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A strategic 4X board game, set in the Viking era. Available in print&play version. Become a Norse monarch and reach your fate of glory.
A strategic 4X board game, set in the Viking era. Available in print&play version. Become a Norse monarch and reach your fate of glory.
134 backers pledged €1,944 to help bring this project to life.

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Bloody Sails - the Viking strategy board game (PnP)

€1,944

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Bloody Sails is a management strategic board game, inspired by the 4X and Civilization genres. It’s set in a fictional 11th century Scandinavia, where Norse kingdoms compete for power, while threatening nearby settlements with raids and pillages.

Players take the roles of Viking monarchs, each one with unique objectives, heroes, blessings and development trees, and lead their people during a time span of 20 to 40 years. Starting from a small coastal village, they can build great overseas domains with the riches their plunders and trades provide. While improving their cities and clan, they explore the seas and wage war against other Norse and Christian empires. They command great armies and famed heroes, proving their worth on the battlefield and earning the favor of the gods. They have to outshine every opponent and take their place in the sagas, ultimately reaching their fate.

Players’ goal is to reach their fate, by accomplishing as quickly as possible their leaders’ objectives, or fates. To reach their fate, they have to take many decisions that will shape their empire accordingly, making each game different from the previous.

Explore – Challenge the storms of the northern oceans and discover new lands to claim or plunder. Guide your heroes across the dangers of the seas, sailing towards unknown shores. Prepare for battle, while your fleet approaches your unaware targets.

Expand – Settle new villages and turn them into rich trading centers, or subdue your opponents to your dominion, conquering new territories with your might or your wealth. Improve the skill of your craftsmen to acquire new progresses in the military and economic fields, and reap the benefits of the covenants with the gods.

Exploit – Manage your limited resources, harvested from your cities or gained from your raids. Develop your cities to increase your resource production and support your military expansion and the growth of your settlements.

Exterminate – Rout your enemies with your tactical expertise or trample them with the sheer numbers of your warriors. Defend your kingdom and wreak havoc on foreign empires. Enhance the effectiveness of your armies and attract famed heroes to lead them into battle. Master the art of war, adopting the best strategies for each battle.

 If this video was too vague for your taste, have a look at the rulebook preview!

These arts will be available as high resolution wallpapers!
These arts will be available as high resolution wallpapers!
Two of the four playable leaders.
Two of the four playable leaders.
The game includes 16 double-faced hero cards.
The game includes 16 double-faced hero cards.
Over 45 unique cities can be founded and conquered. Their names are inspired by Scandinavian and European medieval cities.
Over 45 unique cities can be founded and conquered. Their names are inspired by Scandinavian and European medieval cities.
Players can explore four different seas, with a 40-cards exploration deck.
Players can explore four different seas, with a 40-cards exploration deck.
15 different combat cards represent a wide variety of authentic military strategies.
15 different combat cards represent a wide variety of authentic military strategies.
Viking and foreign warriors are represented in 20 different unit cards.
Viking and foreign warriors are represented in 20 different unit cards.

Do you wish to see some pictures of the printed game? Check out the BGG gallery!

While developing this project, my main objective was to create a strategic game that could be easily accessible for new players that wish to approach this beautiful genre, while remaining satisfying for veterans. An ambitious goal, for sure, but I tried to stick as close as possible to the “Easy to learn, hard to master” philosophy. The aim was to design simple gameplay mechanics and a gradual learning curve, while leaving expert players many possibilities to shape different and creative strategies and to interact with their opponents.

As an enthusiast of the strategy and 4X genres I followed many inspiration sources, both in the boardgame and the videogame worlds, such as the evergreen The Settlers of Catan, Through the Ages, the Civilization franchise, Stone Age and Hannibal. If you enjoy this kind of games, Bloody Sails may strike your fancy.

As regards the Viking setting, I have been passionate about Norse culture and history ever since I can remember. This game is by no means a historical simulation of the Viking Age, but many small details try to convey the mood of that fascinating time period.

The print&play format is not a novelty in the tabletop game industry. Print&play is a term that denotes board or card games released in digital copy, meaning that you can download a file, print it and play the game at your home. At the end of the campaign of Bloody Sails, you will receive a bunch of pdfs containing the rulebook, the tokens and the cards that constitute the game. Everything is arranged in A4 sheets (210x297 mm) and in Letter-size sheets (8.5 by 11 inches): you just have to feed the files to your printer, and cut out the cards once it’s done.

I’m aware of the severe limitations this kind of distribution has. No fancy box, no wooden or plastic components and no thick cardboard for the cards (although this problem can be solved by printing them in a common print shop). Moreover, cutting all the cards requires quite some work and patience (friends are there to help!).  

Nonetheless, here are some reasons I still think Bloody Sails benefits greatly from this format.

