Gen Con 2016 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Gen Con Indy 2016 takes place August 4-7, 2016, 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 2016, (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: Ares Games
• Booth 141

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 Ares Games will have two new Wings of Glory play mats — No Man's Land and Industrial Complex — available for $50 MSRP each.

• Ares Games will also run the following events during Gen Con 2016; note that dates are listed European style (day/month):

Galaxy Defenders: Cooperative Sci-Fi alien bashing at its best! GMs will run the aliens, so players can focus on pure anti-alien strategy. Prizes awarded for completing the mission.
04/08 – 13:00; 05/08 – 10:00; 06/08 – 10:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $2.

Sails of Glory: It's a high seas free-for-all. Players receive a frigate to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for the highest number of enemy kills. Sunk? You can take re-enter the next turn.
04/08 – 16:00; 05/08 – 10:00; 06/08 – 13:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.

Wings of Glory WW1: Classic WW1 dog fighting. Players receive a plane to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for whose who rack up the highest number of enemy kills. Shot down? You can take to the skies next turn.
04/08 – 10:00; 05/08 – 13:00; 06/08 – 16:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.

Wings of Glory WW2: Classic WW2 dog fighting. Players receive a plane to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for whose who rack up the highest number of enemy kills. Shot down? You can take to the skies next turn.
04/08 – 13:00; 05/08 – 16:00; 06/08 – 10:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.
26. Board Game: War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth [Average Rating:8.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.62 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth includes Ents, Dead Men of Dunharrow, Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Corsairs of Umbar, Wild Hilmen from Dunland, and Giant Spiders, and with this new expansion for War of the Ring (second edition), these warriors and creatures of Middle-earth – previously featured only as special Event Cards – will become an essential part of the game, with unique figures and specific abilities.

Warriors of Middle-earth also presents new mechanisms to enhance the game. Faction Dice and Faction Events, used together with the new figures, open up new and exciting strategies and make the War of the Ring (second edition) even more challenging and fun.

Other Information: • MSRP $50, with two free promo cards — "Fly, You Fools" and "I was sent to bear tidings, not Burdens" — for copies purchased at Gen Con 2016.
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27. Board Game: Wings of Glory: World War 1 – Albatros C.III [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

The Albatros C.III was one of the best German two-seaters of WW1. Created as a reconnaissance aircraft, it proved capable of undertaking a variety of roles: observation, light bombing, strafing ground targets, and escorting bombers. Introduced at the end of 1915, as an improvement of the successful earlier C.I model, it was produced in great numbers and used by many of Germany’s allies. Its construction was so robust it remained in service until the end of the war, some C.IIIs surviving even after the Armistice.

Albatros C.III (Bohme/Ladermacher)
Erwin Böhme was one of the great German aces, achieving his first victory in the Albatros C.III. He was unwillingly responsible for the tragic death of his friend, Oswald Boelcke.

Albatros C.III (Meinecke)
When World War I started in 1914, Emil Meinecke joined the German Fliegertruppe and served first in Germany, then Turkey as an instructor and later as a combat pilot.

Albatros C.III (Luftstreitkräfte)
Hundreds of C.IIIs were used in combat by the German Luftstreitkräfte and until 1917, this airplane proved extremely useful both on the Western and Eastern Front.

Each WW1 Wings of Glory® Airplane Pack is a ready–to–play model, painted and assembled, 100% compatible with any other WW1 Wings of Glory game product.

Other Information: • Available in three versions: Bohme/Ladermacher, Luftstreitkrafte, and Meinecke.

• MSRP $20 each
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28. Board Game: Wings of Glory: World War 1 – Nieuport 11 [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

The Nieuport 11 “Bébé” was a French single seat fighter aircraft. Reaching the front in early 1916, it outclassed its German opponent, the Fokker Eindecker. It ended the dominance of German aviation, known as the “Fokker Scourge,” and gave air superiority to France during the battle of Verdun. The Nieuport 11 performed well in combat thanks to its excellent inherent speed, rate–of–climb, and agility. This successful airplane, however, had one limitation – its lack of a synchronized machine gun, which hampered its offensive capabilities.

