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Hedron is a tiny epic space battle that combines abstract strategy with thematic gameplay and dynamic mechanics
Hedron is a tiny epic space battle that combines abstract strategy with thematic gameplay and dynamic mechanics
138 backers pledged AU$ 3,464 to help bring this project to life.

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Hedron: Space Strategy Game played with Polyhedral Dice

AU$ 3,464

138

The Kickstarter's over but the fun has just begun. Check out the End Game Games website for post-funding options.

The game uses polyhedral gaming dice to represent factions of warring energy beings. The core mechanic of the game has players make a single move each turn which they can build into a chain of movement allowing you to move your fleet across the battlefield. Your hedrons will also gain access to dynamic powers, allowing you to use your fallen warriors to fuel more powerful attacks. You’ll gain victory by showing you’re the most powerful set of hedrons in the whole sector through dominating areas of space and destroying your opponent’s hedrons.

Best of all, this isn’t game you’re going to have to wait a year for. I designed Hedron with the goal of creating a game that you could actually print and play at home (as opposed to print, cut, cut, cut, glue and play), but this Kickstarter will also offer options to get a boxed game to your door within a few months. If you just want me to shut up and take your money, skip to the end for the Reward breakdowns.

UPDATE: You can now add an extra set of dice, for a 3rd player, if you've pledged for the d10 reward tier and any reward tiers above it. Add $7 if you're from a country that isn't the United States of America. Add $13 if you're from the United States of America.

Hedron provides a pretty unique game experience. Each unit in Hedron is a completely contained physical object with all of it’s necessary stats right there on the top of dice, no reference card or wound token needed, and the different sizes of dice make each unit subtly different.

The chain of actions that take up your turn is another element that sets the game apart. This lets the battlefield shift dynamically from turn to turn without having to worry about action points, initiative or activating your troops unit by unit. Hedron lets you engage your friends in space war, and wrap it up in under an hour, including setup time.

The other big thing is that Hedron is bucking the Kickstarter trend and steering clear of the traditional manufacturing route. Kickstarter has changed the games industry dramatically and has led to a lot of games being made that would have never seen the light of day otherwise, but it seems game designers now see making 1500 copies of a game in China as the only solution. I’m following in the footsteps of many game designers before me and offering a game that uses common components so you get a big box game experience at a fraction of the price.

I briefly explained the game in the main video, but I'm going to go through the complete ruleset in the videos below. You can also download the rules booklet

Part 1: The Chain

The Chain is at the core of Hedron's gameplay. It's a little bit of spatial problem solving that'll keep player's mind working between turns. Each turn you'll start by moving one hedron but if you land next to another friendly hedron, you'll also get to move it, creating a chain of movement that will launch your units across the battlefield.

Part 2: Flux

Flux transforms Hedron from an abstract strategy game into a dynamic space battle, turning seemingly empty areas of space into fluctuating battlegrounds of raging energy beings. Whenever one of your hedrons is destroyed, it is not removed from the game, it merely goes into flux, where it waits until you return it to play or tap into it's dynamic energy using Flux Cards.

Part 3: A Playthrough

Those are the rules, here's the game! The video below shows a complete 2 player game from start to finish.

Please note, this image does not necessarily represent final components or art
Please note, this image does not necessarily represent final components or art

All backers above $5 will receive the fully unlocked digital Hedron.

 D12: Premium Chrome Hedron

  • 12 hex tiles for variable set up
  • 2 sets of polyhedral dice (basic single colour opaque dice to start with, final colours to be determined by popular vote)
  • 1 set of chrome polyhedral dice
  • 32 card Flux mini deck
  • A game box
  • Plays up to 3 players
  • Also, includes beta version and full digital Hedron
  • And possibly more things!

D10: Hedron with dice for 2

  • 12 hex tiles for variable set up
  • 2 sets of polyhedral dice (basic single colour opaque dice to start with, final colours to be determined by popular vote)
  • 32 card Flux mini deck
  • A game box
  • Plays up to 2 players, add another set for 3
  • Also, includes beta version and full digital Hedron
  • And possibly more things!

