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Mutant Chronicles Collectible Miniatures Game» Forums » General

Subject: Please FFG, do not make this 'collectible' rss

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Universal Head
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I've been having a little rant about the Dreamblade game recently, and it reminded me that FFG was working on this system.

I may be a lone voice in the wilderness here, but FFG, I beg you, before it's too late, do not make this a 'collectible' miniatures game. Surely nobody can deny that this collectible business is the most horrible, cynical, marketing-driven concept to ever be perpetrated on a gullible public in recent times. Give us a game, give us expansions, but do not give us a 'starter set' and 'boosters' and a whole lot of stuff you have to buy sight unseen. I, and surely many others, will not buy a product if I don't know what I'm getting! That is not asking too much.

I have a real objection to this kind of marketing. I love your games FFG, please don't disappoint your loyal customers by buying into this whole cynical 'collectible' exercise. Hopefully it is doomed to die as a concept soon.

Keep giving us the great games we love, but show us what we're buying.
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I totally agree.

I don't care how good the game is, if it's collectable, it's not even getting considered. Heroscape is a money pit too, but at least I KNOW what I'm getting.

Let's see what happens...
 
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Mike zebrowski
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UniversalHead wrote:
I love your games FFG, please don't disappoint your loyal customers by buying into this whole cynical 'collectible' exercise.


Obviously, you haven't been paying attention.

FFG has already released 6 different collectable games: Diskwars, Range Wars, Twilight Armada, Vortex, Game of Thrones CCG, and Cthulu CCG.

They are not buying into the "Collectable Concept", they did that over seven years ago.
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No need to act the schoolmaster and rap me over the knuckles Mike!

They haven't released a collectible miniatures game, which to me is a whole different kettle of fish than a CCG and its derivatives. I see your point, though I still think it's a shame they are extending it to miniatures gaming. A miniatures game system is far more pricey, and selling figures sight unseen is a marketing scam, in my opinion. I respect FFG a lot and I can't get past the point that a collectible miniatures system like this is not showing any respect for customers. It is simply not necessary - why not make a base game and sell the miniatures in expansion packs with clearly labelled contents? Why? Cause it won't make as much money.

I've got nothing against a company making a good profit, nothing at all. But it should be done in a transparent way, with us customers knowing exactly what we're getting when we buy the product. I really can't see any justification for adopting the collectible model for this game rather than the cynical marketing one.

I would love to be proved wrong.
 
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The collectible model lets companies produce attractive, prepainted miniatures that are playable with zero prep time and that help to draw people into the hobby, yet which remain affordable. You are no more required to buy a boatload of minis for your personal amusement than for noncollectible games such as Warhammer 40K -- that is, people who "keep up" buy the new, hot minis (CMG or 40K model), whereas people who don't care (me) just buy whatever they want to play with.

If you want to know exactly what you're getting, do what I do and buy it on the secondary market (or encourage your FLGS to sell singles, if you don't care to go the eBay route).

Of course, a lot of people are still going to prefer buying the exact minis they want in a clear blister pack, and that's cool. But I'm still going to object to calling the CMG model a "cynical" business practice. Consider a company that wants to compete in a tough, tough arena (40K being a routine killer of other SF/F miniature games), attract a new audience, and make some money in the process. Faced with a bunch of unassembled, unpainted minis, potential new players are probably going to wonder why they don't just go play that obviously well-supported game the folks at the gaming table nearby are playing (again, 40K). Given a pack of prepainted figures they can start gaming with in the time it takes to tear open a box, new players just might be encouraged to go with a new game.

I know a lot of people dislike the collectible model, but I'm thankful for it. It has given me two great games with amazing minis (in my case, Mechwarrior and Star Wars Miniatures) that have larger variety and still cost less than 40K and its near competitors. I still have all my old epic minis (my favorite of the GW line), but I can't see trying to get into a new non-collectible minis game these days. Too much hassle, too expensive.

(I guess my take-home thought is that I totally get it if you don't like it, but I think it's unfair to call people who use the CMG model cynical. There are very solid, player-oriented reasons to go with it.)
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Sorry Alexander, while I respect your opinion, I still don't see any justifiable reasons for the model. And in the collectible case, you are actually often required to buy more than you need in order to play the game the way it was intended. If you don't want duplicate figures you run the risk of purchasing them because you are not seeing what you are buying.

