9th Age as A Wandering Path - Where are we now, and where are we going?

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  • Auto2 wrote:

    elendor_f wrote:

    I remember starting WFB when I was 13 and I would have appreciated *a lot* a lower barrier of entry, and I imagine most young players would too. Money does not matter for people who have jobs, for young people and students it does matter. And they are an important segment of the population for hobby growth.
    Yes everyone would appreciate things being cheaper, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Because cheapness anticorrelates with other good things about a product, and those other good attributes are more important in determining whether you buy it (up to a certain point, where it just becomes too expensive). Like for example the attribute of whether you even know the product exists - clearly this is more important than how much it costs, and informing (lots of) people that a product exists is not cheap.
    I reckon it is more complicated than that (I get that you mean that to make a product very cheap you have to compromise its quality to a certain degree). The converse is also true for your statement, if everybody knows about your product but it's too expensive for anyone to buy (except a very narrow subset of people perhaps), the money spent on informing everyone is a waste.


    I just did a bit of googling around and the average spend on children's toys over a child's lifetime is about €6000. For a particular holiday or birthday it's about €250.

    To get a 13 y/o to buy a product it doesn't need to be super cheap. €50 is fine.
    For which country(ies)? What is the median spending, or, equivalently, how many people are above and below average (rich people tend to buy very expensive gifts)?

    Probably this conversation would derail the thread too far and is better to continue somewhere else. But my own take would be that different policies are needed for different market segments (which, I know, sounds fairly obvious :P ).

    On a different note, I found a very nice proposal in this post: 9th Age as A Wandering Path - Where are we now, and where are we going?
    'He opened the battered book. Bits of paper and string indicated his many bookmarks.
    "In fact, men, the general has this to say about ensuring against defeat when outnumbered, out–weaponed and outpositioned. It is..." he turned the page, "Don't Have a Battle."
    "Sounds like a clever man," said Jenkins.'
    Terry Pratchett, Jingo!
  • JimMorr wrote:

    WastelandWarrior wrote:

    entry barrier money wise is low. If you arent super picky about what army you want there are so many cheap deals on second hand models to be had on ebay and facebook trading groups.
    - have less alternatives due to IP-related issues (not every company will feel safe making models e.g. for seekers)
    Choose another example.....

    avatars-of-war.com/esp/web/ind…muertes&id=109&Itemid=173

    norbaminiatures.com/es/inicio/…ores-enanos-del-caos.html

    avatars-of-war.com/esp/web/ind…a+(kit)&id=109&Itemid=173

    avatars-of-war.com/esp/web/ind…rejadas&id=109&Itemid=173

    norbaminiatures.com/es/enanos/204-mata-dragones.html

    russian-alternative.com/shop/f…kers-of-fire-canyon-unit/

    sciborminiatures.com/en_,shop.…/dwarves_hunters_p_02.jpg
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  • Randdogs wrote:

    Running with the donation (buttons) angle. Is it within the project guidelines to facilitate renting out space at select Cons?

    For example: The project uses donations from the community to rent a space(s) at Adepticon after confirming with local club(s) that there are enough volunteers to run the demo space.
    From my understanding T9A is not welcome at Adepticon because GW is a major player there. I think you will find a similar sentiment anywhere that GW has claimed as their turf. From the perspective of the convention hall, if GW saids no, they must say no too.

    Smaller, non-GW dominated conventions are a great idea. However, I recently put in a proposal to run QS games at a local convention that I would have to pay for (which is a total racket to charge the content providers, but I digress). I was denied the space with no justification.

    Maybe its just me, but the "legitimate" tag seems far more important than we give it credit. Our perspectives on the matter are fairly useless, as we are not on the outside looking in, and we can hardly remove ourselves from our inside bias and love of the game.

