Brutus

by AV Studio Games - LudiBooster

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About

Brutus the board game: a game for 1 to 4 players lasting 30 minutes, with roman emperors, dangerous sicarii*, influence, area control, and intimidation in the Small City universe.

(le jeu ET le livre sont aussi disponibles en version française, vous déciderez de la langue de l'édition lors du pledge manager en fin de campagne).

* Sicarii were hired killers, hitmen. They derive their name from the sica, a short sword thought of as the weapon of brigands and assassins. In the game Brutus, they represent the emperors’ henchmen, their dedicated goons; they terrorize both the citizens and the commercial crates of Small City…...

Brutus is part of the Small City Universe, which includes a series of independent games with similar but varied mechanisms. In Brutus, each of you controls a citizen of Small City. By Night, you take the pseudonym of a Roman Emperor that characterizes your special power during the game (for example, Nero was a pyromaniac). 

view of game in progress
view of game in progress

The illustration of the city seen from above is inspired by perspectives shown in the Narcos series, and the illustrator Paul Laane has faithfully transcribed the anguish and sticky ambience of the night life. For you, the city is territory to conquer. But this Kickstarter fundraising campaign will permit much more…. 

close-up of the hex tiles
close-up of the hex tiles

Brutus is a game of territory influence and conquest, played on modular boards that depict Small City. At night, each turn, you try to accumulate the most influence, by visiting the most profitable districts. 

The players will deploy their henchmen, the famous sicarii, to spread fear to the residential, commercial, industrial, and leisure districts, or even better, to control the junkyard (a symbolic location of the novel Brutus, which serves as an influential refuge in the game). 

The Junkyard
The Junkyard

Small City becomes the playground of the “emperors” when the darkness of night meets the darkness of the soul….

Hadrian and Nero
Hadrian and Nero

Something original about this campaign is that the boardgame Brutus is accompanied by a noir novel! It recounts your ongoing activities as the “emperors”. It throws into relief the violence you cause in the game up until the final scene. It takes the characters of the game, and certain locations, and provides an original conclusion. 

One extract of the chapter ONE in EN

(Voici en avant première le premier chapitre en FR: ICI )

The novel extends the story of the game, and reveals everyone’s darkest characteristics, even those of the author himself, who joins the narrative….

I have been working on this project since the end of 2015. It began with the writing of the book, and then the creation of the boardgame. 

The boardgame: The game is very easy to understand, but very difficult to master. Turns are fast because on each turn you perform only two actions: 

- Move your emperors and your sicarii. 

- Reap the benefits of your moves. 

When you move, you will try to either enlarge your territories, or benefit from buildings’ special powers by occupying them — or both, if you play well!

nice place to hire your new sicarii
nice place to hire your new sicarii

The miniatures: There are 6 distinct miniatures, which add great immersion between the modern universe of the city and the dissimulation in the ancient world. Each emperor’s special powers are directly inspired by their historical figure: Julius Caesar is very clever and can deploy his sicarii through other emperors and sicarii, Maximus can steal influence from an opposing emperor that is adjacent to him, etc...

The book: The novel is the creation of Eric Mc Childe, written in 2015, and specially conceived to be adapted into a strategic boardgame. I decided that the game would not be the sequel to the book, but a prequel, narrating part of the story itself, chronologically just before the book! 

The board: The modular boards permit you to create any configuration. Depending on its arrangement and the orientation of the buildings therein, you can veritably infinitely vary your games, and the strategies that can be used. To make it easier to get started, the rulebook suggests some common and symmetrical setups.

This campaign will enable the financing of two versions of the game: The Standard version, which contains everything you need to play Brutus. The Deluxe version, which also contains 6 miniatures (40mm, unpainted) with their particular powers, AND the 184-page novel BRUTUS, which tells the gripping tale of what happens with these “emperors” after a game of Brutus.

miniature
miniature
Brutus, the hard-boiled novel, inspired the Brutus board game
Brutus, the hard-boiled novel, inspired the Brutus board game

You can download the rules for Brutus HERE

- Each emperor has a particular power, which provides asymmetric games. 

- The modular boards are printed double-sided, which lets you create a different city for each game, not only in shape, but also in content. Depending on the types of buildings in the city, certain strategies will become more or less viable. 

