Note: I originally wrote this post after receiving my Bones 1 miniatures in 2013. An update for later Bones projects is at the end.
I’m picky about what Kickstarters I decide to back. At first, the Reaper Bones Kickstarter didn’t interest me. There weren’t enough mini’s I wanted for the price, and risk, of backing early. However, by the second week it had shot past being a good deal, to WTF could I do with all of those miniatures?
My good friend and college roommate, Matt, felt the same way. I suggested buying into the Kickstarter together and splitting the minis. We would spread them out on a table and take turns selecting one. I joked, “it will be good to see which mini gets picked last.” My friend agreed, and we pledged for the large Vampire Box and extras like Mind You Manors and the Spider Centaurs for our draft. We each got a few things, such as Keladrax and the giants, for ourselves as well.
While we waited for our miniatures to arrive, we talked trash and strategized. I didn’t want to start by picking the minis I wanted most. Matt wasn’t likely to be interested in the Sci Fi minis. So, I wanted to snag some of the great fantasy ones we were both interested in. Otherwise, all I would get stuck with the dregs. Matt adopted a more aggressive strategy. He went for a few that he didn’t want, but I did, to use as hostages for trading fodder.
When draft day arrived, there was so much anticipation that another friend of ours flew in from Canada to hang out for the weekend and watch the draft. Matt won the die roll for first pick — selecting the male storm giant. Without hesitating, I drafted the female spider demon (Lolth) and we were off.
Things drifted. There were moments of excitement and disappointment, and many of the choices were agonizing. But the fun kind of agony. Like a tense board game when you are planning a comeback. Each choice matters during the game, and at the end everybody walks away laughing.
The larger monsters went early, then the better character figures. After the first hour, we couldn’t see much progress. The pace quickened from there, and we conscripted the bulk of the miniatures during the second hour. I got most of the Sci Fi miniatures for an upcoming Traveller game, while my friend gathered more monsters and fantasy characters. By the end of the third hour, we were down to the least desirable minis. Some townsfolk, dungeon dressing, Astrid, the anachronistic bard, and some goblins were all that remained. Twenty minutes later, only a single miniature remained — the swarm of bats.
Looking back on it, the draft enhanced Reaper Bones Kickstarter for me. Sure, I enjoyed getting a good deal and I’m having fun painting them. But spending a long afternoon with friends; playing a game of selecting miniatures was the highlight.
We are looking forward to Reaper Bones Kickstarter II and hoping for another draft day in 2014. Comment below with your favorite part of the Kickstarter experience, or if you think you might try a draft next time.
Since this article was written, there have been four more Reaper Bones kickstarters, and a fifth one is currently in progress. We have continued holding drafts through all of these — though COVID has prevented us from drafting Bones 5. Hopefully it will finally come together memorial day weekend.
The format for the draft has remained largely the same. A third friend from Canada has joined us, and we’ve found that three makes it even more fun. You appreciate what you have if you have to “work” a little to do it.
If you’ve got a minute, watch the time lapse video of the Bones 3 draft. If you think this is something you might try, let us know in the comments. Finally, watch this space in late May for a break down and another time lapse video from our Bones 5 draft.