The bombs have fallen. The Earth lies in ruins. In an instant, 99% of the world's population was dead or would be soon. Life as we knew it was over, and those of us who were "lucky" enough to survive the initial nuclear fires have had to adapt quickly to our harsh environment, or join the fallen. It has been said that no person has ever been promised a tomorrow, but now, the same could be said for the entire human race.
This post apocalyptic setting is the world of Downfall, a brand new game from designer John D. Clair (Mystic Vale). In this 4X strategy game, each player will take control of a unique faction in the year 2213. It is a bleak and unforgiving future where survival is never certain and there is no prize for second place - you either rise to the top, or you fall into ruin and decay.
Using a unique card drafting mechanism, players will have several options on their turn. Will they forage for resources, abate radiation, or travel and explore the desolated wasteland with their citizens and airships? As the game proceeds, will they spend time researching new technologies or triggering conflicts with their opponents? All of these choices can earn a player points, albeit in different ways.
Cards have consistent major actions and different minor actions:
When you choose a major Gather action, turn 1 raw resource token to its gathered side in every space with a regular survivor (equipped survivors do not Gather). Gathered resources can be stored or used to feed, Build, and remove radiation.
When you choose a major Regrow + Excavate action, first place 1 raw food on each plains and clean water space you occupy. Second, place a raw matching resource on each space with one of your outposts.
When you choose a major Bunker action, choose to either A: gain 1 survivor, B: gain 1 raw building resource, C: gain 1 culture point, or D: all of the above. Be careful not to gain more survivors than you can feed!
When you choose a Build action, you may spend gathered resources from your storage or any space you control to equip survivors (1 metal), build airships (1 metal), bunkers (3 stone), or outposts (1 stone). You may also remove adjacent radiation (2 oil).
When you choose a Command action, first place a command token on any space. Next, spend up to 2 movement points on separate units (airships may carry up to 2 survivors). Lastly, you may spend 1 oil to place an additional command token, or to gain an additional movement point.
When you choose a Research / War card, you'll decide between the two options. If you choose Research, you'll look at your 10 technology cards, select one, pay its cost, then slide it under the corresponding column of your player board. That technology will be available every time you choose that action in the future.
If you choose War, you initiate conflicts in every space you occupy. First, battle strength is compared: the player with the most battle strength gains 2 victory points, and the loser gains 1. Command tokens are removed, and the winner may then either convert 1 enemy structure or airship to their own or kill 1 survivor. Any remaining survivors must then retreat to an adjacent space. (In the example above, the blue player gains a total of 5 vp, green and yellow gain 1, and red gains 2.)
Once all of the actions are completed, the cards chosen are discarded, and a new one is drawn by every player. If a "Winter" card is drawn, the game timer advances, causing a myriad of events (such as the spread of radiation, or having to feed your starving citizens) that will affect everyone. Once the Winter Track reaches the end, the game is over, and a winner is determined.
Downfall will be published in glorious Deluxified™ format, with all the quality you have come to expect from TMG.
First, why don't we let the designer, John D. Clair, tell us in his own words what was behind his creation of Downfall:
"The design of Downfall came from a desire to create the perfect game for me and my tastes as a gamer. An epic, main-event, true 4X game. I wanted it set on an earth-based board (not space), with primarily economy based area control, but with the constant tension of tactical, non-luck based combat. I wanted it to play for a high player count without adding downtime, and I wanted the game to maintain a constant urgency in every decision beginning with turn one. It was a long road to go from initial concepts for a game this scale to a finely tuned game. Along that road there were quite a few major redesigns and months of sitting on the shelf while I worked on other games, but in the end I ended up with a game that I am more excited to pull off that shelf and play than any other game. The satisfying difficulty in each decision, the tension filled fast pace of each round, and the story arc building to a climactic ending make for a game that will take a really long time before I get tired of it. But take all of that with an ounce of salt because I designed the game for me. Hopefully it sounds like something that will fit for you as well!"
If you would like to hear more from John Clair, he was recently a guest on the TMG Podcast. You can listen to it HERE
Tasty Minstrel Games is committed to not only publishing amazing and excellent games, we also want those games to look amazing and excellent as well. Our past Kickstarters for Orleans and Yokohama have set a high mark for Deluxified™ components, and we will continue that standard of quality with Downfall.
The additional cost for the Deluxified™ components matches our cost with no additional profit, to make and deliver them to you the backer. For this reason, TMG will only make a Deluxified™ version through crowdfunding. We will make enough for Kickstarter Backers, some replacement copies, and some convention sales in Limited Quantity.
Check out this fantastic How To Play video from Paul Grogan at "Gaming Rules!"
