Kickstarter Experiences: Part 4 – 21 months on!

I haven’t done any KS updates for quite awhile. Mostly because I feel like they turn me into a raging angry arsehole when I look at just how much is owed me by various incompetent businesses and/or suppliers. I’ll do this one as I’ve had a couple of requests on them now.

From oldest to most recent:

Kings of War (Mantic Games): Delivered everything in the end. Their quality control was, frankly, awful. Bait-and-switch on things like the troll sculpts, which I’d gone in big on based on the concept art. Lots of mispacks and miscasts. More than a few shitty sculpts. The Plastic Men-at-Arms are particularly notorious. In the end I swapped out my trolls for way too many Ogres, which are still pretty average sculpts for anyone who wants to build an army with (I’ve talked about them a few times in my Ogre Army building posts). So now I don’t have a troll army, and have a pile of Ogres (way more than I’ll even use) in a box. Yay.

Sedition Wars (McVey Studios): Shitty game with bad rules. Nicely sculpted figures in a sub-par material (restic!) for the first wave. Shitty sculpts in restic for the second wave. Ended up destroying many of them in exchange for a partial refund from CMON in the end. Apparently there are now better rules somewhere on the net. Maybe somewhere on the McVey website. McVey and CMoN passively blamed one another for all of the problems, but McVey’s shit-awful communication has resulted in me not willing to buy anything from his company again. I hope he sticks to boutique resins from here on out. If he tries to go the board game route again I wouldn’t be upset if he went out of business after the line of bullshit he fed us and how much (of my) money essentially got flushed down the toilet.

Reaper Bones 1: Turned out to be a great deal, especially with the shipping. Their communication turned out to be worse than nothing once shipping started, and RoW backers got shunted to the back of the queue, despite all of their previous promises on shipping. ReaperBryan tried to do what he could, but whoever is actually in charge decided that communicating with their backers wasn’t really important. Still. A lot of models for cheap.

Stonehaven Miniatures Dwarven Adventurers: A solid deal, overall a bunch of nice miniatures, and genuinely nice people to deal with. Good communication and delivered on time (or close enough to it that I don’t remember them being late!)

Red Box Games KS1: This one has been well documented, I’m sure. Trollforged was the producer. It seems that poor communication between the two, poor quality checking of figures on both sides, and a rogue employee trying to defend Trollforged (but naturally stirring up even more shit) all led to this becoming a massive clusterfuck with pledges being delivered incredibly late. I got my figures in the end, but still haven’t QAed them to this day, since the whole thing turned me off bigtime. And no, Sky, I’m not fucking giving them to you for free.

Dreamforge Leviathans (Dreamforge Games): still owes me a shitload of stuff and haven’t shipped anything since September last year – so over a full year since they shipped anything. Imperial Guard? Well, with my declining interest in 40k, they’re just models at this point. Wargames Factory make quality stuff, but they’re completely fucking incompetent in getting anything out on any kind of timeframe. Result is any KS getting stuff by WGF is an automatic no-go for me. Mark tries to update every so often with information on new shipping dates from WGF, but it always turns out to be bullshit that they’ve fed him. WGF are also inflexible in terms of part-shipping stuff for backers, offering some sort of coupon etc to make up for the inordinate delays or anything else.  It’s become a bit of a meme with the guys I talk to about it. China says No.

Wargames Factory customer service.

Dreadball Season 1 (Mantic): Got all my stuff in the end, over 2 waves. Got some of it after retail, but that’s par for the course, apparently. Apparently it’s a very good game. Unfortunately, I spent an awful lot of money on what turned out to be shitty figures made of restic garbage, which basically destroyed all interest I have of ever playing it. (When I look at it, it just makes me want to play proper Blood Bowl instead). Shelf fodder.

Bombshell Babes (Bombshell Miniatures): Got the figures. They were sub-par. My postcard also got fucked up since they used the cheapest packaging possible (stuff all the metal models into one zip-lock bag, then stuff that tightly into a padded envelope with no protection whatsoever for the postcards. One was broken. Then send internationally. Then don’t reply to my email that was actually quite polite by anyone’s standards. That’s the kind of customer service that $150+ gets you from Pat Keith, apparently.

Judge Dredd Miniatures (Mongoose Games): Figures still trickling in every so often 2 years after the fulfilment date. Sculpt quality varies, though Matt is personable when fixing up mispacks, etc.

Project Eternity (Videogame): No idea. I kinda lost interest and forgot about this one. I’d track it down, but I find I don’t care much, and being a videogame it’s probably another 2 years off or asking for “founders packs” or some other bullshit. I guess I should track it down sometime.

Assimilation Alien Host (Trollforged): 18 months late. He’s started to deliver on some stuff in the last few months, but no doubt it’ll be another 4-6 months before he gets up to Queen level, and even then it’ll take him months to fulfil those. My lack of interest in new 40k makes them probably not going to be a Tyranid Army anymore, so they’ll end up being some sort of greeblies. The worm-things are mostly nice, but the humanoids are a big disappointment after the excellent concept art.

Imbrian Arts: Boy I dodged a bullet with this one. Jody is a talented sculptor, but seems to be a terrible business owner, and possibly a terrible human being as well. I’m sure he’s got his “you can’t rush art” sycophants, but he really hasn’t shown any responsibility or acted like an adult to the people who gave him $63 thousand dollars. (He hasn’t updated for 4 months, again). 21 months overdue. He tried to start up another game with alternate figures while claiming that those figures weren’t Imbrian Arts figures since they belonged to another game (of his). Apparently he decided to redefine IA as a line, rather than his brand/company. He’s got an endless series of excuses, and while I have no financial loss to this shitheel, I would like to say Fuck that Piece of Shit right in his ear. Fuck you, Jody! And to anyone who feels like defending him – fuck you, too! 🙂

Hell Dorado (Kai Nesbit): This one was – as usual – a number of months late. There was talk about an illustrator having broken his hand, but apparently there’s also some connection to Ninja Division/Soda Pop Games, which no doubt had some connection to this one becoming clusterfucked. The French Language version still hasn’t fully shipped due to some kind of chain of events that I tuned out of months ago now. I bought a bunch of extra HD figures to play this with when it looked like delivering vaguely on time (and I had some free time off work to learn and play it in!), but as with many other KS, when it finally arrived, it was during a busy time at work, and now it’s all in a box somewhere. Figures do look nice, though.

Zombicide Season 2: Shipping in Wave 1 was an absolute clusterfuck. When they finally shipped my stuff, more than half of my stuff was missing. Their CS was worse than useless. In the end I was lucky enough to have a fellow forum member kindly help me out with a personal contact, and my missing stuff got delivered. Wave 2 simply arrived on time, complete, and with no drama. Good stuff. The game is great, as well.

Loka (Mantic Games): I only backed for the “River Horse” model, as a bit of support. It was, of course, miscast (the halves of the metal model would not fit together properly). I got in contact with Mantic and asked for just the two pieces – and please make sure they fit together properly. They sent me: Another full model, with the exact same miscast. Into a tub with the first one it went, along with the knowledge that no-one should back Mantic for multipart metal models, either.

DeadZone (Mantic Games): Mantic were good in letting me add a lot to the second survey. Unfortunately they forgot to send me all of the rulebooks, and the models turned out to have the same quality control that we can expect from Mantic’s restic offerings, so instead of spending my week and a bit off work learning to play DeadZone, I almost set the fucking box on fire, and did other things instead while the whole lot sits in a couple of boxes. Wave 3 is of course, horribly delayed at this point in time, but they’re apparently going to start shipping it in December. So I’ll most likely see mine in January, if I’m lucky. Apparently it’s a good game. I dunno. I’ll find out for myself sometime next year when I can possibly make myself give enough of a shit to find out.

Secret Weapon Miniatures: Tablescapes: I actually got my SWM stuff a week and a bit ago (how late? 6 months? a year?), though it’s the middle of a super busy time at work right now, so I haven’t even had the time/inclination to look at them in any kind of detail, and sadly won’t have the time to work on then until the mid-end of December. With the spacers that at least one of the delays were related to not being a thing anymore – until maybe after? – I’m not sure about painting them since trying to store the painted tiles without causing severe damage to them is going to be a real bitch. Remember what I said about Wargames Factory earlier? Yeah.

Robotech RPG Tactics (Palladium Books): “To help ensure realistic deadlines, we have completed the vast majority of our development before launching the Kickstarter. Sculpts for the game pieces are almost entirely complete. The rulebook and game components are deep in development and will be ready for layout soon. Our manufacturers are also ready and have reserved factory time for the project. This means that as soon as the project is funded, we can lock down a timeline with our manufacturers to get the game produced.” Fulfilment date was December 2013. I Understand that some people have started to receive part of their first wave items. Of course, the figures are awful, too many pieces, and no dates projected for Waves 2 or 3… (waves only became a thing around February 2014, as I recall)

 

More in the next update.

