Monday, 26 November 2012

Dreaball launch

  
  


I've been keeping an eye on how Mantic would deal with the Dreadball Kickstart campaign ever since a few of you who backed the campaign sent me emails asking what the hell was up with shops getting the product before those who had pledged on Kickstart to back it. Now I'll be honest, the majority of the complaints were from those who had backed the Kickstart campaign as part of the January release schedule. Many claimed they'd done so because the tone of the statement from Mantic was that they'd now in effect sold all their first batch to Kickstart backers and the next shipment would be in January. At the time I assumed that this would mean stores would be getting it in January too... because they'd run out of initial prints. Or that's certainly how I read it at the time. I think a lot of people who emailed me seemed to be slightly miffed at me as well as they'd pledged after reading my support for the project. However, as I had a steady stream of emails coming into me, asking if I'd heard anything about shops getting stock for the Christmas period.

So I emailed Ronnie Renton and raised your concerns. To be fair to Ronnie he responded really, really quickly and said they were desperately trying to sort the situation out with the January pledgers. So it proved to be the case, as everyone who pledged to the Dreadball kickstart campaign will be getting things sent out at the same time for which, Mantic deserve a pat on the back. Especially as I've heard rumours that the same printing factory calamity that has befallen Sedition Wars has also hit Mantic hard with Dreadball... if that is the case then Mantic deserve further plaudits for actually getting the game to us this side of Christmas. Which makes their PR own goal of shipping the game to retailers first all the more of a face-palm moment. I can understand Mantic wanting to get the product out before Christmas, I really do. But, to find out that someone who hasn't backed the campaign, hasn't been involved in supporting Mantic's endeavours can simple walk into a shop and take a copy off of the shelf over a week before they even ship my copy is a little bit galling and disappointing.

I suppose it doesn't help that certain stores have even rubbed the Kickstart backers noses in it by saying "hey if you come to us you can get it before Kickstart backers", while this is a crass sales ploy and is likely to piss some of their customers off, it's still 100% right. If you wanted Dreadball ASAP then it seems backing the Kickstart project wasn't the way to go. I'm also going to admit to being doubly annoyed because I have put so much personal effort into helping support Mantic with this game. Not only did I turn up to their first playtest group, I also ran countless games and fed back information to them and offered advice. I also worked out the insanely complex sequence of numbers on their cards, a task that took a couple of days for which I'd normally be able to charge £250 per day for, given the rates I can charge for consultancy work. I did it for free to help them and mostly Jake out... and yeah... I heavily supported their campaign on my Blog. I know a lot of you backed the campaign after I came out as being so heavily in support of it.

Looks like I have to wait a little longer to get my hands on this.

So if you're feeling slightly pissed about your LGS stocking a product you have already paid for and haven't even had shipped to you yet, well you're going to get an apology from me... sorry! Seriously I am sorry that a campaign I've promoted has done something that has clearly pissed so many of you off. If it makes you feel any better, despite all the obvious support and input I've shown for the product I haven't received any preferential treatment myself. Not that I'd expect it either, but I'm just letting you know I'm in the same boat too, and I'm not exactly pleased about it. This really should be a cautionary tale for Mantic, and others who run Kickstart campaigns. I know that as distributors you need to keep retail partners onside, but if that is the case then you should consider offering bulk buy options for retailers during your campaigns. You certainly shouldn't shaft your most ardent and supportive customers by shipping to them late, and no saying we get free stuff isn't good enough. Because in effect people are already playing a game we financed. It's bad customer service and we want our return. Peace out!

78 comments:

  1. I supported the kickstarter and oddly find myself unbothered by it being sent out after the shop ones, on the plus side we're getting more MVP's with the first shipment than we were origanally promised. This makes up for it for me, as long as I get it by Xmas I'm still a happy customer

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    1. While getting extra MVP's is nice, I have to be honest and say it's still not quite enough. As the extra MVP's we're getting will be in shops by January any way... or I can have my box now and then wait until Q2 to get these MVP's. Sorry but they have dropped the ball on this one, and I can understand backers being a bit annoyed about it. Especially if you're walking into shops and seeing people pick up stock, putting their teams together and playing games.

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    2. For me personally I'd much rather wait another two weeks and get the extra MVP's, rather than wait till next spring for them. I think trying to get as much into this first package as possible was a good move and I agree with it.

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    3. Given that at least 1-2 of the extra MVPs won't have stats for another 4-6 months, I don't think it's all that awesome.

      I'm not terribly bothered by it personally - we've been proxy-playing just fine with everything short the cards. But it certainly is a dumb move on Mantic's part.

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    4. Buhallin I wasn't too bothered at first but the more I thought about it and the more emails I got from disgruntled readers the more I thought actually this sucks. They're holding the ledges back to put the MVP's in. That's OK, but really as you say a couple of them we won't have rules for any way. Nope I think it's a bit of an own goal. I've been telling people to be calm and chill for weeks, but no it is bad customer service. Which is a shame because I was really stoked for the game and I've got a list of intro game nominees as long as my arm. Just taken the wind out of my sails a bit.

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  2. Being a backer myself I couldn't care less... Maybe because there is no LGS in my part of the country that could rub my face in it :-)

    The kickstarter wasn't about launching the game anyway, it was coming out regardless of the KS campaign. It was intended to allow more stuff being produced earlier. So it's not as if without us nothing would have happened. And I can't remember them claiming we would get the game first.

    And given the time of year, I understand that they want to send their product to stores as quickly as possible for the xmas buying frenzy.

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    1. OK so that's fine it was an advanced pre-order system... in which case where's my advanced pre-order? Why didn't I get it on the apparent launch date of 24th November?

      Yes they might want to send product to stores quickly, and I'm more than attuned and sympathetic to that cause. But in effect they've got 2539 customers to satisfy at the same time. If it's a pre-order then fine treat it like one.

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  3. While I can understand people getting up-in-arms over this, I can also see that keeping FLGS happy is important for Mantic to ensure shelf space and local promotion. In other words this delay may simply put the game into the hands of more people, which in my opinion is still very much in the spirit of the Kickstarter campaign and may lead to more potential opponents for folks to play with.

