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Attack of the steampunk furries

February 23, 2014

I haven’t posted about a Kickstarter project for a while.  I’ve backed a few recently (mostly small and cheap ones), but I’m trying to not get into having a “Kickstarter Corner” on the blog so I’ll just post about the ones that particularly tickle me.

Arrr! There even be pirates in this game, plus this here image stolen from the Kickstarter page.

Arrr! There even be pirates in this game, plus this here image stolen from the Kickstarter page.

And the game that has done the tickling recently is Oddball Aeronauts, which is basically a small card battle game based largely on Top Trumps and themed with anthropomorphised animals flying around in airships.  The idea is that while you do the statistic matching as per the perennial kids’ game (that Miss B absolutely loves, incidentally, especially her Doctor Who deck), you have the choice of boosting the statistics of your first card by using the one or two cards behind it in the deck.  Plus there are assorted special effects that switch things around a bit, all adding to what looks like some meaningful decision making.

Miss B was totally sold after watching a couple of the videos on the Kickstarter page, and I figure this looks like it should at least be a fun, portable filler game — one of the major selling points is that you don’t even need a table to play on.

So, if this looks like your sort of thing then Oddball Aeronauts’ Kickstarter is running for about another week.  It’s British too, which is nice to see.

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  1. Barnetto
    February 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

    You bad man… there’s another Kickstarter that you’ve got me backing!! Actually this one looks very cool – it’s just a shame that they aren’t charging more for international shipping outside the UK – I want Americans to be paying more for at least one kickstarter for goodness sake! 🙂

    Have you seen Province on Kickstarter?

    • Rob
      February 25, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Sorry about that. You should probably stop reading the blog. 🙂

      Yup, I have seen province — and backed it. This rash of microgames going on at the moment is causing me problems as $5 here and there starts to add up after a while. Still, I should end up with an impressive game library that I can fit into a small box. Ah well…

  2. February 25, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    What have you backed? I’ve gone for:
    Maze Masters
    Coin Age
    Kingdom Builder Big Box
    Among the Stars

    And recently pulled out of:
    Mob Town
    Lagoon

  3. Rob
    February 25, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Heh! I have a longer list than I should probably admit to. 🙂

    The Kickstarters I currently have on the go are:
    * Oddball Aeronauts – natch.
    * Province – looks a decent mini-Euro.
    * Town Center – looks nice and I totally trust (and like) the publishers from past experience with Gear & Piston.

    Plus a whole heap funded and due over the next few months.

    And a good few I have received already. Favourites among those would probably be The Resistance Avalon, Eight Minute Empire, and Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!

  4. Barnetto
    February 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Neil Blaiberg :What have you backed? I’ve gone for:Maze MastersCoin AgeKingdom Builder Big BoxAmong the Stars
    And recently pulled out of:Mob TownLagoon

    I’m pleased to say I’ve been relatively restrained on Kickstarter (largely put off by the often hefty delivery charge to the UK and the possibility of customs duties!)

    So for me it’s just Oddball Aeronauts, Province, Lords of War (sort of regretting now already!) and the pay what you want expansion to Dungeon Roll.

    My restraint hasn’t carried over to more conventional buying options however! (I hope they reprint Among the Stars for retail at some point.)

    (Lagoon certainly looks beautiful but I’ve resisted reading the game description!)

  5. Rob
    February 26, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Yeah, something just put me off about Lagoon. I think it was all the magical mysticism stuff, which just doesn’t really appeal to me.

    I’m still looking forward to Lords of War. Which reminds me, must get the Elves vs Lizardmen set out again — I rather enjoy it.

    I didn’t get the Dungeon Roll expansion. I have the original Kickstarter set thanks to a friend organising a group buy of a multipack, and I like the game, but we haven’t yet opened the expansion that came with it, so I think I can live without more for now. Let us know if it’s good, though.

  6. February 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I also backed Lords of War – should be a fun game to play with my 6 year old who finds Summoner wars a little too complex.

    Among the Stars was free worldwide shipping 🙂

    Still debating on the Kingdom Builder Big Box. It’s so much cheaper ordering the German edition from Amazon.de, and there’s not that much German text……still on the fence.

    Still waiting for Paperback to be shipped,

    I tend to go through phases of Kickstarter interest

  7. Rob
    February 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Did you see Otters? Basically a lightweight, 2-player, cute version of the basic Smash Up mechanic. It’s just about to end. I’m very tempted, but I think I’ve resisted its charms.

    • Barnetto
      February 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I knew that I shouldn’t have looked up some of these games you two mentioned on Kickstarter… now I’m tempted by some more I didn’t even know existed!

