Gen Con 2015 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Gen Con Indy 2015 takes place from July 30 to August 2, 2015, 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 2015, (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: (Self-Published)
•See each game listing below for details on how to track down these titles.
1. Board Game: Brewin' USA [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:5779] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Brewin' USA is a thematic Eurogame in which players control a start-up brewery at the inception of the craft beer revolution. Players will need to collect key ingredients, launch a product line of "liquid gold" craft beer, and strategically compete for regional control across the nation.

A game turn consists of three phases: Ingredient Auction, Launching Beers, and Resolving any Brewfests. During the Auction Phase, players compete for the ingredient cards needed to launch their beer via a turn-based bidding system. Any bids entered are then turned into craft beer "market demand" that is dispersed at the discretion of the players making each play through unique and delivering many interesting decisions. Each beer card has an ingredient recipe that must be satisfied before the beer can be brewed and one of six different beer styles that tailor better to certain cities which will be key when competing for regional control. When a player brews a beer, they must choose to control an open city location or challenge an controlled city to a brewfest where the winner of the brewfest will control the city. If any player controls the most cities in a region at the end of the game, then they control the region. The game ends when the first player brews three beers, and points are then totaled counting beer quality and reputation on cities and any regions you control.

Brewin' USA aims to deliver a quick strategic euro experience paired with a very approachable theme and thrives on its player interaction. The game play revolves around Beer Coaster tiles delivering new twists on fun mechanisms and components including 105 Bottle caps to be used for both money and victory points. The player interaction comes from the Brewfest event in the game, which ramps us as more players grow their craft beer product lines and are chomping to establish their control in the regions.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 ahead of its release in Oct. 2015. To arrange a demo session, contact the designer/publisher via Twitter (@adamsapplegames).
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2. Board Game: Game of Phones [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 99
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game of Phones works along the lines of Apples to Apples, with one player serving as judge each round and the other players usually trying to do something so that the judge awards them the point for that round.

For this game, all of the challenges involve you using your smartphone. More specifically, the judge draws a card for the round and reads the prompt to everyone else, e.g., "Find the best #selfie" or "Show the last photo you took" or "Find the weirdest Google Image search result for your name". Everyone finds something on their phones and shows the judge, who then chooses a winner for that round. The first player to win ten rounds wins the game.

Other Information:
• Debuting at Gen Con 2015

• Price $20

• Booth 461, which is the location of Ad Magic/Breaking Games, which houses this publisher at Gen Con 2015.
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3. Board Game: Mech Deck [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Mech Deck is a light skirmish game in which players draft and build customizable Mechs and deploy them on a modular battlefield. These Mechs are made up of five plastic parts that fit together to form the players piece in the game. Each part of the Mech has unique stats and abilities displayed on their corresponding Mech cards. After taking some damage these parts will be destroyed and the player must remove them from the mini.

Deck cards are drawn each turn giving extra abilities and maneuvers for the players to use. Action cards are played on the player's turn and reaction cards are played on the opponent's turn.

Other Information: • Available for play in the First Exposure Hall at Gen Con 2015 to coincide with a Kickstarter to be launched during that convention.
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4. Board Game: Santa Showdown [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

In Santa Showdown, players take control of a wannabe Santa on a race to deliver to the neighborhood to become the next Santa Claus. Each successful delivery lets you raid the fridge, upgrading your Santa by making him fatter. The fattest Santa wins.

Each player has a Santa card with five stats that will be upgraded over the course of the game. These stats are number of actions, spaces moved per movement action, dice modifier, rerolls, and how many gifts can be carried. The players can deliver the "nice way" which takes more actions but is a sure thing or the "naughty way" which uses only one action per delivery, but requires you to draw from the Naughty Deck and pass the obstacles on the card through dice rolls.

