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Could Puppet Wars be viable if relaunched?

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With Puppet Wars Unstitched being more or less on life support for years, the original designer having left the company and Wyrd starting to unload some properties (Evil Baby Orphanage), the future of this game seems bleaker than ever. But IF Wyrd decided to market PWU more aggressively and produce more content and expansions, do you think it could have succeeded?

It obviously didn't sell enough last time around, but expensive boardgame seem to be much more in vogue these days. With Wyrd having grown there might be more fans willing to try it. Maybe the passing of time will allow players disappointed with the release an re-release to come back? Could cross-marketing with Malifaux ensure that a future supplement would sell sufficiently to warrant release?

I know the minis are amongst my all-time favourites, the concept ties in beautifully with Malifaux fluff, there should be unreleased digital sculpts on file somewhere (no secret inside, just me guessing), and it should be relatively easy to release something similar to a story encounter box with a TTB tie-in and Malifaux cross use. Could be an alternative set like the hare and tortoise, or new models (à la effigies) in Malifaux for the next wave, or even a nightmare set.

What do you think, is it too late?

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I'd buy it if it got some semi regular expansions. I've always had my eye on it but the complete lack of support made me hold off.

It also continues the whole Malifaux centric thing. You've got the Skirmish game (Malifaux), the Wargame (The Other Side), the RPG (Through the Breah) and the Boardgame (Puppetwars).

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I just recently got it second-hand (still unpunched, though) to use some of the models for Malifaux (Nurse, Hooded Rider for Zoraida, etc.). Love the minis and would be keen to get my hands on some of the later expansions.

So, yeah, would probably buy. Might even try the game some day. ^^

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On 2/22/2017 at 8:45 PM, Mutter said:

I just recently got it second-hand (still unpunched, though) to use some of the models for Malifaux (Nurse, Hooded Rider for Zoraida, etc.). Love the minis and would be keen to get my hands on some of the later expansions.

So, yeah, would probably buy. Might even try the game some day. ^^

How does the model scaling hold up between Malifaux and Puppet Wars? They look like they're on smaller bases, and that the models themselves are very, very small. They are Wyrd made, so I presume you could use any of the Puppet Wars miniatures as their Malifaux counter part, if you don't mind them being smaller?

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19 minutes ago, hydranixx said:

How does the model scaling hold up between Malifaux and Puppet Wars? They look like they're on smaller bases, and that the models themselves are very, very small. They are Wyrd made, so I presume you could use any of the Puppet Wars miniatures as their Malifaux counter part, if you don't mind them being smaller?

A Puppet Wars base stacks perfectly atop a 30mm Wyrd lipped base. Very convenient. :lol:

The one I had (December acolyte) was about as tall as the lizard-like metal gamin: taller than some Ht1 models but certainly not comparable to Ht2. But being a December acolyte, it was always first priority to die and didn't last long to create lingering confusion. :DIt was one of the trickier ones to read since there was no visible harpoon gun. Others like the puppet death marshal and puppet nurse presented no problems at all.

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Cheers for the heads up.

I'm chronically allergic to Punk Zombie and Night Terror aesthetics, but puppet versions look pretty nifty (I would use the Cherubs as Night Terrors), and Pokey Vicky looks like it could perform as a Valedictorian, so I'm now considering acquiring this just to use them in Malifaux, if the community doesn't mind midget sized models.

Of course, I'll have a go at the boardgame itself with the missus while I'm at it.

 

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Puppet Wars models were deemed legal proxies for Malifaux (and have been for some time), fairly certain it is in the Gaining Grounds Docs. The differences in Height shouldn't matter as all models have a Ht state that makes it a moot point. One thing to consider though is the Plastic Puppet Wars models (from the more robust Unstitched box) are larger than the Metal models form the original game. Another point to consider though is not all the models from the original game were remolded for Unstitched so some while not be avialable in plastic, and the metal stocks are fairly depleted (one of my LGS's might have a few of the old boosters still available if you are interested).

While I have almost given up on further development for Puppet Wars, I still hold out some hope that we might see a return (the new Chronicles sure did feature an awful lot of conspicuous Puppet Art after all). I just wish they would complete what was already available in the original game for the Unstitched edition. While I greatly prefer the original rules (much more cerebral and enjoyable in my opinion) I do prefer the larger plastic models to the metals (and yes I own both editions (along with multiple copies of the metal Pawn Boosters, I know I have a problem!). Neither game was ever really finished.

