Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Work Continues...

…Okay, so I haven’t had a lot of time to put work in on any recent builds, the demands of my paying job and negotiating a return to college (long story) have been taking up my attention as of late.

Also, in light of some recent developments in the Miniature Wargaming community, I’m considering some major revisions to Battletech: Combined Arms. With the advent of miniatures games such as X-Wing, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and the popularity of competitive, streamlined game systems….I’m considering altering my approach.

You see, I’ve been a miniature wargamer since 1998, where I started with Warhammer 40,000. I grew up playing that game through ever edition but the first, and I’ve steadily grown more and more frustrated with how complex the game has gotten. It’s not that I avoid complexity- hell, I grew up with a bit of D&D too. It’s just that complexity (especially the unnecessary kind) bogs down gameplay, clutters the table with unnecessary extras such as cards and dice and counters and templates (all of which Warhammer 40k now uses), and dissuades competitive play.

While I want Battletech: Combined Arms to be a competitive game that competes with the best in the business….it has become clear that that is no longer Games Workshop and Warhammer 40,000. As it stands now I want to work towards adapting a smaller scale (along the line of N-Scale), pre painted miniatures using a simpler game format for smoother, easy-to-learn yet difficult-to-master gameplay.

It’s also becoming clear that larger model kits like the 1/60 scale that i was initially planning don’t sell so well, the price point of competing, smaller scales necessitates a shift in sales tactics. I urge my readers to provide some feedback on this issue, as I’d love to hear what the community thinks.

3 comments:

  1. 1/60 scale 'Mechs and heavy vehicles, IMHO, are better used as the occasional terrain piece or objective in a 25/28mm BattleTroops or role-playing campaign. Their size and expense greatly limit the average person's ability to game with them. N scale, on the other hand, has been relatively popular for a lot of groups. Besides the scores of cheap MWDA/AOD minis in the aftermarket, there are a decent number of garage kits offered at a reasonable price point.

    I love 1/60 scale and have many of the resin kits plus the plastic kits of several Unseen from their original series but, they are for display, much like my old aircraft models. If I happen to need them as an objective in a 28mm game, I'll use them. I just won't be moving them around. They're worth too much to take chances. Put a good number of plastic kits out there at average 1/48 scale model kit prices and I might reconsider.

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  2. I agree with the above, to a point. I have finally gotten to the point in my life where I can get my hands on 1/60 scale mechs and I"ll probably never look back. They will, and do, serve in my 40K army as Titan proxies and I have a blast using them. The catch is.. among my friends who do 40k, there are 4 such models table-ready between us, and I'm the only one with more than one. Playing a game of Battletech at that scale just isn't affordable enough for us. Terrain and space is easy, we're fortunate enough to have a game store nearby with plenty of both. Sadly, I'm the only one I know personally who has the affection to that level and scale, and probably more for the modeling challenge than the playability. I think the N-scale, or 15mm "Flames of War" scale stuff may be a reasonable option.

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  3. As one of the producers of the large scale mechs, I have to say I agree with Cache. While I would love to sell more kits, the cost and portability issues are going to keep a lot of players away. I can see these being effective marketing tools or demo items to get people interested but from a sales perspective, even if we get the cost down 20% we are still looking at about $100 per kit. I would think your average gamer is going to look at cost versus return. $100 on my mech or 5 or 6 minis for the same cost? Just my two cents...

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