​The Ninth Age is the coolest game in the world – why aren’t there more people playing it?

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  • I think one factor for it is lack of cool army pictures. I know what sold me on Warhammer as a kid was seeing cool-looking armies facing against each other - GW did a great job at this. The armybooks had these great shots of battlefields between factions, often completely inpractical for a game, but it looked super cool. There were also these scenes of the models just walking through a forest getting ready for a battle.

    I know T9A is model-agnostic, but that could be used to an advantage. Getting some people take cool photos of their armies posed for a big battle, with some decent terrain pieces thrown in for scenery, would go a long way towards selling the game. It could also be a good way to support the people creating new models for the game, by having a list of all models and manufacturers used in the picture. With any luck, this would also be shareable by the model manufacturers / designers.

    I imagine something like

    • T9A battle between [player name's][army name] and [player name's][army name]:
    • [Big photo here, with two armies staged for a battle]
    • [Explanation of T9A being model agnostic][List of manufacturers of models, maybe with some thing white arrows pointing to the unit/model]


    Would make for great marketing material for the game. A lot of people are into it for the cool hobby aspect, and at least for me it's super cool that I can mix and match and potentially kitbash models from different manufacturers. A tagline of something like "Here's a fun and competitive game to play with all those cool fantasy models you have!" could work.
  • piteglio wrote:

    Art_of_War wrote:

    And no, the Essence of War doesn’t really solve this problem.
    do tell us more.


    Essence of War is nice, but the main purpose seems to be that players are introduced to the game mechanism and later switch to the full version. Are there any plans to establish Essence of War next to the full-scope 9th Age with its own community, events and tournaments? So if anybody wants to seriously play a tabletop but doesn’t want 100+ pages full of rules, Essence of War is probably not the right solution.


    Giladis wrote:


    What has been shared so far does not point towards the revival of WHFB 3rd-8th style of wargame, but merely effective usage of their existing and highly lucrative IP.
    Nobody here knows what it will be exactly (that is subject to speculation), but what we know is that the game was announced more than 2 years before its release. This proves it has to be something that GW takes very serious, invests a lot of money into and therefore will want it to be successful... meaning they address a big potential community.

    I think it’s naive to say TOW is just a little side project, the facts point in a different direction.
  • Guys! "Everything comes round again even... squares", I think the deliberate misspell of the word "around" to "round", following "comes", means that square bases are becoming round in this TOW game... so I really doubt ToW will be a square-based game, and at best it'll utilize round bases on movement trays, but seeing as how all their round-based skirmish games have been more successful for GW than WHF rank and flank, I think it would be a pretty dumb idea for them to go back to rank and flank. Why try to fix what's already working?
  • Art_of_War wrote:

    Essence of War is nice, but the main purpose seems to be that players are introduced to the game mechanism and later switch to the full version. Are there any plans to establish Essence of War next to the full-scope 9th Age with its own community, events and tournaments? So if anybody wants to seriously play a tabletop but doesn’t want 100+ pages full of rules, Essence of War is probably not the right solution.

    not sure if you have actually downloaded and read the EW rulebook. the answers you look for are in there.

    EW is meant to be both an introduction (with 20 pages of rules and premade rosters) and a standalone game with advanced rules (10 pages) and modular armylists that can be personalised by each player.

    it will definitely have its own events. truth be told, i also expect official T9A Fantasy Battles event to append a EW event for extra outreach. so the kids can come play the easy version on day 1, and stay to watch the mass beautiful armies the next day. one of the last FB tournamets i went to had a day of 3K pts battles as warmup before the main program.
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  • Art_of_War wrote:

    piteglio wrote:

    so the kids can come play the easy version on day 1, and stay to watch the mass beautiful armies the next day.
    That says all.

    that's frankly a disappointing answer.

    i wasnt expecting a long post, but at least some content would be useful to further the discussion.

    otherwise it's just you wanting to be right about things you havent even read.
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  • Last time I checked 9th age FB group had few hundred less members than Oathmark FB group.

