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You and up to three friends must try to reclaim the realms. Explore, gather, trade and customise your hero to prepare for battle!
You and up to three friends must try to reclaim the realms. Explore, gather, trade and customise your hero to prepare for battle!
4,186 backers pledged £361,739 to help bring this project to life.

Shipping update: The final hurdle

Posted by Frank West (Creator)
Expected delivery: January

I will be going live on Facebook at 15:00 UK time, just under 1 hour from now. I will discuss everything mentioned in this update and answer any questions.

Unfortunately due to the house move I'm currently going through, I can't stream to YouTube.

Hey everyone,

Unfortunately this last week has added one final hurdle to the delivery of the Kickstarter and I wanted to share the problem and update you all on the situation.

On Monday the first of our 5 containers arrived with our UK fulfilment partner Gamesquest and upon opening the container they discovered the pallets had fallen, damaging the contents inside.

 This was of course devastating news, but with the rest of the containers due over the next 24 hours I decided to wait before assessing the damage in case we had further problems with the other containers.

As it was, an estimated 40 cartons (120 games) were reported damaged, and if this did repeat through all 5 containers that could be 600 games lost.

The next day our next 2 containers arrived, the first was fine but the second? It was also a mess.

 To add further complications, the other 2 containers got delayed due to trucks breaking down and electrical faults in the port.

On Wednesday our 4th container arrived, it was also filled with fallen pallets and again, the 5th and final container got delayed to Thursday.

Yesterday came and the 5th container was once again delayed, apparently, we suffered several broken trucks and electrical faults in the port - Luck was not on our side!

This morning the 5th container finally arrived, again, it was in a bad state. In total 4 of the 5 containers arrived with damaged games and left hours of work for Gamesquest to manually unload the containers.

With all the containers unloaded, Gamesquest set to work going through the boxes and games.

 The final report is 72 cartons, and about 215 games have been crushed and damaged in some way. This is luckily a lot less than the original 600 we had estimated, but still a big problem.

Right now I'm discussing next steps with the shipping company and my manufacturers to see if we can identify the cause of the problem, and also what steps we can take moving forward.

I know at this point there are going to be a lot of questions, so I will try to summarise as many of them as possible.

Questions and Answers

Will I still get my game?

Yes. The reported numbers mean we do still have enough games to fulfil all our orders.

What about the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and everyone else?

Your containers all arrived without issue. The only damaged games are those which were scheduled for Europe.

If it wont impact any of us, why are you telling us?

It is still early days and we may discover further problems. We've now spent several days assessing the situation and I believe I have all the facts, but it is possible we will discover another problem moving forward. Whilst I believe this wont be the case, I want to make sure everyone is aware of the situation.

What impact will this have?

Currently, this is what I'm working on figuring out. Financially speaking, I've got £25,000 worth of damaged stock. This is a big part of the stock I hoped to sell in 2019, and as such I will need to re-plan to make sure I have the finances to continue developing new games.

Last year the shipping damages cost us nearly £30,000 and I had hoped this project would help us recuperate some of those costs. Now, with further problems I will have to spend the next week understanding what this means for me.

Didn't this happen last time?

No. Last time around we had problems in shipping world wide, primarily caused by the design of the game boxes. This time around I spent £10,000's designing and manufacturing much bigger, stronger boxes. We also made sure to load the pallets in a different way to reduce the strain on the games in the bottom rows. This resulted in using more pallets and an increase of importing costs by around 20%.

However, even with these extras in place we have found a way to experience a different problem. My current belief is the pallets were spaced too much without being tied down enough, and perhaps with some rough weather on the sea for this particular boat it left enough room for the pallets to tip. As I say, it didn't happen with the other containers on the other ships.


I wanted to add a note about Gamesquest, as I know their reputation hasn't been the best in recent times. The last week has been incredibly stressful for me, but also for them, as Christmas shipments have been endless. Despite this, they stepped up and worked with me to get the details I needed.

