FINAL WEEK UPDATE
(10/26/02) This is the final week for the B5W/FA/GROPOS sell-off and the orderly shutdown of AOG. We are providing this update to answer some of our most common questions as the clock ticks towards October 31. Please read this before emailing or calling. If you don't know about the shutdown, start reading here.
Is AOG really going out of business?
- Yes. See the announcement on the forums for an explanation and our reasons. We're going through an orderly shutdown, so we won't disappear instantly or anything like that.
What's the last day/time I can place an order?
- We must have your order in our hands by midnight October 31. After that we can accept no further orders of any kind. Use the online site if at all possible. If not, you can email your MC/Visa#, expiration date, product list, shipping address and a means to get a hold of you to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax your order with that same info to (937)436-2461. You can mail to AOG, PO Box 31571, Dayton OH 45437-0571, but if it's not there by the 31st we can't accept it. IF YOU SEND EXPRESS MAIL, do NOT require that we sign for it! There is a box on the form to waive the signature, and you MUST check it, otherwise it will be held back and we won't get it in time.
I heard a rumor you'll be lowering prices at the last minute to try to boost sales. Is this true?
- No. There will be no last second price cuts. Please do not wait until the last minute to order on the assumption that we will be having a final day fire sale. There won't be one.
I want to place a big last-minute order, but I don't have the money right now. Is there anything else I can do?
- You could borrow a credit card from a friend or relative. Barring that, if your order is big (at least $200), send me an email and we might be able to work something out.
Will the web site stay up after the closing?
- No, at midnight on the 31st, the site will be turned off (as will our phones). The forums will remain, however. As I understand things, plans are in place to move those to a completely different facility, but that's out of our hands (and, as a fan-run enterprise, is not a part of our contract, so they can continue as long as they want to).
If I placed an order and it doesn't ship by the 31st, will it be lost?
- No, ALL orders WILL ship even if you place them at the very last second. We simply can't make any more SALES beyond the cutoff date. We remain committed to following through on EVERY order, although you will only be able to communicate with us by email to report packing problems and other customer service issues. In the UNLIKELY event we cannot fill an order for some reason, your money will be promptly refunded.
I ordered some stuff from you on (fill in date here) and it hasn't arrived! Can I check on its status?
- Please, for the love of God, stop sending in emails asking for the status of your order! We are so swamped with orders we can't keep up, and dropping everything to dig through the pile looking for YOUR specific order will simply take too long. Just be patient, please. ALL orders will be shipped to your satisfaction regardless of whether or not the contract ends, I assure you.
What happened to the free supplements you said you'd provide? In particular, I want the ships from League-2 and later books in PDF format. Where can I download them?
- Well, I posted RPP2 for free, and was immediately met by complaints from players who had to pay for the original playtest pack! Naturally, this gives me little motivation to post any more free material. In any case, Showdowns-9 and 10 were designed by freelance groups, and after the cutoff, those books will be provided by their original authors in some form of their choosing. Watch the forums. The Centauri GROPOS book was never written to a sufficient level to produce any postable material. And I'm not going to post the PDFs from any other products because the instant I do, I will be lambasted for providing ships for free that other people had to buy. Plus, of course, giving those things away will hurt last minute sales on those same products. So, in other words, forget it. I'm sure I'll receive tons of hate mail for this, but that's the way it has to be.
Will there be any painted miniatures for sale?
- Regrettably, no. They have all been spoken for.
Are there any other special items available?
The wall panels mentioned below (see the bottom of this page) are still around. I also found a few more Hardback Compendiums (signed by JMS) in mint condition. If any of you want them, please contact me privately with a bid. The top bidders by the cutoff will receive a copy. You will also be responsible for any freight charges.
Is there anything else you can give away before or after the contract ends? Art, files, unfinished works, damaged products, broken miniatures, anything?
- No. Absolutely not. Please don't ask.
I don't want to see your leftover products destroyed. Can I drive down on November 1st and load up any surviving material into my truck?
- No, we are still responsible for all items in our inventory and if it's not here, we will be charged royalties on it as if it had been sold. In other words, it will cost us money to give it away!
Will the prices of Turning Point or Snarfquest or Black Hills Terrain or Starsiege items be lowered any further due to AOG's closing?
- Not really. We don't have enough of those left to worry about. Compared to the quantities of B5, FA, and GROPOS items in our inventory, those are a drop in the bucket. Of course, Starsiege minis are still on sale for 3/$10, a great deal if you like giant robot games of any kind. Our supply of hills is extremely limited, but if you wanted a bunch I could cut you a deal. The same goes for Snarfquest cards.
Once again, AOG wishes to thank you all for your support over the years. We appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you and provide you with what we hope have been countless hours of enjoyment. Thanks for everything! --Agent One and the AOG Staff
YES, IT FINALLY HAPPENED...THE BABYLON 5 LICENSE HAS EXPIRED...
(9/19/02) It is my sad duty to report that AOG's Babylon 5 contract has ended and will not be renewed. AOG held, to our knowledge, the last existing game license for B5. (Updated 9/24/02: Actually, we are now told, courtesy of JMS himself, that another gaming company has procured a license for a B5 RPG. Please don't email me asking for more information, as that is all I know at this point. When more details become available, they will be posted here.)
The contract officially concludes at the end of October. Until 10/31/02, AOG will continue to sell as much existing inventory as possible at discount rates. See our web site's mail order page for some spectactular deals, or email me privately if you wish to arrange a larger purchase. After October 31, anything left over in our warehouse will be destroyed per the letter of the contract. Individuals, stores, or distributors wishing to make purchases (either remotely or by visiting the office) before that time should contact me by email. Field Agents and freelancers will be given priority.
