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Flash Reviews - GenCon Games 2016
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Recommend
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This is a Geeklist to track my first impressions of games Purchased/Played at or around GenCon 2016!

Reviews include
-Hype (Unknown, Hmm..., Neat, Gotta Play!)
-General feel for the game/issues with it.
-Rating Rating

Rating is a simple 0-3


0: shake Dislike shake
1: snore Meh snore
2: Good Game
3: meeple Top game meeple

The Happy Meeple meeple is the highest award any game can gain.

Hotness rating of: In the bag (Bag), On the shelf (Shelf), or Out the Door(Door),Pass
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1. Board Game: 7 Ronin [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:2197]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Hype
Played 2p

Actually Demo'd a game at GenCon taught by Roy from Epic Game Night POD Cast! Finally got a play through this past weekend. This is a solid and well balanced game for two that really feels like one player is trying to fight off the others wave of attacks. The choices are good and the player tactics are strong.


Positive:
-Good length and balance, which is hard in asymmetric game like this

Negative:
-Why are the ninja stars so small...twice the size would have been perfect.
-The player boards need the area symbols clearly on them. I get the theme of them, and that's great, but they need to be functional.

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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2. Board Game: Arcane Academy [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2133]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Hmm...

Played 2 player game

Great little action selection game with great art and interesting mechanics. The way your player board fills out and creates combo options has a great building effect as the game goes on. Overall a nice light surprise and worth getting up early for Friday morning and waiting at the door to get to!

Positive:
-Great Combo Mechanic
-Components/Art is Solid
Negative:
-Card/Tile Draw can swing a larger game if you get blocked out

Rating:
On the Shelf!
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3. Board Game: Brass Empire [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:4545]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Hmm...
Played 2 player game

Was drawn to the Art/Theme and idea of not just attacking someone but building a corporation. Game was a surprisingly solid deck builder with some nice mechanics and point system. GREAT limited use of text (No Wall of text seen on many kickstarters here!) and Flow of the game.

Positives:
-Interesting ways of gaining Brass/Points
-Great Art/Clean CardLaout except...

Negatives:
-The bottom "Brass" (points) and "Attack/Defense" Icon/numbers were oddly small at the bottom of the cards.
-Box size is odd, with great sorting but seems to be much larger then needed. (expansion proof? IDK)

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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4. Board Game: Bloodborne: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1244]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Hmm...

Played 4 and 5 player game

Had very mixed to negative reviews from CMON Expo which I only as able to watch not demo. Think the idea of a Lang and Bloodborne mix had people's heads in the wrong place because this a great push your luck game. Simply put a quicker, better (in part because its quicker) cutthroat caverns. Good price point also at $35 MSRP and Great 5p Game!

Positives:
-Prefect Game Length
-Quick Rounds/Players turns

Negatives:
-A couple very powerful cards?
-No mini's (j/k)

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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5. Board Game: Burgle Bros. [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:195]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Neat

Played with 4

Played through this gem with some friends but unfortunately it was between printing and not available on BGG. The coop is fun with programmed movement of the security guards adds a good balance of luck and planning. Love the character meeples and art style of this one.

Positive:
-An inexpensive Etsy insert is great for this game!
-Neat art and fun coop play style

Negative:
-Takes up a massive amount of space (without the tower)
-Game is very difficult but rewarding
-Players abilities usefulness seem to very wildly

Rating:
On the Shelf!
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6. Board Game: Centauri Saga [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:4669]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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7. Board Game: City of Spies: Estoril 1942 [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:1424]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Gotta Play!

Played with 3

What appeared to be a somewhat simple area control game turned out to have a lot more depth to your actions. The game almost had a programming feel and was much more about setting up/figuring out your opponents moves then your own. Rules are simple and clear enough that we were able to open them up and play a 3p game in 45 min. Lots of interesting decisions to make especially at the end game.

Positive:
-Quick smooth game play with 3p.
-Very thinky at times, though not enough to bog down the game.
-Varied Setup (6/8 locations used) and positioning randomized.

Negative:
-The game seems to come down to what 6 spies you keep in you hand for final scoring in relation to your opponents.
-Components/Art is ok,though everything is cardboard (but thick), but box is very oversize for the components inside

Rating:
On the Shelf!
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8. Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:61]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at GenCon 2016/Epic Game Night

Hype: Unknown

Played with 2 and 4 player count.

