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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > March 2018 (#16) > Rising Sun

Rising Sun

After the Norse fury of Blood Rage, Eric Lang’s next mythical extravaganza puts players in command of the samurai, gods and monsters of feudal Japan. He tell us why he finds sticking to history boring, his musical approach to drawing from classic games and where his childhood love of folklore might take him next


When he was young, Eric Lang would sit with his grandmother during family trips to Germany and look at picture books recounting folktales, legends and myths from around the world. Unable to read the stories himself, the boy’s imagination was sparked by the pure sensation of the worlds conjured up by the imagery and emotions. Those feelings would stay with him into adulthood and eventually resurface through his work as a game designer, most explicitly in Blood Rage, Lang’s 2015 board game set during the Norse world-ending event Ragnarök.

Inspired by the Viking belief that a glorious death would earn a place alongside Odin in Valhalla, Blood Rage encouraged fierce, relentless battles between players’ clans of warriors as they pillaged the land around the legendary tree of Yggdrasil in pursuit of the might required to vanquish their enemies. The clans could call upon the power of gods and creatures from Norse mythology to aid them, appeasing the wants of deities from Thor and Loki to Heimdall and Tyr. The combination of furiously competitive card-drafting and the bloody, evocative setting landed like a swing from Mjölnir, earning widespread critical plaudits and a thunderous response from backers on Kickstarter.

While working on Blood Rage, Lang began to put together other concepts for further games steeped in his lifelong obsession with folklore and legends. (“I have lots of ideas,” he admits.) While the designer would find most to be “not publishable”, he eventually hit upon the idea of a spiritual successor to the area control gameplay showcased in Blood Rage, but instead taking the mythology of ancient Japan as its foundation.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Dive into March’s issue of Tabletop Gaming read our whopping exclusive interview with Blood Rage mastermind Eric Lang about his next legendary strategy game, the incredible Rising Sun. You won’t want to miss it! As Pandemic turns 10 years old, we catch up with series creator Matt Leacock and some of the designers, artists and publishers that helped bring the groundbreaking co-op hit to life, hearing how a simple idea became one of the biggest board games of all time. Also taking a look back is Francis Tresham, the inventor of original empire-building epic Civilization. In a rare interview, he tells us about turning his fascination with history into a brand new genre and the lasting legacy of the game almost four decades on. The next instalment in our ever-popular How We Made feature meets up with Splendor designer Marc André to peek behind-the-scenes of his chip-collecting gem, discovering how his childhood hatred of chess and love of maths inspired one of the most absorbing card games in years. There’s plenty more to discover inside the latest issue of Tabletop Gaming, from tips on taking a board game holiday and a look at Legend of Korra sports game Pro-Bending Arena to new columns diving deep into indie games you might’ve missed and the history of the tabletop’s most influential mechanics. Not to mention our regular buffet of hobby tips, designer interviews and more. Of course, there’s no shortage of reviews, either – this month we give our definitive thoughts on Dinosaur Island, Escape the Dark Castle, Altiplano, Transatlantic, Favelas, Dungeon Draft, Kitchen Rush, Elite: Dangerous RPG, Empires, Nusfjord, Time Barons, Coaster Park and many, many more.
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