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Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

I'm considering writing up a little article on how to fairly compare model costs from company to company.

Why?  Because I think there is some value in fostering the idea of competition between gaming companies.  That's how the free market works.  For example, Coke can't come out with a $5 soda, no matter how great it tastes, because it probably doesn't taste 5 times better than another option.

I think the fairest way to compare is from a pure 'model quality' standpoint.  Of course how 'cool' a model looks is purely subjective.  What I mean is:

  • Size:  Obviously companies must charge more for larger models.
  • # of bits/complexity: This is important because it costs more to produce more bits.  Generally, the more a model is broken down, the more detail it has and the better odds are that you get good casts and good quality.
  • Detail: This is a little subjective, but basically is it a complex sculpt?  Is there a lot of smooth, empty areas?  Or does the model have a lot of detail?

I think that there are two units, from two different companies, that get a bad rap for price, that I'd like to examine: Warmachine Cavalry and 40K Terminators.

40k Termis are $50 for 5, or $10 each.  They are large (for infantry) and extremely detailed, with many cool bits.  Can anyone think of a similar model in Size, Complexity, and detail that is priced better?   My only beef with the termi's is that you CAN'T buy them single because they are now on plastic sprues.  So there is no way to get 1 for $10 (or even $15).

Warmachine Cav:  They vary slightly in price from faction to faction, but most work out to be around $20 per model.  They are large (for cav) on 50 mm bases, with many bits and a lot of detail.   Any examples of similar models in size, complexity and detail that is priced better?

I look forward to your thoughts!


 
   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

Larger models = Higher Cost due to materials

More detailed model != Higher Cost - A good example of this would be a comparison of say, a Monolith to a Carnifex.  The Carnifex is a large plastic model, there is loads more detail, loads more options, but it is cheaper.

Privateer seems to price solely off model weight.  This is why the Soulhunters and the Uhlans have different MSRPs.  They are both cavalry, but the Uhlans are much heavier.  This is also why warcasters and warlocks are fairly reasonably priced (at the moment).  The Uhlans are around the same weight (each) as a light warjack.  As such, it is priced accordingly.  I have held the Uhlan box and it -is- heavy.  Like... Behemoth heavy.

In GW's pricing scheme, Kommandant Irusk would be twice the amount of money as a Gun Mage Captain Adept simply because he is an HQ model, and players would only be buying one.

Games Workshop seems to price solely off some arcane formula which seems to factor in "is the model selling?", "how many models of one type will the gamer buy?", "how high can we drive the price before the product doesn't move?".  This is evidenced all across the line:  

Here's a strange example:

$18 CAD for the inquisitorial henchmen (3 models +1 familiar)
$55 CAD for the inquistorial box which includes the above, +1 inquisitor and 1 henchman.

So what GW is telling me is that the inquisitor and the one henchman are worth $37.  Which... strangely, is not the case... since the inqusitor can be had for $16CAD... so I guess that one henchman is worth $21... except we can buy four henchmen for $18... or two servitors for $16.

There's also the wierdness that GW Canada is charging $30CAD for Shadowsun's body, and GWUK is charging 6GBP for it.

A regiment box can contain anywhere from 20 models to 4 models.  Are imperial guardsmen somehow less posable, or less detailed, or have less options than ogre ironguts?  The Ironguts are larger models, certainly, but there is a large disparity.  How about Cadians vs Chaos Marines?  Are the Cadians less detailed?

Terminators (5x) vs Ironguts (4x) is also an interesting comparison.  Are the terminators that much more detailed than Ironguts?  Do they have more options?  How about compared to Ogre Bulls(6x)?  Are they more detailed or larger models?  How about Rat Ogres (x3)???

I would be interested in hearing comments about Confrontation or Mongoose, since I am generally unfamiliar with their products.

