These are the biggest board games and TTRPGs coming out this winter

Take our mittened hand and let Polygon’s Winter seasons Games bundle for 2021 guide you through the play ground of winter video games — what’s terrific, what’s not, and what amazing functions await you in the video games coming out in February and March.

It’s a brand-new year, which indicates brand-new tabletop video games are striking the street. Possibly you’ve lacked puzzles and you’re searching for a brand-new solitaire experience, or perhaps you’ve got a wild group of buddies who fulfill frequently online for a role-playing video game. Maybe it’s simply been a long while because you updated the household parlor game collection. Here’s what’s brand-new and significant on the planet of parlor game, card video games, and tabletop RPGs in 2021.

There’s a brand-new set of Magic: The Event cards, naturally, however likewise a brand-new anthology of one-shot experiences for Dungeons & Dragons. If you’ve tired of sword and sorcery shenanigans, there’s a brand-new Alien-themed RPG and an RPG based upon Netflix’s Modified Carbon. There are likewise 2 brand-new parlor game ideal for households — Umbra Via and Waddle Downtown. You’ll discover them, and lots more, in our round-up of the winter season’s finest video games.

Bear in mind that you can get almost whatever noted below at your friendly regional video game shop along with online.

Alien: The Roleplaying Video Game

A fireteam runs toward a gunship, which is providing suppressing fire. Chips of rock leap into the air in the foreground, while the background is obscured by smoke.

Image: Free League

Free League has an authentic struck on its hands with Alien: The Roleplaying Video Game. The acclaimed system depends on strong gameplay mechanics to develop stress, while making use of the abundant, lived-in sensation that makes the movie franchise so distinct. This winter season, there are 2 brand-new pieces of Alien material on the horizon, and both of them deserve an appearance.

To Begin With is Alien RPG: Colonial Militaries Operations Handbook, a brand-new project module composed by Andrew E.C. Gaska and Paul Elliott. It consists of whatever you require to produce your own badass group of Xenomorph-hunting roughnecks, consisting of weapons, automobiles, and a healthy dosage of tradition.

If you’ve not had the satisfaction of playing Alien yet — or merely aren’t able to get together face to face — Free League informs Polygon that a formally accredited variation of the ruleset is headed to the Foundry virtual tabletop platform this winter season.

Modified Carbon: The Function Playing Video Game

New in January is the release of the main role-playing adjustment of the Modified Carbon universe. Based upon the Netflix series, this RPG needs to have a bit more broad appeal than if it were entirely based upon the books by Richard K. Morgan. Physical copies of Modified Carbon: The Function Playing Video Game Core Rulebook are offered now for $50, while a $24.99 PDF variation can be discovered on DriveThruRPG.

Have A Look At the Hunters Home entertainment site for more details along with complimentary downloads — consisting of the quick-start guidelines.

Dungeons & Dragons’ Candlekeep Mysteries

Dungeons & Dragons fans have lots to anticipate when Candlekeep Mysteries gets here in March, with 17 brand-new one-shot experiences from 19 various designers.

This book is a little a departure from D&D’s typical fare. Typically we’ll get a book filled with brand-new character alternatives, magic spells, and arcane products to play with. In some cases we’ll get an entire brand-new project. Candlekeep is an anthology of experiences that can be played by characters of almost any level. Most importantly, these experiences are developed to be plugged into any project that you’re presently running, so there will likely be lots inside for creative Dungeon Masters to obtain.

You’ll likewise have the ability to discover the exact same material online through a variety of sources, consisting of D&D Beyond, Roll20, and Dream Premises — which is likewise on Steam.

Candlekeep Mysteries

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This anthology of 17 different one-shot adventures only requires Dungeon Masters to place a library somewhere in their world. Well, that and 3-5 hardy adventurers to find it.

Magic: The Gathering’s Kaldheim

The newest set of collectible cards for Magic: The Gathering takes planeswalkers to the frozen reaches of Kaldheim. This Viking-themed set went live at the end of January both as a physical set of cards and a digital set of cards on Magic: The Gathering Arena — which also launched on Android on Jan. 28. A version of the game for iOS and tablets is in the works.

Imperial Struggle is back in stock

A game of Twilight Struggle laid out for solo play.

Image: Scott Mansfield/GMT Games

The spiritual successor to Twilight Struggle, one of the most critically acclaimed board games of all time, Imperial Struggle quickly sold out when it launched last year. Publisher GMT has a second printing up for grabs this winter. If you’re a fan of strategy gaming, take note, as this two-player game also makes for a decent single-player experience. And it looks gorgeous on the table, to boot.

