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Subject: Dust Warfare rss

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Cogdiz wrote:
Wow, a lot of negative thinking here. I don't want to argue with you as I think you're quite entrenched in the way you see things. I just think you expect FFG to be a company it's not. That old Einstein quote about insanity springs to mind.

Starship Troopers actually started to gather a lot of momentum when Mongoose kind of bungled things leading to its early demise. It had nothing to do with the rules and all to do with mismanagement. The reason SST is brought up is because Andy Chambers wrote some good rules for it and it seems some of those rules might re-surface in DW indicating that it could be good as well.

Oh, and you keep talking about minature games. For me Dust Tactics is very much a board game, not a miniatures game. Dust Warfare on the other hand...


And yet if FFG decides to mismanage the whole Dust line.... either Tactics of Warfare could suffer. And I think that is what Kris is getting at. Tactics hasn't had much support to begin with, Warfare comes along which could potentially make things worse.
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Thiago Aranha
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GrandInquisitorKris wrote:
and the only thing that suggested that DT is a board game , to me or the people i tought the game to (most of who are minitures gamers ) was the printing on the box that said board game.

Well, the only thing that suggested that DT is a miniature game, to me and the people I play with (all of whom are board gamers) was the fact that it contained minatures (but then again most boardgames do as well).


GrandInquisitorKris wrote:
we have always treated it as a miniatures game , as have alot of other people , and that seems to be the audience that FFG was targeting in their own bungling sort of way.

No, that is the audience they are targeting NOW, with Dust Warfare. I would never had got into this game via Dust Warfare, but Dust Tactics is a nice hybrid between boardgame and miniature game, which attracts both crowds (and from most reviews I've seen, seems to please more the gameboard crowd than the minis players).
 
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Euen McMurry
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COMPNOR wrote:
Cogdiz wrote:
Wow, a lot of negative thinking here. I don't want to argue with you as I think you're quite entrenched in the way you see things. I just think you expect FFG to be a company it's not. That old Einstein quote about insanity springs to mind.

Starship Troopers actually started to gather a lot of momentum when Mongoose kind of bungled things leading to its early demise. It had nothing to do with the rules and all to do with mismanagement. The reason SST is brought up is because Andy Chambers wrote some good rules for it and it seems some of those rules might re-surface in DW indicating that it could be good as well.

Oh, and you keep talking about minature games. For me Dust Tactics is very much a board game, not a miniatures game. Dust Warfare on the other hand...


And yet if FFG decides to mismanage the whole Dust line.... either Tactics of Warfare could suffer. And I think that is what Kris is getting at. Tactics hasn't had much support to begin with, Warfare comes along which could potentially make things worse.


If FFG drops Dust Tactics (which I doubt it will-sorry, Kris), I have a feeling that AEG will pick it up and use it themselves. Remember, Paolo Parentes company owns the rights to these rules/figures, AFAIK.

I think this is a GREAT thing. The majority of gamers I know are wary of starting Dust Tactics because it is really rather light on the rules. And also because of the board game element to it. I would say that, if handled well/and has a good ruleset, a lot of the WH40k gamers will pick up an army, if only because they are so cheap to get. Why because they are cheap? Because most of the 40k gamers I know are college kids, who really cannot afford the $50 GW wants for a Transport, of which you will need 2-3. An average Dust army will run you about $120, whereas an average 40k army runs you about $300-$500.

If the rules are good enough, and I suspect they will be, I may just sell all my 40k Tau and use the money on Dust.

 
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K G
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Loophole Master wrote:
GrandInquisitorKris wrote:
and the only thing that suggested that DT is a board game , to me or the people i tought the game to (most of who are minitures gamers ) was the printing on the box that said board game.

Well, the only thing that suggested that DT is a miniature game, to me and the people I play with (all of whom are board gamers) was the fact that it contained minatures (but then again most boardgames do as well).



its played in almost exactly the same scale as most standard minis games like Wh40K , warmachine , etc .....

its played on a customisable battle field , like WH40K , warmachine , etc .......

it uses detailed minitures ( which is actually part of the selling points , which by sheer numbers , most bgames do not . alot use cardboard chits , or standees , or non descript pawns . infact , most board games emphasize the rules or theme , not make the detail of the miniatures a major part of the advertising , which is something miniatures companies do .

figures have 360 range of movement , though its done in 45 degree incriments .

it uses LOS rules mechanics , which all miniatures games do not .

its played on a table top , covered by a map , printed to suggest a battle field type , such as snow or grass or roads . gamers who play most miniatures games cover their table tops with a sheet or paint them to represent a terrain type , and there are infact companies that make terrain tiles to cover playing surfaces with , such as this one for exillus : http://www.ex-illis.com/main.php?logged=1&goto=store

it uses multiple trooper squads , like every other miniatures game , rather than single models that represent an entire squad , like most board games that use miniatures do .

and to counter the point that it is on a grid , well , the grid does nothing more than take the place of a tape measure or straight edge to measure movement , range , and determine LOS in a much simpler , much faster , much more black and white manner as opposed to using a tape measure that allows for more errors and potential cheating .



its all about how the company describes the game . D&D minis had the same type of activations mechanics , and a grid and similar LOS , move , etc ...... but it was never billed as a board game , and was never really viewed as such .
 
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Well, to me miniature games have always been some game where you need to pay a fortune to buy countless figures, where each match lasts several hours in which you're constantly arguing over a rulebook filled to the brim with fiddly rules.

Dust Tactics was never any of this for me. Hence not really your typical minis game.
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Loophole Master wrote:
Well, to me miniature games have always been some game where you need to pay a fortune to buy countless figures, where each match lasts several hours in which you're constantly arguing over a rulebook filled to the brim with fiddly rules.

Dust Tactics was never any of this for me. Hence not really your typical minis game.


thats part of why so many people hate GW , thats what they turned the genre into as a whole , and because of what GW has done , and the success they have had with it , minis companies have to be on the ball in order to compete . it doesnt matter how much people hate GW , GW is on the ball , and promotes the game and gives the minis gamers the attention that they demand/require as a group . and the reason that minis gamers require so much attention and effort and promotions , is because for 20 years GW has dominated the market , and given them that attention and level of service . PP does the same thing , not as well , but still its the same thing .

but there are other games that have approached it in a similar way to DT , like battle tech , i have never heard of it called a board game , but its played on boards , on hexes , and has similar activation mechanics , predominantly by miniatures gamers .

i have absolutly no doubt that if FFG had not made DG stop producing game cards , and thus kill their incintive to produce extra units and such , that we DG would have produced tons of 3d terrain and new units in the last years time . its another instance of FFG getting in the way . if GW had had a similar issue , yes they would have stopped DG from making the cards , and they would have stepped in and filled the gap .

i see alot of people chiming in about how FFG releases a unit a month for DT , but they also stop DG from producing anything except terrain for the game . whats the point in spending $40+ for a barking dog , if the only rules DG can gove for it is to post on their face book page "use the stats for the pounder " . people have plenty of pounders , and can get them for alot less , they dont need more . so for as much as FFG has released , they have also stopped the release of other models that would have helped the game grow .
 
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Christian T. Petersen
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Alright, Kris. It seems you got a very great deal of information pretty upside down. Why don't you give me a *well organized* list, in this thread, of your grievances and issues with DT and how FFG has handled it and I'll let you know why/how/when of all this. You may disagree with some/most of what I have to tell you, but I'll give you the facts.

List away.

Christian
CEO
FFG
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Loophole Master wrote:
Well, to me miniature games have always been some game where you need to pay a fortune to buy countless figures, where each match lasts several hours in which you're constantly arguing over a rulebook filled to the brim with fiddly rules.

Dust Tactics was never any of this for me. Hence not really your typical minis game.


You've been playing the wrong games or with the wrong people then I've been playing tabletop wargames for nearly 40 years and they take no longer or more rules ambiquaties than a boardgame - sometimes less.
 
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Robert Wyant
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Kris,

Looks like you have the Man himself here to answer your tirades!

Thank You so much Christian for being willing to come here and set the record straight!

Oh, since we have you here, is there any chance FFG could wrangle the rights to Blood Bowl? That is a cash Cow that GW is ignoring!
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Mike Forrey
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I would really like Kris to Quantify why GW is the "top" and "Best" in the market? It certainly has got nothing to do with how they treat their retailers. Their quality has consistently slipped for the last 5-10 years give or take. Their price point continues to spiral out of control (which in itself is fine) but their quality has continual slipped. Their business model is to release a new edition of their two core games every few years and jack the price up another 10-15% each time. If that's not stagnation i don't know what is.

Ten to fifteen years ago i would definetly give the edge to GW because they were still diverse and put out products other than new editions of WHFB and 40k. Unfortunately for them they have turned inward and stagnated while other companies have moved in to fill that void. PP was a small upstart but GW let them run rough shot over them and they put out a superior product that is fully supported and is price pointed at the same level as GW. Of course to break into the market they went with the cheaper price scheme to draw in the players but i know few PP gamers that are upset with their price structure atm.

The real winner here is FFG who through a partnership/licensing with GW has really taken it to another level. Being able to take all GW BG's and such that were very solid and reworking them with some talented designers has really been a boon for them and a gift for the gaming community. FFG needs to keep reaching higher and hiogher though as there is a lot of competition out there now. Just sitting back and coasting isn't going to keep you competitive. With them bringing out a full set of TT rules for DT they are looking to remain at the top of their game. why would they 86 Dust Tactics when they can get BOTH types of gamers? That would be a disastrous move to alienate their core DT gamers.

As for marketing i am not sure what you mean by GW having better marketing than FFG. FFG advertises in print and other multi-media forms as well as a robust and very successful league/tournament scene. GW has at best a magazine(and a magazine i might add that costs way to much for the little info you get). They don't put out Multi-media spots on the web and their league/tournament scene is nonexistent now. GT's used to be a great time and really helped promote their hobby. Unfortunately they let it be ruined by power gamers and poor sportsmanship players. No painting contest is better than another companies contest so that's a moot point. One of the biggest things though is that at conventions like Origins and especially Gencon FFG outlays a great deal to show their product off to the gaming public. If you have never seen the FFG both at Gencon you are missing something special.

Simply having 3-4 price adjustments a year does not make a company a power house in the industry. It takes a lot more than that and GW is not nearly doing as much as they could.
 
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Flightmaster wrote:

Alright, Kris. It seems you got a very great deal of information pretty upside down. Why don't you give me a *well organized* list, in this post, of your grievances and issues with DT and how FFG has handled it and I'll let you know why/how/when of all this. You may disagree with some/most of what I have to tell you, but I'll give you the facts.

List away.

Christian
CEO
FFG


Wow, quite an opportunity here! I hope we can sort out some misapprehensions with Christians help.
 
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Brad Miller
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Personally I am glad to see the table top rules coming out.

Its not a surprise to see Kris here with his doom and gloom and hand wringing about the end of the game though. Its really best to let him rave and rant to himself and the rest of us can move on and enjoy the game or at least debate its merits/issues like rational adults.
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K G
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Flightmaster wrote:
Alright, Kris. It seems you got a very great deal of information pretty upside down. Why don't you give me a *well organized* list, in this thread, of your grievances and issues with DT and how FFG has handled it and I'll let you know why/how/when of all this. You may disagree with some/most of what I have to tell you, but I'll give you the facts.

List away.

Christian
CEO
FFG


Ok , you wanted a well organized list , I will even put it through my word processor program .


1) lets talk about your companies willingness to answer questions . Back around July of last year , I had a few simple questions about the product . I had seen it here on BGG , and the info on the FFG site didn’t answer the questions . So being naive , I thought I would email FFG . Using your email inquiry page I asked if the minis would always be plastic , or if your were going to do a mix of plastic and/or metal and/or resin , what scale the figures are , and would they always come base coated . 3 simple questions , none of which dealt with game mechanics , expansions , proprietary rights , or anything that should be a secret . About 2-3 weeks later , the response I got back was very curt , and said that its “against FFG policy “to answer such inquiries , and that the only source for the release of such information is on the official product page ( which even now , doesn’t answer any of those questions ) or on the FFG forums ( that you guys don’t participate on ) .

I sent the same questions to DUST GAMES , and got a friendly response back in about 48 hours .