As for would a relaunch help it? Well I think the market is at a place where Puppet Wars could flourish if re-relased. in A lot of ways Puppet Wars was ahead of its time. When it was first published though it came with a high price tag (particularly for the time, and considering the virtual requirement for the purchase of additional Pawn Boosters), poor marketing (the box told you almost nothing about the game and was also fairly bland), and poor quality (at least in terms of the box itself which often fell apart in transit to the LGS). Unstitched was a much better offering but by that time Puppet Wars (and Wyrd in general) had acquired a bit of a stigma for any of their games not named Malifaux. Player expectations didn't help much either (particularly with the first edition which was thought to be Malifaux lite, it definitely was not!).

I think if Wyrd did re-launch the game, with access to at least what was previously available in metal and offered some "new" content (like doors, stairs, and a Terraclips tie in with customize-able board layouts should the Puppets wish to "explore" Zoraida's wondrous shack beyond the one room) it could do well enough to sustain it. The only unfortunate issue now though is that it would compete against Krosmasters and Super Dungeon Explore now.

As always I remain cautiously optimistic that it might just return some day.

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While I'd like to play Puppet Wars again, it competes with my Malifaux time so if I'm being honest, it's unlikely to come off my shelf. 

That said, I LOVE the sculpts, and have used a bunch as proxies for my Malifaux crews. If nothing else I'd be all over future Puppet Wars releases for just that reason. 

Hell, even a Nightmare Puppet crew next Gencon would be awesome. ;)

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I have no insider knowledge but I do have food for thought:

A. This year's certificates for 1-3 in Malifaux events all feature Puppet Wars art.

B. In the "Welcome Kyle" announcement the is something that looks Puppet Wars-like in the lower left of the photo.

I've never played Puppet Wars but I'd definitely buy it if it starts to get support.

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On 26.2.2017 at 2:29 AM, H4ml3t said:

I have no insider knowledge but I do have food for thought:

A. This year's certificates for 1-3 in Malifaux events all feature Puppet Wars art.

B. In the "Welcome Kyle" announcement the is something that looks Puppet Wars-like in the lower left of the photo.

I've never played Puppet Wars but I'd definitely buy it if it starts to get support.

Damn you're right, didn't notice that in Kyle's photo! Now I'm getting my hopes up... :-)

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2 hours ago, Monkeysword said:

If there is surely a plan of Puppet Wars 3rd in private, will Wyrd launch it on Kickstarter?

I for one would go all-in on that one... Especially if there were Malifaux cross-overs. Like foil cards for using puppets in Malifaux, maybe a special release of a model that would later see general release (aka Hannah; just would prefer if Wyrd didn't didn't marry to the promise of NEVER re-releasing it, would be fine if available through special sales later), or something similar...

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13 hours ago, tmod said:

Especially if there were Malifaux cross-overs. Like foil cards for using puppets in Malifaux,

Honestly I never understood why previous versions of Puppet Wars didn't include at least enough Malifaux cards for two basic crews (Seamus and Lady J being the most likely as their base crews are almost the same minus the totem). Seemed like an obvious an inexpensive inclusion that could increase the appeal of the game (making that high price tag a bit more palatable).

14 hours ago, tmod said:

maybe a special release of a model that would later see general release (aka Hannah; just would prefer if Wyrd didn't didn't marry to the promise of NEVER re-releasing it, would be fine if available through special sales later), or something similar...

While I am sure a lot of the Kickstarter backers would be upset by that, the more I have to look at my players Relic Knights Hannah, the more I feel like this should be done. The general release edition just doesn't look "Malifaux" in my opinion. Tell you what if I can get your support for returning Gremlin Noses to the faction I'll pledge mine for the Kickstarter Edition Hannah to see a wider release (say via the Guilder program).

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2 hours ago, Omenbringer said:

Honestly I never understood why previous versions of Puppet Wars didn't include at least enough Malifaux cards for two basic crews (Seamus and Lady J being the most likely as their base crews are almost the same minus the totem). Seemed like an obvious an inexpensive inclusion that could increase the appeal of the game (making that high price tag a bit more palatable).

While I am sure a lot of the Kickstarter backers would be upset by that, the more I have to look at my players Relic Knights Hannah, the more I feel like this should be done. The general release edition just doesn't look "Malifaux" in my opinion. Tell you what if I can get your support for returning Gremlin Noses to the faction I'll pledge mine for the Kickstarter Edition Hannah to see a wider release (say via the Guilder program).

Hahaha, I'm in, though I have to admit I think even the noseless gremlins to have their own kind of charm...

