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A strategy card game of adventure and mad science!
A strategy card game of adventure and mad science!
3,055 backers pledged $194,690 to help bring this project to life.

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What if everything in the world was a cog in a giant machine? That's the idea behind Girl Genius: The Works, a unique strategy card game based on the world of Girl Genius.

The game is played on a 12-card tableau, representing the machine. Cards interact by flipping, spinning, and popping out of the machine. Cards can pop in chain reactions, and that can give you extra points, more cards, or other wacky effects!

If you like adventure, mad science, and innovative strategy games, then Girl Genius: The Works is for you!

About The Comic: Girl Genius is a beautiful and hilarious comic series by Phil and Kaja Foglio, filled with intrigue, romance, and mad science. It's the story of Agatha Heterodyne, a gifted "spark" whose phenomenal powers lead to wild adventures! The comic has been going strong for 18 years, and has won many, many awards. If you don't know it, check it out!

About The Game Designer: James Ernest is a world-renowned game designer responsible for more than 200 published games. His elegant, story-driven designs are famous for engaging players' intellect and imagination. And he has also won many, many awards.

About The Publisher: Cheapass Games has been making great games with Phil and Kaja Foglio since 1997! We've also made many other games, more than 100 at last count, including ten via Kickstarter campaigns. Learn more about us at our double-secret website, cheapass.com.

Girl Genius Book and Game Night!

Celebrate the successful conclusion of the Girl Genius: The Works campaign with us at Girl Genius Book and Game Night! Phil Foglio, James Ernest, and Team Cheapass will be at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond Town Center on Friday, April 20th 2018 from 7:00-10:00 PM. Come meet the crew, try out the prototype of The Works, and indulge in general frivolity!

If you can’t make it, you can still join in on the fun via Facebook and Twitter.

Girl Genius: The Works is a game for 2 or more players, ages 12 and up. It takes about 30 minutes to play.

The game is most strategic with 2 players, and can be slightly more chaotic with more. It's a game of planning ahead and setting up moves for yourself, so if you have several people it's better to play in teams, rather than a free-for-all. 

The first edition of this game was released in 2001, when the Girl Genius comic was brand new. (It's an update of an even older card game created by the same team.) That edition came in a single 110-card box. Most of the characters in the game hadn't yet appeared in the story, and some of them still haven't!

This edition of the game will have four different 60-card decks, with each deck representing a major arc of the Girl Genius story:

The links above connect to the updates with more details on the different decks. (Decks 3 and 4 are both in Update #9)

Here are the first drafts of the four deck boxes:

You need just one deck to play, and no other equipment, so this game is ultra-portable!

Look at those beautiful card backs!
Look at those beautiful card backs!

To Play: Players start by building a board with 12 facedown cards, as shown above. On each turn, you will flip up a facedown card (if there is one), and then spin a faceup card 180°. 

When your spin lines up matching colors, you "pop" the card with more symbols. That piece has popped out of the machine, which activates it. Pick up the card, follow its instructions, and then put it into your Score Pile.

These two cards have a row of blue symbols in common.
These two cards have a row of blue symbols in common.

At the end of your turn, you replace every card you removed with cards from your hand. If you play your cards right, you can set up good moves for yourself and bad moves for your opponent. The goal is to accumulate a winning score (which differs depending on the number of players).

Each of the four decks contains a different mix of characters and special effects. You can also combine your favorite cards from all four decks to create your own custom-made play experience. They are marked with a set symbol, to make them easy to sort out.

Below is a short "How to Play" video featuring the prototype version. You can learn more about the game's history and rules in Update #3.

Whether you're an "all-in" Girl Genius fan, or just want to try out a clever new card game, we've got the perfect pledge level for you. 

One / Two / Three Decks: Just like they sound, these levels let you choose one, two, or three of the four 60-card decks. You don't need to choose now; that happens in the pledge manager, which will open up a few weeks after the campaign ends. 

Four Decks: This level includes all four decks, along with our freebie package called the "Funvelope." The contents of the Funvelope are described in detail in Update 11 and under Add-Ons, below. It includes a metal coin, embroidered patch, four promo cards, and an Agatha button.

Player's Pack: This level also includes a 14" neoprene playmat, designed to keep your cards where they belong. You can read more about the playmat in Update #2.

Along with the contents of the basic pledge levels, we have a few more things you might like to add to your pledge. Any of these items can be mixed and matched via the pledge manager, which will compute and charge your extra costs (including shipping). That system will open up a few weeks after this campaign has closed.

You can add extra money to your Kickstarter pledge now, or you can wait until the pledge manager is open. Either way is good!

Decks: $12 each. Need to add another deck of Girl Genius: The Works? Choose from the four decks in the set, $12 each.

Funvelope: $10 Need an extra pack of fun? No problem. The Funvelope is a pack of great Girl Genius: The Works freebies including:

  • Coin: 42mm gear-shaped metal coin
  • Patch: 3.75" embroidered logo patch
  • Promo Cards: Four bonus game cards
  • Button: Agatha "Button Men" character

You can read more details about these elements in Update #11. The four promo cards are Doctor Rothfuss, Doctor Lucky, Queen Albia, and Colette Voltaire.

You can also add three of these items individually, if you wish. The Coin, Patch, and Button can be added for $5 each. (The promo cards are only in the Funvelope.)