Nieuport 11 (Chaput)
A French ace credited with 16 victories, Jean Chaput was renowned for his audacity and ‘sang-froid’ and was awarded with the Légion d’Honneur for his achievements.

Nieuport 11 (De Turenne)
Armand de Turenne, a cavalryman before entering the French air force, proved himself a true “knight of the air,” sharing his victories with no less than 15 other pilots.

Nieuport 11 (Ancillotto)
“Giannino” Ancillotto is part of Italian aviation history for his 11 victories, including three balloons shot down with his rocket–armed aircraft.

Each WW1 Wings of Glory® Airplane Pack is a ready–to–play model, painted and assembled, 100% compatible with any other WW1 Wings of Glory game product.

Other Information: • Available in three different versions: Ancilloto, Chaput, and De Turenne.

• MSRP $15 each
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29. Board Game: Wings of Glory: World War 1 – Phonix D.I [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

From the publisher:

The Phönix D.I was a single–seat biplane fighter with a stout and compact design, used by both branches of Austro–Hungarian air service. It was a fast airplane, well–armed and offering good vision, but it was quite difficult to maneuver and had a poor climb rate. Employed first as an escort fighter and fighter, in spite of structural weaknesses, it was favorably received by many pilots, who found it stable, robust, and easy to fly. The D.I was also used effectively as a photo–reconnaissance aircraft.

Phönix D.I (Lang)
Scoring his last three victories against Macchi seaplanes, Friedrich Lang became one of only two naval aces of the Austro–Hungarian Empire.

Phönix D.I (Urban)
Karl Urban flew in the Phönix D.I on the Piave Front. He became an ace fighting with this airplane, scoring his fifth victory on May, 19th 1918.

Phönix D.I (Gruber)
Kurt Gruber received glory and honor for the Austro–Hungarian Empire by claiming 11 victories, including five victories in the Phönix D.I.

Each WW1 Wings of Glory® Airplane Pack is a ready–to–play model, painted and assembled, 100% compatible with any other WW1 Wings of Glory game product.

Other Information: • Available in three different versions: Gruber, Lang, and Urban.

• MSRP $15 each
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30. Board Game: Wings of Glory: World War 1 – Sopwith 1½ Strutter/Comic [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

The Sopwith 1½ Strutter was an innovative multi-role airplane, designed to answer the request of the British Admiralty for a two-seat bomber for the Western Front. Its nickname comes from the odd shape of the inboard struts, which attached to the fuselage rather than to the lower wing. It was the first British airplane to use a synchronized machine-gun for the pilot – able to fire through the rotating propeller – and the first two-seater with a “puller” engine. It served with both British air services and was also widely used by French aviation.

The Sopwith 1½ Strutter Comic was derived from the two-seater Sopwith 1½ Strutter. The Comic was modified to become a single-seat fighter, used by British Home Defense to defend the British Isles from German bombing raids.

Sopwith 1½ Strutter (Costes/Astor)
Serving in the French Air Service during World War I, Dieudonné Costes scored eight victories in the Balkans, becoming a fighter ace.

Sopwith 1½ Strutter (Collishaw/Portsmouth)
Raymond Collishaw, one of the greatest aces of WW I, started his glorious career in this aircraft in 1916, when he successfully dueled against six German airplanes at the same time.

Sopwith 1½ Strutter Comic (78 Squadron)
The 78 Squadron used this aircraft in home defense, exploiting its flight stability and long range capability to defend Britain against the huge German bombers.

Each WW1 Wings of Glory® Airplane Pack is a ready–to–play model, painted and assembled, 100% compatible with any other WW1 Wings of Glory game product.

Other Information: • Available in three versions: 78 Squadron, Collishaw/Portsmouth, and Costes/Astor.

