Advertising in Miniature Wargames Issue 352 – Results!

Following up on last months look at the result of advertising in Miniature Wargames Issue 351 it’s time for a round up on the advert placed in Miniature Wargames Issue 352.  You can follow the link backs to previous posts to see those results and the advert in question but it was an advert for the Altuos 15mm Renaissance range of white metal historical miniatures.

Last month’s look at the results of magazine advertising were positive in fact has continued to receive orders citing the USE ME advert right up to this week.  So quite happy there. However the response to the Altous advert have been quite frankly a disaster.  Enquiries and orders citing the advert were virtually non existent and the level of sales for the Altuos range actually fell 25% overall during the calendar month of the advert.  How the advert actually reduced sales is beyond my ability to understand but I expect (and hope) they were not connected.  Web views on those pages relevant ran about 10% down on the month before but total visits remained the same.  Based on the results of last months questionnaire on the Notables Yahoo Group it seemed that outside of the UK few read MW magazine and many prefer to get content online too.  But there was a solid core of players who read it each month.

The 15mm Renaissance range is fairly popular for  Not on the same level as HOF 15mm Science Fiction and Laserburn but it more than holds its own for players of FOG and DBM and so on in the historical gaming clubs and societies across the world.

Frankly this has left me rather glum and puzzled.  Comments and thoughts welcome on this by reply or by email.

So what is the link between advertising and figure / rules choice for wargamers?


6 thoughts on “Advertising in Miniature Wargames Issue 352 – Results!

  1. This is rather interesting, as I have often wondered about the relevance of print magazines in our increasingly digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I actually very much love print magazines, but I have noticed a decline in this publishing medium over the last few years. I myself find that magazines are fairly expensive, generally, considering the amount of content that you get. I used to buy White Dwarf every month way back before it evolved into an boring advertising magazine. I did buy ImagineFX (magazine on digital art) up to some point last year, until I discovered a rival magazine that offered me the same quality content at a lower price in a digital format.
    I am not at al sure, but perhaps it is only a fraction of the people that are into wargames that buy Miniatures Wargames. After all, their coverage on Sci-Fi and Fantasy does not seem to be that great (the reason I never bought it myself), so even less people will even look at an advert in this magazine.
    Oddly enough, I only really have become aware of Altuos through your blog here (today I was thinking about it again, as I just saw a Discovery Channel show on Leonardo Da Vinci’s war machines, and was thinking of how these wouldould fit in renaissance wargaming). That really says how much more important new media such as blogging is versus old media such as magazines…

    That aside, I think Altuos is a very interesting range with a lot of possibilities. I only wish there were a “pack” option for it (and other historical ranges), just like Laserburn, where you get a certain number of randomly inserted miniatures from certain codes, I always found that a great thing to get a good feel for what a range has to offer without having to pick from individual codes.

    I’ve been eyeing the Ottoman Turks for some time now… though the “mountain of lead” is already growing without those to add to it, so it might be a while until I delve into the Ottoman Empire. 😉

    • Hello Sam,

      I also have noticed this decline. Also the expense, the advertising in MW is not cheap. I have repeated several times that I feel the future for MW is to turn over more of the magazine to Fantasy, Science Fiction and Alternate History as these are the ‘grow’ segments of the hobby. Those segments are the future really. But it seems that the promised ‘Darker Horizons’ magazine will be postponed (read cancelled) once more come the arrival of the latest deadline for it to happen. Certainly running Barking Irons as an online site instead of a print magazine earns Alternative Armies less money in direct terms (all content is free) but it seems to result in the same ‘inspired to game’ purchases while at the same time not having a print run cost or the labour in processing orders, packing, dispatching magazines which as WAY more than I had expected especially with the last biggest print run.

      Your idea of an Altuous code is interesting but it feels to me that historical gamers do not want mixed packs as they focus on a lot of a few codes for an army. A fellow this week took over a hundred fifty miniatures from MR4,MR5,MR27,MR28 to make up infantry for a French army in the Italian Wars. I expect his next order will be cavalry and will be a few codes such as MRC12 Gendarme many times over. Certainly if you wanted a group of different figures I could do this for you if you let me know by email for a Da Vinci project. There is an HOTT Army for those war machines.


      • That makes sense, really, as you mention that historical wargamers buy large amounts of specific miniatures. The Da Vinci stuff is something I would love to explore once I’m finished with my current sculpting projects. I’ve looked far and wide, but have not found any manufacturer selling something like the Da Vinci tank, scythe chariot, or multi-barrel cannon anywhere, so I guess I could give it a try and sculpt 15mm versions myself sometime.

        The reason I asked why there are no “packs” of these 15mm renaissance miniatures stems from that old book by Simon Goodenough on military miniatures, in which dioramas seem to take a central place; I think the Altuos range is particularly suited for that purpose. I did a couple of dioramas in the past (always featuring some huge dragon or something), but always on 28mm. 15mm would give me the opportunity to make a lovely tiny little diorama project. 🙂 Hmm, well, after I’m finished with the current painting project, I think I will be shopping around on for bits to do just that! 😀

  2. Sam: You may already know about this, but my attention was drawn to a boardgame “Magnifico: DaVinci’s Art of War” by Fantasy Flight Games, thanks to a review in “Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy” Issue 61 (current one), pp. 76-77. That includes plastic models of Da Vinci tanks and aircraft, though from the component photos, they’re clearly not to a single scale. The game sounds interesting enough, though most of my gaming is solo, and this needs 3-5 players. The FFG website has more details.

    Gavin: I’m not going to pretend to have any ideas to offer re the Altuos ad, but for myself, your first ad caught my attention, I ordered stuff, visited the website and have been back for more since. The Altuos range isn’t a period of strong interest to me just now, so it’s unlikely I’d have done the same had this been the opening ad. (However, the small print list of other ranges/periods still would have caught my interest.)

    Look forward to seeing your comments on the final ad in the trilogy as well – Flames to the Moth, maybe…

    • Hmm, I did not know about that board game, but the plastic pieces look very rudimentary (and their proportions are off) and are probably not to 15 mm scale. I haven’t seen any “proper” Da Vinci war machines in 15 mm scale though (with proper details). I’m a bit of a sculptor, so I might as well design them myself sometime. 🙂

    • Hello Alastair,

      When it comes to the third advert’s write up I will try to avoid any references to being in the flame or old coats…:-)

      I was very disappointed with the response. It could be down to the period not being ‘hot’ just now, but it is the first advert that ever reduced orders. The lads here really expected more in that they were all waiting with bundles of Altuos ready to post out just as they had with the USE ME titles.

      I play a lot solo too. I like to add solo rules to all the games I write or am involved with. We will see where Sam goes with Da Vinci.


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