Forbidden Stars is the much-anticipated board game of galactic conquest set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe. It’s a game from Fantasy Flight Games, who used to do these big epic board games that shipped in what we called “coffin boxes”. Twilight Imperium III, Starcraft, Runewars, Descent First Edition – all these games came in big giant boxes, packed full of miniatures. These games launched before the current board game boom, when board gaming was still quite niche, and players were willing to plow through 40-page rulebooks before getting a game on the table.
But things changed. The audience expanded, and board games started to become more streamlined, more simple. The length of time you could expect to play a board game for started to shrink. Fantasy Flight released a Second Edition of Descent, and it was a prime example of how the industry was shifting. It was cleaned-up, stripped down, faster to run through. The rulebooks were improved and slimmed down. Descent Second Edition was a better game, probably, but it was definitely lighter. It had definitely lost a bit of that crunch.
And me? I was waiting for things to tip back a little bit in the other direction. I was waiting for the big, long, deep games to come back – with a little bit of that new-age streamlining in the mix. The perfect mix of the old ways and the new. And the wait, thankfully, is over.
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