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Explore the wilderness, expand your mining empire, and exploit resources (and your miners) in America's first mining boom! Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 11, 2014.

Explore the wilderness, expand your mining empire, and exploit resources (and your miners) in America's first mining boom!

About this project

If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can click here to visit the CMX Games Shop!

Copper Country is a strategic board game of area control and resource management in the face of diminishing returns; as players compete to produce copper, mining becomes more difficult... and dangerous!

There are a lot of great board games out there. Here is why we -- and our backers -- feel Copper Country is special and worthy of your trust and support:

"Rock solid fun. Absolutely fantastic." - Richard Ham, Rahdo Runs Through

"One of the best games I've played in a long time." - David Taylor, To the Table Reviews

UNIQUE THEME

  • Transport yourself to 1840 and the remote wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Theme and mechanics work together as players feel the foundation, growth, and decline of the industry that shaped the area's past -- and present.

ENGAGING GAMEPLAY

  • Players compete to produce copper before it's all gone. Do you take what you can get, or hold out for more? If you delay, your opponents may deplete the copper lode beneath your once promising mining operation.
  • Balance risk and reward as you manage your workforce. Mining was a dangerous business and profits came at the cost of unrest and lost lives. But you can't produce copper without labor. Push too hard, and nobody will be willing to work in your mines.

TESTED AND REFINED

  • Copper Country has been tested hundreds of times by players all across the country.
  • We've attended two Protospiels, an Unpub Mini, and monthly Design Cabals hosted by The Game Crafter. Copper Country has been in front of other designers on a consistent basis.
  • For the past six months, we have recorded a weekly video podcast, DesignCast, chronicling everything we've learned while preparing Copper Country for Kickstarter and beyond.
  • We listen to feedback and know when and how to implement it. Even at this stage, we're hard at work on minor issues that reviewers and backers have raised.

PRESENTATION

  • Copper Country contains over 100 unique illustrations in a style that is both beautiful and gritty, just like Copper Country itself.
  • Our custom game pieces, funded by stretch goals, will transform the board from a pristine wilderness to an industrial machine over the course of the game.
  • Copper Country's theme, mechanics, and art are all true to history, down to the fun, informative flavor text on each of the game's cards.

PERSONAL CONNECTION

  • David and Scott, the game’s designers, were born and raised in Copper Country. David’s father spent more than 30 years researching, teaching, and writing about Copper Country history. This game is an opportunity to share his life’s work in a new way.
  • The Upper Peninsula leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits; see our comments section for proof! Whether you’re a Yooper or have never heard of one, the game invites you to discover the history of someplace truly special.

STRAIGHT FROM OUR BACKERS

“I backed Copper Country because it's got great mechanics, amazing aesthetics, terrific theme and jaw-dropping componentry. Full. Stop.” – Jesse Pudewell, Backer

“I was lucky enough to play a testkit out here in Portland, OR before the campaign even started, and my wife and I decided it was a game we would want to play with our friends and family. The people that we play games with enjoy games that are engaging both in terms of gameplay and in terms of backstory, and Copper Country is well endowed in both.” – Andrew and Carrie Coffin, Backers

“This was the first Kickstarter project that I backed, and it was probably the theme and my connections to Michigan that pushed me to back it. That alone might not have been enough had the game not appeared to be thoroughly developed and play tested, but the Design Cast episodes have been great for illuminating the development of this game since the beginning.” – Andrew, Backer

“I backed because I love the Copper Country. It is where my wife and I met while attending MTU and bonded over our love of games of all sorts. I also backed because it looks like a very fun, challenging, and well-polished game.” – Benjamin Roskoskey, Backer

ALL STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED!
ALL STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED!
DOUBLE-SIDED WINTER BOARD UNLOCKED!
DOUBLE-SIDED WINTER BOARD UNLOCKED!
ALL STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED!
ALL STRETCH GOALS UNLOCKED!

The year is 1840 and America's first mining boom is about to change Michigan's Upper Peninsula forever. Take on the role of a mining company and compete for copper by casting miners and machines into the underground lottery.

As the industry grows, so do the communities surrounding your mines. But every attempt to wrest copper from the ground hangs the fortunes of your company, and the lives of your miners, in the balance.

Life, Work, Profit, Death: Copper Country.

Copper Country's game board. Copper Country illustrations by Chris Park, Plantmonster Studios.
Copper Country's game board. Copper Country illustrations by Chris Park, Plantmonster Studios.

