Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Workbench Update: Out of the Gate with Alkemy

No doubt some of you saw the announcement on TGN a few days ago concerning the game Alkemy (or more specifically, the company Kraken Editions) being liquidated. Three members of my group (me included) bought all the available models for our respective factions at online close-out sales some time ago, so we are all prepared to start playing tournament-size games. Last week, we played a couple of learning games and, although we did some things wrong, it's a fairly graceful system once you get the hang of it. I look forward to playing it more often. I'm picking my way through the models in the Avalon starter box. Here's a teaser of my progress - the hero-knight Garlan de Brall.

As you can see, I'm cutting some corners here and not really giving these models the attention they deserve, but this level of painting will look good enough on the table. Painting with metallic paint continues to confound me. I paint regularly, I drybrush, I highlight, I ink. Frankly speaking, I fumble about until I end up with something that isn't horrible.

As I mentioned, some of the guys and I are ready to dive in and play, however, I can't help but surmise about the financial troubles the company has encountered. Truthfully, I was not surprised at all to hear that they were liquidating. Purchased at full price, the miniatures were exorbitantly-priced. There has been much conjecture as to where the pricing got out of hand. Perhaps it was the expensive plastic tooling process for a small company or the fancy-shmancy packaging. Regardless of the reason, a relatively new game on the scene, especially in this golden age of high end, low-model count competitors, can't come on the scene and charge an arm and a leg for a virtually unknown product. It's just not going to work in this economic climate, not until faithful disciples are won over.

A TGN member left a comment a couple of days ago proclaiming inside knowledge. He stated that (a) someone was in the process of buying the rights to the game and (b) Kraken's dying wish of producing metal models was going to be carried through. It would be nice to see the game picked up and dusted off as it's really a great set. Either way, we'll keep playing and having fun with it, and if it does re-surface, I may be tempted to pick up some of the forthcoming metals.

Thanks for reading,


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Your absolutely correct small starter companies must watch their pricing at the start and even the regulars are watching their prices a bit more careful and are offering quite a few deals.
Nice mini btw.


adeptgamer said...

My group grabbed up starter boxes when this game first came out but only I liked the card modified combat mechanic and the special dice. Now I have a sleeping Aurlock force. :(

JET (aka Jason) said...

I actually think that the combat cards and the three levels of dice were two of the strong points of the system. I guess it's hard to justify personal taste.

Well Christopher, I'll be watching the development of the game with interest. If the game gets bought out and metal models are developed, the original plastics (after the online shops are cleaned out) will sell for considerable sums on eBay, I imagine. As gamers, we are a fickle bunch!

Andrew said...

Oh man, the specter of the failed mini manufacturer. I think that fear keeps all our closets overfull of lead and plastic. "Better buy these guys now, Who knows if they'll be around later."