John Company: Second Edition

Created by Cole Wehrle

Late pledges are now available! Pick up John Company, Pax Pamir, and our add-ons today and get the same rewards as our Kickstarter Backers.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Pledge manager surveys are rolling out!
about 1 month ago – Thu, May 13, 2021 at 01:19:34 AM

Hi all.

Exciting news! After delaying a few days, we have started sending out Backerkit pledge manager surveys. These Backerkit emails will be rolling out over the next day or so, so please be patient for your email to arrive.  Please reach out to if you have not received your email by Thursday. Backerkit surveys are sent to the email associated with your Kickstarter account.

These Backerkit emails are really important! We use the Backerkit pledge manager platform to keep track of backer addresses and organize rewards, so you will know exactly what to expect from your pledge. You will be asked a few questions, prompted to make a selection of rewards (some rewards will already be in "your cart", add your shipping information, and confirm your pledge.

If you have received your Backerkit email, please fill it out at your earliest convince. Even if your address is going to change, or if you are undecided if you want to pick up a metal coins add-on, it helps us to have as many completed surveys as possible early on to know roughly how to split the print runs among different international fulfillment hubs! The rest of the emails will be sent over the next 24-48 hours, so keep an eye out.

As I mentioned in Update #9, we're going to lock pledges containing Pax Pamir on July 1st. We might push that back a couple weeks to accommodate more backers.  We plan on locking John Company Pledges at a later date.

Because we are running two separate print runs, our games will be manufactured and freighted to our shipping centers at different times. Pax Pamir will be ready to ship to Backers as early as September/October, and John Company will be ready by early 2022. As our default shipping option, all rewards are sent in one package. If you are planning to get both games, or any combination of rewards from both print runs, you might be curious about our split shipment add-on.

Split Shipments

If you are planning to pick up both John Company and Pax Pamir items, you have another shipping option listed as an Add-on in Backerkit. The default option for backers getting rewards from both print runs to receive them in one package when John Company ships in 2022. If you want your Pax Pamir rewards before your copy of John Company arrives, you'll need to select a Split Shipment add-on in Backerkit. 

There are two split shipment options. Though both are listed as $0.00, they will affect your Shipping cost based on your order size and shipping region when selected. For example: if you pledged for x1 John Company and x1 Pax Pamir, you can complete your Backekit survey without any additional add-ons and receive both games in 2022 OR you can select "Split Shipment Standard" to receive Pax Pamir as soon as it is ready as a separate shipment. 

The "Split Shipment - Small Rewards" add-on is only for backers that want Pax Pamir coins or sleeves to ship early, otherwise they will be packed and shipped with their John Company pledge.  If backers are picking up Pax Pamir, John Company, and small add-ons, "Split Shipment - Standard" covers the added cost of the small rewards.

If you want to split your pledge, select only one of these split shipment add-ons (either Standard or Small Rewards). Again, these split shipment options are only applicable for backers that have pledged/added both Pax Pamir rewards and John Company.


If something is off about your pledge or you are confused about the add-ons, please feel free to reach out! If you think your question will help other, please comment below or on the project page. If you have a specific question about your pledge that requires special attention, send an email to and we'll be happy to help you there.

I'm thrilled we're moving on to this stage of the campaign. Thanks as always for all the support and patience you continue to give to our projects. Cole will be back for another update later this month about development updates and more prototype samples!


Development Update
about 1 month ago – Mon, May 03, 2021 at 02:07:00 AM

Dear backers,

A few updates ago, I mentioned that the success of this campaign allowed me to spend the better part of the past month advancing the game's development. In more normal circumstances, most of my extra time would have been spent trying to direct as much attention to the campaign as possible. Thankfully, that extra effort wasn't needed, and I was able to continue working on the game more-or-less without interruption.

Today, I'm happy to show you the fruits of those labors. I have a fresh TTS mod, now hosted on the Steam Workshop. You can find the rules link in the mod's description on that page.

The game has now progressed to a place where it feels stable enough that I can fold the broader player base into the development branch of the game. I'll be doing the remainder of the game's development with this version, and will use the mod's workshop page to alert folks of alterations to the game. 

