Catalyst Game Labs

2019 is an important year for two popular games, Battletech and Shadowrun.

BattleTech will celebrate its 35th anniversary, while Shadowrun marks its 30th.

Catalyst Game Labs will spend the whole of 2019 celebrating, and will kick off Jan. 23 with special sales and asks fans to download logos for social media to help spread the word of the anniversaries.

BattleTech will have a Beginner Box, A Game of Armored Combat boxed set, Sourcebook, and t-shirts, hoodies and pins with the logo available for purchase. There will also be a PDF version of The BattleMech Manual available and re-released anniversary editions of the Warrior Trilogy Novels.

Shadowrun will have t-shirts, hoodies and pins available, as well as PDF versions of its Sourcebook No Future and the Anarchy supplement Chicago Chaos.

More information on these promotions and upcoming ones can be found at the Catalyst Game Labs website here.

Shadowrun Crossfire is a cooperative deck-building game for 1-4 players set in the world of Shadowrun. The world of Shadowrun combines fantasy and sci-fi where mega-corporations run the world and shadowrunners attempt to steal from them. It has a playtime of 60-120 minutes and is aimed at players aged 13+.

A lot of the improvements from Dragonfire, which built upon the Shadowrun Crossfire system, were used to make the Prime Runner Edition. The player count has also been increased to 5 and more missions have been added to the base box.

Shadowrun Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, published by Catalyst Game Labs, is expected to release June 15th, 2018.

Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops is a competitive, worker-placement board game which features a dice-rolling, push-your-luck mechanism. Catalyst Game Labs launched the Kickstarter with a project funding goal of $25k and have funded in their first week. It’s designed for 3-4 players though higher pledge levels unlock 5-6 player and cooperative options.

In Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops, players lead a team of shadowrunners looking for a big score in the Seattle Metroplex in the year 2080. Players hire more seasoned runners, upgrade the weapons and enhancements of their team, and take on tougher contracts with greater payouts. All players are competing for the final, big score against the megacorporations and have to build up their teams enough so that they’re able to attempt the mission before their rivals can.

“Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops takes place across a number of rounds, with each player taking actions in turn. The players lay out the gameboard, the various cards and dice, and randomly select one of the Final Mission cards. Then each player starts by selecting a shadowrunner team—taking the appropriate markers and player mat—and placing three starting shadowrunners in their player area.

Each player has a number of actions based upon how many shadowrunners they have on their team; all start with three, but you’re able to hire up to four. Beginning with the first player in a turn, each player places one of their shadowrunner markers on a location on the gameboard, immediately resolving the effects there.” [source]

The Runner pledge of $50 gets you the base game and all stretch goals (excluding shipping). The Prime Runner pledge adds the 5-6 player expansion pack and turns the base game into a Deluxe Edition. The Mr. Johnson level adds the Co-operative Conversion Kit and Collector Shadowrun coin (both exclusive to Kickstarter), and they’re also throwing in a Digital Fiction Combo-Novella. You can also add the Co-operative Conversion Kit to the other pledge levels.

Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops has an estimated delivery date of October 2018. The Kickstarter campaign runs until Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

Wargaming.net, the current rights holder to the classic computer game Master of Orion, has partnered with Catalyst Game Labs to release a series of tabletop games based on their popular 4X computer game. The first in the series, Master of Orion: Conquest, will be a dueling deckbuilding game. Technically, these new board games will be based on the Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars universe, and should not be confused with the recent release Master of Orion: The Board Game (2016) by Cryptozooic Entertainment.

Master of Orion: Conquest will be playable at GenCon50. You can read the full press release here.

Catalyst Games Labs has announced plans to publish Dragonfire, a Dungeons and Dragons deckbuilding game, in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.

The game will have three to six players selecting their race and traditional dungeon crawling role to form an adventuring party. Form a part of rogue elves, dwarf wizards and half-orc-fighter then equip your characters with spells, weapons and magic items.

Players will begin their adventures along the famed Sword Coast and carry on adventuring across the Forgotten Realms to classic locations like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter and Waterdeep. As they journey players will be able to level up equipment, feats and other characteristics.

The game is built on previous Catalyst design Shadowrun: Crossfire. This isn’t the case of a game being pasted on an existing system though, as the developer’s blog makes clear that the starting point was defining what makes Dungeons & Dragons so Dungeons-ish & Dragons-ish.

From the developer blog:

…back in December, when the design of Dragonfire began in earnest, we spent a solid two weeks meeting every other day with white boards and just talking at a macro level. What makes Dungeons & Dragons, well…Dungeons & Dragons? What’s that ultimate shared experience? … What aesthetic, if missing, would tear out the soul of D&D?

Though no release date has been announced the developers have announced what they are currently planning to put in the box.

