Farmageddon: Sale and Shill!

Post by: Grant Rodiek

Howdy all! My publisher, 5th Street Games, just notified me that Farmageddon is ON SALE! It’s 25% off, which comes out to $11. The game is typically $15, so the savings here more or less cover your shipping fees.

You can get the game for $11 right here. In fact, all of his games are on sale. You can find the sale page here.

Many of you undoubtedly know about Farmageddon at this point. I’ve been quiet about it for some time, mostly because I’m waiting for the expansion, Livestocked and Loaded, before making a big marketing push. But, with the sale going live I wanted to give a quick overview on why Farmageddon may be a great small game for your collection.

Farmageddon is a great picnic or lunch game, fun for gamers looking for a light diversion or families looking for a laugh. The game takes 30-45 minutes to play for 2-4 players. The game is about hand management, action cards, and yes, take that.

I realize that last note is repulsive to some, so let me tell you why it’s fun in Farmageddon.

  1. Everyone has a relatively equal toolbox over the course of the game. Every turn you draw new Crop cards and new Action cards. You’ll never be stuck with nothing on your turn.
  2. Once you earn points, they’re yours. Nothing is more frustrating than spending the entire game earning something, only to have a single card reverse your fortunes. That doesn’t happen in Farmageddon.
  3. You can only play 2 Actions each turn. While every Action card is powerful, not all are aggressive, and with a limit of two, players really need to think about what they need to do most. This limitation increases the level of choice and reduces the chaos.
  4. The game is designed and tuned around constant interaction. You won’t have erratic spikes of screwage. What this means is that it’s a part of the game, fundamentally, and it should modify your tactics accordingly. You know your opponents can stop you, so where do you draw your attention? How do you get ahead with this knowledge. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

For $11, I think you’ll have a good time and find a game that’s easy to pull out at Thanksgiving or social gatherings for people less experienced with modern board games. Farmageddon is a good replacement for games like Uno at the family picnic. I think one of the reasons Farmageddon has been successful is that it’s quick, relatively simple, and take that (which many non-gamers enjoy), but has enough choice and gamey elements to keep people coming back. Some of these choices come from:

  • Which two actions to play
  • What to use as Fertilizer and what to Plant (Crop cards are dual use!)
  • How many Planting Fields to take. Do you get aggressive (see also: greedy), or play it quiet?
  • Who do you mess with? And when?
  • What cards do you save for a big combo and what do you use RIGHT NOW?

The expansion, which will hopefully arrive this year, will really enrich the experience. It adds Weather, which presents new opportunities, Livestock, which enriches the Crop game and broadens the strategy, and new Action cards to fit into this. Now is a great time to get in on Farmageddon and support me and a small publisher who has been very kind and great to work with.

Thanks for obliging me! If you pick up a copy, be sure to tell me how it goes!

Posted in Blog | Tagged card game, discount, , sale, summer sale | 3 Replies

Farmageddon Time Traveler

Post by: Grant Rodiek

Farmageddon isn’t my first design, but it’s my first published design and arguably my first good personal design. I designed it in 2011, back when my board game collection had fewer than 10 games and my knowledge of the hobby was quite shallow. Put as simply as I can do so, 2011 Grant is not nearly as good or experienced a designer as 2014 Grant.

Mostly, I’m very pleased with Farmageddon. It has sold well, been well received by those interested in such games, and I still enjoy playing it. When I go home, my brother and I play it constantly and his wife is a total shark. But, the years have given me time to really think about some of the issues that bother me about the game. Some are small nubs, some bigger issues.

Today, I wanted to write about how 2014 Grant would fix the game if he could go back in time to do so. Or, perhaps looking to the future, if the 2nd printing sells out with enough momentum to justify a third, perhaps what you might see in a proper 2nd edition.

Word(s), homes. 

An area of design in which I’ve improved massively is wording on cards. Looking at Hocus Poker or Sol Rising or York versus Farmageddon is night and day. I would probably re-write every card to use a small set of core terms, very similar syntax, and more future proofed terminology.

It’s difficult to provide examples, but things like Fertilize, Harvest, Destroy, Steal could be easily improved upon.

I would also want to include an example of every card in the rules. There would be a longer rules document, but fewer questions would be asked, guaranteed.

Graphic Design

One piece of feedback is that some people don’t immediately see the difference between Crops and Action cards. Fair enough! This can be done with a color scheme (for the color-seeing) and an icon on the card (for the color blind).

I would also incorporate some of the lessons from Sol Rising and Hocus Poker, both inspired by Dominion, to incorporate some limited iconography into the body text of the cards. Things that easily convey Fertilizer and such. This would require an overhaul of the iconography.

Inspired by Dave Chalker’s Heat, I would put Action summaries on the left side of Action cards. For example, Thresher and Dust Bowl would indicate “destruction.” Crop Rotation and Foreclosure would indicate “theft.” Bumper Crop and Pesticide already indicate a change in value, so this would be consistent overall.

Action Items

I have some Action cards that I’d like to smooth out. Some of them need just a tiny tweak to really notch them up.

Thresher: To simplify this card, I’d change it to: “Destroy a Crop.” Right now it has you destroy the Crop, but the owner also gets the Fertilizer back. I’d like to test this, but I think it’s simpler and won’t change things much.

Bumper Crop: Right now, technically, Bumper Crop can be played on any Crop and the OWNER of Bumper Crop gets it when the Crop is harvested. So, player A can put a Bumper Crop on player B’s Crop. Player A gets Bumper Crop when player B harvests his Crop. This requires you track who owns the card. Is it a problem? Honestly, not often. But, it’s just sloppy design.

I’d change this card to: “Play on Crop you own. Place Bumper Crop in Harvest Pile when Crop is Harvested.” This is a good card because it makes Sassy Wheat more valuable.

Crop Insurance: This card causes a slight confusion as people think they get it even if the Crop is Harvested. The reality is that it’s insurance — it only pays off if you lose the crop that’s covered. To clarify, I’d change it to: “Play on Crop you own. If you lose control of Crop, place Crop Insurance in harvest pile. Discard Crop Insurance if you harvest Crop.”

This is a great example of where using common terms and structure could simplify card text. Right now, I’m not doing that.

Genetic Superworm: Farmageddon’s most confused card! The intent of this card is that you play it on a Crop to halve its Fertilizer requirement. So, a 4 cost Wary Squash now costs 2. People have interpreted it to many things, including it means they can steal a crop, or instantly harvest a crop.