• MSRP $20 each
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Board Game Publisher: Artana
• Booth 1257

• In addition to what's shown below, at Gen Con 2016 Artana will have a prototype version of Einstein available for demo games. What's Einstein, you ask? Well, we'll both find out at Gen Con!
31. Board Game: Chronicles 1: Origins [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Players build a new version of the world in the Chronicles Series, starting with the first game: Chronicles 1: Origins. First, players take the role of leaders of a small and emerging tribe in the early Stone Age, collaborating to avoid threats, exploit opportunities, and build the tribe to a position of growth and stability. Then, once a variety of tribes have been created, players take leadership of a city-state that evolved from an original tribe and contest the region with their opponents who are the leaders of city-states of their own. Using Legacy mechanisms, the world evolves as the city-states use exploration, conquest, culture, and religion to out-compete their opponents and try to establish the most enduring enterprise. Not every tribe created in this game will survive to the next...

Each game in the Chronicles Series uses Rob Daviau's Legacy System within the game itself, but will use the new Echo System to allow the world you create in Chronicles 1: Origins to be continued in the second game of the Chronicles Series due out in 2017.

Other Information: • Available for demo at Gen Con 2016 in a prototype form.
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32. Board Game: Corrupted Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:9694]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Corrupted Kingdoms is a fun strategy and negotiation game set in a fantasy world, where you take on the role of an evil corporate monster, fighting for power over the pathetic united kingdoms and its political elite. To advance your hidden agenda, and enrich the lives of your friends and associates, you will use your horde of minions to corrupt and subvert the assembly of the realm. Use the right kinds of "persuasion", increase your own power, and push backroom deals through the assembly, all while looting the kingdom and its people of all its worth.

At the start of the game, each player will choose a fantasy corporation to play as (Dragons, Sorcerers, Giants, Witches, Vampires or Orcs), a Hidden Agenda which will guide their evil plan, and some starting minions (Zombies, Demons, Goblins, or Golems).

Over the course of the game players will influence the assembly of the realm (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes) using their minions and influence. Propose bills through lobbying efforts, buy useless and pretty luxuries, and get the politicians who represent the (ahem) "people" to push their nefarious legislation into law.

Other Information: • Debuts at Gen Con 2016; available for purchase and demo games.

• MSRP $40
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33. Board Game: Tesla vs. Edison: Powering Up! [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The Powering Up! expansion takes Tesla vs. Edison gameplay to a whole new level by infusing exciting new systems and introducing both a sixth player and a solitaire variant! Fans of the game will delight in exploring:

  • Building a headquarters. What is a good electric company without state-of-the-art facilities such as a laboratory, works, office, and studio? Each option offers different bonuses and rewards to the enterprising player!
  • Responding to historical events. Dipping into the rich treasure trove that was the 19th century War of Currents, 21 real-life events add variety and flavor to every play. Exciting opportunities to fight for! Catastrophic calamities to recover from! Woe is the unprepared electricity capitalist!
  • Empowering the women. Seven historical ladies join the gentlemen to engage in the War of Currents. Important female entrepreneurs, engineers, and artists are now available to draft for each company. Plus, one of these luminaries, trailblazing philanthropist Madam C.J. Walker, becomes the sixth player!
  • A solitaire robot challenges the solo player with dynamic play!

The enhancements offered by the Powering Up! expansion bring new layers of strategy and fun to the Tesla vs. Edison experience without significantly lengthening game time.

So get ready to power up!

Other Information:
• Debuts at Gen Con 2016; available for purchase and demo games.

• MSRP $30

• In addition to this expansion, the Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents is available for $60.

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Board Game Publisher: Asmadi Games
• Booth 449

• In addition to its booth, which is mostly for sales and the demoing of shorter games, Asmadi Games has an event space/large demo room at ICC 144, which is directly across from the expo hall. Most of the titles listed below will be available for demo in the event room, and those games and others have playtimes listed on Asmadi Games' Department of Fun! page for Gen Con 2016.