To be honest I think it's too late for TTB Hannah, and I have one from the Kickstarter, so I'm set myself. But I think it's unfortunate to have such hard limits to promotional minis. I hope if Wyrd relaunch Puppet Wars they will include rare goodies for Malifaux, but not keeping them impossibly rare. I don't think single miniatures selling for hundreds of dollars is good for any game in the long run...

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The game is viable now as a stand-alone game. It's a little neglected perhaps, and is begging for an expansion box or two. I don't think a third edition is needed.

We know that Wyrd have put some thought into expansions already, as the art and (playtest) cards for additional models were available for a while via the online crewbuilder (the broken link to which still exists under 'resources'). Sadly these have now been taken down, though as some of you know I have made a PDF of the unreleased playtest cards which I'm happy to share if you PM me.

I really recommend reading the article in Issue 5 of the Wyrd Chronicles (click here) for some background on why Wyrd made the changes they did to Puppet Wars Unstitched. One interesting bit is the fact that the original version of the game was thought to be competing (but not well) against Malifaux itself too much. There are obviously plenty of Malifaux players with a soft spot for this game, but are there enough to make it financially viable? The cross-over ideas sound cool, but maybe it needs to be marketed better at non-Malifaux players too. I know I'm much more likely to get a game of this with my family, for example, than I would with a full-on wargame such as Malifaux.

Fingers crossed for the future!

 

 

 

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On 3/2/2017 at 6:40 PM, tmod said:

To be honest I think it's too late for TTB Hannah, and I have one from the Kickstarter, so I'm set myself. But I think it's unfortunate to have such hard limits to promotional minis. I hope if Wyrd relaunch Puppet Wars they will include rare goodies for Malifaux, but not keeping them impossibly rare. I don't think single miniatures selling for hundreds of dollars is good for any game in the long run...

I wouldn't be so sure. Remember the demand for the Nightmare Edition Lord Chompy Bits over the public release edition? That new plastic model in the crew box sure does bear an uncanny resemblance to it. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Relic Knights Hannah eventually replaced by a model that bears an uncanny resemblance to the TtB Kickstarter Hannah. At that point new players will stumble upon these old threads and wonder what the hell everyone is talking about, asking for pictures and such.

On 3/3/2017 at 0:20 PM, Brass Monkey said:

The game is viable now as a stand-alone game. It's a little neglected perhaps, and is begging for an expansion box or two. I don't think a third edition is needed.

I don't know if I would call it viable. Neither edition is really complete. The original version is difficult to get, particularly in regards to the Booster packs. The Unstitched Edition, however, suffers from not having models for stats for all the previously released material (though the play test did make strides toward fixing this nothing was ever really finalized).

I agree though a third edition is not really required, simply a completion of the effort. I would envision future boosters building upon the core concepts similar to the way the Zombicide or Super Dungeon Explorer series have.

As I have stated previously I would like to see a version that incorporates Terraclips for some random board formats so the game can be kept fresh (again most of the board games Puppet Wars would be competing against have a similar feature). This would also provide an additional marketing angle for the Terraclips line (yes I know Wyrd has put that line on permanent hiatus but they do still own the rights and this could be a great way of revitalizing that line as well...which also suffered a bit from poor marketing i.e. they only released the large generic "lego" sets instead of the smaller themed ones).

With games like these the more you can cross market with your other products the more likely people are to buy in. Including Malifaux Stat cards for a Lady Justice and Seamus Crew (with link to the free mini rulebook) is easy and cheap, but to the consumer implies more value for the singular purchase. Incorporating Terraclips with the game (for altering board layouts and introducing new rules/ scenarios) would achieve a similar goal, allowing cross marketing with Malifauxx, TtB, and TOS.

As for getting more attention from non-wargamers, perhaps Puppet Wars could be sold in non-traditional outlets, i.e. Hot Topic, Spencers, or bookstores (I still argue these would have been great outlets for the EBO franchise).

The largest obstacle seems to be the availability of staff to revitalize this project. Lets hope the recent hiring flurry of the last year allows someone to be freed up for the effort in the future.

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I still regularly play PWU at my local store, both with a regular opponent and with casual players. I'll also be in the demo pit at a con in the summer. So, yes, I'd LOVE to see PWU expanded and have been trying out the 'playtest' models.

I've also run complete PW crews in Malifaux, which look great.

Long may PW live on.

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I wish I would have bought more of the Gremlin Puppets...they are bigger than some of the new Gremlin models being released (looking at you leaping-from-snapping-gator gremlin, my god it is tiny and made of so many small pieces).

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