Tuesday 26 September 2017

I love 6mm, so why don't others?

Peter, of Baccus 6mm, raised a strong discussion topic. I love 6mm, so why don't others? I've a few answers to contribute:

Never under-estimate the power of sex! For example, take a look at the Salute painting competition pictures. Yes, there are a few "historicals" there. However, in the main, if they are not scantily clad females, of which there are many, then certainly the majority include bare flesh. The hunky hero can be just as thrilling as the godess. Sadly, such features, even if you wanted them in 6mm, just don't come over with the clarity of 28mm. Publishers need an audience and know what sells.

As a new entrant into the commercial world of wargaming, I'm learning slowly about marketing. We, in the 6mm domain, are pretty bad at it. Take a look at the JoyOf6 website, for example. I'm pretty sure there will be another event next year, but is there a webiste for it? Maybe just a date? Even if we are trying to build the conversation with our prospective audience, we are not making it easy for them. [I should take a look at my own websites tomorrow, with the same cricism in mind!]

Content is king. I put on many participation games, traveling to clubs and shows, including some great historical battles fought at JoyOf6 this year. However, writing them up is low on my to-do list, overtaken by my desire to get the next show on the road. (Incidentally, that will be Montecassino 1944 at the Texas Broadsides show, local to where I live in the USA - www.txbroadside.com).

Now, follow the money! If the evil giant of Warhammer had on average one new customer each day, they wouldn't be the giant we know. Peter sounds pleased that Baccus6mm has that running rate. I conclude 6mm is a niche in the market. Ok, let's not forget it.

Many comments in this thead have expressed how little wargamers spend on their hobby, often figuring at less than a hundred (Dollars, Pounds, or Euros) for a project. That wouldn't buy you two tickets to a decent concert or sporting event these days. So what do you think you are buying? A hobby or a pass-time?

The specialist magazines take money for advertising and naturally publish articles to support the adverts. Logically, even if they have "free" content, they will favour content that has advertising money behind it. Don't complain - they have to earn their keep too.

For me, 6mm is the ideal scale for fighting historical battles. My game rules (Brigadier General Commands), including explanations about how to make historical wargames from battle narratives and maps, took far more effort to compile and publish than I had imagined. I have projects to publish the scenarios that I've played at clubs and shows, but wonder if the market would reward my effort.

I'm not giving up. In deed, Peter's thread encourages me to do a little bit more to push the 6mm agenda.

Daniel T Shaw

Games At War

This post originally published on the Baccus 6mm Forum