Pendraken Miniatures Forum
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
17 October 2019, 02:17:31 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Blitzkrieg Commander IV is now available here!
285116 Posts in 16993 Topics by 2190 Members
Latest Member: psutcliffe
* Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
+  Pendraken Miniatures Forum
|-+  Wider Wargaming
| |-+  General Discussion (Moderators: mad lemmey, Techno)
| | |-+  Current Climate of Wargaming?
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Current Climate of Wargaming?  (Read 23789 times)
VonGottschall
Cadet

Posts: 6


« Reply #90 on: 28 January 2018, 09:07:00 PM »

From a business/marketing perspective, a Recession like we have had that spans more than a handful of years causes consolidation and shut downs in any industry. The exception being New industries/segments.

Wargaming miniatures is a mature market, meaning that growth of consumers is directly related to population growth and EXTERNAL factors. External factors being things like Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, Kingdom of Heaven or blockbuster films or television shows bringing new people into the hobby.

 Until last Spring, I taught martial arts. The original Karate Kid movie years ago caused a 12X initial signup of new students for one 3 month period and 6X the following 3 month period for our organization. Nothing has brought this growth back so we are essentially pre-Kickstarter for the last 9 years or so with actual enrollment declines of 20% over "normal years" now. There is more to the story than just the Recession but it definitely effects expenditures.

With wargaming, it cannot be emphasized enough how much video games and now phone/tablet games have effected the market. You also have mass online combat games that require daily if not hourly interaction over time. There are many such games plus the Farmville types for those that prefer more timid gaming. Couple this with games that mimic offline wargaming well (DBA Online and FoG electronic releases are prime examples) and we have additional competition.

I happen to own some ready to play games as well. Fantasy Flight: X-Wing, Wings of Glory, Sails of Glory, also LotR Hexgame, HeroClix, etc. No modeling needed except for terrain and tables, etc. Quick to get into plus available at book, game and big box retailers (Target). For me they supplement my hobby, not detract from it. For others they supplant raw figure purchases.

I am not sure how much skirmish gaming is effecting the hobby. I think they make great intros to bigger games. Many I know newly starting get attracted to historical through skirmish and many move on to bigger battle games.

GW has changed their approach to very easy, easy and light medium complexity. They have small intro sets, medium intro sets and large sets for the hard corps buyer. They still charge too much for one off and specialty sets but it has become more affordable. More importantly, they attract the youngest players now just like Fantasy Flight has managed. GW stores have free paint clinics weekly and you even get a free figure. Books are published for reading in their genres too. I came back because my son prefers the shiny stuff but will play historical too, just less often. GW has newer leadership and it us working for them. They also have one of the best distribution networks around to include company stores.

Back to 10mm. From being semi-active to active again in Ancients/Medievals and about to be more active in Napoleonics again, I noticed an odd lull in the hobby. I attribute a lot of it to missteps in rules editions or petering out of new launches. FoG had gone in a poor direction with V2 for many including me. V3 wants us to re-invest in expensive revised army list books. Being that I dropped FoG and am now involved with Mortem At Gloriam, I won't be coming back to FoG and I wonder what the result is for remaining adherents? MeG is bringing players out of the woodwork here in Texas, even some that dropped the genre decades ago.

With Napoleonics, Napoleon at War has just been reprinted. General D'armee seems to be getting good press and at least regionally there is renewed interest again in the genre after a long lapse.

Bolt Action brought a lot of people over from Sci-fi. I actually prefer Chain of Command for this level of play. But I again prefer big battle when possible. New gamers seem to lack the patience or the desire to paint up figures. Myself, I am heavily involved with my 10 and 13 year old with their sports and Scouting activities. Luckily my son likes to miniature game too. We are still working at painting though....😉

I talked with a GW manager. He stated that GW is a lifestage company with customers entering, exiting and re-entering multiple times in their lifespan. I fit into this as I bought in the 80s and 90s, went away and came back with my son.
 
