Thursday, January 27, 2011
Jeff, a down on his luck office worker finds out he is the last living relative of horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft. What he doesn't know is that Lovecraft's monsters are real and will soon threaten the very existence of mankind. Jeff and his best friend Charlie are forced to embark on a perilous adventure and they enlist the help of high school acquaintance, Paul, a self-proclaimed Lovecraft specialist. Together the three unlikely heroes must protect an alien relic and prevent the release of an ancient evil, known as Cthulhu.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I'm not as excited as some other store owners are about the release of LOTR HeroClix for a couple of reasons. First is the track record of LOTR as a collectible miniatures game. Sabertooth Games released a LOTR collectible miniatures game back in 2003 at the height of interest in the Lord of the Rings movie, the year that Return of the King won the Oscar. While game play wasn't great, Board Game Geek's members still rated the system a little over six. Still, and despite the high quality of the figures, sales of the game ended along with Sabertooth's collapse as a company, and while many of Sabertooth's games were picked up and re-released by Fantasy Flight Games, FFG opted not to do anything with the LOTR license. If FFG thought the the game had longer term potential, the company would have opted to release a version of it.
The second major problem is that licensed products, such as LOTR, need to have the core license available in order to draw interest in the line. The last movie in the LOTR trilogy released in 2003 and the next one to relate to the franchise, The Hobbit, won't release until 2012 and most of the characters from LOTR either won't appear or only have limited appearances in the movie. Witness the sales of Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings line of miniatures. Thought it sold quite well while the trilogy was in theaters, and for a limited time afterwards, the line has languished for much of the last decade. Releasing a Hobbit HeroClix game would make sense, taking advantage of the excitement surrounding the movie, then release a LOTR set afterward.
I do expect this to sell but not in large quantities and nowhere near the amount that I would expect from a new Marvel or DC HeroClix set. Even at the height of its popularity, the Sabertooth CMG never sold anywhere near the levels that a new superhero HeroClix set did.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Coming in March
Munckin 7 Cheat With Both Hands
Cheat With Both Hands is designed for the anything goes games where every deck is in play and no combination is too strange. The fans told us they like to play that way – here’s the set to let them do it!
This is a supplement, not a stand-alone game. It is meant to be combined with two or more Munchkin games, with or without other supplements. Earlier versions of these cards, with a different card back design, were released as Munchkin Blender. This set has standard Munchkin card backs.
Description: 112 cards and rules, in a tuckbox.
Now Munchkin fans can get the ultimate book of spells . . . the Munchkinomicon.
From the malignant mind of Steve Jackson and the palpitating pen of John Kovalic, this mighty tome gives you deviously cheesy Spells like United I Stand, Eldritch Cleaver, and Unnatural Compulsion. But beware! If the owner isn’t munchkinly enough, the Munchkinomicon will promptly slip away and find a more munchkinly host.
The Munchkinomicon booster contains the Munchkinomicon card and 14 of a new card type: Spells. This is not a “collectible” set . . . all boosters contain the same cards.
Bag O' Munchkin Rainbow D6
Munchkin Monster Enhancers Booster
These are 6-siders, and there are six in the package. They match the Munchkin pawns and the Munchkin Quest dice. They also match pretty rainbows. They have the Munchkin head in place of the 1.
Related Products: Munchkin, Munchkin Quest, and Looking for Trouble . . . and anything else that uses six-sided dice!
Munchkin Monster Enhancers has 15 cards to make the monsters tougher and send the other players crying for their mommies.
With 13 favorites from More Good Cards, now in full color – plus two brand new cards, Hollywood and Ultimate – this set is a monster’s dream and a player’s nightmare. (Until those enhanced monsters get killed. Then the extra loot is dreamy . . .) And, unlike certain other performance enhancers, this set is fully legal in international competition!
This is an expansion for Munchkin. It is not a stand-alone game. This is NOT a collectible or randomized set. Every Munchkin Monster Enhancers pack is the same as every other.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Similarly, Shadowrun has remained almost continuously in print since release, with supplements arriving regularly, not as often at D&D, but still much more so than R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk, which let the core rules go for so long, despite a significant catalog of support materials, lost much market shart and consuemr interest because of the lack of the core rulebook.
Tunnels & Trolls, despite having been in print almost as long as D&D, had some success in the 1980s but since then has never come close to growing a large player base. Again, I attribut this to the lack of consistency of releases. While the core rulebook is still available, the company has release few supplements or adventures for it, in print form, for over a decade.
To put it simply, in order to make an RPG successful, a company needs to keep the core rules in print, so that customers can find it and a steady stream of product releases, so that players know the company plans on supporting the line long enough for them to get investing in an d keep playing it.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Reason number one is just the individual cost of the figure. A single Reaper figure retails for $5-6 each, while Battletech figures are in the $10 neighborhood. Games Workshop and Flames of War figures are in the $15 to $20 neighborhood and Confrontation figures regularly exceed $20. Games Workshop tells retailers to expect to spend $5000 to $7000 to bring in a decent supply of their Warhammer Fantasy and 40,000 figures and the initial buy-in for Battlefront's Flames of War isn't much cheaper. For the cost of fully stocking one miniatures line, a store could easily build a very respectable RPG, boardgame or CCG selection.
The second reason is that most miniatures these days are designed to work with a specific miniatures system. Warhammer Fantasy Battle players aren't going to want to use Mallfaux figures in their games and vice versa. Unlike 15 to 20 years ago, almost every miniatures line is tied to its own system and players, rightly, want to buy figures that will work with the system they choose to play. As mentioned above, for most miniature systems, a store needs to spend several thousand dollars to fully support the line. There are a few lines, such as Mallfaux and Uncharted Seas, that a store can stock reasonably well with the rulebook and core army sets, but even they eventually add on additional blisters or clamshells of individual support or leader figures, bumping the cost up further.
The cost is the reason most stores only stock 2-3 miniature lines in depth, Warhammer 40,000 most often because it is the most widely played miniatures game in the US so stores can reasonable expect a player base in their region and customers to buy the figures, so the store restocks them, so customers buy more, lather, rinse, repeat. The second line depends on what customers want to play (and buy). Over the past 15 years, based on store play and sales, we have brought in (that I remember): Warzone, Chronopia, Legions of Steel, Thunderhead, Battletech, Warmachine, Hordes, Wargods of Aegyptus and Confrontation. There are probably a few others I've forgotten. Currently, we're heavily supporting Warhammer 40,000 and working to build Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warmachine back to reasonable sales levels. I expect to see in store play in those resume steadily in six to eight months. Heck, even mighty Warhammer 40,000 was down to 3 players about 4 years ago.