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  • #35498
    Mike
    Keymaster

    My irregular gaming pal, and all round good guy, Steve J posted THIS a while back on his blog and I wondered what your thoughts were around it..

    #35502
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    It was an interesting piece.  I thought the issue with your comment was that it (£50 purchase price but lots of hours of games played means a low price-to-fun ratio) only works if you “know” before purchase you are going to enjoy playing the rules whereas – at least partly – the wargames hobby comes from a place where rules were cheap so you could try out many and play the one you preferred.   So I won’t buy expensive rules because I already have plenty of rules for the period I game in which are pretty good but I might take a punt on a cheaper set.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #35503
    MartinR
    Participant

    Yes, to shell out £50 for a set of rules, they are going to need to be really, really good…. most rules I think someone should be paying me for making the effort to decode their prose. Even ‘free’ rules aren’t free, they still take time to process.

    For commercial rules I might go as high as £20, but a good deal of pre-reading or outstanding reviews by people I trust are needed first.

     

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #35523
    A Lot of Gaul
    Participant

    I agree with you Mike, in that value is much more important to me than cost. By that I mean that if a rulebook costs £50 but I derive a great deal of enjoyment from using it, then I will personally consider it to be a very good value. On the other hand, a rule set that I do not enjoy playing and never use will be a very poor value, whether or not all of the army lists are included, or it costs £20 or £5… or nothing at all.

    Since value is very important to me, I don’t do ‘impulse’ purchases. I thoroughly research any rulebook that I am considering, regardless of price. With 40+ years of experience in the hobby, I have a pretty clear idea of the kinds of rules mechanics, writing styles and production qualities that are likely to be of value to me. Even so, on occasion a rule set that I have purchased does end up being a poor value, after all. If so, I will sell the rule set to someone else for whom it does have value, and thus recover some or all of my original cost.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    #35525
    malc johnston
    Participant

    Would love to say about my thoughts on some rules but i might get banned from the forums for speaking out, high price though don’t mean great rules

    Willyoupleasehelpmefixmykeyboard?Thespacebarisbroken!

    #35526
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Would love to say about my thoughts on some rules but i might get banned from the forums for speaking out, high price though don’t mean great rules

    Not if you are polite and non sweary about it.
    Feel free to say what you don’t like, just no calling the authors names and or turning TWW into a cess pool etc.

    May be worth starting a new topic though?

    #35531
    Spurious
    Participant

    I wonder if I have much of an opinion on price of rules… I mean, my two favourite games of the last couple of years respectively cost about £45 (A Fistful of TOWs, a brick of nearly 460 pages) and about £10 (No End In Sight, possibly less because I can’t remember if I got them on sale).

    I do find that many books are actually marred in their ability to be referenced by their high production values. Pike&Shotte, despite being a pretty simple system, I found to be surprisingly difficult to learn & play because of all the images and box-out notes on things. That and the writing style didn’t help. FFoT by comparison is surprisingly easy to reference due to large, well spaced text, executive summaries for all the rules segments and a seriously lack of fancy polish. However, that doesn’t exactly move copies so I don’t begrudge making a book look better, just that it is very possible to go too far in that, and it is a problem almost exclusive to the higher end of the book costs.

    Much like good terrain, I have no problem spending the dosh for a good set of rules. They’re both things that I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t like spending money on if they can avoid it. And yet a huge amount of how good a game is (not including the opposing players) I’d say is in just those two things. For me a good set of rules + a good table to play on > good miniatures.

    Perhaps some people avoid expensive rules due to the expectation of having to buy additional books to cover armies? GW’s certainly had a lot of flak for that over recent years due to the expensive big rule book + expensive army book cost being a large part of the start-up expense barrier (wall? Cliff face?) for new players, and an annoyance for longer term players.

    #35532
    Norm S
    Participant

    I do quite a bit of board gaming and price wise they generally exceed the dearest figure rulebooks. I think of these are expensive luxuries. I have become VERY selective now in what boardgames I buy (I used to buy regularly and widely).

    Surprisingly perhaps, my willingness to pay the above does not extend to rulebooks themselves. I tend to see around £20 as a water shed price cost for figure rules. I’m not saying that’s right or not hypocritical, but it is my money.

    I don’t need excessive eye candy that puts up the page count and I don’t like the codex idea. Everything in one book is fine, though I would buy an additional scenario book.

    I want the book to look smart and the rules to be properly play tested over a significant period, by more than the author alone. Anything less than that and we are in the free / amateur zone – nothing wrong with that, it’s just the buyer has the right to know the pedigree and integrity of the system / writing to have confidence in spending money.

