Terraforming Mars: Turmoil Coming… to Kickstarter?

(Edit: 3/14/19) – While Stephen Buonocore hasn’t responded to my email yet, Enoch Fryxelius (one of the other Fryxelius brothers, I assume?) did respond to the thread on BGG about this with the following information:

“Let me first of all confirm that TM:Turmoil will be run as a Kick-starter first, and then available later through normal retail.

The KS backers will have the benefit of receiving Turmoil before everyone else, and also enjoy some exclusive extra material, that we will present later. But it’s really good stuff!

Why Kick-starter?
When Indie merged with Stronghold, they brought with them long experience of launching games successfully on KS. At first, we saw KS as an opportunity to launch our future big games Angels&Demons and Fate (probably 2020 and 2021), because they are miniature games with a lot of components. But we then decided that it would be good for us to start with a smaller project, to get some experience on doing KS together, before going big.

FryxGames has very limited experience from KS (except a failed KS on our war-game Fleets), and as game designers we need to look at different ways of promoting and selling our games. As some of you might know, it’s actually hard to make money on designing and developing games. The market for boardgames grows, but the number of games on the market grows even faster, and there is fierce competition. This means that money is made by selling games – not making games! KS offers a way to make direct sales, which could help us (the designers) make the same profit that the distributors and retailers make, instead of the very low revenue per unit gained when selling to distribution. And don’t forget, KS means that a portion of the funding is lost in taxes, administration, KS fees, and shipping arrangements – everyone wants their piece of the cake.

So we will try this and evaluate it. I think the boardgame market will continue to be a mix of KS and retail – I hope that the FLGS will find a way to co-exist, and even prosper in these new times.”

So there you have it. It’s official, and there will be some exclusive extra material for the Kickstarter backers.

What will it be? Will it still be an Essen retail release, or an Essen Kickstarter pickup?

We have a month or two before we find out.

Stay tuned!

(Original Post Below)

As an acknowledged Terraforming Mars fan, I always follow with interest stories about upcoming expansions.


The upcoming expansion, Terraforming Mars: Turmoil has been talked about on BGG for a few months now and everybody sounds kind of excited.

This expansion will add new projects, some new corporations, and Global Events that you have to prepare for!

Weird and wild stuff.

Then, last week, I saw this on Twitter.


Coming to Kickstarter in April/May? Not just coming out in October for Essen like so many of the other expansions?

What has gotten into Stronghold Games?

They never used to do Kickstarter projects. Now, after the recent merger with Indie Boards & Cards (who do Kickstarters all the time), this is their second one in almost as many months.

Obviously, the base game of Terraforming Mars didn’t come to Kickstarter first and neither did any of the expansions.

Reaction to word that Turmoil is going the Kickstarter path has been…non-supportive to say the least on BGG.

User “corkysru” had this to say:

“What a ridiculous pile of shit.
Especially if it’s a no stretch goal boring campaign. I mean in that case I’d hope it would fail but we all know it won’t.

They better have the option to get multiple copies…or at least retailer options. Either way utter bullshit.

I never really cared much for Indie cards and games’s games and I despise the fact that a company like Stronghold is now turning to KS like they need it. It was bad enough when EGG did it.. but at least their campaigns still reward you in some way (*deluxe editions or stretch goals etc etc).”

Then there was user “Ragegoblin”:

“I thought we’d be getting this pretty soon, maybe over the summer. I guess it will be about this time next year if it’s going to Kickstarter.

They’ll shoot for 4th quarter, have the usual delays, then get “surprised” by Chinese new year as every KS publisher does.”

At the time of this writing, the thread is three pages long though it’s become largely a discussion of Kickstarter and what it’s doing to the “Friendly Local Game Store” (FLGS).

Some people in the thread are taking the “wait and see” approach but I don’t really see anybody actually supporting the Kickstarter move out of the gate.

Maybe that will change when the Kickstarter launches?

To address Ragegoblin’s concern, it is still very possible that Turmoil will be an Essen release regardless of what happens with the Kickstarter.

Bezier Games is known for doing Kickstarters just to reward those backers with some “extra” stuff for the game. They do their Kickstarters when the game is already in production so they know they’re going to make their release date no matter what happens.

Or if it doesn’t meet the release date, it’s not because it was a Kickstarter project.

Will Stronghold Games do the same thing?

Will the Turmoil campaign give backers some really cool stuff? Maybe upgraded components? Maybe actual player boards that work well so you don’t have to go 3rd party?

Some people seem skeptical of that, like user Wbuchanan:

“Do people really think that if the 5th expansion Turmoil goes to Kickstarter that there will be all sorts of upgrades for the rest game, or even Turmoil itself, offered as part of the campaign?

That seems … unlikely, to say the least. It’s good to have dreams though right.”

Who knows what the campaign will hold?

I’m sure Stronghold Games president Stephen Buonocore knows.

I did reach out to him for comment but haven’t heard back yet. (Editor – Did you just commit an act of…*gasp* journalism?)

If he does respond, I will update this post.

For me, I am in the “wait and see” camp, but I also don’t really have a vested interested in it. My role is more of a curious observer.

Two people in my game group own the game and get expansions as they come out, so I don’t actually own it.

But I will be very interested in seeing what happens.


And I might get hungry while doing it.


3 Comments on “Terraforming Mars: Turmoil Coming… to Kickstarter?

  1. Pingback: Terraforming Mars: Turmoil on Kickstarter now! – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  2. Pingback: News to Catch Up On – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (10-6) – Dude! Take Your Turn!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: