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Made in us
Incorporating Wet-Blending






gungo wrote:
Then create a tabletop game simulator that allows that player to play anyone in the world.


Well, it's already being done on TableTop Simulator...

Spoiler:


Also found Warhammer Online, although it's an MMORPG. I'll let others discuss WH40K in videogames...







Everything is easy when you expect someone else to do it. 
   
Made in gb
Been Around the Block




Recruitment of new players is the key. Forget rules quality, miniature price points, production methods etc. The tabletop hobby needs new blood constantly which means new never been involved before hobbyists.

Until another company has its own stores no one in miniature gaming will threaten GW. Warhammer's competition is PlayStation, Xbox, smartphones, any other hobby/trend for young people's time and money.

Yes people often 'graduate' into other game systems, manufacturers and versions of tabletop gaming. But it was GW that put a brush and dice in their hands and opened the portal from the wallet to the pile of shame. Speak to historical gamers of a certain age and they will often have similar stories of starting with airfix. Shift down the generations and GW becomes the universal story.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Aye and with airfix/Revel sort of out of the general lime light these days (along with Meccano); that leaves GW taking a lions share of the "hands on creative" hobbies outside of arts and crafts and the mature lego lines.

In fact of all those games only Lego and GW have really persisted in any strength at the younger end of the market; and of that part of Lego surviving was marketing itself out to the movie tie-in industry side of things.

Many of the other hands on hobbies are all limited to a more mature market, which is fine for now whilst nostalgia rules, but it leaves them with far less youthful recruitment and a ticking time bomb that their market is continually going to shrink. I can see companies like Hornby having trouble in years to come when they've no youth to replace the older generations.


Historical games are much the same, though because they sort of cross over with sci-fi adn fantasy games they can at least expect to get some from GW's massive recruitment of new gamers. But, again, there's no massive marketing drive to get people who are not already wargamers/modelmakers into the hobby.

   
Made in gb
Been Around the Block




If you look at the history of hornby etc and the number of times they've been bought and sold as a company it really shows how little profit there is in it. It would have been entirely reasonable for GW to have been bought up at some point in the last 20 years when it wasn't doing so great. Hasbro would love to get they're hands on it.

Totally agree with the point about hands on hobbies. So much of it now rides in the wake of GW and it really should be recognised.
   
Made in ie
[DCM]
Hoary Long Fang with Lascannon





Dublin

This is a great thread


For me personally:

1. Miniatures: Decent quality figures I rank this ahead of rules quality only because the models are usually the most expensive element of a game by far. If the rules are bad they can be fixed, you can use different ones or create your own. If the models are bad...

2. Rules: Ideally both fun and pseudo-realistic. I personally love highly tactical rules that make the course of a game seem like a feasible battle on some level (whether its fought with spears or railguns). I don't enjoy games with an over-reliance on synergies and buffing, or excessive randomness for things that shouldn't be random, e.g. units running. Compactness is also vital -the core rulebook and army list book should cover everything, with optional campaign books.

3. Lore / Background: Not essential (for games that are intended to be more generic), but if its rich and fascinating, painting and gaming will be more immersive and enjoyable, not to mention reading into it. I still follow the 40k universe despite having being disenchanted with the game itself a long time.

4. Factions: Distinct, well-balanced factions that handle differently. A decent variety of units, loadout options and upgrades in each. If 40k is excessive in the regard, many newer games like Warpath suffer from the opposite.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/17 21:15:32


I let the dogs out 
   
Made in us
Nimble Skeleton Charioteer





TheBrushKnight wrote:
Recruitment of new players is the key. Forget rules quality, miniature price points, production methods etc. The tabletop hobby needs new blood constantly which means new never been involved before hobbyists.

Until another company has its own stores no one in miniature gaming will threaten GW. Warhammer's competition is PlayStation, Xbox, smartphones, any other hobby/trend for young people's time and money.

Yes people often 'graduate' into other game systems, manufacturers and versions of tabletop gaming. But it was GW that put a brush and dice in their hands and opened the portal from the wallet to the pile of shame. Speak to historical gamers of a certain age and they will often have similar stories of starting with airfix. Shift down the generations and GW becomes the universal story.


This is very true in many ways.

Lately however (at least in America), it is Wizkids with the Nozlur range and Reaper with Bones that are putting brushes in peoples hands.

