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:

Shipping Pax Pamir, finishing John Company, dates for 2022, and VIDEOS!
8 days ago – Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 03:00:29 PM

Hello Backers!

Drew here. It’s been a few weeks since our last update so allow me get everyone up to speed about where we are at with Pax Pamir fulfillment and John Company development.

Pax Pamir Fulfillment

As you may have guessed, things are still behind schedule for our shipping plan for this project, but there is forward progress! All Pax Pamir items have made it to their fulfillment centers and some packages have already been shipped out. Below is a list of region-specific updates for your perusing:

USA

The 3rd printing of Pax Pamir items have arrived safely at our US fulfillment center and we are in queue for our project to start shipping during the week of Nov 29th. There are more US orders than any other region, so shipping Pax Pamir to backers will likely take 1-2 weeks to ship out every order. I have to ask you lovely people for your continued patience while we inch closer to getting Pax Pamir to you.

The warehouse staff is currently fulfilling other KS projects, but shortly all US Pax Pamir backers will receive an email confirmation with a tracking number. If there are any problems, please reply directly to that shipping confirmation email, which will copy the warehouse staff as well as us.


Canada

Pax Pamir just arrived at our CAN shipping partner last week and they will be shipping games in the coming weeks. They have sent out many address confirmation emails already. They don’t have as much of a warehouse backlog so they hopefully will be able to get these orders moving very soon.


Australia / New Zealand 

Aetherworks will be fulfilling Pax Pamir items and sending out confirmation emails with tracking numbers soon. We are only their schedule for November fulfillment. I have not heard about how soon they will be starting up AUS shipping notifications, but certainly keep an eye out on your email this month.


Southeast Asia

We work with VFI Asia, that works with several different local shipping companies for fulfillment. All copies in China have been sent out, but items scheduled for delivery in Indonesia are shipped to a partner hub (Monopolis Board Game Store). You can see the updates for each region here


EU / UK / Int’l+

Our shipment to Fulfillment Europe has arrived and I’ve been informed that the first Pax Pamir parcels will be sent out later this week! Because they have our 2nd largest stock on hand, it will be weeks for them to get through all the orders. Please keep an eye out for their email with tracking information.

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As always, reach out to us to us directly support@wehrlegig.com if you need any help with your pledge or if you have any questions about your pledge specifically.



John Company Development

In other news, John Company: Second Edition continues toward the end of its development and file preparation. While the final illustrations are coming in and the graphic design is nearing completion, there are still several weeks of hard work ahead still. Cole and I are both feeling really optimistic about the design and thrilled with how this game has come together, especially in the last few months.

We are currently about to submit a full parts list to our factory and we are talking the steps to getting a nearly-complete pre-production copy together! There are a few components that have not been finalized yet, but know that the project is in a really great place and is moving forward a nice clip. A clear path lies ahead of us to finish development and move into pre-production.

As Development winds down in early December, Cole and I will share a nearly finalized updated rulebook and a public release of our Tabletop Simulator Mod as well.


John Company Timeline

Like we’ve outlined previously, the production of John Company is now set to hit manufacturing in early 2022 and backers can roughly expect fulfillment to start up in May/June 2022. We’re still on track for this and hopefully we can hit some clear production goals and start up production of the hard components like the wooden family pieces and resin empire pieces as early as possible next year.

We also have a many outstanding balances for John Company on Backerkit that have not been processed yet. We will be processing the remaining balances on John Company pledges on January 25, 2022. Please be aware of that payment will be charged then if you have any outstanding balance in Backerkit.

You are welcome to search your email for your backerkit confirmation or find your pledge here (https://john-company.backerkit.com/). The “edit your address” button allows you to see your account overview and any unpaid balance on your account that will be processed on Jan 25.

For Split Shipment backers, we will confirm your address again when we are about to send out your John Company items later in 2022.


New Videos!

This last weekend, Cole and I showed off John Company at the digital San Diego Historical Gaming Convention! Here are a couple of streams Cole recorded for the con while he presented on discord for the SDHistCon audience. Cole recaps the history of John Company’s development and a review of the many shapes of the second edition and also does a full, exhaustive teach of John Company! 

