Forum Replies Created
. We ran several games so we’ll be posting more over the coming weeks. Cheers, The Bandit
I’m looking forward to them. BTW talking about your game’s appearance: the autumnal trees in the forest. This is something I never do because, I think, living for decades in a land of evergreens, it doesn’t occur to me. Do you have some sort of criteria for adding such foliage or do you go by the usually reliable, “it looks right”? donald
Funny enough, the trees you see in this game that look to be autumnal are actually spring trees (they do look like fall colors in the photos but in person you can tell). For convention learning games we tend to go by a “looks right” standard. This was basically a “somewhere during the Bavarian Spring of 1809” so spring trees were… sorta correct in that they were spring, though Bavaria should have a lot more pines than the mix on this table.
But, to answer what I think you’re asking, when we run historical scenarios rather than effectively ad-hoc games, yes, we try to use spring trees in spring and fall trees in fall, etc…
Thanks for this. I think when you’re talking at this level of tactics, you’re really doing justice to the period. (Personal opinion). Game looks great too. donald
Thank you, that is kind, very glad you enjoy seeing the after action reports. We ran several games so we’ll be posting more over the coming weeks.
In our ESR Campaign Guides, sometimes victory conditions change midway through a battle – or players have an opportunity to change them. For instance, at 1st Kulm in 1813, on the first day the French goal is to breakthrough the Russian rearguard to continue pursuit of the Allied army. On the second day their goal was to escape alive. Similarly, in 1814 there are several battles where the information the commander received during the battle changed their goal, and so we provide for those.
Some players love it because it puts them in the moment. Others hate it because they want to know what is going on from the start.
slight cost increases to the products needed to foot the packaging resulted in very negative responses from the customers
Out of curiosity, if the cost increase was very slight, did you consider just eating it and see if the presentation positively impacted sales velocity and volume?
I ran a poll and 85% responded that they only really want/need small baggies to keep from losing the figures in transit as I always mail via carboard boxes anyways.
What was the size of the poll and what proportion was it of your customer base that responded?
Something that is strange about the human condition. I suspect if we polled our customers we’d get a similar response, somewhat skewed because of who would choose to answer. However, the reaction to our packaging in terms of sales is very good. So via the one method they’d say no, but via the other they say yes.
We sell the resin cast terrain we carry in plastic bags with header cards as that is the most versatile option based on the varying sizes of pieces, we print our header cards full-color, full-bleed on a fairly high quality coated stock of paper and have them scored, folded, and drilled.
With our ESR Box Sets we package two ways: smaller sets are boxed into blister packs while larger sets are bagged and then loaded into chipboard boxes we had designed, cut, and flood printed. Both are then sealed with a full-color, full-bleed, high gloss label wrap wrapper that covers the majority of the surface area.
We didn’t change any prices to do this, we built it into our margin and in some cases discussed it with our suppliers when appropriate.
The Bandit05/09/2018 at 13:50 in reply to: Do your rules allow for double elimination in melee or assaul? #98607
It is relatively common in ESR for two cavalry Formations of about the same side to end up with nominally the same fate after combat. One is the “winner” and one is the “loser” but often both end either just as beat up and ineffective (even to the point of removal) as the other. Last fresh squadron wins.
The Bandit17/08/2018 at 13:36 in reply to: Need 6 mm buildings and terrain for West Germany 1985 #97092
But I need to be able to buy in in the USA from a company that will take a check or money order. Yes, I know.
Leven does have modern buildings, we don’t generally stock them, but we can get anything they make and we’re currently being re-stocked, so if you’re able to put together a list of what you want from Leven’s website: http://levenminiatures.co.uk and forward that list to us, we can put it together as a special order.
I read it as “Vandamme crushes Hitler”!
Ha! In 1809? Did Hitler steal the Doctor’s Tardis? :-p
Okay, according to LPK only the 1st Division were allowed chinstrap scales. That is the Leib-garde, the Leib-grenadier, and the Kexholm Infantry. Everyone sculpts scales and we just have to live with it, just like everyone puts short swords on the jaegers.
Ha! That is some neat trivia…
Something I haven’t been able to find is a list of when cavalry standards were issued – or when new ones were issued. I’m aware that the cavalry banners were changed to a standard white (or green) with gold decoration and elements, but during the Napoleonic period, how many regiments actually switched from using their SYW-era banners to this new standard? And which ones?
Our 3rd game of ESR Napoleonics at NashCon!
Read the after action report and see the rest of the photos in our Gallery.
Notice the gap that opened between the two Austrian Korps?
It was about 2 miles… check out the rest of the photos and you’ll see when the French heavy cavalry decide to fill that hole.
The Bandit23/05/2018 at 13:27 in reply to: AAR: Lannes to retire after Vandamme defeated, 1809 #91015
What an amazing looking game!
Indeed, their games always look very impressive. I just received my copy of the ESR rules (the book looks dang amazing and readable. I laughed at the penguin rear on the inside cover as well, great attention to detail!) and I hope to get moving on this project this summer using all of this great inspiration.
Thank you very much, I hope our offerings do not disappoint!
Our 3rd and final ESR Napoleonics game of AdeptiCon 2018:
Turns out the Austrian grenadier division should have turned left instead of right, would have been a completely different game!
The Bandit22/04/2018 at 22:43 in reply to: 'The Battle That Never Was': Fishguard 1797 on Jemima Fawr's Blog #89191
Sounds like a great game!
Ok, I’ve read the reviews, watched the video, checked out multiple AARs and I think I’m hooked! When does the Complete Guide come out?
We’re having The Complete Player’s Guide reprinted presently, it is available to be ordered and we *hope* to have it restocked and shipping again next month (in May). And not knowing where you’re located, I should point out that it is still in-stock in the UK (via Magister Militum).
That’s perfect! I personally have no idea what is really different between a Heavy Cavalry and Curiasser, and things like what characteristics and when is brilliant to use for ImagiNations. I love history, but the few times I have engaged in attempts at playing Napolionics I have fallen foul of the “button counters” and been turned off. I’d rather play ImagiNations as then those same people couldn’t cast stones, as well as loving the fun of creating.
Well, if it helps any, our ESR Napoleonic Campaign Guides include both scenarios *and* uniform plates, so you can paint right from them. But with that said, creating your own historical world is pretty cool, so not trying to dissuade you.
I’d think that if there was some sort of points system that would help with unit creation, as well as some sort of way to help generate those army design “starting funds” for campaign type games. All of the info and details that help a newbie really put together an army.
We’re currently working on a point based army builder that can be used by players who’d rather not use strictly historical orders of battle, so that might speak to this.
Also… Our 2nd ESR Napoleonics game at AdeptiCon, the French managed to succeed in forcing an Austrian withdrawal, but it was costly.
Lots more photos and a brief rundown of the action can again be found in our Gallery.
Not knowing much about Nappies I wouldn’t know which of the moves was foolish (other than being caught crossing) but I think it’s really cool that there are more games than just the tourny types going on at Adepticon. I went 2 years ago and it was a great time and the Con runners are very open to having a wider variety of games.
Frankly, we were blown away by how much interest in historicals there was. I expected it to be an up hill battle to convince players that we had something of interest for them but we got a terrific response and the convention staff were very supportive and interested in what we were bringing to the convention.
Question about force setups in your game: are armies all historical or is there a way to create ImagiNations?
We don’t provide a framework for ImagiNations but I don’t think there is anything to prohibit them. The Raising an Army supplement included in The Complete Player’s Guide offers lots of details on how and when to apply different characteristics and historical examples of them being applied that someone into ImagiNations could use for their own ends.
What sort of specific support, if any, does such require or benefit from?
A base is a battalion in ESR (or a squadron group of cavalry, or an artillery battery). The miniatures are from our new line of ESR Box Sets and are 1:160 scale, aka 10mm. The buildings on the tabletop in this particular engagement were all 6mm buildings from the Leven and Battlescale lines.
Seems to me that if you’re trying to ‘control the user experience’ by adding cool features to the production, then you’re losing sight of the end product and the end customer.
That is certainly a risk and one that comes to pass often – Whirlwind’s example of “spinning around a picture to give the impression of 3D” is a good one.
It would take considerably more motivation for me to make a purchase where the rules are the ‘user experience’, rather than the game with friends. For the ‘game with friends’ experience I want the rules to be as convenient as possible and that usually means as few technical requirements as possible. The rules need to be well written, well organized, well presented and easily accessible. I appreciate the ease and convenience of electronic distribution. I understand the corresponding threat of copyright infringement. But it’s the ‘game with friends’ experience I’m seeking. A proprietary system that restricts that experience has a far, far less chance of gaining me as a customer.
Indeed, I would generally agree. The trouble that businesses must confront is that what the customer wants often includes innate contradictions. For a very basic one, consider what you indicated above – which I think is completely reasonable – you identify three things:
1) Well organized and presented rules.
2) The lowest possible technical requirements making them easily accessible.
3) The convenience of electronic distribution.
#2 and #3 are in conflict. Now, in your case you may feel the conflict is minor, but the publisher has to judge determine if your experience is representative enough.
The lowest possible technical requirement for the accessibility of a rule set is printed paper. It lacks the convenience of digital distribution, but any form of digital distribution has a higher technical requirement. I think you’d say that a PDF is not a very high technical requirement and I would agree, but it does mean that the customer has to either own a portable device such as an iPad or e-Reader to carry the rules around, or has to pay to print them either by owning a printer or by using someone else’s. These are higher technical requirements than the product being a pre-printed book.
To many people the requirement of using a digital device at all is not terribly different from the requirement to use a specific app vs a PDF reader such as Preview or Adobe Reader. It all depends on where the audience is coming from.
My argument, if one chooses to call it that, is that software is complex, both in its design and its implementation, and that good intentions commonly lead to unintended results. Thus, while Whirlwind is frustrated by the choice of a magazine publisher, they likely intended to do something they had reasonable cause to believe their customers would really value, though that does not dictate that their intent will come to fruition.
And that is the core reason why we have avoided going digital just yet: it is easy to get right for a minority of customers but hard to get right for the majority of customers.
I actually addressed the points you bring up here directly in my original post that you are replying to, but to try and point them out a bit more:
This is the interesting one to me, in that, for me, it sells me a lot of features I have no or marginal interest in (e.g. spinning around a picture to give the impression of 3D) but eliminates simple but key features that I do want (ability to transfer the product between hardware of *my* choosing; not being dependent upon internet access to access the material).
This all depends on implementation.
Lots of people continue to purchase cable or satellite TV. The primary feature of this product was content but there are also secondary features that these platforms offered over free over-the-air television:
• A live, browsable schedule.
• “On Demand” programming.
• Bundled DVR features.
• Parental controls over content and channels.
Whether these are useful to a given customer will vary. For myself, all but the first one is akin to the spinning 3D picture – not useful.
With that illustrated, I would expand on what I was saying some to explain that someone comes to you and says, “Hey magazine publisher! You don’t want to just sell PDFs, forget the piracy concerns – which we can also address – and consider all the cool features we can allow you to provide your customers! Embedded video that can be displayed and browsed both as video the user can scrub through and also as a series of key still images that you designate for those who don’t want to watch a video. Illustrations and instructions that again, can be displayed either as a series of stills, or laid out in a grid for easy reference, or played as an animation so users can see how it all fits together. And you can offer all of these and the user can choose which to use and even switch between while working on their project!”
And it sounds great. And you buy it.
And then you go to implement it. And it is all it claimed to be. But it is hard. And it takes a lot of time. And you settle for “just getting the thing out”. And here we are.
As with most things, the devil is in the details, i.e. the implementation.
For example, when Battlegames was taken over by Atlantic and the digital side was run through exact editions, no party involved said “and we need to do this because Battlegames is losing out on significant sales because of pirating”. This wasn’t given as a reason when Miniature Wargames did the same with Pocketmags after the Warner takeover. And one would wonder what WSS, TooFatLardies and THW are doing by still selling pdfs, in that case.
As I said above, piracy is a valid concern on its face, but that doesn’t tell us if it will come to pass in your case. TooFatLardies rules are pirated, but whether TooFatLardies is concerned is a different story. Perhaps their sales are high enough that the piracy is a non-issue for them. Does that mean the same will be true for your business or mine? Neither of us know, and the decision must be made *before* we choose the platform to use because afterwards we’ve already spent the time and money and experienced whatever negative impacts there were.