So, I believe that we are about to be on an upswing due to better economics but I am also sure that the industry is so fragmented with competitors that more will still shut down or sell. Quality sells though, I really cherish my Pendrakens😎

My take is price hikes are necessary. I prefer the self run New release incubator you did with Mongols over external online venues like Kickstarter. So, consider raising prices enough to get you guys making a decent living. One competitor of yours is almost 30% higher and still gets customers. I am not suggesting GW hikes but you have to charge enough to be sustainable, grow and pay yourselves too. The benefit would be more releases too for us and less stress for you; possibly being able to hire more so that ownership focuses on planning and strategy. And your purchase of Blitzkrieg Commander was the right move as well.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Logged
Dave Fielder
Lieutenant Colonel
*
Posts: 760


"Chickens-R-Us"


WWW
« Reply #91 on: 28 May 2018, 10:39:14 AM »

I liked the idea of a Kick-starter in martial arts training  Wink
Logged

If you make a sandwich you will not be hungry.
Leman
Field Marshal
*
Posts: 10647



« Reply #92 on: 28 May 2018, 06:34:45 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin Reminds me of the couple of acres joke.
Logged

The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
steve_holmes_11
Captain
*
Posts: 491


« Reply #93 on: 01 March 2019, 02:06:33 PM »

Having a retrospective read-through.
A few thoughts on the main points arising.

Kickstarter:

Has very little interest to me, and seems an excellent way of spending half your life glued to a screen where a fraction of the pages are of any interest.
Having said that, it's clearly a thing and a thing that is changing the shape of our hobby world.
Working in Information Technology, it seems to reflect the economics of my day jobs:
Companies that make little profit, and live form quarter to quarter on venture capital, employee goodwill and state handouts. - Everybody hoping they'll be "in at the bottom" at the next Microsoft / Google / Amazon.

Games Workshop

Economically back form the dead, but their repositioning has taken them out of scope of my google searches.
They're selling a different style of stuff. Have they taken their legions of fanboys with them, or recruited new ones?
Did the fanboys ever cross over to "historical" in significant numbers - I was always sceptical of this promise of new blood (for the blood gods). - [see what I did there].

Skirmish / Saga Size

Like Kickstarter, I think this style of gaming is here to stay, and likely to remain the mainstream.
Several sellers are perfecting a model to monetize these games with regular big releases, and a period of "support" for the successful ones.
Combined with Kickstarter, you gave the Crack Pipe of the gaming world.

Consider the advantages for the manufacturer / seller.
Controlled, finite size figure ranges, easy to collect or fit in a starter box.
Simple to author / learn rules.
Infinite potential for new games based on a very similar engine - just ensure your fluff doesn't sail too near a big dog's Intellectual Property.

28mm

Another thing I have found no use for whatsoever.
I associate it with ridiculously foreshortened table distances, tiny units, beautiful painting.
I can't think of one good set of rules developed specifically for 28mm (I'm prepared to be corrected).

My current #1 frustration is planning out the show season, and checking manufacturer's websites.
There's a new company with figures, can I use them? They don't even say what scale/size the stuff is.
28mm is the default, and the rest of us are working in the margins.

The good news is that my marginal scales of choice are each supported by at least one dedicated and long term manufacturer.
I'm confident their ranges will still be available in 12 months time if I wish to expand.
Hats off to Pendraken, Peter Pig, Magister Militum, Splintered Light, Essex, Heroics and Ros and Baccus 6mm.

Competition

I've no doubt that computer games and boardgames are fishing in the same pool of potential customers.
Mini-games, board games and computer games have all upped their game during the last 20 years.
It's hardly surprising that computer games have made the most progress (if you like that sort of thing), given the leaps and bounds of technology.
I've recently purchased a couple of Euro Games, and again I'm hugely impressed by the advances in: component quality and succinct and easy to play rules compared to the old Avalon Hill type offerings.

