Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 Up On Kickstarter

By Polar_Bear
In Board Games
Nov 28th, 2016

Pretty much every gamer out there knows of Kingdom Death. The original Kickstarter campaign made over $2mil. But then… oh the troubles. It was one of the campaigns that took the longest to actually deliver. However, from all I’ve seen, it was worth the wait… and worth the weight, since the final game’s components made it so heavy that selling it retail wasn’t really an option. Well, the game is back up on Kickstarter with a new, revised version, and a new record-breaking Kickstarter.

For those that don’t know, Kingdom Death is a highly immersive tactical rpg board game. You play as villagers in a harsh and terrifying world, killing the various monsters that inhabit it, and taking pieces from them in order to sculpt and craft new gear. Will you be able to build up your village and protect yourselves from the various monsters? Or will you end up as a red smear on the ground?

The campaign’s doing well (understatement of the year). It’s already got over $5 million in funding. No, that’s not a typo. There’s plenty of time still to go, too. 40 days, in fact. So you’ve got some time to save up your nickels if you want to back it.


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  • odinsgrandson

    The first kickstarter proved that a game is only late until it is released. We, as geeks, will forgive a long delay if you give us good enough shinies at the end of the day.

    And I find it hard to recommend the game enough- it is truly outstanding- in terms of rules and all components.

    • TheNickelEye

      Do you have any of the expansions? If so, how much do they add? Are they incremental changes or pretty substantial?

      • odinsgrandson

        I have quite a few expansions, and they each add a lot.

        The ones that add the most, IMO, are the Dragon King, Sunstalker, Gorm and Spidicules. The first two add whole new campaigns with different themes in addition to new monsters to hunt, while the last two are early game hunts that change the pace for your settlement in the long run.

        Note that the content in the core game is high, and if you add almost any three expansions, the whole game is different.

    • Davos Seaworth

      Still, there is some herd mentality at work here. I have a hard time believing 11,000+ backers are in this strictly because it’s a great game. Some are, but X% are just along for the ride because it’s “the new hotness” and Y% have seen the markup in the resale market and are taking a chance to make some $$$ on flipping it.

      • odinsgrandson

        Sure, success and excitement in a kickstarter breeds more success and excitement. There’s probably no way to predict success like this- it is just too crazy.

        But the excitement didn’t start with this kickstarter. This game has been on the Board Game Geek Hotness list since it got to backers, and its rating is stupid high (especially for a game that people actually have and have played- KS games tend to get lots of 10s sight unseen from backers).

        The guy charged an idiotic sum for the core game ($400) and sold out of them completely.

        They got in trouble with Gencon for having lines too long to their small booth.

        This game makes rabid fans of its players, and that excitement has been spreading since the first KS delivered (maybe before).

  • Ghool

    Too rich for me.
    A few years ago, companies that used Kickstarter would try and get $100 out of you.
    It’s insane when a few years later, no one wants less than $300.
    At the current rate it’s going, we’ll be paying $1000 by next year for a single board game.
    Is nerd culture becoming the next smart phone craze?


    • odinsgrandson

      I can see that. I thought he was stupid when Poots announced that the core game would retail at $400. I figured no one would ever buy it for that price.

      Then i played it with friends, and had to pick up my own copy at retail.

      But I think you were more interested in a dungeon crawler and playing with kids, right? There’s definitely some R rated content in this game, so it might not be your thing.

      • Ghool

        It’s too dark and weird, even for me. And yes, the stuff in that box would give my kids nightmares.

        • odinsgrandson

          That’s fair. KD is definitely dark and weird.

          Did you check out Conan now that it’s delivered.

          • Ghool

            Seen it played, and had a chance to back it. It looked too fiddly, and didn’t have enough cool monsters for me. Too many blase humans, and the one vs. many mechanic makes me cringe.

            I’m going for Massive Darkness to fulfill my dungeon crawling urges.

          • odinsgrandson

            I can see that. MD looks great. I haven’t played Conan, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t co-op.

            I think the other one you might check out would be the Japanese Shadows of Brimstone, but I prefer the minis in Massive Darkness. It it moves as quick as Zombicide, it’ll be fantastic.