• In addition to the titles listed below, at Gen Con 2016 Asmadi Games will have the third edition of Carl Chudyk's Innovation, which debuted earlier in 2016. My fave! I should carry a copy on me at all times, but it's not really a pick-up game...
34. Board Game: 1001 Odysseys [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

1001 Odysseys is a game of fantastic space adventures. A human ship, the Odyssey, sets out to explore a new sector of the galaxy after finding an operational alien stargate. Players take on the roles of the Odyssey's bridge crew, as they find planets, meet strange new aliens, and eventually try to find the way back home!

Each time the group sits down at the table, they'll play through an Episode -- one co-operative adventure that will span several scenes with different story choices and conclusions. The game comes with over a dozen episodes, telling the story of the Odyssey's adventures. No two playthroughs of a given episode will be exactly alike, as your choices will impact the outcome of both scenes and how the episode's story turns out.

The stories and scenes are contained in two books. The Adventure Log contains a different scene on each page, and is placed on the table as the playing-area for tokens and actions to be placed. Activities within a scene will cause a paragraph to be read from the Book of Events, and these paragraphs will give additional information and inform how the scene proceeds. Crew members have an array of card based abilities that will let them collaborate and complete these activities.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 in the Asmadi event room ahead of a Kickstarter funding campaign by the end of the year.
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35. Board Game: Innovation: Artifacts of History [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Artifacts of History is the fourth expansion to Innovation. Artifacts of History features unique artifacts from the ages, such as the Declaration of Independence. These cards feature very powerful dogma effects, but are difficult to wield.

Artifacts of History is simpler than the other expansions released to date, Unlike the other expansions, there are no major new mechanics on the cards. Instead, the new artifact cards are difficult to acquire but have very powerful effects. The artifacts are especially good for players who are behind.

There are a few minor new mechanics. One is the compel effect. This effect is similar to the demand effect of the base game, except that it affects players who have more icons of a given type rather than fewer.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 in the Asmadi event room ahead of this expansion's release on its own and as part of Innovation Deluxe.
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36. Board Game: Innovation: Cities of Destiny [Average Rating:6.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.04 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

With Innovation: Cities of Destiny, the third expansion for the card game Innovation, players can now add cities to their civilization-building efforts. Unlike previous base game and expansion cards, which each featured three icons and a text ability, cards in Cities feature six icons that can provide you with extra actions, icons, and achievements.

Innovation: Cities of Destiny is played with the base game and can be combined with any or all of the previous expansions.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 in the Asmadi event room ahead of this expansion's release on its own and as part of Innovation Deluxe.
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37. Board Game: One Deck Dungeon [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:947] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

One Deck Dungeon is a card game "roguelike" — a dungeon delve that is different every time, difficult to survive, with a character you build up from scratch. The deck consists of various foes to combat and other perils from the dungeon. Each card, though, depicts both the obstacle to overcome and the potential rewards for doing so. When you defeat a card, you claim it as either experience, an item, or a skill, tucking it under the appropriate side of your character card to show its benefits.

The longer you take exploring the dungeon, the deeper you'll delve, and the difficulty will scale up quickly! If you make it far enough, you'll have to fight the dungeon boss. Survive, and you'll be a legend!

One Deck Dungeon is designed for 1-2 players. With multiple sets, you can add more players.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of the game's schedule release in September 2016. Says Asmadi's Chris Cieslik, "Demos will be run in our event room every hour on the hour, including a quick Dungeon School introduction to get people playing fast!"
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38. Board Game: The Phoenix Syndicate [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Legend tells of the daring exploits and relentless greed of The Phoenix Syndicate, which rose to power and created a galactic regime – but the old order has lost its fire and become bogged down with the affairs of the masses. It is time for a new syndicate to rise from the ashes of the old...and make a tidy profit along the way.

The Phoenix Syndicate is a game about building a network of agents on planets spread across the galaxy. Every time you play, a new galaxy is created by randomly arranging the galactic hexes. You will claim contracts over the course of play, each specifying planets you may want to bring into your network. The better you can fulfill these contracts, the more lucrative the deal is and the more credits you will gain. Connecting planets to your network will require resources, which, of course, you "acquire" from the planets where you already have agents.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 in the Asmadi event room to coincide with an ongoing Kickstarter funding campaign.
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39. Board Game: Save the Cupcake [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 5 − 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Save the Cupcake, one of you has a cupcake, while the other one desires to crush the cupcake in the most epic way possible — by rolling a ball down a hill to run it over.