Tabletop gaming started with a huge lead in presentation and appearance.
We shouldn't be surprised that other styles of game are catching up.

The question I cannot answer is whether this competition is shrinking our market, or whether the pie is expanding at a tremendous rate.
I do see massive increases in professionalism and accessibility for all sectors of the gaming hobby.
I think one effect has been to squeeze out the "gentleman amateur" manufacturer, who might work on a small but otherwise inaccessible range of figures during weekend hours, while maintaining a day job.

Greying of the Hobby / (Pesky) Kids Today

I think there is truth in the greying of our particular sector of gaming - doing mainly historical stuff using miniatures.

A serious look at the young man of today shows massive changes compared to my own childhood.

Far more different interesting things competing for his time.
Combined with the demise of a number of craft based hobbies.

Seemingly higher disposable income (or perhaps the bank of Mum and Dad).
Young teenagers are certainly treated as fully fledged consumers now, not just spenders of pocket money.

All the above draws them toward the Pre-pack / Full Service / One stop shop model of game marketing.
Buy contrast, we greyhairs (and nohairs) are comfortable with  do it yourself model where we shop around for figures, rules, tools, terrain and source material.
WRG didn't do "fluff" because the library had a history section, and Vauxhall / GM / Opal have allowed the copyright on a Churchill / Sherman / Blitz to lapse.

Often a lot less space for his "stuff":
The lack of square feet and storage in a modern home (and often the lack of a dining room) is likely to be influential in preferring computer games.
Those boardgames also pack away quite tidily - compare with our recent chats about storage issues.

They'll generally get interested if their friends are doing it, or if there's a major film creating interest.
I'd be kickstartering a game about superherooes if it wasn't for litiginous publishers and their IP issues.
A cool £100K for the game designer who accurately forecasts whatever film genre that will topple superheroes.

Where Next

Mainstream will be Computer Games followed by boardgames.
Miniatures will be a fairly large (and potentially expensive) niche.

28mm and Saga / Skirmish size / Full service games will be default miniature style
Other scales and game scopes will be a relatively inexpensive niche (Unless you go for the 12' x 6' table).

We will inhabit a niche within a niche.
If Gaming as a whole grows, that niche may also expand.

It doesn't seem like a niche for the mainstream young gamer through.
Perhaps the target market will be the Boomers and Gen-Xers who grew up in a tactile analogue world.


Logged
grahambeyrout
Second Lieutenant
*
Posts: 61


« Reply #94 on: 01 March 2019, 03:11:02 PM »

Steve Holmes writes that WRG didn't do "fluff" because the library had a history section


I agree that WRG didn't do fluff, but I doubt that it had anything to do with what was or was not in the local library. Today the information revolution has increased available reference by a factor of what? - your guess is as good as mine. We have more information now but even though everything you need is out there with little effort, it is still more effort than having everything presented in one package. The really telling factor however is that the all in one package removes  the effort of evaluation and decision. Why bother to research rules, order of battles, figure availability/compatibility. uniforms/equipment, suitable base sizes etc, and then make a decision, when it can come in one box.
Logged
Ithoriel
Lieutenant General
*
Posts: 6445



« Reply #95 on: 01 March 2019, 03:33:00 PM »

Interesting post Steve but not entirely my experience. So, some thoughts your post raised.

Kickstarter:

I've backed six so far. All have delivered (late in most cases!) except the last which has delivered electronic versions of the rules but printed copies are still outstanding. I'm pretty sure none of them would have seen the light of day without the kickstarter model of funding.

Games Workshop

Apart from the odd pot of paint I haven't bought anything from them since they dropped support for Warmaster - the last thing they did that I was interested in.

That said they are the most visible face of wargaming for the general public.


Skirmish / Saga Size

The first skirmish games I remember playing were of "Retinue" in the early and mid 1980s so skirmish is nothing new but the emphasis on big battle rather than skirmish is certainly changing.

