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Posts posted by Soulmage

  1. Well maybe I should clarify. . .


    I am talking about WWI/WWII naval here. . . not Age of Sail. AFAIK there is no age of sail 1/3000 scale miniature line, I believe those are 1/1200, 1/2400 only but I'm not an expert on that side . . . and that's not where the opportunity lies.


    Here's an example discussion from the miniatures page WWI naval forum which includes discussion of miniature scales and the relative merits of each. I'm at a loss as to how any veteran steel-battleship era naval wargamer could NOT be aware of 1/3000 scale.




    Oh. . . reading through that thread I guess I should also mention a fact somebody points out. . . 1/3000 scale is only made in Europe, and right now everybody in the US gaming in that scale, is having to order them from overseas. Reaper would be the ONLY U.S. supplier of 1/3000 scale miniatures.


    That said, I really don't care one way or the other about 1/2400 vs. 1/3000 scale. The main point is that the opportunity is there for Reaper to become a major player in a rapidly expanding market. My thinking was that 1/3000 provides a way to make them more cheaply and easily, but 2,400 would work too.

  2. I doubt it will "squeeze" out hyperdetailed figures like GHQ. There is quite a few gamers who like that thing (me included), but secondly this is the first time I have ever heard of a 1/3000 scale line of naval warships, so is there really a demand?


    Second, I wouldn't wish historicals on any company that wants to make a decent amount of money.




    To start with, saying you've never heard of a 1/3000 scale line of naval miniatures, really doesn't do much for your credibility on this topic. Try going to any forum that discusses naval waragaming and ask them what the most popular scales are.


    If you will re-read my post, you will see that I said specifically that GHQ and other niche producers would not be squeezed out, but that the opportunity exists to capture the bulk of the middle market.


    I would agree that many historical games - especially napoleonics and acw are not a good idea. However, the fact remains that naval wargaming is the exception and represents a unique opportunity within the historical genre.


    Many of the statements made in this thread accurately characterize the "old grognards" of historicals, which certainly do not represent a lucrative market.


    However, as I indicated above, naval wargaming is experiencing an explosion of "new blood" coming into the hobby thanks to the release of gateway systems such as Axis & Allies: War at Sea, and Victory at Sea.


    Reaper is well positioned to take advantage of this blossoming market. In fact the market is so hungry for quality miniatures outside the "top end" line produced by GHQ, that any new miniatures line release is widely circulated by word of mouth due to the excitement it generates.

  3. Here's an idea for a new product line Reaper could offer:


    1/3000 scale miniatures of historical WWII and WWI ships.


    Over the past few years naval wargaming has experienced huge growth. New fast play naval systems coming onto the market have ushered in a whole new generation of naval wargamers. Increasing mainstream interest in naval topics is evident in such "hollywood style" naval programming such as Battle 360:USS Enterprise that is clearly marketed towards a younger audience.


    Wizards of the Coast recognized the emerging opportunity available in naval wargaming and released the A&A Naval miniatures game and experienced results that far exceeded expectations. What was supposed to be a once and done product line, has already gone back for a second supplement, with the possibility of more in the future.


    However, the A&A naval miniatures game is ultimately a fairly shallow experience, and most players, having whet their appetite for naval games, move on and start looking for more sophisticated games. In this way WotC has created an excellent gateway product for naval wargaming.


    There is a significant opportunity in the area of naval miniatures for Reaper to carve out a high profile and profitable niche. There are 3 major scales in use today, 1/6000, 1/3000, and 1/2400.


    1/6000 scale miniatures are a niche product. Most people aren't interested in ships that small because they are REALLY tiny.


    With a couple exceptions 1/2400 is dominated by manufacturers who really make "models" rather than miniatures. A single ship in this scale might come in as many as a dozen pieces and cost up to $16 from the most widely recognized names. There are somewhat cheaper alternatives, but they give up lot of detail and still represent a hefty investment.


    1/3000 scale is by far the most popular range. Unfortunately, there are only two manufacturers in this scale, one of which has almost completely ceased operations.* In addition, most of the molds date to the 70s with resulting decreasing quality of casts, and nothing new has been released in a decade or more.


