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Part of the problem is that a lot of the more narrative games tend to be very easy to break with certain casters. Particularly in MK2 where PP put more effort into narrative leagues, someone like Haley2 would auto win a lot of scenarios pretty trivially while Gaspy2 would laugh at anyone attempting a fair fight.

Truthfully though, I think the big problem just came down to recruiting new players. I distinctly remember the big convention when MK3 leaked and probably the most memorable thing about it was how much the conversations had changed. Most of the crowd was talking about their recent wedding or a baby on the way. It was pretty clear life was going to kick them off the treadmill of 5+ games a week pretty quickly. A lot of them talked about things like Overwatch or Hearthstone or other things that didn't involve heading out for the night.

Not an unusual thing in and of itself, but there just wasn't any new blood taking the reigns. I'd basically spent the last year of MK2 trying to find anyone capable of doing the PG job. My own baby girl had taken a hit out of my ability to run demos and events but there just wasn't new players with the same drive to expand the game anymore.

A big part of THAT I put on the relentless focus on tournament play. 2 full sized 50 point (equal to 75 points today) armies was kind of the bare minimum and sadly PP's starters were in no way helping people get there. A big problem is just that for as great as the rules are, a lot of the industry had caught up. Games like Malifaux, Guild Ball and especially X-Wing all offered the same focus on clean consistent language while being dramatically easier to buy into. Selling people on Warmachine was a tall order, one which PP's SKU bloat and lack of enticing entry points made almost impossible.
   
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AndrewGPaul wrote:To me, it seemed like the local competitive player base didn't care about Warmachine - they just wanted tournament events. Once Warmachine had a "wobble" in that competion gameplay, everyone moved over to Malifaux almost overnight. Then Guildball, then X-Wing.

LunarSol wrote:A big problem is just that for as great as the rules are, a lot of the industry had caught up. Games like Malifaux, Guild Ball and especially X-Wing all offered the same focus on clean consistent language while being dramatically easier to buy into. Selling people on Warmachine was a tall order, one which PP's SKU bloat and lack of enticing entry points made almost impossible.

Worth noting that Warmachine, Malifaux, Guildball and X-Wing are all direly struggling games at this point. Infinity and Kings of War are the only non-GW minigames that I've heard growing in numbers (tho I'm sure my feed skews things a bit, there could be some new hotness waiting to burst out of the pandemic ...? Stargrave certainly has a lot of hype, even if I really doubt it'll gain much local traction outside of dedicated gaming groups.)

Brief comment on 40k, 8E brought me back to actually playing after leaving the game in 5E. I still think 9E is a good edition, but the codex release schedule is maddening and, frankly, the imbalance is so insane that I can't say 9E has held onto that Best Edition status. Even without the pandemic happening, and even as a strictly casual player, I can't really play 40k until either of my factions' rules release, which will happen at an undisclosed time. That's ... kind of bad for a ruleset. But here I am still watching batreps and still keeping up with the meta, despite being vaguely dissatisfied with the game. (Partially because there's so much content to ingest when it comes to 40k, which is hardly the case for many, many games! Warhammer's strength truly is that it's ubiquitous and eternal.)

EDIT: I actually played the gak out of Kill Team, and have played a few distanced games during the pandemic. But in that case the lack of support from GW is both a blessing and a curse - for those that follow it, the pseudo-9E update they did recently was terrible and very shortsighted. In other words, pretty GeeDubby.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/26 16:00:20


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Malifaux seems to be doing as well as its ever been. It just never had the explosion in popularity the others saw and has been consistently fueled by a hardcore niche. It seems to do a solid job of drawing in new players (particularly M3E) but its never gotten the focus of "the herd".

I agree 9th has been a serious regression, though some of that might just be pandemic delays mixed with people forgetting how rocky the early days of 8th were. Space Marines were for a moment impossibly OP before everyone else made them irrelevant and oh those poor Grey Knights. More than anything though, I think GW's recent success has been driven by the ability reliably release something new every week. It's kept the focus on their products and ensured the internet always has something to talk about. Warhammer Community has become one of the most consistent marketing engines I've seen from a single company.

They've also completely conquered the age of one and done distribution. Most of the rest of the industry has been crippled by SKU bloat and a business structure that has no ability to reason to stock old product. GW's push towards loss leader box sets and new army releases that are almost entirely supported by direct orders have turned one of the big problems in the industry (players make most of their purchases initially then massively cut back) into a perpetual cycle that among other things, pulls in new players. How long that can go before burning out remains to be seen.

These days I just play a bit of everything. My focus is on smaller stuff like Malifaux, MonPoc, Infinity, with Crisis Protocol probably being the thing I'm most excited for. I've got 40k/AoS and Warmachine armies, but they require a bit more planning to have everything on hand.
   
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Crisis Protocol! I knew I was forgetting the new hotness. Star Wars Legion seems to be riding high still too?

I do not get a strong vibe from Malifaux's current state, and the MFX thread here in N&R can attest to that. Personally, this has to do with just really disliking the Wyrd plastics and never wanting to build another one ever *he said looking at his huge backlog of MFX to build/sell* I'm actually trying to get back into the game in a small way, because I miss how extremely different it plays from my other games, but that's also largely because virtually all of my gaming club bought into it post-WHFB, while ALL of us have stopped playing it because KOW is where it's at.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/26 17:34:36


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Has the MFX thread here ever been THAT lively? Like I said, its not that the game is burning up the charts, just that it feels like its in the same comfortable niche its been since the start of M2E.

M3E is really good for keeping a small force, fwiw. You can really get away with picking a master and just sticking to their keyword models, plus maybe a few versatiles. I sold off a lot of my excess stuff in the transition and moved towards more of a collection of the most fun and flavorful crews regardless of faction.
   
