What is Tiny Swords Tactics?
Tiny Swords Tactics is a new tabletop game by Brian Wolf (that's me!) and a spin-off of my first card game, Tiny Swords. If you haven't played the first game, don't worry! Tactics is a standalone spinoff. You don't need to own a copy of Tiny Swords or have even played it. Where the first Tiny Swords game was a one on one swordfighting card game, this is something a little different.
Tiny Swords Tactics is a strategic Smash Bros.-style board game where you use your team of monster tiles to push your friends off of your actual table.
(Note: You don't need to have that checkerboard cloth from the video to play, but you CAN get it as a backer reward!)
It's wild and fun and I've spent all of 2016 working on it to make it as good as possible. Now, I need your help to get it printed!
Wanna hear from people who've played the game? Watch these people and more talk about what it's like!
What's in the game box?
- 24x Player Tiles- 6 unique 2.33" chipboard tiles for each of the 4 teams (Spooky, Sweet, Mermaid, and Moon)
- 2x Heart of the Battle tiles- You only need one to play, but it never hurts to have a spare!
- 4x Player Reference Cards- one for each of the four teams. On one side is the general player reference, on the other is a description of your team Captain's special powers.
- 24x Double-Sided Tokens- One side gives your tiles a speed boost, the other tracks how much damage your tile has taken.
- 12x Bonus Tokens- Use these to take extra Actions during the game.
- 12x Action Tokens- Players gain one each time they lose a tile. Use one on your turn to take an extra Action and get revenge! Beware, though- players can only hold two at a time.
- 4x Chipboard Rulers (approximately 3 tiles long)- Tactics is a board game without a board, but you can use these to keep track of how far away tiles are if they get pushed too far.
- 1x Full Color Manual- Lots of handy illustrations and photos, so you can start playing immediately!
What are you raising the money for?
- Tactics Base Game- $8k
This covers the costs for the base game. Just like the first Tiny Swords game, this one will be produced through AdMagic.
- Shipping and Shipping Materials- $3k
This covers costs for boxes, bubble wrap, postage, and other supplies needed to get backer rewards delivered safely and on time.
- Misc. Rewards (charms, figurines, tablecloth, etc.)- $2.5k
This will cover the production costs for the various backer rewards. This includes paying Daniel Samuelsson for sculpting the Spooky Knight 3D model and Angel Bearson for assembling limited-edition Tiny Swords bracelets!
- Kickstarter Fees- $1.5k
This will cover the estimated 10% taken by Kickstarter and card processing fees when pledges are paid.
What are the rewards?
- PDF of Tiny Swords Tactics- Everything you need to print and play your own copy of Tiny Swords Tactics! (Paper, glue, and scissors not included)
- Retail Copy of Tiny Swords Tactics- The final boxed game! Comes with four teams, a full-color manual, and everything else you need to start playing.
- Retail Copy of the Original Tiny Swords- Pick up the original cute and chaotic swordfighting game! For more info check out the original Kickstarter page.
- Tiny Swords Expansion Charms- These are 8 new acrylic charms based on 8 new Tiny Swords. Just like the original 20 charms, these are 1" 2D acrylic charms now with lobster clasps AND dust plugs so you can hang them from your smartphone.
- Heart of the Battle Enamel Pin- A glittery 1.5" soft enamel pin, perfect for stylish swordfighters who want to wear their heart on their sleeve. Pins will be produced through Pin Game Strong.
- Spooky Knight Figurine- Need a monster to keep you company? The Spooky Knight makes an excellent guard...pumpkin. This is a 2.5" tall full color 3D printed figurine, modeled by Daniel Samuellsson and printed via iMaterialize. This lil fella will keep an eye on your stuff as best as they can!
- LIMITED EDITION Tiny Swords Bracelet- A collaboration with my friend Angel Bearson, one of Portland's most kawaii fashion designers. This is a special hand-assembled charm bracelet, with special charms you won't be able to get anywhere else.
