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Subject: Legion Wargames rss

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Kim Kanger
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I'm one of the designers that work with Legion Wargames. The company has one of the best graphics and components in the business and the games are all very good (I'm not exaggerating), but the number of preorders are still, in my view, too few. What shall we do to reach out to players? Newsletters? Ads? What?

Take a look: www.legionwargames.com
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Mike Szarka
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I have a couple on pre-order...but perhaps the wargame market is nearing saturation? There are two "large" players (large being a relative term) with very established game series (Combat Commander, ASL, GBoH, OCS, Command & Colors, etc.) that generate a lot of automatic pre-orders. But other than those, and games from the handful of "celebrity" designers in the business, many languish below 500 orders for a long time. The ones that climb quickly tend to be low-complexity, accessible games on very popular topics.

I wish I had an answer for you.
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Mike W
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I agree with the quality of games from Legion, at least for the ones I own.

I'm not sure how to generate more interest.. I did restart the Legion wargames preorder geeklist in an effort along the same lines.

Edit: I was planning to do an updated Legion CPO geeklist in the next week or so.
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Roy Bartoo
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There are a number of games from Legion that I am interested in, including most of yours. Unfortunately right now I simply don't have the money to be buying non-essentials like games (sad, but true).
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Bill the Pill
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I own a few Legion games. For me, the game descriptions on the website need more about how each game plays, not just the historical situations. BTW, I'm most interested in seeing the rest of the Island War Series get released.
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Paul
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Get the designers up and talking about their projects and give potential customers a bit of light at the end of the pre-order tunnel.

I've been waiting for Mike Taylor's Russo-Japanese War game for years.

There needs to be some buzz--new pictures, discussion, play-testing reports to get those on the fence off of it and pre-ordering.

Paul
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 looks interesting but its been in the 'works' since 2009. Definitely needs playtest reports for it, and the rules to be released for me to commit my money towards it.

I know its just one game out of many but its the only one on the site that appealed to me theme wise.

If the other games dont have these things released its probably why on the pre-order front.

The graphics for it do look very very good.
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Mike W
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 looks interesting but its been in the 'works' since 2009. Definitely needs playtest reports for it, and the rules to be released for me to commit my money towards it.

I know its just one game out of many but its the only one on the site that appealed to me theme wise.

If the other games dont have these things released its probably why on the pre-order front.

The graphics for it do look very very good.


From CSW, Picket Duty is probably going to start shipping late October.

I agree, it would be nice to see the rules beforehand, but I am preordering based on the my experience with LWG in general and how good the game looks.

You do have to have patience will small companies like LWG -- it is mostly a 1 man shop I believe, so there are only so many games that they can put out in a year.

It'd be nice to get more preorders for the games on their "CPO" list beyond Picket Duty, too. Personally, I am really eager to get:
Maori Wars: The New Zealand Land Wars, 1845-1872
Battle of the Little Bighorn
Battle of the Rosebud

For example, check out Maori Wars: The New Zealand Land Wars, 1845-1872 -- it's got the most amazing looking map, it's on a obscure topic (this appeals to me), and it's got a well known designer signed up. I think this is the game I would most like to see.


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Rex Stites
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kanger wrote:

I'm one of the designers that work with Legion Wargames. The company has one of the best graphics and components in the business and the games are all very good (I'm not exaggerating), but the number of preorders are still, in my view, too few. What shall we do to reach out to players? Newsletters? Ads? What?

Take a look: www.legionwargames.com


1. Damn you for pointing me to a wargame company I was completely unaware of which makes games on relatively obscure topics with high quality components. My wallet is lighter this morning because of it, as I have placed an order for Battle of Adobe Walls and Slouch Hats & Eggshells.

2. Is this a strict p500 type system where the games must reach the necessary number (250 here I think) to be published, or are they in the queue to get published regardless, i.e. reaching the pre-order threshold just means it will be published quicker?

IMO, and I think others have said similar things. In order for a p500 system to really work you have to either have an established "brand" associated with the game or you need to do considerable marketing to get the word out, and build excitement.

The "brand" can either be a game series or designer. I think that you see this played out in GMT's p500 games. Volko Ruhnke built a reputation through Wilderness War and Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001 – ? when the COIN series was launched with Andean Abyss. I'm not sure, but I don't think it languished too long on the P500. However, Cuba Libre and A Distant Plain reached their goals very quickly and this summer when Fire in the Lakewas announced the P500 goal was reached literally within hours of the announcement.

