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Beyond the Monolith? Confusion!?!

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This topic contains 50 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    As the previous backer of Conan (2015) and Mythic Battles Pantheon (1.0 & 1.5) I’ve been trying to get my head around the new “Beyond the Monolith” KS for a week or so. It’s now live and it seems I’m not the only one.

    Over an hour into a highly publicised launch and less than 1,000 backers have pledged approx €100,000 of €700,000 so far.

    Frankly I don’t see the point of this new ‘versus’ system.  MBP already has a great system and apart from changing it from a one vs many game the system looks too similar to the base Conan system.

    I thought maybe I could pickup a basic core system with cards to support the two games I have.  No need for more models IMHO, but they seem to be obsessed with shifting more plastic.  Only a few days to go (even though it’s just started) and something tells me this might not make it.

    Anyone else confused?


    Cult of Games Member

    I’m not particularly confused but the only way to get the cards and rules needed to play the new overarching system would appear to be to buy more minis.  As a previous backer of Conan, MB:P, MB:P 1.5 Upgrade and Batman: GCC I don’t need any more plastic thanks.  I am a gamer though and use my minis.  If they are offering a new system to reuse all of my current assets than I’m all over it.  If I need to get more copies of minis I already have I’ll respectfully decline.

    I’m hoping that the new web store when launched has simple upgrade packs for the new system.  If not, I guess I’m not going to play.  Pity, I’m a big fan of this company but this KS lacks the sort of focus they have had before.


    Cult of Games Member

    not confused … but yeah, they aren’t exactly communicating their intent as clearly as they could have.

    The only system that is ‘easy’ to understand is Batman.
    As it simply upgrades the versus mode to something that allows you to play Conan in vs mode.

    The weird thing is that a lot of the MB:P monsters are in the monster expansions but no option to convert that system exists.
    I kind of wished there was an cardboard/counter only option for MBP

    Conan … I suspect if you’ve got that system then you’ve got all the plastic minis anyway.

    The thing is that the core idea is pretty good :

    – core box with dice and counters
    – expansions provide the minis for a specific faction/theme
    It is effectively a skirmish which uses a fixed board as terrain.
    Probably closer to chess than the average skirmish wargame.

    I think they tried to provide upgrade paths for both Conan and Batman as those systems share a lot of mechanics with this one.


    Cult of Games Member

    @zoidpinhead to clarify, buy more miniatures that you already own.

    I have watched this develop over the last couple of weeks and whilst I do understand what you need to buy in order to get what you need to play, regardless of whether you are a new or an existing backer, the reason I think a lot of people are confused is that it’s really hard to see what you need to buy if you already own Conan but want to play the versus mode without having to buy things you already own.  The reason it is so hard to figure that out is very simple – it isn’t possible to do that. A lot of existing backers were expecting to be able to buy the new rules, reuse the miniatures they already own whilst maybe buying a some new ones.  I have so many criticisms of this campaign, not least because it is confusing to try and figure out what you need to buy (and they were very slow to communicate that).h

    The funding goal seems unreasonably high for the amount of new stuff that is really being offered.  Almost all every miniature on that kickstarter is from a previous kickstarter. Compare that to a funding goal of $80,000 first time round where everything was new and it seems more like a cash grab than a genuine kickstarter. They certainly don’t seem to be funding €700,000 worth of stuff.

    Duplication levels for returning Conan backers is shocking; between 50% and 95% commonality with the original game with no option for previous Conan backers to buy only what they need to play the new Beyond the Monolith game. The options are pay €45 for a faction box that optimistically you will own 50% of (but more likely upwards of 75%), pay €32 for just stat cards and a game board and proxy the miniatures yourself – €32 is a lot of money for a handful of cards and tokens and of course you then have to find some miniatures from somewhere.

    The way the new game is designed feels like it was done deliberately to force people to buy again what they have already paid for. The number of miniatures required to make a complete faction box being slightly more than you would have as an original backer. For example you need 8 of things previous backers will only have 5 of but they won’t provide a box that allows people to buy the delta between King Pledge and Beyond the Monolith. The game boards that come in the faction boxes are almost identical to the ones in the original game; they have been changed just enough to make sure that the old ones aren’t compatible with the new scenarios.

