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GenCon 2014 Shopping Targets
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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My 2014 GenCon Shopping List

Link to Eric Martin's GenCon 2014 Preview
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/161427/gen-con-2014-pr...

GenCon Exhibit Hall Map
http://images.gencon.com/GenCon2014-ExhibitHallmapwithlinks....


Games ranked highest are those available for sale @ GenCon.
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1. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:78]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Ignacy Trzewiczek
Published by:
Portal Games
Booth #664

Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 60 minutes

Description:
Settlers from four major powers of the world have discovered new lands, with new resources and opportunities. Romans, Barbarians, Egyptians and Japanese all at once move there to expand the boundaries of their empires. They build new buildings to strengthen their economy, they found mines and fields to gather resources, and they build barracks and training grounds to train soldiers. Soon after they discover that this land is far too small for everybody, then the war begins...

Imperial Settlers is a card game that lets players lead one of the four factions and build empires by placing buildings, then sending workers to those buildings to acquire new resources and abilities. The game is played over five rounds during which players take various actions in order to explore new lands, build buildings, trade resources, conquer enemies, and thus score victory points.

The core mechanism of Imperial Settlers is based on concepts from the author's card game 51st State.

Other Information: • Price $50, with preorders available for pick-up at Gen Con 2014.
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2. Board Game: Temporum [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2023]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Donald X. Vaccarino
Published by:
Rio Grande Games

Number of players: 2-5
Playing time: 35 minutes

Description:
Game description from the publisher:

In some of the best versions of reality, the Egyptians discover America, the industrial revolution happens early, and eventually robots take over. In others, the Renaissance produces a plutocracy, which leads to a utopia — or perhaps to anarchy; it's all in the subtle details. As a time-traveler, you've seen it all, and it all has its place. What's important is who's in control in the long run when time travel is invented. With other time-travelers mucking with things for their own reasons, your course is clear: you will tamper with history as much as is needed, stepping on however many butterflies it takes, to get a perfect world under your own benign rule.

In Temporum, the board shows the possible paths history can take and the actual path it currently takes. On your turn, you can change history, travel through time, and visit a point in history. You draw cards, play some of them for money and abilities, and score some of them to advance your power through history. Having more power in a time period gives you abilities, but your goal is to have all of your power in the last time period, the time from which you come.
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3. Board Game: Subdivision [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2084]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Lucas Hedgren
Published by:
Bezier Games, Inc.

Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
Subdivision mimics the city-building feel of Bézier Games' Suburbia, but differs in scope as now each player has been allocated a specific area in which to create the best possible subdivision, filling it with residential, commercial, industrial, civic, and luxury zones, while balancing various improvements to the area, including roads, schools, parks, sidewalks, and lakes. By the end of the game, each player will have created a unique, custom neighborhood with areas that interact with each other, hoping to outscore the competition by having the best subdivision.

In the game, each player starts with a subdivision player board and a hand of hex-shaped zone tiles. A parcel die is rolled to indicate the type of parcel where a zone tile may be placed, and all players simultaneously place one of their tiles. If a zone tile is placed next to existing zone tiles, those existing tiles have the ability to create new improvements, which may also be placed at this time. Those improvements provide money and points, while slowly covering up as many parcels as possible. Players pass the remaining zone tiles in hand to their left, then someone rolls the parcel die once again. This continues until only one zone tile remains in hand, which is discarded.

Players then play another round, but at the start of the second, third, and fourth rounds, players first check to see whether they've achieved bonuses, which give them extra cash or allow for extra activations of certain zone tiles.

After four rounds, the game ends, and scores are tallied, with players gaining points for parks being adjacent to other tiles, sidewalks passing through as many different zones and improvements as possible, schools ranking the best in the city, and zones connecting to the highway that runs around (or through) your subdivision.

Other Information: • Price $50. Preorders available via the Bézier Games website; choose "Gen Con pick-up" in order to have the game waiting for you at the show.

• Designer Lucas Hedgren wrote a designer diary about Subdivision for BGG News and I added some game commentary to that post after two playings on the prototype.
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4. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:373]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Gil d'Orey
Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro
Paulo Soledade
Published by:
Stronghold Games

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 100 minutes

Description:
After one hundred years in service, the Panama Canal still is one of the most important and impressive engineering achievements in modern times.

Built in 1914, it held a prominent role in the deployment of military vessels during WWI and in the conflicts that have followed. Nowadays commercial usage is the core business of the Channel; its economic impact is profound and has not only developed the region, but in fact helped define shipping throughout the world.

