Kleos by Azure Horizon Games

Created by Azure Horizon Games

A contest has arisen among the gods! Card play, tactical hex-based combat, and area control in a board game for 1-5 Greek Gods.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

⚡ Kleos Solo Mode Reveal! ⚡
19 days ago – Mon, Aug 30, 2021 at 04:49:37 AM

Hey there Kleos fans,

Hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer!  Big news today on a couple of fronts (Assembly & Solo Mode).  

⚡ Assembly & Shipping! ⚡

First, assembly of the games should be completed this week - meaning all of the games will be packed and ready to ship.  If you missed my unboxing video for the final production sample, feel free to CLICK HERE and take a peak on the Azure Horizon Games FB page!


We are in the process of securing space in a container for shipment to the USA and Europe fulfillment centers.  The logistics situation has become even more difficult (and expensive) since my last update.  I'll be doing everything possible to have Kleos in your hands and on your tables by the end of the year.  That being said, I am also kindly asking for your patience and understanding since the timeframe moving forward is 95% out of my control. 

Zeus: "Hey, weird fiery werewolf, do you have any shipping containers available?"

⚡ KLEOS SOLO MODE REVEAL! ⚡

Second, CLICK HERE or on the image below for your first preview of the Kleos solo mode!  Any and all feedback is welcome!  I'm also looking for playtesters on Tabletop Simulator to make final tweaks/adjustments to the system, particularly to the difficulty levels.  Feel free to shout out in the comments, reply to this email, or post in the Kleos FB group HERE if you are interested.

Click The Image Above to preview the Solo Rules!

This solo mode has been playtested over 100 times, but only by myself and a small group of experienced players.  I'm hoping to get feedback from new and intermediate players as well!  Interested?  Let me know!


When I first created the solo mode, I was working on scenarios, such as the Perseus story that can be viewed HERE.  It played much differently than the multiplayer game, included a story, and was more of an action management puzzle experience, where you play through stories from Greek mythology.  


Being transparent, it was immediately clear that the community preferred a solo playable version of the multiplayer experience instead of scenarios.  As such, I happily re-focused my efforts, putting tons of effort and hundreds of hours into developing this Kleos solo mode.  


I'm thrilled with how it came together!  Even better, each AI-controlled god has unique scripts, varied setups for each difficulty mode, and its own 'Olympian Offering' mechanic, which leads to different playstyles for each opponent and tons of replay value.   

An actual picture of me the morning after the Kleos production sample was approved.

I missed this acknowledgement on the current solo rules document, though it will be added to the next version.  Giving credit where credit is due, the Kleos' champion from our tournament last year, a fellow game designer, and Kleos backer - Patrick - helped with a lot of playtesting, feedback, and also co-designed Athena's rules & script.  Thank you!!


I hope that you have as much fun with the solo mode as I had working on it over the last 10 months!  Feel free to shout out your feedback, questions, favorite food, or any other thoughts in the comments!

-Jim ⚡⚡⚡

⚡ MASS PRODUCTION COMPLETE! ⚡
about 1 month ago – Sat, Aug 07, 2021 at 03:44:44 PM

Hey there Kleos backers,

This is going to be a relatively short update, with a larger update coming next week.  I am very excited and wanted to share the news - MASS PRODUCTION IS COMPLETE! ⚡⚡⚡


A final production copy is on its way for review & approval.  Once approved, the games will be assembled and packed, and we will ship product to the EU and USA fulfillment centers.  Fingers crossed that all is well, and we hope to have the games packed and shipped this month!  As mentioned in the last update, ocean freight is a disaster and taking much longer than usual at the moment.  Right now, the goal is to have product at the fulfillment centers before Thanksgiving (Nov 25th for our friends outside the USA 😊).  We are at the mercy of global logistics, so we will see what happens...it could be sooner...it could be later...I will keep you updated either way!


The wonderful graphic design team at Irrgardless also just finished the draft layouts for the solo mode.  As you know, the solo rules & info will be shared free online once complete.  I'll be looking for online play testers soon, probably in the next update once the edits are complete.  Feel free to reply to this update in your email, in the comments, or shoutout in the Kleos Facebook Group if you are interested!


A Chance to Help A Member of the Kleos Community

Many of you likely interacted with Patrick during the Kickstarter campaign, either while playing games on Tabletop Simulator or in the comments section.  He is Kleos' biggest fan, the reigning Kleos Champion, and he has fallen on some very difficult times.  

Patrick and I became close friends through the NJ Board Game Design Group.  Pre-covid we all met weekly to playtest each other's designs and offer feedback.  Whether in that group or the wider online community, Patrick has always been amazingly generous with his time and feedback.  He was also amazingly kind while whooping me at my own game.  😂

He is the type of person that would do anything to help others, but unfortunately he is sick and in a rough situation.  Friends posted this GoFundMe page to help Patrick get back on his feet, avoid being placed into a shelter and separated from his wonderful puppy, Lucy.  I realize that not everyone is in a place to support, but if you are and/or if you know Patrick, I wanted to offer the opportunity.  Feel free to CLICK HERE or on the image below if you would like to view the campaign or offer any support.  Funds will be collected through Monday.

