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HeroScape General Discussion General discussions of packaging, terrain, components, etc. If it doesn't fit in any other official category, put it here.


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  #85  
Old February 28th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

I think 1x commons would work in the primer/starter sets as long as the next wave had the corresponding commons in a booster pack. I think this model would have worked better than the way SOTM was produced. You could enlarge drudge or stinger squads without buying another master set.
I also think common only waves would work better as the uniques (Nakitas) would not clog up shelf space. Uniques can been put in 10 figure boxes that are the same size as the large expansions. And then hopefully released something like this
Wave 10 - 4 common packs
Wave 10.5 -10 unique figure box
Wave 11 - 4 common packs
Wave 11.5 - Large figure expansion
Wave 12 - 4 common packs
Wave 12.5 - Terrain pack
repeat indefinitely
If any of this has been proposed before please don't nuke the sleep deprived lurker.

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  #86  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Also, more scenarios/campaigns. Make each battle feel like it means something not just ha ha I killed you

Has anybody played Heroquest? That game was perfect because of the campaigns and all of the expansions to it. I admit the character choice was pretty slim, but it made the expansions exciting; plus with the character limit, it felt more like a Table-top RPG, which is what I thought HS was before I got it.

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  #87  
Old March 4th, 2009, 12:55 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

The two army Master Set 3 ($42) & one army Jump Start sets ($20?) really seem to be the best options for me, especially if they came with some new terrain. If WotC could also keep up with figure waves the combination would be perfect.

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  #88  
Old March 7th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by earendil504 View Post
I also think common only waves would work better as the uniques (Nakitas) would not clog up shelf space. Uniques can been put in 10 figure boxes that are the same size as the large expansions.
That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.

Jump Sets, Primers, Mini Sets... these are all neat ideas. They're also WAY WAY WAY too specialized.

ROTV: 1490 points
SOTM: 1180 points (660 heroes, 520 marro)

The model of Master, Large, Booster has been working. We don't need to change that, just tweak how it's being done.

The idea of having a pack with two ready to go armies is fabulous, but it is NOT going to really sell the game like that alone.

You get a Jump or Starter set. great, now you have a 400 point army that you can't customize, which is a major part of the game appeal. In order to use what is really the heart of the game, you need to buy a second (or third) package. Not a good plan.

Also, the "One army, half a map" idea is bad. That does not sell it as a game, that sells it as a CCG, where everyone has to bring their own set.
Scape is not Magic. People initially buy this as a whole game, to play with people they live with. They're not looking to buy half a game, and then go hunting for players.

For people looking to play in their house, this means buying 2 packages just to start, and that's the kiss of death right there. any expandability means a third package. Yeah, you lower the price point and thus sticker shock... except you sabotage that work with the required multiple packages.

I recently saw Monsterpocalypse, which looked like a neat game. It's packaged and sold as one player starters, plus boosters (OK, it's a collectible with blind boosters, but bear with me). I thought it loked really cool and fun... until I realized I'd need two starters just to play, and then several boosters to really get going. Suddenly the quite reasonable $25 entry point has jumped to $50 for two starters.

And what if my two starters had the same faction? That is the opposite of fun. I can drop $13 on a booster for a new monster faction, but now I have sub-optimal supporting units, necessitating buying some unit boosters for $13 each just so my new monster doesn't suck eggs compared to the one that came tailored
.

Same thing with Jump starters. OK, I have the Jandar pack, yay. And then my best friend Bob goes and buys a starter.

Oh look, Jandar.

So now we have identical sets to play against each other. NO THANK YOU.

One player sets are a bad idea, period. The only appeal they have are for existing players who want to limit buying uniques. There's a better solution.

So anyhow, coming back to the existing paradigm of Master, Large, Booster.

SOTM is the baseline for master sets now. 232 hexes, 24 figs and a big cool terrain (Hive). 1180 points.

The trick here is to configure the master set optimally.
Step 1: Uniques only, live ROTV. This means nobody has to buy more than one. This is a big plus.
Step 2: Add a cool LOS blocking terrain thing. The ROTV ruins were basic but useful. The Marro hive is definately nifty. Even the Marvel warehouse is a good option for this, though maybe as a castle gate instead.
Step 3: Make 2 coherent, themed armies of 400 points. Make the base armies the EXACT same cost. I'd go with 3 heroes + 2 squads of 3. These will average 80 points each (same cost as Finn, Thorgrim, Raelin 1). This accounts for 18 figs. Make all of them medium 1 hex figs.
Step 4: You have 6 figs and 400 points left. Make 2 of them Large figs (dragon, deathwalker) around 150 points each, and the remaining 4 figs are a 100 point squad. This makes for 13 army cards.
TWEAK: Make the remaining squad only 2 or 3 figs, and make the remaining figs into low point filler heroes (like Isamu or Marcu). Ideally, if the 2 larges are not the same cost, make the filler hero(s) cost exactly the difference. Ie if your Larges were Mimring and Grimnak, then you have a 3 fig 100 point squad (Krav) and a 30 point hero (Eldgrim). Then one player can take the base 400 point army plus Mimring, while the other takes their 400 plus Grimnak and Eldgrim. If anything, err on the side of more heroes in this department. More heroes = more army cards = more customization options for the same number of figs.

