After three years of development, our first tabletop questing expansion for Iconica is here! Pack your bags. It's time to travel.
What is Iconica Travels?
Iconica Travels – The Hiveland Expedition is an adventure game contained in a deck of 111 cards. You’ll choose three of your favorite Iconica characters and embark on a journey filled with all kinds of encounters, items, and quests that are part of a bigger story.
Making Iconica Travels
Our first Iconica Travels deck took a little over three years to imagine, design, and create. Things took shape only by carrying my sketchbook everywhere and capturing any ideas that popped into my head. I brainstormed lots of ways of executing those ideas while also listening to great feedback from Iconica players about the kinds of adventure games they enjoy.
The photos here are a tiny portion of one of the sketchbooks I kept throughout the project. There’s no way to capture every part of this process, but it’s one of deep refinement, asking for input, and testing different approaches to gameplay. It can be hard to avoid choosing one solution early, which can lead to missing more elegant solutions.
How Iconica Travels Works
The Hiveland Expedition comes with a rule sheet and a deck of 117 cards. 111 of those cards are part of the playable deck. The other cards include two cover cards and four Party Initiative cards. The game can be played in a few different ways.
- One Player vs. One Player
- Two Players vs. Two Players – Teams
- Four Player “Clash” – Each player competes for him/herself
Select three of your favorite characters, paying attention to each character’s faction alignment, and set the game up like a normal Iconica match. Once play begins, players choose a card from the top of the Travels Deck during their turn and follow the instructions on each card.
Iconica Travels is easy to learn, but holds lots of potential for complex combinations and customizations of your characters. There are five main types of cards:
Supply – Gear, equipment, and provisions you’ll use during your travels.
Encounter – Creatures, characters, and places you’ll discover along the road.
Tactic – Methods you’ll use to survive in the wild.
Artifact – Powerful items you may acquire by chance.
Quest – Objectives you can complete to win the game.
Many Iconica Travels cards cost Initiative Points (IP) to play. In fact, IP is used in a variety of ways in the game. Think of it as a currency you'll spend during your turn to use cards and take actions. Each player starts their turn with 10 IP to use, which is tracked on a handy card with a meter. At the end of a player's turn, the meter is reset to 10.
Speaking of Winning
In Iconica Travels there are two ways to win: 1) Eliminate your opponent and 2) Complete quests. The basic story behind The Hiveland Expedition finds players hunting creatures called carapid for food and resources, but also to reduce their numbers. Carapid can be very dangerous as their swarms expand.
As the game progresses, the first player or team to acquire their bounty of carapid scales will win. If you prefer to play the game as a villain with no sense of sportsmanship or honor, you can do that too! You’ll just have to survive the different environments and beasts you’ll encounter while also striving to eliminate your opponents. No biggie right? Right.
If you’re like me, sometimes it's easy to look back at history with a sense of romantic longing for epic ocean voyages, warm forest campfires, and quests over rivers and mountains.
Well, those were exciting times for sure. But those times were also filled with things like the black plague, dysentery, and leprosy. No thank you! Instead of spending our days pining for those dark medieval days, let’s adventure from the comfort of our own modern day cottages! Minus the dysentery.
If you’re into adventure games involving lots of items, events, and story elements, I think you’ll love Iconica Travels. Don’t let your Iconica characters sit around being bored. Send them on a journey. They’ll thank you for it. Well, if they survive!