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Byzantio / Nekken Board Game's video poster

A deadly game of using intrigue and influence to capture the throne. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on August 18, 2013.

A deadly game of using intrigue and influence to capture the throne.

About this project

In an empire past its prime, a new and capable emperor had led the reconquest of many lands. To the sorrow of many, and the joy of others, he is dead. Without a heir to succeed him, the noble houses of the realm fight to place one of their own on the sacred throne...

Set at the end of the reign of Basileios II in 1025, Byzantio is a 45-60 minute area control game for 2-4 players.

Each player takes the role of a leader of a noble house, a pretender to the throne, and seeks to use the means at their disposal to become the successor to the emperor.

The game takes place over several rounds where the players choose one of six possible actions each turn to place garrisons, remove opponents' garrisons and advance throughout the provinces.

The players set their own, hidden, agendas and the one who has managed to complete most of their objectives by having control of those cities, wins the game.

A game with 4 players takes 60 minutes to play, while a game with 2 or 3 players takes about 45 minutes to play. Setup is completed within 5 minutes.

Highly interactive, Byzantio rewards tactical flexibility and outsmarting the opposing players. Decisions are never obvious, as an action may very well be helping an opponent. The hidden objectives avoid the problem of ganging up on any one player, and there is no chance of a runaway leader.

Don't forget to visit Byzantio on!

The game has been playtested for more than 3 years, and has been presented in prototype form in many conventions and events. Here's what a few of boardgaming's nobles have to say...

The All Us Geeks guys give a very good overview of the game, and have comments about it throughout the video:

Thanks guys!

Richard Ham of Rahdo Runs Through manages to lose to a vicious imaginary Jen. Here's what he thought:

To see more of Richard's videos about Byzantio, visit BoardGameGeek.

And, finally, here's what the Last Of The Varangians had to say:

Deposit your thumbs for Mr. Lance U. Viking here.

Aaaand just in case these gentlemen were not enough, here's what Mr. Tox thinks:

If you are a game reviewer and want to take a look at one of the Byzantio prototypes floating around the world, let us know through the contact form at

The rulebook can be downloaded here (3 MB, right click and Save as...).

Please download this file, as PDFs viewed in-browser may not display properly. This file is the low-resolution file, as the full resolution file is large. The final rulebook will have crisp textures and high detail.

Keep in mind, that the rulebook may still go through changes and additions. For example, the credits & acknowledgements are not there yet.

Byzantio has a game system that is highly adaptable to other eras and settings. Nekken is the fantasy world implementation of the game system, with changes made to account for the differences in the map.

The Nekken map will be printed on the reverse of the Byzantio map, if the campaign reaches the first stretch goal.

The same Byzantio components are used for Nekken, with the addition of a different scoresheet. The game is slightly shorter than Byzantio, and will satisfy those who want a different setting, as well as more variety in the makeup of the provinces.

More information and art related to Nekken will be posted in the backer updates, so even if you are not ready to pledge yet, just pledge $1 to be able to receive them.

UPDATE: As we have passed the $14,000 stretch goal, we now have 2-games-in-1! Thanks to all who contributed!

Byzantio will be manufactured in Europe, comes in an Agricola-sized box (12.40 x 8.86 x 2.76 in / 31.5 x 22.5 x 7 cm) and contains:

  • Game board (21.50 x 16.14 in / 546 x 410 mm)
  • 4 wooden pretender tokens, blue, purple, red, yellow (1.18 x 0.59 x 0.39 in / 30 x 15 x 10 mm)
  • 40 wooden garrison tokens, 10 each in blue, purple, red, yellow (0.71 x 0.47 x 0.31 in / 18 x 12 x 8 mm)
  • 1 octagonal wooden timeline token
  • 1 scorepad with 50 scorsheets
  • 4 pencils
  • 6 event & natural disaster cardboard tiles
  • 1 8-sided die
  • 3 8-page A4 rulebooks (English, French, German)

Here are some pictures of the prototype. The wooden components are expected to be the same for the game, while some details may change (e.g. the die may not be translucent).

The graphic design of the game materials has been tested and reviewed. Although we welcome suggestions and comments, we do not anticipate that we will be making any major changes at this point.

For more information and images of the game, please read the upcoming backer updates (you can temporarily pledge $1 to receive them).

UPDATE: Even if we do not reach the $20,000 goal, we will enlarge the map as much as we can afford to.

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for Byzantio is $50 / €40.

As you will notice in the backer reward list, we have priced Byzantio at the cheapest possible level that will allow us to make the game.

This may be different than other campaigns that you may have backed, which is because we are not running this campaign with the goal of making a profit. We are running this campaign to raise the funds we need to get Byzantio printed.

As a result, this campaign will be the cheapest way to get the game. As with Gear & Piston, this happens not only because the base price is less than $50 / €40, but also because we include shipping.

If Byzantio enters distribution there will be few copies available (fewer than Gear & Piston), and you will have to pay shipping to get the game from retailers, who will also add their mark-up to cover their rent, staff salaries and general business expenses.

