Long time no update due to other commitments but I am back and I bring you an interview with Colin Young from Battle Systems. Further I have news for Urban War, a new Strike Team and much more in the works.
I have been tempted to comment on the events leading to Waylandgames and Beasts of War separating their efforts but ultimately decided against it. None of the three companies involved enjoys a standing with me that would merit such an effort.
Currently I am finishing a Koralon Strike Team for Urban War (http://s1215.photobucket.com/user/sebigboss79/library/Urban%20War%20Koralon?sort=3&page=1) and I am working on a Pendraken SciFi Army Colonial Marines vs Aliens. Also I am heavily getting into paper terrain hence my interview with Battle Systems.
Lets us go straight to the point we gamers need terrain. We want it fast, good and affordable and most of us know we can pick two of our wishes only. Now paper terrain has a somewhat low reputation and this interview also looked at the reasons why. Not telling you too much but if made properly I can assure you that Paper Terrain is both durable and sturdy enough for even larger Metal models.
But without further ado the Q and A with Battle Systems.
Q: Colin, Battle Systems is a young company but to my knowledge your products receive entirely positive feedback. Did you use your experience as a gamer when setting up your company?
A: Absolutely and all of it to be honest. I started gaming in the late 80s, early 90s with games like Heroquest, Space Crusade and of course Space Hulk and I felt there is a lack of SciFi interiors.
It gets a little boring playing around between hills and buildings but there is not much on the market. So I started to build my own stuff and other players very much liked my terrain keeping asking where they could get some.
The feedback like you said is really positive, I can remember only one negative comment.
Q: Well the only thing I could criticize is the lack of “flaps”…
A: And that is deliberate. I am also a model maker and for me the model has to be perfect in all respects. I found flaps can somehow always be seen and that pulls an otherwise really great piece of work down for me. That is why we use the mountboard. When you use the mountboard and work reasonably accurate you will achieve great results without the flaps.
Q: Speaking of the feedback what would you reckon is your average customer?
A: The average customer is between 30 and his mid 40s.
Q: People who grew up with Aliens and other similar SciFi…
A: That’s right. The vast majority of our customers comes from the US, then with some gap UK and Germany.
Q: Also the biggest markets in tabletop gaming…
A: Correct. If there is “one type” of customer it is the mid 30s to 40s SciFi fan that plays tabletops.
Q: One of the things gamers usually lack is good and affordable terrain. Now we see many small companies offering mdf-terrain sometimes at quite high prices. Especially “shipping containers” has been a hot topic in the community. Companies like yours offer us an alternative but “paper terrain” is often ridiculed. Why and how could we change that?
A: The mere word “paper” makes people think the material is not durable enough. Of course if you pack all your paper terrain away and store it in the shed over winter the material will warp and be ready to throw. But if properly made and stored paper terrain is more than just an alternative.
The advantage of Paper Terrain really is its affordability and the speed you can go from buy to play. There was a Kickstarter just recently with similar designs but in mdf. We need to show people the advantages of paper terrain and clear up the misconception of a “weak material”.
Q: Your Kickstarter will be playable straight from the box and your files are print as much as you like. What advantages does this Hybrid approach offer you as a company and the gamers?
A: We found out that a large number of people really like the designs we offer but the number that ultimately makes a purchase is smaller. These sales are lost for us if we do not offer these people an alternative product.
Many people may think they lack the model building skills to make the terrain so the Kickstarter will be playable directly from the box. So we have the same design but an even faster transition from buy to play. You can still use the DLC in the “print and build” way but already have a playing board in the same style.
Q: Final question. As a company would you be interested to operate in a “green” way? Would this be more interesting for you if a special “green” approach would result in increased revenue and customer loyalty?
A: Absolutely. I believe in a sensible approach to business. First comes the product and the customer, then I want to be “local” and “green” as much as possible. It does not always work out but let’s say if we have two offers for printing the terrain with the quality comparable and one offer is 2 pence a page more expensive because the paper is from sustainable forestry there is little doubt I would go for that.
Thanks to Colin Young from battle Systems. Make sure you check out their range on their website.