GenCon Must-Sees

GenCon is two weeks away, so I compiled a list of the things I will not miss! It’s kinda giant though so I’ll understand if you skim it! I can’t imagine I’ll have time for all of this, but I’m going to try! I’ll follow up my time at Indy with a video top 10.

Because of the nature of GenCon I would imagine FFG will have very cool stuff not listed here that they have not yet announced. I didn’t link to the Haba/r&r type kids stuff but I’m sure those are worth a look or two.

 

Fief: France 1429: This is a classic game in France getting a big fancy update for the states! Made a heck of a lot of money on kickstarter.

Doomtown Reloaded: This is the LCG remake of this immensely popular game. It’s a territory control game with a poker feel.

Consequential: I do not have words to explain the interest this game holds for me. It has world-building aspects, a companion app that is required and the base game comes with 4 acts. This could be the next iteration of technology mixed with legacy-style gaming. I originally tried to kickstart this project before they held it back to further design work.

Abyss: This is power-grabbing card/draft game with amazing art!!

The Witcher Adventure Game: This is based on the books/games/comics and retold through a game by Ignacy Trzewiczek  This is story-telling with asymmetrical character-driven decisions.

Five Tribes: This is Days of Wonder trying to break into the heavier space of gaming. This is worker manipulation? You move your tribe around a bit, so you don’t remove them like regular worker placement. I couldn’t be more excited about this one.

40K Conquest: This is the next in the LCG line to follow up the Star Wars card game. Players will battle (somewhat brutally) over planets until they can claim the prize! Yeah, I know that this is only going to appeal to a certain demographic, but I’m excited none the less.

Epic Resort: fun-looking casual worker placement game about running a resort. I missed the Kickstarter for this one, but Ben Harkins(the designer) is one smart cookie. Cannot wait to see it in person.

Nautilus Industries: Beautifully designed with a very unique market system. Supposedly works well even with two players. Yay stocks!

Argent the Consortium: I wanna be a wizard! Very unique worker placement game. Opponent’s abilities are changing constantly. Do want.

Chaosmos: This space game looks mean and fun. You drop cards off around the universe as you hop from planet to planet.

Imperial Settlers:   This is one I have ordered for pickup. This is the farming/pillaging take on the 51st State Engine from Portal Games.

Panamax:  Very heavy, lots of actions. Shipping. Dice that aren’t rolled. Yesssssssss

Temporum: Time jumping game from Rio Grande. Almost no advertisement… so I guess I’ll just see it for myself.

The Z-Man Booth: They will have Tragedy Looper, Battle at Kemble’s Cascade and the new standalone Pandemic. All the things.

Operation FAUST:  Lets all hide precious art from the Nazis, and each other!

Dead of Winter: This is the first of Plaid Hats’ new series. It is a “meta cooperative” and that term is not my favorite thing… but the game couldn’t look cooler.

 

 

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Euphoria Review and Thoughts and Dystopias… er whatever

A look into Euphoria: Building a Better Dystopia

This is 2-6 player game that plays in around 60 minutes.

My thoughts on the game begin at minute 24… and my tangents go a little undone. whoops!!

I found the bits in the box to be superb! Beautifully done. The strategy is not deep, but the politics and faction-play keeps the game exciting.

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Welcome to the Foo-ture Ginkgopolis Review and Overview

Ginkgopolis is a 1-5 player game from Z-man Games. I love it!

Skip ahead to minute 20 to skip the rules overview. Play from the beginning to… not skip the rules overview.

Overall I’m delivering a 7.5/10!! Loves it!

Components are top notch. Nice-feeling cards, lots of wooden bits, not-useless(almost) player screens.

The gameplay is rather simple, but the rulebook is tangential and hard to decipher.

Playtime is short due to simultaneous action selection.

Preorder for Omen is active!

ImageZOMG, Pre-orders went live this week for Omen: Reign of War!!

This is a STUNNING two-player card game from Small Box Games. They are only making 1000 copies, so most who would like copies will be pre-ordering them now. For twenty bucks, I couldn’t resist.

The game itself is a 2-player war game. Players use units of soldiers, spirits and beasties to gain rewards and accomplish feats for victory! Lots of neat card interactions in this.

