The name Gettysburg means something to just about everyone, even those who only know vague details. For three days in 1863, the course of American history was cemented beneath the crush of two forces desperate for a victory and unwilling to abandon the battlefield without a decisive result. Now on the eve of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle, it's your chance to lead the charge.
Mercury Games Inc. is pleased to offer you the chance to participate in the production of Bowen Simmons' "The Guns of Gettysburg".
If the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg had an "official" game, this would be it! Fans of Bowen’s games have been waiting a while to see if The Guns of Gettysburg would ever come to print. It was 2007 when Bowen’s last game, Napoleon’s Triumph was released to critical acclaim (currently sits in the Top 10 All-Time Wargames on Boardgamegeek.com).
The Guns of Gettysburg, like his previous games, was developed piece by piece in front of fans' very eyes through the use of a designer’s blog. Fans have watched with anticipation as each phase of development was explained and refined over several years. Then in late 2011 came the news that Bowen was suffering from a debilitating condition and that his relationship the printer had broken down. It looked like The Guns of Gettysburg might not happen.
The team from Mercury Games, also being wargaming fans, were likewise concerned that the title might not see the light of day. Reaching out to Bowen in the spring of 2012, we were able to start the ball rolling that would hopefully see this game on player’s tables by the 150th Anniversary of the famous battle.
You can now help Mercury Games in the final push to get The Guns of Gettysburg published. With your help the game can be produced in a format that utilizes high-quality components that will make it a proud companion of the established series.
WHAT YOU GET
By pledging at any backer level, you'll receive 1 copy (or more, depending on backer level) of The Guns of Gettysburg when it is finished. This game will be made to the highest-quality standards by a team of professionals.
For folks in the contiguous 48 States, we'll include shipping to you at no charge! Even folks in Hawaii/Alaska and most of Canada receive discounted shipping rates (see backer levels and below for more details).
You'll also receive any stretch goals that we hit along the way - 1 set of stretch goal items for every copy.
The Guns of Gettysburg contains:
PLUS: Lots of plastic baggies to hold everything!
Everyone loves stretch goals, and our project has some very unique ones. However, we want to talk for a moment about why we've chosen the ones that we did.
Mercury Games cares mostly about quality, and we would never release a product that wasn't up to our standard of quality. Part of ensuring high quality products is making the right choice at the start of the production process.
Some companies withhold components from backers as a stretch goal, forcing them to "earn" the privilege of including it in a game. Mercury Games is not one of those companies.Because of this, we want to let you know that we have chosen to use high-quality components such as a fully-mounted game board, solid maple blocks, and solid cherry-wood player racks right from the start. We wouldn't be willing to include any less in our game, so it's not fair to hold high-quality components for "ransom". You'll find that our project has less stretch goals, but starts off with a much higher quality production value.
For the stretch goals that we do offer, we think you're going to love them. Here they are:
ONE REAL AMERICAN CIVIL WAR BULLET!
Description: Our first stretch goal is meant to share a real piece of the Civil War with each and every backer of this project. We really want to get this stretch goal to you, so we've put it first on the list!
This is the real-deal, folks! If we reach $50,000 in backers, every single backer will receive, in a zip-lock bag, a real American Civil War bullet. These bullets are in top-grade "dropped" condition, which means that a soldier has failed to fire it for some reason.This is important because if the bullets were fired, they were meant to warp by design (in order to engage the rifling). This means that a dropped bullet is generally more desirable because it still maintains its original shape.
So, perhaps the soldier pulled out a different bullet and mistakenly dropped yours, or perhaps a falling soldier caused his remaining rounds to scatter onto the ground. Whatever the story behind your bullet, we certify that it is real, and has been dug up at various Civil War battlefields around the United States. This means that it has been lost to history for 150 years before finding its way to you. Now you'll own a real piece of American history.
