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Battle to claim spaces, control them to score points. Be prepared, a well timed action card can support or hinder any player’s game! Read more

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Battle to claim spaces, control them to score points. Be prepared, a well timed action card can support or hinder any player’s game!

About this project

Thank you so much for supporting our campaign! We will be back with improvements to our game and to our Kickstarter. Please follow us on Twitter to hear about our progress and to be notified when we are ready to reboot.

Thanks again!

James and Dian

My favorite part of playing Stratagem is when I get to introduce it to new people
My favorite part of playing Stratagem is when I get to introduce it to new people

I’m certainly not pretentious enough to lift up Stratagem alongside storied classics like Chess or Checkers. However, like those games, Stratagem’s simple yet deceptively complex nature makes it easy to recommend to almost anyone.This is approachable, unassuming fun. True, Stratagem doesn’t have a theme. It doesn’t need it. It’s got character. — Jason Dobson, Indie Cardboard

We liked [Stratagem] a lot, more than we thought we would. Strangely addictive, and still quite simple. — Hunter Shelburne, WeaponsgradeChannel

The game has a simple set up, easy to learn rules and it plays pretty quickly: features that make it a great family game. — Luke Turpeinen, Across the Boardgames 

Stratagem at its heart is an abstract strategy game. It presents some very unique strategic decisions. With the variants, the level of random gameplay elements can be tuned to appeal to the strategy “purist.” Andrew Lupp, Boardgaming.com

The easy to learn rules and the high player interaction made Stratagem a win in my book. I think this makes a great game for when you have 4+ players and are looking for something casual and engaging. — Tony Mastrangeli, Board Game Quest

There’s a new board game on the way, and after spending a few weeks with it I find [Stratagem is] one of the first things I grab when friends are over.Russell Holly, Geek.com

NOTE: Prototype images shown, actual production artwork and parts might vary
NOTE: Prototype images shown, actual production artwork and parts might vary

Light and fun, this abstract board game strikes a perfect balance of luck and strategy that all gamers will really enjoy.

Stratagem™ is a simple game perfect for family fun night, but also substantial enough to be a fun filler game mixed into a heavier game night.

Stratagem is an abstract game. Players take turns moving their pawns around the board, claiming each contiguous space they enter with hexagon tiles. Points are scored for each claimed space that survives a round and is converted to a controlled space. Action cards may be played during the game to a player’s advantage.

Prefer Skill Over Luck? Strategy gamers may prefer a more strategic rule-set, one that relies more heavily on the player’s skill than the luck of a die roll. The rule book contains a few variant rules that put the player’s fate in their own hands.

NOTE: Prototype images shown, actual production artwork and parts might vary
NOTE: Prototype images shown, actual production artwork and parts might vary
Photo courtesy of Andrew Lupp from Boardgaming.com.  Find his preview link below.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Lupp from Boardgaming.com. Find his preview link below.
                                 

When making a turn, a player will perform each of the following phases, in order, skipping the phases that are not applicable during the turn. For example, a player would not yet have any tiles on the game board during their first turn, so the Clear and Control phases should be skipped.

The Action Cards deck will contain 54 cards which provide special actions players can use to alter die rolls, movement and battle outcomes.

  • 34 Standard cards are shown above with an indication of how many duplicates are in the deck
  • 2 Blank cards for you to create your own!
  • 18 Designer cards will be added to the deck from the CARD DESIGNER pledge level.  Up to nine backers will each design one card which will be added to the deck twice.  The designer cards will be distinguished by a KS stamp so they can easily be added to or removed from play.  

If we do not get enough CARD DESIGNER backers, we will design the remaining cards.  We already have good ideas ready to go, but we'd rather include yours!

Each player is dealt three action cards before the start of the game and will receive an additional card each time they control one of the six “action card” spaces, one of the six spaces marked "5" or the center space marked "10" during play.

On each player's turn, all players are allowed to play one card from their hand if they wish. The bottom of each card explains when during a player's turn the card may be played.  For example, after a die has been rolled or during a claim phase.

Action cards are used to help or hinder any player’s game. For example, one card may add +1 to a die roll while another may send a player back to their home space.

Stratagem Preview
by Jason Dobson, Indie Cardboard

Kickstarter Game Preview: Stratagem
by Andrew Lupp, Boardgaming.com

Stratagem is bound to be a Board Game Night hit
by Russell Holly, Geek .com

Strategem Review
by Luke Turpeinen, Across the Boardgames

Stratagem Preview
by Tony Mastrangeli, Board Game Quest

Breaking Down Stratagem -- Podcast 
by Jeff King, All Us Geeks

One of Stratagem's more interesting traits is just how simple it is to understand. There are very few rules to learn and the graphic design is clean and efficient. This is why Stratagem has such a broad appeal. Stratagem also lends itself very well to "house" rules and even includes a few variant rules we think you might like.