Low price – This game was born from a small, personal project, with no aspiration of selling hundreds or thousands of copies. Printing few copies of a boardgame is extremely costly, and I would have had to sell the base version of Bloody Sails at around 80 €, then charge up to 20 € of shipping costs. While many beautifully crafted board games are worth much more than 100 €, I preferred the idea of making this one accessible to anyone, and not only gaming enthusiasts. Even when printing it in a professional print shop, you will get the game at a very competitive price.

Aimed design – The entire game is built around the idea of distributing it via digital delivery. Graphics are simple, to reduce the waste of ink (you can even print in grayscale!), and the number of duplicate cards is reduced as much as possible. All tokens can be constructed from paper and there is no huge and rigid board to assemble. You won’t even need glue nor scotch tape. Moreover, some gameplay mechanics require writing on cards with pencils. I’m pretty sure many board game lovers would shiver at the idea of writing on finely printed cards. Print&play is useful, when you end up damaging a component!

Modpack and future support – I have always been a huge fan of house rules, when playing with a group of friends. For this reason, granting players the ability to create their own modifications of the game was a must. With this print&play release, you will be able to print custom cards that are identical to the ones in the base game. Furthermore, digital deliveries are a great way to release additional content after the game has been shipped. Who knows, you can even send me your mods and become part of the future development of the game.

A huge, heartfelt "thank you" to my awesome collaborators, Sara Bardi (Artist), Cristiano Allievi (Artist), and Nicolò Vese (Musician), for lending their talent to the project.

          
   
        

... More to come!

                               

___________________________________________________________________

Risks and challenges

I spent several weeks studying this platform and similar projects. However, every project creator, no matter how cautious, knows that there's always the possibility of unexpected issues lurking ahead. This is the first time I manage a Kickstarter campaign, but I have done my best to limit the risks for backers.
I have been developing Bloody Sails for more than a year, and the game is already finished. The print&play distribution also gives me the chance to avoid all the risks and delays associated with international shipping. By backing this project, you can be 100% sure you will actually receive the game with little to no unforeseen postponements. On the other hand, any unlocked stretch goal will require additional work. I’m creating this game as a “one man army”, and this means that bonus content can take some weeks to be produced.
Handling dozens of backers alone will be an arduous task, but I am confident things will run smoothly. I’ll be as swift as possible to address any hitches that may arise.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.14

    Farmaðr - Seafarer

    You just wish to give your contribution to the project and continue your journey elsewhere. Each small gift is a huge help, so I thank you sincerely.

    Includes:
    • Access to comments and updates about the project
    • A lot of gratitude
    • Early access to potential future campaigns for Bloody Sails
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    Pledge €7 or more About $8

    Karl - Freeman

    You support the game with your hard earned money. As a reward, you will get the base game in print&play edition with all its unlocked stretch goals. Moreover, your name will be displayed in the credits section of the rulebook.

    Includes:
    • Base game in print&play
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    • Credits in the rulebook
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    Hirdman - King's guard

    An early bird version of the Jarl pledge (see below). You join the king's hird, and thus deserve the same regard of other noblemen... for a favorable sum.

    Includes:
    • Base game in print&play
    • All unlocked stretch goals
    • Official modpack
    • Wallpaper pack
    • Credits and inscription in the rulebook
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    Pledge €12 or more About $14

    Jarl - Nobleman

    Such a high ranking supporter is worthy of an adequate reward. You will receive the full game and the official modpack, that will allow you to create your own cards for the game.
    You will also receive a bundle of high resolution smartphone/pc wallpapers, depicting the game artworks.
    Additionally, your name on the rulebook will be accompanied by a short inscription of your choice.

    Includes:
    • Base game in print&play
    • All unlocked stretch goals
    • Official modpack
    • Wallpaper pack
    • Credits and inscription in the rulebook
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    Pledge €17 or more About $19

    Goði - Chieftain

    A limited, early bird version of the Seggr pack (see below). Get everything, for less. Hurry up!

    Includes:
    • One copy of the Jarl pack for yourself
    • One gift copy of the Jarl pack for a friend of yours
    • Name a hero and a city
    • Public shout-out on social media (optional)
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    Pledge €23 or more About $26

    Seggr - Hero

    The sagas will remember your contribution.
    You and a friend of your choice will receive everything in the Jarl pack. If you wish, I will also create a post on the social media pages of the game to thank you publicly.
    Moreover, you will be able to choose the name of a hero and a city featured in the game, to leave your mark on the final product.

    Includes:
    • One copy of the Jarl pack for yourself
    • One gift copy of the Jarl pack for a friend of yours
    • Name a hero and a city
    • Public shout-out on social media (optional)
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    Reward no longer available 16 backers
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    Pledge €100 or more About $114

    Konungr - King

    You truly are a one-of-a-kind supporter, and you have to be rewarded with something unique. You will choose the appearance of one of the kings or queens. You send a photo of yourself, your lover or anyone you wish, and the person in that picture becomes a playable leader in the game.

    Includes:
    • Everything in the Seggr pack
    • Choose the appearance of a leader
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Funding period

- (30 days)