My upcoming crowdfunded board games for 2023 - Part 2

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Read on to check out what games are my crowdfunding-list for 2023!
I have a wide variety of games I am currently waiting for, although I've tried to keep within a "reasonable" amount for, uhm, unspecified constraints! (don't tell my wife about this!)
Did you look at any of these games? Feel free to share what games you are most excited about getting your hands on in 2023!

Did you miss part 1, check it out first!

Darkest Doom

Original delivery: Aug 2023.
New delivery: Current timeline suggests delivery around September 2023.
Pledge: Guardian pledge + the two expansions Mayura and The Order's Specialists and First Guardian. (189 EUR).

Darkest doom is a competitive (semi-coop available through extra material) RPG game set in 17th century Europe and featuring anthropomorphic animals. The darkness will try to destroy the world of Betel in any way it can, and if the guardians cannot stop it within 9 days, the guardians lose the game*. The darkening will affect the world for the players in various ways, which may force you to adjust your game plan.
Explore the world, complete quests, adjust strategy based on your character upgrade path, fight monsters or players and other things familiar in an RPG game. But beware, if darkness is allowed to grow without control, all* players will lose the game. So there needs to be a balance. Just like in Colt Express with the sheriff expansion, if all just focus on looting and ignore the sheriff, he wins the game and all bandits lose.

You also get a bot mode (as in Fractal), which can be used to play the game solo, or if some players are missing. The game is actually balanced to be played with four players, so we will have to get used to it in 2-3 player games as well! In fact, the bot can even try to win the game through their special rules. How this works in practice and how balanced/fun it is, is something I am very keen on testing well. If they managed to make an engaging and fun AI player, they will gain some great praise for it.


A closer look on some of the card backs in the game. Look slick!

One of the coolest things about the game, is the various game end conditions. Each player can adapt and change their strategy during play. Which path will you take?
  • The New High Priest of Betel
    • You are the chosen one. The player with the highest fame score by the end of the 9th day, wins the game. The most "conventional" scoring mechanism. However, maybe you are lagging behind (died a few times vs other players perhaps?) and you see mid-game that you need to alter course.. Then you can try to end the game earlier.. -->
  • Free the Shadow Shaman, Mosh
    • You are on a mission! Gather the 3 sigil stones, go to the monolith zone (foot of the winter mountain) and complete a special check. If you do, you win the game as you free Mosh from his exile and he is able to defeat the darkness.
  • Purify the High Priestess
    • You've decided to try and save the high priestess by breaking her curse, reach the top of the mountain and battle the darkness that controls her. If you win the battle and survive, the high priestess is saved and you win the game.
  • Become the Leader of the Hunt
    • In the dark contamination deck, there is a special card named "Leader of the Hunt". If you destroy the leader of the hunt and reveal this card, you can now control it! Your guardian is no more, you are now the leader of the hunt and do the Darkness' bidding! Be careful though, if the player dies while absorbed, they cannot be reborn and effectively leave the game.
    • *The player absorbed by the Leader of the Hunt wins the game alongside the Darkness.
  • Lose the game
    The Darkness has until the ninth Round to contaminate Betel. When all the Citadels and Blood Temples have 3 Dark Filaments each, the game ends and the Darkness succeeded in destroying Betel.
It looks like to have a very compelling and varied gameplay, with an incredibly well done theme and art/setting (artist Denis Medri). I think this game has the potential to be a bit cutthroat, which is always fun... ;)

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Original delivery: Sep 2023.
New delivery: No delays so far.
Pledge: Aelderman Collector's Edition (110 EUR).

Did someone say euro game? Yepp! Here you are trying to gain wealth and influence by skillful trade and trying to expand the city of Lübeck. This was definitely the most "indie"/small time publisher game on my 8 game list. Only 766 backers, but that just means I'm even more happy about me being one of them to help this game fund. I've been following the development of the game, and once the KS launched, I knew I just had to get it. Proper euro game, the game mechanics, art, complexity level, everything just felt immediately like "at home" for me with my preferences!

