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Made in us
Inspiring Icon Bearer





Colorado Springs, CO

I was going to post this in the 'Where did Everyone Go' thread, but the last post thee was in August so I figured I'd just start a new discussion...


Warning: opinion follows...

I had an interesting experience at my FLGS and to me, it perfectly sums up what perhaps my biggest issue is with state of Warmahordes.

On Monday I was hanging out at my FLGS and very surprisingly, there were actually a couple of Warmachine players going at it! Now, I do love me some Warmachine and while I don't actively play anymore, it is a bit sad to see a great game go downhill like WM/H has. I know there are a lot of opinions as to what caused this, and most of those would probably have at least a little truth to them, but for me the biggest issues for why I don't play anymore are actually summed up by what was on display to me Monday.

The issues that I saw on this particular day were pretty obvious petty quickly. The game looked to be a standard (maybe?) 75 points, and while that's all well and good 75 points gets you a lot of stuff in Warmachine these days, so there were lots of models on the table. The table size, however, hasn't grown with the increased army size and so this game was being played on a 4x4 table, which caused the models to all be smashed together in the middle in what can only be disguised as a giant cluster.

Combine this with the fact that only about half the models total were painted (no single force was completely painted, and this is certainly NOT a problem native to Warmahordes), PLUS the tournament-standard 2D 'terrain' that was present on the too-small board and the overall visual effect of the game was pretty awful. It just didn't look like any fun. Now if you're a new player and you walked into the store and saw this, you're not exactly going to be super-intrigued and want to know more about the game. Even if you're an old player (like me) who has the minis and the rules, you're not going to want to run home and dust off your giant, steam-powered murderbots, and that's a shame.

In my opinion, Privateer Press would go a long way by either decreasing the sizes of the armies (which of course they don't want to do as you wouldn't have to buy as much and they're a business, and I totally get that) OR by increasing the size of the table to a 6x4 instead of a 4x4, which would grant more tactical options during play and have the added benefit of adding to the spectacle. I'd also like to see more 3D terrain instead of the 2D stuff typically seen in a Warmachine tournament or event, although I understand that this aspect may be a bit more localized.

I don't know. I've honestly thought about making these changes myself locally and see if that increases participation and interest. Anyway, I thought of Dakka when I saw this and I figured it would be worth discussing.

If I've got a trade you're interested in but you don't have anything on my wanted list, just shoot me a PM and ask! I'm easily distracted!  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





The game's issues are almost entirely a problem of drawing in new players. There's a whole bunch of reasons for this, some due to the rules, some due to the way its played and some just due to the state of the market and industry, but the end result is that the majority of people playing are the same ones playing a decade ago and no matter how good your retention is, without new blood entropy will take its toll.

Personally, I don't consider the crowded nature of it a problem. One of the game's biggest strengths is the American football "scrum" nature of its conflicts. Some of that is a result of the warcaster system itself and in my experience attempts to widen the game really drain some of its unique appeal.

Personally, the #1 thing I think it needs is some changes to terrain. The current rules just don't interact well with 3D terrain and are often even excessively punishing with area terrain. I also agree smaller game sizes would help. PP actually flirted with the idea recently, but the hardcore tourney crowd that pretty much defines their playerbase revolted. Personally, I've found the game plays poorly at lower points, but almost entirely because the scenarios are designed around larger armies. Smaller game scenarios would be a huge help, but again, the playerbase refuses to try them.

The BIG challenge PP faces is shelf space. Their SKU count is simply impossible to manage and there's just so much bloat across the model line its impossible to stock. They need to get back their retail presence but that is going to require some pretty big shakeups to both the game and its packaging. Part of the problem is just that, while they've totally got their modelling groove back since they mastered resin, resin itself doesn't work super well for large units. Games like MonPoc and Riot Quest fit the company's current strengths a lot better unfortunately.

In any case, its still a great game I play regularly. Just not one I've been able to sell half as successfully as other games lately.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Warmachine matches look like somebody dropped a box of old, unfinished models and bitz on the table. If it weren't for printed game mats at least giving the ground some color and form, you wouldn't even know it was a miniatures game from a distance.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

None of the cities I have been to in Germany are selling Warmachine at all any more, all thier space is going to Dungeons and Dragons miniatures and GW stuff now. I have repaired my stuff and actually painted an entire gatorman force, but nobody seems to be playing around here any more. Probably there is a group somewhere in the city, but honestly getting back into the game is also just intimidating at this stage.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Sqorgar wrote:
Warmachine matches look like somebody dropped a box of old, unfinished models and bitz on the table. If it weren't for printed game mats at least giving the ground some color and form, you wouldn't even know it was a miniatures game from a distance.


There's people at our shop that only play on a large sheet of brown high density cardboard with solid color felt cutouts. We have mats and real terrain but.... nope.
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

Sku bloat is part of the problem, but not enough considering how much space their skus take up versus how much each GW sku takes up. Aside from the army boxes, cavalry, and Huge bases, they can all be pegged reliably.

I think Steamroller is the problem, indirectly. Too many of the people are focused on it as the end game (I was told at my old LGS that "we only play Steamroller here"). That defines the army sizes, the game spaces, and scenarios being run.

