War of the Cross: A 7th Sea Strategy Board Game Relaunch
A fast-paced diplomatic strategy board game set in the heroic world of 7th Sea!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 29 2018 3:00 AM UTC +00:00.
War of the Cross, the first board game set in the 7th Sea: Second Edition universe, returns to Kickstarter! We've spent the last year examining feedback from our previous campaign, doing additional development and examining our production goals and costs. We're back now, and we're excited to move forward, with your help!
War of the Cross is a four to seven player diplomatic strategy game that tells the story of the last decade of a terrible war that raged across Théah for thirty years. Muster all your skills to command one of seven Nations to victory in a game of shifting politics, dangerous alliances and tactical skill. Can you lead Armies, Navies and Heroes to win the day and bring an end to the bloodiest war in Théah’s history?
Rules are a Work-in-Progress. While the basics of gameplay will remain, we may tweak and change things as we get feedback from our players. Layout of the rules and artwork will also change depending on what stretch goals we unlock during the campaign.
If you want a more general overview, check out this video and the sections below it:
War of the Cross plays in turns consisting of several phases. Players go through the phases together until one Nation has enough Victory Points to end the War and declare victory. Alliances may shift and turn, but the Heroes know peace may only be won through victory. In total, the standard game takes between 90 and 150 minutes to play, but the rules include variants for longer versions up to four hours.
You start each round by talking over the state of the game with the other players and proposing formal and informal alliances. No secret meetings, and you only have two minutes!
You get another two minutes to secretly place order tokens beneath your units and Heroes, showing if and in which direction they'll move and how many Supplies they have. This is also your chance to play any story cards in your hand (see below).
Alliances are key to winning in War of the Cross. Each player picks an Alliance Card, indicating which Nation they wish to align with this turn, and places it face down on the table. Then, everyone reveals their alliance for the round.
If you and your chosen ally pick each other, your units are united! You and your ally can fight together against other players and don't threaten each others' units, and you can't capture each others' regions. But if your chosen ally doesn't pick you, then you stand alone! Be careful who you decide to trust...
Alliances only last for one round—you'll have to convince your ally to side with you again in the next round, or face their armies, navies and Heroes in open battle!
After placing your orders, you reveal your order tokens and move your armies, navies and Heroes. If you and an unallied player have a unit in the same Region, you must do battle to determine the who claims the land!
If you lose, you must retreat, moving your armies, navies and Heroes back to safer ground. Units that cannot retreat are destroyed.
You win and lose battles based on how many Supplies (the number on the token) you've supplied your units with. If your total is higher, you win! If not, you lose. In war, Supplies make all the difference.
The goal of War of the Cross is to collect enough Victory Points (VP) to end the War and return peace to Théah. Each City you control gives you one VP and also allows you to field one Army or Navy.
But land itself is also valuable. Each Region you control gives you one point of Supply. The more Supply you have, the better you can equip your armies, and the more battles you win.
Supply also allows you to bid on Story Cards at the end of the turn.
Story Cards cards represent key moments in the War, events you can use to your advantage in a future round. At the end of each turn, players flip over the top three cards from the Story Deck and bid Supply to claim them. The highest bidder gets to pick first, the second-highest picks second and so on. The lowest bidder (or bidders in case of a tie) loses his Supply and gets no card.
Finally, there is an alternate path to victory, in the form of Treasure Cards. Each Nation has opportunities to pursue secrets and artifacts that may turn the tide of the War. Any time your capture a city associated with a Treasure, you score the Treasure Card. Treasure Cards are worth different amounts of Victory Points, depending on the location of the Treasure.
At the end of each turn, count your Victory Points. If you have enough Victory Points to end the War of the Cross, you win the game! The standard game (90-120 minutes) requires you to earn 15 VP, but your group can play longer wars requiring 20 or 25 VP for more of a challenge.
Check out this actual play & review from Twist Gaming on Twitch! John Wick taught the game to the Twitch crew, and then they gave their review of the game after.
