I'll try to snatch a quick post before the end of the week with one of my favorite settings - Fantasy! Fortunately always fed with enough novelties that I can write a "Special" like this from time to time.
I'll start with the one piece of news that have made the most noise on BGG these last few days; the successful (and in my opinion truly excellent) video game Dead Cells will be adapted to the board game medium: Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game. For those who don't know what's a rogue-lite, it's an RPG-ish action game with procedurally generated maps where you die a lot (that's the "rogue" part) but improve a little bit every time (that's the "lite" part). Dead Cells feature furious actions, a distinctive pixel-like aesthetics, and some Metroidvanian elements (some mutations that carry over games allow you to explore new parts of the map). The board game will be made by the "Team Kaedama" of French designer, led by Antoine Bauza of 7 Wonders and Ghost Stories fame.
Ashes Reborn, an LCG of Fantasy magic dueling by publisher Plaid Hat that has been alive and expanded ever since 2015, will first receive a solo/co-op mode with Ashes Reborn: Red Rains - Corpse of Viros, seizing the opportunity to compete for the most cumbersome title ever. The game, renown for its dice-based mana pool which replace the terrain system in Magic, set you against the Chimera, monstrous fiends born from the red rains.
Do you remember Feralis: Obscure Lands, a Kickstarter that raised 100k$ of funds last year? If not, the subtitle of Firesiege: A Feralis Story will probably feel as meaningless to you as it did for me. This is a card-driven tower defense game revolving around a limited communication mechanics (yet soloable apparently), with the novelty that each card has two sides, one beneficial and one detrimental; although you know only one, both get triggered when you play the card. The game is co-designed by Martino Chiacchiera, who co-designed a game with Knizia, Whichstone, and is behind both Icaion and Mysthea.
Another follow up on a previous Italian-published KS: Fall of Lumen is a deck-building and tableau-building game that acts as a thematic follow-up of Legends of the Void, a game that has been nicknamed "the Fantasy Terraforming Mars". In Fall of Lumen, your hero will move around the map to gather resources which will enable you to purchase plenty of magical stuff to perform whatever ritual is needed to save the world. I'm probably not making it justice, and if you don't mind complexity in your games, it actually looks fairly interesting. Each turn you draw five cards, make the most out of them, then the discard got shuffled and placed at the bottom of your deck, and an Event card is drawn and resolved.
Then we have Studium | No Exit, a typographically innovative title which seems to fall into the "would-be Kingdom Death: Monster" category. Actually it's mostly a dungeon crawler (so don't listen to me), with super-detailed "horrific" miniatures (the few that have been displayed look pretty good to me, and not overly gorish as it happens sometimes). The game also involves a system of gear-crafting, across-sessions character upgrading, and traditional dice-driven fights for your survival.
Another game of delving and dice rolling, Encounters: Shattered Wastes features a party of 2-4 heroes venturing into the magic-infused lands of the Shattered Wastes where you will face a series of perilous encounters. Really, I don't have more info than this. To be Kickstarted on February 28.
A bit of quiet might be welcome after such a series of combat-focused games. Threads of Fate, more puzzle than game but on BGG nonetheless because the criteria to be included in the database are notoriously inconsistent, is a box full of puzzles and riddles to solve, all fitting into the same narrative thread that it is up to you to unfold. This is a re-implementation of the Tale of Ord, by the same author as The Emerald Flame and A Light in the Mist.
I also have an expansion in store (not really Fantasy but it's medieval and you get people exchanging blows so it fits the genre just well): Glory: Knight Errant. The base game is a game of tournament management featuring several systems (worker placement, quests, duels), and the expansion mostly adds more of the same.
And I have two PnPs to conclude! Designed by Mark Tuck, the author behind the famed Orchard and Grove, Creatures and Caverns is an 18-card game entirely playable in your hand, where you will explore a system of caverns, battle monsters, and get some loot to become stronger. You can have it all here.
The second one is yet to be Kickstarted, and is called Roll & Meow: The Cat Burglars. You are breaking into a mage's mansion and must steal two trinkets before the alarm gets sounded, releasing hordes of dogs that can't be escaped, even by the stealthiest cat. Each turn you will roll four dice that constitute an action pool upon which you can act. There are different mansion maps and different cats to choose from, each with its own set of skills and whiskers.