Pictured: 1/10 of the game's minis

Paradox bringing their IP to cardboard

Tabletop •

Before I left for Europe I was asked if I wanted to attend PDXCON, Paradox‘s annual navel gaze, in Stockholm. Of course I said yes, but before you think I’m a lucky bastard, I should tell you that I didn’t go. I’m traveling with my dad and deviating from our itinerary nearly put him in the cardiac ward, so I had to crawl back and turn them down. Luckily, there’s this thing called the internet and you can pretty much be there without actually, you know, being there.

It’s been a big week of announcements thus far: Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Imperator: Rome, and more. That said, the biggest announcement (in my board game centric eyes) was made today. Paradox is bringing some of their biggest franchises to the tabletop.

Paradox is going to be teaming up with designers and publishers of board games to bring universes such as Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, Hearts of Iron, and, most intriguingly, Cities: Skylines to our tables. The first game getting the dice and minis treatment will be Crusader Kings, and Paradox just launched a Kickstarter this morning to make it a reality.

Crusader Kings will be published by Free League Publishing and is designed by Tomas Härenstam, the head of Free League Publishing and designer of Mutant: Year Zero.

If you were expecting a direct port of the PC game and were wondering how in the hell that would work, don’t worry. It’s not quite that:

Crusader Kings – The Board Game is not an attempt to simply port the computer game to the tabletop. A single campaign of Crusader Kings 2 can take hundreds of hours to complete. Recreating it in every detail on the tabletop would be futile. Instead, our design goal is to capture the essence of experience of playing Crusader Kings 2, and turning it into a rich and intense tabletop experience of 2-3 hours. The game rests on four core pillars:

  • Character Focus. The game brings characters and dynasties to the forefront, using traits and events to develop the characters and the story.
  • Grand Strategy. Crusader Kings is a grand strategy game at heart, and so is the board game. To win, you will need to plan decades ahead and outwit your opponents.
  • Emergent Storytelling. Like the computer game, the board game has an events system (using cards) that interacts with the game mechanics to create unexpected and memorable story twists.
  • Steeped in History. The board game is based on historical characters and events of the Middle Ages, letting you relive – and change – the course of actual history.

As per Kickstarter custom these days, the game will be loaded with miniatures. There are 70 in the base game and more possible if you buy the “deluxe” version or if the campaign hits stretch goals they haven’t yet announced.

The Kickstarter is looking for €48,453 to succeed and are already nearly €12K there. The Kickstarter is less than an hour old. I don’t think they’ll have a problem funding this thing. Head on over to the Kickstarter and see if the minis or first draft of the rules strikes your fancy. Personally, I’m far more excited about how Cities: Skylines will translate to the tabletop. A good city-builder is my grail game, and nothing I’ve played thus far gives me the same feeling as anything playable on a laptop. We’ll keep an eye on Paradox and see when they announce the next game in the series.

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Notable Replies

  1. we like to play Big City (Goldsieber), Downtown (Abacus), Firenze and Alan Moon’s Capitol.
    Elasund a kind of medieval city builder too.
    good ol’ Torres no city builder, but a castle builder which can create an impressive skyline though :joy:
    oh, and San Francisco (Amigo).
    Acquire does not really qualify, but we used to play and to fill the grid as if there were no tomorrow.

  2. It will be interesting to see how they’re adapted. I don’t think the design team has much board game experience.

    If you’ve already got something like Fief, which predates CK, and does more CK stuff than the board game version of CK does…

  3. I’m pretty sure I could fill a table with historical board game players. I’ll keep an eye on this one.

    The cities skylines game reminds me of the sim city ccg. I only ever had one booster pack which I bought as an impulse buy in the 90s. I think it had one double length card which was a freeway, if I remember correctly. I’d totally be down for more city blocks on cards, either physical or digital.

  4. Thanks for the Age of Wonders news! I love that series!

  5. Tamsk says:

    To me, GW’s Blood Royale has always been the canonical CK-before-CK boardgame.

  6. Fascinating game. We ended up playing it on the lounge floor, because there was no other way to organise the family trees. We also always used the Vatican rules from White Dwarf. A computer port to take care of the housekeeping would be ideal. :blush:

  7. It looks like most of their library is for sale on GOG for dirt cheap.

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