The game is hitting the miniatures gaming niche from the video-game side of the world, though the idea of having a miniatures game interwoven with digital stats, automated computing of combat result, digitally coded terrain effects, etc… quickly draws comparisons to Ex Illis.
#1 – Golem Arcana Kickstarter Video
#2 – Shooting for Half a Million Dollars (and more)
Golem Arcana is clearly a professional produced Kickstarter (and game, from what I can see). The presentation is top-notch, as one would perhaps expect from people with things like Battletech and Heroclix under their belt.
The background of a high-fantasy world where warring factions ride massive Golems to battle should offer plenty of space for building a compelling background (though I wouldn’t say that it is there yet… it still feels a bit derivative).
The goal for this Kickstarter-drive – US$ 500.000,- – is equally ambitious, however.
I am still not sure if pre-painted miniatures, square-terrain and iPads (or Android) are gonna make Golem Arcana “click” for half a million (though the Kickstarter easily made 10% the first day).
#3 – What’s Missing? Immersion!
Ok, I am a bit skeptical that this game is gonna fund for half a million.
Admittedly, I simply not be the target audience and my perspective from the tabletop wargaming side of things may be blinding me to some obvious brilliance in the concept.
Ever since I first saw pictures for Golem Arcana, I tried to define what was missing for me (personally). Pre-painted miniatures seemed a culprit at first, but I don’t think it really is that. The squares as terrain is another contender, but I don’t think it is the entire story either.
Let me explain the idea by comparing it to two other game.
A – Fantasy Flight Game’s X-Wing
Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Game is, by all accounts, a runaway success. It also uses pre-painted miniatures. On Amazon.com, Star Wars X-Wing Core Set is listed as the #1 Best Seller in Miniature Table Games. Not #2 or #3. #1!
X-Wing isn’t a “digital enhanced” game, obviously. It isn’t the most accurate space-combat simulation either.
The reason X-Wing is so popular (aside from the obvious advantage of the Star War franchise) is – I believe – the clever way it puts the player of the game “into the pilot seat”, so to speak. The little command-dial it uses to have both players pick maneuvers without known their opponent’s move creates a sense of being “in” the fight itself that is simply brilliant.
B – Mantic Games’ Deadzone
Mantic Games’ Deadzone isn’t even released yet. I still think it can illustrate my idea well.
Though Deadzone comes with lots of fancy terrain, it also uses “board-game-style” squares to get around tape-measures and similar crutches for moving your miniatures.
What I liked, from the preview videos, about Deadzone was that it kept a “true line of sight” mechanic. It’s a mechanic that encourages players to “get down” and get a “miniatures-point-of-view” before taking a shot.
It may sound a bit silly, but it is small things like these that get me “into” a miniatures game, things like these that make miniature wargaming different from playing more abstract games such as Chess, Go or Monopoly.
That – in a way – is what I am missing dearly from Golem Arcana.
The rules for Golem Arcana look as if they are made to “simulate” battles of Golems, with great complexity and detail, given that the calculations can and will be outsourced to an iPad.
The rules for Golem Arcana appear not to be made to make me – the player – “feel” like riding a giant Golem into battle, or commanding an army of massive magical construct.
#4 – Thoughts?
All right. I am going to stop right here. I don’t want to badmouth a new project too much that obviously has a lot of hard work and effort invested in it. There are many good things to be said about the presentation of this Kickstarter, even if the immersion-issue is getting to me.
What do you think?
- What is your perception of Golem Arcana?
- Does it look fun? Does it look worth your money on Kickstarter?
- Do you think it’ll successfully raise USD 500.000,-?
Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!