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Area 51 is a strategic board game for 2-6 players about storing secret alien artifacts.
Area 51 is a strategic board game for 2-6 players about storing secret alien artifacts.
101 backers pledged €6,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Do you believe in aliens?

Now you can help fund a game about the UFO coverup!

What makes this game special?

  • Unusual theme (UFO coverup)
  • Modular game board that fits together like a puzzle
  • Short play time (under 60 minutes with 4 players)
  • Unique shared scoring mechanic
  • Highly interactive - the game depends mostly on the other players, so it's different every time
  • Refined game design - winner of a game author competition, with 6 years of further development
  • Box cover looks like a secret file folder

What is this game about?

Welcome to the 1950’s USA - the era of big cars, rock ‘n roll, and rampant alien activity! To prevent mass panic, the US military has ordered its top generals (you and your fellow players) to collect all evidence of aliens and store it in Area 51, a secret military base in the remote Nevada desert.

You’ll need to build specialized bunkers for the advanced tools, futuristic weapons, biological samples, and alien clothing. Each bunker can only hold a certain type of artifact, and they will need to be upgraded if you want to hold the most advanced and dangerous artifacts. You can also hire trucks or trains that allow artifacts to be re-routed to different regions and different bunkers. At the end of the game, the player whose bunkers have loaded the most valuable artifacts will be the winner.

How does this game work?

Each player has alien artifacts that they have captured (their hand of cards). Due to the dangerous nature of the artifacts, they must be stored deep underground in specially-designed bunkers. Only a small guard tower is visible above ground, which provides security and access control. The players put artifacts into the hangars on the board – that frees up a bit of the military budget, allowing them to build bunkers in that region (by placing a tower and a black security marker), or upgrade them (by adding a security marker).

Example of placing a bunker and the cards for it
Example of placing a bunker and the cards for it

Players can also hire trucks or trains that allow artifacts to be re-routed to different regions.

Example of placing a truck and the cards for it
Example of placing a truck and the cards for it

Players can also pick up a pile of artifacts from the board and load them into bunkers in that region, scoring points for the players who own the bunkers. Any leftover artifacts are taken back into their hand.

Example of picking up a stack of cards to score
Example of picking up a stack of cards to score

The key rule is that players must store artifacts if possible - so they'll often end up scoring points for the other players. The main strategy of the game is to play artifacts that support your building strategy, but also force whoever picks up that pile of cards to give you points.

Example of scoring after pickup
Example of scoring after pickup

Key:
A - There is no bunker for this (gray) type artifact. The card goes into the hand of the player.
B - The blue artifact with security level 1 is stored (thus scored and discarded) in the blue bunker with security level 2 (= 1 point for the pink player).
C - The blue artifact with security level 2 is stored using the truck in the blue bunker with security level 2 in the neighboring region (= 2 points for the white player).
D - The green artifact with security level 1 is stored in the green bunker with security level 2 (= 1 point for yellow).
E - For the green artifact with security level 2 there is no suitable bunker. The card goes into the hand of the player.
F - The orange artifact with security level 1 is stored in the orange bunker with security level 2 (= 1 point for the blue player).
G - For the orange artifact with the security level 2 there is no suitable bunker. The card goes into the hand of the player.

The game is for 2-6 players, ages 12 and up, and takes about about 60 minutes to play. It will appeal to players who like highly interactive strategically intricate games.

We have posted some game reviews in the Press & Reviews section above. They explain the game more in detail and also how it works.

Why is the game design special?

Area 51 by Stefan Alexander derives from the game author’s competition 2009/2010 held by Mücke Spiele. It has been even further developed in the years since then.

Why should you back this project?

  • You will get a better price than for the retail versions of the game.
  • You will help activate stretch goals so we can make an even better game!
  • Some bonus items from the stretch goals will only be available to backers. They will not be available in the retail version of the game!

 

 

 

Setup Example
Setup Example

Key:
A - game board (two hangars here)
B - supplies of black security markers (& next to it: placement area for bunkers)
C - tower supply
D - supply of trucks, trains and number markers
E - draw pile for artifact cards
F - 6 face up artifact cards
G - VP track with 4 meeples

 

 

The graphics are being made by Christian Opperer.

 

Rules in English, German and French will be included. Other languages will follow after the successful realisation of the game.

You can download the latest rules versions from here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/198898/area-51-top-secret/files

http://www.muecke-spiele.de/wordpress/?p=2603

All other game components are language-neutral.

Here are some rules clarifications and FAQ:

http://www.muecke-spiele.de/wordpress/?p=2623

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The number of Alien plus Alien Overlord rewards are limited to a total of 25!

 

In some stretch goal the items will only be available to the Kickstarter backers of the game. They will not be included in the retail versions of the game!

Adds 14 new cards and new rules to the game. This includes a black train and 14 black cards (two types) showing very dangerous contraband artifacts. The government thinks these should be destroyed, but players can keep them anyway since they give special powers. You can build black storage facilities (with no towers), and a black train. When black cards are stored, instead of points, you get to pick up cards, and you can move a black marker from one region to another one. This adds an extra strategic element to the game, since players can control the relative strength of the regions, and the timing of the endgame.

You get alien meeple labels which you can stick on the meeples in the game.

Adds 36 new unique illustrations for the alien artifact cards.

Adds new cards and rules to the game. This includes "level 5" artifact cards in orange, blue and brown and "level 4" cards in green. They have +1 points, so you actually score 6. This also includes extra security markers (12 per small region, 20 per large region). The duration of the game is expanded by 20 minutes.

