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Explore, forage, evolve, and march your way to victory in this dynamic strategy board game for 1-5 players set in the world of ants. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 4, 2014.

Explore, forage, evolve, and march your way to victory in this dynamic strategy board game for 1-5 players set in the world of ants.

About this project

Thanks to everyone who supported our Kickstarter! This campaign is now closed. "To order a March of the Ants or other Weird City Games merchandise, go to weirdcitygames.com/shop

"This is a game of its own 'type.' Fully satisfying thematic conflict driven Euro – I love it." -Undead Viking

"March of the Ants is a great game. It fires on all cylinders and should appeal to a wide audience." -Geek Insight from gfbrobot.com

"It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect and want from a game called March of the Ants." -GeekDad.com Review.

As spring dawns the great thaw begins. Deep beneath the lush meadow grasses the queen stirs in her nest and the colony comes to life. Soldiers venture forth, battling centipedes while clashing with opposing colonies for territory. Workers dig an ever-expanding network of tunnels in their tireless search for food. The first larvae hatch and it is clear this generation will be different: the young colonies rapidly evolve into a multitude of new forms. The ants march out to claim the meadow as their own.

In March of the Ants, you create the shared meadow board by sending your ants to explore it, revealing and strategically placing twenty unique hexes like Fern, Pebble, and Nest of Centipedes. Each hex contains vital resources as well as an underground network of tunnels that connect you to your friends…and your enemies.

Populate new territory by breeding larvae and marching your ants onto collection sites. Will you engage competing colonies in battle, seeking to claim the land for yourself? Or will you establish peaceful, symbiotic relationships and share the spoils? Fortunately for you, there are cards that support and reward a wide variety of strategies. Collecting and managing the colony's resources in your nest is the first step in your bid for meadow dominance.

Mid-way through a four player game (prototype components).
Mid-way through a four player game (prototype components).

Forage for Event Cards like Strange Appetite, Cold Snap, and Fungal Outbreak to impact the entire board – or just one unlucky opponent. What might you find as you dig through the deck of fifty-four unique cards?

 Mutate your colony with special evolution cards like the Trap Jaw head, Weaver thorax, and Leaf Cutter abdomen. What weird and wondrous path will your colony’s evolution take: advanced Workers, fearsome Soldiers, or a fertile Queen? Each evolution helps forge your colony's destiny, enhancing your ants' capabilities while shaping your strategy.

Emerge triumphant by scoring Colony Points as your ants explore and control the Meadow. Search for Colony Goals like Epic Stores, Followers of the Eyeless, and Extensive Tunnels to plan your route to victory.

Featuring beautiful original art and illustrations, March of the Ants is a fun, dynamic, and interactive board game that takes strategy underground…literally! 

  • 1 Great Tunnel center tile
  • 20 Meadow Hex tiles
  • 4 player nest mats
  • 144 larvae/ant tokens (wooden cubes)
  • 54 Ant Cards
  • 12 page full color rulebook
  • 4 player aids
  • 1 wooden 1st player marker
  • 1 round marker token
  • 1 Colony Score Track
  • 30 food tokens (wooden discs)
  • 8 centipede/wormhole tokens

Note: The Custom Wood Round Marker, Centimeeples and Blank Card Stretch Goals will not be included in the base game of March of the Ants sold at retail. This makes them a great, non-exclusive perk for backing the game on Kickstarter. We are working to keep the retail price of the game as affordable as possible, which is why these wooden components will not be included in the retail version of the game.

"March of the Ants is a wonderful resource management game with a layer of direct competition and area control...it has great thematic elements, aggressive play, direct conflict, and other aspects that really make the game come alive and feel highly interactive."- Geek Insight Review on Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Undead Viking Video Review
:

"I really like the way that when you select an action in the Worker phase, the other players get a secondary action. It keeps everyone in the game even when it’s not their turn. Another thing I like is that there are multiple paths to victory. Just because you manage to put a lot of ants out on the board doesn’t mean you’re going to win." Geekdad.com review by Jonathan H. Liu

"March of the Ants is a great mix of resource management, exploration, area control, and card play. It really hits a sweet spot with lots of interesting decisions packed into a short period of time, and it really manages to be complex without being complicated. Overall, March of the Ants is a rich and rewarding experience. After back-to-back plays I still want more!" - James Brady, Owner of Cloud Cap Games

"I was lucky enough to play this game at Gamestorm this year in Vancouver, WA. While March of the Ants is still in its final developmental stage, it already offers unusually tight gameplay and dynamic variability in the choices available to the players. Interesting tile placement exploration blends well with a multi-use card system that allows you to evolve, trigger events or receive battle bonuses. It is all enhanced by great art throughout. This is the increasingly rare game that's actually worthy of your Kickstarter dollars, and then some!" - Rob Faulconer, BGG

Inspired by diverse mechanics from Race for the Galaxy, Twilight Imperium and Eclipse, March of the Ants offers dynamic player interaction and abundant thematic flavor, challenging each player to create a thriving ant colony through a variety of strategies from aggressive expansion to dedicated evolution to peaceful coexistence and symbiosis.