   
Made in us
Clousseau





Wilmington DE

I think you should also work in materials and complexity of the figure (i.e. how many parts, how hard to put together, etc.). Certainly in the finescale modelling world, you're going to pay more for, say, a tank kit with several hundred parts, many of them photoetched, metal, etc. Again, it's subjective (I like the hobby side, so I get plenty of 'play' time out of putting my Old Witch together, while someone else who just wants to get gaming might be happier with a one-piece figure), but I think that should be worked in as well.

Guinness: for those who are men of the cloth and football fans, but not necessarily in that order.

I think the lesson here is the best way to enjoy GW's games is to not use any of their rules.--Crimson Devil 
   
Made in us
Plastictrees



Amongst the Stars, In the Night

While taste in the finished product is certainly a subjective matter, how said product comes into being most definitely isn't. Metal castings have obvious advantages in that, even with modern spincasting techniques, they allow for under cuts and better, finer detail as well as a relatively short turn around time from concept green to production mold (and the relatively low cost to get there). However, in the long run, metal casting is a more expensive process due to the labor required in it's manufacture, RTV molds wear out relatively fast, mis-casts increase with mold age, and it's a labor intensive process in and of itself.

Plastics, on the other hand, are generally more easily customized, easier to assemble, are lighter and easier to mass produce and, over time and in sufficient sales quantity are significantly cheaper to produce than any other process currently available. This is due in part to the automation of the manufacturing process and that the molds used almost never wear out.

The flip side is that the upfront costs (and associated risk) can be significant (cutting the casting dies is a huge cost, and is why when molds are lost due to fire or similar they almost are never recreated). Also, the very nature of the standard 2-piece styrene dies GW uses means the kits will be less detailed (zero capacity for undercuts) than other alternatives. GW also refuses to pass on any of plastic's cost savings to the customer (despite past lies to the contrary).

Resin is like metal castings, but it's even more expensive as the resin itself is expensive (something Forgeworld poorly attempts to ameliorate by adding an excessive amount of filler), and the molds wear out even faster. In addition, resin is particularly sensitive to being demolded to early before the casting has had time to cure properly (re: Forgeworld again), but if properly done, it is capable of the finest detail of all reproduction processes.

OT Zone: A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villany
The Loyal Slave learns to Love the Lash! 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

It's definitely hard to compare plastic models to metal models.  I go back and forth on which I prefer.  Plastics are easier to work with generally, and often go together faster with polystyrene cement. 

The down side to plastics seems to be the loss of the ability to buy bits easily and/or affordably.  i.e. Things like a terminator assault cannon, which might have been $2.00 in metal, is now either a $20+ sprue or a $12+ bit via a specialized bits service (BWBits.com or something)

It has also lead to the death of the single model blister in some areas, like the Terminator.


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Part of the weight should be a penalty for having to buy models in lots. Even if you find a comparable model to a terminator from another company for $10, the terminator is less attractive because you have to buy 5 of them.

But I like the idea.

The real question is, do you factor in the in game effect somehow?


"I've still got a job, so the rules must be good enough" - Design team motto.  
   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

Plastics:  Pros:

Easier to cut, position, glue, pin.  Better impact resistance when you drop the damn thing, since it is lighter.

Plastics:  Cons:

Detail is often muddy because of the casting process.  No undercuts due to limits of technology.  Aforementioned hard to get custom parts.  Often requires more clean-up than metal models due to mould-line removal. 

GW specific gripes:  No price advantage over metal models.  I fully agree that GW's new plastic kits are really pushing the envelope:  i.e. Carnifex, Giant etc.  However, at the same time, they offer -less- conversion possibilities.  The giant in particular, the torso is designed in such a way that it is hard to reshape the basic body shape.  The ogre bulls are hard to repose.  Models with arms attached at the elbows. etc.

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By mauleed on 10/26/2006 12:18 PM

Part of the weight should be a penalty for having to buy models in lots. Even if you find a comparable model to a terminator from another company for $10, the terminator is less attractive because you have to buy 5 of them.

But I like the idea.

The real question is, do you factor in the in game effect somehow?


I like the idea of a formula that creates a 'value rating' for a given model.  For this to work, it would have to be VERY Objective. 