Each container that arrived required a team of people to manually unload as they couldn't use forklifts. Each container was documented with photos and the damages were counted and reported. While they were snowed under with work they still found a way to give countless hours of time to help me with this issue. We spoke on the phone and via email multiple times everyday and I am thankful for that.

Next Steps

With it being Christmas in 4 days it's going to be hard to get much more done over the next week. I expect it wont be until the New Year now that anything else will happen.

I can confirm all of your addresses and details have been sent to all of our fulfilment partners and I am confident we will start shipping at the start of January.

As I say, I will be live on Facebook in just under an hour and will happily answer any questions.

I am truly sorry that once again we have to go through this, and as I did last time, I promise I will solve this in the best possible way and will deliver everything I have promised.


Peter Hofland, Philip Doyle, and 72 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Rebecca Schnepp

      Not sure if you you can put an not next to pledges but I agree with Richard and others. If the States ever gets damaged boxes put me down as fulfill mine with a damaged one, Even if you have to open it to check if the components are good.

    2. Missing avatar

      Justin Christopher on

      This really sucks. I love your work. I'm really sorry this happened to you guys. It seems like there should be a way to limit the liability here but damn this is legit tragic. I hope it doesnt derail you.

    3. Missing avatar

      Richard Jones

      Frank. Sorry to hear about the issies you've been having. 😞
      I only backed vadoran gardens. I might be interested in buying a damaged copy of the deluxe version of the City of Kings. If this is possible please let me know. I'm not bothered with damaged boxes as long as the components are fine.

    4. T Jones on

      Not sure if you can, but I might be interested in purchasing a damaged copy for a reduced amount....

    5. Missing avatar

      peter on


      If the damaged Games are just the box then if it helps send me the damaged one for i will sort it into my Main box anyway! Sad to see that some guys with no knowledge of their job are doing that same job :-(

      If by any means those damaged games can be used for Replacement or even for mixing them to Form a prestine box then i hope you dont have to trash all of the damaged boxes!

      Wish you a merry christmas and keep up doing those awesome games

    6. Redmick

      Sorry to hear this Frank. You are a lovely fellow who has invested such energy and time into CoK, that it feels utterly wrong that this has happened. Talking to you at UKGE last year showed your passion for the game and its future. I hope you get compensation for this shipping debacle - and as an EU backer I would also, like a few others, take a damaged box if it helps you out - as long as the contents were fine I would integrate boxes - or just have a slightly crimped box.

      Wishing you all the best over Christmas and New Year - and you have my full backing in any future CoK endeavours.

    7. Michael Boucher

      Yikes I am so sorry to read about the bad luck. I do hope you will be able to get compensated somehow. How are those normally handled? The shipper pony up or you have to pay for insurance beforehand?

    8. Peter "Apple Head" Andersson

      No worries Frank!
      I really hope that you will ger compensation for the damaged boxes!

    9. Missing avatar

      Martin Aas Andersen

      If 4 of 5 containers have damage they obviously havn't been packed and/or handled properly. Unless you did the container packing yourself cant you recoup some of the loss from your shipper? Also remember to keep in mind you'll also need enough stock to cover the replacement requests there undoubtedly will come as pledges are delivered either due to damage or missing items etc.

    10. Mélodie&Franck

      If the inside is ok, i can manage a box a little damaged

    11. Peter "Wizball" Wilson

      Hi Sorry to hear about your shipping problems. I am sure a KS like me are more than happy to wait to see what you can sort out.

    12. Simonmjl14

      Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hopefully things end up not so bad. I'm curious though... Isn't there any insurance for that? I mean, you're getting lots of $$$ worth of games in the hand of manufacturers and shipping companies... I find it hard to believe that there is no insurance covering damage like this.

    13. Missing avatar

      Stephen Disney

      I feel terrible for you. I really hope you can find a solution.

    14. Govind Krishna on

      Truly painful to read about the damage, especially those images.
      Wish you all the best Frank and hope you sort this out without any stress. Take care.

