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Shandor
10-07-2015, 10:26
Hi there.

I was wondering.
If i would in charge for GW, what would i do some month back in Time Pre AoS?

Lets say WHF isnt Profitable enaugh to make the Guys in Suits happy. Lets say you need to do something. What would you do?

I dislike AoS but i dont Dislike everything AoS has. So my plan would be like this:

I would Release the 9th Edition and spend some money for Comercial stuff to make Players interested. Youtube Interviews, maybe open a forum for feedback. Somekind of advisering outside of GW website and WD.
A Modell in the WD was a good idea btw.

Warscrolls are cool. I would make them a bit more Compact. Half the size. And would give away a collectionfolder with the Starter Box. Its an good way to update and "bug fix" the rules to keep an balance.

I would make a Hardcover Rulebook for 2 Kinds of Gameplay. A small Skirmish minigame and a full Rank&File Wargame. The Skirmish rules are inside the Book but you can also get them for free to download.

I would stay on square Bases for Infantry. Maybe round bases for Heroes and war machines as an option.

The idea to add some fresh new Faction to the game isnt a Bad one. I would even keep the Theme of the Army. But i would make them look more Like Medieavel Paladins and Angels with Burning Swords and less like Space Marines. (if you know Heroes of Might and Magic you know what i have in mind)

The the Game itself:
-I would try to gather informations about the flaws of the 8. edition. Try to streamline it but not for the Cost of Individuality and Complexity. Maybe merge "to Hit" and "to wound" Thats to much roleplaying. If an arrow Hits you it usualy wounds you. If not its, stuck in your Shield, Armor, or Cloth.. thats what is Armor for. So its an Armor save roll. Makes the game more Fluid.
-Combined Profile for Mount&Rider.
-A full rework of the Magic Phase. The idea to add non magic Commands to that Phase like the Hero Phase in AoS isnt a bad idea after all. So you have Mages with Spells and Non mages with Abilitys. But you need to be careful so the effects are not over the Top.
-I would add an option for combining armys. But in a way that makes Sence after the End times. Chaos Legion (Bestman, WoC, Deamons) Elven Army, Humans&Dwarves. aso. (the Allyied rules of the 8th Edition where just crap)
The goal is to have more freedom to build YOUR army but still in some controlable way to keep the balance. A Woodelf/Darkelf Army should have other options but not should be just "better" then a pure list.
-Make an transperent Point system. So there is an reason why Model A is more expensive as Model B. So players could do the math for themselve if they want to.

Goal is to have an Entry point for Cheap rules and small Army games with he Skirmish Rules for fast games but you could always switchover to the Wargame, for a big Battle if you want.
That should make the Game interesting for newcomers because (you pick up an army box and start) and the Veterans (you can play as you know it but with reworked rules and more fluid gameplay)

This issnt to much more afford then AoS and im sure it would have worked alot better.

scruffyryan
10-07-2015, 10:46
I would have finished the last 3 books of 8th edition: Brettonians, Skaven, Beastmen.
Rather than a new edition, I would have made the next major release a skirmish ruleset, with guidelines on escalation style campaigns, and character advancement. as an optional rule.
I would have blatantly stolen the Privateer Press release schedule, with 1 to 2 book releases per year. These books would be filled primarily with new special characters, updated and "experienced" versions of old special characters, and rarely new units.
ALSO stealing from privateer press, the design goals of these special characters would be to turn underused units into viable choices when the special character is taken. Basically the character providing a buff of some sort to various unit types, while not being that much better than a standard hero.

I would market the new skirmish rules heavily and most design focus would be on them, youtube play videos, banner ads, etc. 8th would basically take a back seat, an 8.5 may be released at some point in the future, shoring up some rules loopholes and perhaps adjusting magic and magic resistance in particular.

Topics for the 1-2 book release a year, Soft cover yearly scenario/campaign pack, historical/combined army lists (end times undead/chaos style)

heavyheart
10-07-2015, 10:51
I'd talk to the gamers find out what's wrong in their opinion and try to implement fixes while promising more open communication in the future.

I wouldn't anger an already small fan base further on blind faith that kids will buy when adults didn't.

Ĉon
10-07-2015, 11:08
I would spend some time designing a game that both caters to casual beginners who just want to play with their models, and those who want a deeper, more tactical game. By designing a system that scales well from small skirmishes to larger battles, the investment of starting a new army would be lower, bringing fresh blood into the hobby and letting veterans start smaller army projects that are not neccessarily £750 investments.

Bring back Dogs of War as a concept, as in make new models that every army can use.