This is the whole point that I find cynical - you do not know what you are buying. Marketing tries to justify this by creating a hype around the concept that you can swap minis with your friends or whatever. What often happens is that people end up paying exorbidant prices to middle-men dealers for 'rare' figures. Do you think a badly painted cheap plastic figure, of not much higher quality than you used to see in cornflake packets (OK, I'm exaggerating slightly for effect), is worth US$30 or more? It's just ridiculous.

You can't compare the model with Warhammer 40K for example (who, for the record, I also think have become slaves to cynical marketing with their outrageously overpriced products). At least, should I choose to pay their inflated prices, I don't have to buy four 'boosters' in the hope that I will get enough of the right type of figure to make a squad. I can in fact tailor my purchases, and buy only what I need.

Why be thankful for this model? In my opinion, you should be asking why the companies that made Mechwarrior and Star Wars didn't make them non-collectible. And I don't understand why the collectible model 'allows them to produce the games' - why, because they get to sell more minis than they would if you could see what you are buying? Does Wizards of the Coast have problems raising capital? I would be surprised if you added up all the money you spent - including the endless booster pack impulse buys - and found that buying collectible games was much cheaper than non-collectible ones. Certainly, here in Australia, with a game like Dreamblade costing what it does and the inevitable purchase of figures you don't need - it wouldn't be.

Rackham are about to release a pre-painted sci-fi miniatures game called AT-43 that isn't collectible. Heroscape isn't collectible. It's quite obvious that pre-painted miniatures are the way of the future, and that the collectible model, I fervently hope, is that of the past. I've read several articles by retailers on the 'Geek that are pretty disgusted by the short-term hype of the collectible craze. In most cases these games don't last. Why? Because the idea is to get in, make a lot of cash, and get out.

Take Dreamblade for example. The starter set has a folded paper board and comes in a cheap card box. In Austraalia that alone is still AUD$45. You play the game with warbands of 16 figures, and boosters have 7 figures in them. Looks pretty cynical to me. It looks like companies producing cheap games for high-quality game prices, and what is more amazing is that the public is buying into it - we are actually complicit in the exercise by agreeing to buy a product sight unseen.

Obviously, plenty of people don't mind doing this, and if you feel you've got your money's worth, more power to you. However, I do not for one moment fool myself that the collectible model gives anything to the consumer. It is a business model designed to part us from our money, nothing more.

Fantasy Flight Games is a great company that has become successful by producing great games of high quality. They don't need to sell this game in this way. We'll buy it if it's a good game. But I, for one, won't buy it if I don't know what I'm buying.

Sorry to rant, I just have a personal bugbear against this whole collectible idea - I think it's ruining the industry. I play games for the sense of wonder and joy they bring. I really object to being made to feel like I'm a cash cow to be milked.
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As a player of mechwarrior dark ages and star wars miniatures I also wish the games were not collectible, I am fed up with the huge number of duplicates you get, loads of commons which are just a waste of plastic. Sure you can buy off ebay and I do but I would just like to be able to walk into a shop and pick up exactly what I need as opposed to picking up those bits that other people have spare or I can afford (try getting your hands on Boba fett or Darth maul for star wars and you will see what I mean). Not being able to get the signature figures of either the star wars or mechwarrior universe has been reason I have stopped buying them and puts me off playing the game because its not the game universe I wanted to play in. If they had to do a collectible game I wish they had released common version of all the signature characters and then had rare versions for the collectors mingled in with the rest, thus allowing gamers and collectors a fair share of the fun.

The argument about players being able to get their hands on painted miniatures is another issue, I`m sure you can have painted miniatures in a non collectible format. The fact that people could pick and choose would mean that the game designers would have to make sure that all the figures they produce would have to be worhtwhile in play terms or they would be left on the shelf. The star wars game is full of filler pieces which are pointless to play but have been released just to fill out the sets.

We need good miniatures games, but we dont need any more collectible plastic waste.
 
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It's not FFG that's being cynical; you're the one being cynical. FFG is being greedy. "Cynical" is the wrong term to describe your opinion of their behavior.

cynical, a.
1. Resembling the Cynic philosophers in contempt of pleasure, churlishness, or disposition to find fault; characteristic of a cynic; surly, currish, misanthropic, captious; now esp. disposed to disbelieve in human sincerity or goodness; sneering.