Simple example might be:

([# of parts] + [Base size in mm]) / ([Smallest Qty] + [Model price in $$])

The only way I can think of to bring in 'game effect' objectively in a way that would transcend game system would be % of typical army size.  ie. if a typical tourney army for 40K is 1500 points and a typical termi squad is 250 points then they would be about 17%.  A unit of Warmachine cav is around 100 points, which is 20% of a 500 point tourney list.  (Wow, look how close in game value both those units are)

We could adjust the formula to be:

([# of parts] + [Base size in mm] + [Percent of typical army]) / ([Smallest Qty] + [Model price in $$])

Thoughts?


 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Surely the choice of model and system is too subjective to allow a mathematical formula to be applicable.

If you remember Play By Mail games, my brother used a formula of orders per £ per turn to determine which were the best value for money. But it said nothing about how much fun an order was.

Petition to stop ratification of EU Article 13 on Internet Copyright

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Posted By keezus on 10/26/2006 12:44 PM

  The giant in particular, the torso is designed in such a way that it is hard to reshape the basic body shape.  The ogre bulls are hard to repose.  Models with arms attached at the elbows. etc.



I agree with you there, but I prefer the way the plastics for Fantasy are done now with mostly one piece bodies.  I'm glad the days of hourglass figure goblins and crappy looking chaos warriors are over because they had seperate legs and upper torsos..

Golden Demon standard?? I can barely paint Great Unclean One standard! 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut



Still trying to operate tape cassettes

One big problem you face is marketing perception.

To a non-gamer, who happens to like model kits, but picks them up in a toy shop, an Airfix/Revell(sp?) kit, at about £5 is not a lot, as they will build it, and probably not buy another for a long(-ish) while.

However, gamers need to buy mini's to play. Paying £6 for 3 metal models which you don't need to build (we'll leave paint out) looks significantly more expensive, particularly if you need 16 of them (I'm talking WHFB, by the way) to make them a useable unit. I'm in no way economically minded, so I could be wrong, but the question of where the models will take you/ what you will eventually do with them is a horribly hard thing to get around.

I Ate Your Bees 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By Kilkrazy on 10/26/2006 1:04 PM
Surely the choice of model and system is too subjective to allow a mathematical formula to be applicable.

If you remember Play By Mail games, my brother used a formula of orders per £ per turn to determine which were the best value for money. But it said nothing about how much fun an order was.


The purpose is not to try and indicate which game is superior, but rather indicate if a release in your favorite game is priced fairly when compaired to similar products in different games.

i.e. John Q. Gamer asks himself "I really enjoy game XYZ, but I'm starting to feel I'm spending more than I need to.  Game ABC also looks cool to me, but are the models really priced any better?"



 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By jlmb_123 on 10/26/2006 5:16 PM
However, gamers need to buy mini's to play. Paying £6 for 3 metal models which you don't need to build (we'll leave paint out) looks significantly more expensive, particularly if you need 16 of them (I'm talking WHFB, by the way) to make them a useable unit. I'm in no way economically minded, so I could be wrong, but the question of where the models will take you/ what you will eventually do with them is a horribly hard thing to get around.

I agree.  The more I think about including some kind of factor based on % of average army size is fair and helpful. 

i.e. $50 for 5 IG cadians would be awful, even if they were amazing, as 5 of them is only a very small percentage of a 1500 point force.  $50 for termi's isn't as hard to take, as 5 of them is 17% of a 1500 point force. 

I'm going to have to run a few examples with my formula and see what happens.


 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





The absolute strangest thing about GW's formula is that almost any composition army you build it always seems to come out to about the same price. They have to have some formula that calculates how the models will be used in game on top of everything else calculated. There are some armies more or less expensive, but most seem to come out to an average $$ price, it's wierd.

Golden Demon standard?? I can barely paint Great Unclean One standard! 
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.






Under the couch

Of course, factoring in the percentage of the army size is only usefull if you're buying the miniatures for use in the game for which they are actually intended...

