Today’s update will cover the Mega Boss expansions of Kalameet, Vordt, and the Old Iron King. But before jumping into each Mega Boss, we’d like to first explain some ideas and changes that came up during Dark Souls™: The Board Game development, focusing on bosses’ special abilities.
Those who have seen early videos of the Dancer encounter might not remember a special ability field on the Dancer’s boss stat card. Well, that’s because there wasn’t one! In fact, we began developing several different bosses before we decided to give each boss its own special ability. Some of these abilities have a much greater impact on the way the encounter plays out than others, but they all serve the same purpose – adding a bit of unique flavour to that particular boss encounter.
In cases like the Four Kings, the boss special ability field on their stat cards is what allows the entire encounter to function as intended, with new kings showing up repeatedly to ruin the characters’ day. In other cases, the ability is a bit more subtle, such as changing how the players modify the boss’s behaviour deck after the heat up point or even something as simple as immunity to the Frostbite and Stagger conditions.
As you start playing through the various bosses of Dark Souls: The Board Game, you’ll find these little differences on their cards make a big difference in the feel and flavour of their encounters. Each one should evoke the unique boss fight we all loved from the video game and give it new life on the tabletop.
Black Dragon Kalameet is a visually imposing miniature, and we’re thrilled with how its miniature has turned out (“miniature” being a rather relative term when it comes to Kalameet who looks quite massive even on his 150mm base). In Dark Souls, players cannot even fight Kalameet until Hawkeye Gough injures the dragon with a massive arrow from his greatbow. Those who enter Kalameet’s canyon prior to this attack find themselves bathed in flame from the mighty beast.
Though it required us to take a bit of artistic license, we really wanted to capture that canyon-bathed-in-flame element of the Black Dragon Kalameet battle. So Kalameet’s behaviour deck can trigger him leaving the boss tile entirely, damaging any character standing on a huge swath of nodes, and then returning to a specified node on the tile to continue combat.
Another memorable element of the showdown with Kalameet is the brutality of his Calamity condition. When afflicted by this condition (which is unique to this mega boss battle), characters become vastly more vulnerable to harm. They’ll need to work together to protect marked members of the party and endeavour to bring down the black dragon before they fall to his vicious onslaught.
Black Dragon Kalameet Front View - 150mm Base
Black Dragon Kalameet Side View - 150mm Base
Black Dragon Kalameet Rear View - 150mm Base
The battle with Vordt of the Boreal Valley is marked by an agility that belies his size. With massive, room-clearing charges, standing back a few paces from Vordt is hardly cause to feel safe, and his Dark Souls: The Board Game encounter is no different. Vordt has quite a few behaviour cards that take him across multiple nodes of the battlefield quickly. He’s far more difficult to corner than some of the other bosses you’ll face in the board game.
Additionally, Vordt’s battle is distinguished by the pairing of the frostbite and stagger conditions. Either one on its own poses a hindrance to how quickly characters can act and react, but both at once can truly hamstring a character’s efforts in battle. Combine these powerful debuffs with Vordt’s own innate speed, and players will need to puzzle out how to defeat a foe who can drastically outmanoeuvre them.
Each Mega Boss expansion comes with its own tiles as well as the miniature, cards, health dial, etc. that players will need for the encounter. And we took full advantage of the Old Iron King’s unique tile sets. Because he doesn’t translate directly to a traditional dungeon crawl battle, his tiles are extra unique with just a few lava-bound nodes from which he assaults the party with fists and flame.
When the Old Iron King moves to a new node, he triggers a special “emerge” move on the next behaviour card drawn. Depending on the order of his behaviour cards, the Old Iron King could spend a whole turn simply moving to a new node, but this is where things get exciting and brutal. This would guarantee his next behaviour would include an emergent fiery assault that’s immediately followed by the card’s own attack or a move to a new node, setting up another emerge behaviour on the following turn!
Old Iron King Front View - 75mm Base
Old Iron King Side View - 75mm Base
Old Iron King Rear View - 75mm Base
We’ve now taken a quick look at each of the 8 Add-On expansions in the Pledge Manager, but that’s by no means all the Dark Souls™: The Board Game information we have for you! In the following weeks, we’ll dig deeper into various mechanics of the game and our development journey.
Praise the Sun! \[T]/