Friday, December 7, 2012

The Kickstarter Explosion

One of the real phenomena in 2012 has been the explosion of Kickstarter (and similar types of crowd-funding). It had been around in previous years but in 2012 it really came of age.

The gaming world has not been immune to this phenomenon. NZ sites have had limited coverage of Kickstarter but it has been very big on overseas forums. Some of the most successful have been Mantic Games with expansions of its “Kings of war” armies and Reaper with its Bones range.

On one of the sites I visit, a poster has totalled up the amount pledge on successful (i.e. where target reached) miniature gaming Kickstarter projects so far this year. I was staggered by the amount. It is just shy of USD 9 million.

You’ve got to think that unless this is “new money” coming into the hobby this will definitely have an impact on the established manufacturers. Not so much Games Workshop or Battlefront, but certainly those on the next tier down.

I have my doubts that this is “new money” and think that we are just seeing a redistribution of the way we spent.

Disclaimer: I have spent nothing on any form of Kickstarter to date. However, I would be interested if you have and your experiences. I’d also be interested in hearing how different Kickstarters have dealt with the tyranny of distance for Antipodean supporters.


  1. In regards to the Mantic Kickstarter for their Kings of War line, Ryan and I split an Undead deal. Payment was made via Amazon with no trouble if I remember correctly.

    The initial batch of miniatures were delivered when they said they would in good order and sometime in Q2 next year we will get a nice assortment of other miniatures now in production due to the Kickstarter. I recieved an update on this yesterday via email which was a nice reminder.

    I also got the hardcover rulebook as part of the deal and I will say it has very amateur production values in comparison to pretty much any other gaming book I own.

    It did give us as Vampire Count players a massive boost to our core units though at a bargain price which was always the goal for us.

    I do try to keep an eye on what other gaming projects are in production via Kickstarter, recently the Kingdom Death miniature board game was tempting but I resisted.

    1. Hi Wryth! Can you expand what you found amateur about the book? I am genuinely curious as I have a large number of books as well and it's fairly average. Not bad; not great. A solid first effort I thought.

      Is is production, presentation or something else?

    2. Glen, have to disagree with 'amateur' to describe the KoW rulebook. I would describe it as basic, in terms of layout and the quality of art used it reminds me of WHFB editions 2 or 3, but that's more a reflection on where the company are at now and what resources they have at their disposal. They are still a small company and contract art and sculpting etc, some of the art used are concept drawings for their miniatures rather than actual art pieces. In terms of the product itself though, the hardcover book is well put together and bound, colour, laid out well and is pretty comprehensive as a one stop shop for the KoW game as it stands at the moment (supplements with new armies to come as funded by the Kickstarter though).

    3. Yeah Leon I suppose 'basic' is a better word. It is a solid well constructed book but the world map and internal art are not up to the professional standards of the larger companies which is fair enough for their size. A heavy use of the Battlefield in a box terrain we all enjoy as well in the photos.

      I leafed through it when I got it and as I was unimpressed, put it to the side with many other gaming books that won't get used(that includes RPGs).

      I invested to get the models for Warhammer and thats what I got and I was very happy with that. The book was just an extra for me.

  2. I've backed both Mantic projects so far and no issues payment was easy I even added things and changed my order to be quite custom. They were very accommodating accepting payment from multiple sources.

    I also supported Tor Gamings Relics Indiegogo and that was also no issues and massive loot.

    For Mantic I backed as it was the most economical way to start a new army and get rulebooks for myself and my friends. All the extras have made it even more value but I was satisfied with what I got for the price I paid already.

    Tor gaming I backed for one reason -Free Shipping- this brought the game into reach for me as before I could pay as much for shipping equivalent to more models. It never seemed worth it. Been very impressed with the figures since they arrived and Gavin’s an easy chap to get long with.

    I have avoided others as realistically a new undead army, Dreadball and Relics will be enough to paint in a normal year sans children let alone with children and possible moving so I pretended Sedition Wars and Reaper didn't exist though I am tempted by the quick minikicker for the CMON Cadwallon game.

    You have to go in with eyes open though this is NOT a pre-order. You are funding. You get rewarded but you don’t choose how this money gets spent and I suggest every one read the terms and conditions and make sure they are happy with their level of risk. Nothings failed to deliver...yet...but when one does it may kill all the others.

  3. I've backed both Mantic kickstarters (orcs and goblins for me, rather than undead). I'm also backing the Malifaux RPG one running currently. My experience with dleivery from Mantic is similar to Glen's, it dispacthed quickly and got here no problems. Postage for both Mantic kickstarters was a one off payment of $15US (from memory this was to anywhere outside the UK?), covering initial shipment of goods ready at the time (or with Dreadball, what was planned to be ready this year) and delivery of everything else that was funded. Considering the size of the packages and that more than one delivery is involved, i think it was fine. Delivery was basically all the sprues, book, etc, packed in a cardboard box or two and delivery was of the 'leave on the doorstep' variety.

    The Malifaux one is charging quite a bit more for shipping, depending on level of reward it ranges from US$22-44, depending on pledge level. From what i understand this is a couriered, signed for delivery and, being an RPG with at least 2 books, is likely to be weightier. It is on the expensive side (for my pledge level it is US$33), but i'm okay with it as long as i get it in good shape.

    The Malifaux RPG kickstarter has also disclosed some of what the funding will go toward, they had the initial funding goal at $30,000 and have stated that going past that will enable them to produce in colour and to afford better artists and writers. Looking at the Mantic stuff, it is possible their funding enabled them to use consistently good sculptors, as what has been coming out as previews has looked several notches above their initial mini range in comparison. The new troll ( and part-finished celestian ( are very nice. The celestian is 40mm base model size and will also have angel wings.

  4. I got in on the Reaper Kickstarter, essentially coming in late and sniping a whole shabang of potential models. Reaper are more suitable for roleplaying minis than wargaming though.

    They produced a separate website the options surrounding the kickstarter were so complex. It was an easy process to get done and the shipping was not too much in excess of the base cost (unlike Amazon et al).

    This project is yet to deliver and looks to be an ambitious project and will most likely be delayed. Not sure exactly how they plan on making money post project as it looks like everyone who could ever possibly want a reaper miniature bought into the kickstarter campaign. Hoepfully the cash injection they get is enough for them to fund the injection molding kit they need in order to become really competitive.

  5. I am fairly new to the Kickstarter stuff but I did get on board with the "Battle For Alabaster" board game & mini's. I can't really give you any feedback on the finished product as I have not recieved it yet. I found payment support and international delivery costs to be very reasonable and it's a massive amount of very nice looking models for the price.

    They are slightly behind on thier production schedule due to a few supply chain issues but they have been very forthcoming with keeping me up to date with the progress and have added even more models to the second phase of the delivery to compensate for the delay with the first.

    I decided to go with it without even knowing that much about the board game itself but I just loved the models and the amount and quality of the sculpts for the money was worth me taking a chance on plus the design team is not exactly a group of unknowns so there is a bit more confidence due to that.

    I will let you know what I think once I have the product in my hands!

  6. I got almost a whole vamp army in resin posted from Poland for free with extra free bits for $200US. It was on indiegogo/titan forge projct. Models are amazing and i got mine early as they finished the sculpt of my bits early so they posted mine early, although I'm still waiting on my free zomblin dice.