I had enough interesting projects marked that it seemed like a good time for another Now on Kickstarter post, and coincidentally all three of the board games I had tabbed were cooperative. Over the long term, I had not been big on coops, but over the last couple of years, some of the very best games have been coops (including my personal favorite games from 2015 and 2016 – Pandemic Legacy and Mansions of Madness 2E, respectively). The three this time are a campaign/Legacy expansion to a coop 4X game that came out last year, a reprinting of a coop dungeon-crawler that came out last year, and a coop post-apocalyptic scenario-based exploration game. Plus, a bonus RPG selection (I know RPGs aren’t necessarily cooperative, but close enough).
Centauri Saga Legacy: OK, technically the name of this project is Centaur Saga Season 1, but “legacy” is really want needs to be conveyed here. Centauri Saga, released in 2016, was a cooperative 4X game. I thought it was pretty fun (review here and GenCon interview here), and one of the better games from last year (not in my top 5 games, but a good one). This expansion both adds a legacy campaign to the game, as well as a general “upgrade pack.” Details on the legacy aspect are understandably slim, but it will be 8 story-based scenarios with two chances to beat each scenario (similar to Pandemic Legacy Season 1, which was 12 scenarios with two chances to beat each). The “upgrade pack” element of the project includes updates to the rulebook and some cards, plus upgraded player mats, some new cards and new miniatures. Centuari Saga Season 1 is already at five times its original goal, and the campaign runs through April 30, 2017. Getting the full expansion costs $45 (there’s the option of adding the original game on as well).
Maximum Apocalypse: From the designer/publisher that released Brass Empire last year, Maximum Apocalypse is a cooperative post-apocalyptic adventure game. There are are three scenarios in the game at the moment (Zombie, Nuclear, Alien Invasion), with a fourth (Rise of the Robots) likely to come soon from a stretch goal, and the particulars of the game will vary from scenario to scenario. But in any scenario, the characters arrive at a new location, scout it, attempt to accomplish scenario-specific goals (plus not getting shot in the face too much, starving, etc.) and then get out of there. There are six survivor classes, each with its own unique deck. Maxium Apocalypse is fully funded, and the campaign runs through May 4, 2017. A copy of the game goes for $40.
Gloomhaven: If you’re one us us “hardcore” gamers who visits BGG every day, then you’ve almost certainly heard of Gloomhaven, the cooperative campaign/legacy Euro cooperative dungeon crawler. Tabbed as one of my most anticipated games to check out at GenCon last year, and it came out of the gates roaring when it finally released this year (rising to #7 in the BGG rankings as of the time I type this). There was just one small problem – the couple thousand extra copies that were printed beyond the copies from the original Kickstarter campaign wasn’t even slightly close to enough to meed the demand. So they are back on Kickstarter to raise fund for a much larger second printing (as of the time I’m typing this, around 19,000 backers for a new copy, plus thousands more for an upgrade pack). Gloomhaven will set you back $99, but it’s a massive game (I mean, physically massive – I think over 20 pounds shipped, and yes that $99 includes shipping if you’re in the U.S.). A campaign-style game with legacy elements, players in Gloomhaven control a particular character on a particular mission, but in the long run the group of players controls an adventuring group whose members will come and go, with experienced characters achieving their personal goals, retiring, and being replaced by newly unlocked character classes. If that sounds even mildly interesting, it’s probably worth checking out. The campaign ends on May 2, 2017.
Bonus – Arthur Lives: For something a little different, your bonus today is an RPG that is not yet funded (about $900 short as of the time I write this). So if making sure that a lower-profile game actually gets made is the sort of thing that floats your Kickstarter boat, then this one is for you. Arthur Lives features characters who are reincarnations of the heroes (and villains) of Arthurian legend. They must wade through supernatural conspiracies and mystery as they remember more of their past live. Reminds me a bit of Corporia, which I liked. This small press RPG is a FATE-powered incarnation of the True20 game of the same name (you can find the original on DriveThruRPG). For $20 you can get a pdf of the book, or for $50 you can get a hardcover copy (plus the pdf).