Contents include:

  • Dungeon 1 Encounters Deck
  • Dungeon 2 Encounters Deck
  • Wilderness 1 Encounters Deck
  • City 1 Encounters Deck
  • Adventurers 2 Encounter Deck
  • Market Deck
  • Magic Items Deck
  • Character cards
  • Adventure cards
  • Adventure booklet
  • Sticker Sheets
  • Tokens
  • Plastic Clips
  • Rulebook

Expansions are already planned. Catalyst Games seems to be following something similar to the living card game model path of Fantasy Flight Games or expandable card game model of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Fans shouldn’t have to wait long, as the cord game and first expansions are will be sent to the printer simultaneously:

We’re sending multiple releases to print simultaneously with the base game. These additional releases will include such expansions as: Wondrous Cache, a Magic Items deck; Heroes of the Sword Coast, a pack of new character cards that introduce additional classes and races; and Encounters: Dragonspear Castle, the first of our storyline expansions that will include a selection of Encounters, Magic Items, and Market cards, along with a new Adventure that will advance the storyline. Future releases, in addition to those listed above, will include campaign boxes that will not only provide additional materials to enjoy, but will move forward the meta-plot adventure that will weave through Dragonfire!

While no release date has been announced, those interested in the game can follow what looks to be a regularly updated developers blog to track the game development.

Catalyst Game Labs has announced Con Man the Card Game, based on the web series Con Man starring Alan Tudyk. The web series is about Wrey Nearly, an actor from a popular sci-fi series, who travels convention to convention trying to regain his fame. In the card game, people play actor friends of Wray’s, each with their own plans for the nearly has-been star.

The card game is expected to be released in April 2017.

valiant deck

At just this past GenCon, Catalyst Games in conjunction with VALIANT released their first joint board game, Valiant Universe the Deck Building Game.  This game will introduce players to the Valiant universe as they take the role of the heroes trying to secure a base called “The Facility”.  This base contains enough power to change the world, or destroy it, and so rival factions are trying to take over and each player is leading a faction with their hero.  You will move around the facility, acquire new cards to bolster your deck, attack your opponents, and try to be the last one standing to attain victory.

valiant figure

Some of the interesting mechanisms of the game come from using a 5×5 grid of cards as the board.  Each spot you go to will have different effects, but also which cards you can acquire is based around your locations, dubbed your ‘Zone of Influence’.  So if a good card comes up there might be a clash as heroes try to maneuver into position to be able to acquire it for themselves.  Another aspect of the game is that the facility is able to be damaged as well, and after enough damage some of the sectors shut down, making cards in that area unavailable.

The game was officially released at GenCon but is in the process of fulfilling pre-orders so look for it to arrive on store shelves soon.  For more information you can read the full press release below.

The Valiant Universe enters its first-ever deck building game with an interactive story line, collectible figurines, and more! 

Debuting this week at Gen Con 2016, Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce the release of VALIANT UNIVERSE: THE DECK BUILDING GAME – the latest tabletop game created in collaboration with Catalyst Game Labs! Following the success of the critically lauded VALIANT UNIVERSE RPG, Catalyst Game Labs and Valiant are taking their partnership to new heights with the next astonishing game featuring your favorite superheroes! Command the Valiant Universe like never before with the first series of highly detailed figurines from the Valiant Universe, including X-O MANOWAR, FAITH, LIVEWIRE, BLOODSHOT, and NINJAK, and immerse yourself in strategic deck building gameplay that includes over 200 unique playing cards!

Deep beneath Alcatraz prison lies a top secret base operated by the paramilitary contractor known as Project Rising Spirit. Known only as “the Facility,” P.R.S.’s secret bunker is armed with enough power to change the world—or destroy it. When word of the subterranean facility leaks, the Valiant Universe’s most powerful groups, including The Harbinger Foundation, G.A.T.E., and the Harbinger Renegades, race to acquire the deadly possessions and put the fate of the world in their hands! With a cataclysmic confrontation imminent, take control with your warring team and claim P.R.S.’s base for yourself! As the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes fight at your command, move your superhero miniatures through an interactive facility grid to acquire cards for an unbeatable deck and attack your opponents in a world-shaking battle for supremacy!

“We’re incredibly excited to have gamers and fans take control of the critically acclaimed characters of the Valiant Universe,” said Russell A. Brown, Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales. “We’re incredibly happy to be continuing our partnership with Catalyst Game Labs, and to be creating another immersive gaming experience with exciting features, innovative gameplay mechanics, and finely sculpted figurines that are collectibles in their own right. The level of quality that Catalyst has put into this game is astounding, and ensures that fans new and old will get a superb gaming experience set in the Valiant Universe.”

