Dark Souls Board Game Review: Without a doubt, Dark Souls: The Board Game is a successful adaptation of one of the most notorious video game titles to the tabletop, but it isn’t without its share of issues. Steamforged Games’ ability to faithfully recreate the game’s principles in the tabletop adaption is impressive, but there are instances when the game deviates too far from the norm for a board game. As a result, the game’s most devoted followers have devised a wide variety of tweaks, additions, and even completely new sets of rules to make it even more enjoyable for everyone.
Players have complete freedom to alter the rules of Dark Souls: The Board Game in any way they see fit, unlike the PC version of the game. Changing the game too drastically can make it either too easy or too hard, but even small tweaks can have a big impact on the experience. These house rules are widely adopted by the community’s players and have been put through some rigorous testing, but they should still help to get the game forward more quickly.
These options will make the soul-grinding section of the game shorter or optional altogether, which is appreciated by the vast majority of gamers despite the fact that some do love it.
Dark Souls Board Game Review
“You died” on Gloomy Souls’ black paper. Many Dark Souls players have seen this message. This could be the most accurate video game-to-board game adaption ever. Can it last?
The tray contains massive miniatures of Dark Souls mini-monsters and bosses including the Winged Knight, Titanite Demon, and Dancer of Boreal Valley. They last longer despite their sagging armament and squishy detailing. Even the small opponent and hero models look good. Thick-tiled card players. Thus, this game’s excellent Kickstarter produced a game with fantastic component quality, but I’m sad that the tray where all the cards are stored doesn’t have a lid for putting everything back in the box.
Dark Souls beginners. Every step is perilous in the franchise’s dark environs. After death, all opponents revive, so redo everything, ideally remembering the monster lurking around the bend near a crevice. Skill, reflexes, and pattern recognition matter.
The video game franchise has a large, dedicated fanbase that has spent hours learning the battle mechanics and exploring the locales. Putting that into a board game is hard.
Solo or with four characters. Each Spark—the group’s life counter—gives the Herald, Knight, Warrior, and Assassin special abilities. After receiving their player boards, characters receive their starting gear, an Estus flask that heals once per Spark, a Heroic token to perform their special ability, and a Luck token to re-roll one die.
Choose a mini-boss after basic encounters. Choose your first major enemy and fight one of the three primary bosses after the second round. We’ll discuss the bosses’ appeal later.
Two terrain pieces and four random tiles don’t matter on the board. Games valued situational awareness. Three models per tile. The mini-boss or large monster you fight determines the board’s Encounter card difficulty. Encounter cards identify the enemy and trap placement.
Unboxing Dark Souls
- 141 cards
- 36 cards
- 15 dice
- 80 cubes
Miniatures distinguish Dark Soul. If you enjoy good miniatures, this is a terrific addition.
Bosses are better than heroes and enemies. The bulging Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough are particularly impressive. Mini-bosses like the Titanite Demon are intimidating.
The rest of the equipment falls short. The cards are attractive but don’t really fit the theme. The tiles are dull. That’s because this game prioritizes battle over exploration.
Lots of fussy bits here. Beware—you may lose more than the game.
How to Play Dark Souls?
Randomly arrange six square tiles around the Bonfire tile to create your dungeon. Respawn at the Bonfire tile.
Choose a mini-boss to fight. Your mini-boss determines the number of encounter cards of each difficulty level on each tile.
Finally, everyone chooses a character and places the miniature on the Bonfire tile. The player board tracks your character’s stats, special ability, and starting equipment cards.
Wins and Losses
Complete encounters on each tile to progress through the dungeon. After defeating a mini-boss, you reset the board and choose the main monster. Success means a team to victory.
However, defeat is possible (if not, inevitable). Restart if a party member dies. Your party’s attempts depend on how many players are in the game.
The game ended if Sparks run out and a player dies.
Encounters dominate the game. Your party traverses the dungeon. Entering a tile flips its encounter card. Each has unique adversaries, geography, and traps.
Players and enemies alternate turns (IE. player 1, enemy 1, player 2, enemy 2, and so on). Players can attack or move on their turns.
Most activities require stamina. You perish if you run out of stamina, so allocate it carefully.
After a turn, the next player plays. Your party wins and receives a “soul cache” to spend at the Bonfire if you defeat all monsters on the tile. If a character dies, your party loses and must “Rest At The Bonfire” (see below).
Combat uses dice, and your gear—weapons, armor, spells—determines your success.
Attacks begin with weapon selection. Different attacks need different quantities of stamina, affecting dice rolls and range (how many nodes away your victim must be).
Your damage equals the number of pips you roll minus your target’s block value. Attacks can induce frostbite and poisoning. An attack can “push” a character to a distant node.
The Endurance Bar measures health and stamina from one end to the other, with ten squares in between. Add a block to a tile for every stamina or damage spent. All 10 spaces filled kill your character.
Your party must Rest At The Bonfire after defeat. All character resources and health are restored. As said before, you only get so many opportunities. Reset all encounter cards and repeat them!
Bosses Players finish encounters to raise their stats, upgrade their weapons, and collect armor and spells for boss battles.
Bosses behave differently. They must work through multiple behavior cards each turn to vanquish it. The boss behaves differently for everyone.
The boss divides its tile into four arcs, which determine how your characters move and strike.
Your party wins if you defeat the mini and big bosses!
First Dark Souls
You’ll probably lose your first Dark Souls game. Badly. However, it can teach you valuable lessons.
Don’t rush through. The dungeon before the bosses is preparation. It earns a soul cache for character and item upgrades. You may even rest by the Bonfire to learn more.
If the target’s block or resist stat reduces damage to zero, it’s simple to forget to apply a condition or push effect. Even if it takes no health, it will poison, frostbite, or shove the target.