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Axes to Ashes

A completely original double-sided strategy board game.

Team Credits:

Chris Gascoyne

Travis Nugent

Justin Snell

Michael Rivera

Chris Tillis

Jason Ajucum



There was a time where the two kingdoms lived in constant fear of war with each other. However, they mostly remained at peace until one day, their kings disappeared. Both kingdoms were thrown into chaos not knowing where their kings had gone, assuming it was in the other kingdoms castle as a prisoner, war struck out.

The planes between the two kingdoms were littered with battles. Without guidance battles were disorganized and happening all over the region. Meanwhile, the kings awake next to each other, realizing they have both been sucked into the underworld. The devil speaks to them,


"You are in my kingdom now, your petty squabbles mean nothing here, I'm leaving you to traverse through these lands and giving you one last chance at life. Redeem your fallen soldiers and perhaps I'll let you return to your kingdom.



Our mechanics begin with a unique double-sided board that the players flip throughout the course of the game, with each side serving a different purpose, resembling two separate games interacting simultaneously to aid or hinder the respective player.


The top side of the board serves as a battlefield represented as a grid-based playing field where units interact with each-other either through battle or through strategic maneuvers with the use of Walls or Siege Engine Units. The overarching objective of the top side of the board - the Battlefield - is to achieve the single winning condition of the game - to get one of your units to the enemy’s Home Base, designated at opposing corners of the board.

The bottom side of the board - or the Underworld, serves as the secondary, or auxiliary element of gameplay, which is presented through branching paths that the player(s) can strategically choose to journey through, based on the current state of the Battlefield. The main objective of the Underworld, or bottom side of the board, is to recruit specific Unit types that may advantage a respective player on the Battlefield. However, certain actions, by chance, action, or poor strategy may also hinder the player(s).

The Underworld aids the player in many ways for the Battlefield, entirely from recruiting Units to getting special Event Cards or Action Cards. These Cards are solely based on RNG (Random Number Generation) where one draws a Card face down from a deck. These Cards can only be obtained when the player lands on specifically marked locations throughout the Underworld. Event Cards differ from Action Cards in that they are triggered immediately, while Action Cards can be held onto for use at a later time, as the player sees fit. These special cards can aid the player by allowing them to gain Units, increase movement distance for a turn, or killing an enemy Unit instantly; however, these Cards can also hinder the player by forcibly eliminating their own Units on the Battlefield, lose a turn, or forcing the respective player return to the Start of the Underworld. Depending on the Card it can either affect the top side or bottom side of the board, drastically affecting the ensuing gameplay.

Our board game has a few different types of units that the player can collect in the Underworld that she may use for the Battlefield for combat. These Units are the Knights, Archers, Wizards, and Siege Engines, all possessing unique mechanics providing players with a variety of actions that they perform.

- Knights can attack in any direction one(1) space away from their position, but cannot move diagonally and they are the only units that can attack an opposing Siege Engine.

- Archers can attack only in one(1) cardinal direction (North, South, East, West) per turn, and can only attack between three(3) to four(4) spaces away, but can also shoot over Walls.

- Wizards can only attack in cardinal directions and may NOT shoot over walls, but their range for attack has no minimum or maximum.

- Siege Engines cannot attack directly, however they can move OR destroy Walls and can ONLY be destroyed by Knights or through Event Cards.

- Our final Unit, the Wall, is one in which you cannot recruit, but you can earn only by Action Cards, or by recruiting a Siege Engine, because their recruitment is accompanied with one(1) Wall.

Unit movement varies between the Battlefield and in the Underworld. On the Battlefield, each player has four(4) total actions per turn with a MAXIMUM of two(2) actions per unit, meaning you could use two actions on two(2) units respectively, or split them among three(3) or four(4) Units. In the Underworld, movement regarding each respective player’s Unit relies only on a single dice roll. On the Battlefield, you start with four(4) Units and two(2) Walls, while in the Underworld, a player will only have a single Unit that she can move and any and all Units that she recruits are set aside as not to clutter the game-board due to the nature and structure of branching paths and board layout.


There is also a designated location in the Underworld for Units that have died on the Battlefield, a region of the board designated as Purgatory. If the Traveling Unit journeying through the Underworld reaches that location, all the Units that perished on the Battlefield are set aside, as per the lore, the respective player will have “rescued” them from the Underworld. Further, all Units that have been recruited / “rescued” from Purgatory can only be sent back onto the Battlefield one(1)a Unit per turn.

            When experiencing and interacting with the story we’ve created through gameplay, we want our players to enjoy the physical interaction of the board; allow the players the sensation of urgency in their efforts to gaining recruits, or regaining their fallen comrades from the Underworld in an effort to regain their aid on the Battlefield to defend their home space, and hopefully not fall again. We are striving to create an imaginative environment where players feel a sense of risk and reward when having to draw an Event or Action Card and wanting to take the chance, or the thrill of deliberating a strategy and hoping to outwit their opponent. We hope that the lore of the tale and the refreshingly unique and original style of our game will keep each and every new player around long enough to ask, “go again?”




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Video of Rules & Gameplay

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