Bring out some sort of compatible board game that you can sell in toy stores. Say they did a new edition of Warhammer Quest you could expand by buying a box of normal Warhammer models. Have a sticker saying "Warhammer Quest Compatible" on the box, and include the card you need to play them in WHQ, either as characters or as monsters, depending on the model. Encourage cross-system use of models.

Engage with the community, and show that you respect them. Tease new releases further in advance, help organize tournaments and events, do interviews, bring back Facebook and Twitter, do a great I stagram account with both new releases and player-painted models. Go back to doing long, in-depth youtube videos on new releases, like they did with Dark Eldar a few years ago.

EagleWarrior
10-07-2015, 11:18
The living document thing and the fundamentals of the rules are interesting ideas and I'm not totally against trying them out. However I think they should have finished a little more work on them before putting them out.

The main thing I would have done differently is the fluff. I think rebooting the world was a mistake, the old one had a lot of really good stuff in it, and the new one seems to be very DnD 4th ed and very generic. Using realms instead of a world map seems to be driven by making it easier to justify anyone fighting anyone rather than adding to the setting and I think it loses a lot of the social and cultural nuance behind the game that made the setting so interesting (at least to me).

HammerofThunor
10-07-2015, 11:22
I would have simply stopped supporting fantasy.

Shandor
10-07-2015, 11:35
I would have simply stopped supporting fantasy.

Yeah who needs money? :) Thats a strange Idea.

EagleWarrior
10-07-2015, 11:49
I find this asks interesting questions about LotR and the hobbit. While I love the books and (some of) the films, I have no interest in these games and know almost no one who does. I've met far more people who play discontinued games like Gothic and Epic and even Bloodbowl, and yet it's one of the core games.

My guess is that while we as the core fanbase aren't that interested, there are a lot of 'casual' gamers who buy a few models from that film they like. AoS looks a lot like it's targeted at high volume, low commitment customers. Sadly what makes GW money is how much they can sell, not how much the fans care.

HammerofThunor
10-07-2015, 11:59
Yeah who needs money? :) Thats a strange Idea.

If the whole point is fantasy is not making them enough money I see no reason why AoS will improve that. It's a massive gamble and I'm not a massive gambler. So I would simply stop. Probably keep producing models on demand as the set up is all sorted but no more development.

Shandor
10-07-2015, 12:06
If the whole point is fantasy is not making them enough money I see no reason why AoS will improve that. It's a massive gamble and I'm not a massive gambler. So I would simply stop. Probably keep producing models on demand as the set up is all sorted but no more development.

But there is Potential. The Tabletop market is growing. Peoples have the money and WANT to spend it.
After 30 Years producing you just dont just shut down your business when the Numbers go down. 40k lost more income then fantasy did.. since 40k is the bigger part of GW in the first place and the overall numbers are going down for GW.
So instead of repairing what is damaged and raise the income back to the road upwards you would just sell GW and go to Holyday the rest of your life? (hmm sounds attractive) :)

EagleWarrior
10-07-2015, 12:07
Even models on demand is far from cheep. They have the machines, but would have to keep the factories open and maintained and be ready to run. They've dropped a lot of other games that weren't making money, sold off remaining stock and then just stopped.

That said, I'm not sure things were that bad for Warhammer, and I think at least some of the reason for AoS was the people at GW wanting to do something new. They've shown to be surprisingly unprofessional and opinion led in the past.

Kahadras
10-07-2015, 12:42
I would probably have looked at either Mordheim or LotR rather than comming up with a whole new setting with new factions. I would have set which ever system I picked in the Old World and chucked most of the End Times stuff in the bin. I might write some stuff up about how Nagash has returned and how the dead no longer rest easy. I'd move the Warhammer timeline forward by about 20 years allowing me to clear out a bunch of special characters and replace them with new ones. I'd then construct some interesting factions based off my new 'fluff' to be the foundations of 'Warhammer:Skirmish'.

My initial box set would be Bretonnian knights vs the Undead. I would have a mounted Grail knight, a Damsel, some Questing knights on foot and some squires for the Bretonnians and I'd but the Arthurian bent back onto them (making them the shining knight in armour MEQ that GW bosses want). I'd then have the 'Black Knight' (mounted Vampire), a Necromancer, Skeletons/Zombies and a big cool monster (something like a Werewolf). I might be tempted to do what FFG do and have a slimline rulebook and put the rest of the rules on cards. Therefore you would have a card that had the stats and skills of the Grail Knight and would then have equipment/magic items cards that you can 'attach' to the character/unit.

