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Three Great Tabletop Kickstarters Live Now

Tabletop Kickstarters are still going strong after more than ten years at this point. There are three running currently that are well worth checking out: Dungeon Saga Origins by Mantic, Maladum by Battle Systems and BattleTech: Mercenaries by Catalyst Games. All three companies have long histories of successful Kickstarters, though there have been the occasional hiccups as expected with Kickstarters. Mantics focus on great value has sometimes come at a cost of quality, specifically for their “resin plastic” miniatures, but they seem to have settled on a soft “board game plastic” for these complete package games like Dungeon and Star saga that do work well but aren’t to the standard of HIPS plastic miniatures which is an acceptable tradeoff I find. BattleTech’s previous Kickstarter had substantial delays resulting in an apology in the form of a free 4″ Timber Wolf miniature this time, so it seems like they won’t be making that mistake again. Battle Systems Kickstarters have no problems that I’m aware of which is impressive.

Maladum: Dungeons of Enveron by Battle Systems

First up, with only five days remaining is Maladum by Battle Systems of the cardstock Modular Terrain fame. Battle Systems started on Kickstarter with their Sci-fi line of modular terrain delivered to backers 2014-09, and I was very happy with what I received. It was a premium product with a reasonable price, that could be extended to be cover as wide and tall tabletop areas as you wanted. I *may* have bought more than I ended up using with 4 boxes worth… Next up was the Fantasy modular terrain set delivered 2015-09 which I also went in on but slightly less crazy amounts and was again extremely happy with the quality. I skipped their Urban apocalypse set but went in again for their Sci-fi II set, skipped their Core space miniature game, went in again for Fantasy wargames – castles towns and battlefield terrain basically, skipped core space again and am now very tempted to go in on their Maladum release.

Maladum: Dungeons of Enveron is a huge step up in detail of the dank dungeon terrain it comes with. One of the criticisms of the previous terrain was that it was too square, that is certainly remedies with a lot of the pieces in this set. The designs of the walls are also extremely detailed and atmospheric and the elaborate designs of pieces match it well. The game itself I have no experience with personally, but as the third game release by them they certainly have experience in it now and the over 1100% backing shows people very much want more of what they’re providing. The Kickstarter comes with £79, £99 and £175 options for whether you want the terrain by itself, the game, or like me – both.

Battletech: Mercenaries by Catalyst Games

Next we have Battletech: Mercenaries which is already wildly successful at over $AU7m pledged already for the Mercenaries expansion to the existing BattleTech tabletop game. I have not played this game or backed products from Catalyst, but the almost 18,000 backers certainly seem to have faith in them. BattleTech is a long running beloved setting with anime and video games alongside the tabletop game. The BattleTech video game that released in 2018 is a fan favourite with 82% very positive reviews that helped to get many new fans into the setting, much as Dawn of War and Space Marine by Relic did for Warhammer 40k and later Warhammer Total War did for Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

The core Mercenaries expansion box adds 8 mechs and 4 vehicles along with a rulebook, cards, dice and the other items needed to play the game, though it is a supplement and the core game is needed to play the game. Backers can also opt to add additional force packs (curated selections of miniatures) and other items to their pledge, which will start at $80 for the standard expansion set but cheaper options without it and more expensive options with discounted force packs are also available.

Dungeon Saga: Origins by Mantic Games

Last but not certainly not least in my opinion is Mantics second release in the Dungeon Saga line with Dungeon Saga Origins. Mantic have been criticized at times for being so heavily based around Kickstarters but I always found them amazing value compared to purchasing from stores. I missed their first Dreadball Kickstarter, but have been in on *every single one* of their Kickstarters since so my opinion on their products should be readily apparent. Ranging from huge wargames like Kings of War down to the skirmish scale Deadzone, and with the adventure based Dungeon and Star Saga and even (violent) sport based Dreadball, Mantic has a wide range of tabletop offerings to tempt you in and then lock you in their dungeon to be tormented by their insane leader Ronnie.

Dungeon Saga specifically was an excellent way to introduce my niece and nephews into tabletop gaming. Pulling the kids away from computers, Nintendo Switches and mobile phones can be pretty hard but a fully painted set of heroes and monsters on vivid card tiles with an easy to learn system is definitely the way to do it. Sadly I don’t have access to my photos of our adventures, but I do have a few snaps of some of my painted Mantic Dreadball and Dungeon Saga models. There are £89 and £129 options for backers to choose from with 3d scenery and some other nice additions being added to the more expensive option. Having 3d scenery, it adds a lot to the otherwise flat cardstock tiles but is by no means a necessity.

The tabletop scene continues to grow thanks to a multitude of companies, from the evil empire that is Games Workshop and the corpo Embracer Group owned Asmodee down to the scrappy upstarts like Battle Systems who punch above their weight in price and quality, and the only real competitor in the sci-fi and fantasy large scale tabletop wargame space to Games Workshop with Mantic. I try to support the underdog where possible, and Mantic and Battle Systems both make that easy with the quality/value of their products. I will definitely be going in on the Dungeon Saga Origins Kickstarter, and I’m not sure if my willpower will hold out for Maladum, I can already feel myself weakening. I don’t think I’ll go in for BattleTech: Mercenaries however as it seems above my price point and I *really* don’t need more armies to join the painting backlog. There’s only five days remaining on Maladum so if you’re interested you’ll need to decide fast, if you can’t then you can go in for $1 and use the Pledge Manager after the campaign to decide what you want – Mantic also uses this system.

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