  • Each round is divided into three phases: Worker, Soldier, Queen. 
  • During the Worker Phase your ants will perform the various actions of Explore, Forage, and March as well as playing Event, Evolution, and Colony Goal cards. 
  • All actions have a secondary action that the other players get to perform, so every player is continuously active and engaged during the game! 
  • In the Soldier Phase ant battle is resolved in all Meadow Hexes that are contested. Combat is light and fast, featuring a simultaneous reveal mechanic that adds dramatic tension to each ant battle. 
  • Ant battle is an important part of March of the Ants but is not the focus of the game; aggression can complement some strategies nicely but might also leave you spread thin and defenseless! 
  • During the Queen Phase all resources are collected and you must feed all of your ants in the Meadow. The queen also gives you a choice of producing food or larvae through her Royal Decree, balancing your economy as you plan your next turn. 
  • Evolutions: For your ants to rise above all the others you must evolve. By adding new evolutions to your head, thorax or abdomen thousands of unique ant species can be discovered, helping to shape your strategy and path to victory. 
  • Set-up takes less than 5 minutes! With one deck of cards, multi-purpose egg/larvae/ant tokens and interlocking modular hex tiles, our game's elegant design fosters immersive, strategic gameplay without feeling overwhelming or stressful. All with a total play time of about an hour and fifteen minutes.

March of the Ants Playthrough Video Round One:

 For a continuation of this game see the videos at the bottom of the project page.

Draft Rules (plain text)
Draft Rules (text and diagrams)

  • Pledge at the Marching Ant level or higher and you will receive the game before it is available at retail and at $10 below expected MSRP.
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied with the game return it to us with 30 days of receiving it and we will give you a complete refund.
  • Your Support is Essential: We have done all of the work designing and creating original art for this game and need your help to make it a reality.
  • Awesome Stretch Goals: By pledging now for $35 or more you are eligible for any and all Kickstarter stretch goals.

March of the Ants features elegant design that has gone through dozens of drafts and revisions through discussion and play testing. We have created a massive cache of amazing original art to match the theme and feel of the game. The high-quality components are intuitive and functional. March of the Ants is already a great game; we are confident it can become even better if we all spread the word, rally the board gaming community, and exceed our basic funding goal.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #1 $22,500: This amount of funding will add a mini-expansion of another social insect to the world of the ants. This will provide 6 additional cards featuring head, thorax and abdomen evolutions of the new social insect, two Event cards that enhance that insect’s theme, and a Colony Goal that matches that insect's approach to victory.

Best of all, you, the backers, will select which social insect will be the first mini-expansion for March of the Ants. Will it be Bees, Spiders or Beetles?

Unlocked Stretch Goal #2 $25,000: Upgraded Card Quality - When this stretch goal is reached we will upgrade all of the Ant cards to 320gsm black core. This is casino quality, with great elasticity and durability. All ant cards will also be linen embossed with excellent texture and smooth feel. We are very excited to be able to raise the quality of the cards as the Ant deck is one of the central parts of March of the Ants.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #3 $30,000:Starting Species Advanced Variant Each player nest will now be double sided, featuring an optional unique species that starts with its own evolution and personality. Start the game with variable player powers based on primitive evolutions!

Unlocked Stretch Goal #4 $33,000 - Custom Wood Round Marker. This stretch goal will upgrade the chipboard round marker to a custom wood shape decided by the backers. Note: This stretch goal will not be included in the base retail version of March of the Ants.

 Social Stretch Goal #1 500 likes on Weird City Games Facebook Page: When this goal is reached we will add four full color pages to our rulebook. This will allow us to include information on the ant species that inspired the evolutions as well as information on specific card interactions.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #5 36,000 - New Evolutions. Backers choose and nominate species to be used as inspiration for three new cards, a head, a thorax and an abdomen.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #6 $40,000 - Centimeeples!This stretch goal will unlock four custom wood cut Centimeeple shapes will be included in the game, dramatically bringing the ants greatest threat to life. Centipedes are the main pest that ants must deal with in the Meadow and we are excited to include this upgrade in the game. Note: This stretch goal will not be included in the base retail version of March of the Ants.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #7 $45,000 - At this level we will increase the box thickness from 1.5 mm to a very sturdy 2 mm chipboard. This will insure that the box is a joy to pick up and handle and lasts for the lifetime of the game.