    I think this is outstanding for a game which is asIndependent as a game can be.

    I haven't seen the numbers how well Oathmark sells but judging by the activity on their group and the fact that they are constantly releasing new models I feel it's pretty safe to say that Oathmark is doing well.

    We can't expect that 9th age would inherit all Warhammer players automatically. There are a lot of people around there who haven't even heard from us. And some will hate just because.

    So it's really up to us to spread the word. I try to mention 9th age in suitable opportunities while commenting on FB groups. I try not to preach. I might post a picture of my current painting project if someone asks to see what people are painting at the moment and then mention that the model I'm painting is meant for 9th age. Someone might get interested even if they don't comment. It's a delicate process. I don't want to upset group admins where I'm talking about 9th age so I usually keep talking to a minimum. If people are interested they will seek out 9th age site themselves.

    This isn't much but it's something.
  • Guys, please don't make this another thread about GW&WHFB.



    Blingley wrote:

    I think one factor for it is lack of cool army pictures. I know what sold me on Warhammer as a kid was seeing cool-looking armies facing against each other - GW did a great job at this. The armybooks had these great shots of battlefields between factions, often completely inpractical for a game, but it looked super cool. There were also these scenes of the models just walking through a forest getting ready for a battle.

    I know T9A is model-agnostic, but that could be used to an advantage. Getting some people take cool photos of their armies posed for a big battle, with some decent terrain pieces thrown in for scenery, would go a long way towards selling the game. It could also be a good way to support the people creating new models for the game, by having a list of all models and manufacturers used in the picture. With any luck, this would also be shareable by the model manufacturers / designers.

    I imagine something like

    • T9A battle between [player name's][army name] and [player name's][army name]:
    • [Big photo here, with two armies staged for a battle]
    • [Explanation of T9A being model agnostic][List of manufacturers of models, maybe with some thing white arrows pointing to the unit/model]


    Would make for great marketing material for the game. A lot of people are into it for the cool hobby aspect, and at least for me it's super cool that I can mix and match and potentially kitbash models from different manufacturers. A tagline of something like "Here's a fun and competitive game to play with all those cool fantasy models you have!" could work.
    This is a valuable feedback. We're working toward this. The gallery here is full of army pictures, but we still have issues in spreading them correctly. We're working on this through 9th scroll and IG, and also through other projects in the near future.
  • We've had multiple calls for user-submitted large-scale pictures before but without much luck. We've had better luck with army or partial army photos for the website though, which is a positive.

    Getting good images requires a decent amount of thought and set-up. It's not just about arranging the minis and taking a picture. You'll need to think about background, lighting, colours, angles, depth etc.
  • To paraphrase Carl Sagan:

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the wargaming Universe, are challenged by this history of being spoonfed content. Our game is a lonely speck in the great enveloping wargaming marketplace. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to do the marketing for us.


    There. That’s your answer.

    ;)

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    Advisory Board

    "...take a step back and remember that we are playing a game where we roll dice and move little people around the board."

    - Grouchy Badger

  • Koronus wrote:

    Holy sh*t! Thank you guys!
    ...
    See how open and cuddly the team is. Thank you for being nice. :thumbsup:

    Koronus wrote:

    - people who want to learn 'Blender'. If we want to make a fist in the long run we need to jinx up our 3D business. It's free it's complex just the two things a Fantasy Battles player likes and excels at.
    Beyond learning Blender which I highly recommend because it's fun, there are some things to repeat here, the project is not a business and that is good for many reasons.
    Sure it has some consequences and so let me add:

    - Make T9A sexy as a fan project. There are many communities out there that come together to do many beautiful things. It's not just wargamers we should be appealing to but also these groups we share needs with.

    Now back to Blender, I have been learning it for a while now and want to keep learning. In many ways it's like choosing miniatures for T9A. You must try and find a methods you like. There are many options and there is not a single correct way to go at it.