28mm

Extortionately expensive (IMNSHO) as they are, they make sense if you are only collecting a dozen or so for a game. Beautifully painted and set amongst detailed and (for what they are) inexpensive MDF scenery they provide a spectacle in the, as you say, increasingly compact space available.

Competition

Why spend time painting figures and pushing lumps of lead or resin around when computer games will put you in an ever more realistic and accurate simulation of the real thing.

Currently trying to avoid the siren song of "War Thunder" at the moment Smiley

Board games, especially Eurogames, appeal to a much wider range of people than war games do.

The big competition that board games, computer games, role-play games and the GW/ Warlord etc. style figure games provide is that they are increasingly attracting female players which gives you a much larger customer base.

Greying of the Hobby / (Pesky) Kids Today

More of my children's generation (30s) are gamers than those of my generation ever were.

Board games, collectable card games, paper and pencil RPGs, computer games of all sorts as well as figure games of various sorts.

Where Next

As knowledge of and views on war evolve and those of us born during or just after "The War" fade away I think historical gaming will fade, at least for the moment, but we are a blood thirsty and savage race at heart and I expect military themed games to be around for the foreseeable future.

Shared experience is a big factor in the games being played by those half my age and under. Look at the take up of Massively Multiplayer computer games like World of Warcraft, World of Tanks, Elder Scrolls Online and the like.
Logged

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!
steve_holmes_11
Captain
*
Posts: 491


« Reply #96 on: 01 March 2019, 04:08:34 PM »

Excellent response.

I write form my own point of view, and have explored only a fraction of the gaming options out there.
It's fascinating to see alternate perspectives.

You've jogged my memory on 2 counts:

I had forgotten that I also own Warmaster - so am a GW customer.

It's amazing how the popular films of one's formative years overlap with historic and gaming interests.

For me that was repeats (Often black and white) of Sword and Sandal classics and World War 2 films.
There were plenty of westerns as well, but they didn't appeal in quite the same way.

The cherry on the cake was Waterloo getting televised several consecutive Christmas afternoons, just after we got a colour telly.
(That musical Captain Von Trapp was the spitting image of the Duke of Wellington).
Logged
paulr
General
*
*
Posts: 8463


« Reply #97 on: 01 March 2019, 08:28:13 PM »

A couple of interesting and thoughtful posts Smiley
Logged

2018 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!
Chad
Colonel
*
Posts: 1335



« Reply #98 on: 01 March 2019, 10:12:15 PM »

Intersting points, but one confuses me a little.

If you have no interest whatsoever in 28mm how would you know if there are any or no rules designed specifically for 28mm?

🤔
Logged
Nick the Lemming
Captain
*
Posts: 369



WWW
« Reply #99 on: 01 March 2019, 10:58:19 PM »

Intersting points, but one confuses me a little.

If you have no interest whatsoever in 28mm how would you know if there are any or no rules designed specifically for 28mm?

🤔

Because you can't escape them, they're everywhere?
Logged

steve_holmes_11
Captain
*
Posts: 491


« Reply #100 on: 02 March 2019, 09:00:30 AM »

Intersting points, but one confuses me a little.

If you have no interest whatsoever in 28mm how would you know if there are any or no rules designed specifically for 28mm?

🤔

I have a great interest in rules, and read the publicity blurb for most releases.
I was very specific about good rules (Obviously a highly subjective statement - I could go on, but it's worthy of a discussion of its own).

