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Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:06 pm
by MongooseMatt
You would be welcome to make any comments on the State of the Mongoose here - we will be sure to keep an eye on them!

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:27 pm
by Apep
It is sad to see the fall of printed RPGs but this has been a long time coming and very noticeable in the "brick and mortar" shops since 2009-2010. - I noticed that the selection of RPG's available in "Static Games, Glasgow" has fallen dramatically (It is getting harder and harder to get some books in the UK).

The rise in Kindle's may also accelerate this trend with Wargames as a Kindle is a lot easier to carry than a laptop.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:50 pm
by DamonJynx
I hate the fact that electronic publishing is taking away from bricks & mortar games stores and generally diminishing the number of printed books/supplements being released. That being said, however, a laptop or similar device is a hell of a lot more convenient to carry to a game than an armload or bagful of books. So, personally, I find myself torn; I prefer the hard copy version, but love the convenience of the soft copy. I now find that I purchase PDF's and print them at work and have them bound for reference at home (or to read on the throne) and take the PDF's to the game. More pre-order bundle deals Matt, like what Loz & Pete did with RQ6, would be a good offering and perhaps encourage higher sales of hard copies.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:00 pm
by Ben2
Rogue Trooper table top wargame.

Get in there son.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:58 pm
by FreeTrav
I'm one of those people who actually would like to have BOTH print and PDF on my Traveller collection, simply because I like print for reading and reviewing, and PDF for taking to cons or gaming sessions. For me, Bits and Mortar was the next best thing to a godsend (when I remember to write in for the PDFs). However, if it comes to Traveller items not being available from my B&M-participant FLGS, I have a problem, in that I can't really justify paying for a product twice. So, I ask/request: Is there/can there be a deal whereby if I purchase the POD from DT, it includes the PDF? I don't ask for the reverse, and under the circumstances (even without the deal I'm asking about), I can't complain if the POD is a little more expensive than the PDF - but, as I said, I'd like both but still can't justify paying twice.

(Also, is there any way that - for those products I've gotten PDFs for through B&M - I can get any subsequent updates to the PDFs?)

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:29 am
by Prime_Evil
I wonder if Mongoose would consider moving towards a subscription model for digital RPG products? I'd certainly be interested in signing up for a subscription for upcoming Traveller and Legend books if Mongoose would guarantee a certain number of new releases each year. This would have the advantage of providing Mongoose with a guaranteed revenue stream, making the profit margin from RPG products more predictable. I'm not sure how easy it would be to arrange this through DriveThru / RPGNow, but it might help to ensure the long-term survival of the RPG product lines. Also, it might be possible to offer subscribers a moderate discount on POD books or some other incentive to sign up. Is this a viable concept?

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:30 am
by kyrolon
Matt,

It's good to see that the company has made it through a bit of a rough patch. It's also nice that you do this to explain the behind the scenes aspect of your day to day operations. Let me explain my background with Mongoose as a precourser to my comments. I have played a couple Mongoose games in the past. Our gaming group got into Starship Troopers in a big way. We were on our way into B5 just as the plug got pulled, and were also on our way into Battlefield Evolution. Now, you can see from the list of your games how we may have become a bit wary of the Mongoose brand name for games that lost support.

I defended you through much of this. You had little control over movie studio licensing policies and costs. I (and most of us) got that. Other members of our group and I have been playing SFB since about 1988. When I saw ACTA Starfleet on the horizon I watched with interest. I was willing to give Mongoose a chance again because I knew that this time you would have a much better chance of retaining the license. Last Cristmas I got almost every gamer a ACTA Starfleet rulebook, and for friends with birthdays in Dec and Feb I ordered squadron boxes. For my birthday in Jan my friend ordered me a Fed fleet box, and he himself got no less than four fleet boxes of his own.

This is where my State of the Mongoose comment begins.

Your US operation needs some looking after. Our dealings with the US staff have been nothing short of disappointing. Slow responses to emails, general form letters of 'it's on its way' and constant delays over and above those due to the original casting issues are the norm. At least one of my shipments (Bound for Wisconsin, USA) was sent to California instead. That one took some real straightening out when they kept telling me they had delivery confirmation. Of the things ordered in mid December to early January we were still getting bits and pieces (of Feds and Klingons) in June and July. To this date I am still missing at least one shuttle from my Fed dleet box. Dealing with the hassles to get it remedied wasn't worth the problems.

