I’ve recently got into my coastal forces after rebooting my old Ender 3. I simply never bothered to finish my coastal project as it was unaffordable.
These 3D printed freighters would ‘only’ cost me $56 in Australia. $200+ for basically glorified objective markers. That’s a lot for a niche ruleset. (With not very good rules!)
But when I say “only” – it’s because they seem cheap compared to Warlord’s other offerings. I’m curious how Warlord’s business model works. How much for this model, do you think? (IG Vostroyan for scale)?:
If your guess was $62USD a pair ($31USD ea), then well done. In Australian dollarbucks, that’s $46 each. Not including P&P (+$25 USD/$37AUD). If I just wanted a box, that’s $129 for a pair.
It’s just resin, with a few metal guns. Can anyone say “3D Printing” with me?
Hmmm. What about four, similar sized Kriegfishcutters? $112 USD a box (on sale! usually $125) or $169+AUD. That’s not counting postage to Australia – another $20 on top with the discount rate. $~200 for four glorified fishing boats. Games Workshop Space Marines – the poster child for overpriced – sell at $76 for 10.
Who is buying these? Is it like those videogaming companies where they target ‘whales’ – guys who think nothing on dropping $500 on a bunch of toy ships? It’s not even like there is a big resale market. I.e. you can at least expect to move your 40K minis on, secondhand. And can you expect someone else will have a fleet locally – or do you need to buy two sides?
Another 18 minis painted makes 195 this last fortnight. On holidays, I am energetically excising my pile of shame.
I do like the 1/300 Cruel Seas scale as it makes the toys a decent size. I had some 1/600 and 1/1200 coastal forces but they were just to tiny. It seems weird to downsize a warship to something you can sneeze off the table. The visible crew are also pretty cool.
Less impressed with Warlord going 1/200 for their Blood Red Skies planes – it does not match the coastal forces scale and seems to have everything to do with avoiding competing the the vastly cheaper 1/300 from other companies (I’m talking $2ea metal vs $10-$30ea plastic). That’s another baffling game. I suspect they want to make it more about selling cardboard cards (like X Wing) than minis.
My personal theory is that the golden age of wargaming has already passed. It’s like how streaming services have fragmented content so much (then increased their prices) it’s barely worth subscribing to any.
10-15 years back, “B tier” wargames like X-Wing, Warmachine, Infinity, Malifaux all seemed to be common, and GW’s monopoly seemed to be over. The first two were, for a few years, even more popular than 40K. Heck I even remember Dystopian Wars in my tiny Aussie country town. You could get playing one of these B-tier games for radically cheaper than 40K – testing out new games was viable AND you could find opponents. GW actually had to make some changes.
Now, these B-tier companies have all jacked up their prices. Mantic (classic budget GW) pricing is even comparable to GW in some offerings for much nastier sculpts. To compound this, are so many more new games – choices that compete for your cash. The player base will fragment even further. The “B tier” games seem to be getting rarer. If you have to supply both sides to try/get interest in a rare game, pricing matters even more. It’s a Catch-22.
Now it seems like it is either (a) 40K/AoS if you want to play someone else or (b) just do your own thing with mates.
Why pay top dollar for some boutique wargame when you can buy a $50 box of Wargames Atlantic sci fi and download free OnePage Rules and off you go? Why lock yourself into someone else’s system?
Warlord’s pricing meant my Cruel Seas lay incomplete for years. Until 3D printing offered a solution….
The players who aren’t bothered with needing a local club are I suspect are fragmenting into increasingly niche games. This drains players/$$$ – primarily B-tier games, pushing these semi-popular games into the niche spot as well. I don’t even hear about Warmachine or X-Wing any more.
I don’t think 3D printing will ever threaten GW but I DO think it may kill off some smaller companies. Why would I pay $55+ for a resin model from Warlord when I can get one of better quality for $10-$15 from a 3D print company. I don’t even need to own a printer. Many good ship STL’s are free or at most $4ea.
Eh, a bit of a rant but I’ve been thinking about pricing etc a bit lately as some friends have recently got interested in wargaming/miniatures and looking at it through a newcomers eyes – the pricing can be insane. How can you recommend miniature gaming in good faith when a drug habit would be cheaper…
Yet the variation is huge too – you’ve still got companies like Victrix selling excellent 28mm plastics for $1.50ea…