Sail the seas and try to make optimal usage of your actions by boosting your influence in the various regions, gather and trade resources based on supply and demand, construct buildings and expand the city to gain permanent bonuses, use your influence to secure important privileges during secret auctions and so on. There is also an independant short version if you are unsure if you can fit a full game (or perfect for a short teach round!), as it does take up to 3 hours, or more depending on your group. A very nice detail, as shorter games are easier to "fit" in the schedule and will allow the game to hit the table more often, at least for me.

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Auction in the council hall

I was surprised by how much under the radar this game went. In my book this game may pose to be a real classic. I especially enjoy the intricacies of the resource wheel, and the council hall. The resource wheel will show what resources are available in each city, depending on how many action points you want to spend. So you need to plan your actions well to get the resources you need. The wheel rotates every round. There will always be a surplus of certain common goods, while exotic goods are rare (inner circle of the wheel) and requires large investments in action points (3) and being in the right zone at the right time.

As for the council hall, you can use your influence markers (which are also victory points at the end of the game) to secretly bid to be able to chose a card first. You can gain council votes (VPs) and other privileges such as one-time effects, trade monopolies, end game bonuses etc. This bid order also provides the player order for the next round, with the top bidder total in both phases as player one. How many influence will you risk?

HYPE-METER: 3.44/4.
The game looks very solid, complex and fun mechanics which are very strategic, as well as a fantastic theme. The AP is a danger point though, so there may need to be a shot clock for this game!

Which brings me to my final game on the 2023 list..

Euthia Resurrected
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Original delivery: Dec 2023.
New delivery: No delays so far. (but extremely likely due to the massive amount of components/content in this game).
Pledge: All-in pledge (336 GBP).

The behemoth.. The "Euthia Resurrected" Kickstarter campaign includes the base game, Euthia: Torment of Resurrection and the expansion Fierce Powers/Crawling Shadows.
This is a re-print of the base game, as well as introducing a massive expansion alongside deluxe upgrades. The new expansion provides four large scenarios, coop and story cards, new hero, new upgrades to existing heroes and more. The deluxe box includes plastic trays, cloth bags, metal coins, tile/card storage towers and dual layer player boards. For such a massive game, that is in my opinion essential to reduce setup and improve the experience.

Explore the world of Euthia in this fantasy open world sandbox RPG game in coop, comp or solo. Gather the most reputation by the end of the scenario, to win the game. It features unique heroes with vastly different playstyles and abilities, allowing you to branch it into your desired way through special weapons and ability paths. Modular map tiles, large amount of different scenarios for huge replayability, gather resources, upgrade gear, complete side quests and to combat, lots of combat! The combat is done with one of the other players (or AI if solo) controlling the monster. The other player also has incentives to beat you, as they can get rewarded for doing so. The game is definitely complex, but has short and easier scenarios to get familiar with the game. It has dices, but lots of mitigating factors you can use. In my book, good luck mitigation is a huge plus, especially in heavier games.
There's also the awesome Diablo-esque art style, just giving that old-school look. It looks just incredible!
The game has similarities with Mage Knight, but it leans harder into the theme than the mathematical/efficiency puzzle of MK.

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The map tiles in Euthia.

The amount of things you can do in the game, the sheer replayability, the design and style, the combat system.. It's hard to not get excited! I've seen some playthroughs and it looks so fun. There are many ways to win and it looks to provide a really good RPG experience in board game format. The provided scenarios give you lots of variety in game length, coop/comp/solo, you chose. As for the potential down-sides, do note that the game is generally not recommended for 4 players due to the amount of down-time (unless all are efficient and fast players that know the game). 2-3 player is where it is at, or solo if you prefer that. Also, of course the insanely huge table you will need to fit this game! But I take that as a challenge!

HYPE-METER: 3.8/4.
I am definitely super hyped about Euthia! I might get disappointed, but I really hope not! The base game is generally very well received, and the large expansion will hopefully improve on shortcomings in the base game and further improve its strengths. At least by the description, it looks well on track to do that, so I can't wait to test this out myself!

And that concludes my Kickstarter 2023 crowdfunded game list, and I hope you enjoyed the read! Please share if you have any of these games on YOUR list or if you have any questions :)
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