    My personal experience talking about T9A is that most people have never heard of it, so I would say we have huge untapped potential. The future is what we make of it.
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  • Certainly a interesting topic, I know a lot of great games which have never got close to to scale of T9A, let alone say AoS.

    I have only really recently found your selves, I play Age of Sigmar, as well as the Middle Earth Strategy Battle system & The Horus Heresy. I played 8th ed until the end times, I then took a long break and transitioned to Age of Sigmar.

    I then tried some rank and files games again, Kings of War I had the most fun with but found the overall game to be rather bland. I knew of T9A for a while and actually saw a event of it at the same venue when I was attending a AoS event. As someone who is knew and loves rank and file but has played AoS a long time despite knowing about T9A, below are the reasons why I didn't jump in sooner -

    1. Players, the simplest thing really. When 8th ed was killed we had a thriving fantasy league going on, the killing of the game absolutely killed it and most players interest in giving GW any more money for anything fantasy related. People move onto different systems, different hobbies etc. Finding a place to play the game is rather hard, I'm very lucky that locally 4-5 people just decided to start playing and I jumped in. Unlike Age of Sigmar where you can buy a army and pretty much go any local games club and find a game, or go to a LGS and browse events and find one T9A just doesn't have that infrastructure at the moment. Even if some people DO want to play, finding where they can play or who they can play isn't easy.

    2. Buy in / sourcing products. A lot of the big systems have some fantastic "start collecting" bundles and to be honest while their often a mismatch of not ideal models, their cheap and they're enough for someone to look at and go "That's £45, it's a start" and boom they're in. The big systems model range is very easy to find. I don't really think a 4500 point army is HUGELY more expensive then 40K/AoS for example but there is that element of "ah right, I have to swap some bases over, I have to go all these different suppliers, I have to get X from Y, is it on the right base size, etc". It's not convenient to source a army when you compare to it's counterparts. Also availiblity of getting some models (I'm having a absolute nightmare finding a Lorthern Skycutter (Sky Sloop)

    3. Model quality. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic 3rd party models ranges out there and for some armies GW still produce the whole range but for those armies that aren't they just cannot compete with the absolutely insane models GW are ripping out for GW. Don't get me wrong their not all good (Teclis sucksss) and not everyone will like every model, but no one can deny that GW continues to churn out in the whole the best models in the business and that simply is a huge appeal for a lot of players.

    4. General outreach. There is no way that you amazing guys that have produced this fantastic ruleset can be expected to be close to the outreach that others have, but it is a fact that T9A simply isn't anywhere unless you're told about it. The game has a very small presence, and it's player base is largely from another player base. If you weren't looking the ninth age you simply wouldn't find it.

    I sort of hope that was helpful, as it's someone who is very new to the community and game views from the outside. I wish nothing more for the game to grow and reach out to more players!
    Age of Sigmar - Ossiarch Bonereapers.
    Horus Heresy - World Eaters.
    Marvel Crisis Protocol - Avengers & Brotherhood of Mutants.
    Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game - Isengard.
    The Ninth Age - Highborn Elves.
  • HighBornAaron wrote:

    Certainly a interesting topic, I know a lot of great games which have never got close to to scale of T9A, let alone say AoS.

    I have only really recently found your selves, I play Age of Sigmar, as well as the Middle Earth Strategy Battle system & The Horus Heresy. I played 8th ed until the end times, I then took a long break and transitioned to Age of Sigmar.

    I then tried some rank and files games again, Kings of War I had the most fun with but found the overall game to be rather bland. I knew of T9A for a while and actually saw a event of it at the same venue when I was attending a AoS event. As someone who is knew and loves rank and file but has played AoS a long time despite knowing about T9A, below are the reasons why I didn't jump in sooner -

    1. Players, the simplest thing really. When 8th ed was killed we had a thriving fantasy league going on, the killing of the game absolutely killed it and most players interest in giving GW any more money for anything fantasy related. People move onto different systems, different hobbies etc. Finding a place to play the game is rather hard, I'm very lucky that locally 4-5 people just decided to start playing and I jumped in. Unlike Age of Sigmar where you can buy a army and pretty much go any local games club and find a game, or go to a LGS and browse events and find one T9A just doesn't have that infrastructure at the moment. Even if some people DO want to play, finding where they can play or who they can play isn't easy.

