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Rampant Unfounded Speculation - The Other Side


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Were there expansions promised for Puppet Wars 2nd edition? Or was it just an expectation because 1st edition had it? Just because it's possible to expand something doesn't mean it's planed.

 

But anyway, if they keep up the release rate there wont be a lot, if any, unreleased Malifaux by the next GenCon. So I'm not really surprised that they are planing another miniature game. You really want to keep the new releases flowing if you want attention and sales.

 

There were rules released for models that never even had 1.0 puppets. I believe the puppet art continued to be developed after puppet wars dropped. I think it just wasn't a success so they dropped it. 

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This really seems like a cool project for sure, but I wonder how expensive it'll be. Taken that Wyrd plastics aren't the cheapest one's out there and it has been balanced by the amount of models you need to play. But now if you need an army scale amount of models that might become quite expensive. Will there be a kickstarter to this? 

 

I think that a lot of the current cost of the Malifaux models is based around the scale of the game.  The game is meant to play with a fairly low model-count and so they need to charge a relative premium on the models in order to make ends meet with a product that requires purchasing less physical product. 

 

My guess is that if they are creating a larger scale game that they will be able to lower the price per model to keep the cost of playing the game within reason.  I am not an expert, but I believe that the main cost in the production of plastics is the tooling of the metal mold.  Once you have that it costs very little to produce lots from that mold.  The problem with Malifaux is that due to the character-driven nature of the game you cannot expect a ton of sales from most molds.  Most of the time you will only sell a single copy of any particular box to a player.  Even in the case of minions most sets come with enough of a minion in the box that people rarely double up (Bayou gremlins and piglets come to mind).

 

So the costs per model is fairly high in Malifaux to compensate for the small sales each model/set is likely to generate.  But it should be entirely within their ability to create sets that can generate larger sale runs for a larger scale game.  This should allow them to push down the price of certain sets (units and models that will see duplicate sales per player) due to economies of scale coming into effect.  The only way for Wyrd to bring economies of scale to Malifaux would be for the game to accumulate a massive player-base.

 

In my opinion, Wyrd has shown that they are pretty shrewd and intelligent in their business decisions, so I have faith that they could do a good job bringing another miniature game to market.  Sure, they have made some slip-ups and goofs along the way, but they have recovered and grown in a better fashion than any other miniature company that I have seen in the last few decades.  I have not seen a single decision that they have made, good or bad, that does not seem to be motivated by a benefit to their customers, the game, and themselves.  

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I´m all for a new game. Malifaux is fantastic, but I don´t think adding much more references will do it any real favors. I´d hope it can avoid the horrible amount of bloat I feel warmachine and hordes is suffering and the best way would be another new core game to take the heat off from Malifaux and allow it to simmer down and have a slower new content release.

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I was thinking about this, and I think that if Wyrd can pull off a good rule-set and good price-point for a large scale game that this might be their ticket to a big spot in the market.  As long as they can generate a good buzz, deliver a quality game, and not have too many production issues then I think this is a really smart idea.

 

I think game companies need to diversify their product lines in order to grow and stay healthy.  Companies like Privateer Press do show that you can do well and grow from a single game, but if Warmachine/Hordes were to rapidly tank then they would have serious issues and probably cease to exist rather quickly - or at least scale down significantly.  You only need to look at what happened with Rackam and Confrontation to see that.  You can see that these companies also recognize this by their attempts to create games for other genres such as card games, board games, RPGs, etc (both Wyrd and Privateer have been doing this the last few years) to varying success.

 

The miniature games market is pretty competitive right now, but I think the Board/Card game market is even more competitive.  There are a lot of successful players in those markets and the barriers to get in are lower.  Plus if you move into those markets then you have to compete with Fantasy Flight and I think that is really tough to do right now.  Fantasy Flight has a lot of resources at their disposal since they were purchased by Asmodee.  They have a fantastic games design team, a very good art department, and good distribution chain (which lets them sell in big-box retail stores and hit a wider sales base).  Every game they put out tends to be pretty high quality, regardless of how good the game is (I rarely see complaints about the quality of the components in the boxes).  They also tend to be the go-to company for IP licensing.  It is really tough to compete with the stable of high-selling IPs that Fantasy Flight has.  Seriously, who can compete with the Star Wars IP?  Slapping Star Wars on a box is almost  a license to print money, and FF has a good track record of making good games with that IP to boot.  I think Wyrd can do a better job leveraging their experience and name in the miniature games market.

 

If you look at the current state of the market for miniature game you will notice that it is full of niche products.  Not many companies make directly competing products.  The only companies that I see who are duking things out in the same design space right now are Spartan and Hawk Wargames who are fighting for the Space Fleet & 15mm planet assault spaces.  Everyone seems to have managed to carve out a specific niche.  But it also appears that the "skirmish" area is getting pretty saturated.  I think Wyrd has a really good presence and foot-hold in the skirmish games space, but with even Games Workshop trying to move into that area with Age of Sigmar it is rather crowded.

