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Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper!
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TOPIC: Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper!
#22671
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
This appears to be a paradigm shift for Reaper.... I'm wondering if this is a well planned business move or if it is out of desperation...

WOTC plastics are already easily available individually through 3rd party resellers so I'm not sure what Reaper will bring to the market with this move....
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#22672
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Better paint jobs and different/better sculpts?
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#22673
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
When you bought the AT-43 figures, did you have to buy the whole game, or did you buy only the minis? I am also interested in getting those.
I've bought one box of everything that has been released so far - and which has found its way to the online shop I'm favouring... The Operation Damocles set, containing a strider and 8 figures for the Therians, and a strider and 9 figures for the White Stars. One each of the january releases. I intend to get one box of each as the next releases are available, building a functional force for each faction.

The cost is 30 Euro for most of the boxes, with the standard infantry boxes for 25 and the big Therian striders for 40. Boxes contain anything from a strider and a container or some barricade pieces, or an infantry unit of 6 or 8 figures. Inbetween are the medium sized troopers with 3 of each (TAC arms and Bane Goliaths).

Detail work is equal to or higher than Games Workshop plastics - and the paint is a couple of notches up compared to anything from WotC. The plastic that has been used is more like the one used by GW, and not the soft WotC variety.

For me the paint quality is slightly lower than what I would be able to do with the infantry guys, and considering the time spent to achieve that, it's great, but way higher than anything I've ever managed to achieve for the White Stars strider (the FireToad). The camouflage is clean and crisp and the various lettering is perfect! To find anything like it you should get down to your local model train shop and look at some of the better train models. In all, for me this is definitely a winning proposition, and if Reaper can provide something on a similar level, I'll be one happe gamer!

By the way, the rules are really superb, too... :)

The starter box (Operation Damocles) contains a shortened version of the rules, with the full English rulebook to be published this month. The actual rules are available as a free download from the Rackham page.
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#22674
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
If you want to build structured army...

The problem with getting enough figures for a sizeable force using DDM is that you only get a few poses, and no structure. DDM isn't meant for large scale battles, you have to go to a provider like GW or someone similar for that. DDM is great for what it is - a skirmish battle system, where you can assemble a wide range of different small warbands with unique features and lots of variety, or if you want to get any kind of possible creature or monster for your role-playing games.

Reading the Reaper announcement I get the impression that it would be a lot easier building an actual army using the new figures, which is a task that DDM simply is not designed for. It's great at what it does, but near useless if you try to assemble a large scale force with some sort of coherency.

Unless, of course, you want to recreate the chaotic forces at the end of the recent Narnia movie!
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#22675
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Aracon--what they'll bring to the market is the freedom to pick and choose from open, viewable figures that you don't have to chase down by spending a ton of money on closed up boxes, hoping to get what you want. Choice--that's a huge market incentive.

What they're also bringing to the market is a great way for entry-level GMs, young or old, to build up decent hordes for their games (need 12 zombies? No problem, just buy exactly those figures).

The 3rd party resellers are all over the board with their prices on commons, uncommons, and rares if you look around the various e-tailers and e-outlets, eBay included. You may very well still find yourself in the "hunt" for the right price, and affordable shipping costs, on select minis.

I'd hardly say that it was desperation for Reaper, then again, I'm not privvy to their books. However, they seem to be holding their own in the fantasy minis (lead) market so I think that this will be another (strong) feather in their cap.

I'm not sure how thorough you read the posts from top to bottom, but there are a lot of thing I and other posters listed as benefits of launching a product line like this. I just hope that they don't discontinue producing the metal figures. Even though I like the idea of being able to pick up a bunch of ready-to-play miniatures, I still like painting character and creature minis.
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#22676
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
I don't know why anyone's even considering the possibility of Reaper cancelling their metals -- no way is that happening. Along with GW and Rackham, they pretty much dominate right now. They seem more popular than ever, actually -- five years ago I couldn't find nearly as many retailers carrying Reaper as I can find now.

Plus, the release makes it clear that this is a new launch for them, not a change of direction. They're just adding, like when they started Warlord.

