Champions of Nexum is one of the games we’re most excited about when it comes to 2019, especially since we’ve had the chance to meet the authors and play the game. Tons of minis, and gameplay that’s different from all co-op / skirmish titles overflowing Kickstarter as of late, might make it into something truly special.
Quick Look at the Gameplay
It’s a MOBA inspired board game, so the goal, as you probably expect, is to conquer the base of the opposing team. 2 to 6 players are divided into two teams, each planning their own strategy to overtake the enemy’s Castle. During the course of the game you’ll traverse the lanes, complete quests from cards, combat minions and increasingly dangerous monsters like Behemoth or even a deadly Crystal Dragon.
Champions of Nexum uses loads of cards – from spells to artifacts and events happening at various locations. Main currency used in the game is crystals, represented by translucent, candy-like tokens.
Turning a MOBA Game into a Board Game
Champions of Nexum is a MOBA game at heart. Sure, there were a few tabletop game titles claiming to be MOBA adaptations, but they ignored major aspects that define the genre. Here, from what we’ve played, CoN is shaping up to finally be the MOBA game people have been waiting for. (If you want to learn more about MOBAs, check out our older article).
“It’s the first MOBA board game I really enjoyed. Especially, after playing it on some european conventions. I like how one session lasts just enough not to make you fall asleep, which was the main problem with other board MOBAs”
To make the game faithful to its origins, Tomek, Marek and Bartek designed the flow of the game to make it feel feel just like DOTA and other similar titles. Monsters arrive in increasingly stronger waves, special spaces on map offer various challenges to complete and gain rewards. Characters have unique skill sets and gain new equipment. The team has to make the most of their cumulative skill set. The game also uses lots of humor and cliches known from PC video games, which makes the experience even more charming (like rats and boars being the first enemies you meet).
Tested and Designed by Players for Players
The creators of Champions of Nexum have spent a huge part of last 3 years testing the game with hundreds of people. They playtested it in local game stores, with their friends and families, on game design events and major tabletop gaming conventions. The tests had a tremendous influence on the final shape of the game. Many rules were altered and tweaked according to player suggestions.
Community’s involvement didn’t end just there. The authors often used their social media channels to invent names for tons of monsters, characters and even single skills. Many of these made it into the game, and shaped its final form. The opinion of pro MOBA players was also taken into account in great detail. The authors worked with DOTA 2 players a lot, but also played with and talked to these, who prefer games like HoTS or LoL.
What to Expect from the Champions of Nexum Kickstarter
The game comes with a set of great looking minis, all designed by Tomek: from small, but detailed heroes to monsters big and even gargantuan. Players can create their own heroes thanks to a paired mobile app and choose their names, looks, skills and characteristics. The game also comes with a soundtrack to enrich the experience and make it more immersive.
Champions of Nexum definitely feels like a project with lots of heart. Majority of the job was done by the three authors themselves with the help of over 70 people, with a healthy dose of feedback from the community. To see the final results we’ll have to wait until sometime in 2019.