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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

sourclams wrote:A new codex and supporting model line would make far more, as anyone wishing to start a new army has to buy multiple boxes with a minimum cost of $35.

When they begin consistently hitting a reasonable RoGI beyond breakeven, I'll believe that they're a financial success.

Well, I am an analyst, albeit not in the gaming industry, and I see this expansion as GW still missing the point.

As the Dark Eldar have conclusively proven, the higher investment cost of a new Codex and supporting model line may simply be a money pit which may never recoup its cost or effort. Furthermore, new armies generate long-term support costs and expectations that can only be alleviated by Squatting to the consternation of handsfuls of noisy gamers. As counterpoint, a new SM Codex with supporting model bitz drives even more sales. Hence, Space Wolves.

Not having GW's internal data, it's not possible to calculate their ROI. For all we know, GW has been pouring the vast majority of their Returns back as Investment in plastic technology. Oh, wait.

If you're an analyst, you're doing an awful lot of armchair quarterbacking without any actual detailed financial data...

   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

JohnHwangDD wrote:If you're an analyst, you're doing an awful lot of armchair quarterbacking without any actual detailed financial data...

Actual data can be so...vague. It's probably unclear, or perhaps confusingly written.
   
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Dominar






Actually if I were CEO I'd cut the model line in its entirety. Black Library would be kept as a demand driver, and Games Workshop would simply license its IP to third parties who wanted to capitalize on the incredibly fleshed out background material, ala the Dawn of War video games.

Ship all the molds to eastern Asia and let them absorb all the risk from input costs, I'd simply have to manage the supply chain.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
When you both disagree with me, I know I'm on the right path.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/07/06 03:26:26


 
   
Made in de
[DCM]
The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

JohnHwangDD wrote:
As the Dark Eldar have conclusively proven, the higher investment cost of a new Codex and supporting model line may simply be a money pit which may never recoup its cost or effort. Furthermore, new armies generate long-term support costs and expectations that can only be alleviated by Squatting to the consternation of handsfuls of noisy gamers. As counterpoint, a new SM Codex with supporting model bitz drives even more sales. Hence, Space Wolves.



Oh please. The Dark Eldar haven't "conclusively proven," anything of the sort. The only thing they've "proven" is that a crappy model line isn't going to sell well, and that not many people are interested in a codex that is around ten years old.

If they can fix the problems of the crappy models, and the outdated codex, they'd have a lot better chance at generating some sales as they do now. If GW gave them a few sexy rules (not that I personally advocate codex creep over actual balanced rules, but GW isn't asking me), to go with a line of sexy new models, I dare say they could become a new crowd favorite.

   
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sourclams wrote:Actually if I were CEO I'd cut the model line in its entirety. Black Library would be kept as a demand driver, and Games Workshop would simply license its IP to third parties who wanted to capitalize on the incredibly fleshed out background material, ala the Dawn of War video games.

Ship all the molds to eastern Asia and let them absorb all the risk from input costs, I'd simply have to manage the supply chain.


That's an interesting idea, but I think that the actual models are the highest margin items they sell.

Selling the models is the reason behind everything else they do. I don't doubt that a third-party could write better rules to go with the models, but that wouldn't necessarily be in the best interest of selling more models.


   
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You don't think better rules would sell more models? Why not?

   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

When Dark Eldar were released, their model line was competitive with anything else not sculpted by Jes Goodwin (i.e. Eldar, multi-pose SM, and Sisters). Go back to the 2E Necrons, 2E Nids, 2E metal Marines, 2E Orks and you'll see that this is true. The DE had a full line of models, and the quality was up to par.

The DE Codex has always been competitive, and remains so today. Especially after the update that DE players are fond of pretending never occurred, yet reap the full fruit of. It's almost as if they're as Emo as the army the play.

The DE were even featured in the starter box, giving broader exposure than anything save the iconic SM themselves.


Now, granted that the model line hasn't aged well, or rather, it hasn't aged any better than models of similar vintage. But the writing for the DE was written much longer ago than that. DE had their plug pulled more than 5 years ago, and the 2004-2005 GW Catalog warned players against collecting them. GW had much higher hopes for the DE during 3E, and it was apparent within the first couple years that the DE were a failure before moving into 4E.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Hordini wrote:You don't think better rules would sell more models? Why not?

Because GW has always had mediocre rules, and consistently outsold their competitors, year after year.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/07/06 03:43:29


   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

Hordini:

I think everyone and their dog has, at some point, written their own version of the 40k rules. If it's been posted online, then some other bright thing has explained why they hate it. Everyone has their own unique ideas about what constitutes "better rules". Every new edition brings a chorus of boos and players quitting.