NOTE: Though this is a bullet, it is not a modern one.Therefore you should not worry about accidental firing since bullets of this time period no longer have a propelling charge. There is no danger of accidental firing. The bullet is likely to have a whitish patina and perhaps even some light clumps of dirt (it's an archaeological treasure, after all!), though we will be packing each one individually into a zip-loc bag for safe-keeping.
For every copy of the game that we send out to our backers we'll include one of the following bullets to you (chosen at random from a mixed pool, with the rarest bullets in shorter supply):
UNION "3-RING" BULLET (Most Common Type)
The Union 3-Ring Bullet was the most widely used bullet in the Civil War. This Bullet was officially adopted by the US Army in 1855. The rings held grease to help ease the bullet down the barrel as well as to collect powder residue when fired. These rounds were extremely accurate within 350 yards, although they could travel as far as 1500 yards.
UNION SHARPS CARBINE BULLET
The Sharps bullet was loaded in the rear, or breech of the weapon’s barrel, hence the term “breech loaded.” These bullets had either a linen or nitrate treated paper cartridge. The totally combustible cartridge would burn fast and hot when ignited, providing the soldiers with a more reliable ammunition even under damp conditions.
The Sharps were used primarily by Federal Cavalry troops because the breach loader was easy to load on horseback. However, both U.S. and Confederate Sharpshooters also favored the bullet because of its reliability and fast firing rate, both important features when attempting to make every bullet count.
CONFEDERATE GARDNER BULLET (Most Rare Type!)
The Gardner was patented on August 17, 1861 by the Confederate States of America.
The Gardner was unique because of how the paper cartridge was attached to the bullet. Normally the paper was either wrapped or tied around the body, but in the Gardner the paper was actually inserted into a groove in the bullet’s base.
If the South had an “official” bullet it would have been the Gardner.
Mercury Games would like to thank:
for their support of this stretch goal. Virginia Civil War Relics has some really interesting Civil War items - check them out!
A Paper Map Version of the Main Game Board!
Description: If we reach $75,000 in backers, we will supply all backers with a paper map of the main game board printed on high-quality paper. This will be an exact copy of the main game board.
This paper map could have several uses. Some might like to frame it for its beauty. Others might prefer playing the game on the paper map in order to allow to play it "under glass" (or plexi).
In addition, for those that have read the rulebook we've posted, you've probably noted that there is a fun variant included for more than 2 players. This map can be used to help add to the "limited information" between the commanding officer player and the player actually moving the troops. Simply station the commanding officers in a different room using the paper map, and instead of just the orders flowing one way, now the player moving the troops is permitted to send messages back under the exact same restrictions.
Mystery Item - Can we make it this far?
(See below for more info on this stretch goal level)
WHEN DO YOU GET YOUR GAME?
Mercury Games believes that we can set a new standard in Kickstarter delivery time.We have so much faith in the value of this project that we've already dedicated many hours to preparing the preliminary items for publication. If all goes well, this should mean that we are able to ship the game to you in time for the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1st - 3rd, 2013).
This speed of delivery comes at a cost, however. In order to meet such quick deadlines while still maintaining our high level of quality, we are only able to print a very small quantity for our first print run as printer capacity is limited.
If this project does remarkably well, with signs that the community wishes to have more copies made available for this campaign, we do have the option available for an additional print run, which would mean more backer levels being added. However, this optional print run would only be ready for delivery by September, 2013. This means that if you want the game in time for the anniversary of the battle, you should be sure to support it in the initial group of backers.
We cannot promise that a second set of backer levels will be made available during this campaign. It's possible, but not guaranteed. If we did have a second set of backer levels, they would also receive the stretch goals if supply was available (and you cannot exactly manufacture Civil War relics!). We will make every effort to ensure that supply can be found for all backers of a second print run if it should occur.
OKAY, SO WHAT'S WITH THE $140,000 STRETCH GOAL?
Some of the more numerically-inclined people reading this might have realized that reaching $140,000 is not possible with the current number of backer spots available. This is because of the limitations of our first print run.