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Cyel wrote:I admit I find it hard to relate to what some of you describe "mk3 was not so great so people went back to WH40K".

I, personally, do not consider WH40K to be a substitute to WM&H any more than Monopoly would be a substitute for me if for some reason I couldn't play Brass or Arkwright or 18XX. So for me it is surprising that for so many players they are really no different and just the fact that both are miniature wargames makes them interchangeable.

Well, when 8th Edition came out and did away with all of 7th Ed's troubles while MK3 started doubling down on Themes, it rather falls flat to players who have both. And as someone said, most already had 40K armies. I was trying to get rid of mine at the time because I was still pissed off at the Grand FAQ from the year before, so I didn't trust the rule makers with it.

Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:That was a part of the game from the very beginning. The Escalation campaign for Mk1 was purely narrative, a way to play through the storyline of the book with some possibility of variation. We did some of it back around 2008-2009 but with first the Superiority and then the Legends releases coming people wanted to play the new stuff and it eventually fell off. Oblivion's campaign system is another attempt to push narrative play after NQ went under, but as you write, local groups have individual preferences. That being said, most local (and we have 3 clubs) attempts at narrative play seem to sputter out no matter the system. Our Infinity: Paradiso campaign also failed, and with a few rare exceptions, narrative play campaigns for 40k locally don't have the legs to survive more than a few games.The ones that manage it are the groups dedicated to narrative play, and they tend to give tournament types and people in the middle (like me) a wide berth. Which is kind of sad. It doesn't help that many campaign systems that try to implement an "XP" or resource gain system barely survive more than four to five games because the gap becomes too big and the losers just give up. That was the fate of the Corellion campaign we did in Armada and I've never seen a Mordheim or Necromunda campaign survive more than four or five rounds either.

There are two types of narrative play, quick scenarios that are not tied down to the tournament scene, and narrative campaigns. I agree that holding up ANY campaign is a challenge as people tend to peter out of it as life interferes. But when no one can get even a quick scenario or alternative size game in besides Steamroller, then things boil down to the most competitive players in the area who only have new Steamrollers moving in to the area as new people to play.

LunarSol wrote:A big part of THAT I put on the relentless focus on tournament play. 2 full sized 50 point (equal to 75 points today) armies was kind of the bare minimum and sadly PP's starters were in no way helping people get there. A big problem is just that for as great as the rules are, a lot of the industry had caught up. Games like Malifaux, Guild Ball and especially X-Wing all offered the same focus on clean consistent language while being dramatically easier to buy into. Selling people on Warmachine was a tall order, one which PP's SKU bloat and lack of enticing entry points made almost impossible.

The sad part is that the relentless focus on tournament play is totally caused by the players, and has little to do with PP.

I can't think of a starter which will put you in a good position to be doing tournament play right out of the box. Either one of two things happens: you get a good sized kit, but they are buried by the meta; OR, they are about one-fifth of what you are going to start out with.

Battleboxes tended to be the worst of both worlds having only a few models to start with, and most of the models being outpaced once you started growing your army. However, in terms of learning the basics of the Focus/Fury mechanics, the Battleboxes were and are still the best places to start, which is why the building league starts with them.

The larger starting boxes, tended to fall in to the first category, offering up enough models to get most of a Steamroller started with, but often were out-paced by the meta. And this is where the Steamroller mind-set continues to counter the efforts of bringing people in, especially if you run in to some of the, "We only play Steamroller here.", mentality who push new players to buy and build without really giving them any decent growing play time.

Boss Salvage wrote:Crisis Protocol! I knew I was forgetting the new hotness. Star Wars Legion seems to be riding high still too?

SWLegion is going pretty strong here in the Phoenix market, it seems. The Facebook page is pretty active at least, some were playing at home, and a few stores that have opened their doors to regular play even have a night dedicated to it. Army-wise it seems similar to WMH, but far less reliant on a key figure for everything (both a strength and a weakness of WMH).

While I have access to the local Crisis Protocol page, I have lost interest in it (I find 2 faction games to be boring) so I don't know how well it survived the store closures.

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 Charistoph wrote:
LunarSol wrote:A big part of THAT I put on the relentless focus on tournament play. 2 full sized 50 point (equal to 75 points today) armies was kind of the bare minimum and sadly PP's starters were in no way helping people get there. A big problem is just that for as great as the rules are, a lot of the industry had caught up. Games like Malifaux, Guild Ball and especially X-Wing all offered the same focus on clean consistent language while being dramatically easier to buy into. Selling people on Warmachine was a tall order, one which PP's SKU bloat and lack of enticing entry points made almost impossible.

The sad part is that the relentless focus on tournament play is totally caused by the players, and has little to do with PP.

I can't think of a starter which will put you in a good position to be doing tournament play right out of the box. Either one of two things happens: you get a good sized kit, but they are buried by the meta; OR, they are about one-fifth of what you are going to start out with.

Battleboxes tended to be the worst of both worlds having only a few models to start with, and most of the models being outpaced once you started growing your army. However, in terms of learning the basics of the Focus/Fury mechanics, the Battleboxes were and are still the best places to start, which is why the building league starts with them.

The larger starting boxes, tended to fall in to the first category, offering up enough models to get most of a Steamroller started with, but often were out-paced by the meta. And this is where the Steamroller mind-set continues to counter the efforts of bringing people in, especially if you run in to some of the, "We only play Steamroller here.", mentality who push new players to buy and build without really giving them any decent growing play time.


All very true.

I think part of the problem on insisting for a need for narrative play is that its not really for beginners either. Generally it takes some experience to understand a game well enough to play a fun narrative experience. What's really needed is a low investment way to play. Single list, small points needs to be available and more importantly needs to feel supported.