And then there's the Epic 40,000 debacle, in which the traditional morass of Epic rules was abandoned in favour of a fantastic wargame. Epic Armageddon, for example, is an excellent game combining the best of Epic 40,000 with the least bad of Epic: Space Marine, and it's nearly dead in the water in terms of sales.

Take the Lord of the Rings games, for another example. It's basically Warhammer Fantasy Battle without all the clumsy legacy baggage, and not many Warhammer fans want to play it (non-Warhammer fans, on the other hand, make it quite lucrative).

Finally, there's a basic fact about human psychology, two really, that people don't want great, they just want good enough, and will be unwilling to give up good enough just for an opportunity that might be great.

The fact is that better rules haven't led to better sales in the past, have no reason to in the future, and changing the rules has its own costs.
   
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Regular Dakkanaut




I guess I'm just dense, but I have no idea what Sourclams is talking about. How do the deepstrike rules invalidate the planetstrike terrain? Did Sourclams actually read the rules?

The bastions are immobile av14 vehicles, the walls offer amazing coversaves, and the automated guns are pretty good... none of that is invalidated by a deepstriking enemy. Someone explain to me how deepstriking invalidates the terrain, please?

Went digging through my old posts, and guess what? I've been hating on mat ward since before it was cool

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/244212.page 
   
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I'm not saying the Dark Eldar can't be competitive, but their codex is still outdated. There are builds that work quite well for experienced players, but they all use a couple lists that are pretty similar, as far as I know, and leave out a large number of units in the book.

The problem is, there is no update in sight. They aren't getting any love, they aren't getting any marketing. Players realize this, and it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. They aren't being marketed, they aren't popular, they aren't selling well.

The Dark Eldar might not have done amazingly well when they were launched ten years ago, but GW certainly hasn't done much to try to improve sales since then.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Just because GW has always had mediocre rules, and has still outsold competitors, doesn't mean that if GW suddenly had better rules, they would start selling less. Personally, I think they would start outselling their competitors even more. I mean hell, I might even start buying GW stuff again!

And Nurglitch, you're right. A lot of the Specialst Games have better rules than the flagship games. A big reason why they're not selling though, is because GW isn't marketing them like the flagship games. They are basically dead in the water in terms of support. Good or even great rules, with zero marketing isn't exactly a recipe for success.

And as far as the psychology bit - if GW did an update where all of a sudden they provided great rules, do you really think people would suddenly just stick with the previous edition? Most people have always moved on to updated editions of GW games, if one of their updates actually happened to be awesome, I'm pretty sure player retention wouldn't all of a sudden get worse.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/07/06 03:55:50


   
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Sheffield, UK

Hordini wrote:There are builds that work quite well for experienced players, but they all use a couple lists that are pretty similar, as far as I know, and leave out a large number of units in the book.

A new codex won't change that, it will only change which units are left out.

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dumbuket wrote:I guess I'm just dense, but I have no idea what Sourclams is talking about. How do the deepstrike rules invalidate the planetstrike terrain? Did Sourclams actually read the rules?

One of the reasons sourclams went on my Ignore list is that rules, to him, are these strange amorphous blobs on the page, carefully written to mystify, obfuscate, and mislead players about how the game is played. If sourclams didn't immediately understand them, then clearly the problem is with the rules and the fiendish Jervis Johnson for for making them so darned vague!
   
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George Spiggott wrote:
Hordini wrote:There are builds that work quite well for experienced players, but they all use a couple lists that are pretty similar, as far as I know, and leave out a large number of units in the book.

A new codex won't change that, it will only change which units are left out.


Okay, I admit that because we are talking about a GW codex, you are probably right. However, it wouldn't have to be that way, if GW could release a codex that was balanced worth a damn.

At the very least, we could hope for a codex in which not as many units were left out.

   
Made in ca
God-like Imperator Titan Commander





Halifax

Hordini:

I'd agree with you that things like the Specialist Games and Dark Eldar are unsupported, and that probably hurts their sales, but consider that they are not supported because the difference between supported sales and unsupported sales is negligible. I'd suggest that these lines have been left out to dry for the reason that promoting them does not appear to be cost effective.