As your favorite heroes and villains assemble for an unprecedented battle royale, determine the very fate of the Valiant Universe with a jam-packed gaming experience exploding with the following items:

  • Five highly detailed superhero miniatures, including X-O Manowar, Faith, Bloodshot, Livewire, and Ninjak!
  • 5 Zone of Influence cards
  • 5 Organization cards
  • 25 Basic cards
  • 25 Shutdown cards
  • 15 Power cards
  • 175 Sector cards
  • 1 Facility Durability Tracker
  • 1 six-sided die
  • 1 sheet of cardboard counters

X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Faith! The entire Valiant Universe is yours to direct in a table-shattering game that will leave you reeling for hours! Available online and in hobby shops everywhere this September for $59.95, assemble your deck, control your heroes, and enter the fight of your life with VALIANT UNIVERSE: THE DECK BUILDING GAME, the latest astonishing tabletop game from Catalyst Game Labs and Valiant Entertainment!

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About Valiant  Entertainment:
Valiant Entertainment is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns the largest independent superhero universe in comics. With more than 81 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium. Today, the company’s characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Valiant consistently produces some of the most critically acclaimed comics in the industry and has received numerous industry awards and accolades, including a Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Valiant announced a multi-picture deal to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as feature films. Visit them online at ValiantUniverse.com.

About Catalyst Game Labs:
Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes-all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games and fiction readers to enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader. Find Catalyst Game Labs online at www.catalystgamelabs.com.

catalyst logo

Lynnvander Productions has announced that they will be partnering with Catalyst Game Labs to design and develop Galaxy Quest: The Board Game. Capturing the humor of the late ‘90’s movie, this will be a fast passed, fully cooperative worker placement game that forces a team of actors to run a real alien craft. Lynnvander has promised more information in the coming weeks.

You can read the full announcement on Lynnvander’s site here.

catalyst logo

With March behind us it is time to look into April to see what will be coming, and Catalyst Game Labs has given us a hand in doing so.  Catalyst Game Labs has a total of four game releases and one accessory coming in April and all of them have a projected street date of April 27th.  And they are:

battletech

BattleTech Interstellar Operations, in the last release they zoomed out the conflict to a grander scale and taking it all the way up to battling for whole solar systems, now they take it up that last step to where you take on the role of House Lords as you try to dominate the galaxy.  The book will come with all the rules needed to play on that scale as well as tons more lore to be able to play this level in any era of the universe.

vikings

Vikings: The Board Game is a strategy game of exploration and raiding for 2-5 players based upon the hit History Channel series that allows players to embrace their inner Viking. Each winter players scheme to acquire appropriate resources while convincing heroes such as Ragnar Lothbrok, Lagertha, Rollo and Floki to support them as they put their longships in the water to raid each summer. Complete quests, plunder spoils and claim foreign resources across modular tiles as you forge your path to victory. It’s a different game each time you play!

shadowrun box

Next is the Shadowrun Beginner Box Set, this set like its D&D counterpart has all the items needed to be able to start your journey into the world of Shadowrun.  The set includes pre-generated characters, a simplified ruleset, a ready-to-run adventure, a solo adventure for one character, adventure hooks, and non-player characters to get you fully immersed in the game right away.  Also you can pick up at the same time the Shadowrun Gamemaster Screen which allows you to have a host of useful tables and information right there in front of you at all times, making your job as the GM just a little bit easier.

Lastly is a new scenario for the Shadowrun RPG, Serrated Edge: Denver Adventure 1.

The Aurora Warrens of Denver hold a dark secret, as some people trusted to help its residents are instead giving full rein to their darkest impulses. Shadowruuners typically are not heroes riding in to save the day, but in this case the work they’re being offered gives them a chance to dig into these secrets, perhaps fix some of them, and maybe even bring a few people to justice—however they happen to define justice. With dark secrets, double-crosses, and plenty of nuyen flying around, Serrated Edge gives players plenty of chaos to keep up with while launching them into a series of adventures that will shake up the city of spies and maybe bring about a better future. Or curse it to worse.

You can check out the full press release on the Catalyst Game Labs site and look forward to their release on April 27th.

The Valiant comic universe has been going strong for over 20 years and is now getting it’s own deck building game to join the likes of DC and Marvel.  So fans of the Valiant comic universe will be able to play as their favorite characters in this interesting twist to the deck building genre.  The game is described as:

You command an organization—the Harbinger Foundation, the Renegades, Project Rising Spirit, and more—attempting to seize a secret Alcatraz base known as the Facility. Purchase cards to craft a unique deck,  and battle your way through the ever-changing Facility grid that moves during play to gain access to a  card or damage another player. Maneuver your superhero miniatures to battle it out with other superheroes for ultimate control!

You might notice something interesting in that quote, there are miniatures to move around a grid, and that is where the wrinkle comes in.  Similar to Trains they are adding a board like element to the game in the form of a grid of cards to navigate with your hero.  Not much is revealed about how this works, but if you go to Catalyst’s tumblr you can read the article about it which includes a link to the original print and play game that this one is built on.