This gives you your themed, constructed armies at the 400 point mark, plus it gives you a few extra figs that you can toss in to do some customizations with. You have a cool terrain piece as well.

What not to do with a Master:
Include commons. People don't want to buy multiples of this in most cases.
Go for fancy specialty terrain. This is a BASIC set, keep the terrain basic. Normal ground and water can make for some excellent and varied maps as is - why mess with it by having lava or something? KISS principle.
Just include normal terrain (grass/rock), water and MAYBE some hindering terrain (slows you down, like Snow and Ice).
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  #89  
Old March 7th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Master set=1500 points.
At least 6 24 hex terrain pieces.
Half Utgar half other.
All uniques.

No jump start sets.

HEROSCAPE IS THE BEST! Go Jandar and Einar.
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  #90  
Old March 7th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

It also serves to consider the prospective customer that doesnt know the game yet - and how inclined they will be when it comes to buying a cheap entry to an expensive game system. When you market the game as expandable, and indicate clearly that this "primer" set is the low cost way to get a feel for it....you will lose some people. Today I have easily $2000 (MSRP) worth of Heroscape but wouldnt have spent the first $40 on the RotV had our TRU had a better display of what we were getting into. Sadly, I plan on spending another $2000 over the next couple of years....

If you add to that the prospect of cardboard/lexan mats and cheaper components, it hurts one of the nicest aspects of the game - the quality and detail of it.

I think for the interest of drawing new players the game needs to a have a complete stand alone masterset package that allows two-four people to play a full game.

I like most of the ideas proposed (except the 2d ideas of lexan and cardboard, sorry) but I think reinventing the wheel may be unnecessary here. Pitch the unique pack in each new wave, that will move product on the shelves....keep the original masterset format of all uniques....you appeal to new and veteran players without a terribly significant overhaul. (Also, 2base squads like the Cav units should be uniques in the mastersets.)



(Sorry if this is incoherent, the flu is kicking my arse tonight.)
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  #91  
Old March 7th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

That all being said... next is Larges.

There are two types of Large expansion that would be produced.
Terrain packs and Unique packs.

For each wave, uniques would ONLY be found in the Large expansions. This will let people get the uniques for each wave in one place and be done. This also has a massive advantage supplyside as it eliminates the asymmetrical purchasing of waves.

I'll use everyone's favourite whipping girls, the Nakitas, as the example.

When producing Wave 5, they produced an equal number of each pack. So for every pack of Soulborgs, there was a pack of Nakitas. The problem is that the supply does not match the demand, as everyone here knows.
People want 3-4 sets of rats, and only one Spartacus.

By moving uniques to the Large sets exclusively, this frees the booster sets themselves to be of (nominally) equal demand.

But back to larges.

A large can be either a terrain pack. These have been done, and they are good. Keeping with the larges, you'd want to restrict the units in terrain packs to Uniques, but in these cases, you'd want it to be a unique squad - a single figure tailored for the terrain is boring.

Or you have a Unique Hero pack. This has (nominally) 15 "slots" for unique figs. I'm nailing it at 15 because the existing sets (Orm's and Raknar's) are 5 figs at 2 bases each = 10 spaces... but those figs generally have more than 2 normal figs worth of plastic and bulk to them.
Make it a set of whatever is needful, but ideally mixed.
A nice mix would be
2x Large (6 spaces)
2x Unique Squad of 3 (6 spaces)
3x Medium Hero

Of course, you can mix and match as needed.
If this Large was for Wave 5, it would include both the Unique packs (Nakitas, Gladiators, Ninja and Kozuke) and then one large.

The 2x Large could be swapped out for 3x Cavalry (6 spaces). 1 squad and 1 hero = 2 cavalry (a 2 fig cavalry squad?).

Regardless, this setup is very flexible in what goes in... and because it is produced separately (this is the key) from the main boosters, it has it's own supply/demand niche to fill, without impacting the boosters.

= = = = =

Boosters are where the real money is for WOTC. Make the boosters All Common, All The Time. No exceptions.