 Charistoph wrote:

While I have access to the local Crisis Protocol page, I have lost interest in it (I find 2 faction games to be boring) so I don't know how well it survived the store closures.


You're in luck! Crisis Protocol has like..... 15 factions now!
   
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On his penultimate article in this series, Phil discusses Minions in Brawlmachine with a suggestion for starting each of the four theme forces they have access to!

https://www.loswarmachine.com/brawlmachine/2021/4/11/brawlmachine-list-building-minions
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
All very true.

I think part of the problem on insisting for a need for narrative play is that its not really for beginners either. Generally it takes some experience to understand a game well enough to play a fun narrative experience. What's really needed is a low investment way to play. Single list, small points needs to be available and more importantly needs to feel supported.

Well, how do you define "supported"?

The Battlebox game is specifically for beginners to learn the ins and outs of Focus/Fury mechanic. So that's the 0 point game.

Line of Sight has been good enough to flesh out a Steamroller-style 25 point game called Brawlmachine. That seems to be well received.

Steamroller exists, and is the go-to for 75 point games.

Privateer Press puts out a narrative league almost every single year, and were putting out narrative scenarios in No Quarter. Funny how we rarely see people actually talking about them when bringing up narrative games.

When I see people talking about WMH support, they come across as wanting specific tight guidelines and scenarios from Privateer Press. Realistically speaking, it is the player base that needs to be supporting these variations to get anything out of it.

 LunarSol wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:

While I have access to the local Crisis Protocol page, I have lost interest in it (I find 2 faction games to be boring) so I don't know how well it survived the store closures.

You're in luck! Crisis Protocol has like..... 15 factions now!

I've only seen people reference Heroes and Villains. Are they making distinctions between Avengers and X-Men, AIM and Hydra?

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Random question folks, and I apologize if I missed it in the thread (very possible), but can Riot Quest minis be used in Warmahordes? I'm really liking the look of the Karchev/Deathjack2...

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On Episode 167 of Line of Sight, Will Hungerford joins the gang to discuss a huge variety of topics. While the current Riot Quest Kickstarter takes a well deserved center stage for the beginning of the episode, the conversation quickly turns to the Crucible Guard Dynamic Update, timelines for the Steamroller 2021 CID, Iron Kingdoms Requiem Development, Wills favorite Brawlmachine list, and much, much more!

https://www.loswarmachine.com/line-of-sight-podcast/2021/4/27/line-of-sight-episode-167-a-discussion-of-many-things-with-will-hungerford
   
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Albany, NY

 godswildcard wrote:
Random question folks, and I apologize if I missed it in the thread (very possible), but can Riot Quest minis be used in Warmahordes? I'm really liking the look of the Karchev/Deathjack2...
HELL YEAH: https://warmachineuniversity.com/mw/index.php/Karchev_%26_Deathjack,_Malignant_Fusion

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 Charistoph wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
All very true.

I think part of the problem on insisting for a need for narrative play is that its not really for beginners either. Generally it takes some experience to understand a game well enough to play a fun narrative experience. What's really needed is a low investment way to play. Single list, small points needs to be available and more importantly needs to feel supported.

Well, how do you define "supported"?

The Battlebox game is specifically for beginners to learn the ins and outs of Focus/Fury mechanic. So that's the 0 point game.

Line of Sight has been good enough to flesh out a Steamroller-style 25 point game called Brawlmachine. That seems to be well received.

Steamroller exists, and is the go-to for 75 point games.

Privateer Press puts out a narrative league almost every single year, and were putting out narrative scenarios in No Quarter. Funny how we rarely see people actually talking about them when bringing up narrative games.

When I see people talking about WMH support, they come across as wanting specific tight guidelines and scenarios from Privateer Press. Realistically speaking, it is the player base that needs to be supporting these variations to get anything out of it.


What I'm saying is that a narrative league is probably a little too hardcore for the kind of support that pulls in new players. They don't need flourishes; they want to play the base game, just smaller. Battlebox games are fun, but don't last long because there's no real support for it. If you've ever watched players play more than a demo on an empty 4x4, things get weird fast. The game really needs a scenario to force engagement as the footsie nature of the game starts to click. By supported I mean that PP needs to promote nominal scenarios for a smaller experience similar to what 40k has been doing with Combat Patrol and Incursion. PP themselves have done a great job with it in Warcaster, and those 3 little scenarios have probably done more to get people to try the game than anything else from people I've talked to.

The problem has always been that once you learn the game, anything less than 75 points just isn't fun and a lot of that is simply that PP has never put the effort anywhere else to force engagement like Steamroller. Without it, the game becomes something of a gentlemen's agreement to move forward and kind of crumbles as soon as anyone backs up (looking at you Caine....). Now, I will say that PP did try with the small table variant where you deployed on your first turn, but that mostly just seemed to show that the game really demands 4' between players to minimize the alpha strike. I'd still like to see scenarios with that kind of focused combat on a 4x4 or 4x3 though, specifically for smaller point games.

 Charistoph wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:

While I have access to the local Crisis Protocol page, I have lost interest in it (I find 2 faction games to be boring) so I don't know how well it survived the store closures.

You're in luck! Crisis Protocol has like..... 15 factions now!

I've only seen people reference Heroes and Villains. Are they making distinctions between Avengers and X-Men, AIM and Hydra?


There technically isn't even Heroes and Villains and never was. You can mix and match whatever characters you want. Cap and Red Skull? Sure.

What they do instead is have Affiliations. Certain characters have a Leadership rule on them that gives a global bonus to your team. To unlock it you need more than half of the models on the table to share that character's affiliation. In addition, among the Team Tactics "mini feat" cards are ones that both require you be in affiliation and generally only benefit members of the affiliation. Thus far it's walked a pretty fine line of teams being pretty open to playing favorites but still a big enough benefit that no one ignores them and lots of characters see the table in thematic setups because they help unlock the leadership.

