The taxi cartel has lost its grip on riders! Strategically choose riders to acquire and build the most valuable rideshare corporation.
The taxi cartel has lost its grip on riders! Strategically choose riders to acquire and build the most valuable rideshare corporation.
The taxi cartel has lost its grip on the six northern cities. Today’s the day it goes out of business. You are the leader of a rideshare corporation and you are on a mission to scoop up riders left stranded in the wake of the cartel’s collapse. But you are not the only rideshare operator in town, and so far it’s been a tight race for dominance. Today is your last chance to acquire just the right riders, and in just the right cities, in order to emerge victorious.
Rideshare Wars is a strategy card game in which players are running competing rideshare corporations. You'll start with a few rideshare drivers that you'll use to acquire riders, and over the course of the game attempt to build up dominance (control) over some of the six northern cities by having the most riders in those cities compared to other players. Only riders in the cities you control count towards your points at final scoring. But each player will accumulate a collection of "secret riders" that are only revealed at final scoring, and oftentimes you can never be too sure that you actually control a city until the end of the game.
Establishing control over 2 or so cities is your long-term objective, but in the short-term players are locked in a frantic race to earn milestone awards (represented by milestone cards) for being the first to acquire certain combinations of riders in each city. Whoever is the first to earn 4, 5 or 6 milestone awards (depending on player count) instantly wins and the game ends. The game only plays to final scoring (which occurs after 15 rounds) if no one snatches instant win via milestone cards. Thus, the main challenge of the game is successfully navigating the tension between the short-term objective (which requires you to acquire riders spread across as many cities as possible in order to earn many milestone awards) vs long-term objective (which requires you to concentrate on acquiring riders in only 2 or so cities in order to establish control and have the right to score riders in those cities).
Here's what's included in the box:
- Base game (219 cards):
- Expansions (32 cards):
- Taxi empire fight back...with charm (8 cards)
- Once upon a beach party (8 cards)
- Free ice cream does it (8 cards)
- When fans fight (8 cards)
The 126 riders cards are split into 21 cards for each of the 6 cities. The 21 cards per city are further split into 7 unique rider types as shown below for city F:
There are 12 unique tool card types as shown below:
Card designs for expansions are as shown below. Note that all 8 cards in each expansion set have the same illustration.
We managed to get a few prototype copies of the base game out to reviewers. Here's what they thought of Rideshare Wars:
We Roll Solo
"The concept and theme is very unique, and easily makes this game stand out."
"The artwork and content is fun, and full of humor, so it adds to the overall appeal"
"It's not easy, not at all, and that challenge factor is what made it fun for me....I like a challenging game that I can't always win, and of course I love a card game that can do that with simplicity"
"I really enjoyed this game, and think it stands out from the pack"
Cloak and Meeple
"This is an interesting little game, and it has a super unique theme"
"I love the art in this game. It is really cool"
"The set collection is an interesting puzzle...trying to figure out how to get what you need while also watching what your opponents are doing..."
"The theme is truly unique, one that I have not come across in tabletop yet."
"The captions on the tool cards are funny and light, and made me chuckle out loud on more than one occasion"
"The theme was accessible to everyone...gamer, and non-gamer alike"
"Overall, everyone who played it enjoyed it, and would like to play it again. A huge compliment from non-gamers!"
“…it does have that theme of basically Lyft and Uber…where you are trying to pick up these different guys and some of them are going to be cranky and nasty and you are not going to want to take them but you need to…”
“There’s quite a few things you can do, which is actually a positive in my opinion…There’s a lot of options throughout the game.”
Each player starts their turn by drawing a tool card. 27 of the 33 tool cards give you beneficial effects (for example, discounts on acquiring rider cards). Tool cards are also used to pay the cost for performing optional actions which give you the ability to outmaneuver other players in 2-4 player games or the game in solo plays - they are therefore a very valuable resource. 6 of the tool cards with red lettering on them ("red letter tool cards") have detrimental effects which affect all players equally and force players to discard driver cards, tool cards or rider cards.
After drawing a tool card, a player generally proceeds to acquire 1 rider card from a selection 4 contested cards revealed from a face-down draw pile. Players use driver cards to pay the acquisition cost which ranges from 1 to 4 depending on a rider card's position in the ride-request queue (referred to as slot number). For example, to acquire a rider card in the 2nd position (slot 2) you discard 2 driver cards. Cards in slot 3 and 4 then advance to slots 2 and 3, respectively, and a new card is revealed and placed in slot 4.
You use rider cards to build out a tableau which represents your market presence across the six northern cities. As the game progresses, you will be deciding which rider cards to acquire depending whether you are going for earning milestone cards (short-term objective) or building up control (long-term objective). In addition to the objectives, another important factor in deciding which rider card you should acquire is the powers and points value of each card. Generally, low value rider cards have beneficial card powers that give you extra resources immediately (for example, gain extra driver cards or tool cards), whereas high value cards have detrimental powers that cause you to discard resources or riders.
As you acquire riders, your starting supply of 7 driver cards will eventually run out and you will need to generate more. There are 3 ways to generate more drivers, each with its own benefits and drawbacks, which makes for yet another layer of interesting choices that you make:
- The easiest and cheapest way is via card powers which give you 2 driver cards at a time. The downside is that each time you acquire a rider card for its driver generation powers rather that its city, the card does not help you at all towards earning a milestone or establishing control, and thus puts you at risk of being outpaced by other players.