Santa Showdown includes four different enemy figures that affect game play, forty single-use gadgets the Santas can employ to help them on their deliveries, and a modular board to allow for replay and experimenting with which mode of play works for you.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015, with designer/publisher Mike Kaminky passing along details of two such events:

Quote:
BGM1583178 Santa Showdown Intro
Friday, 2 p.m. - 1.5 hrs
Location - ICC
Room Name - Hall E : White
Table Number - 37--38

BGM1583019 Santa Showdown Intro
Friday, 4 p.m. - 1.5 hrs
Location - ICC
Room Name - Hall E : White
Table Number - 37--38
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5. Board Game: Slap .45 [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:7067]
Designed by: Show More »
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 7
Playing time: 20 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
(neutral)
Description:

Slap .45 is an old western shootout for three to seven players. Each player will control a six-member gang competing to survive with only their instincts, a quick draw, and dynamite.

The game is played in turns. Each player has a home base card in front of him. Each turn, the player whose turn it is flips open a card from the common deck. The other players now have a chance to react.

  • If a Talkin’ Iron card is revealed, players can choose to make an offensive or a defensive move. If players want to take a shot, they can slap one hand on the Talkin’ Iron card and simultaneously make a pistol-finger with their other hand, pointing at any other player. Only one player gets to actually take a shot - the one who slaps the Talkin’ Iron card first. Instead of trying to slap the gun, players can slap into a home base by slapping any of the home bases on the table. Only one player’s hand can be in a home base at a time. Players who slap into a home base can’t be hit by a player who takes a shot, and they can safely keep their hand on that home base until they’re forced to move.
  • If a Big Gun card is revealed, players can slap it to take a shot or slap into a home base. Just like a Talkin’ Iron, only one player can use it to take a shot - the first one to slap the card and simultaneously point a pistol-finger at another player. Unlike a Talkin’ Iron, a Big Gun is extraordinarily destructive, and damages players even if they’re in a home base.
  • If a Gold card is revealed, players can take the card into their possession by slapping it. If you point at another player while slapping the gold, the player you point at takes the gold instead. Gold is required to activate most gang’s special powers.
  • When a Move! card is revealed, everyone needs to slap into a home base. If a player is already in a home base, they need to slap into a new home base. The last player to slap into a new home base loses one member of their gang. If anyone mistakenly slaps the Move! card, they lose one gang member, everyone else is safe regardless of where they slapped, and the turn ends.

Players take turns until only one gang is left standing.

Other Information:
• Debuting at Gen Con 2015.

• Booth 461, which is the location of Ad Magic/Breaking Games, which houses this self-published item at Gen Con 2015.
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Board Game Publisher: 3Some Games, Inc.
• Booth 1301, which is the stand for Game Salute, which serves as either co-publisher or distributor for Heroes of Metro City and its expansions.
6. Board Game: Heroes of Metro City: Sidekicks and Storylines [Average Rating:6.41 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.41 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The Heroes of Metro City: Sidekicks and Storylines expansion adds new Sidekick Power cards to the City Supply and includes expansion rules for creating a Storyline Deck in the City Supply that will expand on your Hero's legend, both in the past and present!

Ever wanted to make your OWN Super-Powered Hero from the ground up? In Heroes of Metro City, YOU get to pick your Hero's powers, craft an origin story and then start kicking some evil villainous butt! Make a hero in just a few minutes and start battling an Archenemy and his army of henchmen who are out to destroy your beloved city.

In the Sidekicks and Storylines expansion, 160 new cards are added to the mix. There are 7 new Power cards, such as the electrifying Charged Grip which delivers more damage the more you build up your Energy first. It also contains 3 new Energy Sources, such as Metamorphosis, which rewards you with Plot Points (the game's currency) when you use energy-supplying Power cards (like Martial Arts Mastery or Accelerating Superspeed). Perhaps you're looking for more Archenemies to fight? Sidekicks and Storylines has three new terrifying masterminds of evil, including the murderous Killswitch Supreme, a cold fusion-powered cyborg who is only weakened when the Heroic team (that's you) fights as one.

