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Hi Paul, you are absolutely right that by not buying right away one runs the risk of missing out. In addition, it is true that a lot of gaps can be filled by other manufacturers and promised future releases. However, I started this thread because I think that manufacturers could probably increase sales just by rearranging or reorganizing their release schedules. In order to maximize sales, I think it is absolutely essential to release opposing sets at the same time(or within a 3 - 6 months of each other) otherwise momentum can be lost. I know personally that if I have to wait too long for sets, I often eventually lose interest in the period and move on to something else (there always seem to be new WWII sets!). Also when starting a new era, I think it is important to start with core units like infantry and then branch out to cavalry, artillery, camp sets. For example when I look at Strelets Medieval range, it seems to me fairly well balanced between infantry, cavalry, Crusader and Muslim, however their Roman range is top heavy with Roman units! I like Romans (particularly the brilliant marching set), but the lack of Roman enemies makes this series less appealing to me. Strelets will probably rectify this in the near future, but we really need good units of enemy infantry and cavalry (my choice would be Hebrew units for Masada). Anyways these are just my thoughts. I really want Strelets and other figure manufacturers to be successful so that we will get even more great figures (like US Cavalry Set2 plus enemies)!
In most cases they are necessary. French knights could probably pass for English knights during the Hundred Years War, and I'm pretty certain that there wasn't much difference in appearance between the typical Lancastrian and Yorkist during the War of the Roses. If you were doing one of the Roman civil wars the same figures might work for both sides, and for much of the 30YW the armies in Germany, aside from there flags, probably looked about the same. However these are more the exceptions than the rule.
It's indeed very sad that STRELETS seems to be considering not making or postponing their second set of US cav. (and enemies) but I gues they will have their reasons. Perhaps if they had released their first set together with Apaches or whatever sales would have been better .... I don't know ....now I've bought only one set .... but what if they released two or three sets and the sales were still low ... I can imagine this being a serious financial setback for STRELETS (let's not forget that STRELETS started years ago as a small firm producing only sets in addition to already existing sets made by the big players ... since then STRELETS has come a long way and in my eyes they certainly have made their place among the great players but compared to a giant like ZVEZDA ....).
Must admit that the second set US cav. is not on my priority list (first finish GNW range ... SWEDISH PIKEMEN and early RUSSIAN inf. are a must ... not to mention their CRIMEAN WAR range .... those TURKS ...).
Imperial Romans: situation is indeed critical.
I have too many Romans and far to few numbers of adversaries. But there is always hope. LW has a new set of DACIANS in the pipeline and like you I've set my hopes on STRELETS.
BTW LW has another set in the pipeline being HEBREW WARRIORS (foot) for the Jewish uprising so I gues you are a step nearer to Masada.
Something I forgot to mention.
Lots of Romans (Republican, Imperial and even Late Romans) and far to few adversaries ....true...... but we still need a decent set of Republican Romans for CAESAR to conquer GAUL.
Now since CAESAR has a set of Republican Romans in the pipeline I do hope that this set will be related to their companies name.
For Romancival wars, and lots of medievil and modern stuff, both side can be represented by almost identical soldiers with only some sligt variations in paiting or the color of plastic is required
And I would say Romans are a speciality of HAT. Why not ask them?
I couldnt agree more with Mako. Surely Orion would have sold many more Boxers if they had also done at least 1 set of opposition. All the SR Crimean sets are great but to cover the basics we still need British grenadiers, French cavalry, artillery for everyone except Russia and, of course, Turks.
I recently decided to buy some sets for a friends children. I then realised how important having a balanced set was, with figures for both sides in it. I opted for an Airfix big box, but if Strelets made a 'Poltava', 'Balaclava' etc they would be a great introduction for newcomers of all ages.