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Arkham Horror LCG creative director’s new card game Earthborne Rangers will be more forgiving on players

“When you’re creating a co-op game where players are going to fail 80% of the time, it narrows who the game appeals to.”

Earthborne Rangers, the debut title from the studio founded by Marvel Champions creative director Andrew Navaro, will provide an easier experience than Arkham Horror: The Card Game.

In an interview with Dicebreaker, Navaro revealed further details about the upcoming board game from his newly formed studio Earthborne Games. When talking about the influences behind Earthborne Rangers, Navaro admitted that he approached the design of the game’s difficulty curve differently from that of the previous card games that he’d worked on whilst at Fantasy Flight Games - the publisher responsible for releasing the aforementioned Arkham Horror LCG.

“When I worked with FFG, any cooperative games we made, you really wanted players to fail 80% of the time,” Navaro said, “but practically speaking, I don’t usually play games that many times and I think that’s also fair to say for most people.”

Navaro claimed that creating co-op games that are as difficult as titles like the Arkham Horror LCG can put people off playing them - “we were really narrowing who that game appeals to” - instead referencing Marvel Champions: The Card Game’s approach to challenge as being a bigger influence on Earthborne Rangers: “[In Earthborne Rangers] We'll create opportunities for players who are looking for a stiffer challenge to be able to turn the knobs themselves and opt into that challenge much in the way that it is in Marvel champions. And that's why I feel like that design.”

In Earthborne Rangers, Naravo confirmed that players will be more focused on discovering the world and unlocking its secrets rather than tackling a high level of difficulty. “The game isn't about crushing you and [...] making it feel like this desperate fight for survival. It's more about exploration and challenging yourself,” Navaro explained. Players in Earthborne Rangers will be able to give themselves handicaps, such as choosing to play non-violently by not putting any weapons in their deck, should they want to experience a tougher challenge.

Earthborne Rangers will see players becoming a band of characters who must protect the land, it’s wildlife and its people by venturing out and solving a variety of problems - whether that’s establishing trading routes between settlements or discovering a new species of creature. At the start of the game, players will be “picking your characters, your ranger background [...] and specialised training,” as well as “assigning their personality,” all of which will be “reflected by cards that you use to build your deck.”

Earthborne Rangers artwork 2

As players progress through the game, they’ll be able to acquire new cards by performing certain actions or completing particular tasks - which will be connected to the cards themselves. “My hope is that whenever you get a new card in your deck,” Navaro said, “that will be the direct result of some cool thing that you did in the campaign.”

Earthborne Rangers will have a strong environmentalist theme, with players working alongside a community of people who care for the wildlife and the environment around them. The Earthborne Games studio will apparently be producing tabletop games using sustainable materials and processes, with Navaro highlighting the harm caused by many other publishers current “short sighted” approach and the need to work towards “the survivability of our industry.”

The Kickstarter campaign for Earthborne Rangers is set to be launched sometime later this summer, with pledge amounts yet to be confirmed.

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About the Author
Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.

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