Other Information:
• In addition to this item, at Gen Con 2015 co-publisher Game Salute will have the Heroes of Metro City expansions Time and Space and Vile Fiends.
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Board Game Publisher: Academy Games, Inc.
• Booth 1537
7. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 10 − 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator builds on our award-winning Conflict of Heroes series for a whole new experience. Players use strategy and cunning to manipulate the battlefield and available forces to create an engagement set to their advantage. This expansion for Awakening the Bear 2nd Edition includes everything you need to create countless Firefights, from solo Firefights that make use of Awakening the Bear - Solo Expansion to giant, multi-map, four-player battles.

To create a unique new Firefight, players alternate playing Generator Cards to choose their units, Victory Point conditions, weapons, weather conditions, and more. Players can bluff, outmaneuver, and thwart their opponents... all before the Firefight even begins! Successful commanders will make smart and strategic choices by allocating their limited resources to set themselves up for victory. This is a groundbreaking new system that is challenging and fun to play! Create a 1 - 4 player Firefight in under 10 minutes!

Includes: Soviet and German Generator Card Decks,Option Record Boards, and Rule Book with Mission Guidelines.
Special Addition: Solo Mission Generation System, including the Solo Mission Sheet and Artificial Intelligence Tiles!

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8. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.51 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

After more than three years of development, Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front - Solo Expansion revolutionizes solo tactical play. Instead of AI units being individually programmed as in past games, AI units utilize a unique emergent behavior and agent-based logic. Each situation is evaluated and the AI implements the best course of action using available resources and unit assets. Even veteran CoH players will be challenged to hone and adapt their playing styles in order to overcome the AI!

In the Conflict of Heroes Solo System, players no longer track APs, but must make a Unit Spent Check after every action. The higher the cost in APs an action was, the higher the probability that the unit will be spent. Now a player must decide if he will augment his action with APs or increase his chance of keeping the unit fresh!

Each Firefight has its own Mission Track. A Mission Track is a series of events that are triggered if the Mission Marker lands on an event's space. Certain orders advance the Mission Marker 1, 2 or 3 spaces, so the game is different each time you play. The firefight ends immediately when the Mission Marker lands on or passes the last space of the Mission Track.

Note: With a bit of adapting, this expansion can be used with 1st Edition Conflict of Heroes.

Note: The base game 2-player scenarios are NOT playable with solitaire rules "out of the box"; solitaire scenarios need additional elements (mission track etc). So additional homebrew tinkering is needed to adapt an existing 2-player scenario for use with the solitaire system. But the solitaire expansion comes with many (new) scenarios, and the Firefight Generator expansion permits creating solitaire scenarios.

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9. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – The Pacific 1942 [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:2236]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In 1942, the Japanese empire exploded across the Pacific, conquering everything before them. The only large land mass still held by the Allies was Australia, which they desperately needed as a staging area for a planned U.S. led counter-attack. The Japanese knew of the importance of Australia, but lacked the resources to conquer it, so they decided on the next best thing: Isolate Australia from the United States by building an airfield on the island of Guadalcanal, from which planes could disrupt the Allied supply lines.

The United States, ill-prepared as it was for any offensive actions, immediately attacked with the 1st Marine Division under the command of Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, caught the Japanese by surprise and easily took control of the airfield. The Japanese 17th Army, under the command of Lt. Gen. Harukichi Hyakutake, counterattacked with an ever-increasing number of troops. For the next four months a titanic struggle took place in the air, on land and on sea as the isolated Marines and U.S. Army fought for their lives to hold their tiny perimeter around the airfield against the might of the Japanese Empire.

Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – Pacific Ocean 1942 recreates this struggle on your tabletop and includes gorgeous beach and jungles maps of the South Pacific, amphibious landing craft, the USMC, Japanese Banzai Charges, night combat, and much more.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 ahead of the game's retail release at the end of 2015.
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10. Board Game: Fief: France 1429 [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:753]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 120 − 240 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Fief: France 1429 is a game of dynastic ambition in which players assume the roles of nobles in the 15th century kingdom of France. Each player strives to become the most powerful ruling force in the kingdom by gaining control of Fief and Bishopric territories. In turn, they acquire Royal and Ecclesiastical (church) titles which give their families influence to elect the next Pope and King. Players strengthen their positions by negotiating marriage alliances between their families, setting the stage for love, treachery and deception!