Funny Story Time: I got in early Thursday and unlike everyone else who were hyped for SeaFall, I was gunning for GaleForce9 to get the super limited Star Trek Ascendancy expansions and Fantasy Flight to get their limited Star Wars Destiny, Game of Thrones, or A.H. LCG...needless to say none of that was at GenCon so I was extremely disappointed (Really FFG didn't even show up). So I went to the Renegade booth who had two games I was excited for Lotus and Covert...I Hate purchased Clank! after the disappointing first two booths and BOY What A BUY! known 0 about the game it turned out to be my favorite of GenCon!

Review: A deck building doing something on a board, deck building game (now a thing). The cards, push your luck (Clank! and Escape) aspect all work amazingly. Double sided board and Great Cube bag both for no reason puts it way over the top!

Positive:
-Great Game flow
-2 Sided board because why not?

Negative:
-Hard to clear a bad board of cards/Stagnant cards to purchase (doesn't happen often)

Rating: meeple meeple
In the Bag!
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9. Board Game: Codenames: Pictures [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:225] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
 
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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10. Board Game: Cosmic Pioneers [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:13505]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Hmmm...

Played with 2

A late gencon pickup since the game play seemed neat and the alien meeples were nice. I finally got it to the table and it was a mixed out come. The game has a lot of variability, though in reality it's the 10-12? Scenarios that vary the game play mainly. The root of most of the scenarios is a move roll a dice, reward penalty pick up and deliver feel.

Positives:
- lots of options to change the game up...at least tweeking the plays.
- Alien Meeples are nice

Negatives:
- really most of the game comes down to twelve rolls of the dice.
- though it varies, the feel is the same game to game.

Rating: snore
For now I'm keeping it until I get a 3p/4p game in.
 
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11. Board Game: Covert [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1239]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Gotta Play!

Played with 4
One of my early gets on Thursday Morning and actually first game I purchased at GenCon (see Clank! for reason why). I enjoy many of the mechanisims in the game, Dice placement, the code breaking, movement but somehow the game came up short of the sum of its parts. I didn't feel much interaction other then placement and the game was more of a race to gather cards and complete tasks then any real spy feel.

Positives:
-Dice placement and Code Breaking are great mechanisms

Negatives:
-The game mechanics don't all fit together well or flow smoothly.
-The Agents on the board cover the cities and make viewing the locations difficult from different angles.

Rating: snore
Out the Door!
 
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12. Board Game: Crazy Karts [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:5959]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at Boardwalk Greenville, SC

Hype: Unknown

Played with 6 player/ 3 teams.

A team programing game with a neat theme/feel. The game did a qualifying run that was plenty in length for me, but also awarded a big advantage to the winner while also penalizing the 2nd and 3rd places for the actual race.

Positives:
-Speed action programming is one of my favorites (Steam Park w/out rolling)

Negative:
-Game is far to long for what it is
-Run away leader issue with the qualifying team getting a massive advantage

Rating: shake
Pass
 
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13. Board Game: Cry Havoc [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:410]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Edited 8/27
Hype: Gotta Play!

Played with 4

One of the most hyped games going into GenCon which. Early July a friend posted a list of interesting games and after looking at one picture I insta-preordered (a thing?). I love dudes on a maps games with some strong mechanics and was excited to play at GenCon and it just sorta fell flat..

Second play is badly needed but it didn't grab anyone at the table as other games have. I can see this going to any final score after another play or two but for now...

Edit 8/27: After second play through (with 3 new players) I really enjoyed this game. Having experience with the game is hard to overcome for new players though since there is very very little luck.

Positives:
-Game Looks great has solid production all around.
-Asymmetric faction abilities
-Great battle mechanic
-It feels like you jump right into the conflict, no building up or tech tree needed, but see below.

Negatives:
-Each faction plays very different and game knowledge is needed to jump in.
-Not much variability to the factions styles, you need to play it how it plays, double edge sword.

Rating: (8/27 Edit)i
On the Shelf!
 
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14. Board Game: Dead Last [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2136]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at MegaMoose Con 2016

Hype: Neat

Played with 6 and 9 player count. W/Epic Game Night Guys and then Joe Hout, designer of Dragon Draft (I think?)

