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An innovative, tile-based strategy game. Summon your court, levy your troops, and seize the field of battle!
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    1. C3

      No prob! Always looking for an excuse to use excel. ;)

    2. Chris Schreiber on

      @Cole: Thanks for checking the numbers.

    3. C3

      @Chris BTW, I got the same numbers you did when counting. I think it's safe to assume they are correct. Especially with the 2 point gap.

    4. C3

      I will need all the help I can get.

      Although we don't usually enter the costume contest, we usually are in garb for Saturday.

    5. Chris Schreiber on

      @Cole: Now that's would be intimidating for the tournament---an opponent in armor!

    6. C3

      Oh man, my wife just pointed out that Saturday is the costume contest. I'll be in armor....might as well have a sparing match. ;)

    7. C3

      Agreed, but only if I am allowed to bring my own blade.

    8. Chris Schreiber on

      New rule for Gen Con Tournament to honor the Swashbucklers -- All draws during the event will now be settled by sword-fight on the tables; first to touch the ground or fumble with the witty repartee between turns loses. Or maybe we use a trivia contest about this famous scene from the movie Princes Bride --
      Better yet, how about a showing of this movie starring a young, awkward voice of Darth Vader as a pirate or the father from Everybody Loves Raymond (who also played the comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein) as the villian --

    9. Chris Schreiber on

      5 - Swashbucklers
      3 - Duke's Falcon
      2 - Aura Djinn / Djinn Kahn
      2 - Guard Tower
      2 - Hunting Hounds
      2 - Necromancer
      1 - Andre de Montbard / Salah Al-Din
      1 - Dancer
      1 - Dread Knight / Radiant Knight
      1 - Catalyst Promo / Raven Coin
      1 - Tower Guard
      (If someone can just swing in now from a chandelier with both flair and panache to flamboyantly confirm my vote count with reckless courage and dashing a smile, it would be appreciated -- because this tournament at Gen Con might be ideal for all the daring Swashbucklers out there.)

    10. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Nicholson

      +1 vote for the Duke's Falcon!

      I like the tile's simplicity too much to pass it up. Every game needs some falconry right?

      See you guys at the Gencon tourney!

    11. Chris Schreiber on

      Midnight Pacific Standard Time here in the US
      (Catalyst Game Labs is in Lake Stevens, WA outside of Seattle)

    12. Chris Schreiber on

      As our contest for a tile worthy of the big tournament at Gen Con now draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment to share a submission first mentioned in Update #60. I mentioned it earlier in these comments in fact, but decided it might be best to feature it at the end of the contest as we look forward to the tournament and the future of The Duke.
      Because the tile has a special ability called 'Convention' (imagine if a mythological Siren had an ability that worked like Command---but was much nicer) it was not eligible for this contest. It is, however, a concept that I hope is already included in every tile design for The Duke -- it's a tile designed to help bring people closer together. Well... at least until the tournament! ;-)
      I am happy to share, THE CONVENER -

    13. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    14. Christian on

      +1 Hunting Hounds

    15. Christian on

      Less than 24 hours to go in the voting!
      I've decided to push my vote into the Summon ring and started focusing my games on those pieces (too many pieces out there to try them all unfortunately). I really like the Falcon as a concept but I'm not liking it in play as much. The Jumps are nice but the flip side is too weak in my games. The Iconography makes a nice clean image but it might be too simple.
      I eliminated the Royal Guard as I found it too similar to the Knight (I can always house rule the Knight tile to have the Summon ability if I want to play it).
      The Lancer, while also having interesting icon placement, doesn't really have the flexibility I was looking for and I found I had to keep re-summoning him to re-position his weaker flip side. The slide never really had me moving him far since all his action was up front.
      That leaves me with the doggies. The Hounds has a lot of gaps and I found that I never really needed to Summon him back to his master since he never strayed very far. He seemed more like a guard dog. While that made for a simple, yet interesting tile, I want to see that summon effect going off more and for good use.
      The last two seemed pretty similar: Hunting Hounds and the Warhound (playing without the Strike icon as republished). They are nearly identical on the start with the Warhound getting an edge in useability with the defensive rear. The flip side is where these two stray in function and I tended to find that the extra jump movement never really came into play as much. That left the Warhound with only a few attack options and more of an ally/defender piece. Placing it far up the board makes it quite a hard piece to dislodge with the side defenses and full rear attacks.
      At the end of if though, I felt it a little complex for it's theme and I like how the Hunting Hounds leaps forward and can threaten everything around it, almost like it flushes prey out of hiding. It plays very aggressively and, when the prey/threat is sent running, summoning it back to it's master on it's flip side can help defend the Duke pretty easily.
      Not an exhaustive test on any of the pieces and I think they all have their charm but for me, I think I like the Hunting Hounds the best of that cool mechanic.

