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Buying online vs. buying locally

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On 2/25/2019 at 10:18 PM, Old Man said:

Miniatures are still going okay. Privateer Press proved it was possible to make a viable miniatures wargame without forcing players to buy new figures through power creep. The various Attack Wing flavors also proved popular, though of course those don’t need painting. 3D printing seems to have made it much easier to develop miniatures for manufacture—seems like every boardgame on Kickstarter comes with a beautiful set. 

 

Kind of...  WarMachine had their own flavor of power creep/$ pull.  The XWing game stashed key ability cards in specific models to force their purpose and Attack Wing has massive problems with figure quality.  We went through each of the "not really a game but a money grab" products before bailing.  

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On 2/25/2019 at 11:48 PM, Beast said:

I am loving Cruel Seas(WW2 PTs up to DDs in coastal warfare)
 

I've heard about it, but none of the FLGSs are ever able to get it in.  Distributors always are 0 avaible.  Since I have gone to a "buy via FLGS only" policy I have a lot more money in my pocket....

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1 minute ago, Spence said:

I've heard about it, but none of the FLGSs are ever able to get it in.  Distributors always are 0 avaible.  Since I have gone to a "buy via FLGS only" policy I have a lot more money in my pocket....

they may need to order from warlord usa direct
I know my flgs has to order that way

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On 2/27/2019 at 6:01 AM, Beast said:

they may need to order from warlord usa direct
I know my flgs has to order that way

Good idea, but mini's as a whole have dried up at my FLGS.  Mostly due to people are just unwilling to commit to games that center on compulsory purchases.  They have poisoned the well locally, even for mini's like Bolt Action or Microarmor.  They have opened a direct purchase account before, but I am hesitant to run another one up the flagpole for just me.  If there were a few more people committed, then maybe.

Edited by Spence
Cleaned up the paragraph, the original was almost incoherent. Next time I won't be in such a hurry.

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18 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I definitely want to start making my own minis, the price comes down on 3d printers every year.

 

Look at the Creality Ender 3.  it's a PLA printer, but the resolution is not bad. 

https://smile.amazon.com/Creality-Upgraded-Ender-3X-Tempered-Printing/dp/B07GDJTVXJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1TG4HYO8C4N3U&keywords=creality+ender+3&qid=1551290877&s=industrial&sprefix=Creality%2Chpc%2C197&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1

 

Resin Printers are still more expensive, but the price is coming down.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/EPAX-Printer-Screen-Off-line-Printing/dp/B07L2GDBMN/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3FQXOXD2QU9R3&keywords=resin+printer+3d&qid=1551291029&s=industrial&sprefix=resin+printer%2Cindustrial%2C221&sr=1-5

 

And to show you can get good results with the Creality Ender 3 family, watch this:

 

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So I've had a Monoprice Maker Select 2 since Christmas, the result of a fortuitous Santa request.  It took some tuning to get it going*, but it's pretty good now that it's up and running.  I haven't achieved resin-quality prints yet with PLA, but I haven't tried halving my layer height (and doubling print time) yet either.

 

Note that it's not necessary to do all your .stl files from scratch in Z-Brush.  Thingiverse.com has all kinds of ready-to-print models for free download, and heroforge.com and desktophero3d.com will let you design miniatures specifically (though heroforge.com charges $10 for the file).

 

 

* Bed "leveling" really refers to the spacing between the print head and the bed.  Who knew?

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Old Man said:

 

* Bed "leveling" really refers to the spacing between the print head and the bed.  Who knew?

 

Hmmm.... Note to self....

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

So I've had a Mon

Note that it's not necessary to do all your .stl files from scratch in Z-Brush.  Thingiverse.com has all kinds of ready-to-print models for free download, and heroforge.com and desktophero3d.com will let you design miniatures specifically (though heroforge.com charges $10 for the file).

 

 

* Bed "leveling" really refers to the spacing between the print head and the bed.  Who knew?

 

 

 

Oh, I know, and I have seen a lot of good minis on Thingiverse, but I want specific critters and player races of my own creation. Custom miniatures for the PCs as well would be nice. 

