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Made in us
Leader of the Sept






So im a big Dum Dum.
How exactly do you have such a problem getting product from manufacturers? and how is it to companies allow these distribution problems to Occur?

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Made in us
God-like Imperator Titan Commander






Halifax

When I approached stores in my area I was politely rebuffed, with the common (and reasonable) explanation that they wanted to sell stuff that they were sure was going to sell. Probably depends on the store and the manager's instinct regarding the game and the tastes of the local area.

There's a board game cafe in my town as well, where it's really useful to try out these games without committing.

Maybe the Squats were all the Space Marines we made along the way.  
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 hotsauceman1 wrote:
So im a big Dum Dum.
How exactly do you have such a problem getting product from manufacturers? and how is it to companies allow these distribution problems to Occur?


This is a huge concept with a whole bunch of logistics and scenarios that my little TLDR here is just going to scratch, so don't take this as the big picture but just kind of an idea of what's going on.

Manufacturer > Distributor > Retailer > Customer (with manufacturing often outsourced so there's another link the supply chain above what I'm doing here)

You buy from a retailer, the retailer buys from the distributor, the distributor buys from the manufacturer. You have a budget you spend on games, the retailer has a budget that THEY spend on games, the distributor also has a budget they spend on games. Their business depends on selling enough of what they buy to recoup the expense and have enough to buy more and whatever is left pays for food on the table. Manufacturers have to convince distributors to buy their product, often by proving theirs a market for it at the retail level, who will only buy it if they believe their customers want it.

Right now, there's just so much being produced that distributors can't really afford to stock it all or at the very least, don't really care if they're meeting demand. It hurts to understock something like, say Looncurse, but even if you order more, by the time you can supply it the customers have moved on to say... the Sisters boxset. Selling through your stock is what matters; stock that sits on shelves or in warehouses will likely never sell, or at least not much above cost, so its at best breaking even, and realistically a loss. Minis are kind of a horrible product to this end. Their business model revolves around being evergreen, manufactured in bulk, and sitting at a distribution center until a new player picks up the game and buys a huge lot of the stuff. This lead to a lot of distributors getting into the business of direct sales and wholesale discounts through online stores, which devalues the product at retail, which makes it essentially not profitable for stores to carry. They're really only competitive the first week or two of sales when convenience and loyalty trumps price. If you don't sell it in the first couple of weeks, the likelihood of finding a customer for it drops to the point where you might as well assume its a loss.

The thing to realize is this is a problem more or less industry wide. It's not a matter of one game system over another; its minis games as a whole vs other product lines like board games, card games and other products that have a higher rate of churn. That's why even GW has gone to more of a big bang release system where much of their product is sold through limited edition box sets designed to sell out on day one and quickly be replaced by the next big thing. Minis games as a whole are struggling to compete for warehouse space at distributors, who just don't want to go through the hassle of managing large, ever growing SKU catalogs of stuff that takes up a ton of space with unpredictable demand. It's smarter business to stock the 3-4 SKUs worth of Magic cards available at any given time and sell boxes of blind packs that are universally applicable to every Magic player there is. Trying to manage how many Dakaars the Skorne community in Wisconsin needs is way outside that level of knowledge.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/09 18:18:10


 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think there's another aspect, which is that a lot of physical retail stores are finding it harder and harder to earn their keep. Furthermore the sites many are in are often getting smaller and smaller as the costs keep going up. I've seen some geeky stores even in pretty affluent UK towns where the shops are tiny - hardly room to swing a kitten, let alone a cat.

The result is a double hit that they have so little space that stocking a wide variety of games like wargames is really impractical unless the store owner likes one or two lines specifically; furthermore with increased overheads and online stores stealing more sales; it means that they often don't want to stock much anyway. Making them less reliable to stock a large full game so that even if they do get local demand its haphazard in nature.

I think it creates a system that often runs at the store end with them ordering direct from the distributor for what the local club wants; which means if one thing gets popular it gets a stock run and the distributor runs out.



Of course there's also the handful of retailers that struck it big; getting physical locations they could afford and grow into major local gaming centres and getting online early and well enough that they secured a good online distribution network to customers - helping them overcome their costs.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

My local store is pretty big, I think they sold off their PP stuff because people stopped playing the games.

In the UK the problem is the insane rents for everything, very difficult for small business owners.
Taking a punt on a system that goes under is a disaster for a business that size so they tend to be conservative and go for what they know will reliably generate profit. That used to be PP games when the games were more popular, now it definitely seems to be dungeons and dragons and GW stuff.

