Baksha Games and designer Sean Scott Garrity are back on Kickstarter with a new game, Time Jockeys. Baksha successfully kickstarted the game “What’s he Building in There?” in 2013.
Time Jockeys is a card-based game, where players travel back in time to collect artifacts, return to the ‘present’, and sell their items to make money. There is a catch however. A player can only spend a limited amount of time in the past, measured in days, and the risk of death builds up the longer the time spent on fulfilling contracts. In addition, players are to preserve the time line as much as possible and prevent interference with the established history. Any damage to the time line by one player will need to be repaired—sometimes by the other players.
Basic game play is; players bid on contracts, which they place in their hands. Some of the contracts are quite interesting, such as collecting video evidence of Jack the Ripper’s murders, or seducing Cleopatra to acquire her bra. On their turn, a player can declare a contract, and indicate the amount of time they are willing to spend to fulfill it and the approach they are taking to collecting the item. Some contracts will be easy, others more complex and difficult, so players will have to balance risk and reward. There are Specialist cards that can increase the chances of success, and players can use others specialists, but one must beware, since a specialist can be turned into a spy who sabotages the contract fulfillment. One the contract is declared and the time allocated, the player roles a D12 to determine the outcome.
If successful, the players move their markers forward on the time chart the number of days allocated to the contract, collect their reward and move to the next round. It’s possible to have an overwhelming success, which saves a day on the time track. If unsuccessful, the player can take the contract back in their hand for the future, or they can try again, with changes to their if desired, and can earn die roll modifications. However, failure opens the door to catastrophic failure, potentially leading to the player’s death, and forcing repairs to the timeline. Repairs can have a ripple effect—as death removes a player, the neighboring players have to attempt to repair the damage.
The game ends when two successive contracts are passed on by every player—or when everyone is dead. Unfulfilled contracts are sold back, and the surviving players count their money. The one with the most money wins. Ties mean everyone dies, and the game has to start over.
Time Jockeys is for 2-6 players, and plays in 15-45 minutes depending on the number of players (15 mins. for every 2 players). The game comes with the various cards, markers, a D12, tracking sheets and paper money. There are a number of KS reward levels that will add new contracts to the game and upgraded markers if met. There are five backer levels. The campaign runs until August 28th, with game delivery tentatively scheduled for November 2015. The Kickstarter page can be found here.