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Staff Sergeant

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:23 am
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Saga seems to be a great system with all the modern likes, yet it's not really catching on. Some dedicated players, but not expanding at all.

Our LGS had problems with two distributors and gave up. Could that be the issue? Game seems great.


Sun Aug 07, 2016 1:34 am
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I'm still super excited about it, continuing to work on Angry Saxons. There are superb miniatures available with Gripping Beast, Saxon, and Footsore. Plastics from GB and all the old guards like Old Glory for the cost conscience folks. Age of the Wolf is awesome. If you liked Cassino for FoW, Age of the Wolf should tickle your fancy.

I don't know if anything is really wrong with it. I suppose the Crusades was not as popular (pure speculation). I think Gripping Beast had done a poor job with North American distribution. They don't have distributors with ample supply, they continue to collect VAT, and shipping is rather high. When you do order from them its spot on, but seriously fix the shipping/VAT charges.

The supply chain has been a little bumpy. Similar to others such as Battlefront. Running books out of print and not having dice has probably hurt. And the dice, my god, are they overpriced. I know you can just use regular dice and print the free symbols, but we want the bling to go with our games.

Vikings has been hugely popular on History Channel and I can't believe they can't get more leverage from it.

Having made a couple complaints I must remember that the game designers do not devote full time to this endeavor. I think they actually have careers outside gaming. Game designers not at fault, GB could make better efforts.

I am still super pysch'd to collect, paint, and play this game. It's historicals, its never going to be like fantasy or sci-fi 28's.

Oh yeah, BTW, if you like the Arthurian Age or the Fall of the Roman Empire periods that supplement (Invasions) is coming next year.

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Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:25 am
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Staff Sergeant

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Age of The Wolf might be really cool, if you can get it. My buddy could not find it at Historicon or Gencon. It's a Yogi Bera thing, no one plays that game, it keeps selling out.

GB knows their business better than I do, but I'm pretty sure they could do five times what they are doing with not a lot more work.


Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:28 am
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Technical Sergeant
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Order it from GB or Brigade, it's there.

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Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:50 am
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Corporal

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:47 pm
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Much of this comes down to what your benchmark for a game being successful is. As far as I can tell Saga is the most popular Ancient/Medieval skirmish game in the world.

Now as to why it hasn't done better than it has is that nobody is doing anything to promote it in North America. Gripping Beast doesn't have a booth at Gencon showcasing the game the way Battlefront does with FoW. There isn't even really a website you can point people to to get them into the game. Saga has gotten where it is by word of mouth and players doing what they can to grow the game.


Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:16 pm
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There always seem to be tournaments at HCon/ColdWars/Fall-in. I think Joe ran it a couple of years ago with GB support to boot.


Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:14 pm
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I guess the performance of the game in the marketplace depends on where you're at. In Germany, it seems to have done really well. They seem to really love it here, which makes sense, given the fact that WW2 games that dominate historical gaming elsewhere aren't so popular for obvious reasons.

The German distributor made the rule book and supplements into a pair of hardbound books with the second book combining the faction supplements. It's just anecdotal, but I don't think GB did themselves any favors with the thin paperback rule books at steep prices. More than once, I've gotten someone excited about the game, only to show them the books and tell them the MSRP and watch the enthusiasm drain away.

The supply issues certainly don't help anyone. It took me months to get all my faction dice as they kept going out of stock.

I think the books could be a bit more clearly written. Alex Buchel put together a really good set of rules, but there seem to have been a fair few translation issues.

All that aside, SAGA really is a phenomenal game and deserves to be widely played. Coming out Warhammer 40K and Flames of War, it was great to find a game that's deep and thinky without being fiddly and bogged down in tables and rules exceptions.

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Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:26 pm
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I certainly think the game is good enough to be much more popular.

I judge games by the size of our local community. Last Millennium Con in Austin Saga was bigger than Flames. In Houston though, not much of a community. Part of our problem though was the distributors burning bridges with the store most likely to promote the game well. Also the only one still having a Flames community.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:37 am
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First Sergeant
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Maybe your LGS can get onboard with the Late Roman stuff coming this fall. It's a very popular period and there might be folks around with old WAB armies that will be ready to go from day 1.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:31 pm
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Not unless there is a new distributor. One had terrible service and actually ripped us off. The other called the owner while he was at ETC and left a please call message with no other context. He returned from ETC to find our pre order privileges had been revoked and they won't take his calls or call him back. (Supposedly, they don't like being anyone's secondary distribution source and being one of the biggest Warmachine resellers he does most of his business with Alliance).

Since GB always under produces, no preorder means no sales. Once we stopped getting the new stuff, the old gathered dust and got sold near or below cost or donated to the local gamecon.

We now have a chicken and the egg situation.

It seems to me there are lots of games now which give up on their potential and go low risk high margin. This makes sense if the manufacturer is getting the direct sales, but seems rather stupid if the distribution chain is sucking up all the value by not stocking the product or by selling direct to the resellers' customers.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:25 pm
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Technical Sergeant
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Distributors sure seem to get in the way of FLGS's. I can usually manage my own supply chain better than stores at less cost.

