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Made in ca
Three Color Minimum






The reason they won't release MiniCrate models any other way, is because it's to entice you to just subscribe. That way you won't forget about the few models you actually want, and PP has a monthly income stream.

I would guess that is successful enough, we'll start seeing more IP's being used for separate monthly crates.
It's obviously brought them enough of an income that they've branched out into two more and I'd be willing to bet more are coming.
   
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 Ghool wrote:
The reason they won't release MiniCrate models any other way, is because it's to entice you to just subscribe. That way you won't forget about the few models you actually want, and PP has a monthly income stream.

I would guess that is successful enough, we'll start seeing more IP's being used for separate monthly crates.
It's obviously brought them enough of an income that they've branched out into two more and I'd be willing to bet more are coming.


It's also a direct sales model that doesn't require keeping an ever growing inventory which is their biggest issue overall. I think it also helps retain sculpting talent as it gives them a means of regularly having creative work that doesn't have to adhere to the existing designs. I get the impression that Riot Quest is driven by a lot of the same needs.
   
Made in ca
Three Color Minimum






 LunarSol wrote:
 Ghool wrote:
The reason they won't release MiniCrate models any other way, is because it's to entice you to just subscribe. That way you won't forget about the few models you actually want, and PP has a monthly income stream.

I would guess that is successful enough, we'll start seeing more IP's being used for separate monthly crates.
It's obviously brought them enough of an income that they've branched out into two more and I'd be willing to bet more are coming.


It's also a direct sales model that doesn't require keeping an ever growing inventory which is their biggest issue overall. I think it also helps retain sculpting talent as it gives them a means of regularly having creative work that doesn't have to adhere to the existing designs. I get the impression that Riot Quest is driven by a lot of the same needs.


That's probably the main reason. And it allows for model updates without adding excess inventory.
I personally think that this is the model they should have adopted a long time ago. While I don't need a model a.month myself, MiniCrate is a great concept that has likely added some financial stability for PP.
   
Made in us
Infiltrating Prowler






 Ghool wrote:
 LunarSol wrote:
 Ghool wrote:
The reason they won't release MiniCrate models any other way, is because it's to entice you to just subscribe. That way you won't forget about the few models you actually want, and PP has a monthly income stream.

I would guess that is successful enough, we'll start seeing more IP's being used for separate monthly crates.
It's obviously brought them enough of an income that they've branched out into two more and I'd be willing to bet more are coming.


It's also a direct sales model that doesn't require keeping an ever growing inventory which is their biggest issue overall. I think it also helps retain sculpting talent as it gives them a means of regularly having creative work that doesn't have to adhere to the existing designs. I get the impression that Riot Quest is driven by a lot of the same needs.


That's probably the main reason. And it allows for model updates without adding excess inventory.
I personally think that this is the model they should have adopted a long time ago. While I don't need a model a.month myself, MiniCrate is a great concept that has likely added some financial stability for PP.


Earlier this year, ran into a local who use to work for PP and maintains contact with a number of people in the company. He mentioned MiniCrate at the time was PP's largest revenue stream. Larger than WMH, but MonPoc hadn't launched yet. Either it is a huge success for PP or shows just how dire the state of WMH is.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/22 18:15:27


 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

The problem is minicrate must be trading on mostly Warmachine fans, so if its outselling Warmachine its showing some serious stagnation in that market. Both in terms of existing fans not buying into models and in terms of not recruiting new fans in any good numbers.

It's a bit like if Forgeworld was GW's biggest earner. Sure its great in terms of boutique models, but its a rather dire situation in terms of the core business model failing. It also leaves them in a very precarious situation - a bad run of a few minicrates that aren't super popular or just a maturing of their market and they'd fast bleed customers with having less chance to recruit more into "minicrate" alone.

Hopefully their new CEO and a big edition update and infernals will get things improving agian. PP dropping a lot of their Press Gangers, forums and magazine all in one big brutal go really hit their outreach potential hard at a time when GW launched into outreach in a colossal way.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
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Remember that privateer has to sell 60-80% off MSRP to distributers depending on how much volume they sell so minicrate where there's no middleman is of course bring in some good revenue.
   
