Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Why Not a Mini-Gamer Subscription Box?

Today in The Cube:

As I'm sure you've noticed, I've got a thing for subscription boxes. And for miniatures gaming.

However, the two haven't made a connection.

There are a plethora of gaming boxes out there; subscription boxes catering to the Magic: The Gathering crowd alone have created their own sub-genre, as well as their own cultures of business winners and losers, and newbies trying to innovate. There are tabletop gaming boxes, collectible card game boxes, video gamer boxes, retro gamer boxes, and more. Even a subscription box dedicated to indie RPGs is out there.

But, as yet, there is NO subscription box dedicated to the tabletop wargamer. It seems like a match made in heaven. However, there are certainly some obstacles to such an offering.

1. What to include?
What to put in the box is a quandry. Obviously, the mind immediately goes to things like miniatures, bases, basing material, paints, brushes, rules sets, and other related paraphernalia. There is no end of gaming companies out there.

2. Pricing
This, I think gets more to the meat of the issue. As any tabletop wargamer knows, minis and supplies aren't cheap. While Reaper Bones minis generally run $3-$7 depending on their size, they are definitely at the cheap end of the scale. Citadel Finecast miniatures can run $30 or more. Metal miniatures generally run around $10 to $15. Throw in a pot of paint and a quality brush (probably $15 to $20 right there) and you can see that a box could be cost prohibitive to any but the more well-heeled gamer.

3. Company focus?
Should such a box be system agnostic, or should it focus on a particular company or game (Games Workshop, Reaper, Privateer Press, Mantic, etc.)? Certainly those companies with a built-in audience would help such a box gain subscribers, but close ties to one company or the other could turn others off.

Definitely interested in your comments on this issue.


  1. That's an interesting thought, and the price would be an issue. As a 40k hobbyest, I could see a subscription where you pick an army and the first month you get a troop unit, clippers, glue, knife, and a file so you can build. Month two would be an exciting unit like an elite or vehicle and the codex. Month three another unit and your base paints. Month four could be your hq and detail paint. So each month wouldn't be that much but would build up over time and at the end of the year you could have a whole army

    1. That's certainly a neat idea, and I think something like that would work! I'm honestly surprised that GW hasn't considered some kind of subscription-by-mail service before.

    2. I was wondering about this issue myself (that's how I found this thread) I think the main issue would be the price, I think the model Joe suggested would be the way to do it as the random nature of blind boxes would be too risky for die hard Warhammer or Infinity fans who aren't into anything else.
      They did try something similar in the UK with the LOTR strategy battle game magazine, each month you'd get some extra rules, some minis and accesories like scenery, dice and paint. I didn't subscribe myself and they've yet to repeat the exercise with any other games system.