I’ve spent more time and effort on Kingdom Death: Monster since 2015 than I have on any other hobby or form of entertainment, both here on TechRaptor, and in my personal life. From assembling and painting miniatures, playing various campaigns, and talking with friends about the game regaling each other with incredible stories about it, to writing news, an entire campaign Diary of Death, a full review, filming video interviews, and awarding it Board Game of the Year, I have spent an incredible amount of time and energy either playing, talking about or writing about it. I was so excited for the Kickstarter that I wrote a one-off Diary of Death entry for some of the expansion monsters last week, including the Sunstalker, Flower Knight, Manhunter, Dung Beetle Knight and Gorm.
Kingdom Death: Monster is amazing, it’s big, it’s expensive and, due to the fact that it was brought to life on Kickstarter, it has been sold out, and very difficult to come by without paying exorbitant aftermarket prices for it. Thankfully, Adam and Anna Poots, and the rest of the Kingdom Death crew are back on Kickstarter, this time offering the game with a newly updated rule-set for only about half of the regular retail price. Additionally, upgrade packs are being offered for people like me who already have the base game, but want to stay current with the rules updates. The Kickstarter page itself can be a bit confusing, not only because there are quite a few different pledge levels, but also because this has been such an incredible success, raising over $4,300,000 in the first 24 hours alone, that the Kingdom Death crew have had to scramble to reorganize their plans for how they are going to reveal information and stretch goals.
Let’s take a look at the pledge levels first.
For people who already have the game, and are simply looking for the update pack, which includes a complete hardcover rulebook, you want the $60 Lantern Upgrade. If you want the Gambler’s Chest, which is a box of to-be-revealed stretch goals/random goodies, as well you’ll need to jump up to the $195 Silver Lantern, which also includes The First Hero Expansion, which I talked with Adam about at Gen Con where it had the working title of “Invasion”.
If you don’t already have the base game you will want to take a look at the $250 Lantern. If you want to get on board for Gambler’s Chest to go along with the base game you will want the $350 Gold Lantern pledge, and if you want to get your hands on the base game plus all current expansions you will want the $750 Ancient Gold Lantern, which also includes the Gambler’s Chest.
There is an all-in pledge, starting at $927, which includes the game, Gambler’s Chest, all new expansions, pinups and promos and a Gambler t-shirt, and an ‘everything’ pledge at $1,666 that includes the game, Gambler’s Chest, all expansions old and new, Pinups of Death, a Satan t-shirt, and all new and old Pinups that are Kingdom Death intellectual property.
While the prices are high in comparison to other boardgame Kickstarters, the value here is phenomenal. The core game retails for $400, giving backers $150 off, and the 12 current expansions are being offered at about a 50% discount. The game is well worthwhile, even at full retail price, so the discount is just gravy on top, even if the potatoes are on the expensive side.
Regardless of how you pledge, shipping will be charged separately, and various parts of the game will be shipped in waves. Additionally, the Kingdom Death crew have made it very clear via the Kickstarter comments that backers will be responsible for paying any VAT taxes that may apply to their pledges when they ship.
Wave 1 – Estimated Delivery Summer 2017
Core Game / 1.4 Update Pack
United States… $25 / $10
European Union… $40 / $20
Canada… $30 / $15
Australia… $40 / $20
Rest of World… $100 / $30
Wave 2 – Estimated Delivery Spring 2018
Gambler’s Box, Promo and cross-over figures
United States… $20 + $2 per Add on
European Union… $20 + $2 per Add on
Canada… $20 + $2 per Add on
Australia… $20 + $2 per Add on
Rest of World… $30 + $2 per Add on
Wave 3 – Estimated Delivery Spring 2019
United States… $15 + $5 per additional expansion
European Union… $15 + $5 per additional expansion
Canada… $15 + $5 per additional expansion
Australia… $15 + $5 per additional expansion
Rest of World… $30 + $5 per additional expansion
Wave 4 & Beyond – Estimated Delivery Winter 2020
Even I don’t know for 100% what may happen during this campaign.