I was able to get 3 games in a few months ago one night. Because I have zero practice in the game (despite collecting for years), and the guys at my LGS allowed me to run at 25 points with Theme. We still played Steamroller scenarios, though. At that point level, you can usually fit about 2 units in and a couple solos if you don't go crazy with your 'jacks/'beasts. We probably should have went with a Journeyman scenario of Trial by Fire.

It was hard to get any level of coverage of the zones with that table size and the usual 2 zone set up. And as I saw form their 75 point matches, it was the exact opposite. Finding room to manuver was the real challenge.

The hard part would be to convince the players to expand their scenarios to consider something more than a farmhouse and sport scoring zone and to try and put it in to a village of say, 4x6, but with the same level of scoring, just much farther apart.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/09 01:30:16


Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





washington state USA

As it so happens I never jumped on WM/H when it came out or even in MKII, it wasn't until we had a regular employee at the FLGS who's main game was WM/H before I finally broke down and built an army. just as MKIII came out.

It is one of many games I bring with me to game night just in case somebody wants to play. my 75 point list all fits into a nice little carrying case. with between 10 to 14 minis depending on which list I want to run.
But I can always make smaller lists as need be.

As for table size even with "larger" armies I don't see this as a real problem since the weapons ranges and movement are quite small compared to other 28mm games. with 14" being long range and 8-12" being average for most guns. I also play khador where most of my stuff moves 4" so a 4X4 table works just fine.

Most of the regulars I play with are pretty casual, however I got a rare Friday night off from work and came in to the shop since I was told it was the big WM/H night. I got in one game with my friend but could not seem to get the other group interested in a game. the all seemed.....I don't think snobbish is the right word, but kind of locked into their regular group. they just played game after game on the same table using 2d terrain. since I am in the area where the company is located one of the regulars actually works for PP so they may be a bit more on the hardcore side of the game.

I don't see anything wrong with the game play itself for MKIII, either just battling it out or using objectives is just fine with me. but I do love a good looking table. (kinda sad they removed elevation from the game). so I always use 3d terrain.

this is what one of my tables looks like-



or this-

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/09 07:05:22


 
   
Made in at
Fresh-Faced New User





From the center of europe my impression of why WarmaHordes is struggling right now has several reasons:

1) it is hard to get into the hobby, since the "Starter Battlegroups" are not interesting at all. Most of them have maximum 1 Caster/Lock and maybe 1 Beast/Jack that will probably be used later in bigger games. Rest of the miniatures are doomed to sit on a shelf forever.
And if you want to get one or two full lists at a time, there are too many alternatives that are more appealing in a financial point of view. (e.g. if I want to get into warmahordes competitively I'd guess ONE LIST - that will be changed frequently - is around 200 to 300 euro; here in europe many former warmahordes players switched to guild ball, where you get a whole guild with all miniatures incl. tokens, dice etc. for 200 euro)
So therefore new players are being disencouraged by the sheer amount of models they have to buy and paint and the amount of money it will cost.

2) I don't know how hard it is to get miniatures in the states, but here in europe most shops get a batch of miniatures that were released and they will be sold out in maximum a few days later. All of the unlucky hobbyists that couldn't get their hands on the hot stuff need to wait months until the stores are able to get a restock. This combined by the fact that PP releases miniatures cross-faction right now and also because MOST of the new miniatures are slightly OP - Archons *cough* - lead to the fact that those miniatures are even faster sold out than ever.
In europe this and the introduction of some overpriced BAHI models lead to the #BAHIeurope-philosophy (even if those proxis aren't for BAHI models) And since PP doesn't even care about smaller tournaments at all most TOs also won't even mind such proxies if they are clearly recognizable

3) Of course PP is a miniature company that needs to focus on selling stuff, and we all understand it. But since a lot of "neccessary erratas" right now are solved in point decreases, armys are growing - as godswildcard was already mentioning.
And this leads again to my point #1 -> scary for newer players.

4) PP is following the 2000sGW-Path of Powercreep Deluxe. This pissed off a lot of people in my meta, and also some other communities I've spoken to.

5) PP is putting a lot of energy into other game systems (riot quest, monsterpocalypse, etc) that isn't being accepted by - at least some part of - the community. I know there are some folks in the states that are playing MonPoc, but here in middle europe nobody plays it and also the few stores that still offer PP stuff don't have it in stock. Riot Quest miniatures are only sold because of their WarmaHordes factor for existing players.

6) there is too much competition with other games. (WH40k, WHAoS, Malifaux, Guild Ball, Star Wars X-Wing, Star Wars Legion, Marvel: Crisis Protocol,.....) What I have witnessed is, that a lot of people are being more attracted to skirmish games than to big army games because of money, time the paintjob needs, etc. And even if I am one of the people who still loves WarmaHordes, since it is a great game. Those other games are also great. But they're easier to get into.

7) the quality of the standard PP miniatures compared to other companies is really really bad. If you don't believe me - give a PP Starter Box and any GW Box to a possible new player and let them tell you what felt more annoying when building.

7a) for existing players..... how can a company still exist in 2020 when they offer 10 men squads with 4 different sculpts or 5 man squads with 3 different sculpts without a proper possibility to change poses, equipment and so on? yes, 1 single miniature for itself is great, but those units or 2 solos you need in an army that have absolutly the same pose.... come on...

