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We have been in detailed communication with the fabulous folks at Kickstarter over the last few weeks after our successful Papillon campaign was cancelled after having closed.
We love Kickstarter as a way of engaging with the community. We have launched a number of successful campaigns and are in the process of fulfilling them. As of now we have:
**Terrors of London shipping to Asia this month and to US backers in June.
**Mezo in mid-production with a US delivery date of August (2 months later than originally planned). Miniatures have been injected and work has begun on trays.
**All Manor of Evil in pre-production with a US delivery date of August (1 month later than originally planned). The files are transferred to the factory.
**Western Legends: Ante Up in production testing with a US delivery date of September (2 months sooner than originally planned!) Train molds have been validated, now preparing for injection.
**Merchants of Muziris, Neolithic, and Keep (a.k.a. The Clowdus Collection) in pre-production with a US delivery date of December (1 month later than originally planned). Two-thirds of the files have been proofed.
**Consumption: Food and Choices in pre-production with a US delivery date of November (as originally planned). Rules are now finalized after Kickstarter backer feedback.
We got the opportunity to show to the Kickstarter team that all our projects are in production and in the process of being delivered.
As a result, we will be relaunching Papillon on Thursday May 30th, and we will have a special demo for it at KublaCon the week prior to celebrate the occasion!
Come out and see us, and do not hesitate to back or re-back the campaign!
Travis R. Chance
Yesterday, Kolossal Games launched a Kickstarter for Hunt the Ravager, a brilliant game by Clinton Morris featuring deeply thematic artwork from the talented Andrew Bosley.
Unfortunately, we've been notified by Kickstarter that the campaign is suspended. Our team is currently working to understand the issue and we hope to resolve the situation very soon.
We want to assure our fans that we remain incredibly excited about Hunt the Ravager, and will do everything we can to bring it back to Kickstarter in the near future. We'll announce a new campaign date as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience, and your continued support!
President, Kolossal Games
What a year this was and we wanted to wrap it up with what we've learned, some challenges we've encountered and where we go from here!
We started Kolossal Games with the distinct pleasure of launching Western Legends on Kickstarter as our very first game on January 9th.
We went on to successfully fund a total of 9 games on Kickstarter in 2018. A feat we're not sure anyone else has accomplished! AfterWestern Legends came Kami-Sama, Imperius, the Omen Saga, Combo Fighter, Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy, Terrors of London, Mezo, and we finished the year with All Manor of Evil.
While we loved each of these games and we are very proud of them, we were thrilled that what we were trying to do captured the excitement of so many people.
Travis Chance, the president of Kolossal Games, put together an incredible team of industry professionals to start Kolossal Games. And we've done our best over course of the year to bring, and successfully fund 9 Kickstarter campaigns!
We love what we do. Making games that bring so much enjoyment to so many people is a dream come true and we couldn't do it without you, our fans and backers. Seeing our games opened up and played at conventions and through social media posts has been an incredibly satisfying way to end the year and we look forward to continuing to bring more titles to life.
A Year in Review
The year has not come without it's challenges and hiccups. Even though we have an experienced team, we still faced many of the issues that come with a new start-up company. Most of these issues were discovered during fulfillment of Western Legends and we've adjusted our model to fix these issues on our future games. We discovered problems with scheduling, design, production, shipping, customer service, etc. Part of this year in review is to take the opportunity to address some of the things we've learned, how we've adjusted our procedures and approach, and how we will bring this knowledge to ultimately improve the experience for you.
Messaging and Communication
One of the primary things we have addressed in the last half of the year has been the communication practices with our backers and customers. We realized in September that the sheer number of campaigns that we were attempting, the number of total backers and customers that we had, and the staff allocated to answering their questions and addressing their issues did not align.
While we were slow to admit this problem we took steps to address it. Hiring a dedicated customer support representative (Say Hi Mark!), and implementing basic communication response practices we've begun to align our communication deficit with the needs of our customers. There are still improvements to be made like finding questions here on BGG in a timely manner and addressing community questions, but we look forward to showing everyone moving forward our new commitments to better communication as we bring additional games to backer, retail, and Kickstarter in 2019!
First, we simply miscalculated the production and shipping time required in our early campaigns. The Estimated Delivery dates were calculated based on when the very first backers would be shipped their copies. These first backers were located in the Asian countries closest to the factory, but did not properly set the expectation that the majority of our backers would not receive their games for an additional 2-3 months from this date.
We've created a new detailed shipping timetable that we've already begun using on our latest campaigns to help detail this schedule.
This calendar is still being tinkered with but we feel is pretty close.
Now, that being said we also ran into a number of issues with fulfillment for Western Legends in particular as our first game that we didn't anticipate but are improving for future campaigns.
The first copies of Western Legends we found arrived with their inserts destroyed by the card boxes. To address this we began having the cards all packed under the insert. (Remember earlier when I said we had a communication problem?) This cause a lot of initial confusion for people who thought their copies did not come with cards included as we didn't properly communicate this until we started getting customer complaints.
Nobody likes a busted insert
Kickstarter Backers in the European Hub saw an initial delay to their product arriving do to an honest to god typhoon delaying the ship.
To solve this problem we made a sacrifice to Poseidon in the attempt to avoid this in the future. We'll keep you posted.
French Language copies of Western Legends were not created with the initial print run at the factory, and needed to wait until another major shipment to make the trek across the ocean. There have also been some unfortunate shipping delays that we were not immediately aware of.
There was a misprint with the
We regret not making these issues more clear with our French language backers, and as you can see in the above schedule we have noted that additional languages may take additional time. We are committing to making sure this is clear for future campaigns. And when there is an exception like with Terrors of London, also letting people know that they are being produced at the same time!
French language copies in Europe have mostly been delivered and Canadian copies will be delivered to their fulfillment centers by the end of the year and will be delivered to backers in early January.
Pre-Orders and Availability
One of the most painful processes for us has been the struggles we've had getting pre-ordered copies to those that purchased them. A number of unforeseen consequences struck us and we initially struggled to find solutions.
The Pre-Order dates were mislabeled on KolossalGames.com. These dates were using the original Kickstarter fulfillment date estimation of October. This was wildly inaccurate as retail copies that would be used for pre-orders were still on a boat and would need to be shipped across the country before they could be fulfilled.
After the KS fulfillment, we used the remaining KS inventory to fulfill as many pre-orders as we could. Then once the retailer copies arrived we called in some favors and had them send out a second wave to fulfill more pre-orders. Finally, and most importantly to future campaigns, the remaining copies were shipped to our fulfillment center (Funagain) who are now able to handle any future ongoing orders in the United States.
World Wide Pre-Orders made from our website were initially open to customers across the world, but without fulfillment centers able to complete these orders.
Web store fulfillment, for now, has been set to only the US while we work on setting up channels for world wide fulfillment. For the outstanding orders, we’re having our US fulfillment center handle these orders at a loss for our company rather than cancel the orders that people made in good faith.
Over Sold Expansions
During the Cyber Monday sale when we opened up direct orders for Western Legends on our website, we sold more bundles that included the Western Legends expansion than we ended up having on initial stock. Part of this problem was due to the games being in transit shortly before the sales so we were waiting on a final count of the remaining inventory. As a package bundle each order was delayed while we waited for these additional copies.
When the dust settled, we found that we didn’t have enough expansions to fulfill all of the orders. We air shipped copies in from China to fulfill those orders. We’ll also be setting quantity limits on the website for future products. While misprints and mistranslated components are not completely avoidable, we will be making additional efforts to proof these copies.
For those of you that have a misprinted french component, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and as soon as we have replacement copies of these, they will be sent out.
While many of you were negatively effected by these stumbles, we are happy to say that we recognized these issues. We are confident that the steps we've taken will fix many of these problems, and diminish the likelihood of others.
Now, there will always be potential issues such as problems with production or shipping, etc. But our promise to all of you, our most important first backers that recognized the potential of this young company, is that we will communicate any issues with future products as soon as we know there is something wrong.
All Good Things
What a wild ride this first year has been. Western Legends has been incredibly well revived and critically acclaimed. We are happy to report that this wonderful game is making many board game reviewer's Top 10 Lists such as Mondo, The Dice Tower, and many others!
We are so proud of what this team has accomplished this year. Moving into 2019 we have an amazing lineup of new games that we're excited to bring to Kickstarter starting in January!
Almost a year to the day that we launched Kolossal's first game Western Legends we will be launching the first full box expansion to Kickstarter.
Western Legends: Ante Up, will add a new town board, new characters, items, mechanics, and even more gambling! One of the most requested additions to Western Legends was the ability to rob the train and we're excited to add this exciting option to the sandbox experience!
A collection of three games from John Clowdus!
Merchants of Muziris, an accessible and fast paced game of role selection where players explore the ancient trade markets of Muziris. With tons of ways to play, you'll focus on set collection, variable setup, and modular roles.
Neolithic, is a two-player card game set at the dawn of the Neolithic age, with each player taking on the role of leader for their village using a mix of Hand Building, Worker Placement, and multi-use cards. The player with the most advanced village wins.
Keep, is a drafting game. Each round, players pass hands of cards consisting of items and characters. Items are worth coins on their own, or can be sold for additional coins. Characters increase the players' coins at the end of the game based on the other cards they've drafted, or offer a special ability, and sometimes both.
Consumption is a worker placement/resource management game about meeting your body's food needs. Shopping and cooking or going out to various eateries is central to the strategy that is balanced by physical activity to help you burn extra calories. Points are earned by completing recipes and activities, but ultimately, giving your body what it needs to be happy earns the most points, as various diseases can sneak up on you if you're not careful.
Hunt the Ravager is a two-player hidden movement game that allows both players to play both roles. While playing as the Ravager, you try to capture silos, destroy locations, and avoid being eliminated; while playing as the Egmatisha, you try to quickly eliminate the Ravager before it captures too many silos.
In Papillon, players will build beautiful flower gardens to attract all manner of life. The tiles that make up your garden are drafted each round and must be carefully arranged. The butterflies they attract will determine control of the individual flowers while hummingbirds who manage to find a home in fields nestled between the flowers will grant you victory points.