The point being, where P500 really works is for established "brands." A certain excitement will build within the wargaming community for new games by certain designers or new games in a series. GMT and MMP are established publishers who have an established clientele that they keep informed via e-mail newsletter. A lot of people are happy to sign up for the P500 for a game they know will reach the number in a few months, and be published 6 months to a year later depending on final development. However, those same people are not quite as willing to sign up for a P500 that may take 2 or 3 years to reach the required number and then 6 months to a year to actually be published after that.

I think a P500/pre-order system is a viable option for established publishers to accelerate development and minimize risk for established game systems or games by certain designers. For smaller wargame publishers who are just entering the market I don't think you can rely solely on a P500 type system to bring games to market. Until a publisher is established they just aren't going to be able to rally enough interest to keep games from just sitting in pre-order limbo.

Just my $.02.
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Eric Stubbs
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egg_salad wrote:
I agree with the quality of games from Legion, at least for the ones I own.

I'm not sure how to generate more interest.. I did restart the Legion wargames preorder geeklist in an effort along the same lines.

Edit: I was planning to do an updated Legion CPO geeklist in the next week or so.


You put Legion on my radar and as a result I had 5 of their games on pre-order in a very short time frame. Now it's up to 7! I'm looking forward to the soon-to-be-released The Battle of Tanga 1914, and also the reprint of Ici, c'est la France! The Algerian War of Independence 1954-62 , at which time I'll also pick up Tonkin: The Indochina war 1950-54 (second edition).

I've heard great things about the games they've produced so far (Tonkin in particular has a number of good-quality, favorable videos) and I'd like to help further but I'm also not sure how to be of most use. I did offer support to Randy Lein if there are rulebooks that need an extra proofreader, but that's not really getting more eyes on the games. When I do get Tanga in my hands I'll do my best to give it thorough coverage and promote it on various wargames lists to try to attract more attention to Legion.

Edit: I'll be on vacation from Thursday of next week for a while so I may not be able to post in a new Legion pre-order thread for some time, but I'll do my best!
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cavan cunningham
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There's an AAR of a play through on the designer's website: skdgaming.com or link through the consim thread.
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Kim Kanger
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Quote:
Get the designers up and talking about their projects and give potential customers a bit of light at the end of the pre-order tunnel.

I've been waiting for Mike Taylor's Russo-Japanese War game for years.

There needs to be some buzz--new pictures, discussion, play-testing reports to get those on the fence off of it and pre-ordering.


Paul, I agree with you entirely. It is up to each designer to do his/her part.
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Kim Kanger
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Bob, Eric, thanks for ordering/preordering!

P250 is desirable. Producing a game demands a certain amount of money. But I don't thing the 250-limit is an absolute necessity. There will be a flow of releases each year, even if a game has stuck below 250.

I have been thinking a lot about newsletters, like GMT has. How many would be interested in signing up on such a newsletter?
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Mike Szarka
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kanger wrote:
Bob, Eric, thanks for ordering/preordering!

P250 is desirable. Producing a game demands a certain amount of money. But I don't thing the 250-limit is an absolute necessity. There will be a flow of releases each year, even if a game has stuck below 250.

I have been thinking a lot about newsletters, like GMT has. How many would be interested in signing up on such a newsletter?


Absolutely. Managing a mailing list is a bit of a pain, but to put out an update a couple of times a year is not much work and would make a difference.
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Andy Foulke
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Is Legion Wargames a VASSAL-friendly (or cyberboard-friendly) company? That can be a make-it-or-break-it decision point for me, and I'm sure many others.

Encouraging VASSAL use and module creation I think can go a long way towards promotion of Legion games.
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James
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Do the games make it over to shops in the UK? That Maori wars map looks dead nice.
I would sign up for a news letter.
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rod humble

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I buy your games after launch. Just for your information (my case maybe representative) my preordering habits have changed. I tend to do P500 or preorders much less now and almost never before they have reached their number.

So I am a "pile on" orderer. So if a game is for sure going to be released next month I will order it. If it is going to take a while I will just wait. if the game is just interesting rather than one I know I have to have then I will wait till post launch and just buy it online, retail or ebay.

