THE TWO-PLAYER FENCING CARD GAME OF CUNNING BLADEWORK AND CAREFUL TIMING!
THE TWO-PLAYER FENCING CARD GAME OF CUNNING BLADEWORK AND CAREFUL TIMING!
A special THANK YOU to all the backers of Quicksteel and to my family and friends for your support. Since the Kickstarter campaign is not reaching its funding goal, I’m canceling it early to regroup and evaluate what needs to be changed (see Updates section for info on this).
I look forward to relaunching it with a much lower funding goal and better marketing. If you’d like to be contacted when I do, please visit quicksteelgame.com to sign up for my newsletter.
Thank you again and best wishes!
Quicksteel puts you in the role of one of two fencers. Like blades, the cards of Quicksteel interact in a dance of skill and timing. Each fencer is armed with identical 65-card decks filled with lunges, parries and a variety of specialty maneuvers.
In Quicksteel, players enter a world where cunning and skill win the day…not strength or size. No two minds think alike, so every game is a fresh challenge.
Now we’ll get into the more detailed description of the game’s concept, gameplay and examples of possible strategies. What will your strategy be?
Fencing is such an amazing sport! In a match, at first the combatants often size each other up, cautiously testing one another's defenses and reactions. They are patient, calculated. Suddenly - they explode into action! Their blades become a blur. They lunge, parry, counter-attack and dodge. A point is scored before the audience knows what happened, the action taking place in milliseconds.
Quicksteel takes that action and slows it down (just a bit!), allowing players to calculate their moves instead of reacting. The game follows international fencing rules as well, so it's true to the sport. Quicksteel is mostly based on a form of fencing called Foil, named so for the blade that is used. In foil fencing...
Quicksteel is streamlined so that gameplay is optimized, which makes it look deceptively primitive. Even its visual design is taken into account to aid players who are holding many cards (In Quicksteel, there is no limit to the number of cards in your hand).
MY STORY & WHY KICKSTARTER
I fenced in college and really fell in love with the sport. It helped that I was a fantasy-adventure nerd who wanted to learn to fence like Westley and Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride! I got my chance, and learned it was much harder than I thought. There’s actual skill and training involved! And people were better than me.
Ever since that time, I’ve been thinking about how to capture the experience of fencing through an artfully simple, fun card game. I wanted it to be something I could carry around and bust out to play with friends on short notice. It also needed to be easy to learn but challenging to master.
Those were my guiding goals:
Quicksteel can be compared to chess in many ways. The rules of chess are pretty simple, but the strategies and plays are infinite. It’s a game of skill, but also of strategy and planning...of seeing ahead of your opponent. I made Quicksteel with that in mind.
So I made it. Out of paper cut-outs at first. When I found out it worked, I glued them to actual playing cards and attempted some matches against myself (it’s an incredible experience to design something and then find out it works!). So I tested it over and over again, and then showed it to some friends who thought it was fun. Wow! We played it some more, each time finding holes in the gameplay which I would then fix. It was becoming more streamlined and easy to play, smoother, and I was very happy about that.
The original cards (which I may post a picture of here – not sure – they’re pretty basic) played well, and that was enough for me. I decided to move on and develop a few more ideas I had, such as Legend: A Game of Maps, a series of hand-crafted, code-breaking treasure hunt games which I sell online (legendagameofmaps.com).
It found an audience and people wrote to me about how much fun they had solving the games. However, I was (and still am) making the games by hand. Then I found Kickstarter. I learned how other game designers garnered enough funding to manufacture their games and get them to much larger audiences than I'm able to on my own. I knew I could make a lot of gamers really happy. That's why it's on Kickstarter.
The game is all but done, aside from minor art changes and gameplay adjustments. The demo is in hand, the printer/fulfillment set up and ready to go. All that is needed now is funding. That's why I need your help to make it a reality.