And in response to the obvious reply/comments about backing KS being a risk, etc.

You’re (largely) correct. KS at this stage isn’t for me. Despite a few of the projects above having been backed before “lolkickstarter – expect it 6 or 12 months late at minimum” was really a thing – so blaming backers for being pissed off at multi-year delays because the creators turn out to be in competent in various ways isn’t exactly kosher. Still, when we get up to things like Palladium and Raging Heroes, I think Victim Blaming of the backers is pretty poor form. While companies like SWM and DFG got fucked around royally by their Chinese suppliers, companies that have outright lied to us in order to secure funding deserve the derision that they receive. I’ll talk a little about some of my “$1 projects” in another KS update at some point, and talk about why I pulled my pledge down to the $1 value, and/or never got back on board via pledge managers.

For the majority of things at this point – I’ve recently decided that I’m pretty much done with KS at this point. I may back rare campaigns run by those who have shown competence, or have something I really want – but for the rest of them, I’m happy to pass and just buy retail items from Perry and Warlord and a variety of other small producers and occasionally from GW and FW (and videogames) for the 2 years they’ll take to come to market.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Kickstarter Experiences: Part 4 – 21 months on!

  1. A good read and while I can see that you are pissed off by quite some of these companies, the post made me smile, just for the fact that you write it as is/ how you feel.

    I was lucky so far. The Bones 1 kickstarter turned out to be good quality for an excellent price. Even the minis I did not want I was able to sell for retail. The delays and RoW drama was a bit ‘meh’, but I don’t care as long stuff arrives. The quality of some sculpts was compromised by the material, but overall good stuff.

    The Project Eternity Kickstarter turned out to be very good with communication. There were email and kickstarter updates at least monthly and the backer beta is out for some time now. Due to all the feedback they moves the release date to next year. I am glad they did so they can address any issues amd it won’t be a buggy mess. Check out their forums and I think you will feel better about the project.

    The last one in my short list is War and Empire. The final sculpts look all excellent and I only hope there will be no miscasts. They were only a tad late, but at least they did not rush the sculpting and thus we have a very fine range of 15mm miniatures. 360 miniatures for 95 pound is also pretty good.

    I only backed bigger/reputable companies so far, but it is hit and miss. So yes, I see were you come from and hope you get some of your still outstanding miniatures or can sell some on.

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    • That’s a fair call about Project Eternity. I did read their updates for awhile, but after monbths or perhaps a year of receiving them I stopped caring and started to just file them away into my KS folder without reading them.

      Perhaps it’s just been my naiviette, but I foolishly trusted companies that I knew had been in business since my childhood like Palladium (and the positive forumites) rather then doing some real research into them and how dodgy they have been for the past decade or more.

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  2. Thanks for the stories! Likewise I don’t expect to be ‘buying’ anything via Kickstarter in the near future. There’s enough reliable retailers around to deal with that I am happy to wait.

    I am glad to hear you got your Tablescapes. Mine are lost somewhere in the mess that is their shipping arrangements. It seems he sent a random selection to the Combat Company rather than what Australian backers had ordered. Realistically it will probably be February 2015 before I receive what was originally due in February 2014. I plan to do separate articles reviewing the product and then the Kickstarter.

    Imbrian Arts are a company I dealt with only once. I met Jody at a Con back in 2010 where he took out a booth. I chatted with him quite amiable on Day 1. Day 2 I returned to his booth to buy some miniatures and received the impression he thought I was wasting his valuable time. That was the last dealing I had and I am glad I avoided that Kickstarter. I ended up painting the models (http://scentofagamer.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/iogc/) and I will incorporate them into Of Gods and Mortals.

    Bones 1 Is something I’m glad I entered. The shipping took ages. As I recall a friend received his pledge in late Feb or early March, while mine didn’t arrive until mid-June. I think their Wave approach in Bones 2 was designed to manage shipping expectations. However their attitude toward international shipping that time meant I decided not to back.

    My attitude towards miniatures these days is:
    1. how about I paint what I own before buying more, and
    2. there’s enough variety at retailer (local or online) that I don’t need the rush of being ‘first’ and spending money two years before I need to via crowdfunding.

