One of the benefits of running your own event is that you get to meet some great people throughout the board gaming world.
Chris 'Shep' Shepperson
We backed Shep's first published game, Package!?, last year which successfully funded on Kickstarter and were impressed with the design. It's a highly abstract game for 2-4 players that can (eventually) be played in around 10 minutes. It does, however, have a steep learning curve for such an ostensibly simple game and certainly isn't for everybody. Now step up AOX, coming soon to Kickstarter.
AOX is a 2 player abstract game with a very interesting pool reconstruction (credit to Jon 'Princess' Gameson for that term) mechanism. The concept of the game is very straightforward. Each tile has its own specific movement, like in Chess, and there are two ways to win the game: get a Triangle tile into the 'endzone' (which must remain until the end of the round) or take three of your opponent's tiles. However, unlike Chess, your available moves are determined by tokens drawn from your own bag.
1 of each token allows you one move for a tile of your choice. 2 of 1 token and 1 of another gives you one move for both tiles. 3 of the same token gives you two moves with the same piece, or 1 each for both tiles, or to recover a previously taken tile of that type.
Both players start with 3 each of Circle, Cross and Triangle tokens but at the beginning of each round the player with initiative has the option to swap a token with one of their opponent's but has to give up the first action. This leads to the biggest differentiation in my experience of abstract strategy games: the constant reconstruction of your pool of tokens and the ability to turn a situation on its head in an instant.
The photographs are of a prototype and the final game will be more polished (literally) but hopefully this has given you some insight into what AOX is about. It's a real brain burner but with a light learning curve, heaps of strategy, and it looks fantastic on the table thanks to the beautiful laser cut wooden components and excellent design. Check it out; we'll update this page when the Kickstarter is launched.