Half a Kickstarter Update…

So the third part of my Kickstarter commentaries/bitching/ranting has been somewhat late. Work commitments have been fairly hefty in the last few weeks with the lead-up to Christmas, and I’ve also moved house, while also moving to another area at work. So moving boxes is my life at the moment, while writing in-depth posts is not.

So, half an update, and hopefully something better in a few days when I have my PC set up and don’t have to use a laptop…

Mantic/Kings of War have shown a bunch of newish sculpts – alternately for this game and for Dreadball. (aka Breadbowl).

McVey/CMON’s Sedition Wars looks more and more like a February arrival.

Nothing new from Avatars of War (or maybe there is – but they don’t bother to inform their backers, so…)

Reaper showed a WIP of a huge Dracoliche (undead dragon) that looks somewhat out of proportion. US and Canadian backers have started getting toys. ROWers can still STFU and wait for the combined shipment.

Stonehaven’s Dwarves arrived a few days ago. I have the little box on my desk. Haven’t had a chance to look at them yet.

Tre’ Manor’s Red Box Games continue to have production problems with Trollcast. Looks like they’ll be shipping in January now. Mid-Jan? Depends how long the Trollforge guys and Tre’ take off for Christmas and New Year’s…

Studio Miniatures‘ Zombies. Well, apparently they were to have the last ones sent out by 10th December, before Stuart’s wedding. I got an email yesterday saying the last ones have been shipped. I understand they arrived at my mailing address today, so I haven’t had a chance to look at them and make sure it’s all there and proper with the right mix of civvies and Nazis.

Relic Knights by Soda Pop and CMON have shown a mix of nice and rubbish sculpts/renders. Still deciding what to do with the Pledge Manager there. Get the SDE stuff? Maybe?

Mantic’s Dreadball and Mongoose’s Judge Dredd have both had a fair whack of stuff show up – actually on time! More detail next time!

Kickstarter Experiences. Part 2

My Fifth Kickstarter was The Dwarven Adventurers set, by Stonehaven Miniatures.

I didn’t have any particular use for them, and don’t really FRP anymore, but I figures that they had character and could be subbed into games like Ravenloft, Descent etc quite easily as character figures. I also have a bit of a soft spot for Dwarves. This one was also due in October, and now we’re hitting December. Regular updates though, have kept me mollified, though the dwarven sculpts are turning out less fine-featured than I’d like. This being an early KS of mine got in due to the “gee whiz” factor. I’ve passed up on several similar projects since then, since I figure I don’t really need to be throwing $50 or $100 at every reasonable set of fantasy figures that come along when I could just buy them off the shelf a la carte from the many manufacturers already out there. These guys haven’t done anything “wrong” really, but I probably wouldn’t go for it again. These little random projects add up over time ($$$).

Still, it was supposed to be in hand during October, and it’s now December. Will it be here by Christmas? Who can tell?

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Sixth, Pirate Goblins by Bruno Galice.

I went in for this since it was small and cheap, pirates are reasonably cool, but most importantly, these were getting sculpted by Kev Adams. Like so many of the other projects, this one trundled along with a few updates after the money went in, then got deathly quiet a month ago. Bruno didn’t respond to any of my emails wanting to add another goblin to the order over a six-week period, until a week ago when I sent him another email he did reply to. Promising to send me a PayPal invoice the next day and also update the project (after a month of having gone quiet). Neither has happened. He’s got a nice concept pic up for Dwarf Pirates, which he wants to run as the next project. If it’s small and cheap like this one was, we’ll see. If he gets ambitious and wants to make it bigger and more expensive, then no fucking way.

Oh yeah, this one was supposed to be in hand during October as well. Will it be here by Christmas? Again. Who can tell? I doubt it, though.

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Seventh. Tre’ Manor‘s Red Box Games.

I like Tre’. I’ve interacted with him on a few forums as well as directly. I’ve bought figures from him as well, and reviewed them on this blog. He’s one of the few I link to on the sidebar there. I went in for more than I really should have and got a bunch of figures I really don’t need, because I like the guy. Tre has been great with regular updates, sculpt previews and taking feedback on them. Once again though, the project has been hit by a number of delays. The one thing I didn’t like was that Tre’ (at one point) was pretty adamant about starting a new campaign in the Middle of November. This actually did piss me off, since I’m of the mind and attitude that people really need to finish delivering on their prior commitments before coming back to the till with their hand out. Tre’s rationale was that he was worried about KS fatigue setting in and also booking in Ed from Trollcast to produce the models as Ed is getting much busier lately. I continued to disagree and also thought that finishing a KS 2 weeks before Christmas would lose out on a lot of potential pledges. Some agreed with me, while others didn’t. Luckily (!?) the production delays seem to have put a stopper on that idea, so I’ll be more than happy to support his next KS.

