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"Disposable Heroes II - Overpriced" Topic


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World War Two on the Land

1,486 hits since 20 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Mr Jones20 Dec 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

Just purchased a copy of Disposable Heroes II and feel a little ripped off by the £35.00 GBP price tag.

Winston Smith20 Dec 2018 8:16 a.m. PST

Did you feel ripped off before or after you paid for it?

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

I backed the KS back in 2016 at the Sergeant level ($50.00 hard-cover rulebook). Brigade Games released the new edition as a glossy full-color rulebook with high production value compared to Iron Ivan's 1st Edition (which was a cheap B&W saddle-stitched soft-cover with no pictures) and charged premium prices accordingly.

Although it's not cheap, I prefer hard-cover books with nice layout and lots of eye candy so have no regrets. In fact, I also own 'Blood & Guts' and am backing the German forces supplement 'Angriff!' on KS right now.

link

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

People complain about the price of rules all the time. It is somewhat mononous after a while. If you play the game just three times and have a good time it is cheaper entertainment than going to see a movie. People want eye candy but don't want to pay for it. On the other hand any set of rules you never play is probably not worth what you paid for it.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 9:51 a.m. PST

Winston- LOL.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

the real question is: Is the new version any good?
Is it better than Battleground Kursk? Bolt Action?
Chain of Command?
If so, then its worth the price. Heaven knows, these others cost about the same.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 9:56 a.m. PST

Gamers also want game designers to work pretty much for free.

If you are very, VERY lucky you will sell 1,000 copies of a set of historical rules.

At $50 USD each that's a gross of $50,000. USD Minus the cost of the book itself, plus shipping. Let's just say $10,000 USD, for a net of $40,000. USD

If you sell those through retailers you have to discount it 40-60%. Let's say an average of 50% on half your sales. So that's another $12,500. USD Your take is now down to $27,500. USD Deduct from that any other costs such as Paypal or Kickstarter. Layout, graphic design help, web site hosting costs etc. etc. Let's call that $1,500. USD

This game has now generated $26,000 USD in profit.

If one person spends the equivalent of one working year writing, play testing, and doing the layout and production of the book that amounts to 2,000 hours, allowing 2 weeks vacation.

So that's a job paying $13 USD/hour if you do it all yourself. If you have a partner it pays half that.

That's a pretty meager return considering there is no guarantee it will sell 1,000 copies. And it may take 2 or 3 years to sell that much.

Personal logo toofatlardies Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

I have just purchased just over a dozen 28mm figures to expand one of my armies and that came to more than £35.00 GBP when postage was included. A set of rules, if you like them, will give you many, many hours of enjoyment, as Buck quite rightly says. Figures are handy, but they are relegated to being playing pieces whereas the rules will be what determines how enjoyable the game it. In that respect along, £35.00 GBP is great value for money if you get hundreds of hours gaming fun from it.

PK Guy Brent20 Dec 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

I agree with the Lardy. I'd go even further and say that you don't need to get hundreds of hours to justify the expense. Without rules, the figures and terrain are just static pieces. Even 1 play would justify the rules expense. No mention was made of whether he enjoyed, or had played the rules. It seems rather that the feeling of being ripped off was for paying L35 for a hardback rulebook. That's not a terribly high price for a low print run hard bound book that has good production values.

coopman20 Dec 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

Talk to us after you've played it a couple of times.

RobSmith20 Dec 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

Yeah. We don't know why Mr. Jones feels ripped off. Were there many errors in the book? Were the production values poor? Were the rules lacking critical areas of coverage? Were there poor or no quick reference sheets?

Why, exactly, do you feel ripped off?

6mmACW20 Dec 2018 11:07 a.m. PST

I do sympathize with the general sentiment that wargaming rules seem to be quite expensive these days. I've seen companies selling black and white soft-bound books for $30 USD+ and as a consumer that stings. But DH2 is not that. It's a full color, professionally designed book--not a WORD document someone threw together in their spare time. So whether or not you enjoy the game, objectively, they couldn't have been cheap to produce.

Also, to be fair, most wargaming consumers do not understand that printing, shipping, and distribution costs have all escalated over the last ten years. Anyone involved in the industry can attest to that.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

Even though I consider it money well spent, I do understand why the OP would gripe about the price. Compared to a similar product, let's say the Bolt Action Second Edition rulebook published by Warlord/Osprey also in full-color hardback with comparable "production value," DH2 costs £5.00 GBP more with a page count (slightly more than 100 pages) less than half of the Bolt Action rulebook's 224 pages. The BA rulebook's page size is a bit smaller, but from an Apples-to-Apples comparison DH2 costs 15 percent more with much fewer pages.

Edited. A better comparison is probably with TFL's softbound CoC rulebook currently listed for £24.00 GBP since their page count and more limited production runs are more alike. In that light paying £11.00 GBP extra for a hard-cover version doesn't seem unreasonable at all. I would gladly pay that much more for a hard-cover edition with thicker covers and corners that won't get dog-eared.

PK Guy Brent20 Dec 2018 12:17 p.m. PST

Volume. I would hazard a guess that the number of books that Warlord/Osprey publish gives them a greatly reduced product cost compared to what Disposable Heroes pays.

So, what is a price that is comfortable? Let's say that L35 is $50. USD Does $45 USD make you more happy? $40 USD? $35 USD?

How many times did you go to Starbucks this week? How many cans of soda did you buy from a vending machine? How many fast food meals did you eat this week?

My point is – you buy what you want given your budgetary constraints. If you can't afford to pay more than $15 USD for a rulebook, I guarantee you that the author/publisher of that ruleset can't afford to invest their time and money to sell you that book for $15. USD

Our hobby is remarkably inexpensive as hobbies go. Try owning a Harley! You could buy a T-shirt at a HD dealership for the cost of the rulebook in question. Which gives you more enjoyment?

RobSmith20 Dec 2018 1:43 p.m. PST

Yes. Amazingly cheap hobby, as adult hobbies go. I've thought about doing things to trick out my car, but when I price a fancy set of rims and tires, I just consider how many painted armies I could buy with that money!

Personal logo toofatlardies Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Dec 2018 2:29 a.m. PST

28mm Fanatik. Actually, we don't do "limited production runs". With Chain of Command, Sharp Practice and What a Tanker our initial print run was 5000 or 6000 copies. We then reprint in runs of 3000 or 4000. Thus far Chain of Command has sold just shy of 24,000 copies in hard copy.

To give you a couple of comparisons, I am told by a couple of their authors that Osprey rule books are normally done in print runs of 3000 so we typically double that. Warlord stated that Bolt Action 1st edition sold 23,000 copies.

Tired Mammal21 Dec 2018 4:32 a.m. PST

A simple thing to bear in mind.
How many hours do you get out of a set of rules? From purchase to gathering dust on the shelf status.
Even sets that I been disappointed with still provided a couple of games plus about 6 hours of reading and thinking time. They very rarely exceed the £1.00 GBP an hour rate.

Sometimes you can grab just 1 idea or concept from a set to develop your own rules.
The only times I have felt disappointed were the (mostly old) very complicated sets that were near unplayable unless all players had invested a lot of time in them but now we have access to reviews in these internet days there is less chance of going down that route by mistake.

Even a V2 set with just a few word changes can be worth it if it improves the game.

Winston Smith21 Dec 2018 10:25 a.m. PST

If I divide the original price of TSATF 20th Anniversary edition by games played, it probably comes out to less than $.25 USD/game. That's good value.

Syrinx021 Dec 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

It can't be as bad as WAB 2 was. My book came distressed with a hardcover that looked beaten on even though the outer print was unblemished. The poor final edit/layout process really irritated me.

I have liked Warlord's production quality in all their games. I fail to get enough gaming time in but that is not the rules fault.

Lost Wolf25 Dec 2018 6:29 p.m. PST

It was too expensive for me to buy. Fortunately, I found a used copy for an incredible price that I could afford. Happy with it

Achtung Minen26 Dec 2018 11:12 a.m. PST

If one person spends the equivalent of one working year writing, play testing, and doing the layout and production of the book that amounts to 2,000 hours, allowing 2 weeks vacation.

Playtesting is called "playing with the mates every Saturday." And doing layout and typesetting for a normal-sized rulebook book takes about three or four weeks, not 2,000 hours. I was in the graphic design and print production industry for years.

I'd rather not have game design become a job. It should always be a passion and a hobby. There are two reasons for this: the most important one, for me, is that you can TELL when a game was designed as someone's "job". The quality and imagination of the game mechanics goes straight down the toilet. Look at all those big game companies and the kinds of rulesets they put out… not for me, I can tell you that.

The second reason, and this one is more for the game designer, is that it is not a very good job, is it? You'd make a lot more money in a normal professional field that still gave you time to design games on the side (or after retirement, as is often the case). More money for them, better games for us.

The idea that it is our responsibility to bankroll somebody's hobby, just so the quality of rules can go down the drain, is ludicrous. I support game designers, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about making games. Not a comment about DH2ódon't know that game from Adamóbut something I've seen generally.

Thomas Thomas26 Dec 2018 11:56 a.m. PST

I think the original comment was intended to criticize cost padding not paying a fair price for an intelligent design. Since the design of the game is far and away the most important aspect of enjoying a gaming experience, I'm happy to pay for a well designed and play tested game.

The problem of course as Achtung Minen has alluded to is that the over priced hard copy full of "eye candy" rule books are rarely well designed or play tested (or well researched etc.) They sell because of production values not quality content. Oddly stuffing a bunch of pictures of professionally painted miniatures generally only makes the book heavier and harder to use as its got more pages of fluff that you have to wade through to find the often silly rule you are looking for.

Your far more likely to have a good gaming experience with a semi-professional design done by someone just looking to create a great game. How fancy the rule book looks has nothing to do with the quality of the game (if anything its probably has an inverse relationship).

We should indeed pay respectable prices for a good rule book but not just because its got a hard cover and glossy pictures.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

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