The core set had two Leaders; Cap and Avengers and Red Skull leading the Cabal. It felt a lot like the Legion box set which is probably why people expected the same kind of 2 faction problem. Almost every month has seen new Affiliations added though. Wakanda, Asgaard, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Order, Inhumans, X-Men, Brotherhood, Criminal Syndicate, Spider-Foes, Web Warriors, Defenders and A-Force currently available. X-Force should be released in the next month or so. You can see the full list here:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ce432b1f9d2be000134d8ae/t/606f82d37ab8c9448b5fc10f/1617920726556/OP_CrisisProtocol_Affiliation_List_040921.pdf
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:
Well, how do you define "supported"?
xxxBy supported I mean that PP needs to promote nominal scenarios for a smaller experience similar to what 40k has been doing with Combat Patrol and Incursion. PP themselves have done a great job with it in Warcaster, and those 3 little scenarios have probably done more to get people to try the game than anything else from people I've talked to.

So you basically supported what I said about:
 Charistoph wrote:
When I see people talking about WMH support, they come across as wanting specific tight guidelines and scenarios from Privateer Press. Realistically speaking, it is the player base that needs to be supporting these variations to get anything out of it.

You're not recognizing the responsibility of the player base to actually engage with what is provided. Privateer Press does NOT have to provide everything in order to play at certain levels, even though they have in the past. Brawlmachine is a perfect example of this.

 LunarSol wrote:
What I'm saying is that a narrative league is probably a little too hardcore for the kind of support that pulls in new players. They don't need flourishes; they want to play the base game, just smaller. Battlebox games are fun, but don't last long because there's no real support for it. If you've ever watched players play more than a demo on an empty 4x4, things get weird fast. The game really needs a scenario to force engagement as the footsie nature of the game starts to click. ...

The odd part is that you can use the scenarios provided in the narrative leagues without tying them in to the larger campaign. This is even better when those scenarios are designed for smaller groups, which Oblivion has several. And it's not like there are not 9 basic scenarios provided in the Prime/Primal that pretty much are handled using the same rules as the average Steamroller or Brawlmachine. The only true limitation is the player group that you are with, and I've seen so many of the old players push in to Steamroller that it becomes sink or swim, and so new players just drop it in favor of other games.

A year and a half ago, a few gentles were willing to play me at 25 points utilizing Steamroller scenarios. They trounced me, as expected, but they were willing to talk to me and try to force me in to a full Steamroller game, and I got a few good licks in. The best game I gave was pretty much decided on The Mage Hunter hitting his Warlock while she was knocked down. Snake eyes pretty much allowed him to win on Scenario as his Legion was faster than my Mercs.

So again I will restate, it is the player base who needs to engage with these lighter games to get people engaged, and it is not encumbant on PP. GW survived for decades with them only providing an occasional nod to the building game, and that is because the players were willing to engage with the smaller games.

 LunarSol wrote:
The problem has always been that once you learn the game, anything less than 75 points just isn't fun and a lot of that is simply that PP has never put the effort anywhere else to force engagement like Steamroller. Without it, the game becomes something of a gentlemen's agreement to move forward and kind of crumbles as soon as anyone backs up (looking at you Caine....). Now, I will say that PP did try with the small table variant where you deployed on your first turn, but that mostly just seemed to show that the game really demands 4' between players to minimize the alpha strike. I'd still like to see scenarios with that kind of focused combat on a 4x4 or 4x3 though, specifically for smaller point games.

I have seen a lot of experienced players extol Brawlmachine. Maybe its because the limits that are imposed on it, maybe not, I can't say. Most of the recent games in my market are on the other side of town, too far away for me to meet up with, and the one night I can get away is currently Battletech night at a closer location with no one there showing an interest in WMH, even though they recognize the tokens I sometimes use.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/27 17:33:13


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I don't really believe you can hoist the job of creating a path for new players on the community. If that happens to happen? Great, but no company should expect to grow sitting around hoping someone will find a way to make their product enticing for them. New players need something to have faith in and "my homebrew scenario" has never really been the kind of thing that sells someone on a game.

Brawlmachine is definitely an outlier in that regard, but no small part of that is due to the amount of effort put not only into the scenarios that drive it, but the marketing behind it. They've done a really great job of it, but its really only necessary because PP failed to recognize the need for something like it themselves.

I'm also probably not being particularly clear with what I mean when I say the narrative scenarios are too hardcore for new players. I'm not referring to the commitment to the league itself, I'm talking about the actual scenarios. New players tend to want to charge in and smash face and the league scenarios tend to overcomplicate that. Part of the reason the Battlebox works on new players is they play it "correctly". Part of the reason Steamroller has always been so popular is that it demands that aggressive clash even to players that have learned they could just back up.

That's really all 25 and 50 point needs; something that requires players to slam in the center, scaled to that game size. The biggest problem I've had with smaller games for the last several years is that the Steamroller scenarios and pushed to spread 75 armies out more and more. Trying to play them with even 50 leads to very scattered armies that can't meaningfully contest and lead to very one sided wins in a lot of situations.
   
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 LunarSol wrote:
I don't really believe you can hoist the job of creating a path for new players on the community. If that happens to happen? Great, but no company should expect to grow sitting around hoping someone will find a way to make their product enticing for them. New players need something to have faith in and "my homebrew scenario" has never really been the kind of thing that sells someone on a game.

Then you've missed two different points. First, Privateer Press HAS provided several paths to do it, but they've been ignored by people like you for years now, even before Mk 2 was done. Second, any gaming community that wants to grow, will need to make some effort in order to make it enticing to new players. They won't come in on their own.

