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Reaper, I have a complaint!


EdPugh
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Born in another thread I decided to create this thread.

 

Also I want to know if Ed is serious on hearing criticism because I'm not going to waste breath if it is not even considered.

 

First, I am an old school troll and post under my name on several forums. I can spot simple picking crap or griefing a mile away, and even if I am wrong, I will not hesitate to drop to the poster's level and even drag them down a notch or two...

 

SO, post observations, photos, examples, complaints etc. I am serious, someone, and probably me, will read them.

 

I can already tell you there are a hundred blisters of "x" out there with two right wings. BUT I found that out because someone complained and there is a research procedure for every complaint. After getting the complaint the existing inventory is checked and all bad ones are pulled to stop more problems. Then the production data is pulled to see when and how many of "x" were made. This allows us to determine how many bad ones are in the market and let the people that answer the phones fast track the fix when a call comes in. IN FACTon Tuesday of this week, because of a complaint, I went out and discovered 50+ bottles of 09149 in the 09148 bin. We fixed the problem and moved on. We have steps to prevent it, but it happens. THE SOLUTION ALWAYS STARTS WITH A COMPLAINT

 

Want to complain about customer service? Again. Let us know. It will not be addressed here in a public forum in anyway. But, will we fix the problem? Yes, temporarily at least, until the next person that answers our phone that is having a bad day tells you to hump it. Then we rinse and repeat. That is a cycle complaint, but we will listen and we actually do have great people!

 

Want to tell us we should have done X or y or handled this that way or published this or canceled that or done this. Someone will read it, but it's history. Good, bad, nothing can be done but maybe learn something.

 

Want to tell us 'we suck' 'we bring nothing new to the market' 'we rip IP off' 'we stole x from y' 'we suck' "our scale sucks" "we suck" etc and on and on. Yeah, I'll dance. But don't expect anyone, including me, to take it as anything more than entertainment.

 

Want to tell us that you put the wrong zipcode in for your online order and no one is answering the phone at 2:00am to correct the problem for you. Sure, post it...

 

 

 

Now, to put this thread into context concerning responses, changes and results.

 

- You take the time to post here. IF, I have the time, or someone else has the time they will reply. While it is serious, the method of delivery, a forum post, is not a high profile or urgent form of communication.

 

- You PM me. That's fine, but I never check that area. Somebody else might check their PMs, but again. Low profile, not urgent.

 

- You email me or someone here. Higher profile, a little more urgent. It will get discussed and if needed acted upon, but a reply might be a long time coming or maybe never. I have at anytime 100+ active emails in my account I am working and I am not alone there.

 

- Phone call - Now you have skin in the game and we understand that. You will get your question answered or concern addressed. A follow up call if needed. But if abused by a person, they go on the list~

 

- Mail us a letter. Even more skin in the game. You will get a reply.

 

So just because you post something here does not mean it will get a reply, or answer or even an acknowledgment. Like everything, complaints are prioritized with all other things against the time available. You complain on a bad day or during a bad week, good luck, it might not get read and be buried before anyone has to time available to read and post here. Not trying to dismiss or mitigate your issue, just being VERY honest.

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<insert seven years of CAV complaints>

 

But thanks for keeping the minis in production! :poke:

 

 

<insert seven years of vague and sometimes meandering CAV explanations sprinkled with excuse flavored soon>

 

 

Wow!! This thread will be much easier to handle than I thought~

 

:;):

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- Phone call - Now you have skin in the game and we understand that. You will get your question answered or concern addressed. A follow up call if needed. But if abused by a person, they go on the list~

 

- Mail us a letter. Even more skin in the game. You will get a reply.

Umm, what about "Show up at Front Door" ? Will we be taken seriously? Or will you beat us with the bloody stump of Bryan's arm?

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- Phone call - Now you have skin in the game and we understand that. You will get your question answered or concern addressed. A follow up call if needed. But if abused by a person, they go on the list~

 

- Mail us a letter. Even more skin in the game. You will get a reply.

Umm, what about "Show up at Front Door" ? Will we be taken seriously? Or will you beat us with the bloody stump of Bryan's arm?

 

 

Never! We would definitely take you seriously and quickly sit down to discuss anything you wanted to talk about. We would even take you to lunch and dinner. Whatever it took for us to become 100% satisfied that no one knew you were visiting Reaper~

 

 

 

::):

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Ok Ed I’ll bite.

 

Here is my skin in the game. You would recognize me quite easily. I’m most likely the only guy that comes to ReaperCon that actually looks like a T-Rex, short arms and all. Also, everything I’m going to say I have wanted to say to you in person but life has got in the way of me actually making it to your doorstep. So please understand this has nothing to do with internet bravado, and if you like next time I’m up there I’ll say all of this to your face. Most of what I have to say is observation and less complaint because I genuinely like Reaper for their products and as a company.

 

I don’t think Reaper realizes how much of their stuff is used by people to play Warhammer. Yes I mentioned your arch-nemesis, which probably has your hackles up. However, you make miniatures so by extension your stuff is going to be used. You should probably be actively courting these wargamers because they buy stuff constantly.

