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The Banner Saga: Warbands» Forums » General

Subject: Only 130k so far... rss

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davide pessach
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As always I like to understand market perfomances. Myth and Mercs numbers are 7/8 times better and I see a 3/4k a day ratio, so te final amount wont be very different, I say 200k, no more than that.
And I'm puzzled as for the reasons behind this...the videogame did very well, the aesthetic of the game looks awesome, the mechanics are nice enough.
So...no mktg communication? Mercs backers enraged? What's your take on this?
 
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azza rein
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1) A lot of people hate Mercs.

2) The skirmish aspect is highly simplified.

3) The auction and bargaining/negotiation system is imaginary (there is no incentive to not fully co-operate).


I would consider 200k to be very successful.
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Geoff ...
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1. Backers upset about MCG’s “attitude” on previous KS’ / Recon delays / Myth 1.0 rules / error-prone PM processes / whatever else.

2. $80 pledge is attractive but to get all add-ons one needs a $200 pledge. Mercs call this "tremendous value" but I don't see it that way (and I'm a $200 backer). Doubt most BGG’ers care about the digital rewards.

3. The co-op but not really co-op situation, though there’s always the blind-bid variant.

4. Concerns that the choose-your-own-adventure events will become stale as outcomes may be remembered after n of plays.

5. The skirmishes are simple, though puzzly, perhaps people want another IA or Myth?

6. Two weeks in and not a single non-token miniature stretch goal revealed, let alone unlocked. This in a game whose creator is known for their miniatures? Good grief.

For what it’s worth I’m in. The game looks fun and innovative, and the minis would look right at home in Myth (i.e. fantastic). I do think it’s a bit of a gamble but then again, this is Kickstarter.
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Leon Scheuber
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I think the gameplay is fine and their other Kickstarter proved that it's not about MCG either. In my opinion it's really about Geoff's #6 that there are no minis on the horizon. This is what drives the sales on Kickstarter and Tokens are just not that attractive. I'm sure if they replace the Tokens with some nice minis the numbers will go up quickly.
 
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Stephen Martin
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Coming from an absolute mega fan of the Banner Saga video games, my reasons for not backing this are as follows:

It's a board game based off a computer game that literally has board-game-style skirmishes, but the skirmishes in this game inexplicably remove the concepts introduced in the IP like breaking armor and strength-as-health and are instead simple little logic puzzles. I don't understand how a video game inspired by this hobby ended up with a board game based on it that uses nearly none of its skirmish mechanics.

You have to either nickle-and-dime your way, or pay $200, to get the full experience. I don't support this becoming the norm for how we buy board games. And I'm sure as hell not buying it retail and missing out on nice tokens that should be in the damn box for everybody. The mini-expansion and Sundr add-ons don't really bother me (really, I don't see why they don't just bundle the Sundr, godstones, serpent, and cities into an expansion box), but why is it $10 for a handful of plastic craft store gems and another $10 for eight item tokens to fit in the large circular holes already cut into the corner of every bannerman card? Why don't we just get the other battle board, since one of the stretch goals mentions that each side of the two boards represents one of the four seasons and has a small modifier. This stuff really couldn't be in the $80 game for everybody?

The core of the game, making difficult choices and living with the aftermath of your decisions, is represented by a nonsensical auction system that can (and should, by any group that would like to win) be worked around by simply discussing the situation rather than giving up what is basically the lifeblood of the game (renown) bidding on it. Shoehorning in a blind bid to a system that (supposedly) has been tested this far without it didn't look any better to me.

Add-on dredge minions being required for a future stretch goal is a big red flag for me.

I've read the solo rules and was really disappointed (though I don't doubt a lot of work was put into them). Two player amounting to controlling two roles each is uninteresting to me as well. Being that I play a lot of games solo, and my primary gaming partner is my wife, these are big whiffs for me.

I'm convinced by the rulebook and having watched the videos and followed the updates that the designers of this game haven't run it through the proper playtesting paces and that most of it is done in-house with a core group who's already married to the game and it's ideas. I doubt that it was distributed and presented for blind playtesting and critical feedback at all, because it looks like a bunch of neat ideas that never got refined. I would love for a large community of play testers to show up and prove me wrong (and this isn't a challenge, I just honestly, really would like to hear from anyone not from MCG or Stoic about this game).

