The Decemberists have teamed up with board game designer Keith Baker (creator of Gloom and Eberron) to make a board game. The origin story of their board game Illimat is a bit odd and goes all the way back to 2009.
The band had an idea to have a photo shoot as a secret society playing a weird board game. So they and their photographer created a game board as a prop and called it The Illimat. Then in 2015, The Decemberists, who say they often play board games during their down time on the road, remembered their strange “game-board-without-a-board-game” and they wanted to make it a real game. Chris Funk approached Twogether Studios and Keith Baker, who worked to make it happen.
Illimat is a bit flexible as a card game. You can either play a couple of rounds, or you can play until 17 points. Cards are dealt into the four “fields” or quadrants of the board. Players will be “harvesting” cards from the fields of the board. You harvest a card by playing a matching card. If you manage to take the last card in the field, you will get a coin, which gives you a victory point. If you’ve cleared that field, you’ll also draw a luminary card, which change the way the game is played.
The box in the center has the four different seasons, one for each side, and that will affect those fields. The box will also rotate. The way you win is to have the most cards in your discard pile. There’s more to the game than just this, so if you’re curious about the nitty gritty of the rules, Chris Funk went on the One Shot Podcast Game Night to show off the game and play a round.
Illimat is currently on Kickstarter, and has already blown past their goal. There’s still a lot of time to jump on board, if you’re interested in the game. It is for 2-4 players and a round takes about 15 minutes. If you back it on Kickstarter, it’ll cost you $45 plus shipping. They have other levels as well, and add-ons like a tote, print and pin.