And as for "my homebrew scenario", that happens in almost every other game system. Dungeons & Dragons is built on the idea. I did it in the 90's with Battletech, even though I had the majority of scenario packs. The average pickup game in 40K can be set to it as a lot of the base scenarios get altered with home-rules based on the players' capacities, to say nothing about all the TC packets.

 LunarSol wrote:
Brawlmachine is definitely an outlier in that regard, but no small part of that is due to the amount of effort put not only into the scenarios that drive it, but the marketing behind it. They've done a really great job of it, but its really only necessary because PP failed to recognize the need for something like it themselves.

False. They built up the community first, and then proceeded to build Brawlmachine to help build their community even more. They recognized that the Steamroller mentality was depriving them of new players, so developed Brawlmachine to act as a second step that was a bit more flexible than the JML. Oddly enough, it follows the pattern of the Journeyman League (which hasn't been updated since the change to Requisition), and expands on it.

 LunarSol wrote:
I'm also probably not being particularly clear with what I mean when I say the narrative scenarios are too hardcore for new players. I'm not referring to the commitment to the league itself, I'm talking about the actual scenarios...

Easy to do when you immediately talk about people not following up on campaign and nothing about the scenarios involved.

 LunarSol wrote:
..New players tend to want to charge in and smash face and the league scenarios tend to overcomplicate that. Part of the reason the Battlebox works on new players is they play it "correctly". Part of the reason Steamroller has always been so popular is that it demands that aggressive clash even to players that have learned they could just back up.

That's really all 25 and 50 point needs; something that requires players to slam in the center, scaled to that game size. The biggest problem I've had with smaller games for the last several years is that the Steamroller scenarios and pushed to spread 75 armies out more and more. Trying to play them with even 50 leads to very scattered armies that can't meaningfully contest and lead to very one sided wins in a lot of situations.

And while focusing on those Steamroller at 75 scenarios, you missed all the ones in No Quarter and in the Oblivion book. Am I incorrect on that?

And if new players want to just charge in and smash things, wouldn't those narrative scenarios help train them to focus away from the center brawl?

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 LunarSol wrote:
I don't really believe you can hoist the job of creating a path for new players on the community. If that happens to happen? Great, but no company should expect to grow sitting around hoping someone will find a way to make their product enticing for them. New players need something to have faith in and "my homebrew scenario" has never really been the kind of thing that sells someone on a game.

Brawlmachine is definitely an outlier in that regard, but no small part of that is due to the amount of effort put not only into the scenarios that drive it, but the marketing behind it. They've done a really great job of it, but its really only necessary because PP failed to recognize the need for something like it themselves.

I'm also probably not being particularly clear with what I mean when I say the narrative scenarios are too hardcore for new players. I'm not referring to the commitment to the league itself, I'm talking about the actual scenarios. New players tend to want to charge in and smash face and the league scenarios tend to overcomplicate that. Part of the reason the Battlebox works on new players is they play it "correctly". Part of the reason Steamroller has always been so popular is that it demands that aggressive clash even to players that have learned they could just back up.

That's really all 25 and 50 point needs; something that requires players to slam in the center, scaled to that game size. The biggest problem I've had with smaller games for the last several years is that the Steamroller scenarios and pushed to spread 75 armies out more and more. Trying to play them with even 50 leads to very scattered armies that can't meaningfully contest and lead to very one sided wins in a lot of situations.


So I guess I'm not quite understanding what you're saying here. On one hand, you say that Brawlmachine is an outlier and its great. On the other hand you keep saying things like "that's all that 25 and 50 points needs, something that requires players to slam in the center". That's exactly what Brawlmachine is. Are you saying that PP needs to develop something similar?

As far as Brawl being an outlier, I'm reasonably confidant at this point that more players in the world play Brawlmachine than Steamroller, and with how many conventions are requesting us to come run events at brawlmachine scale for late 2021 and early 2022, I think that trend is going to continue.
   
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You make a lot of assumptions. I'd take it more personal, but... I understand.

I was the local PG from the beginning of MK2 through the end of the program and its not really a hat I ever stopped wearing. I've run all the leagues up to and including Oblivion. There's always been demand for them and I'm more than happy to oblige.

The problem has always been that these scenarios just don't spark the same kind of joy out of players I've seen with Steamroller. I've had the fluffiest of bunnies ask me mid event if they could just play a normal game instead of the special scenario PP put out that they asked me to hold the event for. They sound fun on paper, but on the table they seem to detract more than they add, even from players who think that's what they want.

What I've seen for years is that people really like the core game. Building an army and slamming it against an opposing army with almost every important decision funneled through a single character on the board still hums. All scenarios really need to do is enable this, but for years the scenarios we've gotten have increasingly only really worked correctly at 75 points.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 LoS_Jaden wrote:

So I guess I'm not quite understanding what you're saying here. On one hand, you say that Brawlmachine is an outlier and its great. On the other hand you keep saying things like "that's all that 25 and 50 points needs, something that requires players to slam in the center". That's exactly what Brawlmachine is. Are you saying that PP needs to develop something similar?

As far as Brawl being an outlier, I'm reasonably confidant at this point that more players in the world play Brawlmachine than Steamroller, and with how many conventions are requesting us to come run events at brawlmachine scale for late 2021 and early 2022, I think that trend is going to continue.


Brawlmachine is an outlier in the sense that its a fan created system that's really clicked with players and gained traction with a wider audience. That's all I mean by that. I think a big reason for that is that it focuses on providing the same kind of incentives that drive Steamroller, simply optimized for 25 points instead of 75. It's absolutely something PP needs to focus on, and has really needed for years.

