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$6,926 pledged of $30,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Come be part of the next big thing in historical gaming!

The year is 1000 A.D., the European continent is constantly at war as competing political factions try to control Europe through military might and political intrigue. Will the Byzantine Empire rise again and give rebirth to the glory and ancestors of Ancient Rome? Can the upstart Kievan Rus Empire bring a new golden age of Slavic Culture and power? Or will the Fatimid Caliphate push further into Europe and create an even greater Muslim Empire?

In Swords & Sails, players control one of these factions in a bid to conquer Europe. Muster armies and assemble fleets, build more cities, make and break alliances, spy on your opponents, and go to war to conquer all of Europe. Players move armies consisting of six types of army combat units (Knights, Heavy Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Heavy Infantry, Light Infantry and Peasant troops) and fleets containing warships, Raider ships, and Transport units. Each season, brings the opportunity to build more units into your armies or fleets. Capture territories and build new cities to increase income. A unique combat system gives you the chance to line your troops up for battle and face off against your enemies.

Featuring artwork from medieval artist Richard Luschek II.

Anglo Saxon Cards
Anglo Saxon Cards

 

7 Player Game Setup
7 Player Game Setup

                     The full rules are available for download HERE:

  • A Unique thematic game system mixing strategy, diplomacy, economics and tactics.
  • Kickstarter Limited Exclusive Content! Some Stretch Goals will only be available to Kickstarter backers.  
  • Stretch Goal Enhancement - Pledges will increase game content to enhance your gameplay experience.
  • Bundled Deals! - discounted shipping costs when selecting reward levels with addons.
  • FREE shipping to US and UK locations for the Basic Game (See Shipping Table).

Origin's BoardGameGeek Live Stream Demo.

"Kind of Like Axis & Allies (TM) but better," Larry Grant, Origins Game Fair Swords & Sails Learn to Play Session.

"I like the fact that Swords & Sails tells me a story as I am playing the game and I can kinda see history being rewritten," Lance Myxter - Undead Viking.

"With the army pieces and the beautiful historical map its a really fun cool game to look at," Lance Myxter - Undead Viking.

 An Older Review (old artwork): "The Breadth and Scope of Swords & Sails can not be overstated," Nick Meenachan - Board Game Brawl.

  Over 800 Components:

 

                   Squire's Reward:

  • The full color Print-n-Play (PnP) copy of Swords & Sails including printable components for all 800 full color pieces and the two large full color deluxe maps (multiple printable formats).
  • Including Both English and German PnP rule books (when available French and Spanish).

                   Warrior's Reward:

  • All the above in Squire's Reward ( and all base game stretch goals) plus
  • 2 large full color 18" x 27" wide 6 fold game maps (Total 36" x 27" when unfolded and combined)
  • 280 punch out Two Sided Army and Fleet unit token (40 per 7 players) in 6 Army Unit Types (Knights, Heavy Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Heavy Infantry, Light infantry, and Peasant) 3 Fleet Unit Types (Warship, Raider { or LongBoat }, Transport) (Exact Mix of Units will vary by Faction) 
  • 196 Faction Tokens (28 per faction),
  • 77 Wet Erase 5 1/4" x 3 1/2" Cards (5 Army, 5 Fleet, 1 Diplomat Card)
  • 35 Wooden Army cubes(5 per faction) 
  • 35 Wooden Fleet Ships (5 per faction), 
  • 14 Color Custom Dice (2 per faction), 
  • 7 wet erase markers
  • 50 Two sides Minor City / Major City tokens
  • 119 two sided punch out coins in 4 denominations.
  • 7 Faction reference / First Turn Sheets (1 per player / faction)

        (Warriors Award Pieces shown in the What's In The Box section)

                         Knight's Reward:

  • All the above in Warrior's Reward plus
  • 140 historically based metal coins in 4 denominations and a custom velvet Swords&Sails Bag to hold the coins.
  • Any Stretch Goals specific to the Swords&Sails Coins (Knight's Reward).
  • Print-N-Play version of 3 Minor factions (Caliphate of Qurtuba), Kingdom of Hungary, and Kingdom of Poland) which are also stretch goals (in which the pieces will be produced and included), bringing the number of players to 10.
  • Your name in the Knight Backer list in the rulebook.

