With the release of the Necromunda boxed set Dark Uprising, many of us have been left baulking at the £175 price tag. Of course for everyone that thinks it is too much to pay someone else jumps to their defence with comments like “you don’t have to pay it” (true, but not the point), that “it is a premium hobby” (also true, but that doesn’t excuse wanting value for money), and “people should stop complaining” (which is, if you think about it, also a complaint).
The problem with this is that it is a case of people making a genuine attempt to feedback to GW that they are going to lose their custom with others who feel personally attacked about their decision. Because of course if you have bought the set (and are maybe feeling a bit hesitant about having spent so much), the last thing you want are people pointing out how “bad” your decision was – or at least that’s how you are going to take it. But people complaining about the price are not judging you for your decision. It’s your money, you wanted it, crack on. But that doesn’t mean that it represents value for money on a wider basis. td;dr it’s not all about you.
And this is where Rampart comes in, by Archon Studio. A new company based in Poland, and one that I had the pleasure of having a short chat with at Salute 2019. His factory is working so well that he has started to become inundated with offers from other companies wanting to buy him out or get him on board to their thing. And you can see why when you compare what they are doing against their competition. For battlefield terrain there really aren’t that many options at present for a wide range of scenery (there are plenty of great companies that do a smaller range or focus outside of 40k / Fantasy). GW is one, and whilst you cannot doubt the quality they are expensive outside of certain box sets like Kill Team. TT Combat is another, but MDF terrain can be a problem (heavy and smelly), although it is very cheap allowing you to pick up a £100 for a completely full table across at least 6 very different themes. Battlesystems will soon be another with their Fantasy buildings adding to their Core Space range of sets. And then finally you have Rampart.
For a quick comparison let’s look at Dark Uprising vs the Rampart kickstarter.
So this is a hefty box crammed full of stuff, including some great miniatures (and I think that the Necromunda range is among the best models that they have ever produced, even if they are not great to put together). At £175 we have to deduct the value of the extra stuff for a fair comparison. Let’s start with the models – there are 26 (15 Cultists and 11 Cops). The Necromunda gangs tend to retail at around £26 for 10 models, so that’s a nice easy £2.60 each, for £67.60, taking us down to £107.40. Then we have some additional templates and tokens and cards. We won’t price these at full retail given that they are pretty much a luxury for most players that are not getting into the game right away, so it would be unfair to fully cost them when for many they will be duplicates. Let’s pop £20 for the lot, taking us to £87.40, and well for good measure we’ll round down to £85 for the terrain. This about 2/3rds fills a 2×2 area.
Looking at the Rampart options we see that we have a few pledges available. The Expanded pledge was set for $99USD, or about £76 at current prices.
This has about the same coverage, but this time for a 3×3 playing area, which may not sound much but it over twice the size of a 2×2. Let’s say the coverage is slightly less dense and we still end up with a terrain pack twice as good for the same money. The detail is fantastic as well, so there’s no claiming a drop in quality. The only thing against it is that some people just hate non-GW products. And that’s great for a company that has built up a strong reputation (and share price) over the last few years. But things like terrain are an easy upsell that they could make part of their estate rather than charging top rates for. And once people start to look elsewhere they tend to be happier to do that for other things in the future.
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