    There is a huge opportunity for a major miniatures manufacturer to step in with a line of crisp, detailed, single-piece 1/3000 scale naval miniatures. Such a line would quickly take over the market and squeeze out all but the niche players (the hyper detailed expensive GHQ miniatures, and the 1/6000 scale crowd).


    Naval rules and miniatures are produced seperately for the most part, so players of any system would be interested in this miniatures line. If you wanted a rule set to associate the miniatures with, there are some good candidates out there.


    Reaper should already be well positioned to manufacture a naval range. All the same equipment used for casting the CAV miniatures would be usable for the simpler and smaller naval miniatures. In addition, there's no delay for from-scratch creative process, you can release miniatures as fast as you care to simply by converting historical designs from the ample information that is freely available into miniatures. With hundreds of designs to make just from WWI and WWII alone, you'll have releases in the queue indefinitely.


    Furthermore, once a few releases hit the market and make the splash they are guaranteed to make, there will be a huge upswell of damand for these miniatures. I doubt that you will be able to keep new releases in stock.


    Historical naval miniatures represent an excellent opportunity to create a new and profitable line for Reaper miniatures, as well as diversify the customer base. I hope you guys look into this.




    *It should be noted that both 1/3000 scale miniatures companies are small operations and are tremendously popular because 1/3000 is the best balance between price and scale. The manufacturer who is ramping down operations is not hurting for business. . . in fact inability/lack of desire to keep up with huge demand is what is causing that company to scale back as the owner goes into semi-retirement. Thus a field with already limited competition is getting narrower, even as demand is increasing.

  4. Played Starmada: Dreadnoughts, and its awesome! Fast and fun, just the way I like my naval games.


    I still prefer their Grand Fleets systems for smaller actions, as its more detailed and realistic. But if I'm in the mood just to blow stuff up. . . or if I want to run a big fleet action, Starmada: Dreadnoughts will fit the bill just fine.


    In fact, I'm giving serious thought to running Jutland at GenCon 2009 using Starmada: Dreadnoughts. THAT would be a good time!


    Anyway, if anybody has questions, just let me know!

  5. Not sure if this would work for you but here's an idea:


    Place several objective markers at various places on the tabletop. Anytime they get looted/investigated, roll on a table or against a target number to see if they were actually an objective and what they were, or just a false alarm.


    That way although the objective placement isn't strictly random, knowing what ends up where is.

  6. In a related area, a friend, when he comes into town, and I get together to play miniature spaceship combat games, first it was Full Thrust and now it's Starmada. But I've gotten tired of facing his WW2 ships mounted with "warp nacelles" and their 240 degree arc-of-fire weapons. I've designed all sorts of ships based on all the scifi miniatures I have (i.e., Star Trek, Star Wars, B5) and finally, out of frustration to the lack of maneuvering that is necessary, am ready to design "flying saucers" with 360 degree weapons and use poker chips to represent them. But I haven't because that does not seem like it would be much fun.


    I've actually had an amazing amount of fun with WWI/WWII naval combat games in which manuevering is an important part of the game. Starmada isn't really set up to accomodate that style of play though - although its a good game for its intended purpose. Let me know if you want to try some wet navy stuff!


    BACK ON TOPIC. . .


    Yes, facing is necessary. The corners issue is a bit awkward, I wouldn't mind seeing that cleaned up. But I *LOVE* the fact that there are good "assassin" characters in the game. I think the facing rules for Backstab are an important part of that from a rules standpoint, but also from a flavor standpoint which is essential. Rear facings definitely need to stay in the game!

  7. I am a rules junkie.


    I play easily a half dozen miniatures games, and have played probably a dozen more, and have read the rules in detail for many more than that. I love analyzing rules finding out why things work a certain way and what effect that has on the game. I like tearing systems apart and rebuilding them to be better. I've done some work for several gaming companies as a rules developer on some high profile projects, just for fun. I have house rules for pretty much every system I play after only a few times playing them. When other people familiar with a game play by my house rules, they pretty much universally agree that they are big improvements on the game.


