ARTICLE: Master Set – Boring Stuff, Boring Article

51 enSo Master Set, huh? Let’s talk about building this baby!

51st State had 110 cards including Location cards, Connection cards and Leader cards.

The New Era had 110 cards including Location cards and Connection cards. No Leaders though. Some of these cards were exact reprints of cards from 51st State.

Winter expansion had 52 cards including Location cards, Connection cards and Leader cards again.

Are you following me? You don’t look like you do. Anyway, that was a starting point. 272 cards. Big freaking mess. So I took a huge two handed hammer and I put it into work. Big hammer. Work. You got picture?


51st-baseFirst I rebuilt base 51st State. I removed Leaders. I removed Connection cards. I left in the deck only Locations. I looked at them very carefully, card after card, with my whole experience I gained for the past 5 years and with my hammer in hand. And I began to use it. I removed few cards. I added few other. I changed some values. I added mechanisms known from Imperial Settlers that says that each Action card can be used only once per round. I balanced the shit out of it.

After few weeks I had a clean and perfectly constructed set of exactly 88 Location cards. The basic set of 51st State. The basic engine of the game. It worked smooth and fast. Most of the cards were Production and Action cards – Production provided players with Resources. Actions let them change these Resources into Victory Points. Easy peasy, exactly like old good 51st State back then in 2010.

Now the harder part. Expansions. There is going to be lots of hammering here.


51st-neI removed from The New Era all cards that were already in the base set. We didn’t need clones thrown all over the place. Then I removed Connection cards. Bum, bum, I was just destroying one card after another and it was very good feeling. This hammer thing? Better than any meditation you could have.

Then hard part – make sure that all cards in The New Era expansion build consistent and thematic game play. Make sure that when player will mix Base Set with The New Era he or she will immediately feel change in the game play.

Many Razing cards. Many Feature cards. Many cards that are somehow dedicated to attacking opponents. It’s The New Era! It’s Hammer Age.

And then a ton of play testing. Balancing the set, tweaking with cards, changing values, using hammer here and there, changing Distances, playing it over and over again.

Finally I thought I am done. I was staying here covered with dust, with hammer with my hand and smile on my face.

Well, I might went too far with destroying base Locations. There was a problem with balance. When 88 cards from base set were mixed with 50 card from The New Era balance of base set staggered. Not enough cards that gave workers. Not enough cards that gave grey contact tokens. Too many Razing shit. Back to work. Where is my hammer?.

I clone some cards from base set into The New Era to keep crucial things in right proportion in a deck that has now 88 + 50 cards.

Play test shit out of it again. It works. Who’s your daddy now?


51st-wSecond expansion. I am getting tired but my hammer gives me strength. I remove from Winter few things like Leaders and Connection cards. I carefully look at the set. Then I remove few more cards just because I really like my hammer. I add few new cards. I make it all about big production. Big fat Production cards and big fat Action cards that let you change everything into big fat points. Big Fat Points. Sounds awesome, right?

I play test shit out of it again. I make sure that playing with The New Era and playing with Winter is different experience. I make sure that each expansion provide enough theme and strong game play changes. You exactly know and feel what you are playing.

I throw at play testers 88 base set + 50 of The New Era.
Then I throw at them 88 base set + 50 of Winter.
‘Is it different?’ I ask.

It is.

So who’s your daddy again?


51st State: Master set is a final relaunch of a game I designed in 2010 and was working on for next few years. It’s perfectly balanced basic set that is easily combined with expansions. Whatever you pick The New Era or Winter or upcoming future expansions you will get your beloved old game with slightly different feeling and abilities of cards. You better grab your copy before it’s too late..

Just short information. We have open pre-orders for the game. And I have my hammer with me. So you better go to pre-order page and give us your money or I’ll put my hammer last mre time. Did I mention it is huge, two handed and is really heavy?

You can preorder new set here and get your own copy weeks before street date! And what is more, your copy will include ton of amazing shit that is produced only for our hardcore fans! Please, check our pre-order page and make decision!


We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.

For Press Releases