Successes, Regrets and Delays – My Experiences on Planet Kickstarter
Murray Fish
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It’s got to have been at least ten minutes since someone posted something about Kickstarter (KS). This list is intended to fill that gap.

This list will discuss the KS campaigns I have backed and those that I didn’t (but seriously considered) considering both the campaign and the end product (where applicable).

Before I get into that I’ll begin with a bit of a discussion on KS itself and my general impressions of the whole crowdfunding thing.

Crowdfunding types

Crowdfunding is a pretty interesting concept. It has it taken off only comparatively recently and this phenomenon has not, as yet, been subject to exhaustive research. Through a user on another forum I have read that preliminary research has created a theoretical framework identifying three main types of crowdfunding users:

d10-1 - The first, and by the far the smallest, are the high-end, money-can't-usually-buy pledgers. These are the ones who will drop serious money, anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars to design a mini, have their image on a card, be a VIP guest of the company for a day, have a miniature made in their image or whatever. They want ‘something special’ and they don’t care what they have to pay to get it. Not sure how their own financial position influences their decision but it may be more their obsession with the subject matter that motivates them to want to become a ‘part of the story’. As a for example, Mongoose Miniatures had no problem in finding four people each willing to pay $1 000 to have their likeness sculpted into a miniature for the world of Judge Dredd.

d10-2 - The next group may be termed the investors. Strictly speaking the name should belong to the third group for reasons I'll explain when I get to them but in the context of crowdfunding it works well here. Investors are people who pledge simply because they want to see the product get to market and in return they expect no more than their money's worth. If your product would cost $100 at retail then an investor would be happy to pledge $100 and receive a copy of the product in return. These people are fulfilling the aspirational goal of crowdfunding in that they’re putting their money where their mouth is and paying for something to be created that otherwise would not exist without crowdfunding.

d10-3 - The final, and by far the largest, group are the bargain hunters. Bargain hunters expect a return on their money so in this respect they are the true ‘investors’. If you went down a traditional investment route with a financial institution they would not expect just to get their money back, they would expect to get their money back and more. Likewise, the bargain hunter wants more for their money and will only pledge if they get it. Some bargain hunters have an interest in your product and don't need a lot more to tip them into pledging. Others are ruthless bargain hunters who will only pledge when they feel like they are making a significant saving, possibly expecting to reap a profit on resale of your undervalued items. If you want to raise a significant sum in a minis-based KS then this can only be done by courting the bargain hunters who consistently prove themselves surprisingly willing to pledge large amounts of money, more so than investors, if they feel like they are getting good value for it.

An inherent danger for projects is putting too much on the table to court the maximum number of bargain hunters. Even if the final total raised is significantly higher than it may have otherwise been it can come at the expense of actually making any money on the campaign. If a campaign wants only to raise a modest amount of money to achieve some modest goals then it's possible to do so by appealing primarily to investors.

Crowdfunding and I

Where do I fit into this? Well, I tend to see myself as somewhere between investor and bargain hunter in that if I am particularly enthusiastic about a certain project I’ll be willing to back it at something close to RRP, possibly a little over if I am really passionate about seeing the concept realised. If I am on the fence about something or just not sure how keen I am then the campaign will need to offer significant value because apart from buying into the project to (hopefully) get the end product I am buying risk. That is, the risk that the project won’t deliver as promised.

Every crowdfunding project carries a certain amount of risk that the project will be delayed, modified or not delivered. There are already some really good geeklists out there detailing projects where the creator failed to deliver, seemingly had no intention to deliver or was unable to deliver for a wide range of reasons - everything from mental health issues to copyright disputes.

Fortunately, there seems to be very few instances of deliberate deceit with boardgames crowdfunding campaigns. The most common problem is delays as (especially) smaller or new companies find that their predictions around production timelines are hopelessly optimistic or, in some cases, just hopeless.

To try to mitigate this risk where possible I usually back a known concern over a new player. This could be an established company, a company that has successfully run a few crowdfunding campaigns in the past or even an established designer who has started a new company. The reasoning behind this approach is that the creator will have sufficient concern about their reputation that a quality product will be delivered as non-delivery or delivering a box of rubbish would seriously impact their current and future business. Experience has demonstrated that this approach is far from perfect.

I guess the other mitigation tactic is the same as all gambles - to not pledge more than I am willing to lose. As a sub-set of forum denizens are quick to point out "KS is not a shop"; KS management make no secret of this and are famously unwilling to intervene in disputes around no-delivery projects. Caveat backer.

Another concern when working out whether or not to back a project is that most vexing question of postage. It is pretty much par for the course that nearly every crowdfunding campaign will have ‘free postage to the lower 48’ but the amount of postage and handling solicited for overseas orders can vary wildly. This can be a key concern when considering whether or not to pledge. A USD$40 to USD$50 game represents significantly worse value when it requires another USD$30 to USD$40 in postage just to get it to my door.

In these cases where I am really interested in a product but postage is extortionate I will either investigate group buys (the regional forums are very good for finding like-minded locals to make up the numbers on a pledge) or tell myself that I’ll just wait until the product is available locally. Although, in practice by the time it does reach our shores I have probably found other areas to direct my limited gaming budget, so if I don’t get it as part of the campaign experience tells me that I probably won’t end up purchasing it later - particularly if I end up missing out on a lot of ‘Kickstarter exclusive’ products that may (or may not) compromise my enjoyment of the product; I can be something of a completist. shake

Apart from postage, my other pet hate is ‘early bird’ campaigns where discounts, sometimes minor sometimes quite significant, are offered for those who pledge early for the campaign. I can see why creators do this as it gets money into the campaign early and can create something of a ‘buzz’, but I really don’t like it.

The main reason is, of course, that I never seem to be in time to capitalise on these offers so I it irks me greatly that someone is getting exactly the same product cheaper than I am simply because they found out about a certain campaign before I did. This may be irrational, but I find I really resent this as it feels like I am subsidising the early bird beneficiaries. This may not actually be the case, but that’s how it feels and it’s often enough to turn me off a campaign particular when there are several early bird levels and the difference between being in with the first and running with the herd can be up to USD$20.

Many campaigns tout ‘KS exclusive’ items. These are usually extra ‘chrome’ such as first player markers, alternative art or something like that. They don’t really influence me that much in deciding whether or not to support a campaign unless the affect game play in some way such as a KS exclusive faction, or components for an extra player/character or extra monster or something like that. Exclusives that affect or improve gameplay can sometimes change me from being on the fence to making a pledge. I imagine they also attract a minority of bidders who plan to sell the exclusive item on eBay later.

