Friday, March 22, 2013

Now GW Has A PSC-Like Plastics Competitor Too

by SandWyrm


For a couple of years now, Battlefront's nice, high margins on their resin tanks/infantry have been massively undercut by the Plastic Soldier Company. Which is just 2 guys who digitally sculpt on a computer, and pump out cheap high-quality plastic kits that cost 3/5ths of what BF charges.

Well, now GW has a PSC-like competitor to worry about too. Dreamforge games is now selling plastic guard minis at 2/3rds what GW charges, and about twice the visual appeal. As their kickstarter project comes to fruition. Expect more models going forward.

Head over to BoLS for a first look at the initial run of guard-compatable figures. I'll definately be buying some.


It's very PSC in every way. From the price, right down to the 3D-modeled, color-coded, instructions.

Going forward, the new price of Guard models is now $22 for 10. Instead of $29 for 10 models (with 15 year old designs) with fewer weapons options and extra bits. GW will need to lower it's prices. But I bet they'll raise them instead. :)

21 comments:

  1. We have the option. Now we just need the big independent GTs like Adepticon and Nova to sanction the use of non-GW minis.

    Though I would like some see some other designs from 3rd party manufacturers besides faux sci-fi German storm troopers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thew NOVA Open has a open policy about using NON-GW models already. If it is clear to you opponent to what it "represents" it is 100% fine for competition.

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    2. I couldn't find Nova's model policy, but I know that Adepticon's only somewhat tolerates non-GW figs.

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    3. No problem at NOVA. There were 100% Star Wars stormtrooper armies there when I went.

      Adepticon? I doubt they have an all-GW policy. Since GW doesn't do much in the way of tournament support anymore.

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    4. Since GW doesn't support tournaments anymore at all, there really is no reason to cling to any sort of brand loyalty at the events. Open the floodgates for Mantic undead armies as Vamp Counts, Eisenkern riflemen as Space Marines and Infinity remotes as Tau Drones!!!

      Funny, what was a cost-cutting business decision to save them money, is actually going to do the opposite as they hand part of their market share to others.

      Delete
  2. I picked up a few of them in the kickstarter... REALLY nice minis, using them (when I get them assembled and painted) as Storm-troopers in my IG army. Have to say, for the price, far better than the GW stuff, but just my opinion... Will have to see what else they come out with in terms of army types...

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  3. I picked up the basic Eisenkern at the FLGS the other day, I'm going to use them as veterans in my Tyrant's Legion (using Dark Vengeance Cultists as my chaff guardsmen). I can honestly say they're my favorite kit I've put together in a long time. After mixing some of the eminently affordable Wargames Factory shock troops into my chaff squads I'll have close to 100 guardsmen (I know, not that much in the scheme of things but its an allied contingent) for a fraction of the price of cadian boxes, and they'll actually fit the aesthetic and fluff of the army.

    I just can't wait to get the Leviathan, its pure beauty.

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  4. Good article. While not quite as pretty, Mantic also makes a good, cheaper alternative:
    http://www.manticgames.com/Shop-Home/Warpath/Corporation/Corporation-Infantry/Product/Corporation-Marines-Section-10-Figures.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a fan of Mantic's minis:

      http://theback40k.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-mantic-enforcers.html

      Their designs are meh for the most part, and the material they're made of is horrible for assembly.

      Delete
  5. What sort of material are the Dreamforge models made from? Does it work with plastic cement?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much the same as GW plastic.

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    2. It cuts and glues similarly to GW plastic, it's slightly glossier.

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  6. mantic minis are great, but the sizes aren't inline with 40k honestly.

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  7. $48 for 10 Cadians here in Australia. $65 for 3 heavy weapons teams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ho-ly-Crap!

      If GW ever equalizes prices between the USA and Aus, I bet it'll be because they raise our prices to match yours. :(

      Delete
  8. If only all of these pseudo-GW's would make something other than Guard models. I rather like the look of these, and if I ever got into a Guard army I'd probably go through a company like this.

    I have to wonder, though, if Dreamforge did come out with nice, affordable replacements that 90% of people flocked to, what would happen to the game? And this is true of about any system, not just GW.

    The companies make the vast majority of their profits on models. A rulebook every 5 years, and then a new army/overhaul that costs 4x as much. So what happens when you remove their model profits?

