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Eve Online gets an epic 4X board game, and the miniatures look incredible

CCP Games will partner with Titan Forge to bring its deadly starships to life

A player stands on the bridge of a capital ship in front of a command dais that looks like a table. Ourside the canopy ships fly toward a wormhole and combat. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Eve Online, the famously complex spacefaring MMO, is being adapted into a board game. Iceland-based CCP Games has partnered with Titan Forge, a publisher known for its catalog of extraordinary miniatures, to bring Eve The Board Game to Kickstarter this fall. Polygon has your first look at the project — and its potent fleet of pint-sized plastic starships.

At its core, Eve Online is a 4X game. The 4X acronym stands for the genre’s four classic objectives: to explore the unknown, expand your empire, exploit the most resources, and ultimately to exterminate all opposition. While the 4X genre has long been popular on PC, it’s also been incredibly popular in board gaming. Titles such as Twilight Imperium, Eclipse, and Tiny Epic Kingdoms stand proud among the competition. There is even another high-profile 4X video game crossover currently in the works, with Paradox’s 4X game Stellaris currently being adapted by Academy Games.

A render of the contents of Eve Online: The Board Game, including tiles with star systems, cards, tokens, and loads of unique plastic starships. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games

But Eve Online has something that none of those games can hold a candle to, specifically some of the most ruthless players in the entire world. Because of those players, Eve is more than just a 4X game. It’s a kind of byzantine social experiment, that for the last 20 years has created some of the most enduring storylines in all of gaming. Even those who have never played the game will know the story of the ill-fated starship named Steve; of the cutthroat warlord named Mittani; and of the galaxy-spanning civil war that was bankrolled by a real-world casino. It remains unclear exactly how CCP and Titan Forge hope to bring those kinds of themes into the game.

“With its player-driven gameplay and complex virtual economy, EVE Online lends itself organically to a compelling board game experience,” offered Grant Tasker, brand director at CCP Games, in a news release. “As we celebrate two decades of EVE Online, Titan Forge understands New Eden’s enduring legacy and is equipped to bring our iconic spaceship MMO to a different medium while maintaining its signature elements.”

The release describes the final product as having “Euro-game mechanics.” The phrase has become a bit of a catchall of late, but traditionally European-style board games are known for their deterministic approach, which eschews randomness and dice rolling. So-called Euro-games also tend to avoid direct conflict, but clearly that won’t be the case here as the final product will allow players to wage war on a massive scale.

A render of a Widow starship in blue on a space themed background. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games
A render of a Vargur ship against a space themed background. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games
A render of a Paladin starship against a yellow nebula and starfield. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games
A render of a Kronos starship against a green nebula. Image: Titan Forge/CCP Games

CCP’s partner for this project is no mere newcomer, however. Founded in 2011, Titan Forge is a Polish company best known for its miniatures which are sold as digital files as well as physical items. The company has had remarkable success with its Patreon, which remains one of the single largest ongoing crowdfunding efforts in all of tabletop gaming. It’s done a good amount of business selling alternate sculpts and proxies for other gaming systems, while at the same time also maintaining its own stable of unique games such as Bloodfields and Gridwars.

While Eve The Board Game sounds like a daunting task, Titan Forge founder Roman Łakomiak appears up to the challenge.

“As a studio dedicated to crafting high-quality board games that ignite imaginations, EVE Online’s player-driven world is the perfect fit to make the ultimate tabletop sandbox,” Łakomiak said in the news release. “This project is unlike anything we’ve ever made and fuels Titan Forge’s commitment to delivering an authentic and captivating experience for EVE fans and board game enthusiasts alike.”

If you’d like to follow along with the campaign to produce Eve The Board Game, you can find a landing page on Kickstarter. The campaign is scheduled to kick off later this year, with the first demonstration of the game available at the annual Eve Fanfest 2023 in Reykjavik, Iceland starting Sept. 21.

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