Don't be too scared by the length of the full teach! Learning nearly every single rule in one big battery is not the ideal way to teach the game, and most players will do just fine to learn the game as they go. To help this along, Cole organized his teach in several sections, so it's easier to find answers to any of your questions. When we get the production copies next year, we'll certainly either produce a cleaner and shorter set of videos on our own or we will will find a professional team to handle it. Hope this video tides you over until next year!

Okay, that's everything. Phew!!! Thanks as always for being here and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your pledge, our games, or anything Wehrlegig.  👋

-Drew

Pax Pamir Fulfillment Begins, Final Development and Layout Continues
about 1 month ago – Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 02:17:06 AM

Hello everyone!

Drew and I have had a very busy October getting your games ready.  Pax Pamir has begun fulfillment for some of our backers in Asia. The shipments to the US and Europe have made good progress. In the US, we've actually made it into the customs queue (the Australian shipment is in a similar place). Hopefully we'll be able to start fulfilling these over the course of the next month, which is just a month behind our initial schedule. In a year like this, we both consider this a pretty serious win. It looks like Europe fulfillment will get started just a little behind the US, but it is also moving along. As with most things, we ask everyone to be patient while we try to get this out the door to you all as fast as possible. 

In terms of John Company, I've been heads-down on finalizing some balance adjustments to the event system, the firms system, and doing a general cleanup on the games systems. This is one of my favorite parts of the process of making games. The game is basically entirely done and a few weeks ago I took a long break from playtesting so that I could catch up on finishing the game's product design and the layout for the printed components. This break went a long way in giving me a fresh set of eyes, and I'm now conducting something of a final development review. 

During this phase, I'm going through everything carefully and looking in particular for places where there might be redundant systems or parts that aren't perfectly harmonizing with the rest of the design. Generally this leads to three different kinds of changes. The first is just phrasing and layout adjustments that make the game a little more usable or easier to teach. The second are very subtle balances. Often, at this stage, these types of balances are more about design aesthetics rather than fixing a broken system. In other words, I'm less worried about exploits than about making sure the game is being true to the larger arguments at work. The final group of changes are simplifications or adjustments of rules that include things like standardizing some actions, ironing out a counterintuitive mechanism, and sometimes moving rules from one part of the game to another to improve flow. 

I am very  close to being done with this review. I expect I'll have this process wrapped up within the next two weeks. After that, most of my development time will be spent working on rulebook examples, finalizing the card powers and balance, and writing any historical commentary that I haven't finished. 

Near final deed cards.

While that is going on, I'm continuing to receive final art files from our 3 artists. I should have the final designs of the coins soon and high resolution scans of the ganjifa cards. In addition, I've been working closely with Janek on the game's remaining icons and making everything harmonize with his new board. I'll be keeping the TTS mod updated, so feel free to check out our progress if you're so inclined!

Lastly, Drew and I will both be running virtual sessions at the San Diego Historical Games Convention in mid November. This is a special show for Drew and I and for John Company. Last year this was the first show where we showed John Company to the public and the response was so enthusiastic that we decided to run this Kickstarter in the spring. This year, Drew will be demoing John Company and I'll be making two presentations. But, don't despair! We'll be recording both of my sessions and later posting them to the Wehrlegig Youtube channel.  In  the first session, I'll be doing a comprehensive teach of John Company with the near-final rules. In the second session, I'll be talking about the game's long development with particular attention on the changes that have been made since last year's showing of the game.


That's all I have for now. In short, everything is going pretty smoothly. When we next update you, I hope to have a couple videos to share and maybe even a near-final rulebook. Till then, be well!

Pax Pamir Sets Sail, and an (Easy) Hard Decision about John Company's Production Timeline
2 months ago – Mon, Sep 27, 2021 at 03:44:07 AM

Hi Backers.

Cole and I are excited to share some big news about John Company and Pax Pamir. Drew here at the top of this update to share some important developments on Pax Pamir Freight and Fulfillment. It’s been about a month since our last update and it’s time we get everyone up to speed on where we are at in this project. If you are only backing for John Company, feel free to skip these Pax Pamir sections and go right down to Cole’s update on John Company.

Pax Pamir Shipping Update

Many of you know that international fulfillment have been in a tough place for the last couple years, and the last several months have been worse than ever. There are compounding problems in the world of international freight. Container shortages, hyper competitive prices, port labor shortages, COVID outbreaks.  It’s been a wild year, and I am thrilled to say that Pax Pamir has now left the factory and is en route to each of our international fulfillment centers.

Many of these shipments are scheduled to arrive in October, and shortly after their arrival, our fulfillment partners will be ready to pack and ship Pax Pamir items out to Backers! Though we are still waiting on specific fulfillment timelines from each of our shipping hubs, I suspect some backers will receive Pamir at the end of October and many will throughout November.  I hope nearly all of our Pax Pamir backers have received their copies by early December, but as always, I continue to ask for your patience and kindness as we move forward to fulfillment. The world of shipping continues to be full of delays so, I will be writing another Pax Pamir update in a couple weeks (right before address lock) with regional updates from our shipping partners as the games get closer to delivery. I'll also share the vessel tracking information for the different regional shipments down in the comments in case anyone wants to track the cargo, though I personally find that a lot less fun this year since we are paying so much more than what we paid last year for freight.

Pax Pamir Address lock

With fulfillment starting in a couple weeks, we are going to lock addresses for Pax Pamir backers and backer's receiving Pax Pamir add-ons in a split shipment on October 7th. Our plan is to spend a few days organizing the fulfillment info for our shipping partners and share final addresses for these shipments with them next week. If you are doing a split shipment with John Company, your Pax Pamir items will ship when they are ready and we will reconfirm your shipping address for John Company when those items are ready. We will not be doing an address lock until March 2022 for John Company pledges or thge Pax Pamir + John Company pledges that are shipping together.

As always, let us know if you have any questions below, or if you have any specific questions about your pledge, send us an email to support@wehrlegig.com for assistance. Alright, now Cole is going to share some news about John Company’s current progress at and where things are headed for that project.

Revised John Company Production Timeline

Hi everyone, Cole here. While most everyone knows about how bad delays in the fulfillment are this year, they are hardly isolated. Basically every element of the supply chain is under some stress, from supplies of raw materials to production capacity.  

Our original plan was to submit the files at this time and then have the game fully produced and shipped before Chinese New Year (which is the first week of February this year.) This would allow us to get the game to you all more-or-less on schedule. However, as we approached our deadline, I started to get a little worried. The game itself was going great and I wasn't expecting any delays. However, I knew that many factories were more-or-less at capacity and would likely be operating behind schedule. I started communicating with our partners in China, and they confirmed my suspicions. If we submitted everything on schedule, there was a very good chance that the game's production would be delayed and we wouldn't be able to ship the game until after Chinese New Year. Furthermore, if we ran into any production complications in the next few months, we would have almost no flexibility for solving them. 

With that in mind, our course of action was clear. We decided to strategically delay John Company's production, trading our pre-Chinese New Year production window for one that will start right after the holiday. The cost of this trade is clear. The fulfillment of John Company will be several months late, and likely wont be in your hands until until May or June of next year. We likely won't have a better estimate of exactly when it will fulfill until March. 

However, this delay has many, many advantages as well. At this point the design for John Company is 99% done and most of the files are in various stages of layout. With this delay, I now have basically added 3 months to the development timeline. This time is going to give Drew and I room to commission several more art pieces for the game, take the game through additional usability testing and editorial passes, and spend a lot of time engineering the box and it's insert so that when production does begin everything is perfect. This is why I'm thinking about this delay as "strategic." Rather than be caught flat footed belay production delays, we're trying our best to adjust our schedule to make use of the added time it's going to take to see this through. 

Also , this means that we are also pushing back the payment processing date for any remaining John Company Backerkit balances until late January 2022. This will help allow us to still provide refunds for any canceled John Company pledge. If you do want your Backerkit balance to be processed ASAP or if you have any questions about your pledge, please send us an email support@wehrlegig.com from your Backerkit-associated email and we can process your payment early.


Some Previews!

Okay, so now that I've outlined our strategy for the next few months. Let me show you some of what we've been up to. 

First, we're finalizing the look and feel of a lot of the game's hard components. 