EDIT. examples:

1544129761.scottruggels_magnus_color_hea

 

 

1499967907.scottruggels_mirifight02.gif

Edited by Scott Ruggels
Added picture examples of custom races for custom miniatures

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May I recommend Blender? It's a very powerful 3D modeling (and animation) suite which is open-source and absolutely free. You can get it directly from the Blender Foundation's website at blender.org or get it through Steam (still free) for automatic updates.

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On 2/27/2019 at 9:29 AM, Spence said:

Good idea, but mini's as a whole have dried up at my FLGS.  Mostly due to people are just unwilling to commit to games that center on compulsory purchases.  They have poisoned the well locally even for mini's like Bolt Action or Microarmor.  They have opened direct purchase before, but am hesitant to run another one up the flagpole for just me.  I there were a few more committed maybe.

 

I'm interested in miniatures gaming, but the fact that they're typically set up to be huge money sinks is keeping me off of them. Proprietary minis, piles of books . . . I just don't want to spend that much on a hobby that I won't be even be doing every week. I've been trying to find a good, quick-playing generic minis game. Right now I've got my eye on the Savage Worlds spinoff "Showdown" but I haven't found the time to read it in detail or try it yet. I'd be quite interested in any recommendations that people might have.

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On 2/27/2019 at 8:31 AM, Spence said:

Kind of...  WarMachine had their own flavor of power creep/$ pull.  The XWing game stashed key ability cards in specific models to force their purpose and Attack Wing has massive problems with figure quality.  We went through each of the "not really a game but a money grab" products before bailing.  

I got X-Wing 1ed for my birthday and me and the boys are having a blast! We haven’t worked up to the upgrade cards yet and not sure if we will. They just enjoy a quick set up time and relatively easy fame play. Before I got the core, a nd have given me some freighters to use in our Star Wars D6 game. Anyways I’m not sure I’ll use them cause of some of the complexity of game they add. I rather get another Core set to have more fighters to play. Also we’ve been using  the basic pilots only. It keeps the options limited-faster play.

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On 2/27/2019 at 10:41 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

In my dreams I create miniatures of my monsters in the Bestiary to sell (some are really unique looking) but I know that I don't have the money or time and the market is tiny.

 That's why you put the monsters up on Thingiverse, or similar service, free or paid downl;oad, your choice, but someoen can use a creature that isn't what the players expected. XD

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18 hours ago, Zeropoint said:

May I recommend Blender? It's a very powerful 3D modeling (and animation) suite which is open-source and absolutely free. You can get it directly from the Blender Foundation's website at blender.org or get it through Steam (still free) for automatic updates.

 

Blender is certainly powerful and full featured, especially with all the free, and extensive third party plugins, and the like. However, Blender has a problem, and that is the user interface, with regards to other 3D software packages, especially the Industry sstandards like Maya and 3ds Max.  If you are a beginner, and pick up Blender, it's fairly easy, to a point. If you are a veteran, it's not easy.  The analogy I make is  Maya is like Spanish, and 3ds Max is like italian.  They are different languages, but spoken they are similar enough that a spanish speaker and and Italian can muddle through communications and get things done.  Blender is like Russian.  If you grew up speaking Russian, it's easy, but if you grew up speaking Italian or Spanish, it isn't easy.  With nearly 40 years in 3D, Blender is nearly impeneatrable.

Luckily, I have both 3ds Max and Maya, so they work well together and I can get stuff done.

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14 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I got X-Wing 1ed for my birthday and me and the boys are having a blast! We haven’t worked up to the upgrade cards yet and not sure if we will. They just enjoy a quick set up time and relatively easy fame play. Before I got the core, a nd have given me some freighters to use in our Star Wars D6 game. Anyways I’m not sure I’ll use them cause of some of the complexity of game they add. I rather get another Core set to have more fighters to play. Also we’ve been using  the basic pilots only. It keeps the options limited-faster play.

I totally agree the initial game was great.  And the mini's themselves were fantastic. Especially the solution for maintaining scale.  But the problem was the expansions and the "special" cards.  Want your xwing to stay competitive? Then buy this $70 expansion box for the nerf card.  I did buy additional fighters and ships to use with the Star Wars RPG.  Too bad the Star Trek Attack Wing ships models are so poor in design and quality.  Anyway, the mini's were great, the game is a money sink.