When properly understood, it’s confusing because its effectiveness scales with its target. It reduces the value by half, rounded down, and makes Sassy Wheat free.


This would require testing, but I think this card should change to: “Play on Crop you own. Crop requires 2 fewer Fertilizer before it can be Harvested.” This means the net effect is identical for Wheat, Squash, and Melon. It would only affect corn differently and would make Corn free to Harvest.

Foul Manure: I love this card and have spent years trying to make it better. It’s so flexible and acts as both a defensive and offensive card. It’s a real turd. Heyoo!

Right now, the crop this targets is immune to all actions and can’t be Fertilized or Harvested. The Manure is removed if a Dust Bowl is played or someone discards 2 Crop cards. Eesh.

Here’s how to fix it: “Play on any planted  Crop. Crop requires 2 more Fertilizer to be Harvested. Crop is immune to all Action cards. Remove Foul Manure if Dust Bowl is played.”

In the top left corner you’d see a +2 Fertilizer cost. The net functionality is identical, but with a cleaner setup. It would no longer prevent farmer actions like Harvest and Fertilize, but those would be baked into its new tuning.

Crop Rotation: This one slips up a few people. It lets you swap ownership of two crops. Some people see that as they get to take the crop outright. But, the intent is that the crops trade places. Here is how I would change it: “Choose 2 Planted Crops from two different owners. Swap ownership of the Crops.”

Foreclosure: This is another card with dynamic calculation for its cost. Basically, I was over thinking the need for balance here. The text should change to: “Steal a planted Crop from any player. Give that player 2 Crop cards from your hand.” This makes it more expensive to Steal a Wheat or Corn, but you’re unlikely to steal them. And, paired with a Genetic Superworm, it evens out.


The FrankenCrops were an idea that came about during the Kickstarter campaign to address the need for stretch goals. Neither Phil nor I thought the game would do so well and in early 2012 the notion of Stretch Goals wasn’t so firmly entrenched in the ecosystem yet. By and large the FrankenCrops work really well and we’re even adding 15 new ones with the soon to arrive FrankenCrop Kicker Pack. But, I have a few that I’d love to send to the compost heap for a scrub.

Helpful Tater: This card gives you $4 if used as a Fertilizer. In actuality, this just means whomever draws this card gets a free $4. It’s not a choice, then, and that means it’s not terribly compelling, at least not to me as a designer. Farmageddon’s a silly game with luck, though, so it isn’t a game killer.

I do like the idea of the Helpful Tater, though. I like trade-offs of helping others for a benefit. Something simple along the lines of: “Use Helpful Tater to Fertilize an opponent’s Crop. Draw 2 Crop cards.” Or: “Use Helpful Tater to Fertilize an opponent’s Crop. Draw 2 Crop cards or 1 Action card.”

Mirror Bean: This is the card that has led to the 2nd most questions in the game. Considering how many rules questions it leads to, it’s definitely not worth it. Mirror Bean is immune to Actions. You can’t use Bumper Crop to increase its value, Thresher to destroy it, or Flame Fruit (a FrankenCrop) to destroy it. The balance is that it costs 2 Fertilizer and only pays out $3.

The rule is crazy simple. Nothing can target it or affect it. But, people always seek exceptions. Well, I can put Foul Manure on it, right? No, nothing. I can put a Bumper Crop on it, right? No, nothing. Well, Dust Bowl kills it, right? No.

In fact, I just got a question writing this crop about Mirror Bean. And it was asked in a thread where I had previously answered the same question.

That’s not on my players, that’s on me.

The other problem is that people can plant it and then just sit on it. It’s not terribly worthwhile to harvest, but you can use it to eat a field. Because it’s immune, if you want, you can turn the game into a 2 field game.

I don’t think this core concept can, nor should be fixed. Can we take advantage of the art, though? In addition to reflecting (its current thematic tie), mirrors also duplicate or copy. This is dangerous — tracking information on the board is always hazardous. I think there’s a simple visual indicator, though. The Mirror Bean has a set value when harvested and fertilizer requirement. But, it can also mirror/copy the Cost and Fertilize requirement of another Crop you own. They must be Harvested at the same time. Set them together in your Harvest Pile.

That’s fiddly!

Perhaps the Mirror Bean has a standard Fertilizer Cost/Harvest Value. And the text says: Discard planted Mirror Bean you own to duplicate effects of Action card you played this turn. That’s fun and simple. One and done.

Stinky Truffle: Any time a game has you dig through the Discard pile, it really needs to matter. Stinky Truffle lets you add 1 card from the discard pile to your hand when planted. That slows down the game for a relatively minor decision, which means it can be improved.

Perhaps: “Add one Crop card from the discard pile at random to your hand when planted.” That just expedites things.

Zombo-Weed: This card is relatively simple and has a powerful effect, but it doesn’t really trigger. The card removes all Fertilizer in play when it is planted. That sounds strong, but players generally don’t sit with a ton of Fertilizer lying around.

I like the idea of Zombo-Weed being aggressive and Zombie-like. So, how about: Plant on any Field in play. Discard any Crop and all Fertilizer or Action cards on Field.

This means you can use it to kill a Grumpy Melon, but they’ll still get something out of the deal. It’s a kinder, sweeter, zombified Thresher.

A Better Tango (It takes 2. Get it? You will. I hope.)

Two player Farmageddon has had an interesting life. When I first released the game on The Game Crafter it was an afterthought and it just didn’t work. I spent a lot of time developing it and did so with the help of a few couples, one in particular that played it for months before we Kickstarted the game. Ultimately, I’ve heard very few complaints about our two player mode, but I’ve never been fully satisfied with it.

To support two player, the game is modified in the following ways:

  • Players draw more Crops at the beginning of their turns to expedite the game.
  • Players must Fertilize more to increase risk.
  • Players draw fewer Action cards to decrease aggression as in 2 player you’re only punching the person across from you. It can get a bit brutal.

My concerns are as follows:

  • I really dislike rule modifications, even tiny ones, as they make it difficult to remember the rules between variants.
  • As you have fewer cards, the fun of the game — combos — is essentially removed. You don’t have enough cards to combo them.
  • I don’t like that one person can draw better Action cards, and as there aren’t other players or additional draws to fix this, one player can just get hosed.
  • Mirror Bean, which I noted above has issues, is really a problem in 2 player. Helpful Tater can also give one player a very swingy 4 points for zero effort.

Two player games are either incredibly close — like, one point close — or an incredible blow out — like, 50 points blow out. In three and four player I think every game tends to play very evenly and well. Two player can be a real crap shoot.

I think part of the problem with 2 player when it was first created was that several Action cards didn’t work for 2 players. That’s just bad design and frankly, that’s not an issue now.

Here are the changes I’d like to test:

  • In a 2 player game, discard 15 Crop cards at random, then shuffle in 10 FrankenCrops. This means you’ll have 55 cards total, down from 60. And, the higher percentage of FrankenCrops will help upset jarring flows.
  • Add 1 Planting Field. That would bring it to 4 total. This makes it more difficult for a single player to dominate a field and makes the increase in aggression less problematic.

That’s it. Players will now draw the same number of action cards, the same number of crop cards, and there’s no change to Fertilizer. I actually tested these rules when testing 2 player Livestocked and Loaded and I enjoyed the game much more.


Thanks for reading! If you’re familiar with Farmageddon, what do you think? Anything stand out?

Cucumber Pun Pack

Post by: Grant Rodiek

My desk, at work, is in the middle of a way over-crowded collection of producers, designers, a QA tester, and some engineers. At first we scoffed at how cozy it was, but now many of us have grown quite fond of the close quarters. We’ve developed this barracks mentality where the humor is constant and makes working fun. We jokingly refer to this little area as the “Prod Hole” (Prod as in Producer).

I don’t know how it came about, but a producer mentioned Farmageddon and I was telling him about the new FrankenCrops. Now, the topic of puns is like candy to weird people and another co-worker tossed out “Cucumbear.” Like, a cucumber that’s also a bear. This cracked me up and I suggested we make a Cucumber Pun Pack for Farmageddon.

It actually isn’t a bad idea.

We immediately started listing the good ones. We took it with us to a meeting and even our VP started chiming in. Then I tossed it on Twitter and my friends there started chiming in. I thought I’d share some of my favorites. It’s funny how many of us arrived at the same conclusion independently. Great minds think alike? Or perhaps idiots all think the same stupid joke is funny?

  • Cucumbear – Rawr!
  • Cucumbare – Imagine a naked, shamed Cucumber.
  • Cucumbarista – Get caffeinated!
  • Cucumberto – The Cucumber from south of the border?
  • Cucumberry  – Refreshing.
  • Cucumbarry Manilow
  • Cucumbarry White – Ladies….
  • Cucumbarry Bonds – With small berries.
  • Queuecumber – This one kills me. From Couple vs Cardboard.
  • Cucumbrrr – The Arctic Cucumber. From Danny Devine.
  • Cucumbawhumba – He gets knocked down, but he gets up again. From Danny Devine.
  • MooCumber – Why by the cow when the milk is pickled? From Mark Wallace.
  • Cucumberbund – For those fancy evenings. From Mark Wallace.
  • Cucumpatriots – Witty!
  • Cucumpair – Why settle for just one?
  • Cucumpear – Fruit puns.
  • Cucumburr – Like, a burr under your saddle. From Couple vs Cardboard.
  • Cucumbro – Totally.
  • Cucumburt Reynolds – MY FAVORITE.
  • Cucumbrella – Ella, eh, eh, eh, under my cucumbrella, ella, ella…
  • Cucumbersome – Why bother?
  • Cucumburrito – Actually, not a bad idea.
  • Cucumbird – Caw!
  • Cucumburger – Also not a bad idea.
  • Cucumbeware – Danger.
  • Coupcumber – SUPER clever. From Adam Buckingham.
  • Cucumburglar – He’ll steal your flavor! From TC Petty III.
  • Cucumbert and Cucumbernie – This is just genius. From AJ Porfirio.

Note: If I didn’t credit you, it’s because we already came up with it here, or I forgot.

Thanks for participating. It was fun and honestly, I’d love to make this expansion.

A Story of Rage

Post by: Grant Rodiek

Happy Friday! I have about 3 really good blog posts in the works that I haven’t had time this week to finish. I’ve been very busy with work and Wozzle in my spare time. I wanted to cap off this week with a short story I thought you might enjoy.

GenCon 2012 was my first GenCon, heck, my first board game convention. It was especially memorable because it marked the release of my first published game, Farmageddon, which was on display at my publisher’s booth.

I was very busy during the convention. From 9 am to 6 pm I ran non-stop Farmageddon demos at a table in the dealer hall. I grabbed a quick bite, then from 8 pm to midnight I was testing York in the First Exposure Playtest Hall. I was very tired, but I loved the work so it was really fine. In fact, I vastly prefer a GenCon like this to one where I’m not working.

That’s the context. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. This is family day, when all the adults bring their children. I’m exhausted at this point and have slept about 5 hours total. A dad that resembled Eugene Levy comes up with two young children, one is about a 7 year old girl, the other about a 9 year old boy. They’re young.

They wanted to play Farmageddon, which is probably a little too advanced, but both children could read and I’m not going to tell them no. I walked them through the instructions and a turn, then stepped aside to watch the main table. I had 2 tables and I felt it better to let them play as a family with me within arm’s reach to answer questions.

About 10 minutes into their game I hear a kerfuffle. The girl is sitting on one side of the long table, the boy directly across from her, and the father is sitting perpendicular at the end. The boy played the Farm Futures card, which lets him draw 2 Crop cards from the top of the deck OR examine another player’s hand and steal 1 card.

Naturally, the boy chose to steal a card from his sibling.

“NO!” she screams. “He can’t have my card.”

The dad, somewhat aloof, asks his son to see the card. He reads it, and quietly notes, “Sweety, the card lets him take one of yours. That’s just how the game is played.”

Pan the camera just to the side to see me nervously standing there running my hands through my hair. I have no clue what is going to happen. Words keep moving to the front of my mouth, but none exit. Really, my mouth is just open and I’m awkwardly leaning towards the table.

“No!” she screams again. “It’s not fair.”

“Dad, it says I get a card.”

“Sweety, he gets a card. Let him see the cards.”

While the girl is looking at her father, the boy identifies his moment and seizes it. He leans across the table and plucks a card randomly from her hand (which isn’t how it works, but at this point, I’m no stickler). The girl turns her head to look at him with absolute murder in her face. She is LIVID.

The dad still doesn’t really care. He is emotionally on a beach somewhere, drinking rum, without children.

