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Upcoming He-Man board game Fields of Eternia launching on Gamefound next month

The Kickstarter alternative will host Archon Studio’s version of Masters of the Universe
Image: Archon Studio / Mattel

Polish game designer Archon Studio announced June 16th that its upcoming board game Masters of the Universe: Fields of Eternium would be launching a crowdfunding campaign on Gamefound in late July.

Masters of the Universe: Fields of Eternium, designed by Jakub Olekszyk and Dave Ketch, is a little light on details regarding how its played, but comments from the designers say it will comprise team-based competitive miniature combat as players don the mantle of He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor and a roster of other notable characters from the broadly fantasy world made popular by the ‘80s cartoon. Factional gameplay takes place on a two-sided gameboard with plenty of unpainted 25mm miniatures representing both the heroes, their troops and mounts like Battle Cat. Teams are tasked with capturing and protecting notable locations, such as Castle Greyskull, while also tackling side objective to empower their troops.

The base game - three vs. three setup with each session taking roughly two hours - contains rules and units for the two classic factions, the Masters of the Universe and the Evil Warriors. Archon has said plans for two expansions are already in the works, which will expand the number of playable armies to include at least the Evil Horde and the Snakemen. All of the models, art and setting illustration are based on what the studio calls the “classics” toy line instead of the recent She-Ra and the Princesses of Power animated series.

Confusingly, Archon Studio’s version is one of two concurrent projects developing the Masters of the Universe licence for the tabletop. The other will be published by CMON and has a distinctly different name, if only in the subtitle. Masters of the Universe: Fields of Eternium and Masters of the Universe: The Board Game – Clash for Eternia are both planning a crowdfunding campaign for 2021 but will use different platforms - Gamefound for the former, Kickstarter for the latter.

The reason stems from toy company Mattel licencing He-Man and his saturday morning cartoon friends to Archon Studios in Europe and CMON in the rest of the world. That does mean the two versions will have different availability once they hit retail - offers to trade between global regions have already begun popping up on forums and social media.

If you don’t keep up with the crowdfunding scene, the name Gamefound might not mean much. The platform started as a pledge manager service for the almost monolithic Kickstarter before breaking out and branding itself the go-to for tabletop game projects. The first successful campaign was helmed by Awaken Realms for its cooperative sci-fi title ISS Vanguard, which raised $4,912,097 (£3,553,779) in February of this year. Gamefound still offers its pledge management services but seems eager to court more high-profile and potentially lucrative campaigns to its fledgling roster.

It’s not clear whether Archon Studio’s decision to raise funds on Gamefound was meant to avoid both titles raising money on the same service, but as late as January of this year the studio said in a Q&A blog post that it still planned to use Kickstarter. Dicebreaker has reached out to Archon Studio for clarification but did not hear back by time of publication.

Masters of the Universe: Fields of Eternium launches on Gamefound on July 26th. Pricing and shipping information aren’t yet available but will likely be included in the crowdfunding campaign’s summary.

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