Now since you guys don’t publicize the release dates of the products to the public . I had no idea when the game was going to come out . But i had a big idea . I wanted to run a charity release event here for a local food bank , and wanted to see if DM would be willing to support it with a model kit or something similar , and they responded back that they are not allowed to participate in any promotions , by contract , FFG is the sole promoter of the game , and they could not violate that . They went on to say that they thought it was a great idea , and would pass it on to you guys . Now I went ahead and sent an inquiry to you guys asking if you would be interested in supporting a charity event , and if you could give me any idea when the release would be , so that I could try to set something up and get other local sponsors . I even had my FLGS “Active Imagination” send an inquiry to FFG see if maybe they could get me help and info from you guys .

We never got an answer from FFG .

And I’m not the only one complaining about either not getting answers , or not getting them in less than 2-3 weeks time . it’s been a common complaint .

In fact , frequently asked questions are the reason FAQ’s are created , and a lot of new players have the same questions that repeat over and over in the forums . Go look at the FAQ sticky on the DT forums on the FFG website , its been up since December 16 of last year , says FFG is creating an FAQ , BUT the entire thread is other PLAYERS answering the questions , because FFG still hasn’t released an FAQ , and doesn’t participate on their own forums to answer those questions , so a lot devolve into arguments .

The fastest , best , source for answers is by contacting Dust models , since they will DEFINITELY get you an answer , usually in 48 hours or less .


2) lets talk about those stat cards from DG that all the players want , but that you guys apparently don’t want them to release with their 1:48 model kits .

If the truth was just that those cards were from some beta test , as Arkangle has said , then there is no reason that DG couldn’t have made new updated cards to release with the models , since people want them . One of the issues people had when I did my demo week , was that they wanted to wait until there was a lot more stuff out for the game , because they wanted variety . DG adding in cards to their 1:48 kits would have helped sell the game , like forge world helps sell WH40K to the crowd that wants the larger heavier armor .

And I recall the announcement that DG put out saying stat cards would no longer be included , at the same time you guys issued a statement that those models would never be official , which sounded a little curt and uptight .

Since then , DG DID give stats to use for the barking dog , on their face book page . They told people to just use the stats for the pounder . People want stats for the barking dog , to use as a barking dog , not ANOTHER pounder .

So if you guys are not stopping DG from releasing stat cards with the 1:48 kits , then why wouldn’t they , it helps them sell models , and helps sell the game THEY INVENTED .

3) lets talk about media promotions . Other than banner ads , and crappy looking ads in “Game Trade Magazine “ , all you have is the website . I and many others only happened onto this game , by coming across it here on BGG .

When I asked my FLGS manager about DT , he only knew it was some how related to the Dust board game . This is something a lot of other people have complained about as well , that FFG has failed to get the info and really pitch the game to game store owners . I am the sole reason my FLGS stocks DT , because I did what FFG should have done . GW on the other hand makes sure retailers have access to lots of information , and is willing to sit and make the sales pitch for their products .

If I click on those banner ads , they take me to your website , which has a product description , but still only a limited amount of info , and a picture of the product box . Go to DG site and look at a model kit , its got a limited product description , and several views of the actual model . Same thing if you go look at a figure or model kit on GW’s site NOT JUST A BOX . And if the info in the ad is not enough , you can call or email either company and get an answer , as opposed to emailing FFG and MAYBE getting an answer in 2-3 weeks .

As for the ads in GTM , most gamers I know don’t actually read or pick up GTM . Looking back at Rackham’s AT-43 , the first time I came across that was when I saw an ad in dungeon magazine . And I saw several ads after the first on other gamer magazines . Those ads had me looking it up on BGG , not stumbling across it on BGG .

Your painting contest , didn’t see mention of it anywhere but on the FFG website , asked my store about it , they had no idea . Now my FLGS had a big WH40K event this last Sunday , and I sat there and listened to what the organizer had to say . He doesn’t work for GW , he is just a local guy that is part of their network of community organizers , and he stood there detailing info for the event , and qualifiers and regional . He had the info , GW made sure he was aware of what whas going on , and used him to get the word out about the events and contests going on . To add to the promotional impact , GW would have also posed pics of the other entries , but I am forced to wonder if the lack of public promotion means there were only a few entries .

Community organizers and game stores can contact GW to get prize support for their events , GW is happy to do it . But anyone trying to set up an event for DT has to contend with maybe some day getting an answer , if FFG feels like it . And there have been complaints by other players about the issue of just getting game note kits for their venues to run FFG organized play events .

4) lets talk about your DT line managers . Back when you were distributing AT-43 and your Mutant Chronicles line was yet to be released , you sent around demo teams , and one came to my FLGS , I over heard him talking about how chaotic the MC line was , because of rotating line mangers , and that the new one didn’t have a plan for it yet . I didn’t think much of it , but it definitely wasn’t looking good for MC .

Back in January , I was contacted by Anton about becoming part of the community program . He was promoted out of the position , and who ever was doing it after him was promoted out of that position , and god only knows how many people had the position before Anton . Looks a lot like what the demo guy was talking about for MC is what is going on with DT .

5) lets talk about the community program . I was contacted in January about it , I had to follow up on it , because Anton was apparently to busy , and told me it was still on , but behind schedule . A month or so later , followed up again only to find out that Anton had been promoted out of the position , was asked to submit an article , after which we would discuss it again . Sent the article and waited some more . Eventually , after trying to follow up 2 more times with no response , I created my BGG blog where I post all the stuff that I had held onto for FFG .

Could be attributed to the whole email issue , could be you just don’t care , either way , it’s not helping your community program .

Now while some would point to [so] rices 2 articles , come to find out , you don’t even pay him for his work , he had to sign a contract saying he would not seek any compensation . Any other major game company would have at least sent him some product , since his efforts help sell yours . So I don’t see a lot of takers for your community program , when you don’t pay people to submit articles , and get ignored and blown off in the process . It very much sounds like you think you are doing him a favor , when he is in fact apparently doing YOU a favor ……since you don’t pay him .

Its one less promotion that could have been , and that other major companies successfully use to excite the people who buy their products .

6) lets talk about gamers .

While there are some die hard exceptions to the rule , board gamers in general will buy a board game , and play in a limited number of times in the course of a month , because it is one board game among many in their collection . So they only need a small amount of support and interaction . Expansions are expected , but not for quite some time after the release of the last .

Miniatures gamers will play the same miniatures game , several times a week , every week , in many cases for years . They play the game so often that they run into questions regarding rules . The nature of their armies means they constantly want info on the next expansion , on the direction of the game , they want to see pictures of WIP , they want to a constant feed and attention from the company .

