Origins Game Fair 2015 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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The Origins Game Fair takes place June 3-7, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio, and this Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Origins 2015, (2) be newly released just 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 to me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
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Board Game Publisher: 8th Summit
• Booth 228
1. Board Game: Agents of SMERSH: Showdown! [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Showdown! is a a 76-page book designed to complement the Agents of SMERSH base game, and the Swagman's Hope and Space Station expansions.

The Showdown! Scenario Book presents a linear history that will take the players through a series of eight Agents of SMERSH games, which get progressively more difficult as the UN Secret Service pursues Dr Lobo.

Showdown! also introduces a new Endgame for Agents of SMERSH, which can be played after any Main Game (i.e. the board game), even if you are not using the linear scenarios.

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Board Game Publisher: Academy Games, Inc.
• Booth 713
2. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 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!

Other Information: • Debuting at Origins 2015.
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3. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion [Average Rating:8.49 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.49 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.

Other Information: • Debuting at Origins 2015.
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4. Board Game: Fief: France 1429 [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:827]
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: Action Phase Games
• Booth 943
5. Board Game: Heroes Wanted: The Stuff of Legend [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.31 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: • Available for previewing at Origins 2015 ahead of its release in August 2015.
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6. Board Game: Ninja Camp [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2103]
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 previewing at Origins 2015 ahead of a Kickstarter campaign and an anticipated release in Q4 2015.
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7. Board Game: Scoundrel Society [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:5451]
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 previewing at Origins 2015 ahead of a Kickstarter campaign and an anticipated release in Q4 2015.
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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
• Booth 401

• AEG has a coupon in the Origins coupon book for 10% off a single purchase.

• In addition to what's listed below, AEG plans to release "the next Doomtown: Reloaded saddlebag" at Origins 2015. I read this and asked which saddlebag this would be, and Elizabeth Bancroft at AEG got all cagey and was like, "I don't know what you mean, 'which one'?" Thus, I'm just writing this and being puzzled like the rest of you as to what this might be...
8. Board Game: Dark Seas [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4610]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Build a pirate empire in the uncharted Plunder Islands of the Cairribbi— er, Carebbe— er, near the Gulf of Mexico! Seize your destiny of buccaneerrific awesomeness, and gather hordes of pirates, hoards of doubloons, ever greater infamy, and (of course) ever more treasure!

Dark Seas is a dicey island-building game. Each player plots out his own plundering route, filling its ports with docks, hideouts, and shady sea-faring characters. Players sail their ships around their islands, building their reputation by recruiting pirates, gathering doubloons, and acquiring treasure and infamy. Whoever amasses the greatest reputation wins!

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9. Board Game: Game of Crowns [Average Rating:4.78 Overall Rank:16273]
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!

Other Information: • Debuting at Origins 2015.
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10. Board Game: Rumpelstiltskin [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:9398]
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 Origins 2015.
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Board Game Publisher: Angry Duck Games LLC
• Booth 255

• In addition to what's listed below, at Origins 2015 Angry Duck Games will feature Student Bodies, which was co-published with Smirk & Dagger Games in 2014.
11. Board Game: Petri Wars [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

You are a powerful force for good, and you may be humanity's only hope. You are also a deadly bacteria struggling for dominance in a petri dish against dangerous enemies. Can you prove to the scientists looming above that you are the cure they have been looking for?

In Petri Wars, players collect and expend food to grow larger, move around the dish to gain strategic position, and attack other cells. Each time you add a new cell, it has a special ability, defense, or added value. Choose and use these abilities wisely because you can only use each one once.
.

Description from the Kickstarter:

Petri Wars is a game for 2-4 players, ages 13+. Play time is approximately 30-60 minutes.

An experimental strain of bacteria is ready to be put to the ultimate test. Facing it are other hostile and deadly creations ready to wage war over the petri dish using all the tricks and adaptations at their disposal for survival. Can you guide your creation to victory? Are you ready for an epic battle of microscopic proportions?

In Petri Wars, players collect and expend food to grow larger, migrate throughout the dish to gain strategic position, and attack other cells. Each time you add a new cell it will have a hidden special ability, such as an added attack strength or a defensive capability. Choose wisely though, as you can only use the ability of each cell once per game.

