So my original plans for a summer of crazy over the top anime action are now on hold. While I can't honestly say I'm surprised, the disappointment is still there. I'm not sure why so many of the Relic Knight backers are as irate about the delay as they are (Sodapop has a pretty terrible track record for hitting any date, but the end product typically lives up to the hype and is worth the wait). My hope is the delay is going to result in an amazing game with amazing models.
Kickstarter is an interesting animal. Not a single project I've backed in the last year and a half has delivered on time. Some have partial deliveries with the stretch goals being massively delayed while others essentially have thrown the dates out the window. I feel like as a backer I can't really complain as the whole concept is about risk and reward to get something made that otherwise wouldn't be possible. However the whole process has left me a little jaded and I'm at the point now where I feel like I can just wait until a game actually release and I can read reviews before picking it up. Limited edition and exclusive stuff takes time to produce and while it's cool and I like every other fan boy out there love to have exclusive stuff; it really doesn't justify the excessive delays in producing and delivering the core product. In the effort to be transparent future kickstarters should offer to ship the core product by the estimated date and ship any stretch goals/extras at a later date. They should figure this into the costs and ultimately will have less disgruntled backers.
Companies that use Kickstarter as a marketing tool need to rethink that strategy. Especially when the rest of you marketing strategy revolves around conventions to get the word out about your product. These companies face the dilemma we've seen several times with some high profile Kickstarter projects: All the extras have caused a delay in your production schedule, shipping the core product separately is a logistical nightmare and will incur higher costs than you planned for, you can get some product to show off/sell at conventions shipped in via plane, to make the game successful you need to get the general public buying ASAP. As a company in the business of making money what do you do? We all know and have seen the answer to that question and as a backer it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If I preordered a product I should have it before the public does, right? The question then comes up is backing a Kickstarter project really just a preorder, or is it something else? If its something else, "Why u mad bro?"
Based on the estimated delivery dates of the projects I've backed I had a pretty full plate beginning in May and taking me through the end of the year. (Reaper Bones, Evil Baby Orphanage, Relic Knights, Impact Chibi, Kingdom Death) However it seems like realistically most of those are going to be closer to Christmas delivery if not early 2014. As such I have a massive opening on my project list.
So what do I do now? The answer my friend is simple. Suck it up and work on the massive backlog of stuff I already own.
Malifaux – Earlier this week I took and inventory of the unpainted unassembled models I own for this game. Honestly their is a ton of stuff, I've put most of it on hold because most of my table time with the game involves demos. Which honestly only requires two small crews that best show off the basic game mechanics (Seamus and Lady Justice). So one option I have is to tear through the back log and get everything painted. This seems like a solid plan as it will also allow me to down size my collection a bit by selling off painted crews to further expand the local community I've been building. It seems half the guys that pick this up after demos later contact me about painting their crews. It's a rather odd dynamic that I attribute to card players picking up the game.
In the cue: Gremlins, Dark Debts, Masters of the Path, Relic Hunters, Zoraida box, Perdita box, Freikorps, Limited Edition Models, a slew of Ressurrectionist models, a few Guild Models and some Neverborn.
MERCS – I have a few Megacons to finish painting, and a few that I haven't picked up yet. Part of the problem I have with this system is finding opponents. Anyone that I shown the game likes it, but most don't feel a strong desire to pick up yet another system. As such if I want to play I'm supplying everything needed to play and "reteaching" the game most of the time. I really want to finish these up and eventually pick up the rest of the Megacons I don't yet own just be be able and push playing the campaign on my playgroup.
In the cue: Keizai Waza, CCC, USCR.
Judge Dredd – This is going to be a hard sell to my gaming group. Essentially it plays very similar to Necromunda with variations that in my opinion make the game run smoother. But when I bring it up the universal response is, "Why don't we just play Necromunda?" I put this in the unlikely to see any major tabletime but I want to paint the models and update some of my Necromunda models to fit in with the look and feel of MegaCity One.
In the cue: Justice Department, Holocaust Judges and various Necromunda Gangs.
Warhammer 40,000 – Well this gets table time more often than the projects listed above, limited as it may be due to time constraints. I still have my "FINISH THEM!" goal of painting all my Space Marine Models prior to years end. However after the two massive commission projects I'm a little burnt out on power armor at the moment. I've yet to get my Daemons on the table to see if I have any desire to see that project through to completion, once I do this could be an option.
In the cue: Twilight Ravens Space Marines, Slaanesh Daemons
Hell Dorado – I have three playable companies all near completion, unfortunately it's another one of those games that doesn't have a whole lot of interest in my regular group. For the most part these are done, I have some minor details to pick out and gore to apply to the bases. I'd like to get these done prior to the second books release (based on the trend detailed above I'm guessing I have a ton of time).
In the cue: Westerners, Demons, Sarrisons
Board Games – It seems more often than not my weekday gaming session has been featuring board games and card games. Most of them are easy to set up and play in a few hours and can easily accommodate odd numbers of players. This is probably the most sensible option to bump up in the cue as I'll get the most use out of finishing up these little projects. My problem with that is if I'm working on models until they're done the game probably won't get table time due to fear of messing up the unsealed paint jobs.
In the cue: Super Dungeon Explore (base game and expansions), Zombicide (not sure these need paint), Incursion (unlikely to see table time unless there's just two of us)
Terrain Projects – I've put most of these on hold lately as it's difficult to get things set up and make progress during my limited hobby time. Mostly because with small models I can set up my paint table in the family room and watch TV with my wife and daughter after my son goes to sleep. With terrain projects I really have to work in the garage or basement studio. During the winter working in the garage doesn't work as its 1.) to cold most of the time and 2.) garages are for cars especially in the winter. I have a few project I'm interested in finishing up and a few that have lost my interest at the moment. With the weather warming up it's likely I'll be able to resume work on some of this stuff.
In the cue: Near Future Board (cityscape for MERCS, Judge Dredd etc.), Doctrine Library(for Relic Knights), Hell Board (Hell Dorado, so close to done I can taste it), Downtown Malifaux (ideal project to try air brushing, need to finish details before I can paint).
So looking at that list what I am I most likely to fill the gaps in my cue with while I patiently await all the new games I invested in?
I'm most excited about the Near Future terrain project. I have a bunch of ideas that I want to start getting on paper to begin the project. I've already found a bunch of cars to fill the streets and have begun painting the Zuzzy mat and containers I've been casting. Looking at the huge influx of laser cut mdf terrain on the market now I feel I can probably do something similar with foam and save a bunch of money. (Not time of course because details like what you get in those kits takes a huge amount of time.) I feel this project will offer me the best pay off once it's completed. I'll be able to use it for multiple systems and most importantly I'll be able to use it for our annual Halloween game.
For standard painting projects I'm going to focus on Malifaux for a bit. I love the game and models, each one is unique and keeps the process of painting them interesting. Once I've made some progress here, I'll refocus on getting the 40K stuff done. Because honestly I've been working on them on and off since 2003 so what's a few more months.