Still want more? Click the above banner or right here to read the near-final Downfall rulebook. Though we have pored over them and done our best to cover every possible scenario, we still consider them "work in progress" - feel free to offer your feedback! Our development team will review any/all comments prior to final proofreading.
Reach these stretch goals one at a time and help rescue civilization from its Downfall!
Downfall is an epic 4X game about trying to prevent the end of humanity. For something of this magnitude, and for those of you who have the space on your table, we are offering Upsized Map Tiles!
The artwork will be identical to the standard tiles, but enlarged to give you plenty of extra play space and to show off the incredible detail.
The tiles will cost $20 and will be shipped in their own box separate from the base game.
TMG is excited about Downfall, and we think gamers are going to enjoy it immensely. That being said, we wanted to get the opinions of some of our favorite reviewers, so we sent out some prototypes for them to play.
Jeremiah the Boardgame Renegade let us know he loved the tension of the game and really liked the card drafting mechanism!
And here is what Kristi thought over at Peace, Love & Games!
Our friends over at Epic Gaming Night gave the game a great review as well!
Moe's Game Table did an excellent written review of Downfall - you can find it HERE
Stay tuned for more reviews!
People have come to expect a premium experience when choosing to support a Deluxified™ TMG game. Downfall will follow our high quality shipping standard of being bubble wrapped, boxed individually and then boxed up again before being shipped to you. This will ensure that your copy arrives in pristine condition, ready to enjoy. The following is an unboxing of a Deluxified™ Yokohama, to illustrate what we are offering:
Note: While the town of Yokohama was one of 1% of the Earth that avoided the desolation and ruin of the 19 day war, the TMG game bearing its name is not able to be combined with Downfall for even more epic playing purposes.
In addition to premium packaging this project is:
What does Friendly Shipping mean? It means that for each of these countries we will be sending bulk shipments to fulfillment partners paying VAT and fulfilling more directly. We have also done all we can to ensure that globally everyone has a good experience with the best shipping options that we could source. Whenever a shipping partner has the games and is ready to ship, we give the green light. This means that some parts of the world might receive their game a few weeks before other places. This is done so that you get your game the earliest we are able to get it to you!
Shipping prices for some of our backers for Downfall can be found on the table below.
If your country is not listed above, please refer to your selected pledge level to determine shipping costs.
TMG is offering a Retailer Level pledge for Deluxified™ copies of Downfall. These will include all of the stretch goals and be identical to the other Deluxified™ copies. Only Brick and Mortar retailers can pledge at this level.
Retailers can order 4 or 8 copies for $240 or $480 each which will include shipping. This is for US delivery addresses only. Retailers outside of the US will need to use a US forwarding address.
The pledge tier cost of $30 will applied toward the final payment and final payment will be due just prior to shipping the games.
At the close of the Kickstarter campaign, retailers must provide a copy of their business license or similar information as proof of their retail business to qualify for this pledge level.
We are excited to offer this option to our Retailer partners so we can explore even more ways for people to enjoy the Deluxified™ version of our game.
All of us here at TMG realize that a good relationship between publisher and backer during a crowdfunding campaign is paramount for it to be a success. It is our goal to make sure that the communication in the Kickstarter projects run by Tasty Minstrel Games will among the most active and connected to be found on the crowd funding platform. To achieve this, TMG will do the following:
For the first 7 days of the campaign, we will post updates at least once every 72 hours. In addition, during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on weekdays), the comments page will be monitored for questions and those will be answered by the TMG Staff.
After the first 7 days, while the campaign is live, we will update the campaign at least once a week. The comments page will continue to be checked on a regular basis (but not continuously monitored) every day and questions will be answered at those times.
After the campaign has concluded, the comments page will continue to be monitored on a regular basis, but with less frequency than before. Any questions posted will be answered when they are seen. Updates will be sent whenever new, pertinent information about the campaign can be relayed to backers. If 30 days go by without new, pertinent information, a quick "all is well" update will be posted to maintain communication with our backers.
After the games have been sent to our backers, and fulfillment has been completed, we will consider the campaign to be concluded, and any further communication would need to go through our normal support lines.
It is our mission and our intent that with these guidelines, our backers will enjoy an unprecedented level of connection to the campaign, ensuring a satisfying experience from the beginning of the campaign to the day that the game is delivered to them, and beyond.
Risks and challenges
Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has delivered numerous games throughout the world. Some that were funded on Kickstarter and some that were not. As an established small games company, the real question is making sure we manage potential sources of delay and communicating clear expectations throughout the campaign and after the funding ends.
TMG is a team of individuals that are managing all aspects of the business which has helped to mitigate all of the various risks and challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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