If you're comparing, say, a Privateer mini, a Croc mini and a GW mini all for use as a character in your WHFB army, it adds a whole new layer of complexity

For that matter, if you really want to be thorough, maybe you need to include the number of different games the minature can actually be used in.

 
   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut





Factoring detail, type of material would be important if they were an important part of the price. But since the material cost so less compare to the final price you are better comparing more important factor like packaging, importance of the model in an army, cost of distribution, marketing cost. Those factor influence a lot more the price
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Ok, so I fiddled with the formulas a bit and ran some numbers.

Here are the formulas I used:

"Model Value"
Tries to indicate value of model based on how affordable and how complex.  Here's the forumula:

([# of parts] + [Base size in mm] + [Percent of typical army]) / ([Smallest Qty] + [Model price in $$])

"Game Value Factor"

Very roughly determines the game 'value for the dollar'.   

Formula:

[Percent Typical Army] / [Best MSRP for that unit]

For 40k I used a typical army size of 1500, for WM I used a typical size of 500.

"Total Value"
The Total value is simply the "Model Value" * "Game Value Factor". 

Columns with yellow headers are calculated.

<table style="WIDTH: 787pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="1047" border="0"> <colgroup><col style="WIDTH: 86pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 4205" width="115"></col><col style="WIDTH: 87pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 4242" width="116"></col><col style="WIDTH: 48pt" width="64"></col><col style="WIDTH: 53pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 2560" width="70"></col><col style="WIDTH: 48pt" width="64"></col><col style="WIDTH: 61pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 2962" width="81"></col><col style="WIDTH: 80pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 3876" width="106"></col><col style="WIDTH: 99pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 4827" width="132"></col><col style="WIDTH: 65pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 3145" width="86"></col><col style="WIDTH: 94pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 4571" width="125"></col><col style="WIDTH: 66pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 3218" width="88"></col></colgroup> <tbody> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 86pt; HEIGHT: 15pt" width="115" height="20">Model</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 87pt" width="116">Manuf</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 48pt" width="64">Parts</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 53pt" width="70">Base(mm)</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 48pt" width="64">Army %*</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 61pt" width="81">Smalest Qty</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 80pt" width="106">Price Per Model</td> <td class="xl67" style="WIDTH: 99pt" width="132">Price per min Squad</td> <td class="xl69" style="WIDTH: 65pt" width="86">Model Value</td> <td class="xl69" style="WIDTH: 94pt" width="125">Game Value Factor</td> <td class="xl69" style="WIDTH: 66pt" width="88">Total Value</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Terminators</td> <td>Games Workshop</td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">40</td> <td align="right">17</td> <td align="right">5</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  10.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           50.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 3.33 </td> <td class="xl70">                              0.34 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">1.13</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Terminator Cpt</td> <td>Games Workshop</td> <td align="right">5</td> <td align="right">25</td> <td align="right">12</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  15.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           15.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 1.88 </td> <td class="xl70">                              0.80 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">1.50</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Storm Lancer</td> <td>Privateer Press</td> <td align="right">10</td> <td align="right">50</td> <td align="right">20</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  18.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           52.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 3.16 </td> <td class="xl70">                              0.38 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">1.21</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Bloodsong</td> <td>Privateer Press</td> <td align="right">3</td> <td align="right">30</td> <td align="right">15</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  12.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           12.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 2.54 </td> <td class="xl70">                              1.25 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">3.17</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Dire Troll</td> <td>Privateer Press</td> <td align="right">9</td> <td align="right">50</td> <td align="right">24</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  30.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           30.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 1.90 </td> <td class="xl70">                              0.80 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">1.52</td> </tr> <tr style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20"> <td style="HEIGHT: 15pt" height="20">Plastic Dread</td> <td>Games Workshop</td> <td align="right">20</td> <td align="right">60</td> <td align="right">13</td> <td align="right">1</td> <td class="xl68"> $                  40.00 </td> <td class="xl68"> $                           40.00 </td> <td class="xl70">                 1.95 </td> <td class="xl70">                              0.33 </td> <td class="xl71" align="right">0.63</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

 

I kind of like what I see here, because many of the numbers FEEL right. 

