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Rome demands BEAUTY!  Deluxe edition of best selling strategy game, re-imagined with breathtaking elegance and top quality production.
Rome demands BEAUTY! Deluxe edition of best selling strategy game, re-imagined with breathtaking elegance and top quality production.
1,612 backers pledged $73,102 to help bring this project to life.

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11,507.937 pounds of Games

[ Amber's note: What the title said.

Many thanks to Christopher for updating while the Groton team was out getting 5 tons of games in! Below is a mirror of what he posted on BGG. Again, there are questions in the BGG thread that are being answered. See if your question is answered there:

Do you want a peek at what came in? Here you go:

There will be another update soon. But for now, I'm going to get some coffee ..]

The Black Boxes are being unloaded from a truck into our Groton warehouse, as I type. Literally tons of them.

And not a zombie penguin in sight... (

Go Chris!

Go Amber!

In fact, we've got 5 1/2 tons of games (per Bill of Lading), including not just Glory to Rome Black Box, but also Montana and Quills (unlike Black Box, these other games still have to be assembled).

Also, Nicholas Vitek, Black Box supporter and owner of Living Worlds Games, has generously agreed to hand out copies of Black Box to supporters at his Gen Con booth (August 16-19). If you're going to Gen Con, please send an email to as soon as you can and we'll ship your copy or copies out to Nich in Indianapolis. Thanks, Nich!

We can probably handle requests up to about a week from today, (Wednesday, August 8th), but since Nich is doing us a favor and we don't know how many requests we're going to get, this is technically first-come first-serve like the other local pick ups have been.

More shipping details for US, Canada, EU and Asia - not to mention Rubble! - to follow soon.

Finally, please post Kickstarter-related questions and comments to THIS thread, the most current one. You can also geekmail me or email me at topher AT, but address changes and other basic fulfillment information will be handled faster if sent directly to

We got games!

Rome Wasn't Shipped In A Day

[ Amber's Note: Sorry for not updating the KS blog when there was an update on BGG. The warehouse has been busy finishing packing together your packages and working out shipment logistics to have as few holdups as possible to get your games to you as fast as possible when they are off the boat! So there were a few days of delay having the mirrored update here, but the good news is that as soon as this update posts, the Groton team is off to grab a ton (literally) of games off the Boston harbor.

Below is a mirror of what was posted in BGG. There is a discussion with questions being answered in the thread so please see if your question is answered there already:

Thank you all so much for your patience! I'll be back with a report when the games are in.]

The good news is that so far our Black Box shipments have proven remarkably zombie-free!

Awesome Zombie Legionary by Justin Floyd -

Here’s where we’re at:

DELIVERIES TO STORES - Our Groton team has been trying to nail down shipping arrangements with all your local game stores. The good news is that only two stores have said no. The not as good news is that several other stores have been unresponsive to us and/or annoyed with us for these delays (go figure). Matt and Mithu are on the phones pretty much every day to get authorizations from the remaining stores. Also, we want to make sure that stores don’t authorize shipping of your Black Box, then just sell your game to someone else.

At some point, we'll have to arrange a workaround for stores that won't agree to accept Black Box deliveries or aren't responsive to us. Rest assured, we'll keep you in the loop when we have something to report.

U.S. - The games are warehoused in Boston, waiting to get through customs. Apparently the Bill of Lading I emailed was not an “original” Bill of Lading, so we have a new one coming from the Shanghai factory (also by email, but this time in .pdf, not MS Word, because apparently that's what it takes). So it looks like Amber or Chris will be able to pick up the games on Monday or Tuesday and drive them to Groton.

Once we get the games, our Groton team will be busy making sure that rewards for each backer get sent to the right address or store, as appropriate. (Note that games to South America will be shipped from Boston as well.)

CANADA - It’s been our goal to take care of all shipping costs for Canadian customers, including customs and GST. Hence my several hours of wading through customs’ regulations, talking to shipping companies, customs officials, etc. However, a couple of Canadian backers in an earlier thread seemed fine with paying the customs/tax themselves, upon arrival.

So here’s our offer – If you’re a Canadian backer and you don’t mind paying your own customs/tax upon the game’s arrival, just email and the Groton team will mail you your game, alongside the games they are shipping to US customers. If the game is going to a game store, you’ll need to confirm that you've worked it out with your local game store. In the mean time, we’re trying to work out a strategy to get the rest of the games to our Canadian supporters, free and clear of any taxes/customs fees. My best guess is that this means an extra 2-3 weeks, but I can’t promise anything right now.

