Cabbages and Kings

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

Whilst I was typing up my previous post on my visit to Salute this year, a number of things crossed my mind, as I remembered specific conversations and overheard snatches of speech from last Saturday. These thoughts clustered in my mind, and were added to as I perused the various post-Salute posts made on a number of other blogs and noted a trend. This finally crystallised into an idea for a post as I read some of the incisive comments made on the most recent post on the wonderful blog,  The Game Cupboard, which you can find here.

So, it is time to talk of many things…

Firstly, I’ve noted a bit of a trend when it comes to post-Salute reports. I have no problem in reading about your day or looking at the pictures of those demos or gaming boards that caught your eye, because that’s a very personal record of your day. However, do I really need to see a picture of everything you’ve bought? It’s not even as though it’s in context, as in the reason you bought those specific items. It’s just a heap of stuff. What am I supposed to do, congratulate you on your ability to buy things?

My second point relates to the above – the majority of vendors at gaming conventions, no matter what you may think, are NOT your friends. They are there for one reason and one reason only and that’s to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash, the more the better. When you rush up to their booths, with your enthusiasm for their product evident on your face, all they see is an opportunity to get their knife into the slot in the top of the piggy-bank and extract every last possible penny out of it.

Think back to what you bought at Salute – how much of what you bought had you intended to buy? Where you persuaded that if you just bought one more thing from a particular vendor, then it would be an even better deal and then found that you’d spent far more money than you’d anticipated? I heard one particular vendor trying to encourage a potential customer to buy their newest boxed game that he clearly wasn’t that interested in by offering to throw in something he did want as a sweetener.

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Unfortunately, a lot of gamers have what I like to call the ‘Magpie Mentality’, i.e. they cannot resist shiny things. A whiff of a special offer and suddenly all restraint is gone and they’ve bought a new game that they probably had NO intention of buying and will probably be played once, then stacked on a shelf to gather dust. How many times have you bought something with the words “I don’t know what I’ll use it for, but I just had to buy it”? Did you really have to buy it? Or were you overcome by your inner magpie?

The same thing applies to pledging on Kickstarter. Some people seem to have developed ‘Kickstarter fever’ and just cannot seem to resist pledging for the next ‘big thing’. Which, by the time it finally arrives, is now been replaced by the next…and the next…and the next, ad infinitum. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to do this because you’re stinking rich, don’t then boast about how you’ve got so many Kickstarter games that you haven’t even bothered to take them out of their plastic yet, because that just means that not only are you NOT a gamer, but also that you give no consideration to those less fortunate than yourself.

I suppose from a certain perspective this might be considered a bit of a rant, but all I’m trying to do is make people think a bit more. Next time you find yourself in the position where you’ve already started to reach for your wallet or purse…STOP, and ask yourself these questions; Do I really need it? Can I buy it cheaper elsewhere? Is the ‘special offer/deal’ I’m being offered really that good? The majority of the time, by the time you’ve asked and answered these questions, your inner magpie will have subsided somewhat, allowing you to apply rational thought to your potential purchases. You may end up buying it anyway, but do it on YOUR terms, not the vendor’s.

Listen to the crow – not the magpie.

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23 thoughts on “Cabbages and Kings

  1. As I have literally just done this, I can only apologise for my crass posting. In my defence my only shiny purchase was TWD, the rest were for existing projects, albeit fairly spontaneous purchases in some cases. I get where you’re coming from though mate.

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    • It’s an unalterable fact that some people have more resources than others. I don’t get annoyed because someone has a flash car and I don’t – they’re entitled to spend the money they’ve earned however they see fit. I just want some context. Explain to me WHY you bought what you did and what you intend to do with it, don’t just show me a pile of stuff.
      You’re safe on this point, Andy. I know of your Bushido addiction and the majority of your purchases were ‘targeted’, i.e. you knew what you were going to buy before you got there.

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  2. “The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might:
    He did his very best to make
    The billows smooth and bright —
    And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night.”