Oh yeah, timelines. Again this one was supposed to be in hand during October and is looking unlikely to be here by Christmas…

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Eighth. Studio Miniatures Zombies.

Nice models – a little plain in the details but you make up for that in the paint. The campaign was a little long, and suffered from Indiegogo’s “we charge you immediately” aspect which just puts me off campaigns hosted there. Once again, we had a few updates post-completion, and then it went dark again (last update almost a month ago). Stuart has reappeared in the comments section (which I only saw because I saw typing this up) to say that he thinks everything will be shipped by this coming Monday so people will get them before Christmas and then he’s closing the shop for a few days to get married. Best wishes, Stuart. Would I go in again? Maybe. Zombies are a bit of a niche thing, and that’s all Studio Miniatures really do. The IGG campaign didn’t hit enough money to make the femzombies a go. But then again, how many do you need? I went in for 80 regular zombies and 80 Nazi Zombies. (plus the few metal/resin extras).

Timeline? Indiegogo’s page works differently to Kickstarter’s, so I can’t find the initial due date for these. I’m sure they’re a month or two late though, like everything else on this page. People have started to report getting theirs, so that’s something.

Ninth. Relic Knights by Soda Pop Games and Cool Mini Or Not.

I thought this campaign was run appallingly. Poor quality updates, a lack of figure shots. Figures that don’t look anything like the artwork. I was originally in for one of the larger “Early Bird” sets, but dropped down to a minimal level in the end. I might get whatever the “Super Dungeon Explore” pack works out to be, maybe. I like the look of the Noh figures, and also Black Diamond, but since this one has gone completely dark with no updates or sculpt previews etc, I probably won’t get that SOTU + SDE set. This campaign and the way it was run (as well as Sedition Wars) put me off going in for any more of CMON’s Kickstarters.

Projected delivery date is May. I wouldn’t bet money on it, though.

So, out of the five projects on this page. Some people (not me) have gotten some zombies. One has months before they’re due, and the other three are over a month late. I might get my zombies by Christmas, if I’m lucky.

Counting the stuff listed in the last post,

One project has shipped what was possible while the rest is being produced (Mantic)

One has part delivered if you’re in the US (late) – and if you’re out of the US they’ve decided to combine your September 2012 stuff to ship several months later in 2013 instead. In four months from now. If there are no more delays. Which will mean the Sophie sets get delivered 7 months later then initially promised. (Reaper)

Four are over a month late (Sedition Wars, Goblins, Dwarves, Zombies) One is starting to ship (Zombies), and one is definitely post-Christmas and also looking to have their March tier be late as well (Sedition Wars)

One never gave a date, and it’s probably just as well (Avatars of War)

One has months to go before they get near their dates (Relic Knights)

I’ve gotten 10 dice, 2 rulebooks, and a Miniatures bag to show for my Kickstarting. All from Mantic.

next: Dreamforge, Dreadball, Bombshell Babes, Judge Dredd.

Kickstarter Experiences. Part 1

So, yeah. I’ve not been especially thrilled with the way that most of the over-a-dozen Kickstarters I’ve backed so far have gone so far. I haven’t said much about them on this blog to date, because, frankly, I don’t really want to be an advertisement, nor have I been actually updating the blog much as of late.

So, Kickstarters. I’ll share my experiences to date as well as opinions. I have to play nice on forums, but here I can freely speak my mind. Which actually doesn’t mean being a complete arsehole.

My first one (missed out on Zombiecide by *that* much) was Kings of War, by Mantic Games. Since I felt that many of their fantasy sculpts of the time frankly sucked or were rather uninspiring, my wife and I went in for mostly new sculpts, based on a lot of faith/hope and a lot of BOGOF value. We did each get our rulebooks and dice, as well as a Mantic/Battlefoam bag, which is quite decent, but everything else from them is due in 2013. A couple sculpts previewed look less than impressive (Female Vamp) while most others look quite nice. No problems so far. Regular updates and regular pictures of WIP greens, so no problems with Post-KS communication. Would probably KS with them again. (In fact, I did!)