In the wake of the Canal’s opening hull designs were influenced accordingly; ships fell into three categories, those that could travel through easily and in groups (Feeder class), massive ocean going ships too big to enter the Canal (ULCV or Ultra Large Container Vessels), and the new standard - designed to the maximum limits of the Panama Canal. These ships are called PANAMAX.

In Panamax each player manages a shipping company established in the Colón Free Trade Zone. Companies accept contracts from both US coasts, China and Europe and deliver cargo in order to make money, attract investment and pay dividends. At the same time the players accumulate their own stock investments and try to make as much money as possible in an effort to have the largest personal fortune and win the game.

Panamax features several original mechanisms that blend together; an original dice (action) selection table, pickup-and-deliver along a single bi-directional route, a chain reaction movement system – “pushing” ships to make room throughout the Canal and a level of player interaction that is part self-interest, part mutual advantage and the freedom to choose how you play.

On their turn, players remove a die from the Action table to select Contracts and Load Cargo or Move ships until the pool of dice is emptied ending the Round. Over the course of three rounds these actions are blended during the turn to create a logistics network which each player uses to ship their cargo, minimize transportation fees and increase the net worth of their Company. Each Company has a limited amount of Stock that the players can purchase in exchange for investing – receiving a dividend each round. The questions for the players will be which companies are likely to yield higher dividends?

There's more to explore and several ways to win, but we ask that you join us at the table and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal with a session of Panamax!

Other Information: • Price $60
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5. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:49]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Bruno Cathala
Published by:
Days of Wonder

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 60 minutes

Description:
Lead the Tribes and Take Control of Naqala

Crossing into the Land of 1001 Nights, your caravan arrives at the fabled Sultanate of Naqala. The old sultan just died and control of Naqala is up for grabs! The oracles foretold of strangers who would maneuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfill the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns, move the Tribes into position at the right time and the Sultanate may become yours!

Designed by Bruno Cathala, Five Tribes builds on a long tradition of German-style games that feature wooden meeples. Here, in a unique twist on the now-standard “worker placement” genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place – and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oasis and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure.

As befitting a Days of Wonder game, the rules are straightforward and easy to learn. But… devising a winning strategy will take a more calculated approach than our standard fare. You need to carefully consider what moves can score you well and put your opponents at a disadvantage. You need to weigh many different pathways to victory, including the summoning of powerful Djinns that may help your cause as you attempt to control this legendary Sultanate.

Five Tribes is for 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and older and takes approximately 40-80 minutes to play. The game is expected to be available in limited quantities at Gencon in August, and then from game retailers worldwide in September at an expected retail price of $60/€54.

Source: Days of Wonder Blog.

Other Information: • Price $60

• Game designer Bruno Cathala will be at the Days of Wonder booth to teach Five Tribes, and he'll also be available for author signings on:

—Thursday 1-2
—Friday 5-6
—Saturday 1-2
—Sunday 1-2
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6. Board Game: Tragedy Looper [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:464]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
BakaFire
Published by:
Z-Man Games


Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 120 minutes

Description:
Tragedy Looper is a scenario-based deduction game for four players: one scriptwriter and three detectives. The game consists of four location boards and a number of character cards. Each scenario features a number of characters, hidden roles for these characters (serial killer, misinformant, murderer), and some pre-set tragedies (murder, suicide).

Each "day" (turn), players and the scriptwriter play three face-down cards onto the characters, then reveal them to move the characters around or affect their paranoia or good will stats. At the end of each day (turn), if the scenario has a tragedy set for that day, it happens if the conditions are met, i.e., certain characters have certain stats or are in a certain location together (or not together) with others. As tragedies happen, players loop back in time, restarting the scenario from the beginning and trying to deduce who the culprit was and why along with all of the other hidden rules for the scenario.

The players win if they manage to maintain status quo — that is, if no tragedies occur to the key individuals — for a set number of days, within a set number of loops. If not, the scriptwriter wins.

Other Information: • Price $40
 
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7. Board Game: Trains: Rising Sun [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:821] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Steve Ellis (II)
Hisashi Hayashi
Published by:
Alderac Entertainment Group

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
Trains returns with all-new cards and strategies for you to build the best rail system in Japan. Trains: Rising Sun not only features all new cards, it includes three entirely new boards. Two of the boards are designed specifically for two-player games, while the Nagoya map is for 2 to 4 players. This standalone game can mix easily with the original Trains game for even greater replay possibilities!

Trains: Rising Sun also introduces Route Bonus Cards, allowing you to score additional points for being the first to connect specific stations. Route Bonus Cards are included for the original Trains game as well!