Examples:

  • Although the Plastic Dread is more expensive than a Dire Troll, the Model Value is higher.  That does feel right, the Plastic dread comes with LOTS of cool bits, and is larger, it is a good price for the complexity of the kit.
  • Terminators are a better 'Total Value' than a Dreadnought.  This also makes sense, as athough they are $10 more per box, they also fill up a larger portion of your army.  That is, when you buy a box of termis, you have less other stuff to buy to hit a 1500 point list than if you buy a dread.
  • Bloodsong (a Warlock for Hordes) is a GREAT total value at $12.  This also makes a lot of sense, as Hordes (and WM) do revolve around the caster.

What do you think?  Feel free to post some of the data for other model kits, and I'll stick 'em in my spreadsheet and crunch the numbers.  I'd like to run numbers for other manufactuers too, so if folks know bit counts and base sizes for that stuff, post it and I'll add the data.


 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Bellevue, WA

I think having a formula is kind of a bad idea. At the end of the day Russ you're trying to measure value, and value is inherently subjective.

I do think that you'll need to introduce weighting to your formula. I'm not sure that going from a 50 to a 60 mm base (an increase of one centimeter) is worth as much as having 10 extra bits in the kit.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut



Bellevue, WA

Also you need a subjective factor to weigh quality. I could have a model on a 100mm base with 1000 parts that are nothing but splintered toothpicks but under your system that would be an AWESOME model.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By Jeff on 10/30/2006 10:06 AM
Also you need a subjective factor to weigh quality. I could have a model on a 100mm base with 1000 parts that are nothing but splintered toothpicks but under your system that would be an AWESOME model.


The system isn't designed to tell you which models look cool.  But rather if that cool model you want to buy is priced competativly.   That is, the numbers only have meaning if two different manufactureres make models of similar size and part counts. 

i.e. The forumula might work for a Forgeworld Warhound titan, but the numbers wouldn't mean much because nobody else makes anything like that.

As for base size vs parts, I like the base size being a big deal, as it really does make a difference.  Example:  There is only 10mm difference in base size between a GW terminator and a PP Dire troll, but that Dire troll is huge.  As base size goes up, the model value should go up.  Most manufacteres do not include overly large bases for the models. 

I guess this would break down for units like IG heavy weapon teams and fantasy swarms.

Height might be better than base size, but height is trickier to figure out for a given model. (i.e. Manuf don't publish heights of models, so unless you have access to an assembled copy of the fig...)

For vehicles and other oddly sized units, we could simply take the longest diagonal of the 'base' of the model in mm.


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Part of the problem is when you compare models for your game system with models that are similar, but not used in a game. For example, a plastic tank model from GW runs between $35 and $50. A kit from Testors or Airfix in about the same scale might cost as little as $12, while having more parts & detail.

I have a very hard time bringing myself to pay a lot more for a model just because of its utility in a particular game.

He's got a mind like a steel trap. By which I mean it can only hold one idea at a time;
it latches on to the first idea to come along, good or bad; and it takes strenuous effort with a crowbar to make it let go.
 
   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

A few points:

I like the "% of army" number. However, I feel that in Warhammer, it might be more meaningful when compared to normal competitive game size: i.e. 1850, although the 1500 or 1000 might still be included for casual play.

While I feel that base size is a good indicator of model size, I feel that using "number of parts" skews your perception. Here's an example:

Cryx Deathjack:
Parts: 29. Number of parts needed to complete Deatjack: 28. The soul component is optional. (I'm using the instruction's stock build here).

Warhammer Giant:
Parts: A gazillion - the accessory sprue itself contains 40+ pieces. Number of parts needed to complete Giant - significantly less than included, since you can't actually use the extra hands, feet, heads, weapons etc. Even if you are a mad converson fiend and for some reason wish to do crazy magnetized giant hands, feet and heads for swaps... As a result, I think that only the number of pieces to complete model should be considered.

