"Every year the anticipation of GenCon brings a lot of emotions. Let the dreams and theories begin."
I know I’m going to have missed something. It was inevitable. From yesterday to today the list of announced games jumped by ten. There are more things being announced every day and we’re currently sitting at over 500 new games being released.
Additionally, there are some games I had soft releases at Origins that were on my list for that convention. If it was on my Origins list I decided to not put it here so I could shine a light on one or two more things.
With all of that said, my top 10 has a couple of honorable mentions for various reasons.
Steve wrote this article as a top ten, to be fair and unbiased, I removed numbering, and some of the items were based on overall excitement. I promise, Steve can count very well.
- Editors Note
Whatever Fantasy Flight Games announce
Every year at GenCon Fantasy Flight Games holds their inflight report. During this they announce several new projects for the upcoming year. Every year there is sure to be something that we’ll all be talking about for weeks if not months after. I don’t know what they’ll be releasing, but I’m excited to find out. That anticipation and conjecture is always a thing I love to do.
Pie in the sky dreams, I’d love to see a Star Wars game using some of the systems they used for Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth. A narrative, app driven, Star Wars game in the same vein as LotR would be amazing. Or a redo of the Adventurers using the same system.
Published by Keymaster Games, Parks is a game of exploration and nature. You have two meeples walking a trail, collecting resources, taking photos, and visiting national parks. The game is beautiful, simple, and challenging. It’s full of meaningful decisions and extremely restful.
I’ve had a chance to play this one and that’s why it’s sitting at number 10 but it shouldn’t be an indication of the games quality. I’m looking forward to getting my own copy at some point and seeing it in use. We’ll have a review at some point in the future.
Published by Capstone Games, Watergate is a two-player back and forth that has players taking the roles of the editor of the Washington Post or the Nixon Administration. Players are trying to either expose the Watergate scandal or hide it till the end of term.
I’m a huge fan of Twilight Struggle. I love history and any game that can be used to teach something. This game looks to fit nicely into that array of things. I’m looking forward to trying this game.
Published by Cubiko Games, Q.E. is an auction game where you take on the role of a national bank. Several companies are failing and need buyouts. To avoid disaster you begin bidding against other countries to see who can save these companies and their own economy. In the end the player who spent the most money is eliminated and the player who saved the most points in companies is the winner.
I think this looks like a fun party game. It could also be a fun subversion of expectations. The mechanics look great and the fact that since you’re playing as a national bank with the ability to print money you can literally bid any amount part of the fun will be in seeing how much people bid.
Published by Renegade Games and Dire Wolf Digital, Clank! Legacy takes the popular deck building dungeon crawler and adds both Legacy and Acquisition’s Incorporated. Players must balance quick exploration, powerful cards, the amount of noise they make, and when they decide to head for the exit in a game that tries to give them a win. This will also be adding in the popular Dungeons & Dragons RPG group of Penny Arcade’s Acquisitions Incorporated.
Clank is a fun and interesting game. I’m a huge fan of Acquisitions Incorporated. I love legacy games. These are all things I’m really excited to see wrapped into a collective package. I don’t know who will be writing the story for this one. I’m hoping that any of the fantastically talented writers attached to Acquisitions Incorporated I hope a few of them at least have some input.
Published by Ravensburger Games, Jaws is a one versus many game with hidden movement. Played out in two acts one player takes the role of Bruce the shark and attempts to eat swimmers while avoiding the other players. The rest of the players represent Quint, Brody, and Hooper as they work to keep the beaches clear and attach two locator barrels to the shark. In the second act, players work to either kill the shark or sink the other team’s boat.
I’ve seen a couple of plays of this online and the game looks like a fun game with deep theming. It gives a real sense of both the shark and the humans goals and abilities. The hidden movement for the shark looks like it works well and the other players have some pretty interesting decisions to make.
Disney Villainous: Evil Come Prepared
Published by Ravensburger Games, Disney villainous is a fun game where you take on the role of a Disney Villain. Your goal is to complete your evil schemes, defeat your opponents, and win the day. Each character comes with unique art, mechanics, and goals.