I don't now where the problem lies here. I don't know how many people you have working there. If I read it correctly you are adding a saleperson in that facility. Before you do that maybe a distribution coordinator or a shipping/mail order person would better serve you. As it stands now my gaming group, while we love the game (despite the inordinate amount of addenda) and are absolutely in love with the minis, we will never order directly from Mongoose USA again. We will buy your product through sites that we trust that show stock levels (ADB and The Warstore are my choices), but never again from you directly.

I can tell you now that I and at least one other in our group would have ordered a Fed BB and Fed CB already if they weren't Mongoose preorders.

It is probably too late to change our opinions, but if you want your US salesperson to make headway here, then you need to fix the rest of the operations in the US as well.

I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant. We WANT the game and your company to succeed. We are having a great time with ACTA Starfleet, and I am thinking seriously about Noble Armada since I have one of the old plastic fleet boxes from the original incarnation of the game to start with.

Good luck, Matt, and good gaming.

Dan

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:59 am
by Renny
Excellent post there, kyrolon. Nicely put.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:26 pm
by billclo
While I can see why people want electronic versions of their game rules, I for one don't find it convenient to haul my laptop to a convention and worry about it getting lost or stolen.

I don't own a tablet, nor a smartphone (I only have a dumbphone that gets extremely light usage). I'm NOT buying such devices to use solely at a convention. I realize I'm in a small minority nowadays (over-40 fuddy-duddy), but I like having physical copy of the rules. No, not as nice as having everything on an electronic device, but useful when your electronic device dies/loses your files. :( Besides, it's the miniatures and terrain that require the most effort to haul around, not the rule book. :wink:

I'd like to second the comments about the Ohio operation. Have you considered talking to some other foundries to make some/all of your minis? Quality could use a boost most definitely. I also won't order direct from Mongoose anymore due to continual extreme delays in receiving "in stock" merchandise (a month and a half to 2 months is unacceptable). I'll only buy from either ADB or one of a couple web-stores... when I order from them I can reasonably expect product to be shipped in a timely manner.

Believe me when I say that I also want ACTA:SF to succeed, else I wouldn't be buying more minis and running convention games to boost the player base. But there is plenty of work ahead that needs doing.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:37 pm
by MongooseMatt
Prime_Evil wrote:I wonder if Mongoose would consider moving towards a subscription model for digital RPG products?Is this a viable concept?
It is something we have looked at in the past (for printed products too), and it is probably worth more consideration in 2013.
kyrolon wrote: Your US operation needs some looking after. Our dealings with the US staff have been nothing short of disappointing.
We are well aware of this and, being fair, it is not down to the guys who toil very hard in Ohio. This is one of the areas where 'throwing money' at the problem really would work and we just have not been able to do that. However, this is first on the list of 'things to fix' in 2013 and after January, you will not see these problems raising their head again.

BTW, drop me an email about your shuttles, and I will see to that personally.
billclo wrote:I realize I'm in a small minority nowadays (over-40 fuddy-duddy), but I like having physical copy of the rules. No, not as nice as having everything on an electronic device, but useful when your electronic device dies/loses your files. :( Besides, it's the miniatures and terrain that require the most effort to haul around, not the rule book. :wink:
I am with you on this! However, there comes a time when you have to realise you and I are a dying breed :) (though I confess, I have already converted to the Kindle for novels - it really does make more sense once you have used it!). The global change is coming quickly, and it may be a surprising amount of time before you and I end up in the same category as those who still use turntables for music...

That said, as mentioned in the State, you will _always_ be able to get Mongoose books in a printed format - you may just have to send off for them in the future.

Oh, and for losing files - that is actually one of the cool things about digital books. Dropped my Kindle in the bath a few months ago (don't ask). If it had been a regular book, that would have been ruined. However, when I got my new Kindle, it downloaded everything the old one did, right down to the page I was up to in the current read!

