Tabula Games is an indie board game design studio founded in 2015, after the successful Kickstarter campaign of it’s first game: Jewels.
Now Tabula is working on it’s second project, Barbarians: The Invasion
Barbarians: The Invasion is an upcoming eurogame made by Pierluca Zizzi, the author of Hyperborea, Signorie, Asgard, Simurgh and many more. It revolves around worker placement with the innovative mechanic of a turning wheel creating the strategic challenge of a dynamic gameboard.
It features plenty of detailed miniatures and stunning artwork from Ivan Cavini.
Pierluca had this game in mind for years. He always thought about putting a twist on worker placement and, after a lot of tests and tweaks, he found out that his idea was extremely fun to play. He worked on this project for years, refining and prototyping a lot of ideas, mechanics and aspects of the game, until everything just worked. Only after that did he decide the theme to add to it.
He had always dreamed of making a game about barbarian clans on their path to conquer an epic fantasy world. He realized it worked perfectly with the mechanics he’d created, so he combined the two and the first Barbarians prototype was born .
Lately, Francesco from Tabula Games fell in love with this project, both for its immersive setting and for its extremely smooth mechanics. He decided it was perfect Kickstarter material. Having already had experience with the platform, successfully funding a game, he thought it was the best way to bring Barbarians: The Invasion to the public since Kickstarter allows him to enrich the game with stunning artwork and miniatures otherwise impossible to manufacture for an indie game studio.
Barbarians: The Invasion is coming to Kickstarter in a couple of months.
Barbarians is set in the mysterious world of Fenian, a land dominated by decadent civilizations living in huge cities, filled with magic gifted from ancient gods capable of granting unlimited power to those who worship them. It’s a land of monsters, demons and creatures, where barbarian clans lived for years ignoring completely the civilized people until the equilibrium broke into war. Now, the barbarians have decided to conquer the lands of the civilized, stealing their knowledge, and expanding their clans through powers obtained from gods and demons.
The game is based around worker placement mechanics, but Pierluca wanted to put a twist on this concept adding a special component: workers are placed on three concentric wheels (see picture) that can be turned during gameplay to change available paths and strategies. This mechanic has been balanced with extreme care to always allow for positive outcomes in a given round, though it probably means adapting to a new strategy on the fly… or players can anticipate the turn of the wheel and strategize in advance for that!
Since the game is about Barbarians, they will of course fight! But Pierluca made the decision not to include direct player conflict in the game. He didn’t want the theme to force mechanics he didn’t feel would work well. Barbarians will have to conquer lands from civilized nations and battle them. So players fight to gain control of the most land, instead of against each other.
Even if the most fierce Warchief will have great advantages from having conquered the lands, it’s not enough on the path to victory. A truly great Warchief understands that his clan also needs to develop their barbaric knowledge to gain long term perks, a sign of the strength of their clan. They can also learn from their enemies, stealing civilized knowledge from the cultures they dominate. They will be able to build cities, towns and campsites, that allow them to grow stronger and obtain resources.
In Barbarians: The Invasion, the greatest Warchief won’t be the one focused solely on war, but the one able to manage all aspects of growing and leading a clan.
Players will be able to summon gods, spirits of glorious Warchiefs of the past and bend their will to demons to obtain favors.
Pierluca was an architect that one day decided to leave the corporate lifestyle and dedicate himself to his greatest passion: board gaming. He managed quickly to have his games published, the most notable being Hyperborea, Asgard, Signorie and Simurgh, all of which are critically acclaimed. He’s an extremely creative person with a lot of game ideas in his mind and at least 30 prototypes he’s currently working on. Pierluca always tries to innovate within his games, mixing new mechanics and time-tested ones to create balanced and fun to play board games.
Ivan is a multi-disciplinary artist, specializing in giving life to characters and worlds. He’s a painter, illustrator and sculptor obsessed with epic fantasy universes. His love for Tolkien inspired him to create stunning drawings from Middle-Earth. His style and talent made a perfect fit for the team. Now he’s working on Barbarians and he is already bringing the world of Fenian to life.
He is talented in a variety of fields, which allowed him to take on the role of creative director at the Greisinger Museum in Switzerland: the largest museum in the world dedicated to Middle-Earth. His vision helped shaping this amazing place, he created the statues and the interior design. It’s impossible to step in there without being carried away instantly.
Francesco is the “publisher” of Barbarians: The Invasion, but he hates to be called that. He’s a game designer that self-published games for the Italian market and with the know-how he acquired decided to embark upon this new worldwide adventure that is Tabula Games. He already has experience with Kickstarter, having successfully funded and delivered another game: Jewels.
He loves and wants to use this platform to its full extent to create a game with an extreme level of care for detail in every aspect, which for a small studio is doable only with the aid of the wonderful people on Kickstarter.
Tabula is technically an indie board game design studio, but more than that it’s a team of close friends that work together toward a goal they all love: creating a game that is fun to play and beautiful to look at. They all want to make something amazing that is valuable to the players for the extreme care and love with which it’s made.