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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kickstarter - PEDION Modular Prepainted Terrain System for RPGs & Wargames - If I Only had a Use for It

PEDION looks amazing. I am so tempted to pick this up. I only have two problems:

1 - I don't play wargames. This shit would rock Warhammer and the like.

2 - With the exception of conventions, I do all of my RPGing via Roll20 / G+ Hangouts.


Watch the video. Try to resist. If I had a face to face group I'd probably be all in.

It all looks really good and it's funded and hitting stretch goals.

Note - this is the creator's first project, but he's backed 163 projects. He should have an idea about the Kickstarter process. Stretch goals do not appear to be money or time sinks.


  1. I would, but I am concerned that each piece is hand-made. He could really success himself into catastrophe if this thing takes off.

  2. I love the presentation for this Kickstarter... so many others talk a good show. I am inclined to agree that he has learned something from all the projects that he has backed. The straightforward transparency in his FAQ explanation is enough to make me wish I had both the funds and the room to invest in them... I truly hope that PEDION becomes the success that he wants it to be.

  3. Neat but I don't do miniatures. Too expensive and I have no room for this stuff in my house or garage. and my kids would break it anyway

  4. Thank you for the post Erik! Joseph, if I may, I posted an extensive "answer" regarding my business planing in the FAQ section. Do try and check it, in case you find time :)

    1. I did see that, George. It's your phase c that worries me. What happens if all of a sudden you and three friends need to paint and flock ten thousand boards? Have you structured your costs such that you can do this full time? If not, and you're doing this in your spare time, we'll have a colony on Mars before all the rewards are sent out. If so, what happens once you get through the rewards?

      They do look gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but I just don't see how you can scale something like this that so obviously needs a lot of individual work.

    2. It seems I have to answer Joseph - if anything, because people may read this, and may think they will receive their boards when galactic civilization is eminent, so they may (?!) turn away. And perhaps you will reconsider yourself, I certainly hope so :)

      To answer your question in brief: YES, I have structured my costs and made plan accordingly, to cope with multiple different situations.
      Now, for a more detailed approach, in order to support my previous answer. I will have to split my answer in multiple posts since it is detailed, sorry for spamming.

      a) More info on personnel; you see, two of your words struck me wrong: "friends" and "spare time". The reason is that I do not mention them anywhere in my planning. Though I am not against companies formed by a group of friends, Pedion is not a half-assed (pardon my French) plan hatched over beers with some friends at the pub. The 3 people I have on hold are hobbyists that I contacted, interviewed and reviewed their works before planning the project. I already knew one of them, but the other two were recommended (and they are girls actually, who create dioramas). And the “production” fund allocation represents their salaries, which are going to be full-time if they so wish. I am also quite prepared of leaving my day job (or taking extended unpaid leave since I have got that option) to organize things. The only person that will work for Pedion and I already know intimately is my wife, but she has an MBA and have been working on client and order management, as well on imports and export for 15 years now on a heavy industrial firm; I wouldn’t find this kind of experience easily.

  5. b) Magnitude of orders: I have constructed varying degrees of business plans, to cope with increased demand.
    Your scenario of 10000 boards is… man; I wish it could be true :) I don’t know what kind of boards you mean, the ones sized for wargames (averages 16 tiles), or the much smaller rpg boards (6 tiles). But in case you mean wargames this would mean $2000000 in preorders. Do you really believe there is such a market for wargaming boards (Pedion boards are NOT cheap - people would not be flocking at a bargain). Or do you mean 10000 orders during the immediate future life of the Company?
    Anyway, I’ll go on and do the math, according to my planning: 10000 orders of the large sized 4’x4’ board with difficult tiles (like rivers) would require 52000 man-hours, or 6500 man-days; this includes an extra 25% safety factor for lost time. This would roughly translate into 24.6 man-years. If these were Kickstarter orders, I would certainly expand the company into a full industry, requiring more than 28 people to meet ends. If it refers to the next 5-year life plan, it would mean I could employ the 3 persons and search for 2 more full time and meet demand.

    But let’s move back to reality, and check the situation as it is. I made 3 basic levels of business planning, depending on the total sum pledged on the campaign, which in turn corresponds to a number of orders. The first level was at £14000 (funding level), the most basic one. The second is at £35000 (probably close to our final sum) and the third was at £150000 (in the off chance there was some niche untapped market share hiding out there wanting to give me their money :) )

    The campaign progress indicates that we are probably going to land close to my prediction of £30-35K. This total, after KS fees, will approximately mean 180 orders of an average of 16 tiles per board. By my metrics, it will mean 936 man-hours, or 117 man-days, or 5.3 man-months. To meet the December 2015 deadline, this will require 1 person going full-time, or three part-timers.
    I hope I have begun to show you that I have done my homework.

    And a minor grievance: I don’t mind it, since I am ready for it, but it seems I have to detail my business planning like I’m searching for investors to give out shares, and not simple Kickstarter rewards. I have made the campaign as detailed and sincere as possible, without attaching a full business plan memo :) And KS is full of those $100K+ boardgame projects giving out hundreds of different minis and with the business plan the equivalent of “don’t worry, I’ll find someone in China to produce everything, give me your money now”… Nothing personal to you Jonathan, just vending off some steam now, hope Eric does not mind - and sorry again for spamming these comments.

    1. George, I appreciate the time you're taking to explain all this, as I've held off as well. Here's why:

      Previous Kickstarters that have failed have done so for several reasons, but they usually fall into one of four categories:
      1. Too successful - the demand was too much and the project collapsed from an initial plan that couldn't scale.
      2. Too much promised - too many stretch goals, too many extras that distracted the project from the main goal.
      3. The project was doomed from the beginning because the person(s) doing the project were not going to be able to complete it due to their lack of skill, lack of ability to fulfill.
      4. The Kickstarter is for something that requires the creation of machines and processes that haven't been tested.

      To be honest, your project, to me, falls right now partially into #2 and #4. I understand this is subjective, but just like an investor, the old saying that "perception is reality" is true, and since it's my money, I will hold onto it until I feel it's ready.

      You have many stretch goals that take you into places where I think it could be a distraction from getting the 6 main tiles out. Using molds and processes that you say you have to develop:
      " creating simpler molds of certain features, along with some 3D prototyping, and creating resin copies by hand (still much, much faster than sculpting them). The next level, which we have entered after funding, is creating specialized (and expensive) molds for vacuum injection, to create tile types faster and with lower cost. The main problem (cost-wise) is that almost every different type of tile needs its own mold."

      As well, you have this: "Phase (d) needs still some planning, since I have not included postage and handling into Set rewards, apart from a minor sum."

      I do not mean these comments as insults, merely to explain why I am still reluctant to jump in.

      You have a great many combinations and stretch goals and add-ons, that I worry that these might distract you from the main goal - the six main tiles.

      If your Kickstarter was simply for that, I would be supporting you from the beginning. But because this seems like a dizzying amount (to me) of options, I worry that you will get lost. As I've seen other projects do.

      Your Kickstarter is ambitious. Very much so. And I'm still tempted, very much so. But experience tells me that I might be better off waiting to buy these after you are "in production" and have a viable business running. Because I see a great many risks of this project failing.

      I hope not. I've been following your blog since you first announced these, hoping that I could somehow make my own from what you were laying out. When it became clear you were going to start a business, I wanted to see what you would do.

      So I will wish you "good luck" and I will still continue to contemplate if I should make the attempt to contribute, or wait.