8) what PP does wrong at the moment GW does right now - which lead to the fact that I lost 80% of my warmachine meta to 40k since end of 2018/the beginning of 2019.


So, i think that might be the points I make responsible for the fact that my local meta went down from 20 WM/Ho players to the 4 people we are right now. And it seems like at least all over europe it is the same.
And also the application for the 10 WTC spots (2 teams of 5 people) went down so we can put all applicants in there it seems.


Nationwide we got some players back again in the last 2 months by scaling down to 50 points with the restriction of no jack/beast/unit more then twice and no huge bases, because everybody found it interesting.
Maybe trying something new is the way to go to encourage people to step back into the game.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/01/09 11:13:34


 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





washington state USA

Wow sounds as bad as getting stuff in Australia, I am right here where PP is from so we have no problem getting stuff, and it is generally pretty reasonable price wise unless you want some big units. but then again I play a small army with mostly solos and jacks.

I also only play it as a one of many games so I don't invest in it as my "go to" game. currently I am a much bigger fan of DUST for 28mm games followed by 30K but I also run a 40k list because that is prevalent everywhere.

Like you pointed out in the end, building a community for gamers is just as important as the systems you play.

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Honestly people keep talking about having armies where every model has a unique pose, yet I don't see many companies ever offering it. It seems to be a bit of a unicorn in the market in that gamers would like every infantry model to be unique - either with unique poses (which means every box you get would have the same unique poses - aka like the Warcry sets); or with fully poseable models; which are highly complicated and often very fiddly to put together so can raise the entry bar. I've also noticed that when you DO have models that you can free pose the number of poses you're likely to actually use is often limited anyway. Both with the mechanics of where things can sit and in what the unit looks like its doing - the differences are often minor arm adjustments rather than all out changes.



As for PP what they really need is to get their whole Press-Ganger system going again in some form. They also need to do what GW has done and have a massive program of outreach. In a very short span of time they shut their magazine, closed most of their forum chatter and then split that in half opening a second forum their their live rules updating; then they also shut their PG system. The result was a reduction in uptake and stating up games because now the local game club no longer has at least one person with a vested interest in promoting the game. For basically any company that isn't GW (who have their own stores to push sales) this isn'ta good move.

I really hope that their new CEO can start to make changes; there's no reason that PP can't return to the time when it was the second biggest in the market.

   
Made in at
Fresh-Faced New User





I have to agree to your post, Overreads.

Shutting down the PG program, closing the official forums etc. wasn't the smartest move since those "stations" where probably the main source of information for newer players as well.


Concerning different poses: What is the reason why PP can't come up with plasic sprues like GW? Yes, additional Parts are maybe a little more expensive when designed, but I think only a few more arms/heads would bring a solution.
Also I'm wondering why they still bring out the majority of their miniatures in this strange plastik/resin mix or in metal instead of plastic sprues. I wonder if it is a financial issue, becaus if that was the official reason, I'd point out that Atomic Mass Games are also able to get this job done although they are a new company.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

They did try plastics - but their recipe wasn't that good. I know that I disliked working with their plastic, it was tough but odd and didn't hold fine detail quite that well.

I can't recall if they did it in house or overseas, either way could be an issue for them (overseas can have issues with quality control and such whilst inhouse can have extreme costs in setup).

I think they've pushed away form the plastic toward resin and metal partly because of pushback on their plastics.

   
Made in at
Fresh-Faced New User





 Overread wrote:
They did try plastics - but their recipe wasn't that good. I know that I disliked working with their plastic, it was tough but odd and didn't hold fine detail quite that well.



Hmmm, that's quite a suprise for me. I personally really loved the Rager/Mad Dog/Berserker Kit and so on, but that's a personal preference maybe.

What I think to know is that they have a resin casting company in the states and a metal casting company in europe, which leads to bringing out some miniatures in resin in america and the same miniatures made of metal in europe.
   
Made in us
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

 raghnath wrote:
7) the quality of the standard PP miniatures compared to other companies is really really bad. If you don't believe me - give a PP Starter Box and any GW Box to a possible new player and let them tell you what felt more annoying when building.

7a) for existing players..... how can a company still exist in 2020 when they offer 10 men squads with 4 different sculpts or 5 man squads with 3 different sculpts without a proper possibility to change poses, equipment and so on? yes, 1 single miniature for itself is great, but those units or 2 solos you need in an army that have absolutly the same pose.... come on...
I always feel bad for mini companies when their plastics inevitably get compared to Citadel plastics. GW has the best multi-part plastic wargaming minis on the market, and they've worked hard and invested an enormous amount of money to get to that place. So yea, nobody can really match them, nor is it sensible to expect them too. This is also why I, as a person who buys minis from many manufacturers, don't get too incensed by GW's increasingly high prices. Y'all buying a boutique product here, the best of the best - you should probably pay for it. The problem is when GeeDub makes a game that requires 40 of a thing that it sells in boxes of 10 to make up a squad ... and then wants you to buy three of those squads. Oof.

That isn't to take away from your point, PP's stuff rarely compares entirely favorably against its competitors. I've come to really like PP's style and there are some minis I genuinely like, and a lot I've come to like in a sort of 90s throwback way (the shoulder pads!) I primarily play Kings of War, and I'm overjoyed when people use WMH minis in KOW. Spoiler: I've been amassing Skorne infantry (!!) to make my own Kings of Skorne army, because I really love the Skorne faction but just don't want to retrofit my dudes and play WMH MK3 with them after a long run in MK2.