Other Information: • Price $60
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8. Board Game: Athlas: Duel for Divinity [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:5696]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Tzvika Harpaz
Published by:
Golden Egg Games
Booth #2237

Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
In Athlas: Duel for Divinity, each player takes the role of a young Athilian, a godlike being, outcast to the seven outer worlds to explore and uncover the secrets of creation laid by his ancestors. While traveling the outer worlds, Athilians practice their abilities to manipulate time and space until they become powerful enough to be challenged by the Athilian council to open the portal back to Athlas, thus passing the final test to adulthood.

As an aspiring god you can design and create your own unique units by enhancing basic Genus cards with powerful abilities, artifacts and spells. You also get to choose divine interventions that might ultimately affect the outcome of the duel. Then you will summon your creations onto the battlefield and attempt to assemble two of three ancient relics in order to open the portal and win the game.

The game's limitless design system enables players to form any strategy they wish against their opponent's creations.

Other Information: • Price $70, with a limited number prerelease copies on hand for sale
 
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9. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:426]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Andrea Chiarvesio
Pierluca Zizzi
Published by:
Asterion Press
Yemaia
Booth #ASMODEE

Number of players: 2-6
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
The mythical realm of Hyperborea was ruled by an ancient civilization that used magical crystals as their main source of energy. With time, the Hyperboreans became greedy, and their search for power in the deep made the crystals unstable, causing earthquakes, mutations, droughts and floods. Hyperboreans just dug deeper, and only a few wise mages, foreseeing the inevitable, built an unbreakable magical barrier. When the unharnessed magical energy was unleashed from the deep, the Hyperborean civilization was destroyed in a single day, only the magical barrier preventing the disappearance of life from the whole land. The survivors living in the small outposts outside Hyperborea were now sealed out by the barrier. The knowledge of crystals was declared forbidden it was because too dangerous, or simply forgotten.

Over centuries, six rival realms were born from the ashes of the Hyperborean civilization: the militarist Red Duchy; the Emerald Kingdom and its death-delivering archers; the Purple Matriarchy fanatically worshipping the goddess of life; the skilled diplomats and merchants of the Golden Barony; the Coral Throne with its efficiently organized society and finally the secluded and enigmatic Celestial Reign.

The fragile peace between the different realms was not intended to last. One day, the magical barrier suddenly collapsed. A whole new land stood in front of the six kingdoms, still haunted by the old Hyperboreans turned into harmless but ominous ghosts, full of ruins to discover and cities to explore. Each realm is now sending its best warriors and explorers to Hyperborea in order to achieve dominance over their rivals, but which will prevail? Brutal strength or deep understanding of science? The discovery of valuable artifacts in the lost ruins or the retaking of long, lost cities? Only you, as the leader of one of the factions, can lead your people to the ultimate dominance over Hyperborea!

Set in a mythical land of the same name, Hyperborea is a light civilization game for 2 to 6 players that takes 20-25 minutes per player. The game begins at the time when the magic barrier protecting access to the mythical continent of Hyperborea suddenly falls.

Each player takes the role of the leader of a small kingdom situated just outside the now open to be conquered and explored land. Her kingdom has limited knowledge of housing, trade, movement, warfare, research, and growth, but new and exciting powers are hidden in Hyperborea. During the game, this kingdom will grow in numbers and raise armies, extend its territory, explore and conquer, learn new technologies, etc...

The game's main mechanism, which can be described as "bag-building", involves you building a pool of "civilicubes". Each cube represents specializations for your kingdom: war, trade, movement, building, knowledge, growth. Grey cubes represent corruption and waste, and players will acquire them by developing new technologies. (Power corrupts by its own definition, and the more complex a society becomes, the more waste it generates.) Each turn, players draw three random cubes from their bags, then use them to activate knowledge (technologies) they own.

Other Information: • Price $100

• Available at Gen Con 2014 ahead of its September 2014 retail release.
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10. Board Game: Zombie 15' [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:890]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Guillaume Lémery
Nicolas Schlewitz
Published by:
IELLO

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 15 minutes

Description:
In an apocalyptic world in which everyone over the age of 18 has turned into a bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombie and most youngsters have been served as meat to quell their elders' appetite, a small team of kids and teenagers tries to survive on their own. As part of that small group of survivors, you must unite to escape the relentless horde of undead. Run across town to find shelter or food, hold a strategic position, meet with new survivors, and discover the truth about this terrible and mysterious disease!

