Friday Tabletop Kickstarter Update – From their warehouse to your door step

Hello again! Welcome to this week’s Friday Tabletop Kickstarter Update! If this is your first time, you may want to check out this introduction. I know most of the time I post four projects, but this week I have two that are not directly boardgames, so I went with five projects.

Remember that I am in no way endorsing these games, I have not played them, I have not talked to the publishers. Back at your own risk.

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Escape from Alcatraz! Mystery Rummy
Apparent Weight: Light
Genre: Rummy and Prison

This one is straightforward. If you like Rummy, you will like this. The Mystery Rummy series takes interesting themes and pastes them on to the classic Rummy frame work. They have been doing this successfully for over 15 years, Escape from Alcatraz is the next in line.


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Beowulf: A Board Game
Apparent Weight: Medium-Light
Genre: Historic, Narrative Card Game, Old Runes

I had the pleasure of playing King Post’s first game Moby Dick, which gives me full confidence in pointing out their sophomore title. For those who like more casual games that tell an immersive story, this is certainly one to check out. It should be noted: beware of a pretty and thematic game with little actual strategy.
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Twilight Struggle Digital Edition
Apparent Weight: Medium-Heavy
Genre: Global Influence Control, Card Driven Strategy Game, Poking Opponents in the chest

I know this is not strictly a board game, but Twilight Struggle is my all time favorite game. GMT is pairing with Playdek to bring this well received game to the digital domain. This way you can send troops in to Cuba while waiting at the dentist’s office. If you have not played this pinnacle of board gaming, you have no excuse. For sure, I am backing this one.
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Forge War
Apparent Weight: Medium, Medium-Heavy
Genre: Resource Management, Medieval Questing, Euro Awesomeness

Forge War has a lot going on. It looks as though there are three different games going on all at the same time that feed in to each other. Part area control, part resource management and part quest fulfillment. There is plenty of good stuff to pour over on their project page. I am interested to see where this one goes.
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Gem Chips
Apparent Weight: NA
Genre: Game Accessory!

I know this is not a game either, but everyone needs money replacements for their games! Paper money gets such a bad wrap, these poker style gaming chips are sure to add to your game nights. Say good bye to sub-par components.


Speculating: “Shipping, Shipping and more Shipping?”
Thoughts on the world of Tabletop Kickstarter.

What is becoming a common catch phrase in the world of tabletop Kickstarter is “EU Friendly.” This phrase and Kickstarter model, initially introduced by Jamey Stegmaier, is part of a larger divide between backers and creators. The divide is based on shipping of goods to the backers of the project and who is responsible for that cost.

To start with, I should point out that I generally get the good end of this deal. I live in the US, and thus enjoy relatively cheap shipping, especially on Kickstarters. This is mainly due to most Kickstarters being produced in the US. If they are not published by a US company, there is generally a high volume of US backers to support low shipping costs.

The other thing I should point out is that I know very little about shipping, especially bulk shipments. And neither do you! That is if you are the average game consumer. We quickly forget that we cannot see what goes on behind the production of a game. In general, we think we know so much when really we know very little about the costs to manufacture and to ship.

What I gather is that shipping can be a particular pain for European backers. This is due to a whole host of factors, many of them well beyond the scope of the creator. EU gamers have to deal with a Value Added Tax (VAT), this has to do with the declared value of the game. Then they might have to pay for a processing fee to the government and then a delivery fee to the shipment company. This is on top of what they have already paid for the game, and on top of what they have already paid for shipping. At the end of the day an EU backer might have to pay twice or even triple the amount of the game just to get it to their door step.

Hence the “EU Friendly” framework. The idea is that if project creators ship games out from within the EU, most of the above mentioned fees go away. In addition the shipping cost of one unit is lower. Thus making game affordable for European backers.

But wait. Nothing is free, and everything must be paid for by someone. Sure, if a creator is able to freight a large order to Europe, then ship out it may be cheaper. However, in this case the project creator now needs to pay for freight shipping. This extends to all backers, US backers, EU backers and the rest of the world. If a project creator could send you a game for free, I guarantee you they would. They get no profit from charging you extra for shipping.

What does this mean? Stop complaining! I don’t think there are many project creators who intentionally make it hard for people to get their games. In addition, I have yet to hear a creator say, “We actually saved money on shipping.” The opposite is almost always true, especially for new creators. Shipping can take a huge chunk out of a game’s budget.

This is not a free pass for creators though. I am looking at you CoolMiniOrNot. In their most recent campaign Xenoshyft, CoolMiniOrNot priced their games basically at MSRP without shipping included. This meant that all backers were expected to pay full price for shipping in addition to the level that they backed. I am willing to put one single dollar down to say that Xenoshyft will be significantly cheaper in the retail market once it has been released.

If you have KS topics that interest you, let me know @Scooter_TTTD

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From Trading in the Mediterranean to FPS, I love games. While I grew up in a house without consoles, PC gaming and board gaming were a large part of my formative years, and continue to influence my life. In this golden age of board gaming, I have jumped in headfirst in to anything table top. As a ludilogical student, I love thinking about how games work, their mechanics, their elegance and most importantly, enjoying how fun they are.

Favorite Board Game (at the moment): Twilight Struggle
Favorite PC Game (base solely on play time): Tie between WoW and DII

Fell free to email me: comments, concerns, questions, feedback, rants, and/or suggestions.

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