Gen Con 2014 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Gen Con Indy 2014 takes place August 14-17, 2014, and as the largest and longest-running game convention in the U.S. – more than forty years! – it's no surprise that U.S. publishers will demo or sell many new games at the show in order to introduce fresh releases, build buzz, and (of course) make sales.

This Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Gen Con 2014, (2) be released shortly before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form. To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
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Board Game Publisher: The OP
• Booth #343

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2014 USAopoly will be selling Reverse Charades ($25) and Munchkin Adventure Time ($25), with demos of this latter game taking place with Steve Jackson Games since SJG is co-publisher. (This game is listed in this preview under SJG.)
276. Board Game: TacDex: The Walking Dead [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

TacDex: The Walking Dead uses gameplay similar to well-known card game War, with players revealing cards simultaneously to try to claim cards owned by the opponent, but a battle marker determines whether a high or low card wins a particular battle and players each have special action cards to add new twists to the conflict.

Other Information: • Price $10
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Board Game Publisher: Three Hares Games
• No booth; see below for location details.
277. Board Game: Lagoon: Land of Druids [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2728]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Lagoon is a game in which 1-4 players (4 play as opposing teams of 2) each lead a circle of druids to shape the fantastical world of Lagoon by harnessing the power of its magical lands to bend destiny. The landscape bristles with three divine energies. Every player action alters the balance of power among those energies, and thus the players collectively determine Lagoon’s destiny. One divine energy shall inherit Lagoon, and the player who best served it wins!

The world is built using hexagonal tiles, and a new tile is drawn from a bag each time a druid explores a site. Site tiles are double-sided, and each side represents a different mystical site offering a unique magical power to the druids. Each site is also enchanted with one of three divine energies: Elemeen, Vowelon and Deonin. Since the two sides of a site tile are always linked to different energies, every site explored presents a choice of which energy to advance over the other two, as well as what magic will be put into the world for use by the druids. Players also strategically deploy their druids to unravel sites aligned with an energy they choose to oppose, removing such sites from the world and tipping the balance of power towards the other two energies.

The energy with the most sites in play at the end of the game becomes Lagoon's destiny, and the player who most supported that dominant energy is the winner. Support is tracked in two ways. First, whenever exploring a site and expanding an energy's reach in Lagoon, the exploring player gains a divine seed token matching the explored site's energy. These seeds can be spent in various ways over the course of the game, but any seeds of the dominant energy remaining in a player's supply at the end of the game are worth 1 point each. Secondly, whenever a player unravels a site, it is removed from play and placed in front of that player. At the end of the game, unraveled sites not matching the dominant energy are worth 2 points each.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014 ahead of its release in October 2014. Says designer/publisher David Chott, "During the convention I'm planning to tweet my location and availability for demos, and am inviting people to contact me via Twitter to schedule demos as well. My handle is @3haresgames."
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Board Game Publisher: Triton Noir
278. Board Game: V-Commandos [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:1247]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Victory depends on you!

V-Commandos is a WW2 commandos co-operative board game. Players can either select a pre-generated mission or create their own by combining objective cards, then they assemble a team from famous Allied corps: U.S. Raiders, British SAS., Devil’s Brigade, SOE, etc. During play, you hide in darkness, wear enemy uniforms, and sneak up on your targets. Get spotted? Open fire with emblematic allied weapons and try to turn the enemy's weapons against them! If you can, get back to cover and turn off the alarms as the enemy has more available troops than you. Thus, you need to focus on completing the mission, then leaving the area as quickly as you can.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014 in the First Exposure Playtest Hall (hall 107-110). You can register for scheduled demos at the show.
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Board Game Publisher: Twilight Creations, Inc.
• Booth #1201

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2014 Twilight Creations will have for sale its early 2014 release Cthulhu!!!: Hastur La Vista, Baby! ($35), the new game Crap or Slap ($20, not in the BGG database as of May 16, 2014), and many of its previously published titles, whether filled with zombies or not.
279. Board Game: Jupiter Rescue [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:3824]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 15 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

You're a team of lowly maintenance robots built to keep the space station operational and clean so that the colonists can get on with...whatever it is they do. Unfortunately, the station has been invaded by creeps, alien creatures that slowly advance toward food (the colonists) so that they can multiply. The only thing keeping the colonists from being completely wiped out is your knowledge of the station, a couple of specialty tools and abilities unique to each of you, and a little bit of problem-solving code installed so you could do your jobs efficiently.