Now that I think about it; if Reaper set their minds to it they could become the GW of America - they produce their paint and minis at their Texas factory, and they have a (albeit mostly defunct and neglected) set of wargame rules. Hire Alessio at Riverhorse to breathe life into them, invest in a plastic injection machine and it's off to the races. They certainly could open their own stores in major American cities. However I don't think Ed wants to deal with what that would mean.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Reaper are big, but they seem to be happy being the "odd model" company and "RPG" supply company. They don't seem to have as much desire to be a wargaming company. I figure that they've got their niche and they feel that they make more than enough in that niche that they don't need to go "fighting" for another market.

A great part of their power is also appealing, esp with Bones, to the RPG and casual market who really don't care about models in the same way as wargamers. It's really interesting to see how powerful GW made "The Hobby" elements in their marketing because DnD models can be perpainted, a bit on the cheap side, often happy with just a white undercoat etc... And some might only see use once or twice if ever.

On the flipside they could have gone full "Kingdom Death" with highly detailed customisable player characters and such. But DnD isnt' interested in that kind of investment and Reaper and such are happier making characterful character models instead of complex customisable ones.

   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

GW changed the models aspect from pure gaming aid to be a modelling hobby as well

you see more and more GW models on scale model communities and there also the price is not a big problem (as you don't need an army)

but it also changed how Wargames care about their model

it is a pure marker on the table, a cardboard cube on a round base with a name tag on it will tho the same job as well as a 40€ model
yet the wargamer says the model needs to be the best looking available and does not care about the price
even if it only gets a terrible paint job and you want care about the high details as soon as you start playing

gaming models need to look good for the game, hence most R&F models look boring and miss details on the individual models as the important part is that they look good as regiment in formation from the distance

Skirmish models come with individual poses for each as you don't want 2 similar models in a 10 models game

and GW is the in the middle, using large amount of models in a Skirmish like games, yet already a 5 model squad as double poses that need a lot of work to change them
and people at the same time do not care about it because you need such a huge amount that double poses won't matter anyway on the table but the models also need to be as much detailed as possible

so there is no chance for someone like Reaper to get into the GW market
they could to Wargames but not for the GW customers as those want to have scale models to play with and not just game markers

Lokking at Mantic, those tried to sell "Markers" to GW clients and the main complain was that the game is bad because the models don't look as good as GW ones do
people rather paid 10 times the amount of money for a worse game than playing a game with "bad" models

and the funny thing is, the best selling Mantic games are those that attract different costumers
Deadzone and Walking Dead are considered Boardgames and Wargames/TableTops by a lot of people and this is reason why they sell

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Halifax

I'd say the number of people buying GW miniatures purely to paint them is possibly higher than the number of people that buy them purely to play after a 3-colour paint job.

   
Made in au
Pustulating Plague Priest




Back in the eighties and early nineties GW had personality, they were crazy, fun and passionate, it’s how they became the best. Then they lost all that and now GW has no soul, they try and recapture that same vibe by “paying tribute” to the early days, but they’re missing what made it special.
That’s what another company would need to make me switch, passionate, fun people are hard not to follow and support.

There’s a difference between having a hobby and being a narcissist.  
   
Made in pl
Dakka Veteran




Graveyard of indie games is full of 'passionate, fun people". For every indie hit there's thousand failed projects made by just as passionate people.

To actually challenge GW you need two things that are two sides of the same issue:
1) You have to get people who invested hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get over their sunk cost feeling
2) you need to guarantee there is a quick, widespread acceptance of the new game to provide enticing playerbase, otherwise point 1 kicks in full force.

Everything else is secondary.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Like it or not more companies survive because of people who are bean counters first and passionate second. Many a passion project has died because those in charge don't understand how to balance their books; how to forecast investment; how to hedge their bets etc... There's many a person who has sunk all their money into the most fantastic product and then run out of money to actually bring it to market.


Also I'd still maintain that if your business model for making it into wargames involves/relies upon poaching users from another franchise then you're onto a losing strategy from the start. What you need is a meas to get customers before GW gets the; to attract new customers from new niches that GW doesn't outreach into.

Don't aim for the 20-40 year old geek who already has a huge warhammer army or three and, no matter what you try, will always still have a GW interest. Go for the 8-15 year olds who don't yet have armies; who are ripe and fresh and haven't got years of collections. Heck its exactly what GW does.

GW isn't out there trying to steal customers of PP or Mantic or others; they are out there getting kids into their games. Fresh new blood that is a clean slate to introduce to wargames, to mould and to impress upon at a formative young age.


