Unboxing Dark Souls: The Board Game

_20170427_155733When the Dark Souls Kickstarter project funded, having raised over £3,770K from over 31,000 backers, there were few who believed Steamforged Games when they stated that their estimated delivery date of April 2017 would not affected.

However, here we are in April 2017 and Steamforged are proving their doubters wrong by delivering the base game of Dark Souls on time – almost something of a first for a KS project of such magnitude.

I am aware that backers will not receive all the extras and KS exclusives until the 2nd wave shipping (which I believe is in October), but given the size of the project, I think what Steamforged have achieved is no small feat.

What is more, they appear to have not only delivered on time, but delivered on quality.

I will own up and say that this isn’t my Kickstarter box – indeed, I didn’t back this project – but my friend, work colleague and fellow gamer Dave Hickman did, and he received his box today and was keen to open it.

First off, it’s a big box – Fantasy Flight Games sized big box – and it’s absolutely packed with stuff: cards, dice, character sheets, game tiles…and of course some rather gorgeous miniatures – but we get ahead of ourselves.

There are a number of full colour double-sided game boards in the box. The artwork and printing quality on these are nothing short of excellent. The card thickness and finish should also ensure that these prove durable during play.

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There are four characters in the base game – again, the printing and artwork on these are beautifully realised.

I didn’t get chance to look at the card art, as Dave didn’t want to open the cards without a suitable bag in which to store them, so maybe next time for a chance to look at those.

However, one of the things that Dark Souls was notable for were the miniatures, and the question was whether these live up to expectations, and are they any good?

_20170427_135700There are two boxes – the first (smaller) box contain some minions and the characters. In short, these look pretty good. The player character models are in brown, whilst all the minions are in grey. The plastic is pretty hard, which means not only that there are no issues with bendy spears, but also that the details are cleanly cast and crisp. I noticed the odd bit of flash on a couple of the models, but nothing that a couple of quick scraps with a modelling knife wouldn’t cure.

Obviously the miniatures have a very stylised look as they are based on the video game creatures – I’m not 100% sure whether they all appeal to me, but then again, it’s not my game!

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The larger box contains six ‘Boss’ figures. I have never played Dark Souls, so I have no idea how these relate to the monsters in the video game, but I was very impressed indeed by their representation in miniature.

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I thought that the miniatures produced in the Conan game were pretty good, but these take miniatures in boardgames to a whole new level, and set the bar very high for other miniature-heavy games to come, such as Mythic Battles – I only hope that the miniatures we are due to receive in that game match those which Steamforged have produced in Dark Souls – judge for yourself, but I think that these are indeed excellent (yes, that word again).

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If you haven’t guessed already, I’m incredibly impressed by the production values of this game. On that level, I think Steamforged have knocked it out of the park.

Gameplay? Well, that’s another matter – we will have to wait and see on that front, but hopefully not too long.

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  1. Dark Souls – thoughts after first play through – Meeples & Miniatures

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