Jupiter Rescue is a co-operative strategy game in which players work together to escort 28 colonists to an escape pod before they're converted into alien creeps. Each turn, players may take five actions, choosing from common options — moving themselves, moving nearby colonists, or killing alien creeps — and a series of programming cards that grant them special abilities. These cards can be played on the player's turn to activate the ability. Each player also gets to choose one card to be his "core" ability, letting him use it every turn instead of discarding it.

New creeps are added to the board, which is composed of tiles, at the end of each player's turn by rolling a die; if a tile fills up with creeps, it's destroyed and removed from the game. Players lose if enough colonists get turned into creeps, or if certain key board tiles are all destroyed. Double-sided tiles allow for hundreds of station variations.

Other Information: • Price $50

• For an overview of what the game looks like, here's a preview video I recorded with TC's Kerry Breitenstein at ACD Games Day 2014:

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280. Board Game: Zombies!!! 13: DEFCON Z [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:9448] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Zombies!!! 13: DEFCON Z is all about retaliation, with the military, the CDC, and others finally starting to mobilize against the zombie threat. As part of that effort, they try to recruit people with the most experience cutting through zombie legions — and that's you and your fellow players, the survivors who have lived out there in the shambler-infested wilds all these years.

Zombies!!! 13: DEFCON Z is both a standalone game and an expansion for Zombies!!!.

Other Information: • Price $25
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281. Board Game: Zombies!!! Deadtime Stories [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The zombie apocalypse creeps across the world like a cancer, gutting cities and driving survivors to find refuge beyond areas of previously dense population. This struggle is seen everywhere, but it's not the whole story... Who are these survivors, and why do they fight to survive?

Zombies!!!: Deadtime Stories is a collection of storyline scenarios for the award-winning Zombies!!! board game. Players can take on specific roles, each with their own special quirks and abilities, and they strive to accomplish things beyond just getting out of the area alive. They gain experience over time, growing as heroes of the post-human world.

Other Information: • Price $20
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Board Game Publisher: Two Penny Games, LLC
• Booth #565, which is the Ad Magic Games stand
282. Board Game: The Amberden Affair [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:13615]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Conspiracy is served...

In The Amberden Affair, players serve as domestic servants for a grand soiree held in the esteemed Amberden Manor. While busily carrying out orders for three distinguished dignitaries, observant footmen realize that one of their own has malicious objectives that threaten the very lives of the ones they are there to serve.

In the game, players try to earn points by completing as many orders as possible by taking item cards from locations in the room and bringing them to their proper recipients. They must also attempt to identify the Miscreant Impostor, the player who is secretly trying to poison certain targets while accomplishing regular orders. The player with the most points at the end of three rounds wins!

Other Information: • Price $35
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Board Game Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment
• Booth #1207
283. Board Game: Bring Out Yer Dead [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:4042]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Bring Out Yer Dead is a morbid game of grave family plots.

As the head of your family, you must get the "dying" members of your family into the best plots in the city's newest cemetery. Each day the Grave Keeper brings the cart around the city and you must vie to get your family members in the cart before other families do. But be careful! The Grave Keeper is a lazy guy and any coffins he can't fit in the cart are tossed aside in the river; he'll never bother to bury them at all!

Get your recently departed family members buried in the best plots in the cemetery to gain influence in the city. You may even have to resort to some early morning grave swapping — or you could just rob the graves of all the jewelry you can dig up...it isn't like they're going to need it anyway! Influence is everything! The player with the most influence at the end of the game wins.

Other Information: • Ginger Ale Games is conducting a Bring Out Yer Dead tournament at Gen Con 2014 — with the winner receiving a copy of the game — ahead of a Kickstarter campaign in late 2014.
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284. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:97] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 17 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game, based on the four movies of the Alien series, is a fully cooperative game with original art. While based on the Marvel superheroes version of Legendary, the two games will be compatible but cannot be fully integrated.

Legendary Encounters is a deck-building game in the same family as Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, but now players must cooperate in order to survive against hordes of aliens. Taking on the role of protagonists such as Ripley, Dallas, Bishop and Corporal Hicks, players take turns recruiting cards for their deck from a central selection in order to improve their deck and defeat Xenomorph cards that are added to the central game board.