 

The fact that you have no presence at Adepticon is weird. It is one of the largest strictly wargames conventions that I’m aware of. I mention this because it seems that Reaper wants to be in the wargames club but it seems they are not doing anything to get there. I know that your company has other irons in other fires but in years to come this would be a great move for you.

 

Since I’m on the topic of wargames… I get that Reaper is a miniature company first, but in the last two years Reaper has created some amazing wargame real estate that is frankly being ignored or is unknown. Here is a personal anecdote I have about this. While playing Warlord at WarGamesCon 2010 multiple people came up as we were running a demo game and asked what we were playing. We explained what we were playing and the common remark we received was, “Warlord is a game? I thought it was just miniatures for D&D.” The strangest thing was that store owners were giving us this comment. Your game has an image problem.

 

Warlord is sitting in a great spot when it comes to game cost. People can get into the game at less than a $100 and fully kit out at under $250. Furthermore, the rules are great! (Yes there is some bias from me because I helped play test.) The funny thing is people are growing tired of the big kid on the block (GW) because there is really nothing new about it. Therefore people are looking at other games. What’s really strange is newer games are receiving more buzz than Warlord, and their rules aren’t all that great. Malifaux ring a bell?

 

Let’s talk about generating buzz. First you need to change your policy for your big three tournaments with the painting requirement. If people cry then that’s too bad. Painted play gives you the ability to get pictures that you can use to show off your game. You would get more people interested just because there are all these cool painted figures. The loss of a few players because they couldn’t be bothered to paint up a few figures over the course of a year is not a big deal. I’m willing to bet the percentage of players who hit all three Tournaments is pretty low. Also Painted play at those three big cons demonstrates you’re a real game that is serious about getting the attention of the market.

 

Second reach out to the Blogosphere. There are tons of gaming blogs and some that have international notoriety that can quickly spread the word about your game and your figures. The cost is cheaper than what you used to pay Dragon for ad space— most of the time for free. Now I will say I’m a staff writer for Bell of Lost Souls. Over the last year Privateer, Battlefront, Battle Foam, Slitherine, Spartan, ex Illis, and Warlord Games have come to us about talking about their products and games. I’ve written articles on most of those companies’ lines, and the reason I was told by the editor I couldn’t write about Reaper’s stuff is because you asked us not to. I’ve taken that for face value and not bothered to find out what really happened. I’m sure it has to do with something more I’m not being told about, but even on the Indy game blogs I don’t see your name come up often. The bottom line is you could really be using blogs and the internet to help you generate some buzz. Find a blog that gets a lot of traffic and work out a deal with them. Give them rights to have faction specific decal sheet PDF’s or let them carry PDF’s of the history of your game world. The cost would be roughly zero to you, and the resulting advertising would be huge.

 

By now I’m sure you are thinking that this has been about you using the Blog I write for. I frankly don’t care if you do or don’t. I just think you should use any high traffic non-Reaper site to get your name out there and get people talking about your game. If it’s the one I write for great! I’ll do an awesome job. If it’s someone else, fantastic, but DO IT!

 

CAV is such a great property that you have. I’ve heard from multiple people, “They love the models but where are the rules?” Much of what I’ve heard from stompy mechenbooty players is that no company has done what you have done with this concept in figures. I am aware a new edition is in the works but really you need to support this more. With players looking for new games it would be easy.

 

If I were to sum it all up my sentiment would be quit ignoring your games. They are amazing! With a nudge in the right direction they could really take off.

 

As I said initially I have no real problem with Reaper as a company. I just think that they could be doing a better job selling and informing people on the great stuff they do.

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Oh! My first one! BTW you used lots of words so I get too as well~

 

So please understand this has nothing to do with internet bravado, a

 

I do, and I appreciate both your candor and delivery~

 

I don’t think Reaper realizes how much of their stuff is used by people to play Warhammer. Yes I mentioned your arch-nemesis, which probably has your hackles up. However, you make miniatures so by extension your stuff is going to be used. You should probably be actively courting these wargamers because they buy stuff constantly.

 

Ironically, I have forgotten more about GW than most people at GW will ever know. Every few years I personally conduct an extensive analysis of GW and because they are a publicly traded company (GAW.L on the London Exchange) there is an unprecedented wealth of information available about them. One of their most brilliant maneuvers was to embrace the concept of 'mass market product branding' in the late 1980s when the practice wasn't even a proven theory in the business world. They were on the cutting edge with Nike, Guess, Polo etc. Also, while GW "evolved" in this industry like so many companies, there is one big difference. Prior to Kirby, they were like any other underfunded endeavor of the early 1980s. Kirby is rich. He purchased GW and later Citadel, and having piles of cash, transformed them into a functioning well funded, publicly traded company. But on to your question.

