What do you think of MMP's stewardship of ASL so far?

What do you think of MMP's handling of ASL so far?

  • They are doing a fantastic job!

    Votes: 9 6.3%
  • Not perfect, but they're doing very well

    Votes: 42 29.6%
  • Good. Better than I thought they would

    Votes: 8 5.6%
  • I'm content with the job they're doing

    Votes: 32 22.5%
  • They're doing a mediocre job

    Votes: 30 21.1%
  • Not terrible, but I wish they were doing a lot better

    Votes: 16 11.3%
  • Terrible. I'm very disappointed so far

    Votes: 5 3.5%

  • Total voters
    142

Bryan Holtby

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OK, I'll bite. This is why I think they are going an OK job.

First off, MMP is not AH. They dont have the resources that AH had, nor the pocketbook. Nor do they have the same market that was there years ago. So, you cannot compare MMP to AH. For that matter, I highly doubt that AH would have put up with TPP making more than fanzines.

Some of these TPP have put out very good products, while others/some have published JUNK!

They have kept up the pace of production that AH had, not much more than a module per year. The Journal sells well, and OotA was a good idea.

There are some exciting products in the works, VotG and Ortona are two. Im not fussy about the Finn module, but MMP isnt doing much with it. I believe it is a private group developing the module and MMP is producing it. Nor am I all that interested in AoO, so I dont care that its taken 10+ years to make. I suspect that there are some inside MMP who may feel the same way.

The new RB WAS required IMO, new charts etc. Although they may have made some things more complicated lol.

They are doing things to reduce the costs. Havent seen the new maps, but I havent heard anyone gripe about them yet.

Also note that I didnt say I thought they were doing a great job.

The whole issue of an eASLRB is a place they could really stand to improve. I've had it explained to me as to why they havent done it, and it does make sense. Apparently, AH sold the electronic ASL rights, just like they sold the elec. rights to Third Reich, to a group long before MMP came about. VASL isnt a game in itself so that doesnt come under the copyright issue, however it could be argued that an electronic rulebook is a game. And that is the sticky spot.

Again, I've got my own eASLRB so I dont care. But it would be nice to see one available to the general public.
 

Sapper Daddy

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SGT HOLST said:
Ok, just for my own satisfaction; how is MMP doing a good Job WITH ASL? (NOT THE ASLSK)


Scott
ASLSK is part of it so I can't leave it out but haven't they released several items in the last few years and are going forward with plans for the release of AoO(ten years)with other items following shortly?. Sure we would all like to see several releases in a year.
 

Gunner Scott

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Brian H. writes;
<<OK, I'll bite. This is why I think they are going an OK job.>>
Well, you could always ignore this topic too ya know. ; )

Brian H continues;
<<First off, MMP is not AH. They dont have the resources that AH had, nor the pocketbook. Nor do they have the same market that was there years ago. So, you cannot compare MMP to AH. For that matter, I highly doubt that AH would have put up with TPP making more than fanzines.>>

Ah, but AH did allow it with great stuff like ToT's series of modules and HoB's HASL's and Waffen-SS packs. It helped to generate sales of AH Core modules and to expand the ASL player base due to the fact that many players were not only playing ASL, they were also helping to develope ASL modules and scenario packs IE Paddington Bears and so on.

Brian H;
<<Some of these TPP have put out very good products, while others/some have published JUNK!>>

Yes, this is true, but not all of was junk, nor was it nessassary for Curts lawyers to go after everybody either.
Heres a thread from a D&D message board that talks about what happens to companies producing crap:

http://www.enworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=99165

Brian H;
<<They have kept up the pace of production that AH had, not much more than a module per year. The Journal sells well, and OotA was a good idea.>>

MMP has not put a module out in two years and FKaC could have included the desert stuff, but MMP does what MMP wants and this always pisses me off, ask the customer what they want, do not assume.

Brian H;
<<There are some exciting products in the works, VotG and Ortona are two. Im not fussy about the Finn module, but MMP isnt doing much with it. I believe it is a private group developing the module and MMP is producing it. Nor am I all that interested in AoO, so I dont care that its taken 10+ years to make. I suspect that there are some inside MMP who may feel the same way.>>

Nor am I intrested in AoO, I would prefer to see VotG's then AoO. Anyway, I would not expect anything soon from MMP since non-ASL game have priority to go to the printers.

Brian H;
<<The new RB WAS required IMO, new charts etc. Although they may have made some things more complicated lol.
They are doing things to reduce the costs. Havent seen the new maps, but I havent heard anyone gripe about them yet.>>

Ha ha, I still cant make heads or tails out of the new human wave rules plus the Wall and bocage rules are just way to complicated. The new maps are IMHO a sad state to which ASL has arrived to. On one hand I'm for it, on the other, MMP is now like third party publisher putting out unmounted maps.

<<Also note that I didnt say I thought they were doing a great job.>>

But you think they are doing a good job, which I still disagree with.

<<Snipped electronic RB>>

Please; everything you mentioned is pretty much vapur ware as far as new products coming out, MMP has been promising this stuff for several years and still nothing. Anyway, who else thinks MMP is doing good with ASL?

Scott
 

paulkenny

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IMO one of the biggest mistakes MMP made was not making enough copies of the reprints, especially the ASLRB2 and BV2. Having them go OOP so quickly is resulting in ALOT of wasted effort in reproducing them. They vastly underestimated the need in the community :eek: and apparently did not plan for keeping the product in stock for years to come. Now with ASLSK (not ASL) out they dont have the rulebook available to the newbie. :mad:

:dead:
 

Reepicheep

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paulkenny said:
IMO one of the biggest mistakes MMP made was not making enough copies of the reprints, especially the ASLRB2 and BV2. Having them go OOP so quickly is resulting in ALOT of wasted effort in reproducing them. They vastly underestimated the need in the community :eek: and apparently did not plan for keeping the product in stock for years to come. Now with ASLSK (not ASL) out they dont have the rulebook available to the newbie.
I agree entirely, Paul. If both the Rule Book and Beyond Valor had remained in print throughout the last few years, things would have been much better and there would be much less to complain about. Let's hope when both are eventually reprinted (which still could be quite a while away - even for the Rulebook, but especially BV) either enough copies are printed to keep them in print for the forseeable future, or MMP are able to be in a position to continually reprint them in smaller runs once stocks get down to a certain level.
 

Aries

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Business is after all about doing business.

People would have thought me odd not having any tables to sell if my only excuse was, "but wood is so expensive".

They (MMP) will never have any income till they have a core product that is assumed in stock.
And you can't sell what ain't there, and you have to have it before you can sell it.

Now if the only refrain is "well this is more a hobby interest than a business", then one of us needs to have a chat with Hasbro about maybe looking into whom is to be the principle source.

I got a buddy that is looking to reap some mucho serious cash in a couple of years eh. I wonder what ole Hasbro would say if I plopped down some big bucks on the table and said "hey why not let me give it a try, I plan to reprint the snot out of the entire inventory, and not stop printing till I can't move the inventory for love of money".

I don't wish to usurp MMP, I just wish MMP wanted to be the official source in more than name.
 

Pitman

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Some of you need to take reality pills. Reprints are not a source of good income for wargaming companies. This is not exactly news. They are a source, instead, of cash flow problems, because they typically sell at a much slower rate than new releases, so all the cash invested into them is tied up for a long time until they finally sell out.

This is why the vast majority of wargames *never* get reprinted. MMP is almost unique in their determination to keep a number of products in print.
 

da priest

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Aries said:
Business is after all about doing business.

....one of us needs to have a chat with Hasbro about maybe looking into whom is to be the principle source.

I got a buddy that is looking to reap some mucho serious cash in a couple of years eh. I wonder what ole Hasbro would say if I plopped down some big bucks on the table and said "hey why not let me give it a try, I plan to reprint the snot out of the entire inventory, and not stop printing till I can't move the inventory for love of money".....
Well let's play this assume game.

Assume Hasborg gives you a hearing and you have lots of cash(assume 1,000,000)...they like you and give the license to you for what Curt got it for, likelihood is nil, but for our game. (1,000,000-250,000=750,000left)

Assume you want to DO IT RIGHT...and do the fulltime thing not the part-time hobby thing....so you need to set up a fund to replace your lost income. Assume 35,000 a year for 10-15yrs remaining working life expectancy, including safe investment, inflation...need to chunk away 350,000(down to 400,000).

Now are really going to do it right and hire some help? nah, we'll leave that out to offset any errors in other assumptions.

Well are you going to have income from day one? Nope, so we need to salt away some cash to play that da*ned license fee(vague recall of 50,000 per year), let's get daring and expect good profits in 4 years, so we salt away 50,000 per year, we're down to 200,000.

So here you are, alone in your room with a table and 200,000 on it, Now where is the product? Over in the MMP warehouse, and they don't have to let you buy it or see it or use it. All the scenario, module, CG submissions to date are theirs, all the product is theirs, all the research is theirs.


Here's the real off-base assumption, let's say in one final burst of love for the hobby they at least sell you all the hard product, for less than Curt's initial investment, say 200,000.

So now you sit exactly where they are now. Except you don't have any of the stuff to send to the printers...you have to reinvent it(sorta the position MMP was in when they first got the license), and you have no cash left.