Players gather DNA by growing their organisms to occupy as much space as possible in the dish, destroying and assimilating enemy cells along the way. The Bacteria with the most advanced DNA at the end of the game wins!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2015 to coincide with a Kickstarter funding campaign running during that time.
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Board Game Publisher: Arcane Tinmen
• Booth 847
12. Board Game: The Spoils: New Player Pack – The Basic Box of Awesomeness [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3209] [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Spoils, a card game first released in 2006 by Tenacious Games, taps into other card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Magi-Nation for some of its gameplay mechanisms, but the game is uniquely its own. You start the game with a figurehead or faction card in play that determines how you begin your turn and which actions you are allowed to take. These factions have special abilities, unique to each faction card.

Players need to amass resource cards in order to play characters, tactics, items and locations, with each of these card types often having subtypes. Players may drop any card from their hand face down as a resource, but cards dropped in this manner will not count as having any resource icons – and you need those to play cards. The resource icons come in the form of five trades, which are:

  • Banker (Greed icon)
  • Rogue (Deception icon)
  • Warlord (Rage icon)
  • Gearsmith (Elitism icon)
  • Arcanist (Obsession icon)

Discontinued at January 1st, 2017.

Other Information: • For Origins 2015, The Spoils will be highlighting its Basic Box of Awesomeness, which is nominated for an Origins Award in the category of Best Collectible Card Game. Ian Spiegel notes that this will be discounted to $20 from its regular $25 MSRP.

• Spiegel adds, "We will also be selling our latest TCG expansion, Holy Heist, for $48 a box or $4 a pack, and previewing our next set, Seed Saga, ahead of a late July [2015] release."
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Board Game Publisher: Arcane Wonders
• Booth 201
13. Board Game: Mage Wars Academy [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1488] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Mage Wars Academy features gameplay similar to Mage Wars Arena (née Mage Wars) with two mages in head-to-head combat to see who will be victorious.

Mage Wars Academy is a two-player starter set that features two mages, two spellbooks, and a new "boardless" gameplay design that's more portable and fast-playing than Mage Wars Arena. All of the spell cards included in Academy are compatible with those in Arena.

Multiple core sets (or future expansions) can be added together to create a 3 or 4 player game.

Other Information: • Previewing at Origins 2015 ahead of its release later in 2015.
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14. Board Game: Mage Wars Arena: Battlegrounds Domination [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Build the Arena of your dreams and battle against enemies for control of the V'Tar orbs with an all new rule set for the award-winning Mage Wars Arena! Battlegrounds Domination is a new set of expansions for Mage Wars Arena that introduce new rules to play by and incorporate the use of custom puzzle-cut tiles for players to build their own Arena boards to play on! And yes, as you can see, there are images on the tiles that are accompanied by optional rules that introduce terrain effects as well!

The first Battlegrounds expansion, Domination, introduces Domination Mode, where players will vie for control of powerful V’Tar orbs that grant new powers and offer a new option to win, by gaining points through maintaining control of these powerful devices. Additionally, there are 20 customized tiles for players to use in creating their own, or suggested, Arenas to play in. Finally, there are also 116 cards including new spells for use in traditional Mage Wars Arena play and the new Domination mode, introduced in this expansions’ rules. As an added bonus, Battlegrounds Domination introduces two new promo cards, available only in the first printing of the set: The Ankh of Asyra and Blur!

Other Information: • Debuting at Origins 2015.
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Board Game Publisher: Ares Games
• Booth 703
15. Board Game: Galaxy Defenders: Extinction Protocol [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.29 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

In Galaxy Defenders: Extinction Protocol, an expansion for Galaxy Defenders, the agents head to the home planet of the invaders to fight the final battle to save the Galaxy from extinction. Armed with a new generation of weapons and wearing awesome Power Armor, the agents are prepared to fight the worst enemy they have ever faced.

New Features:

In Extinction Protocol, the journey through the six missions begins as the Agents reach the Alien planet. To fight their enemy, they must enter into a darkness made of caves and corridors, across underground lakes, through alien temples, and face the ultimate challenge in the terrible Queen’s chamber.

The underground of the alien planet is formed by thousands of narrowing corridors and caves. To properly represent this new setting, a new system of modular tiles creates the game board, using smaller tiles with a variable number of areas. The tiles remain fully compatible with all the maps of the GD Universe to create custom missions. This new system, combined with standard map tiles create an unique game experience.

Below the ground, alien menaces lurk in the shadows. Insidious opponents – and sometimes, precious resources – will appear on the battlefield as Stationary Signals, that will only be revealed when you are close to them… In addition, the doors of the underground Alien Base are protected by an enhanced security system that allows the access only to the owners of the right encrypted keys!