   
Made in pl
Dakka Veteran




Going for the 8-15 might actually be the more expensive option thought. GW can afford it because they managed to capture the pre-existing/growing gaming market in the 80s, when the competition was pretty much all ran from some shack in Farting-upon-Thyme or Nowhereville, Oregon. They have slowly built up media and street presence, and are attractive enough to put their brand on Monopoly or Risk these days, the entry-level board games.

A new company would have none of that, limiting their presence to LGS's and online...and none of those are where you capture the 8-15 demographic cause a kid that never heard of wargames won't wander into "MyWargameisBest.com" randomly and order a starter.

If you're not Hasbro or WizKids putting your licensed products on walmart shelves, the best you can do is poach.
   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

 Overread wrote:

GW isn't out there trying to steal customers of PP or Mantic or others

one could argue that GW is actually doing that

if a company found a niche GW released a game for that, sometimes with a little bit more success but mostly just to get those people into buying some GW models and use them in the main game

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Cronch wrote:Going for the 8-15 might actually be the more expensive option thought. GW can afford it because they managed to capture the pre-existing/growing gaming market in the 80s, when the competition was pretty much all ran from some shack in Farting-upon-Thyme or Nowhereville, Oregon. They have slowly built up media and street presence, and are attractive enough to put their brand on Monopoly or Risk these days, the entry-level board games.

A new company would have none of that, limiting their presence to LGS's and online...and none of those are where you capture the 8-15 demographic cause a kid that never heard of wargames won't wander into "MyWargameisBest.com" randomly and order a starter.

If you're not Hasbro or WizKids putting your licensed products on walmart shelves, the best you can do is poach.


Aye I admitted such as well. That said there might be ways but it might be sideways attacks rather than frontal. Eg you might release board games aimed at those generations rather than a pure wargame. There are ways to penetrate that market or at least influence it in some form. Granted its a tricky market to influence today or back then. Don't forget GW was also competing against Airfix, Meccano, Hornby, Lego, Lego Technic and loads of other brands and companies that I forget now.
If anything the physical kids toys market might actually be easier to penetrate now in terms of competition; the hard part is that digital entertainment has risen to powerfully compete with that market. Back then digital games were around, but nowhere near the volume, diversity nor market penetration.

kodos wrote:
 Overread wrote:

GW isn't out there trying to steal customers of PP or Mantic or others

one could argue that GW is actually doing that

if a company found a niche GW released a game for that, sometimes with a little bit more success but mostly just to get those people into buying some GW models and use them in the main game


GW does indeed compete, but half the time they aren't stealing the customers, they are enticing former GW customers to come back to GW. At the same time you can tell that its not their primary focus; heck until the CEO change GW wasn't even really trying to go for those customers at all. GW has always had their strongest focus on the younger market ot get fresh blood into the hobby. I think its a big part of why they've survived so well over the years; because for every old customer they lose, they aim to replace them with fresh younger customers. This creates a healthy cycle of customers for GW and whilst it will rise and fall generation to generation, broadly speaking it ensures they maintain a healthy income of new customers.

   
Made in us
Rough Rider with Boomstick





 Vaktathi wrote:

FFG got close, with Xwing for a bit, but that was in large part due to mishandlings on GW's part and a confluence of new Star Wars movies, and didn't last.

I'd argue that X-Wing was more a case that the majority of people picking it up weren't already tabletop wargamers and those who were, didn't really view it under the same lens as they did... well, tabletop wargames.

It's arguably why historical wargames don't really have too much overlap with sci-fi/fantasy wargames, because the two audiences can and absolutely do overlap, but at the end of the day you're either into more real-world, grounded rulesets and models or you're not. A Flames of War player probably isn't going to stop playing Flames of War if GW suddenly produce the most balanced, fun, amazing ruleset ever - even though they might also play 40k, they won't drop FoW in the same way a Warmahordes or Infinity player might, but they might drop FoW for another WW2 ruleset.

The reason I mention that is because going back to X-Wing, anybody who's going to really 'rival' GW has to be someone who can bring in an audience who weren't really involved with wargaming before then. CMON's ASOI&F isn't huge, but there's a notably big proportion of players who never actually touched wargames before but were pulled in under the assumption it was 'like a bigger board game' (being designed by CMON and featuring on Kickstarter helped) and even years after it's release you still see that a good amount. Star Wars is... Star Wars, but Legion has a lot of Imperial Assault and X-Wing players who didn't touch GW games. The D&D miniatures are very popular and a lot of people get into painting them up.

