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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Delve into Earth’s Ruins in Freelancers: A Crossroads Game, and Defeat Villains as Part of Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R.

by W. Eric Martin

“Congratulations! Humanity is dead!”

That’s the opening pitch for Plaid Hat Games‘ next release — Freelancers: A Crossroads Game, which will debut in August 2023.

This 3-7 player game from PHG developer and media director Donald Shults mirrors RPG-style gameplay, but without the need for a game master. Here’s a game overview starting again from that warm-and-fuzzy first line:

Congratulations! Humanity is dead! The bad news is that all they left behind is their garbage and a broken gig economy. That’s why we need freelancers like you who are ready to take any job, no matter how loathsome. As a freelancer, you will delve into ruins, brave the wilds, and slay the hordes of hideous creatures that litter the dark forgotten corners of the world. All so you can gather loot and return home, ready to blow it all and start over again the next day. It’s a lousy gig, so it’s perfect for the likes of you.

Freelancers: A Crossroads Game condenses the fantasy RPG campaign experience into a single night of fun and mayhem. Create a character, roll funky dice, and blaze your way through multiple stories set in a world of magic, monsters, and murder. Better yet, no game master is required, as a magical companion app does all the storytelling for you! Immerse yourself in fully-voiced, industry-leading audio as you play. Explore hundreds of branching paths in five highly replayable campaigns. Mix and match a multitude of species and jobs to build your own unique character. Pick up and play, simple rules, low commitment and no prep.

Become a legend, if you’re lucky, and carve your name on the pipes of the city!

Please refrain from commenting with “If it has an app, I’m out.” I mean, it’s fine that you’re out, but I’m not sure that comment adds much to the conversation. (Neither does the previous comment given that I’m asking for certain types of comments not to be made, but I’m okay with that.)

• In case you want to be more traditional heroes — “traditional” here meaning “late 20th century U.S.” — designer Dane Beltrami and publisher Fantasy Flight Games will give you that option in Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R., a 1-5 player game due out in June 2023:

Nefarious forces threaten the world as we know it, and it’s up to a small group of heroes to come to its rescue. With the enemy’s minions closing in and innocents in peril, our heroes will need to work together to stop the villain’s plans and save the world — but will they be able to save it in time?

In Marvel D.A.G.G.E.R., players work together to challenge the forces of evil. Play as iconic heroes like Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Black Widow, and race across the globe to complete missions, battle enemies, and square off for the final showdown against the nemesis. Choose the best aspect for your hero, pull off awesome combos, and wait for the perfect moment to unleash your ultimate ability. Team up with your allies and take on dangerous threats as you become the greatest heroes in the world!



In more detail, “D.A.G.G.E.R.” stands for “Defense Alliance for Global and Galactic Emergency Response”, and the “Alliance” and “Emergency Response” elements drive how the game is played, with heroes needing to strengthen themselves via combos in time to take on the nemesis.

There are two types of combo tokens: empowered tokens and primed tokens. When a hero becomes “empowered”, they can later discard their empowered token to add one success to any attribute test they perform. When an enemy is “primed”, a hero attacking that enemy can remove a primed token from them to add one success to the attack result, which means more damage dealt.

Each hero has two sides; choose the one that fits the challenge

What’s more, each hero has at least one “combo ability” that requires either an empowered token on themselves or a primed token on an enemy to trigger. Triggering these combo abilities comes with an extra benefit: advancing the team-up track, a resource shared by all heroes that’s used to pay for “team-up abilities”, the strongest abilities in each hero’s arsenal.


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