To accomplish the final task, our agents will be dressed and armed like gods of war! Thanks to the new GD-Ranks each agent can acquire new skills and tactics, including tactics that can be used without spending actions.

More important, they will make the battlefield to quake with their Power Armors, the ultimate weapons created by Mankind. The use of these exoskeletons empowers the Agents with new abilities and allow the Agency to deploy devastating firepower against their Alien opponents.

Each Power Armor is represented by a unique figure and by its Power Armor Profile Sheet. Unlike Power Suits, that are used by any character, each Agent uses a unique style of armor. Each armor has completely different weapons and powers, and transforms the Agent in a lethal war machine!

Other Information: • Available for demo games ahead of its July 2015 release.
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16. Board Game: Galaxy Defenders: Operation Strikeback [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

In Galaxy Defenders: Operation Strikeback, an expansion for the Galaxy Defenders base game, the Agency prepares to counterattack. With new technologies and new weapons, agents launch a strike against the alien base on the dark side of the Moon with the help of genetically modified agents, facing new alien menaces and terrible creatures.

The scenarios included in the expansion develop the storyline begun with the campaign included in the Core Set.

New Features:

Operation Strikeback adds many new features and new mechanics to make Galaxy Defenders even more strategic, more epic, and more fun.

The six missions included create an epic adventure, and for the first time our heroes will face the highest-ranked invaders in the Alien Army… the Master Aliens!

These lethal opponents are represented in the game by purple-color cards and figures. The Alien card of a Master Alien is twice the size of a standard card. It’s also printed on both sides, each with a different set of stats for the Alien. The Master Alien can flip its card from one side to the other during combat, making its behaviour dynamic and unpredictable.

A common feature of Master Aliens is their “Archenemy” power. They are able to tell at a glance who’s the most dangerous Agent on the battlefield [called the Menacing Agent] and their behavior is influenced by his or her position, rather than that of the closest Agent.

Such opponents cannot be fought without the right equipment, and the GD Agency has created new “toys” for the agents, such as the extremely versatile Power Suits. It improves the Agent’s movement… and also gives him the ability to fly, seize bleeding companions and bring them to safety, and unleash a huge amount of firepower upon the alien scum!

Agents will also be endowed with psionic powers. The amazing mind powers they can develop allow them to walk through time, cause lethal and critical hits, predict the future, and much more!

Last, but not least, Agents are no longer alone in this war. A new Non-Player Character [NPC] system allows intelligent non-player agents to fight side by side with the GD squad.

NPCs in Galaxy Defenders are represented by yellow-colored cards and figures, and are handled by an A.I. mechanic similar to the system used for the Aliens. Each NPC card describes the behavior, stats, abilities, and special tactics of that character, so each NPC will act differently on the battlefield.

A player will have the choice to activate an NPC before or after his agent, adding a whole new level of strategy. Human signals in a mission may indicate the appearance of an NPC, who can be added to any existing mission.

Other Information: • Available for demo games ahead of its July 2015 release.
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17. Board Game: Jolly Roger: The Game of Piracy & Mutiny [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5059]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 10
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In the card game Jolly Roger: The Game of Piracy & Mutiny, you're a crew member aboard a pirate ship and have just elected a new captain. This man will lead you toward either fortune or disaster — and thankfully no matter what course of action he takes, if you don't agree with his choices, you can always start a mutiny and become the next captain yourself...

Each turn, the captain chooses a destination for the ship, a target that it will attack. Once the ship is attacking, the players (more or less!) co-operate to defeat their victim, then they divide the treasure amongst themselves — but your gold is never secure until you bury it on Treasure Island.

As you carry out the attack, unrest is always brewing in the kettle. Each time the captain makes a choice, it's possible for one of the other players to call "Mutiny" and try to overthrow him to become the new captain. And when the mutiny begins, you need to decide how to use your cards during the mutiny and the looming battle. How much will you co-operate when you assault an enemy, and what will you keep to yourself to prepare for when the next mutiny starts?

As is fitting for a pirate, your greatest desire is for gold, and you'll do anything to reach your goal. In the end, whoever collects the most gold becomes the richest pirate in Tortuga!

Other Information: • Available for demo games ahead of its Gen Con 2015 release.
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18. Board Game: Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:6946]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The war is over, and the Greek ships are trying to return to their homeland after a long absence. They need to reach the Sacred Island to present offerings and prayers to the gods, but the irascible Poseidon will use all his power to prevent them from getting there.

In Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon, one player takes the role of Poseidon, God of the Sea, while the others become navigators in search of the Sacred Island. Gameplay takes place on two copies of the same game board that are separated by the game box so that they are not visible to one another. The Poseidon player throws powerful storms against the Navigators, driving them off-course and confounding them so that they cannot reach the Sacred Island in time. Only Poseidon knows the real position of the ships as indicated on his copy of the game board.

The navigators must sail through endless storms, blind to all around them, trying to gather clues to their whereabouts to stay on course. They also track the position of their ships on the game board, but the positions indicated are only a best guess — and they can become increasingly inaccurate as the game progresses.

The navigators must use their wits to stay on course and reach the Sacred Island before the end of the game, while Poseidon wins by preventing them from reaching their destination.

Other Information: • Available for demo games ahead of its Gen Con 2015 release.
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Board Game Publisher: Asmodee
• Booth D300
19. Board Game: Elysium [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:356]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Mythic Greece. As an upstart demigod, you want to earn the favor of the Olympians and become a figure of legend yourself. Gather heroes and powerful artifacts, please the gods and bear their power to write your own epic tale.

Let your allies achieve their destiny and enter the Elysium, home of the glorious and the brave. Once the stories are written, only one demigod will be chosen to stand at the side of Zeus.

Elysium is a game of set collecting and combinations in which players recruit cards representing heroes, items, powers and gods. These cards have many different powers and you can create powerful combination to earn gold (the help of the gods) and victory points (the favor of the gods). Each card belongs to one of the eight Olympians gods (a family), and shows a level (1 to 3).

During the five turns of the game, players will try to transfer their cards to the Elysium and write their own Legends, which are series of cards from the same family or from different families of the same level. The more epic the Legends, the more favor from the gods they’ll earn. But as they go to Elysium, most cards lose their power and players will therefore have to renounce some of their combinations !

A game of balance and opportunity with simple action, but constant dilemmas and complex strategies.

Other Information: • Price $60

• At Origins 2015, purchase of Elysium comes with a free Elysium playmat.

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20. Board Game: Formula D: Circuits 6 – Austin & Nevada Ride [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 10
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Formula D: Circuits 6 – Austin & Nevada Ride is a double-sided game board that adds two new tracks to Formula D. The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas was specially designed to accommodate Formula One cars and has been proudly hosting the United States Grand Prix since 2012. Racers, rev your engines on this highly challenging professional circuit!

A formidable second track based in Las Vegas and through Nevada provides racers with even more thrills! From the famous Bellagio to the Valley of Fire, racers have to survive the death-defying jump over the Colorado River in their attempt to win!

Other Information: • Price $30

• Debuting at Origins 2015 ahead of its June 15, 2015 release date.
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Board Game Publisher: Bin'Fa
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

This latest version of Bin'Fa: The Tao of War has many changes from those familiar with its previous incarnations (Hexagony, Bin'Fa), such as the addition of the General; Vortexes that allow you to traverse the board in one move, appearing where least expected; rule changes governing the gathering of supplies, and the separation of the original hexagon shaped game board into six separate game board sections which offer almost limitless possibilities for new terrain each game.

In Bin-Fa, armies move over a landscape that is different each game. A player controls at least one but can control up to three armies per game. You can use the board sections to create inlets, peninsulas, isthmuses, lakes, and more. Adding vortex and terrain markers allows you even more control over the layout of the game board and how it will be traversed. Your ability to take advantage of the layout of the battlefield is crucial to victory and defeat.

Each army is made up of 12 Army Units, one General, and one Supply Pawn. At the start of your turn, you must decide if you are going for supplies or moving your army. On taking possession of the dice: first see if any of your Army Units are in danger and if so, respond defensively; second, see if any of your opponent's Army Units are vulnerable and, if possible, attack; third, if neither of these choices applies, go for supplies. Sun Tzu says: "Do not move without considering all the possibilities. Move always with a clear purpose."

The rules for movement of your army allow you to simulate many strategies from the ancient battlefield. Even “cavalry charges” are possible—where a unit dashes across the board to attack an enemy position. Your mission is to surround and eliminate enemy Army Units until only your Army is left, leaving you the victor.
Deals and alliances can be made in the open or in secret. But only one commander can emerge victorious: knowing when and with whom to form alliances and when to break them can sometimes determine who wins and who loses.

