Tabletop Kickstarter Watch: February 2020 (Week 1)

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Here are the tabletop titles that caught our attention in the 1st week of February 2020!

Welcome one and all to our series of articles about what’s up in the Kickstarter Tabletop World — Kickstarter Watch. This series is all about the new projects and campaigns that are currently creating buzz and have caught our attention. However, it will only include projects that are still currently running (and haven’t been mentioned) or started its run during the week the article was written. So, here are the notable campaigns for the 1st week of February 2020!

Hero Forge 2.0

  • Current Status: 7 days left (Ends on February 14, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: $42,000 — Achieved, currently at $2,310,511
  • No. of Backers: 28,377

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

First up is a project that’s not necessarily a tabletop game but more of a complementary program — Hero Forge 2.0. An update of Hero Forge 1.0 (well, duh), 2.0 is now a coloring tool for tabletop miniatures. Yep, you read that right, this program aims to provide players with the means to create their very own color schemes for their miniatures. Be it through one-click overall themes to just about each and every nook and cranny of your miniature. Not only that though, but the tool also supports virtual tabletop games by allowing users to export their creations, whether it be miniatures or tokens and the like.

Backers will not only get access to the program as it gets developed and updated, but they’ll also receive painted versions of a miniature they’ll create. There’ll be two options — One is for the miniature to be 3D printed or it can be hand-painted by experts.

Tanares Adventures + Arena: The Contest 1.5

  • Current Status: 20 days left (Ends on February 28, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: $50,000 — Achieved, currently at $975,244
  • No. of Backers: 4,997

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Achieving a staggering day 1 success is Tanares Adventures + Arena: The Contest 1.5. The campaign is a follow-up to 2018’s Arena: The Contest by Dragori Games. This new Kickstarter features an expansion, a Dragon Collection, and a revamped second printing of the original. Not only are we getting some sweet new minis, but there are also new game modes and a much different co-op experience.

The biggest change to the second printing of the base game, or 1.5 as they call it, are the miniatures. This time around, the minis are a lot more detailed than their previous iterations. For returning backers, don’t fret, these revamped miniatures will be given for free as long as you back at least the Tanares Adventures expansion. If you do, you’ll be getting the 12 reworked original heroes from the base game. In order to grab the Heroes and Dungeons ones, however, you’ll have to back at least one of the bundle pledges.

Gone are the sessions where you’ll use the generic, but still awesome, base dragon mini as we’re now getting the Dragon Collection. This collection will feature dedicated miniatures for the Five Dragon bosses we encountered in the base game. There are finally proper faces to those menacing foes. Along with the miniatures comes a new game mode — Dragon vs. Dragon. Yep, a PvP mode where players take on the form of our mighty Dragon adversaries.

Last but not least, Tanares Adventures, which brings in more than 100 hours of content and new features. The major change coming with the expansion is the arrival of the 8-player co-op campaign. Groups are no longer limited to just having four characters on the board. However, it won’t be a straight-up party experience as the group will be divided into two squads of four. Even so, you’re not necessarily isolated from one another as each and every action of the two parties will affect the other.

This also translates to the story of the campaign and ultimately both parties will come together for the Final Mission. New mechanics such as the City and Journey cards also come into play here as well as a revamped relic system. Then we have the introduction of a new combat role — the Commander. A 2-in-1 character featuring the hero itself and their companion.

Vampire: The Masquerade — Chapters

  • Current Status: 21 days left (Ends on February 29, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: CA$ 250,000 (~$188,116) — Achieved, currently at CA$850,995 (~$640,621)
  • No. of Backers: 3,995

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Joining a long-running franchise in the “World of Darkness” setting is Vampire: The Masquerade — Chapters. While the game is not a direct sequel of any of the previous tabletop or video games, it does share a familiar world and some mechanics. Much like the previous titles, Chapters focuses on storytelling with hints of combat and investigation. Players have more than 40 scenarios to go through and the story adapts depending on the group or person’s playstyle.

The game is set in Montreal City after its liberation from the Sabbat. The story of Chapters is fully replayable and can be approached at different angles, characters, and choices. There is a strong emphasis on freedom of choice here as players are given reigns over their character evolution, storytelling, and inventory. Hence the “RPG in a box” monicker, as it mimics the freedom of pen and paper tabletop in a board game setting.

Tactical combat, dialogues, and investigations are also a large part of the game. There are times when players can use their skills to affect the actions of encountered NPCs. Each character will also have their own set of unique skills or disciplines. Some may be better at diplomacy than others, while others are better at combat or deception.

It’s A Wonderful World Ascension

  • Current Status: 6 days left (Ends on February 14, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: €20,000 (~$21,992) — Achieved, currently at €293,801 (~$323,070)
  • No. of Backers: 6,015

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Next up on the list is an Expansion and Reprint of a successful Kickstarter project back in May 2019 — It’s A Wonderful World Ascension. Ascension aims to provide a bit more content to your It’s A Wonderful World sessions. It comes with 48 new cards, 4 new card types, and a new empire to expand the player count to 6.