EUROPE - We have received a notice from the shipper that the goods were scheduled to arrive on about July 21, but I have not yet received the actual arrival notice, possibly because our customs agent is on vacation until August 6th. There's little doubt that the games are there, but I need to coordinate with our agent to get the games through customs. Oh, and also, we don't actually have a warehouse in Holland yet, so Ed is arranging that part. As soon as the games are through customs, Ed will double-check rewards for European backers, then send out the games throughout the EU himself.

ASIA/OCEANIA - No, we haven't forgotten about you, but have not yet resolved the box damage issue. After getting photos of box damage from 3 backers (IIRC, from Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand), I sent these photos to our Shanghai agent. His response was “It's a little strange cause we have packed it very well.” Needless to say, this did not exactly comfort me - which puts us in a tough spot. We can either just go ahead and ship the remaining hundreds of Black Boxes around the region, hoping that these games are packaged more carefully by our agent (who assures us “I will pack them better than first time.”), or find another agent. I hope to have an answer for you all by middle of next week.

APOLOGIA - This has been an extremely ambitious project for a tiny, mostly-volunteer game company. In fact, the international shipping logistics (and costs!) alone prompted our then-Operations Director (a bright, hard-working, Mandarin-speaking import-export professional) to quit, more or less on the spot.

So I volunteered to be in charge of Black Box fulfillment. I don’t speak Mandarin, and until a few months ago I knew nothing at all about international shipping. But I’m what you’ve got (well, me plus our stellar Groton crew, plus Ed and Wake and Rob). We're gettin' there, but of course, there's still plenty of things that can go still go wrong.

If you have any comments/questions/tomatoes to throw at us, please only post onto the most recent update thread (this one for now). With everything else going on, it’s a bit unwieldy to monitor several threads at once effectively. I will try hard to answer your questions as time permits, but frankly what time I have beyond my family and high stress day job is probably best sent tackling these somewhat mesmerizing logistical challenges - so please understand that although we may not update quite as often as you'd like, we are working hard to fulfill each and every order for our supporters.

I can't promise that there won't be more delays. Or slightly dented boxes. Or uncooperative local stores. Or zombie penguins. I can only tell you that we won't stop trying to get it right.

We appreciate your patience very much - and completely understand why some of you are no longer patient. We remain hopeful that however you feel now, you’ll like the game once we finally get it to you.

Director of Production and Itinerant Game Designer
Cambridge Games Factory

UPDATE 28.1 (Sunday night): The pdf Bill of Lading was just emailed from Shanghai to Shipco in Boston. I'll double-check with Shipco in the morning.

UPDATE 28.2 (9:16 am, Monday): Nope, turns out that the Shanghai guy sent the wrong Bill. He says he'll send the right one tomorrow Shanghai time. So assuming he gets it right, looks like a Tuesday pick up.

UPDATE 28.3 (5 pm, Monday) Turns our that Tuesday proved impossible for our Groton team, so now we're shooting for Wednesday. Also, I checked with Chris in Groton, and we're a go for shipping USPS to any Canadian supporter who agrees to pay customs fees (if any). Finally, looks like we're going to go ahead and send the rest of the games throughout the AS region using the same Shanghai agent, and are currently working with him to ensure better packaging for the shipments. Amber or Chris will respond separately here to questions regarding when shipments will go out from Groton. And I will post another micro-update when we actually have the games in hand.

The Rumors Are True!

Guess what we have in our warehouse?

Yay! We have Montana! (We also have Quills, too!) How exciting that we have new releases out! But I know that you aren't here for that news. You're all dying to know what's going on with the US shipment. So I'm going to give you the scoop. As of Thursday, July 19, 1:10 PM, here's the boat:

That's right! The games are almost in Boston! If you are interested in where they are in real time, keep your eye on this link: As of this update, the boat has been anchored in the bay. Hopefully it will be on the docks tomorrow and the customs check will begin! In the meantime, we are busy sorting through all the promotional choices with your game! It's been a huge task (with 1165 backers in the Americas, 300 in Europe, and 144 in Asia), so that's what's been keeping our hands tied, instead of penning updates. While we are putting them together in good time, there are still many more to get through!

Here's a glance at a pack that we've put together:

Thanks so much! We are moving forward, slowly but surely!