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The only part of Warcaster I don't like at the moment as it spoils the end of Warmachine. Infernals pop up, the COG make portals and humans leave the planet to escape Infernals.
   
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Not really. Could be like riot quest which they've stated is an alternate reality where Internals won. Could be the main timeline is only some leave, could be none leave.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

 Monkeysloth wrote:
Remember that privateer has to sell 60-80% off MSRP to distributers depending on how much volume they sell so minicrate where there's no middleman is of course bring in some good revenue.


True, I forget that GW gets to sell direct whilst Warmachine sells more through 3rd parties with smaller profit margines on each sale. That said they likely only make 1 minicrate sale per customer on average. So in theory a customer might buy 1 minicrate a month, but should also (if they are gaming with PP stuff) be getting troops, warbeasts/warcasters as well. If they aren't then either PP isn't generating interest; or they are running with an "old guard" userbase for their core games. That's ok for a while but in time it means fewer new customers and stagnation of that market which means a continually dwindling core customer base. Which would sort of fit with their current pattern of falling to one side a bit.

I think PP needs to take a bit leaf out of current GW practice and boost their exposure and marketing into the next level. They need to retake their "second biggest in the market" title.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Cabin Zombie






I don’t think it’ll ever happen. They hit That point the first time when they were able to capitalize on a growing anti-GW feeling in a period where there weren’t as many side games. Now the market is filling with more and more miniature games, and GW’s public image has been improving with the new ceo.

 
   
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Using Object Source Lighting





Portland

Yeah, I was a very avid player when they were getting big, and I think that they did a fantastic job (and/or were lucky) capitalizing on GW's failures at the time, but GW is being managed well these days, and a ton of other games are out.


My painted armies (40k, WM/H, Malifaux, Infinity...) 
   
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 Overread wrote:
 Monkeysloth wrote:
Remember that privateer has to sell 60-80% off MSRP to distributers depending on how much volume they sell so minicrate where there's no middleman is of course bring in some good revenue.


True, I forget that GW gets to sell direct whilst Warmachine sells more through 3rd parties with smaller profit margines on each sale. That said they likely only make 1 minicrate sale per customer on average. So in theory a customer might buy 1 minicrate a month, but should also (if they are gaming with PP stuff) be getting troops, warbeasts/warcasters as well. If they aren't then either PP isn't generating interest; or they are running with an "old guard" userbase for their core games. That's ok for a while but in time it means fewer new customers and stagnation of that market which means a continually dwindling core customer base. Which would sort of fit with their current pattern of falling to one side a bit.

I think PP needs to take a bit leaf out of current GW practice and boost their exposure and marketing into the next level. They need to retake their "second biggest in the market" title.


If you're not a new person how many models does PP release in a year for a given theme/army list? I would guess your average player has what 2? Maybe three themes they play with and Privateer lately seams more focused on doing mini updates to themes (like buccaneers recently) then trying to get something out for all factions every month. The minicrate guarantees monthly income from a player as their normal release cycle just can't handle releasing something for everyone every month (not to mention SKU bloat) so I'm not sure how easy it is to correlate the minicreate sales vs continued sales to veteran players or even newish players. Though I don't think there's many that would disagree that they have an issue with new blood.

The new theme force rules might shake up sales some as it gives a lot of new list building options. Speaking of witch someone on Reddit wrote up a nice summery from one of the videos over some of the changes from yesterday.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Warmachine/comments/c3zg9w/info_regarding_the_oblivion_rules_update_from/
Hello! There was some interesting rules tidbits dropped by Oz and Faye, one of the developers and playtest coordinator, during the Lock and Load stream today. For those unaware, here's a brief rundown.

