Gen Con: Day 2 Recap

Two days of GenCon are in the books.
Wes and I continued our descent into the dealer’s hall, playing demo after demo, and meeting plenty of wonderful people in the industry, as well as reuniting with an old friend from high school.

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Get ready for bottle caps, blood vials, and blazing hot new announcements… Well, the alliteration was worth a go. Here is our recap for day two.

Demos, Demos, Demos

Unless you are incredibly efficient with your time, or can clone yourself, there will always be more demos than you can play at Gen Con.
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I have a lot of trophies and blood. Wooooo.

If you love the SoulsBorne series, get stoked about Bloodborne: The Card Game. Designed by the hard-working Eric Lang (Blood Rage, XCOM: The Board Game, Arcadia Quest), Bloodborne puts you in control of one of five hunters, questing together to destroy monsters and bosses, all the while collecting trophies and blood from your foes. It’s only sort of a cooperative game, because you really just need the other players’ help to whittle down monsters before they overwhelm you.
As I said yesterday, I love Dark Souls, but I have little familiarity with Bloodborne. Despite that, I really enjoyed this game. It plays like Cutthroat Caverns, but better. In fact, I’m not sure you should keep the latter with this game out. If you enjoy messing over your friends, and sneaking in to deliver the final hit with a rifle, this is a great game for you. The battle is all done through card play, and you can retreat to the hunter’s dream to regain health and collect items for your hand. This game is very cool, and if you aren’t a big board gamer, but love the video game, I highly recommend this one. Look for a release in October.
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This game is on point!

Today, I got to briefly meet Ted Alspach (One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Suburbia) and play his new game, Colony. In case you are wondering, he is tall. He can almost touch the top of the convention center. Anyway.
This one plays quite a bit different from Castles and Suburbia. Where those are building up a tableau and engine-building, this harkens to Dominion, but channels a lot of dice rolling and set collection. Players roll dice to construct new buildings, most of which add additional dice to your collection, as well as giving you victory points. In addition, each card has an upgradeable back side, with a slightly enhanced version of the card.
I really liked this one, and I especially like the other games in the series. Colony is quite the detour from the tile-laying of Suburbia, or the precious allocation of space and money in Castles. That said, I don’t think this is to its detriment. I’m very interested in playing again.
I am a big craft beer lover, and I finally got to play Brewin’ USA.
These components are awesome!

These components are awesome!

This game puts players in control of their own start-up microbrewery. From here, you bid on ingredients (hops, yeast, water, grain, specials) to complete various recipes. Then, players choose various cities in the country to debut their micro-brews, sometimes competing for locations.
Players must choose whether to take money, or invest into their various chosen cities throughout the game. This balance will determine victory points at game end, and your income as you play. It is a delicate tightrope to walk, and you don’t have much time, as once someone has launched three beers, the game will come to a close.
This game rocks, and talking with designer Adam Rehberg was very refreshing. Like Mike Gnade (Brass Empire) from yesterday, getting more insight into the industry and running a first-time Kickstarter is really cool. Adam’s father was demo-ing the game, and I love seeing families come together to support each other. I’m looking to review this in the future because I think it hits the perfect spot for my game groups, as well as gaming with my wife.
Oh, and currency is in the form of various colors of bottle caps, as well as each city is actually a drink coaster. Really cool game!

ZORP

ZORP, or Zombie Oblivion Response Package, is on its way to Kickstarter in a month or so, and we met up with designer
Carl on the left. Myself on the right.

Carl on the left. Myself on the right.

Carl Sommer to play (who we mentioned yesterday). I met Carl online through a Christian Game Developers forum, and was excited to sit down and play his game.
ZORP puts you in control of a human (aptly named by real life friends of Carl) and in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Players sort of work together to kill zombies, and make their way to the cure on the opposite side of the map. I won’t spoil too much more, as we will be reviewing this one before it hits Kickstarter.
I do want to say that talking with Carl about his game, and learning about balance changes, and how much effort he and his friends have put into the game is really neat. Again, it is awesome to see friends come together to support one another and help dreams come together.
Thanks for meeting with us, Carl!

Fantasy Flight Games

Today marked Fantasy Flight Games: InFlight Report. We weren’t in this conference, but I think it’s important enough to mention here.
FFG made a slew of announcements, even though the list has already grown long enough over the last few weeks. Today, FFG announced figure and tile collection expansions for the 2nd edition of Mansions of Madness, alongside new packs for Star Wars: Armada, including: Phoenix One, Imperial Light Cruiser, and Rebel/Imperial Fighter Squadrons II.
A new expansion for Star Wars: Imperial Assault was announced, taking place in Jabba’s palace. My campaign is at a halt at the moment, so I haven’t been able to get a review together for this one, but I’m excited for that to eventually happen. Also announced were new figure packs, and a giant Jabba the Hutt miniature. Seriously. He is giant. New X-Wing miniatures have also been announced from The Force Awakens.
I’m not up enough on my FFG to know, but there is a big announcement for RuneWars: The Miniatures Game, alongside the release of the very first XCOM: The Board Game expansion: Evolution. This seems to follow suit with the PC counterpart, Enemy Within, including upgradeable meld units, and the attack of the paramilitary: EXALT. This will launch toward the end of this year.
Check this link to get a better look at upcoming releases.

That’s a wrap for today. We are hoping to play Trekking the National Parks (a game about hiking the most famous parks in the US) tonight, and maybe get Commissioned (a co-op about spreading the gospel in the early church) to the table.
We have excess photos from the day underneath, so take a look!
See you tomorrow!

Chris Hecox

Chris enjoys the simple things in life, like teaching his wife the newest review game, looking up Ketogenic recipes, and playing 10 hour long indie games on Steam. If he's not thinking about the oil drum components from Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, playing Player Unknown: Battlegrounds with his college buddies, or dwelling on the release of Daredevil Season Three, he's probably shooting or editing video, because that's what he does for a living.

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