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GENCON 2014

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Ok Guys I am a FAN of SG!!  BUT!!!  GENCON was awesome and no Spartan Games!!!  I know it is a huge undertaking but it saddens me that they dont take the effort to send 3 or 4 people and put up a booth to drum up US interest!!!

 

I have been waiting and waiting for PF and been avoiding DZ but at GENCON Hawk was there and they had a very nice booth.  ON top of that they had the new Faction that is coming out this month, The "Resistance" That faction might be the last straw.  It is awesome and exactly suited to ME!!  Sorry SG but I might have to seel all my DW and my FSA and move on.  I will still love you but my money might be going to a different company.  I cant find players in my area for SG games so if I can find a following in DZ it will be jumping ship.

 

Sorry to say it but sometimes you have to know when to fold'em.

 

Concerned gamer!!!!!!!!

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Hello Concerned Gamer

 

You may have a point, but I feel that logistically this would be difficult for Spartan to currently do.  They are a relatively small company and from my experience of how they present themselves at shows just turning up without something to show to the public would probably be criticised more than them not attending?

 

The Planetfall display that was transported to Claymore in Edinburgh, which admittedly to anyone from America does not look that far on a map but in the UK is a considerable drive from the South West of England up to the North East of Scotland on motorways with roadworks every couple of miles, would have been an undertaking in itself ensuring that everything arrived safely. 

 

I once heard someone from America described our roads as 'quaint'.  Initially, I was a little put out, but when I visited the US I understood where they were coming from.  Driving 500 miles in the US is very different to doing the same in the UK.  You have also got to consider the availability of staff for such a venture?

 

You may suggest that flying to the US would be easier (by ship not really an option?) but I have experience of how some baggage handlers treat things marked as FRAGILE (or otherwise) and this has been well documented on Utube etc.  In one of the corners of the Planetfall table was a large tower as a centre piece.  This probably would not have survived baggage retrieval?  There is also, and regrettably, the cost to consider?

 

Having said this I do hope that you do one day get your wish and Spartan travel to one of your wargames shows (Cons as you call them). ;)

 

Lastly, it would not be right for me to comment on DZC that you mention, but I will say that from what I have seen of the Planetfall models you may regret any decision you make in that direction?  Hope you make the right informed choice. :unsure::)

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No booth in the exhibition hall, unfortunately, but there was a table running Firestorm pretty much the entire weekend, and I saw Dystopian Wars and Uncharted Seas at the next one. Thanks to Stingray for running the lion's share of the Firestorm demos. If he's not here to comment, it's probably because he has to sleep for about two straight days to recover!

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I'm sorry, but for however small Spartan is Hawk Wargames is tinier, yet they also apparently had a full booth with their new faction on display.

 

Spartan has three upcoming DL factions, some terrain in the starter set, along with the known Planetfall models and terrain shown at Claymore. All of which they could have shown off.

 

There has to be upcoming DL models and the terrain because I cannot believe they would release a starter set in 4-5 weeks without having production samples to make sure they are able to make the product.

 

That said, showing off their products at locations for the entire gaming community to admire is a necessary means to help the company grow. Right now the only people who know that Dystopian Legions is coming out with new rules and factions are people who are already invested in the game and either receive the newsletters or are on the forums... And people directly associated with them.

 

These big conventions with actual gaming news coverage is necessary for getting the community as a whole excited about the upcoming products and spreading information about the company throughout all gaming groups and locations. The company will never grow or have the revenue to expand if nobody in the world finds out that there are new products or improvements to current products.

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I cannot fault you on what you say from a gamers perspective, and also from a company perspective with regards what appears to be one of the big shows in the US.

 

But you do not have the same considerations to make?

 

Sadly there is nothing more I can say in defence of the criticism of a lack of a Spartan Games (in person) at a show in the US, but all I can add is it is only recently that their presence at shows in the UK has been more prevalent?

