2018 is going to see some huge new releases in the world of tabletop gaming, as well as some incredible releases and updates for already established products. This is my top six upcoming exciting board games, for titles that have either been announced, teased, or have been funded on Kickstarter and are awaiting a full commercial release, and why I’m looking forward to them. Feel free to share your top six upcoming tabletop games in the comments at the bottom or via our social media channels.
Star Wars Legion – Fantasy Flight Games
The first on my list of exciting upcoming tabletop games is FFG’s soon to be released Star Wars Legion. FFG has a history of not only pleasing franchise fans but also bringing in non-franchise fans to their markets. X-Wing was initially exciting to Star Wars fans who wanted to live out X-Wing/Tie Fighter dogfights on the tabletop, but it’s become a recognized competitive miniatures skirmish game, far beyond the franchise fan base. Armada took those space battles to a bigger scale, and then Imperial Assault blended a miniatures skirmish game with role-playing elements. Now FFG is bringing squad-based skirmish combat to the tabletop.
The initial Legion releases will allow you to take Darth Vader and some Storm Trooper elements to battle against Luke Skywalker and his team of rebels. Pre-release hands-on games have shown a simple yet effective system for movement, range, and cover, based around command units and squad leaders with alternating unit activations. Range and movement are measured with unique hinged range rulers of varying lengths.
The most interesting feature of Star Wars Legion is the command cards. The command cards operate similarly to X-Wing, which secretly allocated movement at the start of the turn as the players choose from one of several command cards at the start of each round. The command cards detail who goes first and also how many units you can activate, forcing commanders to make a trade-off between possibly going first and not activating all of your units. This element means that you need to really consider your priorities, as well as being able to read your opponent.
There looks to be enough similarities that players of the other FFG Star Wars games will feel comfortable, and combined with the simplicity of presented stats and details on unit actions cards that allow new gamers easy access and smoother game flow, the game will appeal to a wide market. The models look extremely detailed, and we’re excited for what FFG plans for the future of Star Wars Legion.
Fallout Wasteland Warfare – Modiphius
A few of us here on the Tabletop Team are very excited for Fallout Wasteland Warfare by Modiphius, not just because of our love of Fallout, but because of the quality of the models and the scale of the plans that Modiphius have for the tabletop wargame. Wasteland Warfare will be based on Fallout 4, working back to Fallout, with no plans currently for New Vegas. Players will be able to take one of several factions to the tabletop, including the Survivors, Brotherhood of Steel, and Super Mutants. Players will be able to play against each other in skirmish mode. By using an AI control deck, players will also be able to play co-op or even single-player in ad-hoc battles, or through a narrative campaign. It’s this scope of available options that appeals most to me.
I’m very pleased to see V.A.T.S. make an appearance in the tabletop game, and the feel of the video game looks to be a big priority for Modiphius, which you can see in the level of detail in the incredible models and scenery they are creating.
Plans are also for future campaign packs to add further depth to the universe, and it’s this depth of currently planned products and future plans that make this so exciting. Just by listening to anyone from Modiphius talk about Fallout Wasteland Warfare, you can feel their passion for the franchise and their product.
Rising Sun – CMON
Rising Sun by CMON has been created by the tabletop creative legend Eric M. Lang and is being referred to as the follow-on game to 2015’s Blood Rage. While there appear to be some similarities between the games, Rising Sun looks extremely detailed and involved. Players will each play a Japanese clan vying for power over the course of a year, with the rounds played in seasons. Each round is divided into two phases (political and war) in which players prepare their actions and then carry them out. Initial playthroughs show a very intense and involved game where making alliances and possibly betraying them plays a huge part, but you have to be careful with betrayals, as you gain and lose honor over the course of the year, and whoever has the higher honor decides the outcome of ties.
Rising Sun might not be for everyone, as the alliance system means that you’ll be bluffing and betraying your fellow gamers, but there’s a huge amount of detail that I hope will help bring some gamers out of their comfort zone.
The models and contents look incredible, and it’s what initially drew me to Rising Sun, but closer inspection shows a very detailed and challenging game with some interesting and unique concepts. The full rulebook is already available on CMON’s website, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, we are now awaiting a full release.
Nemesis – Awaken Realms
I love survival horror. When I say survival horror, I mean true survival horror. The “not having enough ammo to kill everything, only taking shots when it matters, running when you can, which is often, and trying to solve puzzles under pressure” survival horror. The success of The Evil Within and Alien Isolation proves that I’m not alone in this. Nemesis was funded on Kickstarter in four minutes, which can only show the level of public interest in this game. This semi-co-operative board game has a huge amount going for it, on top of the great looking models.
In Nemesis, each player takes a unique class that has a role to play and a set of skills and weaknesses. What I find appealing about the game is that all the classes need each other, but each also has their own objectives. So while working together, you are also trying to complete your own goal and possibly trying to not let the other players win. I’m hoping for scenes of the scientist locking the soldier in the corridor while he tries to defend the party against advancing enemies, or the captain sabotaging the pilot’s escape pod. The exploration system looks interesting and is randomly generated, so what might work in one game might not work in the next.
I’m very excited about this project and getting to see if what they say about screaming in space is true.
Judge Dredd Card Game – Osprey Games
The Judge Dredd card game was announced recently by Osprey Games, and while not a lot is currently known, it will be a competitive, cooperative, and singleplayer card game based on the great Lost Expedition card game that Osprey Games released last year. The Judge Dredd IP is huge, so the scale available to Osprey Games is great, and I’m very interested to see the different types of cards that could be available. Osprey Games have already mentioned radiation tracking and psychic abilities, as well as battling mutants and dinosaurs, and a host of iconic Judge Dredd characters will be available. If there’s a card for ‘I am the law!’ though, that will be enough for me.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the development of this game.
A Song of Fire and Ice Tabletop Miniatures – CMON
The Game of Thrones IP alone will be enough for this to be a success, but the fact that the models look incredible and the rules look interesting and very thematic for the setting only makes it more exciting. There are five game modes with different goals, such as capturing objectives or meeting criteria to win. There are also tactics decks for each house, as well as behind the scenes political plays using non-combative characters from the setting.
The Stark vs Lannister starter set is huge, and my hope is that we’ll see more houses as it develops. The dire wolves are already present, and in the future we could see dragons, White Walkers, and the Unsullied on the field. That’s my real hope for this game: that it is a huge success and expands into what every Game of Thrones tabletop gamer desires.
Do you agree with my list? What games are you looking forward to? What updates/releases to currently released titles are you looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments below or through our social media channels.