Feudal Endeavor Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look:

Name: Feudal Endeavor
Designer: Andrew Zimdahl
: Alyssa Fernandez & Jared Sanford
Publisher: I Will Never Grow Up
Year Published: Kickstarter 2020
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 20-60 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com and upcoming on Kickstarter on July 7, 2020.

Note: I received a prototype copy of the game for an honest review.

Components are not final and may change as the Kickstarter unfolds and production begins. A final production copy was promised as a thank you for the time involved in writing and publishing this review.

My daughter learning to play Feudal Endeavor.

From the publisher, “Catherine the Great was the Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country’s longest-ruling female leader. She came to power following a coup d’etat that she organized, resulting in Peter III, her husband, being overthrown. Under her reign, Russia was revitalized, growing larger and stronger than ever, recognized as one of the great powers of Europe. As one of the noble families under the reign of Catherine the Great, you are invited to become a part of Russia’s Golden Age. Take on the role of noble lords and ladies in 18th century Imperial Russia. Clandestinely acquire new lands, battle your rivals, and compete for prestige and the Empress’s favor as she renovates her great palace

Feudal Endeavor brings a few mechanisms together to create a new and unique bidding game. Players will compete during the bidding phase to acquire new lands and then they will manage their fiefdom by placing those land deeds on their player boards. As players take turns simultaneously, you’ll find the game moves quickly as you try to earn the most prestige with the Empress, Catherine the Great. However, players must be careful as prestige can be lost at the end of the game if you have unfilled slots on your player board or stolen by other players during the game as they use Act of War cards. The simultaneous bidding mechanism means that you’ll place bids and reveal at the same time as your rivals- this builds suspense- and drama- while you try to outbid everyone for the deeds you need. Players may also bluff their opponents into thinking they need a specific deed card. Outwitting and strategizing those bids becomes very important throughout the game.

If you’ve ever played Revolution you may find that there is a similar mechanic here, but that’s about it. In addition to the bidding, players will try to develop their fiefdom to Catherine’s wishes- no player will have the same layout- to gain victory points and ranking which is used to break ties. Also, Catherine will demand tithing to help her renovate her palace as you give up resources to help advance your status while deciding to use Act of War cards to go to war against one of the other players which will force them to lose victory points in your favor. Player boards provide advantages based on the deeds that are in play. For example, owning a pasture and placing three coins on the deed will gain you a horse during the income phase.A game of Feudal Endeavor lasts around ten minutes a person and the game ends when any player has completely filled all of their land deed spaces on their player boards OR the land deed supply deck has been completely used. Players will count their total prestige and one player will be declared the winner.

The game will take a few minutes to set up. Each player gets a randomly drawn player board, a bidding screen, a prestige marker, a favor track marker, and one set of brick tokens. Each player gets two starting land deeds, the hovel, and pasture, and takes six coins. Players will place their starting deeds on their player players boards in any location they wish and immediately gain any benefit associated with that placement. The main board is placed in the middle of the table for all players to see as well as the three resources, serfs, horses, and knights, and lastly, coins. The land deeds, special abilities, and Empress’s Bidding decks are shuffled and placed into three separate piles next to the main board.

The main board has locations along the top for the prestige tokens. Each player starts at five prestige. The middle three rows are where the appropriate number of land deeds, special abilities, and Empress’s bidding cards go. The number of cards is based on the number of players and changes at each player count. The board does show the correct locations, though, for each player count, so that makes setting up the game a bit faster. The Empress’s favor track is along the right-hand side and the player at the top is determined by the person who last visited a castle. Bonus coins are gained based on player position on this track. Players should be ready to begin a game of Feudal Endeavor.

The game is divided into the five following phases which are pretty distinct and easy to follow:

  1. Bidding and Land Management
  2. Income
  3. Auction
  4. Fulfilling the Empress’s Bidding OR tithing
  5. Restock

The phases cycle until the game ends.Prestige is the only way to earn victory points within Feudal Endeavor. Without those victory points, you can’t win. During the game, victory points can be earned by completing the Empress’s bidding cards and for some special abilities. You will earn prestige at the end of the game for any purple land deeds within your fiefdom, for land deeds of any color combination of colors within your fiefdom, tithings offered, and resources remaining in your personal supply. Unfortunately, coins don’t count, so make sure you use them or lose them! Highly important is the fact that you will lose victory points if you don’t have specific spaces on your player board covered by land deeds.