I would be happier with the idea of buying content through proprietary software if that were given specifically as the reason for doing so and so everyone had to do it- but I can’t remember that ever being mentioned.
Though few if any companies do this ever with any products. When a car company releases a new model year they don’t say, “We changed the dash because people hated it.” When a company that makes a ball and bat set changes the packaging because kids could easily pull the ball out and it would then get lost in the retail aisle of the stores it was sold in they don’t say, “Now with more tamper proof packaging to prevent your grade schooler from removing the ball, playing catch in the aisles of your favorite store, and then leaving the ball randomly on the shelf causing the store to expense/scrap/return the product as ‘lost/damaged’.”
It would be nice to know, you’re not wrong. But it isn’t realistic in most cases because the details are well, detailed, the motivations are varied and nuanced, and frankly, the result is that most of us would second guess and criticize the decision tree anyway. And none of which helps the company meet any of its goals.
There are several reasons for putting your content into a proprietary software solution, they include:
• “SO YOU CAN OVER CHARGE CUSTOMERS!” – The first one many people reply with but not terribly true.
• “Because people steal!” – The second one many people reply with and your milage may vary, but it is certainly a concern that is valid in general even if it doesn’t prove out to occur in one’s particular case.
• “So you can control the user experience” – More true than one realizes, at least in the intent, PDF only does so much, ePUB – as an example – offers drastically more options, so when choosing a platform one evaluates the feature set and says, “Hey look at all the cool[er] things we can offer!”, whether those happen ends up being a separate decision point down the road.
We’ve looked a lot at publishing our titles digitally and come to two conclusions: 1) Because of the integrated experience we’d want to offer, we can’t just dump them to a PDF and post them online, 2) Because of the work required to accomplish that integration, it would cost more to develop a digital version than the current print version. This hasn’t convinced us not to do it, rather it has caused us not to take it lightly.
New Traders are added at the end of the list.
Well… I feel silly… but informed.
Supposedly?? I am no expert on Napoleon but having done some theology I can assure you that Napoleon books have a long way to go in terms of numbers.
I don’t know that you having done some theology is a basis for comparison. I was repeating the conclusion of multiple newspaper and magazine articles I’ve read. Certainly any such conclusion is going to be based on estimation since no one has a catalog of all books written to-date, and therefore by its very nature any such conclusion is “supposedly”. Of all the points in this thread that really deserve additional discussion, I don’t follow why you are concerned about this specific one, but if I run across one of the magazine articles that reported such today, I’ll post the citation for you…
Hyperbole; this is trolling!! However, I take your point that the Amazon has been much reduced by the volume of writings about him.
No… it isn’t either hyperbole or trolling, and I don’t really know why you are calling it either. Supposedly there are more volumes written about Napoleon than about Christ, and it is a little odd to me. How you consider that trolling, I’m at a loss.
We did the issue of Britain financing other countries in the Napoleonic period on TMP recently. The figures suggest that there were few cases where this could, or did, make a decisive difference between a country choosing to oppose Napoleon or not.
I tend to stay away from the ongoing playground fight between the two Napoleonic parties at TMP. They aren’t the reason I left there, but they are a contributing factor to why I stay away. No matter the subject, the fact that the two parties like to argue with each other more than anything else drives the discussion into a hole.
Anyways, I’d respectfully disagree that British support wasn’t a contributing factor in the direction of the period; though I would grant that British funding should not be the only aspect considered. In any case though, I don’t want to risk bird walking too far from this thread’s intended subject – which I think this would cause us to.
I’d agree with nearly all of what Jonathan outlines.
The only thing that I am uncertain of is if the option of halting in 1807 was really an option. Don’t get me wrong, Nappy did plenty to hurt his own cause post-1807, what I ponder is:
Had Napoleon not pressed the continental system, and therefore not felt the necessity of deposing the government of Spain and thus starting the Peninsular War – would the rest of Europe have let him sit?
I don’t think it is impossible, but I am suspect. I don’t know what motivates the British away from continuing to fund various interests to rise against him – or what prevents Prussia from continuing to prepare for a bitter resurgence. Certainly the timeline and order of events changes, but does the trend?