I remember hearing once, a couple of years ago, that sales of Space Marines constitute something like 50%+ of GW gross revenue. If you have a limited promotional budget, it seems reasonable to promote the product with the widest appeal to get the bang for your promotional buck. Certainly there's a feedback system going on here, in that armies that get promoted more develop a bigger slice of the GW pie, but not even Space Marines get promoted all the time. If sales of Space Marines benefit proportionately more from promotion than sales of Dark Eldar, as measured by a drop-off when they're not being promoted, then the feed-back loop of sales and promotion for Space Marines is justified from a bottom-line perspective.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

@Hordini: The problem with DE is that they have NEGATIVE ROI, meaning that it would take GW a lot of effort to simply bring them to zero point, much less to make it a "success". For 40k with too many lists to maintain, not updating DE is an easy decision to make.

And actually, in many ways, I'd like GW to release a new DE Codex, if only to hear the crying from when the pendulum swings and all of the previous good stuff becomes unplayable crap, while all of the crap stuff needs to be bought as all-new overpriced plastic.

What? You don't think that is how GW will "repay" the DE players?

Wait until the SW revamp if you doubt any of this.


   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Nurglitch wrote:
dumbuket wrote:I guess I'm just dense, but I have no idea what Sourclams is talking about. How do the deepstrike rules invalidate the planetstrike terrain? Did Sourclams actually read the rules?

One of the reasons sourclams went on my Ignore list is that rules, to him, are these strange amorphous blobs on the page, carefully written to mystify, obfuscate, and mislead players about how the game is played. If sourclams didn't immediately understand them, then clearly the problem is with the rules and the fiendish Jervis Johnson for for making them so darned vague!


It's not the fact he didn't understand them, but the planet strike ruleset invalidates the need to buy the very terrain they produced for the ruleset. So why waste the time on the ruleset? Just make the terrain, if that was your goal.

If you want fancy terrain and sell it, GW didn't need to waste their time developing rules for the terrain. Just make the terrain and sell it. I don't see anything in the planet strike rules that would compel me to buy the terrain.

Money and time better spent on just either:

a) Making the terrain

b) Making and testing other rules, like a codex for their core game. Spend the time, money and effort on something that will sell, at least rules wise.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
JohnHwangDD wrote:@Hordini: The problem with DE is that they have NEGATIVE ROI, meaning that it would take GW a lot of effort to simply bring them to zero point, much less to make it a "success". For 40k with too many lists to maintain, not updating DE is an easy decision to make.


And this is suprising how? A codex that was written for rules two editions ago, is totally ignored by the company and now it's ROI is negative?

How about they bring codices up to date first and then bring in the fluff stuff?

Add new terrain? Sure, why not.

Add more rules when there are a TON of rules out there that need updating or even clarifying? Typical GW fail.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/07/06 04:18:39


Sourclams wrote:He already had more necrons than anyone else. Now he wants to have more necrons than himself.


I play  
   
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Florida

JohnHwangDD wrote:
sourclams wrote:Planetstrike is a blatant push to sell more models.

As to all the rubbish about an over-arching narrative, you don't need an "official rule set".

I just don't see how this is going to be a financial success for GW. Terrain models provide little to no in-game advantage.

No, really? GW is trying to sell more models? You don't say!

No, we don't. But GW throwing something on the wall sure makes it easier for those of us who'd rather not have to reinvent the wheel every time we want to do a siege scenario. It allows us to adapt or modify things, or run larger events with some level of known consistency.

Terrain models provide terrain, something that everybody needs in addition to armies. At least, those of us who don't want to always fight on featureless plains. Yes, it's possible to make your own terrain, but it's a *lot* harder than slapping together a GW terrain kit. The GW Manor and Castle are perfect example of this. Can I make a Fantasy building? Yes. Can I do it cheaper? Probably, if I my time wasn't worth more than minimum wage. Would it be "better" in detail and looks? Absolutely not.

The point is that things like Apoc, PS, and terrain accelerate gaming in the same way as not having to scratch-build Vehicles back in the RT days. It allows the players to focus on things that they want, rather than having to invest so much effort in creation from scratch.

As for expansions needing updates over time, I fail to see why that is a problem. If we accept that the base 40k rules require updates, along with Codexes needing updates, why cannot Apoc and PS and PE require updates over time?



I am going to have to agree with DD on this. Many of the items sold for Planetstrike already found interest with many in our gaming community. The same with APOC scoring in 5th, we all came to a decision. As for CoD, as CaptK says: 5th edition rule book pretty much covers most of CoD outside of strategems.

Comparing tournament records is another form of e-peen measuring.
 
   
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thehod wrote:I am going to have to agree with DD on this. Many of the items sold for Planetstrike already found interest with many in our gaming community. The same with APOC scoring in 5th, we all came to a decision. As for CoD, as CaptK says: 5th edition rule book pretty much covers most of CoD outside of strategems.


But were the planet strike rules the deciding factor? Or was it just the new terrain?