Fief is a classic French-language game and is being re-introduced by Academy Games in English with updated rules, new units, a new and larger consolidated map, and more. This edition also includes additional components, which enhances game play.

The game board represents a portion of the Kingdom of France in the Middle Ages. Villages have square outlines that are connected by roads that allow Lord and Troop movement. The villages are grouped into eight colored background areas that represent individual Fiefs, which are domains given to Lords to preside over. Fiefs have different colored backgrounds and Bishoprics have heavy bordered outlines that include several different Fiefs. Each village also belongs to one of five church Bishoprics; each Bishopric is outlined with a heavy border line and is numbered between 1-5 along the edge of the board inside a Bishop's Mitre.

Each player controls up to four family members, comprised of male and female nobles. These family members will rise in power by gaining Royal and Ecclesiastic Titles.

In Fief: France 1429, a player may attempt to gain control of all the villages in a Fief to gain the Royal Title of Baron, Earl or Duke. For each Fief a player controls, he gains 1 VP. These Titled Lords may now take part in the election for the next King. They may even be a candidate to become King, thus bringing 1 VP and more power to the family! Other members of your family may follow the calling of the Church to gain the Ecclesiastical Titles of Bishop and then Cardinal. These titles allow you to Tithe Bishoprics, taking the Church's (i.e. "your") fair share of income from other Fief Lords! The highest goal your clerical family member can attain is to be elected Pope, bringing 1 VP and special privileges to your family!

You win the game as soon as you have 3 VPs. This is easier said than done and you may need to form alliances with other players through diplomacy and marriage to obtain your goal. When one of your family members marries a noble of another family, the two of you become allied. You now win the game together with 4 VPs and cannot win alone, unless your marriage is annulled by the Pope or your spouse is "mysteriously" murdered or dies of some other foul means!

In addition to being wary of your fellow players, you may draw event cards that can quickly change your destiny. Bounty Event cards are beneficial to the Player and include "Good Harvest", "Good Weather" and "Added Taxes" cards. But some cards are Disaster Cards that can randomly effect all players in specific Bishoprics. These include "The Plague", "Heavy Rain", "Famine", and "Peasant Uprisings"!

Income can be increased by players imposing church tithes on their opponent's villages or taxing their own Fiefs. Players may purchase new Fief titles, improve their village incomes with mills, and fortify their cities.

Players will also need to protect their land and castles. Men at Arms and Knights can be purchased, as well as Siege Engines. If you feel that other players are not running their Fiefs as well as you can, you may try to invade their territories! But you must risk one of your family members to lead the troops into possible battle, where they might be killed or taken prisoner. If two opposing armies are in the same village square, a Battle may be initiated. The players assess the size and strength of their armies, which determine the number of Battle Dice each may roll. Each "f" rolled is a hit. Men at Arms are defeated with one hit, while Knights require three hits to be removed from the battle.

The Kickstarter Edition of Fief: France 1429 included the Fief: France 1429 Expansions Pack and offered 3-D buildings and metal coins as 'add ons.' These items are all still available directly from Academy Games.

This game is the most recent edition of Fief. It re-implements:

  • Fief (first original edition, 1981)
  • Fief 2 (second edition with updated rules, 1989)
  • Fief (third edition with completely revised rules and material, 2011)

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Board Game Publisher: Acronaut Games
• Located in the First Exposure Playtest Hall, which can be found in rooms 107-110 near the registration area at Gen Con 2015.
11. Board Game: Outsider [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 40 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Outsider is a card game that combines cooperative and hidden traitor mechanics with set collection and hand management, in an immersive science fiction setting.

