GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,220 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
20 Days Left

Support:

Gen Con First Timer 2016 - what I played, what I learned
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
I went to Gen Con for the first time this year, along with some college friends. We don't get to hang out nearly as much as we did 20 years ago but this was a great opportunity for us to hang out like old times and just play as many games as we could get our hands on.

As many predicted the streets were filled with Pokemon Go players. Pulling up the map on that Wednesday night there were pokestops with lures covering the entire downtown area? How do I know? Well, maybe I told my son I would play for him and catch some Indy pokemon that we don't see back home. For him, yeah that's the ticket...

But enough about that -- let's all chant "DO NOT RUN!" and get ready to walk briskly and with great purpose into the hall on Day 1.

My first destination: Portal Games!
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Cry Havoc [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:409]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
This was my first stop of Thursday. I got a really good demo from the designer Grant. He was super psyched as I imagine anyone would be showing off something they have worked on for 4 years at the 'big show'. I was hoping to play a full game of it at the show but I never got a chance -- all the games in the open areas in Hall D were always full when I wandered through, and it was constantly checked out in the BGG hot games room whenever I went.

This was one of the three hottest games of the show (along with Scythe and SeaFall) and I'm sure enough that it's right up my alley that I'll just go on and buy it anyway. Also got to shake hands with Ignacy and talk a bit. Great way to kick things off!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Inis [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:108]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
This had been announced only the day before but to be honest the reason I got sucked in to wait for a demo of Inis was the amazing Celtic art and the great production of the little sanctuaries and citadel pieces. The two rounds of the demo were a little rough; since it was so new not all the demo folks fully knew all the rules. Someone better acquainted with the rules took over for the second round and everything made a lot more sense then. It was area majority plus card play; nothing super groundbreaking. The highlights for me were the multiple paths to victory and the wonderful art and structure figures.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:312]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
There were lots of tables running for this in the exhibit hall. I played with a team of 4 and it seemed to keep very closely to the original Pandemic. There were a couple of new wrinkles that I liked -- the Shoggoths spawning and then moving to the closest gate was good. While simple, the sanity mechanism did add a little bit of extra interest.

Overall though, given the theme I was surprised how much like original Pandemic it felt. I don't think this is going to change anyone's mind about Pandemic. If you love the original and aren't sick of Cthulhu then you'll like this too. I'm not a huge fan and while I would rather play this than the original I still don't think I would seek it out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:240]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
My friends and I had tickets for a full game of Tyrants in the play area so we headed there next. None of us had ever played before but I had heard good things so they joined up with me. It turned out that we all loved it.

Since it came out at Origins the game mechanism isn't new information, but we really enjoyed the deck-building combined with area-control board play. I didn't like the combo of deckbuilding and board in Trains but I think it works much much better here.

There are lots of ways to score which I also like, so if you aren't getting the assassinate or supplant cards you could focus on spying for point denial and promoting cards out of your own deck.

The friend that was the least interested in it ended up buying it before the end of the show and we played it 2-3 more times before the last day. It also worked just as well as a 2 player game; maybe even better. This one is going on my next order along with Cry Havoc for sure.

I thought I would be put off by the tiny shields and all the purple everywhere in the game but it turned out to not be that bad. The only real complaint is the back of the minion cards - I mean, a plain purple back with just the word 'Minion' on it? Come on GF9...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: New Angeles [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:879]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Next we drifted over to the FFG area to try out one of the games announced in the lead-up to the show. We got into a demo of New Angeles with 5 players and went over the basics of how to play and how the rounds of voting for different proposals works. It wasn't particularly engaging and that part of it, going around and around (will you counter offer? will you counter-counter offer? Ok, do you support any of the proposals or pass?) got tiresome.

This is aimed squarely at being a new Battlestar Galactica. It is a semi co-op with hidden agendas; the difference here is that there are no teams. Everyone is in it for themselves but they have to co-operate at least somewhat or the city will riot or be destroyed in a variety of ways and everyone will lose.