    Thus I would like to echo the sentiment of the two previous comments and say that I fully support whatever business decisions Mantic makes to ensure DreadBall's long-term success -- their stellar conduct during the campaign has made me their long-term fan.

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    1. If you fully support whatever business decision any company makes on blind faith I'm sorry Anton but that isn't very smart. I trust business that have a proven track record of making the right choices and who don't seem to have made many boo boo's. I give Mantic credit for some of the things they've done, mainly bringing those January pledges forward. Whoever was responsible for that deserves a massive pat on the back. However, they have made mistakes.

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  4. I think this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction without fulling investigating all that is going on.

    "The next piece of exciting news is that we saved enough copies of the game to ship all of the Kickstarter Pledges scheduled for January ahead of Christmas. They will now ship at the same time as everyone else’s Kickstarter rewards."

    "Just to keep you informed we will be shipping out distributor orders next week as well, so if any are super quick they may hit shelves next Saturday - but they should be arriving at the same time as yours the following week - though obviously without the MVPs and the other goodies you’ll all have in your first shipment! We needed to get the trade orders sent in parallel if they were to get into the retail outlets for Christmas"

    This says to me that some backers are getting stuff sooner then expected and retail stores will be getting their stock at the same time as backers, albeit with less stuff. It all depends on the post and which of the many days of shipping particular orders are going out. So I seriously see little reason for people to be getting up in arms about it.

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    1. @Kilcin, stores had and were selling copies this Saturday the 24th November, before backers pledges were even shipped. Meaning that something in that statement isn't right. Somebody has been telling porky pies because for shops to have it before pledges stuff is even shipped means that Mantic shipped to distributors and stores first. As to the January pledges being brought forward that is great news and I wholeheartedly applaud it and have said so in the article. According to the update our orders won't start shipping until Monday the 3rd December, given we're now in Christmas post time period that will mean some people will be getting the game a fortnight after it has been released in stores. That is a bit of a faux pas. To give the customers who supported you, and backed you, some of whom did so with quite substantial sums of money, a poorer service is a bit shoddy.

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    2. When I saw Ronny at Crisis in Antwerp, he told me they had decided to push back shipping the KS games a bit because that way they would be able to include 8 rather than 4 MVPs.
      Guess that if the games had been shipped, the same people would have been complaining that certain MVPs were in the shop before the second batch of figures was sent out.

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    3. @Frontline, I was not aware that stores had them on the 24th, I was just aware of one online store getting it on the 26th and it sounded like that one was picking up the shipment themselves from Mantic. I assume these stores are all in the UK and I wonder if they picked up the shipment themselves instead of waiting for a delivery and how close they are to Mantic's HQ. Also from my understanding, the orders are starting to be shipped before the 3rd of December, but depending on the goodies you purchased your shipment may be towards the end of the pack. Also of note, there were two trader/retailer only pledges that got 12 backers; is it possible that the stores that had it on the 24th were backers as well?

      Just seems to me there is a vague understanding of what's going on, people getting into the mob mentality without really seeing the whole picture where some retailers (who could be KS backers themselves) get the product about a week (or two depending on upgrades purchased) then the average KS backer. I feel Mantic has done an overall great job and deserve some leeway.

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    4. @Witteridderludo, maybe, maybe not. What we can criticise them for is what they've done. You can play the if's, but's and maybe's game if you want to but I won't. I believe 2 of the MVP's we won't have rules for anyway, so ifs it really that awesome? Honestly how many of those MVP's will we really be using? Having the game in hand and being able to paint my teams up and run intro games earlier would have been more satisfying to me.

      @Kilcin, no they weren't pledgers. They were shipped orders. Apparentluy because they'd said tehy were running launch events. But erm... it wasn't the launch weekend. I'm confused. What was this about again?

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  5. Hey guys,

    We appreciate it's frustrating to have only received the digital rulebook in the 2 months since the Kickstarter has finished but we're nearly there!

    The copies you might have seen on shelves are pre-release copies that went to the guys because they had events - all trade is shipping at the same time as the Kickstarter pledges!

    What a lot of people don't realise is that DB was an October Trade Launch - one we've constantly being pushed back so it would ship at the same time as the Kickstarters. During that time we've been actively bringing in loads of the extras including T-shirts and pitches so that your first package is rammed full of stuff - and we're even shipping those scheduled for shipping in January in December as we've reduced the number we had available to retailers.

    Hope that explains it a little better!

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    1. Hi chris...

      Or at least I assume it's Chris. It might explain it, but it doesn't really make it OK for some people. There is a question as to why, for whatever reason, some people have been given preferential treatment. Hell I have a list of people who want demo games that could and probably will keep me busy until mid February, so sending copies out to pledgers is just as likely to generate interest as much as any shop holding an 'event'. Sorry lets call it what it is, an early launch and preferential treatment. In fact if I were a retailer who wasn't given the same preferential treatment as some others I might actually be inclined to be even more pissed, as it's potentially giving competitors an unfair advantage.

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  6. This is why I find the disingenuity of thinking of Kickstarter as a pre-order system can lead to disappointment.

    Fundamentally, you're backing the Kickstarter to make sure the *project actually happens*. Your reward is necessarily going to be shared with everyone who gets the game: because your reward is that the game itself is better. Sure, you're not the only one who gets this reward. And if you're a jealous type of person, who wants to squeeze people out of the stuff you got too, then Kickstarter *should* disappoint you, because it's a system to fund projects, not buy things. Buying rare things is more what Etsy is about.

    Basically, Mantic *could* have tried to preserve that exclusivity by delaying shipments of Dreadball to FLGSes. But that would have hurt the game as a whole, which is the opposite of the stated aims of Kickstarting an initiative.

    It's not ideal that the KS backers get their rewards later. But it's not a disaster. (And that's from someone who sunk a LOT into the KS. :)

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    1. Would it hurt Dreadball if Kickstarters received their orders this weekend just gone and stores had it this weekend or the weekend after? I don't think backers want it months in advance but to just get it earlier than Joe Bloggs who had no involvement with the game at all because thats what Kickstarter is. It's getting the community to come together and support a project, and as a reward why not make sure they get the product a bit earlier? The can invite friends round, play Dreadball have a laugh then next week when its on sale everyone goes out an buys it.