Short version, your preorder problem may be a trend across the business rather than unique to you.
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Bryan Martin
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engdy wrote:
Is Legion Wargames a VASSAL-friendly (or cyberboard-friendly) company? That can be a make-it-or-break-it decision point for me, and I'm sure many others.

Encouraging VASSAL use and module creation I think can go a long way towards promotion of Legion games.

Everything I have from them has had one.
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Kim Kanger
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I believe Legion supports both VASSAL, Cyberboard and Sun Tzu. Go to Andy Loakes page: www.limeyyankgames.co.uk/lyg to find them.

Quote:
So I am a "pile on" orderer. So if a game is for sure going to be released next month I will order it. If it is going to take a while I will just wait. if the game is just interesting rather than one I know I have to have then I will wait till post launch and just buy it online, retail or ebay.


Rod, I recognize this trend. A good idea may well be to send a newsletter a few weeks before a game ships, to say that it is now ready to be released and is open for any last minute preorders. In fact, that is the case of Picket Duty. Take a look: http://prezi.com/gexeo4mx0l7g/picket-duty/?utm_campaign=shar...
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rod humble

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kanger wrote:
I believe Legion supports both VASSAL, Cyberboard and Sun Tzu. Go to Andy Loakes page: www.limeyyankgames.co.uk/lyg to find them.

Quote:
So I am a "pile on" orderer. So if a game is for sure going to be released next month I will order it. If it is going to take a while I will just wait. if the game is just interesting rather than one I know I have to have then I will wait till post launch and just buy it online, retail or ebay.


Rod, I recognize this trend. A good idea may well be to send a newsletter a few weeks before a game ships, to say that it is now ready to be released and is open for any last minute preorders. In fact, that is the case of Picket Duty. Take a look: http://prezi.com/gexeo4mx0l7g/picket-duty/?utm_campaign=shar...


That is helpful. Thanks and good luck!
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Mike Holmes
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Kim I would definitely like to see a newsletter.

I have been a little surprised that Legion hasn't taken off a bit more than it has myself. I have a number of their games and am always impressed. Those that haven't seen the Easy-Punch counters for themselves are in for a treat!
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Kim Kanger
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As designers have to do their part pitching their games, players could support Legion by spreading the word.
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Steve Dixon
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 looks interesting but its been in the 'works' since 2009. Definitely needs playtest reports for it, and the rules to be released for me to commit my money towards it.

I know its just one game out of many but its the only one on the site that appealed to me theme wise.

If the other games dont have these things released its probably why on the pre-order front.

The graphics for it do look very very good.


As for the game, I have tried to keep people updated through Consimworld Social, Consimworld Forum, and my own gaming site at www.skdgaming.com

The gaming site has a host of items about the game and my future projects and when Picket Duty is released, there will be some extra items posted for players.

The Legion Wargames site will also have them when the game is released.

Steve Dixon
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Steve Dixon
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kanger wrote:
Bob, Eric, thanks for ordering/preordering!

P250 is desirable. Producing a game demands a certain amount of money. But I don't thing the 250-limit is an absolute necessity. There will be a flow of releases each year, even if a game has stuck below 250.

I have been thinking a lot about newsletters, like GMT has. How many would be interested in signing up on such a newsletter?


I think a newsletter would be in order...perhaps quarterly. Here's one I did for my Marine Squadron veterans. Still learning the program: http://www.vmfa251.org/newsletters/251newsletter1.pdf
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Mike W
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engdy wrote:
Is Legion Wargames a VASSAL-friendly (or cyberboard-friendly) company? That can be a make-it-or-break-it decision point for me, and I'm sure many others.

Encouraging VASSAL use and module creation I think can go a long way towards promotion of Legion games.


Yes, they are very VASSAL friendly. I asked (over on CSW) if there was a module for Battle of Adobe Walls, and was told there was not. I volunteered to make one, and I got all the graphics files from Randy Lein (Mr. Legion Wargames) needed to make it, as well as his appreciation when it was done.

I believe they also sponsor Limey Yank Games, which has an extensive VASSAL and Cyberboard module repository (and the site owner is also a designer for LWG).

Randy put out a request for users to create modules for Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 and I believe he has volunteers lined up for both VASSAL and Cyberboard.
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