Other Information: • Booth C843

• Debuting at Origins 2015 after having shipped copies to Kickstarter backers.
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Board Game Publisher: Blue Orange Games
• Booth 430
22. Board Game: Armadöra [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:3012]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Nuggets (2003), players try to surround the "gold mines" (numbered cylinders) on an 8x5 grid board. On a turn, a player either places a numbered tile face down or places two fence sections on the board; these fences determine the borders of each claim, and each claim must be at least four spaces large. At the end of the game, all tiles are revealed, and each gold mine is awarded to the player whose tiles in that claim have the largest sum, with ties resulting in an equal division of points. Whoever collects the most mine points wins.

Armadöra (2013) uses the same gameplay as Nuggets for the base game, albeit with the players themed as orcs, elves, mages and goblins on the hunt for dwarven gold. Armodöra also adds advanced rules to the game, with each player receiving one reinforcement token and 1-2 special power tokens. Instead of placing a warrior or erecting palisades (fences), a player can place a reinforcement token on one of his warriors in a territory that's already filled, boosting the strength of that warrior by one. A player can use his special power before taking one of the three normal actions, with the elf shooting an opposing warrior in an unfilled territory (lowering his strength by one), the orc placing an additional palisade that turn, the goblin placing a second warrior (with this one being face-up), and the mage looking at the value of an already placed opponent's warrior.

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23. Board Game: Attila [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:11183]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Attila the Hun was an infamous barbarian warlord whose army of nomadic horsemen terrorized the people of Europe and Western Asia for nearly twenty years.

Attila, on the other hand, is a light and fast-paced game in which one player controls Attila and two of his warriors while the other player controls three Roman soldiers, one of them being Roman general Flavius Aetius.

To set up, players create a playing area from the four game board tiles (such as a 4x5 rectangle), then place their figures on empty spaces. On a turn, you move one of your tokens in a knight's move (as in chess); you can traverse occupied squares and empty space as long as you land on a free space. Then you place a scorched earth tile on any empty space. Players alternate turns, and whoever first can't move a token loses the game!

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24. Board Game: Crab Stack [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:7791]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Players in Crab Stack represent a family of crabs who don't start out stacked, but who will become stacked over the course of the game, preferably being top crab in the end.

Each player has nine crabs — three large, three medium and three small — and they start in random locations on the game board at the start of play. On a turn, you move exactly one of your crabs — with a large crab moving exactly one space, a medium crab exactly two, and a small crab exactly three — so that you land on top of another crab of the same size or smaller, pinning it and preventing it from moving as long as you sit there.

You can't move over open water, and if your move splits the cast of crabs, then the smaller group is washed away by the waves.

If you can't move on your turn, then you're out of the game — even if one of your crabs is left uncovered later. The last player who makes a move wins!

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25. Board Game: Dragon Run [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5609]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Dragon Run, the players have just raided a dragon's keep, picked up a bunch of loot, and awakened the dragon. Now it's time to flee, ideally making it out with both our treasures and our lives.

On each turn, a player can either advance boldly, flee cautiously, or cry like a baby. If you advance boldly, you draw a card from the location deck, which holds three types of cards: one that allows that player to either redraw or stop, one that grants new treasure from the treasure hall, and (of course) the dragon. If you draw the dragon, you lose one health point (out of two), the dragon calms down (i.e., it loses one temper point), and the location deck is reshuffled. If you're injured twice, you die and are out of the game.

When fleeing cautiously, you first discard a treasure worth at least one coin, then roll a d10. If your roll is higher than the number of cards in the location deck, the dragon calms down, then you reshuffle the location deck; otherwise you must draw a card from the location deck just as when someone advances boldly. Your sacrificed treasure is still lost.

When you cry like a baby, you don't draw a location card, instead discarding a treasure worth at least two coins. Having shown your obeisance to the dragon, the turn passes to the next player.

Players start with four treasure cards; while some cards are worth 1-5 coins, others provide a one-shot potion or a talisman that stays in effect until the location deck is shuffled, which ends the round. Gameplay lasts from 5 to 8 rounds. Each player has a unique power that can be used once per round: the thief can steal cards from opponents, the cleric can heal opponents in exchange for treasure, etc. If the dragon loses its final temper point, the game ends and whoever holds the most valuable treasure wins; if all of the adventurers are charred to death first, then the dragon wins instead!

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