Rather than have a traditional drip-feed of stretch goals, the campaign funded almost instantly, and smashed through its planned milestones so rapidly, that Adam and Anna are going to be revealing things that have already been unlocked at a steady rate, to keep things interesting, rather than just dumping all of the info at once. The Gambler’s Chest, in particular, was supposed to have content revealed via the roll of the dice as the dice rolls were unlocked. Everything has been unlocked so quickly that the Kingdom Death crew is simply going to proceed with the original plan of rolling the dice and showing what the box will contain. The reveals will come more rapidly on weekdays, with a slower amount of information released on weekends. While this does leave some people scratching their heads as to the value of their pledges in total, if history is anything to go by there will be more than enough content in the Gambler’s Chest to make it worthwhile, although people who are feeling less confident in the unrevealed content can simply wait and add the box on once everything has been revealed.
The Gambler’s Chest will also be available as a $100 add-on for people who pledge at levels that doesn’t automatically include it. People, like myself, who’d like to get their hands on additional copies of the rulebook will be able to add them on for $40, and backers will be able to add on additional copies of the base game for $250.
I managed to corner Adam for a few minutes, and ask him some questions about the campaign:
TR: $5million already….How are you feeling?
Adam Poots: Adam’s Bizzarre Adventure. ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA!
Surreal, it feels surreal. I am telling myself its all a dream, until we cross the finish line. It’s how I am staying sane and can sleep.
TR: The rulebook is getting upgraded to be fully hardcover. Will the box insert remain the same or is there a chance that it will be upgraded as well?
AP: Don’t spoil my reveals!
TR: Does the already incredible success of the Kickstarter mean that every number on the Gambler’s Box will be revealed? What happens if you roll a duplicate number that has already been revealed?
AP: Every number will be revealed. I haven’t rolled a duplicate yet. So I haven’t decided what will happen.TR: A few people have expressed concern about the unknown value of some of the pledge levels. Do you have anything to say to the people who don’t know how much you packed into the first Kickstarter, or for those who think you may be playing itconservatively?
AP: I mean… we did call it the Gambler’s Lantern… They will just have to wait and see.
TR: Is there any chance that new Settlement Events will make it into the 1.5 core box/upgrade pack?
AP: There are a few we revised. But we don’t have any new ones planned.TR: What can you tell me about the Forsaker-dog-bird miniature shown at the end of the KS video?
AP: We will see the Frogdog at some point during this campaign.
TR: Multiple choice time: How many new expansions will there be?
A: 1 – 5
B: 6 – 10
AP: As many as we can manage of course! I know everyone is excited that we slammed dunked the funding to such an extent. It is amazing. However, I have to calm down and approach everything practically. Kingdom Death miniatures and content are very expensive to develop and I can’t put the company into hot water again. Our first campaign ended up much closer to a $4M total, all said and done. If it wasn’t for our strong resin sales and after campaign sales. We would have been toast. Too many people love the brand now, so I have to be much more fiscally responsible.
Kingdom Death’s first Kickstarter saw some controversy over the sexualized female pinup miniatures that were offered that served no game function. This campaign is also offering pinups, but this time there are male pinups that have been revealed as add-ons, including a pinup of Adam Poots himself. Once again, these miniatures serve no game function, but will be available for anyone who likes to collect and display miniatures, although they can easily be used to represent your survivor while you do play if you have a particular pinup that you like best.
A reprint of the Dragon King expansion has also been confirmed via the Kickstarter, although it isn’t going to be exclusively tied to the Kickstarter itself, and will be available via the Kingdom Death webstore outside of the campaign. One thing to note about the existing expansions is that they are not having any rules or content upgraded, but they will all be fully compatible with the new 1.5 rules.
UPDATE: The Lion Knight expansion has also been confirmed for a reprint, and it is having some content added to it in the form of the Role Survivor miniatures, so keep an eye out even on the ‘current’ expansions.
Personal notes and full disclosure:
I am currently backing this Kickstarter at the $185 Silver Lantern level although, if life hadn’t blindsided me recently, I would have jumped all over the $777 pledge without blinking. I encourage anyone who is even remotely interested in Kingdom Death to get in on the Kickstarter, even if you only pledge for the core game itself. Kingdom Death: Monster remains the best game I’ve ever played, and even if you only ever get the core game you will still have hundreds of hours of awesome content available to you.
Aside from backing this project, I have also been working with the Kingdom Death crew on some custom content for the game. That content may never see the light of day, and I have no financial ties to Kingdom Death, other than being a backer, yet I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it.