The version you had been playing was very similar to the cut that I send previewers a couple months ago. Over the course of those months, the game has had quite a bit of clean up. I'll add that development is rarely a straight line a few elements of play like the revised Court system have reverted back to something close to the version you already know. 

In general, the changes fall into a few categories. First, there were lots of small content and system adjustments. For instance, the Chairman now counts as a share and no longer requires the court to approve debt. The debt failure condition was also dropped and the standing system was overhauled to make it more sensitive to a wider range of circumstances. Lots of numbers got played around with. Second, the rules around some of the created offices like Governors and the Superintendent of Trade in China were overhauled which also altered how Rebellions are handled. Mostly these adjustments cut rules and streamlined a few processes. I also gave a lot of attention to the Private Firm games which is as robust as it's ever been. 

There's a good chance I'll do a development stream sometime soon (maybe even tonight?) to talk through all of the changes and take any questions folks might have. I'll also do a revised teaching video in a few weeks. 

Next Steps

From here, I'm going to be shifting gears slightly. I'm spending the majority of my attention from here on out on balancing the numbers, adjusting powers, and making sure the private firm game is harmonizing with the rest of the game. While that's going on, I'll be coordinating the final art requests and starting to give every game element a careful review. It's been nearly a year since I've updated the office cards, and it's about time they got a makeover. Also, we'll be getting production samples from the factory soon, and I'll be putting together files for the remaining samples (including the coins which will be getting their own proper update). 

My guess is that we'll have the design very close to locked by early June and should have all of the art done around that time as well. From there, I'll start doing usability studies and finalizing the game's physical production. 

Alright, that's it for now. Have fun everyone! 

Dates! Pledge Manager! Late Pledges!
about 2 months ago – Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 07:08:02 PM

You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again. THANK YOU! You are all incredible backers.  You came out and brought this project to life, and we couldn't do it without you.

Cole and I took a few days to rest from the campaign, and now we're back at it. We spent the weekend in St. Paul working on John Company, and boy howdy, the coming months are going to be exciting. Graphic updates. Production samples. Design completion. We'll cover it all in future updates, but before we get there, let's do some house keeping and talk schedules.

Next Up

When a Kickstarter project ends, pledges needs to be processed and confirmed. This can take a couple weeks to account for everything Kickstarter needs to do so that all pledges get either fully processed or automatically cancelled from failed payment. After this payment processing period, we start our pledge manager period, when we'll confirm pledges to get ready for fulfillment.  If you have any problems with your pledge, please reach out to and we'll be happy to help you out. Moving forward, let's chat about some dates and the pledge manager period!

Dates + Pledge Manager (Backerkit)

We partner with a 3rd-party pledge manager to help keep our Kickstarter organized and ready for fulfillment. Backerkit is our pledge manager platform, where backers will primarily confirm pledges and delivery information. We also use Backerkit to help backers select add-ons, as well as charge accurate shipping prices, which will be processed a few weeks before we start fulfillment.

Starting on May 3rd, we will be sending out our first pledge manager emails to backers. We'll send a few surveys at first, but by the end of the week, all of our backers will have received an email from Backerkit about your John Company pledge.

Please complete the pledge manager survey early to help us keep this campaign organized! This is a crucial step of the project. The sooner backers confirm their add-ons, input their delivery address, and submit payment information for any remaining balance due in Backerkit, the more accurate our logistic plan will be. Allows us to be smarter about how we split up and ship replacement parts too! Because we're starting production of Pax Pamir very shortly, we'll be ready to ship from the manufacturer to our fulfillment hubs relatively soon! That means we'll need to lock all pledges that contain Pax Pamir items Backerkit orders by July 1st. John Company pledges won't be locked until later this year, likely Oct 1st. 

A locked pledge means you have committed to your add-ons and delivery region, so you'll know exactly what will be in your package. This does not lock your specific address or charge payment. We will confirm delivery addresses a few weeks from when we start fulfilling in your region, and importantly, we will process payment for any Backerkit Balance this summer too. Fulfillment and payment processing dates will come in several weeks. Generally speaking, backers recieving their pledge from VFI or Aetherworks will have their pledges charged and addresses confirmed in July/August and most other backers in August/Sept.