Similar thing with Drivethru - if the worst happens to your copies, they are only a download away. In fact, you could start treating them as I do now with music. Everything online (I use Spotify), and instantly accesible to any computer/tablet/smartphone you can get your hands on that has an Internet connection and speakers.

It is actually quite a revelation when you start using it...

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:09 pm
by Dave Chase
Congrat Mongoose on not only surviving the last year but tightening the belt and getting ready to grow some more.

Glad to see the miniatures coming back strong.

Dave Chase

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 pm
by tneva82
[quote="msprange]

Oh, and for losing files - that is actually one of the cool things about digital books. Dropped my Kindle in the bath a few months ago (don't ask). If it had been a regular book, that would have been ruined. However, when I got my new Kindle, it download everything the old one did, right down to the page I was up to in the curren

Similar thing with Drivethru - if the worst happens to your copies, they are only a download away. In fact, you could start treating them as I do now with music. Everything online (I use Spotify), and instantly accesible to any computer/tablet/smartphone you can get your hands on that has an Internet connection and speakers.

It is actually quite a revelation when you start using it...[/quote]

Yeah durability is big plus for ebooks. It's lot harder to get rid of it than keep it! Probably losing physical books to meteor hit is more likely than losing access to ebook.

They are not for all but losing files is surprisingly common misfear. These things don't get lost and are available easily. 30 minutes before i was reading samurai of legend located at cloud service with my phone in car waiting for friend to come. Give me access to machine with internet acceds that can read pdg and i'n good to go. Phone's plenty. Physical books ain't nearly as easy to read on the spot.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:56 pm
by Isoulle
It's nice to get such a informative post from Mongoose. I was curious about one thing. How is Noble Armada looking profitability and sustainability wise? I mean, it's not a very strong ip, especially compared to Star Trek so I was curious how sales are holding up for the game? Especially since I believe thewarstore is dropping it.

Thanks.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:21 pm
by Cactus
Stak! I've been wanting some Nort and/or Souther models for a while, and having a dedicated game too is amazing! Good job.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:30 pm
by MongooseMatt
Isoulle wrote:It's nice to get such a informative post from Mongoose. I was curious about one thing. How is Noble Armada looking profitability and sustainability wise?
Sustainability is not a problem with Noble Armada, with the systems we have in place now. The League fleet will appear in the first half of next year, and Empire will follow as soon as we know where Holistic want to take it. As for existing fleets, we could (and maybe should) add one new ship to one of them every month without breaking our stride in other areas.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:03 pm
by Isoulle
Glad to hear. Always afraid it will be axed due to not being well known enough to sell and competition with Star Fleet. Don't want it going the way of B5 ACTA...

Oh yes and Empire after league? Thought it was going to be symbiotes?

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:29 am
by medievaladventures
I just wanted to say that I'm glad you'll continue to support the OGL portion of Legend. It is very appreciated.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:59 am
by languagegeek
Do you give free PDFs with print-book purchases? I bought pretty much all the RQII books before I had a tablet and didn't find PDFs useful really.

But now that I have a tablet, I use PDFs at the table when GMing, but a physical book to read when learning the rules and planning a game. Also, the print book is useful for passing around to players who don't own it themselves.

So now, I'm an avid bits and mortar user and look for an included PDF with every purchase of a book, otherwise I am not likely to buy. I'm interested in paranoia, but am discouraged by a $24 PDF in addition to a $40 corebook. I see Mongoose on the bits and mortar website, but I can't find anything at mongoosepublishing.com that indicates that you participate.

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:48 am
by August1
Another year, another lack of mention of the Lone Wolf novels. Sadness. :(

-A

Re: Comment on the State of the Mongoose

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:56 am
by Myrm
languagegeek wrote:Do you give free PDFs with print-book purchases? I bought pretty much all the RQII books before I had a tablet and didn't find PDFs useful really.
<snip>
I see Mongoose on the bits and mortar website, but I can't find anything at mongoosepublishing.com that indicates that you participate.
They definitely participate in Bits n Mortar - I have an ACTA:SF PDF rulbook having bought the hardback from a Bits and Mortar store. I have also discussed this with Matt in the past before I bought that and it was his confirming they did it that made my purchase choice.