Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. This time Marvel invades the tabletop with a flurry of cards and dice, Games Workshop lifts the lid on the next Age of Sigmar edition’s starter set, and get ready to sink your teeth into more Vampire: The Masquerade. Check it out!
For the first time in basically a decade, Marvel is returning to tabletop RPGs (if you don’t count Villanous) with Marvel Multiverse. Based on a new “D616 system,” the ruleset will let players either craft their own heroes in Marvel’s world, or play as iconic characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and the X-Men. While a full release will launch in 2023, in March 2022 the publisher will release a playtest rulebook through comic stores to let fans get early access to the ruleset and provide feedback for the final release.
After recently revealing the third edition of Age of Sigmar at its Warhammer Fest Online event, Games Workshop has now revealed the full details of the box game that will launch the rules shakeup, Dominion. Pitting the Stormcast Eternals against a new breed of Orruk, the shifty Kruleboyz, the kit includes 60 miniatures, a special edition of the new core rulebook for Age of Sigmar, rule cards for quick reference, and a getting started guide for new players that includes themed scenarios to pit your new miniatures against each other. Dominion is expected to retail for around $200, and pre-orders are set to open June 19, for a July 3 launch.
As if there wasn’t enough Marvel madness on the cards, Fantasy Flight Games’ Marvel Champions Living Card Game series has revealed a new campaign expansion, The Mad Titan’s Shadow. Naturally focusing around the arrival of Thanos and his cohorts in the Black Order as new foes for your heroes to fight, the expansion lets you face off against each member of the Order individually, or as part of a larger campaign before you square off with Thanos. You’re not alone in the fight, however: The Mad Titan’s Shadow also includes two new cosmic heroes to help tip the scales, in the form of Adam Warlock and Wandavision breakout Monica Rambeau. The expansion will release this August for $40.
The latest sourcebook for the rebooted Vampire: The Masquerade adds one of the most antagonistic of all factions to the game, the Sabbat. Containing the rules to add the bloodthirsty clan out to drain humanity off the face of the Earth in your regular game, Sabbat: The Black Hand brings new rules as well as lore to flesh out the Sabbat’s bloody history, and new powers for your vampiric heroes to deal with. It’ll be out this August for $45.
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.
Set in a dystopian apocalypse of population decay where the dead are reanimated as a servant class for humanity’s survivors, Necrobiotic casts players to use a deck of cards to become members of Florence’s dystopian technocratic society, trying to navigate a world of the dead where human life is the most sacrosanct thing in the world... until you die, that is. A $25 pledge nets you the digital ruleset, while $45 gets you a hardback copy when it releases in February 2022.
Venture to the Continent and go through the vigorous trials to fight alongside the likes of Geralt of Rivia as a Witcher making your own monster hunting legend. Set in the world of CD Projekt Red’s iconic video game adaptation of the fantasy hit, this sprawling board game sees you team up with other Witchers taking contracts, hunting monsters, and trying to survive a grim world of deadly choices and political intrigue. Set to release in June 2022, a roughly $85 pledge nets you the standard version of the core game box, while tossing around $150 to your Witcher gets you the deluxe edition, upgrading a bunch of board tokens into lavish miniatures.
Bringing elements of the roguelike dungeon crawler video game genre to a tabletop RPG, Space Kraken pits 1-4 players as the crew of a trusty ship trying to explore an unknown corner of the universe after an ecological disaster on Earth opens a mysterious wormhole in the wake of a giant, suddenly spacefaring Kraken. Around $23 gets you a digital version of the rules and accessories to play, while $47 gets you a physical copy, set to release in March next year.
A sci-fi deck-based brawler that pits zany factions from across space, from cowboy robots to portal-projecting aliens, in a battle to rule the galaxy, Final Fusion lets you mix and match factions however you like to create unique combinations of races as you attempt to dominate the stars. For $60 you get the core set with everything you need to play with eight factions, while $90 gets you the base game, an expansion including four more factions, and any bonus stretch goals from the campaign, like new locations to fight over and new power cards.
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