    16. Brian Norris on

      +1 Hunting Hounds

    17. DropDeadCriminal

      From what I can see the current count is:
      Swashbucklers 4
      Necromancer 2
      Djinn 2
      Guard Tower 2
      Falcon 2
      Tower Guard 1
      Dread Knights 1
      Dancer 1
      Salah/Andre 1
      Catalyst/Gencon 1

    18. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Nicholson

      @Christian "you could see some very funky tiles like: take the knight start position and replace the forward jumps with jump-slides. Or go nuts and and make the jump-slide arrow points go the opposite direction (or 90 degrees even) to the initial direction of the jump. The tile jumps forward and then slide backwards."

      This makes my brain hurt a little. You could go really insane with those tiles! Now how about 3 dimensions...

      I would agree the jump slide should go up a space on the Falcon to help indicate that is how the movement is intended to work. Anything that makes it easier for the player, the better!

    19. C3

      @Christian But you don't have to jump with jump slide. You can simply move one space adjacent. So the placement really has nothing to do with it, it was simply a mnemonic for the rule not a requirement.

    20. Chris Schreiber on

      @Kenneth: Oooh, Dire Wolves! I'm sure someone will eventually design a personal expansion themed around Game of Thrones with White Walkers, Starks, and Lannisters. I'd be partial to playing the Targaryens and suspect the dragons would work much like the Falcon's jump slide---with some extra strikes thrown in of course. For now though, we have a great start, interesting tile expansions, these Gen Con designs to vote on, ...and the promise of powerful Siege Engines on the horizon! This should keep us busy :-)

    21. Christian on

      @Chris: I think the placement of the jump-slide icon to be an important element in its design. It actually shows where the tile jumps to. If you check out all the official pieces, they all have the jump-slide one space out. Why I think this is important is because I believe that the icon placement indicates where the tile jumps to to start the slide, which means that even though we've only seen this maneuver off the straight axis of the starting tile, you could see some very funky tiles like: take the knight start position and replace the forward jumps with jump-slides. Or go nuts and and make the jump-slide arrow points go the opposite direction (or 90 degrees even) to the initial direction of the jump. The tile jumps forward and then slide backwards. If you have oddly oriented pieces like the Longbowman or the Dancer, you could have the jump go farther than the one space by placing the icon three spaces out (the tile jumps way out and then slides all the way left).

      Glad that you confirmed that the falcon intention is to work like the assassin jump-slide though :-)

    22. Ken Jenkins on

      @Christian: I agree the Falcon is the most flavorful of the summon tiles and easily my favorite for utility and flexibility. I'm thinking I may just make it with the DIY tiles if it doesn't win.
      @Chris: I do agree about the Hounds all being super flavorful, useful, and interesting. Love to see a "Kennels" expansion with all the furry friends. Although I'm afraid I'd find myself shouting "Winter Is Coming!" every time I used them.

    23. Chris Schreiber on

      @JUMP SLIDE: "This icon allows a troop tile to move in the direction of the jump slide icon and ignore any tile that may be adjacent, along the direction indicated." So the Falcon's jump slide works and makes sense to me, but I agree the placement of the Assassin's jump slide icons are helpful.
      @SUMMON TILES: I think it's interesting that 5 of the 6 Summon tiles have a Slide---clearly people had similar thinking! The Royal Guard is basically an upgraded, extremely loyal Knight; the jump slide does a great job representing the Falcon's ability to fly; I would be excited any time I drew one of the various Hounds (man's best friend, indeed), and the Lancer is about as simplified a torpedo as you can get. All are thematically solid and make sense.
      @GHOST: I might recommend the non-starting side be called Haunt instead of Curse (not a big deal), but the Escape as a sacrifice to flip it is pretty different---otherwise it's maybe too strong. Even if it's interesting/different, it's not exactly a very fun tile to get for participating in a tournament; unless it's Halloween?

