Set after the War of 2620, War Co. is about war, scarcity, and making hard choices. The objective: run your opponent out of cards. You can win with raw muscle, unpredictable traps, or plain old patience.
These are the abridged rules. The full rules can be found here, as well as strategy guides that I've been working on.
War Co. is minimalist in design and in components. Each box comes with five things:
- 50 cards
- 1 reference and story card
- 1 strategy tips card, specific for your deck
- 1 punchout board with 35 counters - blue on one side, yellow on the other
- 1 manual
There are six starter decks in the game: Bruiser, Conspirator, Guerilla, Militant, Trickster, and Wildcard. You can play them straight out of the box or mix and match to create new combos. Each starter deck always contains the same 50 cards, and if you buy all six, you get every one of the 300 cards in the game. You’ll know exactly what cards you’re getting in the pack before you buy them.
Early versions of this idea have been in my head since I was 11. I created a card game based on my understanding of trading card games from the Yu-Gi-Oh! cartoon, which I distributed to neighborhood kids on cut up pieces of printer paper. I revamped this when I was 16, again when I was 19, and now once more at age 23.
The difference this time: I've played more games, studied game-making theory, tested hundreds and hundreds of times, and sent the game to several reviewers (whose opinions are a bit further down the page). I've been working heavily on this game since April 2015.
If you think this Kickstarter campaign is familiar, that's not because you have a misplaced sense of deja vu. I did a Kickstarter campaign earlier in the development of this game, about six months ago. I cancelled the campaign early and I ended up with a big, long list of things I could do better.
This update explains what has changed.
I’ve spent hundreds of hours perfecting the gameplay. James Masino, the artist, has created 300 beautiful works of art you'll love. The game and its artwork are done.
Every card in the game has its own story. All the stories connect to each other like a dystopian future Wikipedia. I update the website every week with a new "artifact" found from the War of 2620. This is the lore mentioned in the rewards - and you can be a part of that!
All that remains is to print the game and get it into your hands. For that, I've recruited PrintNinja for printing and third party fulfillment companies for shipping. I have quotes from Shipwire on fulfillment and would be satisfied working with them, but I am still investigating other fulfillment companies just in case there are better options.
Yes! But I'm biased, so check out these reviews instead.
Reviews are all well and good, but there's nothing like playing the game yourself. I've got two ways you can do that:
Tabletop Simulator: This is a $20 Steam game where you can play all sorts of board and card games online. We've made a War Co. plugin. You can find a link to its Steam page here.
Plain Text Print-and-Play: I have print-and-play files on the website. They're plain text cards. War Co. uses a dark palette, so I did this on purpose so you can save on ink!
10%: Kickstarter and their payment partners take their fair share of funds raised.
30%: Rewards are expensive to ship! However, I've subsidized the cost of shipping so you can play War Co. for a reasonable price.
60%: Everything left over goes directly into printing cards. I expect this to be about 60% of the funds raised. War Co. will be printed by PrintNinja.
Shipping is the hardest part of a good Kickstarter campaign! For that reason, I am going to use third-party fulfillment companies to send rewards. PrintNinja will send cards to warehouses in the USA and EU. For Canada and Australia, I will send either to warehouses or to small distributors, depending upon demand.
For everyone in the USA, you don't have to worry about shipping or customs fees at all!
For everyone in the EU, shipping for two decks of cards is $20, four decks of cards is $25, and six decks of cards is $30. Shipping is free at the Executive Tier reward/$250 and higher! You don't have to worry about customs charges at the door!
For everyone in Canada and Australia, I will ship to you from warehouses or distributors in your respective country. Your countries are in a separate tier since it may take an additional two weeks to receive your rewards.
To Canada: Shipping for two decks of cards is $12, four decks of cards is $15, and six decks of cards is $15. Shipping is free at the Executive Tier reward/$250 and higher!
To Australia: Shipping for two decks of cards is $20, four decks of cards is $25, and six decks of cards is $30. Shipping is free at the Executive Tier reward/$250 and higher!
For everyone else, your shipping costs vary, so please see the rewards for more detail. They tend to be around $35 for two to four decks and $40 for six decks. You may be charged customs charges at the door.
There's four major things that need to happen after this campaign is over to get that fresh cardboard in your hands.
- The Kickstarter payment needs to clear. That will take about 2 weeks.
- PrintNinja will print cards. Their estimates say 3-4 weeks, but I've put 5 weeks on the timeline. The cards are printed in China, where they have holidays in October.
- Cards will then ship to our warehouses. This is a long process! It often takes 4-6 weeks, but because it will be happening during the holiday season, I've put 7 weeks on the timeline.
- As soon as our warehouses get the cards, they can send them out to you! For backers in the US and Europe, you should receive them in two weeks! Other countries might take a little longer to ship to, but usually don't.
You can also get free wallpapers and avatars on my site. You don't have to back me to download them. They're my gift to you!
Risks and challenges
Risk 1: I'm a First-Time Developer and Publisher
I'm a first-time game developer and publisher. To mitigate this, I've been very open about the game and my business development online. Many people have helped steer me in the right direction. Let's keep this tradition alive!
Risk 2: Poor Printing Quality
Poor printing quality is the only issue I can think of that would lead to the worst case scenario I can think of: cash spent and nothing to show for it. To mitigate this, I've chosen PrintNinja for printing: a well-liked company with a reputation for quality. They have sent me an extremely promising sample kit.
Risk 3: Printing Delays
This Kickstarter may lead PrintNinja into producing during the month of October, where we could encounter shipping delays because of Chinese holidays. It is also possible that holiday shipping could delay or increase the price of transporting the cards to warehouses. To account for this, I have included some padding in the timelines so backers have realistic expectations of delivery time.
Risk 4: Poor Fulfillment Quality
It is possible that our fulfillment companies could deliver packages in a substandard manner, damaging the cards in the process or delaying the shipments. I will continue researching fulfillment companies to make sure I make the right choice when the time comes. Fulfillment will not be needed for at least two months after the end of this campaign, so there is lots of time to improve upon my current plan. I'm very open to advice on this matter.
Risk 5: Massive Overfunding of the Kickstarter Campaign
It is possible that this Kickstarter campaign will massively overfund, exceeding raised funds of $100,000. By using PrintNinja and third party fulfillment companies, I have a scalable business model that can handle massive overfunding. Even still, business processes change significantly and in unforeseen ways with growth, and I acknowledge this.
- (30 days)