In Copper Country, each player takes on the role of a unique mining company and competes to produce the most copper before it's all gone!

Manage your hand of capital card resources, which become more powerful as the industry grows!
Manage your hand of capital card resources, which become more powerful as the industry grows!

To produce copper, players hire miners to work mine sites. Your miner's productivity is measured in shifts. Each shift, you reveal one card from the top of the production deck, then choose an outcome by playing capital card resources from your hand, placing your miner at risk, or both!

Produce copper, bring down rock, or mitigate disaster from the production card revealed each shift! Each row of icons on a production card presents an outcome the player may choose.
Produce copper, bring down rock, or mitigate disaster from the production card revealed each shift! Each row of icons on a production card presents an outcome the player may choose.

When a player produces copper, the byproduct, poor rock, is removed from the industry track and dumped onto the mine site, reducing shifts nearby for all players.

As players remove more poor rock from the industry track, local businesses open their doors, historical events occur, and Copper Country enters new eras of production.

Each era introduces new buildings, more powerful capital cards, and more profitable production cards to the game.
Each era introduces new buildings, more powerful capital cards, and more profitable production cards to the game.

The game ends when the last poor rock is dumped onto a mine site, depleting Copper Country's mineral wealth. The winner is the player who has produced the most copper!

Scott, the Miner, and David in Houghton, MI.
Scott, the Miner, and David in Houghton, MI.

Copper Country's game designers David Lankton and Scott Diehl are Yoopers, born and raised in the heart of Copper Country in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We've known each other since preschool and we grew up playing games together.

For over 30 years, David's dad, Larry Lankton, researched, wrote about, and taught Copper Country history at Michigan Tech University. He recently retired, and this game is an opportunity to share his life's work in a new way: though our passion for board games.

David's dad with his first book, Old Reliable, in 1982 and speaking at the centennial anniversary of the great strike in 2013 (photos courtesy MTU Archives and Kurt Hauglie, Daily Mining Gazette).
David's dad with his first book, Old Reliable, in 1982 and speaking at the centennial anniversary of the great strike in 2013 (photos courtesy MTU Archives and Kurt Hauglie, Daily Mining Gazette).

We've invested a year and a half into the design of Copper Country. Now we need your help to make this game a reality. Allow us to share Copper Country's story with backers like you all around the world!

"Delicious... Rock solid fun. We enjoy it from start to finish... Absolutely fantastic." - Richard Ham, Rahdo Runs Through

"This is a definite you-must-back-this project. An outstanding game. One of the best games I've played in a long, long time." - David Taylor, To the Table Reviews

"Really intriguing, well-themed game. Everthing feels tied into mining. It's definitely going to find a spot in my rotation. I definitely recommend backing it." - Hunter Shelburne, Weaponsgrade Tabletop

"Copper Country nicely dovetails the strong thematic and aesthetic qualities that I associate with Ameritrash games with the deep mechanics and practically infinite replayability that are the hallmarks of good Eurogames." - Jesse Pudewell, 13 Orphans

"Detailed and highly entertaining with lots of important and strategic decisions." - JT Smith, Founder of The Game Crafter

"A great mix of unique theme and engaging gameplay, Copper Country is a gamer's game definitely worth backing." - Kane Klenko, Designer of Mad City

"Very fun! Makes me want to visit the Upper Peninsula and search for copper. I liked it a lot." - Ed Marriott, Designer of Scoville

"Oozes with everything great about Euro board games. It's a can't miss game. Fantastic."- Evan Fitzgerald, Gamer

"Really clever and finely tuned resource management game with a well-researched historical theme."- Gabriel Recchia, Gamer

"Plenty of player interaction and great thematic elements from the Keweenaw copper boom!" - Steven Dast, Designer of Midnight Station

"Copper Country is a clear reflection of David and Scott's passion for the history of the place where they grew up. That theme runs deep throughout the game, making players feel like they're reliving a critical part of American history." - Adam Buckingham, Designer of Backyard Astronaut

Copper Country Components:

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Player Mats
  • 18 Punchboard Terrain Tokens
  • 89 Wooden Game Pieces [20 Miners, 12 Company Houses, 16 Shaft Houses, 8 Hoist Houses, 33 Poor Rock]
  • 161 Standard-Size Cards [3 Era, 6 Company, 66 Capital, 66 Production, 8 Business, 8 Event, 4 Action Reference]
  • 1 Rulebook
Copper Country prototype components shown as an example.
Copper Country prototype components shown as an example.