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    2. I don't think this is a case of confusing a Kickstarter with a preorder. As FLG said above, it's more of an optics issue with how Mantic chooses to treat those who pledged to the Kickstarter.

      For many backers, it's a massive statement of support in terms of financial investment. We've contributed an insane number of dollars - myself in excess of $600 - for a single boxed game. It really isn't about whether I get it first, it's how Mantic chooses to treat those backers. Are they generally appreciated and thanked? Or is it "Hey, we've got your money now so you can wait while we ship to these other people who'll give us more money first." Is the priority taking care of the people who've already chosen to support you, or going after other new sales?

      I'm not generally bothered by it personally, but I think it's a mistake to characterize this as typical whiny gamer impatience. There's a very real question of Mantic's priority, and for those who dumped huge amounts of money into a game sight-unseen, they deserve better than seeing it on the shelves before they get their copies.

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    3. @llan, I've held of responding to you because quite frankly you miss the point. I wasn't asking for preferential treatment. Just parity, with others. Something Mantic have failed to give. what makes it worse is that we now hear these are "pre-release" product and special preferential treatment given to certain stores... you know what that actually makes it worse. What about all those other stores out there who have been handed a commercial disadvantage? It's just a really bad business decision. I wasn't treating this Kickstarter as a pre-order service either. I've made that abundantly clear. If anyone was treating it as a pre-order service I think you'll find it was Mantic. That's fine, is so where is my pre-order copy. They can't have it both ways and neither can those people trying to defend them.

      @Jacob, thanks, that's sort of the point I was making. That and would it hurt those stores if they had to wait until the weekend the rest of us get our product? Also most Kickstart projects so far have prioritised pledges above all else. Zombicide, sedition Wars, etc. etc. etc. this is the first campaign I've been involved in where that does not appear to be the case, and Mantic and others saying "yeah but you get extra free stuff" doesn't wash with me, essentially backers paid for it.

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    4. @Buhallin, I'm very glad you are around as it seems there are only a handful of people on here who actually grasp the issue. Hopefully Mantic will too.

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  7. I'll be honest I'm past caring, I went to air my views on the Mantic forums and got shot down by the fanboys, got no response to my question on the face book page.

    Ok so I've had an email via kickstarter with whats going on, But what sums it up for me is a retailer I know very well has his stock in hand ready to sell, whilst I sit here empty handed.

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    1. Yeah but to be fair Anton fans of any company in this hobby get pissy if you even dare say something isn't perfect. I'm not a fan of blind faith, but it seems many in our hobby are. It is a less than ideal situation and I think people being irked have every right to be irked. People saying you're just whinging are missing the point that you actually have a valid criticism.

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    2. I think that gaming fans flop so fast between rabid fanboism and unreasonable flash rages that there's very little air left for justified criticism.

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    3. Don't forget that if you defend something then your a Fanboy and if you don't like something then your a Hater.

      You can't have an opinion without being one or the other in the eyes of the crowd. And as a result you'll get flack for being either.

      -Voidsign-

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    4. Buhallin I think you're right. It's always with the extremes, I totally understand the issues Mantic are facing with this. Or indeed the pretty crappy situation Studio McVey has found itself in with Sedition Wars and the printers in China amongst other things. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to do things. I've given Mantic credit for some of what they've done, but where I think they have made a mistake I'll say so.

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    5. Agree entirely. It may be worth clarifying that while I'm not bothered by it personally, that doesn't mean I think the discontent is unjustified.

      One thing I do have to give them credit for is releasing the full rulebook. At least for our group, that's why we're not all that worried about it. I made a pitch on the back of some old Battletech boards and we're playing with proxied models. The only thing we're missing for the actual game is the cards, and we're improvising around those pretty well. So maybe our group doesn't feel like we're missing out the way some do.

      But either way, on this one I do think it's a very justified concern.

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  8. I don't get it...

    I backed it and I understood from the campaign that the first lot were limited to allow enough for retailers to get copies as well. The January bunch were always going to be '3rd' and what they got for waiting was all the extra 'free' stuff.

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    1. The January bunch may or may not have been in that situation. However, I think Mantic have done the right thing bringing those pre-orders forward, because that's what we're all now saying this Kicstarter was, a pre-order. we'll leave for now the interesting question that raises about the project and maybe others, and whether Kicksater is the right platform for them. So shops had ordered the game so it was going to happen, so we were pre-ordering it. No problem. Then why not have a single launch day? Why not treat all customers equally? I think it's a fair question.

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    2. Well there is the point about the 'supporting'. I think it is fair to say DB was a go regardless, hence the short period between KS campaign and shipping. Look at the runs where it is genuinely a 'new' product (or even something like Ogre), big delay between final concept and product. The lead time on production, especially if you have to out source means how much of a gamble can you take? Order a lot and bankrupt yourself, order not enough and get angry fanboys. I do think the KS was more successful than they thought, the less than organised updates and stretches compared to comparable projects seemed to show that. Throw in factory problems and I am amazed they are managing to bring stuff forward and do hope it is not at the expense of cut corners.

      I can understand people feeling they should have not pledged and got less extras but got the game earlier, and yes mantic could have been clearer, but I think some of that was they aren't as slick as this yet as compared to say coolminiornot.

      Still I remain heful the game is a blast and that it can become a great 'breakthrough' game in the Argos catalogue for next Christmas.

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    3. Chris I probably know more than you just how far along Mantic were with Dreadball. I have play-tested the game to death for Jake Thornton and have been doing so since March this year I think... or was it May? I can't remember. Either way I've put a lot of effort in and no how far along the product was. Hell the acrylic pitches from Sarissa Precision was my suggestion as were the hex bases. On the initial play test day I banged on repeatedly about hex bases and the positive impact they would have on games. I'd also argue they wouldn't have got as much interest from trade had the Kickstarter campaign not got off to such a flying start. So those early backers and fans showing their support for the product showed traders just how large the potential market for the product was. As for Mantic not being as polished... how long does that excuse hold water for? In two years time will that still be an OK excuse? What about three or four? I mean aren't they three / four years old already? That's older than Soda Pop Miniatures and Guillotine Games. As for the game being a blast, I can confirm to you that the game is a blast, and very enjoyable. It's not perfect, but whatever game is?