While I think this opens a can of worms for units like the Dreadnought and the Carnifex, as there is lots of options for legitamite magnetized swaps. However, at the end of the day, the game company is marketing a "single model" to you with parts to make one of "any variant" and not "all variants". As well, as we are comparing single models, any residual bitz leftover -must- be assumed to be discarded as they were not used. However, this doesn't account for their inherent value, so I propose that instead of "total pieces", there should be a stock % added to the "no. of pieces to build one complete model" of the "model value" calculation in order to account for bitz for potential variants.
   
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Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

fellblade: I thought about bringing up model kit companies, however, we are also paying for the GW ruleset which the models are to be used with, and as such (even though GW's prices are ludicrous), those manufactuerer's prices are outside the scope of Russ' original topic.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut






I disagree. Nyarly already brought up the economics of casting in metal vs. casting in plastic. I don't think it matters much whether you are comparing plastic GW Landraiders with plastic Mongoose Tac Fighters or plastic Airfix Tiger IIIs. A plastic model of about the same size should cost about the same to produce. If it costs a lot more because of it's utility in a particular game, that is really a form of value-added tax.

He's got a mind like a steel trap. By which I mean it can only hold one idea at a time;
it latches on to the first idea to come along, good or bad; and it takes strenuous effort with a crowbar to make it let go.
 
   
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[DCM]
Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By keezus on 10/30/2006 11:43 AM
A few points:

I like the "% of army" number. However, I feel that in Warhammer, it might be more meaningful when compared to normal competitive game size: i.e. 1850, although the 1500 or 1000 might still be included for casual play.

While I feel that base size is a good indicator of model size, I feel that using "number of parts" skews your perception.

 

Good points.  I chose 1500 for GW because I thought it was a good balance between the casual area (1000/1200) to competitive area (1700-2000).

On the # of parts, I agree, this should be the number of parts to build the model.  Not that there is no value in extra bits, but that the real value is the final creation.  When counting for the dread in my spreadsheet, I counted all the parts I could slap on one dread, even if they were extra (like purity seals), but I didn't  count all the extra arms.

As for comparing miniature gaming models to conventional models (i.e. Tamya, etc) I don't think that can be fairly done.  The market for conventional models is much larger, so the manufacturer can charge less per unit.   Although I guess the formula still works, as a Tamya model might have a good "Model value" but it's gaming value would be 0.


 
   
Made in ca
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Soviet Kanukistan

Russ: Do you feel there is presently a bias in your calculations against metal models due to their higher cost?

An example might be: Predator vs Exorcist

The hulls are about the same, and I believe that the number of serperate pieces to complete the kit are roughly equal - with the bigger and heavier pieces on the Exorcist kit.

Going by the formula, they would come out roughly the same everwhere, except for the mugh higher price of the Exorcist, and as such, the Exorcist will score lower than the Predator, although being an owner of an Exorcist, I do not feel that it is "worse value" than the Predator, since it weighs a ton.
   
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Gun Mage






New Hampshire, USA

Posted By keezus on 10/30/2006 12:36 PM
Russ: Do you feel there is presently a bias in your calculations against metal models due to their higher cost?

An example might be: Predator vs Exorcist

The hulls are about the same, and I believe that the number of serperate pieces to complete the kit are roughly equal - with the bigger and heavier pieces on the Exorcist kit.

Going by the formula, they would come out roughly the same everwhere, except for the mugh higher price of the Exorcist, and as such, the Exorcist will score lower than the Predator, although being an owner of an Exorcist, I do not feel that it is "worse value" than the Predator, since it weighs a ton.


Remember, we're not talking about how COOL it looks, or how Awesome it is in a rule set, we're talking about value for the gaming dollar as compaired to other models.

The Exorcist MSRP is $55 (can you still even get this thing?), but I don't think the metal drives up the price.  For example, there is only a $5 difference between a leman russ and a demolisher ($40 vs $45), so metal doesn't always change the price much.   Also note that in my above sheet, the PP stuff is metal, against the GW stuff, which is plastic, and the numbers are comperable.