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    • I’ve been lucky with my Tablescapes. I got mine via the Combat Company, though at one stage it looked like they had fucked up my order as well, and I was in contact with Justin about it. I’m hopeful that you’ll get yours sooner rather than later – hopefully directly from Justin rather than via CC. I’ll do a review of mine probably over the new year period when I have some time and less boiling KS-related anger. 😉

      Well, it’s “good” to hear that Jody is at least being consistent. He only updated in June because some Dakka members tracked him down/hounded him after the Bar Room Brawl thing started to blow up over on Frothers and politely suggested that he throw his backers an update once in awhile. He was amicable, did an update, and then promptly returned to business as usual.

      Bones 1 worked out in the end. I backed the second one in a limited manner purely on a selfish basis, and unsurprisingly that one seems to have no actual date anymore either (aside from “in a month or four!”)

      I certainly agree with you in theory on 1). Still, I’m doing the opposite and trying to finish buying a few forces (mostly historical from WLG and Perry at this point) so I can cut my gaming spending down to the bone for most of 2015 – and maybe pay the house off a bit faster 😉

      I’d also like to explore new creative options like getting some Hirst Arts stuff and having a play with that sort of thing.

      KS exceptions going forward will be proven things like Zombicide, the new KoW rulebook KS, and… well, shit. I can’t even bring myself to back Minion Miniatures at this point. I’d rather buy some tanks from Warlord and Rubicon. So I’m very much in agreement on 2) with those few exceptions.

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  3. I won’t give you the usual shit 🙂

    I’m still patronizing KS, but in a pretty limited way. Darksword is pretty straightforward and Jim runs a tight damned ship. Tre has his quirks, but the guy is a sculpting machine and since he switched to Valiant and moved away from modular minis most of my complaints dried up, I’ve backed all his KS to date and have all the minis delivered…look at where Ed is and I think the issue becomes obvious there.

    Mierce I also hit up, mostly for the exclusives or really big bundle deals, as the exchange rate with the UK is a killed on them and I’ve got a good local source now.

    My only complaint with Jody is that some of the venting on the resins have been poorly placed. He’s offered an option for backers to get existing minis to fulfill pledges…which is another reason things have slowed down, as he’s now casting instead of sculpting in his already limited time.

    Bones I have my own feelings about that I do not wish to air in a public forum. I love what they’ve done for the low end gaming market, for sure.

    Dreadball…some of the later teams from the first KS shipped in metal. I like it better than the crap restic (which I will be avoiding actively unless the game is worth it), but I haven’t tried to assemble them yet. I don’t like assembly :p But I do want to get a couple games in while I have a few days left to put in a back door pledge for the expansion in case we dig the game and want to snag some exclusives.

    What’s your gripe with Raging Heroes? The stuff is looking pretty damned amazing. Is it late? Honest question – I don’t pay attention and I know they’ve already shipped a wave or two. Actually wish I had done drop shipping in waves, as one of the game stores is halfway between here and paint day.

    Bottom line for me these days on KS is exclusives, really. There are (rightfully) not really any more stupidly discounted things, I have a good stash of games and minis. But it was mostly positive for building up my stash of hobby stuff from almost nothing and also learning a lot about the industry from my research.

    And I just bought the Infinity 3rd ed starter…so I have a feeling I’m about to start down that corridor for a while…

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    • Darksword holds nothing special for me, since I haven’t read or watched GoT yet (they’re in the queue!) So they’re just very nice miniatures, and after a bit of a surge in the last two years in purchasing random stuff, I’ve come back around to knowing that just like I’ll never be able to buy and paint ALL of the miniatures, I can’t KS them either, and that it’s a fool’s errand to keep backing things because they look lovely.

      On that same note, Tre’ is a brilliant sculptor, but I haven’t painted many of my pre-KS RBG models, let alone KS one figures. Pair that with his “RBG scale” and I don’t have a lot of use in backing his many subsequent KS. While I like him and in many ways would like to support him, I’m not going to pay a quarterly tithe to his KS either for small figures I may or may not ever use or paint. (Especially with US shipping being what it now is!) I’ll put up scale shots of his figures every so often instead.

      I’ve spoken to enough manufacturers in the past (two?) years about the RBG/Trollforged thing and I’ve learned enough that their issue was very much a two-way street. I’m not going to share anything about it, since I’ve been asked to keep it quiet and airing it does no-one any good. Having said that, I won’t be backing any new Trollforged projects, either.

      Mierce. Well, my feelings on Rob “Maelstrom” Lane are no secret. But I’ve been happy enough to pick up quite a bit of stuff from a mate who had to sell stuff off. So at some stage I’ll get around to painting them. Jody is a class-A shitheel, which makes me just as sad as it does angry. (I’d be angrier if I’d gone in for more than a buck.)

