Open: Can be used to design your own armies and even figure stats; can be used with a variety of figure lines
Secrets of the Third Reich, Song of Blades and Heroes, AAG/Tomorrow's War, Where Heroes Dare, Full Thrust, Starmada, Strange Aeons, any 2HW game. Primarily designed to sell rulebooks.
Closed: Specific rules for specific figures, usually have unit cards. You often find yourself with an identically painted character figure as your foe. Often lots of unit-specific rules, seldom any room for campaign/advancement. .
Malifaux, Infinity, Bushido, Warmachine, Lightning Strike, Anima Tactics, Heavy Gear, Confrontation 3, Alkemy, Carnevale, Havoc, Primarily designed to sell miniatures.
I do not include historical rules as these usually constrain the player with a specific army order of battle.
So what do you play more of, and why?
I know I have a strong preference for open systems. I like the freedom to have a unique army - to avoid situations like Malifaux where everyone has an identical (and identically painted, since no one seems to be able, in any game, do a paint scheme other than the fluff). I have probably played more AAG/SoBH
The irony is, if a figure line is good in itself, the miniatures will sell anyway. I have hundreds of Confrontation minis, and many Anima Tactics, despite not using either ruleset. Bushido looks like a great game, but the narrow focus (small force selection, unit-specific cards) has stopped me getting involved. I like their minis, but if I had the ability to create my own forces I would have already gotten into it - I could have created my own armies until more official ones became available. In this case, a 'closed' system stopped me getting involved at the start-up stage - instead of jumping in, and buying rules and box sets, I'm waiting til they expand - and spending my $$$ and efforts elsewhere.
So what do you think - does a closed or open system benefit a games company most, and in what situations?
Does a closed system REALLY sell more minis?
Does proxying lose miniature companies so much money?
Can/should miniatures stand on their own merit or do they need their value to the game to prop them up (*cough* Lucky 13th Gun mages *cough*)
Does this link to units who are valuable-in-game having a higher price? (i.e. a single heroic mini might cost as much as a box of 6 normal 'grunts.')
Would having an open system attract more players to the game? Have you been deterred by special cards-n-lotza-rules?