The problem with trying to grow your brand from existing GW players is that, as 8th showed, most of them are probably going to go running back GW as soon as Malibu Stacy has a new hat because those 'ex'-GW players already invested hundreds/thousands of hours and pounds into the GW Brand(tm). Anybody who's going to potentially rival GW going forward is going to do so by not trying to siphon off GW converts. It's going to be like X-Wing a few years ago and, to a less relevant extent, board games now, by bringing in a new audience who're drawn in by something other than 'another unassembled, unpainted tabletop wargame', even if that is ultimately the endgame.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2020/09/23 17:09:22


 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

Joyboozer wrote:
Back in the eighties and early nineties GW had personality, they were crazy, fun and passionate, it’s how they became the best. Then they lost all that and now GW has no soul, they try and recapture that same vibe by “paying tribute” to the early days, but they’re missing what made it special.
That’s what another company would need to make me switch, passionate, fun people are hard not to follow and support.


Ronnie has that going for Mantic. Whether it’s real or just canny illusion, he gives the company the air of a passion project.

Dave Lewis is the personality behind Dropfleet/Dropzone, widely beloved by the fans for his fanatical attention to details. After TTCombat bought out the company, fans complained that TTC had him locked in a basement ...and TTC went along with the joke. They also release great exclusive miniatures that show a connection with the memes and fascinations of the community.

Reaper has a heavy presence on their forum, and a rapport with some of their fans that borders on intimate.

These companies have all built up loyal fanbases, extensive product ranges, and reputations that all seem to emphasize a dependable and improving product.

Wargames Atlantic seems on their way, so far, but they seem a bit sober in their aspirations, being more historically-minded.

   
Made in pl
Dakka Veteran




They also release great exclusive miniatures that show a connection with the memes and fascinations of the community.

A small side-note, I am really irked by how easily people are swayed when business entities do those "we're in touch with our fanbase" things. No company is your friend.
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

No, but it’s nice when they make the effort to try to appear like they care.

   
Made in au
Pustulating Plague Priest




While I agree bean counters are necessary, marketing/ PR departments ruin everything they touch and are more who I had in mind as being not needed when you have passionate creative people.

There’s a difference between having a hobby and being a narcissist.  
   
Made in mx
Tunneling Trygon




Mexico

That is such a hot take so hot it burned a hole in the fabric of reality, because it is pure nonsense.

Without marketing, you cannot reach out to new customers, and without new customers the whole thing is simply not viable.

   
Made in au
Pustulating Plague Priest




That is such bs it stained the fabric of reality. You need marketing, not a marketing department. Unless your intended audience is hipsters.

There’s a difference between having a hobby and being a narcissist.  
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Joyboozer wrote:
While I agree bean counters are necessary, marketing/ PR departments ruin everything they touch and are more who I had in mind as being not needed when you have passionate creative people.


But what use is passion if no one sees it? Marketing/PR is the backbone of a company getting customers. Look at any company and advertising and marketing is a cornerstone to them doing well. Often as not substandard products cna sell better than superior ones because the substandard has a vastly more effective marketing system. Heck consider that some major computer games like Call of Duty reportedly spend more money marketing and advertising than on developing the game itself.


If your company does not invest enough into marketing and PR then you are basically at the mercy of the customers totally. If you are at that stage then most of the time you won't get big. You get the rare situations like Minecraft where the product simply takes off and strikes a chord with the community leaders. Resulting in a huge amount of basically free and self perpetuating marketing that takes off like a storm. Which is supremely rare to happen.

Marketing isn't evil, its purely about communication of your product to your customers and to new customers. It's about informing and outreaching information that your product, your brand, your company exists in the world. If you don't do that then many potential customers will simply never hear of you.

   
Made in au
Pustulating Plague Priest




Who would you say was responsible for most of the product promotion to people outside the hobby over the majority of GWS existence, GW or distributors and retailers?

There’s a difference between having a hobby and being a narcissist.  
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Joyboozer wrote:
Who would you say was responsible for most of the product promotion to people outside the hobby over the majority of GWS existence, GW or distributors and retailers?


In the UK I'd say GW itself. They have shops on the highstreet with their own staff in many towns. Back in the 90s they were often in prime highstreet locations with bright stores, tables, models and all. Even smaller ones had two or three staff on at any one time. They were also in many towns that either had only poky small geek shops or no geek shop at all, so GW stores very much were the welcoming to the wargame market. Heck earlier they even ran TV averts though I think they ended fairly fast as costs rose very quickly.