Reward Tiers:

  • USA: $48 (additional copies $44)
  • Canada, CA-Friendly: $52 (additional copies $48)
  • United Kingdom, EU-Friendly: $56 (additional copies $52)
  • Western EU, EU-Friendly: $68 (additional copies $62)
  • Central EU, EU-Friendly: $80 (additional copies $68)
  • World: $70 (additional copies $68)
  • Currently there are two WORLD reward tiers as we migrate our backers to the new reduced pledge level.
  • See the SHIPPING section below for details.
Copper Country includes over 100 unique illustrations that capture the essence and history of Copper Country, beautifully created by Chris Park of Plantmonster Studios!
Copper Country includes over 100 unique illustrations that capture the essence and history of Copper Country, beautifully created by Chris Park of Plantmonster Studios!
                                                                              

On each turn, the current player takes two management actions then one labor action:

MANAGEMENT ACTIONS

  • CAPITAL CALL: Make demands on investors to draw a capital card into your hand.
  • SURVEY: Explore the wilderness by revealing a mine site's terrain token.
At the start of the game, a face-down terrain token is randomly placed on each mine site. The mine sites players choose to survey, and the decisions they make as a result, change every game!
At the start of the game, a face-down terrain token is randomly placed on each mine site. The mine sites players choose to survey, and the decisions they make as a result, change every game!
  • BUILD: Expand your mining operation by building a company, shaft, or hoist house.
Build company houses for your miners' families to encourage loyalty and safety. Shaft and hoist houses increase productivity by adding shifts and flexibility when dumping poor rock.
Build company houses for your miners' families to encourage loyalty and safety. Shaft and hoist houses increase productivity by adding shifts and flexibility when dumping poor rock.
  • PROSPECT: Take luck out of the equation by peeking at the production deck.
  • NEGOTIATE: Quell unrest to replenish your workforce through contract negotiation.
  • IMMIGRATE: A new immigrant arrives to replace a miner buried in the cemetery.

LABOR ACTIONS

Labor actions require you to exert your ready miner or allow you to ready your exerted miner(s).
Labor actions require you to exert your ready miner or allow you to ready your exerted miner(s).
  • WORK: Exert your miner to produce copper, bring down rock, or mitigate disaster.
  • STOCKPILE: Exert your miner to draw otherwise unobtainable capital cards.
  • RELOCATE: Move and ready a miner by sending him home to rest.
  • PAYROLL: Ready all of your miners and you may employ an additional miner.

MANY CHOICES, ONE FOCUS

Every decision you make during the game ultimately serves a unified purpose: enhance your ability (or hinder an opponent's ability) to produce copper.

PLAYER-CONTROLLED RISK

Copper Country offers players an abundance of tools to manage risk and reward. Like to play fast and loose, adapting on the fly? Go ahead. Prefer to play patiently, setting yourself up for certain success? Make it happen!

  • Though the cards revealed from the production deck are random, players have a choice of up to four outcomes on each card.
  • The prospect action allows you to peek at cards on top of the production deck. You'll know exactly what to expect before you work!
  • Build company houses to protect your miners from unrest and the cemetery, allowing you to work through disasters.
  • Build shaft and hoist houses to gain additional shifts, allowing you to dig farther into the production deck for more valuable copper.
  • If you don't have the resources to produce copper, take a production card as your claim, collect the required resources, and complete it later!
  • Or, forego these options and cast your miners into the underground lottery in a desperate attempt to hit the motherlode! The choice is yours...
Transform the wilderness into an industrial machine! Prototype components shown.
Transform the wilderness into an industrial machine! Prototype components shown.

THE INDUSTRY TRACK

At the start of the game, one poor rock, the waste byproduct of copper production, is placed on each of the 33 industry track spaces that run along the edge of the game board. As players produce copper, poor rock are removed from the industry track and dumped onto mine sites. This simple mechanic has three significant effects on the game:

  • Poor rock determine where, and how effectively, players are able to work mine sites, shaping the decisions players make throughout the game.
  • When poor rock is removed from the industry track, an icon may be revealed, triggering a random local business, random historical event, or new era of production.
  • The industry track is also the game clock: when the last poor rock is removed, the game ends. Because players know how many poor rock remain on the industry track at all times, they are able to plan ahead for the end of the game!
Placing this poor rock from the industry track onto a mine site affects future production nearby and reveals a local business icon, opening the Michigan College of Mines!
Placing this poor rock from the industry track onto a mine site affects future production nearby and reveals a local business icon, opening the Michigan College of Mines!

