MMP's print and reprint schedule

Dr Zaius

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This was posted on the ASLML today:

Pete Shelling said:
RB will be reprinted when the last Stalingrad HASL comes out (Central Stalingrad?)

Together, along with Valor of the Guards, this Stalingrad trilogy will have so many scenarios and CGs that they will become 'the everlasting gobstopper' of ASL, after which MMP will publish very little new stuff. Maybe a Journal every three years or so.

This is the reason many designers are hurrying to finish 'pet projects'. We are currently working on 2 or 3 Action packs, and some scenario bundles which may become Historical Studies or mini-CGs.

So all of you that boo-hoo MMP for their publishing delays should just hope and pray they take their time with Central Stalingrad.

Pete 'just a hunch' Shelling
I wonder what MMP's official position will be on third party ASL products one they stop turning out new material. Anyone have any insight on that? It doesn't sound like the RB trilogy will be complete for a while yet though.
 

Aries

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"I wonder what MMP's official position will be on third party ASL products"

The last time I saw any type on this subject, it revolved around there being next to no tolerance of any sort of third party indulgence.

Smells of Hasbro though.

Once MMP decides they have "finally done it all", I just hope they concentrate on keeping the whole frickin catalogue of official line products in stock.

By 2005, I don't wish to see the phrase "not in stock" until it is made perfectly clear, no one else wants ASL at all.

Until they can print ASLRB2 and BV, and prove they can't actually sell the stock, it will be folly to play with not keeping the rest in stock.

Buying ASLRB2 and BV, and then being told such and such key core module is now out of stock, is identical to being sold a partial game.

ASL is NOT ASLRB2 and BV, it is the whole core line. Else, why the big fuss calling any of the rest "core modules"?
 

Chris Milne

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Now, as far as I know, Pete Shelling isn't a part of MMP. Note that he was actually referring to Red October, not Valor of the Guards, in his post. Also note the comment in his sig line ('just a hunch').

I would guess that MMP isn't going to stop producing ASL products unless they think there's no money in it (or that the money isn't worth their time and effort). They do, after all, pay a licence fee to Hasbro...

Given the amount of product in the pipeline, (VotG, RO, Manila, Ortona, Warsaw, AoO, HP, J6 and iASL, just off the top of my head), I don't think there's anything to worry about. And I guess that their policy on TPP will be just as it has to be under the terms of the licence - copyright infringement will be pursued.

And, Les, I think you've got your message across to us. Keeping everything in stock is expensive. The ASLRB is more than likely a loss-making product. BV is hugely expensive - keeping even a thousand copies in stock must represent an investment of something like $50-70k. MMP isn't a charity, it's a business.

Oh, and I haven't seen any big fuss about calling things 'core modules'. That was an AH term, and describing AoO as 'the last of the core modules' dates from 1993, iirc.
 

jleslie1004

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Ok, here's my $.02 worth:

Now, as far as I know, Pete Shelling isn't a part of MMP.
Pete may not be an MMP employee, but I'd be willing to bet that his hunches aren't made on a whim. He's involved with design and playtest of official products, so one could make a safe assumption that he probably has a good idea what might be happening with MMP.

I would guess that MMP isn't going to stop producing ASL products unless they think there's no money in it
And I guess that their policy on TPP will be just as it has to be under the terms of the licence - copyright infringement will be pursued.
Those two quotes together are an oxymoron. The fact that Hasbro/MMP (kind of hard not to use both names when talking about copyright and TPP) are so diligent about copyright infringement with TPP is the biggest reason ASL has been kept down for so long. With all the wonderful TPP that have surfaced over the years, I would think that they would want to become a conduit or publisher for TPP to market their products. And, that leads to the next quote:

MMP isn't a charity, it's a business.
Show me some evidence that MMP is run like a business. The fact that a new player can't even buy the ASLRB shows me that MMP doesn't have any vision as a business. A company run like a business would want to draw new players into the market rather than cater only to the old grognards. There are many new players waiting to get into ASL but they can't because they can't buy a brand new rulebook. They have to go to Ebay and buy one for an inflated price, or settle on a used 1st edition. That leads to the last quote:

That was an AH term, and describing AoO as 'the last of the core modules' dates from 1993, iirc.
And AoO still isn't out yet. But, look at all the products that have bypassed it. Refer to the previous quote.

To be honest, at least Hasbro is being run like a business. Their stock has been on the rise (almost doubled in the past year), and they just announced that they were closing all the Wizards of the Coast game stores, which they own. Sad as that may be, it tells me that they at least are trying to move ahead. So, that should tell us that they must think ASL at least has been making some money (or is the MMP licensing fee enough?) or one could deduce that ASL & MMP might have got the axe by now. Or, is the axe still swinging?

My apologies to you Chris, I'm not picking apart your post as an attack on you, but rather to make some points about Hasbro/MMP.