Amber Ying, Operations Director

EDIT: To correct the region!

About time!!! Shanghai pick up finally scheduled

At last a proper Roman game with proper Roman legionaries properly XstealingX requisitioning materials from people.   Geekus Maximus

Review copies haven't gone out yet, but we now have the first formal review from a big name game reviewer!

The PLAYMOBIL® Legion reviews "Glory To Rome, Black Box Edition"

I'm delighted to finally have Glory To Rome given the proper Playmobile Legionary review treatment - thanks Mya!

Incidentally, if you've not seen Mya's reviews they're well worth checking out - who would have thought that a set of kids toys could do such a great job of explaining Euro games - here's a scene from the Zombie In My Pocket review she did a couple of years ago:

The PLAYMOBIL® Legion reviews "Zombie in my Pocket"

The Main Shipment

We hit one more ridiculous issue with export licensing earlier in the week which meant we missed this week's shipment window, but we do now finally have the Shanghai pick ups scheduled for Monday, with the ships leaving port on Thursday and Friday next week.

The games are scheduled to arrive in Boston on July 19th and Rotterdam on July 22nd, so with a few days for customs clearance it looks like we'll be sending the main shipment sets out in the last week of July / first week of August.

I know: more delays, yuck!  On the other hand, we have pick ups scheduled!!! This means that the dates are (finally!!!) getting pretty firm - I can't believe how long this took but I'm incredibly glad the games are now moving!

The main air shipment was collected today. I don't have the booking sheet yet, but we should see the copies here in Groton, MA either end of next week or start of the week after.

Asia / Australia / New Zealand

Sorry guys.

The extra complexities in getting the main shipment out of China also got in the way of planning and setting up the local distribution for the sets being sent directly out of Shanghai.

Good news is that we are now (again... finally!!!) moving there too - on Friday our shipping agent confirmed receipt of the 420 copies. I need to get timing confirmed but I'm expecting the advanced shipments to be sent next week with the remaining sets starting to ship the week after that.

Rubble / Thinker Backers

Your packs will go out after the main air shipment arrives - so they should ship out in the week of June 29th

Local Pick Up

Firstly, local pick up is now closed.  Right now it looks like everyone who has a pickup ID of 41 or below will get a copy. If your number is 42 or higher then chances are you'll have to wait for the main shipment, although that will also depend on your location.

Amsterdam copies were given out last week. Wake confirmed that he received the Oxford copies this morning and so they're available for collection.

US copies are mainly coming on the air shipment next week and then need to get sent out to the various locations, so it's still going to be a week or so before we get them into your hands. We will give more details once the shipment arrives.

Active Duty Services, Wedding Presents and Special Pleading

Once the main airshipment arrives we'll be holding back a few copies here in Groton "just in case" but unless we do actually find we start needing them then we'll be able to start releasing them through July as the main shipment gets closer.

If you are an active duty service person deployed (or being deployed) in harm's way, or there's a clear reason why you need the game on a specific date (e.g., as a wedding present) then please let us know and we'll see what we can do about getting you a copy.

Note that we're talking about at most five or six sets - or none at all if we start getting "Where's my advanced shipment" emails and find that a few people slipped through the cracks on the original distribution - so no promises, but let us know and we'll see what we can do. 

Huge, huge, thank you!!!

Jacky Xu from Shanghai Dafa spent almost a day last week helping us get the export licensing issue resolved - I can't tell you how grateful I am, especially since Glory To Rome, Black Box Edition is actually the first of our games since 2010 which has been printed by a different company.

Seriously though, I can't recommend Jacky / Shanghai Dafa highly enough - Jacky has been an incredible and patient business partner through the various ups and downs we've had over the years and working with Jacky has been an education in getting stuff done in China. His company printed Plato 3000 so if you are a publisher (or considering a kickstarter run of your own) you'll have a sample of what he's capable of.

Plus his office chair looks like it came out of a racing car - what's not to love!

 Back in America

I got back home Tuesday night with half a dozen copies of Blackbox in my luggage after being out of the US for almost a year. When I left the house was still full of my ex-wife's stuff (including a baby-grand piano) and we'd just started moving the games company in from the garage; I've coming back to find the place a working small business with the personal stuff I have left in the US in boxes upstairs. 

It's strange to be back, especially as it's only for a few weeks (I'm planning to return to Europe in mid July) but I do truly love this place, even if I don't get to live here much anymore. It's easy to be glibbly think "If I mess up I lose my house" when it's 3000+ miles away; tougher when I'm actually here sitting in it.

