Welcome to Kickstart Monday! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.

There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.

The Gilded Realms

First up this week is The Gilded Realms from Sandtime Games on Kickstarter.

The Gilded Realms is a euro kingdom building game for 2-4 players. Players will take on the role of a powerful faction competing to develop the greatest kingdom in the land. Players will develop and improve 5 distinct provinces on their personal player board with multiple levels of upgrades available for their military, township, resources, agriculture, and influence. 

Each player faction has a unique mechanic and a personal set of cards that guides their play style, such as the Apex Pyre faction that has a specialized military that gives them access to unique flexible military units not available to other factions. In addition to developing their kingdom, players may engage in trade or send military units to campaign in the disputed hinterlands expanding the borders of their kingdom. Players take game actions simultaneously to feed their people, fortify their buildings against invaders, buy useful knowledge abilities and send out trade caravans. At the end of a round Gilded Realms also has a unique action selection mechanism with what they call a “stance totem”. The totem is a 3d tower shaped token that allows players to secretly choose one of 3 stances: worker stance which allows their province to produce more resources, defense stance which lets the player bolster their forces against upcoming attacks and attack stance which lets the player resolve military campaigns in the hinterlands.

All of this comes together in a nicely designed package with great looking art and what looks to be high quality components. The Gilded Realms is available with a base pledge for $64 USD and as a deluxe version for $84 USD which includes all stretch goals and an expansion that includes a solo mode. The Gilded Realms campaign ends on November 16, 2023 so get your pledge in before then.

Villagers of the Oak Dell

Our second game this week is Villagers of the Oak Dell from Two Acorn Games on Kickstarter.

This is a slight departure from the types of games I typically suggest but this project caught my eye and I think it is worth a look. Villagers of the Oak Dell is a Print and Play roll and write game for 1-100 players (provided you’ve printed sheets for all of them). I will note up front that because this is a print and play game, backers receive the game as a set of digital files so it is up to them to print the sheets and components needed to play the game. Villagers of the Oak Dell is a mid-weight euro-style game where players will be developing a medieval village by gathering resources, connecting the village with roads, constructing different buildings and completing for public objectives.

Each round four dice are rolled and placed on a 3 tiered wheel which determines what resources that die provides. Players choose which dice to use by playing their player pawn on the space of the first tier of the wheel. The first tier provides basic actions like mining, lumber, building roads and using citizens. You will then use the action on the second tier and on the third tiers of the wheel you deliver resources to the warehouse to make progress toward end game points. Each action has the chance of triggering bonuses which lead to further actions.

If you are clever you will be able to take advantage of dynamic actions chains where taking one action will trigger a cascade of other actions. This roll-and-write mechanic is one of my favorites and I am glad to see that there is a focus on it here. Of course one of the benefits of being a print and play is that the game is offered at a very affordable price. The base game pledge  will run about $6 USD while the full game pledge is about  $11 USD. The full game includes everything in the base game as well as additional maps to be released in December and January all of which add new mechanics to the game. If print and play and roll-and-write games are your thing I think Villagers of the Oak Dell is worth considering. Make a pledge before the Kickstarter campaign ends on November 1, 2023.

Did we miss your favorite project?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.

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