Okay, let’s get on with the list already

Okay, enough said, let’s now consider the campaigns I have either backer or nearly backed so far and see how they went. I will reflect on both the campaign and, where applicable, the final product in the hope this may be interesting for the reader - assuming, of course there is a reader for these ramblings.

One final note before we begin is that all of these were Kickstarter campaigns as opposed to other crowdfunding engines. This is easily the most popular site and has the advantage that pledges can be withdrawn which offers the ability to opt out if one does not like the direction a campaign is going.

Finally, please note that in accordance with BGG rules each entry has a link to kicktraq, not the original KS page as that would be bad; I have okayed this with the mods prior to posting this list.
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1. Board Game: Zombicide [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:330] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Zombicide

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/coolminiornot/zombicide/

Amount sought - $20 000
Amount raised – $781 597
Date Funded –May 2012
Estimated delivery date – September 2012
Actual delivery date – September 2012 (Wave One), Can’t remember when Wave Two arrived
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

My first ever KS campaign. I’d seen a few posting on the ACT forum about people seeking other ACT based gamers to join in a group pledge for this game or that game but nothing had really got my attention until this came along. I was attracted to the theme and the co-operative nature of play not least because Mrs Fish hates Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game but likes Pandemic so I thought that this would be a chance for me to enjoy the theme and her to enjoy the mechanics.

The group pledge allowed us to minimise postage so that was another positive that tipped me into supporting this venture.

It was all rather fun watching the way the campaign evolved as more and more goals were reached and my pledge dollar was going further and further. Guillotine Games were very clever in the way they presented their stretch goals – some were ‘add ons’ while some were freebies appealing to both the inner bargain hunter and hopeless completeist so they weren’t just giving away stuff but the increasing bulk of available items was obviously enough to excite potential backers and get them on board up until the last few minutes.

Delivered on time too. How about that?

Thoughts on the product

This has been a winner in the House of Fish. Mrs Fish likes the co-operative problem solving aspect of the game, as do I, and will put up with the theme. We have gotten a lot of plays of z’cide in the last few years, especially on the weekends when the Little Fish were napping and we had a spare couple of hours. I can’t see that changing in the future – this is a keeper.

I know there’s a lot of hate out there for the target priority rules but I can rationalise it, to a certain degree, to be a reflection of the chaos of close-in zombie fighting this game is trying to suggest. One rule I do have a lot of problems with is the way that cars are both hyper-lethal and immune to crashing no matter how many bodies they plough through. One of these days I’ll work out a house rule but for now I solve this by not playing scenarios with cars.

Zombicide has been seen a lot of use both at home and in various game meet ups. I’ve even submitted a scenario to the Guillotine Games site (they get a fair few so it’ll be a while before it is considered for publication). My decision to back this one has been more than vindicated.
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2. Board Game Publisher: Reaper Miniatures
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Reaper Bones

Backed and Delivered

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1513061270/reaper-miniature...

Amount sought - $30 000
Amount raised – $3 429 235
Date Funded –August 2012
Estimated delivery date – March 2013
Actual delivery date – September 2013
Do I regret backing this - No


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Now I had pledged once, maybe if circumstances warranted it, I could create an account and do it on my own. The initial Bones KS campaign was the one that got me doing it for myself as it looked to represent terrific value which, like Zombicide and really brought out the bargain hunter in me. The whole deal just seemed to get better as the campaign progressed. This was, for its time, a hugely successful campaign and as the funding increased so did the swag that everyone would receive. There were plenty of add-ons to this as well and I found myself justifying many extras reasoning that they were cheaper than retail and I might need ‘em someday.

There was a bit of negativity around the delivery timelines, with the rest-of-the-world being very much the poor cousins compared to the US. did their best to ‘make it right’ by popping in a surprise gift to the last thousand folk to receive their box. As one of the last dozen people who received their pledge I did appreciate this gesture.

Going through my inventory, I found a few discrepancies here and there. I contacted Reaper Miniatures and, rather than send replacements, they issued me a gift certificate for my next (in my case, first) order with them. Not the best solution, but I can live with it.

Thoughts on the product

The miniatures arrived very much as expected – there were no surprises and they are, for the most part, rather nice. I still prefer metal miniatures but for the price point it is pretty hard to fault these guys.

I’ve painted up a couple and have no complaints with the quality at all. These will be the guys I use to introduce the Little Fish to miniature painting when they’re older.

Interestingly, there was a big box of Reaper Bones miniatures from the KS campaigns for sale at the Cancon second hand stall. I suspect this was very much a ‘bargain hunter’ trying to realise some sort of return on initial investment. The box still seemed pretty full when I was there on the last day so I’m not sure how that worked out for them.

UPDTAE:

I finally got around to using the voucher that Reaper Miniatures sent me. Initially it didn't work for me to get free postage for orders over $100 as the voucher was in US dollars and for me to qualify for free postage I had to pay in Australian Shekels. The good folk at Reaper took care of this with much grace and I found them a delight to deal with.

Even nicer was when the small package arrived here there was a couple of extra skeletal jesters inside as intentional freebies which'll be fun to paint up some time.

So 10 out of 10 for top customer service!
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3. Board Game: Judge Dredd Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:8981]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War

Backed, Semi-Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1990654819/judge-dredd-mini...

Amount sought - $2 000
Amount raised – $101 457
Date Funded – October 2012
Estimated delivery date – November 2012
Actual delivery date - From end of campaign and still ongoing as miniatures are produced
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I was a pretty big Judge Dredd fan when I was a teenager and have a long history of involvement with miniatures games of all sorts (primarily historical but also sci-fi and some fantasy) so I was very much the target demographic for this campaign. Being postage free worldwide meant it was very hard to go past this one, so I didn’t.

The campaign was very well run. Matthew Sprange of Mongoose Publishing was very responsive in answering questions and the stretch goals kept the interest up, so much so that I ended up upgrading my pledge for just a couple of boxes into one where I got ten boxes and a whole bunch of other freebies.

The delivery has been great – Some of the miniatures were already in production and those were sent out pretty much as soon as the campaign ended. The others were sent as they were produced. This was supported by regular updates that kept backers informed as to what was happening and what was next on the workbench.

Most of the metal miniatures have been produced and sent, now Mongoose Publishing will move onto the vehicles and biker gangs to end the fulfilment stage of the campaign. Given the number and scope of miniatures created by this campaign I have no problems with the delivery times and rather enjoy getting a delivery, sometimes supplemented with an unexpected ‘freebie’ like Morton Judd for the Judda faction, every now and then.

