American board games company snaps up Burnley father's design

A Burnley father-of-three has played his hand masterfully and received news that an American board games publisher has taken on his game design, which is now set for widespread release in January next year.
Heath Stockburn with his game.Heath Stockburn with his game.
Heath Stockburn with his game.

Former Habergham High School pupil, Heath Stockburn, has been designing his game ‘Soul of the Empire’ for over three years, with Chara Games seeing the merit in his design and jumping at the chance to publish it in their name.

With Chara being the Greek word for 'joy', the company's ambition is to bring joy to people through great gaming experiences together, a mission statement that Heath very much concurs with.

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“I got interested in games as a teenager and played all varieties of board, card and computer games," said Heath, who is married to his wife, Liz. "I took a break from this hobby when I went to university but rekindled my love for board gaming in 2012. Now I have more than 100 board games and run a board game group in Hurstwood Church in Burnley.

"Soul of the Empire really came to fruition when Chara Games took the game on and helped push the design forward," he added.

The two-to-four-player, strategic game is set in the 1st century Europe, with three players taking on the roles - the Jews, Christians, and the Coalition - of different factions oppressed by the Romans in a bid to topple the fourth player, representing the Roman Empire.

Aiming to be historically accurate, the game allows each faction to play from a unique point of view: the Romans wanted to be the greatest empire that ever lived, the Jews want Israel to be free from Roman dominion and govern their own lands, Christianity wants to spread and convert, and the Coalition want to stem the tide of the Roman expansion and take back lost lands.

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The game is currently on Kickstarter, an online crowd funding platform, and is available for purchase at also hosts board game evenings at Hurstwood Church on the first and third Saturday of each month from 4pm onwards. Entry is free for everyone.

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