Introducing 20 Strong

Solar Sentinals

Hi there, Chip Theory faithful!

Last week, you may have seen our social media post about 20 Strong, a new card and dice game we’re bringing to Gamefound next month. We’ve gotten a lot of interest and questions about our latest project, and until the preview goes live, we want this blog to serve as the landing page for everything you want to know.

So, what is it?

20 Strong is a new deck-based game system from Chip Theory Games, capable of being played in about 30 minutes or less. We say “game system” because the idea behind 20 Strong is a small nucleus of simple, adaptable rules that can then be applied to a variety of unique decks, each with their own set of mechanics. We are launching 20 Strong with three such decks – one set in the world of Too Many Bones, one set in Hoplomachus: Victorum, and one in the new universe of the space-faring Solar Sentinels. We have more decks in development and plan to release them regularly if our customers are excited by them. For now, 20 Strong is a solo-only game, but even that could differ in future decks using the ruleset.

The object of a game of 20 Strong is to progress through a shuffled deck of cards, each card bearing a unique challenge. This challenge could be in the form of an enemy, a unique scenario, or some other requirement (for example, players of the Too Many Bones deck might expect to see a Lockpicking challenge or two). Challenges usually require a certain number of successes to complete, which you earn by rolling a set of 17 dice with different odds for a hit (these dice, along with three adjustable stat dice, make up the “20” in 20 Strong).

If you roll enough successes, you complete a card’s challenge and gain its rewards. If you don’t, you take damage and move on to the next card – unless, of course, your HP stat is reduced to 0, costing you the game. If you manage to make it through an entire deck, you take on one of the deck’s final bosses, attempting to score enough hits against this powerful enemy to claim ultimate victory.

Of course, it’s never so easy that you’d want to spend all of your dice on a single card. In addition to your HP Stat, you’re also keeping track of your Strategy (which controls how many rerolls and items you have) and your Recovery, which controls how many dice return to your pool after taking on a challenge. If you roll more dice than your Recovery, those dice are exhausted, lowering your pool for your subsequent challenges. It’s a game of pressing your luck, strategic decision-making, and resource management. We think you’re going to love it!

How much is it?

In the years since our first small box game, Triplock, Chip Theory has become known for extravagant, big box experiences. We’re proud of that reputation, and we put our all into our giant projects, but we know that our massive games aren’t for everyone – thanks to their price, their complexity, and the time they take to play. As such, we’ve been dying to return to the small box space, using the lessons we’ve learned as developers and the larger team of professionals we’ve built to create a new, smaller game that is just as addictive and replayable as Too Many Bones, Cloudspire, burncycle, or Hoplo.

You already know that 20 Strong is a shorter and more streamlined game than most Chip Theory titles. Here’s the good news for your wallet: It’s much less expensive, too. Don’t get us wrong; 20 Strong is still being produced with the same luxury feel and attention to detail we always put into our games, with foil-accented, high-quality PVC cards and custom heat-printed dice. However, since the project is smaller and lighter than most of our games by several, several factors, we can offer it for less.

On the 20 Strong campaign, you can buy the core 20 Strong box, which includes the Solar Sentinels deck and the dice that are used across all decks, for $30. Or, you can buy the core box and the Victorum and Too Many Bones decks together for $65. We aren’t offering the Victorum and Too Many Bones decks individually in this campaign, but our plan when 20 Strong is available in our webstore is to sell expansion decks for $20 to $30 each, depending on the amount of cards involved in any particular deck.

What about shipping?

All-in on a Chip Theory game for $65 is already pretty unheard of these days, but what if we told you that you didn’t have to pay for shipping, either? It’s true: On this campaign, we are offering free shipping, for all orders, to anywhere in the world (except for a few locations we can’t ship to due to unfortunate logistical concerns). 

We’ve developed a reputation over the last few years for having one of the most competitive shipping rates in the board game industry, but when we were putting the 20 Strong campaign together, we realized we had a unique opportunity. On most of our crowdfunding projects, we can keep shipping costs down by offering a flat rate that allows people to bundle large purchases together, which helps us off-set some of the cost. Because 20 Strong is considerably less expensive for us to ship, we have decided on this campaign to limit the items available in the pledge manager to the two products featured in the campaign itself: the 20 Strong core box and the all-in pledge. This allows the pledge levels to arrive at fulfillment hubs pre-packed and ready for shipping labels, reducing our shipping fees even further and allowing us to pass those savings on to you! Pretty cool, right?

Our goal here is to make this the cleanest, simplest, lowest barrier for entry campaign in Chip Theory history (particularly ahead of next year’s campaign for The Elder Scrolls: Betrayal of the Second Era, which will be a huge beast of a game), and to make this campaign accessible to anyone who has ever had an interest in our products. 

When can I get on board?

Very soon! The campaign launches on Oct. 18, and we expect to have a preview page up earlier than that. We’re so excited to bring you more information on this soon, and we feel incredibly lucky to be in the position to bring more people into the Chip Theory community who might have previously felt like the barrier for entry is too high. Thank you, as always, for your support and affection. We wouldn’t be where or who we are without it.

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