The Defender of Cupcakes will hide the cupcake in one of many possible locations at the bottom of the hill. The Crusher of Cupcakes will roll four balls down the hill, through an elaborate network of fruit-themed pathways. The Defender and Crusher must cleverly use these pathways to meet their ultimate cupcake goals!

Other Information: • Price $12
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Board Game Publisher: Asmodee
• Booths 1619, 1629, 1719, 1819, and 1829

• In addition to the solitary title listed here, Asmodee will have many, many more for demo and purchase at Gen Con 2016. Those titles are listed throughout this Gen Con 2016 Preview under their respective publishers since Asmodee serves as a distributor for those companies.
40. Board Game: Spot it! Finding Dory [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:3849]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Spot it Jr.! Animals features the same game play as its parent Spot it! but in a simplified manner so that younger players can play, too. (Spot it! Numbers & Shapes and Spot it! Alphabet feature different images on their cards, but they have the same number of cards and the same gameplay.)

Each card in Spot it Jr.! Animals features six different animals, with the sizes of animals varying from one card to another. Any two cards have exactly one animal in common. To play, reveal one card, then another. Whoever spots the animal in common on both cards claims the first card, then another card is revealed for players to search, and so on.

Whoever has collected the most cards when the deck runs out wins!

Other Information: • MSRP $13
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Board Game Publisher: Baba Geek Games
• Located in the First Exposure Playtest Hall; to find demo times for Robit Riddle: Storybook Adventures, check out this list of events on the Gen Con website.
41. Board Game: Robit Riddle: Storybook Adventures [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 5 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Robit Riddle is an award-winning story telling game. As one of six unique robot characters, players set out for adventure as they hunt for their missing pets, the Robits. Along the way, they will need to make important decisions (and friends) while collaboratively creating an interesting shared story. With gameplay inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure books, and amazing art from John Ariosa of Mice and Mystics fame, Robit Riddle makes for an engaging narrative adventure game not to miss.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of a Kickstarter funding campaign later in 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: BakaFire Party
• Booth 2841, which is the location of Nippon Entertainment Content Organization (NECO), a Japanese publisher association that is exhibiting at Gen Con for the first time.

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 BakaFire Party will have its earlier release Fram R'lyeh ($12, rules in EN and JP). Here's an overview video of gameplay:

42. Board Game: Sakura Arms [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Japanese
Description:

Sakura Arms — known in Japanese as 桜降る代に決闘を — is a two-player dueling game in which players first choose two of six megamis (Japanese goddesses), each of which has a different special power. Players then see what the opponent chose before assembling a deck of ten out of 22 cards, with the players choosing cards both to take advantage of their own megami powers and to defend against the opponent's. Players then duel to see who will be victorious.

Other Information: • English paste-ups will be included with purchase of this game at Gen Con 2016.

• Price $32

The six megami cards
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Board Game Publisher: Bananagrams
• Booth 1919
43. Board Game: Bananagrams Party [Average Rating:6.94 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Bananagrams is a Scrabble-like game without the board that's much like Pick Two!, but without the letter values.

In the basic game, using a selection of 144 plastic letter tiles, each player works independently to create their own "crossword". When a player has incorporated all of their letters in their crossword, all players take a new tile from the pool. When all the tiles are gone, the first player to use up all the tiles in their hand wins.

Bananagrams Party adds fourteen "party power" tiles to the letter mix, with each of these tiles — The Re-Gifter, The Thief, Switcheroo, Pouch Head, etc. — giving its holder a unique power in the game.

Other Information: • MSRP $17
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44. Board Game: My First Bananagrams [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Bananagrams is a Scrabble-like game without the board that's much like Pick Two!, but without the letter values.

