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New GW = Old BF???? 
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So I got the email this morning that the long expected new edition of Warhammer 40K is on the horizon, and right off the bat they published a FAQ. What I found interesting is that there is a mix of "what you expect from GW" and "what you expect from BF."

Questions 1-3 really caught my eye right off the bat:

Quote:
Is my army still valid?
Yes, it certainly is! You’ll still be able to use your army in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. All current armies will be supported with new rules.

Can I still use all my models?
Yes. Every Warhammer 40,000 miniature we sell today will be usable in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. What’s more, they’ll be supported with new rules, which will be available from the get go in handy, low-cost books.

Even Forge World models?
Yes, even all of your Warhammer 40,000 Forge World models.


Okay - so this is GW we're taking about, so I take everything with a grain of salt. That being said, Questions 2-3 are big as that's one of the things that V4 FoW was missing that honestly has caused me the most consternation. Hopefully patience will be rewarded with FoW V4, but I'm awaiting that deck of Command Cards to see...

The key thing to also consider is that GW seems to be moving 40K to a new edition for essentially the same reason BF is moving FoW to a new edition - they want new players to have easy access to the game.

Quote:
Have you dumbed down 40K?
Not at all. We’ve made it easier for new people to enter and get to grips with the basics. At the same time, we’ve made sure you can add as much depth and complexity as you like - there’s
some fantastic new gameplay elements coming. What we’ve done is reexamine every aspect of the game, and made plenty of improvements, many based on the gaming community’s feedback and suggestions. If you play today, this game is recognisably still Warhammer 40,000.


The biggest shock was actually the question BEFORE the previous quote... this is taking a page right out of BF's book. Again, take with grain of salt... will be interesting to see how it is implemented... emphasis added is mine...

Quote:
How can I get the rules?
We’re going to make it easier than ever to get your hands on the rules and start playing. The core rules for the game will be free, and you’ll have several options on how you get your hands on the full rulebook. Watch this space for more.


This of course implies that the free rule book is an abridged rulebook... but still... I didn't think that GW and "free" ever belonged in the same sentence.

However, this is still GW we're taking about, so there is this caveat...

Quote:
What happens to my codexes?
The rules in our current range of Warhammer 40,000 codexes aren’t compatible with the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. These books will be going off sale very soon. If you do want to
pick any up, now’s the time - as all of the great hobby content and background information will be as valid as ever.


I think it will be interesting to compare and contrast the GW and BF approaches to a game "reboot" to make it more accessible to new players over the next year.

Here's the FAQ to read for yourself: https://warhammer40000.gw-hub.com/wp-co ... 0K-FAQ.pdf

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:15 am
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The big difference will be it won't take GW 12 months to release the rules for half of the factions in the game.


Battlefront have taken a very slow and very long term approach to V4 and I am not sure it will pay off.


Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:49 am
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Should it (also) be New BF = Old GW???

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:41 pm
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The new GW is ah-mazing.

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:23 pm
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BashOn wrote:
Should it (also) be New BF = Old GW???


No... that would be WAAAAAY down the slippery slope...

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:07 pm
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What's amazing is how anyone, especially former GW guys, think that much of what works at GW will work for them. GW is like the Microsoft of the game industry. They had a huge advantage with early innovation, destroyed much of their competition using dirty business methods, and have sticky IP that's good enough that they can always rebound by simply doing mediocre while seeming to have changed their attitude. In spite of that, they've lost share to PP and FFG (Unix, iOS?) for stubbornly ignoring rules maintenance. X-Wing, with constant updates, balancing, FAQs, and use of tournaments as post release play testing, is now number one. PP appears to do more testing than anyone (Page 5 is gone, but the lesson was learned) Meanwhile, Mantic (Linux) is stealing share of the casual gamers by not charging for value not given. If you put out poorly tested rules, don't charge a premium for your rules OR even your miniatures. Then, lower expectations can carry you farther.