Players are each assigned or choose a character, each with unique abilities and a different combination of the four skill icons. Each player is also given a random Loyalty card, which is kept secret from the other players. Most players will be Crew and will work together to complete repairs, represented by Goal cards. Crew members win the game when they have completed more goals than there are players, all Crew have at least one completed Goal, and any Crew member correctly declares victory on their turn.

One or two players will be Outsiders. Outsiders win the game if they declare victory on their turn and all Crew members are Doomed. All players lose if the deck runs out or if everyone becomes Doomed from a single source, which adds a cooperative element. An addendum provides alternate rules for groups that find this too harsh or would prefer a more narrative ending.

The setting is gritty sci-fi with art by James Zark lending a cyberpunk flavor to the characters. The basic concept deals with a future where vessels move between universes to save time on space travel, with the occasional side-effect of crew members becoming murderous and paranoid, called "Outsiders".

Outsiders are literally castaways from other dimensions. Having shifted between universes too many times, they suddenly find that they no longer recognized things that should be familiar. Torn from a discarded reality, their only option is to seize control of the ship and reverse the shifts in reality, dooming the rest of the crew in the process.

The game lends itself to a wide variety of strategies, and despite a small learning curve the basics come into focus pretty quickly. Multiple playthroughs reveal increasingly complex possibilities, and each game is distinctly different as new combinations of Loyalties and characters are explored.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 to coincide with an ongoing Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
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Board Game Publisher: Action Phase Games
• Booth 355
12. Board Game: Heroes Wanted: The Stuff of Legend [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

THIS JUST IN…

A dark cloud looms over Zeta City, one that speaks with a forked tongue and tells of ill omens and other generally bad stuff. In the wake of the retirement of Fastodon, the World’s Fastest Mammoth, all manner of foul evil has emerged to wreak havoc. From sinister deities once relegated to myth to arcane menaces who have hovered at the fringes of our mundane world, all have been waiting for just such an opportunity and now return with visions of conquest. After all, one less Champion means one less obstacle in the way of their nefarious machinations. But hope is not lost! As we have learned in recent news, ambitious heroes eager to prove their mettle are patrolling the rooftops and alleys. Among them are practitioners of the mystic arts and noble gods from great pantheons, each able to face the rising tide of villainy for the sake of all that is good and right. A day of decisive battle is descending upon Zeta City, and from it shall emerge...

The Stuff of Legend!

Heroes Wanted: The Stuff of Legend expands the Heroes Wanted universe as Supernatural and Mythic heroes join the fray, while mechanisms such as feats and curses introduce all-new tactics and the price for using them. All that along with even more heroes, villains, Quirks, and two new scenarios will add even more variety and complexity to your Heroes Wanted experience. So, are you ready to step up and be more than just a hero and become a legend?

RIGHT WRONGS. UPHOLD JUSTICE. BECOME A LEGEND.

Other Information: • Debuting at Gen Con 2015.
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13. Board Game: Ninja Camp [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1832]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Goooood morning, campers! I hope you got plenty of sleep last night, because Sensei Saru has a full day of training in store for you! So study your lessons well, and be quicker and craftier than your fellow campers, as Sensei only invites the best to be his personal apprentices. Will it be YOU?!

One of the Small Box/Big Fun line of games from Action Phase Games, Ninja Camp pits animal martial artists against one another in a training exercise where the best will become the personal ninja apprentice of Sensei Saru. Each player starts with two cards, each representing a ninja skill, with the rest of the deck making up the game board. By using the cards in their hand, players navigate the board, adding new skills to their hand as they do—and leaving fewer movement options for their fellow campers. Each player also has a unique ninja ability that he can use once per game to try to turn the game in his favor. A game that sets up and plays in thirty minutes or less, Ninja Camp is sure to provide hours of fun for families and future ninjas!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 to coincide with an ongoing Kickstarter funding campaign during that time.
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14. Board Game: Scoundrel Society [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:4674]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

The season is upon us once more: the time of year when the carefree rich escape from their oh-so-trying lives to idyllic retreats both near and far—and when we of The Society invite ourselves to their soirees, derbies, and day-to-day routines to play our annual game. This year’s mark has been carefully selected, and Constable Cramphorn is hot on our trail. And did I mention that you should watch your back? After all, stealing from a Society member is just as entertaining as fleecing a mark. So, do you have the lightest fingers, the snappiest patter, and the most disarming smile...or is this the year when you get nicked?