The littler girl then does my favorite thing ever. She let out a feral growl and slammed her remaining cards on the table. Then, like an alligator leaving the river to consume a gazelle, she leaps onto the table, flat on her stomach, and begins clawing at her brother. This young, enraged she-beast began scratching, flailing, and sending cards everywhere.

The boy is caught off guard by this maneuver. The dad casually says things like “Now honey” and “Don’t do that,” but she isn’t listening. The boy grabs the cards, desperately, bending them and trying to protect his young face.

My potential customers at the other table and those standing around begin fleeing. People awkwardly stare at my tables and the scene and just keep walking by. Eventually, the dad calms her down, thanks me for the demo, and leaves.

Naturally, they didn’t buy a copy.

It was then I knew that Farmageddon was the best thing I would ever create.

Expansion Design, with a Case Study

Post by: Grant Rodiek

Today, I shall be discussing two things very near and dear to my heart and related such that pairing them in a single article just made sense. Today, we shall discuss expansion design and use the impending Livestocked and Loaded as a case study.

For those curious, Livestocked and Loaded is art complete. The final file preparations are taking place and we’re perusing the rules and cards for final edits, typos, and clarity. It shall be sent to the printer shortly.

Expansions, Generally Speaking

I’m a massive fan of game expansions for many reasons. For publishers, they offer an additional revenue source for an existing product and fan base that is less risky than creating an entirely new game. Expansions give fans so inclined additional content and mechanics at a (typically) lower price point. Finally, expansions provide designers a reasonable opportunity to expand an experience they love with meaningful, substantive additions.

A good expansion should not alter the core experience of the base game. If your game has a 5 step turn structure, you shouldn’t re-arrange the steps or add a 6th without a really good reason. Remember, players will need to learn the expansion. Don’t make them unwind and re-learn the base game as well!

A good expansion should offer new strategies and experiences to the players. New paths should be revealed to players. A good expansion does more than just offer more stuff. Adding new Action cards alone isn’t sufficient. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use an expansion to add in the kitchen sink. If it was removed from the base game because it wasn’t good enough or didn’t fit, be sure to run that same check past it during the expansion.

A good expansion should fill in gaps, holes, or resolve minor issues with the original game. Ideally, your game didn’t ship with dead ends and gross imbalance. The expansion isn’t a patch, but a smoother.

A good expansion should bring people back to the base game, liven it up, and make them fall in love again. Typically, a small percentage of the people who bought the base game will purchase the base game. Let’s say 20-40%. That means you can, with reasonable safety, assume those who buy your expansion really enjoy your base game, or like it enough that they think it’ll be great with one more twist.

A good expansion integrates as smoothly into the base game as possible. People shouldn’t be scratching their heads as they figure out how to snap the new module into the original game. Just because you’re dealing with experienced players doesn’t mean you should set accessibility and a smooth learning curve aside.

Some of my favorite expansions include Kaispeicher for The Speicherstadt, the X-Wing Miniatures ships, Memoir ’44‘s expansions, and Summoner Wars. I own others, but I haven’t played them, or not enough, to list them.

Now, let’s apply these things to my design of Livestocked and Loaded

I was originally fairly apprehensive about creating the expansion. I knew I could create one and that the base game could support it, but we didn’t begin our Kickstarter with an expansion in mind. Now that the expansion is almost finished, I’m really glad it exists. I really enjoy the layers it adds to the original experience and it’ll be launched to a game that has sold pretty dang well for a new, tiny publisher.

When I began work on L&L, I set out to use Weather and Livestock as primary components, purely because they are rich reservoirs of content and mechanical inspiration. They also fit some of my mechanical goals for the game.

The art for one of the weather cards.

Weather: I made the assumption that by the time people received the expansion, they would need some new spice to liven up the experience. Weather could serve as this spice, just like it does for farmers in real life. However, unlike real weather, I deliberately set out to make the Weather present more of an opportunity (most often) than an unexpected penalty.

My friend, Cole Medeiros, designed Gubs: A Game of Wit and Luck, published by Gamewright. Event cards are a big part of that experience. They are drawn and, more often than not, they greatly alter the state of the game. While they work for Gubs, I didn’t want to introduce more chaos into Farmageddon. There are 10 Weather cards in the expansion. Every game, you randomly select 5 and seed them approximately evenly throughout the Crop deck. When drawn, they present an opportunity or something to shift the game.

Two examples:

  1. One card lets every player draw an Action card. Then, in order, the players must play them if possible.
  2. Another card lets every player immediately fertilize and harvest any crops in front of them.

Livestock: Farmageddon is a very tactical game. You’re rarely planning more than 2 turns in advance, though careful management of your Actions and Crop cards will be the element that mitigates the luck and leads you to victory. I saw an opportunity to introduce more strategy and long-term planning to the game without sacrificing what makes the original fun.

Oola von Heifer, the $20 animal.

There are now four animals, which are played in the center near the unclaimed fields. They are worth $5, $10, $15, and $20 respectively, which makes the $20 animal the single most valuable card in the game (Wary Squash is worth $15).

To interact with the animals, I added a new activity players can take on their turns: feeding. Any planted crop a player controls can be fed to one of the four animals. The crop is then destroyed and one of 6 feed cards are played to the fed animal. This makes the Sassy Wheat crop far more valuable. It will now be a great Fertilizer and a great Feed crop!

When fed, all of the animals, except the $20 animal, offer a powerful ability. These help you mitigate luck and pursue new strategies. The abilities are:

  • Draw 2 Crop cards
  • You may play a 3rd Action card during the current turn
  • You may discard any number of your Action cards face down into your Harvest pile. They are worth $1 at the end of the game.

In the base game, players should always play two Action cards per turn. If you aren’t using them, you are missing out on the fun and you’ll let your opponents run wild. However, there are some cases where one might have excess cards. Now, you can feed an animal to dump those cards for bonus points. I’ve seen someone use that ability brilliantly to win the game.

Sauce the Pig

The Feed cards will slowly add up to the animals over the course of the game. The player with the most feed cards on an animal will win it and its points at the end of the game. This means players need to carefully balance opportunities in planting and livestock. It adds quite a bit to the experience.

Naturally, as the game has added a new feature (livestock), I knew it would need new Action cards to take advantage of this. I began the game with 6 Action cards, but ultimately whittled this down to 3 Cards.

