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Hammer of the Scots» Forums » General

Subject: Why exactly is this game so expensive? rss

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wendigo song
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I've been looking to buy a copy of the 3rd Edition, but everyone selling it is doing so at a prohibitively expensive price of $59.99 which is way more than I am willing to spend on a single game. Fron what I understand the game consists of blocks and a cardstock like board with stickers for the blocks. Any reason why it is so expensive?
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Shawn Macleod
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I have no idea why most of these games cost what they do. But, I don't try to. To that end, I've never felt this or any of the Columbia games were disproportionately priced when compared to similar games. I also feel the folks at Columbia provide awesome support for their games. It is hard to find someone that only owns one Columbia game.

Btw, if you are going to be very particular about component quality then you may want to look somewhere else. Columbia quality is not to the standard of something typically associated with a GMT game. I think most people (me included) find our value on the quality of their design and the support they provide.
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Jeff White
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They also keep their games in print (some for over 30+ years), do business on this side of the pond, and have great designs. All things I don't mind supporting with cash. They're also the one company I usually tend to buy from directly.

I too was once skeptical, but when I pulled the trigger, bought and played Hammer it breathed new energy into my gaming life. Now I too own many Columbia titles.
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JE SUIS VENU. J'AI VU. JE SUIS PARTI.
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Wooden pieces.
Small company.
Great design.
High replay value.
Worth every penny.
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Shayne Richards
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Aren't all games that expensive? Try being in Australia. Even monopoly will set us back 50+ dollars. I think it's price from where is sit is pretty standard.
 
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Michael Carter
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harlemsushi wrote:
I've been looking to buy a copy of the 3rd Edition, but everyone selling it is doing so at a prohibitively expensive price of $59.99 which is way more than I am willing to spend on a single game. Fron what I understand the game consists of blocks and a cardstock like board with stickers for the blocks. Any reason why it is so expensive?


$59.99 is about on par with a lot of games anymore.
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Shayne Richards
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harlemsushi wrote:
I've been looking to buy a copy of the 3rd Edition, but everyone selling it is doing so at a prohibitively expensive price of $59.99?


That is cheap. In australia if we can manage to get any game that cheap we are over the moon.
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Kent Reuber
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Coolstuffinc has it for $53.99 if that's any help.
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Jeff White
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kentreuber wrote:
Coolstuffinc has it for $53.99 if that's any help.


That's the price NWS Online has and they do free shipping on Columbia titles. No need to pad an order out.
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Tom T
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Well, for one reason, It's a great game, and it's become something of a classic. If the subject matter interests you, then I don't think you will be disappointed.
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Obsolete Man
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Wooden components and small print runs. And at $60.00 it is about what I expect to pay for a game these days.
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Derry Salewski
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Yeah if you just want it, get it from NWS, they'll ship it free.

No, it's not worth the money for components. The map's kinda crappy. The dice aren't the best. The cards are rubbish. The blocks are better than GMT's, though. I mean, the fact is, if it were a GMT game, they'd be like 'msrp 65 bucks, online sellers do whatever you want.' And a few companies (Mayfair, Columbia) don't let resellers do whatever they want. Your real question was 'why isn't this as deeply discounted?' by the way.

Companies do that (like Apple) because they think their brand has value and that's the best way to make people see it or whatever. And I mean, how many people have ipods? They are awesome.

And Hammer of the Scots is too. You'll forget the extra fifteen bucks when you play it (save for that first minute you spend trying to flatten the map . . .) Just sleeve the cards (Chimera size.) It really is a sweet game.

Now, what you really want to do, is put it on your secret santa wishlist very highly. You can get it shipped free alone, so santa wins, and you don't have to worry about the price, so you win!
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David Hammond
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My one disappointment with this game is that it had a high price point and then no mounted map.

That said, the game is flatout amazing and still worth every penny.
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Tombus Barambus
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There's really no question that Hammer is over-priced for its components compared to other modern games. For a $60 light wargame these days, mounted maps, high quality cards, player aids, and so forth are standard. Honestly, the quality of the components today is so good it's become distracting.