      Mob Wars looks like a good one, but does appear a bit expensive for what it is? $35 for a smallish card game with a few tokens and an optional expansion. Even with free worldwide shipping. Then again I suppose Oddball Aeronauts is also a bit expensive at £15 for what is essentially a relatively simple card game with no extras.

      Which brings me onto the point that I thought that the way a Kickstarter was “supposed” to work (theoretically) was that the developer offers punters an incentive to commit to purchase early in order to ensure funding of the product. The most obvious way to do this is offer the product at a discount for early backers – particularly since I assume that with some of these direct to punter offers, they are cutting out the distributor and retailers, which ought to offer significant savings. A bit like an anchor tenant on a building getting a good deal to be the first to sign up, helping the developer sell the rest of the space in the building.

      But no, the prices appear to be at least equal to retail in most cases and, when you take into account online retailer discounts that are generally available, often considerably higher. The incentives are actually usually offered in the way of backer exclusives – which may or may not be of dubious use – though in an field where collecting and completionism (is that a word) are quite pervasive, I guess that it’s pretty effective.

      I’m pretty sure that I’ll try and pick up Mob Wars as a fun family game, but I’m going to try and resist the Kickstarter and hope that it comes around to retail at some stage. If it is as fun as it looks then I think it will and that it will actually retail at less than the Kickstarter price.
      I knew that

  8. Barnetto
    February 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Neil Blaiberg :I also backed Lords of War – should be a fun game to play with my 6 year old who finds Summoner wars a little too complex.
    Among the Stars was free worldwide shipping
    Still debating on the Kingdom Builder Big Box. It’s so much cheaper ordering the German edition from Amazon.de, and there’s not that much German text……still on the fence.
    Still waiting for Paperback to be shipped,
    I tend to go through phases of Kickstarter interest

    Summoner Wars?? I found Summoner Wars difficult! It took about four games on ios before I beat the AI… I find it quite a brainburner!

    Re Kingdom Builder, I don’t think it is too difficult to get hold of the English cards even if you buy the German edition, since I understand that the English version has two sets of English cards? Might be worth asking if you know people who bought that version? And the English expansions can be obtained from amazon.de at a better price than in the UK too.

  9. Rob
    February 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Price is what you make of it, I guess. There aren’t many worthwhile games you can get for less than £10, and while I sometimes cringe at paying £15-£20 for a deck of cards, when I think about it properly it doesn’t really seem unreasonable. Assuming it isn’t just another rummy game with thematic pictures, that is. Mob Wars is actually $25 (so about £15) for just the game, delivered, which doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

    I take your point about Kickstarted games though. KS was originally intended for artistic endeavours where you pledge $50, they get to make an indy movie, and you get a t-shirt as a thankyou. With games, it has basically become a pre-order system and as such it seems unfair if you are just getting a retail priced (or sometimes higher) game in return for paying 6 months in advance. Still, you pays your money (or not) and you takes your choice.

    • Barnetto
      March 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      My resistance has crumbled since you drew my attention to Kickstarter…
      Shipwrights of the North Sea
      Mob Town
      Oddball Aeronauts
      Viticulture
      Steam Donkey
      Tower
      … all backed since your blog!

    • Barnetto
      March 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Actually, to expand a little. Despite my earlier post, on further investigation I now see that some of these do indeed to offer quite decent discounts on the likely retail prices – as well as added content etc (even if I then go and back for the version with better components at a higher price – sucker!) Also, many of the new Kickstarters ship from within the EU so overcoming the problem of customs duties and VAT on import and some even offer free worldwide shipping. There is even a Geeklist on BGG dedicated to listing the EU friendly ones!

      (Though I’m a bit annoyed that Aeronaut Oddballs is now being pre-sold on their website at £12.50 (posted), which is cheaper than the Kickstarter price.)

  10. Rob
    March 13, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Yeah, it’s nice to see that many projects are starting to cop on to the EU distribution thing. I think I’ll avoid that EU-friendly geeklist for now, though, for the sake of my bank account!

    As for Oddball Aeronauts, slightly oddly the £12.50 is ex. VAT, so it actually costs the same as the Kickstarter. No idea if this price includes the extras like the tin & pin — I suspect not, but couldn’t swear to it.

    I didn’t see the Viticulture campaign. The original game was very well received, so this is tempting. I’ll probably leave it this time, though.

    • Barnetto
      March 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Ahh, didn’t notice the lack of VAT. Thanks for pointing that out.

      The Viticulture campaign is one where you do seem to get a decent discount for backing directly….

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