And that's just Q1!
We say it a lot but we are so grateful to each and everyone of you that have backed Kolossal Games this year. We hope that we can count on your continued support as we work to bring the best games to the hobby that we can muster. Our small team will continue to try our best to be accessible and available to interact on BGG, Social Media, and on the Kickstarter campaigns. And if you're attending a convention that we're at, come by and say hi! We love to meet the people that love these games.
Thank you all so very much. We hope that you all have the happiest of holidays, and we'll see you in the new year!
- Travis Chance & Team Kolossal
The art that makes up All Manor of Evil is one of the most fondly commented on aspects of the Kickstarter. We wanted to share some insights and background of the game's artistMichael "Riiven" Ng
All Manor of Evil is currently funding on Kickstarter. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kolossalmikro/all-manor...
The Campaign ends on November 15th.
How did you get started working on games?
I had a few pieces of my art floating around on the internet and was contacted soon after uploading them by Joe Brogno. Joe was designing a number of games that I can’t go into details about here but I was immediately excited to do it.
I recall the conversation being pretty straight forward:
Joe: "How would you like to do artwork for a game?"
What artists or games inspired you?
I think that any artist finds inspiration where they can and I’ve had so many people and games that inspired me. There are a few that definitely stand out, however.
Frank Frazetta... His ability to create a piece of art that sticks with you and stirs the imagination - invoking a complete saga with just a single image. Long before I recognized him by name I'd see his art on book covers from the old "get-your-first-5-books-for-a-dollar-club" order forms. I would spend time as a kid imagining the adventures the characters would have and the perils they faced. Later on I learned that his art was a huge inspiration for a lot of other artists I looked up to - I'm definitely no exception.
One of my absolute RPG setting was for D&D 2nd edition, Dark Sun. The Dark Sun setting was a stark contrast to the familiar tropes of what's considered traditional fantasy... Halfling cannibals, half-dwarven Muls (bred to fight in arenas) are a couple of the races that inhabited this savage world. And Gerald Brom is the artist that brought this game to life for me. His art and creations are masterfully laced with the dark macabre. The subjects in his art are often regal and command respect and all of this is done through composition alone.
Bob Ross... This last one may come across as a joke because he's commonly known as a meme nowadays but I'd be remiss not to mention him. I grew up learning how to paint because of his PBS show. Being a self taught artist, he wonderfully demystified painting (in a good way) and opened up doors to anyone willing to take the time learn. I fondly remember sitting in front of the TV as a 6 year old and would try to, failingly, follow along with his oil painting instructions with my off-brand cakes of watercolors swatches. I ended up watching him for years and his compositions have stuck with me to this day. The way he always seemed to frame his pieces with trees or shapes on either side of the canvas, gave his pieces weight, balance, and focus in his landscapes. And it's an aesthetic that can be seen throughout a lot of my own pieces. I love how he didn't teach painting by using complex artistic language, rules, and theories. He simply showed you how to paint. A definite inspiration of mine!
Have you always had a fondness for the Cthulhu Mythos and the works of H. P. Lovecraft?
Absolutely! Lovecraft's concepts have always captured my imagination since I was a kid. As far back as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the idea of ancient forbidden knowledge, elder evils, and sleeping gods with forgotten names. I would often daydream about some powerful occult text that's been tucked away, waiting to be found.
How did you approach the style that so perfectly captures the feel of the unknown horror that permeates Lovecraft's tales?
I think mood was important. To me, a lot of the beings of Lovecraft aren't so much flesh and blood but entities that exist between realities. Nightmarish, abstract, and shadowy are some adjectives that come to mind when I'm picturing Lovecraft's world. I only hope I did it justice.
The art on the gods and monsters is superb. Did you find it difficult to bring that same sense of dread to the relic cards?
I created the relics with pretty much the same approach. I'd always start off by imagining what things would look like through the lens of someone in the world (full of fear and on the verge of insanity) and try to "find" the piece.
Is there a particular piece in the game that was your favorite to work on?
Definitely the cover pieces for the main game and the expansion. A lot of the ideas for them just fell into place.
Anything that you're currently working on that you can share?
I'm continuously working on a personal project of mine. Nothing I can show yet. One of these days...
Where can fans of the game find more of your work?
Admittedly, I'm pretty bad about this... I don't have much of an online presence (it's never really been my thing) but maybe I'll think of something to add to my Artstation when I get a chance.
We encourage readers to check out and subscribe to his BGG page and make sure to check out the Kickstarter at www.AllManorOfEvil.com before November 15th.
Western Legends has begun hitting game night tables and we are all very excited to see the outpouring of excitement surrounding this game! If you’re playing it we want to see the stories you’re telling on social media (@KolossalGames, #WesternLegends), and of course here on BGG! For those of you still waiting on your copy we’ve got some news for you too.
First, an update on delivery for everyone! We understand that there was some confusion with how we detailed the fulfillment timeline on our campaign and we apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this has caused. We’d like to try to clear this up.