The GW method just won't work for BF. It's not like they will collapse, it's just that they can't roll with the hits as well. Their IP isn't nearly as attractive nor protected. Their product line isn't self supporting either. A shop owner can hate GW, but he can also turn the merchandise for profit in spite of GW's cheating and without having to put out much effort. The player base is simply so big, the players will run their own events. Enough buyers will support the LGS that unless you try to turn them away, they will come buy.

FoW just isn't that. In most areas, the base is below the tipping point of being self supportive. A store has to then put in effort to sell the product, and I'm not sure the streamlining will pay off as well as they think. Most stores simply aren't into actively SELLING. And why should they be? Selling takes energy and the owners have been trained that it's mostly wasted by manufacturers like GW, and even BF, that they are very likely going to actively sell the product only to have the customer send a good portion of their business chasing high discounts with free shipping.(BF has vastly improved on this, but it will take some serious changes to actually get store owners to do new things). A store's real value add is service and community support, not sales and marketing.

Bottom line, BF needs to do a lot of things better than GW does to grow FOW past the point where a majority of shops will carry it. So far, I'm still not seeing the right strategy even though in many ways there is better execution.


Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:51 pm
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I can see why many stores don't bother with BF...they make their money off of board and card games. Miniatures are close to a break even. So any effort into miniatures for an owner is less effort put into running something that makes them their nut. I base this assertion on several factors - 1) friendship with a few game store owners over the past few years 2). friendship with a couple of well known board game makers 3) personal experience visiting FLGS over the country over the last 20 years (i have moved a lot). 4) views expressed by owners and players about their FLGS on the FoW forum 5) past trips to GenCon/Origins/Essen Spiel. HMGS largest event is less than 10% that of GenCon. It's less than 1% of the Essen Spiel. My advice to BF would be get a "working" copy of the rules down and move on. The continual grind of making handbooks to build "IP" is just wasting the resource of Phil who could be writing some other rulesets.


Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:51 pm
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I kind of agree. I get my knowledge from befriending LGS owners over the years. At the last couple hang outs I've become a virtual employee. I've been running the historicals section at my local store now for five plus years. At one point, we became the largest FOW reseller in Texas. I think Texas Toy Soldier holds the current title. I do everything with virtually no oversight except sign the contracts and checks. New owners bought the store last fall and, with advice from me and several others, they expanded board game stock. Until that time, FOW/TY was the third largest money maker not counting the bar. Generally, Magic covered most of the nut, Warmachine was second, Then BF, then GW, then boardgames.

At the height of V2 thru early V3 FoW was really doing well. Two dozen is the tipping point. Get 24 players and everything cranks along just fine. Less than that, and it starts to shrink. At two to three dozen, recruiting is actually easier, players dropping hardly gets noticed, stock levels are more fluid, etc. it's better than boardgames.

Having so radically changed the game and points system, BF is stuck rewriting every list. Now, they could release some generic period lists, throw them into the wild, adjust based on feedback, and release everything else digital only. Get fluff on new divisions out of old books or from fans, etc. only they don't seem to want to do that.

They seem to want to do what they had been doing only much less at a much slower pace. That's not actually a really bad idea in principle, but the execution seems really, really off.

I do agree that Phil can build new things, and ought to build new things. Converting all the old stuff and maintaining errata and FAQ seems to be a different job for a different guy. I'm afraid though that Phil is very understandably not going to like that idea. It's his baby after all. How do you convince him that it's better to let someone else have the headaches. He could say what he intended, and someone else would have to make it happen.

Where I don't agree is build it and move along. Maintenance is needed to keep the community happy and buying. Ask WoTC, or FFG why they do it. They run the biggest systems, and they do the most maintenance. Build it and drop it is for guys like Osprey who don't sell anything other than the rules. Seems like a contradiction, but it makes sense.


Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:00 am
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I would agree on the v2/v3 transition being the high point of FoW. It's also when I played a lot and my group also played a lot. I think BF burned a lot of bridges with some guys with their comments/conduct over the BAR fiasco and then early v3 issues (TDs, NGFS, etc). Failing to admit you broke something took them about a year to learn. Add in the BF only miniatures rule that lasted about a week. Then the v3 codex creep started until it got so bad I think they had to run with v4. They wrote themselves into a corner it would seem. The only thing I see "maintenance" doing is creating player churn. That may be how BF sees how the game continues. v5 will be 5 years from now and probably launch with LW or EW that does not get redone with v4. The last couple of years I have seen a lot of FoW on the flea market tables at HCon.


Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:28 pm
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Yep. I'm not convinced that V3 was not slowly dying off anyway. V4 may be a big gamble that may or not may pay off for BF, but I think they must have felt it was a risk they had to take regardless of how it all comes out. Players it seems have been leaving FoW for years without an equivalent incoming of new replacements. The current V4 course of action may do nothing to halt the loss of players and may even accelerate it, but it at least tries to do something to work on getting new players into the game and combatting atrophy.

I try to keep in mind that for us FoW is just a hobby, but for BF it is their livelihood. I think they need to experiment with V4 and see if this new approach is better or not for the long term health of the game (and their livelihood). In the interim, if it's fun, I will play it. So far, I like V4 better than I liked V3 anymore. For other's that's not the case and that's understandable.

There is no problem that I see with folks keeping with V3 or moving on to other systems. If V4 does not work for you, cool, don't play it! But I do wish players would be more tolerant of BF giving V4 a try tough. It's fine to state you don't like V4. That's feedback that BF needs and likely appreciates. But far too many seem to be actively campaigning to just have BF pull V4 without giving it any chance to play out. The high frequency, extreme negativity, and just plain snarkiness of some goes beyond helpful feedback and just ends up looking like droning nerd rage.

BF does listen to the community, but they listen to $'s more. They have to. It's $'s that will drive the sustainability and viability of BF. We can complain all we want but it won't matter if the $'s roll in. Likewise we can support V4 all we won't but that won't matter if the $'s don't roll in. V4 just needs to playout so BF can determine if it's the right course of action or not. If the $'s roll in, that's what they will stick with. If not you may see an even more radical approach with V5, but I'm not sure that turning back the page to V3 is an option that BF can even consider given the atrophy that Mark notes above and that many of us have seen over the last few years of V3.


Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:26 pm
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Completely agree with what you're saying there Tom - they had to do SOMETHING... though I wonder if some of the issues had less to do with the rule set and more to deal with supply chain problems - i.e. if I want to play "X" but can't get "X" I'm going to spend those dollars playing something that is actually available. Of course, one could argue that one begets the other, but that would require some fairly in depth cost and time to market analysis to disentangle - which no one short of JP and Pete are going to actually have the data to do.

Honestly for me the only thing that pissed me off about V4 is the fact that it obsoleted MW armies. The new rules aren't bad... they really aren't. The unit cards are pretty and have a gee whiz factor, but I can take them or leave them. The command cards and fog of war seem like a gimmick, but I can even get down with that to some extent. The reason I moved from fantasy / sci-fi / other miniatures systems to FoW in the first place was because I was tired of having to rebase, rejigger, rebuild, rebuy, and repaint every time a new codex or new edition came out. I figured, hey, it's a historical wargame, I'm safe. Come V4, a lot of my MW lists aren't supported yet, and for the eras and time periods that are supported, a lot of my favorite options have been "re-accommodated," errrrr... "streamlined."

I understand the reasoning behind why BF went the direction that they did, but honestly there had to be a better way to do it. Battlefront built its brand on strong customer service, and this is the first time that they've left their existing customers sort of high and dry. I'm really afraid what that's going to do to the brand long-term... and I mean that. GW is big enough to handle an AoS. Hasbro could absorb the crap fest and loss of market share that was V4 D&D. BF is a much smaller entity. I really don't want to see them fail.