Kickstarter Exclusive Reward Levels
These Reward Levels include an exclusive selection of 5x7 inch art prints which are ready-to-frame and signed by our illustrious illustrator, Rob Cannon. These prints will be mailed to backers separately from the game and are randomly chosen from a selection of five. Those backers pledging at the 5-print level will receive the full set.
I recommend that players start playing Quicksteel in Basic Mode, which uses only red, blue and green cards. After you’ve played a few games and gotten a feel for some basic strategies, it’s a good time to add in the purple cards and experience the full game!
What Do The Different Colors Mean?
The cards in Quicksteel are color-coded.
- RED cards are for attack
- BLUE cards are for defense
- GREEN are for Right of Way
- PURPLE cards are specialty cards that modify other cards
Who Goes First?
Both players show the bottom card of their deck. Whoever shows a red card takes the first turn. If both players show red cards, continue up from the bottom of the decks until the tie is broken.
To begin the game, both players draw an initial hand of 10 cards from the top of their deck. On a player’s turn they draw an additional card (this includes the first turn).
How Does Combat Begin?
Combat begins when a player plays a green Right of Way card on their turn, such as Right of Way or Balestra. For example, two players go back and forth drawing cards, but no attacks can be made until combat is begun. When a player is willing and able, they may play a green Right of Way card on their turn to begin combat, and follow it immediately with an attack or combination attack, if desired. If combat is ever Reset, it must be restarted again for players to engage.
What To Do On Your Turn
- Draw a card
- Play a single attack card, an attack card combined with a purple card, or simply pass. If your attack is successful, you score a touch (point).
- If your attack is unsuccessful (is parried or otherwise avoided), your turn ends and your opponent’s turn begins.
What To Do When Attacked
- Defend yourself. Play the appropriate defensive card to counter the attack card played against you. Combine this with a purple card for different effects.
- If your defense is successful, it becomes your turn. If not, your opponent scores a touch and combat is Reset.
How Do I Win?
In a standard game, the first player to score five (5) points wins.
How Many Cards Can I Have In My Hand?
There is no limit to the number of cards you may have in your hand.
How Many Specialty (Purple) Cards Can I Use At A Time?
Only one (1) Specialty card may be used at a time/per turn. For example, Lunge High Left and Fleche can be used, but not Lunge High Left, Fleche and Balestra combined.
What Happens If I Run Out Of Cards?
If it is your Turn to draw a card and you are out, reshuffle your expired cards and cut the deck in half. Discard one of the halves. Draw your new card from the other half. Repeat this each time you run out, using smaller and smaller decks (this represents the fatigue you experience as a fencer). If you completely run out, you forfeit the bout (are exhausted) and your opponent wins.
Lunge – The extension of the blade and forward motion of the fencer in an attempt to score a touch. This is the basic form of attack. In Quicksteel there are 4 basic lunges: Inside High, Inside Low, Outside High and Outside Low.
Parry – The defensive action of using your blade to block an attack. In Quicksteel, only the appropriate Parry can defend against its specific attack.
Keep Distance – The movement of the fencer's position (backward) to avoid an attack without using their blade. Also called ‘Retreat.’
Riposte – An attack made by the defender immediately following their successful defense.
Reset – An effect caused by such cards as Disarm and Fleche. It ends combat, requiring a Right of Way card to begin combat again.
Touch – Also called a point. When you complete a successful attack, it’s called a touch. The French term is 'touche.'
Bout – Combat between two fencers
Match – The accumulated points of all the bouts between two teams
Conversation – The interplay of swords leading to a scored point
Foil - The blade used in Foil fencing. It is lighter than other types of fencing blades, such as sabers and epee. Quicksteel follows standard Foil Fencing rules.
ALTERNATIVE GAME MODES
Sudden Death – Each player chooses 10 cards to build their Sudden Death mini-deck with. The first person to score a point wins.
Chess – Both opponents play with the cards in their hand face up, so that each player knows exactly what the other has to work with.
RPG Combat – Players may use Quicksteel to resolve combat in any pen & paper role playing game (RPG), miniature game or Live-Action Role Playing (LARP), among other applications (such as resolving differences among friends!).
Team Matches – For example, 2 teams of 5 fencers each playing individual bouts against each other to determine a winning team, which is the team with the most accumulated points from all the bouts combined.
Manufacturing & Shipping
QUICKSTEEL is entirely Made In the USA. I really wanted to keep everything in the USA for my first game, because I wanted to ensure that the game was manufactured to a high standard and because I love my country. After a lot of research, I found Shuffled Ink, a game and card manufacturer in sunny Orlando, Florida. They were really helpful and gave me all the info I needed to move forward.
Here’s some info about them. They have been in business for twenty years and make really beautiful products. They use the highest quality paper in the world (which I learned was German – very cool!) and only use black core. Black core is the piece of paper sandwiched between the front and back faces of a card. It’s black, opaque and prevents people from being able to see through the card (no cheaters!). It’s also the highest quality type of card stock (other options are ivory core, blue core, etc). I’ve seen the quality of their printing, too. Quicksteel’s box is beautiful and solid, and the cards very durable = longer shelf life!
Shuffled Ink will also be handling the fulfillment, meaning the games will go directly from the manufacturer to your doorstep! They’ll print ‘em, pack ‘em and ship ‘em out as soon as they’re done! How is that for turnaround time? And they use FedEx 2-day guaranteed shipping, too (see Risks & Challenges section below for details/schedule).
Visit their site for more info and to see pictures/video of their manufacturing facility!
Ron Francesangelo is the creator of Quicksteel and many other games. He has also handcrafted the Legend: A Game of Maps series (legendagameofmaps.com), designed pen & paper RPGs, developed content for video games and wrote an adventure novel for middle grade readers.
Ron is passionate about creating memorable, immersive experiences for players to enjoy.
Rob Cannon is an illustrative artist, born in Sacramento, California in 1989. He has an associate’s degree in Art from American River College, which proudly hangs upside-down in his studio, to remind him of how useful it has been.
To date he has produced artwork for 12 comics, lettered and edited many more, and has no plans of stopping.
You can see more of Rob’s work at rcannon.design
Finally, I'd like to thank a few particular people who had a hand in Quicksteel's creation. Of course to my family for their support, Rob for his incredible artwork, Kevin who helped with filming, Mike and all the other game testers, Nick & Zach who fenced for the videos, and Vitus for his copy-editing and suggestions. A heartfelt thank you to you all.
Video Music by:
Catharsis by Punch Deck | https://soundcloud.com/punch-deck
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Risks and challenges
To mitigate the risks that come with a creative project, I’ve taken great pains to keep things simple. The game is ENTIRELY MADE IN THE USA by Shuffled Ink and fulfillment is being done by them too - immediately after it's printed! No warehousing or seaborne freight.
Since it's being made in the US, I can jump on a plane and handle any hiccups in the process. I don't expect needing to, though. Shuffled Ink is a solid company that's been around for 20 years. I have every confidence in their ability to create a beautiful game and get it in backer’s hands BY Christmas.
How can we make a game and get it to Domestic backers by Christmas?
Here's our schedule:
* The Kickstarter ends October 1st.
* Funds are received approximately 2 weeks later (October 15th).
* During that waiting period, the final game art is digitally sent to Shuffled Ink and proofs are express-mailed back to me for confirmation.
* Once confirmed, they immediately begin printing (around October 24th). They estimate 4-6 weeks at most for production, and that’s WITH a cushion.
* Once done (approx. early December), the games are IMMEDIATELY shipped out by Shuffled Ink to backers (via FedEx 2-day delivery), literally ‘hot off the presses’ (they might actually be warm, too, since they were just made and coming from sunny Florida!).
They put me at ease with their professionalism and individual care. I really felt like a person and not a number to them. In fact, most of my dealings have been with Shuffled Ink's president! He was gracious enough to spend almost an hour on the phone with me going over particulars.
I'll be in constant communication with backers during the entire process.
Thank you for your support. I can't wait for you and your friends to play our game!
- (26 days)