Eagle-eyed observers will note that we're now printing with a different color for each color of family member. This has been really helpful for making the game's six player colors colorblind friendly and I think is lovely aesthetically as well. This color flexibility has been made possible thanks to some topnotch heat-transfer work. In the past heat-transfer work is sometimes a little blurry, but these images came out crisp and the added time in the schedule has really let us get the technique right. We really love how the colors have turned out here, although we did adjust the ink on the yellow family pieces just a shade darker. We've also made the towers look less red so they don't get conflated for Company pieces.

Now, let's talk about coins. For our original timeline, we were going to do simple flat-extruded coins (like Pamir's) so that we would finish the game on time. The method here is simple. The illustrator would produce a design and then the factory would pull it out a millimeter or so from the core of the coin. However, the extra time has allowed us to enlist our sculptor, Amarjeet Bitke for something more ambitious. Because these coin designs feature faces and animals, we wanted to use a more historically appropriate approach and are actually having the designs sculpted in relief. Here are some pictures of the coins:

Now this is not the best render (I cobbled it together from screen captures), but hopefully you can all get a sense of how they will look together. Note that the 1s and 5s will both be the same size to enable easy stacking. The 1s will be done with a copper finish and the 5s will be silver. The 10s will be gold and both larger and thicker. The 25s will be done in a very bright gold and be larger and thicker still (these coins are used in very rare circumstances).


Finally, I mentioned earlier that the added time is letting us revisit some of the game's graphic design. To that end, Drew and I have brought Janek Lipiński (who did the cameo portraits) to help with the game's icons, coin designs, and game board. Right now Janek is hard at work finishing a new draft of the board that I think looks really wonderful. Once that's done we'll start applying it's style to all of the game's different printed components. 


(Note that this is just a working sample and there are tons of little things that are left to be improved and corrected) 

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Cole and I want this new edition of John Company to be the best version we can make it, and , with a production delay, we know we’ll be able to do just that without having to rush through the final stages of development, graphic design, and pre-press. We started Wehrlegig Games as a side project to create the fullest visions of our published games, and it is because of patient backers like you allow us to continue this work despite setbacks and tricky timelines.


Thanks again everyone for all the support along the way.

Cole + Drew

Cards Charging, Design Lock, Solo Testing, and Samples Soon!
4 months ago – Wed, Aug 11, 2021 at 06:55:53 PM

Hello everyone,

We've got quite a bit to say today, so let's get right into the heart of things.

Cards Charging

First off, we are processing payments for Backerkit balances starting on August 12th for anyone with Pax Pamir items that plan to be delivered in 2021. Backers who opted for split shipments of items from both games will have their full Backerkit balance charged as their Pax Pamir items are planned to be shipped later this year.  Backers receiving only John Company or Pax Pamir and John Company items in one shipment in 2022 will not have their cards processed until early Nov (Date TBA).

If you want to review your pledge to make sure you know how much exactly is going to be charged, you're welcome to revisit your Backerkit survey email for John Company. If you cannot find your survey link, you can get a survey link emailed to you here

After we process payments for all 2021 deliveries, we will be sending address confirmation emails depending on your region over the next 2 months. For 2022 deliveries of John Company, we will be sending out address confirmation emails in Jan 2022.

Production and Freight

The 3rd printing of Pax Pamir is nearly finished with production and soon will be put on pallets and shipped off to fulfillment centers all over the world. There are many bench marks in the production and freight process to cross, and we were thrilled to have crossed the mass production copy approval and confirmed shipping plan this week. Things are moving forward and these games will be making their journey in the coming weeks.

As many of you may know, it is difficult, expensive, and slow to move things around the world right now. There continue to be various shortages and delays at nearly every step of the international freight process which makes getting games from our manufacturer to your door a long, arduous process. We are still optimistic that many copies of Pax Pamir and coins will be shipped in October, as we initially estimated, but there will very realistically be pledges that will not ship until November.  There are many factors that are out of our control, but I ask for your patience and understanding as we move forward with our shipping strategy. 


Design Lock, Solo Testing, and Samples Soon 

I'm happy to report that the design for the game is nearly finished and we are tying up just a few small balances. A lot of these balances have to do with the long scenario and a few small points relating to the deregulated game. I'm also doing by best to put the rules through their paces. With a little luck, by the end of this month everything will be ready to send to our editors and proofreaders for a final pass. Around the same time, we'll be posting an update to the Kickstarter with all of the final assets and a fresh TTS kit so that anyone who wants to explore the game can. We'll also be putting together a new teaching video. 