    2. Buy in / sourcing products. A lot of the big systems have some fantastic "start collecting" bundles and to be honest while their often a mismatch of not ideal models, their cheap and they're enough for someone to look at and go "That's £45, it's a start" and boom they're in. The big systems model range is very easy to find. I don't really think a 4500 point army is HUGELY more expensive then 40K/AoS for example but there is that element of "ah right, I have to swap some bases over, I have to go all these different suppliers, I have to get X from Y, is it on the right base size, etc". It's not convenient to source a army when you compare to it's counterparts. Also availiblity of getting some models (I'm having a absolute nightmare finding a Lorthern Skycutter (Sky Sloop)

    3. Model quality. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic 3rd party models ranges out there and for some armies GW still produce the whole range but for those armies that aren't they just cannot compete with the absolutely insane models GW are ripping out for GW. Don't get me wrong their not all good (Teclis sucksss) and not everyone will like every model, but no one can deny that GW continues to churn out in the whole the best models in the business and that simply is a huge appeal for a lot of players.

    4. General outreach. There is no way that you amazing guys that have produced this fantastic ruleset can be expected to be close to the outreach that others have, but it is a fact that T9A simply isn't anywhere unless you're told about it. The game has a very small presence, and it's player base is largely from another player base. If you weren't looking the ninth age you simply wouldn't find it.

    I sort of hope that was helpful, as it's someone who is very new to the community and game views from the outside. I wish nothing more for the game to grow and reach out to more players!
    this is what I call a valuable feedback.

    Thanks!
  • Eldan wrote:

    Has no one made starter boxes yet? We have a few associated model companies, surely someone would be up for packaging a bundle of models and the starter rules.
    There have been attempts of sorts. Very few companies cover the full range of an army though.

    At this point in time I could only point out one starter bundle for KoE by Fireforge Games and maybe Mantic, Para Bellum and or GW starter boxes. A bit unfair as to get to critical mass I would also name Shieldwolf Miniatures, Norba Miniatures, North Star Military Figures and Wargames Atlantic for providing fantasy kits in plastic at a price point you can basically call them starters.
    In my opinion it's not the starter boxes that are a problem though. For exposure, the rulebook need to be out there in your face with fancy images of happy people playing good looking battlefields and a bling bling layout. And of course people playing games in a visible way. That due to circumstances is not a thing right now.

    Or is it? Of all the wargames out there, which is the most successful in having a system that can beat the pandemic and is very easy to see in the public space? That is T9A, look on YouTube and all the UB2/TTS/Warhall and another sandbox I forgot the name of (sorry). We are out there and active, maybe even most active on showing actual gaming.
    What we lack is most of the hobby exposure on the same platforms. The sexy shiny stuff for people like me.
    This is simply where manpower and drive shine, no company is willing to actually invest and push the digital realm, we do.
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  • Blingley wrote:

    I imagine something like



    T9A battle between [player name's][army name] and [player name's][army name]:

    [Big photo here, with two armies staged for a battle]

    [Explanation of T9A being model agnostic][List of manufacturers of models, maybe with some thing white arrows pointing to the unit/model]
    So, something like this?


    T9A Essence of War: OnG vs WDG 1 by
    Remy77077 (Agoners), on Flickr



    Ok not highlighting the model manufacturers so much yet, because I'm still using the many old minis I have, but my collection & painting is slowly expanding to a lot of non-GW stuff.


    Hombre de Mundo wrote:

    Getting good images requires a decent amount of thought and set-up. It's not just about arranging the minis and taking a picture. You'll need to think about background, lighting, colours, angles, depth etc.
    Yup all of this is SO true. I'm just one guy doing this for my own fun... and it's actually a lot of work to get even the images I've managed to do, and I know they still aren't the greatest - I've got more ideas for improvements in future though! :)

    But for Blingley or anyone else liking that idea - that's a good idea, why not have a go at it yourself? :)

    Which is the point piteglio is also making - if you don't do it, who will? You ARE T9A!

