Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bones II Post-Kickstarter thoughts

This will be a (very rare) double post, as I'm gaming today and I will post a summary tonight.

The core vampire set was pretty good. Compared to last time, not quite as good. Lots of very interesting minis in the bunch, but not quite as much in the way of special minis. Where Bones I gave you fire elementals and ghosts, the water elementals and "shadow" creatures were add-ons or Core Expansions.

A lot of the later core additions didn't excite me. Bases are nice, but I have a lot of them, and finding cheap and easy base material is a lot easier than finding cheap and easy minis. I need minis, not bases. There were a few monsters that got added on, some interesting dungeon dressing, and a few interesting character types (those Frazetta-looking barbarians!), too. But overall as stretch goals came, they always seemed to be adding on to stuff I wasn't going to get anyway. It made me feel like, well, more people pledging isn't helping me any. Terrible to say, but "the more guys join the better for all of us!" is a strong driver for getting people to enlist their fellow man into a project.

There was a bit less flexibility in the add-on duplicates, too. I'd really have loved about 3-4 more of one of the monsters, an extra gorgon (but without an extra chimera to come with it), and so on. I remember being able to get all the owlbears I wanted in Bones I, but not here. Too bad, because when an expansion had a mix of stuff I wanted and stuff I didn't, I generally passed on it. I'm that kind of buyer - when I bought my last car, I told the dealer all the cool extras the car they had on the lot was worth $0 to me, because I didn't want it. So I only put money down if the stuff I wanted justified the entire price. Trade value is bonus, especially since even a generous trade (like I did with Mark Langsdorf) costs shipping, so you pay for the minis and pay for the trade.

Some what become an add-on or a core mystified me. To be honest, I'm not sure why Pathfinder characters are in the core, not as Add-Ons, but maybe that's part of the deal they have with Paizo. Those are generally the guys I can pass on. They are cool, for sure, but scream "kick-ass PC" in a way that makes it hard for me to use them as generic NPCs. That's where my need is.

By my count, this time the core provided 157 minis + about 80 bases fpr $100. Last time it was around 250 minis for $75 without Sophie. Not quite the deal, although still pretty good.

Core Expansions: An interesting idea, but look at it from the perspective of someone just getting the core set - most of the latter stretch goals were add-ons and Core Expansions.

They were themed, but there was a bit of overlap. Honestly, I wanted about half of Core Expansion 2 and half of Core Expansion 1. But there was no mix-and-match, no ability to add on from the Core Expansions. So although I'd have loved a big pile of derro and cultists and so on, there wasn't enough to draw $50 out of me for a mix of stuff I'd like and stuff I didn't want at all.

So ended up passing on all of them. I passed on #1 with regret, #2 with minimal regret (I'll get myself those Anhurians aka City Guards later, if I need them), and #3 with no regret (greys are cool, but I don't need any.)

Add-Ons: Like last time, these felt strong. Lots of very cool stuff. I avoided the "diorama" stuff - Khanjira, Dragons Don't Share II (I wanted it, but what would I do with it?), the Kraken (a steal at $15, but it would sit on my shelf for the rest of my life), and so on. Still very cool stuff, though.

I'm probably going to snag the devils, but I'm not sure yet. I'm certainly getting Mashaaf, because, f--- my player's PCs.

Overall: I am glad I got in on this, on the Early Bird shipping option too by being one of the first 2000 folks to opt for the Vampire set. Still, I paid a lot more for what I got (since there was no metal Sophie to trade back in), and I missed on things I wanted.
My hope is if they do Bones III, there are less clumped groups like the Core Expansions and a lot more a la carte options. I'd have spent more, happily, to just get what I wanted. I didn't because there wasn't enough "want" for the price.

The first one was pure win - I got everything I wanted and more. The second, there was a lot I had to pass on because it was clumped with things I didn't. And that's sad. I will eventually get these things piecemeal from the retail market, but it would have been nice to have them show up next September.

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