I'd then have a series of faction packs which people can pick up which add new races to the game. I'd have stuff like the Cult of Sigmar (Warrior Priests, Flagellants), Mercenaries (a hodge-podge of different races), Grey Elves (Elves that stil live in the Old World), Clan Moulder (monster focused Skaven army), Raiders (Marauders from the north) etc. Each faction pack would come with the core rules and it's own set of cards. I'd then try to make balanced releases for all of the armies (so each faction would get an extra unit all at the same time) which maybe a big splash release when a new race is added or we produce a new campaign book.

Wesser
10-07-2015, 13:08
I would:

- Tightened the rules. They already took a step with USR's. A few more unnecessarily complicated or vague rules cut out would have improved quality a lot

- WFB didn't scale to great for the 500 points bracket. I would probably have made a Starter box with 2 pre-chosen 500 points and included a simplified 10-page version of the game, so as to make the game playable 1 hour after glueing them together.

- Would have made new kits for boxes certain to turn a profit (like zombies)

- Created army lists/formations for stuff that the standard book didn't encourage. Example Ushabti aren't exactly the best rated in the TK book and as such players maybe mostly bought TG, sphinxes or battalions. Remedy: Release an army list/formation that allows Ushabti/Constructs to be played in a different way to the standard book. They could even use WD for this and write "Fully Official rules" next to it. Result: Ushabti sales (perhaps) boosted for veritably no risk

- I would have made an actual marketing effort. I would have a guy whose job it was to toss unconfirmable rumours about and build excitement rather than fear that drives customers away

duffybear1988
10-07-2015, 13:10
I would have based the game on Lotr and dropped the price of kits/upped the contents. Then I would have introduced some new armies - Kislev, Dogs of War, Zombie Pirates etc.

Then I would have produced a cheap rulebook for £10 with just the game rules, a more expensive rulebook with fluff for more money and then all the lists for free online.

Replicant253
10-07-2015, 13:16
I would have based the game on Lotr and dropped the price of kits/upped the contents. Then I would have introduced some new armies - Kislev, Dogs of War, Zombie Pirates etc.

Then I would have produced a cheap rulebook for £10 with just the game rules, a more expensive rulebook with fluff for more money and then all the lists for free online.

This.

Whatever you may think of the LOTR game the rule set is the definition of simple refined elegance. If rumours are true that GW are not renewing the licence for the movies/books then it surely seemed to be perfect timing to retain an already well respected rule set and port over to the newly re launched warhammer skirmish system with a few tweaks to make it more warhammery

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk

09philj
10-07-2015, 13:48
A LotR/War of the Ring type scenario might have helped. Design a tweaked version of the rules to make smaller scale games more viable, and then use that to wean people onto standard rules for big games, with a box set containing rules for both versions of the game, and enough models to make a game of either out of the box possible. Thus people could jump on with the boxset, a battalion, or the "couple of units and a character" approach to starting a new army possible for noobs. Rules for everything can be distributed as free PDFs, but rule boks should be available, at a reasonable price, for people who hate reading PDFs off a screen and don't want to print a hundred pages of rules. I would still have released End Times as an expansion in the vein of an Imperial Armour book; it covers the fluff and rules of units involved in a specific engagement, but can be used in normal games as well.

mbh1127
10-07-2015, 14:12
I would rework prices and stop treating customers lie garbage

Voss
10-07-2015, 14:23
I would have based the game on Lotr and dropped the price of kits/upped the contents. Then I would have introduced some new armies - Kislev, Dogs of War, Zombie Pirates etc.

Then I would have produced a cheap rulebook for £10 with just the game rules, a more expensive rulebook with fluff for more money and then all the lists for free online.

That would have worked fairly well.

I would have done some trimming of redundant armies, but basically did revisions at key points (magic, unit sizes and associated concepts-ranks, steadfast), with a focus on making the game more accessible at smaller point values. Also, starter sets with quickstart rules, in the $50-75 range. To get customers in and playing.


Oh, yeah. Also hype train and communication from back into January. Give people a taste and building ideas of what is coming, rather than let them stew in their own fears and create increasingly outlandish scenarios which turn out to be magnitudes less awful than the actual product. ;)

Pacman
10-07-2015, 14:28
Simple: reduce overheads.

The idea that they couldn't make money off Warhammer is nonsense. WHFB had more people playing it than virtually every other wargame in the world, except 40K. Other games companies manage to turn a decent profit selling much, much less successful games.

If GW weren't turning a profit from Warhammer then their costs must have been too high. It might have meant a lot of downsizing, but if that's what the actual size of the market dictated then so be it.

They also needed to focus on hiring some fresh talent for their design team. They used to have some quality talent on staff but they've lost a lot in the last few years. The standard of the AoS rules highlights that crisis more eloquently than I ever could.