United States Kickstarter Backers have all been sent their copies! If you backed the campaign (Not Pre-Ordered) and you haven’t received notification of shipping or your copy, please reach out to our Customer Service Team right away. https://kolossalgames.com/contact-us/ They will require up to a few days to get back to you but they are working diligently.
We are aware of some reports that a number of orders, placed through our fulfillment service CrowdOx, did not receive their Fist Full of Extras expansion. If you are one of these people, please reach out to our customer service team with your order information so we can set things right! https://kolossalgames.com/contact-us/
For everyone that placed a pre-order through the KolossalGames.com, you’ll begin receive your copies of games over the next couple weeks, if you haven’t already! Giddy-up!
European Kickstarter English language Backers will begin receiving their copies next week. Full fulfillment should take a couple weeks. French Language backers will be delivered early November. The suspense is palpable right? For those of you in Europe that missed out on the campaign but want to make your stake in the great American West, you can pre-order your copies from the Matagot website. http://www.matagot.com/Essen2018/Monuments_EN.html
Remember that movie Shanghai Knights, where a cowboy came cross the Atlantic? No? Well this year at Essen the Matagot and the Surfin Meeple booth will both be invaded by the legends of the wild west. So, if you’re headed to Spiel, you can stop by the Hall 3, and pick up your very own copy of Western Legends!
More information can be found here about Matagot at Essen http://www.matagot.com/Essen2018/
Hall 4 I103
Hall 3 E102
And if you’re unable to pick up your copy at Essen this year you should check with your Favorite Local Game Store, because our distributors have said that Western Legends will be hitting retail stores October 25th! Seeing Western Legends on store shelves is going to be a dream come true for us! The love and effort that were put into this game cannot be put into detail and we’re just so happy that it is being enjoyed by so many people!
It continues to get rave reviews and Tom Vasel even called it, “The essential cowboy game." And we’re thrilled that it’s even getting recognized by people outside the core hobby market. Did anyone watch South Park last night? Full warning, it’s South Park. But the boys do like playing board games! http://southpark.cc.com/clips/vvopxd/the-boys-are-missing
We’re so proud of this game and incredibly happy that it’s being well received. There are a couple other issues that have creeped up as are wont to do with a first printing of any game and we’re working hard to address them! One of the first things anyone should check when opening their copy of Western Legends is under the insert, that’s where you’ll find all the cards! We realize this might have been confusing to a number of people and next time we pack games like this we’ll make sure we make it clear!
We understand that many people thought that there would be full poker chips included in the game that are represented by tokens too. Wow that would have been cool! But, it also would have increased the price and shipping of the game dramatically and we never intended for these to be anything other than punch tokens. Maybe we’ll come out with an upgrade kit .
All and all we’ve received reports on fewer than 3% of the product, while not perfect there are bound to be some issues with any production. We’re sorry if your copy was one that had issues and we encourage you to reach out to our customer service team right away so that we can help out! https://kolossalgames.com/contact-us/
From all of us here at Kolossal Games: Thank you for helping us bring this incredible game to life. Gaming crosses boundaries, brings people together, and it is our passion. We feel so lucky that we get to share this passion with you!
One last thing!
If you get a chance to check out our current Kickstarter Campaign for Mezo, www.MezoGame.com we’d appreciate it. It’s designed by John Clowdus, also has great reviews from Tom Vasel and many others and is chocked full of incredibly sculpted minis. Couldn’t end this letter without a plug!
All the best!
The shadows of the great civilizations are about to eclipse the galaxy once again…
Many of us have spent a lot of time building vast space empires and trading and fighting with alien civilizations in games like Wing Commander and Starcraft. When Eclipse came out in 2011, it helped redefine tabletop’s approach to the genre. Who would have thought you could get a hybrid-space opera with easily understandable goals and mechanics? Touko Tahkokallio’s love of 4X principals from video games like Master of Orion tied with the Euro-game tabletop style where he got his start is at the root of Eclipse's popularity.
"[Eclipse] has elements that appeal to many different types of gamers... it's the first heavy economic Eurogame in a long while with an interesting theme," - Tom Vasel
, interview with MTV News, 2012
When Lautapelit.fi announced it would release a second-edition of Eclipse, we went into fan mode, scouring the net for any new nugget of info about timing, contents, changes, anything. We awaited details with credit cards poised to go all in!
Lautapelit.fi was looking for a partner to support their goal of getting closer to the fans of Eclipse and use Kickstarter for their new version to interact closely with the community. It is with absolute honor and gratitude that we share our partnership in bringing Lautapelit.fi's reimagined sci-fi masterpiece Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy to Kickstarter in May 2018!
What can you expect from this new edition? First, we will get an introductory short story from award-winning science fiction novelist Johanna Sinisalo to help create the atmosphere. We will see concepts new to the base game, updated components, artwork, and graphic design. Not to mention we'll get new miniatures and faster and more balanced gameplay with polished rules. While it is still a work in progress, the new edition is out of this world! We are excited to get to be a part of the process of bringing this edition to existing fans and introducing Eclipse to those who haven’t discovered it yet.