Product Breakdown:
> 600 total Original Art Card Set
> Full Color Game Board (mat)
> Full Color Rule Book
> Card inserts for easy organization
> Customize your card organization with removable foam inserts

Other Information: • Price $60
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285. Board Game: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Villains [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:558] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Legendary universe gets flipped upside down in Legendary: Villains – Marvel Deck Building Game, and you can now play as villains trying to take out the heroes protecting the city!

The goal of the game remains roughly the same as in the first Legendary game as players can work both with and against other players to overcome obstacles that the game throws at them. In this case, however, players use the super villains of the Marvel Universe — including Venom, Magneto and Loki — to battle superheroes such as the X-Men, the Avengers and Spider-Friends.

Legendary: Villains – Marvel Deck Building Game is a standalone game that includes all the cards needed to play.

Other Information: • Price $60

• Upper Deck Entertainment will be running a Legendary $10K tournament on Friday during Gen Con 2014, with multiple Swiss rounds that then cut to the top 25. Legendary: Marvel Villains, which releases in July 2014, will be the set used for the $10K. UDE will also host side events during the entirety of Gen Con 2014.
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Board Game Publisher: V3G
• Booth #2727
286. Board Game: IncrediBrawl [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:12433]
Designed by:
Published by:
V3G
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In IncrediBrawl, each player guides a colorful cast of characters from all corners of the imagination as they meet in an epic clash for glory! Summon the right characters at the right time to outwit your opponents; use whatever strategy you can muster to overcome the randomness of the brawl! Amass the most glory along the way to become the ultimate champion in this crazy contest of luck and wits!

For basic gameplay, players shuffle their deck and draw five cards to start the game. Each player simultaneously selects a character from his hand and plays them face down at the current location. Once all the players have selected their characters, flip over the cards to begin the brawl!

After triggering any abilities revealed by the flip, players then compare their power type and power levels to determine who wins each scrap and the overall brawl. The winner gains one Glory (VP), plus activates any abilities their character may have that trigger off of winning. Each player then discards the played character, and draw one new card before the next round begins. The first player to reach ten Glory wins the game!

Each card in IncrediBrawl has a unique ability, and each player will start the game with a copy of the same set of cards. Choosing which character to play and what ability to trigger at just the right time is key to collecting the most Glory and winning the game!

Other Information: • Price $30

• Notes designer Jake Leeman, "IncrediCard micro-game cards will be handed out for every demo/interaction at the booth!"
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287. Board Game: Strife: Legacy of the Eternals [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:3043] [Average Rating:6.83 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
V3G
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Once more, conflict rages across the world of Aerim. You are one of the Eternals, a group of immortals forever waging war from the shadows. Call forth your champions to battle against those of your timeless foes. Harness the legacy of each champion's deeds as they echo across time to empower the next. For the Champions of Aerim, this cycle continues, as it always has and always will. For the Eternals, there is only...strife.

Strife, a two-player strategy card game that plays in around an hour, is a game where you always know your opponent's options. Aside from mastering the unique combo-creating gameplay of your champions, figuring out how to outmaneuver your opponent is where the true challenge lies.

Each player has the same hand of ten champions and will simultaneously play them as they fight over key locations throughout Aerim worth varying victory points. Each champion has a battle ability that's triggered during battles and a legacy ability that can be used only while on top of the legacy pile. This creates an intricate latticework of strategy for the players as each champion must be considered for not only what he can do in the current battle, but for which ability he will add to the next.

Further impacting the critical decisions within the game is the Fatestone tie-breaking system. The Fatestone starts at a value of one, and whoever holds the Fatestone die loses all ties; that player may instead pass the stone to his opponent to claim a victory in that tie, but doing so raises the value of the Fatestone by one each time it is passed. At the end of the game, the player holding the Fatestone adds its final value to his victory point tally. Whichever player has the most victory points at the end of the game wins!