Cheers,

Jeff L
 

Chris Milne

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jleslie1004 said:
Pete may not be an MMP employee, but I'd be willing to bet that his hunches aren't made on a whim. He's involved with design and playtest of official products, so one could make a safe assumption that he probably has a good idea what might be happening with MMP.
Pete is likely to be more in the know than I am, certainly. I just wanted to point out that he isn't a partner in MMP, or an official spokesman; the original post came over as being more official than I thought it was. Perhaps we should just wait and see.


jleslie1004 said:
Those two quotes together are an oxymoron. The fact that Hasbro/MMP (kind of hard not to use both names when talking about copyright and TPP) are so diligent about copyright infringement with TPP is the biggest reason ASL has been kept down for so long.
My understanding of copyright is that it's all or nothing. If Hasborg permit MMP to be lax with their copyright over ASL, it opens them up to challenges over their copyright with other material that is more lucrative to them. Several TPP have shown themselves to be more than capable of producing quality products for ASL without infringing those rights.

jleslie1004 said:
The fact that a new player can't even buy the ASLRB shows me that MMP doesn't have any vision as a business. A company run like a business would want to draw new players into the market rather than cater only to the old grognards.
Which would be the intention of iASL, or the starter packs, or whatever they'll eventually be called. The fact that the ASLRB is oop tells me that MMP lacks the resources to keep it in print, and that to keep it in print right now might cripple them financially. Let's look at the numbers preordering the ASLRB: 390. Bloody Ridge has garnered 203 preorders in a month or so; the ASLRB has been up for a long time. Granted, MMP could be better at advertising their preorder system, but that doesn't indicate a massive untapped demand for the rulebook. If MMP could recoup the costs of printing the next run of the rulebook in a few weeks, I've no doubt they'd get it done. It shouldn't take much investment of time on their part.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see the rulebook and BV back in print and available to all. I'm sure MMP would too. But I don't want to see them crippled financially by oversupplying a market with products that are financially marginal.

jleslie1004 said:
So, that should tell us that they must think ASL at least has been making some money (or is the MMP licensing fee enough?) or one could deduce that ASL & MMP might have got the axe by now. Or, is the axe still swinging?
I doubt that Hasbro have the slightest interest in ASL. For a corporation of their size, it's a microscopically small product. If someone's willing to pay them some money, protect their copyright, and take on all the risks of production and retail, then I'm sure that's just fine with them. There's no real downside for them.

jleslie1004 said:
My apologies to you Chris, I'm not picking apart your post as an attack on you, but rather to make some points about Hasbro/MMP.
Not taken as an attack :)
MMP are a part-time organisation. All of the partners have full-time jobs on top of their work for MMP, and two of them (Curt and Russ) are often taken away from the action altogether by those jobs. I don't think that expecting them to be run like a 'proper' company is realistic. I think that some aspects of their operation could be improved, but I don't believe that printing off large numbers of rulebooks and BVs makes great financial sense to them.
 

asloser

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Don Maddox said:
This was posted on the ASLML today:


I wonder what MMP's official position will be on third party ASL products one they stop turning out new material. Anyone have any insight on that? It doesn't sound like the RB trilogy will be complete for a while yet though.
Don,

After following ASLML for years and also knowing how Pete Shelling posts, I'd say that his comments are not meant to be taken literally in this case. It is just his way of dry humor.

It might well be that if you are only intrested in urban Stalingrad combat you do not need anything more for the rest of your life. Other than that I'm pretty sure MMP will continue publisihing ASL. It is their best selling game series by far and by wide, just check out the almost 1100 AoO preorders in only three monhts, compare thet to the Gamers titles pre order numbers and how fast they have come in. There is also great potential for different ASL products in the future and many projects are already in works, at MMP or various ASLers planning to submit their work to MMP (including myself).

-Tuomo Lukkari
 

Aries

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I don't have a lot to add to some comments at this point (would have said something sooner, but have been away from home).

Core modules, that isn't "soo 1993" that term is as current as today.

We have the Armies of Oblivion module and the Doomed Battalions module (and maybe even more) in the discussion thanks to fans completely uninterested in ASLRB2 and reprints of earlier modules of the "core" line simply due to the fact, that the "old guard" fans were not really "interested" in the "new player" costumer traffic.

That is not heresy regardless if it isn't a majority view. I know it is true though, I have read the comments.

It also is not my position.

I am hoping to win AoO in the writing contest, although not holding my breathe :) , but I have long been of the opinion, that AoO and Doomed Battalions and anything not focused on Germans, Italians, Russians, British, French, Americans and Japanese, are NOT "core" to anything.

To be fussy, I think ASLRB2 and Beyond Valour are the corest of the core modules. Without the rulebook you have nothing. And Beyond Valour is the first self contained needs nothing else to function module.

I don't think the Wizard's of the Coast analogy works entirely though. Wizard's exists thanks to the hit card game Magic the Gathering. That game has had it's day though. Regardless of whether it is still seeing sales (and it is), it has had it's day. It was big between 93 and 96. Now it is just an industry icon, a well known name.
Wizard's and the TSR logo though, were bought by Hasbro AFTER those names had had their day. No one in those hobbies can even understand what was on Hasbro's mind for buying them.

Actually, no one seems to know why they bought AH either. Just Hasborg gobbling up names in all likelihood.
I am not privvy to what maintains MMP's position (none of my business). I doubt it has anything to due with actual sales figures (or it would be dead now).

"BV is hugely expensive"

No shock there. Which is why I think old thinking has to go. If tomorrow I was told Les you are now the only one making the choices, I think I would be doing some radical thinking indeed.

First action, no more mounted boards, grab those collectors items while you can.

Second action, no more scenarios in the modules. We have such a saturation level of scenarios you can't actually avoid them. And it would increase the sales potential of the Journal if it was the primary vehicle for getting new official scenarios.

Third action. I might even think of repackaging the game radically. But that would not be done without some hard core survey work FIRST.

I am not in charge though, and it isn't my money on the line :) Thus it remains just one guys opinion.
 

Reepicheep

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Actually, no one seems to know why they bought AH either. Just Hasborg gobbling up names in all likelihood.
Well at the very least, they got access to all AH titles... of which to date at least Acquire, Diplomacy and History of the World have been republished under the Hasbro/Avalon Hill label. So I don't think it's fair to characterise it simply as a gobble-up-all-names manoeuvre.

It's also been a great brand name to republish other more basic and commonplace strategy titles like Axis & Allies, Risk and Stratego.
 

kdalton

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Who said we were going to run out of new material? My Lichtenstein Partisan pack is in development right now!!!
 

Hams

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Originally Posted by Chris Milne:
Let's look at the numbers preordering the ASLRB: 390.
I've seen several quotes of late referring to the lack of pre-orders for the ASLRB v2 and as a new player looking for a copy (less so since buying v1 via eBay) I feel the lack of pre-orders isn't helped by....

From the MMP ASLRB pre-order page:
Unlike other products in our P# program, there is no minimum number required for us to print the rulebook.
...now if it had a follow sentance that said something like "However, if we get 1000 pre-orders it will start shipping within 6 weeks." I'd bet on an upsurge in pre-orders, otherwise folks will keep on watching eBay...

I'm also curious as to how game distributor pre-orders are factored into pre-orders as two UK distributors have pre-ordered and one of them supplies my local shop.
 

kdalton

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Good point. Since there is no prenumber to hit, many retailers I've had contact with are waiting for a definitive ship date before ordering. We're trying to figure a way around this now, but the problem is, that disses the preorder people who had the good faith in us to go ahead and order, IMO.

Retailer orders do count toward the preorder list, and indeed are an important part of the system. We are attending the Gama Trade Show in March, and hope to make a bunch of sales on every title there.

Keith
 

Kurt Stevens

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Im a newbie intersested in playing ASL but of course have none of the game materials. Ive got the rule book on preorder but I dont see any mention of a reprinting of Beyond Valor. From what I can tell from this thread, there is no date set to reprint it. Is this correct? Ive been looking into Ebay but Im hesitant to buy a used copy. Im afraid it will be missing parts. and the sealed copies are going for over 100.00 which is a little rich for my blood. I checked the stores listed in another thread but cant find either the rule book or BV for sale anywhere. Anybody no where either of these can be obtained? Are my choices wait to see if they are ever reprinted or take my chances with ebay?
Any help pointing a newbie in the right direction would be appreciated.

Kurt
 

Johnny Canuck

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Any new players should go see Sam Belcher to find out how to obtain used copies of v1 for the cost of shipping alone. See this thread:

http://asl-forums.net/main/viewtopic.php?t=1069

Sam can be found at:

http://www.dicetower.com/index.htm

A very generous offer indeed.


Additionally, although Paratrooper isn't an educational module, it can at least get you into the game at an affordable price, AND it's still available.
 

Priest

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@ Kurt

Other places to try besides ebay would be local hobby shops, there have been some members here that have found some of their ASL stuff at local hobby shops. So check all hobby shops in your town and the surrounding area, some people will sell there. It might be a streatch, but, check your local newspaper for ads of people selling ASL stuff.
 

Kurt Stevens

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Andrew,

Thanks for the link. I sent an email to Sam. Maybe I can be reading the rules while I try to obtain some of the modules. I was thinking about picking up Paratrooper while its still available. Its one of the cheaper modules and Im sure I'll end up with it sooner or later. Once I get started on a hobby, I tend to get a little obsessive. Just ask my wife. ;)

Priest,

I do have one local hobby shop that I havent been to in a while. The last time I was there they didnt have much. I didnt notice any ASL stuff but I wasnt really looking either. Who knows, I may get lucky.

Thanks for the ideas. Who knows, in a few weeks, I may be asking you guys to do a tutorial session on VASL for me. :)

Kurt
 

Priest

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@ Kurt

Be aware that if you get the v1 rules that there are a few minor differences between v1 and v2. Not enough to keep you from playing v2 people, but, you should have a Nard explain them to you.
 
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