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"Is this the new 'Norm' for Pricing?" Topic

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1,853 hits since 27 Nov 2012
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richarDISNEY Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 9:40 a.m. PST

It puzzles me.
I was looking to get my son the new The Hobbit rules book from GW.
I choked when I saw it was $85. USD
$75 USD for the 40k and Fantasy books.

Then I started looking about….
The new AE:WW2 book will be $50. USD
Empire of the Dead (WestWind) is about $50. USD
Infinity (Corvus Belli) is about $50. USD
Freebooters Fate (including the deck of cards that you need) $45 USD
SAGA (Gripping Beast) is $40 USD
Bolt Action (Warlord) is $35 USD

All of a sudden those pricy GW books started looking good as, while twice the price of SOME of those books) they are HUGE. Lots of fluff,art and background, compared to some books that are less than 1/3rd the size for almost 1/2 the price…
Some of those books are full of triple spacing, blank pages, shoddy art, etc…

But here is what I am wondering…

When did rulebooks start creeping up close or over the $50 USD range?
Or am I an old fuddy duddy of remembering when large rules were under $30 USD…?
Or is this the new "norm" to charge a lot for rules?

thosmoss27 Nov 2012 9:58 a.m. PST

Maybe wargaming is the test market for a carbon tax?

Maddaz111 Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 9:59 a.m. PST

Back when I was a lad we used to moan at rules that cost a fiver!

But then again they were bits of paper with a crude hand drawing on the front, and a bit of card called the QRS in the middle.

The rules had to be understandable because you could not just go online and ask questions of the author, no you had to write it down on a piece of paper and post it to them and hope that they understood what you meant…

Times were better back then!

I still have my quality rules from back then and they are much better rulesets than the fluff filled sets some produce now!

Out of the Current batch only the following seem worth having…

Dux – Brit and Bell.
Die Fighting,
and TW,

I still like the no nonsense style of the DBMM and DBA and am waiting for the new set. When HFG comes out I will be picking that up as well..

Not a fan of the Eye candy that is dropped into rule books without a genuine reason. OK if the picture explains a rule, not ok when it is used to increase page count and make the rules more unwieldy..

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 10:05 a.m. PST

Meanwhile loads and loads of books are released with less fanfare for under $25 USD – Ed at Two Hour Wargames has loads of new stuff in the $15 USD-20 range.

These hardback, glossy color books are $50 USD-80 because they sell. People line up at midnight to buy Nike shoes for Pete's sake.

You charge what the market will bear.

snodipous27 Nov 2012 10:06 a.m. PST

The Force On Force book is listed on Amazon for $25. USD It's a great value at that price in my opinion, tons of information there with a lot of great art (being published by Osprey, after all…), and self-contained enough to stand on its own without supplements – though the supplements are great also.

Bolt Action is much the same, though I feel like it contains a lot less material for that price.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 10:07 a.m. PST

True, Mark. True.

Who asked this joker27 Nov 2012 10:22 a.m. PST

40-50 seems to be the norm. Gorgeous books they all are but gorgeous books don't necessarily mean a great game. I prefer simple. I fear we are on the curve back up for more complex, more fluff and just more. I don't want to sit down and read 40 pages of actual rules only to find that this is more game than I really want. I want a game with a MAX of 20 pages of actual rules. I could give a care about fluff. Some army lists and scenarios are nice touches. I'd pay $20 USD-$25 for that.

Expense is the reason I write my own games now.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 10:23 a.m. PST

Where ya bin Rip van Winkle?

CPBelt27 Nov 2012 10:26 a.m. PST

A Disney theme park fan wondering why something costs a lot of money today when it cost a fraction two deacades ago? A bit ironic, no? evil grin

BTW $90 USD a day is nuts. That's why we buy WDW seasonal/annual passes because we find them a good value.