Anyway, I'll echo PP's plastic woes as well - I bought Convergence when they came out, then sold them when I realized I couldn't deal with the plastic recipe PP went with ... and keep wanting to speedpaint some COC up, but know the material will kill it for me. I also think their pricing is kind of too high, comparing their product against competitors, and is one of the reasons that I've always disliked the two list format. I ... don't really have the time or money to make a second WMH army! Although I get it, second list can involved just a handful of changes and play totally differently. Still not a fan.

I guess a final thought is that I find I miss WMH quite a bit these days, particularly with the art book KS about to ship. I recently discovered a 50 pt Arkadius crew mostly build in a box (!), I'm going to try to Contrast paint that thing up and test the local waters. What's the worst that could happen?

KOW BATREPS: BLOODFIRE
INSTAGRAM: @boss_salvage 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 raghnath wrote:

Concerning different poses: What is the reason why PP can't come up with plasic sprues like GW? Yes, additional Parts are maybe a little more expensive when designed, but I think only a few more arms/heads would bring a solution.
Also I'm wondering why they still bring out the majority of their miniatures in this strange plastik/resin mix or in metal instead of plastic sprues. I wonder if it is a financial issue, becaus if that was the official reason, I'd point out that Atomic Mass Games are also able to get this job done although they are a new company.


Atomic Mass Games has the financial backing of Asmodee. They're a new development branch under one of the biggest companies in the business. It's no coincidence that Marvel came out in sprue plastic about the same time Star Wars Legion started using it.

The main thing is that PP can't afford their own machinery and has to outsource plastics to China. This created a number of major problems for them when they tried it. Their "skipped leg day" aesthetic doesn't translate to sprue very cleanly. As much as we like to treat it as the ultimate material, the undercut limit on sprues is a pretty massive drawback for PP. A lot of their models styles don't translate well; particularly things like their love of textured cloth, runestones, satchels and other little details as well as the super bulky upper torsos. It's not impossible, but without the expertise that comes from printing the models in house (GW's biggest advantage by far), you end up with something more along the lines of Malifaux's part count.

The other thing is just control over timelines. There was a 5 year gap between the resin prototype colossals and from what I've heard a lot of that time was a production nightmare. This is pretty much true of all the plastics. The plastic jack kits in general got delayed for years and were a big part of PP abandoning their book release model as they just didn't have a way to guarantee the outsourced models would be available in a timely manner. The straw that broke is definitely the Desert Hydra. As I've heard, they went through dozens of attempts and the one we got is kind of a cut our losses compromise that's still a million little parts due to undercutting woes. Since then, they've switched to resin/metal as its a material for pretty much everything they can do in house that fits their style well. The models have really improved dramatically, but its too expensive of a material for 10 man units.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Quick note: PP has tried plastic twice.

At the start of MK2 they jumped on the PVC craze that gutted a lot of early kickstarters. The battleboxes were the big push and initially did pretty well at making the game affordable and easy to get into and despite having some wonky details, significantly larger than the metal counterparts. Pretty much the whole line of units got redone in PVC and while the quality wasn't there, the metals were still widely available for people who cared and the centerpiece models were still mostly metal or increasingly resin. This really hit the wall when Convergence came out, as there were only PVC and the style really flopped with the soft detail of the material.

This is also when they started to mess with sprue plastic. Whether it was already in the pipes or a result of the complaints, the Convergence Battle Engine was the first done and while it came out nice it was also a couple years late. This essentially the story for the rest of the models. Khador got left BEGGING for the Rager as a patch for their MK2 woes for so long they never got to play it, instead coming out a few months into MK3.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/09 15:12:29


 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




I am still a huge fan of WM/H as a game system. However, I am now quite critical of PP as a company. I don’t really thing Dakka is a great place to talk about WM/H as most of the traffic is 40K/AOS related. But I think if I was to sum up the current state of the game it would be like this:

The Good

•The GAME itself in terms of rules, armies, scenario packet, competitive format and narrative options are in very good shape. The rule set is tight, consistent and issues are corrected swiftly and made available to everyone who has the War Room app. This to me is the MOST important thing and why I love playing. The game is great.

•The model quality for a lot of the new stuff is pretty good IMO. While I little infuriated that they still tend to use a range of material on one single model (metal, plastic and resin in one model……) from a hobbying and painting PoV I am very satisfied and have enjoyed painting PP products very much.

•If you have a good community then there is always something going on. Comps, conversation, banter etc.

•CID has now slowed to a manageable pace, so the game feels stable compared to the start of the CID process. New models are CID’ed in small batches which allows for a better product at the end.

PP has set out its future range of models inc RiotQuest (cross over to WM/H), MonstaPoc and their new game NeoMechanica. We also know which factions are going to be getting CID love in the next 6 months. We now know what is coming.

The Neutral – UK PoV

• If you want to get into the game, its actually very cheap as people are putting up models for pennies on the pound of their value. This had made it easy for us to get player back/into the game as it’s a low investment for most things. Plus PP’s HQ move resulting in several rounds of Mystery Boxes has flooded the online 2nd hard market with NIB items for cut price. However, it’s not a good look if you can only really get product from ebay (see “the bad) below). That’s why I have put this as a neutral. Depends how you see it.

