About this project
Two mighty empires are about to collide. Play your cards right to become the ultimate ruler of this microcosm. You are just ten minutes away from the glory of the universe in your clenched fist ... or the only thing worse than the vast emptiness of space, that cold shallow grave called losing.
And there is only one true, honorable response to losing, "Shuffle these cards up. We're playing again. Right Now!"
The galaxy just got a whole lot smaller...
Before we jump into Microcosm, we'd like to Colonize your game collection. Since cosmic gravity allows Microcosm to pack so much game into so few cards, we've decided to sneak some extra awesomeness into what you will be receiving. All copies of the game will include the following promo cards:
8 cards for Eminent Domain (5 unique scenarios + 3 extra Politics cards)
- 5 cards for the upcoming Eminent Domain: Battlecruisers by Phillip duBarry
- 1 Time-Travelling hero for Dungeon Roll
Let's Survey the world of MICROCOSM. The game is designed by Seth Jaffee and takes place in the same universe as his very popular deck building/deck learning game Eminent Domain.
While the symbols and icons will look familiar, Eminent Domain: Microcosm is a stand-alone 2-player microgame that packs tons of decisions into this quick game.
The key to the game is the multi-use cards. You're constantly watching every avenue for synergies between your hand, your discard pile, and the planets or different technologies. But don't get caught focusing too much on your own empire ... or your efforts will just end up in your opponent's spoils of war.
Efficiency. Synergy. Interaction.
- shuffle the 18 Domain cards and deal 3 face up
- mix up the planet cards face down, separated by cost to Colonize
- place the 5 technology cards face up in the center of the play area
- draw from the 3 available cards or from the top of the deck
- play and resolve a card or return your discard pile to your hand
- when the deck is exhausted, move into end game scoring
End Game Scoring
- Depending on the cards you have acquired during the course of play, you may score points for the number of planets, types of cards, number of technologies, spoils of war, capital icons, or more.
The synergy of your deck makes all the difference—every turn matters. Once you know the game you're only ten minutes away from rejoicing in victory or demanding a reshuffle of the cards and striving for revenge.
At Gen Con 2014, TMG brought prototypes of Eminent Domain: Microcosm to our demo room where people were able to see the game for the fist time. In the video above, Seth Jaffee is interviewed by Joel Eddy of Drive Thru Reviews. After a few questions, you can watch them begin a match.
Let's cut right to the Victory Point—just how big is this microcosm? The universe is comprised of 34 cards. Given the fact that the Domain cards are all multi-use across several attributes (action, boost, scoring), you'd swear there were more!
- 18 Domain cards for building your empire
- 11 Planets to colonize or capture
- 5 Technologies to master
Would you like to know what governs this contest of skills and execution? Surprisingly, everything you need to know to rule the universe fits on one page. Click the image below to download the rules:
If you would like to inspect Eminent Domain: Microcosm more closely, we strongly encourage you to do so. With a printer and some scissors you're only a few steps away from holding a 34-card universe in your hand.
We'd like to help you with your Research as you consider becoming a backer of Microcosm. During the course of this short Kickstarter project, we will add the reviews and commentary from trusted members of the community to help you make your decision.
Richard Ham, Rahdo Runs Through...
- "This game is fast ... and right up until the end you can never really be sure who is going to win."
- "Once you know this game, a ten-minute game is totally doable. But it's a ten-minute game FULL of very interesting, tough choices to make. And now that's something you don't see everyday."
- "...really challenges you mentally."
- "Played really, really well. We enjoyed it quite a bit."
One interesting point Richard makes in his review concerns how he and his wife normally HATE direct, aggressive conflict in 2-player games. To their surprise, the direct attacks in Microcosm did not trigger a negative reaction due to game's length and the nature.
Forrest Bower, Bower's Game Corner
- "I enjoyed it. I really did. I think this is one that my wife could potentially really dig for a variety of different reasons."
- "It said ten minutes, he taught us it. And I think we played in 12-13 minutes. So it was Super Quick!"
- "Gameplay is simple ... lots of different paths to victory."
