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TOPIC: Build a Unit feature for other periods
PM Gizmo1101
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Posts: 6
Build a Unit feature for other periods
Gizmo1101
15th Jun 2015 09:53:34

Hello, 

I was just wondering if you were planning at any time or would be able to add in the build a unit purchase option for some of the other periods in the catalouge. I have found this feature very useful for building my DBA armies from the ancients and medieval ranges but I am currently planning on starting DBN and need to build some Napoleonic forces. Having a build a unit feature I'm sure would help me and other players very much, meaning small units such as Rifles where I only require one base (around 6-8 figures) would save buying the full pack of 48. However I understand the practicality issues this would cause in the miniatures production and stocking, I was just interested to know if this could happen or not.

All the Best 

Conor

Gizmo1101


PM peter
Administrator
Posts: 346
Build a Unit feature for other periods
peter
15th Jun 2015 10:06:33

Hi Conor,

Good question and one deserving of a good reply.

In short, there are no plans to extend the BBU option to other periods.   The 'Ancients' period has undergone a huge change in recent years with dozens of rules sets and attendant lists popping up all over the place.  The often wildly contradictary versions of army lists and basing conventions has made this a nightmare for anyone trying to produce pre-packed armies.  

The BBU option was our best repsonse to this, allowing enough flexiblity to cover whatever the febrile minds of the legion of army list compilers could throw at us.

But, and this really is a pretty humongous BUT, it is a grade one pain in the backside system for us to work to and administer when it comes to casting packaging and invoicing.  It slows down our production and is highly inefficient in mould spins.

Outside of the insanity of Ancients gaming, we've found that most people can get pretty much what they want using our standard packaging formats linked to our offer to change command to line strip ratios.

So, no extension to the BBU.  It's cheaper for you and has far less wear and tear on the Baccus casting team.


- The Overlord
PM I am a spambot
Standard User
Posts: 47
Build a Unit feature for other periods
I am a spambot
25th Jul 2015 10:49:33

Obviously Peter knows what he feels is best for Baccus.  On the other hand, having to buy larger packs than you need can make 6mm an expensive option compared to 15mm for smaller armies.  Sometimes I get the urge to have a go at the American War of Independence.  If I did, it would be with DBA-sized armies.  Last time I priced it up, I was astounded by the cost of using 6mm.  15mm figures would have worked out a lot cheaper.  If you only need one unit of a specific type of cavalry, then having to buy 5 units comes a bit dear.  Many 15mm figures get sold in packs of 8 infantry or 4 cavalry, which represents 2 bases of infantry, or one and a third base of cavalry.

Of course, you might get lucky and be able to use some of your surplus figures as proxies.  For instance, I used most of my British heavy dragoons as Spanish cavalry.  I also used some of the Rifles pack as Loyal Lusitanian Legion.


PM peter
Administrator
Posts: 346
Build a Unit feature for other periods
peter
27th Jul 2015 11:26:32

Hi Richard,

I get what you are saying, but I can really only repeat what I said above.   The BBU option is a very, very complex thing to administer from our end.  We can just about manage it in the one period where it is necessary through circumstances.  Yes, we charge a little extra for using BBU, but it is still not a true reflection of the costs involved.    If we were to apply it across all periods it would have a huge effect on the way that we work, and the result would be much, and I mean MUCH higher prices.  

Let me put it to you this way - the actual cost of a strip is not determined by how much metal it contains, rather it is a reflection of the time and resources that go into producing it.   BBU has two main effects - it takes up to  twice as long for us to process an order of equivalent value in standard packs and it leaves us with mould spins that do not use the castings efficiently - for example, a 'unit' of one strip may require us to do a spin that creates 24 strips of slingers, leaving us with 23 spares.  So, if we were to push it out universally, then it would take us twice as long to produce orders and mean us holding large stocks of unused strips or simply melting them back down again.  We would certainly have to take someone else on to cope with this, pushing up the wages bill.