Zombie 15' is a frantic, scenario-based survival game in which time is scarce and cooperation is key. The game features easy rules but real choices to be made as quickly as possible if you don't want to get overwhelmed by zombies!

Zombie 15' features a team of 15-year-old teenagers; a 15-minute soundtrack to give each game its tempo; a 15-scenario, progressive campaign; and much more than just 15 zombies...

Other Information: • Price $80

• Signing sessions will take place with artist Biboun and co-designer Nicolas Schlewitz.
 
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11. Board Game: Epic Resort [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:2331]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Ben Harkins

Published by:
Floodgate Games
Booth #467

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
Players compete to build the best resort for attracting fantasy heroes and tourists looking for fun and relaxation. The more you attract, the more likely monsters will attack!

Overview
Hire and train your workers, build and upgrade your attractions, and convince your battle weary heroes to fight just one more time so without letting too many tourists get eaten! Gain Victory points by upgrading attractions and giving Heroes the rest they need. The highest scoring player when all monsters are defeated is the winner.

Setup
Each player begins with a humble resort consisting of a Beach, a Tiki Hut and a small number of Tourists, placed at each attraction. Each player starts with their own worker Deck consisting of 7 Apprentices, 3 Street Performers, and 3 Lazy Peons.

Gameplay
Each round consists of 4 phases

Phase I - Get to Work

Each Player draws a hand of 5 Workers from their Worker Deck
Players simultaneously send worker cards from their hand to do work at each of their Attractions. Any missing units of work (are required by the Attraction) cause Tourists to leave before gathering resources.
Players gain the primary resource of Gold by having more tourists at each attraction, and Flair by having less tourists.

Phase II - Action: Attract, Hire & Upgrade

In order, players take one action per turn or pass. Players will be interacting with common draft areas, as well as using abilities from their own workers and attractions. Possible actions include:
Attract Tourists from the Dock (Spending Flair) - Tourists are placed at attractions, potentially increasing the Gold gained on the subsequent turn
Attract a Hero from the Dock (Spending Flair) - Heroes start with low health, which is gained at the end of each round. Fully Rested Heroes are scored for Victory Points.

Upgrade an Attraction (Spending Gold) - Providing higher tourist capacity, better Gold payout, better abilities and more Victory Points. Upgraded attractions typically require more workers to keep them fully staffed.
Train or Hire new Workers (Spending Gold) - Upgrade your workers to provide more work, or better abilities. Training locks a worker draft pile, preventing other players from upgrading to that particular worker during the round. Training workers is a 1-for-1 exchange, keeping players' Worker Deck lean by design.

Pass - The first Player to Pass becomes the Start Player for the next round
Any time during a players turn, they may use abilities from fully-staffed attractions, or discard worker cards to use their unique abilities.

Phase III - A Ship Arrives

The dock is refilled with new Heroes and Tourists from a center pile. While refilling, it's possible to trigger a Monster Attack!
If an Attack! card is revealed, the top Monster from the Monster Pile will choose which player it's attacking; typically by Most Tourists or Most Heroes at their resort, ties broken clockwise from the start player.
If a Hero defends against a Monster Attack, he loses 1 health. Any undefended damage causes tourists to be eaten by the Monster.
Heroes may dodge into, or out of, a Monster Attack up to one time per round.

If an attraction has no Hero or Tourists, a Monster will Damage it, potentially destroying the attraction.
A player may chose (if they have one) to throw a Lazy Peon at the monster, ending the attack and permenantly removing the Worker Card from the game.
The Dock Continues to refill, potentially triggering more Monster Attacks, until it is full.
Phase IV - Clean Up

Used and unused Workers are placed in players' discard piles.
Any fully-rested Heroes are scored - Placed to the side, each worth Victory Points at the end of the game. This Hero also removes the top Monster from the remaining Monster Deck.
Remaining Heroes gain 1 Health each.
Any Locked Worker Draft Piles and Attraction Abilities are made available for the next round.
Any unused Flair is sent back to the supply. Gold carries over to the next round.
Gameplay continues with Phase I

Game End

If at the end of the round there are no Monsters remaining, the game is over and players total Victory Points from Attractions, Scored Heroes, and 1 point for each remaining Hero at their resort. The player with the highest Victory Point total has built the most Epic Resort and is victorious!

Other Information: • Price $45
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12. Board Game: Guardians' Chronicles [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6073]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Frédérick Condette
Published by:
IELLO


Number of players: 2-5
Playing time: 75 minutes

Description:
Guardians Chronicles is a superhero-themed miniatures game in which you play as one of the members of the Liberty Patrol or as the group's archnemesis, Professor Skarov.