Some “spaceship” cards are added to the game. They are wild, which means they can be of any color, but they cannot be stored.

 

Pick up your copy at our stand at SPIEL 2016 (October 13-16) in Essen (Germany) to save shipping costs!

Increase your pledge amount to get any of the following add-ons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any combination of the above add-ons is possible. You just need to increase your pledge by the exact total of add-ons you want.

Important: You will need to send an email to info@spielmaterial.de informing us which add-ons you want to get with your increased pledge (since this is not part of Kickstarter's normal functionality).

 

Mücke Spiele (publisher)
Mücke Spiele (publisher)

Mücke Spiele are always closely related to www.spielmaterial.de.

In our games, we use materials that can be found in our online shop. Since 2009 we have also been publishing games resulting from annual author competitions. The goal in these competitions is to develop a board or card game from an existing set of materials.

See our other games here:

http://www.muecke-spiele.de/wordpress/

The game is loosely based on various conspiracy theories about a UFO and alien coverup by the US government starting in the 1940s/1950s.

Roswell Incident

The most well-known of these is the Roswell incident. The official version of events is that in 1947 a United States Air Force surveillance balloon crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Many people doubt this claim though including some eye witnesses. Initial news reports were in fact that an extraterrestial craft had crashed. Then the government denied anything had happened at all only to later change its version of events decades later to that of a crashed surveillance balloon.

http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/incident.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_8jQq1Dss

Area 51 & Bob Lazar

Other claims are that the US government is storing crashed ET vehicles in "Area 51" a super-secret facility in Nevada near Groom Lake. Bob Lazar was one person who came forward in the 1980s and claimed that he had worked at this facility and in fact had seen ET craft and technology being studied there. He predicted the discovery of element 115, which at the time was unknown to science.

"I am exactly sure of what I saw. I know what mainstream science is like, I know where physics stands — I know all of that — and this is an extraterrestial craft, this technology is hundreds and hundreds of years in advance of us, and that's the end of that story." - Bob Lazar

http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1249.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igUMDICqTpQ

Disclosure Project

Over the past few decades many insiders from the military and government have come forward claiming that there is indeed a vast coverup going by the US government.

On Wednesday, May 9th, 2001, over 20 military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses came forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC claiming the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies. The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, makes it difficult to doubt the reality of these phenomena.

http://www.disclosureproject.org/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkswXVmG4xM

Further Reading & Videos

Other groups bringing evidence and attempting to break the UFO coverup can be found here: 

http://www.paradigmresearchgroup.org/
http://truedisclosure.org/
http://exopolitics.org/

OUT OF THE BLUE is widely considered one of the best documentary films ever made about UFOs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYPCKIL7oVw

Another documentary, The day before Disclosure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1WWRJinIU4

Risks and challenges

Mücke Spiele has over 15 years of experience producing more than two dozen board games inhouse and dozens of games for other companies (see our references here: https://www.spielematerial.de/en/references). This is our second crowdfunded project.

The factory is ready to publish and the art and layout have been completed. Any additionally needed changes from the stretch goals should be completed prior to the end of the campaign. The special cards from the stretch goals may need to be produced later though and will be then sent out accordingly later.

There are the usual risks of printing, shipping, customs, and other unintended delays, but you can be sure that with our experience we can deliver the games to you as promised.

Thanks again for all of the support!

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    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret, plus card sleeves, cotton bag, t-shirt, cap and mug shipped to you. These all (except sleeves) have the "Area 51" logo on them. You also get 2 games of your choice from the Edition Bohrtürme (Schwarzes Gold, Namibia, Ghawar, Global Warming, Atacama). Shipping costs are in description below.

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    "Alien" Backer (with shipping)

    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret plus a set of hand-painted alien pawns shipped to you. Shipping costs are in description below.

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    "3-Star General" Backer (with shipping)

    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret, plus card sleeves, cotton bag, t-shirt, cap and mug shipped to you. These all (except sleeves) have the "Area 51" logo on them. You also get 3 games of your choice from the Edition Bohrtürme (Schwarzes Gold, Namibia, Ghawar, Global Warming, Atacama). Shipping costs are in description below.

    Includes:
    • Area 51 - Top Secret
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    "4-Star General" Backer (with shipping)

    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret, plus card sleeves, cotton bag, t-shirt, cap and mug shipped to you. These all (except sleeves) have the "Area 51" logo on them. You also get 4 games of your choice from the Edition Bohrtürme (Schwarzes Gold, Namibia, Ghawar, Global Warming, Atacama). Shipping costs are in description below.

    Includes:
    • Area 51 - Top Secret
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    "5-Star General" Backer (with shipping)

    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret, plus card sleeves, cotton bag, t-shirt, cap and mug shipped to you. These all (except sleeves) have the "Area 51" logo on them. You also get 5 games of your choice from the Edition Bohrtürme (Schwarzes Gold, Namibia, Ghawar, Global Warming, Atacama). Shipping costs are in description below.

    Includes:
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    • card sleeves
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    "Alien Overlord" Backer (with shipping)

    Get one copy of the board game Area 51 - Top Secret plus all available add-ons. This includes 5 games of your choice from the Edition Bohrtürme (Schwarzes Gold, Namibia, Ghawar, Global Warming, Atacama). Shipping costs are in description below.

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Funding period

- (30 days)