Well, Slade’s breakdown seems pretty reasonably accurate of the two “camps” when it comes to Napoleonics as a polarizing topic. I am pro-Napoleon, but the man wasn’t perfect and we should all be able to admit he made some pretty (at least in retrospect) obvious errors.
There are more books written about Napoleon than about Christ, which is sorta weird frankly, but it does give one a sense of how polarizing of a topic he is.
I think the most objective argument for comparing Wellington and Napoleon is that there is no useful available comparison. A single battle is a single datapoint and therefore a poor comparison. Their previous campaigns fought independent of each other were incredibly different in practically every way.
Wellington fought far from home without a terribly good connection back to England – connections over water are by definition faulted, but he could depend on it not breaking due to the British Navy. He had two allies, one who was probably under appreciated (at least by wargamers) and one who is absolutely maligned but whose performance is more deserving of it. He didn’t have a terribly large force but it was also not ill equipped for its task, and at least compared to his adversary in the Peninsular, Wellington benefitted from being of higher comparable priority in the eyes of his parent nation.
Napoleon fought far more engagements against far more adversaries, that doesn’t necessarily make him better, it provides more data. Something that really taints most English-speaking view points is that we are, as a mass, incredibly dependent on English language sources. The overwhelming English narrative is that Napoleon was practically an undefeatable God – so thank heavens, we, the British Empire, were here to defeat him. Napoleon was running a nation state, and an empire, and an army, thus, his practical concerns were drastically different than Wellington’s. He had a slew of allies, who all had substantially varied motivations and many of which had a lot less personal investment in success than say the Portuguese had. But, because of these things, Napoleon also had some substantial advantages that Wellington didn’t, Wellington couldn’t dictate the terms of his own resupply and reinforcement, Napoleon could… etc…
So really, it is a very popular, but not terribly useful question to my mind.
I’d agree with Slade that largely, the Russians beat Napoleon, I would broaden this to say that because I feel Napoleon was not ultimately defeated on the battlefield, but rather in the broad European theater of war, that the combination of Russian arms, Prussian will, and English money ultimately defeated Napoleon. This probably shorts the Austrians and Spanish more than it should frankly. But in the end, no one army at no one battle was able to defeat Napoleon. That’s probably the best reason that he is held in such high esteem, it took all of Europe contributing various strengths in various ways to stop him.
How many of you put on games at shows/cons.
Is it just you, you and a pal, or as part of a club, is it for fun, or is it to promote/sell something?
Demo games just for looking at or participation games for people to join in with?
Is it fun, easy, how well does it go?
Last year, I believe I ran…
Just shy of 20 games at conventions – all of these were participation games to introduce players to and promote ESR Napoleonics. These are a lot of work, mostly becomes it comes as part of a lot of travel, 14 hour days working (including the time running games), and hauling stuff around. The rooms are often hot and loud though, so you’re always very, very appreciative to the random person who offers you a cold beer mid-game. There tends to be a lot of teaching because these are intended to be introductory games. Questions coming at you from all angles will make you feel tired by the end of the day. They are mostly a lot of fun and I enjoy doing it. That we produce things that are attracting complete strangers to even stand on line and see if there is an opening because of a no-show is an incredible compliment, and it is always frustrating not to be able to include everyone who wants to play.
In 2016 we ran big games to get a lot of eyeballs directed our way, 6-10 players, 6×16′ tables, handful of two-three thousand figures on the tabletop. Last year I switched to doing introductory games, 4 players, focused on teaching and answering questions.
In addition I believe I ran maybe 3-5 public games for local clubs in 2017. These are more relaxed but still generally require some local travel and therefore hauling of stuff. Far less exhausting but still work to some degree. They tend to be larger, 8-10 people playing, ample figures for everyone. Some people know the rules, some do not.
And finally I would guess another ~6 private games for the regular group I game with. These are the most relaxed, normally run at my own venue so that there is no hauling of game materials anywhere else. The players are generally fairly familiar with the rules or remember them pretty fast so there is less teaching going on. Anywhere from 6-14 players.
It is a lot of work to run games, especially public games, especially at conventions, but it is rewarding work that is fun in its own right. And frankly, it is probably the best available promotion for game systems.