Today GW still has a great number of stores on the highstreet, though they've moved out of the best locations to the secondbest and stores are now often one staffer only. But that's more a reflection of how costs on the highstreet have gone insane over the last years.

   
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Pustulating Plague Priest




The same GW who at their peak had a CEO who bragged they didn’t need to advertise? The same GW who used a magazine publisher to advertise their lotr product line so they didn’t have to spend the money to do so themselves?
*Edit* also, I think we’re supposed to call them Warhammer stores, because of the successful rebranding and marketing campaign.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/25 11:14:26


There’s a difference between having a hobby and being a narcissist.  
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Joyboozer wrote:
The same GW who at their peak had a CEO who bragged they didn’t need to advertise? The same GW who used a magazine publisher to advertise their lotr product line so they didn’t have to spend the money to do so themselves?


Well the 90s wasn't Kirby era fully. Plus honestly GW didn't "need to advertise" for a long while because they had highstreet stores advertising for them; their own magazine advertising for them etc... GW hasn't really used traditional advertising/marketing in a very very long while. I don't really recall seeing them advertising in other magazines, on billboards etc.... I suspect mostly because they have their own stores and are a niche product. So they aren't looking at a mass market advertising campaign.

Kirby I think rested on the power of GW for a long while and it was good times at the start, but come the end they were bleeding customers and there was clearly a need for a new direction. Remembering that even without paying for adverts online, GW wasn't really using the internet for anything more than their store front. I think in part it was because they were protecting the importance of White Dwarf as their advertising product and likely felt using the internet was going to rob them of the point of having WD. At the same time their early attempts at internet use was the GW forum that burned in fires of trolling and bad moderation/community management.

So they got stung and didn't feel a need; fastforward and the new CEO has certainly changed a lot of that and GW is now putting out community articles every single day of the year. Coupled to an active youtube channel and even streaming some major games at events as well. Plus they appear to be connecting with and attending events as a company far more so.


   
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Dakka Veteran





Marketing isn't evil

This really isn't the place to discuss why capitalism is unsustainable
   
Made in us
Tunneling Trygon




Mexico

Joyboozer wrote:
That is such bs it stained the fabric of reality. You need marketing, not a marketing department. Unless your intended audience is hipsters.

And who makes marketing? the marketing department.

Even if it is a very small company of 5 people, one of those 5 should preferably be a marketing major. And as the company grows so does the marketing needed, so you hire more people to do marketing, and then you have a marketing department.
   
Made in us
Rotting Sorcerer of Nurgle






 Arbitrator wrote:

It's arguably why historical wargames don't really have too much overlap with sci-fi/fantasy wargames, because the two audiences can and absolutely do overlap, but at the end of the day you're either into more real-world, grounded rulesets and models or you're not. A Flames of War player probably isn't going to stop playing Flames of War if GW suddenly produce the most balanced, fun, amazing ruleset ever - even though they might also play 40k, they won't drop FoW in the same way a Warmahordes or Infinity player might, but they might drop FoW for another WW2 ruleset.


I agree there. We had this discussion at our FLGS at one point, as to why exactly some of us don't play Bolt Action. Certainly for myself (I'm 36) and a guy in his late 40's we don't play it as it is no longer pretend. For all the atrocities there are in 40k etc., it is still a work of fiction, what Bolt Action represents is not. We had parents or grandparents that really fought what we are "playing" and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth for people of a certain age.

So, no matter how good a ruleset could be; I know for fact there are people that simply won't drift into IRL stuff, but there are others (curiously, many of them serving in the RAF in the case of our FLGS) that will hop between each no problem.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Joyboozer wrote:
The same GW who at their peak had a CEO who bragged they didn’t need to advertise? The same GW who used a magazine publisher to advertise their lotr product line so they didn’t have to spend the money to do so themselves?
*Edit* also, I think we’re supposed to call them Warhammer stores, because of the successful rebranding and marketing campaign.


They are rebranding them because of general colloquialism of people calling them "The warhammer shop(s)". Now, you are in danger of genericising your brand name there and time will tell for that (see also: Hoover, Jet Ski, Jacuzzi, Band-Aid, Kleenex etc.etc.). But the idea is they want GW to be synonymous with wargaming.

You see it everywhere on the internet already, with random people on Reddit etc. posting a picture of mini that is clearly not a GW mini and asking "What Warhammer model is this???".

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/09/25 17:01:58




A GW fan walks into a bar, buys the same drink as yesterday but pays more.

""Unite" is a human word, ... join me or die."

If you break apart my or anyone else's posts line by line I will not read them. 
   
 
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