Hoplomachus (Ha-plo-ma-kus) is a light to medium strategy, squad-tactics, chip game set inside a series of challenging arenas. The idea came from a love of PC turn-based strategy games Adam and I grew up playing. It has a historical and mythological twist that introduces fabled civilizations and combatants to the arena setting and weaves their story lines into that of the Roman Empire.
We have released 2 other games in this series, Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities (TLC) and Hoplomachus: Rise of Rome (RoR). Both games are known for their quality components and incredibly fun and visual gameplay. The health stacks that accompany each unit as it moves around the arena create a visually stunning battle.
The Hoplo series comes with a wealth of game modes: solo beast and titan battles, 1v1, 2 player co-op, and 4 player team battles (when combining both games). We've received a number of accolades during our first two Kickstarters and look to continue that trend with Hoplomachus: Origins.
But enough with the past and on to the game at hand!
Hoplomachus: Origins takes you back to where the story begins, within the small battle arenas of 3 unique civilizations. You will represent one of the warrior houses found in these cities and will be battling for the right to represent your entire civilization in Rome. Quick fights, 3 exotic arenas, and competitive drafting of unique warriors, are what set Origins apart from our other 2 games in the series. Of course, it wouldn't be Hoplo if you weren't playing with premium 11.5 gram chips, neoprene mats, and custom dice!
Hoplo: Origins is for 1-2 players, ages 12 and up, and plays in 20-30 mins. This game contains enough chance to get you cheering but also has ways to lessen that aspect through the drafting of your warriors and the use of tactics.
The Xanadu arena (currently called: Top of the World) is one of 3 stunning arenas co-concepted and illustrated by Anthony LeTourneau. It features a challenge called Potentia (like King of the Hill). Some may see similarities to our TLC arena and its crowd favor stones but we assure you, it plays very differently! For every unit you have standing on a middle stone at the start of your turn, you gain 1 point. The first team to 7 wins. What strategy and unit combos will you choose? Early points? Unit displacement? Heavy damage and brute force? Bait and quick attack? The possibilities are endless and much of the outcome will be decided based on how well you respond to your opponents choices.
But all of these strategies have one thing in common. Warriors. It all starts with the draft!
Player vs Player
You will be drafting 8 warriors or tactics from a pool of 24. All warriors are fair game for both players and are dual sided to accommodate either team. Some warriors are more advanced than others. These are denoted by a "Star" icon as their Unit Type. You may only draft 2 of this type of warrior. Will you let your opponent choose first and counter pick? Or will you go for a sure combo you know is devastating?
Base units from our other 2 games will make their appearance in Origins as well, with new artwork and even some new stats. But the best part, over 12 new units, 4 new tactics and 12 new Challengers! You will now get to see what the Retiarius looked like before it reached Rome and became known as such.
Deployment in Origins works the same was as it's predecessors. Once each player has drafted their 8 warriors and tactics, they will take turns deploying one unit and/or playing one tactic. They then move all friendly warriors that can move, and then attack with each.
Health is indicated by red or blue chips that are stacked underneath the unit chip when it is deployed. As dice are rolled and hits are landed, that health is removed until the warrior is eliminated. Using your tactics, your many warrior skills, and strategic movement, you can find the weak link of your opponent and take them down for the victory!
House Reputation is a unique way of balancing a player's Hoplo experience in versus mode, while challenging all players to constantly develop new strategies as they face higher Reputation levels. For teaching or ultra casual games, House Rep is not something you MUST adhere to. We do, however, recommend tracking and utilizing House Rep rules any time you play Origins PvP.
As you may already know, you are representing a royal house of warriors that is trying to establish themselves and ultimately be chosen to represent your civilization in the Roman arena. To be considered, your house must build up their reputation by fighting other houses in PvP combat. Anytime you fight another house in an Origins arena, you are being watched. An arena win, grants you 10 House Rep (any loss, loses you 5). This means any time you play someone in a game of Origins, you have the chance to earn 20 House Rep (since a game of Origins is 2-3 battles).
Your reputation is tracked on your House Rep card (4 provided) and is only assessed at the start of a draft. Therefore, if a player wins their first battle which takes them to a new Rep level, it does not affect their next battle as the draft has already happened.
House Rep goes from 0 all the way to 200. At that point, you will have taken it as far as the PvP side of Origins allows you to go. Let's take a peak at some of these Reputation levels:
- House Rep: 10, 15
Rep Rules (for PvP only): Cannot draft Defenders (shield icon)
- House Rep: 40, 45
Rep Rules (for PvP only): Opponent voids one of your deployment hexes for this match.
