In the Kingdom of Darkhill, order and power mean everything. The royalty reign supreme, but alongside of their control are the plotting citizens, planning to get ahead using any means possible.
Hierarchy is an abstract game of order and power where players each take a random set of 7 cards and play them openly, until they cannot play any more. Cards must be played atop a card of a lesser value, unless either the last card or the new card change those rules. When the active player can no longer play a card, their opponent has won the game and has taken the seat of power away from their opponent.
If you haven't heard of us before, here are a few quick notes about Button Shy:
- We're a small, family based company, with a few helping hands and a great group of designers and artists.
- We release a new wallet game every month. This is game #56!
- Our wallet games are packaged in a small vinyl wallet for maximum portability.
- Each game is hand assembled and mailed from our little workspace in New Jersey.
For more information about our games, rules clarifications, or anything else really, join our wonderful community on Discord: https://discord.gg/pf9DPqs
The object of Hierarchy is to put your opponent in a position where they are unable to play a card. This might be as simple as them running out of cards - part of the disadvantage of going first in the game - or you invalidating all of their potential plays. Each player will get 7 cards, and whomever is dealt the Imposter will go first. Because the game is one of perfect information, you will always be able to see what tricks your opponent is capable of pulling off. The ability to evaluate both players' cards and to anticipate your opponent's reactions is a key to being successful.
Each card in the game has a numerical value - the range across the 14 cards is 1-13 with one "?" value - and certain cards may also contain text stating a specific card they can be played onto. As a rule, you are trying to play a card with a higher value than the previous card played to the line. However, cards such as the Knight can break this rule, allowing this 6-value card to be played atop the 9-value Dragon card.
Seeing what cards your opponent has will allow you to plan accordingly, knowing whether they can counter your play. However, some of the stronger cards in the game have restrictions on when they can be played, so it is possible to position things to where they might be unable to play that key card from their hand.
Here's a little bit about each card.
- (1) The Assassin - Low in power, yet lethal to the unexpecting.
- (2) Leper - A plague to half the population and avoided by Royalty.
- (3) Serf - Easy to ignore but difficult to remove once it enters the fray.
- (4) The Tower - Strong protection from most losing situations but at a high cost.
- (5) Surgeon - Restores a played card to the hand of both players.
- (6) Knight - Unremarkable until tasked with facing down a dragon.
- (7) Usurper - Topples the mighty, toppled by the meek.
- (8) Sorcerer - Makes the text on cards vanish for a turn.
- (9) Dragon - Loves to find a Baroness in distress, yet mighty on its own.
- (10) Baroness - Good power but needs to appear early to make a difference.
- (11) High Priest - Impressive power but a challenge to get into play
- (12) Queen - Incredibly strong card but useless without a Baroness in play.
- (13) King - Strongest card but cannot impact the early game.
- (?) Imposter - A tricky shapeshifter that clones an opponent's played card.
Plus 2 reference cards and 1 card to start the line of power.
To check out the prototype rules and black and white PNP - visit PNP Arcade:
"For such a compact and ‘light’ game, the strategy required for success keeps the game extremely engaging. You always know the cards your opponent has, and you’ve got to be thinking at least several turns in advance to try to back them into a corner while not letting yourself fall victim to an unnoticed strategic play." - Purple Phoenix Games
"The cards feel like they’re designed to counter each other at very high levels and I really like that. It end-to-end feels like a smart design, and that allows for a variety of strategies even with the same hand, I feel. Whether or not they work out is a bit more up to the interplay between you and your opponent, which makes this one interesting to me." - What's Eric Playing
"Whether as an aid to prepare your children for more cutthroat gameplay mechanics or as an enjoyable filler on game nights or dinner dates, Hierarchy is another strong entry in Button Shy’s line of card games that rethink the limits of limitations." - Casual Game Revolution
"This game stands on its own as something pretty different, and surprisingly replayable – with just 14 cards, you wouldn’t think that you could have so many different ways it could end, but I don’t think I’ve had two games end the same way so far." - Boards And Bees
"Enough thinking to be engaging, simple enough to be quick. Satisfying to see the hierarchy built up. Everyone should have at least one Button Shy game in their purse/backpack/bikebag; this is a good one to start with." - Chip Roush
$3 - Print and Play version of Hierarchy plus solo expansion - delivered via Kickstarter message in December 2019.
$10 - Hierarchy plus solo expansion - delivered to your door in January 2020. (Save $6 off of retail price.)
$20 - Hierarchy plus solo expansion plus one of our featured new direct release games, Spaceshipped OR Wonder Tales - delivered to your door in January 2020.(Save $8 off of retail price.)
$30 - Hierarchy plus solo expansion plus both of our featured new direct release games, Spaceshipped AND Wonder Tales - delivered to your door in January 2020.(Save $10 off of retail price.)
$30 - Hierarchy (plus solo expansion) plus the solo playmat - delivered to your door in January 2020. We generally only sell playmats during the Kickstarter campaigns. We'll order a little more than what sells, but the Kickstarter is always the best time to grab one.
$72 - US Retailer Level - 12 copies of Hierarchy in retail clamshells - delivered in December 2020. This is another level that's good to grab while on Kickstarter, as we dedicate a small portion of the print run to retail store sales. Grabbing them here will guarantee the availability. Retailers only!
In previous campaigns we created expansion material and used it as stretch goals. Going forward, we're just going to give it away from the start. So no worries on whether we'll hit it or not: you are getting this expansion if you pledge here.
The Emissary expansion by Mike Mullins brings solo play to Hierarchy.
Two noble families have been fighting over the throne for years, and the people of the kingdom have suffered. You’ve been sent to make sure there is an uneventful transition into a new age of peace. To be a successful Emissary, you must play all 14 cards.
Emissary comes with 3 double sided Edict cards that give special abilities, as well as three alternate game cards (Impostor, Tower, and Surgeon) to swap in for solo play.
At any time, you may discard an Edict card to use its printed ability. You must be able to resolve the card in order to use it. For example, if there are no cards left in the deck, you cannot “Return a card to the bottom of the deck.”
It also comes in three levels of difficulty. In the Standard and Expert difficulties, after you fully resolve the Edict, you must remove the bottom card in the line and place it on top of its deck, extending the length of the game.
While it's not required, we also made a sweet playmat for solo play. If you like to go all out, the playmats are always really nice.
We have a lot of games in our collection. You can add-on any that are in stock using the below methods.
If you want to add more games to your order, you can do one of two things:
- US Backers only - to order games that ship now - go to our website http://www.buttonshygames.com and place an order using the coupon code "1019impatient" to get 15% off of your order. Your order will ship now, as long as you don't order any pre-order items, otherwise the entire order will ship as soon as everything comes in. As always, if you reach $25.00, you will also receive free shipping.
- US Backers only - to order games that ship along with your rewards - go to our website http://www.buttonshygames.com and place an order using the coupon code "1019us" to get free shipping on your extra games. These games will all ship together with your Kickstarter rewards.
- International Backers only - go to our website http://www.buttonshygames.com and place an order using the coupon code "1019international" to get free shipping on your extra game(s). Note: The limit on this offer is 3 wallet games (and expansions) total, including anything that you order at Kickstarter. Anything above 3 wallet games (and expansions) will end up bumping into the next shipping tier. These games will all ship together with your Kickstarter rewards. NOTE: You must be a backer to use this code.
A few notable games available in our library are Tussie Mussie, Sprawlopolis, Circle The Wagons, In Vino Morte and Handsome.
About the Designer
Hugo Kawamata is a software engineer and avid Magic: the Gathering player, and has been designing card games since he was 7 years old.
The Board Game of the Month Club.
We have an awesome following of repeat customers. As a result, we've built the Board Game of the Month Club.
It's a subscription service where you receive unreleased microgames, promo cards, expansion content, and Kickstarter discounts.... every month. Supporters will receive from $1, $2, $5 to $10 off of EVERY WALLET GAME THAT WE MAKE. (See the $1 level, that's where the members back our Kickstarter projects).
Our 2019 $5 packages include an episode of Chain Mail, a card and dice driven, asymmetric dungeon crawler for 1-4 players. Each episode comes with a postcard map, dual monster card, and a new quest. After multiple months you can randomize these and/or attempt multiple quests in a campaign mode.
It also includes a copy (and a link to print more) of the next Tempus Quest pen and paper game where you use time instead of dice. The crew of the Tempus ship get into a new adventure each month. You can try out the first Episode today right here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/tempus-quest-0-24629368
Our $10 packages include all of the above and something extra. Generally it's a micro-game (up to 9 cards), or some expansion / promo cards for our existing games.
And our $20 package includes all of the above and a copy of the featured wallet game (or the wallet game of your choice). The featured wallet games also come with any expansion material that is given away in the Kickstarter campaigns.
If that sounds cool to you, check out the Board Game of the Month Club on Patreon!
Risks and challenges
With our method of publishing and using multiple manufacturers, there's always a chance that one part of the game could come in with an error, leading to delays. We've been able to minimize these errors in recent years, but they can happen from time to time. We've also upped our staff internally to make sure we can hit intended deadlines.
Our last two projects are Tussie Mussie and Seasons of Rice. Both are moving along according to schedule. Tussie Mussie is in and shipping as planned (starting in September) and will ship for the next 2-3 weeks. Seasons of Rice is partially here and will start shipping in October as planned. The print and play for Seasons of RIce is due in September and will be arriving in Kickstarter inboxes on the week of September 30th.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (11 days)