This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
ElemenZ - the duelling dice game of alien shamans
ElemenZ - the duelling dice game of alien shamans
Prove your mastery of wild cosmic energy in this devious alien dice duelling board game for 2-4 players.
Prove your mastery of wild cosmic energy in this devious alien dice duelling board game for 2-4 players. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
ElemenZ is a dice duelling game for 2 to 4 players that offers an immersive, interactive and highly re-playable experience for gamers of all levels of ability.
On a distant planet, four unique alien shamans come together every seven years in a challenge to prove their abilities at mastering the five energies that drive all life in the cosmos. An enigmatic monolith, eons old and sacred to all four races is the source of this wild force. The shaman who is most able to draw and manipulate this energy from the monolith to defeat their rivals wins the game and becomes the new Master Zee!
ElemenZ comes in two play modes:
2 Player - a tense dice-based tug-of-war game where players attempt to complete combos to draw new dice from the central supply to aid them in later turns or to energise the monolith by locking in energy dice - while also blocking, stealing or denying dice from their opponent. The winner is whoever completes energising the monolith first.
3-4 Players - a push-your-luck duelling game where each shaman player strives to control and manage their elemental energy better than their opponents, using combos carefully and tactically to drain their rivals energy pool while protecting their own - until they remain the last shaman standing.
ElemenZ takes the concepts behind many recent dice battle games and takes a big leap forwards in terms of interactivity, reduction of luck and rapid play. Instead of playing characters with Hit (life) Points that must be slowly reduced to zero, or other games that focus on dice roll outcomes with no chance of player interaction or negation, Elemenz folds the 'life points' into the dice themselves, limits luck using a 'wild' or 'joker' effect on the dice and keeps player involvement at the core of gameplay, by giving players multiple options to affect ('mess with') other shaman turns.
ElemenZ has a unique mix of mechanics that will be familiar to those players who know King of Tokyo, Bang! the Dice Game, Age of War and similar dice rolling games (the 3 roll rule, take-that style, symbol matching and end-of-turn risk results); but shakes these concepts up in innovative ways to make for a more tactical, risk-versus-reward decision making, bluffing, energy management style of game that keeps all players interacting in devious ways throughout each turn.
So what makes the ElemenZ dice special?
Each dice in Elemenz has 2 faces with the colour element (e.g. water on the blue dice) meaning a 1:3 chance of rolling your own symbol and a 1:6 chance of rolling either the 'Z' or another element. Graphically it looks like this:
This reduces dice randomness and means players have a better chance to boost their Attacks, Defense or Heals with their own element symbol. However, a player may need to roll an alternative symbol and with only a 1:6 chance, increases the level of tactical risk taking in the game.
They make very good special dice for Sorcerors, Elementalists and Magicians in roleplaying games too!
Each shaman player is armed with a pool of energy dice - their life points that is both their defense and offense in the duel. Each dice can become one of the four fundamental elements or pure wild energy (the 'Z'). Each player must manage and control this limited supply of wild energy carefully and cleverly to protect themselves while at the same time defeating all rivals. Shamans do this by manipulating combinations of the elements to create combos that trigger powerful effects.
Essential combos are presented on the main player boards. Shamans can activate as many completed combos as they like in their turn. It is up to the other shamans to disrupt this by using their own abilities and combos.
Using the wild 'Z' symbol is a risk-versus-reward mechanic. A 'Z' on a dice can 'mimic' another element as long as it is partnered (termed anchoring) to a dice with that symbol. (The Example below shows an Ice Storm combo using a 'Z' anchored to the water symbol)
Rolling 3 or more 'Z's at any time however causes an immediate Wild Surge effect which finishes the player's turn immediately and they cannot activate any combos this round. However, they can still interact by spending tokens or using Avatars (explained further on).
Each shaman also has a unique race ability that influences their play style. The Water shaman for example has the chance to heal twice in a turn while the Earth shaman benefits from cheap defense.
Each shaman also starts the game with a spirit totem board that buffs their abilities, protects them against various in-game effects and acts like a battery, supplying energy for the shaman's abilities in the form of Pulse. This pulse energy (in the form of tokens) offers various additional effects (e.g. forcing dice re-rolls, adding a specific element or healing) to support the shaman or influence other player's combos.
Pulse tokens (similar to the energy dice) are a very limited resource that shamans must use wisely to keep them in the duel. A pulse token can only be used once and is then out of the game - making tactical choice on when to spend and when to keep pulse tokens at the heart of using the totem boards cleverly and efficiently. Further, pulse can be replaced or even removed by other shamans and should a totem become drained of all pulse, the totem is removed from the game also and its special abilities are lost to the player!
In addition, for the kickstarter limited edition, we've included an initial set of Avatar tiles (for FREE!). Avatars are energy sprites that appear from the monolith when the shamans duel. Each Avatar tile has a unique ability that can be harnessed by a shaman, but each tile can only be used once and costs a precious energy dice to buy. Once used the Avatar returns to a central pool available to all players. So a useful Avatar might give a shaman a moments advantage but may come back to bite the same shaman later!
Avatars can also be burnt (removed) from a player's control by spending a pair of dice of any symbol so attention must be paid to which Shaman is hoarding Avatars for later use. Full explanation of these rules and more along with suggested tactics is in the rulebook which you can download below.
We have many more Avatar tiles planned but need your help to unlock them!
