Army Builders and Squamata: Are they are ever going to be released?

  • Before the whole Vox Populi business the Late Roman, Lorica Squamata, and Germanic army builder sets seemed to be a prioriety release and high up on the development schedule. But we have had no info on these sets in months, not even sneak peaks or previews.

    Are these sets still being released? I need hundreds of Late Romans and Germans on a timeline, it would be nice to know if I can count on these sets or not coming out within the year. 

  • @Harry Voelkel WA have said in the past that all the sets in Vox Populi will definitely be made, but I certainly share your irritation and concern - these great-sounding sets will inevitably be pushed down the release order by a load of Death Fields and WWII boxes (and somehow, Napoleonic Spanish 😕) just because of a mixture of 'greater popularity' (it still irritates me that somehow the most popular historical period is WWII, probably because most people nowadays aren't interested in any history that doesn't bear a passing resemblance to the modern day 😒) and those who have deep enough pockets to buy their favourite box a place at the top of the tree. Not to mention this whole concept seems to have slowed down the rate at which plastic boxes are made, as WA still wait for the first set to reach 1000 votes.

    Vox Populi was certainly not the best idea in the world.


    In your case, I would advise you to just go with the Lorica Hamata Romans and Goths boxes that are already out. Also the Franks are sitting at a respectable 38 votes, so they're still quite high up in the pecking order, and it'll be most interesting to see what those are like when they eventually arrive.

  • @Harry Voelkel @Caratacus 

    My understanding is that the amount of kits being produced by wga has recently skyrocketed, along with a number of other tasks, such as establishing physical storefronts. This means that production is slower. Vox Populi provides additional income and helps determine which kits will be profitable, and gives a "bottom line" of sorts if the kits are unsuccesful. The population of this forum is but a fraction of the wider consumer base WGA sells to, and some "high demand" kits might sell poorly. So, they establish vox populi, which ensures in multiple ways that the kits they produce will make a profit. This in turn helps the kits you want get to you faster.

    Also, just to Caratacus, I find that statement about people not being interested in history that doesn't resemble the present to be a bit absurd. WW2 is the most well known and largest reaching war in history, while most other conflicts concern at most 7 nations. Plus, not every country teaches about every war equally. WW2 is a large conflict with lots of well-recorded battles to base scenarios on, and a lot of larger-than-life generals to take the roles of. Plus, there are parts of WW2 more obscure than something like the war of the triple alliance. If you don't like it, you don't have to play in it.

  • @Caratacus Actually after looking at the Vox Populi rules (if they are going to follow it strictly), the order of release won't change unless something has a thousand votes backing it which nothing does yet.

    But in theory to change the pre-Vox Populi line up that means 1000 votes that cost $5 each, meaning the total cost of changing the line up so set X goes first from the consumer side is $5000 at the moment (which I believe is roughly half what it takes to make the molds though I could be very wrong on that).

    Likewise after something gets a thousand, if a faction or individual  wants to change it again cause, purely for example they really wants those Camp followers to come out first for some reason beyond normal human sanity🤣,  they might have to spend $10,000 to do so, though given the slowness it may come down to what the 2nd numeral in the voting tally is at that time.

    So for all we know the Bavarians or some other figures which are rather low on the Vox Populi right now might be the next out due to the sculpting, etc. work already put into them rather than popularity of the idea (which along with logistics is probably what they should be focusing on first, i.e. stuff they already have 70% to 90% worked out for molding), unless WA is either actually breaking thier own ground rules (possible) or  more unlikely sitting around waiting for something to get a thousand votes.

  • I have no idea where the idea that a set needs a 1000 votes to get worked on/released came from.

    The original WGA statement is pretty clear:

    1000 votes equals moving "ahead in the (already working) queue".  Nothing more, nothing less.

  • @JTam Yeah pretty much.

    So the next sets are the vanilla boxes for the already molded 02 Hundred Hours WW2 sprues acorrding to the release schedule, no statement on the next sets after that, from what I remember though the Decline and fall army builders where in something like the addtional or intial sculpting phase before the Vox Populi so they probably won't be out for awhile anyways.

  • A shame, I was really looking forward to those kits. I also need several of the army builder boxes for a project, but I can wait. Not really a problem for me, just unfortunate. 

    Eventually, I will probably have to find alternative sources. 

  • Honestly if I was WGA I would just drop the Late Roman kits. 

