The Kickstarter campaign for Kings of Israel has ended, but you can still order a copy! For more information please visit:
Thank you to all of the supporters, Kings of Israel would not have happened without you!
Overwhelmed by hordes of invading nations - and a series of corrupt kings - the fate of Israel is balanced on a knife's edge! The Northern Kingdom's only hope is that a band of prophets can cleanse it of evil and idolatry before the wrath of God does so - permanently.
Kings of Israel is a cooperative game that places two to four players in the role of prophets struggling to save their nation from threats both internal and external. Do you have what it takes to overcome the forces of evil? Or will you let Israel succumb to its own destruction?
Kings of Israel takes place in Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during the reign of its kings up until Israel's destruction by Assyria. Players are on a team and each person represents a line of prophets that are trying to remove evil and idols from Israel, while building altars to help guide Israel in the upcoming difficult years. If the players are able to build enough altars before the game ends, they win. If the group runs out of sin cubes or idols, or the timeline marker reaches Assyria destroying Israel, the prophets lose.
-One quad fold game board showing Israel during the time of the kings.
-Over 140 cards with almost seventy unique pieces of artwork
-39 cubes representing altars, sin, and destruction
-6 golden calf tokens
-6 wooden prophet and king tokens
-4 player aid sheets
-One 12-page rulebook
Prior to the Kickstarter campaign beginning for Kings of Israel, I sent out prototype review copies to four different reviewers. Not all of the reviews will be done prior to the campaign beginning, but here are the reviews that have come in:
Dice Tower Preview:
Out of all of the board game reviewers out there, Tom Vasel might be the biggest name of all. His Dice Tower Podcasts and videos are extremely popular and he has been doing what he does for a long time now. Tom did a preview of Kings of Israel, here are a couple quick quotes from him:
"This is a great family style game."
"For the first time, since I can remember, I am playing a Biblically based game that I thought was thematic, and fun. Something that I have not seen before. I am very much looking forward to this one coming out."
Rahdo Runs Through...
Here is the review of Kings of Israel by Richard of "Rahdo Runs Through...", a popular video review series on Youtube. A couple quick quotes from him include:
"This is a fun game, a good solid game, very much enjoy it."
"I would definitely say Kings of Israel is a better gateway game than Pandemic."
Couple vs. Cardboard
Couple vs. Cardboard is a newly-wed couple's board game review site. They are a very good perspective of games that work well as couples games and with other groups in general. A few quotes about Kings of Israel in their written review:
"We think this game is a total win."
"It’s a great teaching tool for knowing the names and general “goodness” or “badness” of the Kings of Israel, and is great for learning the geography of the region..."
"... I’m thankful for smart, sophisticated games like this which feature the Scriptures in a positive light, and would love to see this designer try (h)is hand at other future games."
And here is their video review:
Rules to the game are available on the website here. In addition, there are rules to a "basic" version of the game that can be used for games with younger players or in Bible studies. Those rules are available at the Kings of Israel website.
For those interested, Kings of Israel was designed from the beginning to be a useful teaching tool. The map to the game is based on actual known trade routes and locations in Israel and is a great way to learn geography. I also have made two Bible studies to the game that can be used as a teaching or learning tool, with another three planned upon successful funding. The two Bible studies are freely available on the Kings of Israel website here.
If Kings of Israel hits certain funding goals, each backer will receive bonuses in addition to the game, or games, they will receive for their pledge.
$9,500 Level - The game is funded for production! In addition to the game, each backer receives an exclusive Blessed ability card and special wooden prophet tokens.
$12,500 Level - False prophet mini-expansion! Two additional false prophet tokens to be used with a special false prophet postcard needed to play this new version of Kings of Israel! Here is a quick preview of the false prophet:
$15,000 Level - Exclusive Gather the Flock and Humility Blessing cards, along with Curses on Mount Ebal and Wild Beasts Sin and Punishment cards. In addition, a unique wooden king token!
$17,500 Level - Exclusive Freely Giving and Request Forgiveness Blessing cards along with Foolish Prophets and Provoked to Anger Sin and Punishment cards.
$20,000 Level -Destruction tokens to replace the destruction cubes in the game! Here is a preview of what the tokens will look like (shape may change):
$25,000 Level - Lots of things for this level:
-Wooden altar-shaped tokens
-New card backs for the five different decks of cards
-Kickstarter exclusive Farmer ability card
-Special postcard with rules for a fifth player taking on the role of the villainous false prophet! (Pledges can opt out of this bonus if not interesting in being able to play as the false prophet.)
$27,500 Level - Two new Kickstarter exclusive abilities! Now you can play with the Terrifying or Martyr ability. Is being a martyr an ability? I say it is!
$30,000 Level - 6-player option!
Now the players can get a sixth person in with another player taking on the role of the also villainous Thief! This level comes with a postcard sized rule reference sheet for the Thief, and also a new Thief token.
Risks and challenges
Kings of Israel already has a jump start on production with all the artwork to the game complete except for any Kickstarter stretch goals. Any artwork needed as a result of reaching a stretch goal will be tackled by an artist that has already done work on Kings of Israel, and each artist lined up has stated that they are available to take on the work.
Panda Game Manufacturing has already been lined up for production and I have been in contact with Michael at Panda throughout this past year making sure all the needed pieces are there to make a smooth transition to a finished product. Panda Game Manufacturing is one of the most dependable game manufacturers in business having produced games like Pandemic, Eclipse, and Clash of Cultures.
There are a few steps before the final version of Kings of Israel is in hand, which are:
-Stretch goal artwork completion (might not be applicable)
-Pre-production by Funhill Games and the manufacturer
-Mass Production by manufacturer
-Shipping of product to the Amazon Fulfillment warehouse
-Shipping of product to backers
Using the numbers supplied by Panda Manufacturing, and estimates based on past artist turnaround times, if things go smoothly it will take approximately five and one half months to get Kings of Israel shipped out after the Kickstarter campaign ends. But the real world does not always go smoothly so I added 50% to that estimate for surprises, which moves the delivery date to a July 2014 delivery date for US pledges, and a August 2014 delivery date for international pledges. I believe these are realistic numbers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
No! I designed Kings of Israel to first function as a fun game and secondly as something that might be useful for some Christians or Jews to learn something, primarily geography. The game itself does not do any preaching in it, I guess maybe a little if a person likes to worship the gods Molech or Baal.
There are two types of event cards, Blessings and Sin and Punishment cards, and at the bottom of each is flavor text taken from the Bible which is where the card name and theme comes from. That is about the extent of Biblical quotations in the game, the rest is just a list of the kings and the locations in the region which are based on actual trade routes in Israel at roughly this period of time.
Yes! While Kings of Israel is a fun game playable by anyone, if a person wanted to use Kings of Israel to learn or teach something about ancient Israel, they can! Kings of Israel was originally created to teach geography to my teen Bible study group and was fleshed out from there.
There are two big things that can be learned in Kings of Israel without any side studies: Israel geography and kings. The locations and roads in Kings of Israel are based on known locations and roads during this period of time in Israel. The left side of the board has a timeline of all the Israel kings, and that timeline is used for the turn market in the game. I have found that players get better at learning both the locations and kings of Israel just as they play the game normally.
And there is much more that can be learned with side studies! I have created two Bible studies for both the locations and kings of Israel that can be used in Bible studies, you can view them here:
Besides those two studies I have three more planned. If Kings of Israel is successfully funded then those will be created also and the current ones refined to be useful teaching materials freely available on the website.
Yes, Kings of Israel is all Old Testament! The references in the game are all Old Testament and the locations all appear in the Old Testament. If you look closely at the prototype map of the game you will notice Capernaum appears, which is just prior to the New Testament. This location will actually be Chinnereth in the final version which is an appropriate location for this time period.
Yes, I believe the game could be used in a Jewish youth group! The only issue I could see is that the Biblical references are all in King James, but the translation of the passages I don't see causing any conflicts. I made a list of every single Biblical reference in the game and I posted them on the Kings of Israel website. Feel free to peruse them if you are concerned at all about the translations!
Shipping is all going to be done through Amazon with all shipments originating from a US warehouse. The exception are for the stretch goals which I will be mailing separately.
I do not know the customs policy for each country regarding board games so I cannot give an answer on customs. Another note for international shipping is that any order for six games will have to be split up into two packages of three because of Amazon's restriction on outgoing package size and weight. I have been told that makes a difference for customs, at least in some countries.
One benefit of this problem is that if a single country is unable to get the six people needed for a bulk order, they still have a possible option. If two nations can each get three people together, and arrange payment for the order among each other, then I can split the order up between those locations if it is noted after the campaign is over.
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