've already trained you to think of the 'hobby' a certain way and if other games do not match that image, you are not interested, whether you still like GW or not.

A lapsed Catholic is still a Catholic, they've grown up thinking like a Catholic, they see the world as a Catholic whether they realise it or not. It takes more than just inaction to change how you see things.

For all the jokes about the GW koolaid, plastic crack etc, there is some truth to at least some elements of addictive and cult psychology that GW employ (deliberately or coincidentally) to sell their products. It's what Apple does.

So I wouldn't call it the GW Hobby so much as the GW Lifestyle and it is the GW Lifestyle that has knockon effects on other products. They feel less 'whole' because they only offer a wargame, not a Lifestyle.

Some random soapbox psychology for you.

Hellebore

Zingraff
15-08-2013, 09:49
As for me, I have no problem recognizing the appeal of some of GW's less successful games, but what it all comes down to for me, as far as GW's games are concerned I'm primarily interested in modelling and the collection element. I'm fully aware that the current 40k rules aren't the best modern era/sci-fi set out there, but I've come to view my interest in 40k as something more akin to a technical hobby. To me, the rules are to 40k what electricity is to a model railway set, it is what makes my model soldiers move about and do other things. This doesn't mean I never play though, and I'm pleased with the changes they made to the current edition, because it improves the survivability of my armies and allows me to play more offensively.

I don't play 40k because I'm not familiar with, or because I'm unwilling to try other games, scales and/or systems. It's just that upon reflection, I find I take less interest in the smaller scales from a modelling point of view, as the 25mm scale has a human perceptible quality I don't find too often in 15mm and 6mm. (With a notable exception of Mark Copplestone, who is currently putting together a range of 15mm Conanesque barbarians which looks amazing.)

Then there's the social aspect, because I don't want to collect a system my friends have no intention investing in and putting together two opposing forces, rather than just one, so that my friend(s) might borrow one to play against me, doesn't really work for me. If I wanted to play a historical war game, I have boardgames I could set up with less effort.

In regard to the OP, both Warmaster and LOTR fail to interest me, mostly because they're not 40k (which may sound like a really dumb argument), but bear in mind that I've tried and/or collected most of GW's other games at some point, with an exception of LOTR (I'm not terribly keen on the Jackson interpretation of Tolkien). I own a copy of the "Battle of the Five Armies", which is a Warmaster adaption. Both Warmaster and Epic have great rule sets, possibly the best GW has ever produced, but I felt both systems, due to the scale employed didn't provide me with much for modelling. In which case I might as well turn to board games for the same sort of entertainment, but with much less effort.

deathspank
15-08-2013, 12:05
Specalist games support always reminds me of the "what came first the chicken or the egg" , by that i mean did GW stop supporting the games or had the customer base stopped supporting them. Lord of the rings landed in 2000 so the speclist games were sold online or mail order for atleast 12 years despite no presence in most stores ,which is no different to forgeworld or almost all other wargames, but ask yourself how many specialist products did you buy in the last decade ? People lament the loss of these great games but in the next breath will point the blame at GW while never buying at full RRP,using proxies from other manufactures,buying everything second hand and down loading pdf rules and codexs and would rather have a root canal without pain relife than set foot in a GW store to make a purchase.

Lord of the rings put GW as close to the mainstream as it was possible to get and i think we are reaping the rewards now with the stacks of new fantasty and 40k products gw are putting out, granted some of them maybe a little crazy looking and rushed but its better than the bland rehashing of the same old stuff we used to get each edition.

Jobu
15-08-2013, 15:27
Well, it really comes down to local support IMHO. Any game system that has a good player following and players willing to teach others or a store willing to do so will succeed. The real question is how does a game get there? I am sure there are multiple examples in the thread multiple times.
In my FLGS we have a strong LoTR group so it survives and flourishes. As we branch out to different games they succeed or fail in our group depending on how much we enjoy them and the cost of entry. So, IMHO Cost of entry does play a part, as does the number of minis needed to play and paint, although that is a smaller factor. But support, I believe is the biggest factor. In our group if we keep playing and support each other the game tends to do well. If GW stores supported The Hobbit and encouraged people to bring in their LoTR models to play it would probably be doing better.