 

Hope that you guys get your wish.  :)

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I have talked to Neil until I was blue in the face and I understand they will not come to GENCON soon, but the issue is there are so many games out now, Sci-Fi, Western, Steampunk, Fanasty, and Tank warfare.  The board games coming out are awesome for people to get exposed to miniature games and the jump into the games we love.  I picked up two new games at GENCON one I knew about and one that was new and I had never saw it before. 

 

I live in Wisconsin and the SG commuinity has slowed down to a crawl and is dieing slowly, it is very sad because I love the games and the minitures but why should I keep buying the games if noone whats to promote them and that turns into noone wants to buy them.  I did not buy DZ, yet, but if I can find a good following in Wisconsin I will sell all my SG models and buy some DZ.  Now why do I post on here because I am saddened that SG says they listen to there costumers, and that is true most of the time, but they are loosing the battle in the USA because they will not come to the big shows in the US.

 

:(:blink:

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It's true that Spartan Games is a small business, as is Hawk Wargames, but Hawk is only two and a bit years old and they're already going to Gencon because US interest is a big deal (and this coming from a Brit!). Then again, I'm sure Spartan would love to have a stand at the world's biggest tabletop convention, but there might be other factors at play.

 

If it's a question of manpower, I'm sure that LOADS of people on here would love to volunteer to help out. But it could be down to finances, or logistics, or any number of things. Here's hoping that SG has plans for Gencon 2015 (or, at least, I hope they do!).

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As someone that drives several hundred miles weekly for work and shamefully never having taken the time to visit the UK, your're right I dont understand why driving across te UK would be a challenge. I'm not trying to be an ass, but thats like driving across state so a few hours with the kids watching movies in the back while my wife nags me to stop every forty miles to pee... ;)

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As someone that drives several hundred miles weekly for work and shamefully never having taken the time to visit the UK, your're right I dont understand why driving across te UK would be a challenge. I'm not trying to be an ass, but that's like driving across state so a few hours with the kids watching movies in the back while my wife nags me to stop every forty miles to pee... ;)

Regrettably it is not just a few hours drive, it's a nightmare where you will spend just a few hours in traffic jams. :(  But definitely need to stop for a pee! :lol: 

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but they are loosing the battle in the USA because they will not come to the big shows in the US.

I don't understand. You complain no one will promote the game in Wisconsin...by being at a convention in Indiana? Those two seem like largely unrelated issues.

 

 

These big conventions with actual gaming news coverage is necessary for getting the community as a whole excited about the upcoming products and spreading information about the company throughout all gaming groups and locations.

While that may be true, ensuring a solid coverage via TTGN/BoW and so on seems to me at least to be more important- Gencon, large as it may be, is still a convention- the overwhelming majority of the gamers wont be there. They get their info via websites such as the above.

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I agree with everyone here on this topic!!!  I have been to the UK, London, Edinburgh, Iverness, and many other great cities.  Driving is not that big of deal once you get use to the "Wrong" side.  LOL.  I had an amazing time in the UK and hope to go back soon.

 

This is totally up to SG to go or not go, unfortunately that is not good for the US players.  The only reason I wish they would come is to grow the games in our backyard!!  No showing = NO players= No opponents = no games and my beautiful models sit on the shelf and collect dust!!  :)

 

So my last question is WHY SHOULD I CONTINUE TO WAIT FOR PLANETFALL??  If they are not going to advertise and grow their awesome games then why should spend one more dime on any Spartan Games.  Last one here I have been playing DW for 4 years and I cannot even get a DW 2.0 book from a US store or on-line store.  That is completely ridiculous!!

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POK, Indiana is the best location because it is only an 6-8 hr drive for a huge chunk of the US.  I drove the 6hrs with my wife and kid to the show.  I met over 100 people from WIS. out of the 50,000 people that came to GENCON.  I bet there were 1000 more from WIS. that id did not meet.  GENCON bringing in tons of people for all over the US.  There are 2 more big CONS in the US but GENCON is the biggest and if you want to get BUZZ about your games that is the Place to be.  That is why it is related!!!!!!!!!   BTW I didnot complain that noone will promote the game in WIS. I complain that SG does not promote the game in the US, and is is slowying dieing off in WIS.  because of that reason.