D8: Hedron Diceless

  • 12 hex tiles for variable set up
  • 32 card Flux mini deck
  • A game box
  • No dice! Players will need to bring a 7-piece set of gaming dice to the table
  • Also, includes beta version and full digital Hedron
  • And possibly more things!

D6: Full Digital Hedron

Please note, this print-and-play is actually print and play. You can play the full version of Hedron for two players with two pieces of paper, a single cut, 2 sets of gaming dice and a standard deck of playing cards.

  • The digital print-and-play Hedron with all unlocked content
  • Includes (at the very least) all you need to play with 2, 3 and 4* players (both full colour and low-ink versions available)
  • No dice! Players will need to bring a 7-piece set of gaming dice to the table

D4: Limited Digital Hedron

  • Digital beta Hedron with low-ink player maps and mats for 2, 3 and 4* players
  • Join the dice party early to see how if it's your scene

Shawn Sharp, one half of the Smashing Plastic team, is a new reviewer on the YouTube block and was generous enough to sit down to a game of Hedron with me. Here’s Shawn’s thoughts:

I was lucky enough to try a game of Hedron just as this Kickstarter went live. Hedron is a great little strategic game of cosmic bumper cars. Say hello to spacial awareness and good-bye to your dice collection. It plays quick but keeps you engaged right up to the end game as you collide, spike and explode your way through your opponent’s best laid plans.

Please note, I have received no payment to endorse Hedron.

Jonathan Winter, of the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network, visited my local game group to do a hands-on preview:

Hedron is a fun and compact game that makes clever use of a familiar gaming apparatus. In many respects it reminds me of chess as it involves game-pieces of contrasting power levels that move around the game board eliminating each other. It is also reminiscent of King of Tokyo in that the centre of the game-board is useful for scoring points. The game is currently enjoying a successful Kickstarter campaign and I highly recommend backing this excellent product and supporting one of our most promising home-grown tabletop game designers.

Michael of NVS Gameplays has also given us a video preview. The impression parts really gets started around 23:55. I should also note, Hedron is in no way a representation of how physics or science works. It is technobabble at best.

Disclaimer: Michael has not yet received any chrome dice for his lovely work, but I gave him a couple of bucks to cover print-and-play materials, $4.20 CAD to be precise.

This Kickstarter won’t let me pay myself an equitable wage for game design, but it will help me achieve my goal with this game, to get it played by as many people as possible. For the print-on-demand version of Hedron, I’ve priced it to make it the best value of money I can for my backers which means a very slim profit margin. The bigger order I make, the more I can reduce the cost per piece. This also carries over to shipping to Australia, the more I order, the less I need to pay per piece. By supporting this Kickstarter you'll help to achieve the quantities I need to make this game a thing that exists in real life and not just in a dark, overlooked corner of the internet.

Hedron is 99% finished. It’s gone through lots of iterations and playtests, including blind playtests, but this is my first published game, so I’m releasing an almost finished beta version to all Kickstarter backers to pick up any flaws that I may have overlooked and to pick up any clarity issues with rulebook. I'll be collecting data from any willing early backers, as well as ongoing playtesters. Opening this up to everyone will give me the biggest and best sample size, so if you play the beta version, please add your play data to this Google spreadsheet. I'll use this to evaluate whether any player order advantage or end game problems have sneaked past our playtests and made it into the game, and to determine whether the final end game bonus is fair and correct.

UPDATE: We're going to PAX AUS 2014! And we're going to be doing free pick-up there, so if you're going and are planning to have a little room in your bag, don't add shipping! I'll also be doing free delivery to several Brisbane game groups (Critical Mass Chermside, Critical Mass Indooroopilly and Gold Coast Board Games Club). If you'd like to add your group to the list, please leave a comment.

Hedron will be manufactured in the US using The Gamecrafter, a print-on-demand game manufacturing service. I've already received prototypes of Hedron and I'm happy with the quality, but it should be noted that the game will be digitally printed and you may notice a difference in finish than some manufactured games. I don't believe this impacts play at all (if I did I wouldn't be using their service). The hex tiles included are approximately the same thickness as Catan tiles (Mayfair version), and slightly heavier.

With The Gamecrafter, I'm able to design a game in Australia and get it delivered at a reasonable price to US backers, but unfortunately the price is less reasonable for non-US backers. If cost is an issue, please choose one of the digital reward levels (if cost isn't an issue, please choose one of the premium rewards levels).

I'm sorry, this project is not EU-friendly (you may need to pay additional VAT or taxes). 

As the campaign progresses, I'll be able to give you more stuff for mostly the same amount of money, these are called stretch goals. If we're able to meet the conditions below, we'll unlock the goals. Most of our goals will be focussed on the reward tiers, if we get the listed amount of backers at the matching rewards tiers, we'll unlock the goal.

The first stretch digital map pack adds a map for each player count with more Points Hexes, shifting the focus of the game more towards gaining and holding areas.

The second digital map pack introduces Current hexes, which will flow into the boxed game, as well, making this a reward for all backers. Current hexes will hurl your hedrons around the board opening up new strategies and more powerful chains.

The third digital map pack unlocks Shift hexes, which will flow into the boxed game, as well, making this a reward for all backers. Shift hexes allow you to shift hedrons at the end of your turn, giving you more versatility and potentially speeding up your march into enemy space.

If we get here, we'd just like to say WOW and THANK YOU. This is beyond the scope of what we planned for Hedron, but we want to reward our backers for all their support. If we get up to $3500, we're going to start developing a new team variant opening up better support for 4 players. The variant will be playable with the boxed version of Hedron and we'll create specific maps for our d6 backers. This will need to be properly developed and tested, meaning that it won't be ready when Hedron ships. Expect a release date of late 2014 / early 2015.

Once we get to 25 physical backers, we'll add in play mats to the boxed version of Hedron. This will give you some handy reference and somewhere to park your points tracker and your in flux hedrons.

International backers usually get the short end of the stick from projects shipping out of the US, but the stick is pointing the other way for this stretch goal.  Backers outside of America, can add one more set of dice for $7, and Americans can add one more set for $13 (just add the amount to your pledge). It just so happens there won't be a significant increase to international shipping with the extra size and weight of the dice, so we're able to give our international friends a pretty good deal. Don't forget to give us your opinion about dice below!

Hedron will now ship with nicer dicer for everyone. We're still deciding exactly what dice, so if you're a backer, give us your opinion.

End Game Games is mostly me, Jason Kotzur-Yang. I’m based in Brisbane, Australia. I’ve got an undergraduate degree in creative writing, a teaching qualification, a piece of paper saying that I can do graphic design and a passion for tabletop games. My current day job has marketing in the job title, but I’m an experienced graphic designer who can make websites and design physical objects and get them printed. 

But like a child, a board game can’t be made by one man alone, and I’ve been helped out heaps in the development by Australian gamers and friends who are generous with their time and brains. Special thanks go to lead playtester, Yao-ban Chan, who's spent a lot of dice moving around and rolling dice with me and making sudden changes to gameplay mid-game. And still beating me most of the time. Here’s a list of the people to whose debt I am currently in, the list will hopefully be a lot longer by the end of August!

Susan Kotzur-Yang, first tester and official wife; Anthony Sun, idea generator; Chen Reed and Yang Wong, runners of nets and rollers of dice; the Raup brothers; Benjamin Fox; the Critical Mass design group; attendees of TAGE and CanCon 2014; Allen Chang and Gold Coast Board Game Club; Michael Brown; the internet, specifically Boardgamegeek and r/tabletopgamedesign.

Extra Credits

The music in the videos is Bacteria Love by Rolemusic. Check out them on the Free Music Archive. Most of the images used in Hedron's art have been released into the public domain by NASA, because they're both generous and heroic (these images have also been nicely collated by space-images.com). The images of fighting hedrons are by the talented Fred Jordan. I have also used a couple of background images by Flickr user Sweetie187, released under Creative Commons attribution license, but haven't been able to get in contact to get an attribution other than a user name. If anyone happens to know the user, please ask them to get in contact with me.

Risks and challenges

Hedron is my first published game and my first Kickstarter, and I designed it to avoid all the logistic hassles that plague many first time creators. This lets me actually focus on the important thing - the game. I’ve done my research and my pricing with the physical rewards offered. The Gamecrafter are an experienced manufacturer (having just completed their 2nd Kickstarter campaign) and I've received prototypes of all the components, which are actually the exact same thing you'll be getting if you back at a physical reward level. There's a small amount of risk that the Gamecrafter's production schedule may become bloated or they might not have enough dice to fulfill the order. I've notified Gamecrafter of the campaign, and we'll be moving on to a different dice supplier if we have enough backers to get nicer dice. Due to the dynamic nature of the different rewards, there is a risk of me losing a dollar or two for the print on demand version of the games if there's less than 25 backers at these levels, but I'll still be able to deliver.

I'm working with established creators to deliver the premium reward tiers. The chrome metal dice are already made and the steampunk metal dice are on their way, making this very low risk. These rewards will be fulfilled and shipped differently to minimise the risk of mix-ups and to make sure you get all your rewards as soon as they're ready. If for any reason, these creators are unable to deliver, I'll work with backers to make sure they got something nice and shiny in return for their generous support.

The graphic design of the game is mostly finished and I just need to put the final art together. As an experienced graphic designer, I’ll be doing this myself, eliminating any risk of non-fulfilment by outside parties. The only way you won’t get your game is if I’m murdered, and since this is my first Kickstarter, I currently have no mortal enemies.

There is a small risk of currency fluctuations impacting the costs of the game, since I'll be funded in Australia dollars and paying for production in American dollars. This risk is offset by having digital backers (with no outside cost) and by reducing cost through increasing quantities. I'll be monitoring the exchange rate as we go but there won't be any issues unless there's major economic upheaval.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1 or more About US$ 0.70

    D4: Print and play beta version

    Get on board and receive the print and play beta version of Hedron immediately, and keep up to date with exciting developments and dice rolls.

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    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    D6: Full Digital Hedron / $4.65USD

    Full print and play version of Hedron with access to all unlocked content

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    82 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 37 or more About US$ 26

    D8: Hedron Diceless / $34.25 USD

    Physical, diceless Hedron. Shipping included for US

    Add $8 for Australia, add $16 for Canada, $22 for Mexico, $24 for everywhere else

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    Pledge AU$ 46 or more About US$ 32

    D10: Hedron: 2 Player | $42.50 USD

    Physical, diceful Hedron. 14 dice for 2 players. Shipping included for US backers. Dice included may be improved over the price of the game

    Add $8 for Australia, add $16 for Canada, $22 for Mexico, $24 for everywhere else

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    Pledge AU$ 125 or more About US$ 88

    D12: Heavy Metal Hedron | $116 USD

    Physical, ultimate diceful Hedron. 14 normal dice for 2 players, plus 7 bonus metal chrome dice to add an extra awesome 3rd player. Shipping included for all backers across space.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 175 or more About US$ 123

    D12: Past Future Hedron | $162 USD

    Physical, super ultimate diceful Hedron. 14 normal dice for 2 players, plus 7 bonus steampunk metal dice to add an extra awesome 3rd player. Shipping included for all backers throughout time and space.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 250 or more About US$ 176

    D20: Mega Hedron | $232 USD

    Physical, super ultimate mega diceful Hedron. 14 normal dice for 2 players, plus 7 metal chrome metal dice for the the 3rd player and 7 steampunk metal dice for the awesome 4th player. You'll be going beyond the recommend player count, but you'll also have kick ass dice. Shipping included for all backers throughout time and space.

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Funding period

- (14 days)