With ISS Vanguard, Awaken Realms has another heavyweight in its portfolio: The crowdfunding campaign for the epic space board game with a pronounced story component is not running on Kickstarter, but on Gamefound. Given that the makers behind board games like Nemesis know how to design games, and also know how to motivate the "crush" to dig deep into their wallets, it's hardly surprising that ISS Vanguard is already successfully funded: By January 7, 2021 is the campaign, which has since pooped the $XNUMX million mark.

ISS Vanguard is a game for up to four players, but also includes a solo mode. For the setting, Awaken Realms again picks up sci-fi borrowings, this time in a kind of "golden age of space travel". ISS Vanguard is a cooperative campaign game in which all astronauts have to work together to maneuver their ship through space.

ISS Vanguard offers an asymmetrical gaming experience

Although players have to cooperate as cleverly as possible, ISS Vanguard was designed as an asymmetrical title. To do this, you use the different sections of the spaceship, divided into technology, science, reconnaissance and security. Each player receives their own tasks and has access to individual skills. Based on this, the challenges that players have to master also differ. There is, however, a competitive component in the fundamentally cooperative board game: every section commander is anxious to motivate the most capable recruits to work in the controlled command area. This then opens up new tactical possibilities.

A five-minute trailer explains what ISS Vanguard is all about:

Players follow a contiguous campaign, each divided into individual missions. So it is important to advise on the next steps, then to travel planets, explore places and thus advance the story of the game. Players need to spend resources and money to discover dangers. A ring binder contains all the essential information about the game components: Each planet and each location has an individually different mini-story with related events.

Players always have to work together and thus make decisions about their approach, for example when it comes to determining the equipment for the individual missions. Each member of the spaceship crew uses their own dice to determine their successes. Events, such as encounters with hostile creatures, are rolled. Players can manipulate their throws, among other things, which brings further tactical possibilities into the overall course of the board game.

ISS Vanguard is a cooperative material battle for up to four players. Image: Awaken Realms

ISS Vanguard is a cooperative material battle for up to four players. Image: Awaken Realms

If a mission has been successfully completed, players record the status in a protocol. The next game then continues with a new mission after the logbook has been updated. A space opera that the players write themselves gradually unfolds. Experienced authors are behind the board game. Michal Oracz, who had his fingers in the board game implementation of This War of Mine, is involved. Also involved are Pawel Samborski, Marcin Swierkot and Krzysztof Piskorski, who wrote the story for the fantasy board game Tainted Grail. Dominik Mayer is involved as artistic director.

The basic idea and the conceptual design are obviously well received by fans. the ISS Vanguard crowdfunding campaign is running on Gamefound until the end of the first week of January, but things have already got off to a flying start: over 14.000 supporters are already taking part and have so far invested a total of around 2.1 million US dollars. However, ISS Vanguard is not particularly cheap: the basic game alone costs 99 US dollars, and Awaken Realms adds the “Close Encounters” expansion for another 80 US dollars. The makers wanted to collect 50.000 US dollars as part of the financing campaign, but now it's just a matter of unlocking further stretch goals. The board game is scheduled for delivery in August 2021.

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