It's a damn shame, really, because I want to support Stoic's IP and I think the world of Banner Saga and it's potential are amazing. But this game is a giant miss for me. All that being said, I hope that all of you who do back it love the game you get.
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azza rein
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The whole thing is essentially riding on 'mercs' and 'banner saga'.

I mean, couldn't they at least have 1 review from a decent reviewer??
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Michael Callahan
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I agree with a lot of what others are saying here,..... the simplified combat is the biggest turn off for me,.... (yeah, I'm looking for deaper tactics, more abilities,... HP instead of the gold/silver/bronze ranking, etc.)

So for me,..... I'm on the fence.

One thing that I know is different about this campaign is the shift in marketing. MCG is admittedly not handling the marketing (this has all been shifted to Vs. Evil),... now, you will notice that there are no adds here on BGG, or elsewhere that I have seen,.... It would appear that VE is a PC game focused entity, and that may be where they are concentrating their efforts. Maybe the PC game crowd is not really the board gaming crowd???

I also really agree with the thoughts on mini based stretch goals! Minis are what drive the big KS board games. If this is going to be big, it would need the windfall of minis like Myth and Recon.

I think, in very many respects, this game is just so very different from what MCG have been doing,..... across the board. For the sake of the game; I hope that there is a big marketing push this week, and that they can finally show all of the "cool stuff" (i.e. - Mowar Minis!) that they keep hinting are in the further stretch goals!
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Michael Young
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I like the games MCG's has put out so far. I love their art style and this is no different, but I do feel like the game is lacking some. Not only is the combat rather boring, but there isn't a ton in the base box I feel. I understand not wanting to put a hugely complex fighting system in the game, but a little more than a ranking system would have been nice.

I felt that they deliberately pulled stuff from the base box for stretch goal content. I don't want to say they did this for sure, because who knows, but it kind of seems that way with only 16 internal event cards to go through. I'm fairly close to pulling my pledge which sucks because I really wanted to like the game, but I don't see the value there personally (especially at the $190 which I am at).
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Patrick Stangier
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Lots of good points brought forward already, especially by Stephen.
Here are my own reasons why I am not interested in the game.

4 player only game.
Yes I know that there are rules for 3 and 2 players (and even solo rules), but the 3-player rules remove the Thane without adjusting skirmish difficulty and thus throws combat balance out of the window and the 2-player rules have each player controlling 2 roles, which mostly removes one of the points the game is big about, group discussion.

Uninspiring Quartermaster role.
You have to keep the supplies stocked. The more supplies you have, the easier it is to get more, not exactly great decisions you can make there. But hey at least you can still participate in group decisions ... wait, you could if the Quartermasters special wasn't that if you agree with others all the followers get better, which is a very big bonus for the group. So much for making your own impact. Makes you wonder why they removed the Thane for the 3-player game instead of automating the Quartermaster.

Full co-op game with counter co-op elements.
The players win and loose as a group and no player has his own agenda, yet there are ways (bidding, favors) for a single player to force his choice upon the others. If that wasn't bad enough using these ways also makes the group weaker, so nobody in their right mind would use them.

Possible lack of variance/replayability.
Now this is something I am not certain about, but the number of included events seem rather low to keep the game fresh for more than a few plays.

Useless map.
You must follow the path on the mission card (that emphasis is not mine btw., that's how it is written in the rulebook), so there is no point in having the map board.
Oh, unless you buy the add-on that places a monster on the map.

Overpriced add-ons.
I have said it elsewhere and I will say it again: $10 for 20 plastic crystals is robbery.

Simplistic skirmishes.
Now I know why they did it, but it seems that there is only the use of special abilities to spice the skirmishes up and that won't happen often considering willpower is such a rare resource.
Also I fear (I might be wrong here) that losing or barely winning a single skirmish will most likely result in a lost game, considering the high costs a loss sems to carry.

That's most of the game specific reasons. There are also some relating to Megacon Games/Mercs as a company.

