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NEXUS: Arena Combat System by D-Verse Publishing, LLC D-Verse Publishing, LLC
A Beer'n'Peanuts Arena-Combat Dice-Chucker for 2-4 Friends

Project story

2 - 4
Play time
60 min
17 +
*Production miniatures will be prepainted. You can view samples in the prepainted section.

After years of testing, refining, and anticipation, the NEXUS: Arena Combat System is about to hit your gaming tables! Your wait is finally coming to an end.

*Production miniatures will be prepainted. You can view samples in the prepainted section.

NEXUS is all about having fun. This is achieved by antagonizing and competing with your friends through bloody, brutal, and often fatal combat. There is nothing co-operative about it, but you will find camaraderie in the hopelessness of trying to command these giant meat-bags called Helots to execute your orders. In NEXUS you play the part of a coach/fight promoter commanding these genetically engineered warriors to kill each other in arenas aboard giant space barges. And as you do, both the crowd and arena are indiscriminately trying to kill everyone involved. Sounds fun, right?!

The NEXUS: Arena Combat System was built from the ground up for fun. We took our favorite gaming mechanics and worked backwards from there to keep the table full of excitement and laughs. You will find your favorite elements from boardgames, RPGs, and even casino gambling all-rolled-up into this 12" x 12" box of lowbrow humor and gory chaos!
A brutal and irreverent story-driven arena combat game that takes place on poorly maintained space barges. Packed with rabid and bloodthirsty fans, these barges feature an array of deadly hazards that are designed to indiscriminately kill or injure all combatants. These hazards range from floor saws that tear across the arena floors to pits that are home to monstrosities just looking for something to eat. Full of beautifully illustrated and amusingly inappropriate cards and lore, each match leaves you with a story to tell and laughs to be had by all. Players will experience the rush of being a lanista as their dice rolls determine the fate of their hapless helots followed by thunderous bursts of laughter.
Engage in bouts that pit fighters against each other in an all-or-nothing battle where only one will emerge victorious... and possibly alive. But do not worry, NEXUS is not all about winning and losing in the barge arena. Even a loss can build your fame and wealth enough to defeat your opponent in the only outcome that truly matters, your rise to power.
Known as helots, these mindless genetic freaks rely on your instructions to put them in the best positions to win. Overpower your opponent’s helot with your champion’s brute strength or use your helot’s cunning to lure its adversary into hazards - no method of winning matters so long as your helot is the last one standing.
Switch up your strategy on the fly, take advantage of turning points, triggered events, positioning bonuses, and other tactics that can turn a losing bout into a rousing victory.

Already in production?


After 5 years of conventions, feedback, and rule re-writes, I know this game has finally become everything we'd hoped it would be. So, I sent a big pile of cash to the manufacturer myself. This project is happening and you will receive it quick.

Unlike a lot of games that you see on crowdfunding sites, this one is actually complete. You can download and read the rules and, if you see us at a convention, you can touch and feel the components. In fact, by the time we finish the campaign, the production run will have already started.

So, why this campaign?

The production run I paid for is a minimum quantity order. That means I paid the max cost per unit and spread the mold costs over only a very few copies. This limits my ability to get this game into distribution and retail. I am running this campaign in hopes that we can create enough intertest to do a proper production run quantity and be able to price this game for retail. That being said, even if only 2 people back this project you are still getting your game, how cool is that?

I know this isn't the traditional way of doing things, but nothing has been traditional about this project since it's inception. Learn more about that here.

So, why back now?


What's in the box?

*production miniatures will be prepainted. You can view samples in the prepainted section.*production miniatures will be prepainted. You can view samples in prepainted section.


How to play

When choosing your lanista, keep in mind that each one has a varying command, influence and deception value.

  • Command will give your helot extra movement or actions.
  • Deception forces an opponent to make bad decisions.
  • Influence will give you access to bribes, and other nefarious deeds.
First, take a look at its trait bonuses. Each helot also has their own special motivation feature, along with a list of unique trait abilities. These features and abilities are what make every helot motivation unique!
From floor saws that tear through flesh to crates filled with weapons, each barge is outfitted with different hazards and obstacles that are looking to indiscriminately kill your helot. A truly savvy lanista, will be familiar with them all!
Use your power and influence as a lanista, to give your helot the edge in the bout. It isn't cheating, these influence cards merely represent a lanista’s pre-bout business arrangements.
Spend your command points to instruct these ignorant meat-puppets to do your bidding. Move!! Attack!! Grapple!! Stop Bleeding!! They may not always listen, but they'll give it their best shot!
In NEXUS, it isn't all about the last helot standing. Throughout the course of the bout players will earn cred coins by winning over the crowd! But, what if none of the competing lanistas can earn enough cred to impress the crowd? Then the bout is a draw and you are all equally pathetic losers!

10 min rules overview video

*There have been a couple minor rule tweaks since this was shot, but this video is 99% accurate.


Media & Reviews

About us

D-Verse Publishing, LLC was founded by Jason Goike and J. Scott Rumptz in 2017 with the intention of creating high quality games with nostalgic roots. They began work on “NEXUS”, their debut title, as childhood friends in the late 80’s. Growing up in Detroit on a steady diet of RPGs and board games, Jay and Scott are now bringing talented artists together from across the globe to create vibrant, immersive and imagination-driven game worlds. With expansions already in the works, NEXUS is the first of many planned titles.

Check out our story so far here.

Risks and challenges

The minimum production run is already paid for. Molds are made and proofs are approved. This game is already in production! The only factors that could potentially delay this project are...

  1. An unexpected spike in demand adding to the production run - If this happens, we could see an increase in manufacturing time proportional to the increased order volume. If there is a substantial delay due to massive demand, we will ship the original 1,250 units immediately. This is why we have a quantity limit on the initial reward.
  2. Shipping and Customs delays - Unfortunately, this could cause delays beyond our control.


Bridge Distribution and Fulfillment will be handling our U.S. Backers and I have reached an agreement with ShipQuest that makes me feel comfortable offering WORLDWIDE SHIPPING!

I was very hesitant to offer this project outside of the United States. However, ShipQuest has offered a shipping and VAT solution that I feel comfortable with that will allow me to ship this project worldwide. Something to keep in mind for countries such as Australia and Canada, the amount of total backers from your country will directly effect your shipping rates.

Shipping & VAT costs will be charged during the pledge manager. 
Below is a shipping estimate based on current rates.

  • USA ...... $27
  • UK ...... $21
  • GER ...... $24
  • France ...... $26
  • EU ...... $28
  • Norway/SWITZERLAND ** ...... $46
  • CANADA > 400 Backers ...... $30
  • CANADA < 400 Backers ...... $40
  • Australia >75 Backers ...... $31
  • Australia <75 Backers ...... $58
  • China/Hong Kong ...... $23
  • Far East * ** ...... $34
  • Rest of the World ** ...... $70

* Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Phillipines, Singapore, 
Tiawan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia

** Not custom friendly

Excludes any VAT charges

We do not ship to
Russia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, South America, Iran, Iraq, Syria

Refunds and cancellation

During the crowdfunding campaign, you can freely modify or cancel the order. Gamefound only collects your payment at the end of a successfully funded campaign.

After the campaign, if you would like to resign from a part of your pledge or cancel your order, you can contact support and request a partial refund or cancel the order. We offer a 91% no-question-asked refund (9% goes toward payment processing, Gamefound, and administrative fees). However, once your game is shipped there are no refunds.

That said, if you receive the game and any component is damaged/missing, we will be happy to send a replacement.

While you wait...

Check out Blood, Guts, and Glory. A novel set in the NEXUS.