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So my last question is WHY SHOULD I CONTINUE TO WAIT FOR PLANETFALL??  If they are not going to advertise and grow their awesome games then why should spend one more dime on any Spartan Games.  Last one here I have been playing DW for 4 years and I cannot even get a DW 2.0 book from a US store or on-line store.  That is completely ridiculous!!

I think you can buy a DW2.0 rulebook in the US, from a certain store  at 125  E Main Street , Riverhead, NY 11901 whose online name has 'war' and another very American name for shop in it?

 

As to why you should wait for planetfall, it's for the very reasons you have given about Spartans products.  The Planetfall models are AWSOME!!! 

 

No one can come close to the quality of their resin models, and it is in this field that they excel in my opinion.  But I do sympathise with your frustration.  Hope that you manage to persuade your gaming buddies to join you in what I think will be a great gaming experience with Planetfall.

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GenCon is a big con… but it's one con. Spartan made the decision not to go. Good decision? Bad decision? Unless you have a lot more data than the rest of us about Spartan's financial situation and goals, I'd hesitate to judge. Maybe the choice was "go to GenCon or hire a third designer for Planetfall." Maybe it was "go to GenCon and release three support fleets this quarter, or don't and release five." You don't know what you don't know.

The same is true of Planetfall's release schedule. We're ALL impatient… but that doesn't mean Spartan is wrong. Sometimes things take as long as they take.

If you want to buy games from a company that rushes rules through development, I hear that GW's games are (somehow) still popular… but the rest of us prefer games that are fun, thanks.

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The reason you would not buy into Planetfall though is sadly because the only people who know anything about it or have heard it talked up was at a very small wargames event in Scotland that nobody on this side of the pond has heard about. 

 

In the US the entire gaming community, news sites, and podcasts to go the big gaming conventions to talk to the different companies and spread excitement about the hot news from each company.

 

The entirety of the DL 2.0 news blast was Spartan Games personal newsletter. The Element 270 blog site, and a single tiny blurb from BoW that just said essentially 'Spartan is releasing a new 2 player box set for DL 2.0'.

 

The news sites are great for distributing ongoing updates, but that is not where hype and excitement is generated in the gaming community... That occurs by people talking to the representatives of the companies and seeing the upcoming goodies at the big shows and the coverage derived from that.

 

It is a big expense, and it is very difficult to get set up well I understand, but the payoff is the entire gaming community generates excitement for the company.

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The news sites are great for distributing ongoing updates, but that is not where hype and excitement is generated in the gaming community... That occurs by people talking to the representatives of the companies and seeing the upcoming goodies at the big shows and the coverage derived from that.

Wouldn't that require Spartan to develop a whole US branch? Once a year going to gencon wouldn't generate enough buzz surely?  If that is the case, logically speaking it's best to abandon US for an easier reached demographic until you're GW's size. Or have T&A to sell your models like certain Spanish company (which I used to like but which lost all my respect in the last 2 years)

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The reason you would not buy into Planetfall though is sadly because the only people who know anything about it or have heard it talked up was at a very small wargames event in Scotland that nobody on this side of the pond has heard about. 

 

It is a big expense, and it is very difficult to get set up well I understand, but the payoff is the entire gaming community generates excitement for the company.

In UK gaming terms I would not describe Claymore as very small, small perhaps (sorry DelBoy) but similar to a lot of UK shows apart from perhaps Salute, which perhaps is too big? 

 

As to who knows anything about it at the moment being a small group, that is Spartans choice, and as I have said before elsewhere on the forum it is not Spartans policy to advertise to other companies what they are intending to release, as is the policy of many companies.  The images from Claymore surely gave a taster, if not a very nice hors d'oeuvre?