    This post interested me on a number of levels. In fact I can think of a very relevant example of why this touches me personally, not from an incident as Salute, but much nearer home, and yet tied in very much with Salute.

    It is to do with this new Knights Games “Batman Miniatures Skirmish Game” and their new Suicide Squad starter box set. This boxed set simply oozes appeal, and whispers “buy me, I promise faithfully to be just what you want.” And hides just the faintest whiff of “buy me, and you will need more and more and more and more to be able to get the maximum pleasure out of all I have to offer.”

    I watched Hil struggling with this very issue. I KNEW she was interested in this game for quite some time now: and I knew she was struggling with her `inner magpie` as Jez puts it. The heat was turned up well and truly when she discovered that Salute was selling this Batman Suicide Squad starter at an amazingly low price of £65:00. Though, in all truth… what exactly is low priced about that is totally beyond me? 13 miniatures, some cardboard house, some cardboard tokens, a paper rule book with some nice artwork, and presumably a couple of dice.. really, it that it? £65:00, and that’s GOOD (profit margin on that is probably about %90)? Then $10 to 15 per each and every single miniature you purchase after that.. every one appealing to that whispered voice in your head going “that’s one closer to having every single one, and completing the collection.”

    I`ve often wondered what happens when a collection is complete and completism is reached. Does a bell go off somewhere overhead, – just for you.. or a loud buzzer? Do you get some sort of grand prize and a medal, perhaps a round of applause?, Or maybe you just cry your eyes out, when you realize how much you`ve spent to get to that point of `having it all`?

    But yeah, Hil even heard that jez had the boxed set in his hand at Salute, and could literally have carried it away with him, tucked under her arm. She confided to me later, that all sorts of thoughts were going through her head at that point. Retrospective thoughts of “If I`d only have known, I could have gotten him to pick me up a box. I`d have wired him the money via Western Union and ……..and…. and, what exactly? She honestly didn’t NEED that game. I spoke with her afterwards when she told me about her near magpie collapse, and I talked to her very gently and I told her the truth: “you already have all the lovely miniatures you need to make up your own Suicide Squad, from all the models you already own in your lovely 28mm collection. You also have a perfectly wonderful set of rules you enjoy using to play your superhero games with. And you already have the most wonderful terrain to represent Gotham city, why do you need more? In fact why would you contemplate buying a whole new Batman game which is just the same as the one you already have (except this new one is in a totally unusable scale – 35mm)?” She looked at me like a light bulb of realization had just gone on in her head. And shaking it in disbelief she admitted: “I was seduced by the pretty miniatures and the sheer weight of the attractive marketing ploy.” And there you have it, the decision to buy a £65:00 starter set (which would be just the beginning of it), and then no doubt an additional £300 + pounds collecting all the rest of the miniatures, one at a time.. the whole addiction was overturned and she hugged me. “Thank you.” she said.

    I know Jez raises many other things in his post. But this is the one which directly touches me. Sharing it was my personal addition to bring to the topic. Thank you for reading.

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    • Thanks for the input, Tarot. This is a good example of what I’m talking about. The Suicide Squad starter set does give you a complete game, but ONLY if you want to play the Squad against the Joker’s crew. If you want to add additional characters, this is where the costs begin to mount up.
      As you say, you already have everything you need to play a game of this nature, so why buy ANOTHER game that duplicates what you already have? Resist the Magpie.

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  3. **sigh** its all true I`m afraid. Thank you for that T hun xxx.
    interestingly, as hobbyiests all.. applied wisely, that same magpie approach can be used to our advantage. NOT by losing control and feeling the need to collect EVERYTING for each new thing that comes along, but by cherry picking choice bits we CAN use for those preferred games we already own.

    For example, take this Batman Miniatures Game. Shopping wisely, if I really wanted to purchase one of even two of these beautiful models from the game (to add to my own existing game), I`d perhaps just buy (lets say) a Killer Croc, which I don’t have one of at all, and the 35mm scale would be an advantage and make him extra awesome. And perhaps a Poison Ivy to represent me in my games.. as I`m actually a veracious gardner and love plants and forests and all things that grow, and thus feel an affinity with this iconic DC character. But that`s IT, Id stop there. This is how we can pick and choose what WE want to buy, and not just buy what the sellers want us to buy off them – to keep them rich at our expense.

