Project image
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£645
pledged of £9,999pledged of £9,999 goal
35
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Feb 28 2017
£645
pledged of £9,999pledged of £9,999 goal
35
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Feb 28 2017

About

Animals with Weapons (AWW)

 

What is Animals with Weapons?

Animals with Weapons (AWW) is a casual trump-card-style card game for 2-4 players. With 132 cards and two decks, it's a step up from the standard 30-card trump-card format, but it's designed to be played quick and dirty (like nature itself), with games lasting anything from 15-30 minutes in a variety of game modes from the very simple to the... less simple (see Game Modes).

Not a full-on strategy game, AWW is a game you can carry in your pocket and play a quick round of in your lunch break (or before anybody notices at work/school).

The concept

A couple of billion years ago, evolution (or whatever) invented animals. A couple of million years ago our pre-human ancestors invented weapons. A couple of minutes ago we gave the former access to the latter. 

Hilarity ensued. Or at least adorable violence.

The origin

This game started as a discussion between friends more than a decade ago, but came to life during a leisurely stroll around a wildlife park about a year and a half ago. Watching the animals roaming their (simulated) habitats, we couldn't help but wonder how it would all go down if the cages were opened and the wee beasties tumbled out into the middle of some sort of open-air armoury. 

Sure, we all know who'd win in a scrap between a bear and a shih tzu, but what if that puppy was packing heat? 

Animals with Weapons was born. 

First production prototype. Final release will be in a double-box with the full 132 cards. Final designs will also be further developed in line with backer feedback.
First production prototype. Final release will be in a double-box with the full 132 cards. Final designs will also be further developed in line with backer feedback.

Why the Kickstarter?

Over the last year and a half we've been developing the game, writing the content (currently several times longer than my university dissertation) and play-testing. We now have a finished game, prototyped, designed and (nearly) ready to go to the printers (see below). And that's where we need your help.

In learning about making and printing cards (it's amazing how quickly you can go from knowing nothing to knowing a lot more, but also how much there always is that you still need to learn), and especially for a twin-deck game with 132 cards, it turns out that economies of scale really matter. With your help and a successful campaign we can order a large enough run to bring down the costs to an affordable level for everybody. 

We will also be making refinements to the design of the cards from the working prototypes. These are being refined following feedback, but the game concepts and cards are otherwise ready to go, so changes will only be visual. Some designs will also be down to our backers too (see perks)! 

What’s in the box?

  • 132 full-colour cards, illustrated in full colour front and back:
  • 60 Animals cards
  • 60 Weapons cards
  • 12 terrain cards (used in some game modes)
  • 1 tonne* of fun

*metric

Aim of the game

Broadly-speaking, the aim of the game is to wipe out your opponent(s), either by defeating or capturing all of their cards. When only one player is left, they are the winner. So far, so standard, right?

How to play (and how AWW is different)

Trump card games are quick and easy to pick up and are beloved of generations of kids (and immature adults): take a deck of cards, give some to each player, then one player picks a stat and calls it out; the player with the highest score for that stat wins the round and the cards, puts them to the back and gets to choose the stat for the next round. 

This mechanic is quick and easy to pick up, but can easily end up in stalemates, with the same cards (there are 32 in a standard deck) going round and round as players take turns winning long strings. The same good cards come up and win, the same bad ones come up and lose. It can just get...repetitive. 

This deeply scientific graphic illustrates AWW's niche in the world of modern gaming. Silly, pick-up-and-play easy but with more variety than your average schoolyard card game.
This deeply scientific graphic illustrates AWW's niche in the world of modern gaming. Silly, pick-up-and-play easy but with more variety than your average schoolyard card game.

AWW is played with 120 cards in the main game, in two decks of cards (Animals and Weapons). In most modes of play, cards are dealt out so that players have a pile of each (see Game Modes for more variations). Players draw one card from each pile to make a ‘combo’, then use this to declare their total attribute score. With 60 cards in each deck, that's 3,600 possible combinations (not to mention the Terrain cards, used in the advanced play modes), so repetition isn't a problem! More importantly, it means that a shih-tzu with a rocket launcher can easily outmatch an ocelot with a boxing glove, allowing a well-armed weakling to overcome a powerful adversary who made the wrong choice at the hardware store. 

It's also just funny.

Each card comes with a paragraph-length bio, written with humour and fun in mind, so each card should be almost as much fun as the combinations themselves (although not quite).

