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[Kickstarter] Dystopian World Expansion Kit

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I'm expecting my packages to turn up any day now. Admittedly, they're going to be late, as the tracking data shows someone accidentally loaded one into the wrong vehicle (it left Britain on the 3rd, got stuck in customs, ended up in France, changed courier companies, and is currently back in Britain), and the other one is has been sitting in the loading dock for the entire time.

Edit/Update: the first package has just cleared customs at Sydney, so it should arrive here by Thursday.

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Likewise - I'm a Captain level backer and still haven't received anything. 

 

@Nazduruk_Bugzappa May I ask how do you find your tracking data? By emailing SG? Would certainly like to check up on mine as well...

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23 minutes ago, Nicholas said:

Likewise - I'm a Captain level backer and still haven't received anything. 

 

@Nazduruk_Bugzappa May I ask how do you find your tracking data? By emailing SG? Would certainly like to check up on mine as well...

I think the only reason I have tracking data is because the package destination is the courier-drop-off for the local farms, instead of a residential address.

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12 hours ago, Piffle said:

I thought Spartan had been quite clear that they were going to be using the kickstarter route to expand their games and so they've probably been getting ready for the FA one for quite a while. To delay it would surely damage their business model.

Being clear about something, and gaining community support, are two different things as I think the comments on this topic on the Facebook page reflect.  For the vast majority of the last 5 years that I've been playing Spartan Games their business model has been to do a pre-order a month or so before a release, and to deliver that release before offering a new pre-order.  Large Kickstarters are a change to that business model.

In my opinion, real damage to a business model occurs when the reputation of a company is damaged. If the bulk of pledges with customised rulebooks and those with 'core nation fleet expansion boxes' have received nothing 5 months after projected delivery, then that could be as many as 549 of 858 backers, or 64% of all pledges.  If that's even close to accurate, then it's fairly understandable that there will be an element of dissatisfaction amongst some customers at the prospect of another kickstarter when the bulk of the current kickstarter has not been delivered and no specific delivery date has been provided.  

In my experience, the bulk of people who back Kickstarter projects are very willing to be understanding if the creator is forthright about progress (with the kind of regular updates you suggest), and provides conservative delivery dates up front, then tracks progress against them.  However, If Spartan can get the Captain pledges shipped this week, as Neil has said, then that'll make a big impact and likely restore a lot of confidence.

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Hi @Spartan Neil

It's great that you're contributing on this forum and I hope your health continues to improve.  May I ask for clarification on the Deluxe Box Sets which were under the Rear Admiral pledge?  Yesterday and in the past you had said that despatch of these was linked to availability of the personalised rule books.  However the 'regular' Deluxe Box Set just contained two hardback rulebooks, not  personalised ones unless this was ordered as a bolt on.  The first level at which personalised rulebooks came as standard at a pledge level was Fleet Admiral.  So is it possible to clarify whether you are currently shipping the 'regular' Deluxe Box Sets like my order?  As far as I can tell, if hardback rulebooks are now available, most of the product for this pledge level should now be available.  I'm backer no. 534 and ordered the Deluxe box set, plus the fortified harbour, the campaign guide and the Russian core nation book.  I know the add-on books aren't available due to the printer issues, but I'm hoping for the other stuff now.  Cheers  Paul 

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I'm still waiting on my Fleet Admiral pledge and bunch of add-ons.

Sounds like I've been impacted by the personalised rulebook and the scheduling of the League of Crimson models in addition to the organisational stretch caused by reaching all the stretch goals and this being a first Kickstarter for Spartan. Oh, and the key person health problems.

I'm looking forward to having things arrive and then spending the winter painting them and finding some Edinburgh gaming groups to play with.

(I am less looking forward to my wife's face when my pledge rewards arrive.)

This was the first Kickstarter that I've backed. I think intellectually I knew that Kickstarters were not always smooth and tended more often to be delayed than to ship on time but I'm not sure I quite realised that on an emotional level. So I've been feeling a bit frustrated.

I backed two other Kickstarters at about the same time. Even the smoothest looking one, which has been run by a company that I think has done a couple of Kickstarters in the past is now about three months past their hoped for shipping date.

