It was with some disappointment that I picked up the Hell Dorado rulebook a few weeks ago.
See, back in mid-’08, I was all about Hell Dorado. The minis are gorgeous. Between Google Translate and a guy we knew on RPG.net’s OGO forum (a Finn who’d gotten the French rulebook and helped us out with some rules), we were able to fumble through a fistful of games and it was fun. We threw together cheat sheets and even set up a freaking Google Group. I’ve got a nearly complete set of
Démons Demons and Égarés Lost and a good fistful of Mercenaires Mercenaries.
All we needed was for the game to, you know, be printed in English. It’d have been nice to know whether or not we were playing the game correctly (not that translations of French games tend to be particularly intelligible; I’m looking at you, Rackham), and there were a handful of folks local who were very interested in the game… but unwilling to commit without some sort of English language support. Until there was an English rulebook, the game wasn’t exactly real.
Then Asmodee said they weren’t publishing it in the US. Then they dropped it altogether. I moved on, but was pleased to learn that the game was licensed about a year after things cooled off for us.
At the time of licensing, there was a full line of minis and an unpublished English translation of the rules (the translator’s active on OGO). You’d think it’d be just a matter of logistics to get production up and running in the US and the game out the door. I don’t do this sort of thing for a living, so I couldn’t say what a reasonable period would be: three months? six months? I don’t know.
I do know that a hair short of two years is too damn long. Not only was it long enough to let any interest in the game cool off, it completely left the door open for Malifaux, which very much fills the same sort of niche in terms of play, style, and size, to scoot in and take any sort of place Hell Dorado could have had.
When Malifaux came out and I saw folks’ response to it… I pretty much knew Hell Dorado would be DOA. Then, like, a whole extra year came and went. Sheesh.
Anyway, I picked up the book when it came out. I haven’t really read it yet. Tomorrow, since I’ve never posted pictures of them here before (and because I took new pictures of them with the light box), I’ll post pictures of my painted Hell Dorado figures.