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About

Slaughterball is a competitive board game simulating a ferocious future bloodsport where 2-4 teams of genetically-engineered super-athletes clash in a remorseless steel pit. Teams score points by making goals and injuring opponents. The team with the most points at the end of 6 rounds wins the game.The rules are elegant and brutal, quick to pick up, but with the strategic depth to fuel endless hours of thrilling victories and agonizing defeats.

REDUCED INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING RATES! SEE SHIPPING SECTION BELOW!

Click here to read a PDF of the first 33 pages of the rulebook detailing the scrimmage rules.

  • NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Game length: 45-90 minutes (depending on number of teams and type of game)
  • Age range: 14+

The glorious artwork is supplied by an international team of amazing artists with credits including: DC Comics World of Warcraft series, Marvel’s Avengers Season One, and Playtstaion’s All Stars Battle Royale. The 3d sculptors have worked on the Academy Award-winning Happy Feet feature film and the highly successful Kickstarter-funded miniatures range Rage of Heroes – The Toughest Girls of the Galaxy.

Game demo in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday Feb 22nd. Click here to see Facebook event!

Slaughterball is set in the same tech noir, cyberpunk world of the novel Dead Dwarves Don't Dance by Derek J. Canyon (Erik's pen name). If you want to get a feel for the gritty world outside the glitzy slaughterdomes, check out the Dead Dwarves series of stories.

The BUTCHER pledge level can reach 82+ figures (that's 30+ bonus figures) if we hit stretch goals!

For more art and information, check out www.slaughterball.net.

(All components in these videos and pictures are prototypes. Some changes might occur during factory tooling and production.)

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Slaughterball comes with the following quality components:

  • 27" double-sided game board -- one side has the Octagon for 2- or 4-team games, while the other side has the Hexagon for 3-team games
  • 52 plastic athletes
  • 70 strategy cards
  • 20 custom 6-sided dice (engraved, 16mm, 10 white, 10 black)
  • 1 standard 8-sided scatter die (16mm)
  • 2 plastic balls
  • A slew of card tokens
  • 4 scrimmage athlete reference cards (double-sided)
  • 4 pro team reference cards (double-sided)
  • 4 maverick reference cards (double-sided)
  • Printed rulebook

Slaughterball components are the best quality you will find. I don't think you can point to another game that offers more quality and quantity. Other games skimp with their component quality. Slaughterball doesn't skimp! Slaughterball pummels you with quality... and quantity!

I want to play a quality game that screams awesomeness. And so that's what you're getting.

When you open the Slaughterball box you will not be disappointed.

You will be in AWE!

 Dice Tower Preview by Ryan Metzler!

 Game components overview

 Scrimmage game rules overview

I'm available for interviews in podcasts, blogs, newspapers, television, radio, websites, and so on. Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to learn more about the game. Just visit this contact page and select the Media option.

There have already been some articles and posts about Slaughterball that you can check out below:

Interview on BoLS

Article on Weiterspielen, by Fabian Sellin (German language hobby site)

This is Extreme - This is Slaughterball! on Pins of War

The Beasts of War video talks about Slaugherball and says it's "well worth checking a look!"

Spotlight: Slaughterball at Fanplastic Little Men

Article in Put the Boot In ezine

German blog article by Peer

Begin the Brawlin' & Scorin' With Slaughterball by brennon

Slaughterball comes to Kickstarter on Tabletop Gaming News

And here's what some people are saying about Slaughterball:

"Slaughterball has a lot of great things going for it: simplified scatter rules, continuous play, and multiple ways to score! We had a blast with it!" - Ryan Metzler of the Dice Tower

"I had a chance to play a 4-player scrimmage game on Thursday and had a lot of fun.  The board is both spacious and lovely. The athletes are big and imposing. And the whole experience was badass." - Erik F after attending a demo

"The rulebook is one of the best I've ever read." - King Bing

Slaughterball comes with four professional teams:

Carnage
Carnage
    Nemesis
    Nemesis
    Swords of Damocles
    Swords of Damocles
    Valkyries
    Valkyries

    Each team comes with 12 athletes, enough to create any roster allowed by the scrimmage, exhibition, and league rules.