Great game distilling down Cash and guns to a much quicker more social game. Box is nicely divided but over sized, needs to be moved into a deck box to allow for proper size/ to footprint ratio.

Positives:
-Simple, Quick and a great pure social game.
-Game pushes along and allows for leaders to defend themselves vs the table.

Negatives:
-If played correctly you're going to loose some friends.
-Box is over sized (though functional) for carry along to a party needs.

Rating: meeple
In the Bag! (for cons)
 
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15. Board Game: Dark Dealings [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3763]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Neat, KS

Played with 3 and 4 player count.

I Kickstarted this because I liked the Art and the price point was solid ($20). Even though I'm not drawn to the theme, the game is still an instant replacement for For Sale. The draft and buy mechanic is far more rewarding as your thinking about defeating adventures then flipping property.

Positives:
-Great filler with a small footprint.
-Quick final round pushes the games close at a great pace.
-Great Art

Negatives:
-Its a hard game to run through the first time
-Some Adventure cards seem unbalanced

Rating: meeple
On the Shelf!
 
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16. Board Game: Dojo Kun [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1969]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at CMon Expo/GenCon

Hype: Gotta Play!

Played with 2 and 4 player count.

Played at CMON Expo and was the game of the weekend for me (potion explosion was a close 2nd). GenCon Release...but....its being reworked with an arcade art work theme which I'm 50/50 on. I got a 1st edition printing I picked up at GenCon and loved it. Solid worker placement with some fun dice chucking. The solo/2p seems very repetitive so it falls just shy of a meeple but 3/4 has some great interaction.

Positives:
-Only limited number of actions per turn move the game along at a great clip.
-Dice chucking is always suspenseful as you never know who's going to roll bricks and get upset.
-Challenging Solo Game, though...

Negatives:
-Somewhat repetitive solo/2p game since action spaces are not as scarce as 3p/4p.
-Mid Game tournament can be a little bit of drag down on the games pace but easily adjusted through house rules to make only 2 rounds instead of 3.

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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17. Board Game: Fight for Olympus [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2235]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Played at GenCon

Hype: Neat

2P

There layout and gameplay have many aspects that interested me. Tug-of-war, multiple victory conditions and good interaction with limited space. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with it but after two games it fell short due to the everything was based off of draw, did I get the cards/colors I needed or not.

Positives:
-Interesting trade off choices for area's to control and card plays.
-Solid Art and simple to read cards.

Negatives:
-Too luck driven by card draw and very little way to improve your hand.
-Difficult to drive your opponent from a controlled area of the board.

Rating: shake
Out the Door!
 
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18. Board Game: Grifters [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1724] [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Neat, KS

2P

Enjoyable hand management and timing game. There's a good mix even in a 2p game of interactive choices and card collection racing. There was only a few turns where I felt like I was not making significant progress with my actions which is always a great thing! Game length was perfect for weight!

Positives:
-Interesting and unique to me 'cool down' mechanism.
-Good variety of choices especially early game.
-Varied but easy to understand cards.

Negatives:
-Theme is iffy? taking chips/cards matching symbols
-Some run away feelings if combos are successful in a 2p game.

Rating: (with a chance at a meeple after 3/4p game)
On the Shelf!
 
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19. Board Game: Grimslingers [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3325] [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Gotta Play!

Played 2P

One of my GenCon HOT games, which got even hotter if you were able to pick up the free 'duels' micro game to go with it. Funny enough, it just never made it out as I felt it would be best with 2 or ~4-5. Now that I Played it (duel's anyway) I think it lived up to my expectations. The game is simple and fun, with special spells adding to the enjoyment. The "black jack" resolution is more fun then rolling a dice so I think it all works. I'm interested in the Coop story and hope to dig into that soon.

Positives:
-Looks great, and amazing setting
-The duel is fun and quick for 2p with a good mix of strategy and luck.

Negatives:
-It can feel like its slipping way if you have a couple bad draws/turns in a duel.

Rating:
On the Shelf
 
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20. Board Game: Guilds of London [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1209]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Hype: Gotta Play!