In the regular game, using a selection of 144 plastic letter tiles, each player works independently to create their own "crossword". When a player has incorporated all of their letters in their crossword, all players take a new tile from the pool. When all the tiles are gone, the first player to use up all the tiles in their hand wins.

By contrast, My First Bananagrams has 80 lower-case letters and 13 dual-letter combo tiles that players use in multiple activities and minigames.

Other Information: • MSRP $15
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Board Game Publisher: Battle Hardened Games
• See the game listing for location details.
45. Board Game: 1750: Britain vs. France [Average Rating:7.95 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Throughout the 18th century, Britain and France waged a bloody series of wars for nothing short of global domination. Massive sailing warships, armies of bayonet-wielding soldiers, and their skilled allies fought for control of North American, African, and Indian colonies. In many ways, this was the first "world war".

In 1750: Britain vs. France, you play as Britain or France, wielding your forces to decide the outcome of this struggle. During the game, you recruit generals and admirals from the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) and the War of the Austrian Succession, and send other military forces to take colonies by force, with colonies producing exports to aid your economy. Your units roll dice in combat against enemy forces, and you can modify those results by playing historic event cards to turn the tide of battle, modifying dice rolls and destroying enemy cards at critical moments. You'll also engage in political efforts to persuade other world powers to enter the conflict on your side and bring their resources to the fight.

Your final score is decided by the number of colonies you have captured, countries you have gotten to join your cause, and enemy leaders you've taken as prisoners. Will you change history, or will history repeat itself?

Other Information: • Available for demo games in scheduled events at Gen Con 2016 ahead of a Kickstarter funding campaign to be launched before the end of 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Bellwether Games
• See the item description for location details.
46. Board Game: Coldwater Crown [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:4618]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 40 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

It's a cold and misty morning on the Irish coast. The salt-water spray is stinging your eyes and you're sleep-deprived, but there is nowhere else you'd rather be. You've secured your spot as a competitor in the world-renowned Coldwater Crown fishing tournament, and you're convinced you taste victory in the salty air. You were raised on these waters. You know how and when the fish like to bite, you know which bait to use, and, most importantly, you know how to strategically balance your catch of fish to reel in the most trophies. But nothing is certain on these frigid waters. Your competitors could beat you to the best fishing spots and the fish you want could disappear just before you get there. Will you be able to bring home the Coldwater Crown or will you get left-behind in your competitors' wake?

In Coldwater Crown you'll launch a plan to catch the perfect variety of fish from the Shore, River, and Lake. To catch fish, you’ll place different types of bait in four fishing zones. Using a brilliant new worker placement mechanic that lets you take actions both when you place AND when you pick-up Angler tokens, you'll begin clearing your zones, taking care to remove only bait that will help you catch the fish you need next. Whenever you clear the last piece of bait in a zone, you catch a fish corresponding to the color of the last piece of bait you cleared. You’ll also earn synergy points by clearing unique combinations of colors to catch fish in the special Master Angler Challenge.

If you can catch the right fish at the right times, your trophy count will begin to stack-up, bringing victory within reach. Every trophy you haul-in earns you victory points, and the most climactic moment occurs at the very end when players submit fish from each species to win the Shore, River and Lake contests. The player with the most points after all the contests are decided is declared the winner of the Coldwater Crown!

For players who enjoy worker-placement games, Coldwater Crown will feel both fresh and familiar. The smooth process of placing and removing an Angler token every turn combined with the puzzle-like mechanic of setting and clearing bait from the right place at the right time is a fun and rewarding experience. Play loosely to casually explore the game, or plan your moves carefully to optimize every fish you catch and secure victory. The choice is up to you!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 events ahead of the game's anticipated release in 2017. Bellwether's Dennis Hoyle says that events will take place Thursday at 1 and 3 p.m. and on both Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. and a 1, 3, and 7 p.m. All events will be held at ICC :: Hall B : Black :: 13, except for the 10 a.m. Friday event which takes place at ICC :: Hall B : Black :: 15.
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47. Board Game: Windup War [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

When the kids are away, the toys come out to play...AND FIGHT! Welcome to Windup War! Turn the keys and spring into battle! Assemble your army of toys, then command them in combat to be the last army standing! Ready? WINDUP THE WAR!