Also, you may lose victory points through special Act of War cards played against you. In the bidding and land management phase, players will simultaneously place secret bids behind their bidding screen to denote which deeds on the Main board they are bidding on. In addition, players will publicly place resources or coins on their own land deeds on their player boards to activate abilities. You’ll have to pay attention as some deeds require specific resources or coins in order to bid on. Sort of like a minimum bid in a normal auction. Players may freely exchange resources- three resources of any type may be exchanged for 1 new resource from the general supply. Coins are not resources and can not be traded in this fashion!
Phase two is the Income phase. In this phase, players all gain six coins (Collect $200 for passing Go!) from their family endowment and land deeds that were activated will generate new resources.

Phase three is the auction phase and probably the most exciting as you are not quite sure what your opponent is doing- Do both of you want the same land deed or will you and your opponents bid on different deeds? The rules in phase ask you to secretly bid on available land deeds and publicly place resources and coins on current deeds within your fiefdom on the player board. At the same time, players reveal their bids and starting with the land deed in location #1, determine who wins the bid. The winner turns their bids to the bank while the loser gets their bid back. Go through each land deed by numerical order until all bids are done. The winner also moves their favor bid to the bottom of the track.
Ties are broken by the order of this track so there are no debates and issues are easily solved. The land deed that’s won goes to the winning player’s player board and placed where they want it. The cool thing is that any benefits gained happen immediately. This bidding mechanic is repeated then for the special ability cards that were bid on.

The next stage is fulfilling the Empress’s bidding which starts with the person who is highest on the favor track. The players in descending favor order can try to fulfill the Empress’s bidding card or place a brick on the tithing space. To fulfill this card, match the specific requirements on the left of the card and spend the resources from your personal supply. Gaining rewards from the previous step is paramount to fulfilling the card in this step. You will immediately gain victory points and any bonuses if you fulfill this card. The last phase is the restock phase. Essentially, you replenish new land deed cards to the main board and any remaining land deeds move one space ahead to make room for the new cards. The same is done for special ability cards.
Last, Empress’s Bidding cards are replaced. The game ends once a player has filled his fiefdom with land deeds or the land deeds deck is empty at the end of phase four, the Empress’s Bidding phase. Players will then count their victory points and the person with the most victory points is the newest person to win the favor of Catherine the Great!

Theme and Mechanics:
The theme of the game deals with an interesting time in history- Catherine overthrows her husband’s rule in a coup and peasant uprising. However, Catherine doesn’t give in to the demands of the peasants and keeps the rule of the upper class and serfdom remains across the Russian lands. The game plays to that as players build their fiefdom while trying to curry favor from Catherine. The mechanics make sense- as it’s fully an auction game- and building their fiefdom to suit the wishes of the Empress is very important, just like historical context.
Players wish to build their own properties to gain power and prestige while at the same time gain favor from the Empress by fulfilling specific requests and helping her renovate her palace. The auction mechanic allows for some unique and interesting moments in game play. Players can bid and totally different land deeds and abilities but in some rounds each player may bid on the same thing- the drama of the game comes from that unknown. Some of the strategies is in trying to trick your opponents into bidding on something to keep you from getting it, but, you may not even want that card- It’s all about tricking and out bluffing your opponents if you can.

Artwork and Components:
Unfortunately, the game itself doesn’t bring any allusion to the time period. The cards are solid colors with no background and the main auction board is lacking any visual appeal. Of course, there are borders and ways to help denote various locations, but, the nature of the layout and needs delineated locations on the board don’t work towards having a luscious piece of artwork. The player boards are similar but they do at least have a

barren land that you fill with the cards. For me, visually, the cards on the boards are a bit jarring. However, I do think the layout and design work to help the players in setting up and determining what things are. That’s a must as you need to know what specific thing is where. Having a lot of art may have made the boards and cards distracting.
I’d guess that the mechanics and design need to be clear and straightforward and not be confused with lots of imagery. As this is a production copy, things could change. I’d hate to comment on component quality, good or bad when this isn’t a production copy. The bidding screens do have a large panoramic illustration of a market to represent the main auction phase in the game. Below you’ll find a list of components that come in the box:

