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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Future Expansions, Packaging rss

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Dan Becker
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As one of the people replacing the game components for Commands and Colors Ancients, I would love to see alternate packaging for future expansions.

1) Package expansion rules, cards, and reference material in one box. This would appeal to people who have created their own units, boards, and terrain and only need new rules and scenarioes.

2) Package wood blocks and stickers in another box. This would appeal to people who want to stay compatible with the original game components.

3) Perhaps introduce an inexpensive cardboard counter set for newbies and "on the fence" buyers who don't want to shell out for the big production costs. This would appeal to people who want to try the game without a huge outlay.

4) Package a deluxe dice set with engraved wooden dice. Judging by the comments, many people would love a set.

Hopefully GMT doesn't deliver a high-priced monolithic package that fewer will buy. At least with Days of Wonder, we saw some Memoir '44 expansion sets that were smaller and easier to buy than the original.

Thanks, Dan
 
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Kevin Duke
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But weren't those expansion sets building ON the original?

If you did not have the original, the expansion sets were of little value, right?

You've suggested that GMT try to market and merchandize the "original" game in 3 different ways.
Is any game company doing any product like that?

 
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Dan Becker
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>But weren't those expansion sets building ON the original?
Yes. Not necesarily true for GMT expansions.

>If you did not have the original, the expansion sets were of little value, right?
Yes. Not necessarily true for GMT expansions.

>You've suggested that GMT try to market and merchandize the "original" game in 3 different ways. Is any game company doing any product like that?

My suggestion is for future GMT expansions. I forsee GMT producing the expansions in a big $50+ box. This is distasteful to me, a certified enthusiast. I suggest some alternate ways for the future expansions that might be more palettable for buyers whether new or experienced.

Thanks, Dan
 
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Richard Pardoe
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beckerdo wrote:
3) Perhaps introduce an inexpensive cardboard counter set for newbies and "on the fence" buyers who don't want to shell out for the big production costs. This would appeal to people who want to try the game without a huge outlay.


I seem to remember that the switch to blocks actually helped save on production costs. (Certainly, GMT lowered the target from P1250 to P1000 - meaning they would produce the game w/ fewer orders.)

Just prior to the block announcement, there was lots of discussion over at CSW how to do counters well - different sizes, how do you represent losses, how do you align them on the sheet efficiently. The consensus was that lots of counter sheets would be required. (While there are some 300+ blocks in the game, you will need more than that as counters as you need to have "dead counters" for colour transitions, layout considerations, etc.)

So am hard-pressed to see a "cardboard" set as being an inexpensive alternative.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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The question is, is it better for GMT to sell a series of ancient-themed C+C games (Rome vs Carthage, Greece vs Persia etc), or a base game plus a line of extra blocks, stickers and scenarios. Though if its the former, I'd be a bit put out; if the latter, it limits sales to just owners of the base game. Columbia and Days of wonder have both been able to sell expansions at reasonable prices, and how much does a sticker set and bag of blocks cost?

...:.
 
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David Wilson
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With all do respect, from a business perspective there is no way that the company could ever reimburse costs for providing three different production/packagin configurations for what is very likely to be a niche game.

The game can be gotten for $45. Is tht really so prohibitive, to just fork it out to get it all???
 
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Justin Borges
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I don't see a problem with another $45 set similar to this one. Even with a second map (which owners of the first set might not need), there really isn't a problem. They would most likely have to either produce a new deck of cards, or at the least replacements for cards like "I am Spartacus." The best thing to do would be a whole new deck, so there wouldn't be any discrepencies between the colouring or anything when cards are mixed.
The new set would also need new blocks (in different colours), new stickers, new scenarios and new terrain.

i.e. why not just make a whole new set for $45?

(here's hoping that we see C&C:Ancients expand to Persia/Greece, Imperial Rome/Gauls/etc...and then C&C:Medieval with French/English, Japanese, etc.
 
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Dan Becker
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David Wilson said:
"With all do respect, from a business perspective there is no way that the company could ever reimburse costs for providing three different production/packagin configurations for what is very likely to be a niche game."

I can't answer for GMT costs, but it seems that Days of Wonder was able to reimburse costs and offer 3 different expansion packs (board upgrade, rules and counters, rules and counters and miniatures) in a very short time. All expansion packs were less than half the price of the original game. I like the DoW model.

"The game can be gotten for $45. Is tht really so prohibitive, to just fork it out to get it all???""

It is not prohibitive, just my prference to have "exploded" packaging so I can pick and choose what I need.

If the blocks and stickers are less than counters, cool. That eliminates the need for a counter package, but I still would like to see the blocks separated from the rest of the expansion.

Thanks, Dan
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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beckerdo wrote:
David Wilson said:

I can't answer for GMT costs, but it seems that Days of Wonder was able to reimburse costs and offer 3 different expansion packs (board upgrade, rules and counters, rules and counters and miniatures) in a very short time. All expansion packs were less than half the price of the original game. I like the DoW model.


Days of Wonder print runs are larger by at least an order of magnitude. They have a totally different distribution chain. From a business perspective, this constitutes apples and oranges.
 