Here's a preview & rules explanation by Ryan Schoon at ManVsMeeple:
Here's a preview by Undead Viking:
Looking for more? Check out Designer Diaries over at Board Game Geek.
The Hero of Théah pledge ($59) gets you everything you need to play War of the Cross, including 8 miniatures, 381 tokens, the main board, over 150 cards, any stretch goals we unlock and a Kickstarter exclusive figure: Captain Roberts!
As one of the founders of the Brotherhood of the Coast, Captain Roberts normally keeps to the Atabean Sea--but the War has drawn him to war-torn Théah in search of plunder... and justice.
Captain Roberts is a playable miniature with a Hero card similar to the other Heroes in the core box. He can be used by any Nation, replacing their traditional Hero. A terrifying pirate, Roberts is especially effective at attacking and capturing coastal regions.
Anything (like Captain Roberts) marked as a Kickstarter exclusive is an exclusive item for Kickstarter backers; any stock we have left over will be sold only through convention appearances and special webstore promotions.
The Hoarder of Heroes $19 pledge level lets you order only the set of unique Hero miniatures, for use in other games. This pledge level includes Captain Roberts! It does not include the core game. Any additional miniatures we unlock through stretch goals don't come with this pledge, but can be added on in Pledge Manager when the campaign ends.
The Merchant of Vendel League pledge is a special option for retailers only, and we're excited to have them! John Wick Presents is thrilled to support retailers who want to carry War of the Cross. Since we know that committing to a campaign can be hard on retail stores, the Vendel League pledge acts as a deposit for retailer bundles that we will invoice you for when the game is finally ready to ship. Here's how it works:
- The Vendel League pledge is only available to brick and mortar stores in the United States, Canada, Australia and the European Union.
- The final discount will be 50% off the Hero of Théah pledge.
- Each retailer bundle contains the core game, plus all exclusives and stretch goals unlocked during the campaign.
- We will deliver the retailer bundles at the same time we deliver all other rewards to backers. Retailers have the option of ordering 3, 6, 9 or 12 bundles after placing the deposit through Kickstarter. Pay only the $89 pledge now, and we will invoice for the remainder of your order when the game is ready to ship (August 2019).
- Retailers must agree to sell the bundles as is, without breaking down the exclusives and stretch goals into separate products.
- In addition to verifying their physical store, retailers must also sign a contract stating the above terms.
Are you a retailer and have questions? Please email us directly.
In War of the Cross, you play as one of seven Nations. Each Nation has its own history and culture, but more importantly, a special ability they can use during the game. If you're playing with fewer than seven players, regions and cards are removed from the game to keep play balanced and interesting. The game really shines, however, when you've got all seven Nations in play!
Heroes play a major role in War of the Cross. Heroes are capable of moving over both land and sea regions, making them the most versatile units in the game. In addition, each Hero also has a special ability, making them even more potent.
Thanks to Marissa Kelly and our team of digital of artists, each Hero is represented on the board with a roughly 40mm miniature cast in high-quality plastic with a 0.75" base.
Avalon’s Captain Jane Prydudd counts as two units during sea battles; her enemies need to either send three naval units against her or two naval Units with superior Supply.
Avalon's second Hero, Angus McBride, is another fearsome combatant; he gains free Supply when he fights alone, overwhelming his opponents with his unconventional tactics.
Castille’s Catarina Graciano de Lobo can pay 3 supply to draw the top card of the Story deck. Her access to the Vaticine Church's archives gives her insight into the future of the War.
Cornelia Jaeger, the Eisen witch hunter, cancels all Heroes’ special abilities in regions adjacent to her current region. Other Heroes must be careful when engaging with her; their unique powers won't be able to aid them against Cornelia and her closest allies.
Montaigne's Florentin Brodeur de Arrent is a Porte sorcier both gifted and cursed with blood magic that allows him to cut holes in reality itself. Arrent ensures he is always useful by spending one Supply to move to any Region currently controlled by Montaigne.