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    4. Chess is pretty good... Lack of shooting though :)

      I have now finally understood where you are coming from, especially with the info on treatment of stores.

      I guess now it has happened the question will be how Mantic will address it, especially with retailers since these are the guys they seem to rely on to move their goods...

      In other news, wow they never twigged themselves about the hex bases?

      And you are to blame for the plastic board not being translucent? :)

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    5. As to the hex bases I'm pretty sure they did twig it was a matter of cost and upfront investment from what Ronnie was saying on the day. He also argued that he didn't think they were that important. However, I think everyone pretty much in the room on that first day said they were important and that they should be a stretch goal in the Kickstart campaign. I know Jake was very keen for hex bases from the conversations I had with him.

      As to the Sarissa pitch not being translucent I'm not guilty your honor!!! I actually suggested the pitches as demo pitches and suggested having them translucent and lighting them up from underneath a la Tron. Still think when you see the pitches in the flesh though and you see the nice shiny look of them you'll be pleased. They do look very spiffing.

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    6. Once I get the dimensions I shall be making a lightbox and some kind of light up pitch.

      Otherwise check this chaps out
      http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/1320/359778.page#4821741
      http://www.dakkadakka.com/s/i/at/at2/2012/9/29/9281a96102f9f932b32a7f3ed30fb6fb_41690.jpg

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    7. Yeah I saw the Warmill pitch we they first plonked it up on Dakka Dakka. Looks pretty cool. I wander whether it is season 3 and 4 proof though, like the Sarissa Precision one is. It looks like it's in one piece, although I could be horribly wrong. I will be contacting Warmill about it soon enough to try and get info on it.

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  9. As a retailer I had to lock in my order for stock before the Kickstarter had even finished. Granted its only a small order, but I still had to make it long before the KS had finalised so that Mantic could get the numbers they needed. So in a sence, I ordered that batch before all the pledgers had paid ^.^

    I didn't back KS to get the game before everyone else, I backed it to support a project that may not exist without the pledges. Also the amound of extra stuff you get is crazy. When the KS Dreadballs arrive they are going to be rammed with goodies, so what if its an extra week or so.

    All this gripping and bitching is really starting to get on tits with this hobby. Everywhere you look on forums and boards at the moment is someone moaning about bloody Kickstarters. "Sedition Wars is late, Bones is having trouble with the demand, Adams not put another picture or update on, blah blah blah. It's depressing, I know that as a whole it's not the good, it's the bad that we dwell on but WOW, they are little plastic men for gods sake.

    Who cares if a shop has it, if your that upset, buy the bloody game from them and then sell yours on OR keep the receipt and take yours back when it arrives.

    TBH I really don't care, both my Stock and my KS with get here when they get here. I have way more important things to worry about in my life.

    -Voidsign-

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    1. Firstly Voidsign when have you known me to knee jerk into a rant or pure bitching and moaning? I don't do it. Do I have complaints from time to time? Yes. However, I'm normally a positive person. So the very fact that this has gotten to the stage with me that I am now a bit irked by it should in and of itself say that there is something to be irked by. To dismiss others opinions and thoughts like you just have is... well lets just say it's not on. As for hey just buy it again and take it back for a refund. Have you considered not everyone has the money to do that? Especially at this time of year. So I find your comment a bit crass if I'm honest.

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    2. Fair enough, but I wasn't directing it at you, I happen to have a lot of respect for you as a writter and a fellow wargamer. And I am sorry that it came accross as crass. You have to admit though when it comes to people in this Hobby it just never seems good enough, or thats the general vibe I get when I'm trolling the boards. Just gets me down is all, and when have you known me to bitch or rant about anything, ever? Just all the negativity in the hobby sucks.

      The comment about just buying it was sarcasm, and was meant as an ultimate means to an end. I don't expect people to actually do that. The KS boxes have more in them for a start.

      I'm sorry if my comment got your goat up, but I do stand by what I said. Maybe I got off track and it was said in the wrong place? For that, like I said, I'm sorry.

      -Voidsign-

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    3. I'm not entirely sure you can compare your early order as a retailer looking to profit from sales of the game to those who put up money on a product they wanted to support on little more than hope and optimism.

      Your order is pretty much business and how it works, and that risk is part of business and the potential to make a profit. There's no profit in this for the backers, and many of us not only purchased a game sight unseen, but purchased everything that game will release for the next year or more equally unseen. If Dreadball turns out to be horrible and flops, you cut your losses and don't order Season 2 teams, or Season 3 teams, or the Keepers, or additional MVPs. If someone who buys in your store decides in the end they don't like the game, they don't buy anything additional. Backers, however, are in it for the long run regardless of what happens. The average pledge was almost $290, and that doesn't even count any additional purchases made as part of the survey.

      If you're going to choose to blow off the level of commitment most backers showed, that's fine, even if it's insulting. But trying to equate it to the standard distribution flow is just wrong on pretty much every level.

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    4. Thats a very good point and I agree, however, I have seen a lot of people stating that they ordered theirs first via the KS so they should get theirs first. I was mearly pointing out that I had ordered and paid for my store stock, before the KS had finished so by that logic....

      And yes, I went and ordered a KS for myself as I wanted all those pretty mini's however I chose NOT to order all the season 2 and 3 stuff. Because I didn't know how well it would do, in fact I only ordered the base set, no extras at all. All the optional extra's are just that optional. And for paying in advance via KS you get them at great prices.

      The point I was trying to make with my post, and I realise now that this wasn't the place to air it, was that everywhere you look, people are allways moaning about something to do with this hobby. People are moaning that Adam of Kingdom Death didn't update his KS, the guy stated he was going to get some sleep then he had to catch a flight, but people were still up in arms that the target was hit and the next one wasn't up yet.

      I dunno, when I came here and read this I just sorta had a mental explosion. Which is annoying as I have never had any kind of gripe toward FLG but I aired my dirties in his yard. And as I have said I am sorry about that.