The past few years have been tough times for a lot of people, and while I've had quite a few scares I've been blessed by always being able to pull things together successfully in the end. My new project is starting next week, so Amber will be taking over the updates for here forwards.

Sorry, yet again, for the rough ride. Putting the games onto a boat next week will be a huge milestone though - and so while I'm quite sure there are a few more hiccups to come, we really should be starting to get through the worst of it.


Ed Carter
Managing Director
Cambridge Games Factory
YES! We'd love to see your game idea


Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field.     Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Origins pick up went according to plan - now it's done we can admit that we sent about 3 times as many sets as were requested and virtually all of them were handed out (although we did run out of some of the Promo Items). 

The initial feedback we're getting from people who have received their copies are extremely positive - you can see an "unboxing" video here. 

An "unboxing" photo story from "DiceHateMe": 

Note these are from regular backer and not affiliated with us in any way - I couldn't be happier with the video he put together but it's his personal opinion about the set.

European and American advanced copies (including Merchant Patron sets) were all sent out last week so should now be arriving.  If you've not received your copy yet please contact us at and we'll check the tracking numbers. 

I'm afraid Asian / Australian Advanced copies are still in Shanghai - more details below - not good, I know, but it's high on the list to get fixed.

Now that we're through Origins and the US / European Advanced copies are out we're shifting gears to making the main shipment work - there are a variety of updates. I'm afraid that some of the news isn't great. We're making progress, but slowly.

Jeremiah Lee leaving Cambridge Games Factory

After four years working with Cambridge Games Factory, Jeremiah Lee handed in his notice shortly before Origins. Over the years Jeremiah has been our main face at US conventions as well as this Kickstarter project; he's accepted a similar role with Indy Board and Cards - doing what he loves without risking the choppy seas of Geek fury and occasional (light-hearted?!?) death threats to his children.

When we started this Kickstarter I was extremely pleased with how the Cambridge Games Factory team was coming together but knew this project would test the team to its limits - especially when we came in almost four times higher than our request amount. These past couple of weeks I've actually really enjoyed the luxury of being able to dedicate time to getting things back on track, but it's been bitter-sweet knowing that Jeremiah won't be an active member of the team when we get there.

On the other hand, I'm delighted for Jeremiah. This is a great opportunity for him and I have immense respect for Travis and the Indy crew. We'll be continuing to collaborate with Jeremiah as a designer (Zombie in my Pocket is one of my all time favorite games).

Amber Ying takes over as Kickstarter lead

While I do intend to replace Jeremiah eventually this doesn't feel like the right moment to bring new leadership onto the team - so short term Amber Ying (Operations Director) is taking over as primary contact for the Kickstarter program, as well as managing the store contact program and handling day to day sales inquiries.

Amber has been reading through the threads on BoardGameGeek, etc. so she knows what she's signing up for but please be nice to her. Amber is the one who kept the company together when our previous Operations Director quit last year and I've no idea how we'd get the games to you without her running the factory. That means I'm going to have to take her off the 'front line' if she starts getting the same kind of heat that Jeremiah was taking - and I'm running out of people to step into the role in her place.

Wakefield Carter takes over store updates

Another key area of Jeremiah's responsibility was providing regular updates to our store community - especially those that have also pre-ordered the new Black Box edition. Wakefield Carter (Commercial Director) is taking over this program. He's in the process of putting together an update which should get sent out in the next few days.

Store Pick Up Program / Now Hiring!!!

So far Jeremiah and Amber have had confirmations from about half the stores on our list that they're interested in participating in our store pick up program - and only a couple who have outright rejected the process - but with Jeremiah leaving and Amber's responsibilities increasing we need a couple of extra hands on deck to complete the calls in the next few weeks before the main shipment arrives.

We're therefore looking for a couple more people to help out with getting the Kickstarter out the door. Cambridge Games Factory makes a point of being a company run by gamers, for gamers so if you're interested in a few weeks of work and are within commuting distance of Groton, MA (where our factory is) then we'd love to hear from you. The roles will be a combination of outbound calls to stores and assembling promotional packs, etc. - please email for details.

REMINDER : Promo Item Packs for Advanced / Asian Copies

The games themselves are heavy, while the promo items are complicated (who came up with the idea for all those choices!?!) so we're splitting up the collation / distribution process.

