Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mantic Kickstarter (deadzone) - wave 2 update

Mantic has put out an update on the Deadzone kickstarter and it sounds like people are getting pissed. Here is the latest update from Mantic on the Deadzone kickstarter page.  Mantic had issues like this with dreadball, with folks seeing the product in stores before receiving their kickstarter pledges in some instances. Sounds like there will be more of the same happening here.  The comments from Mantic on the kickstarter page/updates are drying up really quick now that these issues are cropping up again. This was my problem with Mantic a long time ago is their communication is crap! I'm reading now they made a bunch of changes to what was included in certain pledges - but only bothered to tell people once they started deliveries.  It's not rocket science that early communication is better.  Plenty of communication happens while they are drumming up the funds - quickly dissolves once all hands are on deck.  It's a bit understandable but just seems like they could really use a permanent customer service officer or something.

The Bad (Mantic as a company, meeting customer demand, customer service, etc.)

This is how my deadzone kickstarter box arrived.  It was very banged up and I consider it fortunate that only 3 miniatures and the rulebook were damaged.  Quite easily the counters and any other restic bits could have been damaged.
piles of unlabeled stuff
Here is an unboxing review on another blog.  I would have appreciated getting my items packed inside the box like that, instead of having most of my stuff just thrown loosely into the cardboard mailing box.  The only stuff that was actually inside my deadzone game box was the fold up mat and one half of the terrain sprues. Everything else was loose in the box, including baggies of figures, all the counters and even the rulebook.  In this unboxing post you can see he laid out everything on the table.  It is a ton of stuff, it really would have been nice for mine to get that extra protection from actually being in the gaming box.  Look at the damage on my rulebook (usually it takes a few years of use to be this damaged)
look at the damage

Compare this to a post by Joel @ Mordian 7th for his Bug Hunt corridors kickstarter.  First - look how lovely it would be to have all the baggies labeled with what they are/should include.  It's crazy they even took the time to punch out all the bits. Some labels would have been nice for Deadzone, I had to reference 3 different URLs to do all my double-checking to make sure I had everything.

Now checking the update from Mantic, you have until January 31st to fill out the form for missing bits.  A shame if you haven't had several hours to document everything you have vs. everything you should have.  I am going to double check the enforcer bits because I assumed I got everything since a lot of the enforcer stuff was delayed to wave 2 to use their new plastics - but now I'm hearing baggies aren't even properly filled so best to check.  It will have been close to 3 months the form has been up, but they weren't actually doing anything with that info until the end of this month.  Then they will have to order stock since it's more likely stuff missing from your order went into someone elses' package than they have stock sitting around.

At the same time, they have now been selling the product so if I was one of the unlucky one's to get nothing - and have to wait for more stock to be ordered because they'd sold stock through retail already I would be flaming mad.

The Good (The game itself, the value of the figures, definitely the terrain)

Jake has written a very cool game, I really like how elegant it is, allowing the game to flow and at the same time offering a lot of room for tactics & strategy.  What is a bit disappointing is the fact that with all the changes via the FAQ @ quirkworthy - I don't know if the rulebook is even a good starting point anymore. There are rules that have no description yet, etc. so for a printed rulebook it's a bit poor form.  However with today's shift towards living rulebooks, I am ok with having updated PDFs, it would be great if they would highlight changes they made so it would be easy to hunt down, but I don't think that's going to happen.

A lot of people are complaining about the figures, and I understand they are nowhere near as nice as GW figures or some other stuff out there.  But you need to consider the price, thinking that these probably ended up costing you around the $1 per figure range - it's hard to complain.  Jake Thornton wrote a piece about cleaning restic - where he "dispels" all the issues with it.  He tries hard to avoid bias, but I think he has failed. He mentions it's no harder than cleaning metal or plastic and I heartily disagree.  It is much more difficult than plastic and different to metal though probably about the same amount of effort.  He also says he hunted through hundreds of pieces to find the worst flash and I again cannot believe that - it seems much more likely to have gone the other way.  Many people find the models difficult so it can't just be everyone else is wrong. Also find it a shame he cleaned one of the "sprue" bits rather than a big piece as part of his post.  I am not looking forward to cleaning my plague big guy, the flashing is terrible and will make getting the detail right a pain.

The terrain is quite nice - though again I hear conflicting reports.  Mantic states it's easy to put the terrain together and take it apart again, but other reports deem it not so easy. Fortunately for me I plan to glue it together, I have so much necromunda terrain that this will just add to it, and I have no need for it to be modular.  There are already a great couple articles up about painting the deadzone terrain - I've gone with zenithal technique, incorporating some salt masking to do some battle damage/weathering.  Then after gluing them into small buildings I will have a go with the weathering powders from secret weapon miniatures.

I should have pics of the terrain up soon, I got too far along too quick to do a step-by-step but there are plenty of tutorials out there.  Hope to get a game in soon.


Eric Wier said...

Yeah I received all of my Deadzone stuff just thrown in a box with all the packing peanuts. Half of the components were not in the actual box. My rulebook was crushed and ruined, much like yours.

Pretty pathetic overall. I think I got all the stuff I should have, but I admit I have not looked into all the unlabeled bags, so there may be pieces missing from them. I find it hard to care honestly. I had planned to try to assemble most of the models, but when I discovered they are still the same poor quality resin, I doubt I will assemble more then a couple. In my opinion, it is even more difficult to work with then metal, and I would rather spend my time on models from other companies, which are nicer looking and of better quality (and easier to assemble). I suppose you get a lot of models for the price, but I would rather have half as many if they were of better quality. If they were, I would probably assemble them, as they are now I struggle to feel they are worth my time, and it pains me to say that.

The best aspect of the release is the terrain I think, since it can be used in so many games. And if you just glue it together, it is pretty nice. I have had a lot of fun using it in all manner of games (Deadzone or otherwise). The quality is too low to be used in a modular fashion, and at least in my case they did note even include enough connectors to assemble what was in the box.

Overall, the whole thing seems very rushed. If Mantic does not step up their game, I can't really see a reason to keep supporting them.

Axtklinge said...

That box really looks like a big mess! I'm amazed if only a couple of things are actually broken or damaged...

The terrain quality looks nice (and useful for a lot of games).

Tristan M said...

Eric: I would have loved to have gotten packing peanuts in mine. Insane to think that only 3 minis were damaged by that.

It's a shame you feel that bad about the figures - I'm not quite that disappointed, the value for money is there and I do like a lot of the figs.

The terrain is very nice I can definitely confirm that - did you get 1 or 2 sprues of connectors? I got 2 and it seems it will be enough but I definitely plan to glue the terrain together.

Eric Wier said...

Yeah that is pretty amazing that things turned out as well as it did. I thought maybe you removed the packing peanuts to get a better photo, ha ha. Pretty sad.

I only got 1 sprue of connectors. Two would have been a good number, with some to spare even. But with only one, it was difficult to even enjoy the best aspect of Deadzone, the terrain. I look forward to seeing how yours goes together!

Tristan M said...

At the very least you should fill out the order query form (it's linked in the kickstarter update post I linked to in my blog post) and get your second set of connectors - it does sound like many people only got one which is ridiculous.

Sean Brady said...

I am simply not going to be able to figure out what goes with what in time. My box was much better in terms of packing than yours but the piles of little bags are just a nightmare to deal with. I am still not sure I have all of my Dreadball stuff, but honestly I have so much that really it doesn't matter. I am hopeful to get the remainder of what I have built before too long.

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