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A strategic Steampunk deckbuilding card game where players battle and sabotage other companies to amass economic wealth and influence
A strategic Steampunk deckbuilding card game where players battle and sabotage other companies to amass economic wealth and influence
A strategic Steampunk deckbuilding card game where players battle and sabotage other companies to amass economic wealth and influence
507 backers pledged $23,585 to help bring this project to life.

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Brass Empire: A Steampunk Deckbuilding Card Game

$23,585

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Brass Empire is a strategic deckbuilding card game for 1-4 players (ages 10 and up) and plays in about 30 - 60 minutes. It takes place in a Steampunk universe where each player takes on the role of a different corporation hiring the best employees, constructing building, and manufacturing steam-powered machines. Players battle and sabotage each other to amass economic wealth and influence to win the game.

 Brass Empire Components:

  • 4 Personal Starting Decks (40 cards)
  • 5 Corporate Reserve Decks (25 cards)
  • 4 Mining Platform Cards
  • 100 Labor Market Cards
  • 100 Design Department Cards
  • 50 Brass Point Tokens
  • 10 Hit Point Tokens
  • Full Color Rulebook
  • A Nifty Box

Exclusive Extras for Backers:

  • Any and All community created cards from the ENGINEER Tier (up to 5 cards)
  • 5 Exclusive Company Starting Cards each feature a unique and powerful card for each corporate faction to place in their reserve deck.
  • 5 Company ID cards with unique risk/reward mechanics
  • 5 Unique Mining Platforms for each corporation

2 Player / Alpha Components:

  • 2 Starting Decks (22 Cards)
  • 3 Corporation Starting Reserve Decks (15 Cards)
  • 50 Labor Pool Cards
  • 40 Design Pool Cards
  • 30 Brass Point Tokens
  • 5 Hit Point Tokens
  • A Nifty Box

Welcome to the Steampunk world of Cobalt. For centuries, Cobalt has been ruled by corporations seeking to enhance their wealth and influence with Brass. Brass doesn’t just fuel the economy but literally fuels the technology and transportation of the world through its unique thermodynamic properties. Every day these companies compete and battle to expand their territory and authority. Companies work to optimize their labor force and resources to mine the most Brass in each territory through corporate espionage, technology, security, and even sabotage. You work for such a company and have been tasked with expanding into a new region by constructing a new corporate complex, hiring employees, and battling other companies in the area. The player who earns the most Brass will lead his company to victory in the region.

Each turn, you will play Employee cards from your hand to gain resources. These resources will allow you to acquire new Employees, Buildings and Units for your deck. Along the way, you will acquire buildings to enhance your hold on the region and command units to attack other companies and mine for Brass. At the end of the game, the player with the most Brass is the winner.

"(Brass Empire). A deck-builder with deeper player interaction. Played 8 times since PAX!" - Ziggy @arrogantgamer

In short, Brass Empire is kinda like if Ascension/Dominion (Deckbuilding games) had a baby with Magic/Hearthstone (Battle Mechanics) and it was Steampunk. Check out some of the videos below to learn more about how to setup and play Brass Empire:

Brass Empire has a lot more player interaction than other deck builders.  It is essential that you observe and adapt to the other players' strategies.  Here are some of the mechanics that make Brass Empire unique from other deckbuilding games:

  • Reserve Decks - Each player selects a corporation and has a small set of cards that only they can purchase from giving each faction it's own flavor and starting strategy. Advanced players can customize these decks.
  • Dual Center Rows - One row represents the typical resource generating cards while the other row is comprised of cards that stay in play to sabotage players or give you an ongoing buff.
  • Combat - Powerful units can attack and destroy any permanent design cards.  Be sure to strike first so an opponent doesn't take out your mining platform.
  • Mining Platform - As long as this building stays operational you can convert the construction resource into victory points, but if a devious opponent takes it out - you'll have to rebuild or change your strategy!

We want you to try the game prototype for yourself! Check out the draft of our beautiful Rulebook here or give us your feedback and print out the Rules yourself here. Download the (older and out of date) art-free Print and Play prototype here

You can learn more about the game on BoardGameGeek: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/181393/steamcraft

"Played this at PAX Prime 2015 in the Indie MEGABOOTH and had a blast! This game plays like Dominion meets Magic The Gathering, with 5 factions that each have a unique and valid strategy. Very well thought out with just the right amount of strategy and each game takes just the right amount of time." - AngelKatalyst 

 "When all the Brass was collected and only one corporation remained, all the Child Geeks thought (Brass Empire) was a winner." - Indepth Preview by Father Geek

"Played it with a friend of mine who had never played a Deck Builder before, and the game is so well designed he was able to pick it up and soundly thrash me. It is great to see another card game come out that is not based in the fantasy realm, I think it ranks up there with Star Realms, both in gameplay and artwork." - WolvenGarde 

Selected as one of 10 Games for the Indie Megabooth Tabletop showcase
Selected as one of 10 Games for the Indie Megabooth Tabletop showcase

 "After playing through the #PAX2015 Indie Mega Booth tabletop games, @mgnade's (Brass Empire) was my favorite. Very polished and super fun!" - Rob Pereyda, @rpereyda

Every Kickstarter Backer will have the option of including their name in our Official Rulebook in addition to following all project updates. Every Backer that pledges $10 or more will have the option of downloading/receiving the PnP files.  The Print and Play files will contain all of the cards unlocked as Stretch Goals and all 269+ cards from the core game.

This tier includes the core game (all 5 factions) and everything you need to play the game with up to 4 people.  In addition to getting the full retail version of the game at a cheaper price, all backers at this tier and higher will receive ALL of the stretch goals and Kickstarter Exclusive cards unlocked during the campaign.  This will include any/all of the Kickstarter Exclusive cards from the STEAM ENGINEER Tier.

Get the 2 Player Alpha Edition shipped to you as soon as the Kickstarter is over! The Alpha Version features over 100+ cards and 3 factions from the main game along with tokens and a limited edition box.  You can help shape the final product by providing us with your first impressions and feedback from playing this version of the game before anyone else!

This will be a limited and Exclusive Run from theGamecrafter which is who we used for the physical demo productions pictures seen above. We will send out surveys for this tier immediately after our campaign and order these items ASAP after our Kickstarter funds are deposited. Estimated Production / Shipment is less than 2 weeks in the USA.

STEAM ENGINEER - $500 (Only 5 Spots)

Collaborate with the team to create a Kickstarter Exclusive card based on your name, face, photo, pet, design and/or idea to appear in Brass Empire (includes a Design credit in the manual). We will send you a large print of the artwork from your card in addition to everything from the ALPHA PLAYTESTER tier (4 player game, Alpha Version, First Wave Shipping, and all stretch goals unlocked during the campaign).  

    We have some additional content and Kickstarter Exclusives that we'll be able to include free of charge to every backer pledging $40 or higher if we exceed our funding goal.  Here are just a few of the stretch goals that we have planned.  We will release more news and details on Stretch Goals as the campaign progresses:

Unfortunately we have to charge shipping on this campaign for international backers (Shipping in the U.S. is free and included!), but are continuing to work to minimize and subsidize the shipping cost to you. 

  • United States: Free / Included
  • EU/Canada: $10
  • Everywhere Else: $15

We plan on using Customs-Friendly Shipping and have a few fulfillment centers we are already working with on quotes.  As a result, you should not get hit with customs, brokerage, or import fees. 

International shipping is annoyingly expensive. However, to help offset the shipping costs a bit, there are work-arounds. The shipping rates will remain fixed regardless of the number of games or add ons that you purchase. If you have a bunch of friends who want to support this project, just make one group pledge for as many games as you’d like. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the Add On costs for additional rewards:

Artist sketch of the Playmat
Artist sketch of the Playmat
  • Add $15 to your pledge for each additional copy of the 2 Player Travel Edition
  • Add $35 to your pledge for each additional copy of the 4 Player game and all stretch goals
  • Add $15 to your pledge for the Playmat

A Note on Bulk Discounts and Group Purchases:

If you're looking to save by doing a larger group order, we are offering the 10th copy of any version of Brass Empire for free.  That means that you can get 10 copies of the 2 player version for $140 or 10 copies of the 4 player version with all stretch goals for $320.  Remember that shipping is free in the US and remains the same regardless of the number of copies added on to your pledge.  If you are a retailer looking for a bigger discount, please contact me directly: http://www.rockmanorgames.com/contact/

"Can't wait for the campaign to start, and I'm kicking myself for not having bought the Alphas Mike had at his booth." - WolvenGarde, PAX Prime Playtester

Discount: We're giving Kickstarter backers a discount off MSRP and subsidizing shipping so that backers get a great deal.  

Kickstarter Exclusive Goodies: We have a bunch of stretch goals and promotional cards that we will give to all of our backers pledging $40 or more.  This enhancement pack of cards will NEVER be available in retail. 

Get it First: Kickstarter backers will receive their copies of Brass Empire well before it is available anywhere else.

Money Back Guarantee: If you decide you don't like Brass Empire within 1 month of receiving it, we would be happy to refund your pledge. All that we ask is that you try the game at least twice to learn it and see the fun and depth of strategies. If it's not for you, send it back.

You're helping us out! We want as many people as possible to play and enjoy Brass Empire and by backing this project you're helping us get our start.  We've already started talking to publishers and they've referenced that their interest is piqued by successful kickstarters.  That means backers are directly helping us get Brass Empire onto Store Shelves! How cool is that!  Gaining additional backers and selling additional copies helps us further offset our fixed costs, like manufacturing, shipping and art, and greatly increases our chances of getting into retail and additional distribution channels.

Thanks so much for your support and pledge!

About the Team

Mike with his wife Rose and daughter Penelope - Photo by Little Nest
Mike with his wife Rose and daughter Penelope - Photo by Little Nest

Mike Gnade is a 10ish year game industry veteran based in Wilmington, Delaware where he lives with his wife, Rose and daughter, Penelope. Mike started playing Magic the Gathering in 5th Grade and moved onto Warhammer by 6th Grade. He is obsessed with games of all kinds and is the designer and producer behind Brass Empire. He has been incredibly involved in the indie gaming scene creating his own games and founding sites like IndieGameMag.com and IndieGameStand.com. Tabletop is the new hotness.

Declan Hart is a UK based Character and Environment illustrator and artist. He completed all of the hand drawn 100 unique illustrations for SteamTrade. Essentially he's just a guy who loves to create cool stuff! He's lucky enough to be doing something that he really enjoys doing; its a dream to be able to visualize these scenes and characters for people, one that he hopes to stay with for as long as possible.  You can see his portfolio and learn more on his website.

Matt Cangialosi is a long time gamer who loves games like Magic, Counterstrike, Yu-gi-oh, Hearthstone and more.  He helped with additional game design, playtesting, marketing and video production.

Risks and challenges

This is my first physical game production, but I have been involved in the indie gaming and digital games industry for almost 10 years. I have also been a pretty tenuous Kickstarter backer lately because of the logistics, delays in fulfillment, etc. As a customer I have found these delays very annoying and have designed my project and delayed my Kickstarter to minimize these logistical risks that affect so many projects.

The biggest way I have minimized these risks is by investing and completing all of the core artwork upfront. While the card text and design may still be tweaked slightly, all of the artwork to get this game shipped is complete.

PRODUCTION
In preparation for PAX Prime, we printed out an early alpha of our 2 player version of the game from the Game Crafter (see images). While this site is not the cheapest production option, the quality is good and I feel it's a very solid backup option. I have also started getting quotes on larger runs of the game (Admagic, Panda, Delano, etc) and have been impressed with their response time and pricing. Our goal is to get the best version of the game that we can provide to our backers in a timely fashion, but rest assured we have already started working on the production aspect of the game so that you can get playing as soon as possible.

ART
100% of the core game art is complete. The only artwork that would still need to be commissioned would be for Stretch Goals. The artist is on board and ready for any potential art needed for stretch goals. To give you some perspective on the time it would take for this artwork, the artist completed each factions' set of artwork (~20 original works) in around a month's time with revisions.

RULES
Draft rules are available now under the Gameplay section. Please provide any feedback on them so that we can finalize the text and the Rulebook shortly after the campaign.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Everything counts! At this level, you will receive a giant 'Thank You!' and be able to follow all of our backer updates on Kickstarter

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    PRINT & PLAY

    All the official Hi-Resolution Print & Play files for Brass Empire very shortly after the campaign ends. Also includes all updates and your name in the credits.

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    2 PLAYER EDITION

    Grab our 2 player edition of the game that comes with over 100 cards. This version can be combined with the 4 player core game to become a 6 player game.

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    BRASS EMPIRE: FIRST WAVE SHIPPING!

    Backers will be in the very first wave of shipments guaranteed, a few days early. Back first; ship first.

    Core Game - Get one copy of Brass Empire (4 player version) plus all stretch goals. Add $35 to your pledge for each additional copy of Brass Empire.

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    BRASS EMPIRE

    Core Game - Get one copy of Brass Empire (4 player version) plus all stretch goals. Add $35 to your pledge for each additional copy of Brass Empire.

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    BRASS EMPIRE WITH PLAYMAT

    Core Game - Get one copy of Brass Empire (4 player version) and the 14x24 Playmat plus all stretch goals. Add $35 to your pledge for each additional copy of Brass Empire.

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    ALPHA PLAYTESTER

    Get everything from the $40 Tier plus get the early 2 player alpha version shipped to you AS SOON AS the Kickstarter is completed.

    You will also be included in the first wave of shipments.

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    STEAM ENGINEER

    Collaborate with the team to create a Kickstarter Exclusive card based on your name, design and/or idea to appear in the Enhancement Pack for all $40+ KS Backers (includes a Design credit in the game). We will send you a large art print of the artwork from your card. Also included in this tier is everything in the ALPHA PLAYTESTER tier (4player game, Alpha Version, First Wave Shipping, and all stretch goals unlocked during the campaign).

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Funding period

- (33 days)