Protect the city of Megalopois from the dastardly Baron Blade in Freedom Five: A Sentinel Comics Board Game, co-designed by Arkham Horror co-creator Richard Launius.
Inspired by classic superhero comics, Freedom Five sees one to five players becoming powerful beings capable of performing amazing feats. These heroes are tasked with defending their home against the machinations of the game’s villain and their henchpeople, who are attempting to take control of Megalopois. In the co-op game, players are able to either tackle a standalone scenario or a series of scenarios in a campaign - enabling them to advance their characters’ abilities and experience an overarching narrative.
Each turn consists of three different phases: the private life phase, the hero phase and the villain phase. The first stage sees the player becoming their hero’s secret identity and performing various actions to prepare them to face their enemies. These actions can include doing things like healing and drawing cards into the player’s deck. Next, the player flips over their character’s card to initiate the hero phase - enabling them to perform heroic actions such as moving across the board and attacking.
Beginning combat with henchpeople requires the hero to move to that location and roll a handful of dice equal to the number of enemies they’re attacking. Players attack using the ability that matches the colour of the opponent. For example, yellow henchpeople require a hero to attack using their tech skill. Any dice that roll above that character’s skill level is a success and removes the henchperson from the board.
During the villain phase, player characters sharing a space with any henchpeople will take damage. On top of this, the heroes will have to draw scheme cards and carry out the instructions shown, as well as fulfill any special abilities the villain may have. Scheme cards often have players placing henchpeople, with any locations containing more than four henchpeople overrunning into adjacent locations - similar to how disease cubes and outbreaks work in Pandemic. As the game continues, the mastermind will get closer to completing their plan - if they’re able to do so, the villain card is flipped and the heroes suffer negative effects.
Once the hero players think they are strong enough to take on the scenario’s villain, then they can travel to their base and attempt to overpower them. Each hero character has their own unique set of special abilities and cards to use against their enemies, with the rewards players gain from winning capable of improving their skills.
Besides Launius, Freedom Five was co-created by Adam Sadler - a co-designer of the second edition of dungeon-crawling game Descent: Journeys in the Dark - and Brady Salder, who both worked on Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game.
Freedom Five is being co-published by Arcane Wonders, the company behind games such as two-player title Onitama and magical battle card game Mage Wars Arena, and Greater Than Games - the studio responsible for Spirit Island.
The Kickstarter campaign for Freedom Five is live until November 14th, with a pledge of $49 (£38) getting a copy of the core game set to be released in November 2021.