    Very thought provoking article Jez.

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    • Thank you, Hils. A very good point. This is something I call ‘targeted purchasing’. You’ve decided that you need a particular character or model for your game and the ‘official’ model is a bit out of your normal spending range. The first thing I do is ask myself “is there a less-expensive alternative?”. With comic book characters, as there have been various different interpretations of the character through the years, there really is NO definitive ‘look’ for the character, so this opens up your choices. A thorough search of the Internet will probably turn up several suitable alternative figures, the majority of which will be a LOT cheaper than the official one. Pick the one that appeals to you most and job done.
      However, if the ‘official’ figure is definitely the one you want – shop around. Lots of online sellers (including eBay) will offer the figure you want, for less than the RRP. It may take a little longer than knee-jerk Magpie purchasing, but the money you save will more than make up for the additional time you spent ‘hunting’.

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    • Ooo I know just what you mean there Hil. Take me, I am enjoying a long 5th Ed campaign of D&D (semi Ravenloft with other stuff thrown in, which has been going for months now). I play a character called Strix, who is a Teifling Sorcerer. Now, I searched scrimped scratched and scravelled and scrooged, and searched again and could not find a female Teifling miniature I could afford. The ones I liked wanted twice as much on postage to ship to me as the mini itself: so still I wait, and still I keep hoping that one day I`ll find my in game Teifling double.. a miniature me hehe.

      I DID make my own facsimile out of an old Mage Knight figure, and just gave her horns and repainted her and she does nicely, but she`s not totally right. One day I shall retire her and get the right model for the job.

      I think that’s the fun of cherry picking to find just what you need, as opposed to just buying because its addiction fuelled, and not wise decision making.

      Same with Harley Quinn from that miniatures skirmish Suicide Squad game you mentioned. I WANT that version of her so bad, again to represent my outer ego in our DC comic `supers` game. I can`t find her as a single anywhere, and probably never will 😦 so meanwhile I keep a passive eye open for a suitable double. The Heroclix versions are all great, but just not the imagery I`m looking for. I want Harley in a skirt for one thing hehe.. now fit roller blades on the bottom of her shoes and Ooooo!!

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      • .. and now I got a “Strix” my Tiefling Sorcerer AND a Harley Quinn (in a skirt too). Absolutely amazing coincidence (how can anyone not believe in fate). Thank you so much Jez, what an amazingly kind gift. Just arrived an hour ago in the post. Must have been simply aaaaages ago I even mentioned in passing to you, that I was looking for a Tiefling and that perfect Harley mini, and you went looking for them for me at Salute. Thanks so sweet.

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        • Well, I knew you couldn’t go this year, so I thought i’d keep my eyes open for you and was fortunate enough to find just the right figures. Absolute pleasure to be able to do this for you. That’s what friends are for, after all. 😉

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  4. I think the hobby has gone weird this last decade or so in any case. It used to be about playing games. When blogs started it was all about showcasing our armies as we slowly built them up, and then expressing the joy of actually fielding them on the table and writing battle reports, as we proudly shared how our table top endeavours fared on the day. Back then hobbyists tended to stick to just one or two main projects. You were a Napoleonics man, or a Word War Two man, or a Fantasy gamer; perhaps Warhammer or Warhammer 40K, but whatever it was you did, you STUCK at it, and played lots of games within your chosen subject.

    Nowadays blogs all seem to be “Look what I got!” and “Look what I just bought, and I spent X amount doing it and, hey isn’t it cool?” Then you have the endless lines and lines and rows and rows of miniatures all showing varying degrees of painting skills – front back and sides. Interestingly I could name two bloggers (regulars here) who are professional painters, one of them actually paints many of the amazing miniatures you see gracing the pages of Bolt Action, Black Powder, and many other equally well known pro publications, but to my knowledge has never once yet shown off what they can REALLY do, if they chose to show off their rather phenomenal abilities. It would make you weep, this person is so good, believe me. They like to play, not talk about playing as some sort of abstract idea.

