6/25/15 UPDATE: The Kingdom Builder kickstarter has been cancelled. The reason is that there was a stipulation in the contract that Queen could publish the expansion if they did so before June 30th, and so they had a German version that was going to make that deadline, however delays in that version is causing them to miss that deadline and so they have to cancel the kickstarter. Negotiations between Queen and Donald have gone well in that Donald is getting the pay he is due from 2014 but he is hesitant to re-enter a contract with Queen so soon. So as of today (June 25th) the Kingdom Builder expansion is dead, but hopes are that it will return in 2016.
Queen games is kickstarting their next expansion for the Kingdom Builder line with Marshlands. Like the other expansions this one will tout new abilities to obtain, new boards to use, as well as some new ways to score. Kingdom Builder is a gateway type game where every turn you are placing down settlements in locations indicated by a card you play. You are arranging these settlements in such a way that the three randomly chosen scoring cards will net you the most points. The first two expansions added more boards and more abilities along with additional types of settlements you could put down adding more variety to the game. This expansion is not much different in that it gives you more boards to use and abilities to choose from, however, there is one big change this new expansion brings. In the past you could only ever get one of an ability tile in the game, with this expansion you can get the same ability tile twice, and when you get the second tile you get a bonus use of that ability for a total of three uses. This will bring some freshness into the game and make it feel new again.
Now before I link to the campaign I have to mention some issues that have come up with the launch of this latest kickstarter, and that is with the relationship between Queen Games and Donald X. Vaccarino, the designer of Kingdom Builder. As has been revealed by Donald himself from posts on BoardGameGeek, dated June 19th, there has been issue between Queen Games and him is the form of late payments for his game sales in 2014 and his contract ending with Queen Games on June 30th. If Donald and Queen Games are not able to come to an agreement by then, the rights for publishing Kingdom Builder Marshlands revert back to Donald and thus Queen will not be able to publish this new expansion, successful kickstarter or not. As was mentioned in Donald’s post he is in talks with them and they seem amicable and willing to make it up to him because of the pressure being applied by gamers wanting to back the new expansion and they don’t want to lose out on future expansions. But nothing has been signed yet so you may want to take a wait and see position.
Though as of this writing the campaign is currently fully funded and they have pledge options for just the expansion, the expansion and an empty big box (just the box and insert), or for the whole big box version itself with all the expansions both big and small. The campaign ends on June 30th so head over to the campaign page to pledge.