      -Voidsign-

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    5. At Voidsign if that is how you feel there is no need to apologise. However, I can be fully justified in saying in this instance I think you are wrong and a bit out of line. I haven't slated Mantic and ignored the good things they have done. I have pointed them out. However, they have given preferential treatment to certain shops, ahead of their entire retail networkd and 2539 customers who have already given them their money. sorry I think it is poor behaviour and as Buhallin has said leaves you wandering what sort of company Mantic are.

      I don't want my KS copy before stores. But equally I don't think special select shops should get them before paying customers of all types either. Piss poor bahaviour and for some people it has done more harm than good to Mantics image. They were seen as a company that listened to fans and wanted to give them the best service possible. This DOES damage that. Plus one of my other local stores that has actually been more supportive of DreadBall as a product than a store that got pre-release copies is a bit miffed. How do they feel? They helped me contact peeps and set up demo games and stuff and they have been shafted locally by Mantic favouring another store where one of the owners called Dreadball a crappy cheap Blood Bowl clone!!! It beggars belief.

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    6. Maybe I was out of line with my statement and as a result I have said that I am sorry.

      What Mantic has done is a bit crappy I admit that, and I never stated that my comment was pointed at yourself, though you seem to be taking it that way. If you do feel that it was, then again I am sorry you feel that way.

      The fact that some shops are getting theirs before others and there is pref treatment going is annoying I will admit that. But as a company wouldn't you keep the big boys sweet, even if it is the wrong thing to do morally ?

      I'm still waiting on mine, and I was told they would be with me on Monday, but as I have said I'm not too fussed when they arrive as long as they DO arrive.

      If people start missing out on their orders then thats a whole new issue, I'll be in the front ranks with my pitchfork and flaming torch.

      -Voidsign-

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    7. Voidsign... they aren't keeping the big boys sweet. That's the fucking point. They've shipped stock to a small local retailer that is co-run by someone in the local community who has actually got a history and a track record of rubbishing Mantic product. He even lambasted Dreadball as a crappy cheap Blood Bowl clone. They're a small start up. They've chosen them over an established shop that has pushed Mantic product and helped me pull together a list of people for intro games. Honestly it's brain dead business decision. The moron responsible should be taken out back and shot!!! Or at the very least flogged. As to the shop themselves they're already saying that's it for DreadBall time to move on to the next cash cow. As to keeping Wayland Games and EotS (are they big? only time will tell if they will fill Maelstroms shoes) maybe I can understand it. But again it calls into question for me the sort of firm Mantic are. Sorry but it does.

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    8. You see, that I didn't know >.> Ahem.
      I got into this not knowing all the facts, I admit that.

      My post was more of a gripe toword the wargaming moaning online mentality that seems to be everywhere.
      And to be honest it was posted in a foul mood and in haste.

      -Voidsign-

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    9. Voidsign, I think the moaning mentality is far more pervasive and all encompassing than our little community. But, I don't think it is as widespread as many of us think it is. For instance maybe I'm totally out of whack with how the community feels about this issue. Maybe I've blown it up bigger than it actually is... there are others who have had complaints about it though on forums and such like, but we could just be a vocal and therefore visible minority. That can give the impression there's more whinging going on than there actually is.

      Doesn't mean though that people don't have valid points does it? Does all the complaining grind me down? Sometimes, but I do try to listen to what others say. Sometimes I can see peoples points of view, but not feel the same way other times I can't. I'd also say that we very rarely get in a situation where somebody saying good things is highlighted.

      My Blog provides a good macrocosm of this actually. I write far more psoitive articles saying good things about the hobby and why I love it and how we could make things better. But, if I whinge or moan those articles become way more popular. Write a complaint, huge hits and comments. Controversy sells. I'm not a fan of the faux rage post or the 'this is shit because post' unless I'm feeling pissy about something. It's rare I feel pissy tbh. Frustrated yeah, but pissy hardly ever. But it's these articles that get highlighted. Why? Because we all love a good whinge. Human nature.

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  10. OK, so a bit of a bungle and some other matters outside Mantic's control. It happens. Will we still all be getting an excellent game and a bunch of extra goodies through Kickstarter? Sure will! Will I remember this in six months time? Nope, I'll just be having fun playing my fun game. A bit of a perspective check is required here perhaps

    And perhaps we would all have more fun if we just got on with our hobby rather than slighting a company trying to do their best with a product which they have sold far more than they expected to. As long as they take steps to ensure it doesnt happen again I'll live with it happily.

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    1. Exactly the point I was trying to make, but you executed it with a tad more finesse I think.

      However Paul, there will be people that remember this in 6 months time, there will be people who remember this in 6 years time. And they will bring it up to moan about it every time Mantic try to do something.

      -Voidsign-

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    2. I will certainly remember it the next time Mantic puts up a Kickstarter.

      Because that's the real problem here. Crowdfunding lives and dies based on hope, optimism, and a large sprinkling of fairy dust. PR blunders like this erode that hope and optimism. Many people are fine with delays if they happen, but they're not so fine feeling like Mantic is prioritizing more money making over those who have already sent them a boatload of cash.

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    3. So how would it affect your decision next time? If they have a product you like (and to be honest I am not enamoured with the Warpath system currently) you will have a choice between buying it cheaper, maybe with extra stuff, or getting it early from a retailer. Which would you go for?

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    4. It would obviously depend a lot on what the product was, but I would probably simply pay more when it hit the stores than take the risk on the Kickstarter. "Cheaper" isn't really an issue for me, honestly.

      One thing that you have to appreciate, as I pointed out to Voidsign above, is that the Kickstarter is a very long-term investment/relationship. I'm essentially committed to buying just about everything Dreadball releases for the next year, and have handed Mantic the money for it all up front. If they can't choose to prioritize those who did so at this point, are they going to remember in a year when we're far more distant from our payments? Will they offer S2 packs to everyone at the same prices as the Kickstarter, when they need to generate more sales when S2 hits?

      Maybe they will, and maybe they won't. But when you're making that big an investment over that long a period it's a huge statement of trust in the company, and it doesn't take much to damage that trust. Companies all love the idea of Kickstarter because it gets them their money sooner and lowers the risk on investment, but that carries a responsibility on their part too.