    N3okorrales wrote:

    I made a lot ( A LOT!) of sugestions in the american part of the forum how to start a public club including examples how it works in Spain almost all the replies i got were "that wouldnt work here" but no one, AFAIK, even tried.
    Ya, there is certainly more that could be done. Sometimes feels fairly full time just to keep the waning parts of our community to stay in the community. What was the end result of something like that? Where I live, people are very nice, and will feign interest and excitement, then you will never see them again.
    My fear of a library event is that it stays as a library event. You become a form of entertainment that people expect when they go to the library, instead of themselves becoming part of a larger community. I don't hate kids, but I distrust their intentions :D.

    Mr.Owl wrote:

    Please say somewhere on the east coast ...
    Pacific NW, the finest land in America :D

    Little Joe wrote:

    I was always under the impression that the Americans demanded competition.
    I think you are right about that, which is less appealing to me, but whatever works I guess.

    The post was edited 2 times, last by The Beninator ().

  • echoCTRL wrote:

    Meaning, initial play can take place with tokens and paper cut outs
    In the developed world (Europe, US, etc) I absolutely cannot see this happening, especially not with new players.

    echoCTRL wrote:

    initial barrier to entering the hobby though does benefit The 9th Age by being inexpensive
    The AoS starter set is €140 and people are presumably buying a lot of it. Warmachine starter set is $90: privateerpress.com/warmachine/…ine-two-player-battle-box

    The reason they are not cheaper is because it costs money to make a non-sh*t product and get it out there where consumers can see it.

    I agree that it is important to make T9A work at smaller scales though.

    €100 is OK for a kid to get started, €1000 is not.
  • Auto2 wrote:

    echoCTRL wrote:

    Meaning, initial play can take place with tokens and paper cut outs
    In the developed world (Europe, US, etc) I absolutely cannot see this happening, especially not with new players.

    echoCTRL wrote:

    initial barrier to entering the hobby though does benefit The 9th Age by being inexpensive
    The AoS starter set is €140 and people are presumably buying a lot of it. Warmachine starter set is $90: privateerpress.com/warmachine/…ine-two-player-battle-box
    The reason they are not cheaper is because it costs money to make a non-sh*t product and get it out there where consumers can see it.

    I agree that it is important to make T9A work at smaller scales though.

    €100 is OK for a kid to get started, €1000 is not.
    AOS starter set is £140? It’s 95 if brought direct from manufacture, 80 from web stores.

    To teach a game, tokens, 2D or other things are perfectly acceptable.

    An army doesn’t need to cost a lot either especially in 10mm

    Lastly GW has a lot of gateway drug games to get you into AOS, something they used to do really well, just a shame they stopped doing it
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  • N3okorrales wrote:

    Choose another example.....
    Well GW does not sale those any more and they were iconic unit. You are right this was not a good example. Even though half of the replacement have prominent fangs and most the others are rather expensive. When I said alternatives I meant products like Northstar, Mantic, Oathmark or FireForge hard plastics. OK, Mantic has actually metal berserkers.

    Things become more complicated when it comes to units less iconic. Or pairs of units that have exactly the same equipment but in the past used to have totally different style. How today Sword Masters miniatures are supposed to be different to Lion Guard miniatures? Or Queen’s Guard to Grey Watchers?
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  • Folomo wrote:

    Any idea on how much the average cost of each purchase of those 6.000 a year is?
    Because if the average is 10, even if it happens multiple times per month, a single item costing 50 will seem like a pretty high price.
    It's easier to sell 5 $10 miniatires than a single $50 box with 5 minis

    alright, so a starter set with unbelievably simplified rules for some 20€ might be a good place to start.
    that shouldn't be completely impossible.



