‘Marvel United’ – The Final Weekend!

Gaming Kickstarter Tabletop Games
Infinity Gauntlet. Image by CMON.

As we enter the final weekend of the Marvel United Kickstarter campaign, there are plenty of Marvel heroes and villains that have yet to be seen. Will some more make it into the game before the end? Let’s take a look at the latest news and additions to the Kickstarter.

Updates for 2/26-2/28

First off, CMON showed off professionally painted miniatures by BigChild Creatives. The paint jobs are so good, CMON had to edit the post to reassure everyone that these were actual paint jobs, not digital paintings! Here are just a couple of the painted minis:

Thor, painted. Image by CMON.
Loki, painted. Image by CMON.

Next, Scarlet Witch unlocked, putting the Kickstarter exclusive Elektra on deck.

Scarlet Witch. Image by CMON.

As a nice surprise, CMON announced that there would be an actual Infinity Gauntlet in The Infinity Gauntlet expansion. This free addition to one of the optional expansions helped unlock Elektra.

Infinity Gauntlet unlocked. Image by CMON.
Elektra. Image by CMON.

With Elektra unlocked, it was about time for a villain. And who should appear as a stretch goal but one of the greatest villains of both Spider-Man and Daredevil, the Kickstarter exclusive Kingpin! And he brings with him one of the biggest challenges in the game.

Kingpin. Image by CMON.

Finally, the campaign is kicking off the weekend with another optional purchase, this time thick cardboard tiles of all the location cards to replace the normal cardstock. This $20 add-on covers all the locations from the core game and expansions.

Cardboard locations. Image by CMON.

So there you have it. With less than a week left to go, CMON is sure to have plenty more surprises to come. I’ll be back after the weekend with another update, but, meanwhile, if you’d like to see what happens next, you can go to the Marvel United campaign page where you can also pledge for the game.

Ant-Man, painted. Image by CMON.
Wasp, painted. Image by CMON.

What Are Kickstarter Quick Picks?

Kickstarter Quick Picks are short looks at projects currently on Kickstarter that are of interest to me, and by extension, many of our GeekDad readers. A Quick Pick is not an endorsement of the Kickstarter campaign, nor have I (as yet) received any product copies to review. If you like what you see here, go check out the campaign and decide for yourself if you’d like to back it, or wait until GeekDad has had a chance to go hands-on. As always, caveat emptor- –let the buyer beware.

New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.

What Is Marvel United?

Marvel United is a game from CMON and Spin Master Games currently in a Kickstarter campaign. You can read more about it here.

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1 thought on “‘Marvel United’ – The Final Weekend!

  1. Without a doubt, this project would have to have some of the best miniatures ever seen, but for Marvel related merch, it’s not doing very well at all, and the latest SG are not helping. Update 44 really demonstrated just how poorly considered the campaign has been. The new SG was Kingpin, a Spiderverse villain. No sign of Doc Oc at all. And that announcement came with a new op buy, one that left quite a few backers rather irate.

    This op buy was US$20. It provided a pack of all the tiles the game is played on, from the Core Box and expansions. Same tiles, just more durable, which meant a few of the smarter backers realised the standard ones must be pretty crap. Question: why wouldn’t better quality ones be in the Core and op buy expansions as standard? New question: did this addition reflect the quality of the rest? It unnerved enough of them that the backer total dropped as they cancelled their pledges.

    And finally, after time seemed to stop, Electra and Kingpin dragged across the line and Dare Devil made an appearance. Backers have been asking for it. Relentlessly. And speaking of time, no sign of Doc Strange yet either. The campaign also tossed in some other random as a ‘free’ reward for hitting 15K backers. A last minute change by the feels. Perhaps an intended SG. And by random I mean a character whose comic did so poorly it not only got cancelled but many backers were saying “who?” Not Doc Oc or Strange, a “who cares” mini.

    Sure, the fanboys trolled anybody who complained, insisting everyone should be grateful for this because it was ‘free’. Try asking CMON for it without pledging and see how ‘free’ it is. So to many investing in this thing, and trying to provide legitimate feedback to improve the product, they got silence from CMON and the creator, just like their requests to fix dodgy sculpts that failed to reflect the character, and bullied by what lurks at the bottom of the hobby and humanity in general.