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 10:37 a.m. PST

$85.00 USD it had better come in a box with 50+ minis or I will not be buying it.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 10:38 a.m. PST

The thing that bothers me about the Hobbit rule book (and that I've mentioned on another TMP thread already) is that this book can't be the final book. At the very least it will need 2 supplements when the next two films have come out.

For LOTR GW did a box set per film with figures and a rulebook (including appropriate scenarios etc). The Fellowship book didn't feature Mumakil or siege rules, the Two Towers book didn't feature Mumakil but did have siege rules. The Return of the King book had Mumakil, but didn't have the siege rules !!

Then GW did a "one rule book to rule them all" big hardback edition.

For The Hobbit they seem to be going for the one book to rule them all – but they can't possibly be allowed to include material from the 2nd and 3rd films. So it isn't really the final edition !!!

I don't want to buy 3 copies of a £50.00 GBP rulebook – The LOTR one was just about ok because the figure value in the box set was good (i.e. I was buying figures and getting rules thrown in for "free").

Who asked this joker27 Nov 2012 10:41 a.m. PST

I don't want to buy 3 copies of a £50.00 GBP GBP rulebook

But you will have to somehow if you want to play "The Hobbit" past the first movie.

striker827 Nov 2012 10:43 a.m. PST

I just looked at the prices on some of my old rules from the 70's and 80's just to make sure and lo and behold they're marked from around $5 USD to $35. USD The catch is the ones in the low and middle range are all really poorly done when it comes to print quality, binding, and illustration while the ones on the higher end from that time are the exact opposite. The ones in the higher range are also seem to be games that people still recognise and have been reprinted while those low end ones have disappeared from the market.

Some here might not like it, but production quality does influence what the majority of gamers buy and play. And that does make the costs higher.

The so called expensive, slick, fancy, and full of eye candy and story rules sell and gets played, while the cheap, plain and unexciting looking rules just don't get much of either. Just like it was in the past, it is today!

Frothers Did It And Ran Away27 Nov 2012 11:11 a.m. PST

I expect that in the case of The Hobbit GW are hoping history will repeat itself and they'll sell bucket loads of stuff to people who like the films but may not be familiar with GW games. In which case they probably want to milk it while they can as with LOTR they saw a BIG drop off in revenue once the films were done.

I like eye-candy rulebooks although I only own one – Black Powder – so the price isn't really a big deal to me. If I was of the sort who buys all the new rulebooks then the increasing tendency for full colour hardback coffee table books with prices to match might get on my wick.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 11:11 a.m. PST

Part of this price rise is inflation. Part,as striker8 indicates,is higher production values-(purty pictures).

Mr Elmo27 Nov 2012 11:19 a.m. PST

Bolt Action is $23 USD on Amazon. That seems reasonable.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 11:21 a.m. PST

As I said, after flipping though the 40k rule book, there is lots to look at and it is of a high production value. $75 USD? Maybe. Probably…

There are other rules that are near the $50 USD range which was are poorly bound hardbacks, lots of poor art, badly written – short fluff. They seemed to be trying to 'bulk up' their book with spacing issues and empty pages to try to get over 100 pages… But neat rules (which could have been simmered down to less than 25 pages…).
THAT I have an issue with.

goragrad27 Nov 2012 11:41 a.m. PST

Sorry Striker – my original copy of Tractics was 10.00. First edition Dungeons and Dragons – 5.00.

Got boxes and three rulebooks with each and Tractics had a set of separate charts (presume those added the additional price).

Not sure what the high end rulesets were that cost more than these two, but there seems to have been a fair bit of value down in that 5-10.00 range back in the 70s.

Schogun Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 11:47 a.m. PST

"People" seem to want…

1. Full color
2. Lots of pretty pictures
3. Painting guides
4. Force lists…for every major combatant and troop type
5. Full history, background fluff
6. Hardbound

Hard to do for $20 USD-$30. Especially when the print run is small.

CraigH Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 11:48 a.m. PST

I seem to recall thinking Tractics was pretty expensive when it came out. In fact I never bought it as I couldn't afford it.