But if I lost my copy of HOTS today I'd buy a new one for $60 in a heartbeat. It's a great design, one of the most played games that I own.
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wendigo song
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Honestly, I have never seen so many people stick up for a company and its product. To be honest, all of your posts gave me extreme confidence and I went ahead and bought this game just based off that and I'm looking forward to playing it with my wife. She is looking forward to playing Wallace and the Scots and gaining Scottish independence and I am looking forward to capturing this "brigand" and having him cry "FREEDOM!" to the crowds in London.
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Steve Huhtala
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I had thought the exact same thing.

So what did you and your wife think about the game Wendigo?

 
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wendigo song
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Well our first game we played the wintering phase incorrectly and interpreted one of the event cards incorrectly. That left a bit of a sour taste in her mouth. I for the most part enjoyed it but felt I needed more practice to fully appreciate it.

For our second game we both had a better handle on the rules and while my wife didn't want to play due to her first experience, she begrudgingly accepted. So what I did is I decided to set a mood to get her interested. I put on the film Braveheart on our DVD player (which is one of her favorite films) and went into full Edward the Longshanks troll mode by praising him (and aspects of him) at every turn, with every victory, anytime something onscreen happened with him, and every time a noble that changed sides. Also on the turn track when certain years began I even pointed out the anniversaries of some of Longshanks' more infamous actions and decisiona and made them seem like holidays.

This trolling absolutely infuriated my wife who became hell bent on beating me and played with the ferocity of the actual Scots looking for independence. In the end, we still discovered that we played 2 different rules incorrectly, but it was a more tense and exciting game that went the distance and she won a hard fought independence. But in reality, at this point she is much more confident and willing to play the game so in a sense you can say that I won.
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Ciaran McCann
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Bloody rip off price
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Thomas Chipman
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It was significantly cheaper from online retailers before CG decided to implement a "maximum permitted discount from MSRP," thereby ensuring no retailer could sell the game for less than a certain amount. I bought this game from CSI back when they were able to discount it at around 30% off retail. These days, you won't find a retailer discounting this game more than 10% off retail.

Supposedly, this type of price fixing (which is practiced by several other in the industry, most notably Mayfair) is intended to level the playing field for the FLGS to better compete with the OLGS, which somehow is supposed to be good for the industry as a whole. For me, it means I no longer buy new CG block games because at 10% off of MSRP I consider them overpriced.
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Max Sewell
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Why are they so expensive? I’ve been asking myself that for years. Back in the 1970s, producing a block game was anomalous and perhaps a bit expensive. But one could see why. Blocks were cut, embossed, and painted. They seemed deluxe just because most of the rest were cardboard counters.

Now look at the recent Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/columbiagames/napoleon-...) for the Napoleon 4th edition. They hoped to raise $14,000. They raised $70,230. Maybe all that extra money got used to meet the unexpected demand, but it’s a lot more money than they thought they needed.

Now, if you check on their web site the game sells for $80.00. Why? It’s not a "new" design. The cost doesn’t reflect hours of development and playtesting. Is it the foil stickers? The bigger blocks? The unit count is barely exceeds the 2nd edition and the board is an enlargement of the 3rd edition board. There really isn’t much new there. That’s probably a good thing from a player perspective, but it’s curious from a consumer perspective.

Think about it. Columbia has been producing block games for decades. They’ve used and re-used the basic concepts and components over and over. Strictly from a production perspective they’ve saved themselves a lot of time and money.

Is this bad? No. But shouldn’t it also afford them an opportunity to either reduce costs or improve components like adding mounted boards without labeling the result a “deluxe” version with a deluxe price? Even the boxes are cheap. I’ve done some packaging. The slipcase is an inexpensive alternative. They haven't always rounded the corners on cards when they’ve used them either. And how many blocks do you suppose Columbia has made? They probably have a stockpile, all ready (and maybe painted) for the next game. It’s not about remaking the wheel here, either in design or production, and it’s been that way for decades.

Compare this with Mercury Games who is selling Guns of Gettysburg (a different kind of block game) for $70. They give you two rule books, a nice sturdy regular box, extra blocks and extra stickers and a mounted board. They have some specially cut cardboard pieces too, and two wooden trays to hold them. Heck, they even supplied a second unmounted map. All that for a new game with costs that do reflect extensive original research and development.

Can Columbia do better? Only they know. But I continue to wonder.
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