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5Pax game box

5Pax is a set of 10+ casual dice games that recently caught our attention on Kickstarter. We reached out to Dennis Consorte of Galliant Games to learn more about this game line and what players can expect.

CGR: Hi Dennis! Thank you for speaking with us. Could you tell us a little about yourself, your company, and your gaming history?

Dennis: I have a small web design and online marketing shop where I earn a living. Galliant Games was the result of my desire to try my hand at crowdfunding. It was a branch of online marketing that I had no experience in, and I wanted to learn. Our first campaign was a steampunk deck of cards that made sense since I also own SteampunkGoggles.com and was able to promote it to my existing customers. That campaign was the toughest by far, but I learned a lot, and not only were we funded, but we successfully delivered our product as promised.

In the background, we were developing our first tabletop game, Scrapyard Empire. This also followed the steampunk theme, which worked well since our artist for the deck signed on to help with this game as well.

Scrapyard was a huge second project for us. We had over 160 cards in this set collection game, and so the mechanics and artwork were very involved and required constant tweaking. Luckily, we already had a bit of an audience from my steampunk deck of playing cards and website, to give the campaign the jumpstart it needed for funding. In the end, we pulled everything together, and had what I believe to be an amazing offering. The project got funded and we're currently in the manufacturing stage.

As for me, I'm definitely what you'd call a casual gamer. I enjoy lots of tabletop games, but my schedule just doesn't allow me to explore them as often as I'd like to. That’s what makes 5Pax the perfect product for me on a very personal level, where I can squeeze in a quick game between my larger responsibilities.

CGR: Congrats on your Kickstarter campaign for 5Pax! Could you tell us a little about your campaign and the games included in the set?

Dennis: 5Pax will include a minimum of 10 games. The whole thing fits in a box that's a little larger than 6" x 4" x 1" in size. One thing we've noticed is that a lot of gamers have tons of components — dice, cubes; you name it — in their homes. And these components get repeated across multiple games. So we thought, why not make a game collection where multiple games could share the same components? By doing this, we were able to make an ultra-portable system that could be taken anywhere and had a little something for everyone. There's a little fantasy, some casino stuff, strategy, and of course, sports. In terms of mechanics, we included press-your-luck games like Dice TwentyOne and Save the Princess, abstract strategy games like Morph Chess, Trapped and Football, and even some dexterity games like Dice Bowling and Tennis.

5Pax games

CGR: I see that half of the games are sports-themed – you must be a sports fan! They look interesting – why did you decide to go in this direction?

Dennis: My two game designers on this project were Ben Froikin, who was responsible for most of the game mechanics, and Jonathan Pack, who came up with the overall concept for 5Pax. Jonathan is definitely a sports fan, but he's into some really obscure stuff. In 2009, he was the reigning New York State Champion in...Disc Golf. Far fewer people know about the PDGA than the NFL, so we didn't include a disc golf game in the core set and wanted the themes to translate easily into something that people could relate to. Luckily, Jon is also heavily into Fantasy Football. Getting his fix during the season wasn't enough, so that served as some of the inspiration behind including a football-themed game in the set.

What I like about sports themes for a set of microgames like these, is that there is already a set of rules that can be adapted for the table top. The result is that these little games can be learned very quickly by anyone, and you can be up and running with a new player in about 5 minutes. That's what I like about 5Pax. Our goal was to make a set of games that you could play anywhere, with just about anyone. We even sat our postal carrier, Maria, down for a quick game when she dropped off the mail the other day!

On the games that Ben designed the primary mechanics for, he did a nice job of adapting the rules into fun games that worked with the small set of components I limited him to: 16 dice, 12 markers, and a couple of score trackers plus a 6" x 4" board. Naturally, he navigated his way around the size limitation by making Tennis work off of two boards instead of just one, but it's nuances like that which add even more variety to 5Pax.