If you have Pax Pamir items and John Company items in your pledge, you'll will have your pledge locked on July 1st. Pax Pamir items will be removed from the pledge manager add-on list for all John Company backers after July 1st, so be sure to confirm your pledge early if you want any Pax Pamir items. 

Late Pledges?

If anyone missed out on our Kickstarter campaign that wants in, you can join as a late-pledge backer during our late-pledge grace period! For about 2 weeks from May 17th to June 1st, you can pledge for items on our Backerkit late-pledge webstore (live on our campaign page May 17). You will be able select any of the KS rewards/add-ons at the same KS price. After the grace-period, the Backerkit late-pledge webstore will still be live for several more weeks, though they will not be listed for the KS pledge price.

I'll send out another update later next week once Backerkit surveys are sent out. Feel free to leave any question below in the comments, or if you have a specific question about your pledge, email us at for help. 


Thank You
about 2 months ago – Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 01:12:18 AM

Dear backers,

First of all, I guess I should say hello. I am overwhelmed by how many of you have joined this campaign in just the past few days. If you are new to this Kickstarter or Wehrlegig Kickstarters specifically, let me tell you right at the start that I'm so glad to have your support. I cannot wait to share the next steps of this project with you all.

A few hours after we launched the campaign, it was clear that it would blow past our expectations. Drew and I are naturally pretty cautious people and so we did our best to ignore the campaign's success and just continue doing the sorts of things we like to do. We kept working on the game, kept editing rules, kept answering your questions.

But,  this didn't change the fact that the campaign continued to shatter our expectations. This is all the more amazing because we tried to offer everyone a sober campaign. When we were planning the page, both Drew and I wanted to build a campaign that reflected the game honestly. We didn't want to dress up the fact this was a tricky historical game with a complex subject that makes demands of its players. We wanted to present it in an honest light. For this reason, I was as heartened by comments of support as comments saying that they were going to pass on the game for one reason or another.

And it turns out plenty of you wanted this game! I've been working on John Company for so many years, I can sometimes forget the broader interest in the design. This is an immensely personal project for me. It dovetails closely with my scholarly training and my interests as a game designer. I feel immensely privileged that I will be able to share this game with you all.

I want to say too a word of thanks to my brother Drew who ran this campaign like a consummate professional. I've worked on a number of Kickstarters in the past, and there is no one I would rather share a project with than my brother. His focus and kindness shine through every comment, and he's an excellent developer to boot. I also want to thank both of our families. Over the course of the past few years, they have extended us a deep reservoir of patience and trust. Without them we simply could not tackle such a large project.

We'll have a lot more to share soon,  but for now we're going to take a few days to rest and recover. Drew will be visiting this weekend, and we'll be building a new physical prototype and inaugurating the next wave of playtesting. Soon, we'll have a fresh cut of the game for everyone to play and we'll include instructions for how to get involved in the testing. And, of course, as we get new art and make decisions about the physical production we'll be sure to keep you all updated.

I'm delighted to have you all along for the ride. 

The Final Stretch and a Surprise Stream
about 2 months ago – Tue, Apr 20, 2021 at 07:08:08 PM

Hello everyone,

We have entered the final stretch of this remarkable campaign. Who would have guessed that a game like John Company could possibly raise over 700,000 dollars?! We'll be talking more about what the success of this campaign means for the project in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted everyone to know that the performance of this campaign has given Drew and I considerable latitude, and we cannot wait to tell you more about the game's production.

Eighteenth-Century Kickstarter

To celebrate the end of the campaign, I'll be doing a short stream this afternoon at 4:30 CDT (9:30 GMT) on our Twitch channel. I'm happy to take any questions you might have and will also talk a little bit about the origins of John Company, how the design has changed over the past decade, and the ground we still have yet to cover.

Drew and I have really enjoyed running gameplay streams as well, and we hope to stream more games for you all as the game nears competition.