    (I'm expecting a photoshot like mine now from all of you who liked that post! :D )



    In general this thread shows how disparate the community is with people, and the two (and more) directions that are always in conflict in some ways - people who WANT their close-to-WFB stuff, and others who would be much happier moving to a very different rules/setting/name of the system even. I certainly side more with that 2nd group, but as we can see just in responses in this thread, there is a large portion would would also hate what I want!

    jirga wrote:

    Last time I checked 9th age FB group had few hundred less members than Oathmark FB group.

    Agree with everything else (you and piteglio are saying some very similar things I think) and whilst I do get a bit involved with T9A on fb, personally, one of the things that attracted me to T9A was that it had a great and thriving forum and I didn't HAVE to trawl FB groups for information and discussion about it (like I did/do with other games systems, like Oathmark! It's actually a huge mark against being interested in it for me). But I know I'm 'odd' here in hating fb...

    Also for T9A there are many disparate different fb groups, not one 'central place' (even though there seems to be an official one?).

    I like your approach to "fb marketing" too ofc... but it highlights exactly what kisanis, Little Joe (& yourself) are saying, most people have not even heard of T9A - and it's very hard to get people to hear about anything (even on fb!) without a significant marketing budget these days. I see this all the time with smaller independent products that I love in all kinds of arenas.

    Also, despite being from an independent company, I wonder how much money Oathmark (well, Ofsprey & North Star) have used as fb (& other) advertising?

    In a nutshell, this is so so true:

    HighBornAaron wrote:

    I know a lot of great games which have never got close to to scale of T9A, let alone say AoS.

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  • Little Joe wrote:

    Eldan wrote:

    Has no one made starter boxes yet? We have a few associated model companies, surely someone would be up for packaging a bundle of models and the starter rules.
    There have been attempts of sorts. Very few companies cover the full range of an army though.
    At this point in time I could only point out one starter bundle for KoE by Fireforge Games and maybe Mantic, Para Bellum and or GW starter boxes. A bit unfair as to get to critical mass I would also name Shieldwolf Miniatures, Norba Miniatures, North Star Military Figures and Wargames Atlantic for providing fantasy kits in plastic at a price point you can basically call them starters.



    I mean, wouldn't have to be the entire model range. You need two starter armies. When I started, there was one starter set. Elves and orcs. That's what you started as. You got two kids together and one of you got to be elves and the other orcs. Later you switched to a different army when you started collecting your own.


    I'd suggest two armies that have finished army books, but you probably want one "good" and one "evil" army and so far, all the armies with finished army books are "evil". Still, make it Empire vs. Dark Gods, for the classic.



    Or is it? Of all the wargames out there, which is the most successful in having a system that can beat the pandemic and is very easy to see in the public space? That is T9A, look on YouTube and all the UB2/TTS/Warhall and another sandbox I forgot the name of (sorry). We are out there and active, maybe even most active on showing actual gaming.
    What we lack is most of the hobby exposure on the same platforms. The sexy shiny stuff for people like me.
    This is simply where manpower and drive shine, no company is willing to actually invest and push the digital realm, we do.
    Maybe I'm just old, but I can't see myself playing wargames online. Board games, yes, cardgames, yes, roleplaying games, yes, but for wargames, too much of the enjoyment is bound up in the models. Handling them, converting them, painting them... I play Tabletop Simulator with an extended friendgroup every week, and roll20 maybe every other week, but I don't think I'd find most wargames interesting enough as abstract games to play them instead of board games that live less on the back of their components and often have more intriguing rules. If you ask me whether I want to play Twilight Empire or Ninth Age online, I know which I'd choose. I don't want to play Ninth Age with someone else's models.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Eldan ().