Dark Souls (2017) is a cooperative fantasy board game based on the popular computer and console game of the same name. In Dark Souls, players take on character roles, fight minions for souls, level up and collect new equipment, trying to get powerful enough to defeat a giant boss. The game was noteworthy for having beautifully large, detailed miniatures, a detailed and programmed boss A.I., and, like its namesake, for being hard. Characters will die, and if too many succumb, the players will lose.
Steamforged Games has
announced 3 new expansions for Dark Souls, each expanding a specific area of
the game. The Characters
Expansion introduces 6 new character types to the game, each with new
equipment, actions and stat progressions. The Characters Expansion comes with
16 new miniatures, cards and boards to support the new characters. Vordt
of the Boreal Valley is a new boss, originally tasked with standing
sentinel over the gates that lead from the Undead Settlement to the Castle of
Lothric. Now a savage and mindless beast, the boss Vordt comes with two
behavior decks, one for movement and one for battle. The Vordt expansion also comes
with a new boss board, and new level 4 encounters, making it a difficult
challenge for experienced players. Finally, The Darkroot
Basin and Iron
Keep expansions come with 9 new double sided tiles for use in any game.
All three new expansions to Dark Souls are expected
to deliver to retail on November 22, 2019. For more details on Dark Souls the
Board Game, and its previous expansions, check out the Steamforged website
In collaboration with the Critical Role cast, Steamforged Games is creating a range of high-quality PVC miniatures that come pre-assembled and ready to paint right out of the box. These miniatures are perfect for roleplaying and perhaps even as some miniature bling for some of your favorite board games as well.
Critical Role is now in its second campaign, but miniatures from both the first and second campaign are included in this “one-pledge-level-only” Kickstarter campaign.
The first set of miniatures is based on a group of heroes from the first campaign called Vox Machina. This set includes 8 characters – Pike Trickfoot, the Gnome Cleric, Keyleth, the Half-Elf Druid, Percival “Percy” Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo, the Human Gunslinger, Grog Strongjaw, the Goliath Barbarian, Scanlan Shorthalt the Gnome Bard, Vex’ahlia (and her animal companion, a bear named Trinket), the Half-Elf Ranger and Vax’ildan, the Half-Elf Rogue.
The second set of miniatures, based on a group of heroes from the second campaign called The Mighty Nein, consists of Yasha, the Aasimar Barbarian, Beauregard, the Human Monk, Mollymauk Tealeaf, the Tiefling Blood Hunter, Fjord, the Half-Orc Warlock, Nott the Brave, the Goblin Rogue, Jester, the Tiefling Cleric, and Caleb Widogast, the Human Wizard. Shakäste, a human cleric, has proven himself a trusted ally of the Mighty Nein.
Exclusive characters from both campaigns are also available in the pledge during the Kickstarter campaign. These include Taryon Darrington & Doty 2.0 as well as Pumat Prime & 3 Pumat Sol.
As a board gamer as well as a major fan of Critical Role, I am personally very excited about using these amazing miniatures to bling out some of my board games. Ranger, cleric, barbarian, wizard, whatever you need, these Critical Role miniatures have probably got you covered.
Critical Role is a weekly live-streamed roleplaying game created by veteran voice actor and Dungeon Master, Matthew Mercer. Each week, Matthew leads his friends (also fellow voice actors!) on epic adventures. Critical Role is a show on the Geek & Sundry online network.
Guild Ball is the fantasy soccer game that recently entered it’s second season and is still going steady. Steamforged Games, not wanting to let things get stagnant, has launched two Indiegogo campaigns for two new teams in the game, the Fisherman’s Guild and the Butcher’s Guild. First up is the Fisherman’s Guild campaign which allows you to back for two teams from the guild, the Changing Tide and the Pirate’s Return. For the Changing Tide team, they feature some of the fastest players in the game, allowing you to take an early lead by quickly grabbing the ball and scoring some goals. The Pirate’s Return on the other hand features players with cunning abilities that allow you to manipulate the other team, allowing you to open up the defense and get your team through. Both teams come with 6 players each as well as a terrain piece, a goal, and a ball to use. You can check out the campaign here, and know that a single pledge of $100 will get you all 12 players and the terrain and gear pieces in unpainted PVC.
The Bloody Master
The Scarlet Circle
For the Butcher’s Guild you can pledge to get both the teams, the Bloody Master and the Scarlet Circle. The Bloody Master team has a simple goal, to rend and tear the flesh of their opponents, and so their abilities and stats are turned with that goal in mind. The Scarlet Circle also holds a similar goal, but they are more cunning and devious about it, with players who may not be as aggressive, but have abilities to control their opposition until their teammates show up. Both teams come with 6 players each as well as a terrain piece, a goal, and a ball to use. You can check out the campaign here, and know that a single pledge of $100 will get you all 12 players and the terrain and gear pieces in unpainted PVC.
