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.
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.