They are very different groups . While I have no doubt that FFG is good at dealing with the limited needs and wants of board gamers , you have not shown the ability to keep up with the demands and needs of minis gamers .

And to those that harp on DT being a board game , FFG has marketed it to minis gamers and pushed it in that direction from the start .

In fact that’s why you guys publish titles that are based on GW material , because GW knows that in order to keep their products on top and in the stores , they need to give that level of attention to the miniatures games , and other lesser titles are published by their subsidiaries , or outside companies like FFG .

FFG inability to deal with answering emails , the constant change in program leadership , the low level of media promotions , its all ok for board gamers , but not for the minis gamer crowd , if a game is to thrive .

7) I have suggested many times since the initial release of the new points system that you wanted to push this game into being a WH40K jr.

The new skewed points system , and the holes it opens up , and now to find out that the guy doing your table top rules , only has one real rules set in the last 7 years , with 15 to 20 years working successfully on WH40K .

a lot of us got into this game because its not Wh40K , and a lot of people have said I must be wrong , but seriously , Andy Chambers ? How much more proof do people need ?

8) you enacted the new points system with the claim of “overwhelming positive reception “ do you mean by the low number of people that attended your official events , like the regional event that had only 4 people show up ?

If you go by the BGG poll (which I still don’t think is really accurate ) , it was at about 40% in favor of the old points , that doesn’t sound like such an overwhelming positive reception when 4 out of 10 people responded that they like the old points .

The truth is , you did it , because you wanted to push the game into a traditional mini game direction like WH40K , regardless of what the players wanted .

that’s why there was never a poll , or any form of inquiry on FFG part as to how the customers felt .

You could have supported both systems , but you didn’t care what the customers thought and went your own way .

9) the new points system is skewed . It doesn’t fix anything , and opens up holes for abuse that were not there before regarding artillery observer screens , and tank heavy armies .

To listen to Duncan Idaho over on dakkadakka , it was needed to 1) play larger games 2) protect tanks from those horribly over powered infantry , and 3) more accurately represent the differences between the squads . While FFGJeremy has said DI doesn’t work for you , he sure seems to know a lot of inside stuff , so gotta believe that the reasons he gives for the change , are the reasons he was given for the change .

1) I have played 50+point games , which is equivilant to 500+ of your points , so we canplay bigger games with the old points . The only thing larger about the games under the new points is the points number , which brings in close to being inline with games like WH40K that play games with 500+points worth of troops , it’s a cosmetic fix to appeal to WH40K players .

2) I have never heard anyone complain that tanks were just so weak that they needed to be protected from those over powered infantry .

3) the points system only takes into account one factor , and thus doesn’t represent the differences between the unit in average situations , and creates 2 big holes for abuse by allowing undercoated units to abuse a screening strategy , and allowing for more tank heavy armies (ala WH40K) .

10) a years time has gone by since the initial release of the game , and FFG hasn’t fixed any of this , and as much as some may like to think its just me saying this , I get a lot of PM’s from people who agree and tell me to kepp going , but don’t want to deal with the other sides belittling themselves .

NOTICE: i dont call other people names , no matter how much I dissagree with them , but i get called names from time to time when the other side doesnt have facts/examples to back up their arguments . i havent belittled my opponents , even as they seek to belittle me .

oh , and since i deactivatedmy FFG account , could some one tell "Lotus" i love his work . i had a player point out his ulyseese walker , and i love it , made me work on something similar that will be in my blog in a couple weeks .
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James Palmer
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GrandInquisitorKris wrote:
FFG still hasn’t released an FAQ


Um, sure they have.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/dust-tactics/s...
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Brad Miller
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Official FAQ. I agree it did take them a while but here it is.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/dust-tactics/s...
 
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Felkor wrote:
GrandInquisitorKris wrote:
FFG still hasn’t released an FAQ


Um, sure they have.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/dust-tactics/s...



wow , i guess since they never mention it on the FAQ sticky , and i dont see an announcement for it , i must have missed it .

so when was it put up ? within the last month ?

i guess a year late , and with the usually lack of announcements , is better than nothing .

and despite Chritian seeing BGG as important enough to need to chime in , its not important enough for them to post a link to it in the web links section of the page , so would some one mind doing FFG job for them AGAIN ? and post a web link here on BGG .
 
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Kris,

I'll reply to your post tomorrow, but your above post is indicative of your gross misconceptions. FFG does not maintain sites for our games at BGG nor do we put any of them up, none of them! That is for the BGG community to do, as it can better filter what information is good and important to players. If we got too involved we would be dismissed as self-serving. We announce everything on our site, including this FAQ.

BGG is important, very important. Important enough to keep a distance from and let it be as independent as possible. We tried to take a more active approach a few years ago, and this was not generally seen as a good thing.

I don't think it unreasonable to post news and updates about a game on that game's main site (i.e. ours) nor that anyone interested would look there for first-hand information there first rather than a third party site.

Do you find it balanced to blame us for the fact that you somehow missed the information, and for us not posting it on a third party site?

Why don't you put the link up yourself rather than ask someone else to do it?

cP
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Flightmaster wrote:
Kris,

1) I'll reply to your post tomorrow, but your above post is indicative of your gross misconceptions. FFG does not maintain sites for our games at BGG nor do we put any of them up, none of them! That is for the BGG community to do, as it can better filter what information is good and important to players. If we got too involved we would be dismissed as self-serving. We announce everything on our site, including this FAQ.

BGG is important, very important. Important enough to keep a distance from and let it be as independent as possible. We tried to take a more active approach a few years ago, and this was not generally seen as a good thing.

2) I don't think it unreasonable to post news and updates about a game on that game's main site (i.e. ours) nor that anyone interested would look there for first-hand information there first rather than a third party site.

3) Do you find it balanced to blame us for the fact that you somehow missed the information, and for us not posting it on a third party site?

4) Why don't you put the link up yourself rather than ask someone else to do it?

cP
FFG


1) i am aware that you dont run BGG , how ever , as important as even you admit that BGG is , OTHER companies and publishers DO take time to chime in and update the fans here . doesnt have to be every day , but once in a while works out pretty well for every one else .

2 ) other companies post info to their sites , BUT they ALSO send out info packets and or emails to community organizers , and game stores , so that as many people as possible have the information , and spread it beyond JUST the publishers site .