In Windup War, you plan your army’s course of action to take down the armies surrounding you! Program your units’ actions and strategically snipe your targets! Be the last toy army standing to win!

Windup War features adorably toyetic graphics in a miniature and portable pack! Each faction is a cute size and is ready to fight wherever you go. With six different units per faction, each with unique weapons, there are dozens of configurations for your army; try different combinations to find your favorite strategy! Windup War is easy to pick up and quick to play, with a playtime of about 15-30 minutes.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 at the following locations and times, with designers Katie Khau and Jessica Chu being on hand to teach the game:

—Friday, Aug. 5: 9, 10, 11 a.m. — ICC:: Hall B: Black :: 13--14
—Saturday, Aug. 6: 1, 2 p.m. — ICC:: Hall B: Black :: 14--16
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Board Game Publisher: Bézier Games, Inc.
• Booth 2527

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 Bézier Games will have One Night Ultimate Vampire and One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Bonus Pack 2, both released in early 2016.

• On Friday at 6:00 p.m., Bézier Games will host the One Night Ultimate Werewolf World Championship. Grrr!
48. Board Game: America [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:2680]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

• In which year was Close Encounters first in theaters?
• Which state gets the most snow each year?
• How many albums has Madonna sold?

It's likely that you don't know any of these facts, but you might have a rough idea, and that's good enough because America is a party game in which being close counts. And what if you have absolutely no idea what the answer is? Take advantage of your friends who do know. And if you realize that no one (including you) seems to know what the answer is, you can bet against everyone!

In America, each player uses their knowledge of pop culture, food, products, games, sports, and United States history to score more points than their opponents. If your opponents know something that you don't, you can leverage their knowledge to your advantage, scoring more than them with clever play. The cards have full color clues to help you, as well as interesting factoids for every question in the game. With almost one thousand questions covering more than three hundred topics, America will be a favorite for family and friends for a long time!

Other Information:
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49. Board Game: Colony [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1812]
Designed by:
N2
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Colony, each player constructs and upgrades buildings, while managing resources to grow their fledgling colony. In a clever twist, dice are used as resources, with each side/number representing a different resource. Some resources are stable, allowing them to be stored between turns, while others must be used right away. Buildings provide new capabilities, such as increased production, resource manipulation, and additional victory points. Using dice-as-resources facilitates a dynamic, ever-changing resources management mini-game while players work to earn victory points by adding building to their tableau on their way to victory.

Colony includes 28 different building card types, of which only seven are used each game in addition to the fixed buildings that are used each time that you play.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of its debut at Spiel 2016 in October.

• I played the Colony prototype in Feb. 2016 at NY Toy Fair, then wrote up my impressions of the game.
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Board Game Publisher: Big Potato
• Booth 1919

• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 — which serves as this publisher's debut in North America — Big Potato will have its 2014 release Bucket of Doom ($20), a party game in which players "share their daring escape from impending doom using one of their personal object cards to escape".

• To challenge those in the U.S., Big Potato invites everyone to bring their best potato to the publisher's stand for a weigh-in on its "Potato-Rater" to see which prize you win. Notes BP's James Vaughan, "The bigger the potato, the bigger the prize. (All real potatoes go to worthy causes.)"

• Finally, Big Potato is offering a "free limited edition mini-potato plush" while supplies last with the purchase of any game. Squeeze it!

50. Board Game: Mr Lister's Quiz Shootout [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:7372]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Hey quiz slingers!

If you love ya quizzes and like yer lists, then welcome to my game - it's like an old-style Western shootout but with brains for guns.

First, someone's gonna ask y'all a question with a ton of correct answers. Find an answer and live to play another day. Get it wrong, and you're out. But find a golden answer and you're into the shootout.

Other Information: • Price $20
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