Or to put it another way:

If the terrain was created without the rules, would you still have bought the terrain?

Sourclams wrote:He already had more necrons than anyone else. Now he wants to have more necrons than himself.


I play  
   
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Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

JohnHwangDD wrote:Because GW has always had mediocre rules, and consistently outsold their competitors, year after year.


Nice false complex clause there DD. It truly does boggle the mind where you get some of your ideas...

   
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Auburn, CA

I wish 40K had scenarios.

The standard missions are somewhat boring scenarios to me, as they aren't really scenarios in the strictest sense. They're more like a rather loose set of victory conditions, since in each "scenario" it's up to the players to construct their armies.

I want GW to put out some scenario books for 40K that would be similar to the LotR SBG Source Books. A number of scenarios that feature pretty specific models (though they'll give rules on what would be okay to sub in) and tutorials on building some of the terrain for those scenarios.

I think that'd be great, particularly if the scenarios were well balanced and didn't necessarily follow standard FoCs. Point values could be different on each side, so long as victory conditions, terrain, etc balanced it out. You know, like how most scenario driven wargames do it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/07/06 12:05:50


Waagh! Lagduf
Sons of Vulkan
Cadian Mountain Division
 
   
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Yes, the enemy *could* deepstrike behind my walls, but they'll just land directly on top of my units and have to roll on the mishap table. Also, bastions aren't exactly the smallest of models, so if I've got a bastion surrounded by walls, with my army inbetween the two, odds are my opponent will deepstrike the majority of his army outside my defences, rather than risk either half his army dying on arrival, or me placing it as far away from my forces as I can get and still have them on the same board. In fact, there is a picture in the Planetstrke rulebook that shows exactly this scenario (the Red Corsairs/Howling Grifons one).

To answer on the actual topic, I don't think standard 40K is in risk of obsoletion, but I can see more modifications being made to it by playing groups using Planetstrike stuff. For example, once we get our bastions I'm gonna suggest house rules for using them in a normal game of 40K, because it's be criminal not to. We're also planning to use the 2nd Planetstrike mission with normal 40K rules, because it makes no bloody sense that if I've established a beachead half my army is deep striking in from orbit.

Dragonlover
   
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Dragonlover wrote:. We're also planning to use the 2nd Planetstrike mission with normal 40K rules, because it makes no bloody sense that if I've established a beachead half my army is deep striking in from orbit.


Why not?

The book states the attacking force has a very tenuous hold on that beach-head. Imagine that it's the second or third day of the battle. Troops make Planetfall, establish a "beach-head" but at a terrible, terrible cost. The models on the board represent the survivors of the initial onslaught while the units held in reserve are the fresh troops, who well...have been held in reserve until needed. And they are needed now...and where are they at currently - again, they're in low orbit held in reserves.

The fluff is consistent with the mission parameters in this case I think. It is called "desperate assault" for a reason.

It reminds me of something like Tarawa.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/07/06 12:20:19


Waagh! Lagduf
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Is there a mission that doesn't involve the attacking force Deep Striking? I ask because Planetstrike seems to be limited to when an enemy force is making an air-borne assault (or their racial equivalent) on a fortress.

Why no ground assaults?

   
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Because that would be normal 40k.

Although, I think that, if you so wanted, you could use a ground-based assault on a fortress just as easily.

   
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Lagduf wrote:
Dragonlover wrote:. We're also planning to use the 2nd Planetstrike mission with normal 40K rules, because it makes no bloody sense that if I've established a beachead half my army is deep striking in from orbit.


Why not?

The book states the attacking force has a very tenuous hold on that beach-head. Imagine that it's the second or third day of the battle. Troops make Planetfall, establish a "beach-head" but at a terrible, terrible cost. The models on the board represent the survivors of the initial onslaught while the units held in reserve are the fresh troops, who well...have been held in reserve until needed. And they are needed now...and where are they at currently - again, they're in low orbit held in reserves.

The fluff is consistent with the mission parameters in this case I think. It is called "desperate assault" for a reason.

It reminds me of something like Tarawa.


Fair point. We'll probably still mix things up a bit if we use that mission where we plan to, cos we're gonna be doing a narrative campaign where my Chaos Marines attack his chapters home system. Course, if I lose the initial Planetfall, the point becomes moot, as I have no beach-head to try and defend.

Dragonlover
   
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Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury

H.B.M.C. wrote:Is there a mission that doesn't involve the attacking force Deep Striking? I ask because Planetstrike seems to be limited to when an enemy force is making an air-borne assault (or their racial equivalent) on a fortress.

