Saturday, March 14, 2009

Minis Baseline

We're restructuring some of our miniature game events, starting today at 12:15 with a staff run War of the Rings kickoff. We're also creating staff run events for Warhammer 40K and Warhammer Fantasy. I'm not a big fan of staff events, unless you're overhead is ridiculously low, like many stores in the Midwest. Most stores in high cost areas rely on volunteers or unpaid owners who love their game and want to promote it. I admire their dedication, but for a single owner store, I think it's a time sink. Instead, I want to try something different and run our top games with staff to see what we can accomplish. Maybe I'm wrong about this. The worst case scenario is I prove myself right. How bad can that be?

Whenever you make a big systems change, it's good to first perform a baseline analysis. This is a snapshot of how things are now so you can measure the change in the future. I'm attaching a pie chart. It's a poor baseline graph because it doesn't show growth, only proportion. We want the pie to get bigger, rather than shift around, but proportion tells us things too. What we can't factor out is the biggest growth factor, new releases during this time.

Also, since I haven't done this in a while, below is the breakout by army for Flames of War. It used to be far more even, but now the Germans have taken over.


  1. The imbalance towards Germans in FoW is probably due in large part to the way BF is handling late war. By focusing so long on Normandy interest in the Soviets waned, plus the differences between British and US forces in the late war are much less visible in terms of the models you see on the table. I think that may lessen the interest in playing the British. The latter isn't really under BF's control so much, but is still a factor.

    Another factor not under BF's control is that with the exit of the Italians and some minor axis powers from the war, there aren't any other options aside from Germans if you want to play 'the other side.'

    One final factor which has been somewhat under BF's control is that the published German lists actually have a great deal of variation between them, while the published allied lists tend to be only slight variations from the core army book. This means there's a lot more incentive and inspiration to start a new German army than there is to start a new Allied one once you already have one.

    Now, the allied forces did become more homogeneous during the late war period, but this could be alleviated some by alternating the focus between East and West fronts rather than focusing on only one for months or years at a time.

    Since they're borrowing all the bad ideas from GW, perhaps they should take a few of the good ones, like the alternating release schedule of 40K/Fantasy, and within 40K the alternating release of Imperial/Non-Imperial armies.

    I think they're under the mistaken impression that their Imperial/Non-Imperial split is Axis/Allies when it's in fact East/West due to their inclusion of both Axis and Allied forces in each book.

  2. WOTR was a lot of fun - once we figured out how much was missing and misleading in the "Quick-Play" rules.

    I'm looking forward to running the "how to play"/release event on the 4th.

    If you can't get more bases in by then (how can GW have run out of bases?), we may have to do a "base-making" workshop - although that just makes people less likely to buy bases (or maybe not, if the homemade ones aren't as cool).

  3. GW seems to be addressing this in the latest White Dwarf. They show how to make your own bases, but they definitely don't look as cool as the official ones because they lack the recesses to put your models into. You just make up a bare flat base and then blu-tac or putty your models onto them. It doesn't look nearly as nice.

  4. I enjoyed watching the game. It will likely change how I compose my own army list. For example, I knew cavalry was deadly, but that lethality can be countered with a quantity of more basic troops capable of flanking.

  5. They show how to make bases with insets in the WoTR book - don't understand why they wouldn't do the same in WD. You do one layer with circular cutouts mounted on a solid layer.

    The "company" bases are cool, and what first attracted me to the game.

  6. Ok, now I've got to go down and bug my FLGS about WotR - you guys are getting me stoked.

    Apropos of nothing, I just found out my new minister is a huuuuge gaming geek. To the point that he used to own a game store I used to visit when I lived in Portland (waaay back in 1993). He brought a bunch of Blood Bowl and Napoleonics to a recent church family event regarding hobbies, and we talked a little shop - that was sort of weird.

    He's got some painting chops - go theology school!