Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sunday Sermon: Just what the hell is Crowd-funding supposed to be?


Right well I guess this is overdue in some respects. Like many in our community I've spoken about this crowd-funding phenomenon that seems to have swept through our hobby, mainly in terms of the projects that are up and running on various crowd funding sites. Many of the projects that I see are genuinely interesting, and many more really exciting. I'm a terrible person for new shiny stuff, I'm a magpie at heart and I struggle to resist the allure of new miniatures and games. So this crowd funding phenomenon is a bit like a drug to people like me. The opportunity to help somebody else realise their dream and goal of producing their own miniatures range or game has been a very powerful motivator for me, and my currently quite limited spending power. I'm partly a contrary bugger who likes seeing odd ball indie games developed, and I've always sought out the weird and out of way stuff in whatever environment I happen to be operating in, be it comic books, music, films, computer games or hobby. Kickstarter is therefore right up my street.

It also appears quite oddly to be up many other peoples streets too, which is great because it seems many products are getting the funding they require to made into reality. I have personally maintained my belief that Kickstarter and Indiegogo would go through a brief euphoria period with us hobbyists being enraptured and enamoured with it. Spending all of our cash on it, and then settle down. I honestly thought it might be a fleeting fad, and that people would start to get a bit annoyed with waiting for all their shiny miniature goodness to actually arrive. I still maintain this will ultimately be the case, but, I thought this process would actually take far less time that it appears to be taking. This is a boon and a bane in some respects for our industry. You see, I've followed crowd-funding for a little time, and from before our hobby cottoned onto it as a good idea. I've witnessed the collapse of computer game projects after they've received funding, and the inevitable recriminations that follow. I actually think that our industry on the whole has been significantly better than others at actually fulfilling there promises... which either proves as a sector we're awesome, or that these products didn't need crowd-funding in the first place.

OK sure there have been the odd delays here and there, and a few issues surrounding quality of product with some campaigns. But, on the whole as an industry the miniatures games and boardgames industry has delivered. That's something as a sector people should be rightly proud of, but it's also storing up further issues. Part of the reason that so many of our industries crowd-funded projects have been so swimmingly successful is the fact that many of them were completed projects in reality, or soon to be completed products any way. Now I'm not going to talk about whether or not such projects should actually be on crowd-funding sites, because it will open up a whole can of worms I'm not sure I want to be discussing on here right now, although I may return to the subject. However, these projects and lets be brutally honest here and call some of them products, are in effect almost acting like a pretty big pre-order bonanza party. We're talking about completed products, or very near completed products, being preordered in effect, and the reward we all get for lots of preorders is we get 'extra' stuff.

A Kickstarter I was more involved with than most

Now I know I said I didn't want to discuss whether or not it's right that such products should use crowd-funding sites, but for me I'll say they're not really in the spirit of the crowd-funding ethos. Note I never once said they shouldn't be using Kickstart or Indiegogo. Because lets face it, part of these websites appeal to firms is the fact that they reach such a wide audience, and thus as a marketing tool they are really good platforms to be involved with. So I do think using Kickstarter or Indiegogo as a marketing tool is a legitimate use to a certain degree. But, there are problems associated with it. These sorts of campaigns have warped how we as hobbyists view crowd-funding. We do now think that we're on the main preordering product and that brings with it increased expectation levels, not just for those projects that are glorified preorder schemes, but also those that aren't. Those projects that actually are in need of development budgets and that have a lot of work to go before they become fully completed products.

Our view of crowd-funding, as a collective community, has become somewhat warped from the initial concept was intended to be. I'll direct you back to an already finished Kickstart campaign, that of On the Lambs Endless Fantasy Tactics. Now I had a lot of people talk to me about that game and Kickstarter project in particular, but what struck me was just how many people came back to me and said "the game isn't finished yet"... o_0 ... that's me making my confused face if you will. Of course the game wasn't finished yet, it was being Kickstarted so they could finish it; and unless I've got this whole crowd funding malarkey completely backwards I thought that was the exact reason why Kickstarter was set up. Wasn't it? It wasn't set up so we could all take part in a glorified pre-order system for a project that was already completed, which is what some of our industry luminaries have essentially turned it into. Don't get me wrong, what the likes of Mantic and Cool Mini or Not have done is exceedingly shrewd business, but it could be argued it has skewed our views of what should be possible.

This campaign hit some turbulence, but was still funded.

I read a number of articles a few months back now, way back actually on the Black Diamond Games blog. The first talked about what they termed the Kickstarter Hype Cycle and got my attention because it contained the 'hype cycle' graph. This is something I've come across multiple times in my own work, and the five stages don't just apply to technology, they apply to all sorts of things, including political campaigns. You can read more about it here if you want to, and it's a sort of balanced critique and alternative path offered; if you're into your marketing then Scott Brinkers Blog is an interesting read, and comes highly recommended by yours truly. But I digress. Gary of Black Diamond Games fame made a compelling series of arguments about Kickstarter, and like him I think our industry is travelling along the Gartner Hype cycle, perhaps we might disagree at how fast we're likely to travel along it with regards crowd-funding, but I do agree with him that we're pootling along at some indeterminate speed. Thing is we do seem to have stayed in the 'peak of inflated expectations' far longer than I would have thought possible, or probable. Maybe we should look at individual products instead?

Both brilliant games... but do they have long-term shelf appeal?

I guess part of this seemingly indefinite stay at the peak is to do with how some in our industry have seemingly approached crowd-funding as a way of pre-selling already completed products. Taking the hype cycle into consideration for individual crowd funded products, as opposed to say the entirety of the crowd-funding phenomenon, you could argue that the products crowd funding period all sits clearly in the hype cycle. Think about it, the best campaigns smash targets on a daily basis, offering extra "promises', quite often of not very much, or extra special cool limited options you can only get through this campaign!!! Shock, horror. MUST BUY MOAR!!! It's hype, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are great hype factories. So what happens after the hype goes away? What happens when it's all over and the product is funded, or not as the case may be? Well I've had some really interesting conversations around this recently with retailers and gamers alike... not that the two are mutually exclusive you understand. Personally I think if there are Marketing students out there, there is a whole thesis waiting to be written on this topic.

In particular I've been really interested to discuss with retailers how these Kickstarted, post hype products fair in the retail environment. Now, nobody has been able to give me sales figures, God only knows why they won't, perhaps it's because it doesn't suit these retailers narratives; or maybe it's because they don't exist because they're not very good. BUT, there is a sort of consistent pattern emerging with those I talk to. I'm going to direct you back to another excellent little article on Black Diamond Games about 'the Mark of Kickstarter' he also wrote an further clarification and follow up. In the article Gary talks about something I'd sort of assumed to be the case, the idea that Kickstarter is already very effective at getting good market penetration within our sphere, our sector. In short, if somebody in our hobby wants the product or is likely to buy the product the fact it has had a Kickstart or Indiegogo campaign means it's already pretty much exhausted the market for sales.

Gary mentions small to medium firms being the ones that have little to no value after the crowd funded fact... but, I've had a number of retailers talk around the issues of proximity of product launch to campaign close down. Interestingly I've been told consistently that it is vitally important that organisations do one of three things with their products:

  1. Launch them as close to the campaign close as possible, preferably within a couple of months, so the hype train is still in full swing. This allows stores to get in on the act and ride the hype to further sales.
  2. Launch the product way, way, waaaay after the campaign, we're talking at least 12 months after close down here, if not longer. This is to allow the hype to die down and disappear, which then gives you as an organisation the opportunity to start building the product up again in a more sustainable way. 
  3. Kickstart part of a product, like a faction or expansions to an already established and existing product line.  Use it as a way to expand the appeal of something that is already sustainable.

The third option I'm told proves the most successful at retail. I'm also told products that launch in between these two timeline extremes identified above that retailers have the most difficulty with. The campaign might not be fresh in gamers / consumers minds, but they know that it's campaign closed down recently, and it's no longer the hot new Kickstarter on the block, no, that's Quasark Death Race Murderball 3000 from Boonies Games Incorporated (both names are trademarks of Frontline Gamer Blog PLC).

I still haven't done anything with Gruntz.

This has some interesting implications for our industry. They may not even be readily apparent right now, although I'm starting to see what I term 'shoveling' from some firms. 'Shoveling' as a sales tactic is most commonly associated with cheap product, disposable product. Companies that are in the business of making annoying ring tones. They 'shovel'. The idea is that your business builds nothing that is sustainable long-term. You are always looking for that next big product, or as I suspect with our industry, that next big Kickstart campaign. I'd assumed that this sort of behaviour amongst in our sector might be some way off, but I'm afraid it might already be here. While I like the products that have been put forward by the likes of Cool Mini or Not and Mantic Games so far, I am starting to be alarmed by the rapid turnover in campaigns. Mantic are on their third campaign currently, the rather good looking Deadzone, yet I'm informed by some people who have pledge for their Kings of War campaign that they've either only just finished shipping on that product or have yet to finish. I'm not sure either way because I never pledged.

However, there is a disturbing pattern emerging with a number of companies now, that makes me concerned that they might be chasing the Kickstarter dragon. Constantly looking to live off of the next 'high'. That's not sustainable. It's not building a product base that can live on a plateau of steady turnover. It's a constant fire sale, and that will ultimately harm the crowd-funding phenomenon for others. How many short-term successes that fail to translate into sustainable long-term products will it take for people to say enough is enough for crowd-funding? Maybe it's hundreds. Maybe it's thousands and thousands and thousands. Maybe there will be no trough of disillusionment, but I'm a realist and the low is coming. Already in my gaming fraternity there have been rumblings of discontent at the number of Kickstarted games that seem to die on launch. These games are supposed to have a ready made community, but if the game has reached market saturation, and in your town only two people pledged... well... that's not a sustainable product is it?

