Hello and good morning! Alright, so yesterday was the first day of the annual Gen Con “The best 4 days in gaming” event. This year was both my first time attending the con, and my first use of a press badge—and I was even able to snag an early entrance pass to get in an hour early. All in all, a great day. If you’ve been following along on Twitter, then you’ve been able to see many of the big moments yesterday. Here’s the rundown…
After picking up my badge, I started to look through the Coupon Book included with admission. There are some really great coupons in here, even one to redeem at the Greenbrier Games Booth for a free copy (while supplies last) of “Grimslingers: Duels”, a 2-player face-off variant of the “Grimslingers game also available at the con.
The other big game I needed to see was Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle. I raced over and got in line, however, I was still too far back to secure a copy or two. In this game, you and your friends take the roles of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione along with their starting spells and a supporting cast of allies and miscreants, recreate the beloved Harry Potter stories through a Cooperative Deckbuilding experience. The game looks great, but I’ll have more to say on it after a demo tomorrow morning. Until then, here’s the box.
After visiting a few of the other booths on my list, it was time to open the gates to the general public. I happened to be near the front at the Iello booth (where I snagged “the Phantom Society” for $10 along with promos another popular title of theirs..) when it happened… People began pouring in from all open doors. It was quite a sight to behold.
Among the throng of people, I managed to get some more shopping done and see a few demos, including a brief conversation with the Eternal Relic Games crew about their CCG, “Defenders of Lornia”. As I understand, there are 2 core starting decks and a box of booster packs for the game, each of the 3 products having different themes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sit down and check it out in more detail over the next few days.
One title that I seemed to see everywhere I looked (aside from “Scythe”… which was in nearly every bag that walked past me) was Star Trek Ascendancy. Being a fan of nearly all Star Trek series, it definitely had my interest. Not to mention, here is another example of a licensed game which was thoughtfully and lovingly crafted by the designer, in this case, the guys that brought us the “Firefly” board game, Gale Force 9. This was one of those games that, after seeing it in action, I knew I needed to add it to my collection. Not to mention, it was flying off of shelves about as quickly as they could restock them. Each copy at the con includes a pack of promo cards inside which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek Series and brings more events and tribbles and such into the game. (Unboxing to follow over the next few days.)
Over the last few years, we’ve heard more and more about Legacy games, in which permanent changes to cards or components are an expected occurrence. Once you play through the game, there is no real way to start over, since you know the path the game might take and even the rulebook has been permanently changed.
Escape Room: the Game is an example of this format going even further. There are 4 parts, each lasting about 45-60 minutes with more expansions planned in the future. As you might expect, this title attempts to pack all the problem-solving” and tension of a panic or escape room onto your table.
The Greater Than Games Crew had a whole room full of games to demo, including a new joint venture with the notable game designer, Richard Launius, Fate of the Elder Gods. I had the pleasure of playing this game and, I have to say, it is definitely one I will be backing on Kickstarter. This is a competitive Lovecraftian resource management game where you play as the cultists and try to summon your particular Elder God while readying and casting spells. Afterward, it was so amazing just to sit with Richard and hear his thoughts on games and even his favorite house rules for his own games. Definitely one of my favorite moments from the day.
Toward the end of the day, I found Green Couch Games who demoed Wok on Fire, their new dexterity game for kids and families which, honestly, looked like it would be great to play with a 6-8+ year-old. Flipping cards and doing basic math to score, isn’t it great when you can incorporate fun games along with a lesson?
There’s so much more to show, but it will have to wait for the post show wrap. For now, I know these aren’t gaming-related, however, these goods by Abbots Hollow Studios (also on Etsy) are just so amazing that I can’t not share them.