To set up, the Skarov player arranges the nine double-sided game board tiles into a 3x3 grid, with his control room in the center space. Each player takes her character sheet, miniature and 7-10 action cards. These characters enter the grid on one of the side tiles and need to advance around the square – confronting minions and traps along the way – in order to achieve whatever objectives are in place for this game, such as thwarting a nuclear missile attack.

Each turn, the hero players play 1-2 action cards; each card shows both a special power and modifiers to that hero's inherent statistics – movement, attack, defense and mental – and the played cards can be used for either the special power or the modifiers. Each hero player has four actions in a round, and the players can play in any order they wish; the actions are move across the base, attack an enemy, or use a special power on a played action card or the hero's character sheet.

Professor Skarov then receives a number of action points based partially on the heroes' actions, and he uses these to activate himself, his minions, or his robots, with these figures also performing move, attack, or special power actions.

As the players complete (or fail to complete) objectives, the newspapers report on who did what, and the sum of those reports determine who comes out on top.

Other Information: • Price $70
 
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13. Board Game: Destination: Neptune [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:5582]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Ian Brody
Published by:
Griggling Games, Inc.
Booth #2927

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
Destination: Neptune shows an optimistic vision of commercial space exploration in the next century. Players control an organization with the resources and intent to explore, develop, and colonize the worlds beyond Earth. Organizations that practice careful planning and resource management, with a healthy dose of technology research will succeed. Destination: Neptune moves through four generations of space exploration. Players earn Victory Points by building large commercial outposts and colonies, as well as from fame and outright purchases. After four generations, the player with the most Victory Points wins the game.

This is a card driven game in which most Cards have an action that happens immediately, and another action for all of the players (including the player who played the card). Players can also sell cards in exchange for currency. When you sell a card, it goes to an Opportunity Track and is placed to the side of the board. If the Opportunity Track already has as many cards as players, the rightmost card is discarded. You may not change the order of the cards in the Opportunity Track. Players can play cards from the Opportunity Track as if they were in their hands.

Players must use the cards to gain currency and fuel in order to launch space missions to establish bases, factories and colonies on various locations within our solar system. Careful hand and resource management is key to winning the game. In addition, players also need to research certain technologies in order to build on most locations. Technologies are researched through card play and paying currency. The cards are separated into 4 piles which are separate generations. At the end of each generation, each player scores points for the various structures they've built. The game ends when all generation piles have been exhausted.

Other Information: • Price $50
 
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14. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:18]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Jonathan Gilmour
Isaac Vega
Published by:
Plaid Hat Games
Booth #2127

Number of players: 2-5
Playing time: 100 minutes

Description:
Game description from the publisher:

"Crossroads" is a new series from Plaid Hat Games that tests a group of survivors' ability to work together and stay alive while facing crises and challenges from both outside and inside.

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, the first game in this series, puts 2-5 players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game.

Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means players are working together toward one common victory condition — but for each individual player to achieve victory, he must also complete his personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that's fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or (worst of all) vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group's goal, but don't get walked all over by a loudmouth who's looking out only for his own interests!

Dead of Winter is an experience that can be accomplished only through the medium of tabletop games. It's a story-centric game about surviving through a harsh winter in an apocalyptic world. The survivors are all dealing with their own psychological imperatives, but must still find a way to work together to fight off outside threats, resolve crises, find food and supplies, and keep the colony's morale up.

Dead of Winter has players making frequent, difficult, heavily- thematic, wildly-varying decisions that often have them deciding between what is best for the colony and what is best for themselves.

Other Information: • Price $60

• On July 24, 2014, Plaid Hat noted that it's stopped taking preorders for Dead of Winter as the initial print run has arrived in port and it expects to send those games out to customers in the near future. As for the copies that remain unsold, "[w]e'll take the small supply that's left to Gen Con to sell, but they won't last long so head straight to the Plaid Hat booth if you want to buy one there. After Gen Con we'll put the preorder back up."
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15. Board Game: Heroes Wanted [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:976]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Travis R. Chance
Nick Little
Published by:
Action Phase Games
Booth #255

Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
As soon as you saw the ad in today’s Tribune, the certainty flooded over you. At last, this is your chance, the reason for all your training! All that work waterproofing your utility belt and practicing your one-liners will finally pay off. You call into work sick, feed the cat, and turn on your police scanner, waiting nervously for the first call--or at least, the call that’s close enough for you to get there first. You’ll stop at nothing to join your heroes, The Champions of Zeta City, and woe to any wannabe crime fighters who stand in your way!

