We are very proud to present David J. Mortimer's second published game, the first small game by LudiCreations, and one for which we have done a lot of work to bring to you.
Here is what it brings to the table:
In addition, Pocket Imperium is language-independent and can be explained in 5 minutes.
During a game of Pocket Imperium 2-4 players* will Expand (get more ships), Explore (move fleets) and Exterminate (conquer planets). At the end of each round, they will Exploit (sustain their fleets) and earn points.
Timing is everything, as the choices that each player makes has consequences! If more than one neighboring player chooses the same action, then they both have to make do with less.
A further layer of gameplay rests on the way players move their fleets on the map. The constantly changing power dynamics lead to temporary alliances - which may have unintended consequences, as players seek an edge.
Finally, choosing what sectors of space to receive points from is yet another strategic choice. Combined with the constant struggle to control (or deny the control of) Tri-Prime, which gives an often-significant bonus, players must choose wisely where they draw their points from.
Now, every backer also gets:
(click here to read the rules of this promo tile)
The following things are different than the GoodLitttleGames PnP version of the game:
- The game is now for 2-4 players, rather than 3.
- Hex tiles (2mm cardboard) instead of cards.
- Fully symmetrical sectors, for easier & more variable setup.
- Double-sided sectors, allowing for even more variety.
- Custom-shaped spaceships, instead of self-supplied tokens.
- VP tokens.
- Additional illustrations & improvements in graphic design
- Streamlined rulebook with additional clarifications & variants.
- Professionally produced, in a compact cardboard box.
- NEW: Mech Worlds promo tile.
- Box: 82 x 124 x 25 mm (7.16 x 4.88 x 0.98 in)
- Sector tiles: polyhexagons, 90 mm (3.54 in) edge-to-edge
- Cards: 56 x 87 mm (2.20 x 3.42 in)
- VP tiles: hexagons, 15 mm (0.59 in) edge-to-edge
- Spaceships: 11-15 x 21-27 mm (0.43-0.59 x 0.82-1.06 in)
To find out more, download the rules, watch the videos, read the reviews below, and join us for a live Vassal game!
* See "The Future" section below.
Even though the game has been developed since its PnP days to include much more in gameplay and components, Pocket Imperium remains very simple, befitting its microgame origins.
For more detail on the components and mechanisms of Pocket Imperium, download the rulebook here (1.5 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 version of the rules document. The rules will be translated in French & German as well.
If you would like to skip reading the rules, here's how to play:
1. Plan your actions
Planning actions is as simple as choosing which of your 3 cards to play 1st, 2nd and 3rd. That's it!
2. Expand, Explore, Exterminate
Players sustain their fleets, using the resources to support from 1 (empty space) to 4 (Tri-Prime) ships per hex. Then the players score a sector of space.
Further down this page you can see a video of a full game being played on Vassal. You can also check out Rahdo's runthrough, to see how it feels to play the game.
Pocket Imperium is available as a Vassal module, so that you may play before you back. You may download the module here, and enjoy all the benefits of Print 'n' Play without any of the printing, cutting and glueing. You can get the latest version of Vassal here.
We are also running live games on Vassal, every day at 5pm ET. To find out your local time, please click here. To sign up, simply message us via a KS message with your Skype name.
The games will be for up to 4 players, first-come, first serve. Here's a screencast of a recent game, which will also help you see how the game plays:
Note that games in Vassal take longer than games with the real-life components.
To download a PnP version of the game, click here. Some graphics may be a bit out of date. You will need 48 wooden tokens in 4 colors.
Pocket Imperium is a small game - our first. However, it is not a cheap one to make. To give you an idea, we have already paid 1920 EUR (~2500 USD at the time) for the tools to make the custom spaceships.
Furthermore, because we have the games produced in Europe, and because we make no discounts in quality, we need to make this campaign count.
However, we always ask only what we need to make the game happen, and this is why the game is offered at such a low level, despite the costs.
A Kickstarter campaign is not a financial windfall for us, and we will seek to be profitable through traditional distribution, which also ensures a stable future for the game.
Therefore, we only have a limited amount of discounted copies to give as rewards. Once we have what we need, and the campaign is funded, the game is essentially for sale. We will still offer the game at discount while the campaign runs, but as we have done before, these pledge levels will be locked down if/when we add free content (see below) to each backer's reward.
We will be selling the game for at least 25 EUR (~30 USD) at Essen & from our website, and normal shipping costs are between 5 EUR (~6 USD) and 17 EUR (~20 USD), depending on location.
The total post-campaign cost could be as high as 42 USD, not including any content that is free for backers but that we will sell separately afterwards, as we have done before. For example, a promo or a small expansion may be given to backers for free, and then sold afterwards.
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UPDATE 26 JANUARY 2015:
As stated above, every backer will now receive Mech Worlds for free (later to be sold for 5 EUR (~6 USD) and used as a convention promo).