The components were all nice except weirdly for many of the tokens used for tracking levels of various things (player influence, the tracks for what the city demands and for what we collectively provided to them). Those were surprisingly small, thin and fiddly. I asked whether they were final components and was told yes; I guess we'll see in Q4.

It's a semi co-op, negotation style game mixed with almost a euro resource-management element; neither of which are my favorite elements. The only thing I really liked were the different end-game hidden agendas (which dozens of games do) and the nice miniatures.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:827]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
The last game of the night was in the BGG hot games room. It was nice to see the familiar faces of the BGG crew and the room was well run and organized. One tip for attendees next year is to reserve your slot with event tickets if you know you want to play something in the evening. As the 'con went on it got harder (and eventually impossible) to get in with generic tickets.

Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails was, for my group of 5, a complete disaster. We are all fairly experienced gamers and are well acquainted with TTR, but this was completely awful (for us - YMMV). I'm not sure what contributed to the problem but the combination of very long sail routes and a comparatively small deck of 'sails' cards meant lots of boring turns just drawing over and over looking for that last thing you need.

Building harbors is a nice idea but the requirements of having two train and two ship cards all of the same color but only certain ones with an anchor symbol on it leads to, again, a lot of drawing and drawing and hoping to find that one final card you need.

Even the process of drawing cards takes twice as long as TTR because you can fill in from either the train deck or ship deck. You need to decide with each card you pick up which deck to fill in from, so unless people just don't care (which by the end we definitely did not) they will stop to think for a few seconds all of which just adds extra tedium.

The game seemed to drag on forever; at the end I just threw out there 'anyone just want to bag it?' and immediately there was a chorus of 'yes'es. We didn't even score it; just packed it up as quickly as possible and hightailed it out of there. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy regular TtR. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear 'oh yeah we played that too and found there was a missing rule sheet' because it seemed that 'off'.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:515]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Next day on the show floor two of us went to try out 13 Days at the Ultra Pro booth. This ended being a really nice surprise for me. I hadn't heard anything about it beforehand but it turned out to be a very nice 'bite-sized Twilight Struggle' (playable in about 30 minutes). There was great tension -- use your influence to control areas to support your agenda and deny your opponent while at the same time being careful to manage your Defcon level in the three arenas, military, political and media.

I imagine that once both players have a good idea what all the cards can do this would become a really nice tug of war experience. It was so good that I would have picked it up if I thought I would have enough opponents to play this kind of deeper 1v1 game with. Alas that's not my regular crew so I ended up passing but I was on the fence through the rest of the show (and if we're really being honest here, I will probably get it at some point down the line)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Mansions of Madness: Second Edition [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:25] [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
There was always a big crowd around this one but we finally managed to get a couple of seats at a game. They were letting people drop in for a round or two then cycle out but unfortunately in our game they were virtually at the end. After about 15 minutes of game explanation two of the players took their turns and then we investigators won. We could have stayed to start a whole new one but we had already waited so long didn't want to sit through the demo person resetting the whole table so we moved on. I didn't really learn anything about the game other than it is another typical FFG game with tons of tokens, cards and minis.

The app is neat; I really like how it works in Descent Road to Legend so I'm sure it is just as good with Mansions of Madness. One note is that for some puzzles you need to pass the app to the active player for them to actually solve some kind of puzzle where they slide blocks around on the screen. I'm not sure if I like that or not. In any case I feel like I already have Road to Legend in this game's slot so I think it's a pass for me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Grimslingers [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3319] [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I was excited about trying out Grimslingers and got into a slot to demo the full co-op portion of the game (it also has a pvp fighting game included). The art was what initially pulled me in and I can confirm it looks just as good throughout all the cards. Apparently it was completely designed, written and illustrated by one person -- very impressive.

We went through the first chapter in the story which I will not spoil here. But I will say that it is well-written with some nice funny and cool moments. Moving around the map is kind of choose-your-adventure style (ie: move here, turn to page 29 and choose as a group which of two or more options you will perform). And if you move to a 'fight' space you randomly spawn an enemy and a modifier then use your spells and other items in rounds of combat.