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    5. Buy paying for those items now you are saving yourself a ton of money, and as I stated, you didn't have to buy them.

      If your local shop had an item that you wanted, but you could get it for half the price by ordering it online and waiting a week, which would you do ? I would order online.

      You said that cheaper isn't an issue for you, I can say that for myself and a hell of a lot of other people, the savings you get from kickstarter really are an issue.

      Yes Mantic have balls up with this, they should of got the game out to the KS first, but that didn't happen, meh. You are still going to get everything that you ordered, you may just have to wait a few extra days.
      I can see why people are upset about their local store having it first, but does their local store have it at the same value that they have paid for it, we get almost twice as many mini's in our KS boxes, so I dont think so.

      Yes, there is a negative to all this, but look at the possitive side.

      -Voidsign-

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    6. @Paul, I don't mind delays, and if Mantic had said "hey guys, we're going to have to hold this back until after Christmas" I might have been disappointed but I would have accepted it. I've applauded them for bringing the January pledges forward, although with every passing day I guess that get's a little less impressive doesn't it? :P However, they have shot themselves in the foot and certainly lost some good will with me. Why? Not because it is delayed, but because they have given some retailers preferential treatment. That smacks of "we've got your money already, now we're after somebody elses so you can just wait". Sorry that is shoddy behaviour, and I think it's right for those who feel that way to point it out.

      @Voidsign... sigh... whatever. I think you either just don't get it, or you don't want to get it. Mantic have fucked up. It does call into question how they will treat backers long-term. If at the first hurdle they have decided meh, fuck those who have already paid lets prioritse new customers, as Buhallin says that does not bode well for S2 and S3 stuff. It really, really doesn't. Whether that is what they have done, or whether that it's just how some people have perceived it is a moot point. The damage has been done, and for those of us who not only invested our money, but also our time to help develop the game that is a bit annoying. You'll see my name and the name of many of my friends in the rulebook as play-testers. As a collective we feel a little let down as much of the excitement round these parts has been generated by us talking to people.

      @Buhallin, exactly. It isn't a massive dent to Mantics image for some, but for others it is. And that frustrates me. As somebody who was very heavily involved in this project way before the Kickstarter was out of the doors I am livid that such a stupid business decision could have even slightly eroded all the hard work, good will and effort people have put in. Even if it is only for 1 or 2 people. If they keep making these bad business decisions eventually it'll all add up and give a clear indication of how they will act as a company. Nothing wrong with profit, but you should deliver your current orders first without going out to try and make more.

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  11. Not really sure what's the big issue here. We; the KS backers, were promised delivery by Xmas this year. If that happens, then great. The fact that it got to shops earlier really doesn't factor into any promises Mantic made us when we backed the KS. I'd be miffed IF they were shipping out their first print to stores and we backers had to wait till the 2nd print to get our stuff but that isn't happening here.

    I'm not really sure what more people want. I mean at my pledge lvl, I'm getting way more than what I would get for retail price.

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    1. Actually as has been pointed out by others elsewhere:

      http://meeples.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/dreadball-mantic-have-the-ball-its-the-last-rush-of-the-game-they-must-score-wait-fumble/

      Mantic DID actually give assurances during the campaign that KS pledgers would be given priority. And I've trawled through the comments, questions and answers myself and I'm not going mad. That point was stated by Mantic time and time again. So actually it DOES factor into Mantic's promises. Unless of course we're talking about a revisionist history where Mantic pulled a volte face on their FB page and tried saying they were always going to doa pre-release with some shops having stock in effect 3 and maybe even 4 weeks before pledgers at Striker level get their stuff. If you're OK with that great, but please don't try saying that they didn't say these things and that the game isn't as big and in demand isn't as strong because of all the support KS pledgers gave it.

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    2. Yeah I thought they had said that but thank god someone else did the trawling...

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    3. Well, are the stores getting all the MVPs we're getting before us? Or is it just the core set?

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    4. @Minitrol, I'm also glad somebody did the trawling before me and I was just able to verify it!!!

      @Sining Ong, We're only getting some extra MVP's and by the looks of things some stores are saying they'll be getting MVP's before Christmas, although they could be confused about that. However, Your original point was that Mantic never said that, and they never said this. I point out that they DID, and that they've gone back on their word, which gives people the right to be pissed. Then you try changing the goal posts. Not going to work my friend. Mantic have changed their tune and just because they informed us via FB doesn't mean it's all OK.

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    5. I said they never said that because I don't remember them saying that. To be honest, I still don't see anywhere on the link that provided a source for where mantic gave assurances that KS backers would get theirs first. If so many people do think so, then they probably could have. Might have been one of their posts on the KS comments site or one of their updates; of which I didn't read through everything.

      However, if that's the case then I'll have to think 'why aren't we getting things at the same time as retailers' and the only reason I can think of is maybe the MVPs. You can say I'm moving the goalposts or whatnot, but seriously, I'm just trying to understand the logic or reasoning behind this instead of going 'I want my DB first'

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    6. See I took "given priority" meaning that they would make sure all of the KS Pledges had their stock before they started providing stock to stores...

      This doesn't mean that KS's will get their first, just mean that what they haven't already pre-sold will be for the stores. And a simple list can tell them that even when all the stock is still there.

      -Voidsign-

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  12. I'm not overly worked up about this. Probably because I'm a slow painter and have very little gaming time anyway. However, if I walked into my FLGS and saw people having a ball playing a game I paid for two months ago while I'm still waiting there might be some nerd-rage.

    It's definitely a 'wrong move' on the part of Mantic. I understand they want this game on the shelves before Christmas... well we (KS backers) are due to get ours before Christmas... I don't think the box needs to be on the shelves for a month before Christmas to sell. If they arrived a week or two before Christmas, like my copy will (fingers crossed), people will still buy it. A large portion of shopping is done the last few days before Christmas.