As a first time Kickstarter "customer" I think expectation management, clear and frequent communications and better planning in advance for success seem to be really important for making sure people have a good experience of the Kicstarter process.

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The single biggest risk to a Kickstarter is too much success.

Basically, if you had a plan that you need X money to make Y products and ship them in Z time, but people throw 10x X money at you, that means you need to make 10Y products and spend 10Z time packaging them. Now obviously you build some safety factor in and you can get more staff hours committed, but simply put if you can cast 100 models a day (example), and you were expecting to make 1000 you guess at a couple of weeks manufacturing time, but you end up having to make 10,000, then suddenly you are looking at five months manufacturing.

Some small KS have gotten around that by shipping as they manufacture so a few people start to get stuff and it keeps coming at a steady pace. But when you are looking at stuff where there are a lot of individual pieces that everyone needs to get, you can be months into production and still not have a single completed set.

Combine that with third-party manufacturers going under, and you will end up with big delays. Unfortunately the only way to preempt that is by saying on the KS 'too much success will mean slower shipping', but then that scares off people from pledging...

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I read through the Cthulhu kickstater article linked earlier, it was interesting.  It also highlighted one of the reasons why I don't get why so many people wanted Spartan to piecemeal out the shipping as they go.

From the article:

"The problems began with the Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter. The previous management only charged international backers $20 to ship a ten pound game. The actual cost of shipping was vastly higher, sometimes as much as $150 for backers in Japan. Meints said that this Kickstarter alone likely lost Chaosium $170,000."

That kickstarter had brought in about $200k. So that $200k kickstarter cost them $370k to fulfill.

 

Since Spartan hasn't even started printing the Core Nation Guides and Campaign books it is clear that they have to ship later (at least I believe they haven't, if they have I missed it).  Which is fine from a backer standpoint, but from a business standpoint, if you've spent all the money you've charged for shipping on just the first part then all of those books are going to be going out at a loss, potentially a big one. With the $150 shipping to Japan example above, we can probably be pretty sure that Spartan is taking a loss on the shipping to some backers even on a single shipment, let alone if it is split into two.

I've heard that Ogre from Steve Jackson Games is never going to be reprinted again because the shipping costs for a game that big was just too much.  I know some models from Red Box Games said a decent amount of the fulfillment shipping was done at a loss too

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I'm hoping to get my models at some point soon.

I did the Petty Office Pledge and added other models and books to it. I emailed despatches and Spartan Neil this morning to see if there was any update....

Having said that, I've still got an order from June outstanding (Dominion of Canada and Scandinavian Teutonic Order) but I think they're due later this month.

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Hi Erloas,

Additional shipping costs will be covered by us. It would have been poor form to hit you with that when it is a delay caused by me and my health. Models are done by the guys, books are my side of things, and I apologise for my delays with them. When they follow up we will ship them out at our expense you can be sure of that.

Cheers,

Spartan Neil

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Hi FSAHoops,

You are most welcome and thank you. Frome - just around the corner from my office and where I spend a chunk of time in hospital. I am getting to know Frome rather well. :)

Cheers,

Spartan Neil

 

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Hi NeilT,

Just checked my emails from today and I don't think the ones I was dealing with match up to your email address. Could you please email me again at neil@spartangames.co.uk

Thanks in advance,

Spartan Neil

 

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On 8/7/2017 at 11:45 PM, Cassaralla said:

Has anyone received an Egyptian Starter yet?  Or are those still on the 'to send list'?

 

It's all I pledged for.

I have, along with my 2.5 Rulebook, KoB Kickstarter Models, and World Map

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30 minutes ago, Fuzzi99 said:

I have, along with my 2.5 Rulebook, KoB Kickstarter Models, and World Map

Any chance of a sneak shot of the world map?

 

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5 hours ago, Fuzzi99 said:

https://imgur.com/gallery/p0TAt

 

Have run out of attachment room

Strange I thought New Zealand was part of the British empire. Did they get those two parts around the wrong way or do I just not know my lore, or am I seeing that map in the picture incorrectly?

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