Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's column all about board games and tabletop games. This time around, we’ve spotted a brand-new publishing company from the folks behind Critical Role, along with an exciting expansion for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Check it out!
Critical Role has announced it’s creating its own tabletop publishing company, Darrington Press, and already has several games in the works. In a press release, Critical Role shared that its publishing arm will be headed by Hunters Entertainment co-owner Ivan Van Norman, with Critical Role’s Matthew Mercer serving as a creative advisor. They have four games in the works for 2021, including Critical Role Adventures, a legacy-lite campaign game based on the gaming podcast, and Uk’otoa, the publisher’s “flagship title” card and board game where players try to survive the machinations of a terrifying sea creature.
Are you ready to work with your doppelgänger? Modiphius has released a new standalone adventure for Star Trek Adventures, called Back to Reality. According to a press release, the adventure has players being confronted by their parallel selves from a different quantum reality, one where the Borg have taken over. Back to Reality is available for $5 on DriveThruRPG.
Pre-orders are now available for Dire Wolf Digital’s upcoming Dune: Imperium, a worker-placement game inspired by Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming film adaptation. The publisher also unveiled a look at the Upgrade Pack, a supplement for the original game that features 65 miniatures. Dune: Imperium will cost $50 and is set to come out sometime by the end of the year, while the Upgrade Pack costs an additional $55 and will be released in early 2021. In the meantime, the Dune movie has been pushed back to October 2021, so this game might be the closest you get to Timothée Chalamet’s Arrakis for awhile.
Asmodee has released a series of free guides that teach players how to play some of their board games remotely through Zoom, Facetime, or other video calling services. Two of the games include Dixit—a popular card game where players guess what’s on a surreal image card—as well as the co-op series Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. The free guides are currently available to download on Asmodee’s website.
Tabletop miniatures game Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is starting its next big expansion with Broken Realms: Morathi, the first in a series of new sourcebooks set to launch a new story in Age of Sigmar’s narrative, along with rule updates for the game. According to Dicebreaker, Broken Realms: Morathi centers around the titular Shadow Queen, Morathi, and includes new rules for the Zainthar Kai allegiance for the Daughters of Khaine. The book is available to order now to begin shipping this coming weekend from November 14.
Note: The covid-19 pandemic and Trump’s trade war with China have impacted board game production. We strongly advise you check with crowdfunding developers about possible delays, but don’t let that dissuade you from supporting these campaigns.
This card and worker-placement game has players competing as managers of summer camps, trying to build the best camp with fun activities and amenities. It’s designed to get newer players familiar with the concept of tabletop games, especially worker-placement games, so it seems like a nice fit for newer and more experienced gamers to try out together. Bivouac will be on Kickstarter through December 6. The minimum pledge for a copy is $39 and it’s set to come out in June 2021.
P’achakuna is a two-player resource game where players work as traders trying to collect goods from different villages in the Andes. What’s unique about this game is the board: players rotate tiles to create pathways for their llama miniatures to travel through, allowing them to go from village to village collecting goods. It’s kind of like navigating a maze, albeit one you can change at-will. P’achakuna will be on Kickstarter through December 2 and the minimum pledge for a copy is $44. It’s set to come out in June 2021.
Customizing tabletop miniatures is a great hobby, but one that’s also pretty daunting. Scale 75 is releasing a series of 10 instructional books on how to paint and customize miniatures, covering everything from faces to fabric types, and even special effects and settings. Minipedia will be on Kickstarter through November 20. The minimum pledge for one of the books is $15, which will be shipped in April 2021, while the whole collection is $125 and is set to come out in March 2021.
Trivia Obscura is a Trivial Pursuit-style game that’s focused on the Dark Arts, meaning anything and everything macabre. Players compete to test their knowledge in topics like weird science, mythology, popular culture, and more. There are also ways for players to try and sabotage each other, stealing points or otherwise trying to stop others from getting ahead. Trivia Obscura will be on Kickstarter through November 27. The minimum pledge for a copy is $41 and it’s set to come out in April 2021.
The Wildsea is a tabletop roleplaying game set in a world where a massive wave of greenery took over the Earth, resulting in the titular “wildsea” that covers everything it touches. Players have taken to chainsaw-driven ships that can cut through the forest floor, searching the world for adventure, strange monsters, and answers to what happened to the planet. The Wildsea will be on Kickstarter through November 25. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $25 (although there is an option for those who cannot afford that price), and it’s set to come out in July 2021. The print copy is a minimum pledge of $49 and it’s set to come out August 2021.
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