In the middle of last year, I was pretty excited about Infinity TAGs (the large mechs of the Infinity Universe). I went so far as to put them all up in a running catalog post (which I recently updated with some of the missing pics). Flash forward to earlier today and Corvus Belli announced a teaser for their next board game venture:
Being the first announcement of the product, there isn’t a lot to go on but the company did clarify some basic points:
- standalone board game
- multiplayer; each player piloting one TAG
- mission system with campaign options
- TAG miniatures will be compatible with Infinity and in the same scale
- featuring largest miniatures the company has ever produced
Now this concept is not new. Beast of War/On The Table hosted an Infinity “Bootcamp” back in 2016 where the made, among other things, a custom variant they called simply “TAG Deathmatch.”
This concept got a lot of traction at the time since it hit on a lot of things that normal Infinity can’t: multiplayer, fast, simple. To top it all off, it uses the game’s most impressive miniatures as well.
The rules are quite simple for Infinity, even simpler than Code One since it uses the most basic of concepts like movement, actions, range, and AROs (automatic reaction orders). The TAGs are usually a complicated beast of a unit as they can be affected by a variety of attacks (including infowar/hacking) and can do other things like having the pilot eject out, causing more mischief.
A lot of the complexity is removed here because the Beasts of War team standardized every TAG to be the same, eliminating a lot of the subtle/not-subtle nuances each TAG brings to the table. Being used to Infinity and loving the complexity, this was actually a big turnoff however, I lose nothin by picking up the free rules and (pre-COVID) could drop the game on the table with new players and have a good time.
Jumping back to TAG Raid, the game will be the second Kickstarter for Corvus Belli after Defiance (above). Using Defiance as the only example of how Corvus Belli may treat TAG Raid, they will likely keep with the heavy board game setup, simplifying things. But Defiance was anything but simple. I watched Colton play a mission at Gen Con and it has quite a learning curve with a lot of downtime as they opted for a complex AI driven “dungeon” crawl.
Complexity will be welcome in this deathmatch game as you are only worrying about your single figure and, just like an RPG can have a high level of complexity for your character, I hope to see a lot of options and maybe even some mech-style power management. We know there will be dice and cards so we’ll see how all of this shakes out but I’m very excited to see where they go with this.
One thing that will be less exciting is the cost. Defiance had pledge ranges from €100 – €250 not including shipping. With Corvus Belli likely sticking with a mostly metal miniature range, that is probably some hefty shipping as well. Defiance also exclusive to Kickstarter so it will have that terribly effective FOMO aspect to it as well.
The party will kickoff in full near the end of October but Corvus Belli promises to tease things throughout the year as we build to the Kickstarter launch date.
As an aside, this announcement was expected to be a new game offering and a lot of people thought it would be a racing game using the various Remote units in the game. Two big drivers led to this anticipation as the N4 rule set introduced a new trooper, the REM Driver. There is no model yet but the unit profile exists for almost every faction.
Then there was the release at Christmas with the Fat Yuan Yuan biker carrying a bunch of toys. Eagle-eyed fans noticed FatYY was carrying games including Defiance and N4, which were well established, but also in the back was a box called “REM Racers.” All these things coinciding with a new game announcement likely deadened the TAG Raid announcement (as people tend to prefer being right when they make unwanted assumptions).
In the end, I’m excited. I would have been excited for a REM Racers game as I like racing games and would be interested in seeing what Corvus Belli does with the genre. Being a TAG fanboy though, this is just as cool (maybe because I also finished up Season 1 of Pacific Rim: The Black last night). Besides, they also said players would fight each other and… something. Couple that with the “biggest minis they’ve ever made” and I have to wonder…
Fight something bigger than Megalodron, the Defiance super mini? I so want to know more.