The problem I had with it is that the art and the story are the best part. My worry was that, after you had completed each of the 4 story missions what was there left to do? Go back and see if you can win again drawing different random events and monsters? I don't think the combat system was interesting enough to sustain lots of fights.

I also didn't like the system for resolving random events - sometimes you draw from a deck of cards numbered 1-5, sometimes you roll a die. But I never felt as though I had any control over what happened; just roll a die or look at the card number you drew then read the entry that corresponds to that. Shouldn't the android cat be better at crossing a rickety bridge than a giant mech? In this game it just comes down to drawing a 5 from a deck instead of a 1.

So ultimately I decided against picking it up. While the art was terrific and the various story elements (event cards, locations, story progress) were engaging, I didn't think the fundamental 'game' part of it lived up to the excellence of those other parts.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Catacombs (third edition) [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:672] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
A couple of us had wanted to try Catacombs so when we found it available in the indie game library section we jumped on it. Sorting out and figuring out what all the disks were for and learning all the rules took awhile but once we got over that hurdle the game just clicked along easily.

It was super fun! There were lots of laughs and cheers at terrible or amazing shots. There was even a sprinkling of strategy; using the chickens flurry of feathers ability to knock all the ghosts off the board or the overlord trying to protect his skeletons so he could keep using the action-denying stun arrows.

It's not deep at all though; just one of those genuinely fun experiences. In that huge hall it was drawing a crowd of passersby and it was easy to have people jump in and out whenever they liked. Several lessons were learned, like don't try to shoot rats with an arrow, or if you don't hit anything with your once-per-game 'huge fireball' disk you will get laughed it.

I don't know that I would want to play a full game over 7-8 maps since it took us an hour and a half to get through 3. But it was still so much fun that someone in our group picked up. I'll have to keep my eyes open for new printings in future kickstarters.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:365]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Finally got to play this SdJ nominee and it was pretty much what I expected: a throwback to ye olden days of euro games with simple rules, gameplay with lots of choices, and simple elegant components. Not a 'grain track' or 'starvation level' in sight!

I really enjoyed Imhotep. Given a choice in euro-style games I would pick this instead of the cube, track and card-laden kinds we see more of these days. Plus the chunky wood building blocks are just satisfying to play with. This is another game to try to pick up when it's time to place another order.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Star Wars: Destiny [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:307] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
On Saturday morning we finally got a chance to try out Star Wars Destiny. This was a tough demo to get into throughout the show; most times you would have to wait through the current game and the next demo before you could get your turn and I was always antsy to keep moving.

We only got to play two rounds so we really only started building up our tableaus with dice and cards. There is a push and pull where you need dice to give you resources to spend on cards which you then use to manipulate dice. When you take an action you can use all dice that have that 'face' (ie: resources, melee strike, ranged attack) and you basically go back and forth trying to whittle down your opponents starting characters. There are other dice representing support characters (like BB-8) and equipment like lightsabers.

The dice themselves are really nice looking. I believe the hype about the process FFG described to imprint the face onto the die (instead of just being a sticker). They are chunky and have a nice weight to them.

The game seemed just kind of basic though. You roll dice to try to get attack faces and play cards to give yourself advantages or mess with your opponent. Sometimes you might roll the special face for your character which lets your character take their special action on their card.

I know FFG couldn't really get in depth with it since they had to cycle lots of people through the demo stations, but after our two rounds of play I was not very interested in seeing how our game would have played out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:7]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
One of us threw elbows (not literally) to snag one of the first copies of Scythe on Saturday. Scythe was one of the other "Big 3" of the show (along with Cry Havoc and SeaFall). Four of us crowded around to dive into it and we constantly had people dropping by to check it out and ask about it in the Hall A-E play area where we were set up.

Initially there is a ton to do; sort out all the cards, punch everything, put various cubes and tokens in their various bags. And it really looked as though the learning curve was steep as well. But really once we got the first couple of rounds going the game just hummed along brilliantly.

