My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

My Success Rate with Kickstarter

I decided to get into a few Kickstarter projects, as reported previously, and so I thought I would give an update on my success with it so far.

Up Front – Funded on January 13, 2013. Estimated delivery was for June 2013. As of December 2013 it has not been delivered and no delivery date is set. Yes, this is the one that so many people said "you'll be sorry!" because the project was headed up by someone who had lawsuits in his rear-view mirror. Because of an error on my part, I got way too much of it. Lots of excuses and lots of time in which no updates were forthcoming. Looks bad. Oh, this is supposed to be a re-print and update to the classic Avalon Hill game Up Front.

Rivet Wars – Funded February 4, 2013. Estimated delivery was for September 2013. As of December 2013 it has not been delivered and delivery is slated for "ample time before Christmas". Hopefully that means 2013... I have a fair amount spent on this too, but not as much as Up Front. If I get it, I think the money will be well worth it.

Sergeants Miniatures Game: Red Devils – Funded February 24, 2013. Estimated delivery was for May 2013. It was delivered November 27, 2013. I bought the minimum on this one as I was still skeptical about the game, having read a fair amount about the previous version, Sergeants Miniatures Games: Day of Days. My skepticism mostly arose from the cost of the painted miniatures, and that you really could not play without buying the those miniatures (because they came with unique cards you need). So if you wanted to play a game with 15 miniatures on a side it was going to set you back. And did I really want to invest in another WW II skirmish game, only this time with 20mm miniatures? (Obviously the answer was "yes"...) I am hoping to provide a review of these rules soon.

Small World 2 (Take 1) – Cancelled by project managers as they felt that it was confusing as to what the project was really about.

Small World 2 (Take 2) – Funded on April 10, 2013. Estimated delivery was for October 2013. Delivered September 12, 2013. Game is much better than before, so was definitely worth the $8.

By Fire and Sword – Funded on May 20, 2013. Estimated delivery was for June 2013. Honestly, I cannot remember when this arrived, but as I only ordered the rulebook I was not held up by waiting for the sculptors to finish their task. This company was really good about providing updates and has sent a stream of PDFs, army list additions, etc. about that product and others they offer. Unfortunately, Eastern Renaissance went to the back burner sometime ago, despite having Polish and Cossack armies painted (but requiring rebasing). Someday... There have been some funny errors though, like the "Regimental Rooster Sheet".

So, all in all my big, high expectation purchases were utter flops, with regards to delivery times (or even if they will deliver). By the time I got up to June 2013 three projects were supposed to have delivered and none did. At the time I could see that  three of them were in trouble with their schedules. I decided that I had enough, at least until something delivered.

There has been some interesting conversations about how Kickstarter (and P500 projects) are "killing" retail hobby stores. That may be – although I think it is just one more nail in the coffin rather than the single most important reason – but I honestly cannot see any of the hobby shops in my area, and probably any that I have frequented in the past (that still remain), speculating on buying into Kickstarter or P500 for me. They all want to: a) wait until it goes retail and actually ships; and b) wait to see if it will sell. They have enough SKUs on the shelf as it is.

Added to that they want to sell it for full retail, when the companies are essentially offering a discount to invest in their project early. So who do you support, the manufacturers of the content, or the ones that sell it locally? So many gaming companies are using Kickstarter or P500 to gauge interest. If you wait and play it safe, like the retailers, the game may never come. Tough decision, especially as another local hobby store has just failed.

Ah well, we can't save them all.

I hope to get a review of Sergeants Miniatures Game: Red Devils out soon, along with some news regarding what I have been doing with my time. It is not really gaming, but it is gaming related.

10 comments:

  1. I did three so far, Relic Knights (STILL waiting after 1.5 years, "aussie" blood bowl dice and Preaching to the Perverted, the bluray restoration movie of the classic Stuart Urban movie.

    The latter two where right on time, but the first one has caused me to stteer clear of the concept now

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  2. My condolences on Relic Knights. I just took a look at the Kickstarter page, found out that it is Cool Minis or Not (the people doing the Rivet Wars Kickstarter project I bought into) and they are also talking about "delays with the QA". Just looked at the video for the miniatures and I have to say, they could have done a better job. At 0:55 for example you can clear see substantial mold lines on the big figure. Most of the faces look like they barely have noses. Perhaps that is the style, just they didn't skimp on the breasts, so it doesn't seem to be a problem of undercuts! :^D

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  3. The only Kickstarter project to which I pledged was Fife and Drum Miniatures AWI Kickstarter project. Thus far, communication has been good and no milestones have yet to pass. First miniatures are expected mid January.

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  4. Dale,

    Glad to see you back, if only for a moment! All my Kickstarters except one have delivered, some a little late but all has loads of communication. I think I have been in about 5, including the Orge Designer edition. I have been happy with all of them that delivered. The one that has not delivered yet is...Up Front. Although not in it as deep as you, I had been looking for a copy of this games for many years so supported the Kickstarter. I was as worried as you are until a few weeks ago. I am now at the Que Sera Sera stage.

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  5. Please don't tell me something happened a few weeks ago ... :^/ If it is apathy, that I understand! Excuses, excuses, excuses. Of course if it ships we will all be eating a little crow, but who cares because we would be able to play Up Front again.

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    Replies
    1. After weeks of nothing, a few weeks ago the was an update about artwork. With the lack of much communication I have just gone "whatever" and if it actually is delivered I will be very excited. It it does not, it will have meet my current expectations!

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  6. So far in for 9 KS campaigns with 5 different companies. Three of those are now late (Maki, Secret Weapons, Martian Front) and one has only just finished (Aliens vs Predators).
    The other five are all by Mantic and so far they always made their deadlines. Except the one time where they said they were shipping two months early and it was only one month early in the end. They added some extra miniatures to make up for that :-)

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  7. Good to hear from you Dale. Bummer about your KS luck.I have been reluctant to get into any of these. I did the ATZ High Rise To Hell indiegogo for the cards and have joined a kickstarter for a solo rpg book that I can't remember the name of. I mainly cant look SWMBO in the eye were I to go in deep for something like Bones etc.

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  8. Most of my kickstarters have delivered are on track. I still have confidence in the one project that is late - Torn Armor.

    The one that has most pleased me is the terrain molds from Happy Seppoku. I will try to do a review this weekend.

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  9. I've been in a couple of gaming related KS campaigns (4-5). All of them, except Airborne in Your Pocket went well. AIYP has passed its deadline long time ago, nothing delivered so far. (Same company that is doing Up Front by the way.)

    I like what DVG (Dan Verssen Games) did for one of their KS campaigns (did not pledge for that one, just read about it). They had the complete game ready when launching the campaign. All rules, layouts etc were ready. Just to be sent to the printers after the KS was ready. Minimum waiting time for the customers. Perhaps not applicable on all types of projects, but should be for many boardgame projects at least.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").