  • Rule book
  • Main Board
  • 6 Player Boards
  • 6 Bidding Screens
  • 3 Decks of Cards
    • 24 Empress’s Bidding (mini size)
    • 12 Special Abilities (mini size)
    • 60 Land Deeds (square)
  • 20 Serf Resource Tokens
  • 18 Horse Resource Tokens
  • 12 Hussar Resource Tokens
  • 36 Coins (1 value)
  • 24 Coins (5 value)
  • Player Components (in 6 colors)
    • Prestige Tracker Token
    • Favor Tracker Token
    • 5 Small Palace Tithing Bricks
    • 4 Large Palace Tithing Bricks

Another slight annoyance, and because of my colorblindness, I wasn’t able to easily tell the colors of some of the blocks apart- The serf blocks, horse blocks, and the brown bricks were a bit too close in color for me. However, since this is a prototype, that can’t and shouldn’t be held against the publisher.

The Good:
A very fun and engaging auction mechanism. Since players take their auction turn at the same time, there is little downtime. Due to that, you are moving through the five phases fairly quickly. It’s estimated that a game will last around 10 minutes per player and with a group who knows how to play, the game won’t outlast its welcome. All the pieces are easy to identify and you will quickly learn what card type is what based on color.

The Other:
I was a bit disappointed with the lack of presence on the board and cards on the central board and player board. I’m not an artist myself, but I found the overall colors of the cards a bit bland and jarring when they are laid out on the central board. I am color-blind, so maybe that had something to do with my perception. I hope the presentation of the in-game components changes for final production.

Final Thoughts:
I’m a big fan of auction games and especially ones that happen simultaneously so as to keep all players involved. The favor track is interesting as it helps players decide on fulfillment on the Empress’s Bidding cards and ties are broken by moving a token to the bottom of the favor track if you win a bid.

Players Who Like:
If you auction games, this one will provide a fun experience. Especially as it’s an all-in bid as you don’t know what other players are doing and the action happens simultaneously. The one game that came to mind that was similar was Revolution as last published by Steve Jackson Game. Revolution has a secret bidding mechanic and the spaces are resolved in a similar fashion as Feudal Endeavor, although, they are two completely different games!

Check out Feudal Endeavor from I Will Never Grow Up Games Kickstarter.

Bob Nolan
Bob  is an avid board gamer, miniature gamer, and miniature hobbyist. He has hundreds, if not thousands of unpainted miniatures mocking him. Married with two children, he spends his days working as a school counselor, while his evenings are spent on gaming, freelance writing, editing, and sometimes as a Kickstarter consultant.

Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racism

Although Pen and Lead has been silent in regards to articles recently, I wanted to affirm that I support the Black Lives Movement and am firmly against racism. As future media on this blog is concerned, I will take action to increase and promote BIPOC and the content and products produced, designed, or made within the gaming world.

This blog is not a haven for racists.

DGS News January 2020 –

DGS Games updates us on what’s happening in 2020. Mathew Green returns to the team and a new model, the Ghora, is being released for their Shakrim faction.

In addition, they are doing something new at worldanvil.com and adding all of their content there. https://www.dgsgames.com/dgs-news-january-2020/

Zenithal Highlighting on 3d Printed Terrain

I believe that my Ender 3 is printing better than it ever has and I am printing terrain as much as I can.At the same time, I’d love to have several painted buildings for a small town when playing fantasy war games.Zenithal highlighting will help me reach that goal.

Zenithal highlighting is primering a model with an airbrush, or in my case, rattle can spray paint using varying shades. What I do is spray the entire model in black paint. Second, I then spray a grey from the side with a slight down angle. 

Lastly, I use a white and spray directly from the top.

When I paint the terrain, I use thinned down paint. In so doing, the pre-shaded highlights I did with the zenithal technique makes the dark areas darker and the lighter areas lighter, requiring only one layer of paint to get a good look. You can see how it turns out in the images below.

The building shown below come from Black Scroll Games found HERE.

Rone 2nd Edition Review

Rone: Races of a New Era Review

Rone 2nd edition: Races of a New Era

A Review by Bob Nolan

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher but I have received a promotional copy of the game for this review.]