Scoundrel Society is the first Small Box/Big Fun game from Action Phase Games where players take on the role of a member of The Society, a gathering of notable con artists who come together once a year to show off their craft by proving who can steal the most loot from the mark without getting caught. Loot is lifted from the mark by playing one of five action cards, most of which work best when played alone. But tread carefully: while many pieces of loot have unique abilities that can affect the game, each carries a suspicion value. So when Constable Cramphorn is revealed from the last ten cards of the loot deck, the player with the highest suspicion score is apprehended, leaving the rest to compare the value of their ill-gotten gains to determine who is the most dirty and rotten of the Scoundrel Society.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 following a completed Kickstarter campaign and ahead of its Q4 2015 release date.
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Board Game Publisher: Ad Magic, Inc.
• Booth 461
15. Board Game: Gothic Doctor [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:5763]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Gothic Doctor is a card game for 2-4 players in which doctors compete with each other to earn the most money in a single night that's broken up into eleven one-hour turns. The patients that the doctors are treating are characters from Gothic literature, such as Mr. Hyde or Frankenstein's Monster.

Patients are "cured" with a combination of cards from the hand indicated on each patient's card. The number of treatments required range from 2 to 4 treatment cards, and harder-to-treat patients earn the doctor more money. There is also a "wild card" treatment in the game to speed up gameplay (though his treatment is required for some patients).

In addition to patient and treatment cards, there are also action cards, which allow doctors to affect how easily patients are treated, to draw additional cards, or to hinder another doctor's efforts.

Other Information: • Price: $30 for the base game, $15 for the Demons & Partial Treatments expansion. Says co-designer Doug Levandowski, "Buy both and get a pin set free."


Sample patients from the Demons & Partial Treatments expansion
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Board Game Publisher: ADC Blackfire Entertainment GmbH
• Booth 2330, which is the location of Mr. B Games, which will sell this title during Gen Con 2015 on behalf of importer Funagain Games.
16. Board Game: Kraftwagen [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:783]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

In Germany in 1888, Bertha Benz, wife of auto pioneer Carl Benz, undertook the first cross-country drive in an automobile. While making the trek from Mannheim to Pforzheim, her car ran out of fuel in Wiesloch. Mrs. Benz stopped into the city drugstore to obtain the appropriate chemicals to make more fuel, effectively creating the world´s first gas station.

By the year 1928, Germany possessed a dense road network where combustion engines had triumphed over electric and steam engines and where cars were produced via assembly lines. Manufacturers began producing more affordable vehicles for the broader population.

In Kraftwagen, players advance the state of automobile development and production by playing as start-up companies. They must research new technologies and build improved chassis and engines. Early Grand Prix races provide the young companies with prestige and money, but the players must maintain a key balance of fulfilling the demand preferences of buyers at the lowest possible price.

Kraftwagen: V6 Edition includes a new set of tiles, featuring the next technology available at the time, the V6 Engine.

Other Information: • Price $50
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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
• Booth 801
17. Board Game: Dice City [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:844]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness, the Queen, has decreed that there will be a new capital after the old one was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of the country's influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia's new capital. You must choose your city's path in gaining the approval of all others in the kingdom.

Dice City is a "dice-crafting" game in which the locations in your city act as the changing faces of your dice each turn. Use tactics and strategy to press your claim!

You each have several ways to promote your city; create strong armies; construct wondrous buildings; or open up trade routes. The secret is to manage your city and its natural resources carefully to make the best of your fortunes.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 ahead of its release in October 2015.
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18. Board Game: Game of Crowns [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:14386]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 9
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Many will sit on a throne, but only one can wear the crown!

