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Mechs vs Minions creator Riot announces second board game Tellstones: King's Gambit, more tabletop titles on the way

Let’s not rune the party.

Riot Games, the developer behind popular video game League of Legends, has revealed its next tabletop title after hit co-op board game Mechs vs Minions.

Named Tellstones: King’s Gambit, it’s a bluffing game for two to four players, and is the second board game release from the studio since its tabletop debut in 2016.

Mechs vs Minions was a co-op board game in which the players controlled Yordles - strange animalistic spirits - fighting off armies of marauding minions. The game featured pre-painted miniatures and a campaign made up of several unique missions, and was widely acclaimed upon release.

In comparison to Mechs vs Minions, Tellstones is described by Riot as being faster, smaller and competitive.

Little further information has been released so far. However, a brief video preview from the publisher revealed a series of blue disc-like objects being swapped around.

Lore-wise, it’s a variant of a game played across Runeterra - the fictional world where the immensely popular MOBA League of Legends is set. Mechs vs Minions also took place in the universe.

For its real-life take on the board game, Riot picked a variation of Tellstones that hails from fictional kingdom Demacia, although versions of Tellstones exist across the world of Runeterra, such as Silent Stones and Drawing the Lines - the latter of which is used to settle disputes in city battalion the Dauntless Vanguard.

The first hints of the upcoming board game came during last summer, when Riot trademarked both ’Riot Tabletop’ and ’Tellstones’. Curiously, the latter trademark referred to “arranging and conducting live competitions, exhibitions and tournaments featuring board games, tabletop games and video games” - potentially indicating that some of the tournament machinations so integral to League of Legends success as an esport might be making their way to the tabletop.

Next, on-screen tips in League of Legends added as part of an update to the PC game mentioned a certain King Santon of Demacia, who managed to avoid a civil war using the game Tellstones.

League of Legends story The Weight of Expectations - which features in the Realms of Runeterra, an encyclopedia exploring League of Legends lore - refers to multiple types of stone used in the game, each depicting a symbol. These include The Crown, The Flag and The Hammer, among others. However, in spite of its popularity, no-one in the world of Runeterra actually knows where Tellstones originated.

According to the publisher, Tellstones is one of many board games it’s currently developing as part of newly-established tabletop development team Riot Tabletop.

There is currently no release date for Tellstones: King’s Gambit, or further information on any other potential upcoming titles the studio has planned.

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About the Author
Sara Elsam avatar

Sara Elsam


Sara has been writing since 2017, contributing news, features and more to outlets including Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Variety, The Guardian, BBC and Tabletop Gaming magazine. An expert in Dungeons & Dragons, they’re also a fan of all things horror and psychedelia both on and off the table. They are happiest rolling big dice, raising mobs and rocking out with their Bard-Lock.