 

Your last point is very valid, but as I have the business acumen of a walnut (well maybe a market stall trader in Marrakech?) I cannot comment.

 

The reason you would buy into Planetfall is because you know the models are going to be simply fantastic, just look at what have been shown so far and think where they will take this with the other races in the Firestorm universe?

 

I do sympathise with the US frustration at not having Spartan attend shows in the US.  But with regards Planetfall my advice would be to wait, persuade your gaming buddies to wait, and make an informed choice after you have seen the Planetfall releases.  If you already play Firestorm Armada, this is a no brainer as Planetfall links in enabling you to if you wish play space/sci-fi campaigns using both game systems. 

 

As to DZC, others have made comment about this in relation to Planetfall elsewhere on the forum.

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...

 

It's very frustrating that the quote function doesn't seem to work for me.  So bear with me.

 

 

The number of gamers present at GenCon is largely irrelevant.  Big shows like that aren't important because of the gamers present.  They're important because of the distributors and retailers who are attending.  The single most important thing that a game can do in order to boost sales is to get shelf space in a local game store.  And that only happens if the retailers know that your product exists.  On-line retailers are nice to have if you're out in the middle of nowhere.  But they require you to already have a basic idea of what you're looking for.  If you don't know that Spartan Games exists, you're probably not going to buy their product from an on-line retailer.

 

Brick and mortar stores, on the other hand, will put product up on shelves.  An attractive box on a shelf will get attention from casual customers who just might decide that they're willing to pony up the necessary cash to buy something that they've never heard of before (but in a genre that they like).  And if the local store has been generous enough to provide a decently-sized playing area, then you might end up with that single most important thing for a game company - a group of people regularly playing the game and making purchases.

 

And that all happened because a retailer saw a game at a convention and decided that it looked like it might sell.

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GenCon is a big con… but it's one con. Spartan made the decision not to go. Good decision? Bad decision? Unless you have a lot more data than the rest of us about Spartan's financial situation and goals, I'd hesitate to judge. Maybe the choice was "go to GenCon or hire a third designer for Planetfall." Maybe it was "go to GenCon and release three support fleets this quarter, or don't and release five." You don't know what you don't know.

The same is true of Planetfall's release schedule. We're ALL impatient… but that doesn't mean Spartan is wrong. Sometimes things take as long as they take.

If you want to buy games from a company that rushes rules through development, I hear that GW's games are (somehow) still popular… but the rest of us prefer games that are fun, thanks.

 

Gencon is one con, but it is one GIGANTIC con! You could (and did) make the argument that SG has to limit how many cons they try to make it to, especially on the other side of the world, but what selection criteria would lead to not attending Gencon? I'm not a connoisseur of all the conventions in the US, but the only competitors I could think of would be the original Gencon (Seattle, I think?) or maybe Adepticon. Adepticon is nowhere near the scale of Gencon, but it's much more heavily focused on miniature gaming. If SG doesn't make an (official) appearance at any of these, then the only selection criteria I could think of would be "not appearing in North America at all." Does anybody know when was the last time Spartan appeared at any US convention? 

 

Or, if all North American promotion is to be handled entirely by Vanguards, can we at least get a tall banner of some kind? The placement at Gencon this weekend was next to an aisle, which was good, but something up above the tables would have been helpful.

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It is, ultimately, Spartan Games's decision.  But it seems a bit risky.  The US is *big* (for instance, California alone is almost twice the size of the island of Great Britain), and at least a nod to the market should be displayed if at all possible.  A little effort at just one key convention (like GenCon) can potentially go a long way as far as sales are concerned.

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OK, there's a few points I think our US friends need to take into account;

1) Spartan IS a small company, and I'm not sure you guys can say its bigger or smaller than another company with no evidence either way

2) Spartan has a lot of distributors in the US, which I presume were also at Gencon? I've been a distribution manager, and when I was, I expected my distributors to represent my company at major events - it's one of the things they got their large discounts for!