Long ago, the great Ruelen Empire was united under a single banner. In the aftermath of Ruele's Doom, the Empire was shattered, torn apart into nine houses each led by one of the Emperor's former council. The realm was thrown into bitter conflict as each of the nine houses vied for power over the others – each seeking to reunite the broken Empire under their rule. This conflict became known as the Game of Crowns.

In Game of Crowns, each player takes control of one of the nine noble houses. During the game, players can exchange cards and favors through diplomatic relations, or directly attack opponents through warfare in order to take what they want. It will take clever planning, skillful negotiation, and daring confrontations to gain dominance over your rivals and seize the crown!

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19. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:946]
Designed by: Show More »
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 240 minutes
Suggested ages: 16 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Players represent various families in Republica de los Bananas.

Each game turn has between 7 and 9 rounds, drawing cards, President assigns roles, foreign aid money is drawn, the president proposes a budget which is voted on, locations are chosen, there are assassination attempts, then the bank may be open or not, there may be a coup and aftermath, then the next round starts.

The game is for 4 to 7 players (although there are 2 and 3 player variants). A president for life (El Presidente) is elected and then she or he allocates roles for all other players. Depending upon his or her office and the various cards they hold, each player has a certain number of votes. These are important for the first vote to elect El Presidente and then there are votes each turn on the budget proposed by the President. The budget starts when the President draws 8 money cards face down from the money deck (which varies in denomination from $1 to $3) and proposes allocations. Not everyone will be included in the budget and the amounts are at the President's discretion. The President can keep undisclosed foreign aid money.

Players may attempt to assassinate the other players including the President by guessing where they will be from among five locations. Players who successfully assassinate another player take that player's unbanked money, the only safe money is the money that has been deposited in a players' Swiss bank account, and the only way to get to the bank is to survive the assassination round.

If players are unhappy, see an advantage, or just want to, and there is a 'coup excuse', they can start a coup. A coup sees players compete using armed forces to control a majority of the 5 power centers. Rebel players control the forces of the role which they were assigned prior to the coup (e.g. army, navy, air force), and players loyal to the President do the same, seeking to control the strongholds until the coup is over. At the conclusion of each coup players who have control of the 5 power centres vote to be pro-President or pro-Junta determining if the President stays, or the Junta wins and elects a new President. And someone is sent to the firing squad.

Players assassinated or killed simply become another member of their family and begin again with new cards, but keeping any of their family's funds deposited in their Swiss bank account.

The game is won by whoever has the most pesos in their Swiss bank account when the money runs out.

Other Information:
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20. Board Game: Rumpelstiltskin [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:8187]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

In Rumpelstiltskin, you and a friend take the roles of fey folk who have decided to engage in a name guessing contest. You must use your magical mischief to learn your opponent's secret name while protecting your own!

Players alternate taking turns. To take a turn, you play one card from your hand, perform its actions, then put it in your discard pile. Some cards let you try to win the game by guessing your opponent's secret name, i.e., the card on the bottom of their deck). Your opponent may use a reaction, but then must tell you if you guessed right or wrong. If you guessed correctly, you win! If the card you guessed is not on the bottom of your opponent's deck, play continues.

Other Information: • Debuting at Gen Con 2015.
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21. Board Game: Valley of the Kings: Afterlife [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:914] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Take on the role of Egyptian nobles at the time of the pharaohs, preparing for their death and burial in the valley of the kings. Using an innovative deck-building mechanism with a crumbling pyramid, players fill their tombs with jewelry, chambers, weapons, tomb art and other treasures. The player who collects the most valuable artifacts in their tomb wins the game!

Valley of the Kings: Afterlife is a standalone game that can also be combined with Valley of the Kings to allow for play with up to six players.

Other Information: • Price $20
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Board Game Publisher: alea
• Booth 1401, which is the stand for Adventure Retail, which will be selling Broom Service and other titles from alea/Ravensburger at Gen Con 2015, including La Isla, the new edition of San Juan, Sanssouci, Cartagena, and Bora Bora.
22. Board Game: Broom Service [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:406]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Score the most victory points by delivering potions via Broom Service throughout the magical realm.