The second expansion has hinted at three new villains to play. It looks like we’re getting Scar from the Lion King, Rattigan from the Great Mouse Detective, and Ezma from the Emperor’s New Groove.
This is an honorable mention because it’s getting an early release at ComicCon and may show at GenCon. I assume this depends on how well it sells in San Diego. As much as I’d love to pull the lever on this one I can’t be sure it’ll be there though there have been hints that it might show as well.
Carnival of Monsters
Published by Amigo and a part of the Dice Tower Essentials, Carnival of Monsters looks to be a fun set collection game. Playing hunters each player will be playing cards to explore distant lands, capture monsters, and build a menagerie of creatures. Using drafting to help decide where you will explore and what creatures you’ll capture.
This looks like a bunch of fun. I like drafting games and this looks like it has pretty good decisions to make. The art I’ve seen is beautiful and I’m anxious to see it in person. It’s also designed by Richard Garfield and I really enjoy his work. All of this together gives me hope for a pretty good experience.
Hellboy: The Board Game
Published by Mantic and Crowd games, Hellboy is a miniatures based dungeon exploration and combat. Using a combination of skills, dice, and terrain Hellboy lets you play as popular characters from the comics and film series. You’ll work your way through a campaign while trying to uncover the story behind the newest supernatural threat.
I’m a fan of the Hellboy franchise. I love the characters and mythos that have been developed around him. I also enjoy mantic games and think they do a pretty interesting job with licensed products. I think this could be a fun game with cool characters. I’m also looking forward to getting a chance to paint these figs.
Aeon's End: The New Age
Published by Indie Boards & Cards and Action Phase Games, Aeon’s End: the New Age is a Deck Builder with some interesting mechanics. It has gates that act as power batteries to keep spells in play, it’s fully cooperative, and even the order you discard your hand is an important decision.
I like Aeon’s End. I find the game itself a ton of fun and love how even discarding is a tactical decision. This expansion also takes story notes from the previous legacy expansion and a couple of different campaigns to play through. I’m looking forward to this and seeing what it introduces to the game.
Malifaux 3rd Edition
Published by Wyrd Miniatures, Malifaux 3rd edition is a tabletop miniatures game set in an alternate history where magic cowboys fight necromancers and demons. Malifaux uses a card based combat system to power a skirmish level miniatures game. Taking figures from one of seven factions you’ll face off against an opponent in matches using different objectives. You also get to choose a couple of secret objectives to help you score points. They’re also introducing a new eight faction, the Explores League.
I love Malifaux. I’m a huge fan of the world and the game. The miniatures have always excited me; I bought Wyrd mini’s before there was a Malifaux game. (I realize that is incredibly hipster of me.) That said, 3rd edition has a free rules and stat card download that you can get now. GenCon will have physical copies of the rules and cards, the individual faction books, and new miniature box sets. It also ushers in a new series of tournaments, leagues, and pickup games. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
Published by Ankama games, Arkeis is an Egyptian themed pulp exploration legacy game. It looks to be part Indiana Jones, Laura Croft, and Brendan Frasier’s Mummy. The game looks to be a miniature driven dungeon crawl. Players will get upgrades, equipment, and skills. In addition there are curses that will carry over from one part of the campaign to the next.
There hasn’t been a lot of information about this game in English. What little I’ve gleaned has really gotten me excited. I’m a huge fan of legacy games, even though I go in to them with a bit more caution now. I think the setting is criminally underrepresented in gaming. Add all of that with some fantastic miniatures, three dimensional rooms, and some really nice art. While I admit that a lot of my anticipation is built around the unknown, I’m really excited to see what I don’t know.
Before I go there’s one last thing I’m excited about; you. I won’t be able to attend GenCon this year but there will be several members of the MeepleGamers walking around in dayglow green shirts; like our editor Josh over here. I’m sure they’d all love for you to stop them and say hi. In the end we don’t get to do this with out you fine folks and we’re super appreciative of that. So, thank you.
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