This eliminates (most) of the lopsided demand. While there may be some packs more desired than others, it will not be to the same extent as normal, where people want 3 of pack A, 3 of pack B, 3 of pack C and only one of pack D. Instead it's more likely to be something like 3/3/3/2.

This also will drive demand for full wave boxes. Even if true demand is 4/3/3/2, more than likely Core players are just going to get 3 full wave boxes and be done with it.

Sneaky Trick For Maximizing Sales: Include at least one squad with a power that is only fully realized when you have 3 copies of the squad.
Existing examples include Marro Drones (with the ability to activate up to 9 of them) and the zombies (who can move 6, and then attack with 3 they didn't move).

And thus unsold stock, which is a real profit killer... is killed.

= = = = =

Nominal schedule for this

2 new waves of boosters a year
2 Large expansions a year (1 terrain, 1 figs)
2 wave reprints a year.

This puts new stock of some sort out every 2 months on rotation.

======

Closing remarks.

This layout addresses a few of the main problems currently faced, mostly the lopsided demand for some packs.
It creates a level amount of demand for each product type, nominally 1 master, 1 large and 3 booster of each item. This helps keep production in line with demand, which reduces waste and lingering stock.
It maximizes saleability of the most profitable (I assume) item - the boosters. The assumption of most profit is thus

Booster = 6 figs = $13
2 Boosters = 12 figs = $26
Large Hero set = 10-15 "figs" = $20
Master = 24 "figs" = $40 (plus terrain!)
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  #92  
Old March 7th, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Palmer - Well addressed argument and welcome to the site!

I agree that the issue with the waves is the languishing of the uniques. Perhaps another way to deal with this is a change in packaging by adding a large pack of small-medium figures to take them out of the waves, as you suggested.

Change the casepack of large expansions from 3 to 4. Add the small-medium pack with the unique squads and heroes using the same box size which could allow, as you said, 10-15 bases of figures, most likely 2 squads of 3 and 5 heroes for 11 bases. Then the would still be 1 Large Figure, 1 Small/Medium Figure, and 2 terrain per casepack, again pushing the "buy a case, fill a wave" model.

This then pushes development of 2 more (or one double squad pack/mounted pack) common units to make the small expansions "all common, all the time".

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  #93  
Old March 7th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Very nice breakdown Palmer. I like how you're thinking - using the parameters already in place and tweaking them to fit the demands and needs of the consumer.

No need for specialized Jump Start, Half-map, One-Army Starter sets.

Use what we got and fix that. Who knew?

Nice posts, and welcome to the site.

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  #94  
Old March 7th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Bahde is right.

HEROSCAPE IS THE BEST! Go Jandar and Einar.
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  #95  
Old March 8th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

Sorry if these ideas have already been addressed, I haven't read every single entry:

The biggest problem I think is that there's just so much stuff and so little shelf space Walmart is willing to give it. For example, I see the Marvel set everywhere. They're usually able to cram like 7 of those things into a pretty small space, and considering that it's more expensive than most games in similar sized boxes that probably makes a lot of sense to them.

The boosters, on the other hand, usually need a bit more space to only display like 8 packs. That doesn't make a lot of sense. What needs to happen is small boosters need to be put in square boxes, like miniature versions of the large expansion boxes. Then they could be stacked horizontally as well as vertically. That way you could probably fit at least 3 times as many packages.

As for the master set, they need to reduce cost and possibly reduce the size of the box. I'd suggest making something like a lite version of the ROTV set. There wouldn't be any huge units or LOS blockers, those would have to be found in expansions.

Then, reduce the number of tiles. The best way to do this that I can think of is to introduce cliff walls. Basically, they'd be walls that are designed with an outer side that connects to normal tiles. They'd be used to create large, hollow mounds that would normally require several stacks of large pieces to create. Then regular pieces, or perhaps specially sized thin pieces, could be used to top them off. Cliff walls could also be used to make narrow walls of rock, similar to a tall stack of 2-hex pieces. This is what would be used for LOS blocking.

With enough of these wall pieces in varying sizes, you could probably reduce the tile count by about 40% and still produce similar sized maps. It might be difficult to recreate some of the original maps, but ultimately what matters is that it's fun to play on.
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  #96  
Old March 8th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Re: New HS Business Model - pg.5 Primer Set

I think those are very valid points about the shelf space. Currently Walmarts have Marvel sets and small expansions. I think going to Marvel set sized boxes for the larger sets and small expansions would allow stores to carry all the new product in either a $25 box or a $10 package. This would call for smaller master sets, or slightly larger large expansions.
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