                      Duke's Reward:  

  •  All the above in Warrior's Reward (including all base game specific stretch goals) plus
  • An Extra Large 48" x 36" Deluxe Play Mat (roll-up Map)  
  • Any Stretch Goals specific to the Large Play Mat (Duke's Reward). 
  • Print-N-Play version of 3 Minor factions (Caliphate of Qurtuba, Kingdom of Hungary, and Kingdom of Poland) which are also stretch goals (in which the pieces will be produced and included), bringing the number of players to 10.
  • Your name in the Duke Backer list in the rulebook.

                     King's Reward:

  • All the above in Warrior's Reward (including all base game specific stretch goals) plus
  • 140 historically based metal coins in 4 denominations and a custom velvet Swords&Sails Bag to hold the coins.
  • An Extra Large 48" x 36" Deluxe Play Mat (roll-up Map)
  • Any Stretch Goals specific to the Swords&Sails Coins (Knight's Reward).
  • Any Stretch Goals specific to the Large Play Mat (Duke's Reward).
  • Print-N-Play version of 3 Minor factions (Caliphate of Qurtuba, Kingdom of Hungary, and Kingdom of Poland) which are also stretch goals (in which the pieces will be produced and included), bringing the number of players to 10.
  • Your name in the King Backer list in the rulebook.

$31,000 - Locked

Leader Card Expansion:  A set of 7 Leader cards.  The Leader Cards give specific capabilities to your faction base on one the following leader abilities:  Conqueror, Commander, Recruiter, Admiral, Spy-Master, Diplomat, or Architect. Each Card type will have its own added bonus such as Conqueror will be able to subtract one die from Siege rolls, etc.

$34,000 - Locked

Intrigue Card Expansion: A set of 60 Intrigue cards, in 4 Categories of Development (Green), Political (Blue), Espionage (Yellow), and War (Red).  With this expansion, the Espionage phase is upgraded to the Intrigue phase, in which players can have the opportunity 

$39,000 - Locked

$42,000 - Locked

$50,000 -  Locked

Additional Player, Kingdom of Hungary:  This expansion would increase the potential number of players in the game to 8.  Hungary will start out allied to either the Holy Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire. Hungary will also have its own themed special abilities which are light cavalry based and reduced costs of Minor Cities.  11 new Wet Erase Army, Fleet, and Diplomat 5 1/4 x 3 1/2 in cards.  5 Wooden Army Cubes, 5 Wooden Ship Cubes, 40 Army/Fleet unit tokens, 28 Faction markers, 1 first turn Player sheet, 2 Custom Engrave Dice.

Additional Levels: TBD

 

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First choose your faction to play.  Each faction has its own special rules to make it feel as you are playing that Kingdom or Empire. 

7 POLITICAL FACTIONS  

3 Minor Factions (As individual stretch goals or PnP)

More on The Factions Video:

 

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The full rules are available for download HERE:

Quick Synopsis:

Swords & Sails is a game played in phases of a Game Season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter). All players do the phases at the same time. The phases include:  

  • Collect Income 
  • Perform Espionage 
  • Perform Diplomacy 
  • Write Orders 
  • Move Armies and Fleets 
  • Resolve all Battles 
  • Build New Units and Cities 
  • Advance Season and Turn 

Collect Income 

The money of the game is represented by Byzantium Coins. There are 4 denominations of coins, Gold, Silver, Copper, and Bronze. Players earn more income by controlling territories and cities. The empire with the most gold is generally the most powerful.  

