ERA: Medieval Age – Design Notes

ERA: Medieval Age was released this year at Gen Con and will hit stores later this August. The game has a long history, which started nearly twelve years ago. Here’s a look at how the game came to be.

Origins of ERA

Back in October of 2007, my friends Chris and Kim Farrell threw down the gauntlet and challenged the members of our gaming group to a contest in the spirit of Nanowrimo—the National Novel Writing Month. Our mission was to each design a civilization-building dice game that was playable in 30–40 minutes, during the month of November. We were to go off into our corners and come back with our results at the end of the month.

I gave it my best shot. I saw the challenge as a great opportunity to boil down the experience from one of my favorite games—Francis Tresham’s Civilization (1980)—into something that took far less time. (Civ was best with about five to seven people who could devote eight or more hours to play, and that was becoming increasingly hard to manage.)

I shared the results to the gaming group in early December. Encouraged by the results, I pitched it to publishers at a conference the following April. I got immediate interest and the game was picked up by Griffon Games as part of their bookshelf line. They published it as Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age in 2009. The game did well, garnering a nomination for the Spiel des Jahres in 2010.

The publisher saw an opportunity to ride on the game’s success and encouraged me to design additional ages and soon after I designed a print-and play expansion. But my attempts at other ages felt dry and lifeless, and I abandoned them. After one failed start after another, Tom Lehmann finally stepped up to extend the line with a version that we dubbed Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age (2014).

After that, the game seemed to have run its course.

ERA: Medieval Age (2019). Cover art by Chris Quilliams.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age  (2009). The challenge that my friends Chris and Kim threw down was to create a civilization-building dice game that could be played in 30–40 minutes.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age (2009). The challenge that my friends Chris and Kim threw down was to create a civilization-building dice game that could be played in 30–40 minutes.

A near-final prototype (version 23) of Roll Through the Ages from 11 years ago. The early prototypes were initially pitched as “Dice of the Ancients.”


That is, until I was approached by Plan B Games in 2016. They were fans of the game and wanted to know if I’d be up for breathing new life into it and potentially turning it into a series. I promised to take another look.

During this exploration, I started thinking about an idea where players could develop a city, drawing its buildings, instead of creating another checklist game dominated by a technology tree. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of games with a drawing component. I can trace that as far back to games like Empire Builder (1982) and Source of the Nile (1978). Even Knit Wit started out as a drawing game.

I did a bunch of reading on the Medieval period, sketched a lot, tinkered around. One key breakthrough was the idea to map the four classes of medieval society to different dice that represented their role. For example, peasants would provide labor and food, burghers would provide more trade goods, clergy could provide administration (allowing you to manipulate your dice) and nobles wouldn’t produce anything, but could raise taxes and could rattle their swords to defend their domain or threaten their opponents. Soon, I had some early prototypes of a new Medieval Age.

May, 2017. Here you can see some concepts taking shape. I often start with a concept map of the key objects and actions in the game. Sometimes this works; other times you get a boring, stilted, lifeless games.

Early sketches of buildings and resources.

More concept mapping.

Medieval Age Takes Shape

This new Medieval Age used dice that were similar to the ones used in Roll Through the Ages: they had resources and skulls on them, and players rolled them three times in an attempt to optimize their turn. but the experience was nicely differentiated from the Bronze Age. When you were done, you could look at a unique city that you had illustrated over the course of play. I also came up with a new turn structure that reduced downtime considerably, and found a way to work that back into the original Bronze Age design.

After a solid year of development, the game was ready to turn over to the publisher. Contracts were signed and the game was well on its way to becoming a reality.

I spent about a year designing the roll-and-write version of ERA: Medieval Age. Players drew buildings on graph paper and drew walls segments on the lines that separated them. The game also used a reference card for building shapes and a simple pegboard to track resources.

One Question

The publisher liked the design. It was quite fun to play and fairly straightforward to manufacture. They did have one issue with it, however: it was really hard to see what your opponents were doing. (This is a bit of a classic problem with many roll-and-write games—they can feel a bit like group solitaire if you’re only focused on your own board.) They pulled out a napkin sketch of a building made from a few wooden blocks and asked me: “what if it was in 3D? Would that work?”

Little did they know that I had just received my first laser cutter earlier that week. My answer was an excited, “let’s find out.” We’d have to defer the game’s release at least another year, but hey, lasers.

I got to work.

I actually used craft foam for my first 3D version of the board, which was a direct translation of the roll-and-write shapes: buildings went on squares; walls went between them.

It looked promising. Testing soon showed, however, that players had a hard time figuring out how to place buildings on this grid.

I thought a laser-cut version with little white circles to help position your buildings might work. It didn’t.

I had to abandon this system as it went against years of Lego training.

When I moved the walls onto the same grid as the buildings, the problem went away. The board also was significantly less noisy looking.

Roll and Build

Switching the game to a set of physical buildings opened up all sorts of possibilities. In addition to the wonderful, tactile feel, I could now work with a new dynamic: supply and demand. I modified the rules for walls so they’d come in different lengths, which introduced a strong push-your-luck element. Players now had to weigh the desire to defer buying walls (since they don’t help you bootstrap at all) against the temptation to buy them early when longer lengths are available. And if players wait too long, the supply can run out, putting a huge number of points at risk.

Having a building supply also made for a more dynamic game end condition. Rather than playing until a single player built a certain number of buildings (which was tedious to track on the score sheets), I shifted the game end condition so the game finished when a certain number of buildings ran out. This added more tension to the game since it’s harder to predict when this will happen.

All the laser-cut pieces for the buildings plus a few experimental bits and other odds-and-ends. I cut the buildings out of illustration board, glued them together using a special tacky glue, then painted them with acrylic.

A robust city at the end of a game. The buildings in the prototype had little “pips” etched into them so you could see how many points they were worth. The published version uses a more robust score sheet satisfies this requirement in a better way.

All the parts for two prototypes, painted and ready to go. Before I was done, I created six full prototypes.

A special shout out to Anthony Rubbo who worked tirelessly to convince me that the screens were worth trying out. He was right.

Other Innovations

The additional year of development brought other improvements as well. Most notable was the introduction of player screens that hide the results of each player’s roll during the Roll step. I was hesitant to add these as I was convinced that players needed to see each others’ dice while rolling in order to increase player interaction. Testing strongly showed otherwise, however—players welcomed the faster pace, the element of surprise, and the shorter play time that the screens afforded. They also made a great home for the information on the play aid.

Translating the Prototype into the Final Product

The Eggertspiele development team helped polish the remaining bits and pieces. Together we created the solitaire version and they helped refine the disasters, including increasing the number of scorched earth tiles that came with the game from what I specified. (Remind me to be wary of playing with them.)

The biggest change during production was to the player boards. These shifted from punchboard to molded plastic. While the icons are harder to read on the plastic boards—they’re sculpted rather than printed—the boards are much more durable than punchboard and the plastic nicely “grips” the building components, keeping them firmly in place.

In the video below, you can get a good look at how everything turned out in the final game as I give a quick overview of the rules.

The Harbor and Great Hall along with the Baron, Bishop, and Merchant dice that come in Collector’s Set #1.

The Harbor and Great Hall along with the Baron, Bishop, and Merchant dice that come in Collector’s Set #1.

Expansions Planned

If you purchase the game from the Eggertspiele web shop you can already pick up the first of several expansions planned for the game, Collector’s Set #1. This mini expansion provides two new buildings and rules for upgrading your clergy, noble, and burgher dice into a bishop, baron, or merchant.

First of Three ERAs

Eggertspiele has already announced that ERA: Medieval Age is the first of three titles in the ERA series. For the second installment, it’s likely that fans of Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age will be re-released in an updated and modernized version.