- "I definitely enjoyed the game ... thumb's up!"
Lance Myxter, Undead Viking Video Reviews
- "I dug it."
- Strategy tip: "You want to be an expert at something."
- "Several really fun cool decisions going on during the game. And they manage to squeeze all that into a game that lasts 10 minutes. Really impressive."
- Lance makes a demand: "Seth, you're an amazing designer, I want you to make another big, fun crunchy game. And do it, after this."
- "The game is a ton of fun."
Hunter Shelburne, Weaponsgrade Previews
- "There's a lot of strategy going on here despite the limited card count."
- "Really deep for such a small, short game. It really does take 10 minutes to play."
- "Planning ahead is where this game is all at."
- "Enough strategy and enough cool mechanics that I can't do anything but recommend this."
- "Fills a niche I didn't really have filled."
$2 Tasty Card Sleeves (50 to a pack; specifications below in FAQ)
- Microcosm - 1 pack of sleeves
- Eminent Domain: Escalation - 2 packs
- Eminent Domain - 4 packs
Shipping approximately four weeks after this Kickstarter ends, the following add-ons for games are for US backers only:
$20 Eminent Domain: Escalation (expansion) - US ONLY
$30 Eminent Domain (base game) - US ONLY
$40 Eminent Domain + Eminent Domain: Escalation - US ONLY
Why four weeks? Why not right away? First the Kickstarter funds need to clear and be released, then we send your games from our warehouse to a fulfillment center, and then there is delivery out to you.
Seth's first published title was Terra Prime, a somewhat obscure but solid Euro-style game. His best known title is Eminent Domain, the first big kickstarter success, and the first game to use the deckbuilding mechanism in a game that's not just about deck building (Note: That's a quote from Donald X. Vaccarino himself!)
The first expansion to Eminent Domain (Eminent Domain: Escalation) came out in early 2014 and a second one (Eminent Domain: Exotica) is in the works.
Seth has also done extensive development work on many TMG titles including Belfort, Ground Floor, Kings of Air and Steam, and Captains of Industry as well as Belfort: The Expansion Expansion, the recently kickstarted Bomb Squad, and the upcoming World Fair expansion to Kings of Air and Steam.
In addition to his work on game design, development, and publishing with TMG, Seth may also be known as the president of the Southern Arizona Gamers Association (SAGA), the organization that puts on Rincon, a game convention in Tucson, AZ each year in early October.
You can follow Seth on twitter (@sedjtroll), and you can read his occasional, rambling game design thoughts on his game design blog.
Microcosm, In Seth's own words:
Curious about the origins and story of Microcosm? We'll look to explore that further during the campaign, but in this brief audio interview below Seth answers some very basic questions about the game.
Michael Mindes founded Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) and has been making games since 2009. In 2010, he and designer/developer Seth Jaffee brought Eminent Domain to Kickstarter and launched what was the start of a successful and noteworthy relationship with crowd-funding. Those two have now been responsible for more than 18 successful Kickstarter projects ... and even more great and award-winning games.
TMG started in Tucson, Arizona, but in 2013 Michael relocated to Mountain Green, Utah. Seth has stubbornly remained in Tucson so that he can continue playing Ultimate Frisbee year-round (It probably has more to do with his job as an engineer).
While Michael and Seth are still driving things, an additional team of people are now involved to help make everything possible and to stay on top of communication. During the campaign you will also hear from and see comments and updates by Chris Schreiber (Community Manager) and after the campaign Seth and Daniel Hadlock (Game Development and Support) will be providing support.
Please note: This is a very short Kickstarter campaign. Seth calls these "Quickstarters" and the concept is to focus on the existing TMG fanbase and move quickly into production. To that end, displaying a Microcosm avatar on your favorite social media platforms this week would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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.
Two primary sources of delay are staying on top of production and completing art in a timely fashion. These two things are closely related, of course. To address any concerns related to production, TMG hired an operations manager to escort everything through the checkpoints and hurdles with our manufacturers.
Thankfully we have worked with Grand Prix International for several years now and have a good working relationship with them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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