Other Information: • Price TBD, roughly $10-12

• Preview edition ahead of a Kickstarter campaign in late 2014.
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Board Game Publisher: Voodoo Bunny Co. LLC
• Booth #2839

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2014 Voodoo Bunny should have two additional items for the Incredible Expeditions base game for $6 each: the 1,001 Tales of Betrayal Mini-Expansion and the Lovecraftian Mini-Expansion.
288. Board Game: Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10418]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Explore with the eccentric Professor Pendergast and others daring enough to face bizarre encounters beyond the edges of the known world. Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis is a card game of deck building strategy for 1-5 players.

Wrapped in the inspiring artwork and portraits of the steampunk scene, Incredible Expeditions combines the riveting core gameplay mechanisms of deck-building, exploration and resource management.

Beginning at the Port City location, each Expedition Leader (player character) equips their unique ship with the Resource cards and Crew cards they'll need to make their way to the Lost City of Atlantis. As each new Location is discovered, Encounter cards are drawn to reveal the challenges the Expedition Leaders must defeat using the skill of their Crew and their Resource cards at hand. Encounters that prove too harrowing will leave your crew weakened, or worse, Cursed! The expedition moves on only once a Location's Encounters have been defeated.

Race against each other to be the first to uncover the secrets of the last Location, the Lost City of Atlantis, or band together to use your combined strength to face down Lovecraftian horrors and test your mettle against the hazards of expedition. Competitive, cooperative and single-player rules provide different play modes.

Other Information: • Price $60
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Board Game Publisher: White Goblin Games
• Booth #1623, as Game Salute appears to be distributing the title below in the U.S.
289. Board Game: Invaders [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:3741]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Earth is in mortal danger!

Invaders is a card-driven board game of warfare and horror featuring asymmetrical game-play for two players. In the game, the players take on the roles of commanding forces on opposite sides of the conflict.

One player leads the extraterrestrial conquerors whose goal is to transform the Earth and subjugate its inhabitants. The Invaders possess unthinkable weapons and unknowable technologies. More so, within their galactic armada the aliens hold bound a terrifying array of eldritch creatures engineered specifically to sow the chaos and destruction that heralds the arrival of their masters.

The other player commands the unyielding forces of a united Earth. In the shadow of a planet-wide scourge, the nations of the Earth have joined forces to confront the arrival of a doom spawned on the other side of the galaxy. The Terran alliance is a desperation-forged bulwark upon which the invading forces crash and are repelled time and again. Outgunned, with salvaged or untested technology and one foot in the grave, the determined network of military machinery, elite strike-teams, warfare scientists, and neighborhood militias are surprisingly capable of bloodying the Invaders' noses whenever the two forces meet.

The eponymous Invaders seek to destroy the forces defending the Earth and exhaust their reserves. They do this by defeating the defending forces at key locations while also causing the Earth player to disrupt cards from their deck to their discard pile. The Invader must be cunning when deploying their creatures and war-machines, or enacting their schemes, as the cost to bring assets into the war often involves the discarding of other assets.

Mankind must work desperately to defend critical resources and locations from the corruption and incursion of the alien threat. They do this by building formidable and deadly defenses, predicting where the alien player will strike and setting traps designed to deprive the Invaders of key units and wear-down their options. Like the Invader, the humans need to be clever in what they deploy and how they deploy it because their heroes may be bold but they are small in number, and the Invaders are inexorable.

Invaders is a science-fiction game piled thick with the trappings of war and horror. It is steeped in difficult decisions, but built upon a simple, elegant set of rules, and because of this, you will find each game telling a slightly different story each time you play. Both sides use cards to represent their units, plans, resources and events, but as this is an asymmetrical battle game, the way in which those cards are played and how they forward their owner's goals are very different. Regardless, knowing when to let an asset go in favor of a better one, how to exploit a weakness in your enemy's ranks, and where to press an advantage or feint a trap will be key in seeing your side emerge as the victor from the morass of galactic war.

One question remains: Which side are YOU on?

Other Information: • MSRP $55, discounted to $45 for sales at Gen Con 2014

• Debuted at Spiel 2013, but not previously available in the U.S. through regular distribution, as far as I know.
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Board Game Publisher: Wiggity Bang Games
• Booth #450

• In addition to what's listed below, Wiggity Bang Games promises a "print-and-play giveaway" at its booth.