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Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:59 pm
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To pipe in a bit here.

I've been a GW fanboy since Rogue Trader. That really won't change much as I have lots of painted armies and enjoy playing my friends of whom we all have wee ones so understand hobby, fart jokes and non-tournament gaming is key. I'm just sick and tired of the tournament player.

I've been a BF fanboy since close to the V3 drop granted I haven't played as much as I would like I have gone pretty hog wild into buying two huge Canadian and German armies.

Both companies are impressing me continually and both do the odd blip. GW releasing free rules means I'm likely going to continue playing their games and I do quite like the changes these days. The "new GW" moniker is sure helping erase the travesty of the Kirby days and I suspect a consulting company is telling them how to do outreach and not continue to alienate players while growing more. In the past,.. 12-18 months or so I have rarely said "that was a dumb move GW".

BF mailing me a free rulebook means I literally want to just spend money on their product even though I barely have time to play. I should trim down a lot of my BF but I want them to succeed as I love their games, so I'm looking at things to just buy for maybe TK or friends who play.

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Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:14 pm
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I'm just sick and tired of broad brush attacks on the "tournament player".

I've met as bad characters and worse outside of tournaments, and have also met and played many friends through the tournament scene.

I'm even more sick and tired of the idea that there is something that some vast horde of super casual players really desire in a game that is contradictory to those things that make a game a good tournament game. Somehow, this idiocy got sold to the decision makers at BF, and it's going to cost them a lot of sales until they set it straight.

The best casual FoW customers tend to want the same sorts of things tournament players do. We simply don't see the types of collectors and horders that buy GW models in near the numbers. I'll be really surprised to see BF succeed in growing FoW if they don't change their direction or reveal some new priorities.


Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:41 am
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UndergroundWarren wrote:
I'm just sick and tired of broad brush attacks on the "tournament player".

I've met as bad characters and worse outside of tournaments, and have also met and played many friends through the tournament scene.

I'm even more sick and tired of the idea that there is something that some vast horde of super casual players really desire in a game that is contradictory to those things that make a game a good tournament game. Somehow, this idiocy got sold to the decision makers at BF, and it's going to cost them a lot of sales until they set it straight.

The best casual FoW customers tend to want the same sorts of things tournament players do. We simply don't see the types of collectors and horders that buy GW models in near the numbers. I'll be really surprised to see BF succeed in growing FoW if they don't change their direction or reveal some new priorities.


I've had my worst gaming experiences in tournaments. It is an event that attracts WAAC people unlike casual gaming. Most of what you stated is also incorrect.

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Mon May 01, 2017 11:12 pm
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I have had my worst and best gaming experiences in tournaments (and not just FoW ones). What I fail to understand is why players who don't play in tournaments feel the need to tell tournament players to play by the rules as intended, as if we can read Phil's (or any other author's) mind. Seems like we should all want Phil to write what he means with some clarity.


Tue May 02, 2017 1:29 am
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It probably is off topic, but does NO ONE at either BF or GW understand basic math? Both companies keep on insisting on using the phrase " Reduce by -1" intending it to be a penalty, when anyone familiar with basic math knows that when you subtract a negative number you add. This has been going on for over 30 years!!!!!

Of course if you don't want me to go by the rules as intended...

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Tue May 02, 2017 5:04 am
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Starik wrote:
It probably is off topic, but does NO ONE at either BF or GW understand basic math? Both companies keep on insisting on using the phrase " Reduce by -1" intending it to be a penalty, when anyone familiar with basic math knows that when you subtract a negative number you add. This has been going on for over 30 years!!!!!

Of course if you don't want me to go by the rules as intended...


Heh... :D

Notice you're down in Salem... where do you play?