- Tiny Swords Tactics Tablecloth- a custom-pattern tablecloth that doubles as a game board! You can see the prototype in my Kickstarter video. This cloth is a yard length of hemmed fabric (printed via Spoonflower) with a unique pattern sized specifically for Tiny Swords Tactics tiles. I'll be hemming the fabric myself, as well as adding inside pockets for weights. Just place some rocks or other heavy objects inside these to keep the tablecloth grounded and prevent it from shifting while you play!
- Custom Pixel Monster + Charm- Want a critter of your very own? Pledge enough money and I'll design a monster just for you! I'll work with you to create an original monster drawn in the style of Tiny Swords Tactics. You'll also get a set of 2D acrylic charms of your monster art, so you can take your custom creation with you everywhere.
Neat! How do you play?
Tiny Swords Tactics is a 2-4 player game, and each game takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. Each player in Tiny Swords Tactics leads a team of tiles into battle. Each team is trying to be the last one standing on the table so they can claim the Heart of the Battle, a magical relic that can grant you your deepest desires (that's the blue heart tile in the middle of the table).
During setup, players connect all of their tiles to the Heart of the Battle. Tiles that are touching the sides of the Heart are connected, and any tiles that are touching the side of another connected tile are too (corners don't count). Once the game properly starts, players push their friends' tiles as far as away as possible, while keeping their own tiles safe. Tiles that are disconnected from the Heart of the Battle aren't removed immediately, but are put in danger- their player has until the end of their next turn to reconnect the tile, or they lose it forever. If you manage to push your friend's tiles off the table (your ACTUAL table), they're gone for good.
To keep your team safe and knock out your friends, you'll take Actions. On your turn, you can take up to 2 Actions. Each of these can be a MOVE, FLIP, or FIGHT Action, or one of your Captain's special abilities. When your tiles MOVE, they can slide up to as many spaces (each the size of one tile) as their Speed. So, a monster with a Speed of 2 can slide up to 2 spaces, a monster with a Speed of 3 can move up to 3 spaces, etc. When moving, tiles push any face-up tiles in their way, like a sliding block puzzle.
Tiles that are face-down act as walls, and stop any tiles from pushing them. You can FLIP your tiles face-up and down to bring them in and out of battle.
You can also FIGHT face-up tiles, hitting them with a number of Damage Tokens and sending them flying. Just like in Super Smash Bros, the more Damage Tokens a tile has, the more spaces it's thrown.
Your tile's Rock-Paper-Scissors Type determines how well it can FIGHT certain tiles. If the attacking tile's Type beats the defender, the attacker gets to add DOUBLE the damage they normally would! The only way to get rid of Damage Tokens is to FLIP your tile face-down (don't worry, you can flip them back up later). Tiles that are face-down can't MOVE or FIGHT, but they also can't be moved or fought by any other tiles.
On top of your normal Actions, each Captain has special powers that they can use to turn the tide of battle. Shove tiles around with Mermaid Captain's Tidal Wave, flip tiles over with Spooky's Jumpscare, power them up with Moon's Lunar Phase, or shuffle them around with the Sweet Captain's Swap ability.
All of these mechanics combine to create an easy to learn, tough to put down game that's sure to be a smash hit at your next game night. But I can only print it with your help!
Got any stretch goals?
You bet! For every stretch goal we hit, I'll get to make an expansion of four new teams for Tiny Swords Tactics, each one based off of a different sword's theme. Since I have 20 swords in the original Tiny Swords card game and 8 new swords I designed for this Kickstarter, that's a LOT of potential teams, but I can only make all of those if we raise enough money!
$15k- Tiny Swords Tactics is funded!
$20k- Tactics gets its 1st expansion, Sushi and Friends!
$25k- Tactics gets its 2nd expansion, Zombie and Friends!
$30k- Tactics expansion number 3, Healthy and Friends!
$35k- Expansion number 4, Scurvy and Friends!
$40k- Expansion number 5, Frosty and Friends!!
$50k- Expansion number 6, Mirror and Friends!!!