As a counter argument for support,
In my case, there is no way I am going to start wfb or 40k because they are just too expensive to start, among other reasons. Since GW support those heavily support is not everything.

I would have purchased dread fleet if I thought there would be an expansion later but i knew there would not. There is no GW here. That is one reason why I purchased super dungeon explore instead. It is a ton of fun BTW, the ruleset is good, just horribly written so hard to grasp at first. Not a lot of local support but it is a stand alone board game like dread fleet.

Easy E
16-08-2013, 13:40
As much as people laugh at the 'GW Hobby', I think this is actually one of the reasons other games haven't done as well.

People talk about GW being a gateway to wargaming, but it's actually a social training ground for a very specific way of thinking. GW have had great success developing their image and selling it extensively. They have turned hype and excitment and false uniqueness into a continuous wave of euphoria that keeps customers engaged with them, too busy to look elsewhere. They also become convinced that they are so invested they can't leave and why would you, when it's just sooo amazing? A bit of cognitive dissonance rationalising the sunk cost fallacy.

Even if you leave their 'hobby' they've already trained you to think of the 'hobby' a certain way and if other games do not match that image, you are not interested, whether you still like GW or not.

A lapsed Catholic is still a Catholic, they've grown up thinking like a Catholic, they see the world as a Catholic whether they realise it or not. It takes more than just inaction to change how you see things.

For all the jokes about the GW koolaid, plastic crack etc, there is some truth to at least some elements of addictive and cult psychology that GW employ (deliberately or coincidentally) to sell their products. It's what Apple does.

So I wouldn't call it the GW Hobby so much as the GW Lifestyle and it is the GW Lifestyle that has knockon effects on other products. They feel less 'whole' because they only offer a wargame, not a Lifestyle.

Some random soapbox psychology for you.

Hellebore

Yes, this is actually called "Cult Marketing" and it is somethign GW has actually moved away from since the LOTR bubble, and I would argue that such an approach was a mistake. Part of the secret to "Cult Marketing" is to keep studio "Stars" and to give people who ar epart of the GW Hobby glimpses behind the curtain and feel like they are par tof the process. I think we can all agree that they no longer do this.

Coincidentally as they moved away from this model they also ceasesd any effort sin teh Specialist Games and ceded market space to rivals. Not surprisingly, they began to see some successful competition develop in areas where they had none previously, as other game systems moved into the niches that GW left open. Combine this with the move away from their successful "Cult Marketing" techniques and you get a WTF business strategy decision of pretty large proportions.

Hellebore
16-08-2013, 14:23
I was thinking about its long term effects. At least one generation of wargamers has grown up with this as 'the way of wargaming', colouring the way they see all others. I was thinking that part of the reason people perceive it as so hard to get into other games, or that they just don't offer that certain je ne sais quoi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJuXIq7OazQ#t=00m44s) of GW etc is down to how effectively GW has controlled what a wargame 'should' look like - a lifestyle and experience no other wargame company has offered.

Hellebore

Kattle Prod.
16-08-2013, 14:47
From what I observed, specialist games in general fail because GW didn't push them. What is the point in putting out a new product if you don't give it space in White Dwarf. Secondly of course is pricing. I want to say a good bit of specialist gamers, started off playing 40k or fantasy. It is very difficult to throw a ton of more money into a new game, if it doesn't seem to be getting traction, AND is pricey on top of it.

Omniassiah
16-08-2013, 22:22
Well, it really comes down to local support IMHO. Any game system that has a good player following and players willing to teach others or a store willing to do so will succeed. The real question is how does a game get there? I am sure there are multiple examples in the thread multiple times.
In my FLGS we have a strong LoTR group so it survives and flourishes. As we branch out to different games they succeed or fail in our group depending on how much we enjoy them and the cost of entry. So, IMHO Cost of entry does play a part, as does the number of minis needed to play and paint, although that is a smaller factor. But support, I believe is the biggest factor. In our group if we keep playing and support each other the game tends to do well. If GW stores supported The Hobbit and encouraged people to bring in their LoTR models to play it would probably be doing better.

As a counter argument for support,
In my case, there is no way I am going to start wfb or 40k because they are just too expensive to start, among other reasons. Since GW support those heavily support is not everything.