    Yeah, I suppose it can be a bit hard for some people to watch others buy buy buy,, and have to smile and say “that’s lovely mate” while inside they are crying, wishing they could have just a small fraction of this lovely stuff they know they will never be able to afford. It`s amazing they can repeatedly smile at all, and have the goodness of heart to be able to be happy for their friends. I believe the people I know genuinely are delighted to see their friends happy. But I also personally know some people just aren’t that financially fortunate, and its hard at times for them

    Thought provoking Jez. Makes my respect go up for you. Some wont like what you say, it is uncomfortable, it is blunt, but you know what, this last few weeks seems to be a the month for hard hitting blog articles and I think, good, truth never hurt anything – except pride.

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    • Thanks Dave. I love our strange and exciting hobby with a passion, but can be detached enough to look at aspects of it and say “that’s not right”. I’m also brave enough to stand up and express my opinion. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but if posts such as this provoke discussion and possibly get people actually thinking about ‘hobby excess’, then that’s a good thing.

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  5. Hmmm, what would I bring to this I wonder.

    Kickstarters. if you are going to knock kickstarters I think maybe the following is an important thing to highlight. When companies delay and delay in shipping stuff out (on the promised dates) to their fully pledged and paid up customers (most customers are dumbly oblivious to a few blinding facts) these companies are lying through their teeth to us. The excuses, production delays, mould issues, `Chinese New Year` Quality control, etc etc bla bla…. its all lies lies lies.

    Know why they really delay?

    The money (collected in early in the kickstarter campaign) can amount to millions of dollars. This money is gathering massive interest in the bank the longer it rests in their accounts. They have no desire to hurry, otherwise they would have to start paying their production people to produce the items which will eventually wind up in boxes at our door step. Every month that money….. COUTOMER`S money… sits in their bank, its earning them more and more interest. And the longer they delay, the longer they can delay in paying out wages to their foreign staff working on commission basis.

    It makes me crazy when I hear the fanboys defending their favourite companies for being late with delivery on their promises. Are they really that blind to how company policy and capitalism really works LOL

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    • Thanks for that, Steve. Kickstarter is a weird development in the hobby. I can see the advantages for smaller companies, but initially failed to see why the bigger companies would resort to this way of doing business. Your explanation clarifies this for me – it’s all about the cash.
      I’ve yet to back a Kickstarter campaign and probably never will. The whole concept of giving money to a company for something I won’t see for a good 18 months or more just seems alien to me. If your product is that good, why not just make it AND then sell it to people?

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  6. A thoroughly intriguing post, Jez, which I thought a little harsh in places tbh. But ended with an absolute corking quote “Listen to the crow – not the magpie.” We need T-Shirts with that on it!! 🙂

    Personally I thoroughly enjoy seeing what people have bought at the various shows throughout the year, especially if they’ve been to one I haven’t gone to. I like to see what they’re interested in, whether they ‘nabbed a bargain’ and what current/future project they’ve either added to or are prepping. I don’t see it as people flaunting their wealth in my face but rather them sating my curiosity as to what they’re currently up to and thinking about hobbywise. Certainly back at the Blogger’s Meet at Salute, the question most people seemed to be asking, after ‘how are you, was ‘What have you bought?”. I don’t think that was people comparing wallet/purse sizes, but genuine interest in what everyone was purchasing, and going to be painting over the next few months.