L
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#22677
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
L,

Actually, they stole the Warlord concept from another company and beat them to the punch in production. The other company went to Reaper to learn how to cast minis and spilled the beans about an upcoming game and mistakenly told Reaper the name of the game (Warlord). Reaper beat them to market both with the name and scale of figures.
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#22678
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
2. If Reaper can't put these out in waves that sell evenly, retailers may find themselves with 100 extra bugbear warriors after selling out all their drow archmages. Since Reaper seems to have a "buy back" offer for unsold items, that means Reaper would eat the cost of the unsold figures -- making the line unprofitable. While customers LIKE the idea of being able to pick and choose, leaving unwanted figures behind, part of the success of the WOTC line is that nobody has to predict the fickle preferences of the buying public. If we all decide to leave the same figures behind, for several waves in a row, that could spell doom. With WOTC, you get 'em all, because you have no choice. If Reaper can't improve on that model, the line could fail.

3. The cost could simply be too high. There are some pre-painted minis on the market right now, and they tend to do poorly, even when well-executed. Look at what happened with DF! I can honestly say, I don't think I've seen better prepainted fantasy minis than what DF did. Sure, I can get more detail on my skeletons when I paint them myself, but the DF skeletons are easily the best pre-painted ones I've ever seen. Yet at $5 a pop, selling in $15 3-packs, they just didn't sell. If Reaper has a comparable sales model, the price may just scare everyone away. People who like pre-painted figs will think "For the same expenditure, I can get 7 WOTC minis, instead of only 2-3 Reaper ones." People who like to paint will think "For the same expenditure, I can get 4 unpainted Reaper figures, and do at least as good a job with them myself."

My personal concerns put me in the first part of #3, i want as much bang for my $ as I can get, i don't really care about the quality of the paint jobs. For $15 i would rather get 7 figures and not have the best paint job, than pay a ton of $ for a good paint job. For me as long as you can tell the things apart i am happy. After i got some of the DF skeletons in the pre-sale bonus, i have to say they are very nice, but for me it is more what they are made out of, not so much the painting on them that i like.

My concern on the overall sucess of the line is the same as L's for #3. The blind "neutral" packaing is Great for retailers becuase every product is equal in value on the shelf, WizKids' proved this quit well with there no gaurntees of even a rare in some of the boosters. The Blind booster that was full of bad figures had the same chance of selling as the booster with the Powerfull Unique. The three options of Low Cost, Selection and Packing, one has to give, they made one of the choices already Non Blind packing so Selection or Cost has to preety much be the other, and for me oddly Selection will determine what i am willing to pay. Goblins, Orcs, Skeletons i have tons of and won't pay much for, (see #3) but give me a beholder/eye tyrant and i will but it if the price is right. Heroe's too, but not generics...
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#22679
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Dante,

I've read the posts, but I can pick up multiples of specific common figures for a couple bucks at most. While there may be more poses for Reaper minis, getting 100 DDM Kobolds was fairly simple. I had them within a month of Harbinger's release and paid less thant 50 cents each. Granted, some of the DDM rares (such as a Harbinger mummy) would be expensive to bulk an army out with, but commons and most uncommons are very affordable and fairly easy to obtain. This is why I don't quite get why Reaper's product is in any way superior to DDM. I can't imagine that Reaper will be able to put kobolds, with multiple poses, on the shelf for 50 cents each....

Trust me, I buy a LOT of reaper metals, but their sales are way down in all of the stores I frequent. DDM hurt Reaper big time. We'll see how well they execute this product release which will tell us if this was a sound business decision or an act of desperation.

My bet is on desperation, otherwise they would have product available at GAMA to show off and we would see pictures plastered on their site.
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#22680
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Hi all -

Just to chime in and add my 2p here ...

Please keep in mind that a shift in company direction is not a "sign of desperation" and labelling it such prior to even seeing the new product is a bit rash. Any business has to be adaptable to survive. We can all agree that the hobby industry, and especially the miniature industry, is in a state of flux. There have been many "classic" lines that we grew up with that refused to adapt and have, sadly, become extinct. The pre-painted trend is no longer a simple fad that will pass. It's become a genre unto itself and manufacturers can either embrace it, hopping on the band wagon to add to their market share or take greater risks by letting the wagon pass them by. If doing what one must to keep a business alive and thriving is a "sign of desperation" then I suppose even our friends at Dwarven Forge were deperate when they "circled the wagons" and went direct-only sales and eliminated an imperfect and greedy distribution network. Reaper is one of the largest miniature companies and has the capital to allow them to venture into the pre-painted arena. GW could, and should, do the same (but that's another topic entirely). But other, smaller companies just don't have the opportunity to do so and their futures will be subject to the industry-wide shift.