- You could get a loan which brings you 3 more drivers, but loans are costly. Each loan counts as negative 4 at final scoring if not repaid, and it must be paid off with 4 driver cards.
- Finally, you can trade a rider card for driver cards - the higher the value of the traded rider card, the more the drivers you get. The downside is that you could lose control of a city by trading away rider cards. Also, to get more drivers you need to trade away high value riders, which could hurt you at final scoring.
As you can begin to see, the Rideshare Wars game is filled with interesting choices at every turn. The game rewards careful planning and strategy, as well as paying attention to what other players are doing.
Click here to go the close-to-final rulebook. The rules are final for the base game, but text may change here and there to clarify things.
Below you'll find a Kickstarter preview video which includes an explanation of how to play the game, and a full playthrough video for solo game and 2-player game.
Click here to view short overview video
We've made Rideshare Wars available to try out for free online on Tabletopia. For now only the solo game play is available and is set up for all solo level, from 1 (easiest) to level 4. Simply click here to play.
In case you are not familiar with it, Tabletopia is an online sandbox arena for playing board games just like in real life (except you'll be using your mouse to move objects around). One important thing to note is that Tabletopia does not know, and is not able, to enforce the rules - as the player you get to apply the rules yourself, just like you would in real life.
- It's easy to learn: Each player's turn is well structured and turns are smooth. Step-by-step turn guide cards make it really easy to start playing, and once you do you quickly realize how easy it is to play your turn even without the guide cards.
- It's challenging: Though it's easy to learn, Rideshare Wars is hard to master. The game is filled with lots of twists and turns, and you will have lots of interesting decisions to make on every turn. For example, should you acquire a low value rider card and instantly unlock extra drivers from its card powers, or would you rather go for a high value card that whose detrimental card powers force you to immediately discard valuable resources, but will score highly at final scoring? Truly mastering the game means becoming really efficient at using optional actions to outmaneuver other players.
- The solo mode is solid: The solo mode in Rideshare Wars plays very well and challenges you to navigate the control-building objective vs milestone-earning objective tension, as well as presents you with the same kind of other interesting decisions as you would make in a 2-4 player game. In addition, the solo mode comes with 4 levels of increasing difficulty, and we promise you that the higher levels will continue to keep you challenged in interesting ways even after you have logged many plays.
- It's highly replayable: No game plays like any other. According to math buffs, the sheer number of rider cards alone means there are over 1 trillion unique ways in which the cards show up during each game. You can rest assured that any one game will be a unique experience, likely never to be repeated.
The light-hearted theme is fun and inviting: We wanted Rideshare Wars to be fun not only in the gameplay, but also in the light-hearted theme. A big thanks to talented artist Manuel Berbin who brought the fun theme to life. And not to forget the funny captions on the tool cards which will make you chuckle
- The game can't be published without you: We worked hard to produce a game that you would enjoy, and without you Rideshare Wars will never be released. We need your help to publish this fun game.
- $20,000 - Increase "Taxi empire fights back" expansion card count to 12
- $30,000 - Increase "Free ice cream" expansion card count to 12
- $40,000 - Increase "When Fans fight" expansion card count to 12
- $50,000 - Increase "Once upon a beach party" card count to 12
The rewards included within each pledge level are self-explanatory.
For the Semi-custom and Full-custom pledge levels, you get to have one or more rider cards, respectively, customized to have the characters' faces in the likeness of persons in photos you provide (with artistic interpretation, of course). Below is an example of what you can expect:
Here's how we came up with the estimated delivery date of March 2019 which contemplates manufacturing and shipping timelines indicated by our manufacturing partners
Risks and challenges
This being our first Kickstarter, we have taken every precaution we possibly can to minimize risks.
- First and foremost, we note that Rideshare Wars is a card game, which means there are no complicated parts or miniatures to deal with for manufacturing. We wanted to keep things simple.
- Consistent with keeping things simple, we decided to keep our stretch goals to a minimum.
- We have shortlisted two manufacturing partners, PrintNinja and ShuffledInk, both of which have a proven track record of delivering Kickstarter tabletop games. Based on diligence we've done, we've preliminarily determined that if we achieve our funding goal in the 100-300% range, we'll go with PrintNinja. Above 300% range we'll go with
- The estimated production timeline of 14-16 weeks is based on indications we have been given by the manufacturing partners from start to getting palettes to land in the US/EU/Canada. When the manufacturing period falls within the Christmas holiday season, those timeframes do get stretched out, primarily due to delays on securing space on a cargo ship - in the run up to the holiday season the large retailers that we all shop at every day pretty much hog a vast amount of shipping capacity, and small shippers like us will always get bumped to make space for the big shippers
- We are based in the US, and we have shortlisted multiple fulfilment companies for US fulfilment. For EU and Canada friendly shipping, we are planning to use the following distribution partners who, based on our due diligence, seem to have a solid track record:
>Canada: Snakes and Lattes
>EU: Happy Shops
- At this time all artwork is final. The base game has been thoroughly tested and is pretty final. The expansions were the last addition to the game and are continue to undergo testing. At some point we really just thought to exclude them from the Kickstarter, but they add so much more to the game and make it even better. We believe in the game, but we also realize that this may be the only printing for Rideshare Wars that will ever occur, and if we did not include the expansions in the Kickstarter then there will probably never be another chance to get them into your hands.
Last but not least, we recognize the importance of being transparent. We promise to keep you updated at every step of the wayLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)