Trailhead is a fast action dice game that's all about managing your resources, pushing your luck, and being adventurous. In Trailhead you do what it takes to be the first player to escape the wilderness alive - even if it means getting a little aggro with other players.
You and up to 4 of your frenemies are lost in the wilderness and running low on water, each striving to be the first player to reach the safety of the trailhead. Collect Trail Markers to move forward, but watch out—you lose water at the end of every turn!
The Great Unknown
The trail is concealed to all players at the start of the game. As you move forward, you expose the difficulty of the trail with each new map tile you uncover. Easy tiles drain your water supply more slowly, but moderate and hard map tiles mean thirsty times for everyone.
As you venture through the wilderness, you can collect Survival Cards that give you new abilities to help you blaze the trail, thwart other players, or even alter the trail itself.
Use the Trailhead dice each turn to collect the resources you need to survive and keep moving. Your key to winning will be balancing the items you need to blaze the trail with your ever dwindling water supply.
The Untamed Wilderness
Just when you think you've got your strategy dialed in, the wilderness throws you a curve ball. In Trailhead, whenever any player rolls 3 of a kind, a new rule is introduced by drawing an Explore Card. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but usually just chaotic, Explore Cards mimic the wilderness in all its temperamental glory.
There isn't one right way to play Trailhead. With 14 map tiles and a little imagination, you can create a lot of different boards. Try one of the variations below or make up your own:
Two Trails are Better Than One
A personal favorite—create a forking trail in which players must choose between two paths to take back to the Trailhead:
Collect the Legendary Lost Dutchman's Gold
The Lost Dutchman’s gold mine is hidden deep within the mountains, but you’re determined to find the treasure! All players start at the trailhead and the first one to make it to the mine and back wins.
Trailhead is a lot of fun in not a lot of packaging. It's small and lightweight (10.3 oz!)—for those situations where you'd love to take a game with you but don't have the space for it.
For those traveling in the backcountry where every once counts, the whole game slims down to 5.9 oz in a single ziplock bag.
- 1 Trail-Ready Tin Box with Protective Sleeve
- 1 Instruction Booklet
- 3 Trailhead Dice
- 5 Counter Cards
- 15 Slider Clips
- 14 Map Tiles
- 18 Explore Cards
- 36 Survival Cards (9 Gold, 27 Green)
NOTE: Trailhead doesn't come with meeples (player pieces). Why not? Nature makes free meeples like pebbles and acorns... and beer bottle caps!
Box dimensions: 4.75 x 3.50 x 1.50 inches (12.1 x 8.9 x 3.8 cm)
Trailhead is designed, printed, and assembled in the USA.
We also offer the Seasoned Explorer, a tier for folks that own Trailhead First Edition. This reward comes with everything you need to upgrade your First Edition copy to the latest and greatest, including: a deck of Explore Cards, 2 decks of revised Green and Gold Survival Cards, and an updated instruction booklet. First Edition counter cards and water droplets still work with all 2nd Edition rules.
Bonus Reward for All Backer Tiers
We're so grateful for the support of all our backers and are excited to offer a bonus reward: The Trailhead Bandana!
Possibly the most versatile piece of outdoor gear, use this 22 inch bandana as a playing surface, a protective wrapper for your game tin while on the go, a handkerchief, sun protection, a towel, a napkin, a hair tie, a wash cloth, a trail marker -- you name it!
"Trailhead is a gem of a game, engaging for our family to play, and inspiring in its theme... It's a winner for us!" - Everything Board Games
"It's a really good game that will leave you thirsty for more." - Gaming Bits
"This is the kind of game that you might throw in a backpack if you’re going out... We think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a light, nature themed dice chucker." - Gameosity
"Probably everything I would want in a game to throw in my backpack to go camping." - Board Game Closet
Our aim is to create a game that's lightweight, easy to learn, ecologically conscious, and fun to play again and again.
What success looks like to us: you've been out hiking all day, just set up camp, and still have enough energy to play a round of Trailhead.
This project was born out of a love for the outdoors and inspired by the natural beauty of the Superstition Mountains near our hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Our broader goal is to inspire folks to get outdoors and become stewards of the amazing landscapes in our backyards.
Why we are doing a Kickstarter? After selling out of First Edition copies, we want to make Trailhead more broadly available which means higher production costs. All funds raised from this Kickstarter will enable us to partner with a domestic manufacturer that can produce games of high quality and low carbon footprint. We want to do right by the beautiful environment that inspired this game!
For more info:
- 120 First Edition copies shipped to players in 3 countries
- 174 play testers (in games played with the creators) and counting!
- Copyright certificate issued from US Register of Copyrights in January 2018
Timeline - Past to Present
- March 2017: First paper prototype of Trailhead
- April - October 2017: Play testing, modifications, material testing
- December 2017: 120 copies of Trailhead 1st Edition released on Etsy
- August 2018: Two dozen Trailhead 2nd Edition prototypes printed
Timeline - 2018 Kickstarter and Beyond...
- October 2018: Kickstarter campaign launches
- November 2018: Kickstarter ends, final artwork sent to manufacturer
- December 2018 to March 2019: Production
- April 2019: All backers receive their copy (or copies!) of Trailhead
We're thrilled to be running this Kickstarter! Please ask any questions you have about the game and thank you so much for your support, including all the folks who helped make the first edition possible through inspiration, motivation, and play testing!
Risks and challenges
Risk: Large print runs with many small components could have manufacturing or packaging errors.
Mitigation: We're actually pretty much counting on that happening, which is a big part of why we're partnering with a domestic manufacturer with a track record of producing games for both Kickstarters and publishing companies. This also isn't our first foray into printing this game; we've learned a lot through Trailhead First Edition and will maintain close lines of communication with our backers to ensure that any errors are handled as efficiently as possible
Risk: This could be a lot of games to ship! Are you prepared for that?
Mitigation: Trailhead First Edition exposed us to the process of fulfilling orders directly, but this campaign will potentially be the largest number of games we've had to ship. We're prepared to ship orders ourselves, but if our campaign surprises us in a good way with more copies than we can handle, we've reached out to a fulfillment company that's able to lend us a hand. We're also shipping the Expeditioner reward to backers in the US only to help us out with packaging logistics.
- (30 days)