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.

 

 

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.

20120527084047-warthrone_dwarfs

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!