- The game lasts around 30 minutes, which allows you to play it several times in a row, and quickly become more experienced with it.

commerce, ready to be racketeered by your sicarii
commerce, ready to be racketeered by your sicarii
I use Kickstarter to finance innovative projects, and not as a preorder shop. Brutus is a new concept, in the way it combines boardgames with literature. 

Although the two are completely independent, having both allows you to create a full-fledged universe between the contemporary world (the city, the game, the luxury) and the ancient (the Roman emperors). 

You will come to realize that there are numerous bridges between these two worlds. Are we so far from Ancient Rome? The prevalent violence, games of influence, and the quest for power and territory — both in the game and in the novel — constantly remind us….

 You might want to try the game on Tabletopia.

https://tabletopia.com/games/brutus
https://tabletopia.com/games/brutus

The game is perfectly balanced as it is. Adding more stretch goals is dangerous and increases the production time, making it unpredictable at the end.

The box already has all the components required to play the game, and they are the best quality possible. Moreover, more SG multiplies the number of mistakes during the fulfillment process, and they prevent us from perfectly planning the shipping costs of the game. Nobody likes mistakes.

But a few more double-sided gameboards of different sizes would be great to have.

AVStudioGames is a single-man company I have managed since 2012. I follow my own route and I try to release games I design through Kickstarter. But my games are not distributed by major distributors. I don't use Kickstarter as a pre-order platform; I use Kickstarter to fund my games. 

If you pledge now, you help me to fund the game, which won't exist without your help.

I am the designer of numerous board games, such as CliniC, Tramways, Small City, Card City XL, Town Center, and the highly rated Tramways Engineer's Workbook. Since 2012, I have been creating different games, from alpha to omega, from concept to marketing, from first prototypes to after-sales service. 

By backing this campaign, you are helping a freelance designer, who favors direct contact with the players and his fans. This project is particularly close to my heart, because it creates a bridge between the gaming world and literature, a link that in my opinion has not been exploited enough. 

A number of books could be adapted to games, and vice versa. This would refresh the pool of mechanisms in modern games, and literature would be the harbinger of beautiful new stories….

Sampo Sikiö has been helping me since day 1 with this task. He was one of the first to buy the very first version of Town Center that I made by hand, with my very own scissors. Then he aided me with CliniC in 2014, and since then, we have become friends. He works as an architect in Espoo, he loves everything that can pile up: old maps, old transport tickets…. He has already agreed to work on the second volume of the Tramways Engineer’s Workbook!

Paul Laane has worked with me before on my Tramways project. He is a very busy illustrator, but I am lucky enough that he agreed to work with me again. We have been of one mind again with an overhead view of a night city, but as well-illuminated as possible…. You might want to check this website for his folio HERE

Like our past campaigns for games such as Tramways, the Tramways Engineer's Workbook, and Card City XL and its expansion, we have respected the delivery time, and in some case, boxes were even delivered earlier than expected (depending on how complex production of the game has been). 

For example, for the Card City XL and Tramways Engineer's Workbook campaigns, thanks to very rigorous management of the files, and great contacts at the manufacturers, we managed to deliver the game 2 months early! 

We expect the game to be ready for December, the miniatures are the most complex part of the components to produce, and samples of them are mostly ready.

Because you are helping me finance my project, I will help you finance your shipping: I will pay part of the cost, so you only have to pay $10 ($15 for few countries...) for shipping a game of this size. It is the least I can do. Thanks to Ludicreations for their help during the campaign.

Follow my projects on Twitter : https://twitter.com/AlbanVIARD?lang=en

Become a fan on BoardGameGeek : https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/222380/brutus-board-game

all tiles city
all tiles city

Risks and challenges

AVStudioGames has already put a substantial amount of money into the initial illustrations, the graphic design, and a few molds for the figurines.
We now need your help to traverse the final route: Producing the game. We have established many contacts in the game manufacturing industry since 2012, which ensures good quality for all the components.
The final files are not yet ready, but all we need is your support to finalize the project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    Brutus the board game

    One copy of Brutus the board game (EN-FR)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Brutus Deluxe Edition

    One copy of Brutus + 6 Roman Emperors Miniatures of 40 mm + Brutus the book (180 pages) EN-FR edition

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