Friday, 21 March 2014

Mercs: Recon

From the creators of Myth; a kickstarter that's already 3 months late and shafted International backers pretty hard by making them wait another 2 months more while the American backers got their first wave earlier since early can't apply when the KS is late, comes a boardgame about the tabletop game they did before Myth. 

So the company behind Myth, launched another KS. This time it's about a boardgame set in their sci-fi setting of Mercs. Now I've heard of Mercs before and I've seen some of their figures. I've just never played it. Or seen anyone play it. 

Overall, I like the looks of Mercs Recon and I don't mind the looks of the Merc minis. I think they look charming in their own way. I can't comment too much about the gameplay because the rules are still in beta, but it seems interesting in a way. It's a totally co-op game, which is good although co-op experiences at my place tend to devolve into contests of trying to one-up each other really...
In general, there seems to be 2 sweet spots for pledges. The 120 one gets you both copies of the game; which include different hero characters/mercs, while the 200 pledge level gets you a mercs dice game as well as the Mercs 2Edition rulebook and game decks. This is if you ever want to play a full tabletop game with the miniatures. 

While this does seem like a sweet game, there are a few things that make me hesitant on pledging for this KS yet. As people would know, there is a certain amount of opportunity cost to pledging for a KS. You give up money now for a product that you'll have no idea when you'll receive it. Almost no KS I've backed has ever been on time and I've backed quite a few. So really, you're giving companies your money months or even years ahead of time to get something down the line. And best of all, no refunds. So in return, most pledgers; not all, expect a certain amount of reciprocation from the company. This usually comes in the form of lots and lots of minis. 

The problem is that so far, Mercs is lacking in miniatures. Granted, it's still fairly early in their KS period but when you look at their previous KS; Myth, you can't help but feel something is...vaguely wrong. 

Let's just take a look at their Stretch Goals, which reward the backers. This is usually how the number of miniatures in the pledges keep expanding. 

Note that the image is HUGE and you might want to click on it to expand it. Now if you take a look at the two side by side, you'll notice a huge difference in the amount of freebies the company is now giving away. Note how the very first stretch goal on myth is at 50k and it gives away 1 captain(mid-boss) and 10 minions while the first for Mercs is 120k and you get ...6 minions. That's uh...kind of underwhelming. Maybe the other goals are better. Let's skip to the next minion stretch goal. You get...4 minions at 185k for Mercs while you get 18 minions at 125k for Myth... maybe it's a consistent trend.

So what's with the lowballing of figures? One would assume that perhaps; due to the success of Myth, they assumed they were going to just blaze through the stretch goals on the first few days so they set more conservative estimates so as to make sure they didn't give away too much. Or perhaps, since Mercs is already an established IP; in the sense that it's new, not that it's popular or anything, they didn't want to cheapen their existing brand by giving away too many figures. 

Either way, it's just lacking in miniatures at the moment. 

The second issue with why I'm hesitant to back this is because of the shaft international backers got during Myth. During the entire campaign period, there was no mention that international backers would be getting their pledges several months later than American ones so as to save on shipping by consolidating all shipments together. I imagine that if this had been common knowledge, they would have had considerably less international backers. However, whatever the reason, after the KS for Myth was done with, it was announced international backers pledges would be shipping several months after the americans, with an estimated shipment date of April vs Jan. Now that the actual shipment date for Americans has been pushed back to March, who knows how this will affect us international backers. Personally, I'm not very happy with this arrangement for obvious reasons. Overall, I may still pledge provided it hits a sweet enough spot for me.