Do you have fond memories of Erathia, the setting of several games in the classic late 1990s, early 2000s Might and Magic games, including famous spinoffs Heroes of Might and Magic. Specifically, did you enjoy 1999's Heroes of Might and Magic 3 most of all?
If so, I have great and extremely specific news: The nice people at Archon Studios are making a licensed HOMM3 board game, complete with miniatures, monsters, and an approximation of the tactical battles that made the Heroes of Might and Magic games so popular.
Is this a thing now? Are we doing board games based not just on a franchise in spirit—like the Company of Heroes (opens in new tab) or Crusader Kings (opens in new tab) board games—but on specific throwback fan-favorite games in storied franchises? What's next, System Shock 2? Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos? Mechwarrior 4? Fallout: New Vegas?
My amusement aside, Archon Studio's game seems pretty dang thorough. The HOMM3 experience was very specific, and not so complex that it can't be recreated spiritually on the tabletop. Each player will take up the mantle of a hero, explore a 4X-style hex map, build up their own tableau of a town, and gather magic and an army to take the fight to the other factions.
It's full of the charming little art pieces that make Heroes so entertaining, little sprites and icons denoting various powers. The rainbow, dice, clover, and horseshoe of the luck spell. The sneering grimace of the stoneskin'd mage. The quaint fantasy cheese of the 90s is all over this and I'm low-key enjoying it. Sometimes a cool angel dude or a knight are just that. Sometimes the vampires are the bad guys.
And sometimes, just sometimes, Sandro the Necromancer's hood still doesn't fit, 23 years later. You can find the HOMM3 board game on its website (opens in new tab), with a Kickstarter to launch on November 15th, 2022. Archon Studios has previously released a few board games, including the Wolfenstein adaptation, and a series of tabletop terrain sets.