Rolling start


Impact! Miniatures is looking to bring family fun (and roller derby) to a tabletop near you

o Early play-test versions of the game were sent out and played by actual roller derby participants. (Photo by Thomas Ambrosio)

With the growing popularity of “designer” board games, Tom Anders, Fishers resident and president of locally-based Impact! Miniatures, is banking on the success of his company’s latest board game to provide a unique gaming experience for players everywhere. The game, titled Impact City Roller Derby, is a distinct roller derby board game combining a board with pieces, dice, cards and miniatures.


“My business partner Chris Adkerson regularly attends Arch Rival Roller Girl bouts (in St. Louis), and he asked me if anyone had ever made a roller derby board game. As it turns out, only one company had. It was Mattel in 1974, and it was something more like electric football than an actual board game,” said Anders.

The game is designed for two-players and follows the same basic rule structure as actual roller derby. Cards are used in place of special moves like arm whips and fouls, while dice are utilized to simulate chance events such as falling down at high speeds and blocking the opposing team’s players.

“I wanted to minimize luck and maximize strategy,” said Anders.

Local ties to the sport have been very important for Anders right from the beginning of Impact City’s development. Anders and Adkerson have both been longtime fans of the sport and know that most women participate in roller derby on a volunteer basis, often even paying for their right to play.

“We did a photo shoot with the Naptown Roller Girls. Those pictures are included on all 14 different cards in the deck that comes with the game,” said Anders. “While the decks featuring the Naptown Roller Girls will be the standard, we have set up a program allowing any roller derby team across the country to send us the appropriate photos, and we will produce special decks for their team.”

This nearly final version of the game includes special painted pewter miniatures as game pieces.

These special decks will be sold for roughly $15 each with one-third of the proceeds going directly back to the teams themselves.

Impact! Miniatures is relying on Kickstarter, a popular crowd funding Web site, to raise the total funding behind the game’s production. While they are partnering with a larger publisher, Impact! is essentially a two-person operation.

“Chris and I still do everything. I do a majority of the day-to-day work. We only have one employee, and it’s my wife,” said Anders.

Anders is hoping to receive $15,000 in funding through the Web site during the next month. Anything above this goal will grant backers special rewards and raise the overall quality of the game.

Impact City’s Kickstarter project launches today and can be found here:


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