  • The Blue Ribbon: This can be played to any animal to permanently increase its value by $5. This is a very powerful card.
  • The Corgalohts: This lets you move an opponent’s Feed OR remove a feed of yours from an animal. This is useful for obvious reasons. But, if you don’t have any feed, you can’t feed animals. You can use this card to remove a feed from an animal that is a lost cause, re-feed, get to use the bonus ability, and vie for another animal.
  • Farmer’s Market: This card exists to let you mitigate the luck of the draw of Action cards. If you’re pursuing a crop-focused strategy, you don’t need a Corgalohts, for example. With Farmer’s Market, you draw 4 Action cards, pick one, and discard the rest. This has the side effect of letting you get rid of cards you don’t want in play.

Some Challenges with L&L

Remember when I said you shouldn’t alter the core experience with your expansion? Originally, the Animal related Action cards and Weather cards were unique decks. There were also new choices and turn choices related to using them. A friend of mine and long-term Farmageddon tester said “NO.” He reminded me that the game had a nice rhythm of draw crops, do stuff, draw Actions to end. This was a good reminder. As a result, the Actions are now just Actions and the Weather cards are a part of the Crop deck.

Balancing the power of the abilities with the value of the Animals was a big problem that was thankfully easy to solve. Early on, all four animals had really good abilities. My testers noted that it always made the best sense to just feed the most valuable animal. To spice things up, I made it such that the least valuable animal had the best ability. Furthermore, the most valuable animal had no ability. Want to win that Cow? Go ahead. You won’t get any bonuses on the way.

I’ve learned a great deal since I created Farmageddon. One of which is creating more systematic cards with fewer exceptions. At times, it was challenging to introduce Weather cards, new FrankenCrops, Animals, and new Action cards that played nice with everything in the original. Were I to do it all over, there are definitely some terms and cards I’d revise to work better. Don’t worry — we already have an FAQ prepped for the 1 or 2 cases that may cause confusion. Otherwise, we’ve worked really hard to make this smooth and clear.

Finally, as you read above, the game had 6 Action cards at one point. Originally, all of the cards had incredibly narrow, focused utility. I had forgotten that one of the things that makes Farmageddon fun is how so many of the Action cards pair well with each other or have varying utility in different situations. By refining and massaging the cards, I added 3 cards that all need to be in the game and really make it better.

Ending Thoughts

What do you think makes a good expansion? What are some of your favorites? Any questions on the Farmageddon expansion, Livestocked and Loaded?

Farmageddon 2nd Printing Available!

Post by: Grant Rodiek

2012 was a really big year for my first published game, Farmageddon. It was signed for publication, then my publisher raised $25,000 on Kickstarter. He ordered a larger than expected printing of 2700 copies which was very well reviewed, received a Parent’s Choice Award, and ultimately sold out. Very very cool, if you ask me. The game’s success far exceeded my expectations.

As of today, the game’s 2nd Printing is now available for purchase. I actually received my copies (I get a few every printing per my contract).

What’s different? Not much. In the rules, I changed the word “Actions” to “Things” in one of the early paragraphs as I had one (belligerent) friend who was confused by it. I added a clarification for the FrankenCrops in the back to future proof them better (we have 15 more coming in the future for a booster pack). Finally, I added a friend to the credits who was mistakenly left out.

The box is no longer a thick two piece, but is a big tuck box that holds the rules and decks. This was done to be more retail friendly and to improve margins. Phil’s hope is to get the game into bigger stores, so things like the hang tab and smaller box are important.

Finally, we’ve revised the text on a few cards purely for clarity. None of their functionality has changed. But, we listened to fans, saw what confused them, and tried to improve the cards.

One final thing is that the cards aren’t bowed. The manufacturer made a mistake with the initial printing and the cards were bowed. Thankfully, they flattened out naturally with time, but it made a bad first impression for folks. We’re sorry and I’m glad to see it didn’t happen again.

What’s Next? Hopefully, continued success. Phil made a big investment and funded a bigger printing of 5000 copies. He did this by putting money back into the business and by taking out a business loan. Personally, I’m very proud that he believes in my game to this degree.

If you have thoughts on Farmageddon, enjoy it, or know a family or group of casual gamers who would like it, please recommend it! Your word of mouth praise is literally the BEST marketing available. 340 of you have rated the game on Board Game Geek and it means so much to us. Christmas is approaching, so if you think of someone who would like this as a $15 stocking stuffer, recommend it!

The game is available exclusively via Amazon or 5th Street’s website.

In addition to the second printing, Erin Fusco, the artist for the original FrankenCrops, is coloring the new art for the Livestocked and Loaded expansion right now. This will be sent free to our Kickstarter backers and sold for around $10 to other customers. This expansion broadens the game with new Weather events, Animals, and new Action cards. There are new mechanics and the focus is to add more strategy to an otherwise unpredictable game.  Other than the fact I’m really bad at the expansion, I am really happy with it.

As a treat, here is some of the completed art.

Dry Spell Weather Card

Freak Blizzard Weather Card

Petunia Cluxity

Sauce the Pig

Woolsworth the III

Oola von Heifer

If you like these, just wait until you see the Corgalohts, the Inland Tsunami, or the new Farmers…

We also have 15 new FrankenCrops designed and sketched. These will also be sent free to our Kickstarter backers as an apology for the bowed cards. In my opinion, this is really excellent of Phil. It is very kind. These will be sold to others as well who want more spice.

The Future? Phil and I would like to keep supporting Farmageddon as long as there is demand. It’s a silly little game, but I still love it and enjoy playing it. I have tons of ideas for expansions. The theme is rich and full of options. If the 2nd printing and first expansion sell, we have great ideas and more FrankenCrops.

As always, we love, appreciate, and value your input. We thank you for your support. Without you testing the prototype, printing the PNP, inviting me to your podcast, backing it on KS, or sharing Tweets, we would not be where we are.

Happy Farming!

Posted in Blog | Tagged 5th street games, card game, , game, gift, livestocked and loaded, news, second printing | 2 Replies

The “Big” FLABS Reveal

Post by: Grant Rodiek

For the two of you who were curious about my vague design known as FLABS, it’s time for my big reveal. That seems hyperbolic…

FLABS is an abbreviation of Farmageddon LabsFarmageddon Labs is an entirely new, standalone game that exists within the Farmageddon universe. I really like Farmageddon as a setting. It makes me smile and it has ever since Brett showed me his first sketch for Sluggo Corn. It’s silly, over the top, colorful, and family friendly. I think there are a million things I can do with this setting. As long as I create within it carefully and respectfully, I think people will be fine with a return to the dusty plains of Sluggo.