Play Mat: $15 A prototype of this handsome game mat appears in the campaign video above. This accessory helps you handle the cards easily, and helps keep them in place. It's a 14" neoprene square, 1/8" thick, with rounded corners. We've never made a playmat before, but this game truly deserves one, and we really enjoy playing with our prototypes! Learn more about the play mat in Update #2.

The Island of Doctor Lucky: $40 The hunter becomes the hunted on The Island of Doctor Lucky! Learn more about this new standalone game in Update #8.

Teaser art from the Island of Doctor Lucky
Teaser art from the Island of Doctor Lucky

Deluxe Deck Box: $310. Sure, you can put your cards into any deck box, but just for fun we’ve partnered with Wyrmwood Gaming, purveyors of beautiful wood gaming supplies, to offer a deluxe deck box as gorgeous as the game itself. Crafted of responsibly sourced wenge, with hardwood splines, the deck box has room for all four decks (sleeved), along with a fifth compartment for promo cards, lose-a-turn cards, and other goodies. The logo is inlaid with brass and aluminum to give the box a steampunk feel. This product will ship directly from Wyrmwood, and is available only through this campaign!

The deluxe deck box
The deluxe deck box

The shipping & handling cost for one wooden deck box will be: $12 to US addresses, $26 to Canada, or $38 for other International destinations. Learn more about the deck box in Update #10.

Foglio Tree Deck: $10. This charming new Pairs deck is available as an add-on for $10. It's a simple set of trees and leaves drawn by Phil Foglio, an understated deck of art cards for a magnificent little game. We will print a limited edition of this deck, complete with handsome cardboard tuck box and a new Pairs variant game, yet to be designed. You can read more about this deck in Update #1.

Jägermonster Poker Deck: $10. This is an all-new deck of handsome poker cards designed by Phil Foglio, Kaja Foglio, and Cheyenne Wright. If you’re not familiar with the Jägermonsters of Girl Genius, they are quirky soldiers possessing superhuman strength and an unusual attachment to beautiful hats. Their poker deck will be accompanied by an all-new poker game by James Ernest: Ricochet Poker! Learn more about this deck in Update #5

Other Foglio Games from Cheapass Games: Phil Foglio has contributed to many Cheapass Games in the past. Want to put one of these into your pledge? We can make it happen! We have copies!

  • Muses Pairs Deck: $10. Pairs is a "New Classic Pub Game" featuring art by some of the industry's top talents. Phil Foglio's "Muses" deck is a historical deck from the world of Girl Genius!
  • Captain Treasure Boots: $10. Sail a tiny little ship on the tiny little seas in this tiny little board game from Cheapass Games!
  • Deadwood Studios, USA: $40. Our second campaign on Kickstarter, Deadwood Studios is a game about being a bit actor on a western backlot. Not many of these games are left in stock!

Moxana's Game

This isn't an add-on because we don't know when we will finish it, but during this campaign we decided to work on an in-world version of The Works, with the working title "Moxana's Game." 

Inspired by the fortune-telling Muse from Girl Genius, Moxana’s Game is a pure abstract version of The Works, using wood-grain cards and zero text. The cards simply have four colored edges and domino-style dots in the center to indicate the point value.

Some of the game rules are the same, and others will change. In fact, we only have a bare-bones understanding of this game. 

Learn more about Moxana’s Game in Update #6.

Moxana, from her Circus deck card.
Moxana, from her Circus deck card.

Thanks so much! This is our eleventh Kickstarter campaign, one of our most successful to date, and we are always delighted by the enthusiasm and support of our fans. 

We love working with the Foglios, of course. James and Carol have been good friends with them for more than 25 years, and we even shared a house for a while when we were all starving artists.

We expect many great things from this new edition of Girl Genius: The Works. Thanks for your participation and your support, and thanks for playing Cheapass Games!

If you'd like to keep tabs on us outside this campaign, follow us thus:

See you at the gaming tables!

Risks and challenges

This is our eleventh Kickstarter campaign and also one of our simplest ever in terms of manufacturing. We have printed many, many card games and we are still using our favorite production facility.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 12 or more About US$ 12

    One Deck

    One deck is all you need! When you pledge at this level, you may choose any one of the four Girl Genius: The Works card decks.

    Includes:
    • Game Deck
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    Pledge US$ 24 or more About US$ 24

    Two Decks

    Add some variety! At this level you may choose any two of the four Girl Genius: The Works decks.

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    Pledge US$ 36 or more About US$ 36

    Three Decks

    What's better than two decks? How about three decks? At this level you may choose any three of the four Girl Genius: The Works decks.

    Includes:
    • Game Deck
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    Pledge US$ 48 or more About US$ 48

    Four Decks

    Get the entire game! Receive all four of the Girl Genius: The Works decks. At this level we will also throw in the "Funvelope," a pack of extra Girl Genius goodies. It's a $10 value for free!

    Includes:
    • Set of Four Decks
    • Funvelope
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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    Player's Pack

    Add a Playmat! We've designed a special 14" neoprene mat to help keep your cards in the right place. This level contains all four decks, the Funvelope, and the playmat.

    Includes:
    • Set of Four Decks
    • Funvelope
    • Playmat
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Funding period

- (29 days)