My pre-order success rate has been questionable. The number of games that I regret funding on Kickstarter or pre-ordering is higher than I would have liked. However, After a year, I feel like I’ve recognized my mistakes and have been making better decisions on what I buy ahead of time.
I backed Trickerion’s expansion on Kickstarter and did a late Pledge of Cerebria. While I put both of them up for sale, I only regret my Cerebria purchase. I paid for these games back when I first really got into board gaming; they were some of my first pledges/pre-orders. I loved Anachrony and everything Worker Placement and therefore thought that I need to own every game from that company.
Over the last year it became clear that having too many of the same type of game would just lead to a pile of un-played games. I decided to keep only the best ones and play those more often, in this case that meant Anachrony. I don’t regret Trickerion because I still have the base game new in shrink that I got a discount on and can sell them together for basically what I paid for them. I paid “Sticker Price” and shipping for Cerebria, not even the collectors edition. Not only did I over pay for the game, but its lack of popularity makes it difficult to resell. That was one of my early mistakes, not waiting for games to hit the online retailers. I know now that most of these products can still be had for cheaper and without the shipping cost if some patience and restraint is shown.
I was lured in with the exclusive component upgrades of Neta-Tanka and had an intense fear of missing out. “If” I wanted the game, I would not have the chance to get it in the best version in the future. When the game finally arrived, the cat was out of the bag that the gameplay was pretty banal. Any attempt to resell that game would be difficult. I’ve tried my best not to get trapped by the fear of missing out on deluxe components.
The price of Kickstarter products is so much more than just waiting for retail. Shipping to individuals is so cost inefficient. I’ve found that working with retailers that get retail pledges is a much better option. They get a decent rate and you can usually still get the Kickstarter versions at a reduced price and without shipping. In Edmonton, Board and Brew has been a great retail partner for asking about Kickstarter retail pledges. I don’t know why I backed Barrage. The top tier pledge was just too expensive, even though the game turned out to be well liked (Component quality aside), there was no reason to pay as much as I did. Thank fully I was able to get most of my cost back and will look at picking it back up when it gets the reduced retail price without the unnecessary deluxified components. Some times a Kickstarter is just too expensive even if the game is good.
I feel that I’m now dodging most of the pitfalls of Kickstarter backing or pre-ordering. I’m more measured with what games I add, I no longer need to constantly add similar games form the same companies. FOMO is being successfully fought off and that nagging voice shouting, “What if you regret not getting this exclusive stuff!” has been mostly silenced. I’m shopping around much more to get the best prices and making sure I didn’t overpay just for the excitement of early adoption.
Lately I was able to pull myself away form some Kickstarter pledges. Tang Garden just did not have enough praise for its gameplay to justify the nice theme and pretty components, I am glad I resisted. The same went for Pangea, as much as I “Wanted” the game to be good, the limited gameplay didn’t sell me. Some things like Iwari were just way too expensive; I resisted even though most of the best components were Kickstarter exclusives. I made sure to go with retail partners when they were available to save on pledge costs for items I was still excited about like Root, Pipeline and Cell Phone Inc.
Moving forward, I feel that I’m in a much better place to make the right decisions. I look forward to examining my purchases in a year and seeing if my regret percentage has decreased significantly.