So what do you do? How many modules can you recreate a year? Rulebooks? Remember you got to get profitable in 4 yrs.....

And Tabbie is already screaming at you for lack of new product.
 

AdrianE

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I voted for mediocre.

Right now they are suffering from a dilution of focus and a lack of manpower. They are trying to do too much with too few and their delivery of new ASL material is suffering for it.

They are spending some time on non ASL projects. They have the entire Gamers line and Rinella's area movement games. They have added new designs by Adam Starkweather and Richard Berg to the development pipeline. All of these things take time and effort.

Brian Youse really appears to be overloaded and thus a bottleneck in the process. Judging by what MPP has said publically he is responsible for most of the layout. That has to be a painstaking, slow and very detailed job. He is also the chief fixer and planner. It also appears that he is the main business negiotiator (ie deals with printers etc). He has only got so much time. Much of the time he does have is dealing with nutmail.

The lack of manpower also constrains their productivity. Carl Fago and Russ Bunten have left over the years and Keith has been their only replacement. Dean Essig also has joined to run the Gamers development.

They also have financial constraints. That distributor bankruptcy a few years ago really screwed them over. The Pxxx system came out of that as a way for them to guarentee cost recovery.

I am disappointed in the amount of ASL material they have produced. I don't count the starter kit as ASL. However, I understand the reasons for it. I don't believe MMP is deliberately reducing the flow of new ASL material. Their resources are limited.

In the end, I have to judge them by what they have delivered that interests me. That is ASL first and OCS second and nothing else. Hence a mediocre rating.
 

paulkenny

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Mark, How can you say reprints are not a money maker? Look at how quickly ASLRB2 and BV2 sold out. These are the core modules from which the rest of the system flows. It is IMPERATIVE that these remain on the shelves or no other product is going to flow on a regular basis, the hobby will never see the growth it could have and thus the long term profitability. It does no good to publish ASLSK with the hope it will lead to sales of ASL without the core modules being available. IMO it was a huge mistake to underprint the Rulebook2 and BV2 becuase it has impacted so seriously MMP's longterm investment in ASL. Honestly I was in shock when MMP announced what months if not weeks after the publishing of the ASLRB2 that they were running out of books.

They have to reinvent the wheel all over again losing sales etc, along the way while effort is taken away from new stuff. MMP decision on the number o products to print demonstrates an incorrect understanding of the market. IMO.
 

da priest

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paulkenny said:
... IMO it was a huge mistake to underprint the Rulebook2 and BV2 ...
This is really not news, MMP has stepped up and admitted it was a mistake, they are trying to fix it. Beating them over the head with it time and time again does no good.

And if you don't buy their printer problems explanation, just ask Steve D. over at HOB. If his printer had held onto the final set of BtB stuff until paid, Steve would be SOL, because the final bill was 3xs the estimate, and much more than Steve had gotten in pre-pub collections. :eek:
 

Doughboy

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Aries said:
I got a buddy that is looking to reap some mucho serious cash in a couple of years eh. I wonder what ole Hasbro would say if I plopped down some big bucks on the table and said "hey why not let me give it a try, I plan to reprint the snot out of the entire inventory, and not stop printing till I can't move the inventory for love of money".

I don't wish to usurp MMP, I just wish MMP wanted to be the official source in more than name.
Cool, you friend wouldn't by chance own his own printing operation?
I mean even if he did, the proofing and prep work of the printers aka Heidelburg machines is extremely expensive. We are talking about paint, materials and a hell of a lot of prepress work. On the otherhand..if he does own his own business and is a printer who can afford these time and costs elements so much power for him. What gets me though is that these costs are real and need to be rationalised from a business perspective. Call me dense but I live in the real world :crosseye:
 

paulkenny

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hmm interesting, I was not aware that MMP ever owned up (well perhaps that is too strong a verb) to their not printing enough stuff. It is the root of ALOT of their problems vis a vis ASL. Of course they repeated the error with the BV2 print run.
 

da priest

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Oops forgot this quote from Recruit Holst:

"AH did allow it with great stuff like ToT's series of modules and HoB's HASL's and Waffen-SS packs."

Errr...memory loss seems common these days..

Now who was it that accompanied the US Marshals into CH/RaT Tapio's house to confiscate the illegal ASL loot?

Name "Dott" ring a bell? As in Monarch Publishing Dott aka AH Dott? Long before the Hasborg assimilation.
 

RobZagnut

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Yup

>IMO it was a huge mistake to underprint the Rulebook2 and BV2

I agree, but how were they to know? They have limited resources and have no idea how many to print. If they print 5000 of each and only 2000 - 3000 sell they are stuck with WAY TOO MUCH stock that doesn't sell and then must pay storage costs. I think they played it safe by printing 2000 of each, which quickly sold out. Good for MMP, but bad for newbies who want one now.

