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Lyssan is a board game of strategy, intrigue, and betrayal for two to four players. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on August 17, 2011.

Lyssan is a board game of strategy, intrigue, and betrayal for two to four players.

About this project

Lyssan is an intense board game of strategy, cooperation, and betrayal for two to four players.

You are the one true ruler of the broken Empire of Lyssan, and it's up to you to put the pretenders (the other players) in their place before their endless squabbling tears your nation apart. Command knights and nobles, priests and spies. Prove to the lords of the land that your claim is the only true one, and exile the pretenders to a very comfortable island very, very far away.

What Makes Lyssan Special?

Lyssan has a depth of strategy and diplomacy to rival the classics, with the clean play and elegance of the best modern games.

Lyssan rewards adaptability: The victory conditions of the game are different each time. At the start of the game, a row of trophy cards is laid out face down. The winner is the player to take the most trophy cards. Each turn a new trophy is flipped face up, with its own conditions for how it must be won.

Lyssan rewards deep thought: You can look across the board, and know how any confrontation is likely to turn out, because there are no dice in the game. But the game is quite dynamic: each player can perform a few exceptional surprise moves each turn by card play. From a hand of many options, you have to choose the few that help you best: The more powerful a card is, the more others you'll have to discard to play it.

Lyssan rewards diplomacy: This is a game of cooperation and betrayal. Only one player can come out on top, but it's often easier to help others than to help yourself. The winning player knows how to cut deals and minimize their exposure to treachery. You'll also need to bluff your own intentions, and keep a good poker face when you get a sneak peek at an upcoming trophy card.

Lyssan Needs You!

Lyssan is the culmination of hundreds upon hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of hours of designing, dozens of art pieces by a team spanning two continents, and the input of countless playtesters. But it won't make it to press without your support.

It's bloody expensive to print a board game. The funding goal for this project covers printing and shipping the first thousand. Things get much more awesome as we overshoot that goal. We don't just get to print more copies; we get to put even more into the game. More tournaments at more conventions. More rewards unlocked on this kickstarter campaign. And then there's that expansion in the works…

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  • Lyssan combines tightly designed euro-style rules with the interactivity and flavor of an epic wargame. The rules are coming in at a slim 12 pages as of this writing, comparable to many family friendly games. Yet the play is as rich and interactive as the crunchiest, most grognard-friendly wargames you already know and love. And Lyssan plays fast. A typical game of Lyssan runs a full hour quicker than comparable games.

    Lyssan combines:
    A map to be conquered (like Risk)...
    ...with a few different unit types that act a few different ways each (like Chess or Diplomacy) ...
    ...with cards that let players pull off devastating surprise moves or permanently improve their abilities. To play one card, you discard others. (Like Race for the Galaxy) These cards can be very powerful, but they can also be stolen by spies. The whole landscape of the game can change in the blink of an eye as ownership of a card changes hands. Get one of your spies into a rival's castle, and you can take over his improvements or turn his own followers against him.

    All interrupting effects have been stripped out of the game, so each player can complete their turn quickly, without waiting for the others. The game has been designed from the start to allow timed play, like a tournament chess match. This is good for players who want extra-brisk play, or who just have one slowpoke at the table who needs to be reined in.

    One copy of Lyssan contains:
    - The map
    - "A Young Lady's Guide to Treachery and Military Operations" (The instructions for playing the game.)
    - 4 player boards
    - 112 unit markers, representing the castles, knights, nobles, priests and spies the players can command.
    - Additional markers for coins, conscripts and shame.
    - 3 decks of cards for Influence, Debts, and the all important Trophies.
    - A plastic box insert to keep it all organized.

    I'm particularly proud of the Influence deck. Each card is individually illustrated by artists I'm proud to have worked with, with a framework around the art and rules text that's beautiful and shows the card type at a glance. The cards are individually simple, but there are dramatic combos in the mix, waiting to be discovered.

    Kickstarter supporters get a 4th pack of cards, including some that were a little too complex for the main version of the game, and a few that are just silly. Mix them into the game to taste.

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  • All backer reward levels include domestic shipping. Overseas backers should add an extra $20 to their pledge to cover the cost of shipping internationally for each copy of the game. Cheaper bulk shipping is available at the "Sellsword" backer level, for retailers.

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  • I would be honored to forward copies of the game or other backer rewards through the USO, Peace Corps, or any other organization supporting those who could use a moment of enjoyment in their day. Just back the project as normal, then declare the donation when rewards are being distributed.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    75 backers

    Squire - An invitation to the print-and-play beta of the game and your name & title recorded on as a founding supporter. Included with all higher levels of support.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    369 backers

    Knight - All hail! You just pre-ordered the game, plus additional special cards that won't be in the standard edition. You'll have your copy for less than the retail price, and it'll ship out in the very first batch. (Domestic shipping included. International orders, please see the FAQ for details.)

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    21 backers

    Baron - All of the above, plus an 11 x 14 print of some of the best art from the game, signed by the designer and artist. OR a second copy of the game, including the bonus cards. Your call.

  • You selected
    Pledge $175 or more

    5 backers

    Sellsword - For the retailer: At least 4 copies of Lyssan. The actual number will be your actual pledge divided by the actual retailer rate. (TBD) As a bonus for being a kickstarter supporter, you'll get the promo pack of bonus cards with each copy to pass on to your customers.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers

    Duke - Everything the Baron gets, and I'll ship you a pre-pre-release copy of the game as soon as funding completes. This is a copy like the first-wave beta testers use: The pieces are silk-screened, then laser cut from matboard. The board is silk-screened canvas. It's a few-of-a-kind artifact from the creation of the game.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    7 backers

    King - As the Duke, plus deluxe wooden pieces for the game. Also adds laser-cut province hexes so you can build your own random maps.


Funding period

- (60 days)