The Front Nine: Build Yourself A Championship Golf Course.
The Front Nine is a card game where players compete to build the best golf course,balancing challenging par, scenery and facilities.
The Royal Golf Association are running their annual competition to judge the best new nine hole course of the year. Will you finish all nine holes before the judges carry out their inspection? If not will stunning scenery and design excellence be enough to beat off the opposition?
The Front Nine is a card game where 2-4 players compete to build the best nine hole golf course with a balance of challenging par, scenery and facilities. The course cards depict each hole (pars 3, 4 and 5) and after paying the land and resource cost for trees, water and sand, they are laid on the table to depict the actual layout of the course. Each player develops a course from club house to 1st tee and from green to following tee.
Each hole has a differing topography which constrains tee access and green exits. Careful course design and development are the skills required to ensure the last hole ends up as close to the club house as possible.
Players must manage their finances carefully to enable their course to generate an income to ensure they can afford the ever increasing land costs and resources required to design and build each hole. The winner is the player whose course design best links back to the club house, has the best design, bunkers, woodland and water hazards and optimizes the use of the natural environment.
Each game is played over multiple turns with each turn comprising 4 simple phases. Once you have a handle on the rules (which are contained in a two fold booklet, over two sides of an A4) the game plays out between 45 minutes to an hour.
57 Cards (36 Course, 14 Special, 4 Club House. 3 Resource Market)
18 Resources Cubes (6 Brown, 6 Yellow, 6 Blue)
4 Orange Cash cubes
3 Developed Resource Pawns (Brown, Yellow, Blue)
Start Player Token
.... and some of you will have seen something very similar before.
In May 2014 I self published the 1st edition of TF9,a small hand made run of 50 copies to test the market. Following Richard Ham's 'Rahdo Runs Through' video review all 50 were sold out within 8 hours. As a result I had none left to take to the UK Games Expo.
Since then I've received a steady flow of inquiries asking for a second print run, but I just couldn't afford the time or sanity to assemble them by hand again. This time it needed a proper manufacturer assuming that the finances made sense.
So is the 2nd edition the same as the 1st?
Well the rules remain the same except the entry and exit points on the course cards are now light green instead of dark green as a point of design with the new enhanced artwork..
I thought it would be nice to improve the graphics for the course cards and I'm very happy with the results. The actual topography of these cards remains the same, they just have more texture are nicer to look at with some fun things happening around the landscape. Some iconography has been tightened up.
Another change that makes no difference to game play is that the Market is no longer on the under side of the box lid but now exists on three new cards. This made production easier and opens up opportunities for future 'developments'.
A feature of the 1st edition that generated a lot of positive comment was the wooden box. It was tactile, compact, robust and kept everything neat. It was the right man for the job. However early meetings with publishers all flagged up that the wooden box was too expensive, it would have to go. I didn't like that idea.
So I tracked down games designers who have successfully taken this journey before (special thanks to the Ragnars for some priceless introductions) and the common wisdom was, that for a first time venture like this, you should aim to expect to turn over no more than 500 units, don't be greedy, and keep the offer as simple as possible.
So with that as my target model I contacted some manufacturers and crunched the numbers. I crunched them quite a few times actually and what it showed was that the wooden box wasn't that much more expensive, it just needed different considerations from a card box. In several ways, it made the process easier. The bottom line was that TF9 could be produced WITH the wooden box at a sensible price including discounted postage world wide.. GET IN!!!
The pledge target for the 2nd Edition of The Front Nine is 500 units. Unfortunately this isn't a large enough batch to benefit from the savings which are achieved for orders of 2000-3000+, but I have to be realistic and price this accordingly. This approach gives me an achievable, realistic cost model.
IF...and that's a rather big 'if', there is a production surplus at the end of the Campaign, these units will be available at an RRP of £19.99. However for all Kickstarter backers the unit cost (excluding P&P) will be £17.00.
Postage costs will be in two bands, UK (£3.00), and the rest of the World (£6.00).
