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Gen Con 2015 XX: Apocalypse Chaos, Dragon Farkle, Flick 'em Up!, Stallion Canyon, DragonFlame, Chaosmos & Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers
• One of the biggest items buzzing at Spiel 2014 was the prototype of Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers from designers James D'Aloisio, Ethan Fleischer, and Craig Van Ness. Could this be the second coming of Heroscape? Could MtG be transformed into a board game while still feeling like MtG? D'Aloisio visited the BGG booth to talk us through the game:

Board Game: Apocalypse Chaos
Apocalypse Chaos from Florian Fay was the big release from Z-Man Games at Gen Con 2015, and I mean that somewhat literally as I was surprised by the size of the box when I first saw it at the con. For all that I feel I know about what's coming out, I'm glad that I can still be surprised, even by the little things. Next: Let's have a publisher pack each game with a live mouse. Now that would be a surprise!

Board Game: Dragon Farkle
• Every time I heard the name Dragon Farkle, I thought, "Really? Dragon Farkle? Why would Z-Man Games do that?" But of course why wouldn't Z-Man Games do that? Robert J. Hudecek's Dragon Farkle takes the basics of Farkle — the gameplay of which will be familiar to almost anyone who's played a press-your-luck dice game — and places it in a fantasy context, with players now collecting soldiers instead of points and pushing to defeat a giant dragon in order to end the game. You're not simply trying to reach a point threshold, but to do something with all that you've gained during the game.

Board Game: Flick 'em Up!
• In late 2014, F2Z Entertainment — owner of Z-Man Games and Filosofia Éditions — announced the founding of Pretzel Games as another brand that would focus on high-quality dexterity games, and that promise was fulfilled at Gen Con 2015 as for four days straight dozens of people gathered around three playing areas devoted to giant versions of Gaëtan Beaujannot and Jean Yves Monpertuis' Western-themed disk-flicking game Flick 'em Up!

F2Z's Martin Bouchard has been overseeing Pretzel Games, and his enthusiasm about the line has been constant since he first demonstrated the Flick 'em Up! prototype to me in April 2014. Now he finally got to share the game with others on a large scale, and Flick 'em Up! was one of the early sellouts at the show. Here's an overview of what's in the game:

Board Game Publisher: Pretzel Games
• Bouchard later led me through an overview of Flick 'em Up! Stallion Canyon, the first expansion for the game, which debuts at Spiel 2015.

Board Game: DragonFlame
• I appreciate designer Matt Loomis' refreshing candor in this demonstration of DragonFlame from Minion Games. As a dragon, yes, sometimes I just want to watch things burn — or, preferably, burn them myself.

Board Game: Chaosmos
• Designer Joey Vigour practically bled enthusiasm when I interviewed him at BGG.CON 2013 about Chaosmos, and just under two years later the game is now out in the public with the Ovoid being available for all to chase.

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