Skrapwelder27 Nov 2012 11:56 a.m. PST

The appearance of the package may take precedence over the content.

More parents are probably buying rules that their kids want. Unless they are gamers themselves they have no idea on how to judge the rules so they will judge the book based largely on its appearance and presentation.

Happy Little Trees Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 12:05 p.m. PST

Apparently $85.00 USD IS the new norm…


Frothers Did It And Ran Away27 Nov 2012 12:26 p.m. PST

The price of eye-candy style wargame rules is roughly comparible to RPG manuals I paid about the same for BP as I did for the recent reprint of Masks of Nyarlathotep on Amazon. I don't think anyone thinks RPG books are overpriced and the quality of BP from an aesthetic standpoint is about 100x better than Masks.

skinkmasterreturns27 Nov 2012 12:31 p.m. PST

"Watch out,Marshall Lucky,It's high prices!!"

emckinney27 Nov 2012 12:35 p.m. PST

90% of all gaming products are consumed as reading material.

There's a far larger audience for coffee table books than for bare paper rules.

raylev327 Nov 2012 1:38 p.m. PST

I used an inflation calculator and found that a $10 USD set of rules in 1975 would cost $43 USD today….and given the quality of the rules in 1975, vs today, we actually have a pretty good bargain today.

McKinstry Fezian27 Nov 2012 1:45 p.m. PST

I always remember one of our marketing professors said the correct price was whatever the consumer was willing to pay. Where the rules are successful in selling, the price must be correct.

GreenMountainBoy Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 1:56 p.m. PST

I tend not to whine about prices. And I LOVE my hard bound, glossy, full-color rulebooks (believe me, I have a bookshelf full to prove it!). I consistently drop $40 USD-$50 USD on rulebooks.

I had been looking forward to the new Hobbit releases, and thought I might pick some up although my gaming group is primarily historicals. But then I saw the pricing, and did a complete double take. I just can't bring myself to pay those prices.

Marcus Maximus Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 2:19 p.m. PST

I'm afraid there has been a number of assumptions made in this discussion that are incorrect particularly on the cost of publishing a niche hardback, full colour with photos, 100+ pages….
I agree with some of the comments made on the cost of published books….and with GW providing a significant amount of more information (albeit it's just fantasy material…)

The Gonk Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 2:58 p.m. PST

But you will have to somehow if you want to play "The Hobbit" past the first movie.

Eh. I'm doing alright picking up LotR for pennies on the dollar now.

Mako11 Inactive Member27 Nov 2012 3:46 p.m. PST

Being a dinosaur, I much prefer quality content over lots of color pics, glossy pages, and large, heavy publications.

The quality of rules produced back in the 1970's and 1980's, and printed in black and white, on plain paper, with a slightly thicker cardboard cover, are much preferred by me.

However, I will be extinct soon, so perhaps my opinion does not matter.

coopman Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 4:24 p.m. PST

I pre-ordered the Bolt Action rules & paid something like $12 USD for them.

brucka27 Nov 2012 5:34 p.m. PST

I like the large rulebooks, and like it better when they sell (or give away!) a little companion book with just the rules. $50 USD is a very small price to pay in a hobby. $50 USD would not get me a ticket to any professional sports game, would barely get me and my family into an opera or symphony excepting the "limited visibility" or nose bleed seats, would barely pay for a good restuarant (without wine), etc etc and I get to use and read said rulebook over and over. I see nothing wrong with fluff and backstory and TOE and good support on-line. If $50 USD means the company that publishes the rules and supports the game stays in business then all the power to them. It's like complaining that 25mm figures aren't 5p each anymore, or that gas isn't 50 cents. The real problem isn't price of these items, it's that real wages have been stagnant for 30 years.

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 7:53 p.m. PST

Many of the classic early miniature rules (Grant's Wargames, several Featherstone titles) were hardback books and priced accordingly. And you were fortunate if they contained a few black & white photos. Now a standard hardback book today is in the $30 USD-40 range as compared to $5 USD-7 in the early 1970s. It may seem like the current flashy rules are way overpriced, but compared to board wargames and "Euro" style games in general, they aren't. Still I want to yell at somebody to get off my lawn.