Thoughts on the product

The miniatures themselves are all very well produced representing the characters from the Judge Dredd universe. I’ve started painting a few up and they look good. In fact, I have purchased some additional miniatures over and above what was offered on KS to fill-out my forces. This campaign has worked really well to get me to ‘buy in’ to the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, a game I probably wouldn’t have worried to much about were it not on KS.

The rules themselves also work pretty well as an easy-to-learn skirmish game. It is true to its source material and is a very faithful representation of the comic. I am fortunate in that there are at least a couple of other established Judge Dredd Miniatures Game at a local club (CGS) so I have a good source for opponents. I look forward to expanding my collection and getting a lot of enjoyment from painting these miniatures and playing this system.

As an aside, I have also gone back to the original source material and am enjoying rereading some of the old storylines and discovering what’s been happening in Mega City One in the last 20 years.

UPDATE:

Over the last few years packages have been regularly arriving at the House of Fish as miniatures are added to the range. I have also found myself buying other miniatures and playing the game itself. So far so good.

Lately, Mongoose Publishing have announced they have lost the 2000AD licence which is a surprise. After a bit of faffing about in the background, Warlord Games announced they had picked up the licence and will soon start work on a Strontium Dog game.

Where does this leave Dredd? Well, Matthew Sprange has announced that all backers will receive the remainder of their pledges, I am waiting on a bike and and Nero Narcos. So hopefully something will come through the letterbox soon.

Not sure what will happen to the rest of the range. Some of the less proprietorial items have been sold off, thing like the citi-def miniatures, to Rebel Miniatures but the fate of the Judge miniatures is up in the air.

UPDATE:

Matthew Sprange continues to engage with backers in getting out the last of their pledged items. It is a slow process and frustrating for some but full marks to him and Mongoose Publishing to see this through to the end.


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4. Board Game: Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth! [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2207]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth!

Backed and finally delivered

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1270518586/martin-wallaces-...

Amount sought - $40 000
Amount raised – $91 876
Date Funded – December 2012
Estimated delivery date – July 2013
Actual delivery date – September 2015
Do I regret backing this - Unsure


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

The game itself sounded good, I was interested in pledging and mentioned it in the ACT regional threads. Another chap was looking for a partner to his two-pack so I was in. This turned a USD$60 proposition into two-for-USD$100. From what I could see, the game looked like its theme would appeal to me and the price of USD$50 each with shipping wasn’t too bad. Another thing that sold it for me was the Martin Wallace name. I figured that is a well-known designer like him was involved then this would be pretty smooth sailing and the end product would be fantastic as there would be no way that a ‘big name’ would jeopardise their reputation with a shoddy or non-delivered product.

I am sad to say that experience has anything but vindicated this approach.

The game has still not been produced and the updates one receives suggest it is still a long way off. The main sticking point seems to be that Treefrog Games were surprised how difficult it would be to produce the plastic pieces, despite assuring backers they had "contacts in the business who can guide and advise us." Looking at a lot of the comments from other backers there is a lot of frustration over this one – as well as a lot of folk defending the honour of Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games too, of course.

For mine, I think the kindest thing I can say at this stage is that Martin Wallace & Treefrog Games are good at designing games but really are not excelling at KS; their approach to communicating with their backers sometimes leaves a lot to be desired as well. Lesson learnt – reputation is not a guarantee with crowdfunding. Judging by the comments here on BGG, I don’t think that this elongated delivery will impact Treefrog Games too seriously as Martin Wallace has abandoned KS and gone back to his pre-order system which will probably work out best for all concerned.

My final note on this is that unlike other companies who attempt to ‘make it right’ when production suffers extended delays or scope of games are descoped Treefrog Games have not extended any form of ‘olive branch’ to their disgruntled backers over this one other than assurances that the game is coming soon, as the delivery day is revised ever later.

Thoughts on the product

I have some confidence this will be delivered eventually, latest revised possible dates are late 2014/early 2015. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

UPDATE:

Latest news is that as of May 2015 it may be ready in another 45-60 days. Experience suggests that one ought not to hold one's breath.

UPDATE:

Well, it's September 2015 and it is finally here. After a two and a half year delay one might reasonably expect the end product to be pretty much perfect. Sadly, a number of the miniatures are miscast and warped, they'll require work to fix. Other than that the game looks okay.

Here a photo of the warped miniatures:



After such a l-o-n-g delay one might have reasonably expected the miniatures to be delivered in a state of perfection. Experience has shown that any such expectation to be thoroughly ill-founded.
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5. Board Game: 2000AD: Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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2000AD: Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game

Backed and Delivered

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1990654819/2000ad-rogue-tro...

Amount sought – GBP 6 000
Amount raised – GBP 16 919
Date Funded –March 2013
Estimated delivery date – September 2013
Actual delivery date – May 2015
Do I regret backing this - No


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Having seen one Mongoose Publishing KS campaign I was pretty surprised that another one would be launched so soon after Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War concluded. Alas, my wallet had not fully recovered from this campaign to back this fully. I wanted to help the campaign so I pledged for the three different models of Rogue; I would have also added Venus Bluegenes had she been available.

Backer reaction to this campaign itself was a little surprising as at the end the pledges were actually going down towards the end. I’m not sure what happened here, but I attribute a lot of it to there being no WIPs greens shown on the site for the entirety of the campaign apart from the infamous ‘big nipple wok-hat Rogue’.

This shows the importance of miniature-based campaigns having something to show potential backers either at the start or very soon into their campaign.

Thoughts on the product

There are plenty of updates on this one, the Norts that are being shown in the updates all look great. The extra Rogues I pledged for are yet to arrive, but I have every confidence they will turn up in due course.

I still sort of regret not backing this one more fully, but apart from fiscal dramas, I was concerned that the game itself would be a skirmish between two somewhat ‘samey’ forces and I’d already spent a good portion of my hobby budget a few months earlier on Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War.

Another lesson here might be to space out your campaigns, particularly similar or large ones, to give potential backers time to recharge their wallets.

UPDATE:

After sending a reminder to Mongoose Publishing the three Rogues have arrived and, as expected, they look pretty good. Might get around to painting them one of these days...
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6. Board Game: Meerkat Slammers [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Meerkat Slammers

Backed - project did not meet funding goals

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1990654819/meerkat-slammers...

Amount sought – GBP2 000
Amount raised – GBP 865
Date Funded –N/a
Estimated delivery date –N/a
Actual delivery date –N/a
Do I regret backing this – N/a


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Goodness gracious me, yet another Mongoose Publishing KS campaign and so soon after the last two.