Early prototypes (before hand-drawn art)
Early prototypes (before hand-drawn art)

Finally, to avoid a stalemate and 'put a clock on things', at the end of each turn, AWW's 'capture or loot' mechanic means that the winner can take either the Animal or Weapon card of their defeated opponents. The other is 'burned'. Turn by turn the number of animals and weapons is always ticking down - war is hell, even when it's adorable.

Card types

In AWW there are three types of card, which come in two main decks (Animals and Weapons). How you use them will depend to some extent on the game mode that you choose to play, but they will generally break down in the following ways:

  • Animals
 
Each animal card features an informative bio to ensure that you are educated while you play. Three games is literally the same as attending a Zoology lecture.
Each animal card features an informative bio to ensure that you are educated while you play. Three games is literally the same as attending a Zoology lecture.
  • These are your main cards. Choose and use attributes from here to attack (or defend).
Prototype cards from the initial run. These are being refined, both in the images and card design.
Prototype cards from the initial run. These are being refined, both in the images and card design.

 

  • Weapons
Each weapon card also features a detailed bio, ensuring that you quickly become a fully-qualified DIY expert or urban ninja simply by osmosis.
Each weapon card also features a detailed bio, ensuring that you quickly become a fully-qualified DIY expert or urban ninja simply by osmosis.
 
  • Give that mouse a grenade! The attributes of your weapon are added to your animal’s scores to make a combined 'combo' score. They might make all the difference or no difference at all!
Prototype cards from the initial run. These are being refined, both in the images and card design.
Prototype cards from the initial run. These are being refined, both in the images and card design.

 

 
  • Terrain
  • Terrain cards are optional cards, used in some game modes. There are 6 backgrounds (Water, Arid, Frozen, Air, Jungle, Nonspecific) These add to (or subtract from) the scores of all animals in play in a given turn, depending on their habitat, as shown in the background of each animal's picture.
Examples of the terrain bios. I couldn't fit them all in and still make it legible!
Examples of the terrain bios. I couldn't fit them all in and still make it legible!

 

The stats

Clout - Clout is the overall power the animal brings to the party. This category is the difference between wanting them on your side if it looks like it's going to kick off and shoving their head down the toilet and nicking their dinner money.

Lairiness - The extent to which the animal is likely to say "Come on then! You want some? What did you call me?" or more likely throw a can of lager at someone from a moving car and then accuse the victim of spilling their drink.

Hardness - You can punch them in the face. You can hit them in the lower spine with a tyre iron. You can step on their toes wearing a stiletto high heel. The higher the hardness rating the more likely they are to laugh in your face.

Agility - Highly necessary skill in the world of animals 'n' weapons. The more agile you are, the more likely you'll survive to face another mallet in the kneecap.

Cunning - A measure of how smart your animal is combined with how much it wants to see you torn limb from limb whilst eating your Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough that you were saving for that special occasion.

Game modes

AWW can be played in a number of ways, from simple trumps to deck-building. There are several modes to try but how you play is up to you – the important thing is to make sure that everyone agrees on how you’re going to play before you start!


Suggested game modes - Basic

(Terrain cards left out)

This is the main mode casual gamers, designed as a development and improvement upon the traditional playground trump-card game. A quick game in a short time. 

Tooth & Claw

  • “You don’t need the gun!” Just the animals.

Bears, Armed (recommended)

  • The winning player in each turn can keep the animal (capture) or the weapon (loot), from each losing player, but not both. The ‘rejected’ card(s) are placed on a discard pile. It’s last animal standing!
  • Deal out the Animal and Weapon decks until each player has 20 of each in 2 piles.

Extinction

  • All ‘defeated’ cards are placed in the discard pile. Fight until one player remains!

Plunder

  • Defeated animals are dead. Their weapons are yours!

 

Suggested game modes - Advanced

(Terrain cards in)

These game modes are designed for more seasoned gamers or those making the transition to more tactical games, with more planning and less randomness. More of a light tactical game than a heavy casual game.

Skirmish

  • Each player draws a hand of 4 animals and 4 armaments.
  • Draw a terrain card and place it in the middle, face up, to determine modifiers for the first round.
  • Players choose their best combo to play for that round.
  • Defeated animals (and weapons) are “killed”. Winners stay on.
  • Draw a new terrain card for the next turn.