How our industry and more specifically certain trends in our industry develop over the next few years will determine what sort of relationship it has with crowd-funding. We've yet to see the big failures, because on the whole the boardgames / wargames / card-games industry / industries have been by and large peddling completed products. We have though seen a number of disappointing products... no I'm not going to list them here, because for each of us they'll be different. Think about it, in many ways we're blind buying products based off of nothing but biased marketing hype. Not all of them can live up to all of our expectations, and different products will disappoint and satisfy different people. So we'll each have our successes, and failures that are personal to us. I'm guessing it's the weighting of these that will ultimately drive individual consumer behaviour. But the more our industry 'shovels' quickfire product onto us the more likely it is that they'll be building up these long-term 'unsustainables' in our piles of games, which in turn reduces our impetus and drive to fund future projects. It's an attritional build up.

I thought Sedition Wars got insane levels of backing...

Just to be clear, I'm not down on crowd-funding. I've personally had way more successes than failures. My Freebooter's Legends stuff turned up yesterday morning and they are fabulous. But this idea of using Kickstarter as a focus for for a Business Plan is... erm... unwise. I'd start to urge caution about how we all approach crowd-funding, let's not turn it into a boom and bust cycle, except where we permanently bust things. We need crowd-funding as a tool to get projects off of the ground. We're never going to be a sector that venture capitalists want to pump there money into. We're not going to offer the the large investment opportunities and we're certainly not going to offer the returns; the market space is just way too small, intransigent and paradoxically, and somewhat ironically, quite fickle too. We mustn't allow crowd-funding to become the modus operandi for our industry, we need to start looking at building long-term sustainable products, not just in terms of the normal retail distribution network, but in terms of steady community growth.

...then Kingdom Death cam along!

I'll be really interested in hearing all of your thoughts on Kickstart and Indiegogo. Have you had any products turn up that have blown you away or maybe disappointed you? How has crowd-funding changed your spending habits, because it has certainly changed mine, and I'm unsure of the long-term damage or benefits this change in spending will have on our hobby.  In short I'd like to hear you all talk about this crowd-funding phenomenon, because make no mistake it is a phenomenon. Do you think we can continually ride the wave? Can our industry continue to deliver these fire sales? Or will there come a point where we've all been stung a little too often and we wise up to those who are aiming to cyclically fleece us? And does it really matter if they are 'fleecing' us if the product is continually of a high enough standard not to make us feel let down? It's a complex discussion, and certainly don't claim to hold all, or indeed any of the answers. I just think our industries relationship with crowd-funding is potentially maturing, and we need to make sure it matures in the right way, and we don't go through too many painful growth spurts. Peace out!


  1. So far backed 5 projects across KS and IGG.

    One (card game) went absolutely as planned.
    One (board game) arrived significantly less impressive than originally displayed about 4 weeks late.
    One (board game) arrived very late and a bit piecemeal.
    One (computer game) delivered on time and as promised and with an added bonus coming next year which was unexpected.
    One (miniatures game) has almost put me of KS for life. Sorry Sedition Wars but are you EVER going to all be with me before I've given up waiting and moved on to a younger more attractive game that is in my hands...

    1. I think an awful lot of people I talk too have had successes and some mediocre experiences. Not too many in terms of our hobby have suffered outright disasters.

      As to Sedition Wars... well the delays are no doubt annoying, I think part of it is understandable. Perhaps these hiccups might make companies more wary in the future. I certainly think for it's longer term implementation we have to get real as a hobby about what crowd-funding can and can't be, and what is expected, and what expectations we have are fair.

  2. So far I've backed one, cancelled two and am currently funding a fourth.

    First was Sedition wars.

    This is one that didn't really live up to my expectations.
    The cardboard components were cheap and easily damaged, the material that used for the miniatures while being able to hold a lot of detail was a complete nightmare to work with! And then there was the delays.
    While not major for the most part, they did take the wind out of my sails some.

    All in all I regret funding it and its still sitting unfinished on my shelf.

    Bones was the my first cancellation, and when they announced they would be offering refunds after having to change a few of the sculpts because of time constraints, I jumped at the chance!

    The problem with bones for me was that the sculpts were just not up to scratch. But with hindsight that's something I should have expected, especially considering the timescale and price.

    Third was Relic Knights, and being an anime fan this one pretty much. "You had me at hello!"

    But once again there were delays and sculpt problems. While a some of the models are stunning! there are a lot that went from dynamic and detailed in concept, to static, clumsy looking or just plain awful in cg render or sculpt.

    This coupled with there cynical release delay made me and the others in our pledge ask for a refund.

    Plus in my case the kickstarter didn't offer me anything I wanted that I couldn't buy later.

    The fourth and current is Robotech RPG tactics.

    Now this little bugger is my childhood wet dream! Its grabbed me by my geek cluster and is tickling furiously!

    I honestly can't talk about this campaign objectively so I won't try.
    I'm gonna open my wallet, bend over and probably thank them afterwards!

    All in all despite Robotech I think I've already become a little jaded toward kicktarter. For me the delays and the quality concerns (material and game.) make most projects unappealing, and it would take something pretty special to make me spend again. (like robotech!) :)

    1. Flicking through the comments there does seem to be a bit of 'deflation' shall we say surrounding Sedition Wars as a product now. That makes me a little sad, for a number or reasons, but the primary one being you'll find my name in the rulebook. I was involved with play testing the game and gave a lot of feedback on things. Not every suggestion I made got through into the final product, and it wasn't quite the way I'd have gone with it... but I felt as a game it was pretty solid and delivered on what Mike and Rob wanted from the experience. As for the material of the miniatures... yeah, detai retention is great, but it's a bitch to work with. My card components though weren't too bad, although I've obviously read about the issues others have had with them.

      Never backed Bones. Having seen some of the product and its 'quality' levels beforehand I chose to skip it.

      Relic Knights I'm not too fussed about I guess. I always thought the timescales were... optimistic shall we say. I'm still looking forward to getting my hands on the stuff, because like you, I'm an anime fan. I think though this is the sort of experience that funders of other industries like computer games often have to put up with. Delays. As annoying as it is, we have to accept that we haven't 'pre-ordered' these products, we've invested in them. Sometimes investments go a little sour. You either cut your loses, or live with them.

      As for Robotech RPG tactics... it doesn't exist, and don't you go proving it does with links you swine. I've staunchly resisted that particular money pit, and I fully intend to stay strong!!!

    2. The aforementioned clearly non-existent Robotech game sucked me in BUT I'm keeping my expectations on fulfillment timeline (as has been mentioned, this is an issue with with some of the campaigns) to nothing. This is for one reason, two words: Palladium Games. If you're familiar with the release "schedule" for their pen and paper RPGs I don't need to say anything else. Regarding Relic Knights, as someone who didn't pledge, the entry point price range is a little daunting compared to the Kickstarter pledges. $50 for one large Knight figure or the same $50 for those who pledged for a starter set with the large figure and approx four regular sized miniatures.

    3. Well as long as people are being realistic about their pledges, and what companies can produce (that goes for the companies themselves) then everything should be fine and dandy. You have to sit there when looking to pledge and ask yourself the question "why am I doing this?"

      Did you say something about Robots? Couldn't quite hear you... ;)

  3. Yeah, like you say, I've noticed the shift from people backing it as a project, to just thinking of it as a pre-order store. It's all the stuff that kicks off when a project is late, cause that never happens in real life projects, and how dare they.

    I will admit, I was disappointed when Relic Knights was delayed. I was expecting some form of delay, given the size, but 6 months was more than I was expecting.

    And yes, as you say it seems with some companies it's their business plan. At the same time I can't blame them. It's either spend a lot of your own money, possibly from banks etc, producing a product line, then launch it, and hope that people like it. Or just produce some prototypes, run a kickstarter and that'll show you if there's a demand for it. That way you know if it's worth actually putting it into mass production.

    I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the Sedition Wars stuff, though I think that's just down to the fact they're using the new resin/plastic hybrid stuff that people haven't quite figured out exactly how to work it yet. I've seen better models done with it, and I've seen worse.

    As to sustainability, I've seen it with traditionally released games. It's the typical shiny syndrome that has plagued the hobby for ages, with people getting a new game, everybody buys it, and then either through a delayed release schedule, problems with mechanics, or just moving on to another game, it gets dropped. I've seen it happen loads of times, hell I've done it once or twice myself.

    And while people complain about kickstarter, I think the fact is it's here to stay, so companies, retailers, and consumers will need to adapt to it. The only way it'll probably change is if there is a change in the law regarding it, or there's some kind of massive scam run on it, that sours everyone.

    Still I really like it, as again it's another tool for producing miniatures and games that otherwise would've never gotten funded the traditional way, due to the economic climate, and various other factors no doubt.

    1. Don't get me wrong, I like crowd-funding and I think it's a really interesting phenomenon I really do. Like you I also think it is here to stay. I just think that we as consumers and indeed campaign managers need to 'mature' to it as a platform for our hobby. Right now we seem to be like kids in a candy store... and we run the risk of getting rotten teeth.

      As to the attitudes of people thinking they've pre-ordered product... it is a worrisome thing for those running campaigns. If this attitude persists it might actually lead to crowd-funding being more problematic that getting finance via the more traditional routes for some. We need to all learn we're investors and that sometimes investments don't turn out as expected.

      Like you I'm a bit disappointed with the delay to Relic Knights, but I guess that's what happens when you become an investor. I always thought the May 2013 deadline was ever so slightly optimistic. I also hope Soda Pop are going to be seriously taking their time with the games rules. Hopefully the extra time will allow them to develop a better final product.

      The Business Plan thing though is a concern. If your company has to constantly shift to the next big Kickstarter then your company is on shaky financial grounds. If you can't spin a successful long-term sustainable business out of a number of product lines then you're just delaying the inevitable and ultimately you'll go bump in a big way.