• WBG has an Alpha Bandits tournament scheduled at Gen Con 2014 for Thursday, August 14 starting at 7 p.m. (ID: BGM1453925)
290. Board Game: Alpha Bandits [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:12735]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Alpha Bandits is a fast-paced word-building game featuring double-sided letter tiles. Players race to score the most points by building words of three or more letters. Each letter tile has a blue side and a red side. Players can mix and match colors when forming their words to receive different types of score bonuses. The game is played in rounds, with scores being based on the letters played at the end of each round.

This sounds simple, but beware of the Alpha Bandits! These sneaky tiles allow players to block, swap, flip, grab, or even end the round early for the win!

Each game also contains a few rare "Gemstone" tiles that are worth extra points and may be used as any letter in the alphabet, making them very valuable indeed!

Other Information: • Price $25

• A print-and-play version of Alpha Bandits is available via mail, which is a bit of a contradiction at first glance, but in fact the publisher is the one doing the printing while you'll be doing the playing. Wiggity Bang Games promises to send out copies of the game to the first one hundred people requesting it. Details on the WBG website.
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Board Game Publisher: WizKids
• Booth #1817
291. Board Game: Star Trek: Fleet Captains – Dominion [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Victory is life! Bringing together the forces of the Cardassians, the Breen, and the JemHadar led by the Vorta and the Founders, The Dominion seeks to conquer the Alpha Quadrant and expand its influence in Star Trek: Fleet Captains – Dominion, which allows for up to four factions to play in an expanded Star Trek: Fleet Captains experience! The battle for the Alpha Quadrant begins NOW!

Star Trek: Fleet Captains – Dominion introduces a new Saboteur subtype — Shapeshifters — and it includes rules that allow for play with 2-3 players individually or four and six players in teams of two. If you combine this with the Romulan Empire expansion, you also play with up to eight players in teams of two.

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Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games, Inc.
• Booth #2009

• In addition to everything listed below, at Gen Con 2014 Z-Man Games plans to conduct a Pandemic Survival tournament. All spots in this tournament are currently filled, but should you care to check it out, here's a description:

Quote:
Teams of two will face each other in this elimination style tournament where the last team still alive (or the first to find all four cures) will be declared the winner.

Each team will face the same scenario. They will all receive the same player cards, at the same time in the game. The game master will call out the cities from the common Infection deck and all team will infect the same cites at the same time.

You will never know what other teams are up to, because a screen separates each board, immersing you in your own game.

Different strategies will emerge, but which one will lead you to victory? Will you be the first to find all four cures? Or will all other teams succumb to the game and you will be the last ones standing? The only way to find out is to participate in this epic challenge!
292. Board Game: The Battle at Kemble's Cascade [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1814]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

FOR OFFICIAL ERRATA AND FAQ, LOOK IN THE FILES SECTION

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.

• Here's a preview of The Battle of Kemble's Cascade that I filmed in April 2014 at International TableTop Day:

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293. Board Game: Chimera [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:2397]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Chimera is a three-player card game of two against one similar to climbing- and shedding-based card games like Tichu, The Great Dalmuti, Big Two, Dou Dizhu, and Beat the Landlord.

Each hand, one player is designated Chimera and the other two players team up as Chimera Hunters to defeat the Chimera. Players compete for points in several hands of play by playing sequential pairs, trips, straights and other card combinations, and whoever has scored the most points once the designated point score has been reached wins. Chimera is normally played to 400 points, although longer or shorter games can be played.

Other Information: • Price $20

Chimera is due out at stores in Q4 2014, but will be debuting at Gen Con 2014. For more details on the game on top of the description above, head to my Chimera preview on BGG News.
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294. Board Game: Pandemic: Contagion [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1778]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

After many years of trying to defeat the diseases that threaten mankind’s existence, the tables have been turned. You are now the disease and guess what? There is no cure.

In Pandemic: Contagion, you are competing against other diseases (fellow players) to see who can eliminate humanity. With no cure to be had, the one of you that wipes out all human civilization will come out on top as the most deadly disease ever known to man, may he rest in peace.

Pandemic: Contagion includes a deck of contagion cards with differing colored borders, city cards with similar colored borders, event/WHO cards, player disease card and disease cubes. On a turn you take two of three possible actions, and you can take the same action twice. Those actions are:

  • Draw contagion cards equal to your current incubation rate.
  • Advance one of three mutations to the next level.
  • Spread disease equal to your current transmission rate.

