Borderhaime... Why I want to know more

By Landy

If you’re like me, then you have fond memories of playing role-playing games on game consoles, computers, or sitting around the kitchen table generating characters for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Final Fantasy, Diablo, and Chrono Trigger come to mind immediately as some of the most memorable RPG games for me. All of these games featured unique character classes or memorable pre-generated characters, strategic gameplay that required careful planning, item management, and weapon/armour choices for dungeon exploring, and some of the most epic boss battles that felt so rewarding when they were finally defeated. Likewise, some of my fondest memories of pen-and-paper role playing games are where there were difficult choices about what stats to raise for the journey ahead, which armour and weapons to prepare with and how best to divvy up loot after beating bosses.

The folks in charge of Borderhaime, aim to capture that feeling of in-depth, granular micro-management of pen and paper and turn-based role playing games with their game Borderhaime Chronicles—Tactical Turn-Based Tabletop Action RPG. Quite the mouthful of a name for sure, but it’s the best way to truly describe what the game is about.

Old School, New Tricks

Players start by setting up the town from which they’ll explore randomly generated dungeon tiles, meaning that no two adventures or levels need be the same. All of the usual suspects are available for players to choose from—wizards, warriors, thieves, etc. and players can respec or adjust character traits on the fly as they see fit. The game has a serious old-school number crunching role playing game feel to it, with armour class scores and attack and damage rolls determining most of combat and exploration for players. Where Borderhaime differs from some of the other dungeon exploration games or zombie/monster survival games, is in the math. No pre-generated symbols to count up or coloured dice to keep track of. While some may say that those aspects are what appeal to them, others like myself find that they simplify those games too much and allow for players to break gameplay and water-down the roleplaying experience.

But Landy, What About The Minis?!

Obviously no tabletop experience would be complete without some sweet miniatures, and Borderhaime delivers! The character and NPC (non-player character) sculpts are quite detailed while still allowing players to get creative with their overall look and feel. Fans of games like Diablo III and Might and Magic will appreciate the traditional high-fantasy aesthetic combined with the dark gothic imagery of the included monster minis. From the lowly zombie to the suitably epic Belaurus, there are standout figures at every level of gameplay.

But Landy, What If I Don’t Have Anyone To Play With?!

Well, fear not fellow troglodyte! I’m always down to play a new game! But more importantly, the game offers solo-mode play for those rainy days when the group can’t get together, or if you’re like me with a wee-babe on the way, unable to travel to meet up for a game. The monsters are controlled by a set of pre-generated rules and instructions on their card, and the dungeon tiles are randomly generated and attached using jigsaw puzzle pieces to interlock in different ways. And since characters are managed entirely on their dashboard (which looks quite cool, reminiscent of video game pause screens), you can simply leave your equipment and items on the recesses, and take a snapshot of the tile layout to pick up where you left off (just like the save feature!).

Who’s To Blame For My New Interest In Dungeon Exploring?

Borderhaime is the brainchild of Dmitry “Tsuchitana” and his friends. Unlike other dungeon explorer games out currently, this game has been developed by Tsuchitana in his spare time over the last two years, outside of his day job. After rigorous playtesting with a team of twelve friends, he decided to roll the dice (pun intended!) on making this game a reality. No faceless corporation or cookie cutter, cut-and-paste gameplay or design here. Dmitry has been involved every step of the way in seeing this project through to the end. It’s quite refreshing to be able to put a face to the game, the man behind the curtain as it were. We’ve all dreamed of creating our own game at some point, and Dmitry is living the dream!

Okay, Okay, You’ve Convinced Me To Give The Game A Looksee, Where Can I Get My Hands On It?

The game isn’t out yet, but currently on Kickstarter, here. While it has some competition at the moment, it’s definitely a game worth your money if you’re in the market for an immersive dungeon explorer with loads of possibilities for unique gameplay. Throw in some gorgeous minis and a cool storyline, and you’ve got a recipe for an awesome game. And as if that wasn’t reason enough, you get to back a game created by a fellow gamer! Here at Paint All the Minis we love seeing the one-man band succeed and thrive, and with a game like Borderhaime, that’s definitely on the horizon for Dmitry and crew!