So Z-Man Games just announced a collaboration with Blizzard on making a World of Warcraft board game using the Pandemic System.
Although current information about the game is sparse, we do have a 50 second trailer to scan for details. And there are a lot of details to be found.
First of all, the game will feature minis like Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. And these minis look amazing! From the trailer, we get to see what can only be presumed to be three playable characters, namely Varian Wrynn, Thrall and Sylvanas Windrunner as well as the BBEG Arthas, the Lich King.
Based on the three playable characters, it’s probably quite safe to presume that there will be at least a fourth one (otherwise, is it even a Pandemic game?). And if symmetry’s a thing, the fourth one will probably be another Alliance leader.
Speaking of which: I do wonder if Horde vs. Alliance will play a role in the board game. I don’t really know how that would play out, except maybe adding the possibility for you to attack the other players, but that doesn’t seem right.
From the lightning effect that is shown in the trailer, we can also assume that each character will have unique abilities, seeing as Chain Lightning is a spell unique to Thrall’s class in World of Warcraft.
We also know that dice will play a roll (sorry).
So far, we’ve only seen two symbols: a fist with spikes and a shield. My best guess is that this system is what will replace Treat Disease from Pandemic so that when you go to a location with enemies, you can spend an action to attack them. But instead of automatically removing one, you roll dice to determine the amount you remove. My guess would be that there is a minimum of one fist on every face of the die, ensuring that you always get to remove at least one enemy.
But then, what are the shields for?
Considering the fact that enemies are enemies that like to do enemy stuff, they will probably try to counterattack with something like one damage per enemy minus one per shield rolled.
So let’s say that you choose to attack a location with three enemies. You roll one fist and one shield, therefore removing one enemy. Then, the remaining two enemies attack you for two damage minus the one shield, lowering your health by one.
Yup, you heard (read?) me. Health. This theory presumes that every character is going to have health, unlike regular Pandemic.
If that’s the case, another question emerges: What happens if/when you reach 0 health?
Does your character die?
A safe guess would be that yes, you die, but it probably isn’t going to take you out of the game entirely. Instead, you will probably respawn somewhere (at a Spirit Healer, if we want to keep it thematic). Maybe this also introduces a new loss condition. If every character has died once, you lose.
Speaking of enemies, it would appear that there is more than one type of enemy. While I can’t really see what the small ones are supposed to be, the large one (on the purple location) appears to be an Abomination from World of Warcraft.
Zones & the Lich King
Keeping with the Pandemic tradition, we have different colored areas (or zones). Unlike regular Pandemic, it seems like there are only three different colors.
By the edge of the game board, we also get a glimpse of three separate boxes, one red, one green and one purple with what appears to be cards. Maybe this means that instead of flipping random cards from a single deck, we’re going to have three separate decks for the three zones.
This would mean that the enemies are always going to be spread out across the map.
Or perhaps, this is where our dear Lich King comes in.
If you look in the top right, there is an unconnected green circle with the Lich King on top of it, and right around 40 seconds into the trailer, you can see the same kind of circle next to the red box.
This leads me to believe that the Lich King is going to be moving around to these different zones, influencing which zones are going to be populated with enemies.
I don’t quite know how he’s moving around, though. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there are paths to Icecrown Citadel. Maybe the players can change the Lich King’s current location by going to Icecrown Citadel? I don’t really know. Guess we’ll have to wait and see when the game comes out later in the year.
And that’s all the information I was able to gather from the trailer. Were there any details that I missed? Do you have any other theories?
Please, let me know in the comments below.