Heroes Wanted is a tactical board game for 1-5 superhero hopefuls, attempting to fulfill their dreams of becoming a member of Zeta City’s exclusive crime fighting super team: The Champions of Zeta City. Each time you play, you will create a unique superhero comprised of two hero cards. You will then choose a scenario and face a different villain (or villains), but the objective remains the same: gain as much fame as possible by KO’ing minions, completing headlines, and thwarting the villain. At the end of each game, the superhero with the most fame is the winner and joins the prestigious ranks of The Champions of Zeta City.

Other Information: • Price $65

• In addition to the base game, Action Phase Games will have the Champions and Masterminds and Extra, Extra expansions available for purchase at $12 each.
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16. Board Game: Johari [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:5313]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Carlo Lavezzi
Published by:
Lookout Games
Mayfair Games
Booth #323

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
Johari is a world famous jewelry market in Jaipur, so naturally in the game Johari you and your fellow players will try to buy and sell gems in order to come out tops on the market.

The game lasts ten days, with players taking three actions each day. At the start of each day, the market is seeded with new gems, gold and prestige cards, with the stores holding only items of the same type and bazaar booths holding whatever comes to them. A new noble visits the market each day, offering a special power to whoever wants to pay for the privilege, with his price dropping each day.

Each player chooses one of the seven action cards in hand, then they resolve them in order of who has the most gold. They then do this twice more, getting discounts now for the cost of taking certain actions. The action cards let you earn gold, take all the cards from one store or bazaar booth, hire a noble, swap gems, protect yourself for inspections in case you have fake gems, copy your previously played action, or (most important of all) sell gems.

In addition to points from nobles and prestige cards, most of your score will come from gems that you sell — but you need to sell the right gems in the right way. When selling to a jeweler, you need to sell four different types of gems (or three types and gold), but you score only for one of the gem cards sold; when selling to a collector, you sell gems of only one type, but you have to hold the most gems of that type and you score only the difference between what you hold and what the player with the secondmost gems of this type holds. Status matters in the collector community!

Whoever has the most prestige points after ten days wins.
 
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17. Board Game: Alien Uprising [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3517]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Sean Brown
Richard Launius
Published by:
Mr. B Games
Booth #3020

Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
Tensions have been high with the alien "bug" races of the galaxy – the Zothren – and your ship has crash landed on the planet Hive IV, one of the more renegade "bug" planets. You quickly set up perimeter force fields and begin surveying the surrounding terrain for debris from your ship, only to find it scattered everywhere. Then you see them – at first only a few "bug" scouts, but then the numbers begin to increase all around you: archers, slashers, and even the monstrous brutes. This is more than a scouting party; this is a war party! They begin to attack the shields as the crew starts to retrieve debris. The SOS has been sent and a ship in the sector has responded, but can it get to you before the "bugs" overwhelm your crew? Can you repair parts of the ship and use it as a defense? Can you repair the hull and fire up the engine to lift off? It's all in the hands of the crew – your hands.

In Alien Uprising, the player crew must either hold off the Zothren attacks until the rescue ship arrives, or repair the ship and lift off from the hostile planet before being destroyed. To achieve either of these goals, the crew must work together, using their unique skills and chosen actions to perform a number of tasks, defend themselves, and retrieve and repair equipment and the ship.

To establish the actions available each turn, the first player rolls custom dice, then each player chooses an action for the turn, starting with the first player. The available actions include combat, engineering, reload/recharge first aid, scout, and wild; the dice also have an alien icon that shows the speed of the enemy while limiting the actions that players have available to them. Players also have unique character skills, and the game can be set to higher levels of difficulty for more experienced players.

Other Information: • Price $70

• Multiple expansions for Alien Uprising will also be available at Gen Con 2014:

—Crewman Expansion ($25), which consists of unique miniatures that can replace the generic ones in the base game
—Rex Nova Expansion ($15), which adds a navigator to the game as a new crewmember
—X-14 Expansion ($15), which adds a robotic crewmember
—Zothren Expansion ($35), which lets you replace the tokens in the base game with miniatures, while also adding damage tokens, hives, a new "Bug Hunt" scenario, and more.
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18. Board Game: The Battle at Kemble's Cascade [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1294]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Anders Tyrland
Olle Tyrland
Published by:
Z-Man Games
Booth #2009

Number of players: 1-5
Playing time: 45 minutes

Description:
The Battle at Kemble's Cascade is a board game adaptation of a classic shoot 'em up video game. In the game, which is played out on a scrolling space backdrop, the players take on the roles of brave space pilots sweeping around in nimble yet powerful fighters, searching the asteroid clusters for universal glory and ancient technology. Players compete to obtain the most glory, with glory resulting from carrying out missions, finding lost treasure in asteroid clusters, and destroying alien entities, not to mention other players.