3) i look forward to you showing me the announcement of the FAQ , and might i suggest that you actually post it or a link to it or an announcement of it on the sticky in the FFG forums , like every other game company has done , as opposed to leaving it incomplete as it still is .

4) there was a time i would have , but that time is passed , and the effort should be left to those who support FFG method of doing things , or FFG them selves .
 
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HauRuck wrote:
GrandInquisitorKris wrote:

3) i look forward to you showing me the announcement of the FAQ , and might i suggest that you actually post it or a link to it or an announcement of it on the sticky in the FFG forums , like every other game company has done , as opposed to leaving it incomplete as it still is .


The FAQ announcement is pretty hard to miss given that not only is it currently on the FFG homepage, but it is actually the very topmost item listed.


Yes, the announcement for the FAQ is on the front page. Published 7/29/11, which is the same date as the FAQ. Was it always there? Or is it in response to this discussion? I'm willing to bet the first time he mentioned the lack of FAQ wasn't right after that announcement was made.

Critics like Kris might make you roll your eyes, but it's people like him which can sometimes keep people honest and on their toes, unlike those who fawn over their products and have nothing but good things to say.
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HauRuck wrote:
GrandInquisitorKris wrote:

3) i look forward to you showing me the announcement of the FAQ , and might i suggest that you actually post it or a link to it or an announcement of it on the sticky in the FFG forums , like every other game company has done , as opposed to leaving it incomplete as it still is .


The FAQ announcement is pretty hard to miss given that not only is it currently on the FFG homepage, but it is actually the very topmost item listed.


" Dust Tactics | Published 29 July 2011"


so between the time i went to bed friday morning and woke up friday evening .

ok , so i will admit that they did make and FAQ , and announced it , LESS THAN 14 HOURS AGO , its just taken them a year, but thats not a big deal ........to board gamers
 
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COMPNOR wrote:

I'm willing to bet the first time he mentioned the lack of FAQ wasn't right after that announcement was made.



YOU ARE COOOOORECT SIR . its been a periodically recuring complaint from me for months .


interesting little tidbit , shortly after i had them delet my account at FFG , they put up the sub forums for DT there .

you will find the sub forums suggestion , AND the FAQ complaint on this post in the FFG forums on page 2 of the post , which has been veiwed 101 times , by OTHER people , since i had my account closed . have to wonder if any of them were FFG staff .

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e...


and while ihave the spotlight , let me point out that this thread poped up on FFG forums , with a fan asking about a possible mistake on the FAQ .

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e...

would you care to answer his question here Christian ? other wise he will have to wait untill FFG maybe decides to answer an email , or just let the question devolve into an arguement like alot on the FFG FAQ sticky did .
 
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I have nothing against Kris or others voicing their opinions, negative or otherwise. Its just the fact that ever since the new points announcement you have been hammering on this topic of 40k jr like FFG is out to kick your puppy.

As for keeping FFG honest, I can guarantee that someone attacking and calling them out at every opportunity, as if FFG is on a crusade to ruin everyones life and happiness, is only going to piss them off and get you on an ignore list.

You have contributed some great info on the hobby and terrain making in your blog. However, every time a new Dust Tactics announcement pops up I know I am going to have to wade through the same copy/pasted rant that we have seen from you 100 times over.

I understand that you have a lot of years invested in this hobby but when it gets to the point that something you love causes you this much emotional stress/turmoil, perhaps it is best to step away for a while and unwind.



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What a bizarre thread!

I am looking forward to checking this out at GenCon. I would never have gotten into DT, but this is interesting.
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Kris.

I’ve had to filter through your commentary to distill it into the issues. Please try to read the whole thing before commenting, as you may find answers in the latter part that relieve objections to the first part:

Kris Issue 1: I emailed FFG a question about future product direction (i.e. minis would always be plastic , are you going to do a mix of plastic and/or metal and/or resin, etc). I got reply back that essentially said “we don’t talk about future product plans”.
Correct, FFG doesn’t talk about future product plans (on rare occasion we will do so, but by strict policy we don’t.)

So, why don’t we? We used to do so, but that ultimately caused far greater issues than the benefit of doing so. You see, plans change, manufacturing and development is fickle, and frankly, we may change our minds once or twice in the process of development or release planning (in this I speak for both FFG and Dust Studio).

While it may be irritating not to have more information, consider the opposite: Being told that “X will happen, our plans are A and B. Y will come out at Z date” and that having this information not come true on a frequent basis! This is, in my opinion, a greater disservice to the player, than reserving information until we know it is true. We learned this the hard way and we’re sticking with it. I can assure you that we’re not alone in this.

Even now, being so firm with information, there are times when last minute decisions or incidents (such as with Blood Bowl team manager, or the first LOTR: Card Game cycle) can cause delays and changes.

In fact, as you were told, the best source of news and info about upcoming items *is* from our site. Many of our own staff learn about our releases from our own site.

Once something is announced, we usually go out of our way to keep players informed. We maintain a tracking solution (look at the “upcoming” link at the top of the FFG site) to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest news.

Kris Issue 2: I inquired with FFG about a charity event, but I needed info on a future release date to organize it. I never heard back.

First, we do lots of convention support and some charity support when it is requested of us (as well as tons of “Toys for Tots” donations in the 4th Q.

I don’t know the details of your specific case, I suspect that having your event be contingent on some future release information may have gotten this seriously stuck in the system. Understand that the people whom organize events and support have no control over releases, they only know release dates a short time before they’re posted on our site (or even at the same time it is posted).

Regardless, if you reasonably requested this (i.e. not using the type of language you’ve been exhibiting on these forums) you should have heard back from us on this. In this case, I agree FFG should have handled it better.

Kris Issue 3: I’m not the only one complaining about either not getting answers [to rules questions] nor getting them in less than 2-3 weeks time.
I’m sure you’re not the only one. However, a great majority are *not* complaining, I can assure you. We handle literally hundreds of rules inquires every day and we diligently work on this. We don’t guarantee answers in 48 hours, though. Unlike most customer service matters, rules questions are handled directly by designers who may not be available in short order to answer a question, so indeed rules question can take more than 48 hours, sometimes much longer.

In this case, however, DT has - quite frankly - not had a lot of rules questions and issues. Also, please remember that FFG consults most questions about DT design/rules with Dust Studio, who does most of the design work so these take even longer.

In terms of other customer services, we have a very dedicated customer-friendly policy, and spend considerable resources in servicing issues that customers may have had with our games. Please scan around BGG and look what FFG’s general reputation in this area is.

