Baron’s War Kickstarter arrived

Andy Hobday, one of the heads behind Footsore Miniatures got together with Paul Hicks and started a crowdfunding campaign in September for the first Baron's War.

Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign

The first Baron's War, 1215 to 1217, was another english civil war. And due to the timeline and style of the miniatures interesting for me, as I could use some of the models for my Crusader project, that I mainly source from Perry Miniatures former Norman / now Crusades range.

The campaign is a personal project of Andy. It will be taken care of for production and delivery by Footsore, but it is not a main range of them (irritated me a bit, but well...). The pledges were three different, a minimum 1 GBP to get access to individual codes, a 140 GBP resin master pledge and a special 450 GBP pledge. The funding went quite successfully, as it gathered 43.000 GBP and 520 supporter.

I went in with the 1 GBP pledge, to get access to the warrior monks and the trebuchet crew. Those were 7 GBP each for the set of 4 and 10 GBP for the 6 man crew. Compared to the later retail price, I would save one GBP on the monks and two GBP on the trebuchet crew. For comparison, the regular 4 man blisters (as the very comparable normans, sculpted by Paul Hicks as well) are 7 GBP at Footsore. On the backside of the flyer you will find a coupon code for 10% off your next order at footsore.

As the range probably will end up at the footsore online shop after the kickstarter at some point, I don't really get the higher price for a pre-funded product.

Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign

Similar for shipping. All the logistics were taken care of by Footsore as well, so it is very likely they had access to the frame agreement with the royal mail. Hobday charged 9 GBP for EU shipping up to 9 packs, I paid less than half that in the past for the Gangs of Rome packs that I ordered. Footsore would send up to a whole kg for 7,50 GBP to me, to give you an idea how much that is, my whole chindits project is just 800g. That feels like an unnecessary money grab within the crowdfunding campaign.

The miniatures are well casted, so far I never had any problems with Footsore and its predecessor Musketeer. They come with 2mm flat MDF bases and some spare parts, like shields. I wasn't aware that one of the warrior monks came "empty handed" and had additional hands with hand weapons in them.

Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign

As for the trebuchet crew, they come with four bases as well, as two of the miniatures are meant to be set upon the siege engine itself. Sarissa Precision supported the kickstarter with a MDF trebuchet, at a rather reasonable price. 13 GBP instead of the later 15 GBP in retail. If you are very price sensitive, Warbases offers a very simple trebuchet for 10 GBP. I have my eyes on the Gripping Beast kit, which is matching to the manufacturers name quite the beast at 25 GBP.

Other options would be the Fenris Games kit, if you fancy resin, at 15 GBP. Or if you can get it cheap second hand, the compact GW Lord of the Rings Gondor Trebuchet.

Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign

Paul Hicks sculpts are less heroic, more true scale, so they fit well with Perry Miniatures as you can see here.

Barons War - Kickstarter Campaign

I have very mixed feelings about this Kickstarter, some of them from the beginning. I was missing some sort of mid-sized pledge, that would let me support the idea but give me an incentive. I am a bit surprised, that the heads at Footsore can agree on and finance such projects like new codes for their SAGA range, Test of Honour and Mortal gods (even being able to have monsters sculpted by Trish Morrison / Carden) on their own or, but Baron's War needs a crowdfunding to be created.

Most of the stretch goals were unlocked additional codes, you could add for 5 GBP, like command groups or characters. Actual free boni were only available one for pledges of 40 GBP (William Marshal and banner bearer, a duo that was already given out free at Footsore for orders over 20 GBP a couple of months back) and another one for pledges of 75 GBP (the mounted version of William Marshal). I would have spent more, for example went with some of the cavalry as knights hospitaller or so, but the incentive to increase my pledge were quite weak. If you went all in and spent 139 GBP, to buy one of each, you would save 22 GBP and receive three miniatures for free on top (if you count them in at 6 GBP per code, that adds up to 34 GBP savings, to roughly 20%).

There were two very special pledges, the Prince Louis / King John pledges (each available two times) at 450 GBP each, that would include a mounted sculpt of your own liking (so your own head, pose, what ever you have in mind) incl. the production rights. Very interesting, especially if you have the pocket money, as even if you have the financial ressources to place such a commission outside of the kickstarter, free capacities at talented sculpters are rare and they are often booked for a couple of months ahead.

Shipping as out of proportion as it was, was okay. The campaign communicated a fullfilment in december, shipment was announced on November 14th and arrived last thursday on November 21st (so roughly a week). That is a regular runtime my orders at Footsore, Warlord or other organised UK miniature companies have.

So to sum up, I pledged 40 GBP, of which almost 25% were shipping, for something that I could have bought later on at Footsore regularly for 36 GBP + 4 GBP, ergo the same price without taking any of the "crowdfunding risk" (of which there was none with this campaign to be honest). As Footsore often has 3 for 2 sales, it is likely that I could have gotten these even cheaper if I waited. Not really the conclusion that you want as a customer, pre-funding something. You could say, well, you could have known that before. Only to some degree, as stretch goals are often communicated only for the next goals and I was expecting a bit more along the road, especially if they made it to 40k with a project like this. They could have added some kind of campaign goodies, like tokens, wound markers, turn counters or some other small gubbins, for example.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. Thank you for your review and I am really pleased you liked the miniatures.  I thought I would answer some of the issues you have had with my Kickstarter to provide clarity around some of the points you raised:

    1.  You are correct in saying this is a personal project of mine and one that I funded myself up to the point of Kickstarter, which is why it went to Kickstarter.  Footsore Miniatures only involvement has been to manufacture and ship the pledges for Paul and me one which we are paying them for as if we were customers, there are no special deals for me here!

    2.  Paul and I own the Barons’ War range which is why it isn’t a main range for Footsore Miniatures and currently we haven’t agreed to release the range through anyone, it may be Footsore in the future it could easily be something we choose to do ourselves.

    3.  You questioned the shipping costs, included in that cost of shipping was also the packing material as Paul and I had to purchase all of that as well.  Footsore Miniatures until recently have absorbed a high proportion of their actual shipping costs which is something they recently addressed at the beginning of November 2019 with a substantial price increase based on parcel weight.  I can honestly assure you Paul and I have made nothing from what has been charged for shipping everything has been spent on shipping the pledges.

    4.  The packs will cost more on release as shown during the Kickstarter a pack of spearmen will have an RRP of £8 on release, not the £7 they were during the project.  Some of the characters priced at £5 will also be considerably higher on release.

    5.  You questioned why Footsore couldn’t fund this project because they can fund lots of other projects?  That is the very reason why Footsore couldn’t fund this project as they are funding so many other projects at this time and I personally couldn’t wait another year or two to create this range. Can I also just be clear I am not a ‘Head of Footsore’ I am an owner and I don’t make decisions on what Footsore release.

    6. Footsore don’t often have a 3 for 2 sales they had on last month on Normans and Late Saxons, and this month for Black Friday and to ease the change in the shipping costs.  I personally think you have been a little misleading here.

    I hope I have helped by providing an insight into this Kickstarter from the creator, I am happy to answer any further questions.


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