    Auto2 wrote:

    echoCTRL wrote:

    Meaning, initial play can take place with tokens and paper cut outs
    In the developed world (Europe, US, etc) I absolutely cannot see this happening, especially not with new players.

    if there's something that T9A taught us, it's that the meta can evolve, and that the community needs some time to recognise some unexpected changes in vision, but then things start get rolling.



    also, sorry for pestering: if we reach a decent number of answers to the survey (N>50), i'll make statistics and share the results, in case you're curious.


    click the logo and reach the KickStarter page!
  • Auto2 wrote:

    echoCTRL wrote:

    Meaning, initial play can take place with tokens and paper cut outs
    In the developed world (Europe, US, etc) I absolutely cannot see this happening, especially not with new players.

    echoCTRL wrote:

    initial barrier to entering the hobby though does benefit The 9th Age by being inexpensive
    The AoS starter set is €140 and people are presumably buying a lot of it. Warmachine starter set is $90: privateerpress.com/warmachine/…ine-two-player-battle-box
    The reason they are not cheaper is because it costs money to make a non-sh*t product and get it out there where consumers can see it.

    I agree that it is important to make T9A work at smaller scales though.

    €100 is OK for a kid to get started, €1000 is not.
    I highly disagree about the developed world using tokens or paper cut outs for new players. From personal experience I can say that being able to use cheaper starting materials for the game has helped me get my brother in-law playing the game. People have budgets that are as important to them as the quality of the product they are buying.

    And, I do not have a second and third army to bring with me for other people to play if I got them curious. With paper cutouts I can give them something to play with and try out.

    Army Design Team

  • Its been a while since we’ve had a ‘the end is nigh’ thread. Or maybe just since ive read one...

    These threads generally go - 9th is failing because it is not achieving *insert personal perception of success*

    You cant argue if youre failing on particpation if you don’t have a clear objective on partication. Maybe if we had an objective on participation we could kick these debates to touch, or at least have objective facts.

    For example we might decide 5000 players internationally is our objective (measurement is tricky, but we might measure this by website activity- whether accessed 1+ times per month).
    You might decide on a geography approach- 4 tournaments per year in 30 countries.

    Personally i dont care what you aim to achieve, or how you measure success against that goal.

    But this circle of ‘we arent doing as well x, based on my observations in my country’. Is pointless.

    Ill give you an example. I used to be on the national lacrosse executive in my country, which is rugby dominated. Their objectives were; a) maintain a healthy league in 1 city, b) grow to other cities where possible, c) have a national team that will compete at the world cup, relative to the other amateur nations.

    Without those objectives there would have ongoing pointless debates- were arent doing as well as rugby, cricket, waterpolo, etc.
  • Damo wrote:

    a) maintain a healthy league in 1 city
    Sounds pretty subjective and non-quantifiable. What does "healthy" mean? How would your definition of "healthy" differ from anyone who is concerned about T9A in their area. How did you measure healthy in Rugby?


    b) grow to other cities where possible
    Obvious, that is everyone's goal here.


    c) have a national team that will compete at the world cup, relative to the other amateur nations.
    ETC
    I fail to see how your analogue of solving the growth problem in your national rugby team is more novel than this discussion of spit balling ideas.

    Furthermore, you state yourself that objective evidence is "tricky". What is being discussed is real world objective successes of marketing strategies that fuel a global economy and how that might apply to this situation. We can pull web stats and bicker about what value they have all day, but in the end, that does not answer the question of "would marketing help".
  • Auto2 wrote:


    4) What about making T9A business cards to hand out at games? What about business cards with a redeemable discount from one of our partner companies? Maybe contingent on signing up for an account on the forum? Maybe send those business cards out for free to anyone who asks for them? @piteglio @echoCTRL @ferny what do you think about this approach? Establish a sales funnel and teach our existing players how to be salespeople
    not my area of expertise so no idea. If it were viable seems sensible enough. I think changing the text on the donations page is low hanging fruit and @Calisson is looking into the issues with that page, so I'm satisfied that something concrete has happened from the discussion.
    Join us on Ulthuan.net
  • Damo wrote:

    been a while since we’ve had a ‘the end is nigh’ thread. Or maybe just since ive read one...
    Barring a major screwup T9A will never "End". My worry is that it'll fail to grow and just gradually fade.

