Cardboard Children: April Board Game News

Hello youse.

It’s April, and like a fool (get it?) I’m going to line up some cool board game news for you. This might be the biggest year yet in terms of releases, again, as usual, so let’s see what’s coming down the line.

All the new announcements and updates BELOW!!!


In Dark Souls 3 week, it’s fitting that we talk about the recently announced Bloodborne: The Card Game. You know Bloodborne, right? It’s a fantastic game, an absolute smash, a masterclass in atmosphere and pacing. Eric Lang (amazing designer behind some of my favourite games) is bringing this card game to us, with players playing as Hunters, competing to travel through one of the game’s Chalice Dungeons. Chalice Dungeons were these brilliant challenge dungeons you had to push through in the videogame, and they’ll make a great setting for what the designer is promising will be a tough game. The stuff I’ve read and heard so far makes it sound quite similar to Cutthroat Caverns, which is an excellent little co-op/competitive game. But it also sounds lighter than I’d hoped.

I think maybe I just have a natural instinct to be a little bit down on card games, even though I like loads of them. What the hell is wrong with me? Did I want big map tiles and miniatures of the Bloodborne bosses and loads of dice and gear and loot and a 50 page rulebook?

Yes. Yes, I think I did.


Speaking of videogames, there’s a Naruto game too. Actually, Naruto is an Anime first, or is it a Manga? Or both? It’s one of those, or all of those, and now it’s a board game too. This is an actual board game where characters move around a map, visiting villages, challenging monsters, doing quests of sorts, and having fights with monsters. Just like in the Manga, Anime or videogame, or all of the above, or whatever.

It’s co-operative, looks beautiful, and seems very faithful to what is a very popular IP. It also appears to be quite simple, positioned for a broad market, so I hope it manages to be fun and clean and not too bland. What do you think? Do you enjoy the Manga? Or the Anime? Or the videogames? Or all of them?

Do you know anything about it? A boy has a little headscarf in it.


Looney Labs, for a long time now, have been releasing games that utilise little plastic pyramid pieces of different colours. I have a set myself. They’re beautiful little components, and there have been lots of games that use them – it’s been a true exercise in innovation in game design, making these little pyramids play in so many different ways.

I’m excited, then, that Pyramid Arcade is on its way. It’s a collection of 22 of these games, with a whole load of gorgeous little pyramids and all the extra components you need to play the different titles within the box. I’ve played a few of these games before, and to have them collected in a premium set is just a wonderful idea. There’s some great-looking stuff in this box, and it’s like a whole library of games in a one-and-done purchase.

It’s a Kickstarter, and it has funded already, and I think I might just throw in on it early doors. This isn’t like your normal Kickstarter – these games are tried and tested and loved by many. And I just love the graphic design of the whole thing. It’s beautiful – take a serious look at this one.


Gale Force Nine, who are brilliant at making board games, are bringing out a Star Trek game. And let me tell you – it looks like a real cracker. It’s a big game, a game of “exploration, expansion and conflict”, and you can even be the baddies. The base game includes the Federation, the Klingons and the Romulans, but there are Cardassian and Ferengi expansions already in development. I mean – who doesn’t want to be the Cardassians? The ultimate bastards of the Star Trek universe? I want to torture my friends with those lights and stuff. I want to do that.

I also love a big, long board game about territorial conquest – there just aren’t as many of them getting made these days. It’s a damn shame.

It’s all about track record, though, and for me Gale Force Nine have been releasing strong stuff for quite some time. Spartacus is a modern classic, Sons of Anarchy is incredibly underrated, and plenty of people say Firefly is great. There’s no reason to think they’ll make a mess of bringing something as rich and lovingly-built as the Star Trek universe to the board game table. I’ll stick my neck out and say that this will be good at the very least, and very likely great.


This is a card game based on the band Insane Clown Posse.

Actually, no.

Absolutely not.


And finally, Lost Patrol is back. It was a sweet old Games Workshop game back in the day, with Space Marine Scouts trying to survive in a jungle infested by our old pals the Genestealers. And now it’s back, with full miniatures and tasty new production all the way down the line.

It’s exciting that Games Workshop seems to be back in the standalone game market for good. And releases like this are a great idea. Lost Patrol is a fine little game, and with some modern-gaming tweaks it could really shine this time round. But it’s going to be expensive.

Oh, it’ll be expensive, right?

It’s going to be expensive.


Next week, in response to a guy moaning about me only covering games about shooting and dice, I’ll be telling you about a lovely new non-violent game with traditional “Euro” mechanics. I will fall on that sword for y’all.

Stay dicey!

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  1. Bull0 says:

    Lost Patrol’s set to be about thirty quid. It’s good to see them pitching a game at a non-wallet-straining level, even if it looks quite basic.

  2. mrt181 says:

    dice for the dice god

  3. BooleanBob says:

    A ‘Scout’ is just a Space Marine who got deployed before he finished getting dressed.

    • unacom says:

      …unless he´s a Space Wolf. In which case he didn´t care for dress code.

  4. _Nocturnal says:

    I got interested in the Pyramid thing… and then found out it’s made by the same people who came up with Fluxx, of all things. Fluxx, Rab! Fluxx! The single worst artifact ever to be marketed as a board game to unsuspecting, innocent people. I think they’d have an easier time persuading me to give them money so that they *don’t* design more games. Otherwise, they seem nice, though.

    But, Rab.

    You have to tell people about Fluxx.

    You have to warn them!

    • The First Door says:

      Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who had that reaction! I recently thought I was just being snobbish about Fluxx, so I gave it another try at a party… and an hour (and plenty of exasperated friends) later, and I realised that I still don’t like it.

      • rmsgrey says:

        Fluxx is a pretty poor game, sure, but if you approach it as a filler, >Insert Theme< Fluxx is pretty fun, at least until you exhaust the fun of swapping references. It's the cardgame equivalent of browsing, particularly if you have the presence of mind to be able to stop playing should it drag on too long…

  5. Rindan says:

    I am super excited for the Star Trek game. To this day, Spartacus is one of my favorite games. Gale Force 9 makes the absolute best Ameritrash. Everything they do oozes with theme and has clever little mechanics. They really know how to get you to want to murder the shit out of your friends. I’m pretty sure I’ll hold off for like 3 seconds before throwing money at them. The fact that it is Star Trek is just gravy.

  6. ts061282 says:

    Insane Clown Posse always reminds me of Merchants of Cool

  7. Scurra says:

    OK, so I’m another one of those who finds your preference for games of shooting and dice to be a little distracting. Then again, I quite like having someone else telling me about games that I should probably avoid. Having said that, the Naruto game looks good fun.

    But I admit that I’m looking forward to the Star Trek: Frontiers game (which is a reskinned Mage Knight) as well as Star Trek: Ascendency. But they’re both going to involve shooting and dice in some form, so I’m clearly a hypocrite…

  8. Da5e says:

    ICP do all wrestling, Rab, I would have thought you’d appreciate that at least.