The third game in the series has not yet been hinted at. Which leads me to ask: if you had your wish, what ERA would you want? If you have an idea, leave a note in the comments!

New Game Announcement — Era: Medieval Age


I’m excited to announce Era: Medieval Age, a new dice game coming this summer from Eggertspiele.

I’ve been working on this game and other games in the Era line for the last few years and am really excited to start sharing more about them with you.

Read all about it here, or catch the 2-minute video announcement below.

2019 Game Selection Guide

Looking for one of my games but don’t know where to get started? This handy flowchart might help! Start in the circle in the upper-left corner and follow the arrows until you reach your perfect game. (Expansions not included.)

Click it for a larger view, or, if you’d like to print it out, the PDF version will save you a lot of ink.

With a nod to Mental Floss that shared their own chart (and cast a wider net) in 2015.

See my Games page for more information on all of these products and more.

Cooperative Game Growth Keeps Rising

Back in January of 2016, I posted an article on the growth of cooperative games. I wanted to check in to see what has happened in the last couple of years. Had things slowed down at all?

I hit one small snag – BGG searches cap out at 5,000 results and there were more than 5,000 products released in 2016 and 2017. So, I’ve had to re-do my queries based on the number of games (excluding expansions) instead of total products released each year.

With that in mind, results are in: the growth of the category continues to skyrocket.

Excludes expansions. Total games each year accurate to the nearest 50 games per year; total number of games with cooperative games are based on the total count of those games each year.

Excludes expansions. Total games each year accurate to the nearest 50 games per year; total number of games with cooperative games are based on the total count of those games each year.

Given the time it took to design and publish a game at the time, it appears that 2008 was a category-proving year. Pandemic, Battlestar Galactica, Ghost Stories, and Space Alert were all released in 2008, perhaps proving the category to future designers and publishers.

Pandemic: Fall of Rome Announced


Happy to see that Z-man has announced the latest game in the Pandemic Survival Series, Pandemic: Fall of Rome!

In this game, you'll recruit legions and enlist barbarians with an ever-diminishing treasury (and increasing corruption) in your attempt to forge five alliances with invading tribes before the Empire falls.

This is a co-design with Paolo Mori and was a tremendous amount of fun to work on. And the artwork from Atha Kanaani and the Z-man team is top notch. Coming in Q4, 2018.

here's the Z-man announcement.

Gen Con

Headed to Gen Con? So am I! Here's what I'll be up to:


Forbidden Sky Demos

I'll be demoing Forbidden Sky and signing games at the Gamewright booth in the main exhibit hall.

Gamewright Booth
Thursday 2:00 PM
Friday 2:00 PM
Saturday 2:00 PM

Blank / Blankdemic Demos

I'll be demoing the game, Blank with a custom booster that my daughter and I designed. The event is ticketed, but feel free to swing by to have a look and say hello.

Hub Games Demo Tables
ICC : Hall C : Hub : HQ (Event Info)
Thursday 4:00 PM
Friday at 4:00 PM
Saturday at 12:00 PM


Rob Daviau and I will be running a private playtest session for an upcoming <cough>legacy game</cough> and are currently looking for some folks to help us out.

We're looking for a group who is…

  • available for playtesting during evenings at the convention. We're planning on running the sessions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from about 7–11 PM (give or take).
  • open to continuing to playtest at home with your group after the convention wraps up and willing to video record your home sessions. The entire campaign will run about 12–18 hours.
  • willing to sign an NDA.

If the above sounds good to you, please contact me and indicate:

  • How many people are in your group?
  • Please confirm your availability during and after the convention.
  • Tell us just a *little bit* about yourselves, for example what games you enjoy.
  • Let us know if you've played Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 or Season 2. It's not necessary, but we may take that into account.

If you have questions, either drop a comment or email me using the contact page above.

Thanks! We couldn't make the games we do without your help.

