Sometimes you get a sort of sign – admittedly, some of us are so blooming dense that it takes a good shove to make the point, but I seem to have got there in the end.
I am a big fan of Commands & Colors: Napoleonics, the GMT boardgame, which I play with miniatures – in fact this is the basis of almost all my wargaming now. In the past I have considered each of the expansion sets as they were announced – the only one I’ve invested in was #5, the Generals, Marshals and Tacticians set, which provides a new card pack, some upgraded rules and a rather richer game.
I’ve always been excited by the prospect of playing bigger C&CN games, on a bigger tabletop, so have been waiting for some time for the new Expansion #6, which allows Epic or La Grande Battle [sic] sized games on a bigger board. When it was announced, in March, I put my name down for pre-order in a state of some excitement, which qualified me for a discounted price, and I received an email receipt. Splendid.
And only then did I start to think about it more carefully.
Let me see – the new expansion gives you a couple of new playing boards (wasted on me, since I don’t play it as a boardgame), a book of new scenarios, using the bigger format, with some new scenery tiles and unit blocks (also wasted on me, for the same reason, and since many of the scenarios are for nations and campaigns which I do not play), a revised rule book (good, though I am aware that I need some new tabletops and, preferably, a church hall somewhere to play Epic games with miniatures in my scale) – no new card pack, though. The cost of the expansion is $75 plus postage, less about one-third discount for pre-ordering (plus UK VAT and Royal Mail handling charges).
The expansion was delayed for some reason, but shipping eventually commenced on 13th December. I have received nothing, and I was not convinced that I had actually paid anything, so I began to suspect that GMT had not sent me anything. Hmmm.
I sent an email yesterday, just to check where we are up to. GMT are good, and efficient, and the excellent Deb replied to me today, to say that, since they did not have up-to-date credit card information for me, they had not processed my order. If I wish to update my account information, they can sort things out. They could maybe have told me there was a problem, but they didn't.
Once again, hmmm. Was this the final sign?
Apart from anything else the pound Sterling has gone on a mighty slide since March – this game is getting more expensive, and more marginal, by the moment. I made a decision which surprised me, though I feel somewhat relieved having made it. I cancelled my order. I am confident that Expansion #6 is an excellent product, and that players all over the world will thoroughly enjoy it. But not for me. If I can piece together how the rule revisions work, I can probably make some tweaks to my own miniatures games to allow bigger, multiplayer games, and that’s really all I want. The shiny big box full of redundant bits and pieces would have been a folly – I can see that now.
It took me a while, but I got there. I may be enthusiastic, but I am not easy. Marketing departments, please note.