Gen Con Gen Con Gen Con. Gen Con Gen Con Gen Con. As any fool knows, Gencon is the world famous game convention thing, with the Con in Gen Con standing for “Convention” and the Gen in Gen Con standing for I don’t know what. Today I want to tell you the stuff from Gen Con that IN MY OPINION is of interest to board game fans.
X-COM: THE BOARD GAME
There’s a couple of guys out there who are REALLY jonesin’ bad for my update to my XCOM review. You’ll remember that I recommended it as a solo game, and thought it was a very clever and fascinating wee game with a lot of challenge to it.
Well, I promised that I would let you know how it plays with more players. Sadly, I haven’t played it with the full 4 yet, but I have played it with 2 (two) and 3 (three) and it remains a clever and fascinating wee game, with a lot of challenge to it. Additional players means that you have an extra communication dynamic at the table, which is nice, and sometimes annoying in a good way. Look, it’s good. Just fucking shut up and buy it. It’s only about 30 quid. Jesus.
Okay, I’m going to do this in bullet points, because there’s a lot of stuff to get through.
- Fantasy Flight is bringing back RUNEBOUND, which is their take on the fantasy adventure board game thing. You take a character, travel around a fantasy world, fight baddies and get stronger. I played the earlier edition of the game, and it was very long. This new edition looks to be a streamlined thing with a really interesting mechanic that has you shaking up and casting little cardboard discs that have symbols on them. Look, when it comes to fantasy adventuring, I’m a guy of extremes. At one end, I adore Talisman, with all its lightness and chaos and variety. At the other end, I adore Mage Knight, with its rules upon rules and super-long play time. There’s definitely a gap in the market for some medium weight adventuring, so hopefully the new Runebound fills that space nicely. It’s out this year.
- STAR TREK games are on the way from Gale Force 9 – the folks who gave us the masterpiece SPARTACUS and the cool SONS OF ANARCHY and more. Now, there aren’t a great deal of great Star Trek games out there, so the news that GF9 are working on something is great because they seem to be a company that can really nail the tone and feel of an IP. I really hope they do something with a real retro feel, set in the world of the original series. A nice co-op game or something. Or even some kind of space exploration game, where players take control of their own Federation ship. OOH IT WOULD BE NICE.
- Upper Deck, who gave us Legendary Encounters: Alien and are about to release Predator, announced that they’d be doing a BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA game too. This basically makes them the company of our geek dreams, right? Let’s hope they stay on track with this stuff, giving us a They Live game or something, and don’t start scraping the barrel with games based on films from the 80s that are actually pretty bad, like The Goonies. Yeah, I said it. NOBODY EVER LIKED THE GOONIES.
- Okay, Fantasy Flight again – and they announced WARHAMMER QUEST. Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the best news ev- Oh, hang on. It’s actually called WARHAMMER QUEST: THE ADVENTURE CARD GAME. Oh got dammit. I own and love Warhammer Quest, which was a big Games Workshop game that actually functions like a dungeon crawl sandbox. You can solo it, or you can GM it, and there are rules for roleplaying your time in towns and countryside between adventures. It’s crazy good. To see it transformed into a small-footprint card game? Hm. Huh. Hm. It’s definitely a great setting, but I can’t help feeling a little bit disappointed that it’s a small box of cardboard instead of a giant box full of thick books and plastic miniatures. Word from Gencon is good, though, so we’ll see how this co-operative card game turns out later this year.
- Perhaps the BEST news from Gencon, for you guys anyway, is that COLOSSEUM (one of my favourite board games of all living times in this universe) is being reprinted. It’s been picked up by Tasty Minstrel, and they’re doing something called an Emperor’s Edition – a big deluxe edition. More deluxe than the original release? I mean, the original edition from Days of Wonder is GORGEOUS. So I’m interested to see what they do here with this wonderful game. It deserves the very best treatment, seriously. I’m just glad that those of you who missed out on Colosseum first time round will be able to feel the thrill of staging some kickass entertainment extravaganzas in Ancient Rome.
- Seriously, though. Colosseum. How lucky are you?
- It’s more hope than expectation when it comes to DRAGON TIDES. It’s a martial arts miniatures game, featuring Bruce and Brandon Lee. 1-5 players take control of martial arts stars and battle through various scenarios, beating up bad guys and having one-on-one showdowns with big bosses. This was a Kickstarter last year, but it was being demoed at Gen Con and I think it’s reasonable to think it might land a wider retail release. If you’re scared that it might not (and I’m a little bit scared) you can still get in on the action straight from the publisher’s website. Go take a look. I think it looks lovely and there’s a real need for a game that tries to give you that martial arts action movie experience.
- There were loads of expansions announced. A new Egypt-set side-board expansion for Eldritch Horror. More stuff for Descent. An expansion for the excellent KEMET. Oh, and-
- I love IMPERIAL ASSAULT. And now there’s a RETURN TO HOTH expansion coming. And we all know that the Hoth stuff is the BEST stuff in Star Wars. It comes with new missions, snowtroopers, two wampas, and even HK assassin droids. YES, PC GAMERS. It comes with four HK-47 style droids. And as part of that release cycle, the Hoth suit Princess Leia is coming too. This game is just superb, both as a campaign and in its under-rated skirmish mode. And it just keeps getting better. I think, by the end of the road, it’s going to be like a mini Star Wars figure collection with battle rules. That’s dream-come-true stuff for a boy like myself. Oh my gosh – LOOK.
And that just scrapes the surface of the Gen Con news. Lots of exciting stuff coming, huh? Did you see anything that tickles your fancy? Anything you think I’ve missed? Are you running out of money yet? I’m broke.
Next time – I can go indie or go mainstream. What do you fancy?