Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cyntopia- The future is now Hits Kickstarter

Cyntopia - the future is now's video poster
So here's an interesting new boardgame fresh to Kickstarter.  It has a bold cyberpunk look and feel, modular replayable board, and most importantly (for us at least) some nice looking figures.

Cyntopia is a new board game in Kickstarter from the relatively unknown design team out of Germany.  For those of you who remembeour coverage of Arcworlde, you know a great original Kickstarter video always catches our attention.  This one definitely fits the bill as well.  Go look at it.  Seriously. This is great.  I wasn't sure if I was seeing a Kickstarter for a board game of a Shadowrun-inspired LARP. 

And that's exactly the point.  The video helps to determine the mood and feel the creators are going for.  Okay, so it's a little hockey, and low on special affects.  Anyone upset by that needs to remember if they had a six figure budget for effects for their Kickstarter, they could have just skipped the Kickstarter.  Have some fun with life already!

Sample of an Edgewalk layout
As far as the boardgames go, this is your classic dungeon crawler/space ship bug hunt with a twist:  you're not necessarily the good guys.  You play cooperatively as Edgewalkers, street code for people willing to walk on the fringe of society and skirt the law to get jobs done.  A slice of amorality never hurt a game in my opinion.  

The playable characters - each of them adds a unique ability and skill to your group in the fight against the corporations. From left to right:
Not a bad lineup. Two female characters of seven as well. 
For those looking for more of a role-play aspect in their boardsgames, Cyntopia: The Future is Now can be played as a series of linked games where characters advance and develop along a central storyline.  That's a nice option, and it's also nice that it's an option:  I love the concept, but like many tabetoppers my group doesn't play board games regularly, so it's nice to know we can either choose to make Cyntopia a focus, or just play a one-off while waiting for someone (read: Merek) to finally show up.  

Custom cyberpunk themed dice for each member in your team.
Cyber d6s!
With a thirty minute to two hour gameplay (based on variations and mission chosen) this one has a pretty standard time range:  not your lunchbreak game, but not Twilight Imprium either.  Also, with the game being aged for forteen to adult, it's probably a good launching point from board games into either RPGs or tabletop wargaming, for those of you with slow-growth clones to consider. 

For those of you that look at numbers (and really, more people should), you'll notice that while the prices in this Kickstarter are on par... they're gonna need a LOT of backers to cover the spread.  I actually brought that up as a concern to Sebastian (the Head Edgewalker in charge of the project, aka the dude what gets pummeled in the video), and we hashed out production numbers.  This is an old-school, original purpose Kickstarter here guys.  They spent the money out of pocket (like you should) to cover development and a test printing, and the amount listed is actually what they're going to need to cover production expenses.  Not a lot of wiggle room, or they'd have lowered it.  Which means, quite simply, they're going to need people out and about in the Grid directing traffic to them.  Which, as you've seen in the past, our readers are really good at doing.  Because really, Sebastian and the team could have cut the number of backers needed by pricing higher for the KS version ($125 or more is not uncommon in elite boardgames these days) but they decided to go for more kits at a reasonable price.  That's something we should support. 

All in line - renders for all previously introduced playable characters in the game.
Did someone mention minis? Don't mind if I do!
Okay, but let's get down to what matters at LXG: the models.  Originally, Cyntopia was slated for figures in a difficult to collect size.  Due to constructive backer feedback, the design team have changed their direction, and the figures will be launched in your classice "Heroic 28mm" scale, perfect for inclusion or substitution with the vast majority of games on the market right now.  (author's note:  I was secretly holding out for 32mm to have some rockin' Cybertronic Chasseur and Doomtrooper options, but addicts beggars can't be choosers, right? Besides, a little chopwork isn't beyond my hobby skills!) 

Renders of the enemy miniatures, including the Assaulttrooper and Shieldtrooper.
"Slate Grey" is always in fashion for the well-dressed CorpSec.
So, now that you're going to back this one... where's the sweet spot for the pledge level?  Normally that's an easy call, but this one...not so much.  Personally, I think a good buy in is always the game itself, and in this case I expect that the boardgame is actually going to be both really enjoyable, and really replayable.  Cyntopia has a print and play download option for you right now, that even without all the cool installed is actually a lot of fun, and a solid game mechanic. So if you enjoy a solid boardgame, the $99 pledge is a good spot.  If you're really a fan of limited edition stuff, you can bump that to $250 and get some nice swag out of the deal.  If you're looking for RPG or wargaming figures, there's two "model only" pledges:  $30 (for either the Edgewalkers or Security personnel) or $50 (for both).  Three to four packs of Security teams gives you a nice sized wargaming army for a reasonable price.  As these are also available as add ons, you can have the best of both worlds a,d add a few packs to the boardgame. Which I'm probably going to do myself- enough security figs to field a decent variant armor force, plus a spare set of Edgewalkers so if I do whacky conversions for post-apocalyptic 28th century cyberzombie apocalypse survivors on the run, I still have a set for "regular wear."

So, there you have it ladies and gents.  A solid game from some people trying to bring their vision to the marketplace for all of us to enjoy.  I'm in the Grid.... are you?

See you on the other side of the table,
The Second Class Elitist

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