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Become a dwarven beard stylist in this fast-paced tile placement game. Outwit your fellow apprentices to earn the title of Beardsmith!
198 backers pledged $8,410 to help bring this project to life.
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$8,410

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1. Beardsmith is fun! We have played this game so many times in the past year and it always brings smiles. The simple rules make it easy to grasp, but the strategic choices keep you coming back! Check out our FREE Print n Play! PnP Rules.      PnP Game.

2. The materials are amazing! Games of this kind are created on chipboard. We wanted to make something better. All the pieces for this game will be cut from 1/8" MDF which is a sturdy wood product. This is your chance to get something that is unique and durable.

3. We need you! We are a very small (2 person) indie developer and this is our first commercial product. We really need your help to make this a reality.

2-6 players

5 minutes to learn

20-30 minutes to play

Good morning apprentices! This is the most important day of your career; your years of hard work are about to pay off! Your master, the most famous Beardsmith in the city, has just announced his retirement. He will choose one of you to take his place and carry on his legacy. I hope you had a good breakfast!

Beardsmith is a fast-paced tile placement game. Players are dwarven beard stylist apprentices. Watch the mayhem unfold one tile at a time when an important customer comes in and all the apprentices scramble to show their master that they deserve to take his place! Make the best impression by having the least number of open ends in your color at the end of the game, but watch out for the other apprentices who might try to sabotage you with a snip of their shears or some bubble gum! Do you have what it takes to outwit your opponents and claim the title of Beardsmith?

Meet your customer!

 As the city's premier smithy it's no surprise that you see some of the most important and outrageous dwarfizens, all wanting the best service their gold can buy! An important dwarf has just walked in. The beard will grow off of this tile.

Beardology:

Don't forget your training! The most important skill of any beardsmith is knowing what is hair and what isn't. Why is this so important? Because you can only place hair next to hair.

Almost too easy...
Almost too easy...

When the beard hits the fan.

Sometimes placing your tiles with the utmost skill and precision is just not enough. When it's time to pull out all the stops consider:

Use these options wisely to gain an advantage over the other apprentices.

Scoring

Finding out who won is simple: You get a point for each showing beard tile in your color, and lose a point for each open end (a beard section which goes to the edge of a tile but has nothing next to it), and any beard sections in your color that touch a gum tile.

We have had many playtesting sessions of Beardsmith with a variety of people and have gotten some amazing feedback! See for yourself!

Who will be the next Beardsmith?
Who will be the next Beardsmith?

"It's a really fun puzzle/matching game!" - Winny N

"The random chance of what tiles you pull means you have to get a strategy down stat... keeps you on your toes!" - Jeff W

"Really fun game for the whole family!" - Joe L

"The artwork is awesome!" - Megan N

"Great game! The rules are super simple but the game is very strategic." - David H

"A fast-paced thinking game that is easy to get in to." - Sherel W

"The special tiles and puzzle matching along with having an open hand make this game a good mixture of skill, chance, and press your luck. Beardsmith is fast, fun, and quick to pick up and learn. [We] will definitely break it out with our friends at our next game night." GeekDad (Also check out our interview with them here)

Experience Beardsmith for yourself! Click here if you want to look at a copy of the rulebook. We would love any feedback on parts of the rulebook that might need clarification. Click here to get a free copy of Beardsmith to play. If you like it we hope you will come back and buy your own copy.

Glad you asked! We have several stretch goals in mind with everything from mini-expansions and alternate tile artwork, to materials upgrades and new play variants. Take a look, let's see if we can unlock them all for what may be the beardiest game of all time!

Here is a breakdown on how Beardsmith will be made: We will be using a CNC laser cutter to cut the tiles out of MDF, an extremely durable wood product. Traditionally this kind of game is die-cut out of chipboard, a type of cardboard. We want to do something different -- and better. Laser cutting the pieces ourselves also allows us to manage quality control and make changes easily if we need to. We are planning to have the games printed here in town where we have a business relationship with a local printer, again allowing us the most control over the end result. We have a local artist who is making some fantastic artwork for the game (Zak Hale, my brother) and most of the graphical design is done in-house. The only thing we plan on outsourcing at this point is the box (we found an incredible one).

All of this means that we have the freedom to create what we need to, when we need to, and the ability to make changes (big or small) if we need to. We have a novel manufacturing process which enables us to nearly eliminate waste and create a higher-quality product. Benjamin's background in manufacturing means that we really do know what we are doing in this arena, and can put all these things together to create this awesome game. We have had these components in our hands and we really think it is worth the extra cost and effort on our part.