    The catch phrase when they announced Beyond the Monolith was pay less play more. It was supposed to “breath new life” into existing games. But what its actually turned out is “buy stuff you probably already own, play more”. The new Beyond the Monolith isn’t breathing any new life into my existing Conan game, what if is actually doing is selling me a brand new game, at full price. A new game the contents of which I already own 80%-90% but not quite in the right format to play the new game. As someone who has supported Monolith quite a lot since they launched in 2015 and backed Conan and Mythic Battles quite heavily, this feels a bit like a kick in the teeth. It isn’t going to ruin my enjoyment of the game I already own – Conan is still an amazing game. But it is probably going to stop me backing any Beyond the Monolith products in the future which is a real shame. I would have really liked to get in on the whole Conan skirmish game and Lord knows I have enough stuff for it! But I can’t justify paying €200+ to get the vs mode when I already own nearly all the stuff I would be getting.



    My only confusion is the lack of people being able to grasp simple concepts.

    If you applied for the discount, then you are NOT paying for any of the old miniatures… period.  The discount literally is to cover the costs of the old miniatures.  That is right, the discount covers the costs of the old miniatures.  So if you have that then all of the old miniatures are just extras that cost you nothing to receive.   Although I am sure someone will complain that they add to shipping.

    In other words, for those not getting it.  Every dollar you spent on this kickstarter is for the new miniatures and other additions to play the new game.   None of it goes to old miniatures at all, as long as you have a discount.

    The reason this KS is 700k, is because it is not relying on stretch goals at all.   KSers like this one, that usually say 100k or less, are lying about the amount of money they need.  They rely on stretch goals to pad out the undisclosed amount of extra money they need.   This one isnt doing that. It has one stretch goal, and thats just a further discount.

    The reason they arent just splitting old content from new and offering the new content completely seperate is just because of cost.  It would cost alot to sort all that content and package different packages for every backer.  Each backer after all could have a different combination of the past kickstarters.  So thats alot of variety in packing.   All those packing combinations make for higher shipping rates and add to costs.   Also makes for extra head aches.  So they gave a discount instead, so that you arent actually paying for old miniatures at all.



    Utterly confusing, and shocking that they really thought this was the best way to introduce this new one-system-fits-all deal.  I like Monolith but this is a trainwreck mess, and they should have known better.  It might not fund, that’s how bad it is. The amount of folks checking in at the $1 level because they have no idea what is what is pretty telling.


    Cult of Games Member

    I backed Conan and both Batman projects.  Didn’t do the Mythic battles.  There should be an option that says, hey you did this and this so this is what you want.  This is where people are confused.  Personally I like the idea of making one game and doing skin options they got away from all this as the games have evolved.


    This will probably be a failure this time round and hopefully they will learn how to market this product with less confusion.


    Cult of Games Member

    @slayerofworlds the people failing to grasp a concept here are Monolith. They are trying to sell snow to the escimos.

    Even if it is true that the discount represents the cost of producing duplicate miniatures, the remaining money is VASTLY inflated in relation to what they are actually trying to fund. Compare what they are actually trying to produce (new stat cards, a handful of new miniatures and some new game boards) and the funding goal they have set to other kickstarters and it just doesn’t stack up.

    Monolith know their numbers better we do so I am not going to say the numbers aren’t genuine but what I will say is that if they are genuine they need to rethink their working practices because they are being out competed by pretty much everyone else. That or what they are trying to do is not a viable product and they need to scale it back, perhaps try and fund only two vs boxes and include less of the old miniatures. Maybe use the original boards rather than the ever so slightly updated ones.

    People aren’t obliged to back something if it doesn’t represent value for money to them, the new Conan Kickstarter doesn’t represent value for money to anyone who already owns the Conan kickstarter. Even the Legacy pledge has a fair amount of duplication.  I haven’t backed yet, if it funds(I suspect it will) I might get a Legacy Pledge for the new Adventure scenarios but at the moment I am not really feeling much love towards this kickstarter. It’s disappointing but it is what it is.

    It’s very good for new backers, I will say that


    Cult of Games Member

    @slayerofworlds I used their calculator and as a previous Conan and Mythic Battles backer I was entitled to a 10 or 20% discount on some of the options in this kickstarter. That is hardly making all of the models free. Even if it did – I don’t want lots of redundant models, free or not.


    I like the fact I can buy the new models separately, but I’m not sure I can use them with my original Conan rules. For me the Conan game works well as it is. I backed it as a substitute for playing role playing games that includes everything in a box (or several) and that doesn’t require lots of pre-planning time. The original rules set does that fine.


    The concept of having a core game mechanic with add on IPs or skins makes a lot of sense going forward, but trying to apply it retroactively to games that have already come out is awkward.


    Also, wasn’t the Atlas models supposed to be exclusive to Mythic Battles backers?





    > Frankly I don’t see the point of this new ‘versus’ system.