I backed this as it was ten quid (post free) and thought this game might work for my lunchtime games group at work. The ten pound game seemed a good idea but none of the add-ons really supported the actual game. In fact, some of them were more than a bit surprising. I can see the (potential) appeal of a game poster, but the coffee mug and clock just seemed a bit unnecessary. I was not the only backer who saw it this way, none of the 62 backers wanted any of these unnecessary items.

This is the first campaign that I backed that didn’t make its funding goals.

Thoughts on the product

Nothing to say here, but I see Meerkat Slammers is available from the Mongoose Publishing website at ten pounds a set.

In all honesty I probably won’t end up purchasing a copy.
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7. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2000]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Dungeon Roll

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/michaelmindes/dungeon-roll-...

Amount sought - $15 000
Amount raised – $250 070
Date Funded –March 2013
Estimated delivery date – August 2013
Actual delivery date – September 2013
Do I regret backing this - Yes

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I was starting to worry myself with the amount of money I was spending on KS so I decided to pull back for a little while. Naturally the ACT forum had other ideas and there was a thread looking for a group purchase for this one.

I looked at it and decided that this seemed like a fun little dice rolling game that might work well with my lunchtime gaming group. As it was reasonably cheap to try I decided to hop on the bandwagon.

Thoughts on the product

I know there is a lot of love out there on BGG for Dungeon Roll, sad as it is to say, I do not share that sentiment. I have tried Dungeon Roll with different people but it really isn’t much fun at all in that the choices that the game dictates are almost always obvious and, as such, the game is almost completely tension free, even with the different special abilities of each hero. I will hold onto Dungeon Roll in the short term in case I need a simple game for the Little Fish as they enter further into the world of gaming.

To end on a positive, the production values, including the card art, are excellent.
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8. Board Game: Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:410] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/coolminiornot/zombicide-sea...

Amount sought - $25 000
Amount raised – $2 255 018
Date Funded –April 2013
Estimated delivery date –September 2013
Actual delivery date – November 2013 (Wave one) Can’t remember when Wave two arrived
Do I regret backing this - No


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Guillotine Games didn’t do too much wrong with this one as is seen by the huge amount of cash this campaign managed to raise. I speculate that much of this was due to the huge success that people reselling season one exclusives seemed to have had on eBay and GeekBay and (possibly) other Bays I am unaware of, but not Michael Bay (not enough explosions).shake

As with their previous campaign, Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak employed a good mix of freebies and add-ons to keep the campaign stretch goals ticking over and backer interest high. Amazingly, this netted nearly three times the amount of the season one campaign.

Unlike the previous campaign this offered ‘alternative/complimentary’ base game set (Zombicide: Toxic City Mall) as well as the 'base game'. Of course, for the completeist there was the option of getting both. Which I did. And all the add-on miniatures except the ‘artist boxes’ which I figured would be available retail at some stage.

The items were a couple of months’ late in arriving (which is almost early in KS terms) and arrived in good order.

Thoughts on the product

Very much as I expected – high quality components, new rules and scenarios and a squillion new miniatures of one sort or another.

So, no surprises at all with this product in that I got precisely what I expected.

The addition of Toxic and Berserker zombies has added a bit to play as has the new equipment cards, maps and scenarios. A solid follow-up to Zombicide and another gaming ‘investment’ I do not regret.
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9. Board Game: Sails of Glory [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:1282] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Sails of Glory

Not Backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1402889231/sails-of-glory-m...

Amount sought - $30 000
Amount raised – $276 745
Date Funded –April 2013
Estimated delivery date – August 2013
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - No


Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I am already a huge fan of the Wings of Glory: WW1 Rules and Accessories Pack and Wings of Glory: WW2 Rules and Accessories Pack series, having entered through the very low-priced Wings of Glory: WW1 Duel Pack pack so I was already quite open to anything by Ares Games. I only developed an interest in naval wargaming recently through Axis & Allies Naval Miniatures: War at Sea and had never ventured into the age of sail before, though I had read all the Hornblower books so that should count for something.

I considered this long and hard, but even though this KS campaign was offering pretty good value compared to what the same items would later cost in retail I just couldn’t justify the expense the better levels cost, including the postage to Australia, especially as I did not have an identified opponent close to hand and the risk would be that I’d end up just having my ships gather dust at home.

Thoughts on the product

From what I hear from others who have ‘bought in’ to the Sails of Glory game it is a very good system that does a good job of giving the feel of the period without being overly complex.

I would definitely play this if given the chance but I don’t, as yet, regret my decision not to back.
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10. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:597]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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A Study in Emerald

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1799046854/a-study-in-emera...

Amount sought – GBP30 000
Amount raised – GBP124 135
Date Funded – May 2013
Estimated delivery date – October 2013
Actual delivery date – January 2014
Do I regret backing this – No, the only problem I have is with the misprinted pieces

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

The headline of “A boardgame by Martin Wallace based on the work of Neil Gaiman” got me in. Finding out that it was a game based on a rather fine short story set in a world where Sherlock Holmes co-exists with the Cthulhu Mythos got me pretty excited and I ended up organising a six (later ten) pack group pledge for ACT-based gamers through the regional forums.

I backed this KS campaign as I had, at that stage, no concerns with Treefrog Games as Moongha Invaders: Mad Scientists and Atomic Monsters Attack the Earth! was not yet late, again thinking a ‘big name’ in boardgaming circles would not attach their reputation to a project that would go wrong. In the event, the eventual outcome of the A Study in Emerald KS fulfilment was again a bit fraught.

The big controversy that marred this campaign was the famous ‘postergate’ scandal. The first stretch goal was a poster of the game. This occurred when Martin Wallace advised that he had forgotten to order the poster and that we should just forget all about this item as it would wipe out their profit margin to subsequently design, print and send a poster out to all backers. Now, I didn’t really care about a poster at all, but one or two of the backers in my ten-pack were pretty disappointed not to get the item they were promised. This was eventually sort-of addressed in that a game poster is apparently available from the game site to download, but to even get this far there was a fair bit of argy-bargy none of which, in my opinion, reflected well on Treefrog Games.

More disappointing was the fact that there is a printing error one some of the counters. After much to-ing and fro-ing Martin Wallace agreed to address this at some specified point in the future. That was a fair while ago. To the best of my knowledge he has not followed through on this undertaking as yet. Some backers have suggested these revised game pieces could be included in the BGG Store and but, as I say, no news on that to the best of my knowledge.

Anyway, as noted above Treefrog Games/Martin Wallace won’t be venturing onto KS again which is probably a good thing for all concerned. In all honesty, I would not be inclined to back another one of their projects and am more than a little ‘soured’ on the creators after two lacklustre KS campaigns. That is to say, at least as far as I am concerned, these two experiences have caused some reputational damage to Treefrog Games/Martin Wallace.