So it's a pretty simple choice.  Keep prices as they are but accept that we sell in pack quantities for very good operational reasons, or get exactly what you want but double basic prices across the board.  I think I know where most people will stand.

 

 

 


- The Overlord
PM Glenn Pearce
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Posts: 177
Build a Unit feature for other periods
Glenn Pearce
27th Jul 2015 05:49:24

I think the AWI range is packaged in a way that you can build most of your "armies" with very few figures left over. Some of the same or very similar uniforms were used on both sides. After building sizeable  AWI armies the only figures I have left over are the ones I've yet had time to paint. To have painted a comparable force for me in 15mm would have been more then triple the price. Not to mention all the extra time to paint, etc. Regardless I don't think 15mm really works as well as 6mm as a medium to wargame in. And of course Baccus is the only 6mm source to use. So why not just design your forces to match the way Baccus sells them. It works for almost all the rule systems out there.

 


PM I am a spambot
Standard User
Posts: 47
Build a Unit feature for other periods
I am a spambot
28th Jul 2015 06:05:24

@ Glenn Pearce

You wrote:

"Some of the same or very similar uniforms were used on both sides."

Aha, that will be why, for instance, the British light dragoons have different headgear from the (American) Continental Dragoons.

"After building sizeable AWI armies the only figures I have left over are the ones I've yet had time to paint."

How nice for you.  However, I don't want large AWI armies.  It would be a minor period for me.  I would be interested in doing something like Paul Potter's adaption of DBA for the AWI, or the DBN play sheet for the AWI.  There would, most likely, be less than 20 bases per side, with only base of mounted per side.

"To have painted a comparable force for me in 15mm would have been more then triple the price."

If you had large armies with little wastage, then 15mm figures might well work out more expensive than Baccus, though I am surprised at the estimate of triple the price.  Assuming 60mm wide bases with 24 infantry figures or 9 cavalry figures for the Baccus figures, 4 units of infantry costs £6.60, or £1.65 per unit.  Cavalry is 5 units for £7.70, or £1.34 per unit.

 A glance at the Essex Miniatures website shows the pack price to be £3.50 each.  Assuming 40mm wide bases, one pack would give 1 base of mounted, with one figure left over.  An infantry pack (assuming 4 figures per base) give 2 units of foot at £1.75 each.  From what little I know of the AWI, I would expect infantry to be the largest component of the armies.

"Not to mention all the extra time to paint, etc."

Borderline for me.  I find 15mm projects take me about 20% more time to paint than 6mm armies.  On the other hand, Baccus figures are good.  If I don’t like the 15mm figures then sometimes I find the project pausing for a long time.

"And of course Baccus is the only 6mm source to use."

Sarcasm aside, I do tend to stick with Baccus for 6mm, and not look too much at the other manufacturers because there are significant differences in style and size.  I must admit that I have not checked the other 6mm manufacturers, because I prefer the Baccus style.

"So why not just design your forces to match the way Baccus sells them."

Because I don't want huge armies, particularly in periods that are not my main interest. 

"Regardless I don't think 15mm really works as well as 6mm as a medium to wargame in."

Now that is one comment that I can agree with, where suitable 6mm figures are available.  For instance, I would love to have Chinese Warring States armies in 6mm rather than 15mm.  However, 6mm is a less commonly used figure size than 15mm, so manufacturers of 6mm figures have to be careful not to commission ranges that might not be commercially viable.

 


PM Glenn Pearce
Standard User
Posts: 177
Build a Unit feature for other periods
Glenn Pearce
28th Jul 2015 09:23:29

Sorry, but I think you may have missed my point.

The different headgear on the cavalry makes no difference to me as I'm building big armies.

The key word in my statement was "comparable". So a 6mm infantry figure is about 7P, 15mm 44P, over 6 times the price. For cavalry 6mm is 17P, 15mm 88P, over 5 times the price. If your going to purchase equipment then the difference is generally even greater. Anyway obviously my estimate at triple the price was way too low.

