Kickstart This! #4: March of the Ants: Empires of the Earth
Designers: Tim Eisner (The Grimm Forest, March of the Ants, Tidal Blade: Heroes of the Reef), Ryan Swisher (March of the Ants)
Artists: Lina Cossette (Brass: Birmingham, Brass: Lancashire, Charterstone, The Grimm Forest, Santorini, Steampunk Rally, Super Motherload, Tidal Blade: Heroes of the Reef, Unfair), Mihajlo Dimitrievski (Architects of the West Kingdom, Cavern Tavern, Coloma, Dice Settlers, Dragon Keepers, Explorers of the North Sea, Horizons, Imperium, Raiders of the North Sea, Rise to Nobility, Robin Hood and the Merry Men, Shipwrights of the North Sea, Valeria: Card Kingdoms, Villages of Valeria, Viral), Vincent Dutrait (Broom Service, Dead Man’s Draw, Detective: City of Angels, Diplomacy, Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark, Elysium, Jaipur, Lewis & Clark, Lost Cities, Lovecraft Letter, Medici, Mythic Battles: Pantheon, New York 1901, Raptor, Rise of Augustus, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, When I Dream, Wyatt Earp), Yela Gatchalian-David (Tiny Ninjas) Ryan Swisher (March of the Ants)
Publisher: Weird City Games (March of the Ants)
Genre/Mechanisms: 4x, area control, modular board, point to point movement, resource management, take that, variable player powers
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, March of the Ants: Empires of the Earth is already fully-funded. In fact, pledges currently total almost 11.5x the initial funding goal.
Player Count: 1-5
Solo Mode: yes
What It’s About: A miniature-less, 4x, colony-building game featuring ants instead of spaceships or human armies. The new expansion features art by some prolific rising stars, as well as an all-in price point much cheaper than comparable 4x games.
How It Works: In the worker phase, players can choose from Actions such as Explore, March, Forage, Play a Card, & Rest. Exploring and Marching move ant units onto and around the expanding board of tiles, vying for resources and area control. The Soldier Phase is when combat happens, both between players, and between players and Centipedes. During the Queen Phase, players Harvest and gain resource, feed their ants, and in general, evolve their growing player engines. Over the course of the game, players score points for Battles, Colony Point Collection Sites, Cards, Evolved Ant Bodies; and for Inner Meadow Hexes and Colony Goals. After four rounds, players score additional points at the end of the game for Largest Brood, Greatest Stores, and Untold Potential. The new Empires of the Earth expansion adds in 18 new Evolutions, Events and Colony Goals, a new card type called Nest Chambers, and Mutations drafted at the beginning of the game to help jumpstart players’ colonies with asymmetric abilities.
Comparisons: It’s like Eclipse, but with ants! And with less setup time and a shorter overall game length.
What Should I Pledge?:
$15 Empires of the Earth: just the new expansion.
$35 The Expansions: the new expansion as well as the previous Minions of the Meadow expansion.
$45 Empires + March: the new Empires of the Earth expansion along with a copy of the March of the Ants base game.
$59 Ultimate Ants: the new Empires of the Earth expansion, the previous Minions of the Meadow expansion, and a copy of the March of the Ants base game.
$5: Centimeeples (x4)
$5: Centipede Broodmaster
$16: Ant Meeples (x180)
None of the Meeple Add-Ons are included with retail copies.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $59 for Ultimate Ants, $26 for the various Meeple Add-ons, and $8 shipping for a total of $93.
March of the Ants: Empires of the Earth completes its Kickstarter on Friday, April 26th and tentatively ships in December 2019.