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Although Pocket Imperium is likely to see US distribution, it will be months after we ship backer rewards, and as before, it will be in limited quantities.
A short explanation of the pledge levels:
$20 - Funding level, available until the campaign goal is reached. $5 shipping to selected countries.
$20 - Registered letter level, limited to 100. $20 shipping via registered letter anywhere.
$25 - Post-funding level, available until we add something more to every backer's reward. $5 shipping to selected countries.
$30 - Generous-backer level, available until we add something more to every backer's reward. If it gets to this, the value of the rewards will still be greater than MSRP. $5 shipping to selected countries.
We expect to fulfill all the rewards ourselves, from Finland. EU backers do not have to worry about customs or VAT.
Tracking is only offered through the registered letter level, and only to certain countries (see below).
There is a possibility that we will be able to fulfill USA-bound rewards from within the USA, as we have done with our previous campaigns, if it will improve the speed & quality of the delivery.
Shipments to non-EU backers will have 17 EUR declared as the value of the package. That's roughly equivalent to 19 USD / 24 CAD / 24 AUD / 17 CHF / 2264 JPY, and should be under the threshold that triggers customs duties in most countries.
For the first time ever, we are offering a separate pledge level, for up to 100 backers that wish to receive their reward via registered letter (click here for more details). Tracking is available in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. We make no guarantees that tracking will work, as reporting from the destination country is often spotty. Delivery to some countries is only available via this pledge level. This method does not guarantee quicker delivery, it only means a more secure way to ship the game.
What You See Is What You Get - this is our doctrine, and we like to run simple, straightforward campaigns. We are aware that offering add-ons and/or introducing stretch goals would increase the funding total. However, we have already thrown everything into this game - a lot of time, effort, and money. We intend to print with the highest quality materials anyway and we will not cut any corners.
We also want to offer the game at the cheapest cost possible - and that is incompatible with stretch goals. We'd have to add "hidden" profit in the pledge levels, that we can then "spend" to give you stretch goals to get excited about. Therefore, raising money beyond our goal does not give us extra money on hand to create stretch goals.
Furthermore, because the games are made in Europe, and because we do small print runs, we do not benefit by economies of scale by producing more copies of the game.
If we do offer additional content, we will lock past pledge levels to reward those that supported us early without the promise of the extra content. That's it - you do not need to pay more, or like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or be a fan on BGG - although all of those things are nice of you if you do them, we want you to do them if you want to, not because of a carrot we dangle in front of you.
We do not do add-ons (not even our other games), because we want to keep our operations simple, and deliver efficiently. We are in this for the long run, so it does not help us to squeeze a few more dollars from a few backers, if we disappoint *all* backers.
We also have a maximum number of copies we can feasibly print and ship during this campaign. Therefore it is possible - as we have done previously in one of our campaigns - that we might lock the maximum number of pledges available across all pledge levels.
David has designed a number of expansions and promo items for Pocket Imperium, and has even more in development. If the campaign is successful, we would like to publish them. If that is decided during the campaign, we will give this material to the backers for free, and lock down previous pledge levels.
More importantly, we would like to make Pocket Imperium playable for more than 4 players. Due to the development work done during the past year and a half, it is possible to do so. Some playtesting needs to be done, and if this campaign is successful, we will seek to implement this.
The goal is to publish a "Volume II", with 4 new shapes and colors, so that it can be combined with this edition for games of up to 8 players. In theory, it is possible to play Pocket Imperium with up to 16 players.
Game design: David J. Mortimer
Illustration & Graphic design: Todd Sanders
Visual identity & rules development: Brett J. Gilbert / goodlittlegames.co.uk
Vassal module: Mindy Getch
KS Video: David C & David T & LudiCreations
Davids: Too many
Number of people hurt by birds during the making of this campaign (early or otherwise): 0
Support Early Birds: http://earlybirdreader.org/
Who should be eating Nutella: Everyone
Risks and challenges
All our previous campaigns have been fulfilled. Some custom-art rewards for [redacted] are in processing. We are working with a manufacturer we have worked with before, and we are confident in our ability to deliver the game and any additional content we create for this game. That said, unforeseen events may affect how quickly fulfillment is conducted, and the final graphics and components that you see presented here are subject to (however improbable) change. Note that our goal is to ship the game on time, by the dates listed on the pledge levels. Shipping a package is different than delivering a package. We do not deliver your game, the shipping company does. Therefore, delivery times will vary according to your local postal services - once we ship, the shipment is the responsibility of the shipping company. If tracking is important to you, please select the appropriate pledge level. Informal currency conversions made on this campaign may not be accurate by the time you read this. In space, nobody can hear you complain about early birds. This campaign is offered only to Earth-based intelligent life forms. By backing this project, you indicate that you have read, understood and agreed with the above. If you have any questions, please contact us directly via the KS messaging system.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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