In terms of a FAQ for DT, we've recently put one up in anticipation for the tournament games at GEN CON next week.

Kris Issue 4: Why not issue stat cards for the 1/48” collectors models available only through Dust Studios website, such as the “Arkangle”, “Barking Dog”.

Because it would be bad for the game. Really bad.

It is FFG’s intention to make DT a successful product in the Hobby Games market. This requires two things 1) broad support from retailers, and 2) a broad customer group consisting of both casual and hard-core gamers.

The models you speak of are unique collectors resin kits. There is no suitable way to get these into retail stores at appropriate wholesale discounts, nor for casual to semi-casual players to buy (or even, for many, afford) them.

Retailers that want to get behind Dust Tactics want to know that they can offer players the whole line, and that we are not sending their customers to directly purchase exclusive units directly from FFG or Dust Tactics. This is not really a problem with premium units (such as the premium painted units) because these can be bought as normal commercial products and are thus (as game components) available to everyone. However, selling actual playable units only online is a betrayal to the hardworking retailers that have investing in the Dust Tactics line. Going down the path you suggest will have Dust Tactics losing retailers, rather than gaining every week, and that is bad for the game.

Then there’s the players to consider. When a bunch of players get together to play DT, they want to play on a even playing field. If someone has bought a rare special unique model online, legally playable, this will create negative playing experiences for the average player who either a) does not want to go the same effort to get the non-commercially available product, b) didn’t know they were available, or c) perhaps cannot afford such a premium item. As we’re growing this game (and it is growing) we want every reason for retailers and players to keep their foot on the gas pedal.

Perhaps once DT game is 5 years old with a huge player base, having a form of “Forge World” products would not be so bad, but it is now.

So, this has nothing to do with holding the game back, and everything to do with making this game as successful as possible.

Does this mean that these special models will never see the light of day as a commercial product? Never is a long time, who can say. Paolo and his team are brilliant in their work, and some of the future models and plans are just astounding. I encourage players to see what we have to show at GEN CON.

Kris Issue 5: Game promotions. You don’t promote the game well enough, all I’ve seen are banner ads, ads in Game Trade Magazine, and your online support.

This is just crazy talk, Kris. Completely wrong. In fact, Dust Tactics is one of the best promoted game lines in the entire industry. I suspect that you’ll find no more than a handful of other game lines better supported and promoted than DT. Here is a partial list of what FFG has done for DT:

-Full premiere, presentation, and demo’s at GEN CON 2010
-Professional video introduction of the game
-Huge DUST standees sales promotion for retailers taking a case of the core set
-Significant and consistent trade advertising in Game Trade Monthly (the only real magazine in the industry, and received by pretty much every comic and game store in the U.S.) Remember there’s no Dungeon or Dragon (or any other game magazine really) anymore.
-Extensive advertising on Tabletop Gaming News and Board Game Geek
-Retail call-outs (by phone) to promote and support the game
-Organized “Game Night” Play kits with preview hero figures, a new one was just available this week
-Regional tournament event
-Collector posters (in next GTM and available at GEN CON) with new scenario
-Modeling articles on www.fantasyflightgames.com
-Painting Competition www.fantasyflightgames.com
-Frequent preview, news, and strategy articles www.ffg.com
-Consistent releases of new products throughout the world (yes, this is good promotion)
-Twitter and Facebook articles and news items for DT
-Development on new point system for tournament play (see below)
-Daily playing of promotional video as well as new release promo videos on the FFG Media center device in the 150+ largest gaming stores in the world
-Retailer sales promotion for orders of the new core set when it ships
-Tournament and big promotion (for both DT and DW) at GEN CON 2011

There are only five games that I can think of that have had better promotional support in the industry over the last year, and those are orders of magnitudes greater (in fact, the combined revenue of every other board game publisher or miniatures producer can exists easily within a single of these games, perhaps D&D excepted): Magic The Gathering, Warhammer WH40K and WHFB (promotions isolated to White Dwarf, GW.com, GW stores, and in-store events, but they do a great job), Pokemon, and Dungeons and Dragons. Privateer also does a great job with their products, but the marketing is roughly on par with DT. They have some long-term successful games, so their organized play reaches further than DT’s, for now.

Kris Issue 6: I asked my game retailer, he never heard of DT, only the board game. Why is word not getting out to retailers [CP: this is really an extension to Issue 5, but we’ll split this since one in the B2B side]?

There are about 1000 hobby game retailers in the U.S. I cannot speak for why this one retailer has not heard of DT. I’m sure he’s not the only one, but I can guarantee you he’ll be be in the minority.

The hobby retail games business is a tough one, and many retailers make weekly decisions on what to carry and what to not carry. Due to the nature of the business many only go with “tried and true” releases in the short term. So it can sometimes take 12-24 months of consistent publisher effort effort to get more than 30-40% of the retail base to carry a product. The initial starter box for DT being $100 SRP was also a deterrent for some retailer to take a chance on it.

Surely you can’t expect that every retailer will carry every new product on day 1?

There is no reason why your retailer should not have heard of DT. It is available from every wholesale customer in the U.S. has consistent advertising, promotions, and new releases. FFG is the second largest overall supplier to the hobby market (when not counting GW, who does their own distribution) so I can assure you that all our products are communicated by sales reps, wholesale catalogs, email blasts, and catalogs (such as GTM, and I disagree that our ads here as “crappy” as you say).

Kris Issue 7: I don’t like what you’re doing on the FFG website for DT.

You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. We are working (we do all the time) on new functions for our site, and I’ll be the first to admit that we can do many things better and that we will.

That is not to say that we do things poorly, however. What we do for DT on our site, is not insignificant. We have a full mini-site for the game (and the premium painted versions), we have weekly articles, RSS support, message boards, support documents (such as rules, FAQ, scoring and tournament sheets, access to organized play kits via our B2B site, and access to customer services).

Kris Issue 8: Anyone trying to set up an event for DT has to contend with “maybe some day” getting an answer, if FFG feels like it.

We provide “Game Night” organized play kits to retailers interested in hosting events. They’re available to any retailer that is interested, all they need is an account to the FFG B2B store (they can call and get an account any weekday if they don’t).