 

Privateer Press seems to be slowly moving away from the skirmish space, but they are moving at the rate of molasses.  They seem a lot like GW and 40k in that respect.  They started out with a skirmish game (Warmachine mk1 and Rogue Trader 40k) and then created a 2nd edition that moved to a strange design space that is a bit big for skirmish but a bit small for company-sized games.  Eventually 40k moved all the way to being company scale.  Privateer needs to do this as their product lines and game-design space is getting bloated really fast, but I don't think they have plans to do this anytime soon.  But there is only one real game in the company-sized game and that is 40k.  Nobody else has managed to break into that space, and it seems that GW is not having the best time as they have shown negative profit-growth for a number of years now and they just dropped Warhammer Fantasy like a sack of bricks.

 

I think there is a current window for another company-scale game right now.  I also think there is a window for someone to jump into that space and establish themselves before Privateer Press figures out that is the direction they need to go with Warmachine.  In my opinion Wyrd has a very good opportunity here, the question is if they can pull it off.  But of all the current miniature companies, I think Wyrd is probably the smartest in regards to knowing what they are doing so I think they are well suited to the challenge.

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I am thinking that you could possibly utilise a lot of the models already available in Malifaux in the new game, certainly scope for minions like Guild Guard etc..

Potentially a "squad" box containing 10 models for example will likely cost about the same as a crew box? Each model does not need to be individual, could have say 3 poses per box?

I can't see it being any more expensive than Warmahordes, and certainly cheaper than 40k for example!

If there's a box of 10 minis I want 10 different poses, or at the least mulipart models that will allow for a great deal of customisation. I want as many different models for Guild Guard and Riflemen as possible.

I think Malifaux has grown to a great breadth. We has so many different masters and so many niche models that are (mostly) all useable. I don't think anyone outside of Wyrd knows how much design space there is left in Malifaux, but as Malifaux stands right now I'm positively smitten with it.

A new game can be a great thing for us who have a hard time considering moving to a larger model count game. This could give the development team a chance to flex their creative muscles and give them the breather they might need from Malifaux. Personally, I left 40K because I got sick and tired of moving 100+ models a turn, most of which are the same and basically models for wound counters. I love how Malifaux is character based.

Of course anything we say is speculation.

As it stands now (a few days after some art and maybe 50 words from Wyrd about it) I am very hesitant to get into it because, 1) the art looks like Tyranids assaulting Imperial Guard, 2) I want to stay away from higher model count games and finally I've still got plenty of masters I haven't even played yet.

I want The Other Side to flourish just like I want Malifaux to flourish and grow. Wyrd may be the closest I come to brand or company loyalty. They produce great product that I enjoy immensely.

Nathan, Eric, Justin, Aaron, Mason and everyone else at Wyrd thank you for being a great company that produces some amazingly fun games.

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Wyrd miniatures are not really expensive. Most starter box are $45-50 and has 6-7 man sized models. While 10 Tactical Marines are cheaper at $40 any kind of specialists (Assault, Devestators, Veterans) are 5 for $40. Single Wyrd models range from $11 for a single human up to $35 for big guys (e.g. Whiskey Golem, Hannah). Single Space Marine HQ models cost $15-30, a Dreadnought (similar in size to a Whiskey Golem) cost $46.

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Wyrd miniatures are not really expensive. Most starter box are $45-50 and has 6-7 man sized models. While 10 Tactical Marines are cheaper at $40 any kind of specialists (Assault, Devestators, Veterans) are 5 for $40. Single Wyrd models range from $11 for a single human up to $35 for big guys (e.g. Whiskey Golem, Hannah). Single Space Marine HQ models cost $15-30, a Dreadnought (similar in size to a Whiskey Golem) cost $46.

 

This is a fair point.

 

I have played miniature games for over 25 years now (starting to get old... get off my lawn you whippersnappers!), and I think the best way to look at the true cost/value of a game is not to look at the individual price of a playing piece but rather to look at the various costs of: initial starting buy in, average total cost of a "standard" sized force, and the overall cost of continued expansion (what does the game ask me to regularly spend as it continues to grow).  Malifaux is BY FAR the best value in just about all of those categories compared to other miniature games on the market (worth mentioning that Infinity is roughly in the same spot as well).  

 

Yes, you don't get as much physical stuff for the price, but the game delivers more quality playtime experience for a smaller price than almost every competitor.  Wyrd has done an excellent job in that regard.  The game is set up extremely well for those people on a limited budget.  It allows you to do very well at a fairly small buy-in (2nd edition does an even better job at this than 1st ed).  But I think the designers were very astute in how they also allowed the factions to bleed into one another which can lead players to a very organic expansion of their collections.  And the game is also set up in a such a way that those of us with a fairly large amount of disposable hobby income can spend an awful lot of it in the game if we want.

 

The only person who I don't think Malifaux is the best value as a miniature game on the market is the person who is solely a modeler/painter.  Now, let me first say that I think the Malifaux models are absolutely fantastic and some of the best on the market.  The material is great and easily my favorite plastic material to work with as a modeller (I prefer it to the softer GW plastic).  I also think the sculpting and poses are great.  But the reason I don't say it is the best value for that crowd is simply that it costs a fair bit per model and I am specifically referring to the crowd that is mainly interested in the artistic hobby aspect and less in the game.  Malifaux is still good to that crowd, but it is probably not the best in market.  For that crowd I think you either need to look to the extremely conversion friendly GW or the ultra-detailed resin-cast miniature makers (like McVey or Mierce).

 

But in regards to gameplay per dollar I don't think very many companies come close to Wyrd.

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All good points Bob. Though I'm not enamored with the thought of yet another game from Wyrd at this point what does go for them is that the things they do for Malifaux they do very well. Great miniatures, decent price point, excellent ruleset and good community

 

I agree.

 

Right now all they have proven is that what they do exceptionally well is the skirmish-scale Malifaux.  I have zero experience with any of their board games so I cannot comment on those.  I am rather interested in Darkness Comes Rattling, but I will admit that I was not interested enough to invest in it from the gencon sale (there was way too much Malifaux stuff competing for my extra cash).  I will most likely pick it up, but I will get it from the general release at some point.

 

But I think they have done an excellent job with Malifaux.  My experience watching them in the miniature game market tells me that they have a fair clue at what they are doing (they are one of the more transparent companies out there) which is why I think they have a good shot at putting out a good game at a different scale.  But I could be wrong.  I am fully willing to admit that I may be wrong and that it may have happened on at least one or more occasions (don't listen to my wife on this matter...).

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 and I think the best way to look at the true cost/value of a game is not to look at the individual price of a playing piece but rather to look at the various costs of: initial starting buy in, average total cost of a "standard" sized force, and the overall cost of continued expansion (what does the game ask me to regularly spend as it continues to grow). 

I don't think anyone has argued that Malifaux has an expensive start cost and so on. Someone claimed it had a high cost per model though so I was addressing that point. I chose to compare Wyrd to Space Marines (by far the most dominant miniature line on the market) and I think they come out quite favourably. Now some 40k factions have slightly cheaper line infantry than Space Marines, but specialists, individuals and "big guys" are priced pretty much the same as Space Marines.

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I don't think anyone has argued that Malifaux has an expensive start cost and so on. Someone claimed it had a high cost per model though so I was addressing that point. I chose to compare Wyrd to Space Marines (by far the most dominant miniature line on the market) and I think they come out quite favourably. Now some 40k factions have slightly cheaper line infantry than Space Marines, but specialists, individuals and "big guys" are priced pretty much the same as Space Marines.

 

I did not disagree with your cost analysis.  I was merely saying that I think to see the true value that you get with Malifaux that you should look at the full picture across the game and not for individual models.

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The Dark Carnival Coryphee advert specifically said Black Friday as the release. This is the first we've heard of it, unless they've been designing and playtesting for the last year I think this announcement is just to build hype and see the reaction of the general public.

Aaron made a post about needing a lead artist for a new game they're designing back in May. I know the Wyrd team is great but I don't think they can build a well designed game with models ready for retail in 7 months, if the posting was was for The Other Side. They'll probably have more info during the Black Friday sale.

Not to mention Gencon is when they release new games not Black Friday.

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While we're just speculating, there are a couple reasons beyond rules differences that the Other Side and Malifaux might not be compatible.

 

1) While set in the same world, the games might not be contemporaneous. The technology in the illustration looks a bit more advanced, and the Other Side could be set slightly in the future in relation to Malifaux. If this were set during the 1930s or 40s, we could be looking at a transition from steampunk to dieselpunk, which I think would be great!

 

2) The scale of the miniatures could be different. I'd love to see the Other Side in 15mm for a true army scale game that does not require an absurdly large 40K apocalypse style table.

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I agree about the point of potential release before next gencon.

 

You want to have the starter sets/ armies/ product out for people to play and paint so that you can showcase the full game at gencon with all the tournaments and events.

 

Miniatures dropped On gencon wont be shown used by the public till next year, and that is a lot of missed sales.

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The price point for company level I´m expecting is something similar to the rpg models, so if they can keep those costs, although with a bit more varied poses, they will be GOLDEN. I mean a 10 man unit for 35 dollars at that quality seems like a steal to me. Keep those costs for the units even if they aren´t as fancy as what we are used to in Malifaux and they will be able to create a nice niche. Age of Sigmar and 40K is the expensive model wise (I´ll ignore rulewise....) with high end plastics (with bloated prices...), Warmachine and Hordes are in similar price points to GW, but offer a lot more deals to get started quick and proper and kings of war is all about lots of models for cheap, but looking kind of dodgy (you get what you pay after all), The Other Side could fall perfectly in between the PP and Mantic rage costwise. Make it so you can play with 4 units, a couple of characters, a small support unit and a big critter and bam, you have something interesting in the oven.

 

The other thing I´m happy is that both systems won´t be related since although it would be cool to put mu current models into the game table, it ends up being a headache and shackles design space.

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