The Oblivion boxset releases in September - it will prerelease in August at GenCon. It contains the updated rule book, the Oblivion campaign book (Which is also like the old Command Books - it'll have the Infernal lore, the Archons, the Order of Illumination, etc.), and the Hermit of Hengehold Model
It will contain an updated rule book that streamlines the game in several regards: Elevation bonus from terrain (+2 Def against ranged attacks) is going away, gunfighter is getting streamlined, Warbeast Packs are going away (Repitle Hound and Blight Wasps - they'll be reclassified as Lesser Warbeasts and changed a bit, so they'll still be legal models.) and others.
Theme lists are getting changed. You will no longer earn free solos/models per 20/25 points you spend on qualifying units. Instead, per game size, you will earn 1-3 'Requisition Points' that can be spent on bonuses, such as 1 Requisition Point for 3 Gallows Groves models in Circle. 25 point game earns 1 point, 50 earns 2, 75 earns 3. In short, if you play Gravediggers at 75 points, you automatically get three Requisition Points, and do not have to play 60 points of specific Trencher models, so there's a lot more freedom in list building. If you like the bonuses from a theme, like +1 to go first but it's a battlegroup theme, you're no longer penalized by taking infantry models.
To go along with this, some theme lists are getting combined since they fill similar niches.

So, here's a small roundup of the information I've seen and heard from the stream today;
Cryx: Infernal Machines theme list and Black Industries theme list are getting combined. No idea what the new bonuses will be, but I would suspect Carapace gets cut since Brute Thralls have shield guard built into them.
Skorne: Disciples of Agony opened to every Warlock
Skorne: Winds of Death and Imperial Warhost are becoming one theme NOTE: This is a hard MAYBE. They're 90% sure but don't have the documents in front of them to double check. It was revealed as a response to Twitch Chat asking for spoilers.
Circle: Based on the Keynote Video (Oblivion, now on Youtube), Call of the Wild and Wild Hunt are becoming one theme. William Hungerford on stage said Secret Masters and Call of the Wild, but I would be willing to bet it's the page view in the video - though I could be wrong.
Circle: Requisition points for the new theme force discussed above can be spent on the following at the ratio of 1 Requisition Point to 1 of the Free Items listed below:
1 Free Command Attachment
Two Blackclad Stone Shaper Solos
Three Gallows Grove Solos
One Small or Medium based Solo
Grymkin: Dark Menagerie Theme Force will have, as an option for 1 Requisition Point: (The other options are unknown at this time.)
2 Gremlin Swarm Solos (Per Point)
General: Shooting into melee no longer randomizes targets if you miss. If you shoot an engaged model, it still gets the +4 to DEF bonus, but you don't have to worry about shooting your own model on accident.
General: There will be an update to War Room to allow a 'Toggle' for list building between the new theme forces and rules and the old ones during GenCon, the first week of August, when Oblivion is prereleased. After September, when Oblivion is released, this toggle will be removed and you can ONLY build theme forces with the new Requisition point system. This was done to accommodate TOs of major tournaments, such as the WTC which will happen shortly after GenCon.

As always, any and everything is subject to change prior to release, this is just what I've seen and heard them mention. I do want to point out that I find it unlikely we will see any of these in the CID forums in any capacity since it's currently Lock and Load, and these will prerelease at GenCon which is August 1st through 4th. I, personally, can't wait for the new system. It will make some old Mercenary unit/solo choices actually viable again in my three factions - Retribution, Cryx, and Crucible Guard.
   
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I heard a rumor that distributors dropped Warmachine/Hordes and that is why they are going to direct sales. This is a really bad sign. Apparently, distributors couldn't move inventory because stores weren't ordering it. This is my experience at my store where sales have dropped to nothing. I think they will be out of business soon or relegated to a boutique miniatures company like Kingdom Death that does all direct sales.
   
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It would have to be selling really bad for the distributors to drop it 100%. Probably wanted a further discount on the price they buy it from PP as things that sell better distributors are willing to buy for more and PP didn't want to/couldn't.

Can't blame them, the distributor model is cancer on the gaming community and needs to die. Forcing game companies to sell them stuff at 60-70% off MSRP and then selling it to game stores at 20-30% MSRP is the main cause for such a small operating budget many companies and stores have. With the internet there's no need for such an outdated model.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/26 16:21:01


 
   
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Distributors sell to brick and mortar stores at 40-45% off. We need distributors because no brick and mortar can afford to stock everything they need and go direct. In particular, miniatures game companies need brick and mortars because that is where people find out/ discover miniatures games in the first place. The internet is a great tool, but it's not the answer to everything, at least until miniatures companies can afford to make virtual realities where you can meet up with people and play games. Even then, some people will prefer to play with actual miniatures that they painted themselves for the same reason that some people prefer actual books over Kindles and books on audio.
   