Thank you as well to those that already contributed to the campaign!  Your support will go a long way to help a great person and puppy in need.

This has been an amazingly difficult 18 months for so many people.  I hope you and yours are all faring well!

-Jim ⚡⚡⚡

⚡ Production & Timeline Update ⚡
3 months ago – Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 03:04:47 PM

Hey there Kleos backers!


I wanted to share an important update regarding production and delivery timelines.   


First, some good news.  The miniatures and dice are being manufactured as we speak, while I have been working with the manufacturer on final tweaks to the other components. Since the dice and minis were approved early, production was scheduled in late May.  This ended up being very important, since those components already had the longest lead-times, and those lead-times took longer than expected due to power grid issues and other delays in China.  That being said, we are in a good place since production for these items is currently expected to complete in late July.


This is perfect, because the other components are expected to be produced by the end of July as well.  Once complete, it will take a couple of weeks to assemble and package all the games for shipping.  Current estimates show that the games should be ready to ship from China to the USA and European fulfillment centers in early-mid August.  For an update on the latest pre-production changes, CLICK HERE to view the latest production sample unboxing video on the Azure Horizon Games Facebook page.  


Now onto the challenges that lie ahead.  We are currently in the midst of the most challenging state of global logistics that has existed at least for decades, if not longer.  I have been dealing with this in my day job since Covid started, and it has been getting worse rather than better this year.  


If you are a frequent Kickstarter backer, I am sure you are hearing about this from other creators as well.  Before the pandemic, conservative lead-times for ocean shipments would be ~6-8 weeks from origin to destination, which includes time for customs clearance, packing and unpacking at the ports, ground transport to destination, etc.  Current lead-times can be anywhere from 8-12 weeks, and potentially longer during the worst times.  


Many industry voices have been commenting on this recently.  If you are interested to learn more, CLICK HERE to see a fantastic and detailed video from Jesse at Quackalope, and/or CLICK HERE for an article from the great Jamey Stiegmeier.  As Jamey mentioned, I don't expect to increase prices or ask for funds despite the drastically increased freight charges.  The main concern for me is the actual lead-time to get product to the fulfillment centers.  


Quick side note - Please be kind to other creators if they are in a rough position and need some help.  Many hobby Kickstarter creators barely 'break even' or even lose money on projects that fund for less than $50,000.  Aside from production...the art, marketing, and other costs can easily total $10,000-$20,000+ depending on the project.  Nobody wants to be in that position, and the vast majority of creators are honest, very hard-working individuals trying to make a dream come true.


*Ahem* Back to logistics...If we ship in early August and expect an 8-12 week lead-time for ocean transport, I would expect fulfillment to begin anywhere from early October to early November.  As you know, the original plan was to begin fulfillment in July/August, so we are looking at a potential 3 month delay total.   Part of this delay came from discussions with the manufacturer to make sure the product is the best it can be ahead of production.  The remainder is coming from these extended production and logistics lead-times.  Given the situation, this is a rough estimate until product arrives at the fulfillment center and I can offer firm details.  I will continue to keep you updated in the meantime.


Thank you for your support as I work through this process in a very challenging global situation.  If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to mention it in the comments or contact me directly.  Despite the brief delay, I am incredibly excited with where the game is ahead of production, and can't wait to get it to your gaming tables!


Wishing you all a wonderful Summer ahead!  

-Jim 

⚡⚡⚡

⚡ Pre-Production Sample!!! ⚡
4 months ago – Sun, May 30, 2021 at 05:09:32 PM

Howdy fellow Olympians,


⚡ It has been an exciting week! ⚡ The pre-production sample arrived a few days ago.  Here is a link to the video unboxing for anyone who missed the livestream on the Azure Horizon Games Facebook page (along with a bonus cameo from my cat, Jace):


 Kleos Pre-Production Sample Unboxing Video 

I meant to send this update sooner, but I've been fighting a head cold, and also working with the manufacturer to find solutions to the small issues that we want to tackle in the sample.   The picture above shows the layers in the insert, and the wonderful storage solution that Matt Healey created for the game.  The video shows all the components including the cards.


Another big update!  The production down-payment has been made to the manufacturer, and production for the dice & miniatures is being scheduled.  The dice & minis have the longest lead-time, so production will move forward for those pieces while we make the final adjustments below.


Before diving into the corrections, I just want to say how thrilled I am with how this pre-production sample came together.  As you can see in the video, the overall component quality is fantastic.  Longpack has provided excellent communication and has been a great partner throughout this process.  Also, I had a call Friday evening with Matt Healey, who designed the custom box insert.  He was very happy with it as well, and likewise, he has also been fantastic to work with.  Thank you Matt!


Here is a list of adjustments/corrections made based on the pre-production sample.  For any other creators out there, I will share the same advice I was given, "this is why you make sure to receive a pre-production sample!" 😂  This is a complex project composed of hundreds of files and components, and despite everyone's best efforts, there are sure to be some corrections that need to be made ahead of production.  