  • Number of figures per team: 12
  • Number of sculpts per team: 4
  • Number of athlete types: 4 (butcher, slasher, cleaver, razor)
  • Size of figures from bottom of feet to top of figure: 39mm-58mm

More teams will be unlocked if we hit stretch goals.

THERE IS NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. You don't have to spend 2-4 hours cutting and filing tiny little legs, arms, and heads off of plastic sprues. You don't have to go buy glue so you can assemble them before you play the game. Just open the box and play!

The athletes will be made out of PVC, comparable in quality to the pieces in Mice and Mystics. Great detail and not prone to breakage. The material is not rigid, it gives a little. Go take a look at some of the minis in Mice and Mystics. Now imagine how great Simba Khan will look in that! Not to mention all the other great Slaughterball athletes.

Carnage team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Carnage team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Nemesis team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Nemesis team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Swords of Damocles team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Swords of Damocles team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Valkyries team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Valkyries team prototypes for size. Figures in product will be higher quality.
Maverick Simba Khan - 3d render
Maverick Simba Khan - 3d render
Maverick Fugue - 3d render
Maverick Fugue - 3d render

With the base game you'll also get 4 mavericks (Gibraltar, Simba Khan, Toccata, and Fugue). They're free agent athletes (some call them mercenaries) who play for the highest bidder in the slaughterdomes across the world. Mavericks frequently break game rules just by entering the pit, and so they get special licenses from the Global Slaughterball League (GSL). For example, GSL rules specifically disallow any team from having a psyker on their official roster. However, the GSL has granted maverick licenses to Toccata and Fugue. Hypocrisy? You betcha! But the fans love it when Fugue mentally dominates or Toccata magnetically intercepts. And if the fans love it, you can bet your best neopet that the GSL will let the fans have it.

Just like with the teams, stretch goals will unlock even more mavericks.

The 700mm x 700mm (about 27") double-sided Slaughterball game board is made of 157gsm art paper on 2.5mm greyboard. Yes, I said DOUBLE-SIDED. One side is the Octagon, for 2- or 4-team games. The other side is the Hexagon, for 3-team games. How many games come with double-sided boards giving you two different arenas to play in for 2, 3, or 4 teams? This high-quality board is comparable to the board in Merchants and Marauders. Plus, check out the artwork on this gameboard! You can't find a better-looking sports game board in any game, anywhere!

$1 - FAN. Not sure you want to back Slaughterball, but intrigued about where it's going? You can pledge a buck to get updates and post comments. Plus, every little bit will help toward producing the game.

$100 - RAZOR. One copy of Slaughterball + at least 2 Kickstarter/convention exclusive pieces. Free shipping to US. International destinations must add shipping fees, see the Shipping section below.

$150 - BUTCHER. One copy of Slaughterball + all unlocked FREE extras + at least 2 Kickstarter/convention exclusive pieces. The number of figs in the BUTCHER pledge level can exceed 82 if stretch goals are met. Free shipping to US. International destinations must add shipping fees, see the Shipping section below.

Both the $100 Razor and $150 Butcher pledge levels will receive the following Kickstarter/convention/promotion exclusive components.

Right now, this includes Noose and a trophy piece. At least two more exclusives will be added if we hit their stretch goals. You'll see some familiar faces in such exclusives...

When we hit these stretch goals, additional items will be added to the BUTCHER pledge level or new optional add-ons will become available for purchase.

More stretch goals will be added as the pledge total increases...

Pledges of $100 (RAZOR) and above can add these optional purchases to their pledge for the amounts indicated.

More optional buys will be unlocked with future stretch goals.

None of these optional items are required to play the game. But they might make your games better! After all, don't you want to roll some dice that match the color of your team? :) If you want these items, simply add the amount indicated to your pledge. After the Kickstarter project is over, you'll receive a survey which will let you select the extras you want.               

PDF of the first 33 pages of the rulebook. Click here!

Game rule overview video.

Your turn

As a coach, you control six athletes. On your turn, you get three onslaught tokens to assign to three of your athletes, each of whom can take two consecutive actions.