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    1. I wasn't overly worked up about it I have to be honest at first. Even after I wrote the article I was still just saying it was a facepalm moment... and then we got people saying "chillax" like Tories. Telling people to calm down about being shafted, no matter how slightly it is, because Mantic told us they'd shaft us. Oh that's OK then. They say one thing during the campaign and then blow it all by shafting us and changing their tune to make a quick buck, but it's OK they told us... o_0 ... seriously, I wish some of you guys would think about the logic of what you are saying. I know some of you want to support Mantic, and that's a laudable aim. It is. I mean I really like Ronnie and I've spoken to him on a number of occasions, Chris Palmer is a top guy too... but if their shit stinks I'm going to tell them because that's how companies learn!!! By not doing so I'm letting Mantic off of the hook to screw up again and do even more damage.

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  13. I hope I do remember this in 6 years cos my memory is really crap, it's an age thing, so remembering would be great. I'm one of the rather miffed chaps, been buying from Mantic almost from day 1. Feel that my KS pledge was a good faith commitment and that is not being reciprocated at this point. Sometimes people moan about something because they have something to moan about. Being paranoid doesn't mean that no ones out to get you.

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    1. This is a really good point, and one I've made in private to the people at Mantic. Those who backed early doors on the campaign, and went out of their way to spread the word are their core fans. The people who will be banner bearers and supporters for them. Some clearly still are, as there appears to be plenty of people incapable of believing Mantic would ever drop the ball... ALL HAIL MANTIC!!!! So by doing what they have done, they have shafted their core fans, the people you really need to keep onside in this industry. They will find that very damaging, certainly in the short-term... however, who knows what it'll be like long-term. They will need to start building all those bridges again.

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    2. One other consideration on the PR front is those who AREN'T Mantic's core fans.

      Let's be brutal here - Mantic's business model so far has been as a proxy for GW games. They're finally starting to do their own games, and well, but they've drawn a lot of fire - some justified, some not - for being nothing more than moochers or clones off GW's greatness. It doesn't really matter how justified the action may be on the PR front, because nobody in the wider community is going to hear the explanation. But "Mantic screwed their backers on Dreadball so they could turn some more profit" is certainly going to come up in the inevitable GW v Mantic debates.

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    3. Again Buhallin you point something out I hadn't considered myself. From those on the outside looking in, the Mantic naysayers who slam them for being GW clones this will for many of them confirm their opinions of them. Which is truly unfortunate. I'm sure from Mantics point of view they'll look at all the problems they've had and the fact that they are getting the game out on time and by when they said they would, and see people complaining about the pre-release as they're calling it and think it's unfair. Maybe it is, but it's what people are seeing.

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  14. “I'm not generally bothered by it personally, but I think it's a mistake to characterize this as typical whiny gamer impatience. There's a very real question of Mantic's priority, and for those who dumped huge amounts of money into a game sight-unseen, they deserve better than seeing it on the shelves before they get their copies.”

    Agreed. My wife sells boutique candles. If she makes special offer to her FB fans then sells the special offer to a store I think you’d agree the offer it aint so special? It’s not just price people like the recognition and the appreciation. War-game customers more so it’s not just a product your selling is it??

    Everyone else has offered cogent (or close approximations) points so I thought I would just add my two cents to feel included. I was of the understanding that we would
    A: receive game and S1 stuffs before Christmas
    B: this would be sent FIRST before retailers (unless retailers were also pledgers I assume) then retailers et al.

    I must admit I hadn’t noticed the furor as I assumed this was all happening and TBH as long as it arrived before Christmas I was Golden, I hasn’t read this article till today …

    (‘That’..mused FLG is a LIE ‘I know you refresh my blog every 6 hours looking for a new post’)

    But I noticed an announcement on our local e-seller http://www.slavetopainting.co.nz/collections/board-games

    Slave To Painting: Andy and Mike I am actually really surprised that they haven't got things out to Kickstarter backers yet...but our distributor did make sure they were at the front of the queue on this...

    So I was more or less blissful being on the bottom of the world teaches you patience but this was tad irritating. And recognized as such!

    I touched on it before but in my limited experience admittedly I still feel that Gavin and his Relics Indiegogo was more efficiently run than this KickStarter. Every issue, every delay had a reasoned and prompt explanation. He was upfront and told us hey I have changed this as it’s not going to work it will mean delays. I knew instantly when there was progress: twitter, Facebook, the campaign, the forum he updated ASAP. Now sure that was a smaller prospect with 152 backers and Gavin’s a one man band so surely that’s easier? Well the axiom applies in reverse as well, surely Mantic as a larger company with more resources should make elementary mistakes?

    Of course they will, it happens, but we are right to judge them for that. Jody is correct how long does the ‘new company’ shine no longer ring true?

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    1. LIAR!!! I know from Google Analytics that you've read the story at least 4 times!!! :P

      I think this is a story that will get much, much bigger Minitrol. The reason? Many people haven't yet walked into their local gaming clubs or LGS's and seen it on the shelves or open with people playing it. When they do, many of them will have that niggle start eating away at them... but I backed this, I made it happen, they have Hex bases because of me, etc.

      Then they'll ask 'why have I been treated like a second class citizen?'. Given the Striker pledges are only going out next Tuesday there will be more and more people in that position of seeing others, who didn't back Mantic with blind faith and cold hard cash get it before them... and in some cases given the discounts potentially cheaper than them as well.

      I did watch the Relics KS campaign. Just didn't have the money to back it. which is a shame because actually I've been wanting to look at Relics. Adam for instance is doing a great job with his Kingdom Death campaign, and keeping that up-to-date as a one man band with well over 1000 backers. I'm highly impressed.

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    2. I know! I have no idea how he is doing it! An 8 hour job is enough to make me doolally!

      Well, there's viewed and there's read...

      What you wrote was in essence what a friend and I just said on Facebook (in a mantic page no less).

      Sorry my last post is a horrible mishmash been home sick! I wish you could edit wiht these things!

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  15. I'm starting to think one of the big differences in reactions to this comes down to how you view crowdfunding, and those who participate.

    If you just look at Kickstarter as preordering something, then sure - nothing ever guarantees that you're going to be at the front of the line just because you preorder. That all makes sense.

    But (at least to me) participating in a Kickstarter is way more than that. You're going out on a limb to help a company. You're allowing them to do something they shouldn't be able to, and you as a customer are shouldering the risk - that's not the normal relationship. Typically, risk in business is incurred by those who look to make a profit - that's why I took such exception to Void's suggestion that his order from the shop was the same. It's not.

