Terror. Corruption. Redemption.
Those are the themes of The Others, the new game from Guillotine Games and Studio McVey. We've been seeing some pretty sweet-looking models (one of which we did an unboxing for last year), but now it's time to get some real information about the game. We had such a chance here at the CMON Expo during The Others panel that just wrapped up.
Eric Lang, the designer of the game, described it at the biggest game he's worked on. In it, one person plays as the Sin, and the others are hero players who are part of F.A.I.T.H. (the Federal Authority for the Interdiction of Transdimensional Horrors). It's a sort of pre-apocalypse genre. The end of the world hasn't happened... yet, and it's the hero players' job to make sure it doesn't happen.
The game will always have 7 hero characters in it, no matter how many players there actually are. They are encouraged to work together to overcome tasks. In fact, if they don't work together, it's almost a guarantee that they will fail. The game ends in defeat for them if all 7 heroes die or become fully corrupted. All of the hero's information is open, anyone can look at it. It's only the Sin player who knows things that the heroes won't.
The antagonist miniatures are based on the 7 Deadly Sins. All of those factions play very differently. For example, Pride gets extra dice when fighting against heroes that are separated from the group, while Lust is the opposite, getting bonuses when heroes are grouped together. All of them have various sets of minions and abominations as part of their ghoulish arsenal. As for the heroes, they are assigned to protect the city. The characters fill various archetypes, such as leader, bruiser, fixer, and sniper.
The game uses special customized dice for combat. Both the Sin and the heroes have different ones. For example, the Sin's dice have symbols that mean attack, defend, corrupt, and critical (along with miss, but just don't roll those). There's an exploding dice mechanic as well. So if you roll a critical, it counts as both a hit and adds and extra die to your roll. So there's the potential for some pretty spectacular things to happen if the rolls go just right (or wrong, depending on what side of the board you're on).
Helping you keep track of things is the Hero Sheet. There's one track for your character's corruption and the one below it for health. There are various ways for them to gain corruption, but one is by choice. A player can choose to have their corruption go up by one. If they do, they'll get a bonus that's shown on the health track below. But it's not just the one bonus, they'll get each previous bonus on the health track as well. Pretty powerful, but you must be careful because that bonus is based on a character's health. So as they take damage, the bonus from gaining corruption goes down. And when a character is at maximum corruption and must gain more, it goes straight to their health. Also, Sin players can give out corruption cards. None of them are ever good to have. They can do things such as deal more damage, kill the character, or even turn the hero into a minion of Sin.
When setting up, players pick a Story Board. This is like the scenario for the game. One player is the Mission Leader who chooses how the heroes go about the scenario. Each Story Board has branches that players choose from while advancing through scenario. In this way, there's extra variety to your games. Also, since the Sin player can pick any Sin to use (and as we've mentioned, Sins play very differently from one-another), each Story Board can end up going a variety of different ways during the game.
Like the Hero Boards, there's the Apocalypse Track for the Sin player. These are related to the Story Board and give various effects for the Sin player, including the amount of dice they get to roll in certain situations, the number of monsters available, and other bonuses and effects the Sin player can use during the game.
The Others uses modular tiles to build the game board. They're comparable to the Zombicide boards for anyone familiar with how those tiles work. Tiles can provide players with various actions that can be performed while on that board. For example, the City Hall lets the players gain resources, while the Church may help get rid of Corruption.
A Kickstarter campaign for The Others is in the works, with a most-likely launch date being sometime in September. Obviously, Zombicide is rolling right now, and Guillotine is going to give people a bit of a breather in-between that one and The Others, but the plan is to have the campaign running by the end of the year. There will be exclusive content for Kickstarter backers, as is usual for a CMON campaign.