I’m working on the game with help from Phil Kilcrease of 5th Street Games. I would very much like this to be the first game I fully publish myself. But, if that’s not meant to be (i.e. I lack the courage to do so), I’ll try to find a publishing home for it.

Farmageddon Labs is a prequel to the card game that’s out now. It is designed around the question: Who created the crops? Why are they like that? What bizarre science created that situation?

With those questions driving and focusing my design, I also set out to meet the following goals:

  • Low price point. Farmageddon is a $15 game. I don’t think people will adjust well to a $50 Farmageddon, and really, that doesn’t interest me much regardless. $25 or less is my target and I’m currently within that realm. Under that, actually.
  • Fast play experience. I’m targeting a 45 minute or less game. Unlike the original Farmageddon, which can have a complex, order of operations, mutli-action turn phase, Labs is take one action and go.
  • No take that. Farmageddon has lots of this, so I don’t think the next one needs it. My hope is two-fold: Give existing Farmageddon fans a completely new experience and bring in new fans who may have been turned off by the first Farmageddon. 
  • A very clean, elegant experience. I’ve been working towards this with all my games with mixed success. I seek to make this a more systematic game, not one involving card text and tricky actions to balance. Whereas the original Farmageddon was more on the Ameritrashy side, this one will be more on the Euro side.
  • Tactile and toy-like. This is my new favorite focus and Labs fits within it.

Overall, Farmageddon Labs is aimed at being a very accessible, broad appeal, simple, deep experience that matches games like Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. NO, I’m not saying this game is as good as those. That’s silly. But, that’s the space to which I want my games to belong. I’m targeting those customers.

I’m not fully ready to reveal all the mechanics and elements yet, as I don’t want to look too stupid when they don’t work. My hope is to bring a functioning prototype to GenCon for testing and feedback. Then, ship some prototypes to existing Farmageddon fans for blind testing. This won’t be an easy game to print and play.

The game has already gone through three major revisions. For iteration 1, I spent 3 hours on the phone brainstorming with a good design friend of mine. The game that emerged was neat, had some cool elements, but was overall very derivative.

After it went through the gauntlet of 2 or 3 peer reviews, one friend told me I could do something more interesting than the cards I had.

I thought about it, threw a lot of it away, and moved with my second iteration. This is where I had a great “a ha!” moment that is the basis of every iteration since.  After more peer review and more thinking, I paired this with a second mechanic to fully flesh out the game.

Typically, I’d prototype before this point, but the game has an uncommon component that isn’t the easiest to build. I also wanted to put a lot of thought into it. I’ve found lately that if I personally rush too quickly to testing I don’t arrive at some of my best designs.

Here are some of the elements, at a high level, the game will have:

  • Players take 1 of 3 actions on their turn. All actions affect a central board…of sorts. 
  • There is chit pulling to update the board.
  • The game steps slightly outside my comfort zone and features no cards
  • …but not too far as there are multi-use components.
  • Very strong spatial components. Two, actually.
  • Hidden scoring goals.
  • The rules are a mere 2 pages (plus another 1 or 2 to list content).
  • Players are all scientists.

I’m pretty excited about Farmageddon Labs. I’ll be sharing the rules with some folks for early input and I’ll be building the prototypes to begin testing. Stay tuned!

FreeStarter Interviews Grant Rodiek


Four friends recently launched a project called FreeStarter. Why? To give away free games and thank the awesome board game community for being awesome. We also wanted to help you get to know us better. This is the final of four interviews, one with each of us. Today? We’re talking to me, Grant Rodiek. Matt Worden, Chevee Dodd, and AJ Porfirio are also in the conversation.

To learn about the contest, click here! To enter, send an email to , tell us which contest you want, and follow us on Twitter!

Matt: I’ve known Mr. Rodiek for almost 2 whole years, which allows me to have an inside knowledge of just about nothing of him. So, this is my chance to get into those deep, dark places and poke around a bit.

Grant, any chance you could share a picture of Peaches with us?  I know you’re normally pretty shy about your Corgi, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that she’s somewhat cute. Your thoughts?

AJ: Ah, good plan Matt. Soften him up with a Peaches question.

Grant: Peaches is my adorable, bossy 3 year old Welsh Corgi. When I’m not at work, she’s my constant companion. A lot of my creative exercises are conducted while walking Peaches at the park. I love her dearly.

Matt: (Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, Grant won’t be wondering when he’d get an opening to show off his favorite daddy’s girl.)

Can you give us a little background?  You know, everything else in your life up to this point.  You have 280 characters: GO!

Grant: I’m 29, male, and I live in San Francisco with my girlfriend, Beth, and our corgi, Peaches. I’m a professional digital game developer and serious board game design hobbyist. I’ve published/self-published two games so far, write my blog (if you’re reading this, you’re here!) and would like to one day publish games.

Matt: I’ve heard people call you “the Farmaggedon guy” … why?

Grant: Farmageddon is my first published design. It was published last year by 5th Street Games and in less than a year has sold through its first print run and won a Parent’s Choice Award. We’ve been very fortunate. The second print run was just ordered and I very much hope it continues to be well received. I try to promote it constantly, so if you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware of it.

The first expansion for Farmageddon, Livestocked & Loaded, is coming out this year. Plus, other Farmageddon things…

AJ: I’m looking forward to adding animals into the mix when we play Farmageddon!

Matt: (Quick note-to-self about AJ wanting to “add animals into the mix”.)  So Grant, I’ve also heard people call you “Grand” … but I really don’t want to see your answer as to why.

Grant: Typo? From those less Grand?

Matt: Sorry, but I need to sidetrack: Why is it that you showed up late at the JW on the last night of last year’s GenCon and then proceeded to buy all of us shots?

Grant: Because last year at GenCon I worked from 8pm to midnight nightly testing Battle for York. I was late because I tested with the most analysis-paralysis group in history and they took 2.5 hours to play my 60 minute game. It was epic. I bought shots because I’m a giving soul and I want everyone to consume the delicious nectar of GenCon.

AJ: Oh man I wish I saved our text conversation from that playtest. That was hilarious.

Grant: AJ and I were texting to each other while watching these poor guys decide, re-decide, debate, re-debate, every decision in the game.

