Bring on the madness
Today in unexpected but surprisingly exciting news: German metal band Powerwolf are to star in an upcoming board game that sees the members of the band turned into werewolves and hunting down vampires.
Armata Strigoi is inspired by Powerwolf’s song of the same name, which tells a tale of Vlad the Impaler (supposedly one of the inspirations behind Count Dracula’s bloodthirsty habits) and features extremely metal lyrics like “we hail the cross and we kill by the bible” and “we drink the blood of the fallen believer”. (Several of Powerwolf’s other songs also deal with vampires and werewolves, including song titles like ‘We Drink Your Blood’ and ‘Werewolves of Armenia’.)
Whether you’re a Powerwolf fan or not, the Armata Strigoi board game sounds pretty promising by itself. The players control the lycanthropic members of Powerwolf – referred to as “sons of the Legends of the Night” and “defenders of the ‘Real Truth’ – as the headbanging heroes assault the fortress of Tismana, the base of the last remaining vampire master and his apprentice, in an effort to end the “eternal struggle between vampires and werewolves”.
The vampires begin the game as invincible foes, so the werewolves must fight with other undead monsters to build up their strength in ‘blood points’, collecting magical weapons and equipment as they go. The gameplay involves players selecting cards from their hand that allow them to move, attack and perform other actions, with the cards’ initiative value deciding the order that the characters act.
Although the Powerwolf are working together, the unleashing of their base werewolf tendencies means that the players controlling them are limited in how they can communicate and strategise – the players can’t reveal any information about the cards they’re holding, but can still find ways to work together to take down creatures and help their companions.
Once one of the Strigoi vampires is defeated, the other transforms into a supreme master vampire, upping the difficulty of finishing them off. What’s more, dispatching one of the villains results in the fortress beginning to collapse room by room, giving the players a limited amount of time to kill the other and win before the entire building crumbles to dust.
Armata Strigoi’s gameplay has been designed by Marco Valtriani and Paolo Vallerga, and the game itself will come with miniatures of both Powerwolf’s werewolf alter-egos and the Strigoi vampires they’re hunting. The game plays with two to five people in 75 minutes to an hour and a half.
Currently up for pre-order on Powerwolf's webstore for €50 (the pre-painted miniatures are a limited-edition set), Armata Strigoi will be released on October 24th – just in time for you to blast some metal tunes and hunt vampires for Halloween.
In the meantime, get an idea of the game’s general vibe by listening to the original song below.