I’ll be sure to post up some thoughts when it comes out later this year 😀

Hail Caesar! while he still lives…

box design

Lets look a little more in depth at the overlooked Chicken Caesar from Nevermore Games. My first impression of this game, i am not shy to admit, was wholly negative. The pun, the kickstarter, even the cover art… something in making a game when you’re unknown to a community should be in perception, right? Game-makers Bryan Fischer and John Sizemore, have made themselves an excellent negotiation game.

The good: The table is full of open information that doesn’t shy away from real, direct confrontation. This kind of interaction between players is so rare. Honestly, if shown this game without any theme, i really think i could sell it to just about anyone who walks into my store.

The bad: the game hits at 4-5 players without much wiggle room.

Who should check this out? anyone who likes lying and betraying their friends, RIGHT IN THEIR FACE! Welp, I suppose you can play this game a little nicer. Any big bad wolf among you is going to have quite a feast!

here’s how it works:

CknC board

So your chickens have decided the coop could use an overhaul. The roman government is the (obviously) best choice.  Its politicking(politiking?), focus on intellectual discussion, and ultimate treachery seems very cock-like. The Caesar shall be accountable for health and happiness. The tax guys will decide on tax-things, guards will be bribed and monuments to our fallen fowls with be built.

Chicken Caesar is played out over around ninety minutes. Each player represents a powerful chicken-family. Chickens wheel and deal themselves into some of the 5 different government positions. The aediles choose how much to tax the citizens, lining their pockets will also mean that blood is spilt. The Praetors will assign the guards to watch the officials in each office, often sending the traitorous guards after those who are building themselves up too fast. The consul will deliberate on their fallen cohorts; Often taking some financial incentive to build out a monument of an opponent’s family. The Caesar and censor make one important decision during their often short term. The Caesar may veto any one vote as it is placed. This can prevent death of a former beneficiary. The censor will send one chicken into exile until the next offices are seated. They can in fact exile themselves to prevent death.

chickens!

In any round in which a single chicken has died, so shall the Caesar. If his censor is still seated, he will be demoted. All remaining chickens will ascend to their new offices and voting shall continue to place remaining chickens into the empty seats. The game will end when an entire family has been eradicated, or when there are not enough remaining chickens to fill the seats of a new round.

I’ve to date won half of my games of Chicken Caesar. Sometimes it has been throwing shade at the craftier opponents, sometimes trying to fly under the radar of others. Being sweet and simple is not something i’m known for, so this tactic will only work with folks who do not know me. I would totally do this, if opportunity allowed.

The scoring of Chicken Caesar is interesting. It is easy to know when you are winning or losing, as all scores are open. One well-placed monument can put any player over the top in scoring. The chart is an optimization-based score, like Agricola. Individual chickens will earn an insignia for each office they serve from round, to round. If they survive multiple rounds, this develops an “extra” insignia. These can then be offered up to the consul to be built onto your fallen chickens. For every chicken that carries the same kind of insignia, a score will be reached. The Caesar’s insignia is the greatest number of points, as it is very difficult to obtain, and even harder to survive into an extra insignia to be built later.

So the game is built upon good timing, and better negotiation than the next guy.

Overall i would recommend this as a great 5 player negotiation game. Much better than the Bang-werewolves-resistance style, if you’re trying to fill an entire evening of play.

Libertalia First Impressions

My first impression of Libertalia tonight was a mix of swarthy joy and uncertainty. Will this Imagestill be fun in two months? Can i maintain a pirate voice for more than ten minutes? Should i just play Citadels more?

Libertalia is a card game for 2-6 players designed by Paulo Mori. Players get a set of 9 identical cards. Every player will choose their card at the same time. Cards are displayed and arranged in order of rank. The lowest ranked card will activate first, moving upward. Then, the remaining cards will take turns splitting up the booty for that round.

This continues over 6 turns. Then another 6 cards are added to each players handand play begins again.(eventually there are 3 rounds)

This was fun. Trying to find neat combos, sending out a powerful card, only to have it discarded by a lower-ranking pirate. Cursed booty passed around the table and pirate jokes abound.

ImageThere was a great influence of Citadels and other role-selection games here. The quick and light nature made it feel fresh.

I’ll have to play a few more games to be sure, but i’m excited to do so. I love interactive gamer’s party games. I can see this going hand in hand with RoboRally. Just quicker to play!!

What i would want to see in a more sophisticated version is a draft to determine the opening hands…