UPDATE: We've filled our playtest slot. Thanks everyone!

Gamechanging in Uganda


The first time I went to Uganda was in September, 2001 with Donna. We had been married just over a year and were determined to see a bit of the world before starting a family. We traveled with my parents who had just started their non-profit, Computers for Africa. During our stay, we visited schools and helped set up computer labs in Masaka, Uganda and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Three generations of adventurers in our (then clean) tour van: Donna, Ruth, and Colleen Leacock

We returned to the country last year, this time with our two daughters, determined to show them a little more of the world. My parents and their good friend Herbert helped plan an itinerary that took us on a grand, counter-clockwise tour around the country. We visited schools, met with people in their homes, and visited the local sites: the source of the Nile, the equator, Sipi Falls, and the game park at Murchison Falls.

The countryside was beautiful, the animals abundant, and the people were very friendly and welcoming. But despite all the beauty and wonders all around us, we couldn't help but get in a few games:

  • We introduced the sisters at Kalungu Girls’ Training Centre in Masaka to Catan in 2001.
  • We played a few games of Carcassonne on a ferry ride to Zanzibar on that trip.
  • And last year, we tested Mole Rats in Space (in prototype form) with our guide Herbert and the girls while traveling in Gulu – appropriate, since Mole Rats are indigenous to East Africa.

Slim pickings: Twister and Cat & Mouse make up the total games available at this department store we visited.

Aside from the games we brought with us, however, modern boardgames are nowhere to be found in Uganda. 

That’s why I was so surprised to learn that there was a board game convention being held in Uganda last May – in Gulu – where we had just visited! And it wasn’t just chess, checkers, and mancala – these kids were playing games like Codenames Pictures, Cosmic Encounter, RoboRally, and Legends of Andor!

Codenames Pictures and Cosmic Encounter at the Ugandan Boardgame Convention

The convention was sponsored by Chrysalis, which has been training children to be change makers and social entrepreneurs for the last seven years. They’ve been using modern boardgames to train kids “in a whole range of skills, from social to persuasion, planning to resource management, adaptability to tactics, and much more.” They note that the games help the kids with self confidence, their ability to learn, and provide creative influence and inspiration.

Their first convention was a big success. Now they are working to expand their program into a new initiative called Gamechangers. Gamechangers will create more opportunities for children to play games between conventions and will focus on the following areas:

  • Competitive and cooperative boardgames
  • Drama, to teach the value of boardgames
  • Art arena cooperation games
  • Active and team-building games
  • Story-collecting for new games and adventures

They’re actively raising funds for this new program and could use your help. You can read all about how they’l be using the funds to train 16 young change makers to become social entrepreneurs on their Crowdfunder page:

If you do pledge, leave a comment below and let me know, because on Tuesday, August 15th at 12:00 noon PDT, I’ll randomly select one of the commenters who has made a donation to the program (however large) and send them a personalized care package. It might include…

  • a new, never-before seen prototype role card for Pandemic with your name on it
  • or a game
  • or a lenticular Forbidden Island postcard
  • or a special, hand-made “Box 9” for Pandemic Legacy Season 2 that only YOU will ever know the contents of
  • or all of the above … who knows?

Whatever it is, it’ll be a surprise and I’ll ship it anywhere in the world if you win.

Special thanks to Tony Boydell for this raffle idea that I’m brazenly stealing.

Update: We have a winner

Congratulations to Kurt Wils! You're the winner of the care package above. Please contact me at to work out all the details.

Thanks to everyone who contributed! We blew away their initial goal and their stretch goal. As of this writing, they've raised £2,907!

The campaign wraps on 18 August 2017 if you've just arrived and would like to make a contribution.

Favorite Board Game Design Resources

Here are the game design resources that I've personally found most useful in my new day job. (Now I know where to go when I need to re-order something!) 

