Once again this year I will be attending Gen Con August 4-7th to enjoy the best four days in gaming. This is the Con where board game publishers either release or demo many of their new games. So there will literally be hundreds of new games to experience but alas I will not be able to see them all, although I will give it my best shot. I have put together the following list of my Top 10 Games I’m Interested in Trying Out at Gen Con and plan to do a debrief and quick write up about each of them when it is all over. I am sure that I will try out more games than these ten but these are the ones I will make sure to see. Enjoy my list and let me know if you agree or have your own list. I have copied descriptions from either Board Game Geek or from the publishers sites for each of the below games and then added my editorial comments at the end of each entry.
10. SeaFall – Plaid Hat GamesSeaFall is a 4X-inspired game (without player elimination/extermination) set in an “age of sail” world reminiscent of our world. In SeaFall, the world is starting to claw its way out of a dark age and has begun to rediscover seafaring technology. Players take on the role of a mainland empire that consults with a consortium of advisors to discover new islands, explore those islands, develop trade, send out raiding parties, take part in ship-to-ship combat, and more. As in Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy, co-designed by Rob Daviau, SeaFall evolves as the game is played, setting their grudges into the history of the game and building a different narrative at every table as players open up the world.
My group has really enjoyed Pandemic Legacy and are definitely looking forward to demoing and maybe purchasing this title!
9. Vikings on Board – Blue Orange Games
Vikings on Board is a family-strategy/worker-placement game in which your objective is to set sail with your clan of Vikings on board the ships best supplied for a successful voyage, while simultaneously placing bets on which clan you think will control each ship as they set sail. Ships are divided into three sections: the front (bow), the middle (body), and the end (stern). During the course of the game, you will place supplies on the ships’ bows, while moving around their body pieces so that your clan has majority control of a ship when it sets sail. Stern pieces are used to show which ships have already set sail.
Each turn, the active player will perform one of the remaining available actions. Actions include: taking first pick of actions next round, rearranging ships’ pieces (x4), placing bets on ships (x2), adding supplies to a ship (x2), increasing the value of supplies in the market, or setting sail. When a ship sets sail, players will share its supplies in order of how many times their clan’s shield appears on the body pieces of that ship. Starting with the player with the most shields, players will claim a supply token of their choice from the bow of the ship and place it facedown on their scoring circle. These supply tokens will score points based on their value in the market at the end of the game. Additionally, if a player placed a bet on the clan that had majority control of the ship, then they take their winning bet and place it facedown on their scoring circle.
I have watched people play this one and post their pictures on social media and each time I see it I want to play it! It looks really fun, appears to have some really neat components and it is a Viking game. I love Viking themed games…maybe because I have Icelandic blood in my veins!
8.Five Tribes: Thieves of Naqala – Days of Wonder
Five Tribes: The Thieves of Naqala is a mini-expansion of six thief cards and one new djinn for Five Tribes that introduces a new element to the base game to create a real thorn in your opponents’ side. The djinn is shuffled into the deck with the other djinns and protects you from the effects of thieves. One thief card is revealed at random at the start of the game, and whenever someone would buy a djinn, they can purchase the thief card for the same price as the djinn. Each thief is associated with one of the tribes, and whenever you take an action with that tribe, you can choose to activate and discard the thief. If you do, everyone else must get rid of something — two resource cards, one tile they control, even a djinn or palace — after which you get to choose to keep something from all the discarded things.
Five Tribes is one of my favorite euro style games and I bought The Artisans of Naqala expansion in 2015 and love it and am pretty much sold on any future expansions. More Five Tribes?!? Yes please!
7. Tyrants of the Underdark – Gale Force Nine
Designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, and Andrew Veen, and produced by Gale Force Nine, Tyrants of the Underdark is a competitive board game in which you play as a drow house recruiting monsters, cultists and demons to aid you in controlling locations such as Menzoberranzan and Blingdenstone. Using power and influence as resources, Tyrants of the Underdark features multiple strategies you can use in crafting your deck of minions. Be the spymaster infiltrating your enemy’s strongholds or the deadly war-leader concentrating on assassinating enemy troops. No matter how you decide to play, whoever controls most of the Underdark at the end of the game wins, unless there’s some hidden strategy in play.
I have loved the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game for nearly 35 years and have also owned and played several of their board game adaptations (Lords of Waterdeep is the best one!). Plus this one has Drow! I’m excited to try it out and wanted to at Origins but just couldn’t fit it into my schedule.
6. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet – Portal Games
Built on the core of the award-winning Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet pits players against the hostile Martian environment and a whole host of new adventures and challenges. The immersion experience is further enhanced with an integrated app that maintains the balance and challenge throughout. Players have the option of taking on the design as a series of separate games, in a custom campaign mode in which each successive game builds on the last, or even an open world mode in which they are free to roam about the Martian surface and explore for as long as they can survive.
I love games that tell stories or create a narrative and I also love Sci Fi so this game appears to be right up my alley!
5. Colony – Bezier Games
In Colony, each player constructs and upgrades buildings, while managing resources to grow their fledgling colony. In a clever twist, dice are used as resources, with each side/number representing a different resource. Some resources are stable, allowing them to be stored between turns, while others must be used right away. Buildings provide new capabilities, such as increased production, resource manipulation, and additional victory points. Using dice-as-resources facilitates a dynamic, ever-changing resources management mini-game while players work to earn victory points by adding building to their tableau on their way to victory.
As I’ve said before I enjoy Sci Fi and I really enjoy dice allocation. This is one I definitely have a great deal of interest in.
4.Mythic Battles Pantheon – Mythic Games
Gen Con attendees will be the first gamers in North America to play as a famous god of Greek mythology, assemble warriors, lead troops into battle, create their own Pantheon and become the new ruler of Olympus in Mythic Battles: Pantheon. Learn-to-play games of Mythic Battle: Pantheon are scheduled in the Event Hall from 10am – 8pm each day and tickets are available on gencon.com for $4 each. Players will also receive an exclusive set of four collectible buttons of iconic Olympic gods.
The mighty Titans of Greek lore awoke and unleashed a massive attack on Olympus. While the Titans were ultimately defeated, the world is ravaged and the surviving Olympians now mere mortals. As the former Gods awake to a broken world, Mythic Battles: Pantheon begins their adventure through Olympus, Styx and the Labyrinth of Minos to regain the glory left decimated by the wrath of the Titans. Playing as Zeus, Athena or any number of Greek gods alongside an army of heroes such as Achilles and Hercules and monsters such as the Hydra, Cerberus and Medusa, in victory players will be a god.
I love miniatures and battle games and honestly who doesn’t love taking on the persona of a Greek God for a few hours!
3. Scythe – Stonemaier Games
It is a time of unrest in 1920’s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory”, which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries.
Scythe is a 4X board game set in an alternate-history 1920’s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor. In Scythe, each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europa who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction’s stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs. Each player begins the game with different resources (power, coins, combat acumen, and popularity), a different starting location, and a hidden goal. Starting positions are specially calibrated to contribute to each faction’s uniqueness and the asymmetrical nature of the game (each faction always starts in the same place).
This game is probably the most hyped and highly anticipated game of 2016 and I’m intrigued and want to see if the hype is real!
2. Cry Havoc – Portal Games
Cry Havoc is a card-driven, asymmetric, area control war game set in a brutal, science fiction setting. Each player commands one of four unique factions with varying abilities and units. The game includes 54 custom miniatures, a large format board, and over one hundred unique cards, all with stunning new artwork.
I’m most interested in this one as I love CDG and asymmetric games. I also love miniatures and am intrigued by the combat system in the game. Should be a very solid game from a great company!
1. Terraforming Mars – Stronghold Games
In the 2400’s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level, and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars, you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.
The players acquire unique project cards (from over two hundred different ones) by buying them to their hand. The projects (cards) can represent anything from introducing plant life or animals, hurling asteroids at the surface, building cities, to mining the moons of Jupiter and establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. The cards can give you immediate bonuses, as well as increasing your production of different resources. Many cards also have requirements and they become playable when the temperature, oxygen, or ocean coverage increases enough. Buying cards is costly, so there is a balance between buying cards (3 megacredits per card) and actually playing them (which can cost anything between 0 to 41 megacredits, depending on the project). Standard Projects are always available to complement your cards.
I love Sci Fi (did I mention that?) and this game looks to have a good plan, great components and some new and unique treatments of familiar mechanics. I am definitely buying this one at 9am on Thursday morning!
There you have my Top 10 Games I’m Interested in Trying Out at Gen Con 2016! Have a great time and tune in the week after to read about my experience!