Each expansion will let me add 4 new teams with wildly different playstyles. For example, the first expansion, Sushi and Friends, will have these four teams:
My budget for making an expansion breaks down like this:
- Tactics Expansion Printing- $3k
- Living Expenses (while playtesting)- $1k+ (more for future expansions)
- Extra Shipping- $500
- KS fees/taxes- $500
Right now I'm estimating at least 2 months per expansion, and that time will likely balloon if I need to test 12 or more teams against each other. There's also the 3 months in between sending off the final files, getting the final product, and shipping that out. Because of that, I'll need more room in my budget for living expenses if we go beyond 3 expansions. In the event that I get to make the expansions, I'll likely ship those separately from the other rewards. That way you're not waiting til the end of 2017 to start playing Tiny Swords Tactics!
Backers who donate at the Tactical Swordfighter tier ($30) and above will receive all Tactics expansions funded through this Kickstarter for FREE.
You can watch me and my housemate play a test game with two of the expansion teams. Please keep in mind that these videos are playtests, and mechanics will change between their release and the final game.
What about add-ons?
Want some extra lil goodies? Want to make a custom order? Just add the appropriate amount for the item you want to add to your tier.
Keep in mind you'll need to pledge at the Tactical Swordfighter tier ($30+shipping) or higher!
- Add a Tiny Swords expansion charm: $3
- Add 2 charms: $5
- Add 4 charms: $10
- Add all 8 charms: $20
- Add a retail copy of Tactics: $35
- Add a retail copy of Tiny Swords: $20
- Add a Heart of the Battle Enamel Pin: $15
- Add a Spooky Knight figurine: $30
- Add a Tiny Swords Tactics tablecloth: $80
- Add a Tactics expansion (dependent on stretch goals): $15/expansion
Don't forget, you'll need to write in which items you're adding in your backer survey!
When is all this coming out?
Currently I'm on track to have Tiny Swords Tactics finished by the end of 2016 and all of the rewards delivered by Summer 2017. There's a large gap in between because just like last time, the final game is gonna be printed and shipped from China. No matter what, that's gonna take at least 3-6 months to reach my door before I mail all of the rewards to backers. There's a chance it might arrive sooner but I'd rather under-promise and over-deliver!
The good news is that printing the game itself is gonna be the slowest part. Most of the other rewards (charms, tablecloth etc.) are manufactured in the US, which means I can get near everything ordered and delivered to my home before the end of 2016.
Completing the stretch goal expansions is the biggest question. I want to make sure those aren't rushed, but it'll be several months before they're all ready to be delivered. For that reason, I may need to ship the expansions separately from the rest of the rewards. Backers who order the expansions will not need to pay extra shipping for them.
Who made all this, anyway?
Me! No, really, just me. When I say it's a game by Brian Wolf, I mean that 100% of the art and design is done by me. That doesn't mean I haven't had a LOT of help from my friends, whether it was through playtesting or general advice on improving the final game, but at the end of the day, the game is my baby through and through. I'm so proud of how far it's come, and I can't wait for you to try it yourself.
Risks and challenges
Like any Kickstarter, there's always a chance that things can go wrong. Shipments can go missing, backers might have their cards declined, shipping prices will go up. Even so, not only do I have the experience of working on the first game, I'm taking extra steps to keep everything moving along.
The final art is done for the box as well as most of the game components, and the manual's being blind-tested thoroughly. If all goes as planned the files can be shipped off for proof copy as soon as the Kickstarter is finished! That means I can not only make sure the game comes out when I want it to, I can spend more time making sure it's in tip-top shape.
It also means I have more time to start playtesting expansions, which means I can deliver THOSE more quickly as well. With that in mind, because this is my first time trying to balance an expandable competitive game, I imagine there's gonna be a lot of trial and error in testing all of the different possible match-ups. If we reach our higher stretch goals, I imagine it's gonna take a long time to test 28 different teams against each other! It's an exciting challenge, but it'll only happen if we raise enough money!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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