Most of you won't notice any difference but Advanced shippers and shipments to Asia, Australia and New Zealand will come in two parts - you'll receive Glory To Rome, Plato 3000 and the BlackBox Promo cards first, followed by a second shipment with risers, mini-camps, I.V Promo cards, etc.

Shanghai collection running behind schedule

While the operations team (Amber and Chris Sniezek) are full time employees, and Jeremiah was paid for the Kickstarter project, right now everyone else (including me!) are doing this unpaid because we love being part of a (hopefully someday successful) games company. The upside is that we all get to work with a skilled and engaged team with far more experience than we could afford to hire based on our turnover; the downside is that tasks owned by this management group can be at risk to outside scheduling pressures.

Across the management team, Christopher Rao, Heiko Gunther and and I are most "swingy" - we all run our own businesses and so can usually carve out time when we need it (it's good to be the boss!) but also have periods where a project breaks and we end up with little or no time for the games company. Often we can see these periods coming (and plan for them) but not always.

Unfortunately for various reasons Christopher's schedule has been extremely tight over the past couple of weeks which means his current tasks - getting the games picked up from Shanghai and setting up the Asian / Australian shipping process - have been taking longer than expected. Yesterday we did finally get the corrected quote back from our shipping line but that's still not quite a firm date - the next steps are submitting the booking forms and export clearance so that we can get slotted onto a specific vessel. Once we've done that we'll finally know the arrival date and be able to provide more detailed plans / schedule for delivering the main shipment.

Christopher and I have discussed the situation and he's assured me that his agenda is much clearer now so he'll be able to start making better progress going forwards. I've asked him not to respond to questions about this on BoardGameGeek until the pick up is actually scheduled since I (and I hope you) would much rather he was spending his time getting us moving again rather than getting caught up in trying to explain why we are behind.

At the same time I recognize that given our track record, "Christopher says he has time now" does not inspire much confidence. This is an area he knows better than I do so I'm not keen to switch it to someone else, but am monitoring the situation closely and will move it in the next couple of days if we don't start to make better progress.

Asia / Australia / New Zealand

Different topic, same story. We've been slipping on the schedule due to Christopher's availability. With Origins completely (as well as Jeremiah's transtion) I will be able to get more involved now - more info in the next update.

Local Pick Up

As a reminder, we have a few spare advanced sets which will be available for collection in the following locations:

Cambridge, Massachussets - Amber Ying
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Jeremiah Lee
Seattle, Washington - Christopher Rao
Saarbrücken, Germany - Heiko Gunther
Oxford, United Kingdom - Wake Carter
Amsterdam, Netherlands - Ed Carter

Everyone who's already signed up (and received a pick up ID of 28 or lower) has an advanced set reserved for them; we still have a few more left and so we're adding two extra pick up locations:

Portland, Oregon - Christopher Rao is at the 18xx convention from June 21 to June 24 and can bring copies for collection there.

Oakland, California - within a few weeks of our first publishing Glory To Rome back in 2005 it was being played in Oakland by a dedicated group of supporters. We're a New England company and so it was stunning to discover these guys, 3000 miles away, playing a game that had sold less than twenty copies.

The story of how it happened was involved a failed games convention, a burglary and a set of guys who fell in love with the game despite it's terrible artwork and square cornered cards - at the time Carl and I were still hand assembling the decks which we'd printed like business cards - and so since we still have a few early copies to send somewhere it feels like that's the right place to do it.

Advanced pick ups are on a first come, first served basis - please email if you want to reserve a copy.

My Schedule
As I've made clear, Cambridge Games Factory isn't my main paid employment. Over the past few weeks I've been dedicating most of my time to getting things back on track but I've also been putting together a proposal for my next full-time project. It is looking like that will start either next week or the week after, at which point you will see my active participation in the project scale back again.

That doesn't mean I'm down to zero participation - just that I'm going to drop back behind the scenes and focus on making sure the work keeps moving while letting Amber, Wake, etc. make the public updates. In particular, I've arranged to spend the first few weeks of my next project back in Boston, so I'll be on site during the next critical weeks to make sure the promo packs are being put together properly, etc. before returning to Europe in early July to lead the European distribution process.

Thank you, yet again, for your patience - it's been a long road with far too many twists on it, but truly - we're in the home straight now.


Ed Carter
Managing Director
Cambridge Games Factory
YES! We'd love to see your game idea