Opinions Sought: Current Kickstarter Projects

[Update: after consideration and discussion with folks who responded outside comments, I am not backing any of these. This falls under the same rubric as not pre-ordering games without great confidence in them, along with the tabletop equivalent of “wait for a Steam sale.” The attractions of the deluxe game at full price are not great, and there is nothing exclusive to be lost by waiting. Still, please do back anything you’re really excited about, although don’t kid yourself that any of these would not have been printed without that support.]

I am interested in hearing from folks who have looked at/into the following projects, because I am considering backing but indecisive about getting yet another tabletop game without having played first. I have a mixed record of that on Kickstarter, with some gems acquired early and cheap, others that I have had trouble giving away.

Dice Settlers looks like an interesting mashup of mechanics with custom dice, empire building, and technology unlocks. The basic mechanic of the game is a bag of dice that you acquire over the game (deckbuilding), which you roll to determine your options for the round. You build the map as you “explore.” Lots of variation, several interesting mechanics, but expensive due to the fancy custom components and potentially just a mess of “throw in everything” design. Or maybe it works perfectly. [RULES LINK]

Edge of Darkness looks like a hella gamer game, although probably smaller than it looks when the components are in perspective. Still, just that box looks threateningly huge. There is a lot going on there with card-building (insert sleeves to change cards over time), group deckbuilding, variable locations, and worker placement. I like most of those, but it seems like there is a lot going on here and I have not digested it all. I haven’t even read all of this one, I am just taken by the apparent scope of it. [RULES LINK]

Sorcerer City is the other game I had looked at recently, but if I never played Carcassone that much, I cannot see me playing Carcassone plus Dominion plus whatever.

My recurring theme here seems to be that these games are tossing together a lot of mechanics, and I am not sure if that is exciting or a mess. Your thoughts?

: Zubon

One thought on “Opinions Sought: Current Kickstarter Projects”

  1. I’ve Kickstartered a few various board games/tabletops, and can tell you they normally turn out quite well. With that said, some rules I now live by for Kickstartering tabletops:

    1) If I can’t figure out what a game is trying to have me do within the first 15 minutes of the rules, it is too complex. The deathknell for many Kickstarter tabletops is they try to be and do too much. The last thing you want to do as a gamer is constantly reference back to the rules. I shouldn’t need a freakin’ cheat sheet to figure out how to play.

    2) Dice building and deck building games can be very hit or miss. I tend to look for ones with large community support, because these games need heavy testing to ensure balance. All it takes is one ability, skill, upgrade, etc to imbalance the entire game and make it far less fun and interesting.

    3) If I’m ever on the fence about supporting a tabletop on Kickstarter, I will try to engage with the developers to see what their vision and concept is. If they can’t explain it to me in a few sentences, they aren’t focused enough on a singular idea, and the game will grow too much to be manageable. (See point one)

    Hope this helps!

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