A lot of my feelings just come from trying to scale down things to 50 for a while. Long enough that I was trying to scale it down to 35 (in MK2). Each Steamroller just kept spreading armies thinner and thinner and smaller games turned into fast armies collapsing one side of the board and winning on scenario almost instantly. They just weren't fun at all at anything less than 75. It's also the point when it became incredibly hard to sell people on the game, as they never got to see anything but the full massive investment requirement. I think Brawlmachine has definitely succeeded in providing a viable small scale alternative. I'm just really hoping now for a middle ground that can help bridge the SR crowd with the skirmish set.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/28 15:06:00


 
   
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After we finish Fallen Corvis up, you might be happy to hear that a specialized 50 point packet is the next thing on our list of "to dos" then
   
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Honestly, I should probably just try the Brawlmachine scenarios at 50 points sometime. Just haven't gotten in many games in the last year for obvious reasons.

I'd definitely like to see huge bases at 50 in some sort of limited fashion. They just get so much attention and having fallen rather in love with Crucible Guard I REALLY feel their absence in Brawlmachine.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/28 15:50:21


 
   
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Lancaster PA

I am feeling both of you on this. All up in there.

On the one hand, I always wanted to play 50-75 point lists (Mk2-3) because that felt complete, in the sense that I had all the things I wanted in a list. Less than that, and it felt like an important part was missing, and definitely there was no room for a sorta fun unit. (Ahem bloodweavers)

On the other hand, that's a lot of stuff to have and keep track of for a new player, and without a scenario to add a layer of complexity to the game it didn't always go well. Sometimes it is more fun to just play with a handful of critters and robots, but then you run into balance issues. Some models ask questions you can't answer in a small list.

Long way short, I do think the game was tuned more for larger games, both in how spread useful interactions were and how sometimes you need a specific unit to answer a specific problem, and without 2-3 of those units you are really playing rock paper scissors. There were ways to play small games and bring people in, but there wasn't an obvious gradual way. Building lists based on "This unit looks cool!" is a trap, and explaining to new players "Consider copying these net lists and building to that" is a little off putting. Perhaps it shouldn't be, but it is a bit.


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Albany, NY

 LoS_Jaden wrote:
After we finish Fallen Corvis up, you might be happy to hear that a specialized 50 point packet is the next thing on our list of "to dos" then
OOOOOOO

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 LunarSol wrote:


The problem has always been that these scenarios just don't spark the same kind of joy out of players I've seen with Steamroller. I've had the fluffiest of bunnies ask me mid event if they could just play a normal game instead of the special scenario PP put out that they asked me to hold the event for. They sound fun on paper, but on the table they seem to detract more than they add, even from players who think that's what they want.

What I've seen for years is that people really like the core game. Building an army and slamming it against an opposing army with almost every important decision funneled through a single character on the board still hums. All scenarios really need to do is enable this, but for years the scenarios we've gotten have increasingly only really worked correctly at 75 points.


This is why I never got into warmachine. I love the setting and art style of the minis and have friends that were big into it (even wrote for privateer) but the whole slam into each other ala Bravehart battle scene or stand lined up a few inches apart and shoot civil war style is not what I enjoy. I get that you're also trying to protect the warcaster as all of that is going on but every game is basically the same objective and one that is my least favorite in wargaming. I'd much rather have a game designed around scenarios like Infinity or Fallout. I really wanted to like Company of Iron but it just didn't click.

Though they're doing something right with the minis as they've gotten a good amount of money from me despite not liking the core game they're used in. I would like to see them take a stab at the casual "Adventure Wargaming" as Modiphius calls it (Fallout, Rangers of Shadow Deep, 5 Parsecs from Home) as I think they could do a very cool solo/co-op narrative game that would give a lot of use to older and non-meta figures.


   
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 LoS_Jaden wrote:
After we finish Fallen Corvis up, you might be happy to hear that a specialized 50 point packet is the next thing on our list of "to dos" then


That is great to hear! I keep thinking which scenarios to use for ~50pts events. I was considering some older SR scenarios from early mk3 (75pts armies back then looked like 50pts armies now after all - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bueoMjfPU6o ) or Brawlmachine scenarios, maybe played to 5CP difference, but I am not sure about either.
   
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This Saturday, May 1st, we will be streaming our very first Iron Kingdoms adventure on twitch.tv/loswarmachine!

The Henge Hold Scrolls detailed many events surrounding the Oblivion crisis; the lives and deaths of heroes and villains alike as the Iron Kingdoms we knew was thrown into chaos by the Infernal invasion. Much of these tales we know, but unknown to most, a final scroll, a final tale, was written of these end times.

Aurora's messenger reached the Khadoran airship, the Storm Breaker, with a plea for help. The Cyriss Portal has been secured, but an elite team is needed to fight through dangers unknown to bring it online fully. Will these heroes bring about the salvation of the mortal souls of Immoren... or fail, dooming them to the clutches of the Infernal Masters?

Come check it out at 12:00 (noon) Pacific on Saturday, May 1st, on the Line of Sight twitch stream!
   
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 Boss Salvage wrote:
Crisis Protocol! I knew I was forgetting the new hotness. Star Wars Legion seems to be riding high still too?

I do not get a strong vibe from Malifaux's current state, and the MFX thread here in N&R can attest to that. Personally, this has to do with just really disliking the Wyrd plastics and never wanting to build another one ever *he said looking at his huge backlog of MFX to build/sell* I'm actually trying to get back into the game in a small way, because I miss how extremely different it plays from my other games, but that's also largely because virtually all of my gaming club bought into it post-WHFB, while ALL of us have stopped playing it because KOW is where it's at.