      As to Sedition Wars, I've posted some comments above on that. Yeah personally I think the plastic or resin they chose to use (I believe it's PVC) is a total bitch to work with. However I have got better with it as I've gone on. The detail retention is absolutely brilliant though, and not far off of their superb resin miniatures. As to the card, I've genuinely had no problems with these components, not even the notorious 'bending' of the game tiles.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. I have followed several kickstarters but only pledge on the Reaper Bones which has started shipping but is not supposed to actually get finished to almost 3 months later. Since that is not really a game, there is not as strong of a network affect but I know that they got a big jump in sales due to the exposure. Shipping delays seem to be a big problem even if the products are ready since the companies have essentially jammed the whole year of sales into the launch window. You could hire and train more people to ship the stuff but then you have to let them go and that cuts into your profits. Reaper has made a big deal that it is like 18000 orders to fill but they new that they need to fill them and with exactly what for like 6 months. If they had enough vampire only orders to ship for 3 weeks those should have been going straight off the truck into out going processing right when they arrived.

    Now I am interested in how miniatures from the vampire level due at retail since I think ebay and local people will have a ton of them that they do not need specific ones. Some of the prices for the options at retail vs kickstarter will also probably not help sales for people who know about them. For example the skeletal dragon was a 10 dollar option but it is retail listed at 75. Pretty big difference. Enough to be a turn off to informed buyers.

    For real games it might be good if you are not a kickstarter backer to wait it see if the game has any legs or is just fire and forget. The new robotech game tugs at past memories of both watching the tv series and playing battletech back when the mechs used to robotech design copies but it is sort of limited as what can be done in the end. The kings of war kickstarter had a progression of minis from the goals but it was a fraction of a unit normal so seemed less than helpful.

    1. Yeah, it seems to me that many of the issues that our hobby seems to have with these Kickstarters are somewhat logistical. Be that manufacturing, or shipping. You make an interesting distinction between games being kickstarered and miniatures. For instance the crowd-funding campaign whose results I'm most pleased with would have to be the Freebooter's Fate Legends Indiegogo campaign. That's just given me some lovely Werner Klocke sculpted miniatures that I'm more than happy with. Sure they will make some fine additions to a game I really enjoy, but truth is that's just an added bonus as far as these are concerned.

  5. Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about kickstarters. I support the effort, but some are quite expensive. I'd like to fund this one:

    But I'd like for the tables to 1. lock the legs into place both closed & open 2. Have a domino print on the top so they serve multiple purposes. (Like, maybe a mahjongg series or something too).

    LOL you could used the tables for figurines when playing D&D.

    1. I think I'll give the flipping table Indiegogo campaign a miss. lol.

      There are some really bizarre things on these sites... but you know what? I do kinda like that fact.

  6. I have to admit that I'm really liking the KS thing. Supported 4 projects so far... all funded. Though I'm still waiting on the first one to deliver (thins month I hope).

    With the exception of Mantics DeadZone (my forth), I've tries to support small time games producers in the UK. I hope one day that I'll be kickstarting my own project.

    1. I quite like Kickstarter / Indiegogo. I too have tended on the whole to support smaller firms, and actually looking at those projects I have back many are indeed from UK / EU firms. Not by design mind you, I've just backed things I liked the look of.

  7. I've supported a half dozen or so (all from May of last year to Jan. of this year). Here's my report so far.

    Kings of War/Mantic: They got the first part to me just fine, the second should be along next month. Incomplete.

    Avatars of War: Just ordered the BSB. Have heard nada on him since. (despite being the one thing most people ordered)

    Relic Knights: Just ordered the SDE minis - Mega Delayed.

    Freebooter's Fate: Should be here in a week or so! *crosses fingers*

    KD:M - Just picked a few pin-ups/misc sculpts I liked to paint. Ways off.

    Rivet Wars: - Went big on this one (one of everything) Ways off.

    On the plus side - because I have sooo much stuff "coming" I've managed to go through most of this year while buying only 7 minis so far.

    1. Sorry - was at work and had to wrap the post up suddenly.

      Here's a quick addendum.

      I will say, I already regret my Kings of War pledge. Not because I'm unhappy with the minis previewed (for the most part they've looked good) But because sometime in the last year or so, I've realized that I have little to no interest in painting any more huge armies. So the 200ish Celestians (plus misc freebies) coming my way no longer excites me as it once did. It was my first "big" Kickstarter, and I got caught up in the excitement I guess. (thankfully I realized this before the KD:M Kickstarter ended, and avoided another huge truckload of minis - though I then promptly forgot when Rivet Wars came along...)

    2. I didn't back Kings of War for the exact reason you are now seemingly regretting your decision to do so. I really just can't be bothered to paint and play HUGE wargames anymore. Maybe at smaller scales, but certainly not 28mm to 32mm. Those days are over for me.

      Avatars of War I didn't back because... I don't know. I just felt uneasy about it. I've seen the quality of what they produce, but as the deadline drew near I got cold feet for some reason. Possibly linked to why I didn't back Mantics KoW, but maybe it was more than that. Not sure I trusted them to be able to deliver on what they promised.

      Relic Knights... yeah this is the one I'm most gutted about. Still though when it is finally here I'm sure I'll be able to get psyched about the anime stylings of it all.

      Freebooters's Fate Legend stuff turned up for me on saturday. Very pleased with it, but I'm a fan of Werners work so having more of his mini's is always going to make me a happy camper.

      Kingdom Death: Monster. Adam was honest about where he was at with it. His timescales are more realistic and I hope people remember this and give him a fair hearing. He's not spread any unrealistic BS and I hope he can deliver, given the HUGE success he's had with it.

      As to Rivet Wars... wasn't 'active' while the campaign was running. I'm kinda sad I missed out on it actually.

      Now... back to work you lazy sod!!!

    3. I didn't go for KoW because I too have no interest in painting a million 28mm models. (Note to wife, that doesn't mean I won't be keeping my existing millions of models...)

      At the risk of sounding like a Jake Thornten pusher, his God of Battles game for foundry is good enough fun to satisfy any desire for fantasy battles. I have ok armies made from models I use in baordgames topped off by some cut price Mantic plastic.

    4. I am okay painting a million models its assembly I have finally established I hate - where are the one piece model ranges I ask ya!

      Yeah been meaning to get GoB for some time sounds like a fun system.

    5. Foundries are pretty much one piece :)

    6. @Minitrol, Chris is 100% right, I don't think Fondry do anything other than one piece casts!!! :P

    7. And I might add with frequently no cleaning required. Maybe I was lucky or maybe they have a great caster...

  8. So what have I been convinced to get on kickstarter?

    Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster
    A mistake. The game is not good and models.. difficult. To the extent I used other models and left them in their packets...
    The question here is should I sell it now or wait for the next wave of stuff to sell it as one lot?

    Necronomicon: Cthulhu Mythos - A New Miniatures Line & Dice
    Australian Animals Fantasy Football Team Miniatures
    Two projects by a company I like and believe will deliver. I got exactly what was on the tin (stuff for bloodbowl). Here kickstarter was both a pre order system but also genuinely funding moulds that otherwise would not have happened. Interestingly Impact still funds things themselves when they know they will sell as there isn't the lost money to kickstarter and amazon.

    Shadowfist: Combat in Kowloon Card Game
    Got a set as it is unlikely to appear in the UK. Pure nostalga, thought it could be an alternative to a failed games night or something. Hadn't played in over a decade, not as good as I remembered... Still is all there and was an ok package and again wouldn't have happened without the cash.

    Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures
    Was sucked in, then too leapt at chance to cancel. Really what was I thinking, I simply don't need nor would ever use most of those models and now of course I hope they hit ebay cheaply (for the few I did want). Still think they would be good bundled with a few board games as a components upgrade! Surprised no one seems to have put out (on kickstarter) boardgames to work with the packages.

    DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game
    in some ways my biggest disappointment and I will go into it below.

    Planetary Annihilation - A Next Generation RTS
    Got it shortly before it completed on the basis I could gift it to my brother who likes that sort of thing.

    Damage Report
    My one and only random purchase. I know little. It could be awful. I subsequently got space cadets so regretting getting this,or at least will if it turns up.

    2000AD: Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game
    Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War
    I wanted a judge dredd and a Rogue trooper for my brother. Thought I would show some moral support to mongoose who haven't yet managed to totally alienate me.

    Nexus 2: The Gods Awaken (PC & MAC)
    I was one of the 13 people who loved nexus. Sadly it seemed roughly the same number were interested in a sequel so it went nowhere.

    Get Bit! Deluxe Tin Box Set -The Shark/Pirate Card Game!
    I play get bit with paper cut outs and playing cards. Got this set for my extended family to play at the holidays. Last holidays. Hopefully it will come before this Christmas. Don't regret buying it as it was a good game and I have played it since it came out, just never with an actual paid copy so felt I owed the designer that.

    The Official Settlers of Catan Gaming Board
    Mum plays it, pieces go everywhere, novel concept, though I would get her a board for her birthday. Hopefully won't be disappointed.

    Fox & Chicken - Werewolf hits the henhouse!
    Wanted a more kiddy friendly version, seemed amusing as I doubt I will ever see it for sale (see below) got it on kickstarter.

    Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars
    Like the previous two, both of which I got for free so felt I really should pay for this one...

    Robotech® RPG Tactics™
    I have backed it. I know nothing about robotech (its some sort of cartoon?). All I know is that it is a 6mm wargame (if it isn't I am gone) and I love 6mm sci fi and will always turn up to swell the numbers behind such projects! If indeed there were more than one out there. Well I have pre-paid for the exodus wars epic conversation computer game.

    Deadzone: The Sci-fi Miniatures Board Game
    Even though I don't like the quality of the models (see below), they might improve... And if they don't so what. I just ant the mat and terrain and rules, so might switch to such an option in the future if it is offered. Or in fact even cancel entirely. Not sure yet.


