FAITH: The Sci-fi RPG - 20 HOURS to go (yes, hurry!), 115% funded, $69 sweetspot. So this is a narrative/story-now focused roleplaying game that you play entirely with cards! You don't even need a pen and paper for the character sheets as you can do all of that with the tokens provided. If you think this sounds like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd ed. (but "even worse"?) then you need to think again. It seems to me like this is a much more focused experience with the kind of collaborative storytelling that you see in FATE or any number of recent indie titles. While there are cards for things like gear and NPCs the ones you use to drive the game forward are more like a poker deck (in fact, you can use a regular poker deck if you want) where you play cards to raise the skill you're using. The setting is sci-fi but of the softer variety. Humans are all but extinct and there is an ongoing cold war between two alien races. Also, the art is beautiful! The setting sounds interesting enough, but is secondary for me though as I'm more interested in the system that seems fairly innovative. Apparently hacking is a big thing which is a plus in my book. Yeah... if it sounds like I don't know all the ins and outs of it that's because I literally discovered it an hour ago. Check out some of the preview videos and then decide for yourself. Only 21 hours left as I write this!
Above and Below - Storytelling Board Game - 14 days to go, 345% funded, $50 sweetspot. Next up we have the latest board game from designer Ryan Laukat - the man behind City of Iron, Eight Minute Empires, Empires of the Void and The Ancient World. So far I have only played Eight Minute Empires: Legends, which is a nice and quick 4X filler but I really would like to get my hands on City of Iron as it seems really cool. Anyway, Above and Below is a game of two parts where each player is trying to build the best village. Above ground you construct buildings and recruit more villagers (basically workers that you can place) and below ground you can go adventuring, which means the game suddenly turns into a choose-your-own-adventure style game like Agents of Smersh or Arabian Knights. It might sound odd, but it seems to go together really nice, and the resource management aspects of the Above game I think are meaty enough to keep a gamer like myself busy while still approachable enough to make my wife want to try it. And speaking of approachable - look at that art! All of Ryan's games look good but this is, in my opinion, his most beautiful and evocative yet. I guess you could argue it gets a little samey with most of the art simply being different style buildings but there's something about those brick houses and that cloudy sky that just gets me every time I look at it! Very Nausicaa/Laputa feel to it that's simply awesome!
MYTH: Journeyman - 18 days to go, 338% funded, $120 sweetspot. Yeah, so this is the only project in this list that has mountains of plastic. I've grown weary of most of the miniature games or miniature heavy board game kickstarters, but I will make an exception now and again. I didn't go for the original MYTH kickstarter back in 2012; I looked at one of the early playthrough videos and it simply didn't look fun at all. Of course, much later as I read about it more indepth I thought it sounded awesome and when I actually got to play it had lots of fun! Yes, the original rulebook wasn't very good (but evocative) and there's been a lot of drama on BGG and other places. However, it is a really cool dungeon crawler that is very different from all Descent clones out there and I think it might become a corner stone in my game collection. So even though I've still to get the base game I'm looking at this new expansion kickstarter and thinking that I really shouldn't miss it! It comes with the new Journeyman cards for all the heroes which will allow you to level them up to become stronger - either as light or dark heroes. There's also new monsters, new items and new quests. In fact a large part of the quest system has been reworked so that you can, if you want, play MYTH with much more structure with pre-determined quests etc. While this is good to have the whole free form thing is what attracted me to the game in the first place! As I'm typing this the $120 level is a good deal, but not a super deal but it hasn't even been two days and I imagine this might get a little crazy toward the end, just like MYTH and MERCS: Recon did. Megacon has also done a lot to try and fix many of the "bugs" in the original game, with a completely new rulebook and new hero, item and quest cards as well as a new set of trap cards with new rules for traps. If you liked the idea of MYTH but thought there were too many bugs, give it another look now.
Far Space Foundry - 22 days to go, 56% funded, $39 sweetspot. This is the only game in the list which isn't funded yet, but don't let that stop you! As is often the case when I discover new board games, I found Far Space Foundry through its excellent art deco art style and I as I read more about it I was happy to see that it seemed to be a really cool game as well. It's a game about resource management, logistics and efficiency where you collect your resources during the first half of the game which you then use to turn into different products in the second half of the game which will net you points. The main mechanic is the roundel on Space Foundry Alpha that is mining the resources where you need to dock your shuttle to bring the resources to your warehouse. You use pilots to dock to the roundel and depending on where you dock you get different special abilities. After a set number of turns you take the resources you've managed to collect in your freighters and go Space Foundry Beta which has a different roundel and this time you need to bring the resources onboard to build stuff like mechs and space suits that the empire has use for. At the end you get points for the stuff you produce and actually fit into your freighters. No points for stuff produced but left behind! So it's kind of worker placement-ish, but with great emphasis on logistics and how to most efficiently get what you need while not wasting resources that won't fit in your freighter, or have a freighter with leftover space in its hold. There's just something about these kinds of games that fascinate me (I'm dying to get to play Panamax for example) and as it happens the theme and art also really appeal to me. For a measly $39 I definitely think it's worth checking out!
Blades in the Dark - 29 days to go, 799% funded, $20 sweetspot. I'll end the list as it began - with a roleplaying game. I came across this in my G+ feed and became immediately intrigued! The core concept of the game is that you play as a band of scoundrels at the very bottom of the criminal strata and you're trying to work yourself to the top. The default setting is industrial fantasy, so there are ghosts and magic and demons but instead of your typical medieval fantasy it's set during the industrial revolution. Computer games like Dishonoured or Sunless Sea/Fallen London are good examples of industrial fantasy I'd say, which shouldn't be confused with steampunk. However, the game is meant to be very hackable and there are alternative settings included as stretch goals - one as a more traditional dark fantasy setting and one French colonial/Heart of Darkness type setting and I'm sure there will be more coming (a cyperpunk setting has been hinted at as well). The game is also meant to be playable with very little preparation and the focus is on scores or heists but with all the planning (that can take aaaaages if you have players in your group that are anything like mine) handled very quickly to immediately get to the action. Players can later use flashback sequences to the actual planning if they want to expand on how to to something during the actual score. The system is hinged around the concept of desperate, risky and controlled actions which can all lead to different outcomes that are a lot more interesting than the binary pass/fail. It looks like a lot of fun, and when it's this cheap it's hard to pass up!
And those are the projects I'm looking at right now! I won't be backing all of them as I simply don't have the budget for it, unfortunately. But I really think they all seem like great games and certainly deserve to be produced and played. The ones I don't back now will definitely find their way into my collection when they hit retail.
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