Monday, September 14, 2015

Kings of Air and Steam: World's Fair

A few years ago I did a lot of development work on a game called Kings of Air and Steam, by Scott Almes.

Kings of Air and Steam

From the description on BGG:
On the cusp of the twentieth century, America is the undisputed land of industry. Factories fire their machines twenty-four hours a day, and demand is skyrocketing in the cities. A small but fierce rivalry of shipping barons must manage their amazing airships and the extensive railroad system in order to get goods to the cities before the demand is met by someone else. Anyone who can't stay competitive will be left with nothing but dust in their coffers!
The process is simple: Factories produce the goods (machinery, textiles, chemicals, food, and luxuries) that are coveted by the city folk. Airships – forbidden from landing in the cities but capable of carrying cargo over great distances – must be used to gather those goods and deliver them to depots along the rail network. Trains then haul the goods to the cities that want them, earning cash for the competitor who gets there first! Will you be the "King of Air and Steam?"
Kings of Air and Steam spans five rounds, and at the beginning of each round, players plan their Airship flights using four of their movement cards. When everyone is ready, everyone reveals their first planned card. According to the turn order and movement limits of their cards, players move their Airships, then take an Action; Actions include Building Depots, Upgrading your Airship or Train, Shipping Goods by rail, and Soliciting Funds from the bank. When all players have acted, the second planned cards are revealed, and so on through the four planned cards until all players have finished carrying out their plans for the round. All the while, players must keep aware of the rising values of the different types of Goods and try to get the most-valuable Goods from the specialized factories that produce them to the cities that want them. At the end of the game, the player with the most money and the greatest shipping network will be declared King of Air and Steam!
Kings of Air and Steam includes seven teams of characters, each with unique powers to give them a competitive edge, and a modular game board that makes each game a different experience.
I'm pretty proud of Kings of Air and Steam - Scott had a really neat concept, and he and I hammered it into a very solid final product. I like pick-up/deliver games, and as those go, KAS is very interesting with its 2-step delivery process.

In December 2011, 626 backers pledged $41,722 to help bring Kings of Air and Steam to life. After some delays, those backers received their games around February 2013, but it didn't hit distribution until June or July of that year. When the game hit store shelves, it sold out almost immediately, and fans have said it's been badly in need of a reprint ever since!

Reprint and Expansion

Now, 2 years later, that re-print may finally be possible! Kings of Air and Steam is currently on Kickstarter, along with an expansion called World's Fair. The expansion adds new teams, with new captains to play, contracts to encourage players to use more of the board, and technology cards which allow players access to powerful actions and abilities.

Here's an example of some of the tech cards:

And here are the new teams' special movement cards:

Unfortunately, the funding is not pouring in like I'd expect for a game that's overdue for a re-print, along with an expansion... in fact, with only 4 days left on the project, funding is barely over 50%!

If we're going to make it to the funding goal (let alone any of the stretch goals), we've got our work cut out for us!

You can help!

1. If you haven't got Kings of Air and Steam, then check it out on BGG and at the Kickstarter project.
2. If you HAVE got Kings of Air and Steam, and if you liked it as much as I do, then check out the World's Fair expansion on BGG and at the Kickstarter project.
3. If you want this project to succeed, please spread the word - share the project with your friends, and let people know about your good experiences piloting airships and delivering goods for fun and profit!

Thanks for your help - let's kick that funding into high gear and get thi great game (and expansion) into our hot little hands!

No comments: