Kinfire Chronicles is a game I have totally forgotten to tell you about. It was supposed to appear in a "Freshly added to BGG" post, but since late June/early July have been a rough time for me (heavy workload only, everything is fine), it slipped through the news net and it got neglected. However, it is a game I am highly excited about. Here is why.
1) The designer is Kevin Wilson. You can hardly have a better pedigree when it comes to Adventure games. Besides, that he can also design relaxing and simple games such as A Gentle Rain is testimony enough for me that he knows how to distill game mechanics into a pure, efficient, highly enjoyable minimalism of rules.
2) There are no minis, but standees! This is a welcome change and, judging by the picture, it may be that the size of the box remains reasonable. Let's hope the price does as well.
3) The game is driven by a "destiny bag". When you fight enemies, you draw tokens out of this bag that will decide the order of initiative. Moreover, enemies have different tokens which will trigger different behavior and attacks. I like the simplicity of the system and the promise of having to adapt to an enemy whose behavior is partly unpredictable and partly known. Finally, some character abilities allow you to interact with that bag, so it looks pretty fun and mechanically efficient.
4) Sessions are short, and playable within an hour. They feature some narrative-driven exploration and typically culminate into an epic fight that plays on a separate board. This looks borrowed right out of Jaws of the Lion (like many Fantasy board games today!), but what catches my sight is that the "maps" look really simple. Here again, elegance seems key.
5) In between these sessions, you have character building. Character building is done by upgrading your character cards, of which there are always nine. I have always dreamt of a Fantasy adventure game that would work exactly like that: short sessions with card-driven mechanics, and an improvement of your character deck across a campaign.
6) I also just like the look of it! The characters look pretty fun and not as dull as they often are in Fantasy settings. This Orc barbarian with a giant lean sword will sure be a favorite!
The announced date for the KS launch is August 9. You can already subscribe to the Prelaunch page.