There are six actions to choose from:

  • Move
  • Pass
  • Shoot
  • Chop (attack an opponent)
  • Spike (throw the ball at opponents to knock them down)
  • Special (special actions are many and varied, and come from skills, such as Help Up which lets you stand up an adjacent prone athlete)

Rolling the dice

If you like rolling dice, you'll love Slaughterball. The game comes with 20 custom six-sided dice, plus an eight-sided scatter die.

The six-sided dice have a variety of symbols on them. The number of knives you roll determines how successful the athlete was.

For example, to try to shoot a goal, roll the shooter's Accuracy dice. To get the ball into the goal, you must roll a number of knives equal to the number of spaces between the thrower and the goal. If you do, you score that many points.

To chop an opponent, it's an opposed Brawling test. Both attacker and defender roll Brawling dice. Whomever gets more knives knocks down the opponent. If you get more extra knives than the opponent's Toughness trait, the opponent is injured and sent to the Slaughter Box.

That's it. No dice conversions to memorize or confusing tables to consult. Just compare your knives to the opposing roll, or to the number of spaces you want to throw. Pretty simple.

The other dice symbols are used for skills. For example, if an athlete has the Star Thrower skill, he can count star symbols as knives when he throws the ball.

Slaughterball comes with 20 engraved 16mm custom six-sided dice plus one 16mm standard scatter die. These are comparable to the dice in Euphoria. 16mm is the standard size of dice, like you use in Yahtzee or Monopoly. These are not the smaller dice you see in some other games. I wanted big dice in my game, because real gamers roll big dice!

Strategy cards

Each coach gets a hand of strategy cards. These range from simple dice bonuses, to penalties, to extra movement, to interrupts, and more. Synergies exist between various skills and cards, so don't throw away that Interrupt card if your razor has the Interrupting Throw skill! Various card combos also work well together, such as Repeat Strategy and Inspired Coaching, or Epic Fail and Lost Momentum. The specific cards in your hand can help you determine your game plan for your turn. If you hate your cards, you can refresh your hand at the start of your turn.

Watch out for Penalties! If an athlete commits a foul, another coach can play a Penalty card and send them to the Penalty Box.

The 70 strategy cards in Slaughterball are high-quality, blackjack-sized (63mm x 88mm) playing cards using 300gsm casino cardstock. These are comparable to the cards in Mice and Mystics.

Edge tokens

In exhibition and league games, the teams might not be balanced. To help weaker teams, an underdog bonus gives them Edge tokens. These provide benefits during the game, such as healing, extra cards, and rerolls.

The athletes

Slaughterball athletes are genetically-engineered to exacting specifications and comply with all GSL regulations. They are designed to be larger, stronger, faster, and more athletic than humans. However, most teams don't spend much on personality and social aptitude, instead concentrating on aggression and brutality. For that reason, you won't see many slaughterballers wandering the streets of the metroplex.

3d renders of some of the athletes
3d renders of some of the athletes

There are four athlete types, although each team has gengineered variations in appearance and aptitudes:

Razor (round base): Four-armed stars of the team, razors are swift, accurate, and fragile. Keep them out of danger and let them shoot goals.

Cleaver (pentagon base): Masters of strategy, these guys aren't the fastest or strongest, but they can provide coaches with more options.

Slasher (hexagon base): Pitiless machines of sporting carnage, slashers excel at hunting down and mangling opponents. Choosing the right skills can even make them a threat to a butcher.

Butcher (square base): Juggernauts in the pit. These guys are the biggest, hardest hitting, and toughest athletes in the game. They can't handle the ball very well, but for sheer brutal force they can't be beat.

Skills

In exhibition and league games, the athletes enjoy the use of skills, such as Interrupting Chop, Fakeout, Immaculate Reception, Pit Strategy, Awesome Brute, Resilience, Savagery, and so on. There are 50 skills to choose from, providing a wide range of abilities like extra dice, movement, opponent manipulation, extra damage, less damage, extra cards, and more. In a league, you can spend your winnings between games to buy more skills for your athletes.

Scoring

There are three ways to score in Slaughterball:

Open the goals: The goals are shut tight at the start of the game. The first team to run the ball over the dangerous meat grinder scores 2 points and opens the goals. After that, any team can score in any goal.

Goals: Throw the heavy steel ball into any goal and your team scores points equal to the distance between the shooter and the goal. That's right, risk-based scoring adds another layer of strategy to the game. Do you go for the easy 2-point shot, or try for a risky 5-pointer to take the lead?