    Damo wrote:

    9th is failing because it is not achieving *insert personal perception of success*

    You cant argue if youre failing on particpation if you don’t have a clear objective on partication.

    Well most of these metrics probably correlate with each other. More tournaments probably means more active players and more website views. I don't think the problem is a lack of ability to see the general trend.

    The problem IMO is that we as a community are not well organised for growth. We're good at building the game (books, balance etc) and playing the game but not good at growing it.

    Being outrageously underfunded is a problem for growth because many growth related things cost money.

    I think at the very least we should have some kind of prominent centralised forum area for growth/recruitment strategies, growth focused resources etc.
  • The Beninator wrote:

    Damo wrote:

    a) maintain a healthy league in 1 city
    Sounds pretty subjective and non-quantifiable. What does "healthy" mean? How would your definition of "healthy" differ from anyone who is concerned about T9A in their area. How did you measure healthy in Rugby?


    b) grow to other cities where possible
    Obvious, that is everyone's goal here.


    c) have a national team that will compete at the world cup, relative to the other amateur nations.
    ETC
    I fail to see how your analogue of solving the growth problem in your national rugby team is more novel than this discussion of spit balling ideas.
    Furthermore, you state yourself that objective evidence is "tricky". What is being discussed is real world objective successes of marketing strategies that fuel a global economy and how that might apply to this situation. We can pull web stats and bicker about what value they have all day, but in the end, that does not answer the question of "would marketing help".
    Hi

    thanks for the comments- happy to have good conversation on this.

    The healthy league was in regards to lacrosse, not rugby. Rugby has its own objectives on growth. Lacrosse's objectives on healthy was pretty simple. Enough teams to provide variety in play, enough players per team that they can field a team. This did teeter a bit; my team have a few years where only 9 guys turned up for a few games, and a few teams had to merge to get their numbers. The comparison here is pretty simple- whether there are enough players in the city to provide variety.

    For 9th for growing in other cities, I'm also on a national committee, and that's something we're talking about. We a reasonable scene in 1 city, okay leagues in a couple of others, and not quite enough in some other cities. Its a potential national objective we are talking about. what are our objectives on growth- a league in each city? 100+ players?

    My analogy was nothing to do with rugby- it was Lacrosse doesn't need to overtake rugby, it just needs to find what works for it. which was reasonable player numbers, to give players good games, and an opportunity to represent your country and not be too embarrassed. Perhaps a fair comparison is 9th doesn't need to overtake 40k, it just needs provide its players with good games, and an opportunity to represent your country.

    Im no marketing person (Bill Hicks talked me out of that), but I do know you don't spend a cent on marketing until you know what you want to achieve with it. So my argument remains- success is measured against your objectives. With participation objectives, we cant know if we are succeeding or failing on participation.
  • Auto2 wrote:

    Damo wrote:

    been a while since we’ve had a ‘the end is nigh’ thread. Or maybe just since ive read one...
    Barring a major screwup T9A will never "End". My worry is that it'll fail to grow and just gradually fade.

    Damo wrote:

    9th is failing because it is not achieving *insert personal perception of success*

    You cant argue if youre failing on particpation if you don’t have a clear objective on partication.
    Well most of these metrics probably correlate with each other. More tournaments probably means more active players and more website views. I don't think the problem is a lack of ability to see the general trend.

    The problem IMO is that we as a community are not well organised for growth. We're good at building the game (books, balance etc) and playing the game but not good at growing it.

    Being outrageously underfunded is a problem for growth because many growth related things cost money.

    I think at the very least we should have some kind of prominent centralised forum area for growth/recruitment strategies, growth focused resources etc.

    Yes- I agree, I'm actually concerned that we will fade. its always a risk, and a real one. We've lost a few good players in our community, and recruitment is something we've priortised.