Vodacce's Carlotta Cianci draws a free Story card each time she wins a battle, her victories providing insight into the horrors and opportunities the War still has in store for Théah.
Asgeir Vang, Vestenmennavenjar merchant, long ago turned his calculating eye to the good that profits can do, but the War tests him like never before. When players bid on Story Cards, Vang can claim another player's bid as extra Supply for the next turn.
Ussura's soldiers, like Andrei Pajari, are always more dangerous than they might first appear. Pajari can track down and destroy a nearby unit when he wins a battle.
Each Nation’s Hero is different and compliments that Nation’s playstyle. And, as the game evolves, we’ll release more Heroes, unlocking even more potent combinations of Heroic Abilities and Nation Abilities!
We're excited to add more game content, like new Heroes and story card packs, that offer unique play experiences through our stretch goals. Everything we unlock comes free with both the Hero of Théah and Vendel League pledges!
After shipping more than 15,000 books all over the world, we've got a good sense of what it takes to deliver on our Kickstarter promises. That said, board games present unique challenges for predicting shipping costs as we add miniatures and upgrade components.
For this project, we will be charging shipping after the campaign ends. Once we've finalized the weight and size of the various components, we'll collect shipping via our pledge manager.
When we ship out packages, we'll get them moved to local reshippers to minimize customs and fees. War of the Cross is a US-friendly, EU-friendly, CA-friendly, and AU-friendly project. Here are a few rough approximations for shipping a similar game with a standard weight (4kg):
- US DOMESTIC: $11-$16 to most states.
- --$30 to REMOTE US: Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico.
- CANADA: $11-16 to most cities.
- LATIN AMERICA: $60 to most countries.
- --$70 to Brazil
- ASIA: $10 to China and Hong Kong. $30 to most other countries.
- AUSTRALIA: $15 to Australia. $30 to New Zealand.
- AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST: $60 to most countries.
- EUROPE: $16-$25 to most countries (United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg , Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden)
- --$70 to other EU countries.
Please keep in mind that the above approximations are only reasonable guesses at the final shipping cost. The final cost will depend on postage rates, stretch goals unlocked and the final weight of the components.
**WE ARE NOT ABLE** to ship to Russia or Ukraine. Sorry!
This game combines the talents of award-winning designers David Williams, Luke Peterschmidt and John Wick, along with the production team for 7th Sea: Second Edition, featuring art direction by Marissa Kelly, layout by Thomas Deeny, production and development by Mark Diaz Truman, and additional development by Darryl Loyd and Brett Zeiler. Want to know more about the team in detail? Read on!
John Wick is a 20th and 21st century role-playing game designer best known for his creative contributions to Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea. Since 2013, John has been using Kickstarter to fund independent projects in a variety of genres and styles, including Wicked Fantasy, Wield, Play Dirty 2, and Curse of the Yellow Sign. In 2016, he returned to the world of Théah with the largest tabletop RPG Kickstarter project of all time, 7th Sea: Second Edition.
Luke Peterschmidt has been designing games professionally for the last 24 years. He’s worked on a variety of different types of games, from Shufflebuilding games like Epic PvP, to Euro -style game like Castle Dice, to CCGs like the Warhammer 40K CCG, to mass market hits like Bakugan. In total, Luke has more than 50 published game releases, and has won numerous awards. Luke is FIRED up about the War of the Cross.
David Williams spent most of the last two decades creating and developing award-winning and best-selling games. He is best known for building Legend of the Five Rings, and a ludicrous number of other collectible card games, including 7th Sea, Doomtown, and the City of Heroes CCG. Then, David made the jump to electronic games and is currently a Senior Designer at Obsidian Entertainment. When he’s not logged into one of his many electronic fantasy lives, David studies kenjutsu, baseball box scores, and his navel.
Mark Diaz Truman is the co-owner of John Wick Presents. In addition to his work at JWP, Mark is also the co-founder and CEO of Magpie Games, the designer of Urban Shadows and Cartel and a frequent developmental editor for Powered by the Apocalypse titles. Mark is forever multitasking, and also running Zombie World on Kickstarter right now.