Now that the game is more-or-less finished, Drew and I have shifted our efforts to getting the solo game ready for testing. If you're interested in joining the solo test, you can find the necessary links over on our Discord. Despite not being solo players, we are both quite taken with Ricky's work on the bot. 

In the coming weeks we'll be posting a full length update about how the bot works. We'll also be getting some factory samples for many of the components within the next couple of weeks. So expect a big update with a lot of pictures soon! 

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Alright, that's it for us. I hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all of your support. I cannot wait for you to all see what we've been working on.

New Steam Mod Posted and a List of Development Changes
5 months ago – Sun, Jul 04, 2021 at 12:50:41 AM

Hello everyone,

When we launched the Kickstarter a few months ago, I branched the game internally so that we could continue working on the game. I'm happy to report that I have now merged our development branch with the public mod that can be found on the Steam Workshop here.

As I mentioned in the last update, the game is now very close to being done. There's still some small adjustments that need to be made to some of the various card powers and the full campaign game may get a little more attention. But from here on out my attentions turn primarily to getting the production and graphics ready for the factory while polishing up Ricky's wonderful solo mode. I expect this process will take around two months to complete. Once that's done, we'll start moving the game through the prepress process and get things into production.

In today's update, I want to offer a somewhat detailed accounting of the various changes that have been made to the design over the past three months.  If you don't care to get into the weeds but still want to hear about the design, don't worry! I'll also probably be doing a livestream sometime in the next couple of weeks to take any questions you might have. Rest assured that the game has largely held its shape from the version we launched with the Kickstarter. On balance, these changes have widened the game's strategic space and really allowed us to flesh out the various scenarios. 

Alright, let's take a look at some highlights:

From Prestige to Power

Prestige is now called "power" and is more carefully themed to represent real political/social influence. The amount of victory points given for having the most power is now keyed to the game turn. The penalty for having the least power has been removed. 

Prestige Cards (Enterprises and Spouses)

Enterprises now function like deeds and are affected by policies. Spouses are now worth straight victory points but each comes with a gameplay restriction that will bind your for the rest of the game. Caveat Emptor! 

Commander Rules (Loot and Power)

The rules for dividing loot have gone through so many iterations over the past year. Thankfully, I finally found a solution that I liked. It's a return to a very old style of loot division but without the penny negotiations. Commanders also no longer have a stable power and instead gain power based on what they accomplish in defense and offense during their tenure.  

Revised Special Officers (Governors, etc)

The governors and various special offices have been reworked to have more impact on the severity of rebellions and provide the Company with new strategies for staying afloat. This allowed me to put in a lot of historical detail, including the role of Indian shipbuilding in sustaining the Company's commercial power. 

Other special offices were adjusted as well, including a big revision to both how China is opened and a new measure of how lucrative the opium trade is.

Private Firms

Tons of work has been invested into the deregulated game. Private firms now compete more directly with the company and with each other. Their scoring and valuation have been overhauled and their fundraising has been better integrated into the game.

Policy Track, Laws, and Window Taxes

The Policy track has been adjusted a little and many laws have been sharpened. In addition, some laws now provide players with bonus family actions for the remainder of the game which fixes some of the game's action economy problems. In addition, there's now a new policy icon, the "Window Tax" which triggers a special tax that has to be paid by those with lots of prizes and luxuries. 

Adjusted Family Action

The number of children no longer scales depending on player count. Instead, players get a single family action, but if you take the same family action as you took the previous turn, you can take it twice. This creates a little more strategic inertia and some lovely opportunity costs.  The child as ward promise has been replaced by the vote promise.

Revamped Setup Cards

The setup system has been reworked to better capture the differences between the scenarios. 


There have been lots of other little changes too, including lots of little balances to the various numbers and a lot of obvious clean up. If you're interested in learning more, I suggest checking out the rules which can be found on the game's Steam Workshop page. From here on out, I'll be piping all development changes directly through the Workshop mod so players should always have access to the most recent iteration of the game. I'll do my best to detail any changes to the design or components in the Steam Wokrshop changelog as well as on the Wehrlegig Discord. 


Alright, that's all I have for you today. Take care everyone!