• The game IS and CAN be a fun casual game but that depend on the crowd you’re playing with. Also, there is a drive in many areas of the community to move away from 2D terrain and to use good, 3D terrain as much as possible. The rise of 3D printing means that you can now get 3D terrain with exact dimension for WM/H walls etc.

• There are a lot of amazing painters and modelers who paint and play WM/H and make it look amazing. For some reason however this does not seem to filter through to the general view of the WM/H community

PP’s competition support, social media game and Youtube game is strong.

PP went through a lot of changes of staff last year. I am neutral on this personally as this was aligned to their HQ move and some long term staff took it as time to move on. It depends how you want to read it. If you anti PP or only looking for DOOM then you say “everyone is leaving PP it’s a sinking ship”. If you positive you say “people have moved on, their positions have been filled, things have continued as normal”. I must point out however that one ex employee wrote a very long and scathing review of PP as a company and what that person saw as the poor management and decision making going on in the company. Again, im neutral on this. Id rather judge PP by their deeds and outputs than by a rant of Glassdoor. But it didn’t make good reading

The Bad – UK PoV

• Distribution of product to the UK is a total joke and for all but the big online/B&M shops like Wayland, Firestorm etc PP has burn all their bridges with retailers. Their effort to go direct order with stores went down like a lead balloon. I have been to many LFGS as I travel the UK who now are of the opinion “Frack PP and all it stands for”. They are happy to give table space, but not to stock the product. Additionally, getting hold of any of the new releases can be virtually impossible or take a very long time to arrive due to the distribution issues. For balance I should say that PP have publicly acknowledged the issues with distribution outside of the US and are looking to improve things. The proof will be in the pudding. However other companies like Wyrd, while sharing some issues with distribution seem to have handled the situation much better. I have no problem getting Malifaux models here in the UK

• Cost of many PP products, especially newer items are so laughably expensive. Northkin Raiders for example are £82 for 10 plastic models on 40mm bases (Source: Firestorm Games). That is ridiculous for models with no customisable options.

• The community CAN be a total dumpster fire in terms of online discourse and their attitude towards things like painting, hobbying etc which pains me a lot. I have seen people roll to a local SR and literally pour their range of un/poorly painted models out of a shoebox and not think anything is wrong as I set up my well painted Trollbloods opposite. PP has done some work to push narrative campaigns each year and the new Oblivion Campaign pack is not perfect but it’s a fun narrative escalation campaign you can play with friends over several weeks and month. But the public perception of WM/H player and PP as a company out there in the general wargaming community is still very poor and PP has done nothing to advertise, push back help grow the communities here in the UK. The amount of time is have played in a shop/club and had a passer by say something like “oh I thought PP and/or WM/H folded years ago, you guys still playing?” or “wow iv never seen WM/H models painted before”. We need to change the perception of the game as part of attracting new players.

• We only seem to measure success in WM/H by how many people attend national con, SR, Iron Gauntlet, National Champions, ITC, ETC etc. What we should focus on is growing the local scene and basement players.
   
Made in us
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

Sunno wrote:
I have seen people roll to a local SR and literally pour their range of un/poorly painted models out of a shoebox and not think anything is wrong as I set up my well painted Trollbloods opposite.
FWIW one of the reasons I stopped playing WMH was because nobody but me and my hobby-centric friends actually painted our gak. While I don't on principle have a problem with 2D terrain, and I appreciate how it helps the technical aspects of a very technical game, I'm also kind of happy I got out before it became so universal.

Also wanted to give a shoutout to PP's resin, I've enjoyed working with it from time to time. Resin + metal combos is on the other hand a bit strange to me, like my gator boilmaster dude with a resin body + metal tail, but I assume there's a reason for the two materials

KOW BATREPS: BLOODFIRE
INSTAGRAM: @boss_salvage 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Boss Salvage wrote:

Also wanted to give a shoutout to PP's resin, I've enjoyed working with it from time to time. Resin + metal combos is on the other hand a bit strange to me, like my gator boilmaster dude with a resin body + metal tail, but I assume there's a reason for the two materials


Resin works best on large chunks. When you make thinner stuff out of it, it can get brittle and snap or develop bubbles that compromise the piece. Making extremities metal removes a ton of these problems without sacrificing detail or part counts. As a weird side effect, I find Metal bonds to Resin better than Resin to Resin or Metal to Metal and makes assembly easier. Knight Models, for example, would benefit IMMENSELY from using metal for some of their bits, though I haven't gotten a chance to work with their new resin/plastic hybrid they're promoting for 3rd Ed.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/09 16:36:56


 
   
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Abel





Washington State

PP is successful despite PP.

I could go on and on about PP, but I'll just hit a few points people have brought up.

Army Size: PP makes money by selling models. They sell models to new players, and they have to make new models for old players to buy. To make players buy more models, they expand the standard game size. To make players buy models, they change the Steamroller scenarios and themes to favor different models on a rotational basis. This was exacerbated by the CiD- the single biggest sham PP ever pulled on it's players.