Parks Memories series

I was instantly smitten with Parks at Gen Con 2019. Here was a thematic video game about the U.S. National Forest System with great deals of fragile wood bits and a spectacular set of art possessions. The Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series likewise functions as the motivation for a brand-new, lighter matching video game called Parks Memories.

Perfect for gamers aged 6 and up, Parks Memories accommodates anywhere from 2 to 8 gamers (greater counts need gamers to divide into groups). Most importantly, that marvelous art is rendered on highly colored, thick card stock that you’ll get to deal with every round. There are 3 various variations of the video game to pick from: Parks Memories: Plains Walker, Parks Memories: Mountaineer, and the Barnes & Noble-exclusive Parks Memories: Coast to Coast.

Sword and Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles

If you’re starving for a brand-new dungeon spider, then Ares Games has excellent news for you. Its newest boxed set, Sword and Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles, ships this winter season.

Ancient Chronicles is a project in a box that does not need a video game master to run. Anticipate an abundant dream world and great deals of vibrant plastic minis with this cooperative action video game. It’s excellent news for fans of solitaire video games also, because the video game scales from one to 5 gamers.

An upgrade for Fire in the Lake, part of the COIN series

Fire in the Lake: Revolt in Vietnam is a well-regarded take a look at the Vietnam War co-designed by Volko Ruhnke, a trainer at the CIA. It’s amongst the very best video games in his COIN (counterinsurgency) series of wargames. Very first launched in 2014, Fire in the Lake is getting a brand-new solitaire bot — successfully an upgrade for solo gamers.

Many GMT games have a solitaire mode. One of my favorites, Labyrinth: The War on Terror, for instance, comes with a massive flowchart that you have to unfold and make your way through on every turn. The Tru’ng Bot upgrade for Fire in the Lake makes that solitaire mode much easier to manage by introducing a deck of cards — not unlike the solitaire system used by Stonemaier Games’ Scythe.

Inspiration for this new upgrade came from the fans, GMT said. They wanted a version of the card-driven bot from Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917-1947 — the ninth entry in the COIN series — and the designers were happy to oblige. If you already own a copy of Fire in the Lake, you can preview the rules online, or read a blog post by the design team. The upgrade is available for $25 at the GMT website.

Umbra Via

Pandasaurus Games offers something a bit more abstract and low-key than the Vietnam War. Its latest game, Umbra Via, launches on March 17. The tile-laying game uses a unique bidding mechanic. Players hide their stockpile of flowers behind a screen, then use them to purchase tiles to fill out the game board. The original design was a bit less colorful. It also involved recapturing bits of your soul, which is a little heavy for a family game. That didn’t stop it from winning an award from the team at Cardboard Edison. Now that it’s been picked up by a major publisher, I’m curious to see how the wider reception pans out. The two- to four-player game runs $39.95, and it’s suitable for ages 8 and up.

You can pre-order Umbra Via at the Pandasaurus website.

Unmatched: Little Red Riding Hood vs. Beowulf

The Unmatched series from Restoration Games and Mondo is a miniatures skirmish game, a re-implementation of various mechanics from Milton Bradley’s Star Wars: Epic Duels as well as Fantasy Flight’s Tannhauser, both now out of print. It’s a thoughtful design, one that handles common issues like adjacency and line of sight with simple rules. It also uses textures and patterns to improve accessibility for colorblind gamers.

This winter, the lavish game gets two brand-new combatants. Unmatched: Little Red Riding Hood vs. Beowulf will finally allow you to pit a preteen girl against a mythical warrior. Like other Unmatched sets, it includes some beautiful miniatures that are elegantly washed to resemble a statue. The real treat here is all the gorgeous art that Mondo brings with it.

Head to Mondo’s online storefront to pick the game up for $24.99.

Cover art for Waddle Downtown shows a group of adorable penguins crossing the street. It is heartwarming, and chilling, as the insensate evil lurks in the heart of a major metropolitan city. Damn them. Damn their adorable little bowties to hell.

30 to 50 feral penguins.
Image: WizKids

Waddle Downtown

Last but definitely not least is Waddle Downtown from WizKids. We’ve all been cooped up at home these last 11 months or so, and humanity’s absence from urban areas has allowed nature to begin the slow process of reclaiming the land. Perhaps no species has more aggressively displayed its dominance during our absence than the lowly penguin, which can regularly be been seen touring the nation’s museums in ravening, ferocious herds.

Designers Raph Koster and Isaac Shalev have captured this new form of avian terror in their newest video game. “The penguins are hitting the town,” states the back of package, “but herding penguins as they visit places is easier said than done!”

Be safe out there, penguin wranglers. We’ll see you in the spring.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.