          • Ghool

            All the SoB games are just Warhammer Quest re-skinned. While it’s something I might get in the future, the KS is too expensive for me right now. The current exchange rate is killer, so I only have enough disposable game money for one KS, and it’s gone to Massive Darkness – full co-op, simpler rules, leveling and campaign mode, and better miniatures hands down.

          • odinsgrandson

            Brimstone is full co-op. No GM. It also features leveling and campaign mode (I haven’t ever played it outside of a campaign).

            The other two points you make are right- better minis from Guillotine, and if the game flows as quickly as Zombicide, it will be brilliant.

        • Cergorach

          Some of the minis not in the box have given me nightmares…

          • odinsgrandson

            Are we talking Wet Nurse and Forge God?

          • Cergorach

            Dung Beetle… It’s going to crush me! 😉

            Gorm, 1st Lion Knight, Nightmare Ram, Slender Man, Spidicules, The Scribe, Wetnurse, Forge God… Can we have all those in plastic please! I want to disturb my players even further… 😉

      • Daniel36

        Well, more than a 1000 people already decided it is actually worth $1,666 dollars, and they are willing to wait until December 2020 for their game to release.

        Is the game gorgeous? Yes! Does it fill a niche that needs filling? For me, yes. But I am sorry…Even $400 for something I can’t even open (let alone play) until December 2020… Not worth it…

        • Lonestar1771

          The core game is being delivered in summer 2017 the expansions and new content are being spread out between 2018 through 2020.

          • Daniel36

            Thanks for the clarification. That is actually quite smart. Gives you time to paint in increments. 😀 Still, too heavy an investment, even if it does seem to be a really awesome game.

  • Chad_Caughmann

    I almost pulled the trigger on this game back in the first Kickstarter, and quite frankly….I’m glad I did not. There’s a lot of interesting things going on with the game, and it has nice production values….but is too niche and adult of a theme for me to get any real use out of with the sort of people I play with. Beyond that, it appears to have turned into a gargantuan financial investment (in board game terms) for anyone interested in getting into it now.

    Also, the rabid fan base is just a bit too weird for me, in that they seem willing to throw down ANY amount of money for this game. It comes off kind of cult-ish. I know that itself sounds weird, but I can’t think of any other way to explain the ridiculous level of excitement and faith they put into something like this, to the point they are EASILY willing to put down $1000+ on a board game right out of the gate. The mentality is just too weird for me.

    • Cergorach

      Think of it like this: Buying the whole Descent collection at once ($1150). KDM2 is at least four years of releases, KDM1 was three years of releases. So the limited $1666 pledge is seven years of releases, not even everything game related (pinups). That’s a big investment, but I expect it to be a decent savings (especially if you live in Europe) when the KS is done.

      I agree that the KDM2 ks is a bit of a hypetrain, I suspect that many backers are going with the popular flow ($5.5 million ks will do that). Others are buying it with the intent to sell it later on ebay for a profit (I suspect they’ll be disappointed).

      But cult like attitude… The comments section is very relaxed, compared to something like the Brimstone ks where the fanbois are vicious! If you mean that people are handling KDM as a cult classic though, I think your right.

      Some of the folks have waited a year to get a copy, this ks was coming, so many people saved. With the comments that the box would retail at $400, many folks… saved too much 😉

      Only 14% of the backers spent anywhere close to $1000 or more, less then 9% went for the $1666 option…

      As you weren’t part of the first ks (neither was I, bought in on the BF sale), there were very good updates. Kept the backers informed of the process, the problems and the solutions. More so then most ks. If you then add the high quality miniatures/components, gameplay and the adult theme. It’s not surprising that there are many loyal fans out there especially among gamers: Poots has made the dream come true, generating millions and working fulltime on your passion project…

      • Chad_Caughmann

        No, I really meant cult in the other sense…not a cult classic. While I didn’t ultimately back the first Kickstarter, I paid attention to it, as well as the rest of Kingdom Death before the game was even publicly a thing. And the whole time, I’ve seen just about every person who’s a fan treat it like it is ABOVE every other thing in this hobby. The WHOLE TIME. I feel like that is the sort of thing that should be earned after a life-long career in this industry, but it seems like Poots has been granted this treatment since near the beginning by releasing a couple models in the range way pre-Monster. I just don’t get it.