Matt: Mmmm … nectar …elven-served nectar is the best, I hear. Anyhoo … have you ever put a single-use card into any of your designs?  (I won’t believe you even if you prove that you have.)

Grant: Yes! The General in Battle for York has a singular purpose! But typically, no. Many designers have favorite mechanics and one of mine is multi-use cards. For example:

  • Crop Cards in Farmageddon can be planted, used as fertilizer, or discarded to activate Action cards.
  • All cards in York (except the General, Saboteur, and Tactician) can be played to place reinforcements or activate special powers.

Things are changing though. All the action cards in Blockade are single-use and very simple. Then again, my other new game returns to multi-use cards. I’m like a broken record.

Chevee: I’m all over this. Adding multiple uses to cards gives you another decision layer without increasing components. I also hate those games where you have a hand full of useless cards.

Matt: You’re providing a copy of Farmageddon and Battle for York as part of our freestarter giveaways. Anything else you want to add-in here about the former? And what can you tell us about the latter?


Grant: Farmageddon is a light take-that for 2-4 players that plays in about a half hour. A few things help it stand out from other take-thats. For one, the take-thattery/aggression is constant and evenly distributed. It happens every turn and is a part of the strategy. By this, I mean you don’t go a round or two then get screwed. You know it’s going to happen so you plan against it.

Also, you only get to play two Action cards, which limits the amount of things that can happen and also generate a lot of combo driven play. I think it’s really fun discovering new combos and choices for different scenarios.


Battle for York is an area control/war game that plays with 2-4 players in an hour or less. The game is entirely action and card driven — no dice. I tried to make something different than the typical war games in the market, which tend to be highly complex, lengthy simulations between only 2 players. Another cool aspect is that the game features 4 asymmetric factions as well as a generic tutorial faction to help players learn the game.

The game requires “thoughtful aggression.” You can’t sit and wait. You need to take territory, win battles, and carefully manage your hand of cards to have the right balance of units on the ground and special tactics. I self-published Farmageddon, then it took off. I’m hoping the same happens for York.

Matt: York is really my sort of game. Not sure I’ll ever win, but I will enjoy every play. You had me at “Y–”!  (Farmageddon is okay too, I guess. Even if the stupid pre-5th Street version out-sold Jump Gate on TheGameCrafter.)

Chevee: I like York a lot. I can see my group playing it regularly. I also never see myself winning against them.

Matt: So if Chevee and I were to play a 2-player game … would both of us lose? We may need to figure this out the proper way! What ever happened to my all-time favorite design of yours, Up Your Missouri?

Grant: Frontier Scoundrels, aka Up Your Missouri was a semi-cooperative (bad, avoid at all costs) game based on Lewis, Clark, and 2 other fictional explorers. After about 10 tests I scrapped it. It was just a highly random, meandering, no decision, pile of junk. I didn’t see how to salvage it so I dropped it and went elsewhere. I have about 6 of these per year.

Matt: I think I love it even a little bit more now …  *sigh*

AJ: Can I have the time that I spent rule reviewing that game back? I kid, I kid.

Chevee: Was this before my time or is my memory that terrible?

Matt: It was before York and his first try at Poor Abby. Lasted about 2 months I think. I liked it, so he crumpled it up and threw it away.

In my eyes, you can be extremely self-critical … not so much of yourself, but of your designs and things that you create.  You seem to have a very tight, quick loop of assessment and determination of whether something works or doesn’t.  Where does that come from?

Grant: If I had to pin it on something I’d say my training at work paired with my personality of impatience. I’m a producer/designer at work, traditionally on large teams. From time to time I’ve had to make a lot of quick decisions and assess things so we can keep moving and make progress. I’ve always looked to decisive people as well. I think one of my best strengths and weaknesses is haste. It gets me in trouble and helps me succeed at the same time. I’m critical because I want to make really good things. Anybody can just put stuff out there and I want to be good. It’s a really difficult road and I’m not sure how it’s going yet.

Matt: “Anybody can just put stuff out there …”  Hey, that’s what I do!!  “… and I want to be good.” … oh, I see the difference.

Chevee: It’s two entirely different methodologies that lead to the same point. Grant likes to think and think and think before spending real time and money making something and Matt and I prefer to just make things and figure it out as we go along. I have convinced Grant to try his hand at the “Chevee Method” of design recently… in fact, I think Blockade started that way?

Grant: Molly’s Last Hope was Chevee Method. Blockade is pure me.

Matt: You are also very open in your design work, sharing a ton of information about your thoughts, processes, steps you’ve taken, results you’ve expected vs. what you’ve actually gotten, etc.  Do you find this is helpful to you in your game design work?  Is it helpful to you in other ways?

Grant: It is helpful for me in that I’m always thinking about how to present my ideas and share them. I have to position them such that people care and can digest the information. Something many designers fail to do is ask “How will players learn this? How will players first experience this? What is the best way to teach this?”

Another way is that I think it helps me build awareness for my games. I’m a relative nobody. [ed: Matt - we can’t all be The Beast] I’ve never published a game “for real,” I have a single published design… I’m a minnow in a big pond. I don’t quite have the presence yet to just put something out there and have people care. So, by sharing it openly, I hope I build some of that trust and presence so that long term, people do care.

Chevee: I appreciate the openness and it’s one of the things that pulled me into this community. I like reading about other peoples trials and tribulations, even if they are a “nobody” because there is always something to be learned, even from newbies.

Matt: Who do you learn from and what are the most important knowledge bits or habits you’ve gained over the past two years?

Grant: I learn from the games I play. I’m highly influenced by what I consume as a player. I learn by watching others — I love to watch Kickstarter projects and other publishers. If I cannot learn by doing (yet), I can learn by what others are doing. I also learn a great deal at work and then try to apply it to my hobby exercises.

Some things I’ve learned include: The ability to test and iterate on my designs. I know how to get what I need from testers and keep improving my games. I’ve grown much stronger in writing rules. Finally, I’m able to get my designs to a “good place” much more quickly.

Matt: Besides the multi-use-cards mentioned earlier, what are your other go-to mechanics?  Can you specifically respond to the ideas of randomness and everyone’s  favorite: chit pulling?

Grant: I personally don’t enjoy a great deal of randomness in my games, though what random means is different for everyone. For example, games like Arkham Horror or Talisman seem utterly boring to me. But, I absolutely don’t mind dice rolls for resolving combat, like in Summoner Wars or Memoir ‘44. Personally, I like making decisions against probability. I always like having options.