    I also do see some of the vendors as friends. Perhaps not lifelong buddies etc but people who seemingly respect my opinions regarding their wares and will interact with me beyond what they’re selling. True, the majority are undoubtedly after my hard-earned cash in some way, shape or form. But these days I view people like Dick Garrison and more recently Dave Stone, as friends first, vendors second – even when I’m forking out for orders from their companies.
    Magpie mentality is definitely something I suffer from, and “Salute” always brings out the worst of this in me. Did I intend to get some models from “Mierce Miniatures” and “Wild West Exodus”, or buy “The Walking Dead” – absolutely not. Indeed, I genuinely plan to try and paint all my “Salute” purchases before next year’s show if I can… But I actually blame blogs like “Vampifan’s World Of The Undead” or a certain “Carrion Crow’s Buffet” for most of my spending. The fiends running those blogs cost me a fortune!! 😉

    Kickstarters are an absolute killer in my books, and I have now sworn not to dabble again until next year – far easier said than done though for me, as I do seem to enjoy being told by manufacturers that I need to own the latest addition; especially when they throw in a couple of KS exclusives… I do have some KS games not yet “out of their plastic” and do comment when someone embarrasses me by showing me that they’ve painted theirs up. But I don’t see that as suggesting I’m “stinking rich”, as I’m not, it’s far more self-depreciation (and hopefully humour) at the fact someone is clearly enjoying gaming with something I own yet foolishly haven’t opened.

    Perhaps your post is a bit ranty, it certainly made me spit my tea out a couple of times when I felt it was attacking things about the hobby I personally enjoy and saying they’re wrong (e.g. ‘purchase posts’, ‘latest minis I’ve bought’, friends in the business). But that’s not to say I don’t think you’ve made some points which are worthy of debate and comment. Ultimately I like your blog because you’re always coming up with innovative ways to enjoy your hobby without much of the expense. I wish I was that inventive, but as I’m not, I lazily buy the official product when I can afford it.

    Finally, what I think you should also consider within this discussion’s context is that this hobby is incredibly generous too. Those bloggers I regularly ‘socialise’ with are always sending one another bits and bobs, books and minis; sometimes in return for items, but oft-times not. If someone is doing a particular project and someone has some spare figures in relation to it then people clearly don’t hesitate to offer them up – and I’ve definitely been on the receiving end of some these great gifts 🙂

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    • Thanks Simon. I did think that final quote would make a good slogan for a t-shirt or a badge – possibly one that vendors would recoil from in horror if they saw it approaching their booth! Lol
      The purpose of this post was to provoke discussion on these topics. These are just my opinions on these particular topics and I’m quite happy to be proved wrong. I just wanted to highlight some of the ‘less savoury’ aspects of our wonderful hobby and maybe cause people to think a bit more before they buy, rather than giving in to their inner magpie.

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  7. Wow Simon, that’s the most I`ve ever seen you write in one go. I think this one of the most well reasoned and mild ripostes I have ever seen.. and makes me smile happily to see fiends being able to discuss such thing while staying on track and genuinely mild mannered (like Clark Kent hehe).

    Maybe Jez`s words are a little harsh, and I admit to going “ouchie” a few times by them. But I am in a fortunate position here, I can actually see and could quite easily reason both sides on the fence on this one. I don’t mean `be a man/woman for all seasons` mean I can actually see both sides to this.

    Its interesting, at University we were encouraged to do this. Our lecturers would throw out a few emotive comments on a controversial topic and sit back and watch us `go at it.` It taught us how to reason and converse without getting annoyed when people disagreed with our own passionate and fired up thoughts on a subject.

    Personally I like seeing what people bought at shows I was either at, or never got to attend personally: I also enjoy seeing unboxings and enthused ramblings about new projects: I really delight in seeing other bloggers.. friends.. get all excited at their new purchases and all the half imagined ideas careening through their heads as they talk about all the things they plan to do with these yummy new things. Sure, many will stay in their plastic, many will only get half finished (give them all to MEEeeee **joke**), and only some will actually make the table, but heck, this is a hobby, this is YOUR hobby. Enjoy it how you like, without anyone forcing you into a shape you don’t naturally want to fit into.

