From: Connecticut, USA
I for one like the matrix site the way it is; it is one of only two or three sites that I visit daily when I've got time, as a way to unwind and read about armor penetration values after a long day :D There is simply no other wargame site I've found (except for CM, which I don't like) that is as active as this one.
Must also second the notion that this community has been quite friendly from the start. I'm no master of SP, but nearly every question I've ever asked has been answered promptly, in most cases by Paul and Wild Bill! There is simply no other game company that puts you that closely in touch with the designers!
I for one have bought all of the megacampaigns; I've only gotten about a quarter of the way (I think) through MCNA and haven't even started the others, but I'll be playing this game for a long, long time. The encyclopedia alone, for me, is worth much of the price of admission. But the detail in the MC's is tremendous; at times I couldn't wait to get to the next mission just to read all of the supporting documentation.
And now for my two cents: if the MC's sales are low, why not wait a bit more, and then pull a combination move worthy of Talonsoft, combining several of them into one package, with a bit higher price tag, say 39.95? Perhaps too people would be willing to pay, say, $15 for a CD of JUST SPWAW v. 7.1--especially those who do not want to tie up their phone lines for 24 hours in order to download the whole package?
Finally, has anyone considered the "soul winning" approach to wargames? I think the problem with lack of new interest is a direct result of the relative lack of flashines and whizz-bang in wargames; hard to attract people who play games like Ghost Recon, Quake, etc., when graphics are considered the sine qua non of gaming nowadays. But since I've been posting to this board I've noticed a small but constant trickle of potential converts who post questions; usually in the body of the message is a reference to a popular game, like Sudden Strike or Command and Conquer. Those 'on the fence' folks who are just discovering the limits of FSP and RTS ganes might well be potential wargaming converts, with just the right amount of encouragement.
One last thing: MANUALS! I know that printed manuals are not in vogue right now, due to production and publication costs, etc, and the myth that no one reads them. But aren't wargamers generally compulsive about reading manuals? NOTHING sparked my yearling's interest in wargames back in
the 80's and early 90's like a good, well written and personality ridden manual, that can be kept on the desk, by the bedside, in the bathroom (honey, you've been in there for an hour!). I went all out and printed up the SPWAW manual on a university computer, but not everyone has access to free printing, and then you have to go have it bound at Staples. I for one would be willing to pay an extra five or ten bucks for a nice, thick, glossy, SSI-type of printed manual, the kind that you can compulsively read for hours--hmm, what is the frontal armor slope and production history of a Panther A, for the hundreth time? Aren't nice juicy manuals one of the things that attracted people to pencil and paper wargames during the 60's, 70's, and 80's? Filled with formulas and historical asides? I has taken me far longer to learn this wonderful game without such a reference handy, and longer learning curves=loss of interest, at least for the general public.
OK, sorry all this has turned into a rant. I'll be quiet now.
"They couldn't hit an elephant from this dist--"
--John Sedgwick, failing to reduce suppression during the Battle of the Wilderness, U.S. Civil War.