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Painting Within the Lines




Seattle, WA USA

Smellingsalts wrote:
Distributors sell to brick and mortar stores at 40-45% off. We need distributors because no brick and mortar can afford to stock everything they need and go direct. In particular, miniatures game companies need brick and mortars because that is where people find out/ discover miniatures games in the first place. The internet is a great tool, but it's not the answer to everything, at least until miniatures companies can afford to make virtual realities where you can meet up with people and play games. Even then, some people will prefer to play with actual miniatures that they painted themselves for the same reason that some people prefer actual books over Kindles and books on audio.
Also, distributors serve a purpose for the manufacturers as well, since typically a company will only need to sell to, and manage accounts, packing, shipping, etc., for less than a dozen different entities. Trying to do self-distribution means account management for literally thousands of customers, which if you're not set up for is a huge task.
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Distributors also help companies do larger production runs by eating a good chunk of extra stock in the supply chain. This in turn reduces the cost of production, which ends up making things like plastic a workable material where most of the cost is up front.

That's the big issue with the discounted online shops, which are, essentially, distributors making direct sales. They devalue the product itself so that retailers can't sell it at a profitable price. 100% markup sounds ludicrous to consumers, but its actually makes for an incredibly small profitable window for products that aren't sold in large quantities.

Distributors have been cutting retail out of the chain for a bit, which leads to stores dropping out when they can't compete, which over time dries up new customers. Sounds bad, but distributors don't really have a stake in any one product line and can pretty easily just pick up something else to fill the void. It's mostly bad for players and companies loyal to a specific product, which is why companies start working to enforce things like the MAPs that we see and customers rail against as price fixing.

Its all economy of scale, where volume makes things cheaper. In some ways, all of GW's online sale policies that earned them so much ire years ago were just ahead of the curve. PP seems to be suffering pretty hard for their complacency and everyone is taking a pretty hard PR hit trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
   
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Smellingsalts wrote:
I heard a rumor that distributors dropped Warmachine/Hordes and that is why they are going to direct sales. This is a really bad sign. Apparently, distributors couldn't move inventory because stores weren't ordering it. This is my experience at my store where sales have dropped to nothing. I think they will be out of business soon or relegated to a boutique miniatures company like Kingdom Death that does all direct sales.


Well, most shops around here that get listed in Store Finders have just enough product (if that) to qualify for the listing. I stopped in a general hobby store last week because I spotted a GW sign in the window, and found them on the store finder. They had... a paint stand with about 20 paints, and maybe thirty boxed sets (including an old copy of Execution Force). Most of the other shops in the area (a 30-40 mile radius) have more stock, but not a great deal. It isn't like the old days where most FLGS would have a fairly complete range of multiple games. It just isn't worth it to tie up so much money in inventory.... which of course also means it isn't worth a customers time to come in.

For PP, they screwed up early on and went really SKU heavy, with a box and 2 blisters required for most infantry squads- that ate a lot of shelf space and soured feelings with local game stores. They've since corrected it, but the game model (and meta) means they have a lot of 'lesser' units that just don't sell, so there isn't any reason to stock them. These days, a big catalog is often a problem (and not a healthy game), at least as far as stores are concerned.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/26 18:55:48


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
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Smellingsalts wrote:
We need distributors because no brick and mortar can afford to stock everything they need and go direct. In particular, miniatures game companies need brick and mortars because that is where people find out/ discover miniatures games in the first place.