Tactical

  • Deal out 20 Animal and Weapon cards to each player.
  • Each turn players draw cards to make a hand of 4 animals and 4 weapons.
  • Terrain cards are mixed in to the Weapons deck and may be played as the ‘weapon’ by a player during their turn.
  • Play as for Skirmish, but refilling to 4 animals and weapons at the start of each new turn.

- Arena 1

  • Draw 4 Terrain cards and place them face up in the middle of the play area to make 4 arenas
  • Each player draws 4 Animal and 4 Weapon cards
  • Each player then makes 4 pairs of Animals and Weapons, placing one pair face-down next to each arena
  • The first player (see “Who Starts?” above) declares which arena they will start with, picking up their own cards and declaring their combo score (taking into account any buffs or debuffs from the arena). Other players then reveal their own face-down cards and the results of the battle are determined as usual. Losing cards are eliminated.
  • The winner of the battle then gets to decide which arena to move to next, with battles proceeding as above
 - Arena 2
  • Draw one or more Terrain cards for each player to set up the arenas (e.g. 3 arenas for 3 players or a multiple of this number such as 4 arenas for 2 players)
  • Play proceeds as for Arena 1, except that players take turns to choose the arena for each battle (rather than the winner choosing each time)

 - Arena 3

  • As for Arena 2, except that one player chooses the arena and the other player (or player to their left if more than 2) chooses the statistic for the battle

House Rules

Listen, we know it’s a jungle out there, but this isn’t ‘Nam, man. There are rules.

What those rules are is a different matter…

The game modes we provide are just suggestions, so feel free to mix and match to create the game that works best for you and your friends. We’ve given you a bunch of animals and a bunch of weapons, but how the carnage unfolds is your own concern, so feel free to create your own House Rules as you see fit – just make sure everyone agrees on them before you start. There’s about to… been… enough fighting… today? Whatever. You know what we mean.

 

Ready?

No?

Fight!

 

 

 

Introduction / FAQ video

Promo trailers - playlist

Thank you to the testers and volunteers who bravely filmed and sent us their videos of dangerous animals with weapons. We salute your fortitude and effort.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot the small typo in the logo. This will be fixed in the full run. You can click this picture to see our user-submitted videos.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot the small typo in the logo. This will be fixed in the full run. You can click this picture to see our user-submitted videos.

 

                                                    

 

Risks and challenges

We largely feel that the main challenge is raising the money and getting the word out on the streets so that we can print and distribute to our backers, but let's be a little more specific:

Design
We have worked with an artist to design the animals and weapons for the working prototype cards, moving up from the placeholder images that we used initially. We have had some positive feedback from backers so far but also some less positive, so we will work to refine the artwork over the course of the run in response to feedback (please see the survey in Updates). We want to keep the look of the cards clean and simple rather than lavish, but we want people to be happy with what they're getting too!

Rules
We have put a lot of thought into the rules for the game and have play-tested until we are happy with them. Part of the idea is also that you can make up your own variants too, but please feel free to contribute suggestions that could well be incorporated.

Printing
We have already found a printer for our initial run and they are ready and waiting for a larger run if we meet our target, bringing the whole thing in on budget so that people can have their game at the right quality and price.

Distribution
For a successful project we are able to distribute by ourselves and have planned and budgeted for this. If we end up being more successful we have planned for outsourcing distribution and sales for the future.

Budget
We have carefully gone through our budgets and quotes for each aspect of the design, printing and delivery process, with buffers built in to take account of any changes that might come about or bumps that we find in the road. If you would like more information please do contact us.

Timescale
We have been careful in our timescale so that we should be able to get everybody their pledges in good time with the game as planned. Even with a re-design we should be well in time, but we understand that if there are major changes to designs this could possibly slow things down as we we-adjust all the card-bases for printing. If this looks likely we will of course communicate with all backers so that they are kept in the loop.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know if the comments and we'll aim to answer and update as best we can.

Really, we're reliant on you now, so our challenge is yours. If you like the sound of AWW and want to be a part of making it happen, please help to put the word out and get more people interested.

After all, those animals won't fight themselves!

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    YOU have the right to bear arms

    Two standard 132-card sets of Animals with Weapons, a poster print and a bonus, hand-drawn representation of you (produced by our artist) to add to each copy of your Animals deck (although not everybody's). Your very own in-pack credit on release.

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Funding period

- (30 days)