Gears Of War: The Turn-Based Strategy Game

'Gears of Board' wasn't quite terrible enough a pun, I fear

Sort of! You’ll forgive me pulling a very small amount of wool over your eyes there, but the idea of the world’s most absurdly macho action videogame embracing turn-based strategy, as Gears of War: The Boardgame does, is a wonderfully strange one. And also a fine confluence of RPS’s farther-flung interests – the original Gears was released on PC (though the second was a sad casualty of Epic doing a frightened little piracy-wee) and of course we’re prone to a healthy spot of boardgame coverage now and again.

Thus, I have duly advised Rab Florence of Gears of War: The Boardgame’s existence, and hope that he soon elects to dissect its 200 cards, 75 tokens and 30 plastic figures for us. My initial urge was to sneer, but it actually sounds rather fine – a four-player co-op game centred around random missions, and reimagining Gears’ more meat-headed features such as Roadie Running and chainsawing enemies in half as carefully-deployed tactic cards.

It’s out next month from Fantasy Flight Games (but distributed by Esdevium Games), and its lead designer is Corey Konieczka. That guy has some extremely impressive boardgame credentials behind him – Mansions of Madness, Space Hulk: Death Angel, Descent and the StarCraft boardgame. This very strongly suggests this won’t be a cynical cash-in, but instead something extremely thoughtful, faithful and, hopefully, ace.

More details, and tons of photos, here. (Via MCV).


  1. Handsome Dead says:

    oh baby

  2. MedinaRegal says:

    I’m sure the Gears of War fanbase is made up of mainly hardcore turn based strategy game players rather than the minority console FPS players.

  3. Vexing Vision says:

    So… is that a Space Marine?

    (Will definitely check it out in Essen!)

  4. Alexander Norris says:

    That’s some rather impressive detail for single-piece plastic miniatures. I’d quite like to see if it holds up-close.

  5. danphango says:

    i actually told Rob about this game over twitter when it was first release. his response was “can’t be worse then the game” :)

  6. Dawngreeter says:

    This is the latest step in Doom-Descent game design evolution (Mansions of Madness being another offshot of this school of thought). Doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily be awesome but I’d be willing to bet on it.

    EDIT: Yeah, it’s a game by Fantasy Flight. Those of the aforementioned Descent fame.

  7. Teddy Leach says:

    No-one told the creators that strategy games aren’t contemporary.

    • The Sentinel says:

      And playing them without a computer? Dear lord, that’s…that’s just prehistoric!

  8. pipman3000 says:

    I’ve never played Gears of War and I want to get this

  9. Ilinx says:

    I think Esdevium Games is just the distributor and it’s Fantasy Flight that’s making the game. Which in turn means it’ll have an awesome set of miniatures, gorgeous artwork, so many components that it’ll never fit back in the box and a rulebook with more ambiguities than an election manifesto. But it has a very good chance of being great. Yay!

  10. doubledope says:

    Sooo, how do you get behind cover on a board?

    • Dawngreeter says:

      There are locations on the board where anyone can “take cover”, which means bonus defense dice.

    • Xercies says:

      So there totally ripping off Warhammer 40k? Or only ripping some of it off

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Indeed, a complete WH40K ripoff. Complete with action cards that double as health, coop gameplay and randomized mission parameters. Why, they are a football stadium away from being Wimbledon.

    • admanb says:

      Yes. Warhammer 40k invented the concept of terrain bonuses in wargames.


  11. Moni says:

    I wonder if the cover system will translate to a board.

    Jinx, no returns.

  12. Daiv says:

    The game is compatible with kitchen tables and dining room tables. Unfortunately they’re not going to release it for workbenches because of the well-known risk of piracy.

    • fauxC says:

      I sincerely hope this Amiga punnery reference is intentional.

    • Temple says:

      Amusingly people will pirate it.
      Read: download rules, print off cards, dungeon templates, re-use figures from another game.

      DRM in boardgames is specialist dice :)
      And I actually buy games BECAUSE they have specialist dice…

  13. Jody Macgregor says:

    ” doing a frightened little piracy-wee”

    That’s a phrase that’ll be entering my vocabulary, definitely.

  14. Kilrathi says:

    It could have been worse. It could have been Gears of War RISK!

  15. McDan says:

    HA! WHAT? That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. Other than does it come with a big bag of fake blood and bits of dead animals for you to throw around your own table?

  16. thepaleking says:

    I own the Doom 3 board game, and it is absurdly fun, so I have some interest in this.

  17. Horza says:

    Corey Konieczka also designed the Battlestar Galactica boardgame, which is great.

    This might be good even though I hate Gears of War.

    • jalf says:

      So, a boardgame in the vein of Descent, with the BSG game designer behind it?

      Uh, yes please?

  18. vodka and cookies says:

    That really does look even more like WH:40K as a board game.

    PC gaming related, what sunk Gears on the PC was that is was a dudebro game like Halo but on PC all the dudebro’s are clustered around Call of Duty so no-one bought it and anyone else probably pirated it to see what it was like.

    • Walsh says:

      That really does look even more like WH:40K as a board game

      Uh…. what

    • Martel says:

      I read his comment as GoW (videogame) looks like WH:40k, and the GoW boardgame even more so.

  19. Dreamhacker says:

    For moment there, I thought I was seeing the beginnings of a TBS renaissance!

    Cruel :(

  20. Ashpolt says:

    So…err…does anyone else see a genestealer, an Eldar of some description and (bizarrely) a human COG soldier among the Locust army there, or is it just me?

  21. Inigo says:

    Uh, oh – you rolled a 1! Now you have to engage in deeply uncomfortable, thinly veiled homoerotic conversation with Carl’s sweaty, panting, heavily muscled character! Oh no! He’s already played the Cole Train card! Now you have to roll a 5+ on a D6 or you’ll have to make out with him! With tongue!

  22. Temple says:

    People who complain about the converstation/story in GoW confuse me.
    Still my favourite story in a game. I came out about this on another thread but buried it on page 3.
    Here I say it again: I’m loud and I’m proud ‘I like GoW’s story’ -the gameplay is crap though and the whole art aesthetic is terribly dull.

    The tie-in books are some of the better written tie-ins as well.

  23. BobsLawnService says:

    Turn this into a low budget PC game without cinematics, etc. , charge 5 bucks for it on Steam and I’m in.

  24. GHudston says:

    Why isn’t there a “piracy-wee” tag?

  25. Rahabib says:

    looks an awful lot like the Mutant Chronicles board game. The dice is similar, the tiles, the co-op.

    Not that that is a bad thing. MC was a great board game. Too bad its discontinued.

  26. gwathdring says:

    Hmm. This might be the marriage of Descent and Tannhäuser I started designing my own board game to obtain. If the reviews make it look like a competitive house-ruling would work out (or an overlord variant for yet a third way to play) it might be worth getting this instead of buying the materials I’m going to need for my game. High quality Print-and-Play isn’t all that cheap, so I’m hopeful. :)

  27. ttcfcl says:

    link to Here is the video channel of Fantasy Flight games, and give a nice 4 minute overview of the game and gameplay mechanics.

  28. Ergonomic Cat says:

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but Fantasy Flight Games is one of my favorite game companies out there, and Starcraft is just below Twilight Imperium on my list of spectacular coffin box games. The fact that it’s FFG and Corey K with pieces mean I’ll buy it without hesitation.