Something *really* exciting happened recently in the board game hobby. The Witcher, one of fantasy’s hottest properties, had a blazingly successful international crowdfunding campaign to realize a new board game. And, wow, it looks like an amazing game, too. The graphics and components are beautiful, the scope of the stories it tells are epic, and the rules look captivatingly challenging.
If you feel left out of the loop, though, fear not, we’re here to catch you up. Here’s 7 things you need to know about The Witcher: Old World.
- Geralt of Rivia is not in the game… yet. As referenced by the title, the game features an earlier realization of The Witcher’s setting. The board game takes place years and years earlier than the video games or Netflix shows. Fans will recognize the monsters and locations from the Witcher lore, but the saga’s most visible character is yet to make an appearance.
It raised almost 10 and a half million dollars internationally, from over 54 thousand backers, across three platforms. Kickstarter hosted a crowdfunding campaign for W:OW for fans worldwide. Truly this is a worldwide hit! We all knew that The Witcher has global appeal, and this multiplatform crowdfunding campaign demonstrates every bit of that appeal.
Over 45 thousand backers raised over 6.8 million Euros (or, almost 8.3 million US dollars). W:OW was also hosted on Poland’s own board game crowdfunding platform, zagramw.to. Almost 10 thousand fans contributed almost 7 million zloty (or, over 1.8 million US dollars) to the campaign. Finally, the Brazillian game publisher Conclave Editora is bringing W:OW to Brazil via crowdfunding platform Catarse. There, 807 fans raised almost 1.4 million Real (or, 275 thousand US dollars).
It’s a multiplayer adventure/questing game. There are five characters that players can choose to play. Players have their character travel across the Continent, winning combats and making tough ethical decisions. All the while, the characters grow in ability and fame.
The main goal of the game is collecting Trophies, which players earn through a variety of witcher-y means. Despatching monsters is a primary way to earn Trophies, as are rewards for making decisions shrewdly on Event and Exploration cards.
However, during the time period that W:OW is set, the rivalry of the six witcher schools is at its peak. As each of the board game’s player characters are from different schools, player-versus-player combat is on the menu. Players can earn Trophies from defeating other players in combat.
It includes 3 expansions, in the box. These 3 expansions are the Adventure Pack, Wild Hunt and Monster Trail expansions. They were unlocked via crowdfunding stretch goals, which W:OW demolished on Kickstarter and Zagramw.to. We can bump up the included expansions to 5, if we count the crowdfunding-exclusive Lost Mount and Ciri addons. These expansions will be included automatically for crowdfunding backers. They’ll also be available when TW:OW arrives in retail shops, but as a separate purchase.
-- The Adventure Pack expansion includes new decks of Event and Exploration cards, increasing the variety of encounters that players will have.
-- The Wild Hunt expansion includes components and new rules to introduce, as the name implies, the Wild Hunt to the game.
-- The Monster Trail expansion includes new monster cards, representing new quarries for players to hunt, as well as components for a sixth player to represent the sixth school.
-- The Lost Mount expansion includes a rather memorable miniature of a horse straddling a thatched roof, and a card that describes its unique ability.
-- The Ciri expansion includes components to allow players to play as Geralt’s royal-blooded protege.
- There are still 3 more expansions available, not included in the base game. These are the Skellige, Mages, and Legendary Hunt expansions. These are available to backers as addons to their pledge. --The Skellige expansion includes an addition to the game’s map board, depicting the distant Skellige islands. This is accompanied by new Exploration cards, boat miniatures for witchers to travel across the sea, and because nothing comes easy on the Continent, a Dagon miniature to make journeys perilous.
Designed and published in Poland. It’s fitting and satisfyingly appropriate that TW:OW’s publisher, Go on Board, comes from Poland. The Witcher saga is penned by Polish fantasy author Andzej Sapkowski, and grew to be a hit series in Poland in the 90s. Then, in the 2000s, Polish game developer CD Projekt Red developed a highly successful trilogy of multiplatform video games based on The Witcher saga. These video games brought worldwide attention to something that Polish fantasy fans already knew - The Witcher kicks butt.
Building on this international excitement, Go on Board conducted their wildly successful crowdfunding campaigns to bring the tabletop board game version into being. Although the creative font for The Witcher saga remains rooted in Poland, the whole world clamors for more.
- Designed by one of Poland’s leading board game personalities. Lukasz Wozniak, known as Wookie as a play on his name and reference to his height, is a self-proclaimed Christian family man and ardent board game fan. Wozniak is already an accomplished game designer, having published 6 excellent games through Go on Board, 2 of which successfully funded on zagramw.to. All this, in addition to his YouTube channel Gry planszowe u Wookiego (“Board Games at Wookie’s”), makes Wozniak perfect for the TW:OW project. The man knows games. He knows what makes games fun, and how to successfully bring them to market. His visibility as a hobby leader provided backers with the confidence to support his crowdfunding campaigns. TW:OT wouldn’t be the blazing success it is without Wozniak.
While it’s fun to explore the depth of Andrzej Sapkowski’s grim fantasy world, people will undoubtedly want to see Geralt in W:OW. While it wouldn’t be true to the story and setting of the game, it seems obvious that a Geralt expansion will be developed in the future.
--The Mages expansion includes five new characters for players to play - but they’re not witchers. As the name implies, these new characters are the Mages from the lore. They’re powerful wizard-lords who exert both magical and political influence on the Continent.
--The Legendary Hunt expansion includes 7 new monsters to fight. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill Witcher monsters, though. These monsters are giants that can threaten cities and wreak havoc across the land. These legendary monsters change the object of the game, where victory only comes from preparing, training, and hopefully destroying one of these behemoths.
So there you have it, 7 reasons why we’re excited for the upcoming Witcher game and why you should be too. We’re already eager to explore more of Geralt’s world and its history, and passionate professionals are bringing it to life in yet another medium. We’re excited to get our copies of TW:OW, and if you missed out on the crowdfunding campaigns, you can pre-order a retail copy of the game here.