    1. So I am clearly happy with the concept. The first one was sedition wars however I got misgivings early on and that made me more cautious overall. All the rest are pretty conservative with a couple of exceptions. Of the computer games the annihilation one had a realistic assessment of costs, though I could be taken for a ride it was still a small sum of money. Nexus was never going to work, still I hoped. Probably best it wasn't funded... Infinite space well in some ways I was paying for the past two games, even if it doesn't work out I won't be fussed.
      Damage Report is probably the biggest risk but to be honest I have written it off as a learning experience. Robotech is simply because I am a 6mm sci fi fanatic. And have no sense when it comes to such things (I have at least one of the majority of 6mm sci fi models ever made Muwhahahaha).

      But dreadball so far has been the only real disappointment as it was the only one that wasn't a known quantity that had managed to grab my imagination. Sedition wars was disappointing but I don't really care at the end of the day.

      Dreadball has good enough 1st edition rules, good concept, a whole range of great things. Well on rules lots of kickstarters are poor, but then again a lot of retail releases are to. Balancing development time with release dates is hard. I suspect kickstarter makes it harder.

      But those models are not good. And this from a model company. Poor, sometimes not formed detail, and killer flash and mould lines combined with a material that is very hard to 'clean'. I am primarily a wargamer (for 28 years), I am used to prepping models. I still only have 1 team done and am instead using blood bowl stuff. Really, 1 piece models, each team a different colour, would have loved it (check out impact minis use of troll forged miniatures). But they have learnt lessons, just not in time for this...

      For the new kickstarter Deadzone they are promising to address the flash issues and have a 'board game edition' with different coloured gangs of pre-assembled models. So clearly Mantic listened. I guess I am just upset to be part of that learning process.

      I think the real moral for me is not to jump in just because something looks cheap. Back stuff that otherwise won't happen if I _already_ like and know it or feel the company is trustworthy and giving me something predicable like a blood bowl team (negating a large number of kickstarters) - or is not going to be available afterwards. I have seen how these launches kill interest in stocking the game because the sales have already happened. I would love know how dreadball sells now.

      But for big successful ones? I think it is best overall to wait for retail, go online for discounts if necessary and let others test the rules and to get to see the models for myself first. Which is of course being something of a free rider. I want everyone else to take the risk and be the test subjects. I wonder if this view will spread?

      Bar 6mm Sci Fi. We need Moar!

      Added note on mantic. They have clearly decided kickstarter is the way to launch products. Given the % they lose of the funding each time they need to be concerned there isn't an alternative channel for them to launch on. Maybe that is the issue here, how do you launch in this hobby new products, tying into past discussions on intro sets, high street presence etc.

    2. Hmmm you mirror many of my own thoughts on Mantic currently.

    3. @Chris, you ever considered writing a Blog? :P

      Jokig aside it's good that people are at least looking at their crowd-funding choices in as much detail as they clearly are. My concern was that many were viewing them is impulse buys and almost disposable. I'm sure some still are, but if we all start applying more discerning criteria to our funding actions. Maybe, just maybe crowd-funding can find an happy equilibrium.

      As to Robotech *sticks fingers in ears* Lalalalalalalala... not listening!!!

      Like you I have not been impressed with the quality of the DreadBall miniatures. The sculpts might be quite good, and the metal miniatures I've received are actually OK you know. But that plastic resin or Restic as you call it is not my favourite substance on Earth. Like you I'm not a fan. I too am used to having to prep miniatures, and there's even a sick part of me that finds it quite therapeutic... but my Veer-myn team made me lose my will to live. Awful.

      As a confession, you'll see my name in both the Sedition Wars and DreadBall rulebooks, actually in prominent positions... ahem. So erm... sorry I guess!!! lol.

      Honestly thanks for your considered thoughts Chris.

    4. Ha, I am not supposed to use social media at all, I just about get away with flurries of posts on wargames sites!

      Just to say re dreadball - it is a good game. The rules are a good 1st edition attempt. I have no problem with imbalanced teams though I think I am part of the group that wants to see some of the striker +1 dice bonuses moved to jacks. And the league rules? It took bloodbowl a decade and that included massive data sets from online games to get to the present set up, and even then there are a few issues left undone. The card components improved, though I think if the game has legs you will see a fair few boards offered by other companies with bigger hex's.

      Actually I could say a fair bit about Dreadball the (confused) product in the (online only it seems?) shops today, how that has interacted with the kickstarter, the alt sculpts and what effect promising them have had and branching out into Mantics overall kickstarter use (Mantic have said Warpath is coming and I think Jake said DKH 4 was KS as well, though unsure if that is just a book release, I get the impression it could become a dungeon crawler game or something similar?).

    5. Yeah the DreadBall launch could've gone better. The alternative sculpts and the fact that the season 2, 3 and extra special DreadBall rulebooks will all be separate. Part of me thinks it wasn't at all well thought out. By the end of the year we could be looking at DreadBall having 4 or more rulebooks... come again? Nope, Mantic have a great game and potentially good product on their hands. They just need to manage it properly. I've spoken to retailers about the product lineup and just how 'selling' it in stores won't work once they get to season 3 and the extreme rulebooks. It'll need some serious rationalisation otherwise it'll take up too much space in store and not offer the sort of turn over you'd want.

    6. The alt sculpts have stopped people buying as they are waiting for team boxes with them in for greater variety. Teams have gone out with differing numbers of players, don't always include bases and so on... The rule books need to be rationalised and better laid out.

      Really at end of day I would expect to see 12 team boxes, each containing the starting team, minimum 7 models (so buying 2 boxes gets you every option), a sprue of bases (giving you extra for stars, cheerleaders, the ref etc) and a prone marker.

      Then for the sake of fewer product codes stars sold as sensible packs of models not singly unless it really makes more money to do the latter, then the coach pack and the cheerleaders pack. No doubt each monster gets its own pack.

      Then the kickoff edition with rules booklet, the extras as a pack and the complete printed rulebook as a free download and as a hardcopy for purchase.

      And of course with a massive step up in quality and hopefully rationalising of fiddly bits...

      So at most around 20 codes.

    7. Yep the alt sculpts have definitely stopped people round by me buying teams and getting the game. The other issue I hear a lot of is concerns over the amount of season books. There seems to be a consensus building that shortly after Mantic release there final season books they'll be having to do a second addition shortly afterwards and that they'll roll everything into a new product and rationalise the range. Having spoken to retailers I'm guessing that's actually highly likely... so it has put people off.

    8. Definitively, indeed I had so considered it a given I hadn't even mentioned it! (Well I said complete.)

      You would hope Mantic would have the sense to review things and rather than release a season 3 book release a basic PDF while Jake tries to streamline it all. Of course he will have just finished Deadzone wave two, DKH heroquest and be working on DKH skirmish by then...

      It does feel though the product needs a few improvements and a re-launch in 2014..

      And to be honest if Mantic were honest about this up front they would do themselves a favour with retailers. Talking to the one I normally go to in London they are very anti Mantic (on the plus side I box a mantic skelly paint set for £7 due to their across the range discount to shift it all) they had no desire to stock dreadball in its current form haven mistakenly ordered some sets that sit forlornly on the shelf, and even if it was all changed would not promote it and only order it if customers asked for it.

      The whole sculpts thing is a bit odd. I can't help but compare to the bloodbowl market. Companies bring out single piece models with minimal flash. I'm sorry I keep going on about it, but these are cottage guys bringing out a far superior product to a wargames company.

      A typical deal would be (from Impact!) for roughly £24 for 12-17 (depending on size of fig) different normally one piece sculpts. Mantic is £14 for 8 - comparable prices but less variety, very fiddle to assemble in some cases and a nightmare to clean up. I've been told I need to put the models in water just after it has boiled, let them cool then they should be easier to cut flash off?

      Really I would have loved stuff equivalent to the BB stuff out there, or boardgame level (which for me is reaper bones like pvc plastics with one pose per position with different coloured teams). What I got didn't really hit either. And te factory doing the moulding needs a long painfull lesson on where to site mould lines...

  9. Taking out the RPGs and card games I've backed, here's my backer history:

    Blackwater Gulch: Models were delayed, but there was good contact throughout. Also backed follow-up project which has more realistic timelines.

    Relic Knights: Was iffy about this at first, but ended up going in for two factions (mostly because the deal became so good). Now the delay is killing my desire to play the game and I'm tempted to just sell if off when it does eventually come in.

    Dreadball: Happy with the staggered release of this product. Sure, it seemed like they were almost ready to launch when it first appeared, the support has helped them speed up the release of the additional teams and expansions that are broadening the scope of the game considerably.

    AE-WWII European Theatre: An existing game getting a 2nd edition, but it has also been off the shelves for a year or more so the project made sense. Minor delay in receiving the product, but that was due to issues with getting the book printed. Currently winging its way to me.

    Warzone: Let's face facts, I was probably going to back this no matter what. I have a lot of love for this setting, and the changes/updates to the models and rules were not enough to put me off. Also, they aren't just doing a one-and-done, they are working towards releasing a full range of models - including my beloved Imperial.

    Deadzone: This looks more unfinished than Dreadball, with a longer release window to match. Liking what I see so far, especially the terrain and play mat. There is the occasional odd model (Enforcer Captain Staticpose, for one), but the rest look great.

    1. A nice breakdown there Andrew. I haven't backed any Blackwater Gulch stuff, although it did tempt me. So I'd be interested to hear more peoples thoughts on their stuff actually.

      Relic Knights, well I guess I've pushed this one to the back of my mind. I've not really thought about it too much if I'm honest with you. When the launch time finally rolls around I'll look into it then. I personally have enough crap to be getting on with right now that it isn't such a major blow to my hobby time.

      DreadBall is mixed for me. Some of the initial card components (tokens) are shoddy as hell, and the substance the miniatures are made out of isn't great. The game though, as I already knew prior to the Kickstarter, was pretty darn solid actually. So on that score I'm OK with it.

      Deadzone... I won't be backing. I'm adopting a wait and see policy from now on with Mantic's products.

