Cardboard Children – August Board Game News

Hello youse.

It’s safe to say that some of the news I’m about to share with you is the most exciting news that I’ve shared on this site in a long, long time. If you’re deep into board gaming, you’ll probably know most of this news already, but have you heard my incisive analysis? No. If you’re only casually into board games, all this exciting news might just drag you much deeper into our cardboard world. And if you don’t care about board games at all, some of this might change your mind.

Take a few minutes of your day to read more.

DOOM: THE BOARD GAME

Of course, there was a DOOM board game before. This was a fair few years ago, and it was a game that fell into a similar design space as Descent: First Edition. It was a notoriously difficult game, with marines battling through various Hell-bound scenarios, and it’s considered a little bit of a cult classic. Still – it came as a bit of a surprise that a new DOOM board game is on its way. And it’s also surprising that it seems to be a complete re-working of the concept.

It’s still a One vs All game, with one player in control of all the baddies and up to four players running marines through the Martian meat-grinder, but this one looks to be nothing like that old Descent-style dice-chucker. I mean, there’s still dice-chucking in this one, thank goodness, but this looks like a much more streamlined game. Each marine player has a deck of action cards that can be used for attacks and defensive reactions, while the baddie player has cards that will activate events and summon monsters into the scenario. It looks like the scenarios escalate in difficulty as players get closer to their objectives, and it also looks like death and respawning will be a major factor in the game’s flow.

The game certainly looks beautiful, as you’d expect from Fantasy Flight Games, and the graphic design on the cards looks very sharp and clean. These folks are good at this board game stuff now, for sure.

Jump on over and take a look at this one – it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

IMPERIAL ASSAULT: JABBA’S REALM

Now, y’all know that I love Imperial Assault, the Star Wars campaign and skirmish miniatures game. But you know what else I really love? The Jabba the Hutt segment of Return of the Jedi. Whenever people are arguing about the best Star Wars film, I struggle to get past that the whole Jabba the Hutt section, with Leia as Boushh and Han in Carbonite and Luke in that cool black Jedi Knight gear and the Rancor and the Guards and Salacious Crumb giggling away and the amazing fight on the skiff and R2-D2 firing the lightsaber and Luke somersaulting and BZZHHHHT and Jabba’s tongue and Boba Fett going AHHHHHHHHHHHHRGH!

I mean, it’s just fantastic. It might be my favourite segment of the whole Star Wars saga. And now, a new expansion series for Imperial Assault that gives us map tiles for Jabba’s Palace and the skiff and the Rancor’s Pit. And it gives us the Rancor, my goodness! THE RANCOR. And Gamorrean Guards – who doesn’t love those fantasy pig guards? And Stormtroopers with jetpacks. What could possibly be cooler than Stormtroopers who have jetpacks.

Well, maybe Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, available in his own pack. Oh yeah, and Jabba. How good will Jabba be in a skirmish? Now we’ll find out.

Seriously, go look at all this stuff. For a guy of my generation, this is about as exciting as board games get. This and this

RISING SUN

Stepping away from Fantasy Flight Games for a moment (and just for a moment, because FFG are really bringing out the big guns this year), it’s exciting to see that Eric M. Lang is working again with the team behind Blood Rage to bring us a beautiful-looking thing called RISING SUN. It’s a game of “honour, negotiation and warfare” set in Feudal Japan, and anything with a historic Japanese setting is always going to get my pulse racing a little bit.

It’s very very early doors for this one, with a Kickstarter expected to launch in 2017. But hey – with Lang involved it is a safe bet that this will be a strong design. And this setting really is a fantastic one. The miniatures look, even at this stage, quite spectacular. I’ll steer you over to BoardGameGeek to take a look at the images and the little bits of information that are already out there.

EVIL DEAD 2: THE OFFICIAL BOARD GAME

This is a Kickstarter, and I’m a little bit hmmmmmm about it. I love Evil Dead, and I’m all for a great Evil Dead 2 game, but right now there is very little information about how this game plays. There is a lot of cool stuff promised in the box, like miniatures and map tiles and the like – but there’s something maybe a little bit off in the look of this one. Maybe it’s a lack of consistent graphic design or something. I don’t know. But hey – imagine if this was good! An Evil Dead game with monsters and chainsaws and all that cool stuff? And with special dice that were carved from wood that was used in the actual cabin from the film? A nice collector’s thing, for sure.

But I might wait to see how this one turns out. I dunno. Alarm bells. You still have time to back it if you move RIGHT NOW AS THIS APPEARS.

RUNEWARS: MINIATURES GAME

Perhaps the biggest news of the year is the announcement of a miniatures game set in Fantasy Flight Games’ Terrinoth universe, marking a full force foray into actual miniatures wargaming. And this line looks like it is set to take on Games Workshop at its own game, with rank and file wargaming that seems to run close to what GW were doing with Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

I mean, this is big.