      Bones as a material and is fine. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I’m not expecting high end resin quality nor even “proper” metal quality. If I need a random thing for roleplaying, though – like a purple worm, or a rust monster, a gnoll or a mimic, I’m covered. They also make fine rank-fillers, “training miniatures” for my wife’s painting and so forth. The larger critters also work well in wargaming, and in some cases are nicer than “real” wargaming models. I wouldn’t stress too much about saying what you think unless you think Reaper are so petty that they’ll un-mod you from their forums (unless you’re angling for a future position working for Reaper as a painter?)

      Dreadball. All my figures were in restic with a few star players as the exceptions. All the teams were restic, though. I saw some people got metal ones and were complaining about it. /facepalm When it comes to S3/DBX, I just look at the unplayed pile of S1-2 and think “meh”. Too many games, not enough time to waste on ones requiring that much work to get the shitty figures up to scratch. I know DBX comes with pre-assembled boardgame plastic stuff, but fuck it – my money isn’t unlimited, and there are videogames and historcials to buy!

      Raging Heroes was supposedly 80% complete when they started the KS. Everything was due to be completed by March this year. They only got the PM out in ..September this year, from memory? I’ll go into more detail with the next post on this stuff. They look to be lovely models, to be sure. Their wave shipping is also all messed up, so they’ve kind of shipped Wave 1, and part-shipped part of wave 2, depending on what you ordered for wave 2 and what they have in stock, and other parts of wave 2 will come later this year, maybe/hopefully. It’s like that. They’re using your best mate at Trollforged for a lot of them, too!

      At this point, I’ll agree on exclusives to an extent – but only when they add something significant or especially cool to something I’m interested in anyway (like the Zombicide characters). On the other hand, I don’t give two shits about yet another Blaine figure “Look! We made a not-Predator figure in a trenchcoat! In restic!!” Infinity seems a good bet for you. Even if you never play it, there are a lot of finely-detailed, lovely models there. I’ll be backing the Mantic KoW KS that starts next week for the rulebook – because it’s a game I play and am willing to support the rules development for – even though they will also be available as free downloads.

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      • Just found an update by someone who’s been bothered to follow the RH delivery saga more closely than I have (I’ve been tuned out for more than a few months now)
        ==============
        “Nothing outside of Wave 1 (so 23 models) plus a few extras are “available.” All troop boxes are in limbo at this time, making the trip between wave 2, wave 3 and never quite often.
        So you’d also have to be patient for a few months (ah!) still.”

        And here’s the official list:
        http://www.tggks.com/what-is-in-each-wave/

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      • There is a real disparity of opinion on Bones. I’ve been gradually working through my vampire pledge and have found the painting to be straightforward and not so different to working with metal. Here’s an example of two models identical other than the material used to cast them: http://scentofagamer.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/bones-and-metal/

        Raging Heroes is something I have avoided and was glad to have done so. 23 models made in over a year is a poor return given the amount of concept art they had people throwing money at. Assuming they stick to the present rate of production, this one will go until 2017 at least.

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        • I think the thing with Bones is that there’s a real variation in the quality of them – and in various ways. Some are better than metal, others are soft-detailed, others are pretty good (like your examples!), while others again are fine, except for perma-bending. Obviously they’re never going to be quite as good as a fine resin or metal cast, but I think they’re ovcerall great for what they are.

          Raging Heroes make some fine figures, and while they always had a reputation for lateness, the KS has really cranked that up to the max – especially in light of their “all sculpts are 80% done” promises during the campaign. There’s an awful lot of figures being produced, and by accounts of those people who have them in hand they are of very good quality. The issues at work here are clearly over-confidence, poor overall communication (they’re fine via email, but the updates are awful) and most of all – an incredibly over-ambitious project for their own timeline. I hope for their own sake that they complete this project to 100% before starting their next one – and perhaps tone down the scale and overpromising by just a tad. Maybe 80%? 😉

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  4. About the ones I partecipated myself, I totally agree with you. Sedition Wars is THE kickstarter project that made me stop throwing my money at kickstarter projects (so I think I have to somewhat be grateful). Really really a ton of badly cast figures with even worse rules.
    To the other hand, I was very pleased with the first Bones kickstarter, so I have happily supported the second one.
    And the Robotech claims are the worse joke in the hobby apart the ones GW wrote on launching the finecast line…

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