Everything outside of 40k has become a little more regional in its popularity. Press Ganger program seems more like a net benefit program than loss post pandemic. Maybe even kickstarter a digital High Command game that plays just like a digital card game with match making would be cool.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Charistoph wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
All very true.

I think part of the problem on insisting for a need for narrative play is that its not really for beginners either. Generally it takes some experience to understand a game well enough to play a fun narrative experience. What's really needed is a low investment way to play. Single list, small points needs to be available and more importantly needs to feel supported.

Well, how do you define "supported"?

The Battlebox game is specifically for beginners to learn the ins and outs of Focus/Fury mechanic. So that's the 0 point game.

Line of Sight has been good enough to flesh out a Steamroller-style 25 point game called Brawlmachine. That seems to be well received.

Steamroller exists, and is the go-to for 75 point games.

Privateer Press puts out a narrative league almost every single year, and were putting out narrative scenarios in No Quarter. Funny how we rarely see people actually talking about them when bringing up narrative games.

When I see people talking about WMH support, they come across as wanting specific tight guidelines and scenarios from Privateer Press. Realistically speaking, it is the player base that needs to be supporting these variations to get anything out of it.

 LunarSol wrote:
 Charistoph wrote:

While I have access to the local Crisis Protocol page, I have lost interest in it (I find 2 faction games to be boring) so I don't know how well it survived the store closures.

You're in luck! Crisis Protocol has like..... 15 factions now!

I've only seen people reference Heroes and Villains. Are they making distinctions between Avengers and X-Men, AIM and Hydra?


Line of Sight, Warmachine U and Qiot Rest doing a great job in this regard. Lormahordes as well.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Charistoph wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
I don't really believe you can hoist the job of creating a path for new players on the community. If that happens to happen? Great, but no company should expect to grow sitting around hoping someone will find a way to make their product enticing for them. New players need something to have faith in and "my homebrew scenario" has never really been the kind of thing that sells someone on a game.

Then you've missed two different points. First, Privateer Press HAS provided several paths to do it, but they've been ignored by people like you for years now, even before Mk 2 was done. Second, any gaming community that wants to grow, will need to make some effort in order to make it enticing to new players. They won't come in on their own.

And as for "my homebrew scenario", that happens in almost every other game system. Dungeons & Dragons is built on the idea. I did it in the 90's with Battletech, even though I had the majority of scenario packs. The average pickup game in 40K can be set to it as a lot of the base scenarios get altered with home-rules based on the players' capacities, to say nothing about all the TC packets.

 LunarSol wrote:
Brawlmachine is definitely an outlier in that regard, but no small part of that is due to the amount of effort put not only into the scenarios that drive it, but the marketing behind it. They've done a really great job of it, but its really only necessary because PP failed to recognize the need for something like it themselves.

False. They built up the community first, and then proceeded to build Brawlmachine to help build their community even more. They recognized that the Steamroller mentality was depriving them of new players, so developed Brawlmachine to act as a second step that was a bit more flexible than the JML. Oddly enough, it follows the pattern of the Journeyman League (which hasn't been updated since the change to Requisition), and expands on it.

 LunarSol wrote:
I'm also probably not being particularly clear with what I mean when I say the narrative scenarios are too hardcore for new players. I'm not referring to the commitment to the league itself, I'm talking about the actual scenarios...

Easy to do when you immediately talk about people not following up on campaign and nothing about the scenarios involved.

 LunarSol wrote:
..New players tend to want to charge in and smash face and the league scenarios tend to overcomplicate that. Part of the reason the Battlebox works on new players is they play it "correctly". Part of the reason Steamroller has always been so popular is that it demands that aggressive clash even to players that have learned they could just back up.

That's really all 25 and 50 point needs; something that requires players to slam in the center, scaled to that game size. The biggest problem I've had with smaller games for the last several years is that the Steamroller scenarios and pushed to spread 75 armies out more and more. Trying to play them with even 50 leads to very scattered armies that can't meaningfully contest and lead to very one sided wins in a lot of situations.

And while focusing on those Steamroller at 75 scenarios, you missed all the ones in No Quarter and in the Oblivion book. Am I incorrect on that?

And if new players want to just charge in and smash things, wouldn't those narrative scenarios help train them to focus away from the center brawl?


You make good points.

Outside of the free narrative league content that was coming out every year, PP was realizing historical gameplay scenarios, mini-games, some with maps through NQ and NQ Prime. Without support though, I don't know what people are wanting. I see GW put a lot less work on scenario play than WMH, Malifaux, Infinity, etc. and yet standard is so high. Great source material doesn't always = explosion in player base. Battletech is a testiment to this. You choose an era and even campaign in it. But compared to 40k, popularity is regional.

I really think the sentiment from complainers is more along the lines of, I'm older now, and I like how convenient the 40k scene is and unless I get that level of convenience, I am not coming back.

Which is okay, just seeing endless complaints without any intention to play from this thread in its entirety wigs me out. Ya, I could undertand early days of Mk2 but between LoS's work, Wartable, and PP support the issue seems to be more will to play and life happening than anything PP can solve.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Monkeysloth wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:


The problem has always been that these scenarios just don't spark the same kind of joy out of players I've seen with Steamroller. I've had the fluffiest of bunnies ask me mid event if they could just play a normal game instead of the special scenario PP put out that they asked me to hold the event for. They sound fun on paper, but on the table they seem to detract more than they add, even from players who think that's what they want.

What I've seen for years is that people really like the core game. Building an army and slamming it against an opposing army with almost every important decision funneled through a single character on the board still hums. All scenarios really need to do is enable this, but for years the scenarios we've gotten have increasingly only really worked correctly at 75 points.