    Victrix well and truly beat them to the punch.  The Victrix Late Roman kits are beautiful, extensive, and at a good price point.  You want squamata?  They got the squamata.

  • @JTam yes, I think that train has passed. Unfortunately for WA, the Late Roman kits from Victrix are really, really good, and more are coming.

    I believe that WA will have great kits, but take my case, I have Footsore, Gripping Beast and now Victrix Late Romans and Goths. In my case, we are talking of a lot of minis. I would have gladly bought WA kits, if they were available, but now, only army builder and for kitbashing, so that would depend on the sprue. 

  • @Vitor Soares@JTam  All true, which is the problem with almost anything Roman (unless we are talking maybe byzantines or really early stuff) and while we are at Europeans from Anceint to Dark Ages in general.

    There are several options already out there for pretty much everything white caucasian from the timeframe or it is so easy and cheap to kitbash proxy into existance with whats out there it is not really worth doing unique sets of particularly since most of the European cultures with signature weapons from the time frame have been done, I mean the only exception in the Dark Ages MAYBE (and thats a real big whopping MAYBE!) are caroline Franks since everything else in Europe is practically covered with a repaint of Vikings, Normans, Goths, etc. kits already out there by 2 or 3 diffrent companies.

    There maybe a few minor exceptions to this in  Europe's Bronze age era... But honestly Egypt, Warring States China, India, or pretty much anyone else of note outside of Europe with an army list except maybe Carthage would be a better focus at this point in time for the Anceint era wargaming market since the Northern Europeans are basicly just Celt/Germanic tribe repaints and the significant to wargaming rules Helenist cultures are just overall covered by Victrix and others.

    That all said, Huns and the infantry and cavalry of Partha would still be good options for WA to do for Decline and Fall line since they could always use more coverage due to lack of uniformity and diffrent tribes being in play with those factions (not to mention no straight sets of either them exist except Victrix's Sythian/Parthinian sets). African Enemies of Late Rome at this time might be an option as well, but European and Helenist cultures are just covered.

  • @Brian Van De Walker of course, any non European faction will have a lot more market, most players have already a loy of options in that area, as you said, or have already armies.

    However, the potential is there, especially in the army builder kits. 

  • @Vitor Soares 

    You were right about more on the way.  Heavy Cavalry started shipping today:

  • @Vitor Soares I don't know on that, Gripping Beast already has 40-44 figure kits (ie armybuilders or close enough for practical purposes) that cover for Late Romans and Goths, though I well admit WA's postage price is a lot better then GB for US gamers and if WA sticks to 60 figures a box at their normal box pricing it would be a better value on the numbers front.

  • @Brian Van De Walker yes, I know, I also have some Gripping Beast boxes. Their problem is that GB normally have one arm already as part of the body.

    I am waiting to see how the amy builder boxes are organized, but already testing some options. At the moment, value for money, as a kitbasher with boxes and boxes of bits, Warlord's starting armies are the best value for money. In most EU stores, you can get a Saxon or Viking army, with 100 plus miniatures for 90 euros. WA, Victrix, Northstar, GB, all bits fit in those bodies.

    But I will wait and see a little while longer. 

  • @Vitor Soares Well, hopefully they will be legs and torso bodies without arms attached but they could end up more static, we will see.

  • @Brian Van De Walker I hope so. Even if they come with a head too, I will be a happy kitbasher.

    Just have to wait and see. 

  • @Vitor Soares Actually heads would be the most likely part not to be attached since they tend to take less sprue space than arms. To be honest I would not be surprised if the AB end base bodies either resemble Gripping Beast Dark Age Warroir kit with sheild arms still attached or a bunch of headless bodies with handless arms attached in  "walk like egyptian" sword/spear poses with weapon handswaps, but again we will see.

  • @Brian Van De Walker @Vitor Soares To be honest if the Prussian Army Builder is anything to go by, I wouldn't be surprised if the Roman and German army builders are going to have less options and poseability than the standard boxes, given that their function is to flesh out the ranks of standard troops while WA intend for the standard boxes to be used for Command Groups and so on. Thus I would definitely expect at least one arm to be moulded onto the body, though heads will likely be separate as they are for Prussians.

    But then, we already have the full multipart box counterparts so we don't need to worry if these have less poseability than desired, not to mention that kitbashers like us aren't afraid to carry out a few 'amputations' to swap arm options anyway!

  • @Caratacus couldn't have said it better myself. 