- House Rep: 120, 125
- Rep Rules (for PvP only): Opponent chooses 4 warriors before alternating for 4 more. You then finish choosing your last 4.
- House Rep: 160, 165
- Rep Rules (for PvP only): You may only draft units with 2 health.
And the list goes on...all the way to 200 with 250 only achievable by delving into The Trials (solo).
"If you are reading this decree, it means you have already decided to submit your house to the Trials. While most houses compete against other houses of equal strength and number, you have chosen to stand out from the rest. By completing the Trails successfully, you ensure the best chance of your house being selected for the journey to Rome."
The Trials are a set of challenges that will test your ability to maximize the use of your warriors. Your draft parameters will be altered in numerous ways, forcing you to adapt and revamp your strategies to fit each challenge. You will work your way through all 3 arenas and face 4 different challenger levels within each. If a Trial is passed, you move to the next. Each Trial may be attempted twice, but if neither attempt is successful, you must go back to the previous Trial.
Every Challenger you face will have its own AI that ranges from a base set of directives for himself and his team (determined and altered by your deployment and move choices), to a 4 die roll that determines skill activation, movement, and attack.
Your "Normal Drafting Rules" for solo play are as follows: Draft 6 Units/Tactics to be used against your challenger.However, Trial 1 already alters that. Here is a peak at some of the trials you will be facing:
- Trial 1: Xanadu Arena
- Drafting/Challenge Rules: You may not draft Xanadian units/tactics
Challenger: Ariq Boke + 1 Warrior
- Trial 2: Xanadu Arena
- Drafting/Challenge Rules: Your draft is limited to 4 units/tactics
Challenger: Ariq Boke + 2 Warriors
- Trial 7: Atlantis Arena
- Drafting/Challenge Rules: Your last 3 draft picks must be random
Challenger: Gadir + 2 Warriors
- Trial 8: El Dorado Arena
- Drafting/Challenge Rules: You may only draft warriors with 1 move range
Challenger: The Zipa + 4 Warriors
- Trial 12: Xanadu
- Arena Drafting/Challenge Rules: You must draft at least 3 tactics
- Challenger: Kublai Khan + 2 Warriors
...All the way to the final 3 trials where you will be required to face off against the 3 most elite Challengers. Not only that, they will not be played by AI. They must be played by players with a House Reputation of 170-190+!
These games will not be so easy to come by but will be able to be sought out on our forum boards and played at Conventions, over Skype, and at various times each month with the creators themselves (provided Adam and I can get to 200 Rep)!
- Trial 20: Atlantis Arena
- Drafting/Challenge Rules: Randomly draw 6 Units/Tactics
- Challenger: Atlas + 3 Warriors
20 Trails, that when completed along with maxing your House Rep, name you a top warrior house in Hoplo: Origins and worthy of specific accomplishment recognition by the creators.
Is Origins just a "mini-Hoplo"?
We’ve recently heard questions on if Origins is just a “mini-Hoplo”. Let me clear up any confusion! While the Origins hex count IS smaller, it forces players into the hexes where most of the action takes place on the larger game mats anyway. This means gameplay is going to be in your face and fast (much like Rise of Rome). The idea is that the “battle you are fighting” is actually spanning over 3 different arenas and your strategies need to compensate for this. The objectives are very different as will be your preparation.
As you know, each player is drafting warriors and tactics for use in 3 battles. So let me ask you a question: Is a tactic WORTH the same value as a warrior? I would say in TLC or RoR...not usually (still VERY useful, but pound for pound, I’d rather have another unit to play in most cases). In Origins, however, you may be surprised...especially in such close quarters and with such critical objectives.
More food for thought: Because the draft needs to account for all 3 arenas, you must determine quickly if your opponent is stacking specific warriors for 2 of the 3 battles or going for a more well rounded approach. Also, the loser of the first battle gets to eliminate one of the opponents warriors for the next 2 battles, so too much reliance on a specific unit or combo could be dangerous.
Let’s take a look at the arena rule sets for 2 of our 3 arenas (we can’t give away ALL the surprises just yet):
The objectives in this arena are simple, earn 7 points and your house wins! But that’s where the simplicity ends. Points are earned at the start of a player’s turn based on how many of your units are on the 4 stones in the center of the arena. You score 1 point for each stone your warriors are on top of.
Stones also offer an elevation bonus to units standing on them. Any unit standing on a stone gains a +1 dmg when successfully damaging a unit NOT on a stone with a basic attack (if you miss completely, no bonus is granted).