    Companies have started asking customers to do something exceptional, and they deserve to be treated exceptionally in response. Mantic obviously doesn't feel the same - we got our discount goodies, and that's the end of it. That bothers me more than the simple fact that it's late - not that the late happened, but that the response to it all seems to be "Meh, we never told you you'd get it early."

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    1. Buhallin I view backing a project on KS as being an investor. Just like a back or a private investor I'm giving somebody or some company my backing because I believe they have a good idea I think deserves to be made. I'm taking a risk on a project. I mean I'm fully aware that all these projects I've backed might never happen, investors should know they don't always get a return on their money. I'm cool with that. However, if I'm taking the risk and helping support you, when you are successful in your endeavours you should remember who helped you get there, and as you say, we're doing something exceptional, so we deserve to be treated exceptionally. Good comment.

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    2. I can be honest here, I back KS because I want the stuff.
      If I was going to back a project just because they had a good or even great idea I would be shelling out £1000s a month. I don't do that, I pick and choose.

      I'm buying a product, and as a result for paying for it way in advance, I'm getting loads of extra goodies. The only thing I'm investing in, is my future Games and Miniatures collection.

      I back it, because I want it. Simple as.

      Also I know that if a KS fails, I won't get charged. So the only way I could loose out is if the company goes under or something. And that doesn't just count for KS, I lost £40 odd via Maelstrom going under, nothing I could do about it, it's the risk I take.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Mantic nut, I will say exactley the same for Sedition Wars and probably Relic Knights when that goes wrong ^.^

      -Voidsign-

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    3. @Voidsign, I actually think the way you view Kickstarter is probably closer tot he way most people view Kickstarter actually. I'd certainly suggest more people are closer to your point of view than mine or Buhallin's. If that is the case though then there is an interesting difference with our industry and others and crowd-funding. There are loads more risks theoretically than you state to backing Kickstarter campaigns. A company actually could just say, "hey guys we got the maths horribly wrong and we're going to release a reduced product or nothing at all". Honestly check the T&C on Kickstart. I f we as an industry are using it as more of an advanced orders system with a few bells and whistles then it will start leading to issues and problems eventually... or that's my opinion.

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    4. I agree with that, Supporting a Miniature game and supporting a Music CD or Computer Game are two completley different things. And as a result are presented and viewed in very different ways.

      If a miniature company were to present their KS in the same way as Music CD (we'll add an extra song) I don't think they would get the support. It's basicley them bribing us with extra goodies to get our cash. The more you pay, the better it gets. That's not always the case in a Crowd Finded CD, it's more about getting the product out there, with the support of the poeple.

      But miniature KS's also generate (from what I've seen) massive amounts of funding (Reaper) and you know that there will be a product at the end of it.

      If something did happen and a product was never released and poeple did loose their money, I think that would change the way everyone views it, untill that point I think a lot of us (myself included) will view it as a pre-order system with "bells" on.

      At the moment I personally think that the KS is a fad for Miniature Gamers, as soon as something goes completley tits up wrong in a big way and people loose out totally, it'll be pretty much done with.

      -Voidsign-

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    5. Hmm... perhaps the topic of Kickstarter does deserve a little more discussion, maybe I need to rethink what tomorrows Sunday Sermon will be about.

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    6. I completely agree with Voidsign on this.

      Crowdfunding is new, and I'll take a risk at saying that few people have really considered what it is and what it means. So far, Kickstarter's outright failures have been relatively small. Once some bigger ones kick in and people do actually lose money, it's going to change the tune.

      As an example, I never, EVER back software projects. I work in software, and their reputation for being over budget, over schedule, and just plain vaporware is well earned. Consider the Star Citizen effort - I loved me some Wing Commander, and have huge respect for Chris Roberts, but what they're planning is INCREDIBLY ambitious. It borders on insane, obviously, but they've got about six million dollars worth of funding for it. At the end of the period, if it turns out to be vaporware, what happens? A bunch of people are out a combined six million dollars. That money gets burned in development, and by the time there's enough of a visible problem for people to start demanding repayment, it's far too late.

      Minis are obviously far more stable, but I think it's important not to get sucked into the success of efforts like Reaper, Mantic, etc. There are plenty of smaller efforts that don't get funding - I could point to one right now, but I won't because I think the guy who runs the company is an ass and don't want to give him the traffic. His recent minis Kickstarter flopped, hard. Like most things on the internet, successful funding requires going viral and that's a lot easier when you've got a name like Reaper or Mantic or McVey behind it.

      I think there's a big difference between true startups trying to crowdfund to get things going, and established companies using crowdfunding purely to pad their bank account and shift risk. Ironically, these successful ones carry more ethical concern for me because of that, and I'm far less forgiving to them as a result.

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    7. Certainly it is interesting seeing how retailers (well stateside retailers at least according to their blogs) see kickstarter as being anti them in a big way (indeed are they now bared from retailer deals or somesuch?) and avoiding KS launched stuff until it can be provided there is a demand beyond the initial internet interest.

      Personally I hope Dreadball captures the interest of many, like bloodbowl, as I like these style sports games (my BB collection is the only one near completely painted, just 3 or 4 or maybe 5 teams to go!) and mantic does seem to understand the need for a league/tourney system to be up and running (these sports style games have in some ways an inbuilt social/community building aspect over other mini games which I think makes up for the lower number of purchases needed).

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    8. @ Chris, KS has deff effected the way I look at stock, as a retailer I will order less of an item if it's had a KS. The group of people that i am trying to sell the product too, would be aware of it and in most cases pledged for their own copy.

      Saying that though, if I pledge in KS purley for the store it gives me an oppertunity to buy exclusive items that I wouldn't normally be able to get as a retailer. And most of the time it ends up that the product costs less than my normal retail discount anyway. The only downside is that there is such a huge wait on the return.

      @ FLG I look forward to reading your views on the whole KS issue.

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  16. My question would be - Has the game got legs? Will it be on your shelf unplayed in 6Months time? Very cheeky though to send them to non-Kickstarter traders first. When I ran my Indiegogo campaign I was very keen to make sure the supporters had their copy of the book shipped out before I put the book on sale for general consumption.

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