Steamforged, the publisher behind the popular Guild Ball miniatures game, has announced the first “Minor Guild” for the system, the Ratcatchers. All of the previously released Guilds for Guild Ball will be considered “Major Guilds”, but each one will be associated with a new “Minor Guild”, a fully playable team including a Captain, a Mascot and other players. Two of the players will be “dual Guild”, playable for either the Minor or Major team, and in the Ratcatchers, Skulk and Pelage will be usable in the Morticians Guild. Conversely, the associated Major team, in this case the Morticians, will have two players modified to be friendly with their Minor Guild. Bonesaw and Veteran Graves from the Morticians will be dual Guild with the Ratcatchers, and players who attend a launch event for the Ratcatchers will be able to win alternate sculpts for these players. In addition, as each Minor Guild is released, the associated Major Guild will no longer be allowed to play with Union Players. The Ratcatchers Guild also adds a new mechanism to Guild Ball, disease, a new powerful condition that spreads amongst players without further input from the player.
Read more about the first Minor Guild, the Ratcatchers, and how Minor Guilds interact with the Union, on Steamforged website here.
It will be a cooperative deck evolution card game for 1 to 4 players which follows a similar theme and progression system as the video game on which it is based.
Players explore Encounters around them to defeat a variety of enemies, and gain Souls and Treasure. A player’s deck represents their health and their tactical options in combat. Health, and the deck, is only restored when a player rests at a bonfire. Adapting to enemy behaviour and memorizing their attacks is key towards defeating them and progressing towards the Final Boss battle.
In the core game there are four bosses who each have their own deck of 8 devastating attacks:
Vordt of the Boreal Valley
High Lord Wolnir
Players can also choose between four classes including the Herald, Knight, Assassin, and Sorcerer. Each of these have a powerful in-game ability.
The core game includes:
Over 400+ cards (Starting Deck Cards, Equipment Cards, Stamina Cards, Enemy Cards, Boss Cards)
Playing Boards (Player Board, Encounter Board, Enemy Board)
Steamforged Games also developed the board game version of Dark Souls which is currently available.
My wallet keeps taking a beating, but luckily I have a budget and a wife so I won’t spend too much, but lets take a look at some projects that might be worth your money. First on that list are some giant dice in the form of 55mm spin down dice being brought to you by Todd Brammer, the maker of d20 earrings. Both dice look great with the color options being molten gold or silver, and that is pretty much it. You can get one for $8 or both for $15, just a no frills Kickstarter to get you some giant spin down dice. So check out the Kickstarter page if you are interested.
Next we have another webcomic turned game and that is Heart and Brain the Party Game. This is a card, party game which is a melting pot of different challenges that you will have to face in order to get the tokens you need to win. On your turn you will draw from one of two piles, the heart deck or the brain deck. The heart deck has mainly goofy challenges grouped into dares, double dares where you perform it with someone else, voting about different situations, or challenges which involve things like beating you in a mini game or making you laugh. The brain deck is more about the mind with things like challenges on naming things, contests like who can name more famous comics, and true/false votes where you reveal something about yourself that is either true or false and everyone has to guess. There are also cards to play a game similar to Cards Against Humanity where you are trying to play your best phrases to match a prompt that was drawn. Overall if you like the humor and antics of the Heart and Brain comic, this kind of game will be right up your alley. Check out the Kicktstarter today.
After that is a new worker placement game with dice called Dice Hospital. In this game you are running a hospital, trying to cure patients to earn points. At the start of the round there will be a pool of dice rolled and those will be distributed into ambulances, thus making up the patients you will draft for that round. They are ordered in these ambulances by worst to best so while if you take the worst batch, you will get first pick on upgrades, while if you pick the best you will be picking upgrades last. Once these dice are in your hospital you will pick out an upgrade which could be better rooms to add to your hospital, or new employees which give you special abilities. Once you have picked an upgrade it’s time to treat your patients, with the pip value on the dice indicated how healthy your patient is (6 means ready to discharge, 1 means almost dead). You will place out your nurses on different rooms to be able to treat your patients, and as you discharge them you will get points for how many you can discharge in a round. At the end whoever has the most points is the winner. The base game looks great, and the deluxe game upgrades with both a dice tower and 3D ambulance to hold dice, looks even better. Check out the Kickstarter for more information and to pledge.
Next is a campaign to get some excellent minis for the Starfinder RPG being put out by Paizo. The campaign is pretty simple in that there are two levels to pledge for, each getting you the same basic miniature package along with slots for you to customize your pledge. Each pledge gets you figures for the legacy heroes like Seelah the paladin, Candy and Cola, and more generic sculpts like an elf operative, gnome mystic, or halfling pilot. The slots in each pledge will allow you to pick from a lineup of seven enemy encounter packs, 25 different heroes, two fleets, and six different big enemies, allowing for lots of pledge customization. Overall if you are wanting a good set of minis for Starfinder at about $3 a mini, you can’t go wrong with the ones in this Kickstarter campaign.