    I agree with an earlier poster that the new Osprey rules probably have it about right and they seem to be the true inheritors of those A5 black and white stapled rulebooks that we all had 30 years ago by the likes of Newbury and Skytrax and Table Top Games etc.

    Also, I am not always in the position to make such a large spend. That is not an argument for product to be cheaper, but it is a reality and one that publishers have to consider when calculating volume of sales.

    Also, there can at times appear to be an ‘internet arrogance’ in which it is too easy for a generally rich society to talk glibly about disposable income, when the internet audience is global and certainly unequal when it comes to income / expenditure / essentials / luxuries.

    It would be an interesting exercise to consider what we should do to make the hobby more inclusive rather than exclusive. Just a thought!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Norm S.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Norm S.
    #35535
    malc johnston
    Participant

    I think some of the most popular rules and even i have the rules are not what they seem, presention is spot on, which is why i brought the rules in the first place and alot of money they were, not going to say what rules books they are as it might come across as being bitter as i have a rule book out.

    Playtest rules is a must do over a long period of time, once you start doing the maths and % chance of dice rolls with added plus minus ect , they just don’t add up or make sense, i’m not going to pinpoint the rules i was very disappointed with them.

    One very popular set of rules is that once you lose the first miniature no matter how much you got on the table there is a very high chance you losted the game before it has even started, it really is a uphill struggle to get back into the tabletop game.I notice a few other problems with them as well which shows to me that these have never been playtest enough, but alot of people like them.

    Just got the Iron Cross rules, company level, a clever set of rules and you can tell straight away these have been playtest alot,looking forward to gaming with these as i feel i might have found a good WWII set of rules (is that giving a hint away of my moaning)

    I remembered years ago i got WWI rules called Kaiser Bosh, excellent rules that really set me off, from tabletop if i can recall, simple but they worked well, so much so i made a few adjustments for WWII then i lost them moving house having kids and being ill at some part of my life.Kind of want them rules now, but they a collectors item … £20

    Willyoupleasehelpmefixmykeyboard?Thespacebarisbroken!

    #35537
    willz
    Participant

    I am in the £20 area for a set of rules, but if its a complete game X-Wing or sails of Glory for example £30 – £50 seems a good price,  The hardest part of buying a set of rules or indeed a game is not buying all the add ons, extra and supplements.

    #35539
    A Lot of Gaul
    Participant

    It would be an interesting exercise to consider what we should do to make the hobby more inclusive rather than exclusive. Just a thought!

    I would do so in the same way that the market for automobile sales is inclusive, by having as large a selection with as wide range of price points as the market will bear, from very low-cost models to very high-cost ones, and everything in between. If my budget only enables me to afford a used Honda Civic, take public transport or walk to work, it doesn’t mean that I feel obliged to decry the existence of ‘glossy’ Lamborghinis, or the people who can afford to purchase them if they so desire.

    Or to cite another example that may be a little ‘closer to home,’ just because I may lack the resources or interest to buy the very high-cost Age of Sigmar range of fantasy models, it doesn’t follow that I would begrudge the fact that other gamers may indeed have the means and desire to purchase such expensive toys. IMHO having a wide variety of available options is far more inclusive than having a narrow and limited selection.

    Just my two cents worth. 

    Cheers,
    Scott

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    #35540
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Or to cite another example that may be a little ‘closer to home,’ just because I may lack the resources or interest to buy the very high-cost Age of Sigmar range of fantasy models, it doesn’t follow that I would begrudge the fact that other gamers may indeed have the means and desire to purchase such expensive toys

     

    This.

    #35543
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    I purposeful designed my rules to be as inexpensive as possible (granted I wanted to retain a 70s/80s feel so that might not have been that difficult). I originally intended an omnibus edition with rules and army lists combined, but I felt ultimately it was cheaper to break the lists into 8 individual books which could be purchased on an at-need basis.

    #35548
    Rules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    I have perhaps dozens of (in the main very cheap) rulesets I’ve never actually played and possibly never will. I don’t think of this as money wasted, as I’ve actually enjoyed reading them. They’ve fired my imagination, and I’ve often grafted bits of them on to rulesets I have actually used, even in instances where I regarded the donor rules as pile of dung.

    However, my main thought after reading this is: How long will it be before I order a copy of Dragon Rampant?? The price really is very reasonable…

     

    #35549
    irishserb
    Participant

    During my years in the hobby, I’ve purchased lot of rules.  Mostly these purchases have been a waste of money on things that don’t do what they claim, or are some combination of incomplete, inaccurate, tedious or boring, or otherwise don’t produce what I’m looking for.  A few have been gems.

    At this point (meaning now that I’m old and have lots of source material), I am likely able to write a set of rules for any period that I really want to play.  They will contain just those things that I want.  I won’t have to spend time reading/learning them, and they won’t cost me much.

