Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dungeon Saga Kickstarter: Final Week Check Up

The Mantic Dungeon Saga: Dwarf Kings Quest kickstarter is now in its last week.  I looked at the progress last week and report that the project in my eyes was sort of in the fair value stage.  Mantic is an essentially professional kickstarter company that builds its kickstarters to be at the point they will be a good value but not anything amazing.   The project has moved mostly in a parallel direction in terms of value over the last week.  They added a Hero to the base game, finished the 25 dollar Greenskin expansion with 18 monsters and 1 villain, and starter a 25 dollar Demon expansion with 8 minis(update 10) with a Bonus Hero being placed in the base pledge.  The base pledge also picked up some expansion models finishing a 9 figure set for the greenskins and starting with 3(update 4) demons.  So a total pick up of 8 models for 57 (58 Currently) models plus the dungeon decor in the 100 dollars.

One of the issues I see with the value of the base pledge that I am sure is intentional is that the currently 12 bonus monster models based on the expansion are probably only going to be really useful if you have expansions so that you have more freedom in designing your own scenarios.  People might just want one copy of the minis so having them in the base might save those people from buying the expansion if they are willing not to get the villain, but those people would be better served in the likes of the Reaper kickstarters which provided minis at less 66 cents a piece.  They have already implied that the basic missions will only use the monsters in the sets and not the bonus monsters so like 37% of the minis will not many scenarios that use them.  Maybe they will put those minis to direct use in the Dungeon Journal Kickstarter Exclusive Missions so that they can have some use for people who just want to pull the box out of the closet and play occasionally.  (This is what the designer says his plans are in a comment on his blog)  Update: They also just put a 4 bonus mission backer goal up for 2 mission for the demons bonus minis and 2 for the greenskin bonus minis in the basic pledge.

If recent trends hold true they will fill out this expansion over this week and maybe have some heavier flux on the closing weekend.  I would still like to see plastic doors and more monsters and villains in the basic game.  The basic game has like 30 minis which is about 25% less than the around 40 minis the D&D Coop game manage in their boxed games that can generally be purchased in the 50 dollar range.  I had previously suggested pestilence carrying zombie giant rates and giant spiders with a huge spider boss (as a wink at the Hobbit with its giant spiders aligned with a "necromancer").

I think the 500K level was sort of wasted on a new expansion.  That is a milestone type level and would have been a great place to put more into the base game.  They did do one thing the I saw good is that they added the Green Menace Scenarios and made add on packs for the original dwarf king's hold games miniatures for 20 dollars.  The Dead Rising and Green Menace both have around 30 hard plastic models so are pretty good values.  Those scenarios also seem to need more of single model types than most people have in general fantasy collections.  The Ancient Grudge is much more limited with fewer models of more types so I could probably be proxied in reasonable fashion.  They have also not add the Ancient Grudge scenarios so we might see those added at 4000 backers.

I am not really impressed with the presentation of information about the game directly on the kickstarter site.  If you go and dig your way through the designers blog specifically the comments you can learn a lot of stuff about how he sees the game but since he is not the person who decides what is in the boxes it is certainly not game design driven product.  He says that the campaigns are linear designed to be played through but that they also will have rules for if you want to do any scenario as a one off in terms of how to equip the heroes with which upgrades and such.  They really have not provided much info on the advanced rules and the basic rules right now are very basic with pretty bland actions on the hero side from my test of the first part of the alpha missions.

There are really no details on what the Advanced rules are and if you want to figure out how many scenarios they you are supposed to get, good luck.  Neither the basic game or the first expansion lists the number of scenarios.  Both unlocked two "bonus" scenarios, but that term is sort of vague without a starting point.  I actually took the time to go through every update to check what you are getting in terms of the rules and scenarios and here is how I think they are placed in the books.

Dwarf Kings Quest Base Game: ?+2 Scenarios (Site Now Lists as 10)
Initial Scenarios: Unknown
Grund Bonus Scenario
Hoggar Bonus Scenario

Adventures Companion:
Advanced Rules
Solo and Fully Coop Rules
Kings of War Undead Model Rules
Kapoka Hero Rules
Kings of War Goblin Model Rules
Kings of War Orc Model Rules
Dwarf King's Hold Elf and Dwarf Model Rules
Arianya Hero Rules
Kings of War Abyssal Model Rules

Dungeon Journal: 7+ (Site Now Lists as 12+) Dungeon Saga And 12 Dwarf Kings Hold Scenarios
Keldan Hero Rules
Keldan Bonus Scenario
Dead Rising 6 Scenarios
Logan Hero Rules
Logan Bonus Scenario
Blaine Hero/Villian Rules
Blaine Scenarios
Hordin and Gnasher Rules
Hordin and Gnasher Scenarios
Venitia Scenario
Green Menace 6 Scenarios

Warlord of Galahor:  ?+2 Scenarios
Unknown Base Scenarios
Great Axe+Skulk Bonus Scenario
Thrundak Bonus Scenario

Infernal Crypts: 6 Scenarios
6 Base Scenarios

Now it would be really great if this information was collected somewhere on the site.  They talk about the different sections and have a separate Dungeon Saga website where they could point links to for people who are interested without cluttering up the main kickstarter site before showing the goodies.  The game will only be a value if it is actually good and they could use a lot more info about what they are thinking.  You can even set up stuff that differentiates between certain and possible ideas.  I expect that the base number of scenarios the the Warlord is 6 so that is eight total.  The base game your guess is as good as mine.  I would hope that the basic set was like 10 up to 12 with the two bonus but no information I could find without trying to read through 20k comments.

Disclosure:  I have currently not backed this kickstarter.  I expect to make a decision on that in the last weekend.

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