News from SPUK In issue 2 of Phoenix I stated that it was our intention to hold down prices and allow the increase in units sold to compensate for the drop in unit profit. I further stated that this situation may only be temporary since one never knows just when there will be another run on the pound. Unhappily, a run did materialise and when the pound fell to 1.65 against the dollar I recosted SPI games. The result showed me that we must implement an immediate price rise and this we have now done. The rise is approximately 20% over the board on game prices. Whilst this may appear to be high, I would like to point out in our defence that the buying power of the pound against the dollar has dropped by 30% since our last prices were set over a year ago. Normally we can give some warning on price increases, unfortunately this just has not been possible on this occasion and I hope that you will appreciate the unfortunate position we have been put in by the devaluation of the pound. Since fixing our new prices, the pound has dropped a further six cents and there have been mutterings about increased indirect taxation (VAT?) At this rate we may be forced to revise our prices yet again before long. As a further economy measure we are restricting all future S&T and Moves subscriptions to one year's duration. By doing this we can minimise the loss in revenue which would be brought about by a further fall in the pound. This latest devaluation has reinforced my belief that SPUK must start printing in the UK on a regular basis as quickly as possible. A price comparison between a UK printed standard game (œ3.99) and an imported standard game (œ5.55) will illustrate the desirability of producing games over here. As a further illustration 'Outreach' will be produced in the UK and will sell at œ3.99 unboxed and œ4.99 boxed as against a brochure price of œ5.25 unboxed and œ6.25 boxed. The brochure prices were calculated as imported games. So if the message is that clear, why are we not doing something about it? The answer is that we are doing something about it. At this moment I have over 20 of SPI's better-selling titles out at a printers for a printing estimate. I hope to get some figures soon and on receipt of these I can push ahead with more UK prints. To print the full SPI range will take time due to the quantity of titles involved and the cost factor. We would need œ150,000 to print the full range at one time and since we have not got access to such a sum we must settle for a lengthier programme. As I have already mentioned, 'Outreach' will be printed in the UK. It will sell at œ3.99 unboxed and œ4.99 boxed, and should be available for despatch by late November. As will be the case with all future new titles to be printed, there will be no pre-print offer on this game. The reason for this - quite simply we must make good our lost profits on imported games sold in the earlier part of the year. On now to apology time. We ran out of stock on a few of the popular SPI titles recently. This was caused by staff problems in SPl's shipping department which resulted in our regular shipment becoming irregular, three weeks irregular to be precise. It is possible that S&T 58 will also be late in arriving due to SPI's demise. In Phoenix 3 I said that S&T 57 would contain a feedback card. Unfortunately we were short snipped and only one carton out of twenty contained S&T's with cards. In this case, no harm was done because we discovered the shortage and were able to insert our own cards into Phoenix itself. We will continue this practice in future. The final apology relates to 'Russian Civil War'. We had it priced at œ5.45 in our old brochures instead of œ6.75. This was a printers error which was not discovered until the brochures had gone to press. Customers who ordered 'Russian Civil War' after the error was brought to my attention were invoiced for the balance. To those of you who were inconvenienced by this, please accept my sincere apologies. Next, a plea from customer service. Please enclose a self addressed stamped envelope with all queries - thank you. New games now in stock are 'Napoleon's Last Battles Quads' from SPI, 'Their Finest Hour', 'Burma', 'Avalanche--the Salerno Landings', '1815--The Waterloo Campaign' 'Battle for Midway', 'Tsushima', 'Port Arthur' from Game Designers Workshop and 'Emperor of China'. By the time you receive this issue of Phoenix we also expect to have the following Simulations Design Corporation games in stock - 'Jerusalem', 'Cromwell', 'Khalkin Gol' and 'Battle for Hue', Details of these games can be found elsewhere in this magazine. On now to the results of the Phoenix 2 feedback which was dedicated mainly to finding out which non SPI games you wanted us to import and which SPI games you would like to see us print. Firstly the non SPI games that you wanted us to import include those Game Designers Workshop and Simulation Design Corporation games advertised in this issue. Also you want us to supply 'Shenandoah', 'Airforce', 'Custer's Last Stand', 'Submarine' (awaiting supplies), 'La Battaille de la Moskowa', 'Empire of the Petal Throne', 'Dungeons & Dragons', 'Spanish Civil War' (supplies not easily obtained but we are working on it); 'March on India', 'Ancient Conquests', 'Formalhaut', 'Anvil-Dragoon', 'Tunnels and Trolls' (samples received and considered poor value for money). Those games that are considered poor value for money will not be stocked. The response to SPI titles feedbacked for possible printing was encouraging. When looking at the following figures you should bear in mind that only 16.19% of S&T subscribers bought 'Seelowe' at our special offer price and that quantity combined with the non subscriber response was sufficient to merit the printing of that game. Top of the poll was 'West Wall Quads' with 31.78% saying yes, followed by 'Mech War '77' 29.84%, 'Panzer '44' 28.29%, 'Sniper' 26.74%, 'NATO' 25.58%, 'World War II' 25.19%, 'Starforce' and 'Modern Battles Quads' 23.64%, 'Napoleon at War Quads' 20.93%, 'Sorcerer' 20.54%, 'Foxbat & Phantom' 20.15%, 'World War 3' 19.76%. If we accept that 'Seelowe' is a fair barometer on acceptability then all the above can be considered candidates for printing in the UK. The exception to this is 'Foxbat & Phantom' which is to be replaced next year by 'Air War 78'. In the last nine questions we asked you to comment on the physical quality of the three games printed in the UK, your answers were as shown below:
From the above I think it is fair to assume tha on the whole those who purchased our home printed games were satisifed with the physical quality. Finally the question: would you subscribe to Phoenix having seen the first two issues - affirmative 95.16%, negative 2.41%. 73.91% would do so on merit, 21.12% to support a UK magazine.