Interview with Max Ward | Conquer


Hello Readers! First, I want to say that I am sorry for being absent the last few days. I was at a music festival that will never happen again. I will be writing on that one later. Today I get the chance to focus my blog on another Kickstarter project that is going up today! While I have written on projects many times before, this particular project is special because not only did the designer reach out to me and ask for me to do a write-up, but I got the chance to interview him. This is the direction I would like to see this blog go, so it is hard to contain my happiness as I write this.

Please note: I am in no way getting any financial gain for my write-ups and I will always share my honest opinion. I do however hope that the projects I back get the opportunity to succeed, so that I can write follow-up posts reviewing the projects.

Just because you are drinking doesn't mean you have to make stupid choices. This is the idea that Max Ward is banking on with his first game and Kickstarter project "Conquer". I got to take some time out of Max's day and ask a few questions about the project that is going live today. You can find the his Kickstarter page HERE.

Chris Michelotti : So why another drinking party game for the masses? What separates yours from the others?

Max Ward : Yeah good question. So we made Conquer in response to how dull we found the drinking games that currently dominate the scene, think beer pong. We wanted a drinking game that actually involved strategy and not just luck. In the other drinking games, taking drinks is a punishment. But in Conquer, drinks are a currency that players can use to purchase bonuses like extra troops and dice. We have seen that this simple idea has created a much more interactive and engaging drinking experience.

CM : Awesome, so is this like a more nuanced drinking game of Risk?


MW : I actually think that it is right in between the two. The game can be played without drinking, so on that end it may feel more like a traditional strategic conquest game. However it was always meant to be a drinking game and even though drinking does not dominate the gameplay of Conquer it is still a very big part.

CM : Speaking of drinking, I noticed that you have a sober expansion pack. What was the purpose in creating that, and what kind of negative things can happen to your designated driver? Does their clear head mess with the gameplay?

MW : Yeah so the Sober Conquer Expansion Card Deck can be used to play Conquer without any drinking. We wanted to create it so that more people could play Conquer. But the Card Deck cannot be used by one sober person while the rest of the players drink. The card deck will only be used if every player wants to play Conquer sober. If a drunk game of Conquer is being played, a player can still play sober, they just won't get any of the bonuses the drunk players will get. This means they won't get the bonuses but will keep their strategic judgment from being impaired.

CM : Ah, so people don't have to look forward to a hangover every morning after a game of Conquer.

MW : Haha exactly.

CM : So I guess I want to know a little more about you and the origin of this game... how did this come about? When did you know that you wanted to make this game?

MW : It started back when my friends and I were in college. We all lived in a big house together and on weekends we'd play some drinking games before we went to a party. I got bored of those games, they were too simple. I thought how much more fun it would be to play a really advanced, strategic drinking game. I then created the idea that shots could be a currency not a punishment. We then thought what if players used this currency as a way to buy troops for a war to control the world. That's when the Troop Shot was born. From there the game took on a life of its own.

CM : So are you a party kid wanting to just share the fun, or are you hoping to make this a career move?MW : Haha I wouldn't say I'm a party kid. And going into this project I didn't see this as a career opportunity. Conquer is a game that I've played for years and I think is really fun. I made the Kickstarter because I think other people would really get a kick out of it too, that was really my biggest motive. It's a fun game and I think others would want to play it. I would like to make more games like it though so if Conquer does well then I guess it would become a career move.CM : Testing the waters has led to many amazing voyages man. I wish you the best!

It was really cool just to speak to another creator about their process, their hopes, and their dreams. It was also really fun for this first time to be a drinking game. I happened to not play drinking games in school, and eventually played them post-grad. This kind of drinking game seems to be more of my tempo. It highlights that the choices we make have both positive and negative effects in our life. We don't always get the chance to see that, and we like to think our changes in life are solely positive (or solely negative) - most sit in a happy gray area.

Looking over the project page, there is a lot going on. The main thing to remember is that if you want the game you are looking at backing $40 or more. That is a pretty pricey game, but there are a lot of pieces. In my opinion, if you like drinking game nights it looks to be worth the investment.


If I was at a time in my life where I was playing a lot of drinking games, I would snag this up for a few good reasons:

  1. I love the game Risk coming up with strategies to win games. Even if you chose to be a sober soldier playing this game you could still win. Not to mention the fact that you could grab this game and play the sober version as well.
  2. I love that outside products (alcohol) can be used as a currency in the game. I also appreciate that the currency that can grant you advantages early to mid-game (depending on tolerance) can be a disadvantage in the late game.
  3. This really is very different than most drinking games on the market. This is obviously a party game, but stands out from the other party games. It's main objective is strategy - not just trying to get people to laugh at sex or poop jokes.

I hope you take the time to check out the Kickstarter page to watch videos and read more about this interesting project coming from Max Ward. As always, if there is another project you feel that I should be covering, please reach out to me. I am always excited to highlight the projects other people are excited about. If you have a Kickstarter you are launching, then I am happy to write a post on it and give my thoughts. So readers, what are you seeing that excites you? What projects should I be reviewing? Let me know in comments!

Stay Foolish!