 

Yes, we do realize how much of our stuff is and can be used by a GW player. The problem is they are a very insulated market. I cannot advertise in White Dwarf. You cannot 'legally' use our models in their events etc. Now there is a large and growing presence/movement of 'fringers' as I call them. They run tournaments, host events and organize themselves on a loose basis. They embrace the use of non GW manufactured products and such. We try to support them when and where practical. Will buy ads etc, but I cannot build a 'business model' around a fringe market segment.

 

 

The fact that you have no presence at Adepticon is weird. It is one of the largest strictly wargames conventions that I’m aware of. I mention this because it seems that Reaper wants to be in the wargames club but it seems they are not doing anything to get there. I know that your company has other irons in other fires but in years to come this would be a great move for you.

 

It's funny you would say that. In the past we were very large (from our perspective) sponsors and shipped a large amount of paint and product to them. Yet no one seemed to mention us, or even know we were there. I even talked to a BL that had visited the show and they saw nothing of Reaper, a paint n take or anything. We passed this year. Simply too expensive for a small link on their website. But the final answer to this lies with your next question.

 

Since I’m on the topic of wargames… (edit) Your game has an image problem.

 

Yes it does. Warlord, CAV and the next one :) all suffer from the same problem. An inability for us to figure out where they fit in the big world of tabletop wargames. The consumer has an expectation. That expectation is set by, and measured by the consumer against GW and what they do. We went down that road and followed a GW style support pattern, but on our scale it didn't work. An example would be the faction specific books. We print the core book and sell 10,000. We print the first faction specific book and sell 1,000. (ouch!) At print runs above 5,000 you can get printer pricing that allows you to sell the book at a reasonable price. Less than 5,000 that it becomes very hard and under 2,000 it is not even practical. What happened? Well we have 9 factions more or less. Each player focuses on one, or two factions, but if they aren't playing Nefsokar, they aren't buying that book when it comes out. At GW's scale a faction book is easy.

 

So then we meander around looking at options and basically screw it up. At the present time it is a simple 'what you see is what you get' One book has it all. We get a lot of grief and a few unhappy fans wanting x or y or z, but at this time it is what we do.

 

(edit) The funny thing is people are growing tired of the big kid on the block (GW) because there is really nothing new about it. Therefore people are looking at other games.

 

Interesting observation on your part, but did you know that GW's target customer is a male between the ages of 10-14? That age group is supported by the combined spending power of parents and grand parents. This gives them a product life cycle of 5-6 years. When you get past that age you are not really a big factor in their planning and become part of the entertainment the kids get to read about and dream about...

 

 

What’s really strange is newer games are receiving more buzz than Warlord, and their rules aren’t all that great. Malifaux ring a bell?

 

Yes, and this ties into the problem outlined above. Unless you have the scale to keep new books and game related items coming out the new stuff will eclipse and bury you.

 

Now with that said, you can get the scale needed and build a player base. Warmachine is a good example. To do this you have to make it a high priority. At the moment the 'wargames' market is not a high enough priority for us to allocate resources for when measured against other areas.

 

Let’s talk about generating buzz. First you need to change your policy for your big three tournaments with the painting requirement. (edit)

 

This type of structure change would be addressed with the next BL system. While not a good answer to your statement, it is the answer I have. However I do agree with you 100%

 

Second reach out to the Blogosphere. There are tons of gaming blogs and some that have international notoriety that can quickly spread the word about your game and your figures. The cost is cheaper than what you used to pay Dragon for ad space— most of the time for free.

 

I agree! Did you know that the Reaper website is in the top 1% of world wide website traffic? We have more servers and traffic than several Fortune 500 companies :wacko: The problem I have with your suggestion concerning the Blogosphere is I have no contact person here at Reaper, or even an outside Rep, that could vet this area of the internet for us. If you are interested in going further into this area of discussion send me an email. [email protected]

 

and the reason I was told by the editor I couldn’t write about Reaper’s stuff is because you asked us not to. I’ve taken that for face value and not bothered to find out what really happened. (edit) The bottom line is you could really be using blogs and the internet to help you generate some buzz.

 

I have no idea why they were told that. I'm not saying they weren't told that. I am definitely a love me, or hate me, kind of guy and am very well known across this industry for some of my two word emails. Dig into it and see what falls out of the tree. There is also a good chance that we/I misunderstood whoever contacted us as to what they wanted or needed from us. I am open. I have a great personality if you can get past my BS :B):

 

As I said initially I have no real problem with Reaper as a company. I just think that they could be doing a better job selling and informing people on the great stuff they do.

 

We could always do better and I like a lot of what you have said. As I mentioned, please email me concerning the Blogosphere. By now, with all of these words I will assume no one is actually still reading this except you, but I commend you on a challenging post to answer. You have addressed some serious issues. Concerning the Blogosphere you have made a good case for exploring that area. I hope some of my explanations have helped you understand where or why a decision has been made.

 

 

Best

Ed

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or even have a much more active & greater social network presence? I know you have the Facebook page, but that only gets updated every once in a while. And heck, you could probably "friend" multitudes of FLGS' that are also on facebook - I know mine is.

 

A lot of marketing nowadays is through the word of mouth presented by social networking. Just a thought.

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