My painting time is certainly different probably close to 50%. Still 20% is like adding in an extra work day every week.

Looks to me like we both agree on 6mm and Baccus. So that kind of makes your 15mm comparison pointless.

Baccus 6mm caters to people who want to build big armies or armies with big units (numbers of figures on a base). If your not planning to do either of those then you should be prepared to have some figures left over and simply accept it as part of your creative planning cost. So why not revisit your project and come up with a new plan that allows you to utilize all those wasted figures. You can still have only a few bases if you want, just a little bigger with more figures on them. How about just adding a few more bases. On the other hand you can stay with your original plans and if you find you want to do more after you discover just how much you enjoy the AWI then you have a jump start on that with the extra figures that you have.

Best regards,

Glenn

 


PM I am a spambot
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Build a Unit feature for other periods
I am a spambot
29th Jul 2015 05:26:09

No, if the project has to be significantly larger than I am willing to undertake, or would involve significant wastage, I am unlikely to do it.  I already do Napoleonic armies in 6mm, and see them as my main 'horse and musket period' interest.

Although I saw some cheaper 15mm AWI figures (Lancashire Games) that seemed okay, I doubt whether I will do the AWI in 15mm.  One of the factors that interest me in the AWI is that I remember, as a child, seeing a lot of late 18th Century paintings of North American landscapes in various London museums and being impressed by them.  In my opinion, 6mm is far better than 15mm for depicting armies in a landscape.

I have made Peter aware my point of view; he has made me aware of his.  It is for Peter to decide whether or not it would be worthwhile for Baccus to sell figures in smaller quantities.  As I have neither knowledge of the internal workings of, nor responsibility for, Baccus, I have to accept the decisions that he makes on behalf of Baccus.


PM Glenn Pearce
Standard User
Posts: 177
Build a Unit feature for other periods
Glenn Pearce
29th Jul 2015 06:26:47

I'm not exactly sure on how you plan to base your figures but I'm assuming that it's only the cavalry for the AWI that is your stumbling block. You should still be able to build two units of nine from each type leaving you with perhaps six units of wastage. Maybe even less if you carefully look at all the actual cavalry units that were in the AWI. So two bags equal 15.40, minus four units is 9.20. That does not sound like a very large sum standing in the way of fulfilling your boyhood dreams. With a little research you could probably even reduce that amount.

Just curious, but if you were to send an order to Peter today for your AWI figures what would it look like?

On another note I'm presently writing a rule set for Polemos covering the AWI, F&IW and War of 1812. That could be another motivator for you to start your project. Even though your major H&M period is Napoleonic which mine is as well, the AWI, F&IW and 1812 athough smaller conflicts are just as good and a blast to play. I only mention this as I think your small project might turn out to be too small once you get fully into the AWI. If so why box yourself into a small corner before you even start?

Best regards,

Glenn

 

 

 


PM I am a spambot
Standard User
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Build a Unit feature for other periods
I am a spambot
30th Jul 2015 06:34:55

Glenn, I have egg on my face!  A nice slice of humble pie is in order for breakfast.  I had a look at the AWI army packs yesterday, and there were only 3 mounted units per pack for both the British and Americans.  Paul Potter's lists allow up to 2 bases of horse for the British.  That means that with his lists, there would only be 3 unused mounted out of 6.  The British army pack includes just one unit of grenadiers, which sounds to me as if it could be about right.

I believe that when I looked into it previously, I must have just looked at the normal packs.

Given that I like the attrition system used by DBN, I think it might be worth me getting hold of the DBN AWI play sheet, to see what they recommend.  The DBA Humberside Extension also gives army lists.

This project might get just get off the ground.

Edit: The DBN AWI play sheet doesn't give army lists.  On the other hand, the DBA HX site does, of similar size to what I am looking for.  Some of the scenarios use 3 units of cavalry.  Some tinkering will be necessary, of course.

I will probably kick off with the British.


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