  • I agree that Victrix have beaten WA to it with the late Romans, bit of a shame as I was really looking forward to the army builder box, it would have been a much better cheaper option, assuming it was like the Prussian Reserves set and I was hoping it would be like spear upright marching with just the head and shield to stick on 

  • @JTam I beg to differ on Victrix for a lot of reasons ... Poses are awful -- you get an entire bag of men with their right arms sticking upwards (see, for example, their Gallic Warriors). I find the figures to be difficult to paint well (too many folds in the clothing), with pitifully thin/slim spears, swords, standards, etc. that not only snap apart when you trying to file them down, but also don't wear well on the wargame table. Another point, Victrix are 'stand alone' minis -- being so much larger than the other 28mm plastic minis, while WA match up really well size-wise with Gripping Beast and WG. Finally, WA has promised to release Franks, which are most likely not coming from Victrix.

  • @Don Williams Those are all certainly fair points... though the right arm issue can be resolved simply by cutting the right arms off and swapping them around as one sees fit (I was able to do hand swaps on Warlord's Celts so arm swaps won't be an issue).

    Additionally the size issue doesn't look that bad to me:

    Certainly not compared to WA at least, and if they're intermingled with figures from other manufacturers it can simply reflect some men being taller than others. 


  • It's looking increasingly like the WA Late Roman range is dead in the water, Victrix have raced ahead and have now produced five sets, think there's only the horse archers and maybe cataphracts left now and they've got a complete range. It's a shame really, I was really looking forward to the army builder approach

  • Nah it's all still coming. We don't really worry about what other folks are doing. We'll have quite a large range over time as we dig into it more. Just a lot to do across the board!

  • @Simon. Victrix now have the horse archers out and Cataphracts are meant to be out before year end. They also have an artillery set that should be easily adaptable to Late Roman era via a simple headswap on the crew. Plus early Saxons coming in the early part of 2024.

    There was a gap to exploit and WA were too slow. I started painting a large Late Roman force (now 600 or so figures) in early 2022. It's got no WA figures. It's primarily Victrix with some Footsore and some Aventine for some Early Byzantine options. I've just got another 24 Light Horse archers and 24 Cataphracts and I'm basically done.

    Where WA still has a small gap is the opposition to those Late Romans. Their Irish unarmoured infantry set was very nice and I have a few boxes. Would buy more from WA but, yet again, zero follow through. No Irish cavalry or armoured infantry even two years late. No Picts, no Welsh, no Franks etc. Just a small Goth infantry set. 

    WA need to be more honest about their ambitions. They operate over a vast range of the mini universe, not just historical. It's fair enough they simply don't have time/resources to do something like Late Romans which has already been done. It's not reasonable to keep telling people they are somehow just around the corner when they are clearly not. 

  • @Reb T as I mentioned above we're not really interested in what others are doing or have done or might do in the future. The beauty of historical subjects is there will always be someone wanting to model them/wargame with them. We may have missed your particular purchases but in 3 years, 5, 10, 20 there will be whole new groups of folks looking to build that particular army - or guys who right now are obsessed with WW2 that because of some book, film, show, buddy will end up wanting to build a Late Roman army later. 

    Our goal from the outset was to release as many hard plastic sets as possible across a wide range of periods and genres and to go deep into each one. Decline and Fall has a nice start as a range with Romans and Goth. More sets will be coming to flesh it out as we continue to flesh out other ranges and add more as well. 

    We've been (and remain) very much in start up mode here. First, we figured out how to make hard plastic, develop distribution channels, set up to operate from three global warehouses - and then we acquired the technology and infrastructure to do it ourselves. Outside of GW we're the only company I know of who own the process from concept through manufacturing to distribution in hard plastic. 2023 has been ridiculously busy in the background as we've increased capabilities, added to the team, refined our processes, and expanded distribution. Now that that is all running fairly smoothly, 2024 will see the launch of many more plastic sets but also new products. And the Decline and Fall range is definitely a part of that! 


  • @Hudson Adams. I totally understand you are in start up mode.  It's perfectly reasonable to tell people you have ambitions to do Late Romans sets and that you will get there at some point. Based on the Irish I've bought, the Horse sets and the odd other sprue here and there, you do very good minis and I'm sure they will be good aswell.

    What is less reasonable is to create expectations that sets are just around the corner. Let's take this example

    You announced that set in Sep 2022. You show sprues, have some examples painted up. Yet, it's Nov 2023 and it's not appeared. The Lorica Squamata set was just around the corner 18 months ago and has also not appeared. It's your expectation management that is the issue. To be fair, Victrix has similar issues but with them it's 6 months late, not 12-18 months. It's very annoying when mini companies do this. Just underpromise and overdeliver.