    And instead of being an exciting and rewarding campaign-product, it feels like a toe-ball. No, that’s a tow-bar and hits around shin or knee height when you forget to give the rear of a car a wide-berth. Think groin height and boots. Yeah, this campaign-project is painful. Like being on the biggest boat ever created at the time and trying to warn the folks in charge about ice-bergs and they’re all like, “we know what we’re doing, go away, full steam ahead” and everything that follows.

    Let’s have a look at this thing in comparison to some of the actual success stories of CMON. So, at day 20, with just a few more to go, MU (2020) has a pledge total of US$1.646 mil with 15K backers. Sounds good. At day twenty, Zombicide Black Plague (2015) had US$2.35 mil with final tally of just under 21K backers, Zombicide Green Horde (2017*) US$3 million with final tally of just over 27K backers, and Zombicide Invader (2018*), a truly terrible campaign, also made US$2.35 mil, with final tally of just over 18K backers.

    So if Invader and Black Plague were doing around the same at day 20, why did Invader finish with US$3.35 mil compared to Black Plague’s US$4 mil? People lost faith in it. It felt desperate at the end. The Core Box(es) had a really drool-worthy number of minis, but the whole thing had IP issues, too many op buys, what felt like an entire second aborted campaign Core Box tossed in, SG linked to op buys, and it created a feeling of dissatisfaction in the market that, when voiced in posts, earned the attention of idiots who cyber-bullied with impunity because CMON enabled them.

    Backers don’t like to feel like they are missing out or getting trolled by half-wits. More so if people buy the product at retail and learn they are missing out on content backers got. The decent folks, non-trolls, sometimes even feel guilty about it. That whole Invader mess, along with campaigns like Hate and a few others, led to CMON posting losses of over US$4 mil and a drop in share price of 30% in 2018… but it appears they didn’t actually learn from this given the MU experience.

    This time around, the mini content is extremely limited. The SG totals are set very high. They keep presenting op buys and SG that should have all been divided between the current Core Box (United Pledge) and Infinity Gauntlet expansion op buy (Infinity Pledge). They have failed to provide key characters in favour of lesser known ones. The content comes in too many boxes and backers are concerned about P&H costs and are trying to figure out where to store it all if they get it.

    All in all, CMON has not responded to legitimate complaints voiced by backers and they have failed to adapt to their market. Worse, they haven’t considered the bigger picture. Not just that the op buy expansions increase the backer spend to the cost of a game console, a rival for the funds, but what is happening on a socio-economic level in their market. In the US, unemployment has fallen, but wages in the working class are not keeping up with utilities and living costs.

    Same deal in Australia, except unemployment has increased by 0.2% and the working class are now saving 4.9% of their income instead of the previous 2.5%. What’s that mean? They spend less. This leads to job cuts and businesses collapsing, particularly in the disposable income bracket. Clothing stores mostly and, of particular interest here, EB Games. MU should sell itself, but with disposable income shrinking or vanishing, even Marvel as a brand is no guarantee of success.

    Now consider the enticements this campaign offered. High SG targets, limited SG reward, limited mini content in the Core and Expansion op buys, MJ-style accessories (one shiny glove), trolling from sycophants instead of well-considered responses from CMON to address problems, upgrades for crap standard content, and the very real possibility backers may not complete the set of collectibles when this thing crashes and burns like the Hindenburg stuffed with adorable puppies and kittens.

    How to explain it? Hmm. Okay, try this, you just drop around US$250 for a flash rig you were led to believe would only cost around US$60 to US$90 plus P&H only to discover it doesn’t fit very well and when you go out in public it’s Yogi Bear attire. No pants. That’s where this feels like it’s headed. It’s Marvel. How do you screw that up?! Well, head on over to the MU kickstarter campaign and have a wee look. Even if it manages to break US$2 mil and 18K backers by the end, it’s no success because it should have done at least three times better even in the current economic environment!

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