Model availability: PP made many, many distributors and brick and mortar stores when they issued the "Anti Third Party Sellers" proclamation. Couple things here about how models arrive at your FLGS: Let's say PP makes a solo. It costs them maybe $2-$3 to make in bulk (like 100+). They then sell it to a distributor, because it's expensive to hold onto product (storage space), ship it to a bunch of stores, and manage inventory. They'll sell it to a distributor for $5-$6- a 100% profit mark up. So the distributor has to make money, because they store the models, sell them to a LGS, and then ship them. Distributors make money by selling in bulk. so they sell the model for $9 to the LGS. Now it finally arrives at the LGS that sells the model at MSRP: $12. See how the profit margin shrinks the further along the supply chain it goes? Well, PP looked at all that and decided to sell directly to LGS's for $9, and forcing the LGS to sell the model for $12. That alienated a lot of distributors that immediately dropped PP products. PP did NOT have the personnel, experience, or infrastructure to sell directly to LGS's all over the world... It was a mess. Combine that with trying to shift to plastic (disaster!), early resin (again, disaster!)... The new models PP makes today are great, and has a lot to do with the talents of the 3D artists and resin casters. The reason why you don't see the product in your LGS? Because Distributors don't want to carry PP products, so an LGS has to buy directly from PP, which still has shipping problems.

Crisis Protocol: Was commissioned by Asmodee Games and developed by Privateer Press. Lot's of stuff went on behind the scenes, a good chunk of PP personnel left the company and started Atomic Mass Games and under license from Asmodee, pushed out Crisis Protocol. Much like Pacific Rim, don't ever mention Crisis Protocol to Matt Wilson.

There is so much behind the scenes, soap opera, backstory, behind the curtain shenanigans at PP (indeed, most game companies) that its amazing they are still in business, and it's a testament to the dedication of their staff and player base that they are still around despite what PP does.


Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
Made in us
Enigmatic Exalted Daemon





Albany, NY

 LunarSol wrote:
Resin works best on large chunks. When you make thinner stuff out of it, it can get brittle and snap or develop bubbles that compromise the piece. Making extremities metal removes a ton of these problems without sacrificing detail or part counts. As a weird side effect, I find Metal bonds to Resin better than Resin to Resin or Metal to Metal and makes assembly easier. Knight Models, for example, would benefit IMMENSELY from using metal for some of their bits, though I haven't gotten a chance to work with their new resin/plastic hybrid they're promoting for 3rd Ed.
That makes sense from my experience with resin. Maybe I'm more surprised that all these resin producers I buy from don't do similar part-metal for the reasons you've listed? Except that they almost assuredly have been all resin from the start up, without the tools or experience or desire to do metal as well. Vs PP who were metal first, then started adding resin for chonk.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/09 17:20:27


KOW BATREPS: BLOODFIRE
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Fixture of Dakka




UK

I've never had problems with resin or metals form PP - heck I enjoy putting their metal models together in general. I love my archangel model (even though I've still got to finish it off even though I was one of the early people to grab one when they hit the uk)

   
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Executing Exarch





Sadly its fallen off my playlist, we've only got 3 players (including me) locally and real life commitments prevent me travelling, bit of a shame as its picking up again slightly further away

Fingers crossed Neo-Mek has a low(ish) buy in and model count, and even then trustining PP's fup awfully non-US logistics is a big ask

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/10 13:54:11


"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
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Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps




 Overread wrote:
I've never had problems with resin or metals form PP - heck I enjoy putting their metal models together in general.


Do you mean just putting them together? Most are Ok, but I remember a few real stinkers (the blind floating Menoth girl was pretty crazy, requiring a lot of pins and the flat join for the flag was mostly made out of hope and spite). The 'plastics' were often terrible, not just for soft details, but they consistently had mould lines in the worst places- across raised areas of fur and in recessed but detailed areas. (Gears on Cyriss models)

But the biggest problem I had with PP models was their packing QA was terrible for years. I had to request replacements for missing bits upwards of 20 times.
Even during the worst of times with GW that was never an issue. A missing base once (for a large model that had a base I didn't have dozens of in a box), and a bitz order (back in the day) where they screwed it up twice, apparently because labels were switched. And that's over a period twice as long.

---
As for the game itself, 3rd killed it for me, as did driving an hour in hopes of getting a game in.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/11 04:32:24


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
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Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

I have Nyss Hunters that I put together.

That was 'fun".

Not having anyone buying the game much so it's reduced to an end cap an my LGS may kill it for me. But we have a few stores in the metropolis, and my kids and brother-in-law like their models. I have a nephew who is just getting in to steam punk that showed some interest in my Mercenary Warjacks. Too bad that one is an hour and a half away.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
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Hmm well in my area people are starting to drop 40k. Seems ITC only tournaments are driving them off along with various other things.
So we've gone from 2 WH players to 5 in a week. More are curious, and considering making the switch or simply starting WH in addition to 40k.

   
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Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

Privateer has a lot of problems - they've completely shed all their casual players (I think the return of 40k with 8th edition had a lot to do with it, to a lesser extent perhaps also AoS 2.0) and the only ones left are basically the competitive crew. They tried (or are trying) to draw back in the casual crowd or open up the competitive gamers to casual play (Oblivion book/campaign), but as far as I can tell it hasn't worked very well and the standard game type you will find being played, even on open gaming days, are tournament steamroller scenarios as opposed to the more casual book scenarios. I think the only real way forward here for PP is to find a way to make the competitive scenarios feel more casual/trick competitive players into playing casual/narrative scenarios OR bite the bullet, take the pain, and piss off the competitive community by doing away with steamroller or making significant changes to it to make gameplay and the community more casual - in truth, it probably won't really hurt them that much to alienate their remaining customers, because they aren't really buying very much of their product anymore anyway as they mostly have been playing for 10+ years at this point and have most of what they need aside from the occasional new release.