Unlocked $45,000 Bonus Goal
- Each Kickstarted copy of March of the Ants will come with six make-your-own customizable cards! These will feature the backs of the cards and the front layout of the three card types, allowing you to add three unique evolutions to the game, two original events and one Colony Goal of your own design. Note: This stretch goal will not be included in the base retail version of March of the Ants.

Unlocked Stretch Goal #8 $50,000 - will release the oft requested rules for cooperative and solo play. These play variants will include a special centipede mat that is used to direct the centipede units, while neatly repurposing any cards that depend on player interaction. The ants will defend the Great Tunnel against a horde of invading centipedes, which will look great with those awesome centipede meeples we just unlocked!

Unlocked Stretch Goal #9 $55,000 - Custom Starting Player Marker. This will be a wooden disc with a custom screen printed design.We have a couple ideas for the design but if you think you have a great idea please mention it in the comments. Note: This stretch goal will not be included in the base retail version of March of the Ants.

Stretch Goal #10 $60,000 - 5 Player Expansion. When we reach this level we will add components to enable a fifth player to march into the meadow. We are very excited that this game will be playable with larger and more diverse groups.

Stretch Goal #11 $65,000 - Mimic Ants - the imposters, copycats and doppelgangers of the ant world will be added in the form of three new evolutions, allowing players to interact and effect the other nests ant evolutions.

Stretch Goal #12 $70,000 - Beyond the Meadow - When this stretch goal is reached we will add three new specialty hexes to March of the Ants including the most dangerous and feared Ant Lion Lair.

This project would not be possible without all of you, our wonderful backers. We seek to honor your vital contribution with our solemn promise that backer copies of March of the Ants will be shipped out before March of the Ants is available for purchase from retailers or at conventions. You know what they say: the early ants get the game…or something like that.

Further, we pledge to keep you informed at every step along the way as our Kickstarter campaign unfolds. This is a community-funded project and as such it is your right be fully informed of the progress we make on the journey from funding to delivery. We value each and every one of you and will insure that you are fully satisfied with this project. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns, questions or ideas. Let's build this colony together!

My name is Tim Eisner and I am the founder of Weird City Games. I started Weird City with the help of a grant from a local non-profit in Portland, Oregon. I created this company because playing games with friends and strangers is one of my favorite past times, something I've enjoyed throughout my life. I love the level and depth of interaction that table top gaming promotes and am very honored to be sharing my first project with the world.

March of the Ants was designed by myself and my good friend Ryan Swisher, along with our cabal of super secret playtesters and fringe designers known as the Homnifriends. We have worked tirelessly on this game for over a year, crafting the rules, creating the original artwork and play testing endlessly. We are thrilled with the final product and cannot wait to share it with you all. Thank you for marching with us!

Onward,

Tim Eisner

Playthrough Video parts 2 and 3.

 Final Video:

 Please note that this is an example of the three round game and the standard four round game allows for greater implementation of strategies and development of player's nests.

Risks and challenges

This is our first project on Kickstarter and as such there are a number of potential challenges we might face. Yet, we have been diligently researching everything from shipping to manufacturing and are fully confident that we can deliver the finished copy of March of the Ants to your doorstep on time and with gloriously manufactured components.

Manufacturing

We have been in contact with our production partners and have mapped out the entire production process. We have also compared notes with other project creators, checked references on our manufacturer and feel confident that they will deliver our project on time and to the highest quality standards.

Shipping

Providing a good product is not only about making a great game; it is delivering it to our backers in the best, most cost-effective manner possible. We have been researching shipping for the last year. We are working with established shipping and distribution companies to insure that March of the Ants will reach all customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Playtesting

We have been testing and tweaking March of the Ants for over a year. It has gone through countless revisions and we are very confident in and happy with the final product. We have created a game we love and our playtesters have responded with enthusiastic praise!

Art

Ryan and I have designed all of the art for this game. It is 95% done and will be complete by the end of our Kickstarter campaign. We are passionate about the art and the way it enhances the design and immersive theme of the game.

Making our game a reality is a challenge that we have been preparing for over the last year and a half. We are confident that we can deliver a great project and are excited to learn from and work through any difficulties that may arise. Thank you for your support!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Backers who pledged at the Immortal Ant level will have their last name or first name featured as part of the ant species name.

    Each ant species is given a two-part name, a "binomial name" using the latin alphabet. The first part of the binomial name, the genus is the generic name and represents all ancestors of a specific species. The second part is the specific name and defines a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. For example, the leaf cutting ant Acromyrmex octospinosus is one of thirty species of the Acromyrmex genus. The binomial name is written in italics, and the first part of the name is capitalized, the second part has a lower case starting letter.