    I say all this so that you will understand me clearly when I say Warlord is a game with a very cogent and well balanced rule system. There are minor tweaks here and there I would suggest to the game but - I have not felt the need to implement ANY houserules with Warlord.


    As fantasy skirmish games go, its the best I've seen, hands down.


    It rewards tactical play, the units are well balanced, there are lots of options, and you can freely combat large, powerful creatures with lots of small "horde-style" creatures with neither side having an extremely large advantage over the other. This system works.


    Best of all, its really fun to play! Unlike many systems you stay involved in the game throughout the turn. Its exciting and fast paced - unlike many other fantasy skirmish and army games I've played that either have extremely stripped down rules that remove tactical decision making as a valuable skill, or overly burdonsome/slow paced rule sets that make the game drag out. You can play a decent sized game of warlord in an hour. You can play a really big game with multiple players on each side in about two and a half.


    If you like fantasy skirmish games, you owe it to yourself to check out Warlord.

  8. Essentially you want a mechanic that duplicates Spellcasting but can't be counterspelled.


    Not quite. I want:


    1. A mechanic that works like spells so it remains balanced, but can't be counterespelled.


    2. A mechanic that REQUIRES you to take a "breath weapon like" ability. No using spellcasting for healing spells or whatnot.


    3. A mechanic that gives a good breath weapon flavor.


    4. A mechanic that can be priced appropriately - since just spellcaster x/y assumes some capability that a breath weapon user might not have.



    Your mechanic addresses 1 and 4. Whether it addresses 3 is a matter of personal opinion. It does not address 2.


    If you start putting requirements into your ability on what spells they MUST take, then you're really better off just creating a new mechanic -- which is how I got to my proposal.


    The other suggestion made in this thread of:


    Breath Weapon (spell name)/x


    . . . is a good one. It was the other way I was thinking about going. That makes it very similar to a limited use innate spell - which is exactly what it ought to be.


    Either way, it would be great if we could get it in 08 since we're not really trying out anything super wild here. I guess it just depends on how long it takes to develop the point pricing model for a new SA.

  9. Merely that Reaper has saved money at the expense of the game, and the fans and players of the game.


    Well. . . its not really at the expense of the game or of the players if by doing so has helped Reaper maintain profitability and thereby continue to be around to produce and support the game.


    The industry is littered with the corpses of defunct miniatures games companies that failed to stay in the black. If not joining that heap means that sometimes Reaper takes some cost cutting measures, I'm all for it. All in all, I don't think the lack of a 100% new sculpt for Dwarven Kneebreakers is really a crisis.

  10. I am completely on board with this idea and would like to see it implemented in 09 if possible. I think the Dragon and Great Demon are far too similar currently and this would help make them different. There are a few changes I would make to your original idea though.



    Flyers blasting away at ground models is a problem and the weapon you came up with isn't weak by any means. So here are the things I would add to it.


    If the breath weapon was a ranged attack. Add a new SA called Reload/x.


    After this ranged attack is used, it cannot be used again for x rounds. On the xth round the ranged attack is considered to be reloaded and be fired. During the rounds the model cannot fire, they are able to use all of their other actions as normal.

    (this ability could also see use in seige weapons that would take longer to load)

    So the dragon could have Reload/4.

    A catapult could have Reload/2.


    I thought about the idea of just a slow recharge rate like you suggest. Problem is, unless you put an absolute maximum limit on the number of times it can be done, the flyer can still fly around with impunity, waiting for the ability to recharge without ever being subject to attack once the enemy's ranged attacks/wizards have been neutralized.




    Another idea would be hard capping the ranged attacks per game.


    As above, you definitely have to cap the number of times it can be used. That's why my SA is Breath Weapon/X.


    I tend to think though a breath weapon makes a better magical attack than ranged attack.



    If we ran with your idea and kept the breath weapon magical and defined it as an AoE in it's description, I would add this:

    "A breath weapon only affects targets on the same altitude as the attacker."

