Empire’s End from John D. Clair – on Kickstarter now!

I’m kind of backing off some on the Kickstarter gravy train.

While I did back Halls of Hegra a couple of months ago after some amazing video footage from my good friends Zilla Blitz and The Players’ Aid, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really need all of this stuff. At least not as huge and overpriced as typical Kickstarter games are.

My only exceptions to that will be Garphill Games and the South Tigris trilogy games (and future trilogy games as well).

I was pretty comfortable with that decision!

Until I got an email from Brotherwise Games about John D. Clair’s new Kickstarter project, called Empire’s End.

Of course, I’ve been a Clair fan for a while now.

I had heard a little something about it, maybe a few weeks ago, and how it uses a No Thanks mechanism in a new and unique way.

I went and watched the Before You Play video (linked on the Kickstarter page) and was blown away.

This looks amazing!

This is a game about the evolution of an empire, not just it’s end.

Players are going to have an “empire” of 11 cards. All players will have the same cards and the same order at the start of the game (though that particular order is randomized).

The colourful centre board was a stretch goal that’s already been reached!

(Photos are from the Kickstarter so of course they are subject to change during/after the campaign).

The track in the middle has a marker that moves each phase and that phase will be something, either a disaster (most of the time) or economy, industry or conflict phase.

When a disaster is called for, the top card of the disaster deck is revealed. It will say which tile in the empire is going to be subject of that disaster and what players can bid to avoid it.

Here’s where the No Thanks part comes in.

You either take the disaster and apply it to your city, or you pay one of the resources that are on it to “pass.” As resources accumulate, the disaster becomes more attractive because if you take the disaster, you also get the resources!

Of course, if you don’t have any of the required resources (or gold, since gold is wild), then you have to take it.

You flip over that tile in your empire and it’s destroyed, but the disaster will have an innovation to add to your empire that’s attached to a tile. This could be an ongoing effect or endgame scoring or whatever.

These tiles aren’t destroyed, but all three have innovations attached to them.

In an industry phase, you could spend hammers to repair one of your destroyed tiles, so all is not lost!

There are other bits to the game, of course, but the video shows all of it.

The game is played in 45-60 minutes and plays 2-4 players.

Perfect for lunch at work!

You know what’s even more attractive?

The price.

If you want to pledge for the basic retail edition of the game, it’s only $35 US! And the “deluxe” version (which has screen-printed game markers) is only $40!

Shipping of $8 (obviously that’s approximate) to Canada is also an amazing deal. It’s $5 to the US, so an additional $3 to not have to go over the border is a steal.

Empire’s End has broken my Kickstarter moratorium, and I’m happy for it.

I can’t wait to try this game out, but watching it in action made me drool.

Check it out and see if it fits you and your players’ tastes as well.

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