All the players commented how great all the game systems seemed. The interplay of upgrading your tech tree which gave you extra abilities with the top action while making bottom actions cheaper was just awesome. All that combined with gathering resources and trying to get your stars through whatever means possible was just really fun.

We really appreciated how well tested the game seemed, especially after some of the games and demos we had checked out (way more than those just listed here). I know that is something the designer stressed in the kickstarter campaign and it really shines through. The gameplay cycle hums along like a well oiled machine and there is virtually no downtime since there is generally one thing to do on your turn (and if you are doing the 'bottom' action you are only doing something like enlisting from on your board or building a building or mech that can be done as the next player is going).

It is hard to say enough good things about this game. It is a mid-weight euro game with the components and chrome of a heavy one but the rules-complexity of a light one. I am not a big euro-gamer at all but I can see myself picking this up somewhere down the line. Wow!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy's Mask – Base Set [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:2079]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
The game my son and I have played together more than any other has been Pathfinder ACG Skull and Shackles. So I had to check out the demo of this fourth set coming out in October.

Skull and Shackles is the second set and this is the fourth so I could tell there were lots of changes and refinements made in the intervening time. Cards could generally be used in multiple ways and it seemed as though each player had more options to help other players 'out of turn'. I also liked the new Egypt/desert type of flavor but that might just be because we have been sailing around the Shackles so much now that we would like to see anything but another pirate ship, parrot, or shark-eating-crab.

PACG players are all too familiar with the five-scenarios-for-$20 add-on packs so you need to know that going in. For my son and I it might be worth checking out once we finish up our business on the high seas. We might also be all pathfinder'ed out though
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Hero Realms [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:170]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I got to play a full game of Hero Realms with another player. I had skipped this kickstarter since I didn't really like their last game Epic. I've played a ton of Star Realms though so I wanted to give WWG another chance.

Some of the big distinctions with this new game are the hero classes and boss fights but they weren't ready to show any of that at Gen Con. So what they did have was the basic game which amounted to Star Realms with different card names.

Anyone familiar with Star Realms could instantly play the Hero Realms basic game after being told that champions are like bases that stay in play and usually have a 'tap' ability that you can use each turn.

The one thing I really didn't like was that Hero Realms has basically removed the 'build-up' part of the game. Players start already in second gear and can leap to fourth or fifth after just a few rounds of buying. I'm sure there are some players that like the the no-ramp-up style of game (Epic is like that too) but I like Star Realms (comparatively) slower build a lot more.

Long story short; not for me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Tides of Madness [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:985]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I preordered Tides of Madness from Portal and got to play it a bit on Saturday. Both of us really enjoyed the game and the extra wrinkle of having to keep an eye on your madness level. The drafting (which I believe is the same as Tides of Time) builds in a neat way from round to round as players get to re-play a card or two but also remove a couple of cards from circulation. My opponent also ended up buying this before the end of the show. This is a real winner in the 15-minute-1v1-game category.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Zombicide: Black Plague [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Sunday started at the CMoN booth. I wanted to try Xenoshyft but it was already full so we opted for Black Plague instead. It turned out to be a whole lot of fun! I was in the KS campaign at one time but ended up dropping it. Kiiiiind of wish I hadn't now.

I appreciated how well the CMoN folks set up the demo for this. It was a custom scenario that was designed to give players a full experience while still only taking 20-30 minutes or so (especially after hearing tales of how poorly the Harry Potter game demo was set up to be brutally unfair to players). It sounds like a no-brainer but after a whole show mostly filled with demos where I only got to play one turn of a game it was a breath of fresh air.

The game itself was great! I didn't care for the original z-cide but Black Plague was really fun. When/if there is a 'season 2' for it I will probably get sucked in.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: XenoShyft: Dreadmire [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:1587] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Next up was the next table over, Xenoshyft Dreadmire. We played the three rounds of Wave 1. I liked this one a lot too and am proud to report that the only damage our base took was from a rogue boss card that was shuffled into wave 1 by accident

I really liked the way players can freely use cards and abilities on each others turn to help them out. You also have to make tactical decisions as each lanes battle unwinds about what abilities might need to be held back; like if you see Player 3 might be weak in their lane this round you might have to skip using the ability of a unit or your division on Player 2 (sacrificing one or more of their units) in order to have them free to bolster Player 3 whose lane is weaker this round.