The rule book explains how to add or remove these components
The rule book explains how to add or remove these components
  • Family Fun Night - Stratagem is a great family game because it has few rules and they are simple enough for children to understand. The game reinforces problem solving, strategic thinking, rational thinking, cooperation and probability — skills any parent would want to develop with their children. 
  • Casual Get-togethers - Stratagem works well at a casual social event where you might have a couple of friends over for dinner and a game.  It plays in about an hour and can adapt to different gaming personalities. The game has enough "luck of the roll" and "take that" gameplay to lighten the mood and keep the shoot-from-the-hip type players enjoying every minute. However, the game has enough strategic thinking that the deep thinkers in the group will feel properly challenged. 
  • At Tabletop Café Shops - Have a board game café in your area? Stratagem would be a good fit because it's a light and casual game that can be learned or taught quickly to strangers and doesn't take too long to play.
  • Game Day Events - Stratagem isn't the main event type of game alpha gamers are used to investing a lot of time into learning and playing.  However, Stratagem is a great filler game at these type events were a few players can get together in-between heavier game sessions and have quick fun. It might not have a theme but, when you start playing, you won't care.
  • Strategy Gamers - When played with the luck components removed, Stratagem is a serious abstract strategy game at heart. The rule book contains several rule variants to help you remove some or all of the luck components.
Making a few prototypes to send out to previewers
Making a few prototypes to send out to previewers

When designing this game, we considered many disabilities and how we could make the game more enjoyable for a wider audience. Disabilities we were able to include were color blindness, short term memory loss, and low vision impairment.  We're always interested in including more people and look to the community for feedback in this area. This is what we've included so far:

  • Color Blindness - each of the player colors are also accompanied with unique symbols which are easily distinguishable to all color blindness types.
  • Low Vision - text in the Game Manual and on the Action Cards have the highest color contrast ratio using black text on a white background in reasonable point sizes.
  • Short Term Memory Loss - Players do not need to remember information from turn to turn, aside from scores written to a score pad.  Turn phases are shown on the board as well as included in a Quick Reference chart on the back of the manual.
   

200 TWITTER FOLLOWERS - UNLOCKED - Forget the paper and pencil to keep score. What is this, 1986? The game board design will be modified to include a score track along one of the edges. Each player will have a color coded 10mm cube to track their scores. This way, players will have an easier time monitoring the leader. All backers whose pledges include receiving a game will get this reward.

250 TWITTER FOLLOWERS - LOCKED - We'll create a Spanish translated manual and a French translated manual for download as a PDF on our website.  We'll also include in the PDFs translations of each of the cards to print your own translated deck.

150 FACEBOOK LIKES - LOCKED - I will send a warm heartfelt handwritten postcard to each backer whose pledge level includes all stretch goals. Note: You will receive just one postcard even if your reward includes multiple copies of stretch rewards.

200 FACEBOOK LIKES - LOCKED - To Be Announced

$25,000 - LOCKED - Component upgrade To Be Announced

Want more games as gifts? - $28 each + shipping

Simply add $28 plus shipping to your pledge for each game (will include all stretch goals) that you'd like to add. Shipping in the USA is FREE; Outside the USA add $15 per additional game.

Limited Edition Stratagem Campaign Coin - $6 each

An awesome limited edition coin made by Campaign Coins to commemorate the Kickstarter campaign. The coin will contain the Stratagem logo and crest on the front and the 6th Gear Games logo on the back. Backers at any pledge level may add multiple coins to their reward for $6 each.

Coin samples from Campaign Coins
Coin samples from Campaign Coins
  • Coins are roughly the same size as the game's hexagon tiles
  • 45mm width x 38mm height x 2mm thickness
  • Antique silver plating
  • 3D embossing on both sides
  • FRONT - Stratagem logo and crest
  • BACK - 6th Gear Games Logo

Set of 6 Stratagem Shot Glasses - $25 + shipping

These beautiful set of 1.75 oz shot glasses are 2" wide by 2.25" tall
These beautiful set of 1.75 oz shot glasses are 2" wide by 2.25" tall

"THE GAMER" PLEDGE LEVEL OR HIGHER ONLY. What better way to play your game than with a beautiful set of 6 colored shot glasses each embellished with a full color Stratagem logo. The set of six 1.75 oz shot glasses are 2" wide by 2.25" tall and will include one each of the Stratagem player colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. I'll leave it to you to think of clever "house" rules for integrating them into the game. Shipping in the USA is FREE; Outside the USA add $5 per set.

Canada: Shipping the first game is $15. Add $15 per additional game.

Everyone Else (including EU): Shipping the first game is $25. Add $15 per additional game.