    15. Grant Morgan

      Sorry to hear about this extra stress right before the holidays. Hang in there, you are a true professional and while you make fabulous games many of us backed solely because of your passion, commitment to excellence and your forthrightness (real word?) with your community. Long sentence short, Frank we believe in YOU! We know you'll do your best to make things right and in turn we'll do what we can to support you in your endeavors. Cheers and Happy Christmas!

    16. Richard Reid Gregg

      @David Curie I think he's mentioned it's Unicorn Games. Unfortunately they don't really seem to have a presence on social media with updates like Aetherworks do (but they are closed over the Xmas break as well).

    17. Missing avatar

      David Curie on

      Who is fulfilling the Kickstarter Fulfillment in Australia?

    18. Richard Lance

      Hey Frank, no worries, it’s not the end of the world.
      If it’s just the outer box, is this needed? Or can it fit in the original game we backed?
      It would seem a shame to scrap games that are playable apart outer carton damage.
      All the best and and happy Christmas Frank.

    19. Margareth S

      Thanks as always for your transparency. Best of luck with the rest of the shipping process.

    20. Ben Turner

      Oh no! Devastated to hear this happened. Good to hear a positive story about gamesquest too; thanks for sharing that.

      Hope things work out OK in the final reckoning of things (some people might buy ding and dent retail copies with a modest discount?) and this isn’t too fatal a blow.

    21. JudgeTy

      Thank you for taking the time to give us a detailed update.
      Sorry to hear about the transportation mishap!
      As someone who worked in unloading huge pallets from shipping containers, this is a common occurrence. This usually happens when you clear out half a freight container then don't rearrange the remaining pallets, also weight distribution should not be equal throughout a single pallet, more should be on the bottom. The lighter pallets most likely flipped or a heavy pallet came apart.

    22. japester

      Not the sort of Christmas surprise you should be receiving, Frank. I'm so sorry.

      I was skimming the update and assumed it impacted us here in the US, and my first thought was, "Take your time! I don't mind waiting. Get it sorted and hopefully get some recompense from whomever screwed up." I see now that it was our poor fellow backers in Europe. (They sure have had some bad luck on recent projects.) All I can say is I hope things work out. Try to have a Happy Christmas. And here's a virtual orange from me.

    23. Missing avatar

      derek long

      Failed dexterity challenge?

      Sorry that you suffered another last moment hitch in shipping. Perhaps some sort of sacrifice, human or animal, might be required?

    24. Andrew Huang, hunting PIN-UP monster

      @ Frank: please do not stress yourself too much over this. Thank you for your excellent and honest update, you have my full support. Do tell if there’s anything we can help. Wishing you a merry Christmas and hoping the new year will be better for you and your family.

    25. Lars Arndts on

      Thanks Frank for the update. I'm sorry you have to suffer this financial setback. I hope you figure things out with the manufacturer and/or shipping company.

      I am surprised to see that the games shipped with what looks like a half empty container. My initial thought is, why weren't the containers loaded to the brim? Palets in a full container aren't likely to fall over. And maybe you could've used less containers that way?

      I hope all works out for you. For what it's worth you still have my trust and support and I sincerely hope we can look forward to more games from The City of Games in the future.

    26. Frank West 3-time creator

      Thank you everyone for your understanding and support, it means a lot.

      Also thank you to those of you who joined the stream and contributed to the discussions.

      For now there isn't anything anyone can do, but I am greatful for all the kind gestures and hope you all have a fantastic Christmas period.

    27. Philomorph on

      What a bummer!! Sorry you're having to deal with these problems yet again. Thanks for the excellent communication as always, and I hope at least your holiday is filled with some cheer and a little break from worry. January will come and I'm confident you'll work it all out. Until then, happy holidays!

    28. Kalayna Nicole

      Thanks for the update and I’m so sorry there is so much damage. Does the factory/shipping company (anyone) supply insurance so you aren’t financially hit with all of these problems which are clearly not your fault?