Myth was a mess in several ways (personally I still have not received everything I paid for, though to be fair that seems to be mostly the fault of Ulisses) and Myth 2.0/Journeyman, Recon, MERCS Tabletop 2.0 are all still undelivered.
With these things still being unresolved throwing more money at Megacon Games/Mercs for a game I see several issues with would be wrong.
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Ben Turner
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Most of the above.

Also - shipping. Still a "trust us, it'll be fine" situation for Australia, but the only number offered is 50 Euro (75 AUD).

Given how badly Mercs got burnt on original Myth shipping, it's most likely they will be hyper-protective of losing money there again, and they state they do not cover ANY shipping rates. So unlike CMON, where I know the shipping is going to be around 20-35 AUD MAX (and a little cheaper for multiple copies), I have no idea what this is going to cost me shipped.

I recognise this is where all KS are going, but the power balance is wrong. I lock in my money up front. You go looking for a shipping arrangement that best suits you. I pay. If I don't like the shipping deal you found for me, I have no choice but to walk away.

In that scenario, I'm only happy to play if I feel I can trust my counterpart that he will make decent efforts to keep shipping low. CMON do. Stonemaier games do. Monolith (eventually) did. But I don't think Mercs have earned that trust yet.
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Geoff ...
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Phantomwhale wrote:
Also - shipping. Still a "trust us, it'll be fine" situation for Australia, but the only number offered is 50 Euro (75 AUD).

They are shipping from an Australian hub (probably Good Games or Aetherworks?), so shipping should be cheap as it's a domestic parcel.
 
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davide pessach
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Thanks to everybody, really interesting. As a Recon big pledger I came from raging for the delays affaire to new regained enthusiasm after watching the new gameplay videos.
So I feel quite bad for these guys as maybe they expected the "usual" million from this.
 
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Joel Carr
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We shall see,

Partly it has been a crazy fall of excellent KS board games, and JM myth pledgemanager...etc..

I hope it picks up like crazy because I like the theme, like what I see but have busted the game budget this year and I am in the "wife will kill me kids will applaud me" position.
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Dolem Thorn
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They don't have a Kickstarter link on the BGG page. Small detail, but important I think.
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Jochen Wiesner
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I really was excited when I saw that a Banner Saga boardgame was on kickstarter. Watching the Videos however I quickly cooled down.

The auction system makes no sense at all in a full coop game. The PC game's heart was a fantastic skirmisher that was essentially a boardgame, but is bring replaced by a bad joke. On top of that, if I want to get the stuff that makes up the backbone of the pc game I have to bis lots of expensive minis addons that rarely will see the light of day and only do so for 15 minutes until the skirmish is over.

Epic fail.
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Tom Hill
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The biggest downer for me is that MERCs (and Stoic) haven't released a single independent review. MERCs appear to remain blinkered; telling people their game is well made, but then then releasing variant rules which have been written over a course of a few days. This stinks of limited varied play testing & 'shooting-from-the-hip' to resolve concerns.

Their response to me has been:
'it feels like banner-saga',
'Stoic signed-off on it',
'it is a good game',
'if you don't like the look of it, don't back it'.
None of these statements filled me with confidence and in my opinion are are credible. How can a board gamer tell if a game is suitable for them?

It's a shame because in principle this game has everything going for it; but it looks to be falling short on reliable, trust worthy reviews.
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Michael Callahan
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Dolem wrote:
They don't have a Kickstarter link on the BGG page. Small detail, but important I think.


This.

and no advertisement of any kind. They have said that Vs. Evil is handling all marketing for this campaign,....... I ask "what marketing?"

No links or ads on BGG,.... none that I have seen in the regular stops of the gaming community,.. I guess Vs. Evil is just posting stuff to the PC gaming crowd,.. I'd say that should not be the core audience for this game,.... an audience for sure,... but it is a board game,.. why not market to the board gamers?

This whole thing amazes me,.... with their other campaigns; MCG had tie-ins with conventions and promos; reviews and interviews on BOW,....

Warbands,................... utter silence
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Stokes
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The Kickstarter has seen losses of pledges and support for the past few days.


MegaCon has obviously sank a lot of money into this game and expected much greater success. My biggest concern, if this campaign is not more successful, is that it will eat into the production of Myth Journeyman.