In the game, players fly through an ever-scrolling space setting, which is represented by rows of cards. Each turn, the bottom row is removed and a new row is added to the top. Players move their spaceships and resolve effects continuously, performing actions such as collecting power-ups and money, fighting alien cruisers and titans, blocking and shooting other players, and dodging asteroids and black holes. The players need to balance the use of their ships' energy as it's used for both absorbing enemy fire and boosting their movement speed and fire rate.

The game includes missions and achievements as well as a mechanism called "threat level" to keep everyone in suspense throughout the whole game. Threat allows players to enjoy the satisfaction of both shooting wildly at each other and dodging the hundreds of bullets raining down from enemy fighters and other players.

All player ships are fully upgradeable with four different weapon classes, engines, shields and more. Each player must buy the upgrades and navigate the path that best fits his chosen strategy in order to successfully complete his missions and attain the most glory.

Other Information: • Price $40

• Designers Anders and Olle Tyrland will be at Gen Con 2014 to sign copies, meet the public, and play a few games with interested passers-by.
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19. Board Game: Unita [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:7541]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Steve Brück
Published by:
Helvetia Games
Booth # ASMODEE

Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 60 minutes

Description:
Don't forget to watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUmLpYaEOIs

Helvetia: a country in evolution, divided between the surrounding Empires who claimed taxes and allegiance. Primitiva was the first to wake up and decide to fight to obtain independence. The other regions followed their example: Luserna, Zugriga, Berena, Friburga, etc. However, between year 1 of unification and the day of the nation, several centuries went by with alternating periods of war and diplomatic peace, troubled and bloody times which you will discover in Unita!

Unita features 64 dice but not an iota of luck! You can be the men of Primitiva, the Nuns of Friburga, the Engineers of GermanLand or the Frogs of the Hexagone, but no matter your role, forge ahead on the warpath, lead your army in the mad rush to get to the Magic Gate, and put an end to all these afflictions. Move forward on the path of the war with your army compound of six-sided dice. Every time you contact an opposing army, a fight takes place, with the least hardy losing a point of strength. When your army reaches the magic gate, the army disappears, and the total of its points of strength (its dice) becomes your points of victory.

Other Information: • Price $50
 
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20. Board Game: Munchkin Adventure Time [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2156]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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21. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:196]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Richard Garfield
Published by:
IELLO
Booth #449


Number of players: 2-6
Playing time: 40 minutes

Description:
There's always something happening in the city that never sleeps. Maybe it's the lights, maybe it's the energy, or maybe it's the giant monsters trying to demolish the place!

King of New York is a standalone game from designer Richard Garfield that keeps the core ideas of King of Tokyo while introducing new ways to play. As in KoT, your goal is to be the first monster to collect 20 victory points (VPs) or to be the last monster standing. On your turn, you roll six dice up to three times, then carry out the actions on those dice. Claws cause damage to other monsters, hearts heal damage to yourself, and energy is stored up so that you can purchase power cards that provide unique effects not available to anyone else.

What's new in King of New York is that you can now try to become a star in the big city; more specifically, you can achieve "Fame", which nets you VPs, but superstar status is fleeting, so enjoy your time in the spotlight.

The game board for King of New York is larger than in KoT with each monster occupying a district in the city and everyone trying to shine in Manhattan. When you attack, you can displace a monster in another district, whether to escape military forces or to find new smashing opportunities. Yes, smashing because you can now destroy buildings and get bonuses for doing so, but the more destruction you cause, the more intense the military response.

The monsters from King of New York can be used in KoT and vice versa, but the power cards are specific to this game.

Other Information: • Price $50

• IELLO will hold tournaments for both King of New York and proud papa King of Tokyo.

IELLO's Matthieu Bonin notes that "a few hundred copies" of King of New York will be available at Gen Con 2014, so anticipate a mad rush through the doors for those copies with everyone else needing to wait until September. Rarrrrgh!
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22. Board Game: Pay Dirt [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:1813]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Tory Niemann
Published by:
Crash Games

Number of players: 2-5
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
Pay Dirt is an engine-building, worker placement game set in frigid Alaska for 2-5 players. Players are competing to manage and grow their entire mining outfit while acquiring the most gold before the ground is too frozen to dig. The Alaskan countryside is an inhospitable environment, so players will face hardships that affect their entire outfit – not to mention the ever-dropping temperature that will shut down their operation.