That said (complete with all the wagon references) I also can't imagine Reaper abandoning the offerings of their metal figures. While sales may be down - as a result of the viable pre-painted market - there are still many painters (old and new alike) who will buy them. The figures are already in place for them to develop a pre-painted line without having to lay out large development / sculpting costs. Look at the way the metal Chainmail figures were absorbed into Mage Knight line.

Granted, as has already been mentioned, it all depends on quality and cost. Where we as indivduals stand on that scale is subjective. GS said that he doesn't particularly care about how a figure looks where I, on the other hand, do. I love the D&D minis because they were a fairly convenient way to get some pre-painted figures without spending time I don't have painting metal ones. I started as a painter. I still love to paint. But I just don't have the time any more. I'm lucky if I can get a character model done. That's me and my life and I'm sure others are in the same boat (er, "wagon"). Then again, there are new hobbyists in the making as well but their time is also more divided then mine was when I started out. Had I had an X-Box 360 instead of an Atari 2600 I would have spent loads of time away from my painting table ... especially had pre-painteds been available back then. And who'd of imagined the internet (other than Al Gore) back then and MMORPGs to siphon more time away?

For some, it's about the painting, for others, it's about the game. Just look how some people love Fantasy Flight's "Descent" boardgame as it is while others still want to paint the figures that come with it (or even make 3d terrain as opposed to using the included card floors). Other painters insist on ranting about the quality of Rackham's AT-43 pre-paints and how they have to go back and re-do them when they are the best pre-paints yet to be made. It's all about personal taste and what an individual wants to get out of "their" hobby and game(s) of choice.

In short, for me, had a non-random, higher quality, better painted and sculpted line been available years ago when I began collecting the DDMs I would have opted for those. And, assuming all goes well with Reaper's plans, I will opt for them once they do come out. Of course, I'll probably still have to keep up with the DDMs, but I won't worry about getting enough of a figure for my RPG needs. I think that's a huge thing that Reaper will have going for it (along with their great sculpts). The non-randomness of the figures. Especially if they put together "scenario packs" with many similar figures (undead, goblins, adventuring party, etc.). People (more of the RPGers) on the DDM forums have been clamoring for just that for quite a while. Wizards is going to offer something like that as a test in their Icons line with the release of their Drizzt scenario pack.

So, what does all that above text mean ? ... wait and see and then judge for yourselves. I'm anxious to see what Reaper comes up with. Just as I'm anxious to see what Dwarven Forge comes up with. If it works for me, I'll buy it ... if not, I won't. I can't speak for the masses or make suppositions about a company's business decisions but I can see the need to diversify and adapt in an evolving industry. In the long run (er, "wagon ride"), however, the quality of the offering will determine it's success.

Ok ... I'd better get back to work ...
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#22681
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Myrthe;

Stick you fingers in your ears, and pardon me while I jump up and down cheering!

THAT was the best and most succinct statement of business diversity and collector varables I have EVER seen, here or anywhere ELSE on the Web. You nailed it, much better than I ever could have.

Hats off!

Jim
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#22682
Whoa! HUGE news from Reaper! 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Aracon

You might be right that you could have got 50 Kobold minis easily after Harbinger was out. I just checked e-Bay - couldn't find a single one. No clue when Harbinger DDM came out - but if I would need some Kobold minis in 2 weeks for a game I wouldn't be able to source any easily.

Thod

PS: Couldn't even find on the first 5 pages any DDM orcs. Yes - loads of GW orcs - and even painted ones - but all painted ones are metal/plastic ones painted individually. I have to admit - I'm on E-Bay UK. Might be different in the US. But DDM minis wouldn't be an option for me at the moment if I need orcs or kobolds.
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