The Kolossal team has a deep love for the original game--it’s a top 5 game for many of us. We are driven by a desire to work with amazing artists, designers, and partners to bring incredible games direct to the consumer. It is an honor and a privilege to bring Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy to the Kickstarter community all over the world.
Curious what else Kolossal Games is up to?
- Check out our next game to hit Kickstarter, Kami-sama, which launches Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.
- A new Omen is on the way from John Clowdus.
- See the stunning cover art for Grant Rodiek’s Imperius.
- Western Legends is open for pre-orders.
- Subscribe to Kolossal Games to hear more!
I am excited to announce a new branch of Kolossal Games called Powered by Kolossal and with it our first partner Plotmaker Games.
Powered by Kolossal is a way for us to bring even more incredible games to life utilizing our expertise with the Kickstarter platform in partnership with unique publishers seeking to bring their games to a wider audience. We will work closely with our partners to develop stretch goals and marketing support for their campaigns.
Plotmaker Games was founded by Asger Johansen, a world creator, formerly working for LEGO and his best friend Snorre Krogh who live and operate out of Copenhagen.
Be sure to follow Plotmaker Games - Powered by Kolossal on Kickstarter.
With that, let’s talk about Combo Fighter. First off, I LOVE old arcade fighting games! So when I found about about Combo Fighter, I immediately geeked out on memories of playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, DOA, - the list goes on because arcade fighters are my jam. CHUN-LI WINS!
The art by Snorre is fantastic and has that arcade vibe we know and love. The design by Asger brings the nostalgia as you utilize your character’s signature combos to ultimately KO your opponent.
We cannot wait to bring this awesome game to Kickstarter. Look for the game to launch this April and be sure to subscribe to Combo Fighter on BGG.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
I am so pumped about our 2018 lineup. We are working with some incredible people to make amazing games, and I am just super proud of our team and collaborators for what we have accomplished to-date and for what is coming in the year ahead. Without further ado, here is an initial look at what's coming from Kolossal this year:
Western Legends - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, January 9th
From the creative mind of Hervé Lemaître, players will enjoy a highly narrative and interactive experience, choosing a life of crime as a Wanted character or justice as a Marshal. Western Legends features historical characters from the American Old West brought to life with the beautiful illustration work by Roland MacDonald with amazing miniatures from Pure Arts (Kemet, Cyclades Titans, Inis).
In Western Legends, players can rob the bank as Billy the Kid, evade the sheriff as “Doc” Holliday, or rustle cattle as Calamity Jane. In the end, the objective is to go down in history as the most legendary figure of the time.
Over the course of the game, players will need to react to random events, complete jobs and objectives, and equip themselves to survive. Purchase a mount, weapons, and other items necessary to get through the troubled times in one piece. Mine for gold, wrangle cattle or hold up other players. You can do it all in the open sandbox environment laid in front of you!
Your actions determine where you fall in the eyes of the law.
Players will enjoy having multiple paths to victory and a diverse set of characters and options to choose from, ensuring that no two games will ever be the same. Additionally, the game features incredible miniatures, custom sculpted by Pure Arts Studios. While there is plenty of content in Western Legends, players will find rules and gameplay to be simple and straightforward.
Whether you choose the path of a wandering gunfighter, a small-town sheriff, or a successful lawman planning to retire, only one player will emerge as Legendary!
Kami-sama - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, February 13th
Become a spirit of the land in Kami-sama, a tactical strategy game designed by AJ Lambeth with art by Gong Studios. Players will assume the role of a kami, each with a focus on a different aspect of life. In this role, they will compete to spread their own influence throughout the land. As their influence spreads, they will see shrines erected in their honor across the four villages.
A fierce battle is being fought throughout Japanese countryside. A battle for the hearts and minds of the residents in the four villages of the land.
The placement of shrines in each village is important. Kami earn village tokens by matching patterns with their shrine placement. These tokens are used to help the kami gain further favor. It is essential for shrines to be chained together in consecutive locations throughout each village. The kami who has the longest chain of shrines in a village controls it and gains the favor of one of its many villagers. These villagers grant special bonuses to the kami who claim them and are vital for granting bonus influence at the end of the game.
One of the important aspects of Kami-sama is the balance that you must strike between gaining Favor with the villagers and remaining connected to Nature. Only by balancing their relationship with Nature and with the Favor of the village can a kami become truly successful. If a kami is focused too much on winning Favor with the villagers, they will lose their connection to Nature. On the other hand, a kami that is fully committed to Nature cannot gain the Favor of the villages. The successful kami is the one who can best balance these two factors.
You will need to carefully plot each move to drive your opponents out of the villages. Use your influence over the elements to turn the tides in your favor. However, each turn brings a new village, and your powers will rise or diminish based on your actions.
As kami move between villages (and rounds), their shrines remain. You will need to pay attention to each village to see how you and your opponents affect each other’s shrines. Make the best use of your abilities and ensure that you are the kami to be crowned the Kami-sama, the leader of the kami, at the end of the contest.
Omen: Fires in the East - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, April 24th
This latest title in the Omen series, from designer John Clowdus and featuring art from Manthos Lappas, is an expansion for two players that can be played on its own or combined with Omen: Reign of War and/or Omen: Edge of the Aegean.
