Table Top miniature games can be daunting for most stores wanting to diversify. Often they work out what product they need, and our knowledgeable representatives can certainly help here, but they are confused about what Organized Play looks like. Escalation Leagues is one example of an easy to set up, fun community event, that will not leave you with Hordes of unwanted stock on your shelves and create happy customers falling in love with a new game.
What is an Escalation League?
Escalation Leagues allow you and your customers to begin small and grow to a healthy level of product sales and customer base. Miniature games are traditionally broken down by points for each model. Games are played with a total point limit agreed upon. Example: Players build 100 point armies. An Escalation League works alongside this game structure, starting at low point games and, weekly or bi-weekly, work their way up to full point games.
How does an Escalation League work?
Beginning before week 1 of the Escalation League, your customers will choose an army or faction within a specific game line. Each player will purchase the corresponding starter box, assemble the miniatures and paint the miniatures before the beginning of the first Escalation League game night.
After their miniatures are assembled and painted, they will play during that week for points. Usually 3 points for a win and 1 point for a loss.
At the start of the next week, the points value for the army increases and the players will tell you what miniatures they want to purchase for that Escalation week to tweak their army to the new points value. Then they’ll assemble and paint the miniatures, as they did for week 1, before the beginning of the next Escalation week. Obviously the amount of time dedicated to this portion is a lot less in week’s 2+ as players are only painting 1 or 2 new miniatures. This process continues until the set amount of Escalation weeks come to an end. The player with the highest score is the winner of the league!
By the end of the Escalation League, your customers will have a good understanding of how their new game plays, fully painted armies and you will have a better understanding of how to provide this product in your store. The whole point to the league is for the players to have fun, learn a new game, slowly paint and base their miniatures and for you to continually sell more miniatures through the league period.
How does this help me as a retailer?
- Low startup costs.
- Escalation Leagues will eliminate the guessing game as to what you will need; to start and keep stocked.
- Drives diversified sales.
- Fully painted armies being played in your store, is a great advertisement tool to encourage other customers to want to play in these games and be part of the miniature hobby.
- Steady long term sales.
- Most miniature lines are robust in catalogue size and have new product releases every month.
- Increased customer loyalty.
- Escalation Leagues are a fun way for customers to stay engaged with one another and your store over the length of the event and beyond.
Remember as you immerse these players their spend increases. A player that plays once a week in Organized Play will spend, on average, over a year 5+ times as much as a player that doesn’t.
Ok, what else?
In addition to offering the miniatures to your customers, you can provide all the supplies that your customers are going to need to assemble and paint their miniatures.
- Hobby tools
- Modeling glue
- Miniature primer
- Basing material
- Detail brushes
- Expert lines of hobby paints
- Storage and carrying cases
Just like the miniature product lines, most major hobby products have beginning or starter packages that make the start up process easy on both the customer and store. The great thing is PHD stocks all these and more. Again your representative can go through an appropriate range of supplies your players will likely be looking for.
Sounds great! How do I start?
- Gather interest within your store. Word of mouth, social media, whatever works best within your store. Just a few people at first, but the more the merrier.
- Have a couple of gaming tables setup with gaming terrain. You can easily build a gaming table top from inexpensive supplies from your local hardware store.
- Get a dry erase board and place it on a wall in your store, for score keeping during the Escalation League.
- Gather a list of everything your customers want for their first week.
- Contact your PHD Accounts Manager, place an order and within 2 business days your package should arrive!
Miniature games are a very visually appealing, fun and rewarding game to have played in your store. Leagues like this immerse players more encouraging a positive sense of community and store loyalty. Escalation Leagues can therefore be your advantage in creating a profitable new product line.
Article by: Mike Paschal
About the author:
Mike is a long term industry professional and gamer with 8 years in the retail sector and 3 of those running a store. Primarily a miniatures lover and board gamer he’s also equally at home throwing down in a card game or hamming it up in a roleplaying session.