   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

And against it all is MTG offering cheap products with a very small shelf impact which have a huge number of accessories* and a high turn over of product. With play modes that encourage playing (booster draft); regular release events (at least three or for major ones a year); easy tournament building (all you need is a few tables and chairs - no terrain, boards, dice).

In the space that perhaps two big starting boxed sets for a Warhammer game go you can fit multiple boxes of boosters of several MTG editions. In the space of one GW small carry case (accessory) you can display several binders, deck protectors etc.....

*accessories in many markets are often very cheap to buy and marked up to make profits

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





SoCal

Warcaster seems designed to give a lot of stuff more shelf life though.

Instead of a single box being like having a single magic card take up an entire box on the shelf, even after it's outdated.

A lot of Warcaster's core systems promote slipping things in and out of your lists. If they need to breathe new life into a unit, a new unit attachment means that it can now soft counter something new, while still having all the other benefits of its other attachments available at all times.

Then the jacks, instead of just buying 1, maybe two of each you can customize them a lot, even if you magnetize it's worth getting more than one. Then there's all the weapon upgrades.

Gameplay-wise those changes are great for making the game more dynamic, even though like in 40K and similar games, a meta of certain builds will develop.

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Yeah I mean most game stores would go under without magic the gathering and other popular CCGs.

Miniatures are much more of a risky venture and GW are the proven ones here for the most part.


   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






I'd say that around here the "memory" of Warmahordes isn't terribly healthy. While it still exists...everyone always refers to Warmarhordes as a game that used to exist.

"Remember back when we played Warmachine..."

"Remember back in Warmachine when you..."

"Back when Warmachine was out..." etc.

Both the older group I game with (generally 50+) and the younger group (predominantly mid-20's), Warmachine just isn't a thing, and both of these groups would be target consumers for a game like Warmachine. It's just as if it doesn't exist anymore. It's taken on a bit of Battletech vibe...as people are almost shocked when someone is playing it. "Oh, you still play Warmachine?" much in the way I see people refer to Battletech "Wait, like that game from the 80's or 90's?" etc.

Now, is my area or my playgroups indicative of anything? Possibly no, but if there are more areas like mine, it would be bad news for Privateer Press. The entire "Oh that old thing?" vibe is pretty damning of its condition.

 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





washington state USA

A little addendum, as somebody familiar with the store side. GW is just as bad as anybody else. to justify distribution to non GW retailers they require a set amount of minimum purchase value and then often turn around and open GW official retail locations in close proximity to the FLGS that are already selling their product. creating negative sales pressure on the non GW enterprise. then if items do not move off the shelves rather it is WM or GW it becomes overhead cost for the FLGS.


It is one of the many reasons like those listed previously that the old supply chain model has been eclipsed by newer technology making direct sales much more viable. this is what has turned companies like amazon into the powerhouses that they are. it removes loads of costs related to retail locations -building maintenance, rent, utilities, business licenses, employees, advertising, etc..... that all cut into the overall profitability.

 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.
   
Made in us
Cog in the Machine




 Bloviator wrote:
I was reading a review of Riot Quest on boardgamegeek (because I googled Riot Quest hoping to see something newer than 4 months old), and while it was a glowing review of Riot Quest, I've been dwelling on this last line: "Lastly, these figs are compatible with WarmaHordes. (To which I say, nice, but ultimately those games are dying so not a huge selling point.)"

This isn't the only place I see this term. It pops up in my meta's discord--albeit ironically at times, as well as other places online. The way Warmachine is mentioned in passing on GMG Let's Talk also indicates that there is a pervasive belief that Warmachine is a dying game.

Although people have been speculating about the SKU death of the game since Superiority in Mk 1 (or even before, but I wasn't tracking), the game has persisted--and even thrived at times. However, we now live in an age of mass targeted media consumption, and people coming into contact with Warmachine might be dissuaded by these perceptions. The distributor woes, and some dude gakking the bed on GlassDoor last year didn't help either.

What can be done to reverse this perception?


Warmachine is not a dying game. Like most games, Mantic, Wyrd, Infinity, 8th dropping and sucking alot of oxygen out of the room shrank its market, but those areas would have shrank to begin with. Each game still exists because they have a dedicated core, to be far, when interest in 7th 40k started dying GW was staying afloat because of the same thing.

There are also other markets that Warmachine does very well in but GW doesn't, like Latin America. This is due to PP's location, NAFTA, there is a benefit to selling in the Americas as a whole that GW doesn't experience (expect Brexit and C-19 to shape the market as well).