Note: Both the Avatar expansion tiles and/or the Totem boards are Modular and can be excluded from the game without affecting core game playability - ideal for younger players or those just learning the game!
More gameplay summaries and playthroughs can be found on our Youtube channel.
The 2 player game uses similar dice combo mechanics to the multiplayer but now the wild 'Z' dice 'locks' the dice out of action when rolled. The focus here is to use combo options wisely to draw the flow of energy dice to your side in a tug-of-war while trying to shut down your opponent's moves. Accumulating a good pool of all 4 types of dice is key (but not so easy to accomplish) while getting dice locked into the monolith positions quickly is also vitally important as your opponent will be doing the same! However every time you lock in a dice, you reduce your pool and options for future turns!
The winner of the 2 player game is the shaman who best controls the pool of dice and who first fully energises the monolith with all eight dice locked in.
Any future retail release of ElemenZ will only include the 2 player and 3-4 players games and will not include the KS limited promo Avatar expansion. This expansion will only otherwise be available at shows, conventions or our website so now is the best time to get the whole lot together!
Click here for the current rules booklet (English only currently) for both multiplayer and 2 player games. You can also find free Print-n-Play files for the boards and tokens + instructions on how to customise D6's to play the game there.
Additional rulebook languages (FR/GER etc) will be made available as a PDF download on the BadCatGames website in the near future.
ElemenZ has been fully tested over the past 2yrs and is very nearly ready to go to the printers. But with your help we could make it so much better/nicer/groovier (add your chosen adjective here). We have some excellent stretchgoals planned but need your help to make them real. So take a look at the first few below - if we smash through these we have plenty more planned but don't want to reveal all secrets yet...
Note: The Gaming Knight preview above was made with the old prototype copy of the game.
- All backers of this Kickstarter receive our money-back guarantee
- Be involved in the project! We will actively seek feedback and opinions on a range of design issues with you during the kickstarter that will allow us to tailor the look of this limited edition for you the backers
- massive 25% off retail price and subsidised shipping - you cannot do fairer than that + add in our money back guarantee and you have a triple win!
- This limited edition version will not be repeated for retail - its a one off, designed in part by you our fantastic backers.
- We are not supported by any big publisher so without your support this great game will stay on the 'what might have been' shelf.
We are heavily subsidising the postage costs ourselves but we cannot offer free shipping. Free shipping to UK/ EU/ US would mean the basic pledge amount would increase near to the RRP and no-one would benefit.
Shipping will be calculated through pledge manager after the kickstarter campaign. This allows backers to choose any additional add-ons available from stretchgoal unlocks. Below are likely estimations.
We've partnered with the UK's largest and most experienced fulfillment and online sales distributor Gamesquest as our primary fulfillment partner. We can therefore keep the shipping as simple and cost effective for you as a backer as we possibly can by taking on some of this large cost ourselves with the safety of a company that has a great track record of previous kickstarters and who really knows it's stuff!
Thus we are able to offer reduced rates for the EU, US and Canada - which is why we can proudly offer hassle-free 'friendly' shipping to the EU, USA as well as Australia and New Zealand (there should be no extra customs or tax fees to pay) when you get your pledge reward.
Note: The expected weight of the game is ~1kg per box and our shipping costs reflect this which is why we will use a tracked postage service for international backers pledging for 2 or more copies and for the IKZRAVEK pledge level.
As an indie publisher we are hugely grateful to supportive local bricks and mortar FLGS gaming stores that run games, demos and support our great hobby. We are very happy to support retailers in any way we can so if you are interested, retailers please pledge at the Mini Nova level and contact us at www.badcatgames.eu for the best rates.
- Join the Elemenz group on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Follow BadCatGames on Instagram
- Follow the game on BGG
To include Add-ons to your pledge, select a pledge level, then increase the amount pledged by the cost for each add-on you wish to include e.g. £24 (basic pledge level) + £8 (artprint) +£10 (extra dice set) .
Add-ons can be reviewed and confirmed within Pledge Manager after the kickstarter.
Risks and challenges
ElemenZ is ~95% complete. We need to edit the rules and translate to French and are working to again improve some graphic design elements a little - but essentially the game is ready to roll! Even with potential stretchgoal unlocks we will not be far from completion. We have factored in these additional time elements to our projected plan and still aim to have all copies delivered to backers by Dec 2017!
Our chosen partner for production is Whatzgames from Shanghai, the team behind IELLO and REPOS game printing among many others. They produce high quality games, are reliable and know the industry inside out as well as the requirements for Kickstarters. BadCatGames has every confidence in them to do a sterling job and produce a stunning game for us on time.
FREIGHT & SHIPPING:
Our haulage, shipping and fulfillment partner in the UK is the highly regarded GamesQuest that has fulfilled kickstarters for CoolMiniorNot, Modiphius, Stonemaier Games, and many more. Through them we can offer very cost effective backer shipping rates, quality control and rapid distribution anywhere in the world. Although our worst case deadline is Dec 2017, we are really aiming on delivery and fulfillment much earlier than that and we will keep you all informed every step of the way.
The BadCatGames team has been in retail and distribution between us for over 30 years so we know what can potentially go wrong. However, there is always a small chance of odd things happening - boats sinking, goats getting into storage or us being carried off by Byahkee if we play any more Arkham Horror. Rest assured, BadCatGames needs to prove itself to the gaming market and we aim to do this with flying colours and 100% happy backers!