In Pay Dirt players start with a small basic crew, an unimpressive claim, mediocre equipment and just a little bit of cash to make a go in one of the toughest competitions this side of the globe. Gold mining isn’t cheap and players will have to sell their gold throughout the game to keep the equipment running and their workers happy. Through clever use of their equipment and workers, players can make their mining outfits more efficient and dialed in to their preference of play. Will you recruit heavily and stack your camp with workers or will you keep your eyes on better and more efficient equipment? Will you have what it takes to hit to strike it rich and hit pay dirt?

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014 on advanced final copies of the game.
 
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23. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:57]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Ted Alspach
Published by:
Bezier Games, Inc.

Number of players: 1-4
Playing time: 90 minutes

Description:
In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria...one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he's commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he's building while also selling his services to other players.

In the game, each player starts with a simple foyer. One player takes on the role of the Master Builder, and that player sets prices for a set of rooms that can be purchased by the other players, with him getting to pick from the leftovers after the other players have paid him for their rooms. When a room is added to a castle, the player who built it gains castle points based on the size and type of room constructed, as well as bonus points based on the location of the room. When a room is completed, with all entranceways leading to other rooms in the castle, the player receives one of seven special rewards.

After each purchasing round, a new player becomes the Master Builder who sets prices for a new set of rooms. After several rounds, the game ends, then additional points are awarded for achieving bonus goals, having the most popular rooms, and being the most responsive to the King's demands, which change each game. Whoever ends up with the most castle points wins.

Other Information: • On display at Gen Con 2014 ahead of its release at Spiel 2014 in October.
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24. Board Game: Colt Express [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:362]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Christophe Raimbault
Published by:
Ludonaute
Booth #1421, 1429 & 1521, which is the location of Asmodee.

Number of players: 2-6
Playing time: 30 minutes

Description:
On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with 47 passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels. Will they succeed in stealing the suitcase holding the Nice Valley Coal Company's weekly pay, despite it having been placed under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford? Will these bandits be able to work together, despite only the richest one of them coming out on top?

In Colt Express, you play a bandit robbing a train. Your goal is to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. The game consists of five rounds, and each round has two phases:

Phase 1: Schemin' Each player plays 2-5 action cards on a common pile, face up or face down depending on the type of the round.
Phase 2: Stealin' The action cards are performed in the order they have been played. Then comes confusion as a player's best laid plans may not pan out due to mistakes and oversights!
The game takes place in a 3D train in which the bandits can move from one car to another, run on the roof, punch the other bandits, shoot them, rob the passengers, or draw the Marshal out of position.

Other Information: • Available at Gen Con 2014 in final prototype form ahead of its release just prior to Spiel 2014 in October.
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25. Board Game: Nautilus Industries [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Mitchell Manzella
United States
Hamilton
NJ
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Designed by:
Leif Steiestol
Published by:
Lamp Light Games Inc

Number of players: 2-6
Playing time: 60 minutes

Description:
Nemo is gone, but his machines have opened a whole new world to us! The floors of Neptune's seas lay open to us, ready to surrender their bounties. Equip and upgrade your mining machines, then guide them to the rich mineral seams beneath the ocean. Control the supply of resources to bend the market to your will. Become the master of Nautilus Industries!

In the game, players take on the role of an enterprising business owner, with each trying to exploit the riches of the sea as well as the marketplace to earn the most money by the end of the game. Players take a series of simple actions, such as programming a mining robot, increasing warehouse capacity, swapping mining zone order, or purchasing stocks.

Each round, players have four actions they must take before the gathering/market phase. During this phase, players collect and sell resources, in turn order. Each sea zone is mined in a specific order, and players have the option each round to sell or hold their resources for a later round. When resources are sold, the market price of that resource decreases to reflect the supply/demand of that resource; stocks of the company using that resource also increase in value. Accordingly, if a resource is not sold, the market price for that resource increases. Players must decide when to sell and when to hold. Should you flood the market to bring down the price so your neighbor makes less money? Do you think the player beside you will hold out for a higher price, or will they sell just to spite you?

Nautilus Industries is easy to learn because of the simple actions you take, yet dynamic because of the way the markets, stocks, and players affect the gameplay.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014, with a Kickstarter campaign being launched while the con is underway. Says Lamp Light's Mike Friesen, "Back Nautilus Industries during Gen Con week, and you'll receive a gift certificate." A gift certificate for what I don't know, so you'll have to use your imagination for now.
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