Project image
)}
$6,379
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
88
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, September 26 2015 1:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated September 26, 2015

Commanders: Tactical Strategy Game

Dice-based combat with tile-based resource gathering. Spend resources to expand your armies, upgrade soldiers, or climb the tech tree.

Commanders: Tactical Strategy Game

Dice-based combat with tile-based resource gathering. Spend resources to expand your armies, upgrade soldiers, or climb the tech tree.

$6,379
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
88
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, September 26 2015 1:00 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated September 26, 2015

About

I am a graphic designer and a strategy game enthusiast. I worked in the print industry for 10 years before I started my own company, RedCricket Design Inc., and began freelancing graphic design full-time. The print company I worked for produced the printing for some of the most well-known board games (and game publishers) in the world. I gained valuable experience working directly with the manufacturers on those accounts and am grateful for the connections I've made in the industry.

Dice-based combat, tile-based resource gathering, and a variety of upgrades to spend resources on

While I've been designing strategy games since I was in elementary school, Commanders is my first attempt at getting a game into production. I started developing Commanders four years ago after being frustrated with the lack of viable strategies in most combat board games. Economy-based games allow for much more creative strategies, but tend to lack the thrill of dice-based combat. 

My goal was to create a dice-based combat game with an economy mechanic that allowed for all sorts of diverse and creative tactics to be used. Many tabletop games do this well, but require the purchase of miniatures to expand your tactical options. How creative a player can get with their strategies depends on how much money they've spent buying up more miniatures with more abilities. Commanders gives each player the same opportunity for creating unique strategies without requiring extra cash. Resources gathered from tiles in the game are spent on upgrading your armies' abilities, so your options for strategic creativity are dependent on board control and personal preference, not on the size of your wallet.

After 4 years of revisions and play-testing, I am confident the result is an extremely fun game that allows for a great variety of strategies and great opportunities for new tactics and combos to be discovered - while still remaining incredibly balanced!

Play-testing through the years
Play-testing through the years

No more unofficial alliances between other players

Something else that sets Commanders apart from other games is the Alliance mechanic. If you've ever played a game where two other players agreed not to attack each other or made some other informal agreement (or if you agreed not to attack another player and they attacked you anyway), you know how frustrating unofficial alliances can be. 

Commanders has an official alliance mechanic built in, where players can trade Alliance Cards to agree not to attack each other for a certain number of turns. 

Alliance cards can be exchanged to keep track of the number of turns players agree not to attack each other. Allies can benefit from each other's resources, but there is a penalty if you attack a player before your alliance with them is completed.
Alliance cards can be exchanged to keep track of the number of turns players agree not to attack each other. Allies can benefit from each other's resources, but there is a penalty if you attack a player before your alliance with them is completed.

Players in an alliance also share some resource gathering benefits. However, there are penalties for breaking an alliance early. Players can ally with more than one player at a time and as often as they'd like, but are limited by the number of Alliance Cards they have available to trade. This not only contributes to the strategy and economy of the game, but it also discourages unofficial, non-trustworthy alliances from forming.

Re-entry Scenarios

Dice-based combat games have a reputation for eliminating certain players early on, and then continuing for hours - leaving the eliminated player with nothing else to do but watch. Once again, the mechanics for Commanders solve this problem while contributing to the game's arsenal of strategies. In Commanders, you'll place soldiers on the board, and you'll have a pile of reserves that have not yet been placed on the board. If all of the soldiers you have on the board get captured, but you still have reserves in your pile, you're not out of the game yet. You lost the battle, but you can still win the war. There are 6 re-entry scenarios built into the game. If you don't have any soldiers on the board, rolling a die on your next turn tells you which re-entry scenario you'll use to rejoin the game. Each of the scenarios is designed to scale with the current status of the game, so a player who is re-entering will still be a serious contender for the win but they won't be overpowered in the early game or underpowered in the late game. Once all of one player's soldiers have been captured and they have no more reserves, the game is over and the player who captured the most enemy soldiers wins.

The Objective

The goal of the game is to capture 20 enemy soldiers. The first player to do this wins. However, if all of one player's soldiers have been captured (they have no more on the board or in their reserve pile), then the player who has the highest number of enemy soldiers captured wins.