Product Name: Rone: Races of a New Era
Publisher: GREIFERISTO Games
Mechanics: Versus, Competitive, Card
Cost: $??
Genre: Post-apocalyptic
# of Players: 2-4

Time: 30-45 minutes
Ages: 14+
Designer: Stepan Stefanik

Rone: Races of a New Era is a strategic card game set in a bleak and dark future world. Players recruit survivors, warmachines, hybrids and mutants into your army to gain control of the new world. Use technology to your benefit by upgrading your armies and machines to be the new leader of the new order.


Rone was Kickstarted and funded at 120% with 324 total supporters after the pledge manager ended in 2018. You can find the campaign for the 2nd edition and expansions here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bonjour/rone-2nd-edition-rone-new-forces-expansion-relaunc

Rone is a competitive player VS player card game (battle card game) where players build various combos from the different cards. There is a large variety of cards, and the enormity of the choices may be overwhelming at times. For some, this is a good thing but for others it can mean slow learning.

In Rone, players will build a deck, either randomly, or through other means, such as drafting, before the game starts. A deck is composed of no more than 24 cards, which also represents your chosen hero’s health in the game. Players then, over a series of rounds and phases, play cards to create various combos to reduce the opposing player’s health (cards) to zero.

Components and Artwork

The core game includes a rulebook, 4 water dials, 10 damage and health tokens, 6 melee attack tokens, 6 ranged attack tokens and 360 cards. With a post-apocalyptic setting, artwork is important to draw players in. There are a wide variety and sundry different pieces of art and it does well to immerse players. The artwork is not distracting and this allows the important information to stay front-and-center.

The components feel good and should stand up to many games. The dials that track resources work well and do a great job of keeping your water resource visible.

I would be a happy post-apocalyptic survivor to have this game in my possession based on component quality and artwork alone.

Game Play

As a new player to Rone, it took a few games before I started to become familiar with the cards and how they all interact. However, let’s look at set up and how the game is played.

Every player first chooses a hero from the many available choices. A hero has three levels and is placed in a stack. When levels change in the game, the appropriate card is used.

For your first game, you will prepare your player decks by randomly drawing 24 cards per player, plus the hero. The technology deck includes 5 random cards from the available technology cards. For your first game, this step is optional as it adds more complexity and interactions with the cards. The first player is chosen randomly. To offset the first player advantage, the second player begins with two water tokens while the first player begins with zero. Players draw a hand of six cards and may mulligan if they are not happy with this draw. The mulligan rule may be used once per game.



The main resource needed to activate various abilities and powers is water. As mentioned, the first player starts with zero water and the second player gets to start with two.

A game is played in rounds with five phases and players alternate turns following the phases. Those phases are, in order:

  1. Refresh phase
  2. Start of turn phase
  3. Income phase
  4. Main phase
  5. End of turn phase

Let’s look at a basic overview of each of the phases. The player following the steps of the phases is considered the active player.

First, the active player resets the cards that are in play- meaning they are rotated (when a card is used, it is rotated to track whether it is useable or not) and are then useable in the upcoming phases.

Next, some cards may activate at the “start of the turn,” and are triggered in phase 2. The active player makes sure to plan these triggered effects in any order they wish. When playing, be sure to trigger effects so that each works upon the effects created by the previous card. Finding potential combos here is fun and rewarding.

The third phase is income and this is where the active player gains more water resources as well as being able to draw more cards. Gain water tokens equal to the resource number on your hero card as well as cards as listed on the same hero card.

Unit Cards

The fourth stage is the main phase where card abilities take effect. There are two main categories of abilities, slow and fast. The main phase is where things start to get really exciting, and, depending on what cards you have in play, you can get several abilities working together. Slow effects can only be used during the active player’s main phase and can include things like playing unit or technology cards, declaring an attack, leveling up a hero, and more. Fast effects can be played as reactions to an opponent’s turn or during any other phase (except the Refresh phase). The fast effects come from reacting to a tactic card being played or an opponent executing an activated ability, and more.

Played cards in this phase are placed into a “stack” which can be reacted to. Once all cards are placed into this “stack,” they are activated in reverse order, from the top of the stack down. Since reactions are important and the actions from the “stack” can trigger reactions, it’s important to follow the rulebook and activate / trigger effects in the proper order. The idea from this wasn’t confusing, but, players have to be sure to follow the order of operations and make sure the triggers and reactions happen in the appropriate order.