    24. Christian on

      Is there a reason why the Falcon tile has a Jump Slide icon on its starting side? Should it be a regular slide or should the icon be moved one space up to show that it is indeed a Jump Slide? I assume it's just a regular slide but I kind of like it better as a jump slide.
      I like a lot of the summon tiles but this one seems to be getting the most traction. I'd like the see that mechanic made and it may push me to vote for it too.
      I also like the uniqueness of the Guard Tower. The Wall and Gate tiles aren't as sexy.
      The goblins/gremlins make my head hurt but it'd be cool to see a bunch of those little guys running amok on the battlefield. Like the replace all your Pikemen or something.
      The Ghost is really interesting too. I guess the only way to get it back to its starting side is to sacrifice your own piece and use its escape power...

    25. Steven Redfearn on

      +1 for Catalyst / GenCon collectible tile

    26. C3

      [stupid laptop's mouse pad hit "post comment"]

      I do find the footman really useful, but I'm not sure if that's because I start play with 2 of them.

    27. C3

      I do find the footman really useful, but I'm not

    28. Ken Jenkins on

      I'm actually a big fan of pikemen and footmen. They threaten a lot of space and are very flexible with the great difference between the two sides.
      I agree that point buy will not be practicable due to wide variation between the pieces and opinions of them. I like the ranger but my friend likes the Marshall much better. We value them differently because of our different play styles.
      I just suggested 12 as a nice balance between a fairly wide variety and cutting out pieces that don't necessarily contribute to your preferred style.
      But we're getting way off topic and that's my fault, so I apologize.
      I like the falcon because its balanced, effective, and flavorful.

    29. C3

      I think, part of what is interesting is having tile in your bag that are non-optimal. The footman and pikeman, for example. The oracle will become that once more tiles with the ability are published. Heck, the duke is non-optimal compared to some of the alternatives out there. Quickly, though, there will be too many tiles to put them all in your bag (excluding the imbalanced theme sets we have seen so far). I am not a fan of drafting because I think it will result in a pretty small subset of "super tiles". Point buys will never be balanced because the points will have be redone with every new set that's released. I'd rather see people develop set armies around a theme or just ones that are interesting. Just my two cents.

    30. Chris Schreiber on

      The pdf file of the tiles at the Catalyst website has been updated:
      (1) the Warhound was disarmed (the strike was removed)
      (2) the Heir that erred and is here spelled hier is now spelled as heir there (...say that 3x fast!)

    31. Christian on

      I like the idea of limiting the bag contents a lot and is my favorite way to play. The draft style variant really connects with me but could make for longer games as it requires some set up to do first before each game.

      Having a set bag before you start eliminates that set up but loses the drafting mechanic that is quite fun. I could see either working great in future tournaments. For preset armies, I'm thinking it would be a pretty small set where maybe you have to have the extra Footman and all Pikemen but then get to choose 5 more tiles to go in your bag. This would obviously mean a lot of tiles would never go into the game as some are clearly non-optimal.

      If you assigned Tile points that would fix this but that is a lot of work to balance and get right.

      Maybe a situation where you bring 6 tiles to the tourney and have a set list of 4 tiles that your opponent MUST include (and add) in their army. More to think about I guess...

    32. Daniel W. Cisek on

      @Chris Just imagine the Salsa or Contemporary tiles!

    33. Chris Schreiber on

      @DANCER: Daniel, I have to agree there's a real elegance to it. I actually asked the designer of the tile if those were real dance steps---doesn't it look like a waltz of some kind! Even though they aren't, the unique positioning of the icons is very innovative and just makes sense to me. If there's ever a 'Dancing With the Stars' re-theme of The Duke, I can't wait to capture your evasive Samba tile with my aggressive Tango.

    34. Chris Schreiber on

      @Kenneth: I'm an educator by trade, so I just like facilitating thoughtful discussion and engaging the community. I don't have any say it how this information will be used by Catalyst and the development The Duke; I just helped with collecting the submissions and making the graphic.
      From talking with the Catalyst team at Origins, I do know they have plenty of exciting ideas for The Duke if it's successful for them. Also---and this is important---they are the biggest and most experienced fans of the game! Seriously, we're in good hands. I have to add that it's rare that we would get an opportunity to participate in something like this contest and I'm grateful a lot of designs were submitted. Now I have a bunch of ideas for these:

    35. Daniel W. Cisek on

      I already voted, but I really like The Dancer. It has a unique look and the movement on it makes perfect sense for the tiles design. Nice job.