    2. To be honest, Blackwater Gulch is well worth it. The models are properly proportioned, the rules are quick and easy (and free), and the designer is receptive to feedback and ideas (check the Dakka forums).

      DreadBall was a bit of a surprise, quality wise, but I'm not too upset. I've heard the Season 2 models are better, and I guess we'll find out soon enough.

      I can understand waiting for Deadzone and Relic Knights. I get the feeling they're both going to be big releases, so it's not like they'll fade away before you can get involved.

    3. Cheers for the info on Black Water, I might have to give it a closer look.

  10. For me:
    Sedition wars - received and I'm happy with it but sat untouched in my paint queue.
    Reaper - waiting but incredibly happy with value. Had previously bought from bones range so know what I'm in for.
    Rivet wars - super cute and something different painting project. Gonna be years before I paint it so can take as long as they like. Treat as a board game and never buy anything further for me.
    Relic knights - bought the hype but love the look. Probably shouldn't have bothered but think it will get a foothold as a game for a while at least due to the kickstarter.

    1. Well I'm glad somebody is happy with Sedition Wars!!! lol.

      The Reaper Kickstarter was a total none starter for me personally, but I could see its allure for many.

      Rivet Wars I am totally gutted to have missed out on. The missus liked the look of it and I was tempted, but an unexpected and rather large household bill (new car) totally scuppered my finances for a few months... still has really.

      Relic Knights, like you the I think the game will get a foothold. When it finally arrives I'll have a ready made community round by me. I already have knowledge of 12 further opponents and I'm sure there will be more still I'm unaware of. While I'm not exactly happy at the wait, I'm more than content to wait.

  11. I've been backing projects with a measure of ...caution I guess. I am more than happy to wait for retail versions (Bones I knew I would never need 300 rubbery mini's) but I am a sucker for the "freebies".

    But you have to be responsible for your own choices I always have to think why am I backing?

    Kings of War – It was inevitable I would back this. I have been following the development and playing it from the first play test version and lived it. I backed at level to get the stretch goals and considering I got a hard back rules set and a box of models to start and army for less than the Warhammer rulebook I still say this was a great bargain. However it has been frustrating that we are nearly a year on and the updates were few and far between and then there two other Kickstarters (Loka and Dreadball) taking the focus away. It’s expected the next wave will be within the timeframe (just) second quarter 2013 but it could definitely be better ad there are some hit and miss releases coming up. 6/10

    Zombies at your heels: limited run card game for charity. Love this game and wish it could be developed further but hey what can you do. Fun no drawbacks no issues. 8/10

    Dread ball: This is not my type of game. I have no fond memories or nostalgia for Blood bowl though I know it’s not the same game clearly there was a gap in the market. I have to say the slicker presentation of the campaign won me over and the game play videos made it seem like something IO would actually use. Then the wait. Now to tide myself over I did invest in Mantics Project Pandora I wanted a board game and something cheap and I heard good things...this was a mistake. The game I just can’t get it. The rule book is untidy. There were no instructions for the figures and they were godamn awful ; mould lines right down the centre of details horrible stuff. I STILL have only just finished base coating them. I gave up on the mould lines. Then Dreadball arrived and lo and behold RESTIC. I was gutted. I thought it had to be better designed than the Warpath stuff had been but no. It almost made me sell the game there and then. But I waited and revisited it and its only in the last month we played it and I love the game. I have persevered and assembled and primed all four teams and we have had MORE games of this than any other game in the last 12 months so I have to rate it as successful but as a Kick-started product 6/10.

    Relics Indiegogo: I’ve been interested in Relics for some time as one of those interesting niche settings that you think you’ll never get round to but while I loves the dolls I didn't like the other factions then came the Nuem and I loved them. So I backed it purely for free shipping (bottom of the world remember!) and I have done very little with them but they were an indulgence and quite cheap. 8/10

    Relics Kick Starter Fantasy Football: didn’t fund

    Relics Reinforcement Kick Starter: Couldn’t resist adding to my collection and getting a decent rule book instead of a pdf. No models received yet but happy with updtaed0

    Torn Armour: I’ll be honest no idea really why I funded it. I like the models but it’s all quite a change for me. Still I really wanted Alyssa and Jack to succeed so I backed it for that reason.

    Deadzone: I have backed for interest but I think I’ll withdraw unless we see some naked figures soon to give me better vibes.

    1. Project Pandora is a good game once you play through a few times and understand the rules (no doubt Jake as ex GW has a contract somewhere saying rulebooks can't be logical, I have problems with my dreadball set). Compare however to something like Dwarf Kings Hold green rising which I think is superior and has better models (though is still overpriced for the component quality if you don't get a big discount) and it further reinforces my hatred of restic...

      But yes, restic. I'm impressed you have done all your teams...

      So here we have kickstarter as a channel starting to fail not because of any issue associated with the method, but rather Mantic's sub standard restic models? And as you turn people off and they ignore what you make, how do you win them back because there isn't an avenue they will look at to see improvements. Even if I see model photos with deadzone I'm afraid it won't be enough to convince me they have improved. Saying that I will be open to looking at blogs and similar to see how other people find the models once they ship, so essentially missing one release so maybe coming back in for warpath - but then all I want is female corp soldiers for generic sci fi duty (again like you I have no interest in mass battle 28mm, well maybe I would try something like God of Battles with my existing odds and end rounded out to army sizes with Mantic plastics).

      But kickstarter 'conned' me into Dreadzone, something that wouldn't have happened if I saw models in a shop first as I would never have bought them. Would I have ultimately missed out on a fun game? Would Mantic have made the models properly for a retail release?

    2. I'll be honest Chris by the third pass over it was just f**k it get them primed and hope no-one notices from three feet away ;)

      I can't get my head around PP - no idea why the rules, terminology, mechanics not sure.

      I liked the look of Green Menace as well but wasn't sold on yet more plastics!

    3. It is a good game, more a puzzle really than a skirmish. Only one of the missions seemed to lack tactical depth. It is just more expensive than it should be. The cardstock is adequate but unless you put it between some books at your room temperature to acclimatise it warps. The plastic can be hard very cheaply. I picked ours up during the mealstrom meltdown so it was about £10, for that price it is really good :)
      Assembly was fun, didn't bother with the flash as the models aren't used for anything else, just took off the sprue bits. Glued them to pennies for stability, sprayed the orcs green for effect.
      Oh and replaced the dice. White and blue? Useless. This game needs 5 green dice and 4 yellow dice :)
      With that level of prep it is fine for what it is. yes I could do it better, but realistically I won't... You can then pick up a pdf of the rules for the dwarf/skeleton version and use the tiles with a few fudges and existing models (I used my ultra easy to paint wargames factory jason and the argonaunts style skeletons and I only had to rustle up 7 dwarf substitutes, in my case squats :) ).

      They will apparently do kickstarter for the next instalment...

    4. @Minitrol, I'd totally forgotten about Mantic's Loka Kickstarter. Have to be honest, I still see that as more of an Alessio thing. Still I think it's an interesting 'cycle' Mantic have got themselves into. First there was KoW, still not fully delivered. Then they move onto DreadBall, they've had problems with this, and again nowhere near fully delivered, and then they move onto Loka... and haven't even started to deliver on their promises for this and now they have Deadzone.... yeah... colour me unimpressed with their choice of business plan. Hearing they're already looking to a further Dwarf Kings Hold and Warpath Kickstarters with so much work already outstanding from previous campaigns is setting all sorts of alarms bells off in my head. I think this could all end badly if they're not careful. Perhaps it already has and they're chasing the next pay day.

      I'm not going to sit here and defend Restic, because I hate the substance. But given the amount of playtesting I put into the game of DreadBall I've been really happy to see that many people have judged the game a success at least. I know Jake worked really hard on it and took all the feedback on board. So that's great to hear.

      I missed out on Zombies at your heels, which was a real shame, because I'd have 100% backed it if I'd known about it in time. Never mind, you can't back them all I guess.

      Relics has had some cool looking little miniatures, but like yu (until you took the plunge :P ) never really enough to grab me.

      Torn... yeah I saw it, and it looked OK, but just wasn't my thing. Was glad to see it got funded though and I hope it lives up to the expectations for you.

      As to your issues with Mantics Project Pandora... I'm not sure I understand the problems with the rules. Perhaps because I played the DKH games I just 'got' the rules for PP. But I haven't really had an issue with them rules wise. Again, not a fan of restic, but what can you do? Either you have to put up with it or you don't. I doubt Mantic will change it all that much... which to be clear, I think is a shame. As to the quality of the in box components for all the DKH games and PP, it's undeniably what lets both products down. BIG TIME. I actually think Jake did a good job with the mechanics, although yes the rulebooks could've done with more editing and fine tuning.

      @Chris, I was hoping the rumours of a Dwarf Kings Hold Kickstarter and Warpath Kickstarters were just that, rumours. But there does appear to be a bit of groundswell behind them now. As I've said above, I fear this might not end well. They have yet to complete delivery on their very first project KoW yet they've had 3 more projects and are looking at two more? No. Simply no.

    5. As an aside - at this price point the dwarf kings hold games are excellent...

      Dwarf King's Hold: Dead Rising
      Price: £17.50
      (RRP: £34.99)

      Dwarf King's Hold: Bundle (includes both games!)
      Price: £35.00
      (RRP: £69.98)

      Dwarf King's Hold 2: Green Menace
      Price: £17.50
      (RRP: £34.99)

    6. @Frontline Gamer well Loka only funded in March so May is probably too early to have received anything If I am feeling generous. Not that I backed it I hate chess but I really can't see the point in changing it either!

      They really need to still provide content for their games, tutorials more interviews paint guides and so on but after the fuss dies down you hear nothing! They have a large game stable now impressive for three and a bit years but the the attitude is drum up your questions/content in the forum. I don't like it unprofessional.