Cough! Cough! Quiet Please
'Hand on heart, I do hereby solemnly swear, that should production exceed the number of copies covered by Kickstarted pledges, none of this potential surplus will be sold until at least 30 days have elapsed after the last KS funded purchase is dispatched. If you are kind enough to fund my project, I will do my best to make sure you get your game before the general public.'
Production and Delivery:
Apologies all around but The Front Nine will not make Essen 2014. I would have loved to have the game at this year's show but the dates aren't even close. The worst case dates I'm being quoted result in a target customer receipt date of mid to late March 2015. If I could speed things up by swimming the games back I would. If I can bring this date back, I will.
I have sourced an excellent and well established fulfillment company who will coordinate packing and world wide postage. They weren't the cheapest but history suggests that the cheapest option is invariably the one that generates the most angry backers.
This is a very short section. There are no add on's or stretch goals, but I've managed to include my most important goal in the main package, the wooden box.
The game play of TF9 is exactly at the place I want it to be, it's balanced and it works. There was some thought to offering a few special cards but these would complicate packaging and fulfillment and add to cost.
Game play aside, TF9 is a compact game in a custom made wooden box. There just is no room for expansive extras. The delivery packaging has been specifically sourced to protect the game and keep postage costs to a minimum. The ethos has to be to keep this production as predictable and simple as possible with minimal risk at each level. I need to avoid complications in order to hit budget and programme.
However, if TF9 is a success and achieves its funding target, then there are a wealth of possibilities with regard to expansions, the first of which is already in prototype format and being play tested. Essen 2015 would be totally achievable for this phase II, we just need the phase I campaign to be a success first.
Although the first steps to design TF9 were only taken in January 2014, a veritable legion of people have contributed to its development, all of whom have given their time and energy with staggering leaps of faith and enthusiasm. Without their efforts, you would not be reading this now, if indeed you could be bothered to read down to here at all in the first place.
Of note and worthy of special thanks is Richard Ham (Rahdo), who produced such a spectacular video of the game play (well three actually). that I couldn't come close to equaling them. The observant among you will realise that I haven't tried. To the rest of you, its been emotional;
Chris Allen, Mark Bestley, Andrew Bond, Paul Bruce, Martin Burton, Samantha Case, Simon Cox, David Dawkins, Phillip Fiend, Ash Grant, Rob Harris, Hermi, Mike Hutton, Steve Kearon, Dave Mullender, Bez Shahriari, Rob Thomasson, Andy Yiangou, Ingo Griebsch , Murr Rockstroh, Steven Louie, Mayneric, Kaboda, Steve August, Gavin Birnbaum, Larry Rice, Peter Duckworth, Brian Moore, Keith Thommason, Tom O'Neill, Nicolai Broen, Thorning, KillerKoala, Pete Clarke, James Mathias, Garry Lloyd, Geert Celerier, Jez, Tom Usher, Jason Christie, Karen Knoblaugh, Mitchell Manzella, Bruno Pires, Paul Lister, Jim Sutherland, Patrick Daggitt, Bill Paradise, Christopher Incao, Garry Rice, KrisVerbeeck, Mike B, James (voynitsky), Gary Duke, Gordon Watson
And finally Richard
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges
I listened to those who have previously launched KS projects, I have adopted their tested templates and tried to create safeguards to avoid the pit falls that have caught the unwary and unlucky before me. I have declined to engage those service providers whose ability to deliver I doubted.
The business element of this project will be run through my company, A-Muse-Ment. A-Muse-Ment is a trading name under my primary business Muse Interiors (UK) Ltd (Company No 05785967 VAT No. 883617294). Muse Interiors was established on 19th April 2006. All finances associated with TF9 will be coordinated and audited by my chartered accountant.
However I'm reliably informed that things can go wrong that are outside of your control, Shipping issues do sometimes occur, especially to destinations outside of the UK. We will obtain tracking information when it is possible, but sometimes it is not. We cannot guarantee that there will not be shipping problems, as we cannot guarantee the service and reliability of the various postal/delivery services involved around the world. You will have to assume that risk along with us.
We expect TF9 to leave China no later than December 2014 arrive in the UK by February and dispatched to Backers in March 2015. Backers will be notified by updates about the status of the project and it will be delivered to you in as timely a manner as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)