3) Going to any show is a large investment, and across an ocean is a MAJOR investment. Would you guys rather Spartan spends its money developing its products, or doing one show a year?

Now I'm not saying you don't have a point, or that Spartan shouldn't go to Gencon at some point, but I'm really surprised at some of the negativity shown here - it does smack a little of sour grapes!

When the good little boys and girl of jolly old England get a hands on demo or two and the cry baby Yanks only get pictures, it does sting a little.

So yeah, there might be some grapes soaring the whine. :rolleyes:

Consider, Gencon is the premier gaming con in the USA.

"Gaining market share? Who would want that?"

If you're claiming that the presence of one paid employee would not be repaid.

Think about it....

One bloke, a plane ticket, and a bunch of minis shiped as freight, sprinkle in some willing Vanguards and you can do anything.

I'm just saying.....just saying.

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OK, there's a few points I think our US friends need to take into account;

 

1) Spartan IS a small company, and I'm not sure you guys can say its bigger or smaller than another company with no evidence either way

2) Spartan has a lot of distributors in the US, which I presume were also at Gencon? I've been a distribution manager, and when I was, I expected my distributors to represent my company at major events - it's one of the things they got their large discounts for!

3) Going to any show is a large investment, and across an ocean is a MAJOR investment. Would you guys rather Spartan spends its money developing its products, or doing one show a year?

 

Now I'm not saying you don't have a point, or that Spartan shouldn't go to Gencon at some point, but I'm really surprised at some of the negativity shown here - it does smack a little of sour grapes!

 

1) In order for a small company to grow they have to sell product or services. In order to sell product your consumers need to know that it exists and that they want it... Ergo, the need to have some sort of presence at these big events to get worldwide interest is actually greater for the small company than for the large ones which already have the vast mind share within the gaming community.

 

2) If that's the case then Spartan is still at fault for not holding their distributors responsible for doing their job of showing off product... Although it could also be that the distributors don't show off the product because they know that nobody knows anything about Dystopian Legions or much about the other products so they don't get any buy-in. It could have easily worked probably if Spartan just sent a few people who were knowledgeable of their games and partnered with US based distributors at least get a good sampling of the current product with someone to talk about the games and upcoming releases.

 

3) I would much rather Spartan come out with one game system this year that will actually get support from the company and distributors... Because then they can actually work on getting mind share within the community and increasing a player base.  Currently Spartan is essentially releasing two games, and rebooting a third but nobody knows about any of it, so it's games that the majority of people won't be able to play due to not finding players.

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Not sure I'm totally convinced by how good GenCon is, and neither is this a jibe at US shows?  Admittedly I am not basing this on personal experience of the show, but Salute in the UK is billed as the largest wargames show in..., and this can be not such a good thing in my humble opinion.  Some shows are too big, but then Salute's a one day event and GenCon's over several days?  But then Salute is predominantly a wargames show and not one catering for all tastes?

 

It's nice that people want Spartan to visit a show in the States, but for me one obvious thing in relation to GenCon is the time of year for the show, being August it means flights and hotels are not going to be cheap.  Also, it's a time of year when staff will be wanting to have time off with their families?

 

Although, from what has been said, there are several American players whom I feel are genuinely concerned that their gaming buddies will not want to partake in Planetfall, all I can say is just wait and see how Planetfall turns out.  Like most wargamers I have also struggled (and sometimes failed) to convince friends to take up a game I am interested in.  If I feel I want to play the game then I buy two forces, get them to play a game and hope that they then decide to get involved. :)

 

Don't rush in, control the impetuosity, and make an informed decision comparing Planetfall with the alternate games system you're considering.  I have, and based on what I have seen and know of Planetfall that is where my monies going.  It is for each to make their own decision, but remember only fools rush in? ;)  

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