Perform Espionage  

Empires enlist spies to gather information about enemy armies and fleets. Spies aren't cheap nor do they always get good information, but they were the only way to get intelligence on the other world powers.  

 Perform Diplomacy  

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Why go it alone when you can get a little help from your friends. Diplomacy is a major aspect to the game of Swords & Sails. Be careful though as in real life not all Empires stick with their agreements. Play-testers have commented on the joy of a diplomatic game with the other options of a conquest, expansion, and economics.

Write Orders  

All Players write their orders in secret and reveal their moves at the same time. This means essentially hidden, simultaneous movement. Players need to out guess what their opponents will do. Especially when each player will have a maximum of Five Armies and 5 Fleets to move around on the map.  

Move Armies and Fleets  

Armies and fleets only move one space on the map. If players end up in the same territory, then a battle will occur. Armies can board and be transported by Fleets, if you have enough space in your ships. Watch out for the reach of the North Sea Empire, which can use its raider fleets to move a large army very quickly.  

Resolve all Battles  

The Swords & Sails battle system is an innovative method of simulating how historic medieval battles took place. Players line up their units one at a time based on battle field superiority. Players can try to oppose unit types were they may have advantage (based on analysis of famous battles in history) if they have enough troops to maneuver. The battle system is very simply while giving a light impression of miniatures combat (without any miniatures required). Many of the play testers have remarked on how they like the unique battle system.  

Build New Units and Cities

Players can build new units into their armies and fleets every season if they have the money to recruit new troops or build new ships. Historically armies in the medieval period were heavy in mercenaries coming from all over in Europe. Cities represent the basis of trade and economy in the game. Empires can build up the cities in territory they control. Cities also add defensive capability in a territory, making it harder for your opponents to capture. Players can build minor cities and then in the next season upgrade them to major cities.  

Advance Season and Turn  

The Season is advance, income updated and scores are tallied at the end of each season.  .  

Winning the Game: Victory Points are earned based on income, number of allies, and number of conquered enemy capitals. The smaller powers require fewer Victory Points than the larger players, giving England and France just as much chance to win as the large powers of Byzantium or the Holy Roman Empire.  Games can be short, 40 victory points (2-3 hours), medium, 60 victory points (3-5 hours), or long, 90 victory points (5+ hours).  When allied all allies either win together or loose together and must declare ally status during the diplomacy phase.

Campaign Style Rules:  

As noted by several of our play testers the game can be used as a campaign game which will run longer than a normal play session. The rules are versatile enough to run as a play by mail, electronic mail, or over a Skype session and a version is in progress for Tabletopia (TM) and other popular tabletop simulators. Players can choose to use the advanced combat rules for determining battles or substitute their own favorite miniatures game to define battle outcomes.

As this game is particularly heavy (the metal coins weigh several pounds by themselves) , we will get the best shipping price we can find at the time of fulfillment depending on your location.  Also, we will apply $15 toward shipping, which should make the base copy of Swords & Sails (Warrior's Reward) free to ship any where in the continental US or the UK. This will remain true if prices remain the same as they are today.

 

Canada is expected to cost between $25 ($10*) and $33 ($18*) to ship the basic or with one add on.  In the King's Reward, the added extra large Mat is likely to be sent separately and an additional $5 will be needed.   

UK prices will be approximately $15 ($0*) with other European locations varying from the $20 ($5*) to $29 ($10*) range.   When adding only one add on (Knight's or Duke's reward), it will cost between $3-$4 more to ship. When adding both add ons, an additional $5 will be needed.

Australia is expected to cost in the $27 ($22*) range for base game with an additional $7 for either the coins or the extra large play Mat being added (Knight's or Duke's Reward) . When adding both (King's Reward) it will cost $13 more.

New Zealand is expected to cost in the $37 ($22*) range for base game with an additional additional $9 for either the coins or the extra large play Mat being added (Knight's or Duke's Reward) . When adding both (King's Reward) it will cost $16 more.