The_Real_Chris
10-07-2015, 14:40
All my solutions would require a different company to implement them. GW acting as it does all you have left is abandon or a re-boot. And the re-boot is flawed because of company practice...

Col. Tartleton
10-07-2015, 14:44
216860

Finish Warhammer 8th edition in a coherent manner. Then launch Mordheim 2nd edition.

Go absolutely crazy coming up with rules for Chaos Dwarfs, Estalia, Tilea, Nippon, Cathay, Ind, Araby, Khuresh, etc. Each faction can probably be handled by 2-3 boxes so its not like you're launching a whole line for any of them.

Give us the go anywhere, do anything sort of skirmish game we would appreciate. Indish traders vs Ogres on the road to Cathay. Skaven vs High Elves in one of the far flung colonies. Savage Orcs and Lizardmen in the jungles of Lustria. Tomb Kings and Arabyans in the Great Desert. Hung raiders against Dark Elves among the Watch Towers. Kurgan hordes trying to assail the Great Bastion of Cathay. Imperial and Tilean free companies murdering each other in the Border Princes.

A free flowing skirmish game with all the depth we are used to but far more breadth than a mass battle game allows.

Lord Dan
10-07-2015, 14:48
I'd talk to the gamers

We can close the thread now.

Pacman
10-07-2015, 15:15
216860

Finish Warhammer 8th edition in a coherent manner. Then launch Mordheim 2nd edition.

Go absolutely crazy coming up with rules for Chaos Dwarfs, Estalia, Tilea, Nippon, Cathay, Ind, Araby, Khuresh, etc. Each faction can probably be handled by 2-3 boxes so its not like you're launching a whole line for any of them.

Give us the go anywhere, do anything sort of skirmish game we would appreciate. Indish traders vs Ogres on the road to Cathay. Skaven vs High Elves in one of the far flung colonies. Savage Orcs and Lizardmen in the jungles of Lustria. Tomb Kings and Arabyans in the Great Desert. Hung raiders against Dark Elves among the Watch Towers. Kurgan hordes trying to assail the Great Bastion of Cathay. Imperial and Tilean free companies murdering each other in the Border Princes.

A free flowing skirmish game with all the depth we are used to but far more breadth than a mass battle game allows.

I'm one of those vets with finished armies that never buys anything from GW that everybody is blaming, but I would buy that in a heartbeat.

Twido
10-07-2015, 18:56
This is a good question

Step 1: Improve game balance and tighten up the rules. This is mostly a problem with the army books rather than the core rules but balance within and between armies has been poor for some time now. My thinking is that you can have a narrative or just for fun game regardless of how well written the rules are but competitive games need well written, balanced rules. Why exclude one game type? I would add to this that nearly everyone I have ever played has been competitive to a greater or lesser extent and want to play a competitive game.

Step 2: Improve communication. It is industry standard to have community managers that communicate through forums and other social media. In the video games industry it is not unusual to have to actual developers talking about their design decisions. GW is about 10 years behind everyone else on this issue.

Step 3: Move back towards its conceptual roots. It might mean treading on the toes of Forge world but they capture the spirit of Warhammer in a way that GW is simply no longer capable of. Oh yes, and fire whoever came up with the age of Sigmar; we have become the laughing stock of the gaming world.

Darnok
10-07-2015, 21:25
The following assumes that I had the ability to intervene before the End Times books came out. If I had to decide about what happened to the WHF setting and game at that point, it would be:


Follow the general idea of what the ET books actually did: an apocalyptic series of events, changing the setting.
The main difference would be: keep the world intact: evolution, not revolution.
After the last act, the world would be in ruins in many places, the eight winds of magic would be unbound, Chaos would run rampant across the world.
Yet, there is hope! While the defence of the "good" side was broken, there are still cities that hold on, fortresses under siege but not broken, even whole regions in freedom.
Now use "eight winds of magic have an effect on the world in different ways", "Chaos attacks everywhere" and "the forces of order still exist" to shape the world in a new way, without killing it off.


That way all existing factions could still exist, with many new ideas brought in to represent the changes. Magic going crazy could explain all kinds of things, while it would still be deeply routed in the existing framework of the WHF background. Those Sigmarines could still be introduced, as could other new armies.

Gamewise, I would introduce a skirmish variant of the game, being an easy entry into the fantasy side of GW - while scaling up to a point where it becomes "regular WHF". I don't think AoS does an incredibly poor job in that regard: it works quite well as a quick and easy game, driven by scenarios. It just doesn't scale up well at all.