When the number of diseases equals the city’s population number, the city is wiped out. The player who placed the final disease earns a special action. The player with the most diseases scores the population number. The two smaller numbers are awarded to those with the second- and third-most diseases.

Your disease card has three mutations: Incubation (number of cards you can draw), Transmission (number of disease cubes you can spread), and Resistance (number of cubes/cards you can protect). As an action, you can advance a mutation one level by discarding the required number of cards.

Event cards are drawn at the start of each round and affect everyone during their turn. You might benefit from the card or it could have a negative impact. WHO cards are always bad, but your resistance will lessen whatever the penalty would be based on its level, if you planned ahead.

Mid-game scoring occurs when the second, fourth and sixth skull comes out. When a city icon appears, a new city is introduced.

Once the event/WHO deck runs out or only two city cards remain in play, the game ends, with players conducting a final scoring round to see which virus is victorious.

Part of the Pandemic series.

Other Information: • Price $20

• For more details on Pandemic: Contagion on top of the description above, head to my Contagion preview on BGG News.
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295. Board Game: Tragedy Looper [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:606]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Tragedy Looper is a scenario-based deduction game for two to four players: one mastermind and one to three protagonists. 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, conspiracy theorist, friend), and some pre-set tragedies (murder, suicide).

Each "day" (turn), players and the mastermind play three face-down cards onto the characters, then reveal them to move the characters around or affect their paranoia or goodwill 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 the tragedy occurred.

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 mastermind wins.

Tragedy Looper was originally released in Japan as 惨劇RoopeR in 2011; the first english version of the game was released in 2014.

Other Information: • Price $40

• Here's a preview of Tragedy Looper that I filmed in April 2014 at International TableTop Day:

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Board Game Publisher: Zafty Games
• Booth #2831

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2014 Zafty will demo Organic Panic: The Card Game, a family-friendly card game that plays in ten minutes and is an officially licensed product based on the platformer video game Organic Panic.
296. Board Game: Pixel Glory [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:5340] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Team up with fellow wizards to vanquish the sinister monsters that lurk in the dungeon, and save the nearby village. This is a noble and honorable quest, and... oh, who are we kidding? In reality, you're a greedy wizard who is all about fame and personal gain, and your fellow wizards are cut from the same cloth! Prevail over your opponents by learning the best spells and using that knowledge to outmaneuver and kill-steal in the dungeon, so you can gain admiration of the townsfolk, fame across the realm, and achieve Pixel Glory.

In the first phase, the town phase, players will be drafting spells using an auction mechanic. Players will then take their decks into the second phase, the dungeon phase, where they will work together to defeat monsters; however, only the player that deals the lethal blow will get the fame for it. There is a lot of interaction and engagement due to players fighting over learning the same spells as well as fighting over fame.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014 following a completed Kickstarter campaign in mid-2014 ahead of an anticipated delivery in February 2015.
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297. Board Game: SNAFU [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 7
Playing time: 1 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

SNAFU is a real-time co-operative party game inspired by Pit in which you're trading cards to collect sets; however, you're working as a team to beat the clock and each player is a character. One player may have to play like she has T-Rex arms, another may have to speak like a robot, and still another may have to play with his cards on his forehead. SNAFU can play out in sixty seconds with three or more players.

Other Information: • Price $25
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Board Game Publisher: Zucchini People Games, LLC
• Booth #1623, as Game Salute distributes titles from Zucchini People Games
298. Board Game: Eternal Dynasty [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:7284]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Eternal Dynasty is a game for 2-5 players with elements of territory control, worker placement, and political maneuvering.

Each game consists of a number of Generations equal to the number of players, with each Generation consisting of several rounds of play. At the beginning of each Generation, players will select a Ruler who will have different inherent bonuses for Military or Political Influence, number of cards to play for their Generation, and a unique Ability.

Players take on the role of feuding clans and will fight over control of the 18 provinces of ancient China. As the Generations progress, players will be able to adjust their strategies on the fly or continue reinforcing their current strategies as they change to a new Ruler.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2014 ahead of the game's release in early 2015.

• Designer Nicholas Yu notes the following demo schedule in booth #1623:

Quote:
Thursday — 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Friday — 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday — 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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