Slaughter: Fans love to watch the athletes inflict maximum carnage. To encourage that, teams score points for knocking down or injuring opponents. Of course, taking out a looming butcher scores the most points, but that's nearly impossible. Cleavers are the best victims, since they're worth 2 points and aren't that difficult to injure. You don't score any points for hurting a razor, because that's not very challenging, is it?

Three ways to play

Scrimmage games: Your first couple of games should probably be scrimmage games, to get you up to speed on the basics. In these games, each coach uses the same scrimmage athlete reference sheet, so all the teams are identical. Also, no skills, edge tokens, or support staff are used.

Exhibition games: Choose a pro team and wreak major havoc! In exhibition games, you have more options and freedom, deciding where to start your athletes and choosing which Edge tokens (if any) you'll use. Athlete skills will help determine your strategy, but won't hinder you from surprising opponents with different ploys.

League games: You choose a team and then select eight athletes (two sit out each game) to play in a series of 10 consecutive games. After each game, you can spend your winnings to hire support staff or improve your athletes with skills or trait increases. At the end of the season, the four best teams clash in the SlaughterBrawl! The winner is the season champion!

Support staff

In league games, you have the option to hire support staff, such as a physician, mascot, assistant coaches, and cheerleaders. Each provides you with a benefit that comes in handy during a game.

I'm a big board game fan and I've always wanted to make my own. With Kickstarter, I have a chance to get enough funding to make it a reality. Without Kickstarter, I cannot afford the factory tooling and production costs. So, with your help, I can get Slaughterball produced and into your hands!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. My artists are the best, and they've created art that really immerses you in the brutal, bloody, sexy world of Slaughterball. This stuff really evokes the futuristic glitz and savagery of the game. Blood and steel never looked so good!

MIKE BOWDEN -- Concept and line artist (cover art, rulebook art, athletes, mascots, cheerleaders)

Mike's first interest in drawing started with a copy of How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. After years of trying to break into the industry, he got his first break on DC Comics' World of Warcraft series, becoming a regular penciller. Since then, Mike has worked on Flash-Retroactive, Cartoon Network Action Pack for DC, Avengers Season One for Marvel, and Bubblegun for Aspen Comics. Mike was also lead storyboard artist on Sony's crossover fighting game: Playstation All Stars Battle Royale.

ALONSO ESPINOZA -- Colorist (cover art, rulebook art, athletes, mascots, cheerleaders)

Alonso is a digital artist who dreams a lot and never practices enough... a particular living mixture of flesh, bones, rgb, pixels, brushes, layers, and lots of coffee. He actually works in comics, doing coloring, graphic design, and photo-illustration.

TOM EDWARDS -- Graphic design (team logos, game components)

Tom is a professional concept artist and illustrator working in the games industry. He is devoted to his work and loves trying new styles, genres, and ways of working in an attempt to improve and gain more knowledge along the way. His favorite genres to paint are sci-fi and fantasy. He would love to create his own fantasy-themed graphic novel.

ANDREA TARABELLA -- 3D modeler

Probably born with a pencil in hand in 1989, Andrea spent entire days drawing characters from his very first memories. At 18, he decided to move to the next level by bringing his characters from 2D to 3D working with Zbrush, which he considers to be a tool that is very close to traditional sculpture. Passionate about fantasy, role-playing, and video-games, one of his dreams is to be a tough, bearded dwarf that smashes his foes with a war hammer. Since he hasn't yet managed to achieve this dream, he continues working with concepting and sculpting.

FRANCESCA MUSUMECI -- 3D modeler

Passionate about art, design, music, cooking, gaming, and two-handed axes, Francesca graduated in graphic design, but ended up working as a 3D modeler for characters and props.

With the help of Zbrush, she sculpted her first miniatures for an indie board game. Now she specializes in creating dynamic poses for the models using many Zbrush features like Transpose Master.

ANDY MONKS -- 2D/3D modeler

Andy grew up in various cities along the east coast of Australia and spent most of the time in the car drawing monsters and trying not to get motion sickness. He always had a desire to be an artist, even though most people told him he would need to get a ‘real job’.