Thoughts on the product

Misprints notwithstanding, the game components actually look very good. Sadly, I’ve not gotten this to the table yet. Whenever I suggest it Mrs Fish looks less than enthused and suggests something else.

This is a shame and something I hope to remedy sooner or later.

Update:

Well, recently have the stars aligned to allow me to actually get this to the table. A key factor in playing was that one of the regular attendees of and ACT gaming group, Gungahlin Library Open Games (GLOG), Aztec Two Step, offered to run a learning game for anyone who was interested; the four available places filled up pretty quickly.

We got two games in. The first was ended quickly when one player accidentally triggered game end by killing off the last agent of the Restorationists. This provided a great object lesson in how scoring works (all members of the faction with player with the least points lose, regardless of their own personal tally) as the winning Loyalist had a mere eight points. The next game ran to its full course until a Loyalist triggered game end by voluntarily revealing and getting enough victory points to end (and win) the game. Both games were great experiences and thoroughly involving and enjoyable.

I really enjoyed both plays of the game, I like the asymmetrical nature of the game, the options around the way information is revealed/concealed/managed as well as the scoring system and gameplay all which seems to offer a lot of replayability. In fact, I think it would take another half dozen games to really get to the point of basic competence and understanding of all the possibilities contained within A Study in Emerald. Furthermore, the components are top-notch (note that the replacement pieces are available for the couple of misprinted agents) and the weird pink-green colouring of the board perfectly complements the theme.

So, despite a fairly lacklustre Kickstarter campaign characterised by poor communications from the creator, the end product is actually very good. I’m not sure how often I’ll get this to the table as the complexities of the game probably won’t appeal to many of the more casual gamers I know, but it is a definite keeper and one I am confident that will continue to deliver a top-notch gaming experience for a long time to come.

The final vote of confidence comes from the one player who did not then own the game – after the second play he was so impressed that he literally (that is, this is what he actually did) rushed out the door to get to the local games store to secure one of the few copies still left on the shelves.
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11. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:376]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Coup

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/2012515236/coup-bluff-and-d...

Amount sought - $5 000
Amount raised – $ 166 390
Date Funded – May 2013
Estimated delivery date – October 2013
Actual delivery date – December 2013
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Another group order for Canberrans and another low-entry point to entry. I was in and certainly do not regret it. A many-play filler game is a pretty good sort of thing to have in any game collection and Coup suits this to a tee. I had played this before (with the original artwork) so had a very good idea of what I’d be getting with this pledge.

Thoughts on the product

Very much what it promised to be.

Excellent production values and a well written and easy-to-learn set of rules means that Coup plays nicely and promises to be a go-to option for large groups well into the future. Other than the box size being a bit odd to accommodate the cards (especially if they’re sleeved) I have no regrets on this one at all.
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12. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:162]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Alien Frontiers 4th edition

Not backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/gamesalute/alien-frontiers-...

Amount sought - $2 000
Amount raised – $151 837
Date Funded –May 2013
Estimated delivery date –November 2013
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I had played a previous edition of Alien Frontiers some years ago and really quite liked it. I did consider backing this one, but a few things made me hold off. Firstly, the $45 to $50 shipping for the more substantial pledge levels just seemed a bit steep for me.

Secondly, I have read a fair bit of negative press on Game Salute here on BGG which makes me pretty reticent to throw my cash their way when it seems they have something of a track record for slow delivery, poor communications and general shenanigans. This may be a bit unfair, but as many BGGers have noted, KS is an investment, not a pre-order service (expect for Queen Games, of course) and there is no guarantee that the game (or whatever) will be produced as specified and on time. With this in mind, I decided not to risk my money on this ‘investment’ as I didn’t have full confidence it would be delivered.

I may have missed out on something great or I may have dodged a bullet but the decision I made was that the risk was not worth the potential return.

Thoughts on the product

I understand that this has been delayed and the eventual fulfilment is looking somewhat problematic.

Funnily enough, I played a game of Alien Frontiers (with Alien Frontiers: Factions) the other week and despite being a bit bamboozled by it all in the first half of the game (I played without any rules refresher at all) I managed to work it out by the second half of the game and started to enjoy it again.

No regrets in not backing this one as it seems the game has not yet been delivered and backer tempers are beginning to fray.

Thanks to all the folk out there on the geek who warned me off Game Salute.
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13. Board Game: Xia: Legends of a Drift System [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:160]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Not backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1438045410/xia-legends-of-a...

Amount sought - $100 000
Amount raised – $346 772
Date Funded –June 2013
Estimated delivery date – December 2013
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - Yes

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I have a great fear that this will be the one that I regret. The one that got away. My ‘white whale’, as it were. The designer didn’t do too much wrong and his passion for his product and commitment to do right by his backers really shone through. I liked the concept and what I saw of the gameplay but again, a lack of disposable income due to Cthulhu Wars stopped me backing Xia: Legends of a Drift System. I still regret not backing it.

Thoughts on the product

From what I understand, Xia: Legends of a Drift System is either very close to delivery or has already been delivered. A lot of lucky/judicious backers are pretty excited about that, I hope it brings them much joy when it arrives.
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14. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:314]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/jameystegmaier/euphoria-bui...

Amount sought - $15 000
Amount raised – $309 495
Date Funded –June 2013
Estimated delivery date – December 2013
Actual delivery date – November 2013
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia was promoted as a group order on the ACT forums and this is one I really pondered about. Although it was coming from Stonemaier Games, a relatively unknown (at least to me) game company I was intrigued by the dystopian theme and once that got me in I delved further and further checking out the videos and really liking the look of both the gameplay and the artwork.

Jamey Stegmaier, as many KS aficionados know, is an absolute legend of boardgaming KS. He runs a very, very good campaign, delivers what he says he will as close to on-time as possible and is a real credit to the industry; the fellow is as honest as the day is long and twice as nice. As experienced KS-ers would know, there were no faults at all in the campaign and the subsequent backer communications once it wrapped up.

It’s probably fair to say that Stonemaier Games are the ‘gold standard’ in KS campaigns and any potential KS designer/publisher could do a lot worse than to pay close attention to the advice on running a successful KS that Jamey Stegmaier distributes gratis.

Thoughts on the product

I opened this up on Xmas day and got a couple of plays in over the holiday period. I like the game (and really like the components). It is, I think, fair to say that is it better with more than with fewer players, but it’s one that I’ll keep in the stable and will suggest if we have four or more looking for a bit of fun.