2. Belonging to the sect of Cynic philosophers; = CYNIC a. 1. Obs. rare.

3. With etymological allusion: Relating to a dog; dog-like.
(OED Second Edition 1989)
 
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Mike Zebrowski wrote:
Obviously, you haven't been paying attention.

FFG has already released 6 different collectable games: Diskwars, Range Wars, Twilight Armada, Vortex, Game of Thrones CCG, and Cthulu CCG.

They are not buying into the "Collectable Concept", they did that over seven years ago.



Which one of those are still with us? Game of Thrones? The rest didn't exactly light the world on fire.

My interest in this game went from "ZOMG MUST HAVE IT" to "no interest whatsover" as soon as I found it was going to be collectible.

That's a pity, because a Siege of the Citadel 2K6, with FFG's lavish production behind it, would've sold GANGBUSTERS. Too bad, really.
 
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franklincobb wrote:
Which one of those are still with us? Game of Thrones? The rest didn't exactly light the world on fire.


I knew someone would say this....

Diskwars did extremely well. It is the game that put FFG on the path to where it is now. Rangewars did pretty good as well. Diskwars and Rangewars died because of Mageknight.

The combination of plastic figures and a better organized play system is what lead Mageknight to dominate. This burned many retailers who had overstocked on Diskwars, which just started collecting dust on the shelf.

Armada never picked up steam because of the fallout from Diskwars. Vortex, despite being the best game that FFG has ever produced, suffered an ever worse fate due to the fallout from Diskwars.

Game of Thrones is doing well. I don't know why Cthulhu didn't reach critical mass, but I then again, I really don't follow any CCG's.
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franklincobb wrote:
That's a pity, because a Siege of the Citadel 2K6, with FFG's lavish production behind it, would've sold GANGBUSTERS. Too bad, really.


I bet the collecty version sells way better than that ever would. Largely due to the merit of selling the same product to the same fan base repeatedly.
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Funny...
You guys hould see my diatribe about this whole system under the other forum thread below labelled "Mutant Rant." HUGE mistake...going CCG. Sure, FFG might want to jump on the marketting bandwagon with a CCG so they can rake in a small fortune on countelss undead legionnaire figures, but I'd bet the farm that the whole system TANKS if they go this route. It's just one more game in a market saturated with too many CMGs. Clear blisters...labelled blisters....anything other than random. The shame of it is, too, that I am an adult game player with plenty of money to spend, but I won't pay for random things anymore. And the game store owners I've talked to have told me..."I don't have another three shelves in glass cases to display CMG minis that just don't sell." Particularly when your up against household name brands like Star Wars, Mage Knight, Dungeons and Dragons, and Heroclix. BAD MOVE, FFG. You're better off labelling them and uping your price point by 30%. ELiminate the secondary market, make the profit for yourself, and keep your game on the shelves. Otherwise this ones likely to go the way of the dodo...just like it did when Excelsior tried to get cute with it. Who knows...maybe their banking on some huge success with the rumored movie (search IMDB.com for more on that), but I still think that would even be a huge gamble. Stick to clear blisters, FFG...PLEASE! Otherwise, thanks for any new rules concepts and I'll be happy to use may 2000 MC minis I already own!

 
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Compare:

Sales of Star Wars, D&D, A&A, MW, HC, etc

to sales of Heroscape, Battlelore...

Which makes more money?

That will be the answer to the "why is FFG doing this" question
 
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We the game consumers don't have to buy it. But it is hard to make a statement when so many people buy into the collectibal line.
 
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I have absolutely zero problem with collectible games. No matter how they're released.
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While I think FFG is a great company but I'm going to play the prophet and predict that Mutant Chronicles is going to tank. Here are my purely subjective reasons:

5. I have friend who has owned and operated a game/comic shop in a university town for over 20 years. The last time I talked to him (middle of September '06) he had sold exactly zero copies of Dreamblade. That's right, zero. Dreamblade is on its way to being the next Hecatomb. His opinion is that the market is saturated. Consumers have already budgeted for the product of their choice, in his case Heroclix, and there just isn't enough money to spend on a cashey new game, no matter how cool.
4. Glut of collectible games. How many can the market support? Evidently FFG did well with Diskwars and Game of Thrones is hanging on but really...how many collectible games have died short and painful deaths? Lots and lots. Without an attractive license a game just can't separate itself from the pack
3. Mutant Chronicles? What is that? Is it an original IP or something? Well, there is a movie being made called Mutant Chronicles, is that the same thing? Why should anyone get excited about this?
2. Did anyone get really excited when they found out Mutant Chronicles was going to be collectible--as in--"I heard Fantasy Flight Games was going to be making a miniatures game called Mutant Chronicles and couldn't have cared less, but when I heard it was collectible I changed my mind and now I CAN'T WAIT for it to come out!"
1. Just the opposite happened for me, I'm not going to buy it, I'm monetarily opposed to buying collectable game products. I'm going to buy Marvelscape and a bunch of other hobby products instead, all of which I can be 100% sure of what I'm getting (a number of which will probably also be published by FFG).