After college, Andy went on to become a 3D modelling and animation expert, leading him eventually to a senior role as part of the Academy Award-winning team of ‘Happy Feet’, working under director George Miller.

For the past 7 years, Andy has built a successful business as a freelance illustrator, modeler, and artist.

Andy uses a variety of traditional and digital techniques in 2D and 3D. He has been exhibited around the world, has a sketchbook in the Brooklyn Art Library, worked on TV/film, computer and board games, publishing, mobile apps, and virtual worlds.

I've been playing role-playing, board, card, console, and PC games for decades. I've written two sourcebooks for Dungeons and Dragons: Arsenal and Factory, contributed to Dungeon magazine and Deadlands Rascals, Varmints, and Critters.

I've written three novels and several other books under the pen name Derek J. Canyon, including Dead Dwarves Don't Dance, which is set in the same universe as Slaughterball.

I've designed several games, but just for personal use. Slaughterball is my first game that I'm taking to production (if we hit the pledge goal). If this is successful, I have about 9 more board games in my head waiting to escape.

My wife Shari graciously supports my board game geekhood, even to the extent of starting up Frog the What Games, committing thousands of dollars for seed money, helping with editing and business stuff, and much more. All in the hopes of getting a board game manufactured.

Shipping to the United States is free. For other countries, please add the following amounts to your pledge. These rates apply to the RAZOR and BUTCHER pledge levels (I’m still waiting on DOUBLE BUTCHER shipping cost info).

United States: Free

Canada: $15

Mexico: $49

Australia, New Zealand: $56

For the following EU countries, rewards will be shipped from within the EU:

United Kingdom: $20

Ireland: $23

Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands: $22

Denmark, France, Germany: $28

Italy, Spain: $44

Corsica, Greece, Portugal: $46

Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland: $49

Rest of World: message for rates  

I was lucky enough to find a great team of international artists to help with the look of Slaughterball. You can see their bios above. Below, you can see a lot of their art. I'll add more as we go along.

The athletes were lined by Mike Bowden and colored by Alonso Espinosa.

Graphic design of the game components is by Tom Edwards.

3d renders by Andrea Tarabella, Francesca Musumeci, and Andy Monks.

Simba Khan render by Andrea Tarabella and Francesca Musumeci
Simba Khan render by Andrea Tarabella and Francesca Musumeci
Carnage butcher render by Andy Monks
Carnage butcher render by Andy Monks
Cheerleaders will be made available as add-ons if we achieve stretch goals
Cheerleaders will be made available as add-ons if we achieve stretch goals
Stretch goal team: Gruesomes slasher
Stretch goal team: Gruesomes slasher

Risks and challenges

Masters and digital files for all of the following base game components are ready to begin production: 2D artwork, dice, tokens, plastics, cards, and reference cards. The rulebook is still being edited and playtested, and we'll continue to tweak it until production starts.

The biggest risks for Slaughterball include:
• Unexpected production issues. We're working with Panda Games Manufacturing, veteran manufacturers of many excellent games, including Mice and Mystics, Pandemic, Merchants and Marauders, etc. They have a great team and I'm sure they'll be able to minimize production risks. However, there could be unanticipated issues that might impact the production schedule.
• Shipping delays. Depending on the production run quantity, shipping could be delayed to coincide with other shipments so as to fill an entire container. Other shipping delays might also arise (weather, regulations, pirates, giant sea-monsters, icebergs, time-travelling interlopers, etc.).
• Customs delays. Slaughterball is so exciting that I wouldn't be surprised if customs officials want to pop open a box and play it themselves before passing it on. Well, maybe not. But it is possible that the shipment could be stuck in customs if some random inspector wants to give it a thorough twice-over.
• General peril. If Mt. Rainier erupts, there's a good chance fulfillment will be delayed. Injuries or illnesses can also cause delays, but I try to avoid hungry bears, rooftop parkour, zombie outbreaks, and other perilous situations.

Risks for the stretch goals and add-ons include all of the above, plus possible artist issues (such as illness, injuries, family emergencies, and so on). So as not to delay delivery of the base game, stretch goals and optional stuff will ship later (aiming for Q1-2015).

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Funding period

- (40 days)