Friday, July 13, 2018

Eye on Kickstarter #47

Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any reviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2018 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.
So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of July, 2018:

Live Campaigns from Past Eyes:
Solarius Mission
When Cutie Met Patootie

Rurik: Dawn of Kiev
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • I had the pleasure of being part of the playtesting team of Rurik, so I've been watching the game develop for quite a while. When I first played it back in October I was quite impressed with the game and loved the new Auction Programming mechanic (I'm not sure if they were calling it that yet though). The game still had a lot of rough edges and some areas that didn't quite feel right, but that core mechanic was solid and very interesting. Over the next six months I watched the game get more refined, smoothed out, tweaked, and polished. By April the game was very solid, but still had a few small areas that didn't quite feel as elegant as the rest of the game. I'm happy to say that, by July, all of those last wrinkles have been ironed out and the game now plays smooth as silk! The core Auction Programming mechanic is still what drives the game, but all the little bits around it are now just as amazing. This is truly a great game that you'll be thrilled to have in your collection, especially if you like historic themes (it's all based on real history), deep euro-style decisions, and great player interaction. To top it all off, the artwork is absolutely amazing! From the cool miniatures to the gorgeous map and boards, everything looks great. Then there's the box cover and character artwork, which are stunning! They'd look incredible framed and on your wall! Rurik: Dawn of Kiev will be hailed as one of the top games of 2019, mark my words. You definitely want this in your collection.

Rurik: Dawn of Kiev is a euro-style realm building game featuring area control, resource management, and a new mechanic - "auction programming."

Establish your legacy by constructing buildings and performing great deeds or pursue your own agenda by ruling large areas of land and collecting tribute. Will you win over the hearts of the people to become the next Grand Prince or Princess of Kiev?

Rurik brings to life the ancient culture of Kievan Rus - the precursor to both Russia and Ukraine - with game design by Russian game designer Stanislav Kordonskiy and illustrations by Ukrainian artist Yaroslav Radeckyi.

Auction Programming. The gameplay in Rurik revolves around a central strategy board. Openly bid for actions with your advisors in this novel “auction programming” mechanic. Higher numbered advisors earn greater benefits, but lower numbered advisors resolve their actions sooner.

Dominations - Road to Civilization
  • I love civilization games. I love tile laying games. Dominations combines those, along with pattern matching, resource management, and more in a fantastic looking game. I'm just itching to try this one out someday.

Dungeon Degenerates - Hand of Doom
  • I've heard a few good things about this dungeon crawler. This is for the second edition, so it cleans up some minor issues with the first edition (mainly in rules clarifications, etc.), but what really caught my attention here is the artwork. Reminiscent of some 1970s black light artwork, it's unique, vibrant, and really grabs your attention.

Wreck Raiders
  • In Wreck Raiders you use dice drafting and worker placement to collect treasures from sunken ships. It looks like a fun theme with accessible mechanics and rules. Perfect for a fun game night!

  • Startropolis appears to be a very simple game mechanically. The depth comes in through the interaction between the pieces in the game. It uses 3D pieces to create a large, three dimensional space station that will definitely catch some attention when it's pulled out at game night.

  • Here's another unique looking worker placement game, this time merged with tactical combat. The minis look incredible, even though I'm a bit disappointed that all the female figures look pretty much identical except for the outfits, which have about the same amount of material combined as a single male character. The gaming industry is working it's way out of the misogynistic stereotype, but it's a slow road when artwork like this continue to be included in games, even if the gameplay looks great.

Black Orchestra: Conspirator Packs
  • Just this week a friend brought Black Orchestra to game night. Unfortunately I didn't get to play (I was in the middle of another game when Black Orchestra was started), but they had a great time and have been raving about it ever since. This campaign includes two conspirator packs for just $9, or you can get them and the base game for only $55.

  • The game here looks very similar to SET, but that's not what caught my attention. Rather, it's the campaign itself, or more specifically one pledge tier of the campaign. This is a second edition of this game, with the first one being successful on Kickstarter in 2017, rasing $4500 with about 200 backers. That's not too bad, but not outstanding either. However with this second edition they're pretty much giving the game away. The first 500 backers (and they're past that now, sorry) could back for a basic copy of the game for just $1, plus $4 shipping. This seems like quite the marketing gimmick for a game that only had 198 backers in its first campaign. But it seems to be working, since the tier is sold out and the game is funded at over $5000. I hope having to produce 500 copies of the basic game, essentially for free, doesn't backfire on them though.

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