There’s army-building, paintable miniatures, and I expect that – if successful – we will be seeing expansion after expansion, allowing for huge customisation of armies and units.

I mean, isn’t this big?

Here’s where I stand on this – I expect that this will be a fine miniatures wargame design. I don’t think that FFG would announce something so bold without knowing that they had a great game up their sleeves. And while the miniatures look attractive, it’s very unlikely that they will be able to compete with GW on either quality of production or quality of design. There’s also the fact that the Terrinoth setting hasn’t really been developed enough to make the lore feel rich enough to support a real sense of backstory to these battles. The Warhammer universe has the advantage of years and years of brilliantly written story and flavour, enriching every clash of steel against steel.

But still – this game will surely be fun to play, and will be rolling out to game shops all over the world, supported by Asmodee’s mighty infrastructure. The battle has begun, it seems. The battle has begun.

IMPERIAL ASSAULT: THE APP

One last thing. Talk of an app for Imperial Assault.

What a great time it is to be a gamer.

From this site

10 Comments

  1. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    Ah Rab. You have timed this article so perfectly.

    Just three days ago I discovered roll20.net. I have never played TTRPGs before (not for lack of trying; not many people around me are geeky enough to entertain the idea of D&D, let alone actually organising those who might), but as I’m sure you know the scope, player base and options available on roll20 is epic; I’ve just had a door open, which may never close.

    Then just as my mouth starts to water, in you come, dropping the proverbial mic with what you call the most exciting news in like, ever.

    Thank you for writing this column when you did, you’ve really inspired me to go out and have a damn good nosey at what’s out there.

  2. gwathdring says:

    It sort of makes sense for FFG to try its hand at more traditional miniatures gaming, but part of what works so well for me in X-wing and even more so in Diskwars is that the systems are faster and simpler than in many traditional skirmish games. Or if not simpler, at least more plug-and-play. While there’s most certainly a market there and FFG is welcome to compete in it, I’m much more insterested in their products like Diskwars, X-wing and even Descent and Imperial Assault–while it comes unpainted, its still in the same vein of making a more modular and digestible platform for engaging with tactical skirmish goodness.

    Warhammer: Diskwars is by far my favorite FFG-(re)published attempt to wade into the Miniatures gaming scene.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, I have zero interest in a traditional miniatures game at all, much less from FFG, who have been so good about honing in on what appeals to me about those games without tying them to the exorbitant expense and work involved in actual miniatures. (X-Wing and Armada are across the line for me in terms of what I’m willing to get into, but they’re at least somewhat more wallet-friendly than your Warhammers and whatnot.)

      An Imperial Assault app, though, is basically my dream announcement.

      Oh, and PS: the original DOOM boardgame wasn’t just “in a similar design space” as 1E Descent. It was the direct basis of 1E Descent, which at the time was described to me by an FFG employee as “Doom but good.”

  3. Premium User Badge

    Awesomeclaw says:

    I picked up Imperial Assault a while ago but so far haven’t managed to find a group to regularly play it with (which it kind of needs, due to the campaign structure). I would kind of like to see some prequel trilogy expansions – the movies might have been terrible but I’d really like to pit Darth Maul, General Grievous, and an army of battle droids against some appropriate hero characters (maybe some Naboo Royal Guards, a clone commander, etc.. No gungans though).

  4. scitadel says:

    Thanks for the summary. As a retailer, I”m leery of the idea of another miniature game. There’s so many companies fighting within that space and as a retailer, just keeping the multiple individual SKUs in-stock is a challenge. We’ll see if Asmodee is willing to invest long-term to let the game grow organically or not.

    • gwathdring says:

      I hadn’t thought of that until you mentioned it, but gosh LCGs and FFG’s way of expanding Descent 2e and Imperial Assault does sound like a stocking triage nightmare …

  5. c-Row says:

    I actually prefer Descent over Doom since in the latter the monster player can simply activate cards left and right and burn through his deck while the players constantly run out of ammo whereas Descent feels much more balanced in comparison.

  6. drinniol says:

    The Warhammer universe DID have the advantage of years and years of brilliantly written story and flavour, enriching every clash of steel against steel.

    Then it threw it in the bin for Age of Sigmar.

  7. mrt181 says:

    …years and years of brilliantly mostly childish written story…

  8. Hensler says:

    I hope this miniatures game turns out better for FFG than Dust Warfare/Tactics did for FFG. Despite being pretty brilliant, it never really took off in my gaming communities, and it died completely once FFG sold the game.

    I’d be happy if they just putting out expansions to Battelore 2E instead of jumping into a new game which could fill the same niche. This game probably signals that Battlelore is dead, though.

    Anyways, what’s a good board game news site to follow outside of Rab’s monthly review here and the boys at Shut Up and Sit Down?