About this project
We are so excited to be bringing Thief's Market to your table!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! You're simply the best.
With so many games coming out, it can be hard to find a game that will spend just as much time at the table as on the shelf. We believe Thief's Market by Dave Chalker is just such a game.
Check out how Rob Lundy and Adam McIver bring this game to life, you'll see why.
By backing Thief's Market on Kickstarter now, you helped us make this game a reality, but you will also receive the Game far in advance of anyone else. This is because we will be sending the game directly from China. (More information on shipping further down the page.)
Thief's Market is a big game packed into a small box.
You are going to receive:
- 13 Custom Dice!
- 41 High Quality Market Cards
- +8 Unlocked Market Cards! (49 Total)
- Start Player Marker NOW A WOODEN MEEPLE
- +Stretched into a Silkscreened Start Token.
- Player Reference Cards NOW ENLARGED!
- Coin Tokens
- Infamy Tokens
And that doesn't have to be all, you have unlocked 12 stretch goals so far, check out the next Stretch Goals below to see what else we have in store.
To those that backed our project in the first 3 days as Early Birds, thank you so much for getting us off to such a great start.
Thief's Market is played over a series of rounds.
Each round you will split the loot from the day's heist, and then use your share of the loot to buy useful items, accrue finery, and employ henchmen, each represented by a card in the market.
These cards that you purchase may grant special abilities that will allow you to manipulate your take even further as you go to the Market, for example...
In this example you have already purchased the Alchemical Lab and the Fence in previous turns. Now this round your take includes a Diamond, Ruby, Gold Bag, and Infamy.
Using the cards you have available you may:
- Purchase any card costing a single gem of any color by using your Achemical Lab with your Ruby.
- If you do this you may trade your Diamond to the Fence for a Gold Bag for some gold to be used in a later round.
- Buy a card that costs a Diamond and Any Color Gem
In both cases you will still get your Infamy Token and Gold in addition to the card you chose to buy.
Once the last deck can no longer fill in the market, the player who has gained the most notoriety points will be the next king of thieves!
WHAT DO THE SYMBOLS ON THE CARDS MEAN?
Here's a reference Key to the Symbols:
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND RULES BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS.
If you would like to read the rules:
At 41 cards, Thief's Market is a complete game that you will bring to the table over and over again. It's so fun we already have a lot of plans for additional content or possible future expansions.
Some of these additional cards are complete, and with your help backing and promoting the game now, we will be able to include them in the base game for you to enjoy right away.
Since Orleans Deluxe has come out we have really enjoyed the tactile joy of using the Metal Coins. However, In a small box game that is a lot harder to justify...
But In the years that TMG has been using Kickstarter, we have learned time and time again, that this is a special place, making big dreams a reality...and that is why Michael figured out exactly what was needed to make Metal Coins a reality in Thief's Market as a Kickstarter Exclusive.
Here's an excerpt from the TMG Newsletter where Michael give the details:
- "When I first used stretch goals for game upgrades (Kings of Air and Steam in 2011) the idea was that with a larger order volume (more Backers) our cost per unit would decrease (raising our gross margin) and we could offer more to the Backer.
- We will be doing this with Thief's Market. I carefully calculated where our margin increases (savings) would allow us to add metal coins exclusively for Kickstarter Backers. This was at around $422,356.
- Thus, we have decided that at $400,000 of funding (accepting a slight margin decrease), we will add metal coins for Kickstarter Backers."
Thief's Market has been in our pipeline for a while now as we worked on getting it just right. We asked some of our play testers their thoughts on the game and here are a few of things they had to say...
Also, we have sent out a handful of print and play versions with the final dice mold samples to some trusted review channels:
We will keep this section up to date as more reviews come in. Please take some time to see what they have to say...
Theology Of Games Review:
GEEK DAD's Review:
"Each round in Thief’s Market feels like a feeding frenzy caught in slow motion."
Modify or Die Review:
Board Game Renegade Preview:
What do we mean "Global Friendly"?
TMG will be using a direct shipping agent in China to fulfill KS pledges worldwide. This will be provided FREE for all global backers except for Brazil. Shipping to Brazil will be an additional $6.
In 2015 we did a global shipping test with Flip City at a $20 price point, using this same shipper, we didn't have any concerns with Import fees , or damages reported to us from any of the many countries we shipped from.
Given the lower price point, and the same package size we don't anticipate any of our backers having problems importing Thief's Market into their home Country.
A “fair division algorithm” sounds pretty dry, but it turns out, it’s a great way to start making a game.
For a while, my friend and game designer mentor Kory Heath had been working on different games that involve, essentially, taking a pile of stuff and dividing them up. One of the simpler forms of this is “I cut, you choose” where one player divides stuff up into two piles, and the other player chooses which one to take (usually, the player doing the dividing gets the leftover, which is what makes it fair.)
While Kory was making mostly card games, one version I helped him playtest involved rolling a pile of dice with different colored sides, and dividing those using the following method:
When it’s your turn, you must do one of the following things: take any number of dice from the center and put it in front of you, or steal the set that someone else has taken. If you do, you must return at least one die to the center.
Then go to the next person, who has the same options, until only one person doesn’t have a set. They can either steal as normal, or take everything remaining in the center. In this way, everything will end up taken by someone.
For various reasons, his version didn’t work. For one, it was TOO fair for what you were trying to do under the simple scoring system. Shortly after some playtests at a game design retreat, he moved back towards card games.
Years later, I remembered that prototype, and how much I enjoyed that core idea. With his blessing I decided to take my own crack at using dice with that “steal and reduce” system. I knew that I needed something that had less of a chance of being too fair, where you didn’t know the exact value of each die. Additionally, in order to make sure there was a little more variation in rounds, I added a rule that when you steal another pile and return dice to the center, the die you threw back was rerolled. In that way, the set of dice you start the round with isn’t always what you end up with. It even means that if the first player hates the initial roll, they can take EVERYTHING from the center, forcing someone to steal from them and reroll some of the dice.
These tweaks proved to be successful, as did including a Start Player marker in the set of dice to add extra texture. However, the real problem remained: what do you do with the dice once you have them, and how do you make it interesting?
I tested different versions using tried and true scoring methods: majorities, area control, set collection, even a train game. None hit the mark until I returned to that same game design retreat. Playing other published games and talking with game designers was how I hit on the idea of making a center tableau of cards for purchase that cost different combinations of colors. Those cards in turn could be “engine” cards instead of just scoring methods. Turn one die into another kind. Turn dice into points. Buy extra cards on your turn. And so on.
When figuring out all the possibilities of card costs I decided to make only four sides of the dice used to buy cards, so the other two could be special. One became a “delayed Wild” (tokens that could be spent on future turns) and the other straight up Points.
The first prototype under this system I called “Spell Dice” since I used Magic Set Editor (software designed to create new Magic: the Gathering cards) to make it and it came with its own magical layout. Each card was a different magic item, so for instance the cards that scored in pairs became Magic Boots.
I knew I had something from the first playtest. Players would know what cards were available to decide what they should value, and needed to balance between being too greedy and not capitalizing enough from each roll. There were decisions points to go for a specific card and strategy, or just bank Wilds and Points for future turns to stay adaptable. Once it was clear that players were going for a specific track, it became easier to tell which dice they cared about.
I took the game on a tour of various game design conventions, including Metatopia, Unpub, and smaller events. It quickly became clear that the theme wasn’t connecting: it didn’t feel like you were casting spells and magic items didn’t do what they sounded like. The next version I went Full Euro: the dice were resources like bricks and grain and the cards were different buildings you add to your village.
That was closer: the variety of card names connected to players easier. I had been showing it as “Village Dice,” but that was giving players the impression it was closer to a light, short game ala Zombie Dice and Martian Dice, when it’s a 45 minute-ish strategy game. It then became “Market Square” for the next set of conventions, where it caught the attention of Tasty Minstrel Games, and we made the agreement for them to publish it. During development, we talked about changing it into a fantasy theme to fit into the same world as one of their other great games, Harbour.
Instead of splitting resources, you were thieves splitting up the loot, and then using it to acquire various valuables, hideouts, and henchmen (such as a Gauntlet of Evil Intent or an Anthromorphic Water Buffalo) to increase your abilities and status as a thief. It has returned to the fantasy/magic theme, but in a way much more connected, with great names for the cards. It’s also gained a criminal side, which given two of my previous games (Criminals and Heat) is marking me as a shady character of the game design world.
Other than continuing to refine the game through more playtesting there was one more important step for me: I showed the near finished game to Kory Heath, who had created the core mechanism and inspired the whole thing. After the first game, he had just one word for me: Publish!
Thank you so much for taking the time to look through our project, and Thank You for Backing...it's because of You we get to keep bringing great games to your table.
Risks and challenges
Kickstarter has helped TMG grow from a dream to a reality that includes a team of dedicated people who have delivered multiple high quality games. With your help we have reached a point where the only risk we face is that of delays in production and shipping.
We continue to improve upon our methods so that your Kickstarter experience with us will be top notch.
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