      I hope things look up and you have a Merry Christmas.

    29. Sebastien Thibert on

      It's just a side quest, I am certain you will solve it in the end. Thanks for keeping us updated I am truly sorry to hear this.

    30. Missing avatar

      bigwoof on

      Oh this sucks. Anything we can do to help?

    31. MentatYP

      Isn't this what shipping insurance is for? Never done such a large shipment so I'm ignorant of the details, but seems like this is an easy case to make for the shipper to compensate you. Regardless, I'm sorry you're dealing with such a stressful mess. It's not fun to feel like you've done everything possible to avoid problems only to have other people's shoddy work undermine all your diligence.

    32. Piotr Buchali

      The way they palletized those games ! I am suprised that even one container came with standing boxes

    33. Missing avatar

      Eric Naessens

      Sorry to hear about the problems, Frank! It really does seem like the old adage is true - 'when it rains, it pours.' Hope you're able to get everything squared away and still enjoy your holidays with family and friends.

    34. Jonas Vanschooren

      What a badly loaded containers. Not surprised they arrived they way they did. This is just some really bad loading. Been working in logistics for 15 years and I would never load something like this. Even a small container can be loaded a lot better so things like this can't happen.

    35. Philippe PETIT

      Thank you for the update Frank. You'll have all my support and I wish you a merry Xmas 🎄🎅👍

    36. Telgar

      Thank you for the update Frank. Obviously out of controls sh*t things happens.

    37. René Schultze

      Oh man, Frank, you have bad luck with the delivery... :(
      I gladly would pay in a fund if you will raise one. But honestly I think who ever loaded the truck didn’t do it correctly. There have to be an insurance for such things, I hope.
      Besides all of this I wish you and your family Merry Christmas!!!

    38. Jen Midori_washi on

      Hi Frank 🤗
      Thank you for the transparency. Fingers crossed you don't find further damages. As I am located in Europe, please don't worry. With KS most people are very patient 😌 So, take the time needed.
      Wish you good store-sales nevertheless 🍀
      Enjoy your Christmas holidays and have a great start into the new year 🎊🎄🎊🎄

    39. Daniele MP

      You have all my support and I understand the problem. The fact remains that I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU CAN USE GAMEQUEST !!! THEY ARE REALLY INCOMPETENTS !!! I did 40 kickstarter here and all the shipments with them were a disaster! See the latest "Village Attacks" !!!

    40. Chris Pearson on

      Thanks for the Update Frank, its a real shame yet again that there has been an issue involving the shipping. At least this time it looks like its not as bad. Fingers crossed not more issues crop up.

      Keep up the great work and excellent communication.

    41. Missing avatar

      Jan on

      Even if some games are delayed in shipping most backers will imo understand. If thats the case maybe you can send out a survey on the topic who would accept later delivery. I f.e. have no problem waiting even months longer.

      dont stress yourself and happy christmas time.

    42. Jashin Oosterling on

      Frank, I really feel sorry for this bad luck at your side. Take your time to solve things and I hope you can enjoy the holidays a little!

    43. Paul Molloy on

      The update and openness is appreciated as always. For a guy who runs such great KS campaigns... Your luck just sucks!

    44. Missing avatar

      Janos Meszaros on

      Hi Fank, Sorry to hear that. I only ordered the expansions for the game, so if only the box damaged, but not the content, I dont mind to receive them as is. I will throw the box away anyway and use the main box to store everything. Fingers crossed that it wont be too bad for you.

    45. Missing avatar

      Ed Skevington on

      That really sucks. Is there no insurance for the shipping? Its sounds like this is going to be money out of your pocket, which is really not fair.

    46. Missing avatar


      Thanks for the update.

    47. Missing avatar

      Alan How

      Tough one for you, but I appreciate the candour and communication. I hope that you find a solution soon and 2019 will begin better than 2018 ended.