With regards to table size and everything being crushed in at the center of the table, that has nothing to do with the table size, even on a 6x4 table you would see them same thing occurring. What really needs to happen is for caster control and spell ranges to be doubled (or perhaps even tripled) so that people spread out their army more rather than clustering everything in as tightly as possible in order to ensure that everything is within range of buffs/support. Of course this may require heavy tweaking to a lot of abilities which have a "within control range" size effect. In truth though, I think this is more of a "you" problem than it is a game problem.

With regards to 3D terrain, the Warmachine/Hordes terrain rules need a complete overhaul plus the creation and release of "designed for Warmachine/Hordes" style terrain which is meant to function with those rules in order to make 3d terrain usable. The main issue stopping it, that I have seen, comes down to the ability to place models on terrain features - the importance of precision of maneuver makes this less than ideal for playing the game. What the rules need to do is basically clearly state that if you can't fit your entire models base within the terrain feature, or on a certain level of the terrain feature, then you can't enter it, and if you cant sit the models base flat on the terrain feature, you can't enter it (no "wobbly model syndrome" allowed), and if you don't have enough movement to fit the entire models base within the terrain feature then you can't enter it either (i.e. go "all or nothing", no more "toeing" as that is where a lot of issues come from). The game will need some cleaned up rules for attacking and moving vertically (IMO - adopt a standard "height" for attacks depending on base size, i.e. 30mm bases can attack anything standing at or below 1" of elevation as long as its within their melee range, 40mm = 2", 50mm = 3" etc), and the addition of certain unit rules that also interact with 3d terrain features better (which opens up some design space) - I though up a bunch of these, for example "assault climber" which allows you to make attacks against a model greater than your allowed attack height, and if the model is destroyed by the attack your model gets to "climb up" onto the terrain feature and take its place (this is necessary because in the past people would place their models on tops of hills etc. in a way that basically made it impossible for them to be attacked in melee as a result of your inability to place a model anywhere near close enough to reach it, etc. The ability to circumvent this in some manner is thus necessary). In large part I think the main reason for the shift towards 2d terrain in the community was mainly due to the use of homemade terrain which is inconsistent in its construction from venue to venue and tends to be more oriented towards ease of construction/availability of materials as opposed to considerations for playability (the typical homemade 40k terrain from 10-20 years ago might as well be thrown in the trash if you're trying to use it for WMHD's, it just doesn't work, although the more recent building kits are much more playable). The creation of "terrain standards" that ensure uniform construction with an eye towards playability would do a lot to improve on that.

Ironically enough, most of what I just stated are things that the former-PP staff behind Marvel Crisis Protocol have implemented in some manner with that game, and thus far it seems they have been successful.

Bringing back the Press Ganger programs in a new less-abusive format would also help them out a long way, though at that point its kind of like hiring salesmen to sell broken cars - the game itself will need a revamp as I don't believe the game is currently in a state that the majority of the market will find appealing given the other options on the market. As tight and as solid as the rules are mechanically, the majority of the marketplace is represented by casuals who do not or will not regularly play tabletop games in a competitive manner - and owing to the rules and the community, playing the game "casually" isn't entirely possible, as there is a huge gulf of skill between competitive and non-competitive players of the game.

PP went through a lot of changes of staff last year. I am neutral on this personally as this was aligned to their HQ move and some long term staff took it as time to move on. It depends how you want to read it. If you anti PP or only looking for DOOM then you say “everyone is leaving PP it’s a sinking ship”. If you positive you say “people have moved on, their positions have been filled, things have continued as normal”


What we've been told by insiders indicates this isn't entirely true. PP went from about ~100 staff down to 30, the vast majority of those departures are personnel who will not be replaced in the forseeable future, and the company itself is struggling financially (not in a "we're going out of business way, but rather a "we are operating on tighter margins and slimmer revenue" kind of way) - which is the reason for the slowdown in the release schedule and CID, they don't have the capital or the playerbase to support that anymore.

In any case, even though I don't actively play anymore, I have been enjoying the periodic sales that occur at major online WMHD's retailers, nothing like picking up $300+ worth of minis for $50.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
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Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
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Dakka Veteran





washington state USA

Wagguy80 wrote:
Hmm well in my area people are starting to drop 40k. Seems ITC only tournaments are driving them off along with various other things.
So we've gone from 2 WH players to 5 in a week. More are curious, and considering making the switch or simply starting WH in addition to 40k.



I don't see 40K getting hurt that much at my FLGS but you are right there does seem to be an obsession with ITC and competition play/deck building which means I am more than happy to point people to other systems I find to have better core game mechanics and/or less disproportionate rules like DUST, and yes even WM/H- I may miss some rules like elevation giving a +2 DEF but game play wise I don't see why people are so down on MKIII it seems most of the anger at PP is more focused on the companies behavior with model quality, retail sales and general community support.

