The critically acclaimed Martial Art returns to Kickstarter with its first expansion, Battlefields!
Featuring historic Japanese artwork, Martial Art is a card game of factions warring for dominance of feudal Japan. The game takes place over a series of battles in which players must anticipate their opponents' actions, build their hands, and manage their cards to acquire enough land and power to defeat the other clans.
As clan leader, command your armies and muster forces to conquer places of economic and cultural significance such as the capital Kyoto or the rising city of Edo. But to secure victory will take more than foot soldiers. Provoke a peasant rebellion, influence the emperor to support your claim, or even distract the enemy commanders with lovely Geisha.
Successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2016, Martial Art is available here again along with the new Battlefields expansion. Check out the review of Martial Art below by The Dice Tower's Married with Board Games.
For more information on Martial Art, check out the game on our website!
The battle for Japan continues in this expansion to Martial Art. Battlefields introduces two new mechanics: terrain and weather.
Terrain cards may be played before battle to augment your battle card and affect the outcome. Because terrain is played before battle and the effects do not happen until later, other players may guess your intentions and act accordingly. Alternatively, terrain may be used as a feint to trick your opponents before you surprise them with an unexpected battle card.
Weather cards are shuffled into the land deck at the start of the game. When a weather card is drawn, its effect continues until a new weather is drawn to replace it. Weather will affect the battles in unpredictable ways, forcing you to adapt your strategy to what the battlefield is giving you. Will you charge your troops through the snow to capture a valuable bridge? Will you send your warriors to battle during a severe drought? It is up to you to decide if the risk is worth the reward.
Martial Art is great for 3 or 4 players, but it works equally well as a 2-player game. Its easy-to-learn rules and fast-paced gameplay make Martial Art a great light game.
If you are going to play the game with 2 players a single deck will suffice. If you would like to play the game with 3 or 4 players you will need 2 decks.
Check out the quick tutorial below to see the basic gameplay!
Watch a game of Martial Art being played!
There are two new mechanics in the Battlefields expansion: terrain and weather. Terrain cards may be played before battle for a powerful effect, though it may clue the other players into your plans. Weather is shuffled into the land deck and, when drawn, will take effect until another weather replaces it.
For a quick demonstration of how terrain and weather will affect your games of Martial Art, watch the short video below!
After printing Martial Art in 2016 and playing many games since then, we realized that Geisha is by far the strongest card in the game. In fact it is so powerful that your success or failure in the game will sometimes hinge simply on whether you happen to draw a Geisha.
With that in mind, in the Battlefields expansion we have split Geisha's effect into two separate cards which will replace the original Geisha in your base game: one to cancel battle cards and the other to cancel support cards. We believe that this change will enhance your games of Martial Art and provide for more balanced gameplay.
The Martial Art base game consists of 72 cards and supports 2 players with one deck, or up to 4 players with two decks.
- 36 Battle cards
- 20 Support cards
- 12 Land cards
- 2 Supplies cards
- 2 Legend cards
The Battlefields expansion comes with 24 new cards and, along with the base game, supports 2 players with one deck or up to 4 players with two decks.
- 8 Terrain cards
- 8 Weather cards
- 2 Battle cards
- 6 Support cards
Stretch goal: Update base cards
While playing literally hundreds of games of Martial Art, we realized that certain cards could use a little tweaking. Geisha was the obvious overpowered card, but on the flip side there were a few others that seemed a bit weak. This was disappointing because we want all cards to be roughly equal in power, and to be played frequently to see their effects.
The following cards will be included in the expansion if we hit our $5k stretch goal, and will replace the corresponding cards in your base game.
The penalty for losing a battle with this card was so great that it was basically never played outside of the first couple turns of the game (when you don't have a land to lose). We decided to reduce the penalty to losing any land of your choice to do 2 things: make the card better; and make 1-point lands ever so slightly useful because if you have one you can play Shogun without risking too much.
We found that this card was too random, basically awarding a free land to whoever happened to play Supplies that turn which could be the player in the lead just as easily as the player in last. With that in mind we decided to change this card to award a land to the player(s) with the fewest land points. This serves as a slight catch-up mechanic as well as making this card more viable.
This one's effect is less obvious. By switching it from Strength 7 to Strength 8, we have made Scout (strength 7) slightly better. We found that Scout was discarded more often than any other card, so this along with some of the expansion cards help to boost its power.