Here is the full list of updates: 

1) Hermes' Meeple Color - it is hard to read the numbers on Hermes meeples, because the yellow is so bright.  After discussing with the manufacturer and hearing suggestions from backers, we are trying a darker gold color for these meeples.

2) Box Insert #1 - The depth of Dionysus meeple storage space was too deep.  This was a mis-translation from Matt's design file to the mold creation (and is exactly why you get a pre-production sample!!!).  This is being addressed to match the depth of the other spaces.

3) Box Insert #2 - The space planned for Dionysus' wine tokens became an issue.  I added more wine tokens at the last minute (there are now 25), mainly because the solo mode Dionysus AI can be...well...very wine intensive.  As a solution, I've asked the manufacture to expand that space to be a general storage compartment, and a plastic bag will be included to store the tokens.

4) Box Insert #3 - I was considering a plastic lid for the insert.  In this case, it actually ended up being more of a hindrance than a useful piece.  Matt Healey, who designed the insert, quite cleverly designed it so that the rulebook fits neatly as a cover over the insert.  It serves the same purpose as a plastic cover.


5) Box Insert #4 - The spaces for the Artemis, Athena, and Ares divine decks all have a space you can use to easily pick the decks up.  We are working on a solution so that Dionysus and Hermes have one as well.  This is a bit trickier than it sounds with the way the mold was created, and the structural integrity of the insert coming off the mold, but we have some great ideas in the works.


6) Olympian God Reference Card - I was planning to remove this because it was added as a page in the rulebook.  It was included in the pre-production sample, and honestly...it looks so good and will be helpful - I decided to include it in the game anyway.  One player can read the rules while others learn a bit about each god's playstyle and complexity.


7) Playmat - Some of the playmats had a pretty rough crease on the fold that wasn't pretty.  A lot of this was because it was a hand-made sample.  To be extra sure these will be wonderful, we are adding a matte lamination and machine folded crease to the fold.  This close-up picture makes it look worse than it is, but I'm glad it will be addressed!

8) Box height - With the height of the insert and everything added into the box, the box height needs to be increased by 0.5" to be 3.5" instead of 3.0" tall.

I still owe you an update on the solo mode as well.  I haven't had a chance to tackle the graphic design for it quite yet, but I aim to have that ready in June.  If anyone is really itching to see it, send me a message and I will share the drafts.  I would love to get some additional playtest feedback if anyone wants to try the solo mode on TTS as well!


As always, feel free to follow Azure Horizon Games on Facebook or join the Kleos Board Game group for live updates and to join the community!


Thanks again for your support and excitement for all things Kleos.  I hope you and yours are well.  For those of you in the USA, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

-Jim ⚡⚡⚡

Production Update & Shipping Charge Processing
5 months ago – Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 04:40:01 PM

Hey everyone!

It certainly has been a productive month since the last update.  One important note, and then some exciting details below.

⚡ Important Detail - Backerkit Charges ⚡

Thank you all for completing the pledge manager and entering your shipping information.  Please note, Backerkit charges all of the shipping charges at once when the pledge manager is closed.  These are not 'new' charges, they were the same shipping charges entered when the Kickstarter survey was completed.  I'll be charging credit cards this Wednesday, so be aware that a credit charge will show up from Backerkit that day.  You can change your address right up until the product is ready to ship, so no worries about that!

⚡ Production Update ⚡

Now onto the fun part!  The pledge manager closed and all print assets were submitted to the manufacturer at the end of March.  Some revisions were needed for the file layouts and bleeds, which have now been completed and approved by the manufacturer...which means...Creation of the pre-production prototype is underway!


I should receive the pre-production prototype in ~3 weeks.  Pending approval, we are right on the tail end of the planned fulfillment schedule to begin delivering this Summer.  How the pre-production prototype arrives will determine if there might be some delays.  That being said, my focus is on delivering the best game experience possible, even if it takes a little more time.  


Aside from the print assets, miniature samples created with the actual steel production molds arrived last week.  They look great!  Several months ago, before the molds were created, we thickened Leonidas' spear, Master of Ceremonies' thyrsus (staff), and Atalanta's bow & arrow to make them sturdier and avoid breakage.  I put the last two rounds of pre-production samples through 'the rigors,' and I'm thrilled with both the look and durability of these!  

The miniatures came out great, but I wasn't fully satisfied with the first round of dice made with the production mold.  While it is important that these look amazing, it's also vital that they are easily readable on the table...so the gold color has to be rich and dark.  On the original samples made with the production mold, the color was less rich than the laser cut samples I posted pictures of, and the coloration was also inconsistent.  


Thankfully some adjustments were made quickly and the second round came out great!  They are very close to the original laser cut samples I posted pictures of and a bit easier to read on the table.  

Here is a comparison - the dice on the bottom are the ones made with the actual mold:

That is it for now!  I'm expecting to share two updates in May...one to unbox the pre-production prototype and one to present the automated solo mode to the world.  Let me know if you have any questions in the meantime!

-Jim ⚡⚡⚡