China and Hong Kong is expected to cost in the $18-$19 ($3 -$4*) range for base game with an $8 China and $6 Hong Kong for either the coins or the extra large play Mat being added (Knight's or Duke's Reward) . When adding both (King's Reward) it will cost $5 more for China and $6 more for Hong Kong.  

Again these prices are an initial estimate and we will do everything in our power to find the lowest prices at the time of fulfillment using fulfillment companies like Quartermaster logistics (a coolStuffInc company) in the US and Games Quest in the EU.  If we end up with enough Australian and Canadian Backers, we should be able to reduce those prices by finding a local fullfillment company.

 

Risks and challenges

First I would like to thank all the people who have helped me create Swords&Sails. I could not have done this without you. This includes Quinten Stearns, Quentin Williams, Aurora Stearns, my wife Amber, and a whole slew of friends (which will be listed in all the credits).

Our biggest challenge is getting the minimum print size of 1000 or 1500 copies of the game. That is why I have to set the funding goal so high. That and this is a huge game with a huge map and with lots of components which has a much higher than average cost to make. So to help make this goal, everyone needs to spread the word about this game.

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    Diplomat Reward

    This award level will allow you to follow the progress of the Swords & Sails Campaign.

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    Squire's Reward

    Swords & Sails Print-n-Play 1 Copy. The print and play version will be available for download to everyone who backs the game at this level and at each backer level that includes the final game (Warrior and Knights levels). The print and play files will include everything needed to play the game. Everyone that backs at the Squire level will be mentioned in the credits in the back of the rule book.

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    Mercenary Reward

    A 4 player Pak of Swords & Sails Historic Metal Coins. 12 Gold, 20 Silver, 20 Copper, and 28 Bronze Coins. This is enough coins for 4 Players in the game. Shipping will be added at the end of the campaign, (see campaign info for details). For the US and UK destinations it is expected to cost $5 to ship just the coins. If you want to add just the 4 Pak Coins to any other pledge level, then add $29 to the other pledge level's amount and you will have credit to add the coins during the pledge manager phase of the campaign.

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    Warrior's Reward

    A copy of the Swords & Sails Game. This reward will also include all special KickStarter Stretch Goals and the Squires Award (Print-n-Play early version). Shipping will be added at the end of the campaign, (see campaign info for details). $15 of shipping credit will be applied to all locations. At current shipping rates, this would make the base game (before any add ons) free shipping to the US and UK destinations. And only $5 for most of Western Europe. See the shipping table for estimates to other destinations.

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    Knight's Reward

    A copy of the Swords & Sails game the Squire's Reward and all stretch goals. The Knight's Reward will include a full set of metal coins (140 metal coins). All stretch goals will also be included. Shipping will be added at the end of the campaign, see campaign info for details. A $15 credit for shipping will be added. Your name in the Knight Backer list in the rulebook.

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    Duke's Reward

    This level is for a copy of the Swords & Sails game (Warrior Reward), and an extra large play mat 48" x 36" (rolled up Map). All stretch goals will also be included. Shipping will be added at the end of the campaign, see campaign info for details. A $15 credit for shipping will be added. Your name in the Duke Backer list in the rulebook.

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    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    King's Reward

    A copy of the Swords & Sails game (Warrior's Reward), a full set of metal coins (140 metal coins), and the extra large play mat 48" x 36" (rolled up Map). The Squire's Reward and all stretch goals will also be included. Shipping will be added at the end of the campaign, see campaign info for details. A $15 credit for shipping will be added. Your name in the King Backer list in the rulebook.

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    Trade Caravan Reward

    This level is for a full case (4 games) of the base game (Warrior's reward) of Swords & Sails and all stretch goals. Shipping will be free in the US or the UK with 2 full cases in the order (Other locations will still get the same value in shipping credit). Additional add ons can be added for a quantity of Metal Coins and Extra Large Play Mats.

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