    I don't agree that marketing money will get us far, unless we all dip in deep to our pockets.

    I completely agree that a centralized forum for growth ideas and strategies would be great. I'm very keen to learn some good ideas.

    Some ideas I've been thinking about:

    - use UB as a teaching platform for new players (don't need to buy army first, can try some out)
    - press gang some experienced players into buddy training interested people
    - organize a social league for new players
  • Damo wrote:

    use UB as a teaching platform for new players (don't need to buy army first, can try some out)
    - press gang some experienced players into buddy training interested people
    - organize a social league for new players
    the problem is these all assume that you already have made the biggest step, which is from "not a player" to "a new player"

    UB looks like $h*t compared to modern games and without any money that won't change. Probably the best way to get someone a shot at playing without investment is a demo game where you provide everything. The problem is even that is 90% of the recruitment work already done. Person has to first realize we even exist. This is a huge hurdle because WE HAVE NO MARKETING.
  • Damo wrote:

    Im no marketing person (Bill Hicks talked me out of that), but I do know you don't spend a cent on marketing until you know what you want to achieve with it. So my argument remains- success is measured against your objectives. With participation objectives, we cant know if we are succeeding or failing on participation.
    You'll have to excuse my ignorance on Sports :D.

    I think we want the same thing. I am just not understanding what you are asking.

    The objective is more players, are you asking how many more players I want and how do we measure that? The answer to those questions is "any amount" and "ill know it when I see it".

    I know you don't like to hear our "personal perspectives", but relative to what I hear that is happening in Europe, we are WAY behind in the US. Maybe that'll change on the current course, but a little kick-start would be nice.
  • The Beninator wrote:

    Damo wrote:

    Im no marketing person (Bill Hicks talked me out of that), but I do know you don't spend a cent on marketing until you know what you want to achieve with it. So my argument remains- success is measured against your objectives. With participation objectives, we cant know if we are succeeding or failing on participation.
    You'll have to excuse my ignorance on Sports :D.
    I think we want the same thing. I am just not understanding what you are asking.

    The objective is more players, are you asking how many more players I want and how do we measure that? The answer to those questions is "any amount" and "ill know it when I see it".

    I know you don't like to hear our "personal perspectives", but relative to what I hear that is happening in Europe, we are WAY behind in the US. Maybe that'll change on the current course, but a little kick-start would be nice.
    I've always found there is no better analogy than a sports analogy; but I only know how to make sports analogies... ;)

    Let me have another crack at what 9ths objective could be. Im not on the executive, happy for them to do this, so this is speculative.

    Im no marketing guy, but I do know a little about business strategy, so if I may, perhaps its useful to pull back to the question; where does 9th look to position itself in the market?

    So lets look at the market of table top wargaming. The big game is 40k, I guess probably AoS after that, the malifaux, warmahordes, KoW in there- I don't know what they are and what they do. Who are we aiming to sell ourselves to? (in our case we are just selling an idea, not a product, which is much simpler). I would speculate:

    a) former WHFB players. this is a finite resource, a mine that will be exhausted. So we need to recruit new blood in the market. So I would suggest;
    b) players of other systems looking for a more sophisticated and balanced game.

    Not:
    - new players to tabletop gaming in the first instance. Im not saying turn them away at the gate, but with the imagery, advertising and fluff, we are unlikely to get players in cold.

    9th could, should, might be the elite version of table top wargaming that players gravitate to because they are sick of power gamers.

    So to get back to the original question of the thread 'where are we now, and where are we going' we are a niche game within the market, aimed at experienced players who want a game that is nuanced, tactical and balanced.

    So where to from here? recognize that means we are only going to be 10% of the total market, but that we can piggy back of other systems doing the raw recruitment. Set our sights on reasonable participation targets, not 'more, more, more, is good'.

    But I totally get more is needed where you don't have enough- ie not enough variety within your community.