      My concern is when the actually quite VAST selection of new models for Kings of War arrives no one will buy it if they weren't on the kick starter and if in the last 12 months they have never heard of Kings of War!

      They had a massive push to get the "best" players to their invitational tourney and push the 1000.00 pound prize but there was very poor coverage of it - no lists break down; talk of tactics. Hardly what you'd expect when your trying to present this as a tactical alternative?

      Project Pandora I dunno dude as you say you had heaps of experience already for me it just doesn't flow easily but I'm man enough to admit maybe I'm too dumb for it or I was still suffering Restic Related Rage Brain Damage ;)

      I will give it another go pinkie swears!

    7. @Minitrol that's my point about Loka. It finished in March... so isn't it a bit soon to then start running another campaign at the start of May? Seriously, I don't know. Is it a bit too much to ask that a company fulfills it's other obligations before it runs off to start creating even more? I'm a little worried about Mantic right now.

      This is the thing, don't you feel like as a company they've already moved on from KoW themselves? I do. What of Warpath? That seems DOA now doesn't it? They seem to frit from one thing to the next and seem to have a lighthouse type focus on only one thing at a time. KoW and WP don't seem to be their focus, yet these are supposedly their core games. DreadBall is only just out yet DeadZone is the new hotness... honestly I smell trouble.

      As to project Pandora, if you don't get it or don't like it please don't force yourself to play t. lol. I have to admit I did re-read the rules the other night after your comments, and I can see that there might be some wording issues. I suppose though having played the game and worked through DKH I'm in a position that new comers to the product wouldn't be.

    8. Yeah exactly. Kings of War in my opinion deserved better, Warpath should be abandoned until they actually can support it and have a product worth supporting , hey we''re not GW isn't a great basis for a system. You may have convinced me to polish off my Warpath review....

    9. Not that I was likely to get in on it after my negative opinion of Dreadball, but I had very much the same feeling when Mantic and Jake started talking up Deadzone. It didn't help that I felt that Season 2, while having some interesting team concepts, was otherwise rushed and half-finished. The supposedly better league rules were a lot of "Give teams extra money, and maybe try matching up differently" that did nothing to even attempt to deal with the actual problems in league play. The new skills were cool too, but "Here's a new table, pick the one you want to roll on" just felt lazy.

      Seeing the S2 rulebook was actually the point when I canceled what I had left of my order.

    10. @Minitrol, it just feels like Mantic are hyperactive and don't really want to spend any time in growing and building the product they already have. It's like they feel the need to only launch new stuff and the rest of it be damned. KoW isn't a bad game, and it probably does deserve a bit more focus and attention from Mantic, ditto Warpath which they seem to have just dropped like a lead ballon. How long before DreadBall goes the same way? Too much product and not enough staff maybe?

      @Buhallin, yeah... just flicked through the season 2 rulebook myself... and it is clearly rushed and not polished. Poor form from Mantic. But clearly they're working Jake too hard and not giving him the proper amount of time to finish products. They've already whipped him off to do DeadZone... but if the DKH campaign rumurs are true will they give him the time to properly develop DeadZone? These concerns you mention are the same concerns I have.

  12. My delving into Kickstarters has been limited to two, but I'll share my thoughts.

    Reaper Bones: I don't need these. I know I don't need these. I have no idea what I'll do with them. But if I saw a box in the store with all those models at that price, I'd buy it in an instant on a "Just in case". So no pain on this one, and I kept it to the minimum.

    Dreadball: I'm going to stress that this is my opinion, my personal evaluation of the game, and not intended to disparage anyone who likes it. But...

    I feel like a sucker for getting into Dreadball. I saw a shiny replacement for the Blood Bowl leagues I knew and loved, and jumped in with all four feet. By the time it closed I had committed to two complete play sets, the acrylic pitch, about 80% of the planned teams along with all the big guys... my final price tag was north of $500.

    What I got was an average game with some serious balance issues and mediocre league rules that we played more on a home-drawn hex map with proxied Blood Bowl figures than we did the actual game. The models were poor, the material was horrific, boards - both the normal and my very expensive, shiny acrylic - were too small for the models... overall, it was just bad. And by the time I realized it I was deeper into it than any single game investment I've made for the last 5 years. While Mantic was decent and let me cancel all the undelivered items when I requested, it was still a very expensive mistake.

    Kickstarter isn't JUST a preorder system - it's a preorder system that relies on hype and freebies to get people to invest as much as possible up front, sight unseen. In a normal distribution cycle I would have bought Dreadball at $80, maybe another team at $20, played a handful of games, proxied in an MVP or two, and walked away at $100. Instead I was committed for three times that.

    It's certainly my fault for getting on the hype train and bringing my wallet with me, and I'm not even saying Mantic's necessarily wrong to do that. But I'm definitely in a "once burned" mode now. As a general rule I've sworn off Kickstarters. I'll order them once they're done and I can see them for myself.

    I agree with you entirely about what Kickstarters SHOULD be, and if I see very interesting projects that I believe truly wouldn't happen without crowdfunding, I'll consider it. But I'm past the sort of slick promotional preorder Kickstarters that Mantic seems to run.

    1. Look, you know me, I'm never annoyed or pissy if somebody voices their honest opinion and why in a respectful manner. You've done that. Obviously it sucks for you that DreadBall wasn't the game you wanted it to be. That's cool. Not everything can be for everyone. On the side of quality... yeah... I sorta agree with you. The miniatures aren't my favourite things in the world and some of those card components were shocking... although I'm told Mantic have fixed those.

      But it is experiences like this that will cumulatively damage others prospects of funding products via crowd-funding, but I guess in many respects that might actually be healthy.

    2. Yeah, I know you :) I wasn't all that worried about you shutting me down for being down on Dreadball, more just trying to avoid it devolving into a debate over how good or bad Dreadball was.

      Because whether it's actually good or bad isn't necessarily relevant to the discussion at hand. I wasn't pleased with it, but I had gotten sucked into the hype train and spent WAY too much on a preorder. A lot of this is because of the way many Kickstarters go with stretch goals, you end up preordering not just what's initially coming, but several of the next planned releases as well.

      I think I wouldn't feel quite so burned if companies would stage their Kickstarter. Mantic could have done a Dreadball Kickstarter, then a Season 2 Kickstarter, then a Season 3... I understand why they don't, and I'm not even sure expecting them to do it like that is reasonable. But at the very least it would limit the scope and timeline on the "Preorder everything before you see anything" issue.

    3. lol

      and that is the exact reason they probably didn't do a season 2 and then season 3 kickstart campaign!!! :P Joking, joking!!! I think they just got carried away with how popular the DreadBall campaign became, and then were looking at new stretch goals to throw in there.

    4. You may be joking, but I'm not sure you're wrong. At the very least, even if it's not the primary reason I'm certain it's a consideration.

    5. Well as the saying goes "many a true word is spoke in jest".

  13. Oh, this is very good.

    "Interestingly I've been told consistently that it is vitally important that organisations do one of three things with their products:"

  14. I've backed 19, and 16 have funded. My experience has been.... mixed. I have a lot of patience for delays and time frames, so things like Sedition Wars being released in phases does not bother me, but my experience with Pirate Goblins on indiegogo has been less than stellar. Check out if you want to appreciate most kickstarts a lot more.

    As of now, I've received a portion of 2 of the campaign rewards.

    Sedition Wars: loved the pitch, but the actual game was difficult to play. A rules v2.0 would be much appreciated. The models are great, but the material they are cast in give me nightmares. Invincible mold lines.

    Evil Baby Orphanage: fun, casual card game. Good not great. There were all sorts of expansions as stretch goals, which I can't imagine they could afford at the level I funded. All I have received so far is the basic card game.

    Monster, Myth, Bones, Robotech etc. I'll reserve judgement until I see them, but I have definitely dropped more cash on these games than on games at real retail in the past two years. There definitely is that group experience. f5 f5 f5 f5 f5.....

    1. All I can say about that Pirate Goblins campaign is... ouch!!! That's not sounding good at all. There's a lot of complaints and rightly so from what I can gather. I'm sure the campaign organiser doesn't want to have pissed people off, but that's certainly the outcome.

      As to the 'group' experience I think you're right. One of the other things crowd-funding campaigns do, which could be viewed as being quite insidious, is that they turn their backers into salesmen. The allure of those extra stretch goal, which means more goodies for me, means I'm more likely to promote and pimp those campaigns I'm already part of. Word of mouth and friends endorsements are some of the best advertising any product can receive. It is sneaky...

    2. Is he trying to blame the post delays on mentally retarded children??!

    3. @minitrol... erm yeah.

      That third update certainly seems to suggest that is what he is saying. He might have indeed given the packages to some such charity to send... but he made that decision, so he only has himself to blame if it went pear shaped. I couldn't quite believe he was saying that either.

  15. I have to admit that after reading all the comments above I'm starting to get cold feet about DeadZone. I felt I'd missed out on Dreadbowl, but it seems that perhaps I was lucky to miss it... same with Sedition Wars. I'll watch Mantic closely and if I get any hint of things not going the way I want I'll downgrade, or pull out all together.

    1. Its just the restic stuff and they have promised to improve...
      However no mini extras for me as I would have to see them in the flesh (flash?) first...
      But Jakes rules are normally fun and mantic does good plastics, so the terrain will no doubt be good, so I suspect I will still be in for a copy. Just using others models!

    2. Oh and dreadball is a good game, I would wait 6 months before getting into it though to let things settle down, the alt sculpts get into team packs, hopefully the models casting improve and the range get rationalised. Then get a kick off edition online :)

    3. I have to agree with Chris personal assurance received from Ronnie the mould lines issue will be addressed but aside from that if you treat it as a board game and tie your expectations that way it's a very good fun game.

    4. @Angus the issue most people had with DreadBall was the resin miniatures and card components. They aren't the best, but on the whole I really like Jakes games, and I have no doubt DeadZone will play well, IF Ronnie gives him enough time to develop it properly. As others have said Mantic's plastics are fine, and actually on the whole quite good.

