Viceroy is a board game of bidding and resource management set in the fantasy universe of the Russian CCG Berserk. As the players recruit a variety of allies and enact various laws, these cards allow players to develop their state’s military and magical might, increase their authority, and get precious gems they need to continue expanding their nation.
The game was brought to America by Mayday Games via an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $267k. Promised for delivery in March of 2015, the game was finally delivered to backers in July. There was much whining from backers about the delays and shipping issues up to the time the game went out, but it was after the game shipped that the whining reached a new crescendo, albeit from a small number of backers.
Among the complaints are:
- Disappointment with the card quality, thickness and linen finish. Thin and inequitable finish on the cards.
- The box is a little grabby and hard to open.
- The four zip lock baggies included in the game – because there are four “kinds” of chits in the game – are too small to actually contain the game bits. To add to this, shipment was delayed to add the stated baggies to the game, but were inadequate.
- The playing mat is printed too dark.
- The 4 promo cards exclusive to the Kickstarter backers turned out to be 2 new cards, printed twice.
- Card size should be bigger.
- 101 cards in the game but 100 card sleeves?
While every single complaint mentioned above is whiny and petty, they are not completely without merit:
Probably because of the upgraded linen finish, the box is a little difficult to open – it doesn’t slide easily. Also not a deal breaker but is a portent of the lack of attention to detail throughout this project.
The cards are printed on thin stock and the linen finish is inconsistent. Absolutely true, and when Mayday Games promised “Premium cards with linen finish on both cards and box,” this obviously was not delivered. Mayday also provided card sleeves as a stretch goal, but it was not clear at the time that it was to mitigate the inferior card quality.
The four plastic bags are too small – a joke when you consider putting the included game components in them. Mayday did claim they delayed shipment to include the bags, which are inadequate to begin with, so it is yet another production flaw – not a big one but little stuff like this adds up.
Mayday admitted they lied about the promised “4 Unique Promo Cards” which turned out to be 2 new cards, printed twice, but that doesn’t undo the fact that they promised something that they did not deliver. Mayday made no comment about amending this.
That the card size should be bigger is merely an opinion. Considering that every player is building a pyramid with these cards, it already takes up a lot of table space. Bigger cards would take up even more, yet bigger cards would allow for larger print on the cards. Again, this is preference, and you can whine away about it – it is what it is.
The playing mat is printed too dark – Again, this is an opinion. I thought the playing mat looked good and even if it was too dark, nothing was impaired. With so many more impairing flaws to this production, it is a testament to the ire and tenacity of how whiny gamers can be that this was even mentioned.
Including the 4 cards for auction, there are 101 cards, yet the game included sleeves for 100 cards. Most of the time, these packages of sleeves contain an overage of 1 or 2, so you will have enough and mine did – 102 sleeves. If that is not the case for you, cry me a river.
All said, the production qualms are not significant and the game is legitimately good, but Mayday Games was very dismissive in their responses to these issues as they failed to keep commitments. This was their official response:
Please also remember that the KS price of the game was $24, less than our Get Bit Tin Game, less than Incan Gold, and less than many games that have half the components. We hope that even with some less than perfect results, you’ll remember that in terms of game play and components, this game is still an EXCELLENT value for our backers. In fact, we just announced the MSRP of the game (without the promo cards, sleeves, gems or playmats) will be $35 when it is released in August. Yes this doesn’t mean we should slop through things, but we hope you will remember what a great game this is too.
I hope my gamer friends stop whining. I hope Mayday Games learns from this experience, and I assure you, I will not back another Mayday Games project on Kickstarter again.
You take my money. Keep your promises. Period.