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Board game’s $5 million weekend could make it biggest Kickstarter campaign ever (correction)

Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 could earn double what the Pebble Time smartwatch did

Adam Poots Games, LLC.
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Brooklyn based game designer Adam Poots has a hot hand. His tabletop miniatures game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 has already raised more than $5 million, absolutely crushing its $100,000 ask within days of its launch over the holiday weekend. With 40 days remaining in the campaign it’s expected to beat out Exploding Kittens, the biggest tabletop Kickstarter project of all time, by the end of the week.

Things are going so well, in fact, that Kicktraq projects the campaign could eclipse $50 million at the going rate. That puts Poots’ project well within striking distance of the Pebble Time smartwatch, currently the most heavily funded Kickstarter of all time with over $20 million raised in March of last year.

Kingdom Death is a miniatures skirmish campaign that offers a “cooperative nightmare horror game experience.” At first glance, the game seems to share some mechanics with the upcoming Dark Souls board game from Steamforged Games. Both rely on decks of cards to control monster’s movements and attacks. But Kingdom Death seems much more complex in how it evolves the characters and the story from session to session.

The product also seems to take the best of the old-school and the new-school approach to miniatures design. For hero-scale figures, players are able to create customized figures from dozens of arms, legs and heads. For the monsters, Poots has opted for a massive scale with multi-part beasts that tower nearly a foot off the table.

Two things make Kingdom Death fairly unusual. First, while the base game is expected to ship next year the final delivery date for all extras and expansions is December of 2020. That’s more than four years away. Second, it’s a revised edition of a game that very few people have heard about and even fewer have played. Just over 5,000 backers contributed to the original Kickstarter in 2013. The base game has also been sold out for some time, further limiting the player base. For a product with such a small audience, this kind of revenue for a crowdfunding campaign is remarkable.

Kickstarter is proving time and again that tabletop gamers have money to spend and an appetite for expensive games. Tabletop projects earned more than six times the money that video games earned in the first half of this year, and much of that revenue is being fueled by miniatures games.

Backers of Kingdom Death must pledge at the $300 level to receive the full game, which includes a 232 page game book, 17 sprues of hard plastic miniatures and more than 1000 cards. The set features more than 400 pieces of art and 86 full-page illustrations. They’ll also receive the Gambler’s Box, which will contain all of the campaign’s stretch goals and other pack-ins.

We’ve reached out to the team to learn more about the game and intend to keep tabs on it over the next few years. For now, check out the in-depth playthrough in the video below from the team at Beasts of War.

Correction: We’ve adjusted the article to add information about the base game’s expected release date, which is 2017.

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