Pre-Order vs. Pre-Pay

Chas

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This discussion regenerates itself, typically when people having nothing to gripe about like reverse counters or something. I have nothing personal against Mark but I do not like his tactics. His initiation was about as innocent as what he accuses Holst of doing. that is his right and perogative, maybe I should have just ignored him.

Bottom line, we have to do it this way to stay in business. We need the finances to get much of the very costly printing going, and to get that provide a discount to our customers. This wasnt completely necessary with ITR, but was with Normandy. I apologize to anyone who thinks we abused them by providing a discount of over %25 in order to allow us to print this product in the way we did.

We value our customers who use the preorder process because without it we would have difficulty printing the more expensive stuff. BFP 3 will and must have a preorder period. When we send the components to the printers we start that process. When they have met our quality standards it ships. You may have an alternate viewpoint to this, but sorry, the alternative is not feasible if you want us to stay in business.

Thank you for your support,
Chas
 

Portal

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25% is a pretty good discount. I can see that being of interest to a lot of people.
 

Michael Dorosh

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25% is a pretty good discount. I can see that being of interest to a lot of people.
25% off of an arbitrary number isn't a discount, it's a marketing gimmick - but one that works, and one that is obviously necessary to raise the funds to make the project a reality. Sort of like throwing in "two free scenarios" I guess. The consumer always needs to believe he is getting value for his money; at the end of the day, the things that matter most to the success and longevity of the company are word of mouth and the actual perceived quality of the product. Which is why this issue is being discussed so intently. It's not just one dude being dissatisfied with the customer service, it's a dude with a website that is widely read and serves as a review vehicle for the greater community, who also prides himself on not filtering his own biases.

On their own, the products speak for themselves. But with competition against so many products, especially this year, from guys like LFT and even MMP with two APs and VotG - lots of hobby dollars coming out of wallets and lots of hobby hours getting gobbled up, the comments on the forum also speak for themselves.
 

Portal

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VotG isn't a 2009 product. It was a late 2007 product released in early 2008.
 

Michael Dorosh

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VotG isn't a 2009 product. It was a late 2007 product released in early 2008.
But guys are still playing the CGs - those hobby hours aren't expended is my point. You just finished your CG with Brent, right? Guys are still talking about it as if it is new to them, because really, it is. Learning the ins and outs, finding out new things, etc. That's competition for time, not dollars, but it's still a consideration. The hard core guys buy everything that comes out even if they don't play it, and buy two copies just to be sure, but that doesn't include everyone.
 

Kevin Kenneally

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VotG isn't a 2009 product. It was a late 2007 product released in early 2008.
I just received the VoTGs... SO to me it IS a 2009 product.

But then again, I got TtT, AP4 & 5, and Ops Mag #53 (cool article about the scenario in this magazine). If I knew that the Ops Special Edition was $25 when I ordered my stuff from MMP, I would of had it (already had a copy for some time now).
 

Portal

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Dorosh,

I'm also playing scenarios from BV3 and DftB releases in 2007 these days. Does that make them releases from the past year also? :)

Chas A,

I dunno, my VotG rules seem to have a lot of "Copyright 2007" written all over the bottom. Hence, my opinion of a 2007 product released late. :smoke:
 

fwheel73

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25% is a pretty good discount. I can see that being of interest to a lot of people.
25% off of an arbitrary number isn't a discount, it's a marketing gimmick - but one that works, and one that is obviously necessary to raise the funds to make the project a reality. Sort of like throwing in "two free scenarios" I guess. The consumer always needs to believe he is getting value for his money; at the end of the day, the things that matter most to the success and longevity of the company are word of mouth and the actual perceived quality of the product. Which is why this issue is being discussed so intently. It's not just one dude being dissatisfied with the customer service, it's a dude with a website that is widely read and serves as a review vehicle for the greater community, who also prides himself on not filtering his own biases.

On their own, the products speak for themselves. But with competition against so many products, especially this year, from guys like LFT and even MMP with two APs and VotG - lots of hobby dollars coming out of wallets and lots of hobby hours getting gobbled up, the comments on the forum also speak for themselves.
I agree.... call it a good discount or a gimmick.... if you trust the folks who are putting out the good stuff, and repeatedly so, then the preorders/subscription method is valid. We know that the TPP designer/producers don't have a bunch of cash from their profits (probably none--really) and this method that BFP is using is an excellent way to go. If you don't trust their offer to deliver the ASL goodies then one does not buy till later. The discount is not actually necessary for me since I have figured out they don't have a chunk of change to give to the printers.... for what we want to get in our mail box.