POSTERS

We're introducing a new add-on: Copper Country posters featuring the game's box art! The poster measures 16" x 20". It will be signed by David and Scott and personally shipped to you shortly after the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

As a US backer, you can add the poster to your pledge for $30 (including shipping).

If you are an international backer and are interested in the poster, please contact us first (shipping may be prohibitively expensive, and you would also be responsible for customs, duty, taxes, and other fees).

To add the poster to your pledge:

  • Click "MANAGE MY PLEDGE" at the top of the Copper Country project page.
  • For each poster you would like to receive, add $30 to your pledge amount.
  • You do not need to change your chosen reward level (just the pledge amount).
  • Click "CONTINUE" at the bottom.

UNCUT SHEETS

We are thrilled to announce that we are making uncut sheets of Copper Country cards available to backers! Each uncut sheet, straight from Copper Country's first print run, features 54 cards and measures approximately 25x23". Because there are 162 cards in Copper Country, a set of three uncut sheets will exactly contain a full set of cards!

We are offering uncut sheets at two addon levels:

  • $100 for 1 (randomly chosen) uncut sheet ($150 outside the US), OR
  • $250 for a full set of all 3 uncut sheets ($300 outside the US).

The uncut sheets will be sent directly from the manufacturer to us. We will package and personally ship the uncut sheets to backers from the US. Because of this, backers outside the US need to add $50 for shipping (as described above) and will be responsible for all taxes, duty, customs and other fees.

An example of what one of the uncut sheets may look like. Each sheet contains 54 cards.
An example of what one of the uncut sheets may look like. Each sheet contains 54 cards.

To add one (or all three) uncut sheets to your pledge:

  • Click "MANAGE MY PLEDGE" at the top of the Copper Country project page.
  • For one uncut sheet, add $100 to your pledge amount ($150 outside the US), OR
  • For a set of all three uncut sheets, add $250 to your pledge amount ($300 outside the US).
  • You do not need to change your chosen reward level (just the pledge amount). Click "CONTINUE" at the bottom.

After the Kickstarter campaign is over, we will send out a survey. On that survey, you will tell us how many uncut sheets are included in your pledge amount.

Custom card pledge levels give you the opportunity to incorporate your favorite aspect of Copper Country history into the game! We will keep you updated on the progress of your card as it is designed, tested, balanced, and illustrated before publication.

All custom cards will be included in every copy of Copper Country and must be historically and thematically accurate.

Customize a capital, event, local business, or production card (illustrations shown as examples)!
Customize a capital, event, local business, or production card (illustrations shown as examples)!

CAPITAL

  • Customize a capital card! Capital cards represent labor, surface development, equipment, underground development, explosive, and transportation resources. You choose a historical resource that was utilized in Copper Country, tell us why it's special, and describe how you would like to see the card illustrated.

PRODUCTION

  • Customize one of the most valuable production cards in the game! You choose a historical mine or copper lode in Copper Country, tell us why it's special, and describe how you would like to see the card illustrated.

EVENT

  • Customize an event card! You choose a historical event that affected Copper Country, tell us why it's special, and describe how you would like to see the card illustrated.

BUSINESS

  • Customize a local business card! You choose a historical local business that served Copper Country, tell us why it's special, and describe how you would like to see the card illustrated.

LANDMARK

  • Customize the game board! You choose a historical Copper Country landmark (such as a building or specific part of Copper Country's landscape). That landmark will be illustrated and featured on the game board in every copy of Copper Country!

UNITED STATES

  • Rewards shipped to the United States will ship from the United States. Base pledge level is $48. Additional copies are $44.

CANADA

  • Rewards shipped to Canada will ship from Canada. Base pledge level is $52. Additional copies are $48.

UNITED KINGDOM

  • Rewards shipped to the United Kingdom will ship from the United Kingdom. Base pledge level is $56. Additional copies are $52.
  • VAT included.

WESTERN EU

  • Rewards shipped to the Western European Union (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden) will ship from the United Kingdom. Base pledge level is $68. Additional copies are $62.
  • VAT included.

CENTRAL EU

  • Rewards shipped to the Central European Union (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) will ship from the United Kingdom. Base pledge level is $80. Additional copies are $68.
  • VAT included.

WORLD

  • Rewards shipped to destinations not listed above will be shipped through Amazon Global Export from the United States. Current eligible destinations are listed here: Amazon Global Export Countries. Base pledge level is $70. Additional copies are $68.
  • Backers are responsible for all taxes, duty, customs, and other fees.
  • Currently there are two WORLD reward tiers as we migrate our backers to the new reduced pledge level.