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Allen Doum
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From the various comments made by Andy Lewis, we will probably find out about the exact format of the expansions in February, when the new P500 items are added.
 
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Justin Borges
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beckerdo wrote:

It is not prohibitive, just my prference to have "exploded" packaging so I can pick and choose what I need.


But how about those who just want to buy the entire game?
With two done the same, you have matching games on your shelf.
With two done differently, not only don't they match, but instead of lugging one box around for the expansion, you'll have to lug three.
I think the packaging of the M'44 expansions was one of the most problematic issues of the whole debacle.
While I personally don't mind them on the shelf like that, it's something completely different if you want to bring M'44 and all three expansions to where you're going.

I personally think separating the game is just more difficult in the long run.
 
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Dan Becker
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Justin wrote:
"But how about those who just want to buy the entire game?"

Heh, heh. I think you've hit on the differences between board and miniatures gamers. Board gamers want a complete package: matching boxes, a set of wooden pieces, and mounted map boards. Miniature gamers want a rule book and they do the rest: the pieces, the boxes, and terrain. I'm not saying one is better, just different goals, and I fall into the "do-it-yourself" camp for this type of game.

Thanks, Dan


 
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Paul Dobbins
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Really, so long as the print run of the components is large enough, there should be a good supply of components available for those who wish to purchase selected items. Thus, as GMT is currently doing, buy the complete set or pick up selected components a la cart. My main complaint with CCA is the sticker graphics are not generic, but tied to a specific era. What I have done is substitute generic graphics for those that came with the game, such that I can use them for multiple periods. This was what GMT implied they were going to do in the intial P500/P1250 offering.
 
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Kevin Duke
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For what it's worth, right now you can proceed to the GMT order page

https://www.gmtgames.com/gmt0o1.htm

Scroll down to "Accessories" and you can buy separately everything in Commands and Colors but the rule book.
Blocks, stickers, map, terrain, cards, reference sheets.

(Oh, they are not offering the dice either-- joke!)

Eventually, they almost always post "living rules" which would give you the rule book later.

So if you wanted a "cheaper counter game," you can buy just the sticker sheet and attack them to your own blank counters.

While those who might want "just the rules and scenarios" will have to wait a bit longer-- or see a friend who buys the regular game-- many of the desired options mentioned here can be achieved that way.
It will not be a special edition in a special box, but you can still get this burger "your way."


As a side item, there have been several games done with "generic" army types (see "Men at Arms" for one example.) So much "flavor" seems to get left out when this is done that I think most of those games have not been popular.
 
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Allen Doum
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kduke wrote:
As a side item, there have been several games done with "generic" army types (see "Men at Arms" for one example.) So much "flavor" seems to get left out when this is done that I think most of those games have not been popular.


This is one of the reasons that I wanted this game, was the graphics on the stickers. It would lose a lot with just "generic" guys instead of Legionaires. Or just symbols. gulp
 
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Justin Borges
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Dan, that's quite true.
I'm hoping to find relevant miniatures for this game (something like Zvezda), but I love the blocks, and I'll probably use them both once I do find the minis.

The thing is, though, as mentioned you can buy from GMT "a la carte." So if you're looking for just the rules and the cards, those are easy to get (one from the site and one from someone with the game, or from the site when they post the Living Rules).

I guess we'll see how well their first attempt went when they release the second.
 
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Kevin Duke
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I was actually surprised to find "Greeks and Eastern Kingdoms" really is "just" an expansion and not a free-standing game. Yes, I know, a free standing game would mean CCA owners would be duplicating (and paying for) some items again, but I thought-- based on the G&#Kdescription as it was then written (which said nothing about "you must own..."-- that this was how they would handle it. I wrote to ask and got the answer-- nope, it's 'expansion.'

While I agree with the folks who said there is no way GMT could offer three different flavors of the same title, I think for G&EK they would be well advised to put together a "package" of the accessories needed to transform the expansion into a free-standing game (which means rules, cards, terrain, map, charts... I don't think I'll mention dice either). Even so, the G&EK owner won't be able to play some of the scenarios it includes (Greeks v R. or Carth) but would be able to have a game that can be played without having to own C&CA. There likely are people who prefer the GEK mix and situations to Rome v Carthage anyway, and we'll see a time when CCA is out of print but GEK is still around.

Just my merchandizing 2 cents worth.

 
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Chris Roper
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I have to side with Dan on this one, although for different reasons.
Most, if not all, of the posters in this thread live in the USA.
I live at the Southern tip of Africa and the cost of shipping a box of wooden blocks, half way around the world, costs more than the MRP of the game.

Von Cougar wrote:
The thing is, though, as mentioned you can buy from GMT "a la carte." So if you're looking for just the rules and the cards, those are easy to get (one from the site and one from someone with the game, or from the site when they post the Living Rules).


Most of the cost is, or should, be for intellectual property rather than components. So I would rather buy the rules and scenarios (Perhaps even as downloads) and the mechanics of play, be it miniatures, counters or even online, are my choice. Then I can enjoy the game at a reasonable price with a clear conscience.

However, I have preordered the expansion, despite the shipping costs, and I still haven’t played it with the blocks.
 
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