With that small-scale game you could 1.) introduce "new blood" to the game, while giving both new and existing players a new variety of gaming in the setting and 2.) explore corners of the WHF world previously only covered in the roleplaying version - many things are just impossible to recreate on the tabletop with "big" armies, while being very easy with warbands or the like.

Yeah, pretty much that. Sadly, GW decided to go another way...

ToLongDidntRead
10-07-2015, 21:35
I'd have milked the ET series for a couple more years, an Orcs and Goblins ET book would have sold like hotcakes for instance.

And then I'd have released Age of Sigmar. The ET release kits would form the base of the new armies. (Which the ET models we have still may well do.) Age of Sigmat effectivally has one kit atm, which can't be good for sales.

frankelee
10-07-2015, 22:11
I would have done the End Times thing while also doing a new Black Box release every year with the old, beloved games, both to gin up interest from veterans. I would have admitted past mistakes in the way the company treated fans, and released a new policy about supporting online communities. I'd have GW stores "just not go there" when it comes to telling people to put away armies that aren't 100% GW, and encourage them to play GW's "specialist game" releases old and new, with certain times set aside for the core games, like any regular gaming store. Then, with a large amount of interest and good will I would have released 9th edition (with a Crisis on Infinite Earths, everything works out in the end storyline), tightening up or removing armies that weren't going to make it, and releasing updated army books for every force we were keeping around. And I'd have kept bilking 40K players with OP codexes.

Urgat
10-07-2015, 22:40
The following assumes that I had the ability to intervene before the End Times books came out. If I had to decide about what happened to the WHF setting and game at that point, it would be:


Follow the general idea of what the ET books actually did: an apocalyptic series of events, changing the setting.
The main difference would be: keep the world intact: evolution, not revolution.
After the last act, the world would be in ruins in many places, the eight winds of magic would be unbound, Chaos would run rampant across the world.
Yet, there is hope! While the defence of the "good" side was broken, there are still cities that hold on, fortresses under siege but not broken, even whole regions in freedom.
Now use "eight winds of magic have an effect on the world in different ways", "Chaos attacks everywhere" and "the forces of order still exist" to shape the world in a new way, without killing it off.


That way all existing factions could still exist, with many new ideas brought in to represent the changes. Magic going crazy could explain all kinds of things, while it would still be deeply routed in the existing framework of the WHF background. Those Sigmarines could still be introduced, as could other new armies.

Gamewise, I would introduce a skirmish variant of the game, being an easy entry into the fantasy side of GW - while scaling up to a point where it becomes "regular WHF". I don't think AoS does an incredibly poor job in that regard: it works quite well as a quick and easy game, driven by scenarios. It just doesn't scale up well at all.

With that small-scale game you could 1.) introduce "new blood" to the game, while giving both new and existing players a new variety of gaming in the setting and 2.) explore corners of the WHF world previously only covered in the roleplaying version - many things are just impossible to recreate on the tabletop with "big" armies, while being very easy with warbands or the like.

Yeah, pretty much that. Sadly, GW decided to go another way...


Pretty much that on the fluff side. Archaon basically wins, goes back home to attain demonhood or something, leaving only remains behind. Excepted the remains don't die off, they struggle, etc.
Sigmarines are, well, they'd be fine, the idea is to bring money, the concept is probably sound. I'd have had them designed in a much more baroque style though. I've just started playing Darksider and I swear the angels in that game were sigmarines before their time. ANyway, I like that they make the good guys go on the offensive. New World could be about the good guys trying to reconquer the Old World now that the Chaos Gods have truned their stares elsewhere and their worshippers don't have their backing anymore. So those sigmarite dudes come, kick some asses, till that brings back the attention of the big four.

I wouldn't do a skirmish varient, varients don't work. I'd have modified (heavily) the 8th ed rules to make them (much) simpler, and with unit size thresholds (ex: goblins are ranked at 20+ are skirmishers under). So much simpler rules overhall. Wheels are just measuring from the outside corner from A to B straight, inside corner cannot move more. All special rules are just modifiers (ASF doubles I, ASL cuts it by half, etc etc etc). Units have cards (instead of these big scrolls) because nowdays cards for everything is the popular thing to do.
Magic simplified. Wizards know all their spells; no book keeping. Limits to modifiers to simplify stuff (no 7+ or worse to hit sillyness). Etc etc etc.
Enforced base sizes for all units (base size included in the profile).
Many, many scenarios.
Finding a way to make at least troops cheaper (something like Reaper Bones?).
Being more public. Doesn't mean talking about a bunch of players on internet forums. More ,like paying for adverts in magazines (all kinds), trying to be distributed in big marketplaces, etc etc.