This is really sort of a community project... is it not? We are the community of ASL players and the TPP have a project that needs partial funding to get it into our hands. The cash they make over the printing, once it is spread out over the time spent, amounts to nothing but the love of the game--bet it is close to $1/hour... I will not begrudge them that pitiful sum. BFP 3 is going to cost plenty to print.... so I hope they do a subscription/preorder thing to get it to press... if I get a discount that will be fine (maybe put my name in fine print on the box or on the bottom of a scenario card), I don't care.... just give me good stuff!:) MMP could do the same on the map thing:yummy:... right?

Best regards,:salute:
John
 

Portal

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John F,

You're making some great points. In my case, the key reason I'm not out here providing as much up-front support with pre-pay orders to TPPs like many of you is that I don't think ASL needs more stuff from the TPPs right now. I have plenty of good ASL I haven't yet played, and my opponents have even different stuff on their shelves that have yet to hit the gaming table.

From MPOV, the keen, dedicated energies that are out there developing products should be committing their time, money, and resources getting more FtF events happening in their communities, especially open-play events. I don't think we need more products. I do think we need more people playing ASL and more regular venues in which to play it.

I'm definitely not saying these designer guys aren't part of the event organizing scene. I'm just giving my perspective of where I think the real ASL needs are for energetic, passionate ASL people.
 

fwheel73

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John F,

You're making some great points. In my case, the key reason I'm not out here providing as much up-front support with pre-pay orders to TPPs like many of you is that I don't think ASL needs more stuff from the TPPs right now. I have plenty of good ASL I haven't yet played, and my opponents have even different stuff on their shelves that have yet to hit the gaming table.

From MPOV, the keen, dedicated energies that are out there developing products should be committing their time, money, and resources getting more FtF events happening in their communities, especially open-play events. I don't think we need more products. I do think we need more people playing ASL and more regular venues in which to play it.

I'm definitely not saying these designer guys aren't part of the event organizing scene. I'm just giving my perspective of where I think the real ASL needs are for energetic, passionate ASL people.
Portal,

All good points! The only thing I can add is that the TPPs probably have to strike NOW, while the iron is hot; that is, all of the background work that folks have produced which leads to scenarios needs to get to finalization-- in an item to sell. We have brilliant folks who do the design stuff and their work may not be able to be repeated if it stops now.

In regard to supporting ASL with events I think that is what we players must do ourselves--attend events. By attending these events we make them bigger. Austin, Texas occurs in 2 weeks and I think there will be 40+ people there and next year maybe we should have 100:D... and take over the hotel. There will other places to go if you are in the Central USA.... Oklahoma City in November, Kansas City in March, St Louis in July.... key is we have to support them ourselves.... the TPPs don't have anything they can do but maybe providing a few of their wares for prizes and gifts.

I think we all have to try to help the growth of the ASL hobby with game purchases, attending tournaments and helping new folks learn ASL. The folks that play ASL are a pretty good lot--no joke!:)

I think the blowup that occurred has been relatively beneficial.

Best regards,:salute:
John
 

Portal

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John F,

There is good momentum going on in the tourney scene, but I think there is one major problem: too many of the events are tourneys. Why do we nearly always need a tourney to get together in groups to play ASL in a larger social atmosphere? Even leaving the competitive aspect aside (which does turn off some players, actually), why do we always have to play stuff at an ASL event that can fit in a four-hour timeslot so we can all get on to the next round?

I only know of two ASL events in the U.S. with a solid emphasis on open-play where players can play whatever they want for how long they want (including multiple days for monsters / mini-CGs): ASLOK and the ASL tables at CSW MonsterCon. In Canada, we don't yet have any. I haven't heard of any open-play focused events in Europe either.

I think this is the real opportunity for ASL innovation.
 

Bob Holmstrom

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John F,

There is good momentum going on in the tourney scene, but I think there is one major problem: too many of the events are tourneys. Why do we nearly always need a tourney to get together in groups to play ASL in a larger social atmosphere? Even leaving the competitive aspect aside (which does turn off some players, actually), why do we always have to play stuff at an ASL event that can fit in a four-hour timeslot so we can all get on to the next round?

I only know of two ASL events in the U.S. with a solid emphasis on open-play where players can play whatever they want for how long they want (including multiple days for monsters / mini-CGs): ASLOK and the ASL tables at CSW MonsterCon. In Canada, we don't yet have any. I haven't heard of any open-play focused events in Europe either.