Randomness and luck are excellent tools for variance, which is how I try to use them. Others use it more to create unexpected moment. That has its place, but that’s less how I tend to use it.

Mechanics I love — in general, cards. I love having a hand of options and deciding how to use them. Lately, I’m obsessed with weird components, like blocks, and figuring out how to incorporate them. I also love social mechanics. I need to create a game with them.

Chit pulling is a really neat mechanic that I haven’t factored in properly yet for a personal design. Maybe soon?

Chevee: Everyone should be required to design a chit pulling game. MOAR CHITS!

Matt: You really, really, really like to playtest your games.  So much so that you even created a network of playtester “ penpals” to help other designers get their designs blind tested by other experienced folks.  What benefits do you normally get out of a high level of playtesting?

Grant: How much I love my games matters a lot less than how much others love my games. And, unlike Chevee, I actually like my games (I kill the ones I don’t). Playtesting helps reveal favorite mechanics that need to be tweaked or removed. Playtesting helps you refine your experience and improve rules and accessibility. Playtesting proves how well your graphic design supports the games.

A design, without testing, is just a hypothesis. Playtesting for me is the scientific aspect that refines the art and creative stuff.

Chevee: Hey now! I like at least one of the games I’ve designed! You have a mysterious ability to keep enjoying your projects after you are done with them… I can’t do that.

Matt: What new games are you working on right now?

Grant: I’m working on a tactical (and tactile!) fleet battle game tentatively called Blockade. Players have Jenga-like blocks that have lasers and weak points on them. Players arrange the blocks in formations to hide their weak spots, but also potentially bring fewer weapons to bear. The game is highly tactile, distilled, and uses a fun dice mechanic. It also has a big story written against.

I also started a second new design for which I have really big hopes. I’m not talking about it yet.

Matt: You say that you would like to become a publisher at some point. How do you see that unfolding? What sort of game(s) do you see Hyperbole Games logos on?

Grant: There are so many chances to screw up when you publish a game. I’d hate to do this with someone else’s game for my first outing. So, I need to design a game that I think is a.) amazing and b.) I can produce fantastically. Once I have that, if my personal funding is relatively happy, I’ll finally create my Hyperbole Games LLC and release the game.

Without a doubt, Hyperbole games will play in 60 minutes or less. Ideally 45 minutes or less. They’ll target the masses far more than the hardcore niche. So, more Ticket to Ride than Terra Mystica. I’m seeking games with fun components, $40 or less MSRP, and ones that can support a gorgeous presentation. Gameplay wise, I’m looking for games that are clever. Clever is a word I really like.

Matt: Each of these interviews has had some advice given. I’m curious as to the advice you would give to how designers should prepare for playtests and how they should gather feedback during and after play from the testers.

Grant: Know the goals you have for your game. Know what you’re trying to create. For example, for Battle for York, my goals were:

  • 2-4 players
  • 60 minutes or less
  • No dice. Low luck, in general.
  • Conflict driven, war-style game
  • No player elimination.
  • Players are never “out” of the game. You can always win.

Everyone has ideas for how to make your game better. Everyone knows the game they want to play. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll meander all over the place with feedback. If you know what you want, you’ll be able to process the feedback and use it to improve your game.

Chevee: I’d like to highlight that last sentence: “improve your game.” There comes a point in life when you have to accept the fact that you can’t please everyone… and that heavily applies to game design. Make your game the way you want it. That doesn’t mean that you turn away all advice and criticism, but you need to keep the focus on making something you want to play. If the advice helps get you there, awesome.

Obligatory Promotional Section

The Terror of Pitching

Post by: Grant Rodiek

I haven’t had to pitch a game since January 2012. It was 7 months ago when 5th Street Games licensed Farmageddon for publication. Since then, I’ve been working on the Farmageddon expansion, Poor Abby (shelved), and now, the glorious Empire Reborn. Pitching your game to a publisher is miserable, terrifying, and bound to be full of disappointment. Hooray for me, I’m about to jump head first into that fun again!

I’ve been crunching away on Empire Reborn for a few reasons. One, I really like the game and I’m delighted to finally have another title that isn’t painfully bad (game design is hard). Secondly, I know from experience that sending emails is a fool’s errand and GenCon is an amazing, 4 day opportunity to demonstrate the game in person and at the very least, get much faster turn around on that “nope.”

I learned quite a bit in my search to find a publisher for Farmageddon. Most importantly, don’t pitch your game to publishers who will have no interest in publishing it. Farmageddon is a casual card game. GMT, for example, will NEVER publish a game like Farmageddon. No, I wasn’t that dumb, but honestly, there were times when I was close. I won’t be the first to say it, but I’ll say it again as it’s worth mentioning: Only pitch to people who care to hear it. Pitch to the right publishers. 

For Empire Reborn, this is an interesting list. It’s a war game with some area control strategy elements. It’s based (currently) in a fictional, approximately19th century world. There isn’t a “ah, yeah, THAT publisher.” In retrospect, THAT publisher for Farmageddon is 5th Street and Gamewright. Those are the two.

I’m also torn because, unlike Farmageddon, I’m not paying for the art this time. Therefore, I’m not controlling it. I don’t recommend it per se, but I paid for the majority of the art on Farmageddon and that made things strange in some cases. This time, I haven’t done any art. In fact, I’ve merely explored layout for cards and basic materials. It saddens me that it’s almost entirely assured the art I want to do isn’t the art that will be done if I’m published. If you want complete control, self-publication is the only way. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to self-publish, nor do I have the know-how to do so.

Most ominous, though, is the inevitable string of “no, not for us” responses I will receive. It is  easy, for me at least, to put my game in front of random testers and take in all sorts of difficult feedback. That’s testing and design and it’s 100% within my control. But, when I’m asking a publisher to take a big risk on my game, see the potential, and believe in me as a designer, that’s out of my hands. What if someone pitches a game they like more? What if they are in a bad mood? What if I said something stupid at some point? What if Russia invades and a subtle theme in my game becomes taboo?

Gah! It’s like trying to figure out if the girl likes you or not. You know what would make pitching a game simpler? If I could send them a handwritten note that said:

“Do you like my light to medium war game?” Answers: Yes/No/Maybe

But, I’ve learned a lot. It’s been a good year and I’m developing my craft. I’ll find a publisher for Empire Reborn. After all, this war won’t fight itself.