Saturday, 27 November 2010

MK2 Musings Pt2 - Retailing Warmachine

Being a retailer of Warmachine in Serbia over the past year has been challenging. The move to MK2 and the way this was greeted by the Serbian community has been discussed earlier but it has also created an interesting environment of speculation. The questions raised below have been asked by many players/forumites but they are in fact far more important to a retailer/distributor and with a comprehensive answer the strategy for marketing/selling WM/H would be easier.
- With the first Heavy Warjack kits coming out it is also interesting to see if there will a 2nd warjack kit. The Cygnar Defender/Cyclone/Iron Clad kit being complimented by a Centurion/Hammersmith/Storm Clad warjack? Menoth could have the Reckoner/Guardian/ Castigator kit and so forth. The Harrower/Leviathan/Seether combination seems to suggest that the Warjacks of renown like the Unique warjacks may keep maybe kept separate seems to point to another heavy warjack release that would compliment the remaining "non-renown" warjacks in each faction's arsenal. Once this has been completed could we see Hordes going the same way? The release of the Ravagore and Scythean (both beasts being based on the Carnivean) seem to suggest this could be a very real occurrence. Theses now join the 3 Titan kit, 3 Warpwolves Kit and the 3 Dire Trolls kit. Beast kits and Jacks kits being complimented by unit boxes with 10 men and leaving only the UAs, WAs, solos and Warcasters for blisters would certainly be a very welcome change from this retailers point of view.
- This week also saw the start of the Wrath releases with the appearance of the Koldrun Lord Valachev. I feel his appearance is both a good and bad thing. It is good in that it starts to get the Warmachine player's juices flowing for that next set of releases. For the past 6 months the focus has been entirely on Hordes and for WM players this must have been a little frustrating. However there is a negative side to this too. The first is the fact that a large percentage of players will play both a Hordes and a Warmachine faction. For the avid collector this becomes expensive as they fill out their MK2 Hordes army having just completed their MK2 WM army only to see more WM stuff come out. On top of that with the new 10 man unit boxes coming into play it is very difficult for a retailer to gauge the ordering process. Why get in several of the new 10 man Trenchers Unit Box when in wrath a new unit comes out that makes them obsolete? The perception that the product lines are expanding too quickly is apparent to many players. Financially it maybe viable to invest more in support products and tournaments rather than in the relentless release of new models. The second, and more important reason why this is a little concerning is over quality control. The speed in which the balance of MK1 spiralled out of control can easily occur with Wrath. Already MK2 has flaws but every PP gamer has found these acceptable and the game is in a healthier state than it was 2 years ago. With the release of the "Forces of...." books the signs of rules creep and imbalance that MK2 was created to address started to appear. The Mage Hunter Assassin is a classic example of this. Shouldn't the dust of MK2 be left to settle a little before Wrath comes out? In its current state WM/H is a marketable game that has advantages over its competitors. No one wants a third edition for several years and a single bad release can undo all the hard work of the last 18 months. Let a raft of new players come into the game knowing what they are buying into. I, for one, would prefer to see the 10 man units and warjack/War Beast kits come out this year/next year and Wrath in the summer of 2012.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I was also afraid of. Yes, it seems like the time between new releases is very short - or shorter than it should be. While I believe that there are players who expect to see something new every 2 or 3 months, I also know that there are players who would be happy even if every army gets one model per year.
    In the case of people collecting several armies - frequent releases are becoming a problem. Even if you collect only one army, with so many new releases it becomes harder and harder to follow what everyone is getting. I will, once again, say that I'm afraid that WM can degenerate into something like collectable card games - too many options, constant releases, constant investments in case you want to be competitive.
    Dunno. Should sit, wait and watch.