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Sci-fi MMO EVE Online warps to the tabletop with massive 4X strategy board game

Can CCP Games translate its spacefaring subterfuge and spreadsheet-keeping to an analogue format?

Eve Online board game key art
Image credit: Titan Forge/CCP Games

Massive space MMO EVE Online will trade keyboard for cardboard in the upcoming 4X strategy board game EVE: War for New Eden. Icelandic publisher CCP Games has partnered with miniature expert Titan Forge Games to produce a sprawling translation that strives to capture the politicking and resource management of the storied video game.

EVE: War for New Eden has launched a Kickstarter campaign with hopes of shipping out boxes by the end of 2024. While there’s no way to capture the famous (and often infamous) exploits of its player base in a single box, Titan Forge will attempt to give tabletop players a vertical slice of EVE’s factional conflict, exploration and economic sparring.

Players will lead one of EVE’s four main factions - the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation, the Amarr Empire and the Minmatar Republic - as they expand their empire’s territory into the unknown reaches of space in search of critical technology, valuable resources and foes to break against their ever-growing armada of weapon-laden ships.

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Just like in EVE Online, the most climactic moments will likely arise as two (or more) players toss their collective might against each other. EVE: War for New Eden will support rules for target acquisition, damage and advantages of varying ship sizes - the core space-themed board game will support 36 unique variations out of the box. Technological progress unlocked through a thick stack of cards will further kit out those vessels with signature abilities and stats.

One way Titan Forge is preserving the nail-biting danger of any combat from EVE Online is by keeping a player’s developed technology secret until those dozens of miniature ships start tearing each other into scrap metal. Those players who would rather stockpile resources towards constructing the colossal Titan will snap together modular components in an effort to deploy an ancient last answer to the question of galactic warfare.

As a 4X strategy board game, EVE: War for New Eden enters an already rich genre of board games that contains beloved titles such as Twilight Inscription, Eclipse and the somewhat obviously named Space Empires 4X. These are often huge, intimidating boxes full of components, dense rulebooks and play counts stretching well past 2 hours.

By the look of the crowdfunding campaign, Titan Forge and CCP Games are well aware of their target demographic. Instead of explaining the gameplay as the hook for buying in, the companies are leaning heavily on the cultural cache of EVE Online’s name, along with the dazzling effect that a scrolling image chockablock with miniatures, cards, tokens and sorting trays can have on board gamers.

“We presented the EVE board game’s prototype to EVE Online fans at Fanfest 2023, CCP Games’ annual player convention, and to board gaming enthusiasts at Essen SPIEL 2023, the largest board game show in the world. These are two very different crowds, each looking for different things in this game, and we were truly humbled by the amount of positive feedback we have received from both communities,” said Roman Łakomiak, founder of Titan Forge, and lead designer behind the game.

EVE: War for New Eden’s Kickstarter campaign runs through February 21st and is funding a core box alongside two separate expansions - Titan and Havoc. Shipping to backers is expected to begin in December of this year. Several of the tiers also include an EVE: Online starter pack for those who want to dip their toes in those digital waters while they wait for their board game to arrive.

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