Second/At the same time was Sedition Wars, by McVey Studios. (Mike and Ali McVey). Again, lots of value on offer, and McVey’s reputation was quite good. The Chinese printer running off with the funds isn’t Mike’s fault, but I’ve been solidly unimpressed with the lack of updates over such a long time until recently. I know Mike and Aly were moving, etc.. but you know what? My telephone has internet access and a post takes 5 minutes of your time. So I’m not as easily mollified as many others on the internet. If SW hadn’t chalked up close to a million bucks, I might be able to swallow the reasons on lack of comms more easily. But for fuck’s sake. Mike, people gave you a million dollars. Amazon and CMON taking a chunk notwithstanding. They gave it to you. There’s simply no fucking good excuse for the length of time that your communication went dark. Even if CMON are being dicks with the updates, you have your own forum! (And yes, I realise that Mike will never actually read this.) :p

I’m also not terribly impressed now that I’m hearing rumblings that the second wave will probably be delayed because he wants the sculptors to work on the expansion as well at the same time, and so has to “juggle” between new things for the expansion and shit people paid for in full months ago. Another slightly-nicer-phrased version case of “We already got your money, so STFU and you’ll get your stuff when we send it.” Let’s also be realistic. The March stuff is going to slip. Mike is laying down the “it might slip” line now, months before, so that by the time March comes, everyone is used to the idea that it’ll come in May or whenever.

So anyway. the Nov stuff is clearly not going to be here until Jan-Feb, and while disappointing, I can understand it. The March stuff shipping to April, May, June. Not quite so OK with that if it happens. (Especially since the KS finished on July 1st) Would maybe back another McVey Kickstarter if it offered insane value again, but CMON and their lack of updates don’t impress me at all. Doesn’t look like it’ll be an issue since the SW expansion appears to be going direct to retail.

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Third was Avatars of War‘s Indiegogo. Since Felix thought offering any kind of decent value compared to retail on what is essentially an interest-free loan/investment, and also has a frankly horrible track record on delivering on pre-orders, I had to sit out on most of this, despite him being an incredibly talented sculptor. Went in for a Limited edition standard bearer, since it was such a small investment ($15) that I can’t see myself getting too bent out of shape if he takes a year to deliver on it. Which he probably will. Mostly a shame, since I’d have loved to drop a ton of money on it. it just lacked the value for the investment, and the ability to trust Felix to deliver. I’ll probably buy a bunch of these figures once they hit retail. And I don’t even play Dwarves. Rarely bothers to update to his backers using IGG. Instead you have to go looking on Facebook, or the AoW forums, or the Spanish-Language AoW forums. Fuck that noise.

If/when Felix offers another IGG, I’d probably just go in for the equivalent of the standard bearer unless they lifted their game and attitude dramatically. And that ain’t gonna happen.

Forth, the big one. Reaper‘s Bones Kickstarter. Well, being located overseas has now meant that they’re decided that they’re not going to ship the segments of my order as they’re ready (Sophies, Paint, Models) but are going to ship all my shit all together at once. Except, well, it won’t all fit in one box, anyway. So no Sophies shipped when they said they would initially (which is annoying) or paint which is somewhat understandable given the dropper bottle situation, except non-US paint orders have been tossed to the back of the queue regardless. While it’d have been quite nice to get my Sophie sets now (especially since my US-based friends are talking about having gotten theirs) I’m not as pissed off as I thought I might be. (Doesn’t the initial September delivery date look quaint now?) I’m also getting a metric fuckton of stuff from them, and I trust them, so I’m ok with them saving a bit on the shipping and sending it all at once. Hopefully it does turn up in March though. Or April.After that, I’ll start getting a bit annoyed. Funny thing – on reflection, I might have been massively fucked off with Reaper, but since they’ve been posting regular updates, I’m pretty much fine with them and the delays.

Still, Reaper have always had great CS for issues my figures have had, on a par with Games Workshop’s deservedly-vaunted CS, and more importantly, they’re giving us regular updates with sculpts and so forth. Would back again if things keep going the way they have. I doubt we’ll see anything as crazy as their KS again, though.

So, out of the first four crowdfunding projects I backed, three initially projected to have stuff in hand to me by now and only one has actually shipped me some stuff and is on track to meet their stated timeline. Two have slipped, with one threatening to slip on the second wave as well. And who the fuck knows what’s happening with AoW? For about $2k spent on this page, I have 10 dice, 2 rulebooks, and a Miniatures bag to show for my Kickstarting.

I’m happy with Mantic, in two minds on McVey, unhappy with CMON, ok with Reaper and, well. I have no expectations for AoW, so it’s hard to be dissapoint!

next:

Dwarven Adventurers, Pirate Goblins, Red Box Games, Studio Miniatures Zombies and Relic Knights!