There could be alternatives to this but the Distributors have anti-consumer practices that see them buying exclusive rights to game lines and offering additional discounts to game stores not to order from anywhere else. I'm sure european CMoN fans are so happy that Asmodee has exclusive rights as it does such a bang up job. They're doing whatever they can to keep competition down and choice limited and service horrible. There's about 6 game stores within less then a 30 min drive from my house that deal in wargames that aren't just GW. All have the same distributor with the same selection and the same polices. 2-4 weeks to get something in store even if it's listed in stock. Prices for some items from the distributor are the same as buying direct from the manufacturer and when I suggest making an account with said manufacturer to get items cheaper i get told the same thing that their contracts don't allow for that (or the few owners I talked too all lied just to not have to deal with the hassle). I seriously had a order that I wanted to make that was twice the MSRP because the distributor was selling for the same price as listed in the manufacturer's store. They checked and that was the correct price from the distributor so I ordered from gamenerdz for 60% difference in price from what the local store was offering obviously the price markup was on the store, but still. I've pretty much given up on local stores as I can get what I want online faster and generally cheaper as even though there's "choice" between the different store owners they all seam like just an extension of the same distributor with the only difference between them being the name. And the way a few of the owners use to talk about their distributors you think they were the mafia. Maybe things have gotten better in the two years since I stopped shopping locally but I doubt it.


 LunarSol wrote:
Distributors also help companies do larger production runs by eating a good chunk of extra stock in the supply chain. This in turn reduces the cost of production, which ends up making things like plastic a workable material where most of the cost is up front.

That's the big issue with the discounted online shops, which are, essentially, distributors making direct sales. They devalue the product itself so that retailers can't sell it at a profitable price. 100% markup sounds ludicrous to consumers, but its actually makes for an incredibly small profitable window for products that aren't sold in large quantities.


I understand the economics of it and why distributors exist. But that 20% markup hurts that margin on both sides. I've been at gencon and seen new companies pretty much admit defeat there as none of the distributors would pick up the line for less then an 80% discount which wasn't sustainable for the company. Some of them are still around by just using social media to build up sales, most aren't. That combined with KSer shows that you can have a successful line without following the standard model.

Distributors have been cutting retail out of the chain for a bit, which leads to stores dropping out when they can't compete, which over time dries up new customers. Sounds bad, but distributors don't really have a stake in any one product line and can pretty easily just pick up something else to fill the void. It's mostly bad for players and companies loyal to a specific product, which is why companies start working to enforce things like the MAPs that we see and customers rail against as price fixing.

Its all economy of scale, where volume makes things cheaper. In some ways, all of GW's online sale policies that earned them so much ire years ago were just ahead of the curve. PP seems to be suffering pretty hard for their complacency and everyone is taking a pretty hard PR hit trying to put the genie back in the bottle.


I think this just exposed more how overpriced the hobby actually is. Yes a lot of that is due to how niche of a market it is but there's also just a huge glut of product competing so sales are getting more and more spread out amongst the miniature companies. I think this is why you're seeing a rush for small skirmish games again.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/26 19:58:08


 
   
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 Monkeysloth wrote:

 LunarSol wrote:
Distributors also help companies do larger production runs by eating a good chunk of extra stock in the supply chain. This in turn reduces the cost of production, which ends up making things like plastic a workable material where most of the cost is up front.

That's the big issue with the discounted online shops, which are, essentially, distributors making direct sales. They devalue the product itself so that retailers can't sell it at a profitable price. 100% markup sounds ludicrous to consumers, but its actually makes for an incredibly small profitable window for products that aren't sold in large quantities.


I understand the economics of it and why distributors exist. But that 20% markup hurts that margin on both sides. I've been at gencon and seen new companies pretty much admit defeat there as none of the distributors would pick up the line for less then an 80% discount which wasn't sustainable for the company. Some of them are still around by just using social media to build up sales, most aren't. That combined with KSer shows that you can have a successful line without following the standard model.

Distributors have been cutting retail out of the chain for a bit, which leads to stores dropping out when they can't compete, which over time dries up new customers. Sounds bad, but distributors don't really have a stake in any one product line and can pretty easily just pick up something else to fill the void. It's mostly bad for players and companies loyal to a specific product, which is why companies start working to enforce things like the MAPs that we see and customers rail against as price fixing.