Bits and Prototyping Materials

I buy nearly all my wooden bits from They're a bit expensive and shipping from Germany takes awhile, but their selection and quality is hard to beat. They're my go-to for standard Euro-game fare: wooden cubes, pawns, meeples, and disks, among other things.

I buy more cribbage pegs than I ever thought reasonable from Casey's Wood Products. They also carry the usual craft line of unpainted blocks, beads, balls, eggs, golf tees, checkers, and so on. I picked up the buttons and spools for the Knit Wit prototypes from them.

After many years of experimentation I've found that card sleeves work the best for me for card prototyping purposes. I can print on regular paper stock, letting me iterate quickly. Plus, the sleeves come in a variety of colors and (perhaps most importantly) they're reusable. I've been buying UltraPro sleeves at full retail price – if anyone has a good source for sleeves in bulk, let me know in the comments.

For 3D components, I do a lot of rough prototyping in craft foam. Read more about this magical prototyping material in my article, Craft Foam: the Poor Man's 3D Printer. I've been doing a lot of laser cutting lately, but still find that sticker paper + craft foam makes a fast, cheap, first pass.

I find inkjet-friendly sticker paper indispensable and buy it in bulk from Label Outfitters. It's not as opaque as the nicer Avery version, but it's a lot cheaper. The letter-sized sheets can be had for less than 10 cents a sheet in bulk. Sticker sheets let you "print" on essentially anything whether it's foam, chipboard, wooden bits, dice, or your prototype box.

If you're looking for inexpensive boxes to store and carry your prototypes, Paper Mart is my favorite. Their tab-lock tuck-top mailing boxes work well for many games. If you have smaller games, they have a flip-top box with a magnetic closure that's pretty swank.


Of all the books on game design that I've read, the one that I found most useful is The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell. The author approaches the craft through 100 different "lenses" or perspectives. These lenses are also available in a card format that I highly recommend.

Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun thoughtfully explores where the fun in games comes from. Koster embellishes nearly every spread with playful illustrations that help communicate his points.

Rules of Play by Katie Salen Tekinbaş and Eric Zimmerman is the textbook of game design and reads as one. This book is chock full of definitions and dry descriptions of the many elements involved in game design. While I found it interesting academically, I didn't find much in it that I could apply directly to my process.

One of the best ways to increase engagement in your game is to find ways to modulate your players emotions. This concept is explored in depth via "beat analysis" in Robin Laws' book, Hamlet's Hit Points. Laws describes a vocabulary of up and down beats, describes how they can be used for better storytelling and role playing, and deconstructs three stories using them to get you fully acquainted with the vocabulary.


I use a pretty lean software kit these days and can do nearly everything I need to accomplish with Adobe Illustrator (prototype illustration), Google Drive (journaling, data tracking, playtest logs, punch lists, file sharing). Illustrator's a pain-in-the ass to learn and use, but after nearly (gulp) 30 years of use, I find it indispensible.

I use Skype and Sococo for communication, avoiding email as much as possible for sharing information that exceeds more than a few sentences. I favor Drive (for asynchronous stuff) since it synchronizes with other contributors and offers full history, and Sococo (for realtime communications) since it offers voice, video, chat, screen sharing and rich presence info.


I burned through a bunch of low-grade paper cutters before finding the Dahle 507 Personal Rolling Trimmer. If you need accuracy, it'll split a .5pt line (if you're cutting one page at a time). If not, you can cut up to about 8 pages of 20lb. stock in one go. Do yourself a favor and get a great cutter.

Blogs and Podcasts

Cardboard Edison compiles useful articles on game design from around the web. I found their industry reports particularly interesting.

I'm not an avid podcast listener or player of roleplaying games, but if I were, I'd be devoted to Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff. As it is, I pop in occasionally and always leave impressed with how literate, articulate, and just plain smart the hosts are about story construction and a whole host of other topics often tangentially related to board game design.