If I'm wrong, great, maybe Mutant Chronicles will become a juggernaut franchise that finally usurps Warhammer and brings in bucket loads of money for FFG--which they can then use to fund many, many fun and exciting games. I'd be happy with that...but I just don't think it's going to happen.
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alterson1 wrote:
While I think FFG is a great company but I'm going to play the prophet and predict that Mutant Chronicles is going to tank. Here are my purely subjective reasons:

5. I have friend who has owned and operated a game/comic shop in a university town for over 20 years. The last time I talked to him (middle of September '06) he had sold exactly zero copies of Dreamblade. That's right, zero. Dreamblade is on its way to being the next Hecatomb. His opinion is that the market is saturated. Consumers have already budgeted for the product of their choice, in his case Heroclix, and there just isn't enough money to spend on a cashey new game, no matter how cool.
4. Glut of collectible games. How many can the market support? Evidently FFG did well with Diskwars and Game of Thrones is hanging on but really...how many collectible games have died short and painful deaths? Lots and lots. Without an attractive license a game just can't separate itself from the pack
3. Mutant Chronicles? What is that? Is it an original IP or something? Well, there is a movie being made called Mutant Chronicles, is that the same thing? Why should anyone get excited about this?
2. Did anyone get really excited when they found out Mutant Chronicles was going to be collectible--as in--"I heard Fantasy Flight Games was going to be making a miniatures game called Mutant Chronicles and couldn't have cared less, but when I heard it was collectible I changed my mind and now I CAN'T WAIT for it to come out!"
1. Just the opposite happened for me, I'm not going to buy it, I'm monetarily opposed to buying collectable game products. I'm going to buy Marvelscape and a bunch of other hobby products instead, all of which I can be 100% sure of what I'm getting (a number of which will probably also be published by FFG).

If I'm wrong, great, maybe Mutant Chronicles will become a juggernaut franchise that finally usurps Warhammer and brings in bucket loads of money for FFG--which they can then use to fund many, many fun and exciting games. I'd be happy with that...but I just don't think it's going to happen.


Not sure what your friend is doing wrong, but if he can't unload Dreamblade, hes got a problem in the sales pitch, or his customer base. That is probably the hottest game taht WotC has out, aside from MTG. No stores around Austin/San Marcos can keep the product in stock, and the constant tournaments always have a solid player base. It is a definite winner for WotC, definitely not Hecatomb by any means. Hecatomb had no tournament support, and had more Novelty than game.
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alterson1 wrote:


5. I have friend who has owned and operated a game/comic shop in a university town for over 20 years. The last time I talked to him (middle of September '06) he had sold exactly zero copies of Dreamblade. That's right, zero. Dreamblade is on its way to being the next Hecatomb. His opinion is that the market is saturated. Consumers have already budgeted for the product of their choice, in his case Heroclix, and there just isn't enough money to spend on a cashey new game, no matter how cool.



I have to wonder what's wrong there. I mean, Dreamblade is selling like hotcakes here, and every shop in the Midwest I visit is selling out like crazy. I think Dreamblade will do a lot better than MageKnight to tell you the truth.

Anyway, I don't know what to expect with a collectable MC game. I'll buy one box to see how it looks finished, and if it's cool, maybe another. I'm not so sure this is the right way to go, either, but I'm not the marketing manager at FFG.

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Mike Zebrowski wrote:

Vortex, despite being the best game that FFG has ever produced, suffered an ever worse fate due to the fallout from Diskwars.


Vortex is indeed one of the most well thought and tactically challenging game FFG (or maybe anyone) produced but it failed because of a "silly" collation scheme (four starter factions, four more inside the boosters...WTF even diskwars had only one like this, the Makhim IIRC) and some balance problems.