In this phase, the orders players must follow are detailed as followed:

  1. Announce the action
  2. Attempt to cancel the action
  3. Activate the action
  4. Place the action onto the stack
  5. React
  6. Execute the action

The rulebook does a good job of making this part clear and concise and it’s handy to keep this section of the rulebook handy when learning the game.

As players play cards, they must pay for those cards by spending water, which is equal to the water cost as shown on the card. In addition, the hero chosen by the player has to be at the same level or higher than the card being played.

One thing to keep in mind is that a player can only ever have three technology cards on the table at any given time.

In addition to paying water to play cards, leveling up your hero requires water. When you level up, simply use the next appropriate card keeping the new card oriented the same way as the old card. If your hero was exhausted then the new card is exhausted.

In order to win a game of Rone, players need to attack the opponent’s forces and hero. Units are the only types of cards that can attack. Players can choose multiple units to attack, but order must be maintained.

First, a player announces the attack and from which unit the attack is coming from. The opponent may then react (by moving cards or preventing an attack). Next, the target of the attack is chosen. Combat then happens, but, that combat can be turned around so that the opponent now has the upper hand. Increasing or decreasing stats of various units is the usual way to do this and only fast effects can be played during this time. Next, damage is dealt starting with ranged attack damage and then melee attack damage. Next, the defender is exhausted if it survives the attack, then clean up is done.

Unit Cards

At this point, the main phase is done and the end of turn is declared. The end of turn phase may activate more cards and the active player then follows all of those effects in any order chosen.

Although there are several phases and order is very important in Rone, the rulebook does spell out when and how to activate and use the different cards. The idea is simple, but, the concept provides some tactical depth and strategy is abundant based on cards in play and in your hand.

Game Design

The design is reminiscent of other strategy / tactical VS card games and turning the cards to exhaust them to use their abilities and spending resources to get cards into play is not a new concept. The process will be familiar to players who enjoy this type of game. Magic: the Gathering may come to mind when reading the rules and playing the game; however, this is a good thing because a lot of players understand how tapping and using requirements to play cards is used.

Even with the familiarity of the design, the types of cards and variety of units available in a deck keeps the game fresh. Replayability is good and additional card packs can be added to the game for even more choices throughout the game.

This type of game is not unique, but, the artwork, the various abilities and effects, are. Having reactions helps separate this game from other VS card games. In addition, the “stack” mentioned earlier also keeps this game fresh and exciting.


The current Kickstarter is looking to fund so they can create a delux or complete version of the game with updated rules and all previous expansions included. Backing the game would give players many, many games with a wide variety of experiences. Replayability, already great, increases.


RONE: Races of a New Era is not a new concept. However, the wide variety of cards and how you use them is. Having reactions and building the “stack” during the main phase with that stacks execution is.

The rulebook is done well and provides rules and alternative play styles to include multiple people into the game. The second edition game supports two, three, and four-player variants including a 2 v 2 mode.

The artwork is gorgeous and builds the verisimilitude to immerse players into the post-apocalyptic world that the designer Stepan Stefanik has created. If you are a player who enjoys working card combos to devastating effect and playing games where you attack your opponent, then Rone is a great game to consider. Some players may not enjoy the targeting of the opponent to whittle their deck down. Whichever type of player you are, you will enjoy the artwork and some of the unique twists, reactions, and “stack” building that goes on in Rone. If you can support this indie publisher on Kickstarter, please do so.

To find this game on Kickstarter, visit: Kickstarter HERE

To find this game on Board Game Geek, click HERE.


To find Rone on Facebook, visit here:



Tabletop Analytics Kickstarter Top Grossing Trending

via Kickstarter Top Grossing Trending – Tabletop Analytics

Tabletop Analytics takes a look at the top-grossing live game projects on Kickstarter right, with the following in the top five:

The Baron’s War set in the years of 1215-1217 of the Magna Carta conflict, this miniature game features 28mm miniatures.

Aeon Trespass: Odyssey is a 1-4 campaign game that includes giant monsters. They’ve easily surpassed their $50,000 goal.

Board Royale: The Island Survival Card Game is almost 3x its funding goal of $30,000

The Forbidden Lands RPG has an expansion called the Bitter Reach Campaign and Reprist that is 965% funded.

Lastly, is Gugong: Panjun Deluxe expansion that included four expansion modules and a big box for Gugong.