December 31, 2020
“A massive story-driven, sandbox-style, post-apocalyptic board game, where you can go anywhere and do anything” is how Jon Lonngren, co-founder & CEO of Fallen Dominion Studios, described Fallen Land 2nd Edition.
Fallen Land first launched on Kickstarter in July 2017 and funded 200% of Fallen Dominion Studio’s initial goal. Seeking to build upon the success of the first edition, they released the solo-play expansion titled: A Journey Into Darkness alongside a deck expansion set called Outriders Trading Post, which features 108 new cards added to six different decks of cards. Now Fallen Land 2nd Edition hits our horizons with an added expansion called Fallen Land: Descendants. Sales skyrocketed after the Kickstarter and have been selling well ever since.
The creators Jon Lonngren, Sean Cahill, and others on the team, are huge fans of storytelling-style board games and RPGs. Many have called Fallen Land the Twilight Imperium of the post-apocalyptic world. If you enjoyed the Fallout video game series, you will love this game.
Fallen Dominion Studios meticulously craft their board games to withstand the test of time. While most games have a development cycle of 6 months to a year, Fallen Land: A Post-Apocalyptic Board Game 1st Edition was in development for over 13 years, with nearly endless tweaks and revisions to bring their audience the most immersive player experience possible. Now, with the new content and expansions, the game has a development record of over 17 years. These hard-core gaming vets strive to avoid the pitfall of making their games solvable or boring after the first couple of playthroughs, which is their shared experience with board games. They boast, “You will never play the same game twice, the replayability is infinite.” They also seek to create games for players that will “best fit their interests and play styles.” Players have the ability to completely tailor the game to their play styles and preferences, with solo game-play adventures included in the big box second edition.
This long development cycle is due to the depth of story and lore that accompanies the title, calling to mind the famed development story behind Christian T. Peterson’s epic Twilight Imperium. Jon Lonngren has developed the world so that every detail has continuity, from the weapons that factions acquire, to the resources they use to survive, and how each faction endured the nuclear disaster.
Jon has spent many years researching the Cold War, political science and international relations, having studied at the University of Iowa, George Mason University, and the Kazakh Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research. His interest in these fields is manifest in the landscape in which Fallen Land takes place.
China, Russia, Iran and North Korea form an alliance and begin invading neighboring countries, which provokes a “massive barrage of cyber-attacks and EMP strikes” from the US. These attacks are returned, plunging the world into darkness and severing modern communication methods.
After supplies dry up, a new era called The Maddening ensues. Starvation leads to atrocities and cannibalism in a might-makes-right dystopian world where armed gangs prey upon the weak. Eventually, fortified settlements arise amongst the chaos that promise order, protection, and trade to those seeking refuge in the Fallen Land.
Among warring factions, marauders, mercenaries and slave traders, there lies a more significant threat lurking in the shadows that players must make alliances to survive in the ultimate showdown of good versus evil.
Fallen Land 2nd Edition is a big-box adventure game with a massive amount of storytelling, a unique, new mechanism called card building, and strategic assignment of cards and resources, all in addition to the “take-that” mechanics of multiplayer gameplay. Each player leads their faction to build and grow their town and sends a party of five unique party characters into the field to claim resources and actualize their agenda in the dangerous and desolate landscape marred by the devastating nuclear and biological war that has forever changed the world as we know it.
Players assign equipment to their characters to aid them in completing missions. In time, your crew members grow into specialists that excel in various areas, including combat, mechanics, and survival, among many others.
Turns are broken into four actions as players seek to navigate the Fallen Land by drawing event cards, which include fighting off a band of mountain men or scavenging for precious resources. By positioning and mobilizing your team, you roll D10 to determine the success or failure of these missions.
This is where things get interesting. While completing missions, other players can throw a spanner in the works and make your challenges even harder, adding a social aspect to all your interactions which must be balanced. Or they can help you. You can beat your opponents into the ground, rising above the other factions and making yourself a target, or you can restrain your meddling with rivals but risk them becoming too strong.
If you get ahead, other players can gang up on you and put you in your place. All players have two ways of winning, Prestige (what the world thinks of you) and Town Health (how well your people are treated). You will have to weigh up your options carefully if you are to come up on top amidst competing factions, scarce resources and political intrigue within the Fallen Land.
Rule books and other game resources can be download on the Fallen Dominion Studios website here.
“With over 800 cards in the game, you are unlikely to draw the same cards in years, even if playing regularly,” according to Bill Pitcher, Fallen Dominion Studio’s Mechanics Analyst. Bill has stated that Fallen Land has been a feat to playtest and balance due to the nearly endless card combinations that can influence a playthrough.
For those seeking an epic and immersive story of survival, six-player games can reach up to the 6-hour mark in playtime. Returning fans can then look forward to Fallen Land: Descendants, which adds ten new factions for players to enjoy. Descendants also provides chip storage trays and a deck storage box to organize game components and reduce setup time.
Fallen Dominion Studios reached out to us to help them market their game on Kickstarter, and we are thrilled to be part of this exciting project. We are doubly pleased that they are giving us a full copy of the game once the campaign is completed.
When meeting the Fallen Dominion Studios team, we discovered a passionate, experienced and skilled organization that strives to make the best quality board games they can for their fans.
To their followers, Jon Lonngren writes: “We appreciate your patronage and support. Without everyone’s contributions, both big and small, these games wouldn’t have been possible.”
Kickstarter allows games like this to build momentum and hopefully inspire others to create games with a similar philosophy.
If you have played the first edition of Fallen Land or A Journey Into Darkness expansion, let everyone know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
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