You could be the greatest warlord the Isles have ever seen. Your thirst for power is matched only by your strategic wit and cunning. You know no rival, aside from your brother.
As children of Zeus, you stand poised to conquer all of Greece, but not without the blessing of the gods. To determine who shall rule the domain of man, the gods have devised a contest and lent their most powerful forces for the cause: pillage and raze three cities. When the carnage ends, only one child will be victorious, while the other will fade into antiquity as just another half-god spawn of Zeus.
To compete in this contest, players will take on the role of one of these two siblings with access to a powerful array of units including warriors, sphinxes, and priestesses; each with various uses. Warriors are powerful, and affect the city they are played in. Sphinxes are easily double the strength of the average warrior, but occupy two slots in the player's available army, and are worth points at the end of the game if not deployed. The priestesses offer bonuses to players if they are discarded, but leave a lot to be desired in strength. They also perform a ritual that gives boons based on cards sacrificed during the offering phase.
Consumption: Food and Choices - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, May 22nd
Consumption, designed by Karen Knoblaugh, is a worker placement/resource management game about meeting your body’s food needs.
Shopping and cooking or going out to various eateries is central to the strategy that is balanced by physical activity to help you burn extra calories. Points are earned by completing recipes and activities, but ultimately, giving your body what it needs to be happy earns the most points, as various diseases can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
Imperius - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, August 14th
Imperius, from acclaimed designer Grant Rodiek, builds on the existing mechanisms of Solstice: Fall of Empire by adding asymmetrical factions, less secret information, and varied planet effects that can grant additional special abilities to players. The world is brought vividly to life by the talented team at Gong Studios.
The ruling house of the empire is in decline, and in their weakness an opportunity presents itself. The throne is within the grasp of any rival faction bold and cunning enough to grab power for themselves. However, this is a nuanced conflict, one where diplomacy cuts just as sharply as the weapons of an army, but half as so as the assassin’s blade. There are wheels within wheels and machinations beyond your view.
Players represent powerful houses, each seeking to ascend to the throne. Every player has the same six cards, which provide Strength, Favor, Victory Points, and bonuses. Unfortunately, the path forward is shrouded in fog, forcing players to manage the uncertainty of the times.
No Dawn - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, September 4th
In No Dawn, from the mind of JB Howell, each player assumes the role of a militia, defending the city from the relentless onslaught of goblins, ogres, hill giants, and other creatures who are bent on destroying the final stronghold for humanity.
Hordes of goblins and other terrifying beasts of the land are attempting to lay waste to the city. The various militias inside are mounting a defense in an attempt to make one final stand to save the land that they love.
No Dawn is a scenario-driven cooperative game that introduces unique twists to the common mechanisms of worker placement and deck building. Players can partner up on worker spaces to assist in tasks such as recruiting others in the city to the fight, repairing damaged supply lines, and gathering food.
No Dawn introduces a unique threat level mechanism that increases the difficulty of the game as it progresses. This mechanism forces players to make tough decisions about how fast they want to complete their scenario objectives. Complete the scenario too soon, and players may lose cards that could prove valuable assets for future scenarios.
Mezo - Kickstarter begins Tuesday, October 16th
Mezo, the first big box game from acclaimed Small Box Games designer John Clowdus, is an area control game for 2-4 players inspired by Mayan mythology.
Players control tribes seeking the favor of the gods. These tribes will call forth the gods to aid them as they clash for dominance, build step pyramids, and make sacrifices to gain immense power. This is John Clowdus' first 'big box' game, featuring massive miniatures and an innovative take on area control.
To bring more 2-player games to the market we are not only working with John Clowdus, but we are also working with Tom Lehmann, creator of Race for the Galaxy! Expect to hear more about what we are working on with him in the coming months.
Are you as excited as I am for this lineup? We have even more great games coming in 2019, featuring designers Martin Wallace and Amanda Milne, JB Howell, Jason Blake, Roberta Taylor, Kathleen Mercury, Tam Myaing, Clinton Morris, and John Clowdus.
Every one of our games is spectacular. There is a massive amount of work, love, and passion going into each one. We don't believe in shortcuts or publishing for the sake of publishing. We have put the resources in place to ensure that every game gets a white glove treatment from start to finish.
We have an incredible full-time team starting with Travis R. Chance, who is not only a phenomenal designer (Heroes Wanted, Path of Light and Shadow, Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer) he is also a fantastic developer (Kodama, Aeon's End) and our founder and President.
Then we have AJ Lambeth, developer, Mark Burke, Community Manager, and Chris Byer, Graphic Designer.
Additionally, we have some phenomenal part-time team members including Brian Lee, graphic designer for Heroes Wanted and Western Legends, Justin Breucop, and Katie Aidley.