Now, here’s something I hadn’t had to consider before this product – after sale service. My set was missing one wooden star and a couple of the lightning bolts were damaged. I mentioned this in passing on a geeklist or forum post somewhere or another on BGG and, much to my surprise, the next day Jamey Stegmaier personally replied saying he could send me the bits that were missing/defective and sent me a link to a google form. I filled it in and within a week they arrived (curiously from South Australia , not the USA) – fantastic after sales service and a great way to generate ongoing goodwill for Stonemaier Games.

So, all-in-all I am more than satisfied with the product and have no regrets at all in backing this campaign.

UPDATE:

Interested parties may wish to know that the updated recruit cards (which came with the first Stonemaier Games treasure box) are now available from the BGG store here:

http://boardgamegeekstore.com/products/euphoria-updated-recr...
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15. Board Game: Cthulhu Wars [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:222] [Average Rating:8.03 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Cthulhu Wars

Backed, Fully Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1816687860/cthulhu-wars/

Amount sought - $40 000
Amount raised – $1 403 981
Date Funded –July 2013
Estimated delivery date – December 2013
Actual delivery date - February 2015 (first tranche)
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Break every rule. Early bird specials and expensive postage did not dissuade me as I knew Cthulhu Wars would be something special, especially as it was designed by Sandy Petersen, the man responsible for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. I should also say that Sandy was really good at promptly answering all questions so 10 out of 10 for backer communication.

As the campaign progressed I got more and more interested and ummed and ahhed over the possibility of getting maps and other expansions. When an additional pledge level for everything and the asylum sink (De Vermiis Mysteriis) was added I broke and went ‘all in’.

Unsurprisingly (this is KS, after all) the delivery of the game was delayed. Mitigating against this the communications from Green Eye Games was pretty good with backers being regularly updated as to the progress (or lack thereof) of game production. Green Eye Games also made a very nice 'make it right' gesture to backers by unlocking all stretch goals for the campaign which means it will come with even more miniatures!

The game is currently predicted to be delivered soon.

I should also say kudos to Green Eye Games for very kindly adding four copies of Cthulhu Wars to the 2014 Jack Vasel Memorial Auction.

UPDATE:

The base game arrived a week or two ago (the rest of the swag is due to arrive in another six months or so) and I am not disappointed - it looks great and the rules read quite well! I'm not the only one who is impressed:


The happiest little cultist with Great Cthulhu, note the map in the background for planning global domination...

Looking forward to trying it out soon.

UPDATE:

The after-sales service from Green Eye Games has been superb. Several miniatures had warped bases which did not respond to the 'hot water/cold water' treatment. I let them know and replacement parts were sent without quibble of complication. ten out of ten for the integrity and commitment of this company.

Thoughts on the product

The game itself plays very well and after a couple of turns play becomes quite intuitive. Cthulhu Wars is a game of asymmetrical factions which, for mine, really adds to the enjoyment, challenge and replayability factors. The goal of each faction is to acquire over thirty (and the most) Doom Points as well as getting all six of their spellbooks into play. Spellbooks are acquired through meeting faction-specific goals whereas Doom points are acquired (usually) through ‘universal’ goals such as controlling gates or performing rituals of destruction. Players have a fine balance between attacking others and meeting their own goals. From my limited experience, a player who ‘turtles’ won’t win whereas one who is bold with their play, makes the best use of their faction-specific abilities and judicious in their attacks is as good a chance as anyone else.

In my first few games Great Cthulhu (who is probably the most straightforward of the factions) romped it in, but as players began to understand the abilities of other factions the Crawling Chaos did well. Yellow Sign seems to have a lot of potential while The Black Goat faction hasn’t really been fully explored as each time I have played it was run by quite conservative players.

All-in-all I have no regrets at all in backing this game as it looks great, plays well – it has a heap of replayability – and really hits the spot. I look forward to receiving another ten kilograms of plastic and cardboard when the second tranche ships sometime in the next six months or so.

UPDATE:

Tranche two is not far away and Green Eye Games has announced that there will be a second campaign kicking off mid October 2015. To get us excited they gave previous backers the option to register to receive their newsletter and receive a free glow-in-the-dark Cthulhu if they pledge for the next campaign.

This was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made - registered and looking forward to the new campaign the bonus Cthulhu miniature is just the icing in the cake.

UPDATE:

Just before Xmas 24 kilos of plastic and cardboard arrived on my doorstep. Wow, this is one impressive package with superb production values. As one might expect on a project this size there was a minor error in the content of the packaging (two lots of Cthulhu Wars: The Dreamlands Surface Monster Pack but no Cthulhu Wars: The Dreamlands Underworld Monster Pack or something like that). I have contacted Petersen Games and have every confidence this will be fixed in the new year.

Based on what I have received I would have no hesitation in recommending this as a top-tier (and top-end) gaming product.

UPDATE:

After a bit of prodding and a lot of waiting Petersen Games have fixed the discrepancy in my first order so now I have my Cthulhu Wars: The Dreamlands Underworld Monster Pack which is great. So, despite a bit of a wait there has been some excellent customer service with this one and I am very pleased with the result. Should also say that I played a seven player game a little while ago and it was heaps of fun.
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16. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2911]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Dark Darker Darkest

Not Backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1016374822/dark-darker-dark...

Amount sought - $30 000
Amount raised – $198 232
Date Funded –July 2013
Estimated delivery date – October 2013
Actual delivery date -
Do I regret not backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

This game had been on my watch-list for a while and was one that I was really interested in. I liked the theme and was very impressed with the passion that David Ausloos had for this project. Two factors stopped me backing this to the hilt:

1 Cash flow crisis. I’d just dropped over AUD$600 on Cthulhu Wars, I couldn’t afford another major spend on game-related plastic so close to that hit.

2 The way Queen Games managed their campaign. From what I could see the initial campaign was pretty spectacularly mismanaged to the point of alienating potential backers.

Thoughts on the product

I saw boxed sets of Dark Darker Darkest for sale at Cancon (January) but declined to purchase as they weren’t a particularly good buy and I had heard a lot a bad things about the rulebook.

I understand a second edition of the rules is available online which are said to greatly improve gameplay.

I still retain some interest in this game, but would be unlikely to purchase without getting a few games under my belt beforehand.
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17. Board Game: Wargods of Olympus [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Wargods of Olympus

Backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1820979427/wargods-of-olymp...