This is why I never got into warmachine. I love the setting and art style of the minis and have friends that were big into it (even wrote for privateer) but the whole slam into each other ala Bravehart battle scene or stand lined up a few inches apart and shoot civil war style is not what I enjoy. I get that you're also trying to protect the warcaster as all of that is going on but every game is basically the same objective and one that is my least favorite in wargaming. I'd much rather have a game designed around scenarios like Infinity or Fallout. I really wanted to like Company of Iron but it just didn't click.

Though they're doing something right with the minis as they've gotten a good amount of money from me despite not liking the core game they're used in. I would like to see them take a stab at the casual "Adventure Wargaming" as Modiphius calls it (Fallout, Rangers of Shadow Deep, 5 Parsecs from Home) as I think they could do a very cool solo/co-op narrative game that would give a lot of use to older and non-meta figures.




" "Adventure Wargaming" as Modiphius calls it (Fallout, Rangers of Shadow Deep, 5 Parsecs from Home)"

Warmachine with something akin to Rangers of Shadow Deep sounds pretty boss.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2021/05/03 22:22:38


 
   
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I don't think people are asking for the popularity of the 40k scene, they are just asking that Warmahordes get back to the level of community it previously had. And really, it is on the company to convince players to spend money on their miniatures.
   
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Astonished of Heck

 NinthMusketeer wrote:
I don't think people are asking for the popularity of the 40k scene, they are just asking that Warmahordes get back to the level of community it previously had. And really, it is on the company to convince players to spend money on their miniatures.

That's only part of the equation, though. If everyone who is involved with their product is "Steamroller-only", then people who either don't want to do Steamroller, or are just plain brand new and get intimidated by Steamroller, won't bother collecting and/or bringing those collections to play in community areas like the FLGS.

Getting a 75 point list NIB is expensive and represents a considerable investment in time. If you're lucky, you can grab what you want from people selling their collections and getting out of the game, but otherwise, it is a lot to get started with.

This also doesn't include all the information that comes at the new player, from Focus/Fury mechanics, to model rules to all the unique rules that abound on each individual card. When you add a certain charm of "surprise" added on by some players who take pleasure in beating down the noobies, it can make it hard for a game with that reputation to grow.

If you want to talk about Privateer Press having lost the trust of the wholesalers that LGS get their stock from, or their difficulties in getting a cost-effective shipping point in the Euro-sector, then by all means, this is something that is entirely on PP's shoulders. The local scene, though, has been and always will be up to the community, and PP has no control over that, with or without Press Gangers or equivalents.

As an example, a new store just opened up just a few miles from my house. They have a Battletech night. There are some people who have kept up with the game who have started getting that night reserved. This is as far on one side of metropolis as one can get, but the Catalyst Demo Agent (Press Ganger equivalent) is on the other side, and focused his attention there (can't blame him, he lives there). No Demo Agent was needed to get things going, just a bunch of people who wanted to play the game. Over the last 3 weekends since I started going, there were 2 brand new players, 1 returning player (besides me), along with myself and a few old other hats who were getting the game going, plus a couple other new guys who have shown interest on the metro's FB page.

TL;DR If you go through your gaming life expecting the company to provide everything for you to play, you will be disappointed. Be prepared to get out and help as much as you can.

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I think PP has more ability to affect the local scene than you give them credit for. New releases for any game out there generate buzz and fuel excitement and more than anything, bring in new players. It has been a long long time since PP released anything that really enticed new players. It's almost entirely been attempts to appease the existing playerbase that increasingly just don't need more stuff.

Releases that make players feel like they're a good jumping on point are huge for any game. The number of people suddenly interested in MCP because of X-Men for example, or every time GW releases one of these army boxes with a really cool unique hero in them. I play a bit of everything and no matter how many demo days or events I run, it's immediately noticeable when there's a new release that gets a lot of hype. These things bring in new players, whether they play other systems and like some new shinies or are complete new to the hobby.

PP needs to signal to people that they should start Warmachine. Everything for years now has been selling the game as this infinite wall with no foothold to climb.
   
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Atlanta, GA

 LunarSol wrote:
I think PP has more ability to affect the local scene than you give them credit for. New releases for any game out there generate buzz and fuel excitement and more than anything, bring in new players. It has been a long long time since PP released anything that really enticed new players. It's almost entirely been attempts to appease the existing playerbase that increasingly just don't need more stuff.

Releases that make players feel like they're a good jumping on point are huge for any game. The number of people suddenly interested in MCP because of X-Men for example, or every time GW releases one of these army boxes with a really cool unique hero in them. I play a bit of everything and no matter how many demo days or events I run, it's immediately noticeable when there's a new release that gets a lot of hype. These things bring in new players, whether they play other systems and like some new shinies or are complete new to the hobby.

PP needs to signal to people that they should start Warmachine. Everything for years now has been selling the game as this infinite wall with no foothold to climb.


Those army boxes that GW does are a big selling point. Seems like a lot of current players will grab those to add on to existing armies or even start new ones if the bargain is right. Maybe it's time for PP to do something kind of similar. Not necessarily full army boxes, but maybe an equivalent to the Combat Patrol/Start Collecting, price point around $100-120 with some decent savings in there. A warcaster, a couple of warjacks, a unit and a few solos.
Of course, part of the issue with this is the continuing saga of "Why are PP's products produced in at least four different types of material and how do I avoid the really awful stuff". The resin/pewter hybrid minis that they make are really high quality. The HIPS warjacks I've built are good. The few things that are still pewter are good-ok. The pvc plastic and the even cheaper plastic they use in some of the battlebox starters... forget about it. And these days there's almost no excuse for this anymore. If Privateer Press wants to sell more miniatures to potential new players, they need to work on their production methods and find ways to bring that quality back. Maybe even go so far as to run Kickstarters for new sculpts and molds for resin.
   
 
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