Elden Ring
Back or Brick Crowdfunding Table Top

Back or Brick: Elden Ring from Steamforged Games

Tarnished, travel the lands of Elden Ring, exploring and fighting monsters. Join the quests, find the story and create and level up memorable character in Elden Ring: The Board Game from Steamforged Games.

The Game – Elden Ring: The Board Game

This section is going to be a little bit light. Mainly because there are a lot of videos out there on this game that are probably just better to checkout. But the basics are that this is a campaign game with each session being two parts (or every other session). But there is a part where you explore, possibly to find a boss or some bigger quest part. And then there is a boss battle. How those work, you can checkout the videos from Quackalope and BoardGameCo below.

What Doesn’t Work?

Let’s, as always, start about what doesn’t work for this game. And unfortunately one of the big things is the company that is doing it. Not that they don’t turn out fun games, they do, and from watching this game play, I think it’s the most fun of a game play that I’ve watched. So I appreciate that, but from a crowdfunding side of things, they are hard campaigns to back.

The base game level pledge doesn’t get stretch goals. So if you’re just looking at that, it’s not worth backing, grab it likely cheaper, after factoring in shipping at retail. The next level up is probably the best deal but it’s notably more expensive. And then the all in, while it might hold it’s value, is now extremely expensive.

I also do wonder about the replayability. The game is a campaign game with about 20 hours, they say 20+ in the core box. That isn’t bad, but for a campaign it’s not that long. And price point isn’t the issue here, it’s that 20 hours is something I can sit down and stream, but if it’s fun, would I want to play it again. The story, at least in the introductory scenario, which might be just that, doesn’t offer that many choices. It’s more a random exploration and then a boss fight.

What Works?

Now, to go back on what I said in some ways, I think both the exploration and boss fight look fun. Mainly because players can get into mini fights with creatures in the world during the game. And the fighting system, I think that looks really intriguing. It’s about positioning yourself so that you don’t take too much damage but can be in there and get damage. And I like that you can change your stance from aggressive to more defensive so there is good strategy in that.

Plus I like that the boss fight isn’t that much different, it’s just everyone versus the boss with the boss scaling on how much health it has. And the bosses lair, for lack of a better term, is just a bigger version of what you are fighting on. I think that works really well because you don’t need to learn a new system for the boss battle or lose the strategic decision making points for the smaller battles.

I also want to mention the minis in this game. Because Steamforged definitely does really good minis. And this doesn’t seem to be any different. So for a fan of the game and a fan of campaign games with minis, I think you’ll enjoy painting them a lot. And even for someone like myself who doesn’t paint minis, I like the looks of them a lot for this game.

Finally, I like that in exploration there is a timer. You need to complete everything by a certain amount of turns, or basically turns that you aren’t doing anything to progress quests or fighting a monster. If you can progress, then time isn’t ticking down. But otherwise, a turn of just exploring new locations, that is going to get you closer to losing the game.

Who Is It For?

I think this is for that medium weight board gamer to play with their friends who are video gamers. Maybe you got through all of Elden Ring and now you want to play something else but there isn’t a new video game out, well, this might work for you.

As for heavier or campaign board gamers, like myself, I think it’s one that we’ll enjoy. The exploration phase might be a bit simple. But the combat definitely looks like it offers a good challenge. And there are boss battlers out there already, but this might have an easier theme to sell.

Back or Brick – Elden Ring: The Board Game

This is a tough one for me. I really do think that the game looks interesting for Elden Ring, and it is a theme and world that I want to explore more, both in the video game and with this board game. But right now, this is a Brick for me. Might I regret it, I think that I might. Might I back it still, it is possible, but there is one big reason it’s a brick right now.

And that’s the pricing model. For a base pledge of something like a CMON Zombicide Game, you get the base game and all the stretch goals. From Steamforged, you need to pledge up a level to get the same amount of things. So do I want to back for $90 + shipping and not get stretch goals. Or do I want to back for $180 + shipping and get stretch goals and not that much extra. It’s a huge jump. So I am more apt to just wait for retail on the base box and probably get it for $90 or $100, and if it’s $100, I get free shipping. They really want you to play higher up.

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