    Adversely, I can see how rash purchases of things which simply never get used (or `appreciated,` perhaps that`s the key word here) could really get to those on limited fund spenditure. But again I think maybe the answer is just, purchase wisely, and learn to love your precious things. Appreciate what you have, and be content without always wanting more. Buut yes lol, DO buy more, but only when you need it lol. **says the old wise witch**

    Generosity within the hobby, and within bloggers, is massive I must say. I cannot believe the generosity many have shown me over the years. On line guys and girls who don’t really know me (some know me very well). Some I have met at clubs (I also travel to lots of clubs), some I meet at game conventions and shows (I also do lots of those), and some are people I know only from across the computer screen: and yet to all of you (you know who you are) THANK you for the generosity and sheer kindness you have shown, wowing me every time and sometimes making me cry with delighted happiness, just how lovely and thoughtful you are for the hobby gifts you have sent to me. Sometimes lovely, tiny little things like, a single miniatures they think I may like, sometimes bigger things like WHOLE games lol, Big or small, THANK you. I always use everything I have in my private collection of gaming goodness 🙂

    Again I say, interesting post this.

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  8. Over on this side of the water we have Gen Con, which is more RPG gaming than miniature wargaming (although there’s a fair bit of that, too). I was fortunate enough to attend in 2012, and I bought a lot of stuff. I actually experienced buyer’s remorse pretty soon after I got home when I realized I wasn’t going to realistically use most of the stuff I purchased.
    Still, it’s easy to get sucked in. Regarding that Batman miniatures game, I think the best thing they did (for me, at least) was make it in 35mm scale. That pretty much ensures I won’t be tempted to buy many of their miniatures. Heroclix may not be as nice, but they are more readily available and more easily affordable. (TBH I had the same idea about Killer Croc. The Heroclix Crocs aren’t all that great, and he should be huge.)
    Full disclosure: I broke down and bought the Knight Models Frank Miller Batman, just because. And I’m still trying to get rid of a lot of the loot I brought back from Gen Con in 2012…

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  9. Hi Piper, hey isn’t Gen Con amazing, as you say there`s so much rpg there, and the atmosphere is simply electric.. with games hosted by the likes to Chris Perkins (Acquisitions Inc. ) and Matt Mercer and dozens of equally worthy guys and girls. They really throw themselves into the roles too don’t they, with costumes, cosplay and the most amazing backdrops. I wish we, this side of the pond, put as much effort into our hobby 😦
    Okay I`m going to throw a spanner in this now and say, when I go to a big show I usually carry about a thousand euro/dollars or what ever the currency I need, but its not all mine, hehehe (wish it were). I have a list of all the things I`ve been `ordered` to pick up for the lads (at our game group and club) and I slowly but surely pick these much anticipated items off throughout the day. I too tend to purchase a lot of things for myself, as I usually save and save throughout the year and know exactly what I want to buy before I even get there: but there`s always that spontaneous purchase or two you walk away with which leaves you with that enormous wow factor, because you didn’t even know you wanted it until that moment. Gosh I love these events so much.

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    • I was lucky enough to attend GenCon waaaaay back in 1992 and thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. One of the highlights was getting accosted by Mike Pondsmith of R. Talsorian Games, who wanted to know where I’d got my Discworld t-shirt from! That and trying to explain to reception in the hotel that whilst the guy I was sharing a room with was A Steve Jackson, it wasn’t THE Steve Jackson.

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  10. Cyberpunk was really big back in the early 90`s wasnt it. So too was the whole anime revival thing (Dragonball Z etc). I recall some cool games played back then. R. Talsorian Games was no exception. GC was run by a few uber companies of gaming back then, with lots of smaller independents struggling to make a bit of noise and a name for themselves. I remember those days with fond interest, when each customer would go home laden with literally bags and bags of complementary goodies from each of the stands, all clambering to give you cool free stuff.

    The NOT Steve Jackson huh >>chuckles<< its okay, I used to be friends with the NOT Michael Palin.