Beyond that doe, the biggest reason why PP is seen as "dying" rather than shrinking by GMG and other retailer markets is that PP is moving away from distributors to be a direct partner with retailers. Of course, alot of retailers are resistant, some of this is due to habit and another is that distributors would overbloat the market by ordering on some figs (and selling them at a step discount due to ordering in bulk) and then sometimes straight up lying (by telling retailers certain figs were out of order even though PP had a warehouse full of them, it was just that the distributors only wanted to order in bulk).

These practices didn't affect large corps like GW, WoTC, and FFG that have huge distribution chains, but these practices really hurt smaller companies in the market the PP, Wyrd, And Corvus Belle, because when you run a small business, having tight analytics is KEY. You have to know what is really selling, not what is being ordered through distributors orders with sales that may or may not be real.

Honestly though, I think retailers will eventually turn around. Through direct order, some retailers who are participating as partners with PP and other smaller game companies rather than ordering product through distributors, and direct order systems like KS and Amazon, there will just no longer be a cost benefit for going through standard distribution chains.

 
   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






 thekingofkings wrote:
locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.

I think alot of it comes from store just not stocking it that much.
I know for my group(I use that loosely, more like my local people who play wargames) believe if it is no longer being stocked, its not worth the effort to get into it because you have to go out of your way to buy them.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






 hotsauceman1 wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.

I think alot of it comes from store just not stocking it that much.
I know for my group(I use that loosely, more like my local people who play wargames) believe if it is no longer being stocked, its not worth the effort to get into it because you have to go out of your way to buy them.


That has to be regional, our stores are very very well stocked with PP (monpoc, RQ and Warmahordes) among other games, for 40k or AoS you pretty much have 2 choices to go to and one of them is the GW.
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





I think the singlest greatest blow to Warmachine was their drop of community programs. Without someone advertising game through demos, beginner matches, etc. you simply can't attract enough people to fill spots of people who are leaving. When person enters into a hobby store, they have a million of other options to go for. Chances are that they are going to play that is most advertised on shell space like Warhammer or what has a strong IP like Star Wars. We have store clerks who are passionate Warmachine gamers and they themselves make Warmachine the strongest game in our city through free work they do in advertising their game to others.

Also, second hand market often is a good indicator of how well something is doing. Warhammer auctions on ebay always sells boxes for respectful price. Warmachine on the other hand goes for a lot steeper discounts and often, even few bucks for painted solo is too much to ask.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/12 10:26:01


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

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Khorne demons = 420
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Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





washington state USA

Ernestas

That's true of any game system. lets face the fact this is a niche market. we may love miniature wargaming but the vast majority of the public purchasing customer base is spending their money on other things entertainment wise-video games, pro sports etc.... forming a much larger market.

Then consider everything that is available in just this little niche market

warmachine, warhammer 40K , battletech, infinity, flames of war, victory at sea, DUST, heavy gear, riot quest, monpoc, bolt action, beyond the games of antares, Xwing, SW armada, SW legion, star trek attack wing, hero clix, malifuax, konflict 47, AOS, kings of war, warpath, DBA, drop zone/drop fleet commander, all quiet on the martian front, wings of war, blood bowl....and the list goes on.

Many times people don't even know many of these games exist even within the gaming community because they are so overshadowed by a few well known titles that have strong corporate support or there is nobody around that actively plays and supports them, or does so in a welcoming and supportive manner.

The hobby is great fun and good social activity, but without people to play with there is no real incentive to do more than get your modeling fix with a few display pieces



 
   
Made in lt
Regular Dakkanaut





Yup. wargaming is a niche market, small even compared to model market. Though, I would say that when you are within that market, you especially have to be concerned with marketing and promotion. Only big names within that market like Warhammer or Star Wars can trust in their IP to do marketing for them. Small names like Warmachine will rarely attract anyone interested. They have far less shell space to attract attention and they do not look exceptionally great compared to other offerings. Company has to constantly try to market their game in clever ways in order for it to succeed. As for now, I do not see anything done from those companies in that regard and any game is rather niche affair, meant only for those people who are already into the genre.

In Lithuania, a lot of games were pretty much dead meaning that several people only actively playing them. When they did advertisement for their games, interest grew by several hundred percent. Communities who are not concerned about attracting new people like Warhammer and Star Wars are actually least popular games out here. Games who are like Warmachine are the most popular games.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/12 11:21:49


"If the path to salvation leads through the halls of purgatory, then so be it."