Amount sought - $25 000
Amount raised – $147 194
Date Funded –July 2013
Estimated delivery date –September 2013
Actual delivery date – My delivery intentionally delayed to save on postage
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I am something of a lapsed WarGods of Ægyptus player (the miniatures are wonderful and the game system itself is one of those underappreciated gems) and have a great deal of respect for Chris FitzPatrick and the team at Crocodile Games as they have a real passion for their work and this comes through in the amazing sculpts they produce and the high level of support they give to their community through their website.

As my regular WarGods of Ægyptus opponent moved away (and then came back a year or three later with a growing young family) I hadn’t really followed up with Wargods of Olympus or Wargods of Hyberborea. The Olympus sculpts looked nice but I really have little time for Spartans (the first range they released) so it never went anywhere for me.

That changed when I saw this kickstarter.

The new ranges that Crocodile Games were looking to produce for Wargods of Olympus looked amazing. The Trojans really grabbed my attention first but as the campaign progressed I became more and more interested in building an Amazon force. Sorry Corinth and Athens, but I have painted up enough hoplites for historical miniatures gaming in my time.

The stretch goals were a clever combination of freebies (character miniatures, increasing the size of pledge packs and PDFs of various Crocodile Games rules sets) as well as add-ons such as Cyclopes, Trojan heroes, Amazon Cavalry, the Hydra & etc. Sadly, we didn’t reach Medusa or the Cretan pirates, but maybe they’ll be released later.

Crocodile Games also kept their Pledge Manager open very late into the piece allowing for later additions to one’s pledge.

Thoughts on the product

To save money on postage I elected to wait and receive my order as one ‘job lot’ so although the Trojans have shipped I haven’t received mine yet. Nevermind, I can wait. I must say that judging by the photos I have seen on the internet they do look very good indeed. I only hope that my brushwork will be able to do justice to them when they do arrive.

UPDATE:

I haven't received anything from this one as yet as I elected to save a few bucks on postage and get it all sent when ready. Other backers have received Amazons, Athenians and Trojans. Things seem to have stalled somewhat at the Corinthians, but we are told the moulds are close to completion so that's something. After that just add a few monsters and it should be on its way.

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18. Board Game: Kremlin (Limited Edition) [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:5617]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Kremlin (Limited Edition)

Backed and Delivered

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1649598142/kremlin/

Amount sought - $9 000
Amount raised – $53 724
Date Funded – July 2013
Estimated delivery date – January 2014
Actual delivery date – June 2014
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

I remember playing this as a (much) younger gamer and enjoying the experience. Kremlin (Limited Edition) was another game promoted on the ACT forum for BGG users to band together and get cheaper games with postage charges minimised as much as possible. Interest in a six pack for USD$160 was high and the six places quickly filled up and I was fortunate enough to grab a spot.

After some production delays the actual game arrived three or so months late. Such is the nature of the KS beast. One thing I noticed in this campaign was that it was sometimes hard to follow what was going on as a number of updates were for ‘backers only’.

Thoughts on the product

Well, it’s here and it looks great. Nice components and it’s great to have the long-OOP game available again!
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19. Board Game: The Agents [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2198]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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The Agents

Backed, delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/673576049/the-agents-a-doub...

Amount sought - $6 000
Amount raised – $275 368
Date Funded –August 2013
Estimated delivery date –September 2013
Actual delivery date – January 2014
Do I regret backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

This was another ‘group buy’ from the ACT BGGers and, again, I was tempted to ‘club in’ with the group pledge and get myself a copy of this game and the expansions. I liked the look of the ‘double headed’ cards and was intrigued by gameplay where playing a card would possibly give an advantage to an opponent but by clever play wit may force them to do something they don’t want to do.

Saar Shai ran a very well conducted campaign and didn’t do too much wrong, especially with backer communications.

Thoughts on the product

A few typos aside, the game itself is very well produced and the plasticated cards are a boon for lunchtime gaming. The three base game card decks fit perfectly into the box, but there is no room for the six expansion decks which currently sit loose on top of the box. Not a huge drama, but a slight annoyance, especially when travelling to games meet-ups.

That said, The Agents regularly gets played over lunchtime games at work and by chopping and changing the game slightly through the addition of some of the extra decks and use of the mission commanders the game has demonstrated a great deal of replayability. I have no regrets in backing The Agents at all.
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20. Board Game: Alien vs Predator: The Hunt Begins [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:3109] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
 
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Alien vs Predator: The Hunt Begins

Not backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/513277403/alien-vs-predator...

Amount sought – GBP 35 000
Amount raised – GBP 379 141
Date Funded – September 2013
Estimated delivery date – May 2014
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

This game should really be Aliens Vs Predators vs Space Marines (the ones from Aliens, not the Games Workshop Ltd. type) as there are three sides that can be played in this game. This premise sounded like a fantastic base for a 28mm miniatures game. Each side has a rich back story based on some pretty good (and, admittedly, some less good) films; the miniatures look true to their big screen inspirations and the prototypes shown on the KS page looked marvellous.

There are plenty of add-ons to build up some pretty interesting forces and the rest of the game looks to have some pretty high production values going on there.

The one thing that really stopped me on this one was the price. I knew that if I was going to get into this game then given my obsessive/addictive/compleist nature I’d want to do it properly. This would mean spending over AUD$600 or possibly more. I just couldn’t justify this expense to myself so I, sadly, elected not to back this project.

The other factor influencing my decision not to back was that I already have a lot of adversarial miniatures games and I was not sure this game system would offer a different enough playing experience to justify the expense of adding it to my collection.

Thoughts on the product

I understand that this game is still in the miniature production and rules editing stage. It did preview at Essen where it was, apparently, favourably received.

UPDATE:

Looks like most of the pledgers have received most of their pledge for this one. from what I've seen online the miniatures are really nice. Long wait though and Prodos Games, Ltd has severely damaged their brand by the way that have conducted the fulfilment stage of this campaign.
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21. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:5465]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Buccaneer Bones

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/wattsalpoag/buccaneer-bones...

Amount sought - $ 7000
Amount raised – $18 602
Date Funded –October 2013
Estimated delivery date – November 2013
Actual delivery date – May 2014
Do I regret backing this - Yes

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Wattsalpoag Games had exactly the right headline for this game “$9 entry point”. Now, that got my attention. I had a look at the game and thought that it might do as a bit of fun for my lunchtime games group. I even organised a three pack for ACT BGG users and hand no trouble finding another two folk to join in.

Weirdly, just after the campaign ended I had played A Fistful of Penguins for the first time and really enjoyed it. I was interested in adding it to my pledge (it was available as part of the campaign but I had decided against it as it as an ‘unknown’ at the time) but Wattsalpoag Games were adamant that once the campaign had closed no addition or alteration was possible. This was something of a surprise as many campaigns allow post-campaign add-ons either informally or through a pledge manager.

