Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. This time, Games Workshop unleashes new editions and new models at the first online Warhammer Fest, Wizards of the Coast teases its new D&D-themed card set, and a Warcraft legend takes to Kickstarter for a new tabletop adventure. Check it out!
With in-person events still in a state of limbo, Games Workshop’s annual celebration of all things Warhammer went online only for the very first time this year, delivering a bevy of updates to the company’s lines of miniatures and novels over a week of livestreams. Notable arrivals include more mechanized units for Warhammer 40,000's Sisters of Battle, and an updated Astra Militarum guardsmen box that will include new pieces to diversify units, not just in terms of gear and armor appearance but gender and race. Astra Militarum players and fans of the Black Library Gaunt’s Ghosts series will also receive a bumper selection of new models based on the iconic unit from Dan Abnett’s beloved series.
Meanwhile, on the fantasy side of things with Age of Sigmar, more units for the rapidly incoming vampiric Soulblight Gravelords faction were revealed, ahead of them going on preorder this past weekend. Just in time, too: Games Workshop also revealed that the long-awaited third edition of the game is incoming, bringing updated rules, a new starter set, a mysterious new faction for the Death Grand Alliance, and a range of new models for the Stormcast Eternals, which likewise bring more gender and racial diversity to the armies of Sigmar’s finest.
Modiphius’ Elder Scrolls tabletop game is getting a new shot in the arm in the form of a second wave of models, bringing new factions and foes to its take on Bethesda’s fantasy video game series. “Steam and Shadow” will bring the franchise’s iconic assassin’s guild, the Dark Brotherhood, to the series, as well as new adversaries in the form of Dwemer mechanical constructs, Flame Atronachs, and even Skyrim’s petrifying Frostbite Spiders. The models and their associated rules are all set to release in late May.
We’ve known for a while at this point that Wizards of the Coast would be taking Magic: The Gathering to the Forgotten Realms in a big way, but as part of the team’s “Summer of Legend” tease of upcoming sets, the company has revealed a few new looks at the first cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. The set, due out July 23, includes iconic D&D spells and gear, from portable holes to Power Word: Kill, and legendary beings like the five-headed dragon Tiamat. Click through to see a few more cards before previews begin late next month!
Anything and everything can be turned into a tabletop game if you put your mind to it, and Cryptozoic is out to prove that with its new Wonder Woman 1984 card game. Playable by up to four people, the card game sees you take on the role of Diana Prince as she battles villains through themed action decks, as they race against each other to be the Wonder Woman who saves the most civilians... which feels kind of un-Wonder-Woman-y, really. It costs $20 and is available now.
Note: The covid-19 pandemic has impacted board game production. We strongly advise you to check with crowdfunding developers about possible delays, but don’t let that dissuade you from supporting these campaigns.
Former Blizzard executive Chris Metzen—a formative figure behind Warcraft and Starcraft, and the legendary voice of Orc hero Thrall—has formed a new tabletop gaming company, appropriately named Warchief Gaming, and their first project is already a Kickstarter hit. Aurorboros: Coils of the Serpent is a fantastical world setting for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, inspired by a homebrew campaign Metzen ran in his youth. The new campaign details the setting of the realm of Lawbrand and its powerful trade cities, detailing the races and types of hero that call it home. A $25 pledge nets you a digital copy of the sourcebook, while $50 will get you a physical copy as well.
This unique spin on randomized dungeoneering keeps things fresh and small-scale by using a ring bound booklet to form the mysterious depths up to four players can plunge into, with thousands of possible combinations. Picking from one of the four pre-generated heroes to battle monsters and sinister foes, Miniquest’s card-based approach to traditional tabletop roleplaying combat provides an accessible way for players young and old to gather their party and venture forth. A roughly $35 pledge will net you both the physical game and all its included stretch goals, featuring new characters, encounter cards, and higher-quality materials in the core set.
The sci-fi take on the Ironsworn ruleset lets players, either together as a party or alone in unique solo-play mechanics, venture out into the interstellar frontier as a legendary adventurer, taking on dangerous quests and building your reputation as space’s most intrepid explorer. Pledges of $20 will receive a digital copy of the core rulebook covering setting details and character creation, while $40 will net both a physical hardcover set and instant access to a digital copy.
Based on the rules of Mobile Frame Zero, this narrative-driven storytelling sci-fi RPG casts a group as a former crew shattered by a mistake their captain made in the past, who now returns to them asking for their faith to go on one last wild mission. A roughly $21 pledge gets you access to the PDF version of the game, while $50 nets the printed physical version alongside a bonus PDF.
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