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Tue May 02, 2017 5:49 am
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You guys need to try to get around to more venues than your garages or the one LGS. While I have heard seriously horrendous stories about other systems, it just hasn't been the case in our area with tournaments. OTOH, one local store here had some real winners. Talk about WAAC, which means totally different things to different people btw, these guys would change rule interpretations mid game.

The intentions thing is just one of the many problems. First, as soon as the tournament guys, or any other group that's paying attention, gets any sort of guidance on what Phil intended, they seem remarkably ready to accept it. The problem is when the rule is unclear and so are the intentions. Guys who generally play amongst the same group are all so sure they know what's right because that's what they went with. Guys who play among multiple groups just know it's not so simple. You need clarity or one guy's going to get labeled a WAAC dick simply because he is going with the interpretation of some other guy and likely didn't care. Now, he's playing another guy who accepted a different interpretation and was filled with stories on how tournament players are just such animals.

It's all nonsense. Of course guys are under more pressure at tournaments for lots of reasons. Still, some guys can be jerks without such pressure. Who's the bigger jerk?

If you want to have a civil discussion about any of this, I'm perfectly willing, but since you started with insults, and followed up with contrariness, I'm not hopeful.

I am curious though. You really don't care if rules are clear? You just decide how?


Tue May 02, 2017 6:38 am
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Why can't we all just be "players"?

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Tue May 02, 2017 1:32 pm
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BashOn wrote:
Why can't we all just be "players"?



I think we are, it's just a broad category.


Tue May 02, 2017 2:46 pm
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I had to look up OTOH and WAAC. On the other hand winning at all costs is as bad as using uncommon acronyms. Just having a little fun here. I usually wear jeans or khaki's and a polo to a tournament so I am a casual tournament player.

I didn't agree with "Most of what you stated is also incorrect." Seems a bit argumentative and unsubstantiated.

Interesting times we are having here with v4 and all the discussion. I've only got one game in yet only due to my other commitments but I find myself strangely drawn to the debate that Iron Tom and Soviet Pride have been having. On one hand I am firmly in the camp with IT and agree with just play it and enjoy but, OTOH I think SP has made a compelling argument about how the rules are fragmented. I used to be able to grab my rule book, a briefing, and an Army list and had everything I needed to run my army. Now I need an era specific rule book, errata sheets for missions, possibly cards, a likely obsolete briefing that I have to figure out which platoon diagrams are valid and which need modification, and a army list from Forces that has a bunch of errors and inconsistencies, and I"lol probably need to reference something on the website.

We are at a point in the V4 rollout where Flames of War is no longer "Turnkey".

I don't see how this status makes the game more accessible to new players or old.

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Tue May 02, 2017 3:11 pm
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Snafu,
I gotta disagree with OTOH being uncommon, but maybe because I use it so much. :)

I will disagree with some of your points if only to continue to beat the proverbial supine equine.

Casual players, we would be led to believe, don't need all of that stuff. Ipso facto, (hehe) you must be an evil tournament player wanting to ruin everyone else's fun in order to WAAC! (Hyperbole? Sure, but point made I hope).

OTOH, I thought cards solved all of this. Errata? On the affected cards. Unit info - cards. Arsenal info - cards. Formation info - cards. The book, now 60% lighter, only used a couple times a game for reference at most.

Somehow, not working out that way.


Tue May 02, 2017 4:16 pm
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fingolfen wrote:
Starik wrote:
It probably is off topic, but does NO ONE at either BF or GW understand basic math? Both companies keep on insisting on using the phrase " Reduce by -1" intending it to be a penalty, when anyone familiar with basic math knows that when you subtract a negative number you add. This has been going on for over 30 years!!!!!

Of course if you don't want me to go by the rules as intended...


Heh... :D

Notice you're down in Salem... where do you play?


When I (rarely) get to play, it's at Wild Things or a friend's house. Recently retired, but now that I have all this free time the FoW scene has all but dried up.

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Tue May 02, 2017 4:29 pm
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