Do not be fooled by the arena size, this is an intense brawl that is all about countering each others deployment and moves, knowing when to go for stone advantages, and learning how to gain the most from your unit displacement warriors.
If you enjoy the giant Champions from our first two games, the Atlantis arena will not leave you wanting! The first unit you bring into this arena is the unit your opponent must eliminate to win! There’s more.
When this first unit enters the arena, its health is doubled! But before you automatically summon a defender to be your alpha warrior, you may want to hear the last piece of info about this arena. In the very center, a lone forked spear stands driven into the ground. This is no ordinary spear, but a rare gift from Poseidon himself. This weapon can be used in multiple ways and by any warrior that possesses it. The first, is a long range Alt Atk that is bound to hit its mark. The second is a shorter range throw, but where the spear lands, a creature is summoned from the depths out onto the arena. While small, these creatures attack immediately and can combat lock anyone they are next to. In both cases, when you throw the spear, it travels to the hex you threw it to.
This arena is FULL of new strategies that must be considered and no two games are alike.
El Dorado Arena
Inspired by Ben Hur chariot racing and other movies like the Black Stallion growing up, this arena has more of a race feel to it. It's inside the palace of the Golden King, and while not big enough to race chariots, this arena has its own type of race.
Has anyone seen the Strongman Atlas Ball competition...placing those huge stones up on pedestals? Similar in some ways, the El Dorado arena suits fast moving units and requires shrewd strategies to win. The gold chest must be moved across the arena and placed on the pedestal. Don't mind the other warriors trying to cut your head off while you do it, stay on task!
If your warrior falls, another from your team must pick up the chest to continue, which is a pretty easy choice once you know the bonuses you get for picking it up. First to raise their tribute wins!
The value of our components cannot be overstated. Each neoprene mat easily retails at $15! They are stored flat in the box so there's no chance of creases or bends and if you haven't seen our spill tests on YouTube, just search "Hoplomachus Spill" to see how durable they are. We are already at a $45 value, which is more than the pledge level for the whole game!
The game also comes with 38 unique, 2-sided, 11.5 gram, Unit-Tactic and Challenger chips. These are professional poker-sized and weighted chips and each comes with a 4-color printed thin foil sticker overlayed with a clear poly layer for protection! These chips are made to look good and last a long time!
5 custom dice are also included with each color having a different chance to hit. These are molded and painted to last as well. 2 red and white standard D6s also come with the game.
And lastly, included are 2 black felt bags with draw strings, some Challenger cards, and a glossy rulebook, all going in a game box with raised linen finish that's simply beautiful.
WHAT ARE THESE "CROWD FAVOR GLADIATORS" WE ARE UNLOCKING?
Crowd Favor Gladiators are white gladiator chips from our first two Hoplomachus games. They are the "crowd elected" gladiators a player can use ONLY if they manage to please the crowd at the highest level within the game. They are usually stronger than all the base units and often contain special abilities and alt attacks.
While we have provided a number of CF Gladiators that are true to the Hoplo theme, this was one area we were able to add some crazy flavor to the game by coming up with some very non-traditional options just for fun. We made the Paying Homage series this way, as well as some unlocks from our previous KS campaigns. It was a way of adding a lot of entertainment without affecting core gameplay (since you can just stick with the regular CF Glads for serious games).
By now, however, many backers will have amassed quite a few CF Gladiators! So, in Hoplo: Origins, not only will we be unlocking even more of these chips for free, we are also providing a play mode in which ONLY CF GLADIATORS can be drafted and used! Dust off those Convention promo glads...its time to pit Oshar against Dewdundancy!
Dice Pack ($10) - 6 extra Hoplo dice included (1 Black, 1 Green, 2 Blue, 2 Yellow) *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
50 Premium Health ($20) - 50 chips - 25 Red and 25 Blue - 11.5 gram health chips with special health chip graphic on both sides (the health chips that come with our games are lighter chips). *NOT A PART OF BLOODBATH PLEDGE
125 Premium Health ($40) - 125 chips - 100 Red and 25 Blue - 11.5 gram health chips with special health chip graphic on both sides (the health chips that come with our games are lighter chips). *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
Paying Homage ($20) - 7 chips - 7 Crowd Favor Gladiator chips, made in the likenesses of the first reviewers of our earlier Hoplo games. These chips can be used in the Crowd Favor Battle Royale mode of Origins and also work with our other two games in the series! *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
Golden Tribute ($10) - 4 chips - 4 Crowd Favor Gladiator chips, attributed to others who have been extremely influential in our Hoplomachus series of games. These chips can be used in the Crowd Favor Battle Royale mode of Origins and also work with our other two games in the series! *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
Beast and Master ($15) - 10 chips - Usable in all 3 games (Origins w/ identifier chip underneath). All 5 cities now have a Beastmaster unit AND a unique beast they have trained for use in the arena! Complete unit list will be posted shortly! *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
Legends of the Sand ($20) - 15 chips - Usable in all 3 games (Origins w/ identifier chip underneath). LotS brings more unique units and tactics for all 5 cities into the arena. Complete unit list will be posted shortly! *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
Blade's Edge ($15) - 10 chips - 5 New Champions for TLC and RoR, and equipment for all cities and all games! Complete unit list will be posted shortly! *INCLUDED IN BLOODBATH PLEDGE
HOW DO ADD-ONs WORK?
