Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I'm down to backing only one or two Kickstarter projects at a time.  It's a weird feeling, but a good one.  And it means I can be really picky about what I choose to back.

A few years ago, a friend of mine showed me his prototype card-placement game. It was a ton of fun, and showed potential.  We played it off-and-on for a while.  Every few months, I'd see him again with the latest revision.

At one point, the game went to Gathering of Friends with a friend of mine, but unfortunately no publisher bit.

And now it's on Kickstarter.

ManaSurge is a fun game, and they seem to be doing it the right way on Kickstarter.  By the time you see this, they'll have about four days to go, and I sincerely hope it's funded.

So what do I mean by "the right way" here?

1) The game's content is done. The rules are done. The card list is complete.  The only thing not finished is the art on cards that backers can pay to appear on. In fact, it's done enough that a number of reviewers have been able to post reviews that are quoted and/or linked to from the project page.

2) Reasonable stretch goals. I've seen way too many good projects sunk by crazy-expensive stretch goals that weren't budgeted for correctly. The first few stretch goals are single cards.  At goal-and-a-half or so, the game grows by roughly 15%.

3) Freight is accounted-for.  I don't know for sure if their numbers are accurate, but the numbers for shipping seem reasonable.

4) Sane backer levels. There aren't a ton of bizarre add-ons, here.  The backer levels are basically Game, Game + Mini-Expansion, 2 Copies of Game, 2 Copies of Game + Mini-Expansion, and so on. There are no t-shirts, bottle openers, can insulators, and the like.

As to the game itself: It's fun. It's not a completely-random smurf-up, either. Yes, there is a random element. Yes, there are times when the best option is clear. But over the years of playing, I've noticed that Frank wins a lot more often than he loses, and he's not a cheater. He just knows the game better than you do.

So I urge you to check it out. Back it if it looks like it's your bag. Pass the link along to someone else if it isn't your bag but you know someone else who might dig it.

So how do you learn if it's your bag?

The rules are already online. They're in the files section of the game's BoardGameGeek Page.

Do your homework, Check it out.  I hope you choose (like I did) to back.

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