Each player has a Cost Guide with a "Prisoner Tray" area at the top. Place the soldiers you've captured there to keep track of how many more you need to win. The Cost Guide also shows all of the available purchases, as well as the sequence of a turn.
Each player has a Cost Guide with a "Prisoner Tray" area at the top. Place the soldiers you've captured there to keep track of how many more you need to win. The Cost Guide also shows all of the available purchases, as well as the sequence of a turn.

Board layout and Base Tiles

The board is comprised of 7 Base Tiles and 6 kinds of Resource Tiles, with 12 extra Resource Tiles to be added to the board during gameplay.
The board is comprised of 7 Base Tiles and 6 kinds of Resource Tiles, with 12 extra Resource Tiles to be added to the board during gameplay.

The board is made up of hexagon-shaped tiles set up in a large hexagon shape. These tiles consist of six different kinds of resource tiles as well as a base tile in the middle of the board and at each of the six corners. Each time the board is set up, the location of resources is randomized. Players will place their soldiers on resource tiles based on which resources they would like to collect and which parts of the board they'd like to control. 

As players move soldiers from tile to tile, they leave behind Possession Markers to claim those tiles as part of their territory. 

Soldiers can never be placed on base tiles. However, a soldier's territory must connect to a base tile or the soldiers in that territory will die. If you expand too far away from a base tile, another player could move in behind you, separating your territory from a base tile and capturing your soldiers.

Possession Markers are placed to identify territories you control. Territories (highlighted) must remain connected to a base tile or all of the Soldiers in the territory will die.
Possession Markers are placed to identify territories you control. Territories (highlighted) must remain connected to a base tile or all of the Soldiers in the territory will die.

Attacking

The most common way of capturing enemy soldiers is to attack. You can command the soldiers on one tile to attack enemy soldiers on an adjacent tile. (Some upgrades allow you to attack tiles that are further away.) When attacking, each player rolls two dice. The player whose dice have a higher sum captures one of the other player's soldiers. (A tie favors the attacker in this game.) This continues until the attacker stops his attack or until all of the soldiers on the attacking or defending tile have been captured.

Resource control

Resource cards are earned for each Soldier on the board and can be spent on a wide range of upgrades and abilities.
Resource cards are earned for each Soldier on the board and can be spent on a wide range of upgrades and abilities.

Each turn you may collect one resource card for each soldier you have on the board - corresponding with the resource tiles they occupy. Some players position their soldiers on the board in order to earn specific resources for a specific upgrade, while others may try to control certain resources in order to limit their enemy's access to them. You can tell a lot about your opponent's strategy by what resources they are focusing on.

Spending your Resources - What upgrades and abilities will you choose?

On your turn, you can trade resource cards with other players regardless of whether or not they are your ally. Your resource cards can be spent on a wide variety of items to help you win. 

Basic Purchases include Reinforcements, which lets you add soldiers from your reserve pile onto the board; Exploration, which lets you add a tile to the edge of the board and place a possession marker on it; and Secret Weapons, which lets you draw from the Secret Weapons Card deck for one of several very powerful single-use perks - like jailbreaking captured soldiers or blocking an enemy's nuclear strike.

Purchasing Secret Weapons cards gives you a one-time use perk that can dramatically impact the game if the card is played at the right time.
Purchasing Secret Weapons cards gives you a one-time use perk that can dramatically impact the game if the card is played at the right time.

You can also spend your resource cards on Upgrade Tokens, which permanently improve the all of your soldiers in the territory of your choice - such as giving them the ability to attack tiles that are further away, increase the value of each dice roll, and enhance their mobility around the board. 

Upgrade Tokens are placed in the middle of a territory and permanently improve all of the soldiers in the territory.
Upgrade Tokens are placed in the middle of a territory and permanently improve all of the soldiers in the territory.

Special Ability Structures can be purchased and placed on the board to provide additional abilities such as calling down a nuclear strike on an enemy tile or paratrooping some of your soldiers from one side of the board to the other. Structures can only be used once per turn and many of them require you to spend additional resources per use. Unlike Upgrades, Structures can be stolen from you if another player manages to infiltrate the tile that the structure is placed on.