Things are shaping up to be Kolossal, and I am so happy you are on this journey with us. Hope to talk to you soon online or in person. You can find me here on BGG, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Travis R. Chance
When we first began work on Western Legends, the game had a smaller roster of historical figures. As we wanted to bring the game to Kickstarter, and stretch goals are a thing, this meant we would need more characters. Hervé had done a great job of including the people expected to see: Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, and Jesse James. But the more research our team did, the more interesting people we discovered that deserved to be in the game. This was a time of expansion. People from the world over came to the US in search of opportunity and fortune. In 1865, the Civil War ended and with it slavery. These momentous events shaped some into the stuff of legend.
Firstly, allow me to thank Rob Ford from Upperdeck who took the time to share his personal and deep love of this era. He introduced me to a number of people of which I was wholly unaware. One of these is Bass Reeves, who remains one of my favorites in the game.
Bass Reeves was the first African American deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. In his 32 years as a federal peace officer, Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, including his own son. To this day, he is credited as one of the best lawmen in U.S. history.
I also learned of “Stagecoach” Mary Fields, who was the first African-American woman star route mail carrier in the U.S. At six foot tall, she had a standing bet at her local saloon: $5 and a glass of whisky said she could knock out any cowboy with a single punch. According to the Great Falls Examiner, she broke more noses than any other person in central Montana. Her nickname "Stagecoach Mary" came from her tenacious ability to deliver on a regular schedule no matter the obstacle.
It was also very important to us to include Native Americans within the game. This inclusion required a thoughtful meditation on how to share the stories of people who had endured something few can even begin to fathom. To this end, we carefully selected figures from the era rather than omit them.
Crazy Horse was a Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He took up arms against the U.S. federal government to fight against encroachment by white American settlers on Indian territory and to preserve the traditional way of life of the Lakota people. His participation in several famous battles of the American Indian Wars on the northern Great Plains, such as his victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, earned him great respect from both his enemies and his own people.
Inversely, I also learned quite a bit about the more known figures in the Wild West. For example, Wyatt Earp also had a stint as a criminal. Wild Bill Hickok was purported to corroborate exaggerations of his exploits to further his own renown. Calamity Jane claimed to not only have been an acquaintance of the aforementioned Wild Bill but also to have confronted his killer Jack McCall. The validity of these claims remains a point of speculation for some. This in no way diminished the legacies of these decidedly important people but rather imbued a bit of humanity in reminding me that they were in fact, people.
Once we had our characters, we had to find ways to embody them. They had to be more than just cards with art and abilities. The abilities had to fit the character and their legacy. We also didn't want to pigeonhole anyone--yes, Bass starts out a Marshal but can always become an outlaw. It was yet another opportunity to draw upon history for inspiration!
For example, Billy the Kid starts the game with 2 Wanted points. Further, he also has an ability that allows him to steal money or cards when he enters the space of another player. Doc Holliday suffered from consumption, the very illness that killed his mother and jettisoned him westward in search of dry desert air. To capture this, Doc starts with a wound--the only character with an implicit disadvantage. He also starts with a higher amount of bonuses. His ability, which allows him to ignore the inherent drawback of wounds (reduced hand size), demonstrates how he managed to still be significant in spite of this illness. Wyatt Earp starts off a Marshal. His ability to gain an additional action after defeating a bandit is a direct nod to his role in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. And yes, the Clantons are in the game.
Even the goals specific to each character tie into legendary feats they achieved in their lifetime. The game provided a tremendous landscape to populate the world with little nuggets of history. Where possible, we made sure to weave the stuff of legend into the game.
And this concludes my series of developer diaries leading up to our launch. Thank you so much for taking the time to read more about Western Legends. We hope to see you over on our campaign page in one week! Launch begins at 10 am EST on January 9!
Travis R. Chance
In the last developer diary entry, I shared a broad stroke perspective on what it has been like to work on Western Legends. As we are a mere two weeks away from launch, I wanted to further elaborate on one of my very favorite mechanisms in the game: the Marshal and Wanted tracks.
At a glance, these two tracks appear very much the same. There are nine spaces, each of which offers rewards of one kind or another. They also offer endgame LP, or Legendary Points, which is a fancier way of saying victory points. But the similarities end there. They are very different styles of play with very different options, objectives, and limitations. To boil it down to its purest form, it’s the choice between upholding the law and breaking it.
Let’s begin with the Marshal track. At its core, it’s pretty simple: take on the bad guys and stay on the straight and narrow. For doing so, you will be rewarded handsomely with a salary and LP. At the end of the game, you’ll also gain LP for which row you occupy on the track. Patience and commitment are the necessary virtues to be a successful Marshal. That and a little luck.
By design, Marshal players have fewer means to move up their track than Wanted players. As in life, doing the right thing, the just thing, is not as easy as the other. Primarily, Marshal players will earn Marshal points in the following ways:
- Defeat bandits
- Wrangle cattle from a Ranch to the Rail Station
- Arrest Wanted players
- Use the action ability on the ace: Living Legend
- Story card bonuses
Sound easy enough? Well, you’d be wrong if you said yes. While bandits start on the board, they tend to vamoose rather quickly. You see, when you defeat a bandit, you have two choices: gain 1 Marshal point or gain 1LP. Naturally, Wanted players cannot gain Marshal points--saying you’re sorry just ain’t enough in the Wild West. This means bandits are still points for those who prefer to stay on the other side of the law. Further, win or lose, bandits are removed from the board after a fight. Resolving story cards is the only means to place them back on the board.
