Thousands of years ago, a mysterious crystal fell from the heavens and shattered the land. Fragments of the world broke off and became islands that floated around this crystal, developing their own unique and interesting culture. A king sits in the shadows, content to leave the management of these mysterious lands to the various trade guilds. Tabula Games' upcoming title Mysthea sees you playing as a champion of one of the four guilds as you fight monsters and seek glory.
In Mysthea, five circular game boards represent different sections of the floating lands. Much like certain classic RPG settings, these islands can move around and shift the balance of the battlefield at a moment's notice. Your units can move across the islands, and sometimes the best strategic move is to change up the layout of the board to bring your enemy much closer than they would like to be. Careful placement of your fortifications and units is key to victory, but there's a bit more to the game than commanding an army of miniatures. Players will have to manage a hand of cards in addition to their quest to explore and control the five islands on the game board, making for an interesting fusion of different types of gameplay.
Pledging for this campaign is a relatively straightforward affair. A pledge of €1 is there for people who simply want to support the project and get their name on the game's Thank You page. A time-limited "Early Bird" pledge of €79 (≈$98). will get you everything in the Crystal Edition and all collector rewards. If you miss out on the Early Bird level, the price will jump up slightly to €85 (≈$105) for a basic version of the game. The more dedicated fans can drop €95 (≈$118) for a Collector's Edition which includes all unlocked Stretch Goals, a hardcover artbook, and your name printed inside of the game's box.
Speaking of Stretch Goals, the first one is set at €62,000 (≈$76,815) which will upgrade all of the game's components to a Linen finish. At €68,000 (≈$84,248), 8 additional Command Cards will be included with all copies of the game. Finally, the Kolbor & Malabor champion miniature and card will be added to all copies of the game at the €76,000 (≈$94,160) mark.
Mysthea will be a Kickstarter-exclusive game - if you don't pledge and snap up a copy for yourself during the campaign, your only option to get it will be through one of the retailers that purchase a few copies for their store. Tabula Games tends to stick with a limited-run model of production for their tabletop titles. I asked them why they decided to go with this business model and here's what their Director Alessandro had to say about it:
The main reason is to give more to our backers at the lowest price possible. With a Kickstarter exclusive game we are able to cut costs by skipping some of the traditional supply chain steps such as warehousing and logistics and most of all reducing the time invested in finding new contacts and haggling contracts around the world. All our time is spent on the product and the care of our backers. This allows us to offer more and better quality components at the same exact price. This is the only way to have a chance to be competitive in a market where established titanic publishers are able to leverage famous IPs and higher production runs that are not within our reach. Having a large number of copies can really boost the freedom in production, in terms of miniatures and general quality of components.I've spoken with a few tabletop developers over the years and the idea of a limited run was generally preferred, largely for the reasons stated above. The difference between a one-off campaign and the continual production of one or more products are entirely different levels of difficulty and risk. I went a bit further and asked how they believe crowdfunding will fit into the future of the tabletop scene:
Here at Tabula Games we really believe in crowdfunding. It opens up new funding scenarios especially for indie companies and startups. This also holds true for game board studios. If we look at the numbers of past years, the trend of this phenomenon is increasing and skyrocketing. It is changing the relationships between customers and publishers. Those relationships are more direct, open and faster, changing also the channels where you can check the feedback a certain game has gotten from other players. At the same time it teaches how much work, time and passion there are behind a game. Passion, not just for the publisher but also for the backers. We believe this kind of funding will consolidate more and more in the future.Mysthea will be Tabula Games' third title after Jewels and Barbarians. While their first game was a simple card game (which I previewed in mid-2016 and thoroughly enjoyed), their second and now third releases have grown immensely in the complexity of the gameplay and the included components. Their previous two campaigns have been successfully funded and delivered to backers. If Mysthea sounds like the kind of game you'd enjoy playing, head on over to their Kickstarter campaign and consider pledging.
What do you think of Mysthea? Do you enjoy the idea of tabletop games with dynamic board pieces? Let us know in the comments below!