 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

chaos0xomega wrote:
With regards to table size and everything being crushed in at the center of the table, that has nothing to do with the table size, even on a 6x4 table you would see them same thing occurring. What really needs to happen is for caster control and spell ranges to be doubled (or perhaps even tripled) so that people spread out their army more rather than clustering everything in as tightly as possible in order to ensure that everything is within range of buffs/support. Of course this may require heavy tweaking to a lot of abilities which have a "within control range" size effect. In truth though, I think this is more of a "you" problem than it is a game problem.

It's a combination of table size and how scenarios are run. It is not hard for a unit to shoot from one zone they control to another one. It's also not hard for a unit to charge across the same distance. The zones are large (either 6"x12" or 12" diameter), and rarely more than 12" apart. Put that in 48" and things get very tight very quickly. The scenarios start on page 15 of the Steamroller rules. And those scenarios are what are ruling WarmaHordes. Even when I was played at 25 points this last year, we used those scenarios.

Though, I have to agree, control range is a factor. Part of that is also a self-limitation. Almost nobody runs games beyond the 75 points of Steamroller, and trying to get people to separate themselves from Steamroller scenarios is like asking them to pull their own healthy teeth. Such as 25 points, but 2 Warcasters. What a shocking concept!

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Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





 Charistoph wrote:
chaos0xomega wrote:
With regards to table size and everything being crushed in at the center of the table, that has nothing to do with the table size, even on a 6x4 table you would see them same thing occurring. What really needs to happen is for caster control and spell ranges to be doubled (or perhaps even tripled) so that people spread out their army more rather than clustering everything in as tightly as possible in order to ensure that everything is within range of buffs/support. Of course this may require heavy tweaking to a lot of abilities which have a "within control range" size effect. In truth though, I think this is more of a "you" problem than it is a game problem.

It's a combination of table size and how scenarios are run. It is not hard for a unit to shoot from one zone they control to another one. It's also not hard for a unit to charge across the same distance. The zones are large (either 6"x12" or 12" diameter), and rarely more than 12" apart. Put that in 48" and things get very tight very quickly. The scenarios start on page 15 of the Steamroller rules. And those scenarios are what are ruling WarmaHordes. Even when I was played at 25 points this last year, we used those scenarios.

Though, I have to agree, control range is a factor. Part of that is also a self-limitation. Almost nobody runs games beyond the 75 points of Steamroller, and trying to get people to separate themselves from Steamroller scenarios is like asking them to pull their own healthy teeth. Such as 25 points, but 2 Warcasters. What a shocking concept!


A lot of it comes down to the fact the game is VERY exploitable with more than one warcaster or without a scenario. After you've played Steamroller a while, you really notice how many things you intentionally have to not due to avoid breaking the experience. I'd love to see lower point scenarios, but there's no communal faith in them to ever get them going in my experience. Personally though, I find the central cluster part of the game's appeal. It's very American Football, with a clash of lines in the center trying to make holes to get to the quarterback. It's something unique Warmachine does well and taking it away would make the game lose a lot of what makes it unique and interesting. The game just needs a better way to play smaller games, as its current scale is just not at all appealing to new players.

A terrain overhaul is the other big one as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't need a ton, but it really needs to modernize to be a little less punishing (a flat -2" rough terrain penalty would go a looooooong way) with pathfinder being less of a all purpose cure for the problem. That and something to cut down on the SKU bloat. A lot of casters versions could be cut with the remaining revamped into more fully featured ideas of the character (see Madrak1) and done well, with the cut versions working as valid alt sculpts. It's a great game that's just bloated from years of success that's in need of some modernization, mostly of the way its sold. We just don't live in an era where an endless backlog works the way it used to, and PP has suffered probably more than any other company from the change.
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

 LunarSol wrote:
A lot of it comes down to the fact the game is VERY exploitable with more than one warcaster or without a scenario. After you've played Steamroller a while, you really notice how many things you intentionally have to not due to avoid breaking the experience. I'd love to see lower point scenarios, but there's no communal faith in them to ever get them going in my experience. Personally though, I find the central cluster part of the game's appeal. It's very American Football, with a clash of lines in the center trying to make holes to get to the quarterback. It's something unique Warmachine does well and taking it away would make the game lose a lot of what makes it unique and interesting. The game just needs a better way to play smaller games, as its current scale is just not at all appealing to new players.

A lack of communal faith represents a fear of what would happen with its lack. There is such a fear of separating from Steamroller than many of the community thought Company of Iron wasn't supported, even with numerous scenarios being put out in No Quarter. The really odd thing here is that GW's Warhammer is far less stringent on things, and I find it far easier to find a game that is not a tournament standard than I do in WarmaHordes. In the community discussions, it is almost always Steamroller. If it isn't Steamroller, it's Champions (a more restrictive format for those who aren't aware).

Yet, also oddly enough, there was a lot of interest in doing a Who's the Boss event, but because of another WMH tournament and a SWL tournament happening at the same time, there were few who could play (I brought models, but I had developed such a headache, it literally would have hurt to play). The fact this happened at all is because someone didn't wait for permission from a company with no local interest to step up and get something different to play.

We don't NEED PGs or the PG program in order to have fun events. Nor do we need to focus on Steamroller to be a thing in order to enjoy the game. I honestly think that if we were able to take time and explore different formats, it would make the overall game experience more interesting.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
 
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