The co-op in this game feels more tactical and responsive. Sometimes co-op games can feel like everyone discussing how to solve a puzzle and then each player successively just doing their piece of the puzzle on their turn.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: DOOM: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:1170]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Our next stop was another of the week-before-Gen-Con announcements from FFG; the new edition of the DOOM board game. The game components will contain no surprises for players of other FFG games -- great miniatures, tons of room tiles and irritating tiny cards and a small handful of dice that they will probably sell add-on packs of.

Gameplay itself seems to smush together some elements from Gears of War with lots of elements of Imperial Assault. In the mission we played the Overlord player had to get kills of 6 players to win (players respawn at any active portal the next time their turn comes up after they have been killed). The good guys had to collect 4 mystical doo-dads (that might not be what they were actually called) and take them to active portals to win.

We started off spreading out to try to activate portals deeper into the map and get some less-well-guarded doo-dads but that allowed the Overlord player the chance to spawn a ton of enemies very close to two of the heroes and smush them. Some of these monsters do a ton of damage and are quite hardy. We should probably have stuck together more and tried to focus down some of the nastier monsters at the beginning.

Even as a die-hard 'FFG guy' I did have a few complaints. The hero characters were generic visor dudes named alpha, bravo, charlie and delta. I know once people paint them with different armor colors it will be ok, but still... Also, even for an FFG game this seems to have a loooot of cards and tokens to keep track of. Maybe it was just our demo station but it seemed like a lot of "ok take one of the portal tokens off from here, then when I attack with this guy I can take this token off of him to use this ability".

Finally, a limit of 3 cards in hand for special actions seemed pretty limiting, especially since you often have to discard one of those three in order to first sprint 6 squares before playing one of your remaining 2 action cards to attack. And I didn't care for the 'turn over the top card of your deck to see how many shields you defend with' mechanism. I don't like any time games do that for some reason, probably because each time you're attacked even if you take no damage your deck (which in this case you rely on for your attack abilities) is degraded.

Don't get me wrong I'm an FFG guy so I'm used to this map tile, token and card overload but I feel like Descent and Imperial Assault have maxed out in that area. This (and also maybe Mansions of Madness 2e) felt almost like all of that turned up to 11. Or maybe I was just jaded and tired of it all after 4 days of the show
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Order of the Gilded Compass [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:2421]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Order of the Gilded Compass is a reworking of Alea Iacta Est, a dice placement game. It was fun enough, although often both the players and the demo person were forgetting the rules about placing dice in certain areas. For instance to add dice to one board you can put one die or any two dice that add up to 5, while on another board you can place one or any two that add up to 7.

It was alright for a light quick game, but the game just kept going longer than I would like. An earlier-listed placement game,Imhotep was at the same time less complicated and more interesting. I think it was because the cubes in Imhotep are just cubes, not cubes of different values (dice) and that the placement is directly used for points instead of indirectly for points via collection of various tiles. Of the two I'd definitely prefer Imhotep.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:31]
John E
United States
Cary
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
And finally, Imperial Assault!

By Sunday evening the rest of my crew had departed to go be with their families and rejoin their mundane, not-filled-with-guys-dressed-as-Harley-Quinn-btw-dude-you-were-awesome lives.

I found a table where some folks were setting up to play Imperial Assault so I asked if I could join in. I wasn't surprised that they welcomed me to the game because everyone I met at Gen Con was friendly and welcoming.

There is something about being in an environment where it seems as though everyone in 6 square city blocks loves the same games, shows, books and movies you love just brings out the best in people. Now I'm sure it wasn't all peace, love and sunshine everywhere but the vibe I got the whole time was just fun, accepting, and welcoming to all.

So that's how it ended for me; enjoying a game together with strangers in a city where I didn't know anyone but at the same time seemed like I knew everyone.

Thanks for the greatest 4 days in gaming and see you all next year!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.