I think this is the real opportunity for ASL innovation.

A couple or reasons:

1. "Open Play Events" can be called "Club Meetings" and they happen all the time.

2. "Open Play Events" can be called "All day Saturday/Sunday ASL Day at Home with a Buddy." These also happen all the time.

3. A good portion of tournament attendees have no expectation of winning the tournament they are attending. They attend to socialize with friends they see regularly at the different tourneys and to play people they haven't played before. In essence, a Tourney is an "Open Play Event" for them without them having to set up games in advance.
 

Portal

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Bob,

I've heard this viewpoint before and I believe it's flawed and incomplete:

1) Weekend club events last 2 days, tops. MonsterCon lasts 4 and ASLOK lasts a whole week before Grofaz. Many tourneys run over 3 days. A full day is a big difference, especially when playing bigger stuff.

2) Club events typically don't have a focus upon attracting out-of-town or out-of-immediate-region players. I'm thinking of events that are positioned to people from all over (including a sponsoring hotel in which to stay), allowing people to play people they don't usually play except possibly on VASL (and not everyone uses VASL).

3) "ASL at Home with a Buddy" doesn't qualify for the larger social atmosphere I'm talking about.
 

ASLSARGE

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One other factor for consideration with regards to pre-pay format...
Chas and Sam operate our business model, so I'm not exactly privy to the finer details of the business operations, but the following would apply to most small businesses, especially in today's economy.

Before the printer will print the products, they require payment unless you have an established account with them. Since we are new and small, not gonna happen soon. Collecting the necessary funds to pay the printer requires that A) we dig into our own personal checking accounts and pay them and risk personal financial difficulties in doing so, B) We collect the necessary funds from our customers, and offer a discount as an incentive to do so, or C) Borrow the funds from a bank with interest added to the loan to be paid back, and as such, charge our customers a higher cost for the products to offset the added costs of the borrowed money.

Some might consider the pre-pay discount as a marketing gimmic, but the basis for it is to entice customers to provide the necessary funds up front to offset the printing costs. It saves BFP money and we say "thank you" by saving our customers money too. Retail prices are not "arbitrary" or picked out of a hat. Figured into the retail price is the actual cost of printing (and with our high standards it is more expensive than if we accepted lower quality printing), the materials, basic operations and shipping which is included with our products. What little profit is derived from one product is mostly put back into the "kitty" to assist paying for the next product. Not gonna be able to quit the day job by printing up ASL stuff for the masses.

The pre-pay system seems to be the best option for all parties involved, and the nice thing about it is no one is required to pre-pay if that is not something they feel comfortable in doing. You can always wait till the product is actually printed and in hand, and then order it, albeit at a higher price since by then the incentive of a pre-pay discount will have been removed.
I realize I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, and maybe it's just me, but I don't see what the problem is here, or am I just missing "the big picture"?:hmmm:
 

rreinesch

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John F,

I only know of two ASL events in the U.S. with a solid emphasis on open-play where players can play whatever they want for how long they want (including multiple days for monsters / mini-CGs): ASLOK and the ASL tables at CSW MonsterCon. In Canada, we don't yet have any. I haven't heard of any open-play focused events in Europe either.

Then there are actually three. In addition to to two you mention, the Texas Team Tournament is also open-play. We go four days and folks can play whatever they like against whomever they like over those four days. I structure prizes in there that don't pigeon-hole folks to a structured format. We generally do have plenty of monster games occurring over the course of the weekend. More 'Last Bids' have been played over the years than I can count, and this year we are holding the full-blown Omaha beach landing from the latest CH release. This year we have almost 50 preregs and I expect probably 4 or 5 more to show up at the door. We've worked hard to promote ASL across the state of Texas. We've set up standing monthly gamedays across the state (1st weekend here in Austin, 2nd weekend in Dallas/FW, 3rd weekend in San Antonio, 4th in Houston). And we all use the opportunity of the tourney here in Austin in June to all get together at once. From my standpoint, I would love to see more out-of-state folks attend our tournament. I beat the bushes hard to get the word out and let folks know about us. I have been trying to attend more tournaments around the country to support not only the other tournaments, but to get folks to come to Texas and experience us.

Rick
 
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Portal

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Awesome, Rick. I appreciate that tidbit and will keep you guys close in mind for ASL travel plans in 2010!
 
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