In the event that we did open a second set of backer levels (for delivery in September) and then we did reach $140,000 in backers, ALL backers, including those from the first set of backer levels would receive the $140,000 stretch goal. We will let everyone know what that stretch goal is if/when we open the second set of backer levels.
And it's a pretty cool item!
Please note that this project is only open to people in the United States and Canada. We would love to include other areas of the world, but after looking at the shipping quotes we received, it is just not fair to ask people to pay so much for shipping the game.
However, customers outside of the US/Canada can rejoice! We have found a solution to this issue.You can read about it here!
We will update this section as we progress through the campaign.
NOTE #1: Yes, the bullets in the stretch goal are real and made from actual lead.
First, it's important to know that there is no gunpowder or other propellant charge included with a bullet of this age. That means these bullets are no more in danger of flying around the room than a marble or a rock would be.
However, since the bullet is made from lead, we wish to remind you that it is a relic meant for viewing. Our recommendation is that you keep it in the original zip-loc bag that we will seal it in. It is not a toy and should not be given to children.
The bullet(s) sent to you will be chosen with a random method.
We will allow customers who do not wish to receive a bullet to "opt-out" during the end-of-campaign survey. By answering "no" to the appropriate question in the survey, we'll know to not send you one.
SHIPPING TO NON-CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES LOCATIONS
Please be sure to check your backer level in order to add the appropriate amount to your pledge. If your area is not listed, we consider you to be an international customer and are unable to allow you to participate directly in this campaign (however, see above for "International Customers").
IF YOU FORGET TO MANUALLY ADD THE INDICATED AMOUNT FOR YOUR AREA
We understand that Kickstarter is new to a lot of you and we also understand that many people have forgotten or do not know how to add the shipping costs. Unfortunately neither Kickstarter nor Amazon Payments will let us ask our backers to add shipping costs separately so we have to ask you to do it manually (Sorry about the extra hassle). If you haven't added shipping costs please ensure that you do so before the end of the project.
Here are the steps to make it easier for you if you've forgotten to add in the correct amount when you pledged:
1. Go to our Kickstarter page and log into your account.
2. Click the "Manage My Pledge" button on the top right hand corner, above the backer options.
3. Manually add the shipping costs in addition to your existing pledge. For example if you pledged the $70 option and you live in the Hawaii, manually enter the value $95 ($70 + $25). DO NOT change the current pledge to only say $25 as this will not add to your total pledge - instead it will change your pledge to $25 total.
4. Click next and continue to checkout through Amazon Payments like you did the first time.
Please note that you will NOT be double charged if you change your pledge in this manner. Only the last pledge you entered will be left in the system. Once the project is approved, Amazon Payments will not allow us to assess the correct charges if you fail to enter the proper shipping total, and your pledge may be delayed (while we try to contact you) or cancelled/refunded at our discretion.
A NOTE OF THANKS
It is our privilege to be publishing The Guns of Gettysburg. Such a game brings us all closer to this important moment in history.
We'd like to thank you for supporting this project - such a wonderful production would not be possible without your help.
Low-Res Rules for The Guns of Gettysburg (Small File Size for Easy Viewing)
Risks and challenges
As a professional publishing company, we believe that we have the ability to manage any risks associated with publishing. However, there are several third-party services that we enlist which are not entirely within our control, and which could result in late delivery, or damaged/defective products.
For example, we ship our games on a container ship - which could sink, or run into trouble sending our container plummeting to the bottom of the ocean.
Or the printer might mistakenly send us comic books instead of the games we've ordered.
These kinds of risks are remote, and we take steps (such as insurance) to help protect against these calamities. No project can ever be incident-proof, but our experience in the industry, coupled with our desire to take a hands-on approach to publishing, allows the process to be as smooth as one could reasonably expect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We hope to have some very nice pictures posted before the end of the campaign. We expect you'll be very impressed. Until then, please find some pictures of the early-stage components in the designers blog which is in the links section.
UPDATE: Photos now posted! Enjoy!
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