  16. First of all, I think it is important to note that kickstarter is not the glorified pree-order system that many people think it is. It is a risky business, and Legally, no kickstarter HAS to even give you the promised rewards, or refund. Backers take on all the responsibility and risk associated with the project.

    Second, as far as delays go, OF COURSE there are delays. Normally delays are not apparent because of the closed nature of development. I know Imbrian Arts kickstarter was planning to use trollforged to produce there minis, but with the recent kickstarters he is completely backlogged, and they had to go with someone else. Delays happen, and when you are talking about 100+ figures being molded and sculpted in the span of a year or so, its pretty much impossible not to have delays. That is part of KS, there is some risk, deal with it.

    Third, a lot of things that shouldnt be kickstarted are being. THe biggest example i can think of is Zombicide. It had a huge initial kickstarter but now they are on season 2? Wtf? It seems like they barely had enough money to make the original game, and it obviously didn't do well in retail, or else they wouldn't need another kickstarter. Also calling it season 2, makes me think that its going to need to be continually kickstarted.

    1. Your first and third paragraphs can be combined into basically exactly what FLG is trying to say.

      Your first is what Kickstarter is theoretically supposed to be. Your third is what it is becoming. That's pretty much his entire point.

      And I agree entirely on Zombiecide's second release as one of the most egregious examples out there. If your time to funding is measured in minutes, there's absolutely no reason not to be there. At that point Kickstarter isn't being used to make unlikely projects come to reality - it's being exploited by companies to put money in their pocket earlier, shifting loan and startup costs to the customers.

    2. @Tylermenz, I'm not sure whether that post is meant to be you pretty much agreeing with everything I said in my article, or you thinking you're disagreeing and making points. If it's the first option then yep, that's pretty much my thoughts. If it's the second option then you're going to get my confused face... o_0 ... lol.

      @Buhallin, I do sometimes wander whether people read my articles before they post comments. The Zombicide second season thingy seems to prove that some products can only be viable with Kickstart support... so is it really viable?

    3. Sorry, I think I had a typo in there that changed my meaning. Let me try again.

      The Zombiecide expansion is something that never should have been on Kickstarter, under the basic view of what Kickstarter is. To reiterate what we've been saying, crowdfunding should be about reducing risk or raising capital for projects that people want but traditional funding avenues don't support.

      Zombiecide funded in a matter of minutes. Where's the risk in that? Given the massive success of the first Kickstarter, I have a hard time thinking their funding situation was bad enough for it to be "Please help us because otherwise we could never afford to make this".

      So that means it was almost entirely a preorder. There was no risk, there was no reason for it to be a Kickstarter, it was just about getting people to pay early and then wait months for delivery.

  17. Only kickstarter project I had backed and receive at the current moment is Sedition Wars. I was super excited during its funding but to be honest I am very disappointed with the execution of the game. Due to the heavy focus on the miniatures itself, the game production value suffered greatly.

    - Cards that were inconsistent. Some flipped along the long side while some flipped along the short side. I know this is probably due to the printer manager absconding with the funds halfway, but the correct thing to do was reprinted those that was inconsistent and not send them to your backers. This is particularly irritating cause you do need to flip the cards quite often.

    - Single back token. Only other game that I have within my collection of almost 60 games with tokens on a single back is police precinct. And that game had a funding of 11k. It is irritating to have to flip the tokens around to find the one you need when it only has a single back.

    - Rulebook is a bloody mess. Yes it is colourful and nicely illustrated. However it is called a RULEBOOK. The rules are so messy and confusing! And now they rushing out a v1.5 in PDF form with the corrected cards. At the moment this are only slated to be available digitally. This is the biggest problem. I brought a game, not a bunch of miniatures. Do not release a shoddy game and expect me to print out new rules and cards to play them. If I want to print out my own rules and card I would have played a PnP game, not buy retail. This is particularly infuriating after the promised that the rulebook will be very good and refused to release it during the kickstarter. This is what I get from trusting them.

    CMoN and Studio McVey has lost all their goodwill to me by now. I am very sure without kickstarter much of this problem would not have existed in the first place, cause releasing a shoddy product ensures a speedy end to your company. Now that companies get paid before printing the game, they can basically screw you up and there is nothing you can do.

    1. I think a lot of your criticisms of Sedition Wars as a final product might be a bit harsh to me, but I wouldn't argue with the points you've raised. There were a few things that just weren't as well thought out as they should be. There have clearly been quality issues with parts of the product... and it's a shame because I know just how much hard work went into so many aspects of that product. I think that part of the issue is that for Studio McVey it was really their first product and they relied heavily on CMoN, who actually themselves aren't as experienced as many believe.

      As to the loss of goodwill... well yeah. This is the potential problem with Kickstart campaigns isn't it? The allure of quick cash can turn into a nightmare of delivery that ultimately harms your companies reputation. But I think the temptation of quick easy cash in a single hit will still prove far too strong for many.

  18. Good article, I enjoyed the breakdown and analysis of kickstarter/indiegogo and I think you are correct that companies should not rely on crowdfunding as a business plan.

    I almost backed Zombicide 2 then came to my senses and realized I was getting sucked in by the hype and after reading the rules just didn't care for some aspects of game play.

    Now to the projects I've backed:

    Mobile Frame Zero: Received the book a few weeks ago. Good quality, rules are not too difficult and it's gotten me back into using Lego's.

    Sedition Wars: I've been content with what I've received though I have to agree that a rulebook 2.0 would really help the game out. I went in for some of the extra sci-fi homage figures. Realistically I'm probably only going to paint what I need to play the game as the assembly of the base games figures really put me off assembling any more. The extra figures from Sedition Wars might get sold simply due to the high chance they will not be used.

    Jungle Ascent: Fun looking game, small company. Has not arrived yet though the creator was nice enough to give backers rules and components in order to be able to play the game before delivery.

    Rivet Wars: Really sunk my teeth into this one. I like the aesthetic and the game play looks fast and fun. The sculpts look good too.

    Kingdom Death: Monster: I've gotten out of the "paint-and-play-huge-armies' so a lot of the single monsters and figures of this project really caught my eye. Not really concerned when it gets delivered.

    Hell Dorado expansion: Pretty much backed it to get the Twilight Knight figure.

    Krosmaster: Arena: I had a friend really talk the game up so I backed it in order to get it and some extras for a certain occasion (their birthday).

    Myth: The game looked good and my gf really likes playing co-op boardgames so I figured why not have one more.

    Robotech Tactics RPG: I've kept my wits about me for this one and stayed and the basic tier that gets the stretch goals. BY this kickstarter I also realized the space I have to store stuff will be stretched thin by all the previous ones.

    So 2 out of 9 have been delivered so far. Jungle Ascent is supposed be delivered soon and Krosmaster is supposed to arrive next month (crossing my fingers on this one). Until more arrive (or get delayed) I have to say I've been pleased with what I've received so far.

    1. Well I'm glad you liked my analysis. I think a lot of people it seems have had quite similar experiences to you with crowd-funding.

  19. Kickstarter certainly is a strange beast. I guess like E-Bay it was intended as a tool for the general public/amateur that soon got somewhat warped or even exploited by corporates.

    I think I probably am a little disappointed in the way Kickstarter has gone or at least with the speed at which it has gone the way it has; the ideal of “the little guy” getting to realise his dreams is definitely more romantic than the glorified pre-order system many see it to be. Once everyone gets used to the slick, well supported projects with the plethora of free models being thrown at backers that cool ruleset that some guy knocked up in his bedroom with a handful of slightly amateurish minis that few people are backing suddenly loses its appeal.

    The projects from the larger companies do have the advantage of negating one of the big risks of the platform in that you can be more confident of getting a product at the end of it, although, reading some of the comments regarding some of the offerings from the big players (i.e. Sedition Wars and Dreadball) perhaps this isn’t even the case.

    In terms of Mantic, they seemed to be growing as a business and I think the Kickstarter campaigns look as though they might well have helped in this regard. Would they have grown without the campaigns? I’m pretty sure they would. Would they have grown as rapidly? Probably not. Do I think this model is sustainable? Definitely not. Using Dreadball as an example, now I really like this as a concept, a game and generally as a product but I don’t really like the way I perceive it as being treated. It seems to me that the Kickstarter pretty much allowed Mantic to pump everything out in one campaign and now I’m worried that we’re going to see little else and instead see them rapidly churning through project after project. If the Kickstarter had been used to complete Season 1 and all the parts been sent to backers that would have been great. Further conventional marketing could then have been used for the expansions and the product grown organically. Instead I can see their being little interest going forward; the money’s been made and the games done, let’s move on to Deadzone and then the next game and then the next… Perhaps I’m being overly cynical/negative but locally I’ve found that a lot of/pretty much all the guys in our club missed or chose not to invest in the Kickstarter and now there’s no buzz about it. I’ve tried to get people playing, admittedly perhaps not as actively as I could but at the same time I feel the company itself should be doing a bit to market their product now that its actually available in store.

    1. As others have done, I thought I’d give a run down on the Kickstarters I’ve backed as well as those that I had a look at and ended up avoiding or missing.

      Sedition Wars – This was one of the first Kickstarter projects that I came across but decided against taking the plunge. I was disappointed I missed it in the end but in hindsight and after hearing a bit of feedback I’m not so fussed. I’ve not since felt the urge to go out and find a copy so this is probably a good sign that I made the right choice.

      Zombicide – This would have been the first project that I actually backed but for some reason I missed the deadline which really annoyed me for a while, however, as with Sedition Wars I’ve not found myself seeking this out and so this was probably another lucky escape.