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  11. Hmmm interesting post Jez, and one I agree with up to a point…

    I’ll freely admit that back in my early gaming days (back when I actually played games with my figures), I did succumbed to the magpie syndrome but mainly because I was often with my main gaming opponent who would enthuse about a new period or game and convince me to buy the other half of the figures to play it (then never paint his side up!). This has armoured me against rash purchases over the years to the point that I think the last rash purchase I made was “Dark Future” by GW that only got played a couple of times before I sold it on. In fact that was one of the last games I actually bought for myself (though I have bought several for/with the kids over the years. Frostgrave was last set of rules I bought, and to be honest I never really thought I’d play the game itself but as you know I wanted the fun of planning and producing a warband for it as part of our “Mo’vember” project a couple of years back, so I’m reasonably satisfied that I got out of it what I expected.

    I too actually like to see what people have bought from shows in blog posts, taking as examples, Simons “Dr Who” stuff or Andy’s Bushido things, both games I know I will never get into but still nice to see and appreciate. As Simon said the second thing you say to a friend at a show (or after one) is “What did you buy then?”, this is natural as we reside in a small hobby, so any interaction about figures is better than no interaction at all, other wise why would we follow blogs about games or figures we have no interest in? We like to see what other people have bought if only to see if we missed something on a traders stall we didn’t look at that we might want ourselves. There is also the common curtesy in showing an interest in what someone else is excited about, even if it doesn’t appeal to us at all (peoples holiday or grandchildren photo’s are a prime example of this!).

    Next point, as an ex-trader I can honestly say (I hope) that I never tried to push anyone into buying more stuff than they wanted to buy, there is a fine line between being pleasantly interested in what people are saying to you as a trader (and trust me sometimes it’s hard, as some people really just want to tell someone about their latest project/purchase even if it wasn’t from you), and gushing drivel to get then to spend more money on figures they don’t really want.

    Yes I did have acquaintance’s (friends in a sense), that I would be genuinely pleased to see at a show, but these would more often than not, not be big spenders anyway (perhaps I was doing something wrong?). Likewise there were other traders who I would consider as friends Mike Brooks of Ainsty and Ian/Ron Kaye at Irregular spring to mind but there were others, all of whom would help each other out if possible even though you were the competition in a way, Yes they are all there to make a profit but the are differing ways of doing it. One of the advantages of running a small company is you get to know your customers more and have more time for them to chat etc.. people like this (hobby traders do too), if this means they will spend more money at your stall, does that make you a “Hair oil” salesman? again I think it depends on how you do it.

    Kickstarters, I can see why people run them/back them them, but I never will. If you have faith in your product then make it, if not then don’t. Especially if you are a big company who doesn’t need the money to get it started!.

    “Ask yourself do you really need it?”. I haven’t really needed any of the figures I’ve purchased in the last ten years, I ask “do I really want it, and will I ever paint it?”. at least that way I get something to take home from a show.

    Cheers Roger.

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    • “I never tried to push anyone into buying more stuff than they wanted to buy” – Indeed, I remember buying from you (before we became fellow bloggers) at a show (perhaps Reading?) where you showed me some smaller scale minis you’d just sculpted and cast (a Judge-like mini riding on a flyer was one). When I said I’d buy several from the ‘new’ range, I still recall you suddenly being quite alarmed and making it clear you weren’t forcing the minis upon me but were just showing me as I’d mentioned in conversation with you that I liked “Judge Dredd”. That sort of reaction from a dealer stays with me, and even if they didn’t have anything I wanted at the next show, I will still say “Hello” and “ask how they were doing?”. Pushy dealers generate quite the opposite effect, and in the past, having felt they were pressuring me to buy something I didn’t want, I have simply put down what I was planning to purchase and simply walked away (usually never to return – though I try not to spite my face when I can).

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      • Thanks Simon, it may well have been Reading as we did do it once, it was a great little show (in a school I recall), sadly we didn’t make enough to cover the expenses of getting there, so it was a nogo from then on. But I remember talking to one chap (not you sadly) who kept asking me why I hadn’t brought the big glass stand this time. After I had explained that we didn’t have a big glass stand, it turned out Bob Olley had gone the year before (His only show ever I seem to think), and he thought I was Bob (as we were selling his Olley’s Armies range at the time, one of the proudest moments of my life! Even if he was mistaken.

        Cheers Roger.

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