        You compare it to buying all the expansions for a game like Descent in 1 go. I have an issue with that….because I truly believe if a vast majority of people had to buy the base game and all the expansions in 1 go, and it got up into the high hundreds of dollars, if not $1000+…..I think a large majority of those people would go “holy $&@%….what am I thinking?!? I can’t spend that kind of money on this up front!!!” Its the ability to make small purchases over time that eventually add up to a large sum that makes the endeavor feasible for many people. And yet you’ve got thousands of people throwing down obscene amounts of money on Monster despite that. I just don’t get it.

        • odinsgrandson

          I’m with you on gaming spending habits. I actually prefer Kickstarters with few or no exclusives simply because I’d rather buy the game bit by bit. I’m not all in on this KS- I’m going to be picking up expansions at full price later.

          I can spend $1000+ on a game I love if I break it into increments of $60 expansions.

          But there are a lot of completionists out there with Pokemon syndrome in every Kickstarter. I’ve seen other KS have an “all in” pledge, but they added it later. This is the first one I’ve seen with an “all in, sight unseen” pledge.

          Do note that most backers didn’t do this. Most of them went for one of the less expensive tiers.

        • odinsgrandson

          As for Poots getting special treatment from cult like followers- I think I agree with you. I thought he made a lot of business and PR errors during the first KS, and the most vocal backers were so much more than lenient.

          I have long thought he was a horrible business person. Although $5 mil says I’m wrong.

          At some point, it moves from a cult into a proper religion.

        • Martin

          You hit the nail on the head with the increments thing. Some companies nickel and dime you, some want you to splurge everything in one go. It really doesn’t matter in the end, what matters is if you see value in what your buying.

          Many people do see tremendous value in KD:M. Not only because it’s physically large and promises hundreds of hours of playtime (not counting miniature assembly and painting, if you’re into that), so in reality is not that expensive, BUT mostly because it represents a rare triumph of mind over matter, dreams over reality, ambition and imagination over corporate calculation and focus testing. The sad truth is that the bigger a product, the safer it is; this is the same with games, video games and movies. If you want something ambitious or just different, you need to turn to ‘indie’ – they ofer a bundle of imagination, but on a limited scale.

          Now imagine something that is both indie and grand, the ‘spare no expense’ type that against all odds succeeds. That fulfills the expectations of those who have waited for it for 3 years.

          No wonder the original backers cock up their noses (to the dismay of most of us). They were THERE, they BELIEVED and were rewarded for it; they backed the underdog who turned out to be a black horse. Their faith and patience were rewarded with the most original and ambitious adventure board game ever.

          I am not an original backer.

          • Cross

            ‘..most original and ambitious adventure board game ever.’

            Oh, come on. It could be a good game, but it is still a game with lots of miniature heroes that go kill big (miniature) monsters, level up and gain loot. They didn’t even do creepy-porn-miniatures first, and definitely didn’t think up choose-your-own-adventure.

            Ambitious? Maybe. If a new game proposed the amount of content that KDM has, it would be ambitious for sure. Coming up with more content when your KS is already at 2mil and still climbing with fans all screaming for more….seems a lot less ‘ambitious’.

          • odinsgrandson

            I like to think of it as a bunch of people were willing to bet that Adam Poots wasn’t just a crazy person.

            But to be fair, when KDM went to KS the first time around, it was exactly the sort of project that did well. An established name in miniatures was going to expand into making games (like CMON, Studio McVey, Mantic and Sodapop had before KDM).

            At the time, we didn’t really know that Adam Poots was a crazy person who was also a crazy good game designer. We found that out he was crazy throughout the fulfillment updates, and we really didn’t know he was so good until the game shipped.

          • Martin

            Well, we’re not in a vacuum and there’s not that many adventure games that let you play a campaign/rpg-lite. Show me a more ambitious and original game and I’ll buy it in a heartbeat 😀