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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Warcradle releases the Ice Maiden - Goddam the b*stards!

A little while ago, an email popped into my inbox...

I was a bit surprised, but popped onto Facebook and the Dystopian Wars group was already alight with...wait...anger?

Two things seemed to have triggered people - the price tag of £75 for the model, and a £40 (or $40) shipping charge. Some also questioned the "reworking" of the model and how this was also bad, but that was a much smaller reaction than the first two points.

Now given the vagaries around exchange rates etc, and the fact I'm used to seeing high shipping charges with transatlantic shipping, $40 for transporting a foot of resin across the globe seemed high, but not something to quit a game over. People also seem to be confusion the release from Warcradle and the shipping from the retailer Wayland Games. Shipping is one of those things you either accept or don't, depending on your desire for the produuct, and there is NO standard for how it's handled either within or without the gaming industry.

It then shortly transpired that the shipping calculator was incorrect, and the charge should have been £5 instead...problem (if ever there was one) solved. There's a phrase in the UK - it's a "Storm in a Teacup"...especially valid in this case, I feel.

Then there's the question of price. Spartan had put an add-on cost of £45 for the Kickstarter-exclusive model, £75 for a retail release sounds eminently in-line with what I'd expect. After all, despite the way many of us treat it, Kickstarter is NOT A STORE. You back projects with the promise of getting some rewards for that, and you get big discounts from retail prices, offset by the risk that these projects don't happen, and you don't get anything. Let us not forget that many people did NOT get their promised models from Spartan....but that isn't Warcradle's fault! It's literally got nothing to do with them, Kickstarter fulfilment is purely the responsibility of the project creator, so Warcradle releasing the Ice Maiden is not them rubbing anything in people's faces - it's them giving you a chance to own something you otherwise never would.

So an extra £30 for a general release 230mm resin ship seems...about right. 

Just to put it into context - this will get you a couple of Predators from GW, which aren't directly comparable, but you get the idea. Someone also commented that it would buy the boxed game of Necromunda too, but that's a whole different genre (being one of many "game in a box with minis" type releases from GW), never mind about game. DW is a miniatures game, and within that resin space we all know prices are higher. For instance, this guy is £75.99

So comparison with niche resin models I think is ok, comparison to board games by big manufacturers really is a bit sus. I mean, how much does Monopoly cost these days? I don't know, because it's irrelevant to this topic. Let's move on.

Now I mentioned Warcradle have remodelled the ship too...interesting. Again, there were some "I don't like the new version" type comments, but let's look at them side by side, shall we (well, top and bottom, to be completely accurate!)? I'm not seeing ground-breaking changes in the Warcradle (top picture) version. They've changed the doors and the front...erm...yeah. Now I'm not a personal fan of this ship to start with, but from what I can see Warcradle have made some minor changes to allow you to have the doors open or closed...which is cool, right? It also makes sense, because let's face it, going anywhere with a prow like that is going to SOAK those forward weapons!

Maybe the changes are elsewhere?

Well, the engine seems to have been lowered into the water, but again, not seeing groundbreaking alterations. I think I like the remodelled version better, but it's a 52 vs 48 Brexit-type thing...too close to call for me.

Now I'm not trying to be a Warcradle fanboy here - after all I've yet to see them produce a finished product for these franchises yet - but once again the evidence I'm seeing is that they seem to be doing the right things. Fans called for the Ice Maiden, they've got it...not only that, but Warcradle haven't just done the obvious "make a load of castings of this as an easy, cheap route", but have invested time and effort here to make a model that's more flexible than the Spartan original. If this is a path that Warcradle are going to follow for all of the Dystopian Age and for Firestorm, then I'm in!

I don't know whether the displeasure at this (from what I see is a positive move) is just because WC are tinkering with SGs old stuff, or it's just some weird emotional attachment thing, but I'm failing to understand the hate. Some people's emotional attachment to Spartan is a bit like a rose-coloured glasses look back into an old girlfriend you broke up with years before but she was beautiful, lovely ect, and nothing your current (smart, attractive, loving) current gf does seems to be as good. 

Then you meet her at a university reunion party and realise that you left her because she was an obnoxious cheating cow who was stealing your money out of your wallet. Come on guys, wake up and smell the coffee. We have things good, Christmas is just around the corner and these games (which we had all feared were gone for good) have a new lease of life. Stop being the grinch!!!

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