If you emailed us about this, you should have gotten that answer, if you did not, then our bad. If you were trying to do something outside the Game Night kits, we likely wouldn't have been able to help you. Again, I wonder whether your tone of request may have been similar to that exhibited here.

Kris Issue 9: FFG's Dust Tactics “Line Managers are in chaos”

Nonsense. The same team of producers have been on DT since the beginning (one new person was added recently, but in support of the existing team, not in replacement). Not only does DT have dedicated producers, but also support from our Graphics team, editorial, and play-testing by our own staff.

Kris Issue 10: Community Program for Dust Tactics. Offered to me, but never heard back from Anton at FFG.

It's true that Anton was promoted. I’m not aware of the details of which you speak regarding yourself, but I know that this is a project that is still on the burner with Anton, but not everything moves quickly at FFG. Again, with the type of postings and tone of your communications, I’m not surprised that you may have gotten less attention that you’d like.

Kris Issue 11: The new point system for DT is terrible, it is bad for the game

We disagree, and so does pretty much every player (but you) that we’ve talked to (and we have many players inside FFG as well). I can assure you this system is critical for DT’s success. Keep in mind the first DT core set was completely made outside FFG’s control, and did not have the benefit of FFG’s insights and experience.

So why is another point system better?

While the old point system (very basic) worked fine within the parameters of the old core set -- or what you could realistically mix from 1-3 core sets, the problem occurs when you start being able to buy the individual units.

We made the tournament point system available early in 2011, which was right before we launched the individual units. This was important to not have the competitive scene collapse on itself.

The fact is this. Every DT unit is not balanced against every other unit, nor do you want it to be, you want certain soldiers to be better than others.

Yet they were all costed the same in the old simpler point system. This works fine within a pre-balanced constrained set (i.e. as provided in the core set) and when both sides are similarly constrained. However, when a player can start buying individual units with no limit, and can essentially make an army of whatever combination of units he/she pleases, then the system simply breaks down.

You can bet the competitive play experience would have started deteriorating. Min-max players would start fielding entire armies of just one unit type (the most effective one), leading to boring, always-similar army compositions, and increasingly poorer play experience, especially to new and more casual players.

Since we care about the game, since we have substantial investment in the games success, we very much want it to succeed, and so clearly it needed a new point system to grow and prosper.

Before we launched the tournament point system, we had two choices: a) create a very elaborate army building system that constrain certain unit types, artificially (via scenarios and restrictions) holding balance in place or b) accurately cost units for ability, and let players build whichever armies they want.

“a” is almost impossible to keep balanced, especially as as more units are introduced monthly. So, in the end, we went with “b”. It is more elegant, and gives players the freedom to experiment with whichever armies they want to build, and it promotes less homogenous armies on the field.

Another important insight into the point system is that of design space. As more, and different, units are created for DT, designers now have more room for specialization and granularity in design. They can create units that are amazingly powerful (but expensive) or overly weak (but cheap). This means more, and more interesting (i.e. different) unit types can be created and played making for a better future for DT.

This is an important point: This system makes DT better as a competitive game, to be better expanded, better balanced, and to give a better, more varied, play experience.

[Hypothetical Kris follow up question] How can you say that “you know what you’re doing”, look at Mutant Chronicles, and AT-43 (and Confrontation: AoR).

Good questions. Vastly different answers, here goes:

Mutant Chronicles
MC had a great game system in our opinion, one that was well supported and documented. Unfortunately, three issues stood in the way of people buying into the system to the levels needed to keep the game going. 1) We tried to do something different in making the minis 55mm (which was our call, and our bad), 2) we chose our first pre-painted figs factory poorly, so the first figs were not as cool as we expected (this greatly improved later, but too late), and 3) the game was marketed as a collectible “blind buy” game -- but we changed this in the last month before release, as it was our feeling that collectible was not the best option for the market. This caused, in hindsight, confusion in the retail base, which did not help the game launch -- but I will argue the insight was correct, collectible games have been in serious decline since.

AT-43 and Confrontation
FFG single-handedly kept those games alive for more than a year-and-a-half. Because we truly believed in these games, we purchased near 90% of Rackham's output and worked hard to completely stabilize their logistics and distribution in the U.S (while Europe burned due to prior decisions by Rackham) and thus kept Rackham alive. Never has there been a better “white knight” story in the industry (at least from what I have heard).



However, not only did Rackham enter [French] chapter-11 about a month after we started distributing their business (causing all sorts of issues), but FFG was unable to actually do any official marketing for the game. In fact, we were proactively kept at arms length by Rackham -- even as we kept it alive. We were not informed of new releases by Rackham until they were announced to the public, we had no say in releases (despite guaranteeing purchases) which resulted in too-many near-identical products. Rackham insisted their English language sites was to remain the hub for information, essentially robbing FFG of any chance to make a marketing impact. We tried to fix these things mid-stream, but Rackham was too addicted to our sales, to constrained by the courts, and not willing to cede any control. On top of this, FFG was a distributor for the products, not the originator, so our margins were limited. And so we bled.

When Rackham returned from liquidation, we were told by their new management, in so many words, to “take a hike”. Despite the fact that we had more than $2 Million in inventory, and that we had made everything possible for their return.

So we gently removed the knife from our back, and moved on, poorer but wiser. As seems to be norm, this new European company (Rackham 2.0) completely underestimated the complexity, logistics, and the effort required in the U.S. market, and did not listen at all to our recommendations on products before they walked away from us. As they were still under court administration, they even kept FFG from being able to sell any of our massive stock into Europe (causing us not insignificant financial headaches).

History shows that Rackham 2.0 lasted about 2 years as a new company and then went into final liquidation. This “AT-43” story remains one of the most misinformed in the marketplace, and frustratingly seems held against us on many occasions. It is with confidence I can say that FFG’s experiences during its “Rackham period” are hugely beneficial to growing and managing DT now.

Paolo Parente was part of Rackham through the whole period, so if anyone are in doubt of these events, feel free to ask him.

Kris Issue 12: A year has gone by, and FFG has taken it in a terrible direction and/or done nothing to move it forward.
Seriously? We took over a game from another publisher at their request, we launched it, gave Paolo and his wonderful team a chance to expand their vision dramatically. We’ve released and announced more than 25 DT products at great investment, we’ve given it nearly unmatched advertising and promotion. We’ve launched organized play (Game Night) events, regional events, world championship (at GEN CON) and we’re getting ready to launch several international editions of DT.