Add-ons are extras you can tack on to your pledge by adding to your existing contribuition. You do not need to change your pledge level to include an add-on, just increase your pledge price accordingly. This will get us to our goal faster and will give you some awesome additions to your game!
Shipping for these Add-ons is calculated at the end of the Kickstarter (we do this so we can give you the best price for EVERYTHING you order rather than guessing high now to be safe). We will send out a survey, allowing you to adjust your pledge accordingly and add the required shipping at that time. We will post some shipping estimates for different add-on combinations soon.
WHAT IS A PURCHASABLE UNLOCK?
While most of our goals will be in the form of Stretch Goals (meaning anyone backing at the base game level or above will receive these for free), we also have a few "Purchasable Unlocks". These items are costly enough for us that we cannot make them a part of the Blood Bath pledge level.
A game isn't worth making unless its lights-out fun to play! We've worked extremely hard on this Hoplo series and are proud to say that the quality of the game play rivals the quality of our components!
Here are our first playthrough vids of Origins with more to come!
Player vs Player
Solo Battle (Trial 4)
While still waiting on initial reviews of our Hoplo: Origins prototype to come in, we have many references and reviews of this Hoplo series. Let's start with some action overseas with 2 Ricky Royal reviews.
RICKY ROYAL Rates Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities as 4th best solo game of his top 30! (min 17:30)
RICKY ROYAL Reviews Hoplomachus: Rise of Rome
Crits Happen also reviewed Hoplo: TLC when it first came out and from consequent plays, ended up rating the game BEST CROWDFUNDED GAME of 2012!
CRITS HAPPEN - Reviews Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities
Undead Viking also reviewed Hoplo and you can hear what he has to say below!
UNDEAD VIKING - Reviews Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities
Shipping can always be a confusing part of a Kickstarter campaign and the debate is endless as to what is easiest for backers. Also, we firmly believe that our backers should get a better price than someone who waits for our game to hit retail.
Therefore, this time around, instead of offering "free US shipping" and building that into the pledge level, we reduced the overall game cost (well below MSRP) and will calculate shipping at the time of your pledge based on your backer level and location.
Stretch Rewards are covered and will not increase your shipping amount. Purchasable Add-ons may have a shipping cost associated with them depending on which addons are chosen.
EU Friendly - We have researched and been quoted a number of solutions to fulfill and ship games within EU. The fact is, our games are heavy and are individually checked before shipping. With these two factors, it makes it even less cost effective to split ship to EU and pay for fulfillment and boxing there then to just ship from the US.
We have many EU fans and backers and we will continue to search for a good solution. Until then, we will try to keep our game cost as low as possible for everyone.
Spread the word!
Please feel free to use these avatars or banners to help inform others about Origins!
Risks and challenges
We at Chip Theory Games have learned a great deal from our first few successful Kickstarters, and we continue to learn as this KS beast continues to evolve!
Our biggest focus from our last Kickstarter to this one has been shoring up our fulfillment channels way ahead of time to speed up out turn-around times. We learned very quickly that to get a game like Hoplo produced, with hundreds of unique foil decals going on all sorts of colored chips, the opportunity for production mistakes is high. Why go to all that work to produce the highest level of components, when they could be finished incorrectly? Therefore, we have now taken that part out of the production equation. Our hand-picked, local fulfillment team, is now in place and helped a great deal with finishing off our last project. We are excited about this new team which will greatly speed our delivery times while still allowing us to check every game before it goes out. We are still small enough to be able to give that type of attention to our games and we know our backers appreciate it.
For those who are new to Chip Theory Games, we've delivered every project we have put on Kickstarter. Risks are low and if you talk to anyone that owns one of our games, we are quite certain they will tell you the same thing. You can pledge with confidence that you will receive a high quality product at reasonable price.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (26 days)