Taiko is a fast-paced Samurai card game with an easy-to-learn set of original rules, designed with subtle layers of chance and strategy.
The game is designed with several intentional goals:
Taiko has no random dealing or card draw and instead pits power-hungry War Lords (called Daimyo in Japanese) against each other with identical starting armies. Every card has a weakness, and the best strategy is not one of statistics, or brute force, but of anticipating and countering your opponent’s choices.
The game plays as a series of episodes,15-20 minutes each. The structure of Taiko allows players to join or leave at each break point, without breaking the scoring system! This is perfect for hosting a Game Night where people may not show up or leave at the same time!
BEGIN by forming a circle and giving each player a Castle Scoring Mat, 3 Tokens, and 7 Cards of their color. Each player starts with an identical set of cards. Place tokens on the castle in the center of the mat, and on both “3” marks (representing existing protective walls).
TO WIN you must break down ALL 3 of an opponent’s walls and alsocapture their castle. The player with the last castle standing wins the round!
START playing by putting two cards face down from your hand, one on your right and left. The remaining 5 cards remain in hand as options for the next battles. PLAY IS SIMULTANEOUS: when everyone has chosen, the face down cards are all revealed at the same time!
Each pair represents a BATTLE between the neighboring kingdoms. The weaker card loses and that player must reduce the corresponding wall by one mark. The winner’s wall is unaffected. For a tie, neither loses. For consecutive ties, both players lose a wall.
After counting the losses, battle cards are SWAPPED between neighbors. The new cards are added to one’s hand and may be used in the next battles. This mechanism balances the game, and allows a player to collect stronger cards by strategically taking some losses.
TO DEFEAT one’s neighbor, their castle must be vulnerable on your side (all three walls have been conquered and the token removed). Your next victory over that neighboring Daimyo will defeat their castle and eliminate them from the circle!
The game continues until one Daimyo prevails: the new TAIKO! The game is designed to wrap up quickly, once the first castle falls. This minimizes time to sit out: "Just enough time to go grab a snack"! ~Dan
Special ELITE CARDS have unique abilities which add twists and surprises to the game play. Even the strongest cards have a weakness!
Unlocked! All decks upgraded with the Samurai Horseman Card!
Unlocked! These bonus "mini" coins are SO COOL! We are really excited to share them with each of you!
Unlocked! This is a brand new action card with one of my favorite new illustrations! I have a couple options for rules for this, and if we break the stretch goal, we’ll be revealing a final rule definition soon!
Incredible! Lets do another! This card is even fresher off the idea-board then the previous one, but I have been gathering a collection of expansion card ideas for a few months so I KNOW YOU WILL LOVE IT!
(Because of logistics for how the 3-player decks are cut and printed 18-to-a-sheet, this new card will only impact the 6- and 8-player decks. It will be available for you to get as an expansion kit some time later! We are thrilled at to the chance to offer this EARLY to select pledge levels!)
If you have ideas to make TAIKO even better, feel free to reach out directly at:
Each card illustration is taken from a hand-drawn original done traditionally with ink and pen. The technique of using brushes and liquid ink is unforgiving, but the resulting images capture a raw energy that I don't find in the digital equivalent.
The 6-player version of Taiko comes in a beautiful, rustic box illustrated with a minimalist version of the ancient Tomoe symbol, and the maker's signature. Every box cover is painted by hand, which makes each copy unique and personal!
The Elite version has a stunning Wooden Box, which is stained and polished by hand, with the Taiko markings and author's signature laser burned into the wood surface (also by hand)! Each box has its own personality, and is finished with care and love!
The metal scoring tokens used in the game are made from Brass and they add weight and an authentic feel for to the total game experience!
These are based on the historical coins used during the 1500’s era. Prior to unification, Japan had no strong central government, and many parts of Japan accepted metal coins minted in mainland China.
The Art Prints feature illustrations specifically for the game, without the numbering and symbols! These are 4x6 inch prints, and are already matted to become 5x7, ready framing!
The Land of the Rising Sun has incredible history, and many elements influence the mechanics and story-line for the game.
The word "TAIKO" has a double meaning in Japanese. The Taiko Drum was invented in ancient Japan and could be heard for miles, echoing across the wooded mountains.
The Title of Taiko was bestowed on the legendary general Toyotomi Hideyoshi who defeated every opponent and united Japan, bringing an abrupt end to the feudal era. The title Taiko became forever associated with his strategic genius and unparalleled accomplishments!
Over the past 12 months, Taiko has been played and loved by SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE around the US and internationally, all by word-of-mouth! This is the next step in a brilliant adventure.
"I love this game! I know about six people I want to give it to! I've taken it on vacation twice, and both times it didn't take long to teach my friends how to play and we had a great time" ~ Heidi
"We always have a great time playing Taiko!! I like that you can make it different each time with different cards- easy to learn and fun to play!" ~Dara
"The art is beautiful, inspired, and well made. This game is also really easy to take with you anywhere it is so small you can carry it around in your backpack and during some downtime just start playing!"~ Alex
"Excited! Jason let me in on a beta version, which was so simple to teach friends quickly. The beauty of the cards and the balance of skill and luck make it a delight to play and share!" ~ Shannon
MEET THE MAKER
I do other kinds of artwork and creative projects, too, so this first kickstarter is just part of a journey!
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT
You can support us by leaving comments, providing feedback, and sharing the stories with others who may want to support this vision!
[ Should there be a Taiko T-shirt?! If you think so, leave a comment! ]
Risks and challenges
We have learned a lot of valuable lessons over the months that Taiko has been in development, and we are confident that this game will be delivered with quality. Taiko has been played and loved hundreds of times, and the artwork, and final game contents are nearly complete, having been refined over dozens of prototypes. The biggest risks are manufacturing or logistic delays as we scale up to reach a wider audience!
As we get close to the Christmas holidays, we've added a special tier that we can guarantee will be delivered on-time. This will be done using more expensive short-run ordering, with the same high quality components, just expedited manufacturing and premium delivery.
For complete confidence, we are offering a money-back guarantee. If you decide that TAIKO isn’t for you within a month of receiving it, you can return it for a full refund, no questions asked. If you have any questions about any part of the campaign, you can message us through Kickstarter or email JASON@taikocardgame.com for a prompt response.
No matter what, we promise you frequent, transparent updates as we jump forward with this adventure!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)