    Either the company tanks, and the game goes away (but hey, the models are a lot cheaper now!), or the costs of books/supplements has to skyrocket to account for losses.
    Sure, a company like GW could theoretically cut down to a skeleton crew for model production, but they still have to keep writers, game designers, and others on the payroll that said books are *not* going to have a chance to pay for. The price of the models will never compete with something like PSC, I don't think, because their bare minimum is still way higher than two guys in a garage.

    I don't know the particulars at all, what actual costs they have, necessary margins and bottom lines... but I could see all of these cheap model producers not being the death of high GW prices (or any other system), but the death of the systems. Short term gains for us, sure (and I'm about to the point where further GW purchases have to happen second hand, because my expendable income can't keep up with $50 codexes), but is this the long term end of our collective hobby? Can any of these companies keep up with the impossibly low overhead of a simple model production crew?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decentralized manufacturing is the future. The old GW model of making all your profits on models will have to go. It simply can't continue. That's the future, like it or not.

      The games themselves will become more important, and will have to stand on their own as products, independent of the models. Instead of one company making one game and all the models for it, you'll have multiple games and multiple model makers, including home users.

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    2. Okay, but can a company really be a company selling the occasional $50 rulebook? That's my question.

      If I started a new game now, even with a small crew of developers/testers, probably yeah. I could cut a deal with Dreamforge or Mantic or whoever, I sell the rules, they sell the models. Everybody wins. But a large, existing company *model* company to go from primarily selling models to having to sell rules to make a profit? That's not an easy change. And GW doesn't have to go through with it. They can simply cut their losses and let the game die.

      I would hope that GW can keep producing the game and carry on. I just think it's feasible that it won't necessarily be all sunshine and rainbows all the way through.

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    3. You'll have 1-2 guys per plastic model company making and selling models. Why not 1-3 guys in a company who only make and sell rules/apps?

      That's what I'm doing right now with WarStrike. That's what the casual video game guys are already doing, and they're killing the big established players on games that cost $2-5 instead of $50 a pop. The biggest success in video gaming is the iPad/iPhone. Not a dedicated gaming PC/Console.

      Have you noticed how scared Sony is in their PS4 announcements? Have you seen the numbers that may dictate Microsoft getting out of the game business just as they've managed to establish themselves? Because the refresh cycles on consoles aren't cheap, and neither company has gobs of money laying around anymore.

      Sony has to do it, because the Playstation is the only thing they have left which makes money. Microsoft has never made a net profit on the XBox, and has to decide if remaining in a shrinking market segment is worth it with Windows/Office sales declining. They've burned through $40B in failed projects over the last 6 years alone. Nintendo? They're finding out that their customers are still happy with the Wii. Upgrade? Why? Graphics were never the reason to own a Wii in the first place.

      Physical media is going away in this console generation. Why? So that MS and Sony can cut out the used game business and pump profits by tying game purchases to specific devices. Gamestop will be gone within a year of both consoles launching. In spirit, it's not unlike what GW is doing to their independent retailers.

      So no, it's not going to be pretty. Revolutions never are. But it's unavoidable too. So we might as well make the best of it that we can. The big, monolithic players are going away. We won't have the depth of their managed experiences, but we will have more choice for our money than we've ever known what to do with. Wargaming won't die, it'll just transform.

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    4. I guess it boils down to "what would GW have to do to stay in business?"

      The first question, really, is can they? Will 40k exist in 5 years? If not, why get excited about slightly cheaper models? They're meaningless.

      The second question, if GW and like games are able to move to a rule-centric money making method, is how will it work? How much will a codex cost? Core rules? How many paid supplements will suddenly become mandatory for the game? At what point will we be paying just as much overall, because we have to buy so much more paper (or pdf) product?

      The biggest complaint I hear is "GW is out to make money". That won't go away... they'll still have to find a way to get into our pockets, and if models stop doing it, other things will have to, or they'll crumble. So will this really save us money in the end? Or will we just lose a game system because of it?

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    5. I think there's always going to be a place for companies that sell the minis and the rules as a whole package. Just like there will always bee AAA video game titles and Sumer Blockbustes. Just because sowe companies have created new markets, doesn't mean the old ones go away.

      GW's problems is that they canabalize instead of grow. They stay solvent by cutting cost and forcing out any competition to their own distribution channels. Say what you will about PP, they at least have booths at PAX and Comic Con trying to snare the occasional comic book and video game fan into miniatures.

      Delete

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