Relic's Second World War RTS Company of Heroes is coming to a tabletop near you, courtesy of a Kickstarter for a "streamlined board game experience" with resource collection, unit purchases and upgrades, special units and commanders, and "simplified" combat that puts a premium on positioning, cover, combined firepower, and knowing how and when to put your special abilities to use.
That sounds a lot like the Company of Heroes videogames, and that's what the developers are aiming for. The Kickstarter pitch says that it's aimed squarely at fans of the CoH series who like board games, and if you're just a board game fan then it's more of a "probably" situation, depending on "personal tastes and the type of game you are looking for."
"The important distinction to consider is that this is a cross between tactical skirmish games and economy-based resource management games so it feels and plays differently than most other games out there. While the CoH board game shares some common elements with skirmish games and tabletop miniatures games, (players are maneuvering units around on a map after all), it has such a large focus on securing, collecting and spending resources that the end experience is quite different," developer Bad Crow Games explained.
"If you are a fan of of some of our favorite WW2 board games you will probably enjoy the Company of Heroes board game as well. But you should know that it is simpler (and less time consuming) than Squad Leader, Tide of Iron and Bolt Action. It has more tactical depth than titles like Memoir 44'. The unit interactions and abilities approach the degree found in games like Heroes of Normandie and Conflict of Heroes but has a more streamlined (and therefore lighter) combat system."
The base game will feature four playable nations—the US, Britain, Soviet Union, and "Wehrmacht," which I guess is being used instead of Germany because they're the good guys now—with 32 vehicles, 150 infantry figures, 55 dice of various sorts, 44 figure trays, 120 markers, 12 production tiles, and a map board. Extra components are available in three add-ons, the Terrain Pack, the Solo/Co-op Expansion, and the Elite Commanders Collection; Bad Crow said the extra stuff isn't included with the base set because it would have forced the price too high, and it's already pretty stiff as is. The pledge for the base set is $99, and the collector's bundle goes for twice that.
Stretch goals are a possibility, but they'll "start out a little less frequent at the early stages" because the core set is designed to be "a very complete and deluxe game from day one, without any stretch rewards."
The good news for anyone who wants to see this happen is that the $100,000 Kickstarter goal has already been blown away—at this moment it's pushing $137,000, and will be higher by the time you read this—and there's still 21 days left in the campaign.
"Something else to note is that the Company of Heroes Board Game is 90-95% complete at the time of the KickStarter. Some of the core models, particularly the infantry and weapon teams need either some extra detail or further development," Badi Crow wrote. "Many of the stretch goal units and commanders need some more testing and tweaking as well as the Solo and Cooperative mode, if it becomes unlocked. Thus there remains approximately 60 days of final tweaking and design to do after the KickStarter is complete (which has been factored into the delivery date)."
The Company of Heroes Board Game Kickstarter runs until June 26. The release is currently scheduled for May 2020.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.