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More a discovery than an invention: The diceless game played on the pentagram star.
More a discovery than an invention: The diceless game played on the pentagram star.
99 backers pledged €10,190 to help bring this project to life.
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Pentagame: The Pentagram Shaped Board Game

€10,190

99

Simple rules create complex play. Race game - short duration, captivating; good for two, three or four players. Pretty unique game mechanics, astonishingly complex and captivating. Pentagame is about lines, areas, distances, connections and combinations, not about counting peas. All you need is this pentagram shaped board, you players, and a small number of pebbles. 

Here in Berlin and also abroad his game is gaining popularity at a considerable speed, and we must make more copies, now that 130 prototypes are already played.  

Here are the rules explained: 

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And another explanatory video, using the resources you can find here:

 Try the game mechanics here (thanks to Nikky!): 

Kotlin implementation

Background

Classic board games are played on simple geometric shapes: Chess and Go are square, while Halma, Gipf etc. are triangular. Where is the missing pentagram shaped board game? That question informed our research. The result is Pentagame: a "classic" board game without dice that is played on a pentagram star. 

Pentagame has some amazing properties, the first of which is: it is astonishingly captivating, since every game is different, and there are more possible paths the game can develop than there are stars in the galaxy. The proof is that we play it pretty much every day!! - It has clarity, depth, drama and decisiveness; but it is nevertheless an "unsolved" game in that there seems not to be a dominant strategy, at least not one we know of yet. - And yes, a lot of smart people play it. (And some really dumb guys too.)

Pentagame can be played with two players, which is a very strategic competition, with three or four players, which is a highly social setting, and with two teams of two players; the rules are the same simple dozen rules in any case. We have been playing this since its inception many hundreds of times, and it never wears out; on the contrary, the community of players is growing at an exponential pace, and our wish to make all these players their own sets available is what informs this campaign. We have made prototypes on fold up boards that now look like this:

Latest prototype (2019)

Here you can find the RULE SHEETS illustrated and in a large number of languages (English, German, French, Latin, Spanish, traditional and simplified Chinese, Russian, Polish, Swedish, Plattdüütsch, Greek, Indonesian and Georgian thanks to players from all these countries!).

The rules explained and an example match using cacti:

Since its inception we continue playing this with many people and many people keep playing it, and the rule set is proven efficient and stable for a number of years now. Luckily, the duration of a game ranges from just under 20 minutes for a 2-player to maybe 90 minutes with 4 players. And seriously virtually everyone who played this wanted a re-match - and another, and another, and a board. 

The board itself is the solution to a not-that-easy geometric task, as anyone can see who tries to draw one. This is probably why we have not seen many pentagram shaped board games (are there any?) around before. 

Pentagame board - not that easy to draw


Kotlin implementation - try out!

Risks and challenges

If we reach target, we can make 1000 copies. These will use stock pieces like on the photo: cats, rabbits, planes and people. Our first stretch goal would be to have custom made pieces, which will be abstract: cubes / sqaures, spheres, tetrahedrons and stars like in the video. So the exact shape of the pieces will become clear later.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About US$ 6

    Digital Files Only

    Just the files you need to print / make your own game.

    Includes:
    • PDF in high-res of the board
    • PDF of the illustrated rule sheet in all languages available
    • Digital file(s) to 3D-print your own geometric player's pieces
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €30 or more About US$ 34

    Pentagame first edition set

    These will be heavily sought after in 100 years, no doubt.

    Includes:
    • Foldable Pentagame board printed on hard card board
    • Pentagame box - nice and black
    • Illustrated rule sheet(s) in English, German +1 other language
    • Set of 5 assorted player's pieces
    • Set of 5 black blocks
    • Set of 5 grey blocks
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    59 backers

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About US$ 56

    Pentagame first edition set, signed

    Pentagame set as above, but signed.

    Includes:
    • Pentagame box - nice and black
    • Set of 5 assorted player's pieces
    • Set of 5 black blocks
    • Set of 5 grey blocks
    • Rule sheets signed by the inventor!
    • Foldable Pentagame board printed on hard card board
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €85 or more About US$ 95

    Pentagame Community Starter Pack

    Three Pentagame sets, so you can start a community. Have one board for yourself, one for sale, and one to give away for free. As you get better at Pentagame, you want the other players to practice before you play them again, and the best way to make that happen is to provide them with a set, of course!

    Includes:
    • Foldable Pentagame board printed on hard card board
    • Pentagame box - nice and black
    • Illustrated rule sheet(s) in English, German +1 other language
    • 12× Set of 5 assorted player's pieces
    • Set of 5 black blocks
    • Set of 5 grey blocks
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    7 backers

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €105 or more About US$ 118

    Signed Pentagame Prototype + Session

    Get a signed Pentagame prototype sent before this Christmas.
    Plus, meet the inventor in Berlin individually.

    Includes:
    • 45 minutes personal training session in a café in Berlin
    • Pentagame protoype: box, hard board, 30 pieces, instructions
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    Limited 1 backer

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €195 or more About US$ 218

    SIGNED Pentagame Community Starter Pack

    THREE SIGNED Pentagame first edition sets, so you can start a community:
    One board for yourself, plus 2 for your friends!

    Includes:
    • Foldable Pentagame board printed on hard card board
    • Pentagame box - nice and black
    • Illustrated rule sheet(s) in English, German +1 other language
    • 12× Set of 5 assorted player's pieces
    • Set of 5 black blocks
    • Set of 5 grey blocks
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €200 or more About US$ 223

    Honorary mention in the rule sheet

    Become immortal with a mention in the rule sheet!

    Includes:
    • Mention in the rule sheet (small print)
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    2 backers

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    Pledge €500 or more About US$ 558

    Mention in the book

    Support my scientific research into Pentagame! The ultimate book on Pentagame (now in the making) already contains some 200 pages... And it's great. It tells how the game was invented, how it may have existed in antiquity as "pente grammai", and it provides an in-depth analysis of the game from opening theory over complexity analysis to end states. The results are that Pentagame has what it takes to be a classic: depth, clarity, drama, elegance and decisiveness; and that it may be a resuscitation of an antique game, since it is a timeless mathematical object of the class "classic abstract board games" anyway, that is the missing one on a pentagram shape.

    Includes:
    • Mention in the "thank you" section of the book (forthcoming!)
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    0 backers

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,000 or more About US$ 1,115

    Golden Wizzard Hat and Pentagram Ring

    The bearers of the Five Hats will constitute the Order of the First Five. We will invite the First Five to a Meeting to establish this Order. The First Five shall be addressed as "Right Honourable Member of the First Five" and hold a ceremonial role in any Pentagame Tournament. All else shall be decided on the First Meeting of the First Five. The First Five shall also be mentioned in the Rule Sheets and the Book.

    Includes:
    • Golden Wizard hat (well not actually gold of course)
    • Pentagame Ring
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    Limited 4 backers

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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €5 or more About US$ 6

    DIY-Pentagame files

    All you need to print your own pentagame set.

    Includes:
    • PDF in high-res of the board
    • Set of 5 assorted player's pieces
    • Set of 5 grey blocks
    • Set of 5 black blocks
    • PDF of the illustrated rule sheet in all languages available
    • Digital file(s) to 3D-print your own geometric player's pieces
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers

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Funding period

- (45 days)