Marissa Kelly is the art director for War of the Cross. Alongside Thomas Deeny, she is responsible for the look of 7th Sea: Second Edition. In addition to her production work, Marissa co-founded Magpie Games where she currently serves as a designer, writer, art director and project manager.
Thomas Deeny is a graphic designer who specializes in book layout and game design. His layout work can be found in roleplaying games like John Wick Presents' 7th Sea, Atlas Games' Unknown Armies, Magpie Games' Urban Shadows, and Growling Door Game's Chill. His work on boardgames include WIBAI's Pathogenesis; AEG's Dominare, Mercante, and Nightfall; and Tasty Minstrel Games' Cthulhu Realms. He lives in a house in the middle of a spooky forest at the edge of civilization.
Darryl Loyd is a writer and game designer. Having gotten his start playtesting various card games and roleplaying games he decided to pursue his passion when given the opportunity to write for John Wick Presents. His first fully realized game is Sweet Jenny a gambling game that takes place in the world of 7th Sea. Darryl also wrote for 7th Sea: Land of Gold and Fire, and the upcoming 7th Sea: The Colonies. Darryl helped develop War of the Cross from last year's version to this year's version.
Brett Zeiler is a writer and game designer. Starting in the design world by winning world championships for the Game of Thrones LCG, he designed the Arrogant Contender and Coldhands cards for the game. Brett has written for a large number of 7th Sea sourcebooks, including Pirate Nations, The Crescent Empire, as well as upcoming books Secret Societies. He was Systems Lead on the upcoming Cities of Faith - Iskandar. He also is designing Party First, a pulp horror RPG that is coming out later this year. Brett helped develop War of the Cross from last year's version to this year's version.
Risks and challenges
John Wick Presents has run a whole bunch of Kickstarters, including 7th Sea: Second Edition, one of the most-funded, most-backed tabletop RPG Kickstarters of all time. We've got a habit of delivering, and we keep our backers updated on changes and problems. Publishing is tough, but we're used to figuring out how to make stuff work and ship products to backers.
We've spent the last two years working with Dave, Luke and other board game creators and publishers to minimize the specific problems that come with board game publishing, but some issues may crop up. When they do, we'll let you know what we're doing to solve them and deliver the quality games you've come to expect from John Wick Presents.
In order to help us maintain our standards of quality, we are implementing a few specific policies for this Kickstarter:
We can refund you within 14 days of the campaign’s end, fees included. After 14 days, we can issue refunds (no questions asked), but you will be responsible for all processing fees. If we’ve already begun packing your order for shipment (usually 4 to 6 weeks before the actual shipping date), no refunds are possible.
All refunds after the 14 days close of the campaign may be processed via Paypal or reversed via Stripe to your credit card at our discretion. Refunds within 14 days are usually reversed via Stripe to your credit card. Refunds will be processed in USD for the exact amount received in USD, excluding any applicable fees.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By pledging to this project, you acknowledge that the final look, materials and content of the rewards (and the project) are subject to change and may differ substantially from what is presented while the Kickstarter project was active.
We will be using a pledge manager after the campaign. If you do not log in and confirm your pledge within 8 weeks of our notification via email to confirm your pledge, you agree that we have fulfilled our obligations to you in full for payment or donations received. However, we may, at our discretion, refund or ship your pledge if you contact us and confirm your pledge after the 8 week window has elapsed.
If you confirm your pledge on time, we will ship your order as entered into our pledge manager system. You agree that title and risk passes to you upon delivery to a common carrier for such shipment, and you are responsible for import duties or any other duties that may be payable to the relevant tax authorities. You also agree to give us your correct address and ensure this address is deliverable by normal methods. We regret we are unable to ship to PO Boxes.
If these terms don't fit your expectations, please do not pledge on this project and instead wait for the general release into distribution in mid-2019.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter