You are the head of a cabal. Great kingdoms unwittingly do your bidding, for their wars and Crusades only serve to further your ultimate aim—control of the medieval world.
Who Should Get Medieval?
Anyone who likes 90 minutes of battle, backstabbing, plagues, and Mongol hordes. Medieval is for 2 to 6 players with an upcoming stretch goals that extends the action to solitaire too.
Provinces and regions will fall, along with entire kingdoms, as you vie for control of the medieval world. But you’re not alone. Other cabals forge plots of their own and wage shadow wars against you, with armies and navies, assassinations and papal schemes, heretics and spies.
Throw in a couple of plagues and claims of heresy, plus a Mongol invasion to end the game, and you’ve got yourself an evening.
In addition to hours of raiding, warring, and backstabbing, here's a look at what you'll find when you crack open the box. As you can see, plenty of the art like the map and cards are already developed and there's more to come. And thanks to you all unlocking so many stretch goals, here is the current list (as of 24 November)
Get Medieval on Game Night
First, steel yourself for some battle and backstabbing. Both are central to the game as you lead your cabal and take control of the most profitable provinces on the map. Each province has a value in Florins. At the end of the game, each player counts up how many Florins their provinces are worth, and, you guessed it, the player with the highest total wins.
So, how do you end a game that's set in medieval times? With Mongols, of course. Who doesn't love a game that ends with a Mongol invasion? More on that in a bit ...
Revealing the Map
Play begins with a small set of holdings for each cabal, which they must expand through a combination of cardplay, dealmaking, and conquest. Not every area of the map is open for play at start. Some regions are covered with a thick map tile. You bring these regions into play by drawing a map card, which is one of the options you can take in your turn. Once an area is revealed, it’s open for play.
There are 27 powers in Medieval, and each one has its own power card. Some powers are mighty and made up of many provinces, some are only a couple of provinces (or even just one). Each province has its own degree of value, both strategically and economically.
If you dig game events like Disaster, Civil War, “I’m the Pope,” Spies, and Assassination, you’ll dig Medieval. You’ll find these cards in the draw deck too. Play them at the right time to make medieval living that much more miserable for your opponents. You can also generate some cash with them, such as calling for a Crusade when you’re the Pope.
Of course there’s fighting. That’s one of your turn options, too. Don’t worry, there aren’t sweeping runs like when your older cousin ruined you in Risk. Just two attacks per turn, and you have to conduct them through different powers that you control. Decisions, decisions ...
Will you draw a map card? Who will you attack? What cards will you play from your hand? You can forego those last two options and collect Florins for the provinces you control instead. What good do those Florins do? You can use them to bankroll mercenaries on land and pirates at sea to bolster your combat rolls. Make sure you spend that money, though. It doesn’t count toward victory, because there are no IRA retirement plans in Medieval.
You know who else wants a piece of the Medieval world? The Mongols. You’ll find them lurking in the draw deck, and they determine when the game ends. When you draw a Mongol card, you play it right away and choose a map area to attack. If the Mongols win, you get to drop a Mongol tile on the map area, which removes that area and all of its provinces from play. Those provinces no longer count toward victory. If the Mongols lose, the map area stands. But the Mongols will be back, and the game ends once the final Mongol card is drawn and resolved.
"Back and forth play, with those far behind able to catch up, and I like the mechanics of the Mongols sweeping across the map."
"Player interaction and the ability to negotiate (dare I say conspire) with other players lets you move against someone who has had too much 'luck.'"
- Doug E.
"I was running a tournament on a more venerable game on the period and people were getting bored and uninterested. Someone said, 'Hey, I have this Medieval game, let's switch to that,' and we all had a blast. I've got October 20 [our Kickstarter launch date] on my calendar now."
- Darin L.
"It's funny when the Mongols eat the east of Europe, card by card."
"If you like making deals, interacting with other players, whilst looking over your shoulder, this is THE game for you. You can be a diplomat, despot, religious leader, plus a conqueror all wrapped into one AND all in one turn!"
"Perfect game to play at a game con. Cut throat fun, but not as savage as Diplomacy."
"One game I did have a laugh when my friend's son played a Pope card to excommunicate his dad's largest power with the line 'Give me more money.' Ahh he had found the Medieval mind set."
"It's loose, fun, strategic and chaotic, with a great end-game mechanic."
Everyone has a game that they want to see get reprinted. This is ours.
That's how this whole thing got started. We've been playing the original game for years with friends at game nights and conventions. Almost without fail, just as it is with any game that's an old favorite, someone says, "Wouldn't it be great if they remade this?"
Well, one day, "they" became "us."
You see, Medieval has been out of print for years. It's time to bring it back. And if you look at the comments about the original game when you poke around online, we agree with them—it’s a great game that deserves an update, which includes components that take advantage of today's standards.
That's why a bunch of us pooled our money together, bought the rights to Medieval, and started HGN Games. Thank you to the original designer, Richard Berg, and the original publishers, GMT Games.
This edition is a full-on refresh of the original game with streamlined rules based on playtesting and years of play, meaty components, plus a new look and feel.
One thing hasn't changed: Medieval remains true to its roots of conquest and backstabbing.
"The new board preview looks awesome! Just sayin' :)"
- John C.
"I have many fond memories of playing Medieval, and am really looking forward to your reprint!"
- Kevin McP.
"I've just discovered it this year and love it. I think it's a real gem."
- Scott C.
"Well, I introduced Medieval to the local game group that is mostly Euro-players and they enjoyed it. I've been asked to bring it back several times."
- Ian T.
"If ever a GMT game deserved an updated 2nd Edition, with improved components a la 'Euros' (bigger map cards/tiles, cubes for control, etc., streamlined rulebook), Medieval would be a good candidate."
- Mike R.
- Togu O.
"I always try to create the Greater Orthodox Co-Prosperity Sphere. I always get nuked by the Mongols, but I always have fun playing too, which is a big plus in my book even if I don't win."
- Kevin P.
"Occasionally, games get purchased by a new company who look to give them a good overhaul. That’s what’s going on with Medieval. HGN Games has picked it up and gave it a good scrubbing. The art has been entirely changed, and the rules got a good streamlining. They’re looking to bring this new version to Kickstarter so it can get to tabletops near you."
And from our gamer feedback survey where we asked, "What did you love about the original game?"
"The dynamics of map building, and the wide scope of the topic."
"The ratcheting tension of the Mongol invasion."
"The medieval flavor given by the multiple religions in the game."
"How much the front runner seat can swing. Also, those $#%^ Mongols make it interesting."
"The theme, I love the era and big picture view of events it is portraying."
"The way the map disappears as the Mongols advance …"
"I love the dynamics of how players hold powers or just provinces, kind of like powerful nobles vs the king."
Once Medieval is funded and shipped, we'll release it on Tabletopia, the online sandbox arena for playing board games.
Ok, English majors, heads up. These are draft rules. They haven't gone to our editors yet. However, feel free to download a copy and get a sense of where the rules stand right now as we go through development, editing, and further playtesting. Download the rules here, or click the image below. Your pick! We won't judge!
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but if Medieval is funded, we want to take the system to the Far East. And this time, the Mongols will rise in the west and roll to the east! We’d also would like to port the game to your favorite digital device, with solo and multiplayer supported. But only if we get this game reprinted. It all starts here.
Risks and challenges
While this is our first Kickstarter, and we know there can be delays with production and shipping, we are drawing support and advice from our friends and mentors at Academy Games, GMT Games, and Lock and Load Publishing to model their best practices. This will see to it that Medieval gets produced and shipped--on time and on budget.
In addition, members of our team have produced and developed numerous games for publishers like GMT Games and Lock and Load.
In all, we know that any production will have its challenges. We're confident that we have the support and first-hand expertise to overcome them when they pop up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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