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Borderlands miniatures game Arena of Badassery brings the series’ humour to tabletop

Mr. Torque and Monster Fight Club raised over $1,000,000 in the first week of crowdfunding.

Run-and-gun video game series Borderlands is getting an officially licenced, miniatures-based board game called Mister Torgue's Arena of Badassery, and crowdfunding for the project recently surpassed $1 million on Kickstarter during its first week on Kickstarter.

The cooperative board game pits one to four players against an army of bandits and wasteland monstrosities in a bid to test their mettle against the discerning eye of Mr. Torgue, himself. It’s his arena and his guns, but their lives to lose in hour-long sessions of shooting and looting. Those familiar with Borderlands, er… distinct style and characterisation will find it in spades with the explosive-loving loudmouth running the show.

Players will choose vault hunters among a roster of characters pulled from the three mainline video games - the standard edition ships with Moze, Iron Bear, Mordecai & Bloodwing, Amara and Salvador. Torgue’s arena is built from hex grid tiles that the team must navigate to avoid constantly spawning enemies and claim the loot scattered throughout. Positioning will play an important role, so maintaining control against outnumbered odds will be the goal du jour.

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Arena of Badassery will use publisher Monster Fight Club’s REaction System, which also powers sibling miniatures game Cyberpunk Red: Combat Zone. The system assigns dice of ascending value - ranging from six sides to 12 - to characters’ actions. When they take hits from AI-controlled enemies, their action dice are downgraded, limiting their effective potential. Take enough wounds, and the vault hunter will die and respawn at a nearby New-U Station - for a monetary cost, of course.

Each session will be constructed from a scenario guide, which outlines the arena’s layout, win conditions and any special rules. Enemy movement and actions - who they attack and with what implement - are defined by an Announcement Deck that players reveal during the opposition’s turn. Vault hunters will also have to handle the unwanted attention and distracting presence of The Spotlight. As certain conditions are met, it will swing between players and draw big, appetising targets on their back.

Once a round ends, players will spend their collected loot on better guns, ammunition and healing from vending machines represented by four decks of cards. They will also unlock new abilities on their respective skill trees, providing rewards for embracing a certain playstyle and taking more risks in the next arena bout.

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Each campaign will end with a boss encounter that will test the player skill and character loadout they have managed to amass over the course of several rounds. The base game will ship with a main campaign, while at least a few others have been announced as stretch goals for the Kickstarter Campaign, as well as separate purchases.

All characters and enemies will be represented in what Monster Fight Club calls “Heroic 30mm” and will resemble the pieces used in its Cyberpunk Red game. As the game is fully licensed from owner Gearbox Studios and 2K Games, expect to see familiar faces crafted as close to their digital counterparts as extruded resin and plastic will allow.

The Kickstarter campaign for Borderlands: Mister Torgue's Arena of Badassery runs through December 13th, with backers able to secure a copy of the core game for $85 (£64) - the FAQ claims this will be identical to the version eventually available in retail. Shipping is currently projected to begin in November 2022.

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