ADDITIONAL COPIES

  • Backers, especially those in the EU, can save a significant amount by getting together with one or more other backers and pledging for multiple copies. We are passing the reduced shipping costs on to you!
  • You may pledge for up to 9 additional (10 total) copies of Copper Country. Simply multiply the additional copy price by the number of additional copies you would like to receive, and add that amount to your base pledge level.

(USA) COPPER COUNTRY PIONEER

  • Backers at the Pioneer level will receive the first copies of Copper Country ever produced! The manufacturer will airmail these copies directly to us, they will be signed by David and Scott, then shipped to you (1 to 2 months ahead of all other copies of the game). Bear in mind that these are advance copies, and there is a chance that minor adjustments will be made as the rest of the print run is completed.
Show your support for Copper Country across social media by using this avatar!
Show your support for Copper Country across social media by using this avatar!
                                

Risks and challenges

This is our first Kickstarter campaign. We expect to hit obstacles, so we have chosen a conservative delivery date and kept our reward levels simple.

And we are prepared:

Copper Country has been playtested hundreds of times. We've had playtest kits in California, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin... and more!

All of the game's illustrations have already been completed by Chris Park of Plantmonster Studios. Chris will also illustrate the backer-inspired custom card pledge levels and the double-sided game board stretch goal as necessary.

We have been working with Panda Game Manufacturing throughout the design of Copper Country. We chose to manufacture with Panda due to their reputation for quality and reliability, and because our account manager at Panda has been extremely helpful in guiding us through the manufacturing process (thanks, Brent!).

We will distribute to backers through Fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon will ship from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

For the past six months, we have been recording a weekly CMX Games DesignCast, chronicling everything we have learned while preparing Copper Country for Kickstarter. DesignCast serves as a record for potential backers of our commitment to creating and delivering a great game.

And we have previous work experience that prepares us to meet the myriad requirements of a Kickstarter campaign:

Before CMX Games, David lived in Los Angeles, where he co-founded MISOSound, an independent sound design company (recently recognized for work on Escape from Tomorrow and Video Game High School). David has spent the past 10 years taking feedback on film, television, web, and video game projects, interpreting that feedback, and turning it into positive results, all while running a small business. This experience has been invaluable to the design and development of Copper Country.

Scott received his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. After teaching at Siena College near Albany New York, he returned to Madison and joined a large software company. He leads a team of engineers working to design and deliver complex software projects, which require coordination across many teams in distributed locations.

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    (USA) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included to the United States. Additional copies are $44.

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    (CANADA) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Canada-friendly shipping included to Canada. Additional copies are $48.

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    (UK) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. EU-friendly shipping included to the United Kingdom. Additional copies are $52.

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    (WESTERN EU) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. EU-friendly shipping included to the Western European Union. Additional copies are $62.

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    (WORLD) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included to destinations eligible for Fulfillment by Amazon Global Export. Additional copies are $68.

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    (CENTRAL EU) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. EU-friendly shipping included to the Central European Union. Additional copies are $68.

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    (WORLD) COPPER COUNTRY - One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included to destinations eligible for Fulfillment by Amazon Global Export. Additional copies are $68.

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    (CUSTOM) PRODUCTION - Customize a Production Card! One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included. See CUSTOM CARDS for details.

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    (CUSTOM) CAPITAL - Customize a Capital Card! One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included. See CUSTOM CARDS for details.

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    (USA) COPPER COUNTRY PIONEER - One advance copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included to the United States. These games will be signed by David and Scott and arrive 1 to 2 months early! Additional copies are $44 (additional copies will not be signed or delivered early).

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    9 backers

    (RETAIL USA) FRIENDLY LOCAL GAME STORES ONLY - Six copies of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included to the United States. You must first contact us and verify your retail status before pledging at this reward level. Unverified backers at this level will not receive rewards. International retailers, please contact us for international shipping charges.

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    (CUSTOM) LANDMARK - Customize the Game Board! One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included. See CUSTOM CARDS for details.

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    (CUSTOM) BUSINESS - Customize a Local Business Card! One copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included. See CUSTOM CARDS for details.

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    (CUSTOM) EVENT - Customize an Event Card! One Copy of Copper Country with all stretch goals. Shipping included. See CUSTOM CARDS for details.

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Funding period

- (29 days)