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Subject: World War 3: The Board Game has launched on Kickstarter! rss

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Adrian Pajara Games
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World War 3: The Board Game, a brand-new offering by Pajara Games, has just launched on Kickstarter.com.

It is a turn-based strategic world domination game with economic/industrial, resource and military planning components.

WW3 fits a unique niche in the world domination game market. It is quick-to-learn, but the strategy and game-play dynamics are remarkably sophisticated. The board doesn't fill up with hundreds of armies that need to be individually rolled to be eliminated. The average game will be decided in less than 1/10 the number of rolls in a full game of Risk. That speeds up game play significantly... but you have to spend your real time thinking and planning your strategy, because that's the tough part!

Please visit our Kickstarter page (http://kck.st/R3pNnZ) to support WW3, or visit our website (http://pajaragames.com)to learn more about the game.

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mike
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Game sites are blocked at my office so I am basing these questions on the description on the kickstarter page only.

Why divide the US into 3 sections? And why show only 3 cities?
Are they important to game play? If not why show the divisions at all?
None of the cities listed would be important providing resources during WWIII other than being targets

Why would the Chinese economy be stronger than the US to start?
Using any of the global GDP rankings China is still #2 or # 3 and that’s really not going to change anytime soon

How can you have no control over the economy but it impacts game play?

If you can invest in minor states then isn’t this controlling the economy to some degree?

Which countries are starting with naval fleets?
Currently only the US uses the concept of a carrier battle group, actually carrier strike group now.

How could air units be optional and not in the base game if you are using aircraft carriers? That’s kind of a critical component of a carrier strike group, deploying aircraft

Or by air units do you mean from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corp or foreign equivalents?

What other resources are there besides fuel?
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Hi m m,

I'll try to answer all your questions in sequence here. I'll quote each question for clarity in this reply...

1. Why divide the US into 3 sections? And why show only 3 cities?
Are they important to game play? If not why show the divisions at all?
Answer: The board is divided into 63 land squares and 67 sea squares. The squares are essential to the military and production elements of game play. Each major power is divided into several regions in order to add some interest and depth to game play (besides, being "superpowers", controlling just 1/63 of the territorial area wouldn't make a lot of sense). In terms of the names, many territories have taken on the name of a prominent city in that area. It is loosely based on the geographical principle of "urban sphere of influence". This was a neat way around the problem of the fact that some territories would include several real-life countries (like the Paris territory), but others would only be a part of a real-life country (New York, Beijing, etc.). Only in cases where the game square approximated the actual distribution of the real-life country (such as New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, etc.) did we use the country name for the territory. That's the general approach, anyway... close scrutiny may reveal places where we departed somewhat (such as Nigeria taking up a space that actual contains 12+ real-life countries). But then again, we also included Atlantis, so it's not meant to be entirely literal.

Why would the Chinese economy be stronger than the US to start?
Using any of the global GDP rankings China is still #2 or # 3 and that’s really not going to change anytime soon.
Answer: Honestly, this was (and is still) a REALLY tough question for our game test team. We've tweaked this several times, and we may still tweak further before release. We give the United States more cash to start, but give China a higher growth rate. This is meant to simulate the real-life global situation in 2027, the year in which the game is set. China's starting industrial production is 7 compared to 6 for the USA. Keep in mind, since the game is set in 2027, we are presuming that China (and India as well) will have continued to expand their economies. I should also add that the starting levels we came up with were partly (mostly) determined by testing, and the need to have some degree of balance among the player. In tests, the American player quickly establishes dominance over Canada and strengthens his economy significantly without having to deal with a nearby threat, while the Chinese player has to worry about threats from Russia and India. The extra Chinese production helps alleviate the unhappy strategic position China has.

How can you have no control over the economy but it impacts game play?
Answer: This was another tough call we had to make. You can expand your production, but the economic growth rate is, as you've noted, a random event. As with many decisions we've made, this was based on the desire to find a strong balance between simplicity of game play and simulation of real potential events. You do control foreign investments and the decision on which territories to invade (and therefore the level of economic expansionism), but we put this random factor into the flow of play to simulate the fact that some economic events are outside of leaders' control.

If you can invest in minor states then isn’t this controlling the economy to some degree?
Answer: Yes, exactly, this is the part that you do control. The dice roll on the economic growth rate is the random part.

Which countries are starting with naval fleets?
Answer: Five of the six superpowers have one navy to start, but the United States has two navies. Presumably, the current American naval dominance will remain intact by 2027. Realistically, we should deny the other powers any navies to be true to American carrier superiority, but we made this decision to balance game play.