Played 2P

To sum up the experience...'what does this cards do...what about this tile...how does this work together..' That was every round including the last one of 16, we spent more time looking up cards/tiles then playing the game. That said I feel like if you can learn them without the constant look up it will be great! 2p felt good with a close game, interested in more players but can see if inexperienced people are playing they slow the table down.

Positives:
-Two player game felt solid and functional.
-Interesting combo's were available through mixing of cards and hex actions.

Negatives:
-Far too many icons to digest in one or two games.
-Combo's and turn thoughts could really drag turns out which made for very uneven play.

Rating: snore
On the Shelf...for now...
 
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21. Board Game: Inis [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:108]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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Updated 8/29

Hype: Unknown > Gotta Play!

Played 4p

Didn't even have this on my Radar but was able to snag a copy after GenCon. I like Kemet and Cyclades so I had high hopes for this one. The positives are the game looks fantastic. The board, art, oversized cards and minis are amazing. The rules are simple and rule book easy to digest. The challenge comes with the cards and understanding how they interact. The reverse draft is a great twist and leads to interesting choices but overall the game just didn't stick. The game plays quick and looks to reward multiple plays and card understanding.

Positives:
-The art/board is fantastic
-The card play can make for very interesting decision making

Negatives:
-You can be functionally eliminated from the game through bad drafts or bad luck
-Play was almost oversimplified making me want a little more depth.

Update: played back to back games with 3p and it was a much more enjoyable and balanced experience. Everything seems to move and ballance better at 3p.

Rating:
On the Shelf for 3p
 
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22. Board Game: Kenjin [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:4542]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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mb
Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Unknown

Played 3 player game

Walk through GenCon Demo and Buy at the booth. Quick 2-4 player area control game with some interesting choices. The art is catchy and the game plays quickly, not that different to a short version of Blood bowl team manager (one of my all time favorite 3p game.

Positive:
-Bright Colorful Art
-Quick an easy to get into and understand

Negative:
-You do not have the option of interacting with everyone (just the area's adjacent to you).
-Art while great, is the same for all players with only 1 card varied. I would have loved very different looks per player.

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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23. Board Game: Last Friday [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2846]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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mb
Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Neat

Played 6 player game

This theme had several of my play group excited however it just couldn't sustain the enjoyment of the start of the game. The special actions and tokens didn't add enough variety or depth to the game. Overall a great theme that still is looking to be done with really strong results.

Positive:
-Great board "cabin" function/look
-The first act was a blast to play through..unfortunately....

Negative:
-Game's best part was the First Act, after that it slipped away into uninteresting hidden movement.

Rating: shake
Pass
 
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24. Board Game: Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1066] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
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mb
Played at Meetup/GenCon 2016

Hype: Gotta Play!

Played solo, 2p

Love Firefly. Firefly the board game is what actually brought me into hobby gaming. Legendary on the other hand I've always been middle of the road with. I think Firefly finally hit it out of the park for the encounters experience. The addition of Flaw/Trait and Cooperation cards really keeps this engaging through all players turns. The stories are challenging but thematic and feel like playing through the episodes.

Positive:
-Firefly show in a box
-Great changes to the encounter system to feel like your all working together to get through the challenges/goals.

Negative:
-Some missions have very repetitive cards with the same art.
-That art though...seems like its a miss, so much so I acutally just tune it out and don't even engage it on the cards

Rating:
On the Shelf!
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25. Board Game: London Dread [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:2081]
Trevor Roberts
United States
Greenville
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mb
Hype: Gotta Play
Played 4P

I love preorder for gencon pickup, it just takes one more 'Hot Game' off my list of rushing and allows me to enjoy picking it up and checking out their other games. London Dread was super high on my list from the mix of real time and programming movement. The App integration is great at setting the mood I just wish there was a little more done with it after playing Mansions of Madness 2e. Overall the experience in even the first mission is intense and challenging as we failed to complete it in our first attempt. Though it had more mechanics then Time Stories the App helped give the same feeling as you move through the story.

Positive:
-Fantastic look and plays quickly (after the first play)
-Love smart use of real time and programming actions

Negative:
- The app needs to be expanded to the Plot Cards (at least for the normal, pre-constructed setup). The voice acting and sound are amazing in the sections that are done.
-This can get a little alpha as all the information is on the table.
-Not sure how well this plays with 2/3 player...but Great with 4

Rating:
On the Shelf!
 
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