For those who are unfamiliar with It’s A Wonderful World. It’s basically a 1-5 player card drafting game fused with engine building. The goal is to amass the most victory points by the end of the campaign. Resource generation is sequential, meaning you’re going to have to plan carefully how you use these precious materials. However, the cards you draft can also be turned into immediate resources, if you choose not to construct them for your empire.

An added unique twist to the game is its legacy system dubbed the “Heritage” campaign. The mode has all the makings of a legacy setting but devoid of component destruction or permanent repercussions. Basically, a replayable type of Legacy system, if you can even call it that. The Heritage system extends the gameplay of each campaign, adding new cards and goals for players to achieve. There are only two pledges in the campaign though, one for the expansion only and the other for the full content of the first Kickstarter with Ascencion. Sadly, there is no option for just getting the core game in a standalone pledge.

Aeon’s End: Outcasts

  • Current Status: 21 days left (Ends on February 28, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: $40,000 — Achieved, currently at $228,446
  • No. of Backers: 2,444

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Aeon’s End is getting yet another title under its ever-expanding portfolio — Aeon’s End: Outcasts. The standalone expansion follows the footsteps of last year’s Aeon’s End: The New Age. Meaning, we’re getting yet another cooperative deck-building title. As always, despite being a standalone Outcasts is fully compatible with all previously released Aeon’s End content. New additions to the expansion include mages, nemeses, gems, relics, and spells.

The game’s story takes place right after the events of The New Age. Returning characters who are now crucial to the story include Z’hana and Xaxos, who incidentally becomes the person the players have to protect, instead of Gravehold. Much like The New Age before it, Outcasts uses the Expedition system for unlimited replayability.

For those unfamiliar with this system, it basically allows players to replay games in short campaign formats. Each game will provide players with new treasures. However, the nemeses they face will equally become stronger with each succeeding battle.

Enchanters: East Quest

  • Current Status: 7 days left (Ends on February 14, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: $30,000 — Achieved, currently at $137,125
  • No. of Backers: 2,251

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Yet another title receiving a rerun with a new expansion is Enchanters. Its new expansion, dubbed Enchanters: East Quest, takes players to the eastern realms. Along with the new Kingdom, Village, and Overlord decks comes some new game mechanics — Quests and the Mythic Deck.

Enchanters is a pretty straightforward competitive card drafting game. The player with the most glory points at the end of the match will be the winner. Apart from the new quest mechanic, where players undertake various tasks for extra glory, and Mythic deck that introduces powerful new monsters, the rules of the game remain unchanged. Players will still draft cards from the journey deck to create their own unique artifacts, fight monsters, defend a village, and face an Overlord. Simple, quick, and easy, but still entertaining and fun. East Quest is already the third expansion to the successful 2017 Kickstarter title.

Yohei

  • Current Status: 13 days left (Ends on February 21, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: €5,000 (~$5,498) — Achieved, currently at €13,513 (~$14,859)
  • No. of Backers: 323

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

A game 2-years in the making, Yohei finally relaunched in Kickstarter. A different take on a skirmish wargame, this title tasks players in taking control of the wartorn Island of Jiin via total domination or having the most victory points. It features a mix of dice combat, unit drafting, area control, events and equipment cards. The project now features improved artwork and a much lower starting pledge.

In Yohei, players have a choice of different game modes (Clan, Yohei, and Duel) but ultimately will control clans with varying skills and powers over the course of 7 rounds. In each round, players take turns performing actions. The battlefield of the game is modular, meaning each and every playthrough will have a different setup. Tiles that comprise the map also have different terrains, which have their own effects on units.

Depending on the game mode, players will either choose a pre-constructed clan (Clan Mode), create their own unit pool via drafting (Yohei Mode), or create their very own deck (Duel Mode). Duel Mode is the only one of the three though that will require two copies of Yohei for players to have complete control over their clan variations. The road to victory is comprised of actions that include area control, unit deployment, combat, and playing event cards.

Vorpal Board

  • Current Status: 13 days left (Ends on February 20, 2020)
  • Pledge Goal: $20,000 — Achieved, currently at $46,348
  • No. of Backers: 326

Note: The number of backers and pledge amount changes every minute. If you wish to actively monitor these, head on over to the campaign link.

Last on the list for this week is Vorpal Board. While not technically a tabletop game, this project piqued our interest thanks to the aid it can provide for tabletop gamers. So what is Vorpal Board? Well, it’s a platform that aims to give players a way to digitally play any game together, remotely.

The main goal of Vorpal Board is to give tabletop gamers a platform to play with their friends no matter the distance. The kit provided in the Kickstarter includes a mounting arm, a table clamp, a phone cradle, a component scanning box with light, a large format component scanning sheet, three-card index sheets, and a 60-day host subscription to the program or a lifetime one if you choose the most expensive pledge. So how does Vorpal Board achieve what it claims to provide? Well, what it does is scan the entire board layout of the host using a smartphone app.

Then players can jump in via the Vorpal Board web application to view the current tabletop that’s been set up. The web app has integrated video chat, a shared visual tabletop, and gives players remote control over the game’s components and their own space. It also features panning and zooming, an integrated dice roller, and game-saving. To introduce assets into the game like tokens, tiles, and cards, the host need but scan these on the component scanning box. This is definitely one of the more interesting minimalistic tabletop companion programs we’ve seen in a while.

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