    Me neither, but rumormill is that only one guy at Monolith cares about the Adventure system anymore. Also, the solo stuff was originally from the Modiphius RPG. At least that’s not a point of confusion (?)

    > I thought maybe I could pickup a basic core system with cards to support the two games I have.

    I’m assuming you’re only interested in the Adventure system. Monolith decided that you needed a Legacy kit to upgrade your Core set for any of its adventures it will be publishing, starting with the Tome of Skelos. Dunno where the original Conan expansion sets come in. I’m gonna guess that they’re ignoring all the expansion set purchases to “simplify” things, and that’s where the discount comes in.

    I also guess they could have released future adventures only for the Conan core set, or use the FFG model where they release an expansion and adventures that only use the core set and expansion. However, that obviously wouldn’t mesh well with a Vs. system — or would it? Imperial Assault uses this model, and includes a skirmish game. Dunno how well this works, and, obviously, it doesn’t let the company release adventures that use more than one expansion. OTOH, If the Conan franchise releases more models, then Monolith’s model of a core plus Legacy kit doesn’t allow them to use these new models, unless the models come with a set of adventures. I still guess. :/

    > No need for more models

    Yeah, that’s what they pitched. Forthcoming, I imagine they’ll just publish adventures and not any upgrade kits.

    > IMHO, but they seem to be obsessed with shifting more plastic.

    I dunno why they added more models, either. Maybe they thought they were needed for the Adventure systems and/or Vs. systems to fill out certain roles in an army or adventure or something.

    Well, whatever. You now know what to buy, and it’s up to you whether or not you want it. Remember your discount! :/


    Cult of Games Member

    I am also wondering why they opted to develop Beyond the Monolith in the first place. On the face of it, it takes an existing game engine and morphs it into a 1 vs 1 skirmish board game.  I love the Conan game and I love the mechanic so a skirmish version of that seems like a good idea.  But as a product it seems to be replicating, to a degree, what Mythic Battles is already doing. Both Mythic Battles and Beyond the Monolith are skirmish boardgames.  It doesn’t really make sense to me for them to maintain two separate games doing pretty much the same thing. My concern is that they will convert Mythic Battles Ragnarok to the Beyond the Monolith engine thus making it incompatible with Mythic Battles Pantheon and then try and sting me for a conversion kit or worse, the same models I already own and a conversion kit.


    Cult of Games Member

    Yep. It could have been as simple as ‘buy what you want to for the game you have or want. You tick some boxes, add them to a shopping trolley and..’


    Oh. That’s what shopping is. This is a kickstarter but for products that already exist. Making it a pre-order system. But a pre-order system where the retailer knows exactly how many of the unit to print so faces no risks of over production or left over stock. Or any of the protections of the sale of goods act.


    As the kids say… Yeah and no.


    I like Mythic Battles: Pantheon. It’s a great game and I backed it. I’d like to buy the expansions. Just not on Kickstarter.



    > I am also wondering why they opted to develop Beyond the Monolith in the first place

    Ah. Finally, someone asked *that* question. 😀

    “So the Season 2 kickstarter just dropped, and they are quite up front about the focus of this season being about Versus Mode. To that extent, most of the expansions focus on teams of figures or special standalone figures/maps, and NOT on adventure mode (1 vs many). In fact, the campaign is laser focused on pushing VS Mode stuff.”

    Although that thread has more about Monolith’s consumer practices than VS mode itself… :/

    > It doesn’t really make sense to me for them to maintain two separate games doing pretty much the same thing.

    Oof. Yeah. While I’ve seen various companies maintain similar game systems for separate product lines, Monolith’s behavior can be… monolithic. 😛

    Here’re the BiggerCake numbers. Prediction at 24 hours. 36% at the Legacy (Adventure mode) level, and 23% donation pledges. Would anyone pledging at the donation level be pledging for the BTM game system?


    Cult of Games Member

    @bubbles15 I have heard rumblings that they MIGHT be opening a Webstore so you can buy stuff directly from them.


    Cult of Games Member

    New prediction.

    approx 700 backers sitting on the €1 pledge, many probably looking to pick up the bits and pieces that they need rather than one of the designed pledge levels.  Because they can do this in the PM (adding funds then) they can leave their pledge at €1.

    I reckon the project is going to struggle to cross the line…. UNLESS… they design pledges around bundles people like me want, in which case they’ll get that money towards their target during the campaign.  Those bundles involves:

    • Core system box
    • Cards etc. for Conan game and/or MBP and/or Batman GCC etc.
    • Absolutely no plastic except as add-ons.
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