Since 2014, Gamelyn Games has made its name in two areas; blowing away stretch goals on Kickstarter and packing well-designed, fun games in tiny boxes. Whether it’s building a tiny kingdom, exploring a tiny galaxy or facing off in a tiny western town, the company keeps things small while providing big game play. Gamelyn Gamer went large for its most recent Kickstarter and has already racked up over $200,000 in a single day for a different type of design.
Heroes of Land, Sea and Air offers a larger take on the 4X-style games Gamelyn creates. It offers four types of actions for each player to build an empire, each being one of the 4 Xs of the design style:
- Explore the unclaimed tiles on the board, flipping exploration tokens over to discover new resources or deal with unexpected problems in the space. If all the tokens are flipped, the end game begins.
- Expand the kingdom by producing peons to take actions, warriors to fight battles and heroes to break the rules. When one player produces all their figures, the end game begins.
- Exploit claimed lands by building towers that act as staging points for pieces away from your Capital City. When one player builds all their towers, the end game begins.
- Exterminate other player’s armies and push their plastic back home. When a player’s Capital City is conquered, the end game begins.
The current rule set, available from the Kickstarter right now, reads as a slightly larger version of Tiny Epic Kingdoms with a few new wrinkles for each of the actions. The end game process not only counts up Victory Points to see who wins based on how tricked out their empire is, it also keeps the game to the 2-hour or so mark. Even though this design is slower than Gamelyn’s other games, designer Scott Almes wants to avoid the all day slogs of other games in this category.
The real difference between Gamelyn’s first Kickstarter and their current one are the materials provided in the box and expansions.
The main box contains a large map and four factions; Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Orks. Each faction gets several army pieces, unique airships, sea vessels, cities and towers. Expansions not only increase the player count to 5-6 from 2-4, but also offer two boxes with two new factions each. The Order expansion brings Lionkin and the Undead to the table, while the Chaos expansion offers Lizard Folk and Goblins as their choices.
The Kickstarter offers opportunities to get in on better pricing and exclusive pieces but it also allows backers to customize their experiences. Gamelyn Games offers a series of budget tiers where the plastic figures are replaced by standees for those backers who want to crush their friends on a budget. For those warlords with a little more coin to spend and a little less time on their hands, the company offers tiers with pre-painted hero minis ready to hit the table in full color from the unboxing.
The Kickstarter lasts until February 25th and is expected to deliver in March of 2018. Fans of 4X computer games, previous Gamelyn designs and big, epic battles should definitely check it out.
Images courtesy of Gamelyn Games
What is your favorite 4x game? Let us know in the comments!
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves, Vulcans and sometimes all of them at the same time. His blog is here, his Twitter is here and his meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.