Broom Service is a card-based game that combines luck and skill and balances timely bluffing with clever hand management.

Remake of award-winning Witch's Brew:

  • New theme! Now with 3 types of roles: witches, druids, and gatherers.
  • Drizzelda, the weather fairy, helps chase away the bad weather.
  • New illustrations and game pieces.
  • Same style of play, and by the same game designer as Witch’s Brew.
  • New version also includes a 2-player version.

The game is played over 7 rounds, with 4 turns per round. Each round, players simultaneously select 4 of their 10 role cards, and then they take turns playing one role at a time. Each role has a brave action and a cowardly action; the brave action is stronger, but riskier, as another player could steal the action from you later; the cowardly action is safer, but not as robust. How well can you bluff your opponents?

Use the gatherer roles to collect ingredients to make potions, the witch roles to zoom around on your broom to different areas, and the witch or druid roles to deliver the potions, collecting victory points as you go. Chase away lightning clouds with the help of the weather fairy, and keep an eye on the event cards that change game play, one event per round.

The winner is the player with the most victory points after all 7 rounds are complete and end-of-game bonus points have been awarded.

Other Information: • MSRP $40

• For an overview of how to play Broom Service and how it compares to its Witch's Brew predecessor, check out my game overview on BGG News.
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Board Game Publisher: APE Games
• Booth 1537
23. Board Game: Arcadia [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6836]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Step right up to play Arcadia, APE's card game of theme park construction. Compete with fellow park owners to build the amusement park of your dreams. Hire builders, inspectors, and other professionals to add rides, shows, midway attractions and shows.

Experts in various fields can get attractions built even faster. Start with a simple teacup ride and add charming carousels, roller coasters, acrobats, shooting galleries, and even a "Meet the Characters" restaurant!

Other Information: • Price $15
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24. Board Game: The Great Dinosaur Rush [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:2148]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Great Dinosaur Rush — or the Bone Wars, as it's otherwise called — was a period of incredible advancement in paleontology (i.e., the discovery of fossils).

In The Great Dinosaur Rush, players compete to grab bones from the best dig sites, and build new dinosaurs for prestigious museums, gaining notoriety in the process by stealing bones, sabotaging dig sites, and otherwise impeding your fellow paleontologists.

The game is played over turns, each with two main phases: dig and build. During the dig phase, players collect different-colored bones from dig sites and perform actions. Some dirty actions give players secret notoriety tokens. Notoriety adds to players' scores at the end of the game, but having the MOST notoriety SUBTRACTS from the score! During the build phase, players create their dinosaurs from the bones they collected, maximizing them to score points in various museum categories: length, size, height, ferociousness, etc.

You'll have to play dirty if you want to win — just not too dirty!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2015 ahead of a Kickstarter funding campaign in Q3 2015.
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25. Board Game: Rise to Power [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:3610]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Rise to Power is a city-building strategy card game for 2-6 players, set in a futuristic world where companies compete to fulfill the world's power needs.

The game is set in a futuristic world that has discovered an abundant source of energy, dubbed PRISM. Competing power companies are scrambling to extract as much PRISM as they can to increase their influence by powering districts and ultimately controlling the city's power needs.

Activating a district card allow players to expand their power grid capabilities and also increases a company's influence.

Instead of activating a district, a player could instead use the card's exchange ability to perform a powerful action at the cost of giving up the district, placed on the The Exchange for others to take.

Players take turn extracting PRISMs, and using it to fulfill district contracts offered by the government. As players power districts, their play area will reflect the state of their city influence. When powering districts, players are rewarded for paying the exact amount, portraying efficiency and promoting careful planning.

When a player activates their 8th district, the game enters the last round phase. At the end of the game, players with the highest influence points, earned by activated districts and their private agenda is declared the winner.

Other Information: • Price $25

• For more details on the gameplay and a look at the cards, check out my written overview on BGG News or watch the following video:

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