They sould have delayed the launch of this Kickstarter until Recon had been delivered. But, it sounded like stoic rushed them into it. At this point, I hope they just cancel the KS and try again.
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Geoff ...
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Biomage wrote:
At this point, I hope the just cancel the KS and try again.

I wish. Backers asked for campaign changes to address the lack of momentum, yet MCG are as Stoic as ever. A relaunch seems unlikely given the apparent success of this Kickstarter:

Creator MERCS Miniatures 2 days ago
If Warbands doesn't go further than it has, then there is still a lot of value here and we are still very happy with it. It is a success. We have expectations for all of our KS. We did not expect Myth numbers. I am glad people think our KS should go this high, but the next couple coming are much more complete systems right from the box.
We wanted to do some games that were complete. KS ends, goes to production, and ships all very quickly. This is that type of game. If it goes big, we are prepared. If is goes through the SG already shown, then the game will be in your hands about the time Myth JM.
There is a cost to going big. Being able to be done with a game when the KS ends is very appealing to us at this point. And we have design/sculpts done through 500k. Beyond that we'll have to do some more sculpts.
Warbands is not trying to be Myth or Recon or any CMON. It is the game we wanted to make and it will stand on its own. We don't want to make this a Myth campaign just to chase big numbers.
KS become disasters when you veer from the plan. The SGs are there. The game is there. If you are unsure, wait. We are willing to adapt the gameplay and provide alternate rules, but the core design is going to stay. Stoic has played it and signed off on it. It feels like Banner Saga. If you haven't played Banner Saga, and you want to be sure this game is for you, perhaps you should. If you are at Bannerman level you can always gift the Steam code to a friend.
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Tom Hill
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I get the feeling they can't make their mind up, in one comment they say:
'I explained in earlier comments. We are not interested in making this about Myth. It is about Banner Saga'

In the next commemt they say:

'We have the module ready, but the numbers as they are now won't work so it must remain unrevealed until the number allow it.'

Well which is it? Sounds like they're doing something they're not interested in doing. Sometimes I wish they spent a bit more time formulating a coherent response rather than spurting one comment out and then back tracking.
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Tom Hill
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I should just add I'm not a Myth Backer and I don't bear any judges against MERC minis. I want to believe MERCS have improved its processes with every kickstarter. At the momemnt most of their comments seem to be arguing with potential backers rather than trying to positively spin questions and showing how the game does or doesn't work to help aid people make a good decision. The campaign doesn't seem to have many updates to generate news or more questions either.
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Stokes
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I am a backer of Myth, Journymand and All in on MERCS: Recon. I completely support Megacon games. But not on this one. I have not played Banner Saga and have no interest in it. I won't buy a game that I don't want just to get the content for another game. However, I still want this to be a success. Despite their missteps, I like Megacon games as a company.

EDIT: Another EB pledge is open if anyone wants it.
 
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Freelance Police
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Also...

I got the impression that this was a "politics" game, rather than a miniatures game. So adding more mini's (not upgraded tokens) doesn't add to gameplay like your typical miniatures game (eg. Myth). But the presentation says ZOMG KILL MINIS so someone looking at the game without the rules sees a MINIS KILL MINIS KILL game then sees the *lack* of mini's in the SG's.

The Arcadia Quest: Inferno is running. AQ has been well-received by BGG and CMON has a better reputation than MCG in running KS, delivery, playtesting, etc. etc.

KS games that aren't sequels have the problem of not having a copy of the game available for backer to try out before pledging. Rules, PnP, and gameplay videos help, but aren't the same as game reviews, personal comments, etc. Most KS try to compensate with SG freebies, company reputation, game designer reputation, community interaction, etc.. I don't think MCG is doing a good job as a whole with any of these aspects of running a KS.

Beginning of the holiday shopping season. Amazon HOLIDAY30 promo code to save 30% on one book, up to $10! laugh
 
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Dave K
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The co-op-yet-not-really aspect killed it for me. I was in, then scrutinized the rules, and then dropped. The low event card count is a little worrisome but it was the bidding thing that drove me away.
 
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I get the feeling that if things are looking grim the last 48 hours, that they'll cancel the project. Maybe this will be the wake up call that they need to realize they can't kee getting away with the stuff they do, but I doubt it... their egos seem too large for that...
 
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