Death Guard = 728 (PL 41) and Space Marines = 831 (PL 50)
Slaanesh demons = 460
Khorne demons = 420
Nighthaunts = 840 points Stormcast Eternals = 880 points. 
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps




 thekingofkings wrote:
 hotsauceman1 wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.

I think alot of it comes from store just not stocking it that much.
I know for my group(I use that loosely, more like my local people who play wargames) believe if it is no longer being stocked, its not worth the effort to get into it because you have to go out of your way to buy them.


That has to be regional, our stores are very very well stocked with PP (monpoc, RQ and Warmahordes) among other games, for 40k or AoS you pretty much have 2 choices to go to and one of them is the GW.


Well, the alternative is that the regional outlier is 'your stores,' not everyone else's

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Nurgle Predator Driver with an Infestation





Kansas, United States

My local stores, sadly, fall into the "don't stock PP stuff" category. However, about three hours away, the city there stocks TONS of PP stuff. I think it just depends on what your local meta looks like. Everyone looks at their meta and says, "Well the game is [healthy/dying] based on my observations" when none of us has the full picture.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/12 21:52:54


 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

It's not just market, but I think if your local store wants to grow its market. The PG system showed that a single person with a vested interest and time could help make a game popular and promote it.

If a store owner wants it to work they've got a greater chance to make it happen provided they've the customers and the will, resources and drive to get more.


Similarly if a local store isn't that bothered or doesn't want the game (wanting something else) they can also work against it. We've more than a few stories of stores unfriendly to wargamers in general and who favoured MTG and other card games instead. Or who had only one game they wanted (eg 40K) at the detriment to other groups.

Sometimes its simply a matter of economics and the store just hasn't got the spare income to invest into promoting the line; or they see such a greater return on other product lines that its hard for them to justify taking and resources away from what is earning; to push something that might earn, but will earn less for them.


It probably doesn't help that a lot of geeky stores that I've seen, don't have all that many staff. When you've only one or two staff its hard to focus on lots of games and lots of product lines because the staff might not find time to promote and retail and support it all to the same degree.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/12 22:02:17


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






Voss wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
 hotsauceman1 wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.

I think alot of it comes from store just not stocking it that much.
I know for my group(I use that loosely, more like my local people who play wargames) believe if it is no longer being stocked, its not worth the effort to get into it because you have to go out of your way to buy them.


That has to be regional, our stores are very very well stocked with PP (monpoc, RQ and Warmahordes) among other games, for 40k or AoS you pretty much have 2 choices to go to and one of them is the GW.


Well, the alternative is that the regional outlier is 'your stores,' not everyone else's


your missing the point. Everything is "regional". whats popular one place is not necessarily popular in others.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





washington state USA

True that. classic battletech is still huge in my area. got several people hooked on it who moved back to their home states (lots of military stationed nearby) that found nobody there played it.

That leads back to the topic of press gangers and community building. if you love a game system and you want it to thrive you must share it. i personally have bought classic battltech minis for new players. along with entire epic scale 40K armies and even some DUST units to help other players get started. That's in addition to the multiple armies i always have with me to teach people how to play things like DUST and the B5 wars system(especially for use in star wars and star trek).

When it comes to WM i only have my khador army, but i am more than willing to talk shop about how the game works, factions and models with interested parties.

 
   
Made in us
Excellent Exalted Champion of Chaos





your missing the point. Everything is "regional". whats popular one place is not necessarily popular in others.


This is very true and also something I wish more people were aware of when they talk about if something is dead or huge or not.

Our local eco systems do not reflect the overall global health of a game, rather just the local eco system.

I have had people in my own city with five different game stores post on forums that a game is dead everywhere, when 20 minutes down the road it was huge at the other store.

However to them since it was dead at their store, it was dead everywhere. And they were voicing that to the world which is massive misinformation.

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Longtime Dakkanaut





I have a friend that just moved to a much larger city that I know has a large playgroup. He insists its dead because he refuses to use any of the social media tools the coordinate with. He switched to 40k, but 40k is dead too for the same reason....
   
Made in us
Nurgle Predator Driver with an Infestation





Kansas, United States

 LunarSol wrote:
I have a friend that just moved to a much larger city that I know has a large playgroup. He insists its dead because he refuses to use any of the social media tools the coordinate with. He switched to 40k, but 40k is dead too for the same reason....


"There are none so blind as those who will not see."
   
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps




 thekingofkings wrote:
Voss wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
 hotsauceman1 wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
locally I see nothing that would indicate that warmahordes is a dying game at all. I see warmahordes and monpoc all the time, not sure where this "Dying game" idea is coming from. Not being top tier doesnt mean dying.

