Next England Captain doesn't take itself seriously. In each 20 minute game, players build a footballer's career. Compete to become the biggest name, using football to mock football in a silly and rather random way. You really, really don't have to know anything about football to love this game, but there are some hidden gems for the true fan. Embrace the madness and pledge today!
Nowadays, a successful footballer isn't merely human, he's a brand. But what makes a good brand? For starters - a celebrity wife - although you'll probably need to be at a good club to get one of them. After all that, you must remember she is only as valuable as the promo deal you use her to leverage.
In Next England Captain, take control of your career. Starting with nothing except promise, you gain points as you move to bigger clubs, and increase your on-field stature, your cash value, and your off-field respect. The ultimate ambition being not just to play for, but to captain England!*
*Any ambition to actually win the World Cup while captaining England is beyond the scope and credibility of this game. Next England Captain is a satire, not a fantasy.
Gameplay Overview from Boardgames with Family
Next England Captain builds stories about footballer's lives. Every time you play cards from your hand onto your mat you use up one of your five career tokens. If you don't like the cards in your hand you may discard instead but you're forced to take and play the top card from the deck which might result in a dramatic change of fortune.
- All cards in the game have a value and are played into stacks of the same colour, but only the last card you play on any stack scores at the end.
- You can't just play any card at any time. It (normally) isn't possible to get married without first having a girlfriend, for example.
- Use your career moves wisely, playing a maximum of one card per colour per turn, unless 'this is your year', and mastermind your unfolding career.
- Come on board and bring your friends. Unlike actual football, everyone can easily pick up and play Next England Captain. No special clothes or skills required!
- Premium Cards: The cards will be printed on 310gsm Ivorycore cardstock. This is 15% thicker than standard cardstock, more durable, totally opaque, and has a great snap.
- Wooden Components: I respect the economic decision to place plastic components in games, but for me the feel of wood is unrivalled.
- Durable Mats: The four player mats are 300gsm, and are printed on the top side. They have a matte varnish applied for durability and water resistance.
- Rules: Next England Captain's ruleset is tested and complete, you can take a look at it here. Professional typesetting will be finished before production.
This Kickstarter is all about the game. Almost every reward and add-on involves a copy of it. In addition to this, there are a few tiers that not only get you the game but get you in the game. I took all the photos for this game, and any photos taken for these rewards will be my work.
- The Pundit: In Next England Captain, there are many cards with quotes. For a small fee, you can find your name randomly allocated to a quote in the game. That's a little like being famous, I imagine.
- The Gaffer: Not enough? Want to say something specific? Then you're the gaffer and you get to claim a quote of your choice. (quote allocations at 'the gaffer' level are first come, first served)
- The Assem Allam: Don't know who he is? Within reason, and profanity permitting, name a rank '5' club in the game. (This would rate them as big as a mid-level Premiership team, in real world terms).
- A Celebrity Baby: I will take some photos, and a photo of your child will be placed into the game. You will also receive the DVD of the photoshoot with high resolution images. (examples of my work)
- The Banned Agent: I will stalk you, take a clandestine photo of you, and subject to approval, place it into the game as the photo for the "banned agent" card. As with Celebrity Baby, you'll get a DVD, but the pictures will be less cute.
Whether you want the game or want the world, there's a tier for you. Pledge today and join the fun!
Purchase add-ons by pledging a larger amount of money than you need for the tier you have selected. Say you are in the UK and pledge £22, but select 'The Player' tier (valued at £12). At the end of the campaign you will be asked to respond to a survey, and you may use that extra £10 to purchase an add-on of equivalent or lesser value.
Add-ons are available in the UK only.
The Captain's Armband - £5 - All pledgers at the 'Club Captain', and 'Reformed Car Crash Personality' tiers will receive this automatically. The ultimate achievement for any player with either romance in their heart or a good PR man at their side. They're also surprisingly fun to wear around the house when no-one else is home.
An Extra Copy of Next England Captain - £10 - Because shipping things is expensive. Additional copies of Next England Captain can be delivered to your UK address for this reduced price. Buy as presents for your friends, or band together to buy extra games and get the best possible deal on Next England Captain.
Get The T-Shirt - £25 - All pledgers at the 'Car Crash Personality' and 'Reformed Car Crash Personality' tiers will receive this automatically. Why? If you are interested in what it means (and what I think it means) then I wrote a short article on it. These T-shirts are available in all sizes up to XXL and are printed locally in the UK.
"Fun to play, easy to learn, good use of game mechanics, doesn’t rely heavily on its theme -- 8/10"
"A light game that’s really easy to pick up. I can’t stand football and I’m Welsh...[but] it definitely wouldn’t stop me from playing the game again... It takes something special to make me play a game about a theme I can’t stand."
"Surprisingly, it is an enjoyable kick up the backside of the pomposity of the Premier League"
More reviews and previews will appear as they are published. In the meantime, here's a silly blog post about why England can't win the world cup.
Next England Captain is available in Europe and the USA. We are a UK based Kickstarter with English domestic football as it's subject matter, and add-ons are only available in the UK. Please add £7 to your pledge for Western Europe* and US Shipping. Please add £14 to your pledge for Central Europe** shipping.