Most rules have a certain degree of scale flexibility.
Most of the ones that don't are dedicated to a specific figure line.
Logged
grahambeyrout
Second Lieutenant
*
Posts: 61


« Reply #101 on: 02 March 2019, 09:39:12 AM »

There is something to be said for looking at the concept of rules specifically for 28mm figures from a different angle. Should we be thinking in terms not of figure size, but table size. Rules for 28mm are governed in a sense by how many figures you can get on a table, as indeed is ground scale. Given a football pitch size table, the rules could and would be different. Ideally rules would independent of figure size. You would just need a bigger table for larger scale figures.
Logged
Chad
Colonel
*
Posts: 1335



« Reply #102 on: 02 March 2019, 09:51:49 AM »

I think the publicity blurb does at times border on misrepresentation. I recently purchased a new release that suggested it would be suitable for a period I have been working on for some time and for which there has not so far been any rules available. I struggled through them trying to identify the elements that would be appropriate and not until I read the designers notes did I realise that in fact they lacked the knowledge to make the claim in the advertising.

In fairness to 28mm based rules, many of them now acknowledge the existence of smaller scales and give suggestions on how they can be adapted.
Logged
Orcs
Major General
*
Posts: 3930

Thread Derailment Specialist


« Reply #103 on: 02 March 2019, 12:21:14 PM »

Kickstarter:

I backed one - the Miliata Miniature one, primarily as I wanted to support and encourage Pendraken, that said they were excellent miniatures.  I have yet to see another that I am sufficiently interested in that gives a reasonable discount for taking your money up front on a promise.


Games Workshop

Apart from the new Inks and the odd paint , I haven't bought anything from them for several years. last things were a couple of Characters for my Pendraken Lizard army for Warmaster. I have bought a few Lord of the rings Characters second hand on Evil bay.

I do not like going into GW shops as the staff pounce on you and interrogate you.  One of our club members is the manager at a local Toyshop that also stocks GW stuff so I do not have to run the gauntlet


Skirmish / Saga Size


These are fun, quick and relatively cheap even in 28mm.

28mm

No so bad with cost wise with the huge variety of plastic figures for core troops.  However I find putting them together is a pain and still prefer metal figures even with the extra cost

Competition

I paly computer and boardgames, but still prefer a big battle with figures.

Greying of the Hobby / (Pesky) Kids Today

Due to our member at the toy shop we have seen a relatively large increase in the number playing GW stuff at club.  Most are in their 30's and several have been interested in playing historical games.  

Where Next



I agree with Ithorial  that those of us with a direct contact with WW2 or the military within their family, are more interested in historical gaming and war in general.  People are already gaming theatres that I felt were too recent to put on a table, but I have seen Gulf war games and recent Afghanistan conflicts  at several shows,  not my cup of tea, but each to his own.

I think the war gaming as we know it will continue as there is something about a beautiful table and lovely figures that is so much more aesthetically than any computer game.  And Its the interaction and fun you get from a war-game that you do not get online with a computer game.

Space  

While modern houses seem  to be very small, I can see the use of smaller scales getting round this issue.  I am fortunate that I have a dining room that actually spends more time with a wargame in it than we spend eating in there as we eat at the kitchen table



 

 
« Last Edit: 02 March 2019, 12:25:18 PM by Orcs » Logged

My aim in life is to P*ss off one person a day.  Currently I am 3 years  1 month  and 23 days ahead of schedule.

The cynics are right nine times out of ten. -Mencken, H. L.

We are all above the line of normality. Its just we all draw the line at a different level
Leman
Field Marshal
*
Posts: 10647



« Reply #104 on: 02 March 2019, 02:27:18 PM »

Iím not so sure about the GW pounce any more. Going back several years this was very much the case and I also dreaded running the gauntlet. However, I went in to buy a couple of paints last Tuesday. A female assistant got up from a game and asked if she could help me. I told her the particular paints I was looking for, then spotted one of them in the rack and picked it up. It was a good job she was there as she told me that that was the version for using in a spray and that this was the brush on version that I was looking for. she then got me the correct version of the other paint I was looking for. I took them to the counter to pay and the chap there asked me what i was currently working on. I told him it was 15mm Italian Wars. He then told me he also did historical gaming as well as fantasy and we ended up having a right good natter.
Logged

The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!