    Immortal backer's first or last names will be latinized to create the specific name of each evolution. Your name in latin is basically your name and an ending of -us or -a (if you are a boy, it is -us and if you are a girl -a). We will keep the genus name scientifically accurate so it can be used to look up a specific ant if your want to learn more about that ant.

    Example: Odontomachus Swisherus or Acromyrmex Hannaha. We can also use a more complex equation to latinize the name.

    Last updated:
  • At this level, flavor text on one Event card will be attributed to you! Submit your flavor text idea for our review, and your last name with a prefix of your choosing (for example, Dr. or Prof.) will appear after the interesting scientific fact.

    Example: "A knowledgeable forager will lead a naive nest-mate to newly discovered food by the process of tandem running." - Prof. Eisner

    All flavor text must be approved by the designers and fit thematically with the game.

    Last updated:
  • Many backers have expressed a desire to have custom pieces to represent the ants in this game. We have been looking into this since the campaign started and here is what we have found to be the limiting factors:

    1. Size - The cubes currently used in March of the Ants are 8mm x 8mm, very close to the maximum size that the game board will allow. This size is just too small to get custom shapes in wood, especially ants, as their defining features are tiny legs and antennae. Even with plastic ants, making them to this scale would make them difficult to grasp, pick up, and move.

    2. Cost of Plastics - Plastic is definitely the most viable option at the scale we are working with and I have seen a few quality ant figures at this size. However, plastic molds have an initial set-up cost of something close to $10,000. With the size and scope of our current print run, that is just not feasible. Our manufacturer has found us plastic ants that already have a mold but they are not up to the quality standard that we want for this game.

    3. Functionality - The cubes, while generic, are highly functional in the game. In the game’s mechanics, they represent eggs, larvae and ants, depending on where they are (in the supply, in your nest, or in the meadow). Having little ant figures in your larvae chamber would break this conceptual theme. They are also easy to pick up, sturdy, and have been tested with the game since the beginning.

    4. Other Stretch Goals - There are a lot of great things we are planning to add to this game. By foregoing custom ants, we will be able to upgrade many other components and make the game as sturdy, fun and thematic as possible.

    A new backer named Trevor, who I met at KublaCon said he was going to order plastic ants and spray paint them in the player colors, and another backer name Luke found a great link to 144 plastic ants on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Package-144-Plastic-Picnic-Ants/dp/B000HJ9RBM .We are excited to see what custom components you all will add to the game.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    35 backers

    $1 x $1 Hurrah, Hurrah! Show your support for March of the Ants. Each backer at this level will be thanked on the project page on our website.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    12 backers

    Inform Ant: Receive a thank you postcard featuring the art from the box cover and written by the designers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    1,159 backers

    Marching Ant: One copy of March of the Ants and any applicable stretch goal rewards delivered anywhere WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. Add $35 for each additional copy of March of the Ants.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    109 backers

    Northern Ant: One copy of March of the Ants and any applicable stretch goal rewards delivered anywhere WITHIN CANADA. Add $45 for each additional copy of March of the Ants.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    318 backers

    International Ant: One copy of March of the Ants and any applicable stretch goal rewards delivered anywhere OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. Add $55 for each additional copy of March of the Ants.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    Immortal Ant: We will use your last name as inspiration in the naming of one of the 24 ant evolution cards. Plus all rewards from the Marching Ant reward level delivered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Entomologist: At this level, flavor text on one Event card will be attributed to you! Submit your flavor text idea for our review, and your last name with a prefix of your choosing (for example, Dr. or Prof.) will appear after the interesting scientific fact. Plus all rewards from the Marching Ant reward level delivered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    ALL FLAVOR TEXT MUST FIT THEMATICALLY WITH THE GAME AND BE APPROVED BY THE DESIGNERS.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    Early Ant: Receive one high-quality prototype copy of March of the Ants within two months of the project successfully funding. Plus all rewards from the Marching Ant reward level delivered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers

    Retailer Six Pack: Six copies of March of the Ants and any applicable stretch goal rewards delivered anywhere WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.

    All retailers must verify status.

    RETAILERS OUTSIDE OF THE US CONTACT TIM EISNER DIRECTLY FOR SHIPPING DETAILS.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Early Ant Round #2: Receive one high-quality prototype copy of March of the Ants within two months of the project successfully funding. Plus all rewards from the Marching Ant reward level delivered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Artistic Ant: Receive one 11x14 Lumira digital print from The Ant in the Moon series mounted on an eco-friendly DuraPlaq. Plus all rewards from the Marching Ant reward level delivered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    Ant Jam: An evening of games and fun with the designers of March of the Ants. We will travel anywhere within a 300 mile radius of Portland, Oregon, bringing local snacks, beverages and four copies of March of the Ants for you to keep!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (35 days)