But, even if you get the game with free shipping, for something close to $50 / €40, here's how this campaign saves you money:

Essen - $28: Savings of $22 / €17, or 44%

USA/EU - $38: Savings of $12 / €9, or 22%

Even with a conservative estimate of $8 in shipping costs, the savings become something like 38%-50%, depending on location. International backers will see even higher savings.

After the $38/$149 levels are sold out, the worldwide $48/$199 levels will be the only option to get the game through this campaign.

Following the end of the campaign, we will be offering the game for pre-order from our website, and if it is priced in the same way as Gear & Piston, at €29, plus shipping, this will mean a total expected cost of:

EU: $51

USA: $58

Worldwide: $58

Of course, this may increase, so the above should be considered only estimates.

To read why these rewards are structured in the way that they are, please read this update.

Note: The amounts in EUR that are listed to the right were calculated on 19 July 2013 with Google's currency converter. Exchange rates fluctuate every day, and your payment provider may convert them to different amounts when you make your pledge.

Please feel free to message us with any questions you may have about the extras.

More stretch goals are going to be posted as it is feasible. We have to get accurate quotes for all component upgrades, and that takes time, so we appreciate your patience!

Many, many thanks go to Maciej Mutwil for the campaign video, campaign graphics, the rulebook, and much more. For assistance with the production and logistics, we are grateful to Ignacy Trzewiczek and Jamey Stegmaier.

We participate in the project.

Game Design: Lefteris Iroglidis, Alexandros Boucharelis, Anestis Iroglidis

Art & Illustration: Mateusz Bielski

Graphic Design: Maciej Mutwil

Development: LudiCreations

Risks and challenges

Byzantio will be printed and shipped from Europe. We expect good quality manufacturing. We do not have to wait for any containers from overseas. The art is ready to go, with only modifications to the rulebook needed, depending on what stretch goals are reached.

The biggest risk is that the manufacturer will not deliver on time, but we have discussed this with other publishers, and have instituted clauses in the contract that will make it expensive for the printer if they do not do what they promise.

We have also diversified the supply of our components, and we are getting some of the wooden bits straight from their manufacturer, which also allows us to reduce the prices to the low levels listed above.

Regarding Among the Stars: The Ambassadors, the Artipia development team is well on its way to get the game printed. Regarding Gear & Piston, only custom backer art remains for it to be complete. Neither of those projects affects Byzantio in any way. We do not foresee any delays in the delivery of either project at this point.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • The goal is lower than Gear & Piston's (, because Byzantio will have a shorter print run than G&P. Also, a lot of our fixed costs (e.g. Essen booth) were paid for by the Gear & Piston campaign.
    We also learned a lot from that campaign, which led to the pledge levels being simpler, and fewer than before. Byzantio has a lot of wooden pieces that do not have a standard shape, which also contributed to the cost.
    Like all campaigns for LudiCreations games, we only ask what we need to make the game, not more. This leads to a low funding goal and low pledge levels, but pushes stretch goal amounts higher. This also helps ensure that we can deliver the game without going out of business.

    Last updated:
  • Well, not in the USA / EU shipping zone - sorry!
    Until we have dozens and dozens of you polite, multi-cultural, hockey-lovin' donut eaters, we can't get cheap shipping rates. Capitalism, eh?

    Last updated:
  • It's the "worst" case scenario, allowing us to not promise something we can't deliver. The games will be shipped on 21-28 October 2013. Some may be shipped by container to the USA, and shipped from within the country.

    Last updated:
  • The Early Bird reward is limited by time. At some point in the first few days of the campaign, it will be marked as sold out, nevermore to be offered again. It's just a new thing we are trying - fun, no?

    Last updated:
  • The copy purchased through this campaign includes the wooden gear discs.

    It does not include the carbon steel starting gear, and it does not include the Overheated & Engineer Assistants mini-expansions.

    We wish we were able to give them out for free. These are expected to be added as an extra in a short while.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    13 backers

    A sincere, warm thank you from everyone that worked on Byzantio.

    Pledge here to stay updated with the campaign, and increase your pledge to choose your reward later!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $28 or more

    87 backers

    (21,30 EUR) ESSEN PICKUP

    A copy of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be picked up from Spiel 2013 in Essen, Germany.

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    150 backers All gone!


    A copy of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be shipped anywhere in the world.

    ***This pledge reward will be marked as sold out sometime during the first few days of the campaign.***

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  • You selected
    Pledge $38 or more

    200 backers All gone!

    (28,87 EUR) USA / EU

    A copy of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be shipped to the USA or to the EU-member countries.

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    Pledge $48 or more

    57 backers

    (36,47 EUR) WORLDWIDE

    A copy of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be shipped anywhere in the world.

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    Pledge $149 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    (120,81 EUR) USA / EU 5-PACK

    5 copies of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be shipped to the USA or to the EU-member countries.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $199 or more

    3 backers

    (151,20 EUR) WORLDWIDE 5-PACK

    5 copies of Byzantio + stretch goals, to be shipped anywhere in the world.

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Funding period

- (30 days)