Structures give you access to Special Abilities, but can be stolen from you if the enemy takes over the tile your structure is on.
Structures give you access to Special Abilities, but can be stolen from you if the enemy takes over the tile your structure is on.

A Typical Turn

Each turn has several phases, which are as follows:
Resource Gathering - the player collects resource cards for each of their soldiers on the board and may trade resource cards with other players.

Purchasing - the player may spend their resource cards on items in the cost guide.

Special Abilities - the player may use special abilities for any structures they have on the board, including those just purchased. 

Commands - the player may command tiles with soldiers to move or attack.

Fortify - At the end of the turn, the player may add one soldier for each base tile he is connected to.

Rules

To see all of the strategic options available, download the Cost Guide pdf here.

To see the different Secret Weapons Cards in the deck, download the pdf here.

To view the complete rules, download the pdf here.

Poster

Share this project through any of the links below to receive a FREE 8.5x13 mini-poster with each game that you purchase!

Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Pinterest

24x36 Poster for the $19 pledge level / 8.5x13 Poster with purchase of game for sharing on social media
24x36 Poster for the $19 pledge level / 8.5x13 Poster with purchase of game for sharing on social media

A well-known problem with tile-based games is their tendency to shift and come apart during gameplay. While some games incorporate a puzzle-like frame around the board, this would hinder the ability to add more tiles during gameplay (using Exploration) and could limit the implementation of expansions in the future. I've developed a custom interlocking hex shape for the tiles. Other interlocking hex shapes require the tiles to be oriented a certain direction in order to snap together. These can be oriented any direction and connect easily. They don't snap together like a puzzle does, but they do hold each other in place. This not only makes the board easier to assemble and disassemble than puzzle-like tabs, but it also reduces the wear and tear on the edges of the tiles.

Do you have an expansion planned for the future?

Yes I do, several actually! But more importantly, I have an expansion that is already developed and is in the final stages of play-testing. The Dark Matter expansion adds 6 Dark Matter Resource Tiles, a Teleporter Structure which lets you relocate your soldiers and your enemy's, a Forcefield Upgrade that provides an extra line of defense against your opponents, and a new Secret Weapons Card that disables enemy upgrades for one turn.

Dark Matter expansion will be included if stretch goal is unlocked.
Dark Matter expansion will be included if stretch goal is unlocked.

Introducing the $100,000 Stretch Goal!

The Dark Matter expansion will be included with each game you purchase if we reach $100,000 in pledges! The Dark Matter expansion will not be included in post-Kickstarter retail versions of the game, but may be available for purchase separately at a later date.

Risks and challenges

I've done my due diligence in getting quotes together for the custom pieces, printing, manufacturing, and fulfillment. The artwork is complete and all items are ready to be produced. However, there is a little bit of concern with the interlocking hex shape. Basically, the more edges there are on a shape, the more pressure is required to die-cut it. We've done the math with the manufacturer and the die-maker and we believe the shape is do-able on a large sheet, but if we run into problems we may need to figure out a more simplified interlocking hex shape or go with a standard hex.
The custom shapes for the soldiers and possession markers may also be subject to change. Again, I've had these quoted, but we won't know until we do a test run whether the shapes scale well for mass-production.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Thank you! Your support for Commanders is greatly appreciated!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    Poster
    One 24x36 Commanders Logo Poster available only to Kickstarter Backers! (Picture of the poster is in the description.)

    (Free shipping)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $46 or more About $46

    One Game
    Includes one copy of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals!

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    37 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $52 or more About $52

    One Game and Recognition
    Includes one copy of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals! In addition, your name will be mentioned in the contributors section in the rules.

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    26 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    Two Games
    Includes 2 copies of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals!

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $94 or more About $94

    Two Games and Recognition
    Includes 2 copies of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals! In addition, your name will be mentioned in the contributors section in the rules.

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $252 or more About $252

    Six Games and Recognition
    Includes 6 Copies of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals! In addition, your name will be mentioned in the contributors section in the rules.

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $398 or more About $398

    Ten Games and Recognition
    Includes 10 Copies of the Commanders game, plus all unlocked Stretch Goals! In addition, your name will be mentioned in the contributors section in the rules.

    Shipping costs will be added after you pledge.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)