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Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:56 pm
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Staff Sergeant

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I have no idea what that statement means because I van no idea where you fit in the chain. Your website was no help.

I can certainly assure you there are good and bad actors in the industry with way too many businesses being treated like the owner's avocation rather than vocation. The other bad bunch are guys who use gaming tactics to get ahead at the expense of others without thinking long enough on whether they are depleting the soil they depend on for growth.


Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:43 pm
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I'm a mere consumer but I can manage my supply chain better than any game store. I just order direct whenever I need something and in the long run it ends up costing less than paying more to support some bad operators (stores and distributors).

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:21 am
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If you have no good LGS, then I suppose you have no choice. Our LGS provides a lot of tables and events in an urban area where space is at a premium. Before it opened, the closest store with tables was 30 minutes away.

Quite frankly, if it's not played there, I mostly won't be playing it. Same for most of the community.


Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:13 am
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
If you have no good LGS, then I suppose you have no choice. Our LGS provides a lot of tables and events in an urban area where space is at a premium. Before it opened, the closest store with tables was 30 minutes away.

Quite frankly, if it's not played there, I mostly won't be playing it. Same for most of the community.


One thing I've noticed about some groups is that they ONLY play at stores. Personally the idea is a bit odd to me, I'd much rather play at home with some friends and a few beers and non-greasy snacks. Space shouldn't be at THAT much of a premium that you can't lay a 3x4 board over your kitchen counter or coffee table and get some games in.


Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:48 am
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There are definitely some supply issues, and the lack of a central "this is the SAGA website" hub makes life difficult. There are the ST forums, but they're not the best, and there's the Gripping Beast website, but that's a touch confusing to use and has to share itself with all the other GB products/projects. A dedicated SAGA website where the team could communicate directly with the customers, reviews and news articles could be published, how-to-get-started guides, basically like the Games Workshop or Fantasy Flight Games websight, but with a slightly less sleazy 'used car salesman' vibe. Then at least we could be given an update about print runs, products in development, new scenarios etc.

I mean, the GB website shows the Northern Fury supplement as being out of stock, resupply expected 16th of May.

MAY! It's practically freaking September! What's going on there?


Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:46 am
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Technical Sergeant
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chucknuckle wrote:
UndergroundWarren wrote:
If you have no good LGS, then I suppose you have no choice. Our LGS provides a lot of tables and events in an urban area where space is at a premium. Before it opened, the closest store with tables was 30 minutes away.

Quite frankly, if it's not played there, I mostly won't be playing it. Same for most of the community.


One thing I've noticed about some groups is that they ONLY play at stores. Personally the idea is a bit odd to me, I'd much rather play at home with some friends and a few beers and non-greasy snacks. Space shouldn't be at THAT much of a premium that you can't lay a 3x4 board over your kitchen counter or coffee table and get some games in.


I'm with you. If you only play what is being played at the game store they'll be on to the next thing as soon as you get going on the latest.

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Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:08 am
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I discovered SAGA within the last three years and it has become my favorite tabletop miniatures game. I have successfully gotten a small group of gamers going here that enjoy the game, and there continues to be some slow growth locally. It's a great game!

I enjoy gaming at home, at someone else's home, at the local game store (LittleBigWars, Fargo, ND), and anywhere else games are being played. :)

All the books have fun armies to play also, so there a lot of choices. The local guys have not jumped on the C & C bandwagon, but I keep working on them; I really have enjoyed playing the armies that are set up in that book, and am very much looking forward to seeing with Gripping Beast does with its new SAGA book!


Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:08 pm
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Staff Sergeant

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PrivateSnafu wrote:
chucknuckle wrote:
UndergroundWarren wrote:
If you have no good LGS, then I suppose you have no choice. Our LGS provides a lot of tables and events in an urban area where space is at a premium. Before it opened, the closest store with tables was 30 minutes away.

Quite frankly, if it's not played there, I mostly won't be playing it. Same for most of the community.


One thing I've noticed about some groups is that they ONLY play at stores. Personally the idea is a bit odd to me, I'd much rather play at home with some friends and a few beers and non-greasy snacks. Space shouldn't be at THAT much of a premium that you can't lay a 3x4 board over your kitchen counter or coffee table and get some games in.


I'm with you. If you only play what is being played at the game store they'll be on to the next thing as soon as you get going on the latest.


Our LGS has craft beer at close to liquor store prices and non greasy snacks and terrain and you can show up at the right night and find a game if it's big enough to make the schedule. You can certainly meet with a friend and play anything you wish as well. The big advantage is that you can recruit new players to your favorite games without using social media.

We used to not have stores with tables, and our local scene was horrible. I've simply met many more gaming friends through shops than through other sources. The advantage of the shop or a club is meeting someone before you invite them to your home.

We had a club in the nineties that lost its good meeting place deal. We started to meet at homes for a while but the club died as members left because the recruiting died off.

As for Magpies, God bless them. They keep stores open and are a good source of cheap used gaming goods. Our store has a few, but most guys have a favorite system they stick with (Flames, Warmahordes, MTG, etc) and dabble in other games.


Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:17 pm
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Corporal

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:46 am
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I think the Invasions supplement will kickstart it again.

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Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:06 pm
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