I think alot of it comes from store just not stocking it that much.
I know for my group(I use that loosely, more like my local people who play wargames) believe if it is no longer being stocked, its not worth the effort to get into it because you have to go out of your way to buy them.


That has to be regional, our stores are very very well stocked with PP (monpoc, RQ and Warmahordes) among other games, for 40k or AoS you pretty much have 2 choices to go to and one of them is the GW.


Well, the alternative is that the regional outlier is 'your stores,' not everyone else's


your missing the point. Everything is "regional". whats popular one place is not necessarily popular in others.


Ah. I hadn't realize that was your point. All you said was it wasn't dead because in your local area it isn't, which trumped hotsauceman1's local experience.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/14 04:32:11


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






I think there is another factor.
For a time, Warmachine really muscled in on territory that was GWs for quite a bit. They where stealing players from them, with quite a few who did leave being very vocal opponents of GW. They where top dog for quite a bit. But then they got Icarused and fell from grace hard. There are other games that came and went, DZC, Infinity, Relic Blades, tons. But none that had the appearence of WM/H. so their fall was very public and very noticeable.

5000pts 6000pts 3000pts
 
   
Made in ie
Dakka Veteran




Ireland

It is worth remembering that Warmachine/Hordes big surge was during a very dark period for GW. A lot of GW's customers at that time had grown weary of GW for many reasons and wanted something new and fresh. PP's products were just that, so at the time PP had a very willing market to sell to. It was all about perfect timing.

I honestly think that PP made a few miss steps with how they handled their flagship products, and those miss steps coincide with GW getting their act together. So it was a bit of a perfect storm, and sadly PP haven't been able to regain what they once had.

If I had enough money I'd buy one of each of their battle group boxrs, and do demo games with them. That level is where I think the game should be focused on, the hobby seems to be going through a phase of wanting quick skirmish games that can be played on a coffee table. PP have a product that is perfect for that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/15 14:28:23


The objective of the game is to win. The point of the game is to have fun. The two should never be confused. 
   
Made in us
God-like Imperator Titan Commander






Halifax

 stonehorse wrote:
It is worth remembering that Warmachine/Hordes big surge was during a very dark period for GW. A lot of GW's customers at that time had grown weary of GW for many reasons and wanted something new and fresh. PP's products were just that, so at the time PP had a very willing market to sell to. It was all about perfect timing.

I honestly think that PP made a few miss steps with how they handled their flagship products, and those miss steps coincide with GW getting their act together. So it was a bit of a perfect storm, and sadly PP haven't been able to regain what they once had.

If I had enough money I'd buy one of each of their battle group boxes, and do demo games with them. That level is where I think the game should be focused on, the hobby seems to be going through a phase of wanting quick skirmish games that can be played on a coffee table. PP have a product that is perfect for that.

I think you're on the money when it comes to 'quick skirmish games.' I want the satisfaction of playing a Warhammer 40k game, but I don't have the patience for 2+ hours per game at the moment to get that hit.

Maybe the Squats were all the Space Marines we made along the way.  
   
Made in ie
Dakka Veteran




Ireland

Nurglitch wrote:
 stonehorse wrote:
It is worth remembering that Warmachine/Hordes big surge was during a very dark period for GW. A lot of GW's customers at that time had grown weary of GW for many reasons and wanted something new and fresh. PP's products were just that, so at the time PP had a very willing market to sell to. It was all about perfect timing.

I honestly think that PP made a few miss steps with how they handled their flagship products, and those miss steps coincide with GW getting their act together. So it was a bit of a perfect storm, and sadly PP haven't been able to regain what they once had.

If I had enough money I'd buy one of each of their battle group boxes, and do demo games with them. That level is where I think the game should be focused on, the hobby seems to be going through a phase of wanting quick skirmish games that can be played on a coffee table. PP have a product that is perfect for that.

I think you're on the money when it comes to 'quick skirmish games.' I want the satisfaction of playing a Warhammer 40k game, but I don't have the patience for 2+ hours per game at the moment to get that hit.


I'd put money on it being due to in the 90's there was a big increase in popularity of the hobby, mainly from teenagers. Now those teenagers are grown ups with families and life commitments, so can't devote as much of their free time. I've gone from several long miniature games every week, to maybe one a month... I just don't have the freedom of time anymore.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/03/16 14:36:03


The objective of the game is to win. The point of the game is to have fun. The two should never be confused. 
   
 
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