Saying that we’ve done “little or nothing” is simply bunk. Other than Paolo and his team, we’re the greatest champion for this line. Could we do more? Of course, but we’re doing our best and seeking to continually improve.

I’m really excited about the things that Paolo has created for GEN CON that we’ll show there. We’re excited about the next wave of Dust Tactics releases. We’re excited about Dust Warfare and that two different, but great, game systems will be able to take advantage of these amazing models.

Based on your two next emails, I’ve added a few more grievances.

Kris Issue 13: I don’t want to go to FFG’s site to learn of news and announcements (such as the new FAQ). Other companies send out emails and announcement to fans for every piece of news they have, and those companies go to third party sites to update information and provide the news there as well.
First of all, “they” don’t. There may be some companies that have a weekly emails on single games, and some news may be broadcast by press release, and some smaller companies even update third party sites. But this is not the norm.

FFG provides frequent updates on all our games, and you are able to read all the news for DT easily here: [url]http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?etyn=1&ecan=...
[/url]

However, what FFG does do, is provide full RSS support for every game in our catalog. If you subscribe to the RSS feed of your choice, you will get (by email, or whatever RSS feed you have) instant updates on any news, articles, or other information posted about the FFG game you’ve subscribed to. The RSS feeds are very granular, so you can subscribe to all news, news by game, news by forum, by forum thread, etc.

You’re essentially asking that you get all your information about your favorite game without visiting the core website for the game. This is not a very reasonable request, but even so you can use RSS feed to get the news instantly delivered to you.

Kris Issue 14: I ask questions on the FFG message boards, or here on BGG, why is FFG not actively in these places answering questions.

First of all, you’ve missed the message that you got when you signed up for your FFG account, which is:

“We would like to remind you that the Fantasy Flight Games community forums have been created as a meeting point for fans of the games we publish, a place where they can exchange ideas and opinions about these games and meet other people that share the same hobby. It is not intended to be a way to contact FFG directly, nor to ask for rules clarification or support.

Please visit the FFG Customer Service page to send us all your rules questions or contact customer support. To prevent useful rules clarifications from being buried in a forum thread, we will post our responses to frequently asked questions on the Support page for each game.

Thank you, and pleasant posting!”


Neither do we go out to third party forums and answer questions there. 



So, why is that? Why don’t we do this?

The answer is, that such behavior would, in fact, be poor customer service from FFG.

Huh? How does that make sense?

There are three key reasons for this:

1) We cannot be everywhere. *If* we were to go out and answer questions on forums (on BGG, our own, or elsewhere) then we would likely only be able to catch, say, one in four questions. This means that 75% of our customers would feel directly neglected by FFG -- i.e. “why did you answer this guys’ question on this forum, and not mine (on some other forum thread”. 

We want to serve everyone equally, which is why we provide everyone with a common place to ask question. The fact that I’m answering your questions on this board, is an exception to FFG policy, and something that I’m uncertain is wise, but doing anyway in my capacity as the CEO.

2) If we were to answer questions on various forums, then we’d be setting up an environment where answers would be widely scattered around the internet. This is, in our opinion, not a good service to customers.

A rebuttal to this point could be: “But can’t you gather this information in one place later?” Due to the number of game lines that FFG wants to give quality support to, there would be too great a chance of improper compilation, which would erode confidence in such compilations, essentially sending customers into the corners of the internet to find answers, which again, is not good service.

3) We want the answers to be good and consistent. When we receive quality questions we want to make sure that they’re vetted by the designers, producers, and other knowledgeable parties inside FFG. This means questions need to be consolidated and reviewed to make sure we can give a quality answers.

If we were to have junior staffers patrol all sorts of internet forums (including our own) for questions, we believe the chances of incorrect and inconsistent answers would be too great, and in the long run more damaging to the players.

Does this mean we can't do a better job with DT or other games? No, we can always improve. DT, however, is a special case, as it is actually designed and handled by Dust Studio, and while we help with balancing and testing, we have need to consult with them on questions. Dust Studio are both in China and France, which is part of the issue in clarification delays for this game. I agree that an FAQ should probably have come somewhat sooner than it had (it was just posted for GEN CON).

These responsibilities, however, is scheduled to change this Fall, and I think DT fans will see FFG be able to more rapidly address rules and play environment questions

You’re right that some smaller companies are able to patrol message boards and third party sites, looking to help their customer base there. This is great, and something that FFG once had the ability to do as well.

However, you’ll see no larger companies do this (including GW, which you use as an example) due to the very valid reasons stated above. This is just not good, consistent, or scalable service in the long run as the responsibilities and expectations of a company grows. 

Many people will forgive smaller companies the inconsistencies that such active support provides, but larger companies that must service larger constituencies, simply do not get that luxury of forgiveness and patience from their customers, nor should they.

With many of your complaints, you’re asking for small company behavior while at the same time demanding large company services, promotions, and consistency. This simply is not realistic, Kris.

---

Those are the answers to your issues Kris, as I know them (and guessed some). FFG is not perfect, and we work to improve every day. There are issues with communication that should have been handled better by us, agreed.

However, stating that we’re not doing a great job supporting, promoting, and working for greatness of DT, is just purely false. Don’t take my word for it. Show the list of activities to any other publisher and get their opinion.

I’m not intending to get drawn into a discussion here, and I’ll leave my answers as they are. I’m sure there are some of these answers that you disagree with, which you’re entitled to. However, now you (and everyone else interested) have more direct information, and hopefully an understanding for what you sometimes perceive as “bad service” for DT or other games, is, in fact, the best possible custodianship.

Christian

FFG

edit: formatting
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Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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jorugburn wrote:
I have nothing against Kris or others voicing their opinions, negative or otherwise. Its just the fact that ever since the new points announcement you have been hammering on this topic of 40k jr like FFG is out to kick your puppy.

As for keeping FFG honest, I can guarantee that someone attacking and calling them out at every opportunity, as if FFG is on a crusade to ruin everyones life and happiness, is only going to piss them off and get you on an ignore list.

You have contributed some great info on the hobby and terrain making in your blog. However, every time a new Dust Tactics announcement pops up I know I am going to have to wade through the same copy/pasted rant that we have seen from you 100 times over.

I understand that you have a lot of years invested in this hobby but when it gets to the point that something you love causes you this much emotional stress/turmoil, perhaps it is best to step away for a while and unwind.





Amen.
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