Anyway, it’s their campaign and they can run it however they like. I’m not sure how many sales Wattsalpoag Games missed out on with this approach, but one might argue that even one is too many.

Thoughts on the product

The components for this game, except for the first mate pawn, were all upgraded as stretch goals and their quality is simply marvellous. The KS package also came with the Buccaneer Bones: Expansion Set for 5-8 players with similarly superb playing pieces so it does indeed represent terrific value. The ‘fridge magnet is nice but the tote bag has the handle come away on the first use. Nevermind, it was just a bit of fluff anyway.

Alas, I can’t be so complimentary about the actual game itself. I have found the gameplay to be less than stellar in that in most cases the correct choice of action is pretty obvious. I was hoping for a bit more ’push your luck’ in this but the way the dice rolling works it seems that there are plenty of chances (player can have up to three re-rolls - but always at least one - depending on how they are situated) to build something advantageous out of one’s dice. In my couple of games the ‘first mate’ mechanism (used when a player’s roles give them nothing) didn’t really come into play all that much. Maybe with more players there could be scope for those who deliberately sabotage their rolls in order to use it for the steal action but as this options till takes time and a bit of luck I’m not sure this would work so well.
So, a slight disappointment but no huge drama.

Anyway, it’s a simple enough game that I’ll hold on to Buccaneer Bones until the Little Fish are old enough to try their hand at it like Dungeon Roll as a gateway game for new gamers.

Update:

After a bit of a hiatus I dragged this out again to play with the Little Fish the other day.

They played it without any problems but weren't enthralled by the gameplay and weren't keen when I suggested we play again. I'll try it again later, but might be one for the trade pile. That said, I don't feel as though this was a 'bad' campaign either in terms of the way it was conducted or the product it delivered.
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22. Board Game Publisher: Reaper Miniatures
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Reaper Bones 2


Not backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1513061270/reaper-miniature...

Amount sought - $30 000
Amount raised – $3 169 610
Date Funded – October 2013
Estimated delivery date – December 2014
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

The tardy delivery of Bones I didn’t really play a part in my decision not to back Bones II. It was more a case of me thinking I had enough or even, if it is possible, more than enough of the product. I did give it some serious consideration, but couldn’t justify the expense when I had so many other miniatures from the first Bones campaign sitting unpainted on my shelves.

This campaign looked to give okay value, but it was just a case of ‘too much of a good thing’ for me. I will, at some stage, use my replacement voucher from Bones I to pick up some of the Egyptian miniatures to use in WarGods of Ægyptus but that will be about it for me.

Thoughts on the product

I haven’t seen anything, but I anticipate that they’ll be at least equal in quality to Bones I.
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23. Board Game: Goblins vs Zombies [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:6578]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Goblins vs Zombies

Backed, Delivered and Played

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/153035614/goblins-vs-zombie...

Amount sought - $6 000
Amount raised - $12 212
Date Funded - October 2013
Estimated delivery date - December 2013
Actual delivery date - January 2014
Do I regret backing this - Yes

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

One of our local KS compulsive backers organised a group buy for this little game out of Indonesia. It looked to be a bit of fun at a pretty reasonable price point so it was no huge hardship to put my hand up as a backer.

Thoughts on the product

The game arrived in good order and very much as described. It’s a simple algorithm driven activity where the players try to keep zombies out of their goblin village through clever play. Unfortunately neither Mrs Fish nor myself really warmed to the game so after our initial plays it has sat, neglected, on the shelf. I can’t see me holding onto this game in the long term, but for now it can sit on the shelf (it doesn’t take much space) while I cogitate upon what to do with it.
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24. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:2544]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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1933: a Nation Divided

Backed - Project cancelled

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1926752146/1933-a-nation-di...

Amount sought - $10 000
Amount raised – $3 645
Date Funded –Project Cancelled
Estimated delivery date –March 2014
Actual delivery date -N/a
Do I regret backing this – N/a

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

A year or so ago I purchased the source book for the rather imaginative Brigadier '38 Jolly Sporting Wargame Rules for A Very British Civil War (VBCW) more as interesting reading matter than anything else. This presents a Britain torn apart by civil war in the 1930s following the non-abdication of Edward VIII. A VBCW describes a multitude of factions such as Royalists, Communists, the Anglican League, various nationalist and separatists, British Union of Fascists & Etc. This is, I understand, the background for a long-running miniatures campaign in the UK.

Alex Badogsy used a similar approach to devise a fictitious US of the same period where the US is torn asunder by Civil War in the 1930s. Unlike a VBCW there are only a few major factions, the Constitutionalists, Nationalists and Communists all described in the sourcebook (note this was not a miniatures rulebook). There was some scope for other minor factions to be added into the equation but at the time of the campaign this was not as thoroughly thought through as the main three factions.

I backed this at the minimum level with the intention of increasing my pledge accordingly depending on how the campaign progressed. USD$25 for an eight man infantry squad was a pretty fair, but not amazingly cheap, price so it may not have appealed to the ‘bargain hunters’ out there. A shame really as the ‘greens’ of the miniatures looked pretty good

Alas, with three days until the campaign closed only around 36 per cent of the initial funding goal had been reached and a rather dejected sounding Alex decided to cancel the campaign as he just could not see the project funding.

Thoughts on the product

I am sorry that this didn’t end up getting produced as I really appreciated the vision and imagination behind this project. Perhaps it will be revisited again someday.
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25. Board Game: Journey: Wrath of Demons [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:4561]
Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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Journey: Wrath of Demons

Not backed

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1588487845/journey-wrath-of...

Amount sought - $55 000
Amount raised – $425 553
Date Funded –November 2013
Estimated delivery date –July 2014
Actual delivery date –
Do I regret not backing this - No

Thoughts on the campaign and delivery

Here’s one where I was almost seduced by the beauty of the miniatures that were on offer. Gee, they looked really good. I mean, really good. The theme of the ‘Journey to the West’ was also pretty attractive but the co-operative gameplay looked a little too similar to Zombicide so I was concerned that I would be getting a product that, despite some really nice ‘bells and whistles’ would be, at the end of the day, a bit to ‘samey’ to something I already had rather a lot of.

The extra postage to post to Australia was also a little rich for my blood, nothing I couldn’t have scraped up with a bit of effort, but all-in-all I just was not comfortable this would be the right game for me in the context of my already existing collection.

Thoughts on the product

I understand this game has not yet been delivered but the bulk of the miniatures have been produced and they look great.
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