      Dreadball – The first project I’ve backed and at present the only one I’ve received anything for. I like this as a game which is the main thing. As others have stated, some components, most noticeably the cards, are poor and the upgraded plastic pitch, whilst good, does seem overpriced and not quite as I had expected, however, one good point is that with the extra pitch and plastic tokens you almost have effectively two sets which can allow for two games to be held simultaneously. The minis themselves are a little annoying in terms of preparation (the not-Skaven being particularly bad) but aren’t too bad; I got my four teams painted up pretty rapidly, although, the fact that the extra sculpts, prone markers etc are turning up so much later means that I probably will make do with what’s painted for quite some time. All in all, as a product I’m pretty happy, in hindsight I might well have bought less of the extras given the chance but having seen the retail prices now I feel like I did get a good deal.
      Relic Knights – This is the project that I think I got caught up in the hype with and ended up spending far too much. I couldn’t decide between a number of the factions and so ended up with pretty much everything for four of them which I regret without having even received anything. Putting a positive spin on it, hopefully I’ll find some of the guys at the club to whom it appeals and then I can sell them some of the factions, if this works it’ll have the bonuses of letting me pick a faction having seen the minis, will get me some opponents, will recoup some of my costs and will get some of the other guys a bit of a bargain. I understand that a few of the backers were annoyed at the change of timescale for this project, personally I’m not too fussed by this as most of the projects have a pretty long waiting period so I don’t mind if it gets increased a bit, obviously there’s a limit; I’d be cheesed off if they told me I was going to have something in a months time and then be told I’d have to wait a year…
      Kingdom Death – Another that I spunked a lot of cash on but definitely am not regretting. I’ve been a big fan of the Kingdom Death range for some time and the concept of the game really, really appealed. I cannot wait for this one. I’m going to have a big box of goodies arriving at some point as I went for all the gaming type bits so everything apart from the pin ups and the resin versions of the minis. From what I understand from interviews with Adam, this isn’t ever going to be a big retail release and so I’m glad I jumped on the Kickstarter. Whilst Kingdom Death has been going for some time with the miniature range I think that this is one of those projects that’s somewhat closer to the perceived spirit of the system; I don’t think this sort of thing would ever have seen the light of day, at least not on this scale, without some sort of crowd funding initiative.

      Dice Rings – This was a random impulse buy. They should be turning up any time soon, they might be shite but was only a cheap product. I liked the look of these as a bit of a novelty item and is another one of those random, indie type projects.

    2. Myth – I’d sworn off Kickstarter for the foreseeable until I came across this. Now from what I understand Mercs aren’t the biggest company out there but they’d had some success with the game of the same name. Could they have funded the base game of Myth off the back of their existing product? I don’t know, perhaps not. This has the potential to fall into the trap that I outlined when whinging about the handling of Dreadball in that everything might have been achieved by the Kickstarter and so nothing very little stuff gets added and little future support is offered. But, this was one of those themes/concepts that just really appealed, I can see myself and close friends really enjoying the game (the gameplay videos went a long way to help with this) and looking at the amount of stretch goal rewards that were thrown in for free I feel that this is going to be a real bargain.

      Dead Zone – I haven’t actually backed this one and as time goes by I think it’s less and less likely I will. Had I not invested in as many projects previously I might have got involved. Had I not got so much swag turning up late this year or early next year I might have got involved. Had it not been for the next project that I’ve got my eye on I might have got involved…

      By Fire and Sword – This is an odd one in that it’s a game that I’m very likely to be playing and so it seems sensible to get on the Kickstarter. I had intended to pick the rulebook up at Salute but didn’t, not realising that it wasn’t now available to order. Given that one of the lads at the club has had the Polish version of the rules for some time and has been trying to get people to play I think it’s likely that I’ll end up collecting some bits. It looks like the Kickstarter will be a cheaper option than waiting for retail, has a few bonus bits thrown in and has an eta of June so won’t clash with all the other goodies I’m awaiting, unless there’s a delay of course…

      Phew… another excessive response; I’m going to have to limit myself to “Hey, great article!” in future :P

    3. Mantic seem to have learnt this and as I understand the other seasons for want of a better word featuring the other major factions won't be included this is primarily aimed at launching game and tooling plastic. Of course they may now be thinking as it is going so swimmingly let's do it all... Really if it morphs into deadzone the terrain starter I would be very pleased with more thought through rules and promise of more factions to come to keep interest high.

    4. Bloody hell Hendie!!! Did you consider the fact there might have been an article in all of that somewhere? :P

      All joking aside though I'm at least happy to see I wasn't totally barking up the wrong tree with my own thoughts. Sometimes I think the things I do and wander if I'm just so far off track that I'm out of touch with what others think. Clearly a lot of people have had a lot of things to think about with crowd-funding, and it seems this article has encouraged them to talk about it like some large-scale therapy session. lol. It's good though, perhaps now somebody has opened the debate up some companies might read peoples thoughts and think long and hard about how they approach crowd-funding.

  20. Mainly the fact that I realise now how swept away I got with the Kings of War KS has made me abit more conservative now.

    I'm getting so many models from Mantic that I at the time had grand plans for that I now know will either collect dust or get sold off for pennies on the dollar.

    Managed to fend off the temptations on Bones, Dreadball, hopefully Deadzone and several others.

    1. Yeah, it's interesting to pop round to various friends houses and see many of the Kickstart projects they funded lying in boxes unopened gathering dust. I think I'm done with Kickstart at this point until I get the use out of what I already own.

  21. Hey Frontline, nice article. I'm a bit late to the party, I know.

    I'm not someone who thinks that 'established' companies should be excluded from kickstarter, but it would be naive to think that the big near-finished pre-orders have no effect on the little kickstarters. It can get a bit dishearting to read comments from people basically saying "more freebies and make it snappy my good man or I'm dropping my pledge" Now don't get me wrong, I like free stuff and I don't think it's inherently wrong to let a project creator know you think he's overcharging. But the amount of entitlement that can be seen sometimes.. I think it wasn't that bad with Kingdom Death: Monster, as at least a part of the backers knew that the line had never been cheap. Some of the highest quality stuff money can buy, but you're paying for it. However, on the Dreamforge kickstarter it could get pretty ridiculous.

    And I agree with you about the businessmodel not being sustainable. Kickstarter should be the start of your model, not the entirety of it. Zombicide's second season was just cynical. It seems there's a big chance that Sedition Wars: Arms of Sorrow will be a kickstarter as well, even though it was originally said to be a normal retail release. I'll admit, I don't really like that if it turns out to be true. But hey, Mike said that decision was not his but CMON's. So yeah..

    Same with Mantic. The reasons I'm not backing are basically the same as many in these comments. I might pick up some Rebs when they release, I might not. For a while I was seriously considering a terrain pledge though. But I'm going to take a hint from one of your sermons and try my hand at some homemade terrain first.

    Dark Potential was my first foray into the world of crowd funding. And right from the start it's one I've regretted getting into. Luckily (or too bad) I've had good projects arrive before this one or it might have killed the whole thing for me. Luckily I was in for a low amount of money so it wasn't that bad.

    Sedition Wars was second for me. In this case I was in for a nice sum of money. And looking around the internet I might be the odd one out on this one as I quite like what I've recieved.

    After that came Dreamforge's plastic kits. Might have been a mistake as I've turned to skirmish style games completely. But the models look cool and I've got plans for them. When those plans will commence is a different matter entirely though. As such it's no big deal that I haven't recieved anything yet.

    Then Relic Knights.. This is one I'm regretting if I'm honest. Even at the time I wasn't really sure what attracted me to it. And now that some time has passed.. We'll see when it gets here. This one made me think alot harder before pledging though (which was probably for the best).

    Bombshell Babes I got 2 models from, the chinese warrior and the japanese samurai. The only reason I got these was because I adore Studio McVey's Asian warrior babes too much. Not the best plan considering I'm now comparing the two.. Still, they're pretty nice models if I look at them objectively

    Freebooter's Fate arrived a few weeks back. Really glad I got these! Not much more I can say about this :)

    Kingdom Death. I have a confession to make. The amount of money that went into this one was slightly obscene.. Thank fuck I managed to keep myself away from the resin offerings.. But I trust Adam to deliver. The only cause for concern is that the tax office is going to have a field day :(

    Darklands. I'll be honest, I wasn't going to back this one for obvious reasons. But after some talking they won me over. The first batch arrived and the models are great.

    The last was Helldorado and I've been clean ever since!

    1. Yeah... like you I've dropped ridiculous amounts of dosh on Kickstart campaigns and I'm really not sure I have got the use out of them. I'm definitely more cautious now.

  22. Here's my list:

    Alien Assimilation: First KS I backed, still waiting. Was supposed to ship in April. Sculptor overpromised during KS and now has to focus on his other sculpting projects to make money while this sits on the side.

    Kingdom Death: Bought this for the mini's to paint. Hope the game is good. He gave a long timeline, which seems attainable.

    Dreadball: Didn't fund this one but picked it up after it came out. Great game but sculpts are not well produced. My concern with DB is that the game is going to burn out since what would have taken years to do (ie Blood Bowl) will have full product line with limited room to expand in a few years.

    Robotech: It's Robotech. Game looks good and it's Robotech.

    Darklands: Some of the best mini's on the market. There are already some delays. Rules won't be ready as planned. Overall, the mini's are great and delays seem minor but my feeling is the game will suck as the gameplay video posted was weak.

    By Fire and Sword: really good of example of KS's that has the opportunity to exceed expectations since most of the models are out and they used it as a way to expand the game to English speakers.

    1. I share similar concerns to you with regards to Dreadball. We're already witnessing people migrate away from the game round here after strong initial interest. Not really sure why, but the legs in that game seem to have run out somewhat.

  23. Late to the party, but I think it's best for small companies looking to offset the up front costs of mold production.
    Backed Ghosts of Hefei, as it is an indie project which never would have got off the ground otherwise - and pledged at the level where I get the department rulebook as well! Trying to stay away from the hyped projects, although did sink a bit into empire of the dead

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