    36. Ken Jenkins on

      Thanks for pointing out that you're using this as a gauge for future designs and expansions. Much happiness.

      I like the drafting, but coming from a CCG, CMG background, the drafting is a double edged tactic where its almost as much about denying your opponent pieces as it is about selecting the ones you want. If you've ever drafted MtG, you'll know what I'm talking about.
      Meanwhile, army building allows you to lock in a play style which caters more to your personal preferences, while keeping down the tile count total. They're both excellent, and exciting. Just slightly different flavors.

    37. Chris Schreiber on

      When I look at the submissions, I see tiles that can go right into the set now, tiles that beg to be part of an expansion, tiles that are experiments with new design elements, tiles that are a little playful, and some tiles that are very convention or promo friendly. Lots of ground is being covered. Each of us will have a different perspective on what's an ideal tile to give away for participating in a tournament; you can vote for the best design, the tile you'd want most, or what seems like fun to you---all valid approaches. I'm not worried.
      What I really like is hearing what people think: how you're approaching voting, what you like, why you like it, and what you want to see in the future based on these ideas. Since I got the opportunity to talk with a lot of the designers about the tile designs, I know that they really appreciate it when the tile they designed gets a shout out---even when you don't vote for it. Share your reasoning, share your vote, and keep sharing your kudos; I think it all points to good things ahead for The Duke and it sure means a lot to the people who submitted designs.

    38. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Nicholson

      @Kenneth You can almost already do this with the current drafting mechanic.

      I do like the idea where you could pick out your army before playing a game, like shuuro. If all the pieces have points assigned to them, you could see some interesting mixtures. You probably wouldn't see the large army mixtures (lots of footmen and/or footmen) so much due to the nature of how the pieces come out of the bag. I think this may be worth buying another set of the game to try out at some point down the road (I'll just need more shield maiden tiles!). I'm sure Catalyst would be alright with this :).

    39. Ken Jenkins on

      My apologies, I liked your idea. (^__^) I just didn't know if it was practical. Wasn't trying to say it was bad. The more tiles, the merrier. And you voted for my favorite, so I'm fully in support of that!

    40. C3

      @Kenneth I only voted for one tile. Also, I never implied they should make the djinn's now, just that they should, should they need con tiles.

    41. Ken Jenkins on

      I like the contest/convention split, but that means twice as many tiles to make. In the interest of keeping the total number of tiles within a reasonable limit, I'd say keep it to one winner
      The dancer was definitely in the running for me. It's a really fun and unorthodox approach. Evokes the Game of Thrones Water Dancer.

      At any point will The Duke become somewhat of an army choosing game, with a limited number of tiles going into the bag? I really dig the concept of truncating total number but opening up your "army" customization to suit your play style. Then, the non-themed tiles can all go into a tile pool and you can choose 12 or so to go into the bag, either at the beginning of a tournament or the start of the game.

    42. C3

      +1 for the duke's falcon. Ultimately I just had to go with how well the tile fit it's theme and the duke's falcon really does that for me. Though if I was Catalyst I would really consider making the Djinns as Convention tiles as regardless of the winner.

    43. Missing avatar

      Marc Waters on

      +1 for the Salah/Andre Combo. I just like it... The Duke becomes sort of a Holy Grail quest.

    44. Aaron Crabtree on

      +1 for the Dancer. Its a very simple tile, but I like the long reach and need to adjust your thinking compared to other tiles.

    45. wouter

      +1 for guard tower. I believe it can be of great strategic value if used correctly.

    46. Ken Jenkins on

      Vote for the Falcon.
      Such a beautiful, simple, and effective tile without being overpowered or imbalanced.
      The other one that really caught my attention was the Dancer, but at the end of the day, the falcon is so flavorful.
      Also want to get my hands on the raven tile. That is just badass.

    47. Missing avatar

      AstralWanderer on

      I wonder if it may be better to have 2 vote categories - tile you'd like to see in the game and tile with a cool concept. There are a few examples above that look a great idea (e.g. GenCon Attendee/Smelly Gamer) but would seem rather unbalanced in play.

    48. Josh Kalmbach on

      +1 Vote: Guard Tower

      Very cool strategic tile. I also really like the selection of the summon tiles. I had to go for either the tower, wall or gate, though, because I just love the concept. I honestly believe that these all should be in the siege pack.

    49. Jon Shelky

      +1 Vote: Swashbucklers