Up next we have an “anime” turned board game from Rooster Teeth called RWBY: Combat Ready. RWBY: Combat Ready is a battling game where you will be taking on the roles of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang as you fight against the villain Roman and his minions. This is a fully cooperative game and will be taking place in two areas, the sideline and center stage. The player on center stage is battling the main villain of the scenario by playing cards and inflicting as much damage as possible. The players on teh sidelines can use their cards to aid the player on center stage, or take care of the minions or other bad events happened all around them. All of these will be played out using the cards you have, by playing the cards against the enemies you are facing. You will then flip over both your card and the villain card and whoever is faster gets to deal damage. If you are able to string consecutive hits together you can build up battle fury, making you faster and giving you access to an ultimate attack. In the end if you eliminate the villain you win, but like most coop games, there are lots of ways to lose. So if this RWBY inspired game likes interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter page.
And last, but certainly not least, we have Steamforged Games latest creation, Resident Evil 2 the Board Game. This brings the iconic survival-horror genre video game to the tabletop, putting you and your follow players up against all the horrors and monstrosities that have been created by the Umbrella Corporation. This game is a dungeon crawl game where you are venturing out into the streets of Raccoon City in a bid to escape the horror all around you. This game brings a resource management aspect to the dungeon crawl genre as the Resident Evil games were known for giving you just barely enough to survive, so you can’t be frivolous with your bullets or medicinal herbs. Plus there is a tension deck, telling you about strange sounds and figures that you see as you go down the streets and alleys. Can you afford to explore that room? Will you have enough bullets if the giant monster shows up? You will have to keep answering that question as you play the game. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out the Kickstarter page.
Steamforged Games is making a push to make Guild Ball more accessible and easier to get into in the second season of the game. To help in this they are releasing a 2-player starter set for the game called Kick Off! that aims to get players up to speed quickly. It will have everything you need to play the game;
Kick Off! Rulebook
Guild Ball Core Rulebook
3’x3′ Double-Sided Board of the Guild Ball Pitch
12 Colored Plastic Models (Pre-assembled)
Player Character Cards
128 Game Tokens
Measuring Tools and Templates
Guild Ball Dice
The plastic models will be enough to field a Brewers team and a Mason team, which then can be later expanded through the many figures they currently offer. So if you are interested in getting into this fantasy soccer game then keep an eye out for the starter set to hit shelves at the end of November.
Steamforged Games is most known for their Guild Ball game, a soccer game in a fantasy setting where more than just kicking a ball happens on the field. Now they are delving more into the universe with their new game, Shadow Games. In this game you come off the field and are trying to recruit the latest and greatest talent, but it takes more than just money to do it. From the publisher:
In Shadow Games, you must gather enough favors to secure the new star player for your guild. Players use various Plot and Agent cards to bribe, steal, and earn favor, but it is not enough to simply play the cards you receive. Fortune favors the bluffers! Play a card from your hand, and call it anything you want. If you convince your opponents of your lies, you will not only reap the rewards of the card you pretended to have but also gain a powerful bluff bonus that will accelerate your victory. Just don’t get caught— it will cost you valuable favors to save face.
Game is expected to take only 10-15 minutes, so if you are looking for a quick bluffing game in the Guild Ball universe, look no further. Although you will have to wait to look for it as it won’t hit store shelves until November.
Board games and Kickstarter have been inseparable since the first board game was successfully Kickstarted, and that relationship has only grown. Kickstarted games from major companies like Massive Darkness, Dark Souls, and Arcadia Quest Inferno have hit their goal and soared past it into the millions of dollars range. Now that the numbers for the first half of the year have been released by ICO Partners, board game fundraising is so far outpacing video games by a 6 to 1 margin. In a summarizing report from Polygon, they note that board game Kickstarters are funding more often and at higher numbers than their video game counterparts. What’s interesting is that while video games from small publishers are still funding as often at they did last year, the lack of a couple big name projects is most likely the reason for the marked decline in value. But either way the board game market on Kickstarter is thriving and is on track to log a record breaking year.
Guild Ball, a fantasy football game from Steamforged Games that was Kickstarted in 2014, has released the files for it’s Season 2 of the game. Season 2 is being broken into two books, the first include all the updated core rules as well as rules for the new Big League campaign system. The second will include more story on Guild Ball as well as all of the Season 2 character sheets that you can start using. You can download the digital files now from the Steamforged site, and they have made sure all the page numbering of the digital files match that of the physical book. You can also read the Season 2 announcement on the Steamforged site and look forward to the physical releases of the books and cards later this year.