Its all economy of scale, where volume makes things cheaper. In some ways, all of GW's online sale policies that earned them so much ire years ago were just ahead of the curve. PP seems to be suffering pretty hard for their complacency and everyone is taking a pretty hard PR hit trying to put the genie back in the bottle.


I think this just exposed more how overpriced the hobby actually is. Yes a lot of that is due to how niche of a market it is but there's also just a huge glut of product competing so sales are getting more and more spread out amongst the miniature companies. I think this is why you're seeing a rush for small skirmish games again.


It depends on the material and type of product you're making. Part of the reason we're seeing so many companies push direct sales from their website is simply because resin is a great on demand material, but the machine time is slow enough that its not great for mass distribution. It's possible the get enough machines to get to large scale production, but there's more enticing materials for that and comes with a lot of risk.

The hobby really isn't all that overpriced, honestly, it just has high production costs because its sold in relatively low volumes. Most everything you buy sees similar markups at distributor and retail levels and similar fights with direct distribution and distributors selling at discounts (check out game prices on Steam and Amazon's constant attempts to subvert MAPs for video games). The difference is we've all been pretty spoiled by huge scale markets driving production costs of most things into the floor. Anything that's able to get shelf space at Wal-Mart/Target/etc has a built in sales volume that lets it order in quantities that put the price per item down to pennies. At that point, you can sell it at 1000% markup and distributors can triple that and still sell it in stores for something like $5. The hobby market has similar initial costs, they just can't guarantee anything approaching the kind of sales Wal-Mart promises, so the cost per item is still really high and that translates into really high prices for the consumer the same as any other niche product. A good example is the Knight kits, honestly. They're extremely overpriced compared to a Gunpla, but GW isn't selling hundreds of millions of them each year either.
   
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Sorry, was typing between things at work and didn't do a full review of what I said. The overpriced comment was around the amount of things games require you to buy, ie the battle scale, which is why you're seeing smaller sized games that require less investments. Once the discounts ended and people saw the real price of some games it became hard to swallow. I think game companies realize the large skirmish games like warmahords and infinity are too big for a lot of people to invest in as you just can't drop $100 anymore and have a playable list.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/27 01:47:24


 
   
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When talking about price, miniature gaming has always been expensive. At the risk of sounding like a snob, miniature gaming is similar to auto collecting or polo playing. Not everyone can afford it, It will never be the type of thing the "masses" can afford, and to rail about the price does no good. If it is too expensive, maybe it's not for you (and I mean "you" in a figure of speech way, not as an insult,, I don't know any of you personally). Or rather, maybe some types. Wizkids is doing a great job making D&D miniatures that are affordable.
   
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 Monkeysloth wrote:
Sorry, was typing between things at work and didn't do a full review of what I said. The overpriced comment was around the amount of things games require you to buy, ie the battle scale, which is why you're seeing smaller sized games that require less investments. Once the discounts ended and people saw the real price of some games it became hard to swallow. I think game companies realize the large skirmish games like warmahords and infinity are too big for a lot of people to invest in as you just can't drop $100 anymore and have a playable list.


Makes sense. I find Infinity pretty affordable overall, but it would be nice if it played closer to the army in the box sets that make it fairly cheap to get started in. Warmachine is definitely on the upper end these days alongside the GW stuff though.
   
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Smellingsalts wrote:
When talking about price, miniature gaming has always been expensive. At the risk of sounding like a snob, miniature gaming is similar to auto collecting or polo playing. Not everyone can afford it, It will never be the type of thing the "masses" can afford, and to rail about the price does no good. If it is too expensive, maybe it's not for you (and I mean "you" in a figure of speech way, not as an insult,, I don't know any of you personally). Or rather, maybe some types. Wizkids is doing a great job making D&D miniatures that are affordable.
Well unless you are getting every kit that comes out I don't see how it could get THAT expensive!

Wait...

"Putting a statement in quotations makes it seem more legitimate."
--Bette R. Withname

Imagine three people with the same set of values but radically different emotional states, each of them believes their position is more valid than the other two, they all post using the same account, and your job is to make it coherent. 
   
 
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