Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 27, 2012.

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Millenium old game of Boëthian harmony and strategy

About the Game

Rithmomachia is an early European strategic board game based on the mathematic harmony principles of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.  Little is known of the origin of the game with certainty, but it is assumed to have originated around 1030.  It was played by monks and scholars as a teaching aid and for amusement in the courts or Europe, leading to its epithet "The Philosopher's Game".

Modern commenters on the game have played up the math aspects and complexity of the game - some of this confusion may stem from the wide ranging, error filled and fragmented nature of the surviving documentation on the game.  The introduction of chess to Europe and new mathematical principles coming in vogue relegated the game to a historical footnote.  In recent years however, a resurgence of interest has proven that it is in fact a very elegant and fluid game.

Chess fans, students of math and history, strategy and board gamers, and Society of Creative Anachronism enthusiasts may enjoy this game!

Please visit the following links for more information on the game:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rithmomachy

http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/ms-17/folio.php?p=56v&showitem=56v_8Math_7Rithmomachia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boethius

About the Pieces and Board/Box

The pieces for the game are laser cut and engraved from Silver Birch.  The "black pieces" come in a chocolate colored velvet drawstring pouch, the "white" pieces in an ivory colored velvet pouch.  The box that the game comes in also doubles as the playing surface.  The 8x16 grid that the game is played on is printed on the box. 

 

Please note that in the pictures of the prototype below the play field is a modified cigar box - the final production run will be custom manufactured 11"x6"x2" Spanish cedar box with hinges and clasp, stamped with the "Rithmomachia" logo and playing field on the top of the box.

About the Rule Book

The rules to Rithmomachia will be published in a 32 page "Scout Book" format book by Pinball Publishing in Portland.  The book is 3.5" x 5" and made of 100% recycled materials.  

Prior to the modern era of board games, rules could vary greatly by region.  Early writings on Rithmomachia illustrate the need for players to agree beforehand what rules and goals will be used.  There is no internationally agreed upon rule set and many rule variants can be found in tomes at the library and online.  The rule book we have prepared for this set is a distillation of the most elegant rules we found in our research.  It allows players who are unfamiliar with the game to jump right in and enjoy it without having to debate rule sets from various sources, and may also provide a foundation for players who are already familiar with the game.  The book is also extensively illustrated.  

About Works Ltd.

Works Ltd. is a design atelier and small scale manufactory based in Austin Texas.  The components of this game were designed and produced in Austin and Portland.  

The purpose of this Kickstarter is primarily to cover the manufacturing and material expenses to produce the boxes in an economically feasible quantity and print the rule books.  Thank you for your interest and we sincerely hope you enjoy this project!

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    RULE BOOK: This pledge amount is for JUST the 32 page Rithmomachia rule book by Seth Němec. Printed in the USA. Includes worldwide shipping!

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    CHIT SET: This pledge amount is for JUST the custom playing pieces for Rithmomachia. Laser cut in the USA from Silver Birch in two velvet bags. Includes worldwide shipping!

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    FULL SET (USA Shipping): This pledge amount is for the full game set of Rithmomachia. Includes the laser cut pieces in two velvet bags, 32 page rule book, and custom built playing board box. This pledge level includes shipping in the USA.

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