  • @Reb T there are lots of different reasons for announcing things when we do - in our case though a lot of our delays have been driven by the move from Chinese to US-based manufacturing which slowed us down quite a bit as we got everyone up to speed here. Now it's working smoothly and running along well. 

    Victrix are usually 7-14 months from announcement to release but in their defense it typically takes them that long to actually make the things with how they are set up. We can move much faster but it's always a resource issue. 

    At the end of the day - a 6" x 9" frame costs $X - no matter really what's on it. So we have to be smart as to what goes onto each one. If we release a set that sells 3x what something else does well we pay attention to that because that set let's us put out 2+ more sets wheras the other one is just paying for itself over a longer time. 

    If I were a smart man I'd dump all the historical and most of the fantasy stuff (except Landsknehct Ogres!) and focus 1000% on Death Fields. But I made a committment to build wide and deep ranges across historical periods, Classic Fantasy, and sci-fi and that's what we're continuing to do.

    We may be slow sometimes but we get there - and we are also making stuff in hard plastic that no one else would even dream about. 

    And - to be honest - a year or two of people talking about something is never a bad thing in the end! 

    So enjoy! 

  • @Hudson Adams Actually given the main reason Death Fields is doing as well as it is mostly due to one gothic space fantasy game that could go oop for any number of reasons in the future, I would say having the more stable historical and fantasy sets to fall back on is a smart move.

  • @Brian Van De Walker you're forgetting the rules that are coming for Death Fields! It will live 40,000 years!

    And as for the other one going OOP - insert the "Sure, Jan" meme here? LOL. 

  • @Hudson Adams🤣Then you should have real announcements and progress for those rules sometime this year. While I  believe you,  given the lack of anything resembling playtest reports or even poster art beyond the set descriptions and box art, there are some who would say a "Sure, Jan" meme would be better inserted as reply to your "the rules that are coming for Death Fields! It will live 40,000 years!" comment just given responses I tend to have on FB and Damned Crowdfund threads when I bring up that Death Fields will have rules.   

    As for the skull encrusted elephant in the room, while it may seem unlikely to you right now, if far more powerful and culturally entrenched  beer and entertainment mega corporations can bungle their marketing and products as badly as they have, so can GW and given the size of our hobby the consequences would likely be more fatale and it’s not like those rules are the best miniature rules ever made (if they were, there wouldn't be new Sci-Fi games😆40k is the bud light of rulesets😆).  It’s literally still around and big because of the lore lovers and good “cult recruitment” marketing, if they truly alienate the one (which has been gradually happing for a while now unsurprisingly) and truly bungle the other that game franchise will die, maybe not quickly or without a "SF 9th Age" taking over its space and oldhammers still playing it, but die none the less (and thats without outside forces intervening which is also possible).

  • I didn't say they were coming immediately - there is absolutely NO RUSH. 

  • @Hudson Adams True but you guys where talking about rules for Death Fields back with the Raumjager infantry release and you do have enough factions now.

  • Sure but still not enough sets for a proper set of rules. 

  • Clealry there is far more money in sci-fi and fantasy type stuff than historical. So I can easily understand prioritizing that. Nonetheless, that doesn't really excuse announcing stuff and then not releasing it.

    Moreover, you are still producing historical STLs but you seem unwilling to let us buy those in physical form. That I just don't understand. Surely the point of you offering STLs was to generate revenue at little or no marginal cost to yourself. Only-Games only has about 45 of your 170 or so STLs available. 

    If Medbury can allow a number of 3d printers to license their designs, is WA refusing?  Or is there a lack of interest? Right now I'd buy multiple runs of the physical prints of some of your Decline and Fall and Blood Oath STL ranges where there is no plastic/resin competition (so stuff like Irish, Welsh or Picts for example). Allow someone like Hammerline Minis (Etsy UK) to license this. Or anyone really.

    You seem desperate for cashflow. The whole Vox Populi idea of customers basically paying to get their preferred minis pushed up the poll and then once it's been selected asking them to pre-order sets such as the BEF one. It's seems designed to derisk your cashflow position. Yet, on the other, you have a ever expanding portfolio of STLs that you could be leveraging for cashflow, that you seem to have no interest in exploiting except to those who want to get involved in the messy process of 3D printing.


  • @Hudson Adams (thinks about all the "Sure they well, 🤣" comments I have received and looks at where GW is in the dumpsterfire) Nah, I think you need to  strike while the iron is still hot on those rules and why not use STLs  cover the fill in slots for armies? it might be smarter to do that in conjunction with open beta testing before commiting factory space to more varities of questionable things like more artillery (aren't the support weapons artillery enough for most games) and more varities of space halflings and ogres (ruleset wise, you could and probably should work it so you really only need to make one IRL set of each with the ogres already being covered for all DF teams except the Damned with the current plastic set, since you are stuck doing the damned brutes).  

    Also @Reb T  has a point about licenseing out STLs for physical prints, though I have seen Mcdougle designs carry some DF printouts. 

  • @Reb T What company isn't interested in cashflow? That's the whole point isn't it? We're not a 501(c)3 after all!

    The Vox Populi system is designed to let our customers vote on which one of the sets we are planning to release in the future to get pushed to the front of the line. We have a LOT of sets in the pipeline but obviously each set is a significant investment for design, tooling, production, artwork/painting, box printing, freight, etc. - $10s of thousands per set. There is also a question of how many releases a month is too many and at what point do you oversaturate the market (or at least your own distribution channel)?

    We have always been a very much slow and steady type company. There are lots of moving parts all building toward an ultimate goal - we're increasing our output tempo, expanding our physical and digital catalogs faster than most miniature companies, and significantly increasing our distribution to retailers and distributors. We've doubled in sales each of the last 2 years and are on track to double again this year. 

    Vox is a way to give the customers exactly what they want. The voting system generates vouchers that can be used immediately so it doesn't really cost anything (and several customers now "buy" votes immediately before using those vouchers on a purchase). The second step of going into a pre-production order for $6000 ensures there's actually enough buy in to go ahead with the kit and it wasn't just one guy throwing a bunch of votes at it. It's our own little version of Kickstarter for our customers and lets us slip in the products people want while we execute on our own release plan. It also lets the folks who are interested in that particular set to provide even more input during the pre-production period so they end up with exactly what they want.

    Providing a means to purchase physical versions of our 3D files has always been part of the plan but the typical licensing method is an incredibly stupid business model. Most companies sell blanket "commercial licenses" to 3rd party printers where they can print and sell any of your files and pay a monthly flat rate. We would never go with a model like that because we A. have a rather massive catalog, B. could never be guaranteed of the quality of the product and C. would leave a huge amount of money on the table. 

    Instead, we are committed to using Only-Games as our (mostly) exclusive partner for printed versions of our digital models. With O-G we set our own pricing and margins and are guaranteed of the quality levels. We have been waiting for MMF/Only-Games to execute on their own plans to expand their operations to the United States to allow a larger chunk of our customers to be able to order locally instead of having everything have to ship from the UK. They're getting close to having this in place and until they did there was no great reason to spend a lot of time getting everything on Only-Games. Now that they're getting closer we've been working to bring all the sets over. 

    That said, I don't expect printed sales to represent much of an increase in revenue. 3D printed miniatures are not much different in the end than metal or resin ones and the same types of economies exist for that type of product. Real revenues are generated by distribution and having your products in a lot of stores in a lot of countries. But it will be nice to make all these (175 and counting) sets available to our customers who don't print on their own.

  • It is good to see that Only-Games has increased it's catalogue of WA physical prints from less than 50 to over 100 in the last few weeks. I think though you are making a mistake by using OG exclusively. I understand they may take less margin than other printers but their quality control is dire. I've never received any order from OG that didn't have problems. Frankly, I'll try them just once more if you offer your Picts or Irish Cav since I would like those models. Yet I suspect they will botch it again. I would recommend trying to form another partnership.

  • I need these squamata boys. I would give a kidney for them. I want to make a fantasy germanic kingdom and my heart is set on having all the models be WGA exclusively except for the heroes. 

  • @Darrell let us know of anyone you'd recommend

  • @Hudson Adams I know the guys at covetedforge personally and think they would be great

  • @Hudson Adams. Really good to see that you are making more physical prints available. I'd prefer someone other than OG but it's better than no option at all.

    Are you planning to make all the STLs available? Or are some being held back for plastic or perhaps not suitable for physical printing, I note some of the prints I was interested in are now available (Picts, Welsh archers, Sub-Roman Warlord etc). Nonetheless, the Irish Cavalry and Irish Warlord have not appeared (yet at least).

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