If you combine the price of the game, the 8 factions that make it very difficult to collect and make a good deck and the fact that some factions are clearly more powerful than others, then here is the reason why Vortex failed. If Vortex was produced like Blue Moon, then propably Vortex would have still been around. After all is MtG with Hive and even better! What can go wrong?

Now concerning the Mutant Chronicles CMG, i will not follow just because i want to spend my money elsewhere, mainly in Battlelore. Maybe i will dust of my Mishima Army from the Warzone days if i manage to find the rules and the statistics of the new game...
 
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franklincobb wrote:
a Siege of the Citadel 2K6, with FFG's lavish production behind it, would've sold GANGBUSTERS. Too bad, really.


Of course, you could just buy the appropriate minis as singles for cheap when the game tanks, and then build your own set. Heck, I already own and love SotC, and that's what I plan on doing. And yes, I said *when* this game tanks. Too bad, really. :/
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alterson1 wrote:
he had sold exactly zero copies of Dreamblade. That's right, zero.


The problem is not the game.


Two local stores here simply cannot get enough of this in stock.
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Geosphere wrote:


The problem is not the game.


Two local stores here simply cannot get enough of this in stock.


While it may not be the game, it is most certainly regional. In my area the game is ignored and collecting dust. There is no player base at all.
 
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quixotic wrote:
franklincobb wrote:
a Siege of the Citadel 2K6, with FFG's lavish production behind it, would've sold GANGBUSTERS. Too bad, really.


Of course, you could just buy the appropriate minis as singles for cheap when the game tanks, and then build your own set. Heck, I already own and love SotC, and that's what I plan on doing. And yes, I said *when* this game tanks. Too bad, really. :/




That's a darned crackin' idea.
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I don't like the "collectible" idea. Because I love the Mutant Chronicles universe, because I have hundreds of MC miniatures from the Warzone games, and I also have all those from the MC boardgames.
I will buy a starter set which is not random. But what if I was a newcomer to this world and, for instance, would like to have a Cybertronic army?
I should buy scores of boosters in order to field 15 Cybertronic units, and I will have scores of other corps' miniatures which I don't care for.

Just think of the numbers: 5 corporations and 5 Dark Symmetry Apostles (if we want to leave out the 5 tribes of Dark Eden). Each corp/apostle has several types of troops. I will never have a squad of 5 blood berets, or even worse a squad of 5 Ilian Templars, unless I buy a lot of boosters.
Furthermore, the miniature scale is annoying. 36 mm... just a bit more than Warzone. Just that bit that won't allow you to use the CMG miniatures to play Warzone.

I hope that this game may sell a lot, because, I reiterate, I love the MC universe, but I am not very keen in spending a fortune in booster packs and the like. I really love Star Wars, but I still possess ONE starter set and ONE booster pack and I never bought anything else... and Star Wars only has 3 "factions"... figure out the 10 (or 15) "factions" of MC...

When I saw the news I hoped, really hoped, for a new edition of Siege of the Citadel in a HeroScape style... with labeled boosters, scenarios, expandable game components, even terrain pieces. I would spend a lot on such a game. But on a collectible one, as I already own most of the troops / vehicles / creatures of MC universe... I really don't think so.
 
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Jumping Vampire Jeebus on a Pogo-Crucifix, I am SO tired of the whining and complaining over the "collectable" model of gaming! Really. Get over it, folks. Step off the soap box, burn it, and move the flock on, little shepherd. Just because you don't like a certain mechanic, model, or whatever is no reason to blast a game and whinge on ad infinitum. Yes, I sound a little acerbic here, and I'm ok with that. There are some of us that LIKE this model. Yes, it makes the companies a boat load of money. Yes, it's disturbing to some folks not to know exactly what they are getting in the box. Yes, it allows you to use the word "cynical" in a sentence when referring to a game company. However, some folks LIKE the surprise of opening a box or pack, sifting through it, and maybe finding that one or two cards you've been searching for. It's like opening wrapped presents at Yule or panning for gold. You really never know what you're going to get, and that is part of the thrill. Some people LIKE the hunt, not just the kill. If you don't like a collectable game, you can just wait until someone sells a full set on eBay and *pretend* you just bought a big-box game of two hundred figs for 75 bucks. *rolls his eyes and trundles off to buy a Dreamblade booster and a few packs of Spoils cards* yuk
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