The question is now, how many do they print this time? Again 2000 is safe, because do you really expect that another 5000 will sell? Again, MMP faces a tough choice. I would only print 2000, but I would have also only printed 2000 last time too.
 

paulkenny

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Rob

I would disagree, I dont know what there print runs were before but they HAVE to have a stockpile of Rulebooks and BV to feed the newbies or the hobby will die, the rulebook being out of print for three out of 4 years is just not going to keep newbies interested.

P
 

Reepicheep

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Robert Wolkey said:
I think they played it safe by printing 2000 of each, which quickly sold out. Good for MMP, but bad for newbies who want one now.
Let's say they did print 2000 copies and they quickly sold out. That shouldn't be a problem. You've just done all the printing proofs. They've all sold, so you have plenty of cash. Easy solution... ring up the printer and order another 2000 right away! But it seems this last step didn't get done.
 

Bryan Holtby

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Trouble is, you already have plans for that money. As a business you have to make a product that creates profit, and I recall it being said that the rulebook was a break even run.

Printing an additional 2k rulebooks (which should be electronic d@mn$t), of which 1k may not move for a while would tie up all that money which could be used to print off the Journal (high profit margin I would think) and maybe an historical module. Once you get the money from those investments you can then take the profits and do a rulebook run and use the original money for another module print.

Scott, you really need to stop confusing MMP and Hasborg (I like that reference, hope you dont mind if I use it). Hasborg is the one who forces MMP to send out the lawyers.
 

Aries

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This reality pill stuff is funny.

How many non existent products will MMP sell tomorrow?

None.

If I want ASLRB where is the first logical place to look? eBay.

I have MMPs link eh, but hmm it's not really worth much to me.

Now me, if I was to approach Hasborg with the notion and actually had 1 mil I was willing to risk, first thing I would do when given the green light, was secure a printer, AND secure the electronic rights (even if they weren't Hasborg's I would hunt the person down like I did Hasborg eh).

You wouldn't get a press release far in advance so that people were asking me every week where is it for over a year.
I would not be dreaming up new products until AFTER I had the actual manual in hand, because what good is a game with no manual.

Reality check, you won't be making NEW players in the absence of a game. Owning a ASL Starter is all fine and dandy if you want to know IF you like the game, but what the f**k good is a Starter AFTER you have concluded you DO want the game. Especially if there is no game?

All these ASL Starters, if they work, what next? Make those new fans wait a year to get the real manual? Wait another year to get core modules? Pretend that a new module for which they don't have any use will interest them?
I don't see ANY use for AoO whatsoever. Oh nifty obscure vehicles for a game I won't be playing till I have the manual. Yippee frickin hurray.

MMP if you ask me, is just a tool to please the established ASL Player. Frankly, me with my complete collection is the only one benefiting. I can buy the discussed Ortona module no sweat, ain't going to be no difficulty for me to use it.

I just don't think MMP should be given infinite slack. If they want to just be a hobby operation fine, but it gets a bit silly constantly lauding how great they are, when they don't even have a product to sell.

And the idea they need new material for cash flow, we have all seen the sums people will drop on eBay, that looks like cash flow to me.

But it comes down to if all they want to do is make entirely new articles for this game system, then fine. It then invalidates the reason to make the ASL Starters. Because your target market isn't a newbie, he already owns the game eh.
Unless the Starters are just cleaver ideas for making established players buy yet another silly doodle.

And I still think I will be further ahead being the teacher myself.
I prefer a very low counter density scenario and a couple of uninterrupted hours of a person's time.
In 2 hours I will know if I have wasted my time or not.

Until they have the manual in stock always among other things, they should be renamed the "Official source of New ASL Modules.
eBay is apparently the logical source for key core modules it seems half the time.
The Russians the Germans and the Japanese, all out of stock.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't WW2 fought against the Germans and the Japanese to a large extent? Wasn't the Russian Front a primary theatre?

How does MMP expect to be taken seriously by a market when their status as the official source is not really credible through their own web site?

If I was getting into ASL cold for the first time, I would probably go the 400 approx dollar buy a collection route.
 

Gunner Scott

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hi-

Aries, What I do not understand is why pay according to PVT Mosher 50K for a license and produce ony a journal and a starter kit for the year?
Does Hasbro actually care about a nich game like ASL? It aint like clue or sorry which sell thousands of copies per a year.
Also, I really dont think MMP cares about our Opinions as witnessed by their lack of participation in this debate. Oh well, at least I'll get my RBF 2, Pantherline and SP10 at ASLOK.


Scott
 
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