    Given the above, I’m cheap when it comes to rules.  More than $30 and I probably won’t even consider them.  If they say “fast play”, “easy to learn”, or “innovative”, I likely won’t consider them.  The bottom line is that I don’t really need them.  And, every dollar that I don’t spend on rules is another dollar for figs, and figs more figs is more important to me than more rules.

    #35551
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    I hear a lot about the cost of Warhammer Whatever but I see a metric [email protected] of teens around here playing it with huge forces. How expensive a proposition can it be relative to other 28mm ranges. I love Aventine and Footsore and a hundred or so of their (excellent) Sughdians, Turks, Ghulams and Avars sets me back at least few hundred bucks. How much worse can GW be?

    #35552
    William Jones
    Participant

    I’m all over the place on rules.

    I expect to pay $20-$30 for rules, and am pretty happy in that range.

    I’m resigned at $40-$50.  Anything past that, and there had better be something exemplary about them.  There often is.

    I am admittedly old school and cheap.  There is no apparent correlation between price and quality.

    #35555
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Having been very disappointed with some sets of rules that I have bought, I would be extremely cautious about a £40 or £5o outlay for a set of rules.  Although I want rules to be easy to understand, and see diagrams as frequently being a very good idea, I don’t want to have to pay for pretty coloured pictures of other people’s armies.  Even if the army lists are included, are well researched and cover a very large number of armies in excellent detail, that kind of price still seems high to risk buying something that may be a pain to play.

    The rules that have given me the most fun are DBA, HotT and DBR.  They were all on the cheap side.  They are not the longest or most detailed rules around, but they play well for me.  DBA includes its army lists.  With HotT you do your own army lists, but the rules book includes examples.  DBR usually requires at least one of the three army list books; however, the DBR army list books were cheap.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention DBN.  Very pleasurable to play.  Includes its own army lists.  Napoleonic buffs I know say that for a fast play set of rules, it is accurate.  The cost is quoted on the DBN website as $15 for the PDF download, whatever that is in pounds. I bought a hard copy a few years ago (I think at Recon) and have never looked back.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Piyan Glupak.
    #35565
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Malc, what are your rules? You don’t sound bitter, before I finalized mine I played WRG 6th & (home modified) 7th and Gush’s Renaissance rules exclusively in preference to most of the stuff out there. The DBA family and Hail Caesar feel completely bland to me (among other criticisms) Maybe it’s a byproduct of the industry mantra that a game needs to be finished in a magical “2-4 hours” to be playable (or marketable).

    #35910
    Sane Max
    Participant

    I own a lot of rules, and used to tend to buy more cheap sets than 1 expensive one, and regret them mostly – I don’t just take pleasure from the game itself, I also obtain pleasure from a good read, I stopped playing ‘WMA’ a long time ago but still read it regularly, and do not regret buying ‘Pike and Shotttte’ even though I have managed to only play it about thrice.

    Still like ‘DBA’, as a book and as a resource though I regert buying the new one at Fiasco, it’s the same ‘read’ as the old fashioned one.

     

    #35916
    irishserb
    Participant

    Hey L-Mike,   Are your rules published yet?  If so what are they, or when will they be available if you have a timeline.  Sounds like you’ve put a lot into them. and you’ve smacked me in the  curiosity button.

    #35930
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    @Irishserb, still on time though for convenience sake we’re releasing both the rules and the lists on February 8th. Yes, a lot of work (and love) went into them. The most involved work is the creation of individual units and their relevant command figure (s). Highly personalized, almost like an involved RPG character. When your units eventually get massacred (or stampede/stomp to victory) you’ll feel it. Game play is NOT superfast, expect to complete an average battle in a minimum of 4-8 hours, a very large scale one can eat up a lost weekend. Lists are the most comprehensive and detailed I’ve seen and we’re a true labor of love.

    #36043
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    So what do people think of the pricing structure adopted for the Osprey Wargames series of rules?

    64 pages, perfect bound for £11.99 and less than half that for the PDF/Kindle versions? We’re talking decent games like Lion Rampant, Ronin and In Her Majesty’s Name? They don’t have a masses of phenomenal artwork that bigger games have, just a some nice figure eye-candy as fillers.

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #36047
    A Lot of Gaul
    Participant

    So what do people think of the pricing structure adopted for the Osprey Wargames series of rules?

    None of the 15 rulebooks published thus far has inspired me to part with any of my hard-earned cash. But that is due to the subject matter and content, rather than the pricing structure.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    #36048
    Mike
    Keymaster

    64 pages, perfect bound for £11.99 and less than half that for the PDF/Kindle versions?

    Seems very reasonable to me.

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