Today’s Freshly added to BGG post will be a bit special, as it’s dedicated entirely to Fantasy, so, forget the amazement in face of clever and original themes this time. I am not solely to blame for this radical editorial choice – I did have many entries of new additions that had a Fantasy theme. It seemed sound to lump them all together in one big post.
Let’s start with a new game by Joseph Propati, designer of Dungeon Flee, and one of the truly faithful to generic Fantasy, as 9-Card Dungeon Quest can fully testify. Deadly traps, fearsome dragon, alluring treasures, dice rolling, you have it all. The files of this Print and Play have already been uploaded to BGG so, you really have it all if you feel like printing these nine cards.
Now from another designer well versed into the classic Fantasy tropes, we have Dungeon Makers, by Wesley Woodbury (DIE in the Dungeon!, Legends of Novus). It’s actually a dungeon-themed tile-laying game rather than a dungeon crawler per se, as the goal is to make the best dungeon by arranging the rooms in a way that will get you the most points.
A French game, so largely irrelevant here, Les Gardiens de Havresac is designed by Frédéric Guérard, more widely known for It’s a Wonderful World. This is a French retail, so who cares, except the publisher is Catch Up Games, better known for Paper Tales and The Loop – games with solid solo modes that have all been localized in English by Pandasaurus Games. Hence the addition to this post. It’s a bag builder that actually looks fairly interesting based on the description.
The next one is a new addition to the Catacombs line of games, Catacombs Arena. It still belongs to the flicking category, but you have dice, drafting, and so on, and it’s described as a “tactical combat game”. I very much wonder how it may work solo though.
I don’t know if you heard about Lynnvander Studios (the very same that got fired from the development of the Divinity board game that is now becoming a Kickstarter disaster; but they are also known for Fantasy board games such as Albion’s Legacy), but they have a new, original game in the works, called Minotaur, coming to Gamefound early 2022. The game features a maze, character sheets, standees, and a surprisingly Antiquity-inspired Pixel Art.
Archon Studio has already exploited your nostalgic impulses with a giant Masters of the Universe board game; now they are doing the same with Heroes of Might and Magic III, one of the most mythical Fantasy video games out there (and it certainly is for me). Because it’s here to make money, it has detailed monster minis (I can’t quite understand why though, given the nature of the game it draws from), and it will offer you to explore hexagon-based map tiles. From a look of the cards, I actually like that it seems to be dumbed-down compared to the video game, because going the fiddly way would have been the best way to suffer heavily from a comparison it’s bound to lose anyway. On Kickstarter in November, if everything goes according to plan.
Next one, a dice game from WizKids, Dice Conquest, in which you roll dice to defeat monsters, up to the final face-off against a fearsome dragon. It’s really a basic dice game, but you can trigger hero powers by rolling critical hits, and gather loot from the enemies you slay. I cannot say that it leaves me indifferent.
Still in the same ‘classical Fantasy’ vein, you have Help the Princess!, in which you must save a Princess in a standard Fantasy setting. Fortunately, the Princess in the game can fight with a sword and her help is actually something you cannot win without. Of course there will be fighting, dice rolling, experience points for character progression, different classes to choose from, and so on. The game is labeled as a “Roll and Fight”, which I think is poor marketing as I have been quick to categorize it as a Roll and Write, which would be an automatic pass for me (and for others as well).
At last! - a game that departs from the classic tropes: Uluk. You play as anthropomorphic animal tribes, doing worker placement to gather resources, cook food, and build some worshipping structures, in order to gain the most Happiness within six rounds, of course. So, a typical Euro whose weird pasted-on theme is easily overshadowed by the all-mighty presence of regular shaped human-like meeples.
Coming to Kickstarter some day, Vrahode – The Calteeryn Ascension may sway your hearts with its meaningful title; if not, it had 3D terrains and three expansions already in line to pounce at you during the campaign to make for a juicy All-In, AI decks for enemies, frantic dice-based fighting, an overland map to connect the single scenarios with each other, and a dense and thrilling narrative. For 1-6 players.
In the same realm of future Kickstarters we know next to nothing about: Fantasy Commander, a game with minis, dice, a narrative campaign, and a new Fantasy world whose random name you will soon forget (well, I can’t remember it at least), but it’s best described as some place “where the glorified heroes bring their armies of fantasy creatures to the battlefield and unleash a real war out there.”
The third one in this special “elusive future Kickstarter” category is The Knights of King Frea, in which you must prove yourself as the Knight most worthy of marrying the royal heir. It’s a party game with lots of take that and blind dates, and apparently a solo mode.
I have started with a PnP, I’ll end with three PnPs. First, Paperbag Dungeons, whose files have already been made available on BGG. You lay cards to build a sprawling dungeon, while making sure monsters are not overwhelming it. The artwork is fun and quite unique, with lots of little details that make each card comes to life.
Second, Morning Coffee Dungeon: Just a Dungeon is a “name your own price” PnP where you casually go through a Dungeon, pick up loot and fight monsters. It seems to belong to the “X-and-write” category even though I’m not sure about the X, and it’s not writing proper (you basically draw a path in the dungeon). Well, it’s Paper-and-Pencil.
Third and last, and also available on BGG (in both German and English), Between Light and Shadow is a Roll & Write game with some resource management, plethora of different equipment, multiple skills, magic, and so on. You play as a village girl who answers the call for adventure and goes off to fight a boss. The whole thing seems a bit unfinished, but I found it intriguing.
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All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.