6th Gear Games, Inc. is the husband and wife team of James O'Reilly and Dian Mills O'Reilly.  What started off a few years ago as a simple idea of a game mechanic evolved into the fun and highly re-playable strategy game Stratagem that we have today.

James is a software engineer and currently the Director of Technology at a NYC creative services agency.  Over the past two decades, James has designed and built complex web and mobile applications for Fortune 1000 companies. In that time, he has worn many hats during a product's lifecycle from concept to completion. Dian is a senior editor for an online industry magazine where she writes two monthly columns. Dian receives dozens of products each month and evaluates them on quality, features and price.  She then writes unbiased reviews about a smaller subset of products that she is happy to recommend to her readers.

If this project is successfully funded, James and Dian will leverage their combined experience and see the production of Stratagem through to completion.

Risks and challenges

The board game industry is new to me and I've learned a lot over the last six months. After reading about previous campaign success and failures, industry expert advice and speaking with people who work at successful game publishers I feel confident that I'm capable of successfully seeing this through.

I have a well thought out plan for US manufacturing and solid figures on real costs from printing through fulfillment (including stretch goals and shipping outside the US). I will be using Amazon fulfillment in the USA.

However, things can go wrong. Problems can arise, such as printing or shipping delays. There could be printing errors, material defects or other unexpected issues. We will, of course, try our best to avoid these issues but will be prepared to handle any that should arise.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    10 backers

    SUPPORTER

    Thank you for your support!

    AND

    Desktop wallpapers for download

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $12 reward

    11 backers

    PnP SUPPORTER

    Thank you for your support!

    AND

    Hi-Fi Print & Play PDF for download available after final artwork has been sent to printer

    AND

    Desktop wallpapers for download

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $28 reward

    115 backers

    THE GAMER

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada shipping is $15 per game; International shipping is $25 + $15 per additional game

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $29 reward

    25 backers All gone!

    THE GAMER

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada add $25; Elsewhere add $40. Rewards bound for the EU will ship from within the EU. No extra customs charges!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $48 reward

    20 backers

    ACCREDITED SUPPORTER

    Your name will be added to the credits in the manual as a supporter

    AND

    A limited edition Campaign Coin

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada shipping is $15 per game; International shipping is $25 + $15 per additional game

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $49 reward

    6 backers All gone!

    ACCREDITED SUPPORTER

    Your name will be added to the credits in the manual as a supporter

    AND

    A limited edition Campaign Coin

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada add $25; Elsewhere add $40. Rewards bound for the EU will ship from within the EU. No extra customs charges!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $95 reward

    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    THE BIRTHDAY GIFT

    Your name will be added to the credits in the manual as a supporter

    AND

    A limited edition Campaign Coin

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    AND

    A Set of 6 Stratagem Shot Glasses

    AND

    A birthday card with hand-written best wishes sent to you for your next birthday

    AND

    I will play a game of Stratagem with you and your friends via Skype at a date and time mutually convenient within 3 months of receiving your game

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada shipping is $15 per game; International shipping is $25 + $15 per additional game

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $105 reward

    2 backers

    RETAIL SUPPORTER

    (6) Copies of the game Stratagem to sell in your store. Each game will include all stretch rewards reached that upgrade game components.

    All backers of this reward will be verified as having a brick-and-mortar store.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    $159 reward

    5 backers Limited (4 left of 9)

    CARD DESIGNER

    Design an Action Card. You will receive credit for the card in the manual and on the card. You card will appear in the deck twice. See details for more info.

    AND

    A limited edition Campaign Coin

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    A copy of the game, Stratagem (MSRP $35 USD), with all stretch rewards

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada add $25; Elsewhere add $40.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $299 reward

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    GOLD SUPPORTER

    Your name will be added to the credits in the manual as 1 of up to 10 GOLD supporters

    AND

    1 of the first 10 copies of the game Stratagem, with stretch goals, to come off the printing press, signed by the game creator inside the box cover with a personalized thank you.

    AND

    A limited edition Campaign Coin

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    1 copy of the game Stratagem, with stretch goals, that you can play with so you can leave the signed copy pristine

    Shipping in the USA is FREE; Canada add $30; Elsewhere add $45.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $599 reward

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    PLATINUM SUPPORTER

    Your name will be added to the credits in the manual as 1 of up to 5 PLATINUM supporters

    AND

    1 signed collector's edition copy of Stratagem HANDMADE by myself using Canson high quality artist paper and shipped JULY 2014, that's 4 months earlier than the game!

    AND

    Six limited edition Campaign Coins

    AND

    All PnP SUPPORTER rewards

    AND

    2 copies of Stratagem, with stretch goals, that you can play with so you can leave the signed copy pristine.

    Delivered anywhere in the world, shipped from the USA

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (45 days)