tisdag 5 november 2013

Kickstarter thoughts and a giveaway heads up

First I want to mention a splendid giveaway over at Loki's Great Hall. Andrew is celebrating 200 followers, and you have until 6 pm today (5th of november) to sign up.

You can win this figure!!!

Second, I want to talk a bit about kickstarter and other crowd funding campaigns. This will be a bit of a rant though, be be warned.

I have funded four campaigns so far: Avatars of War Dwarf Army on IndieGogo, and Small World 2 for Android, Heroes of Normandie and Winter War on Kickstarter. I'm currently backing Mars Attacks from Mantic Games, also on Kickstarter, and it has got me thinking a bit. (I have backed a couple of other non-gaming related projects as well, like the Tesla museum and Take back Halloween campaigns, and I was one of the backers of Gates of Antares before it got pulled.)

Development of Small World 2 is now well underway...
Small World 2 for Android was a no-brainer; Days of Wonder had recieved a lot of flak on facebook for only doing iPhone and iPad versions of their boardgames, and responded by launching a Kickstarter. If enough funding was received, they would do an Android version, a Kindle Fire version, a Steam version and even a Windows Phone version, I think. So naturally I had to participate. Communications, stretch goals and add-ons were very clear and it funded within two days. They are currently beta-testing the Android version, so hopefully I will have it soon.

"Warthrone" seems to be a mass combat fantasy game, but I was only in it for the minis.
The Dwarf Army from Avatars of War was the second project that I backed. Master sculptor Felix Paniagua (ex-Games Workshop, founder of Avatars of War) wanted to sculpt an entire range of dwarves. His character models are all beautiful and since I'm fond of things short and hairy I couldn't resist. I pledged $120 which would bag me 50 dwarves in Warcast (a resin akin to GW's Finecast) and a limited Battle Standard Bearer in metal. The concept sketches were wonderful (sadly they are taken down now) and the project got funded. Not all stretch goals were reached, but enough to make any dwarf lover salivate; many units would correspond to unit types in Warhammer too, by some odd chance. However, there were some grumblings on the forums after the campaign was ended, updates were few and the new units didn't materialise in the time frame specified -- "The different regiments and heroes will be released from August 2012 until January 2013" according to the campaign page.

Rumours of casting problems made me nervous and I decided to cash in my pledge in mars from the regiments released so far. However, I didn't receive any figures despite them confirming my order and claiming it was sent out. One month and two emails later they confessed my order hadn't been sent at all but they would send it out asap. Well, i did eventually receive 20 hand-gunners and 31 bronze shields. Apparently casting multipart regiment figures was harder than they had anticipated and they had to constantly recast figures which led to the delays. During early autumn I received an update that due to the problems with Warcast all regiments would be cast in plastic instead. To compensate those backers who felt that plastic would be cheaper their pledges would count for 50% more figures. However, we that already had received our miniatures were screwed. And I'm still waiting for that standard bearer. I won't back another Avatars of War project, that's for sure.

Note the French spelling...
Heroes of Normandie is a board game by the French company Devil Pig Games, set in Normandy (duh...) during WW2. It uses old school counters and chits and sounded wacky and different enough to attract my attention. "A game of heroic tactical warfare inspired by Hollywood world war II movies (with blood, guts and devil pigs...)"

Beautiful graphics and interesting force selection.
There were a ton of different levels and add-ons but everything was laid out clearly, so there was no confusion about what was included in the various pledges. I settled for the lowest level that would give me some (but not all) stretch goals and opted for a couple of add-on boards that looked interesting, hoping that the funding would reach enough stretch goals to provide me with interesting upgrades, which it did. So I'm looking forward to a nifty WW2 board game with cross-overs like Achtung Cthulhu and Dust included as well as a plethora of different maps, counters and forces. Sadly I didn't have the money to include the British forces, so just Americans, Germans, French Resistance, SS, Zombies and Dust Walkers for me. Should be enough. The production of the game is slightly delayed, but communication has been clear all the time with regular updates including previews of the art-work, downloadable beta-rules and detailed explanations on exactly why and how big delays there is. I am not worried.

The Winter War... gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?
The Winter War campaign was interesting. Originally the goal was set very low, the aim being to fund the sculpting of maybe 10-15 figures per side (finns vs. soviets) with funders receiving a platoon of troops. It quickly escalated into ridiculous numbers and the original stretch goals were blown away. New stretch goals resulting in add-ons or substitutes were quickly devised with the help of imaginative backers. Me, Thomas and Jocke has pledged collectively for three platoons and a shedload of add-ons like trucks, tanks, guns and field kitchens... Jocke is the main backer and me and Thomas will lift a third of the figures each off him when they arrive. That way we can mix the forces up a little and each of us will be painting both soviets and finns like madmen.

General Tor, main bad guy in Mars Attacks
Which leads me to my final Kickstarter, which is still in progress. However, I will have to talk about this one in another post, because I have a lot to get off my chest.

Until then, Happy gaming!

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Wayland Games