 

 

Edited by Spence
had to correct my post, I really really hate posting via mobile.

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I think our group is going to go in jointly on a 3d printer this fall.  Splitting the initial fixed unit cost five or six ways makes lots of sense, we let the guy(s) with the wherewithal -- and the space in their home to keep the setup stable and safe from pets, spouses, kids, etc. -- to fuss with the hardware setup and get it working, and then individuals in the group can pick out patterns and pony up for the expendable supply costs as needed, after the initial whole-team experiment phase.  While we've had talk about this for four months or so, we've been concentrating on our team RPG event at the local convention, which finally happens this coming weekend.  I expect details on the printer etc. to get hashed out between now and Christmas. 

 

I think of everyone in the group I am the guy least interested in cool minis etc., but even I have some interest in what we might be able to do with such a facility "in house", so to speak.

 

EDIT: Our FLCGS is closing for good at the end of the month, which has accelerated interest among those folks in the group who are/have been mini buyers.

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3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Our main local store closed recently, and it was doing good business, I'm not sure why it shut down.  It had a terrific gaming area set up and everything :(

 

It could be many things. 

 

Doing good business (number of customers) may not have translated to good business (dollars spent). 

 

My FLGS is a gaming store where running games is encouraged (all the owners have day jobs with the store being a hobby).  But they need constant income to meet bills and many people are surprised at the lease rates and utility costs when you hang the word "business" in front of it. Not to mention "business" tax rates.   If you want to run/play a game (RPG, board, CCG, etc) they are fine with it as long as there is room, regardless of where you bought it. Playing games is what they like to see. that said, they do run priorities leaning toward their money making events.  So if you suddenly show up on a Magic pre-release Friday don't expect to find an empty table.  Anther factor is shipping.  It may not seem to be a big deal, but with the razor thin margins the cost of shipping can be a factor. A FLGS needs to be able to place everything needed on a single order to get above the free shipping point.  That means at a minimum a distributor has to carry all of the products that represent the FLGS's staple sale items. Magic, D&D, PF, Call of Cthulhu, etc.  My FLGS uses a local distributor (can drive there to pick up product, no shipping costs) for most stock and orders weekly and then uses one of the big distributors to order titles not carried by the local distributor once a month or so (more if the orders reach a point that hits free shipping).  They are very transparent with this and usually announce that they are getting ready to make the "big" order so you can add anything you need.  This is reason Hero is not on the shelf.  It just isn't cost effective for the small shop since the only distributor that carries it, only carries small specialty titles and none of the bigger revenue streams. 

 

The biggest irritating people are the loud obnoxious dinks that show up to play, whine about the prices, always bring in food/drink from outside and buy everything online.  Big on wanting, but non-existent on spending. The same people that if they hear you offer a friend at your table a soda or snack and they turn it down, dink-water will fly across the room to let you know that they will be glad to take it as if they are entitled. 

 

Grrrrrrrr  people like that just irritate the hell out of me.  If I wanted to offer you something I will offer it.  If I am just trying to get rid of it I will ask the shop in general.  If I am being polite with my friends at a table, it doesn't mean dink-water is supposed to assume it was a general offer. 

 

But I digress. 

 

If people game at the shop they need to at least buy snacks there.  They should at least buy one gaming product a month, adults with an income should do a little better.  Especially if they are taking space and gaming.  D&D Adventure League night usually covers its rent/utility/employee salary with D&D books sales.  Every AL night sees multiple PHB's selling to new players and supplements to the not so new players. The FLGS usually has to restock D&D core books weekly.   Magic is a store financial staple, both in the primary and secondary market.

 

 

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On 2/27/2019 at 3:36 PM, Scott Ruggels said:

 

Oh, I know, and I have seen a lot of good minis on Thingiverse, but I want specific critters and player races of my own creation. Custom miniatures for the PCs as well would be nice. 

EDIT. examples:

1544129761.scottruggels_magnus_color_hea

 

 

1499967907.scottruggels_mirifight02.gif

 

 

Really nice pic.  Thanks for sharing.

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