Even then, bandits have a bevy of nasty effects in their fight deck. The fight deck is used for bandits, guards, and the Sheriff. It’s basically a deck of 13 poker cards from 2 value to ace. The lower the value card, the more likely you are to end up with a bullet somewhere in (not on) your person. The higher the card, the more likely the bandit is to win. However, that certainly comes with a consolation for the player who was unsuccessful in the fight.
Wrangling cattle is also an endeavor in and of itself. The Rail Station is anything but a convenient destination, on the other side of the mesas plum in the middle of nowhere. What’s a mesa? Thanks for asking! The two mesas are the only impassable spaces on the board.
So then there’s Arresting a Wanted player. Well, they ain’t going down without a fight. Players can only initiate a fight against another player once on their turn. This means if you plan to fight, best to make sure you’re gonna win. This is where having a high card and/or a trick up your sleeve matters most.
Using an ace to win a fight is one way to gain a Marshal point. Using its action effect is another--and admittedly a less risky one. Lastly, contributing to story cards is another means, but one that requires some luck.
You might be thinking, “well, Wanted players must have it easier then, huh?” Again, you’d be wrong. While Wanted players have more possibilities to earn Wanted points, they have constant obstacles in the form of the Sheriff and Marshal players.
By definition, being an outlaw is a path of conflict. Unburdening folks of their hard-earned money rarely comes without resistance. Worse yet, there are plenty of others eager to make a name off bringing you to justice. This means you’ll be on the move, using cards for fighting more than anything else. You will rely on tactics as well as strategy to be successful, for only the Most Wanted player will earn 3LP at the end of the game. Every other outlaw ends up just a footnote in history with a paltry 1LP.
Luckily, the Wanted track can provide poker cards needed to put up a fight. Every move on or past an even-numbered space means drawing a card. Better yet, at the end of EVERY turn, Wanted players score LP based on which row they occupy of the track. The more Wanted you are, the more points you’ll earn. But justice has a way of being served in the Wild West, so don’t get too big for your britches.
Wanted players can move up their track in the following ways:
- Rob another player
- Succeed at a Heist
- Rustle Cattle from one Ranch to another
- Use the action ability on the ace: Living Legend
- Story card bonuses
Robbing a player requires you to win a fight. If you do, you can relieve them of half their money or half their gold, rounded up. Also, you can take any cattle they might be transporting.
The best way to make a name for yourself as an outlaw is to stick up the Bank. Trouble is, the guard inside’s been hired to stop you from the task. Similar to fight a bandit, the player to your right will draw fight cards and act on behalf of the guard. They draw three fight cards, while bandits only draw 2. If you succeed, you will earn $80 and 3 Wanted points--every other way to gain Marshal and Wanted points only provide a single point. If you fail, you’ll get a wound and draw a card, but also gain 1 Wanted point. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to try again, as you can only perform a Heist once per turn.
Rustling cattle is a might bit easier than wrangling. Why? Because you steal from one ranch and then sell to the other. Afterward, you can simply steal from the new rancher to sell back to the other.
As with Marshal players, there’s always the option to use the ace or hope for infamy through a story card. The latter offers another benefit if you happen to be the player that contributes the last cube to a story card. 9 times out of 10, doing so means that you can move the Sheriff. Send him out to the far deserts on a bad lead. Or sic him on another Wanted player trying to overshadow your wanton legacy.
But the Sheriff, that’s the rub. You see, Wanted players tend to set the pace of the game. While Marshals have to work to earn rewards for their moral decisions in the game, a Wanted player can earn a single Wanted point and earn 1LP each round. Since the game end is triggered when a specific number of LP is earned, this means that Wanted players steadily progress toward victory.
To balance this, the Sheriff will hunt Wanted players. Story cards will move them, but there are also four copies of Manhunt in the poker deck that can be used to ambush a ne’er-do-well that gets brazen. When the Sheriff enters the same space as a Wanted player, they must first discard a card. The Sheriff then immediately tries to arrest the player, drawing four fight cards.
If the Sheriff fails to Arrest the player, he high tails it back to the Sheriff’s office to fight another day. But if he succeeds, well, this is where being a Wanted player can sting a little. First, you’re going to lose half your money and your gold rounded up. Next, you’re going to lose ALL of your Wanted points. This makes being on the second and third row all the more difficult. You lose all your cattle--I don’t care how bad a cow is, it won’t spend the night in jail. As with losing all fights, you gain a wound and draw a card. On your next turn, you wake up from jail and have the option to knuckle and scrape your way up the Marshal track, if you so like. Or, you can always walk across Main Street to the Bank and let folks remember why you’re so feared.
And that’s what being good and bad means in Western Legends. Do join us two weeks from today for the official launch of Kolossal’s very first game. Thanks so very much for all the support and interest in this game. Do feel free to comment and/or ask questions below. And be sure to become a fan and subscribe to our BGG page for more news and information on the game!!!
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