I think the Exorcist may be an example of an overpriced model.  Not saying it isn't cool, not saying you shouldn't buy it, just saying that for it's size and comlpexity, it is expensive.  Even within the GW line, for the same price you can get a Land Raider, and for only $5 more you can get a Crusader with lots of metal bits.


 
   
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Plastictrees



Amongst the Stars, In the Night

Posted By fellblade on 10/30/2006 11:59 AM

I disagree. Nyarly already brought up the economics of casting in metal vs. casting in plastic. I don't think it matters much whether you are comparing plastic GW Landraiders with plastic Mongoose Tac Fighters or plastic Airfix Tiger IIIs. A plastic model of about the same size should cost about the same to produce. If it costs a lot more because of it's utility in a particular game, that is really a form of value-added tax.



Exactly. I buy rulebooks for the rules, and models for the model, not rules for the models and models for the rules (well, sometimes). GW's pricing is clearly based on the figure's/unit's utility and how many are likely to be needed rather than actual manufacturing metrics. As such, the models made by plastic kit manufacturers are just as valid as those purposely designed for wargames. Indeed, part of the popularity of 1/72 scale models is that they are used by old school grognards for wargaming.

As far as the formula goes, I'm still out to lunch on it. That said, I am of the mindset that the plastic dread and carnifex are sold as single models that are more akin to the "2 in 1" kits some model makers put out, that is, one box capable of making multiple variants of one figure. Imagine being able to buy a Leman Russ kit and getting all of it's variants in the same box (Ie: Vanquisher, Annihillator and Demolisher turrets as well as multi melta and plasma cannon sponsons in addition to the standards).

Mind you, I'm not bashing GW for making the 'fex or dread kits. It's their pricing that is out of whack, especially on the kits that aren't as flexible (like the aforementioned Leman Russ kit). By way of comparison, I can buy a Italeri or Tamiya kit and it's going to have twice as many parts that are better detailed and better engineered than a GW kit and almost all of get used in building whatever AFV the kit is for, all while costing the same or less than a GW kit. And as far gaming use, sure they're usable! Come on now, how do you think we gamed vehciles in the 80's and early 90's (ie: before GW's plastic prolifieration)?

I will say that some of the very best figures GW sculpted have been metal (the old SM Scouts, for example), and by their very nature often don't consist of many parts. On the other hand, their plastic kits (often) aren't nearly as detailed as other manufacturers, both in quantiy of parts and quality of the parts themselves. I'm unfamiliar with Warmachine, but Rackham and Reaper both consistently produce metal figures that are as good as or better than GW's sculpts, yet they are also often one or two piece castings. It's here where we get highly subjective.

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The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

Would this system accurately take into account models that are in much different scales? 

I'm thinking mostly smaller stuff, like Flames of War (15mm).  An example would be a German infantry platoon.  It costs $18, and the guys are really small.  But you get about 46 miniatures in the pack, which are enough to make 10 actual playing pieces (if you bought some extra bases, you could make even more by putting 4 guys on a base instead of 5) and this platoon represents 13.6% of a 1500 point force.   This one $18 purchase gives you the full-size platoon with all the options.

Panzer IV F2's or G's, on the other hand, cost $9 apiece for one 15mm vehicle.  The minimum platoon size is 3.  The single tank is worth 10% of a 1500 point force, while the minimum platoon of 3 tanks would be 30% of your force (with a price tag of $27.)

I'm just not completely sure how you would compare quality of 15mm miniatures versus 28-30mm miniatures.


Also, the infantry are all metal with plastic bases, and the tanks have resin hulls with metal parts (such as tracks, gun barrels, etc).

   
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Clousseau





Wilmington DE

I think you'd have to do it across one scale. Case in point? I can field one battlemech for battletech, and that can be 100% of my army. One figure. On the other end of the spectrum, I can field twice as many units in Epic as I can in 40k for the same cost.

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