How could air units be optional and not in the base game if you are using aircraft carriers? That’s kind of a critical component of a carrier strike group, deploying aircraft.
Answer: Although our rules have not explained this in detail, conceptually, the "armies" in our game are meant to represent both land-based forces and strategic strike aircraft that might be used in the same theater of operation, while "navies" represent carrier strike forces along with the tactical aircraft that would accompany the carrier group. That is definitely an element I want to include in the game (I agree that this is important); which is why we have mentioned this particularly in our stretch goal targets. Game play is still a heap of fun without it, but I would love to bring it in if we get the funding. (I should add that not all of our testers agree that this would improve the game play... one of our main guys says it would add too much complexity... for that reason, even if/when we get the funding level to do this, it might very well be presented as a "game play option", and not require people to use this element if they don't wish to).

What other resources are there besides fuel?
Answer: In the design phase, we experimented with "metals" and "food" in addition to "fuel". The feedback was that the result was too complicated for a board game, so we cut it back to the one resource, which had actually been the original plan. Thus, the terms "fuel" and "resource" in this game are synonymous.

I hope that answers all your questions. I have explained our rationale on each point, but we are open to ongoing feedback on whether you feel we've made good choices or not!

Thanks and cheers,
Adrian

World War 3 Kickstarter project

http://kck.st/R3pNnZ
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mike
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cool

that certainly clarifies it
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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In the context of the game...

When the US and China engage each other in hostilities I think the Chinese economy will tank as the US and its allies would likely not keep importing Chinese products. They would also likely find ways to implement trade embargos.

The Middle East is the likely easy target for immediate oil resources... however there are several other regions that have plenty of oil that will have hopefully begun producing by 2027.
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Andrew Rowse
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The clipart around the logo on the box is a bit jarring - you have four different (modern) military vehicles, at four different scales, and four different view angles!

Additionally, you have a title, a subtitle (The Board Game) and a slogan (Welcome to Hell on Earth) all very close together. I don't really think that the slogan adds enough to be worth retaining. Also, have you really trademarked the name?

The Libyan Despot turn card pictured on the KS page has a typo - 'spreads' appears twice.

Who is the quote from at 48s in the video?
"One of the most eagerly anticipated board games of 2012."

The website featured dark blue text on a black background for links, which is difficult to read - you chould change it to white.

Will you be sending out p/review copies? It sounds like you've assembled an interesting set of sets, and I'm looking forward to hearing more...
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Thanks for your comment.

About the issue of the Middle East being an easy target, that's actually one of the fascinating aspects of game play. Saudi Arabia produces 3 oil, making it one of the most enticing territories on the board. However, its strategic location makes it highly accessible to several players, and players sometimes stay away from it knowing that others would contest it too fiercely should they invade (not every game, but it happens sometimes). It's a really interesting aspect of game play that I hadn't anticipated, and one that probably reflects a degree of reality as well.
 
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Reply to Andrew Rowse:

Thanks very much for your insightful comments.

I appreciate your graphic design comments on the game logo and the website. It is a look that I think we are now tied to for this game, but we will probably evolve to a less-busy, more refined look (both for game logos and the website) by the time we launch our second game (thinking optimistically, here!!)

No, we haven't registered the trademark. The "TM" notation is actually used for UNREGISTERED trademarks. If you register, you use the "R" in a circle. Details are on the Wikipedia page for "Trademark". One of our early advisers pointed this out to us and recommended we add the "TM".

The quote in the video is from an acquaintance who gave us permission to use the quote but not to display his name. Tough call... we decided to go ahead and use it anyway.

Thanks for catching the typo on the Libyan Despot card... we'll make sure we correct that before it gets into the actual game.

About preview copies... we absolutely know how important these are, but we just don't have the money to produce these right now. We have already invested a lot of our own money into the various aspects of the game, so we are going to have to complete the Kickstarter without reviews. However, once we have launched (assuming we are successful), then we will indeed distribute a few review copies to recognized reviewers for the purpose of establishing future credibility.

Thanks again for your feedback!!

Best,
Adrian

 
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Dan Massek
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you don't need future credibility, you need credibility now. If you don't have the means to provide at least one or two preview copies then I fear your ability to actually produce the game if you get funded, and that is a big if.
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Derry Salewski
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dmassek wrote:
you don't need future credibility, you need credibility now. If you don't have the means to provide at least one or two preview copies then I fear your ability to actually produce the game if you get funded, and that is a big if.


Mm, presumably the game was playtested with something!
 
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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PajaraGames wrote:
Thanks for your comment.

About the issue of the Middle East being an easy target, that's actually one of the fascinating aspects of game play. Saudi Arabia produces 3 oil, making it one of the most enticing territories on the board. However, its strategic location makes it highly accessible to several players, and players sometimes stay away from it knowing that others would contest it too fiercely should they invade (not every game, but it happens sometimes). It's a really interesting aspect of game play that I hadn't anticipated, and one that probably reflects a degree of reality as well.


So I am guessing it is a no that no that other oil fields or other natural resources (agriculture, mining, textiles...) will come into play, true?

Also, I am guessing that China's or Russia's economy will not take a hit when either goes to war with the US or its allies, true?

Are the pieces going to be stand up cardboard tiles or plastic pieces?
Will there be different pieces for each nationality?

The cards show the same silhouettes for each country's navy(task force) and army(tanks)... Will this change as the art is reworked?

I read the draft (overview) rules... Other than the time period, how is this game going to be different than Axis & Allies?
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Andrew Rowse
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PajaraGames wrote:
I appreciate your graphic design comments on the game logo and the website. It is a look that I think we are now tied to for this game, but we will probably evolve to a less-busy, more refined look (both for game logos and the website) by the time we launch our second game (thinking optimistically, here!!)


In what respect are you tied to the look? Emotionally, or because you've already started production/paid too much for artwork? Do you genuinely think that the artwork you have will be effective at attracting purchases?

Your map is really nice. You could use your map as a backdrop to the logo instead, and I think it would make for a much more compelling cover.

Quote:
The quote in the video is from an acquaintance who gave us permission to use the quote but not to display his name. Tough call... we decided to go ahead and use it anyway.


I think it was probably not the right call. A non-attributed quote of that sort of positivity does not feel real - it feels like you're just making things up to ape the marketing tactics that blockbusters use!

You've also gone for an highly-produced video rather than the personal video that most KS projects use. There are advantages to both, but the highly-produced style marks your campaign as one that is trying to compete at the level of the big brands - and that means that you cannot get away with mistakes and mis-steps so much.

A hard-working and engaging amateur can get away with mistakes, because people are backing him and his dream as much as they're backing for the project. Take a look at the Mage Tower project on Kickstarter. There is so much wrong with that project, but I couldn't help backing it because the designer is so genuine about his passion, and so open with his information.

By going the professional route, you've put yourself in a position where you have to maintain an impeccable presentation. Your website needs to be perfect, and potential backers need to be able to find all the information they want without difficulty. You need to get a pretty rulebook up ASAP, plus play example videos, plus a full manifest of what players will get in the game (we need exact numbers of components, not 'numerous').

Quote:
Thanks for catching the typo on the Libyan Despot card... we'll make sure we correct that before it gets into the actual game.


Make sure you fix it now! It's one of the few readable examples of a game component on the KS page, and it shows a bad editing process - it's a dent in your credibility!

Quote:
About preview copies... we absolutely know how important these are, but we just don't have the money to produce these right now.


Preview copies don't have to be production quality. Many previews are done with hand-cut components. I think they're an absolute necessity for most games, with the occasional exception for well-known designers or very small and easy-to-grasp games.

It probably seems that I'm trying to rip your dream to shreds, but that's not the case. I think you have done some things 'wrong', but it's the start of your campaign and there's still time to fix things. Although I suspect your game will not be one I'm ultimately interested in, I'd like to see it succeed!
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Thanks all for your comments... it's probably simpler for me to reply to all the messages at once here, rather than in several individual posts.

About the typo on the game cards... it is now fixed and re-posted. The fixed version actually shows another alteration to the game cards in response to feedback we got on the Kickstarter message board: the "event text" is now highlighted over the "flavor text", allowing experienced game players to just read the bottom line quickly.

About the game logo... the reason I say that I think we are now tied to it is that it permeates the entire project... on the box, game board, cards, promotional materials, website, etc. We wouldn't want to consider a re-design on that unless we were really sure there was a strong feeling across the board on it. Initial feedback we'd received on the logo was actually fairly positive. Are there others on this forum who would like to weigh in with comments about the logo?

About preview copies... in response to suggestions here, we are going to take another look at this ASAP. The main challenge is timing. We just have one prototype that we share around our test groups right now. Producing review copies would probably take about three weeks. By the time they ship to reviewers, and those reviewers have a chance to play them and post their thoughts, we are most likely into the last week of the Kickstarter. Is this still worth it? Thoughts anyone? Also, anyone have suggestions on who are the most credible reviewers out there?