We here at AOG wish to thank you all for your patronage and support of the Babylon 5 Wars line and related products. Without you, we couldn't have gotten this far. Please don't be bitter or upset. We did the best we could and managed to keep the license as long as possible. We have no regrets. --Agent One
Several items are now out of stock permanently. These are: BW-123 Ships of the Fleet-2, BW-117 Showdowns-8, BW-172 Wars of the Centauri Republic, every Fleet Action Squadron Box except the Minbari Support Box (FA-2251), and all the GROPOS Company Packs except the EA Armored Cavalry (GP-5118). Don't panic, we are still making the individual miniatures available and will continue to do so up until the October 31 deadline! However, be advised that you might not receive these in actual blister packs, but more likely in individual bags. This should not be a problem unless you're planning to resell them, in which case contact us in advance. Oh, also, I have placed a couple of new Grab-Bag sets on the Package Deals page. If you just want a bunch of ships and don't care what they are, this is a good way to get them cheap!
Some Questions and Answers
Okay, seriously, why isn't the license being renewed?
The contract ended normally. There were renewal clauses (we used them twice before) but this time things didn't work out. The reason for cancellation is simply that the show is no longer on the air. While we don't know for sure, we presume that had Legend of the Rangers made it to TV, interest in Babylon 5 might have picked up and this whole situation could have been avoided. NOTE: This was a MUTUAL decision. Please don't hold WB responsible or blame them in any way. The contract died a natural, normal death.
Why didn't you tell us this before?
- We hoped to extend the contract. Until we knew for sure we could not, it made bad business sense to tell people the license was ending. Stores and distributors would drop the line like a hot potato, and then, if we did achieve renewal, there would be no way to recover. This announcement is being made at the earliest possible time.
Did AOG do anything wrong to cause this to happen?
No. We were current on all royalty payments and never had any problems dealing with Warner Bros. throughout the entire duration of the contract. Termination occurred simply because Babylon 5 is no longer on television.
Is there anything I can do to save the contract?
No. In fact, please do not attempt to do so. You'll only waste your time and ours and annoy Warner Bros. in the process. WB did nothing wrong, so do not curse or blame them for this. It was always understood that this contract would, eventually, expire. Its time simply came to an end.
So what happens to the B5 product line?
It is now out of print. No new products will be made. In fact, after October 31, we are no longer permitted to stock or sell any Babylon 5 properties. If you wish to pick up any miniatures or books, better do so now, because after 10/31/02, we will no longer have anything or the capability of making anything from this contract.
What are you selling your existing inventory for?
- Some pretty serious discounts. Check our mail order pages to see what prices you can expect to get. In general, items that were $7.95 are now $4.95, items of $9.95 are now $5.95, $13.95 went to $9.95, $19.95 is now $14.95, $24.95 is $19.95, and so on. Most discounts are 30-40% or so of the original price. We're willing to give even larger discounts if you want to order a big pile of stuff (and be sure to see the package deals page). Send me an email and we'll discuss it. (Keep in mind, these items are shortly going to become unavailable...buying a bunch now might be a good investment towards an Ebay or related sale later on.)
What about B5 products that were in the production pipeline for eventual release?
That depends on how far along they were. Certianly none of these will be physically printed, but some will be available as downloads. Just before this happened, we released a new batch of Fleet Action civilian miniatures, but those will be the last (any minis that were started or somewhere along in the production process will probably never see the light of day, although it's possible one or two might be available as a special item). On a case by case basis, here is where we stand:
- Variants-6 (WCR variants): This was being assembled by the HRT and will probably be made available as a free download when complete.
- Showdowns-9: This was in development by an outside source. I'm not sure how interested the designer will be in completing it after hearing this announcement. I will post an update here when I know more.
- Showdowns-10: I actually have a completed initial draft of this product in hand. If the designer has no objections, I will make it available as a free download.
- Campaign Guide: This was written so as to be easily convertible to a non-B5 format (i.e., for Turning Point, or a generic space battle system). The designer and I will be discussing how to proceed once this announcement becomes public and I'll have more information for you as things progress.
- Raiders & Privateers-2: This was all but complete when the contract ended. If the designers have no objection, I will make it available as a free download.
- Other books were in development internally, but these were nowhere near finished. I may post some material at some point in the future, but we'll have to see.
- The forums and Babcom newsletter will continue as before, because they are being operated by outside sources as fan sites and don't fall under the contract. AOG will not, however, be able to provide official B5 material to Babcom, because otherwise WB may see that as a breach of their copyright.
What exactly falls under the Babylon 5 contract?
Anything that has the B5 logo (B5W, FA, or GROPOS) or that is copyrighted by WB. That would include all advertising and promotional materials, painted miniatures in our possession, computer art, written documents, etc., etc. Anyone interested in purchasing said items should contact me at once. Everything with the "B5" logo on it is for sale at this point, with the exception of those items that could be used to produce new products later on (e.g., molds, miniature masters, and the like) which will be targeted for certain destruction. Specific items for sale include:
- The vinyl display pictures (wall-sized) you may have seen us put up at conventions. For pics of these, click here, here, and here - these cost us each $400 per panel. These are not posters, they are vinyl wall-sized display frames that can't flake or chip. The image is part of the panel itself. Extremely high quality. Offers are now being entertained for these beautiful items. Contact me privately to make a bid.
- A small quantity of painted miniatures (photos will appear soon)
- Empty boxes, packing wraps, and similar items (not likely to sell)
- All the B5-logo dice (available on the mail order misc. items page and package deals page)
- Miscellaneous other items