And if you're not following Board Game News on BoardGameGeek, you're missing out on what's happening on the scene. W. Eric Martin's been on the beat for years now and really knows the industry and the players.


Am I missing out on something truly great here? Let me know in the comments.



The Evolution of Chariot Race

The recent launch of the Chariot Race Kickstarter got me thinking about all the iterations the game has gone through. The earliest sketches I found were dated 2 October 2010, over six years before the game was released.

I typically keep older versions of a game as I work. Doing so helps me design in a more fearless manner – I can try stupid things knowing I can roll back if needed. I also take comfort when I look at these things before I start a new project, because they remind me that games don't start out pretty or balanced.

In this post, I've included some videos and photos of both Chariot Race and Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age. Flip through them to see how they evolved into their current forms.

Chariot Race started as a pub game with wooden boards and pegs. Watch here as the number of spaces on the board gradually shrinks and the chariot boards take on all sorts of different forms:

This is one of the "wood" prototypes (made from foam) alongside the board game version. Moving to more traditional materials cut the game's cost by more than half and opened up the possibility of including a double-sided board and variable chariots. The wood was fun but terribly expensive and the chariots (as cribbage pegs)&nbsp;weren't very thematic.

This is one of the "wood" prototypes (made from foam) alongside the board game version. Moving to more traditional materials cut the game's cost by more than half and opened up the possibility of including a double-sided board and variable chariots. The wood was fun but terribly expensive and the chariots (as cribbage pegs) weren't very thematic.

Here are some of the many pegboards I made out of foam and drilled for testing. Some of the boards were hollowed out underneath so you could keep your Fortuna coins secret from the other players. I used older boards to hold cribbage pegs while I painted them (bottom right). Not pictured are all the sets I sent out for blind-testing. I must have drilled about 5,000 holes over the course of the project.

Here are the reverse sides of the chariot boards showing the six different configurations. Chariots are either sturdy, normal, or flimsy; horses are either speedy, normal, or slow; and charioteers are either lucky, normal, or unlucky.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age saw even more iteration. Watch here as the list of developments gradually expands while I continued to experiment with the size and format of the score sheet:

One of the central tensions I needed to resolve in this game was how much information to communicate on the score sheet. I was strongly tempted to go with a minimalist design (so new players wouldn't be scared off by all the text) but it turned out the new players appreciated the reference information most of all. (The last frame here, "LBA," refers to The Late Bronze Age, a print-and-play expansion for the game.)

People often attribute the success of a product to the novelty of its underlying idea. The truth is, the idea (while clear in hindsight) is often only dimly visible when you start out and dozens of iterations are often required before you're able to clear away the fog and arrive at the "obvious" solution.

If you're designing a game of your own, keep this in mind. You'll rarely get it close to right the first time. Much of the quality of a good game comes from its execution – all the little details matter – and the best way to get those right is through continuous iteration.

Interested in the final result? Check out the Chariot Race Kickstarter page.

Designing Knit Wit

I designed Knit Wit in the spring of 2015. Originally entitled "Venntangled" and played on a whiteboard, after several iterations, the game evolved and picked up its "knitting" theme. You can check out an interview I did for Z-man games along with a few snapshots from playtest sessions below.

Here's an interview I did with Z-man on the design of Knit Wit. The last few frames show the how the prototype I initially sent morphed into the final product.

Playtesting with the Rory O'Connor, Anita Murphy, and their family. Theses people are brilliant; if you haven't seen their Story Cubes or Extraordinaires Design Studio products, be sure to check them out.

At one point, players each had their own "personal" spool. The concept was later dropped since it didn't add much but additional time to the game. It also added a lot of visual complexity as you can see here!

Another prototype. I made the spools here out of some extra wooden disks and double-sided tape.

A special thanks goes out to Max Brace for the "Knit Wit" name. I think we tried out dozens before he quietly suggested the name after a few moments of thought and it fit the game perfectly.

Upcoming Releases

So many games! Here is some information on titles that have been announced for 2016. Keep an eye on this space; there's more to come.

Knit Wit

Craft your own word categories using loops and spools then find playful answers that match as many categories as possible. The more categories you match, the more points you score!

a social game for 2-8 players, 15 minutes
Release Date: March 2016
Publisher: Z-man Games
More info on Knit Wit

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

Beings of ancient evil, known as Old Ones, are threatening to break out of their cosmic prison and awake into the world. Everything you know and love could be destroyed by chaos and madness. Can you and your fellow investigators manage to find and seal every portal in time? Hurry before you lose yourself to insanity.

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu was designed by Chuck D. Yager and based on Pandemic. It’s a new, standalone game (and not just a re-skin). I helped a bit with development.

a cooperative game for 2-4 players, 45 minutes
Release Date: Gen Con in August 2016
Publisher: Z-man Games
More info on Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

The Great Chariot Race

Keep your eyes out for more on this game—Pegasus has been a bit coy about it so far. Suffice to say, you'll race against other chariots in Ancient Rome.

Watch Michael from Pegasus talk about the game on BoardGameGeek TV.

a dice game for 2-8 players, 30 to 45 minutes
Release Date: Spiel in October 2016
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele

Thunderbirds Expansions

International Rescue has been busy! Brace yourself for not one, not two, but three expansions to come out this year.

Get a closer look at the components in these expansions in this Kickstarter update.

Thunderbirds: Tracy Island

Includes three new characters (Brains, Tin-Tin, and Parker), new models (Tracy Island, Ladybird Jet, and FAB 2), 14 disaster vehicle models, and a new Disaster deck.

Release Date: June 2016
Publisher: Modiphius Entertainment

Thunderbirds: Above & Beyond

Includes four new ways to play the game:

  • Levelling Up - improve your character's abilities as you get more experience during the game
  • Disaster Vehicles - 10 alternate bonuses that you can take when avert a disaster, based on popular vehicles in the series (including the Crablogger, Fireflash, and Sidewinder)
  • Crisis Mode - do you have what it takes to join International Rescue? Test your meddle with this challenge that limits each turn to 70 seconds
  • Epic Difficulty - for the ultimate challenge

Each module can be mixed and matched with the others and with the Thunderbirds: Tracy Island and the Thunderbirds: The Hood expansions.

Release Date: Gen Con in August 2016
Publisher: Modiphius Entertainment

Thunderbirds: The Hood

One player takes on the role of The Hood in this expansion to Thunderbirds - The Co-operative Game. Craft a diabolical scheme and attempt to photograph—or even hijack!—the Thunderbirds machines. Comes with a Hood peg, Hood's Lair, Hood's Sub, and Hood's Plane figures, Agent figures, scheme tokens, camera, and everything else you need to play. Also can be used to turn Thunderbirds into a 2-player competitive game.

an expansion for Thunderbirds for 2-5 players, 45 to 60 minutes
Release Date: Spiel in October 2016
Publisher: Modiphius Entertainment

Thunderbirds: A Peek Behind The Curtain

Bits and pieces from dozens of iterations of the Thunderbirds board game

Chris Birch of Modiphius has agreed to try out a little experiment for the Thunderbirds kickstarter with me. Since we still have a few weeks to polish up the game a bit, we thought we'd lift the veil and share the rules as I edit them in Google Docs and have them open for comment.

Now, mind you, this is the raw text that describes how the game works. It's unvarnished and unillustrated, with diagrams drawn by yours, truly. Michal Cross will be coming in to do his part and make the whole package look fantastic.

So, with that caveat in mind, I've unlocked the Cahelium-lined vault and put the rules online.

If you have any comments, feel free to leave them below or add them directly to the document—but note, that I'll be resolving most of the comments in the document as they come in to keep it readable.

I hope you enjoy our experiment and the early look into the rules and thanks for your interest!