Once upon a time (about a year ago) we created a great game called "Evolve or Die". The game was fun, strategic, and challenging. We had an immense amount of fun making it and thought we would put it on Kickstarter as our first game. As the creativity towards Evolve started to slow down we came up with Beardsmith. It was fast. It was quirky. It was so much fun. And it practically designed itself. Evolve or Die is complicated. It takes about two games to really get the hang of it. Beardsmith can be explained to someone in about two minutes and the first time we played it with our six year old she beat us all. We quickly realized that Beardsmith was a better offering for our first published game and so we basically started the development process over again (don't worry, Evolve or Die is coming one day).


HaleFire Games consists of two people. Benjamin Hale has had many varied hobbies such as writing, art, graphical design, and videogame/board game design. On the professional side he has a lot of experience building, manufacturing, designing and planning. He is pretty much the bearded heart of the whole dang operation. He has the skills and the background to create this project. His wife MaryAnn is the other half of HaleFire Games. She does all the important and down-to-earth stuff such as communicating with other people and businesses, responding to emails, and general networking. She also represents quality assurance; we want to build games for everyone, but we are not satisfied unless she loves them. MaryAnn is also the only person around who never says no to one more round of playtesting (thank you). She does all this while keeping house and homeschooling three girls. We would love nothing more than to create a viable business in HaleFire Games. We have the creativity and the drive to make it a reality with your help!

 Yes it did. We know you may be curious as to how different this project is from the original, and why it was changed at all. Some of the changes we made might make you happy, some others not so much. We hope that with a bit of explanation at least you can understand our choices.

The why is easy. Last time we needed to fund with at least $8000 with the majority of that goal making it possible to purchase a CNC laser cutter. Obviously when our funding fell through we needed to make some hard decisions, the toughest of which was how to get a laser cutter. We decided to use our own personal savings to buy one meaning we just needed to raise money for materials, printing, and a box of some sort. The other way we could save money is with our artist. He has not created all of the art, most notably the rest of the start tiles. When we realized how much easier it would be for him to make art for the expansions and alternate tile art versus the start tiles we knew we should make a change.

In addition to all of that we have played hundreds of games of Beardsmith, and only a few of them on a start tile other than the one you have seen. We decided quite easily that the addition of our expansions would add more to the game itself than extra start tiles would. So with the money AND the gameplay driving us we basically switched the order of when things would be unlocked. In our last KS we wanted to ship the games with more start tiles and then unlock the expansions. With this one we would rather put extra funding towards the expansions first, and then get those start tiles later if we can.

We also made the larger sized tiles a stretch goal. They will still be cut from the same 1/8" MDF, but their footprint is smaller (roughly the same size as the PNP)The reason again is simple: the larger tiles cost a lot more as they are a lot more material. If you look at our stretch goals though you will see that by the time we hit $8000 (our previous goal) we will have created a much better game than the original project outlined.

The only other change is that we removed the Premium Print and Play as a reward. This choice actually had nothing to do with money. We just came to realize that one of our main goals is to create the highest quality product we can for you guys. A Print and Play version doesn't do that. Had we thought about it a bit more last time we wouldn't have included it in the first place. We hope that the few backers out there who chose this reward will understand.

We hope that this was more good news than bad. We are committed to making this project and have been enthused by the support we have received from our backers and friends. Thank you.

Risks and challenges

As our first commercial product the biggest risks are related to the things that despite our best efforts (and months of careful planning) we find we didn't consider well enough. We have tried to offset these risks as much as possible by sourcing all our materials and printing locally and by having the artwork (nearly) finished before we started the KS. If unforeseen challenges arise we will respond with the effort and determination that has brought us this far. This project means a lot to us. We want to see it succeed more than we can say. What we have done so far is amazing. With your help we can bring it into your home as well and get our brand out there. Thank you for your trust. Beard on!

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    PREVIOUS BACKER REWARD!!!! Please only choose this reward if you backed the original project! Apprentice!
    You will receive the 2 player Beardsmith game with all unlocked stretch goals. Thank you for making this a reality!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Apprentice! You will receive the 2 player Beardsmith game with all unlocked stretch goals. Thank you for making this a reality!

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    Pledge $31 or more About $31

    PREVIOUS BACKER REWARD!!!! Please only choose this reward if you backed the original project! Beardsmith! Beardsmith the way it is meant to be played! You will receive the 2 to 6 player Beardsmith game including all unlocked stretch goals. Thank you for making this a reality!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Beardsmith! Beardsmith the way it is meant to be played! You will receive the 2 to 6 player Beardsmith game including all unlocked stretch goals. Thank you for making this a reality!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Retailer Level
    Includes 3 copies at the 6 player level. To add more copies please over pledge by an extra $30 for each additional 6 player game and $18 for each 2 player copy. Shipping will be charged later and will be for the bulk order.

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Visionary! You will receive a 2-6 player version of Beardsmith, with all stretch goals, along with a prototype version of the game signed by the HaleFire team and the artist! Be a part of bearding history!

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Funding period

- (30 days)