    So while Flying he only hits flyers, while burrowing he only hits burrowers, and if he wants all those juicy ground targets he has to land to blast them.


    I don't think that is needed. I considered a "must land to breath" rule as I mentioned above. . . but ultimately this ability is no different from a spell. Wizards can cast spells "safely" from 18" - 24" away. The limitation on their power is that they've only got a limited number of shots at it.


    There's not that much difference between casting from a long distance away to where most creatures couldn't base you in one turn anyway, and being flying to where you can only be engaged by ranged weapons and magic.


    Ultimately, the dragon is probably only going to get 2 or 3 uses out of his breath weapon before he's going to have to land and melee it out anyway. That's less powerful than the wizards ability to remain an archer for the rest of the game via the Innate Spells they are getting now.


    So basically, what's going to happen is the dragon is going to napalm strike people on the ground for a couple turns while he gets shot at/spells thrown at him. Then he's going have to land and attack in melee. That's not a big difference from hanging back and throwing a couple fireballs from maximum range, then closing. . . but its a lot more flavorful!


    I'm hopeful we could get this in for 08 since its really not anything that radical!

  11. I like your reasoning. I haven't played Warlord in a while, but I was thinking along the lines of it only getting a certain number of uses, or only being able to be used while on the ground for that particular model.


    Yeah, I had considered the "must be on the ground to use it" thing. . . as well as making it a ranged attack with slow reload or something.


    Ultimately I decided the ability to cast a fairly minor spell effect (somewhere between a Level 1 and Level 2 spell) wasn't a problem to be able to do while flying. . . especially since it has limited uses - and it is easier to implement from a mechanical perspective than more special rules governing actions while flying.

  12. In another thread I saw somebody complain about the silver dragon not having a breath weapon. Some other folks pointed out that flying shooters are game breakining. Without having to think to hard I can easily see where that would be a problem. And thus. . . BEHOLD THE BREATH WEAPON SA!


    Design notes:

    The Breath Weapon SA is a magical attack form that appears in a "spellcasting" block. A model may have a Breath Weapon in addition to, or instead of the Cleric x/x or Mage x/x abilities.


    Breath Weapon/X

    This model has a magical breath weapon that it can use X number of times per day. The breath weapon is a line 8" long by 1/2" wide. Any model touching this line (friend or foe) is subject to the breath weapon attack. The attack is resolved as a Casting Power (CP) roll against the target's Magic Defense (MD). Targets suffer 2 points of damage if they are successfully hit by the breath weapon. A model using a breath weapon is considered to be casting a spell for all purposes including defensive strikes and the like.


    Why this is cool:

    I understand the argument that the Silver Dragon's spellcasting ability is supposed to allow it to simulate a breath weapon. . . but ultimately its unsatisfying from a flavor perspective. The player might not even take spells that really work like a breath weapon. This special ability allows models to have a breath weapon, while using mechanics very similar to the model only being able to cast a specific spell a limited number of times. This is a much more satisfying alternative for a breath weapon to the spellcasting ability and there's no danger of it breaking the game since its actually weaker than a full spellcasting capability.

  13. Looking at the BSG. . . I'm not seeing anything that really makes me worry about them being two powerful. Sure, a lot of them have a lot of SAs. . . but those SAs won't help them much when the model is dead (except tough! LOL!! But once you know how to loot effectively, that is seldom a problem.)


    I kinda see the army folding pretty easily actually.


    I must say though, the purple worm rocks! I wish I could take one in my dwarf army!!

  14. What are people's views on zombies? I took a 1500 point Crypt Legion list loaded with zombies (18!) against my wife's crusaders the other day and did very well! Between their 3 attacks and 4 damage tracks, seems like zombies dish some hurt! They can mob up to overcome their MAV of 4.


    Haven't seen RC08 to see if they've changed at all, so this is based on RC07 stats.


    I do have to admit. . . my MVP Troop of the game had to be Railor with 5 skeletal archers. Railor didn't do much, but the skeletal archers were well positioned and used Marksman 1 the entire game to great effect!

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