Khusrau27 Nov 2012 11:56 p.m. PST

I wish I still had all my LotR books for RPG from Iron Crown. A great set – albeit I only discovered it much too late, and long after the height of my RPG days (Tunnels & Trolls and D&D 1st Edition, and then AD&D and CoC)

Martin Rapier28 Nov 2012 7:18 a.m. PST

"but compared to board wargames and "Euro" style games in general, they aren't"

No, the price ratio between those and wargame rules seems to be about the same as it was 40 years ago.

Panzer Leader cost me the equivalent of two weeks petrol for the car back in the 1970s. Worth every penny.

iirc White Box D&D was about a fiver.

Who asked this joker28 Nov 2012 8:02 a.m. PST

1. Full color
2. Lots of pretty pictures
3. Painting guides
4. Force lists…for every major combatant and troop type
5. Full history, background fluff
6. Hardbound

#1, 3, 5, and 6 not required for a good game. Change #2 to lots of diagrams. #4 at least enough to play the game!

1, 5 and 6 can be filed in the "fluff" category. #3 is useful and nice to have. I do appreciate that GW puts paint guides into a lot of their products.

GeoffQRF Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 8:59 a.m. PST

….goes off to review his pricing…

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 3:06 p.m. PST

.goes off to review his pricing…

Up or down??????????? grin

StarfuryXL528 Nov 2012 5:23 p.m. PST

But you will have to somehow if you want to play "The Hobbit" past the first movie.

Not if you wait until after the third movie to play "The Hobbit." Just collect and paint forces in the interim and use "The Lord of the Rings" rules.

Lentulus28 Nov 2012 5:30 p.m. PST

Wargame rules are a labor of love – who would want less than the best for their beloved? As for the ungrateful multitude unwilling to pay for them: Shame! Shame!

Mako11 Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 9:44 p.m. PST

$50 USD, or even $100 USD may be fine for some, but I won't be buying them, and suspect a lot of others won't either.

I imagine they'd sell a lot more, if they were more reasonably priced, instead of overpriced coffee table books.

Plus, as mentioned in previous postings, there's the "Wargaming Rules Inverse Pricing Law" (just so named by me, and copyrighted), which states, the more the book costs, the lower the quality of the rules. Following along with that rule, which are also related to the cost side of things are the following: the larger the book, the more color pics, and the inclusion of a hardcover will all help contribute to an exponential dumbing down of the rules, to such a degree as to make them unplayable.

nazrat29 Nov 2012 11:07 a.m. PST

"…which states, the more the book costs, the lower the quality of the rules."

Since you don't buy any of the "expensive" rules, how could you possibly prove your theory? 8)=

In point of fact there is absolutely NO correlation between cost and quality, or lack thereof. I have plenty of cheap, crappy rules which I will never play, but far more well-produced, excellent sets. The secret is good research. I don't buy the pricey books until I read about the system and decide that it's for me. Force on Force, Rules of Engagement, Kampfgruppe Normandy, and Battlegroup Kursk have all been great huge hardback rules systems with lots of the things you consider extraneous that I will continue to play for years.

Muerto29 Nov 2012 2:33 p.m. PST

If there is a pdf option that is about half price then all is good. The pricing where the pdf is near that of the hardcover is where things get frustrating.

I could give a care about fluff.

Ah, so you care for fluff a bit then.

StarfuryXL529 Nov 2012 9:44 p.m. PST


Oh -- I thought everyone knew his name.

GeoffQRF Inactive Member30 Nov 2012 2:41 a.m. PST

Up or down??????

Well that's a tricky one…

Norm's pricing is evidently up, but Mako's copyrighted "Wargaming Rules Inverse Pricing Law" would seem to indicate down if you want them to be useful.

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