About game pieces... yes, they will be cardboard cutouts on plastic stands, as pictured on the Kickstarter page. The artwork will likely be refined more before release (making each superpower slightly different), but we will probably stick with the silhouette appearance.

About the game's niche... we were shooting for something half-way between Risk and Axis & Allies. Risk is fun, but too simple and just way too much dice-rolling. We also enjoy A&A, but it can get very complex, and can put off new players because of that. Straight down the middle was our target: easy to learn with a nice dose of sophisticated and engaging game play.

About the look of the video... yes, I guess that we did go with a bit of a "sleek" look... it just felt like a cool way to represent the game, and we wanted to show that we have the professional skills to produce something nice. However, I know it's not perfect. We are trying to be completely honest everywhere and admit that we are completely new to this! This is our first game, and we are not trying to hide that. By giving the sleek look to the video, Paul and I weren't trying to suggest that we are incapable of some mistakes (we definitely are!)... we were really just trying to show how much we love this project, and that we will work to the very best of our abilities to correct mistakes when found and put out the very best game possible! And I sincerely believe that, if we achieve our funding, people will find the game as enjoyable as we do.

Okay... I hope that addresses all the Q's for now. Thanks again for the feedback. We know this is a growing process, and support like this from experienced gamers helps us better focus our project.

Cheers,
Adrian
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Derry Salewski
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Have you considered counters for units? Would be much more wargamey, much less Candlylandy.
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Bruce Gazdecki
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Maybe I missed it, but where in the rules or the site does it talk about how the game cards are used? I'm confused becasue there seems to be two seperate events on the card, so I don't know if they both take effect, or one takes effect, or what and when in the turn they take place?

Looks like a cool game, but I think playing with less than 6 will be rough (at least for me), as sometimes it's hard to play multiple players and keep them seperate and keep track of what you're trying to do where.
 
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Colin Sham
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That's exactly what a Cylon would say!
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PajaraGames wrote:
About preview copies... in response to suggestions here, we are going to take another look at this ASAP. The main challenge is timing. We just have one prototype that we share around our test groups right now. Producing review copies would probably take about three weeks. By the time they ship to reviewers, and those reviewers have a chance to play them and post their thoughts, we are most likely into the last week of the Kickstarter. Is this still worth it? Thoughts anyone? Also, anyone have suggestions on who are the most credible reviewers out there?

I can only speak for myself, but without two or three unaffiliated reviews, I wouldn't even consider backing the project. Given the timing, I hope there are some locals on BGG that would help you out.
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Thanks for catching our bad on the fact that the rules didn't contain an explanation of the Turn Cards! It's in there now, and the new version has been posted to our website: http://pajaragames.com/games.html

We have also added several game rule variants to the rules as promised (they're on the last page of the rules booklet). We would love some feedback on one particular point: we have a "Rogue Nukes" game variant described in that section. Right now, under that variant, the player whom the attack strikes gets to designate which territory is nuked. Doesn't seem quite right to me. Another option would be that each Turn Card has one territory printed on it (except not capitals). If a dice roll determines that a territory gets nuked in a given turn, the territory showing on the Turn Card would be the territory to get it. That's also a way to give the Turn Cards another function, but it means the nuke variant would be more threatening, because you wouldn't be able to designate an unoccupied territory. Any thoughts are welcome... keep in mind that this is only a rules variant... players could still play without the nukes option at all, of course!

On another note, we appreciate the suggestion about using counters rather than the stand-up pieces. I've contacted our supplier to ask for a quotation on that. It's a great idea... I'd like that more myself actually, so even if they cost a bit more (as long as it's not too prohibitive), we'll probably go with that option.

Cheers,
Adrian
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Bruce Gazdecki
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PajaraGames wrote:
Thanks for catching our bad on the fact that the rules didn't contain an explanation of the Turn Cards! It's in there now, and the new version has been posted to our website: http://pajaragames.com/games.html

We have also added several game rule variants to the rules as promised (they're on the last page of the rules booklet). We would love some feedback on one particular point: we have a "Rogue Nukes" game variant described in that section. Right now, under that variant, the player whom the attack strikes gets to designate which territory is nuked. Doesn't seem quite right to me. Another option would be that each Turn Card has one territory printed on it (except not capitals). If a dice roll determines that a territory gets nuked in a given turn, the territory showing on the Turn Card would be the territory to get it. That's also a way to give the Turn Cards another function, but it means the nuke variant would be more threatening, because you wouldn't be able to designate an unoccupied territory. Any thoughts are welcome... keep in mind that this is only a rules variant... players could still play without the nukes option at all, of course!