This card's effect was basically never used because only the winner got to use it. We decided to change it to "any player" to accomplish 2 things: see its effect used occasionally; and to help make an aggressive strategy more viable.
Stretch goal: new Legend card
As a fun little stretch goal between the updated cards and a large tuck box to hold the base game and expansion, we've added a third Legend card to the game. This card will be included with the Battlefields expansion deck. The art is of Tomoe Gozen, a legendary female samurai. To us, this card is a fun and inspiring addition to the game as we make our way toward the large tuck box stretch goal.
Stretch goal: tuck box
For each copy of the expansion, we will include a large tuck box capable of holding one copy each of the base game and expansion with sleeves! This will allow you to consolidate your cards and keep things organized.
Stretch goal: Derpy Supplies
For those of you who have played Martial Art, you know it's common for players to shuffle their Supplies card back into the war deck or even discard it during the game. With this final stretch goal, that's fine! You can give them this new card as punishment.
This card has some history with us at SGG. During playtesting of Battlefields, one of the Supplies cards from the decks we were using went missing. We put a blank piece of paper into the sleeve to use as a placeholder, but Danielle our artist didn't like it so she drew the card above (sans the coloring).
We all thought this was hilarious, so after we found the missing Supplies card we left Derpy Supplies in the box and decided that when a player discarded their supplies, instead of taking the time to go through the deck and find it we would just give them Derpy Supplies as punishment.
And because it's so historic (and useful) we've decided that we'd like to keep the card in the game permanently, if we hit the final stretch goal at $12k!
Married with Board Games (The Dice Tower)
"Martial Art is a great little battle game... What initially caught our attention about this game was the artwork... and it turns out there is so much more to the game than that."
Greybeard on BGG
"The best thing about this game is how easy it is to pick up and play... The abilities tie in very well with the cards and the artwork creating a light weight thematic game that gives the player the opportunity to experiment with different strategies all in a 15 minute time frame."
"Spider Goat Games is bringing another good game to have handy for the spare moments you want to fill.... The rules are easy to learn and we were able to start playing quickly... The art work was enough to get other players interested in wanting to learn the game."
Board Game Geek User Ratings
"The more we played, the more we were aware of the intricate strategies one could slyly employ to win... Incidentally, this game pairs well with foam (or steel) samurai sword fighting to settle disputes!"
"Martial Art plays fast and loose, packs an amazing amount of depth and replayability, and is fun to play no matter how involved you are in boardgaming as a whole."
Expand Your Game
"This game is very simple to play but don't let that fool you, it is deceptively strategic without bogging down the player with convoluted rules."
We are working with a fulfillment company to offer both EU and Australia friendly shipping. Backers in Canada should not have any hassles either as shipping for the original Martial Art campaign went very smoothly.
Additional copies of the expansion
Add $7 to the Base Game + Expansion (2 players) pledge tier for an extra copy of the expansion. Useful if you already have one copy of the Martial Art base game and want to both get the expansion and upgrade your base set to play with up to 4 players (so you have 2 copies of each).Gangster Dice
Add $20 to any pledge tier for a copy of Gangster Dice. Shipping below.
US - included
Canada - $2
European Union - $5
Rest of World - $7
Gangster Dice is a game of bidding, bluffing, and of course dice rolling in Prohibition-era New York. Published in October of 2015, we were thrilled to share this game with the world! We still have some copies left over so we decided to offer them here. If you enjoy the gangster theme, rolling dice, or just fun games, check it out on our website, the game's Kickstarter page, or Board Game Geek!
As well as checking out our website, you can...
Risks and challenges
Martial Art was successfully published and distributed in 2016, so we are confident that production of the expansion will go smoothly. Listed below are the areas of concern, and the current status of each.
-Design, Testing, and Development: (Complete) Martial Art currently holds a 7.5 rating on Board Game Geek, which should attest to the quality of the game. The Battlefields expansion has been rigorously tested and developed over many months to ensure smooth gameplay and interesting new mechanics, including blind playtesting.
-Artwork: (Complete) We have curated the best historic art pieces for the game, and our graphic design work is already done.
-Funding: We need $2,000 to print and distribute Battlefields. We have about 200 copies of the Martial Art base game remaining, and if we run out of those it means we will have raised enough money for a full second printing.
-Production: We have previously produced 1,000 high-quality copies of Martial Art. We have printed 6 prototypes of Battlefields, and once funded we can send the files right to the printer to do a full production run.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)