Kickstart Your Week — 2018.12.09

Due to unforeseen, and uncontrollable, circumstances, I skipped last week’s Kickstart Your Week post. As such, I will get caught up on the updates for those campaigns from two weeks ago.


Chai by Dan & Connie Kazmaier of Deep Aqua Games
Chai by Dan & Connie Kazmaier of Deep Aqua Games

I’ve been watching Dan and Connie Kazmaier of Deep Aqua Games and the development photos of their board game for a while now. The game is an economic card drafting and set collection style. The game looks clearly polished and tested and it appears the market shares my thoughts too as Chai was fully funded in 17 hours.

I haven’t been able to play Chai yet but those I’ve talked to say the game is pretty solid and the preview and play-through videos look great too. 

Chai is for 1-5 players (solo play is becoming more and more ubiquitous…great news for introverts!) of 8 years and older. So, a good family game alternative to consider for your collection.

Chai has raised $41,485 of its $25,000 goal with 29 days to go.

Link to the Chai campaign

Tegel Manor Returns

Tegel Manor Returns by Frog God Games
Tegel Manor Returns by Frog God Games

With Tegel Manor Returns you get to explore Frog God Games’s namesake. This megadungeon is both praised and maligned for its (quite literally, in some cases) random inhabitants. There was a time when the why of something mattered less than the fact that something was there worth fighting. XP and treasure were enough reason.

I’ve run this campaign by two people whose opinions I value both for their objectivity and their knowledge-base. One told me he’d probably back this campaign because he loves Tegel Manor but he’s apprehensive about the quality of the work as he’s seen some of Frog God’s earlier works and it looked like “strangely formatted Word docs”. I share this mostly because this is not an inexpensive campaign to back ($25 for the PDF of Tegel Manor) and you should be aware of potential issues. The upgraded map looks great based off the sample on the campaign page so I hope the rest of the production (including the PDF documents) will be just as good. 

If you like Swords and Wizardry or 5th Edition AND megadungeons, give this one some consideration.

Tegel Manor Returns has raised $64,629 of its $15,000 goal with 14 days remaining.

Link to Tegel Manor Returns campaign

Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon

Tainted Grail by Awaken Realms
Tainted Grail by Awaken Realms

An “adventure, survival co-op Board Game set in unique grim world inspired by Arthurian Legends” sounds amazing! I love the Arthur legends and I also love dark and gritty settings. A perfect mashup! 

I haven’t had a chance to play Lords of Hellas (also by Awaken Realms) but anyone I chat with about it only has great things to say. The reason I bring that up as a singular example is to establish that Awaken Realms has a track record of creating wonderful games. I know co-op can be a big turn off for many gamers, so if that’s you, skip this game. 

Beyond the phenomenal artwork and the promise of a really cool world, Tainted Grail also hooked me with “unlikely heroes” and a dice-less combat system. As a roleplayer, I love rolling dice, but I’m curious about combat without them.

This game is expensive. You get a lot with your purchase with the Exploration Journal, Play Guide, Rulebook, maps, minis, and more. But it’s still at least $89 before shipping. It still looks like it’s worth every dollar.

This campaign has raised over $2,485,000 of its $50,920 funding goal. Such a success already! 19 days are remaining.

Link to Tainted Grail campaign

Kickstart Your Week
Kickstart Your Week

That’s all for this week’s Kickstart Your Week. Let me know if you plan to back any of these or if I’ve missed something you’re keen on seeing featured. Also, if you’re a creator and would like your campaign considered for a feature, reach out to me at


Author: Patrick

Journeyman. Melancholiac. Stoic. A rebel and a runner. I think chocolate and caffeine are over-celebrated and I believe hot sauce pairs nicely with ice cream.

2 thoughts on “Kickstart Your Week — 2018.12.09

  1. Oh man. I would be backing Tainted Grail if Awaken Realms didn’t just drain me with their Warchest for The Edge: Dawnfall >.> all Awaken Realms games are pretty phenomenal but they also have crazy price tags attached to them. I guess it’s worth it though since their stretch goals always give you like… a whole two extra games attached. Nemesis is a good reference for this. It’s a game they kickstarted earlier this year and the stretch goals were like 2 major extra box expansions, 10(+?) new playable characters, a comic book and all of this is just… a ton of new minis haha. SINCE THEN they also threw in a hardcover art book for Tainted Grail, a deck of playing cards with art from a game they haven’t made yet, another comic book and a metal coin for Tainted Grail.

    It’s a pretty big price tag, it’s true, but their campaigns are always worth it. They really think about their backers and anything they do is beneficial for the backer.

    There are a couple things I don’t like so much about Awaken Realms however. I am loathe to buy any of their games retail because of sheer loss aversion, I don’t know how you look at their kickstarter and reason out that you’re getting something nearly as good in retail no matter how good the game is. I don’t think they’ve ever delivered a kickstarter on time, although, to be fair that’s usually because they’re throwing extra stuff or for quality control in so I can’t really fault them for that haha. My first game from them, This War of Mine, some of the expansions they threw in felt like they weren’t playtested quite enough, most of them were good- even the ones I felt didn’t work, but a few rule tweaks would’ve really made them feel more like expansions and less like things that were just good ideas you know?

    Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that, if it’s an Awaken Realms title, get it on Kickstarter now! And then let me play your copy, I lament being broke haha.

    1. Wow! This was such a great comment. Thank you for reading but, more importantly, thanks for engaging. It’s very helpful for me to know what’s resonating with people.

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