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An introduction to Umbrella Academy: The Board Game

15th Jun 2022

Rob Burman

With the Gamefound launch just around the corner, today we’re kicking off a series of blogs introducing our newest game, which we’ve been working on with our pals over at River Horse Games.

Umbrella Academy: The Board Game is a co-operative game in which 1-5 players work together as the Heroes from the world famous Umbrella Academy comics. To win, they must overcome a succession of dangerous hazards and defeat dastardly villains in order to save the world.

Over the coming days, we’ll be delving into the rules into a bit more depth, but today we’re giving you a brief overview of how the game plays.

First up, The Umbrella Academy is a hybrid between a card game and a miniatures game. So what does that mean? Well, wonderfully detailed miniatures of the heroes, minions and villains are moved around the board to different locations. These miniatures can be painted (if you’re into that sort of thing) or can be left in grey plastic – it’s up to you!

Not final product. Subject to change. These minis painted by Studio Giraldez.

Meanwhile, Skill cards are played from your hand to use the various special abilities of the heroes. Talking of heroes, the core game comes with the option to play as Spaceboy, Rumor, Séance, Kraken or Number Five. Depending upon whether you’re using all five heroes, the game scales based on the number of players – so if you’re playing with just two people, you’ll both have five Action cards in your hand, whereas if you’re playing with five, you’ll all have three cards. There’s also the option to play solo too… just in case you’ve fallen out with all your siblings * looks at Kraken *

Before each game you choose the Super Villain that you want to tackle. There are three Super Villains to face in the core game, including Hazel and Cha Cha, The Orchestra Verdammten, and The White Violin. Each of these Villains comes with their own mission that must be completed in order to save the day, along with their own unique Hazard cards.

Not final product. Subject to change.

Talking of Hazard cards, they play a huge part in making sure each game of Umbrella Academy never plays the same – even if you’ve selected the same Villain. Each game the standard Hazards and the unique Hazards of your chosen villain are mixed together to create a deck of dangerous disasters that must be thwarted. These problems are scattered throughout the city and you’ve got to work together to defeat them, before they destroy different locations or wound the heroes. Even if you manage to defeat the hazards, more will potentially respawn at the end of each Round, so you’ve got to keep on your toes.

Each turn you play Skill cards to move around the board, use special abilities or defeat the various Hazards that threaten to destroy the planet. But you’ll need to watch out for potential feuds with your fellow heroes! The game builds to a dramatic final confrontation with the super villain. Win and you save the world. Lose and… well, it’s best not to think about that.

Of course, these are just the basics of Umbrella Academy: The Board Game and throughout this week, we’ll be looking at the gameplay in more detail. Tune in next time, for an explanation of those all-important Hazards.