I may be the last chap on the Internet to hear about this, but be that as it may in case there is another poor soul out there that hasn't heard the good word, I thought a brief blog entry was in order.
Behold the next ruinous assault on my pocket book!
The Great War by Richard Borg is the latest installment in the Commands & Colours series of games. Produced by those fine fellows at the Plastic Soldier Company it is a board game in a box allowing players to play out the bloody battles of the Great War using the tried and tested Commands & Colours system. The game itself is being launched on Kickstarter and you can find it and an explanatory video here. There are twenty nine days left to back this project, so there is no rush.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a organisation that allows companies to gather finance for projects from large groups of small investors. This can vary from project to project, but folk have used it to finance films, expeditions, exhibitions, art projects and games. In the context of Great War, what you're doing is pledging money (about £50) for a copy of the game which will be delivered when the game is made.
Observations on what we know so far.
- The game will use a standard Command & Colours setup, that is a board with hex tiles on it and 1/100 scale plastic figures. Combat will be resolved using the standard bespoke dice.
- One rather clever aspect of the design that isn't mentioned explicitly in the KS is that the card markers appear to be double sided. The wire markers have shell holes on the reverse which would appear to indicate that the terrain setup can be altered by bombardments. Very clever if true.
- There will be a hundred odd 1/100 (15mm in new money) scale figures in the box and the initial release will cover the British (hurrah!) and the Germans (boo!). The French, plucky Belgians, Russians and other expansions are in the works. Americans will be presumably two or three years off.
- Looking at the game play video, the board is a little different from previous Borg games, measuring as it does thirteen hexes by eleven (damn you Borg!).
- Lastly and I think this is an example of Kickstarter maturing as a platform - there is no doubt about it this game is getting made. The game is already written and playtested. If I've learned anything from speaking to Richard Borg it is that he playtests his games rigorously and over a long period of time. The gameplay will be solid. Secondly, the figures are already in tooling and the boxes are being produced.
This is a type of project is being produced by a company with a proven track record that is so far as I can tell using Kickstarter as a means of marketing their product and limiting their financial exposure, which is fair enough. KS is a great means of harnessing the enthusiasm of your audience because prospective investors are motivated to push your product to others because of the mechanism of stretch goals.
Every KS project has a minimum funding target. If that target is reached, at the end of the campaign, Kickstarter will give the project organiser that pot of cash (less KS fees) and the product will get made. On occasion, a project will be wildly successful and will garner more investment than it's initial target. As the organisers most likely want more money, they create stretch goals - boundaries at which they will add extra stuff to the project. For example, The Great War is looking to raise £25,000 and will add two additional scenarios if they raise £35,000. These extras will be added to everyone's pledge if the campaign raises the requisite amount of money.
The stretch goals for The Great War are as follows.