There are, no joke, over 1500 cards in Gloomhaven. Don't plan on sleeving...

It’s cardboard Kickstarter explosion day

Tabletop •

Warning: Guard your wallet.

We’re about to enter into some dangerous Kickstarter territory for a couple of cardboard titles that you’re going to want to back. Just remember, it’s not my fault. I’m just the messenger. Actually, I’ve already pledged for both and this it my way of trying to spread my pain around. Blame me all you want.

First on the list is a little dungeon crawl called Gloomhaven. Heard of it? It made a ruckus on Kickstarter last year and has been at the top of the Hotness list at BGG since Noah built the ark. Unfortunately, it’s hard to come by because all copies were snatched up on Kickstarter with very few, if any, making it to retail. This Kickstarter is for the second printing which offers up some improvements for those of us with the first edition. These include new rule and scenario books as well as dials for tracking hit points and XP. Owners of the first edition can pledge for just these upgraded goodies, or you can pledge for en entirely new set. Even though I own the first edition, I pledged for both the upgrades and an entirely new box. Here’s why.

Gloomhaven is a game that changes as you play. It’s more than a simple dungeon crawl, it’s more like an entire RPG experience in a box. We’ve had games with campaigns before, but not like this. There are over 90 scenarios to play through and as you progress you’ll physically change the game. The map comes with nothing on it but the city of Gloomhaven, and as you unlock new dungeons or quests you’ll add stickers to the board so that it resembles a video game map with a slowly receding fog of war. Cards can be altered with stickers and while there are six classes to choose from at the beginning of the adventure, you will unlock a ton more as you play. Thus, you’ll be retiring and starting new characters throughout the adventure. There’s easily a year or more of gameplay in the box, and it plays great solo. Also, the game isn’t your standard dungeon crawl where you roll dice and add modifiers. There is a complex, deep card game buried in combat that takes a bit of brainpower to work around.

As I’ve been progressing through the story with my kids, I’m longing to play another way with my game group or solo, and I want to start from scratch. Hence, a new copy is needed. Needed. The game is fantastic, and I want to be able to play it more. If you haven’t jumped on the Gloomhaven bandwagon, now’s your chance to get a bright, shiny new copy.

Check out the video review below from Marco Arnaudo for game details and his rave at the end.

The second title that went live today is Hardback from Tim Fowers. We love Tim’s previous word game, Paperback, which was successfully brought to digital last year. Hardback is the “pre-quill” and adds more than just a new name. This is an entirely new word game that should be hitting our tabletops in October. So, what’s new with Hardback?

  • Hardback has no dedicated wild cards – your starting hand offers significantly more variety – and you’ll never draw a “worthless” hand
  • Any card can be made wild by playing it face-down – keeping you in control of which cards to focus on
  • In Hardback, you do not purchase cards to earn victory – instead, play letter cards that score victory each time they are used
  • Hardback does not have a pre-configured offer row – setting up a new game is as quick as shuffle and go
  • No “draw extra cards” cards – instead, use “ink” to press your luck and draw extra cards – but go too far and you might not be able to spell a word
  • Persistent cards provide stay in play and provide benefit each turn – until your opponents force you to discard them by using your letter in their word

In hardback, there are four distinct card “genres”, each with their own unique mechanics to compliment your play style: Adventure, Mystery, Romance, and Horror.

The artwork is from the same artist, Ryan Goldsberry, so you can expect it to be excellent. Other than that, it’s less than $30 to get a copy complete with any and all stretch goals.

Both the Gloomhaven and Hardback Kickstarters have already met their pledge goals and both Tim Fowers and Cephalofair Games have run successful Kickstarters in the past, so there’s little risk involved with either. Links to both below:

Notable Replies

  1. Gah, I wish I hadn't read that. The money is currently peeking out of my wallet like Pennywise after reading about Gloomhaven. I didn't know about the metagame with the map.

  2. Peak Oil has got me. It sounds like it's in that worker placement/fight me niche along with Sons of Anarchy and Argent: The Consortium.

  3. And Gloomhaven backed. Got the base set plus the Solo campaigns.

    Final 40 hours of the kickstarter if anyone else was looking to get in.

  4. Been playing with my kids and soloing when they're not around. It's really great...I don't think you're going to be disappointed.

  5. Somehow managed to have £5 leftover in the pledgemanager.

    So now Stately Play is going to wind up written on 5 of the cards in the designers personal copy. ;D

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