I would have purchased dread fleet if I thought there would be an expansion later but i knew there would not. There is no GW here. That is one reason why I purchased super dungeon explore instead. It is a ton of fun BTW, the ruleset is good, just horribly written so hard to grasp at first. Not a lot of local support but it is a stand alone board game like dread fleet.

Well when it comes to games that are in a completely new universe/background your mostly correct. Once you start delving into games that are off shoots of another game then the issue is pushed more on to the company. Epic:A was a prime example of this. While the game system was good, for all intents and purposes unless you ran one of 3 armies that were supported you were out of luck. This is an issue that GW will have with any game that is a child off of the main game. It needs to cover as many of the factions available in the main game as quickly as possible.

Tarax
17-08-2013, 09:44
Epic:A was a prime example of this. While the game system was good, for all intents and purposes unless you ran one of 3 armies that were supported you were out of luck.

Ah, this reminds me of some of the models I have seen. They released, like, Marines, Tyranids, Orks and Imperial Guard in plastic. Did they do others?
With only (plastic) support for some armies and none for others, those others are becoming harder to play (not to mention more expensive). The same thing can be said of 40K armies. Those that recieve little (plastic) support aren't doing that well.

Verm1s
17-08-2013, 12:21
Ah, this reminds me of some of the models I have seen. They released, like, Marines, Tyranids, Orks and Imperial Guard in plastic. Did they do others?

For Epic:A, or Epic in general? For the former, marines, IG, orks, eldar, chaos. Tyranids, I wish.


With only (plastic) support for some armies and none for others, those others are becoming harder to play (not to mention more expensive). The same thing can be said of 40K armies. Those that recieve little (plastic) support aren't doing that well.

At this point, plastic armies won't be so hot either.

Omniassiah
17-08-2013, 13:49
Ah, this reminds me of some of the models I have seen. They released, like, Marines, Tyranids, Orks and Imperial Guard in plastic. Did they do others?
With only (plastic) support for some armies and none for others, those others are becoming harder to play (not to mention more expensive). The same thing can be said of 40K armies. Those that recieve little (plastic) support aren't doing that well.

At the re-release they only had Marines, Orks, and IG with plastic infantry sprues. With the expansion add Eldar then a year or two later Chaos. Nids may have been plastic before that but never got re-released. But the bigger issue is that if you played one of the other 6 or so races you were out of luck completely as you didn't even have metal model support either, You had to go the second hand route, which is never going to help the sales figures for a game.

Rogue
17-08-2013, 20:46
I am not a fan of reenactments much at all. With that in mind I do play historicals whenever I can, because I try to avoid playing the epic battles. What my experience with Historicals is that the older the time period is the more likely that you can not necessarily customize but more or less create your own narrative. For instance, you would not change the makeup of a Roman Imperial Army, however, you can have a detached cohort from one of Caesar's Legions fight it out with a tribe of Gauls. It does not specifically change history if the cohort is destroyed, nor does it make a difference if the Gauls are exterminated. I have more on this subject here (http://www.tinylegions.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-i-am-not-fond-of-re-enactments.html).

Tarax
18-08-2013, 10:40
For Epic:A, or Epic in general? For the former, marines, IG, orks, eldar, chaos. Tyranids, I wish.

It was in an old catalogue, from the mid-90's. Don't know what that corresponds to in Epic-years.


At this point, plastic armies won't be so hot either.

I don't quite follow, could you elaborate on that? Sales are falling, I get that, but perhaps you're suggesting something else.

Verm1s
18-08-2013, 13:01
It was in an old catalogue, from the mid-90's. Don't know what that corresponds to in Epic-years.

Okay. E:A was 2000's.


I don't quite follow, could you elaborate on that? Sales are falling, I get that, but perhaps you're suggesting something else.

Take a look at the Epic section (http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/landingArmy.jsp?catId=cat480006a&rootCatGameStyle=specialist-games) of the GW site. ;) Then this topic (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?371097-GW-kills-Specialist-Games), if you haven't seen it already.

Tarax
18-08-2013, 13:30
Ah, yes. I thought your remark was about 40K, but I get it now, Epic has very little on offer overall.