Western Europe : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Central Europe: Bulgaria, Cypris, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
How did I arrive at a goal of £8,000? I answered these two questions: "What is a fair price for my game?" and "How many copies will I need to buy in order to make that price realistic?". The first one was easy to answer: I asked a load of people their opinion and their most frequent answer agreed with my own feeling so I stuck with it.
The second question was harder. I obtained quotes from China and the UK for production runs from 250 to 10,000. Once I factored in all the variables (from import duties to distribution) I discovered that the smallest amount of money for which I can get one copy of Next England Captain to your door for £12 is £8,000.
What, no profit? TheNext England Captain Kickstarter is not designed to turn a profit directly. It will, however, enable Too Much Games to purchase and distribute a number of extra games at a far lower cost than otherwise possible. This campaign is designed to deliver a great price for you and a great opportunity for us.
Introducing Panda GM: I have agreed manufacturing costs with Panda GM. They are not the cheapest manufacturer out there, but they have a great record of delivering Kickstarted games. When making board games, you pay a bit more, go with the good guys, and sleep well at night.
I don't have £8,000 under my mattress: I have loved Next England Captain since I scribbled it out on blank business cards and spent an afternoon playing it. I want to bring it to the world, and this is the only way I can achieve that. So what I'm saying is "Help make my dream a reality and I'll throw in a game. And possibly a t-shirt.".
- Early Bird Prices: As a thank you to backers, Next England Captain's Kickstarter price (£12) is a 20% discount off the retail price (£15).
- Reward Availability: We're producing enough add-ons to meet the demand of this campaign. Once the campaign is over, so is your chance to buy them.
- We Need You: We have built the game and created the art and design, but without your help, we can't bring Next England Captain into people's homes.
The project is being led by J-P Treen, founder of Too Much Games and serial creator of games. I am running the campaign and will be responsible of the delivery of your games and your add-ons. I am, however, not alone!
Next England Captain is co-designed by Simon Farid, an artist currently specialising in identity. He's also a closet football trivia expert, and I think he's the only person in the world who gets every single reference in the game.
The beautiful graphic design has been created by Simon Wadsworth, who doesn't really care about football at all, yet heroically found the time to help me out, all at the same time as starting up Wraptious, a rather lovely art and design website.
Risks and challenges
As I've backed and researched other Kickstarters over the past year, I've learned that while having a finished product in-hand is a great start, a truly successful campaign needs a lot more. I've identified several common failings of board game Kickstarter campaigns that I have taken special account of when building the Next England Captain campaign.
Delivery On Time: Some kickstarter projects have delivered very late on their promises. The top priority for Next England Captain is to deliver a quality game on time. To this end, we already have the game finished, we have a shipping solution in place, and we're using a well-known, high quality manufacturer.
Shipping: We plan to ship Next England Captain using 'Fulfilment by Amazon'. This is a low-cost, high-reliability solution that saves the project money and removes a lot of administrative overhead from the creator (me). From your perspective it means that shipping will be quick, and any problems with your deliveries will be handled swiftly by Amazon customer services.
Costing of Rewards: One of the major threats to a Kickstarter campaign is the deliverability of its own rewards and add-ons. Unless very carefully planned, a project can fund succesfully but lose money and sometimes not even ship because some of the tiers either haven't been completely costed or too small a margin has been allowed for. This creates a funding total which is based not on game sales but on add-on sales, and leaves a project creator unable to purchase both the games and the add-ons without a financial loss. All rewards in Next England Captain add value to the campaign and have been costed so that no matter which reward tiers are most popular the project will achieve sufficient funds to ship all rewards as promised.
Delivery of Artwork: Incomplete art can delay games beyond their estimated shipping date. The art for Next England Captain is complete and the game will ship as it is. No delays are anticipated due to this.
The Photographic Tiers: This is the only element of game production I have limited control over. If the project funds I will do my very best to schedule photo shoots swiftly, but the majority of my backers must come first. If a photographic tier is taken by a backer and for any reason a photo shoot has not taken place by the 31st of August I will refund the individual backer their money and the game will be produced without their image.
Prototyping Delays: Next England Captain is finished, and complete. This does not mean it is perfect. Prototype cards have been received, and as a result, several tweaks to the card art have already be carried out. I anticipate two more rounds of revisions before locking the cards. The rules, while written and tested, have not yet been handed over for final graphic design. The box art is a work-in-progress, and I have not yet secured a barcode. I estimate it will take five weeks from the end of the campaign to get the game finalised for production.
Manufacturing Deliverability: Panda GM is a top Chinese manufacturer with an excellent reputation, well known for manufacturing many successful Kickstarter games. I have used them before, and trust their quality control and reliability.
Manufacturing Delays: The entire manufacturing process - including prototyping - is scheduled to take no longer than 155 days. Assuming Kickstarter releases funds by the 30th of July, and everything goes to plan, the game will arrive in the UK for distribution by the 1st of January 2015.
Project Timescale: It's reasonable to expect delays and allow time for distribution. I allow a calendar month for unexpected delays and two weeks to facilitate UK distribution. I anticipate all UK and Western European buyers to receive their copies of the game by the end of February 2015.
I'm sure there will be a few other hiccups in the process, but we believe we have ample time, ingenuity and perseverance to overcome them. That's why we're here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)