On another note, we appreciate the suggestion about using counters rather than the stand-up pieces. I've contacted our supplier to ask for a quotation on that. It's a great idea... I'd like that more myself actually, so even if they cost a bit more (as long as it's not too prohibitive), we'll probably go with that option.

Cheers,
Adrian


Glad I'm not crazy. Anyways, you also might want to link the instructions on the Kickstarter page, or at least the website, as there's a slim chance not everyone is on BGG to see this.

Already there, my bad.
 
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Bruce Gazdecki
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I have another question. For the $65 pledge level you have the game, the PDF strategy book, and then something called the "Advanced Scenarios Add-On" yet nowhere on the page do I see a description of what that actually is. Again, maybe I missed it, but it might help people decide what level to pledge, and especially whether or not to pledge, if they know exactly what they're getting.
 
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Adrian Pajara Games
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Sorry, Bruce, just realized I had never replied to your question about the "Advanced Scenarios Add-On". We had hoped to put some details on that up on the site sooner, but we have been focused on the core game since launch. We hope to have some details up quite soon...
 
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Update on Project
Hello All,

I just wanted to give a quick update WW3. We've continued to move along in funding – we're up to $5,500 and counting.

I also wanted to say we've continued to get a lot of feedback on game inclusions, play ideas, rules and marketing of the game. I am very sorry that we have not been able to reply to the message individually in as timely a manner as possible, but we have been looking at the various ideas very closely.

We had a test session last night, actually, in which several proposed rules changes were evaluated. Unfortunately, one of the group had to pull out unexpectedly, so there were only five of us at the table, but it was still very good.

One question we had was whether we'd kept track of which superpowers tend to perform well or poorly over time (ie-multiple game sessions). The short answer is that the rules have evolved so much since our early testing, we haven't bothered methodically tracking the all-time stats. However, in recent game play, Brazil seems just a bit too strong and Russia seems too weak.

Last night we brought a new gamer into the group (a long-time BGG member and truly avid gamer). Fresh blood always helps. We have decided to tweak a couple of game-board locations (Argentina's production will drop to 1, while Krasnoyarsk will rise to 2). This should iron out the Russia/Brazil issues. (No, Argentina is not in the Brazilian homeland, but it's a gimme territory every game for Brazil's first turn, and rarely gets threatened by anyone else.)

One subject of heated debate has been the rules surrounding knocking another player out of the game. Three approaches we've used:

a) Taking the capital. (the current normal rule)
b) Taking the entire homeland. (this is a current rule variant)
c) Taking the capital, AND HOLDING IT, until the end of the defending player's subsequent turn.

Option C looks like it will become a new rule variant possibility. It offers a middle ground between the other two approches, and gives the player one shot at re-taking their capital. My personal choice is still Option B, but I think our entire group is actually against me on this one!! (That's why B is called the "variant", and A is the normal rule!!!)

Here's something we would like feedback on. If you had your choice among the three following options for game pieces, which would you pick?

1. Stand-up pieces of thin card stock with color printing, inserted into plastic game piece holders to keep them upright. (ie- see the image of a possible game piece on the site page).
2. Small thicker "counters" made out of thick card stock with color printing on them (similar to the counters that many small-hex war game boards have -- this was actually a suggestion from one guy here on BGG).
3. Wooden pieces, no printed markings, but colored to match the color of the superpower (ie-Red = China, Green is Brazil, etc.) The cubes are armies and the navies are long-thin rectgular prisms.

Any thoughts on preferences among these options? We are still waiting for an estimate for the counters; the possibility of this being an option may depend on the price we get back on these.

We should be able to place a game play video on the site very shortly. We've tried filming a live turn, but the everything goes so dark (including, of course, the game board itself), and not much can be seen on the camera. We will still probably post this up, but I am also preparing a CGI game turn video that I hope to post up at the same time, which makes the game mechanics more evident.

Thanks again all, and cheers!
-Adrian

Don't forget to visit our Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/R3pNnZ
 
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Bruce Gazdecki
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Out of the 3 choices for game pieces, I'd pick the counters, then the stand up figures.
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Colin Sham
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Wooden pieces with stickers would give a feel similar to Command and Colors. Counters shortly after, as I've seen them used reasonably well in Small World.

I'm not a big fan of #1.
 
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I supported the original campaign.
Any chance there will be another attempt to secure funding and/or publication? I'd like to see this game become reality.
 
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