Why no ground assaults?


I'd need to double check it but I believe you could choose to not DS any of your units and have them arrive from your dropzone/board edge.

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The only way GW would ever let 40k become obsolete would be if they thought they could sell more models off the fact. I don't see how that would work, but I wouldn't put it past them to try anything.
   
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Redbeard wrote:
sourclams wrote:
I sat in my game store with this book for a good hour, looking for what I was "missing" with regards to why I would buy $400 worth of walls and towers that my opponent just jumps over. If you have found it, please tell me, because I sure don't see the fething point.


That's because you're looking at it in the wrong way. Instead of thinking "what should I do to win", think "what would be fun."

Terrain is cool. Terrain makes or breaks the game. If you have good terrain, you can create a story out of any game. If you have good terrain, people's imaginations start working.

Whatever else planetstrike is (and I haven't played a game yet, but I will give it a go), it's got cool terrain.


I just don't see how this is going to be a financial success for GW. Terrain models provide little to no in-game advantage. What has every other game system to have ever existed taught us? People pay money for in-game advantage. Pay $300 for terrain sets to build a Fortress of Doom that players break themselves upon while I laugh megamaniacally? I'll do it twice. Pay $300 for a Fortress of Doom that dies to Deep Struck fusion guns on turn 1 (that my BS2 wall mounted autocannon failed to kill)? Ha. HAHAHA!. feth it.


And yet, look at the success they've had with the other terrain kits that they've sold. Cities of death terrain kits provided neither player with any advantage, but it is a good enough seller that it retains wall space at even small mall shops. Would they even have bothered making more terrain kits if the ones they had already made bombed? It doesn't matter if the bastion can be killed, or even nuked from orbit, at the end of the day, games are more fun with terrain, and people will pay for it.

As a top-level tournament player (referring to the top-level GT/Adepticon style tournament, not my ability) , terrain kits provide me an easy way to make interesting display boards for my armies. As a basement beer&dice player, my friends and I get more variety in our weekend games. Terrain kits even appeal to grandma and auntie, who don't want to buy little johnny more soldiers, but want to get him something for his game.

I bought a few of the combo (2 bastion/3 wall) sets because I love different terrain. I'll use it whether I end up playing Planetstrike or not. The $25 book that came with it? If I get a few games out of it, okay. If not, it's still got some cool inspiring terrain pics in it.


Planetfail is definitely not going to pull GW out of its financial tailspin. It's simply another chunk of 'This is how you play it' 40k being clumsily manhandled into the product line that the majority of gamers will ignore.


I am not convinced that they're in a financial tailspin, looking at recent results, but that's an entirely different topic. I don't think you really understand the nature of the expansion. People get bored playing the same game over and over. Planetstrike costs very little for them to produce, and yet provides a way to change up the game just enough to make it feel different. If that keeps a few players within the 40k community, it probably succeeded in its goals.

I think the terrain sales alone will cover the costs of producing it. They have enough analysts to know whether terrain kits are successful or not that they wouldn't do it otherwise. I think anything on top of that is gravy.


Surely a game has to have a consistent internal logic.

It doesn't make sense to build fortifications if all armies have units who can easily bypass them. At the least, the fortifications would have to take deepstriking into account in their design, such as containing lots of patches of difficult terrain which disrupt deepstrikers. Is there something like that in the PS rules?

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imweasel wrote:
thehod wrote:I am going to have to agree with DD on this. Many of the items sold for Planetstrike already found interest with many in our gaming community. The same with APOC scoring in 5th, we all came to a decision. As for CoD, as CaptK says: 5th edition rule book pretty much covers most of CoD outside of strategems.


But were the planet strike rules the deciding factor? Or was it just the new terrain?

Or to put it another way:

If the terrain was created without the rules, would you still have bought the terrain?


I still would have bought the terrain regardless if rules were posted or not. But I may be in the majority, or in the minority. I know for sure there is a market for terrain (I bought a few bunkers on ebay), and my friend has a freshly made gaming table asking for terrain on it.

Comparing tournament records is another form of e-peen measuring.
 
   
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Kilkrazy wrote:
It doesn't make sense to build fortifications if all armies have units who can easily bypass them...


Throughout real-world history, people have built fortifications, and fortifications have been bypassed. This has not stopped people from attempting to make more fortifications.

A fortification, in many ways, is simply a barrier-to-entry. A fortification means that the cost of invading increases. But, no fortification can prevent invasions, all they can do is raise the cost of doing so. If someone is willing to pay the price, they will get in, it's really that simple.

Perhaps the internal logic works thusly.



   
 
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