Alien D.O.G. Soldiers is a sci-fi table-top skirmish game where players take control of small squads and fight small, close quarters battles.
However, this Kickstarter project is not about making a game, the rules for the game along with all the counters can be downloaded for free from the Alien Dog Soldiers website: www.aliendogsoldiers.co.uk
What this project is about is making a batch of models for people to use with the game.
The models are laser cut from 2mm thick mdf and there are nine in total.
The models will be delivered unassembled in panels and the parts will have to be cut out using a craft knife.
Note: models M3 and M4 come together on one panel.
Note: model M8 and M9 come on two panels but the parts for each are spread across both panels.
The models are of a modular design with the parts being interchangeable, and you'll notice that some of the models come with extra parts, allowing players to custom design their own models.
MAKE IT YOURSELF PLANS
The Make It Yourself plans are a set of designs for models that you can make yourself using 1.5 mm mounting board or similar.
The plans are electronic so simply print them off, glue them to some mounting board and then cut the parts out.
The design follows the same modular approach as the mdf models so you can use them as a starting point for customising or designing your own models.
In order to make the logistics easier, I've split the models up into packs:
MAKE IT YOUSELF PLANS - all backers who pledge £3 or more will get an electronic copy of the Make It Yourself Plans.
MODEL PACK A - x1 mdf model : model M1
MODEL PACK B - x2 mdf models : models M3 and M4
MODE LPACK C - x2 mdf models : models M1 and M2
MODEL PACK D - x3 mdf models : models M3, M4 and M5
MODEL PACK E - x2 mdf models : models M6 and M7
MODEL PACK F - x2 mdf models : Models M8 and M9
MODEL PACK G - x5 mdf models : models M1,M2,M3,M4 and M5
MODEL PACK H - x4 mdf models : models M6,M7,M8 and M9
MODEL PACK I - x5 mdf models : models M3,M4,M5, M6 and M7
MODEL PACK J - x7 mdf models : models M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6 and M7
MODEL PACK K - x6 mdf models : models M1,M5,M6,M7,M8,M9
MODEL PACK L - x9 mdf models : models M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6,M7,M8 and M9 (i.e. all of them)
The assembly instructions for all the models will be distributed electronically.
HISTORY OF ALIEN D.O.G. SOLDIERS
Alien D.O.G. Soldiers, in its many different iterations, is an idea that's been with me for years. It started with my fascination for making games but I was always frustrated that I had to use models from other games.
The models were originally made from mounting board, much like the Make It Yourself Plans, as it was cheap and easy to work with. I originally designed them by hand so they were pretty crude, as such I gave the models multiple legs as it was easiest way to get the models to stand up without any other support. The models were further refined when I started designing them on 3D CAD which made the whole process of designing and making the models so much easier and quicker. I ended up making so many of them that they cluttered up my bookshelf to the point where I could no longer get at the books!
Even though the catalyst for the models came about from the desire to make a game, the rules came after the models. Because the models are physically larger than the usual 25 or 28 mm miniatures than most games use, I realised that Alien D.O.G. Soldiers had to be a skirmish game, that only required two or three models per player, in order to keep the play area to a sensible size. This threw up a few challenges when designing the game so a lot of gaming conventions were questioned and thrown out (the main one being the order in which the players take their turns). I wanted the game to be simple and lean but obviously be interesting, tactical and fun. I think I've achieved this but I'll let you be judge.
I've really enjoyed working on Alien D.O.G. Soldiers but there comes a time with an idea like this where you either try and make something of it, to share it with other people, or you put it away and forget about it. I think that the models are too cool to be put away and this Kickstarter project is a way for me to share them with you.
Thanks for reading.
Risks and challenges
I will not be making the models myself as I do not own a laser cutter and I can't imagine this Kickstarter will raise enough funds for that to be a reality. As such the manufacturing will be sub-contracted out. In itself this is not a problem, nine times out of ten everything goes smoothly. As a design engineer, I've had many years dealing with manufacturing companies and have seen pretty much every problem, from small jobs being pushed back because of more lucrative contracts to manufacturers sending out parts that are not to drawing and designers sending out drawings that have errors on them.
To mitigate the latter, the manufacturer laser cut the panels direct from the CAD data I send them, which reduces manufacturing errors. And, as you can see from the photos, I've already had a small batch made up to iron out any mistakes I may have made.
To deal with the former, I always treat suppliers in a polite and professional manner and pay promptly, all of which generally helps to get good service. The people who made the initial batch delivered on time so that was good.
The other challenge is simply sending everything out to the backers in a timely manner. The estimated delivery dates have been based on getting 200 backers (so sending out 200 packages). If I get more backers then the delivery date will probably be pushed back, if I get fewer backers then backers will get their rewards quicker. My intention is to send out a plan of delivery dates if and when the project is funded and I have a firm delivery date from the manufacturer.
I've backed a few projects myself and the main issue that people seem to have is not that a project is delayed but that the project creator doesn't communicate with their backers. I get frustrated with this myself so will be giving regular updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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