Aug 08

GenCon 2014 Top 10 Preview


GenCon 2014 is a week away (August 14-17). I will not be going, but there’s a lot of games I’m looking forward to that should be debuting there. I consulted Board Game Geek’s GenCon 2014 Geek List Preview, to come up with my Top Ten Most Anticipated Games. Also of interest is the Dice Tower’s GenCon 2014 Preview (part 1 of 5 can be found here).

First, some honorable mentions:

10. The Spoils: Big Box of Awesomeness

Spoils is a CCG that I was first introduced to in law school. It has a lot of similarities with Magic: The Gathering, but has a kind of psychedelic art design and fluff. What I really enjoyed about the game is that in addition to the “creatures” (whatever they’re called in Spoils) having a “Power”/”Toughness” (see previous parenthesis), they also have a “Speed” that determines when they deal damage. It’s kind of like First Strike in Magic, but with additional layers. There’s also interesting rules regarding drawing cards, playing resources, and using any card as resource if needed, which all provide for a lot of interesting choice. I’m excited to play with the precon decks, or even make a cube.

9. Trains: Rising Sun

Trains: Rising Sun

This is the expansion to the 2013 Trains from AEG, which is a deck-builder… really it’s a Dominion clone with a board and an area control component. Despite the base game being such a blatant clone of Dominion, it was nonetheless a hit with me and the group.

This expansion introduces three new maps, two of which are specifically designed for 2-players – a sorely needed addition to the base game. It also adds Route Bonus cards, that will give bonuses for completing routes (go figure)… think Ticket to Ride.

8. Argent the Consortium

Arget the Consortium

This is a new worker placement game from, Albuquerque local, Level 99 Games. Players are competing to be the new Chancellor at the Argent University for Magic. This is different than much of what Level 99 has to offer, and I’m excited to see their take on a worker placement game. There are hidden objectives, and different types of workers that interact with the action spaces in different ways.

7. Doomtown: Reloaded

Doom Town

This is a reimplementation of a CCG from the late 90’s (Deadlands: Doomtown), now published by AEG. I bought at a least a starter and a couple of boosters for just about every CCG that came out in the 90’s, including this one. I don’t remember this one particularly well, but with the success of Android: Netrunner, I think we’ll see a lot more attempt to mine gold from 90’s CCGs. Doomtown can be played head-to-head or with multiple players; the players use different factions and have shootouts that resolve with a poker mechanic. I’m sure I’ll be buying two sets to start.

6. Sheriff of Nottingham

A game where I get to bluff and lie to my friends? Shut up and take my money! This is the first in the new Dice Tower Essentials line from Arcane Wonders. It is a reimplentation of Robin Hood. I first saw this played on the Dice Tower’s 24-hour gaming session, and was bummed to learn it was out of print. I guess if Tom Vasel like a game enough, there’s hope for it getting reprinted. Players take turns being the Sheriff, while other try to bring goods in, and bluff as to what they’re bringing. The Sheriff can only verify one player’s load, and bribing, wheeling and dealing are encouraged.

5. 7 Wonders: Babel

This is the 3rd expansion to 7 Wonders from Repos Productions. Here players can contribute to building different parts of tower of Babel. Doing so creates a global effect, that affects everyone at the table. There’s penalties for how man tower cards you have at the end of the game, so you’re encouraged to build. 7 Wonders is a great, quickish game that I love to bring out when we have 5+ people that don’t want to play a brain-burner.

4. Warhammer 40,000: Conquest

A new LCG from Fantasy Flight Games. Okay… here’s the deal. I love Warhammer 40,000. Wait… I love the background, modeling, painting, I just can’t stand the current or previous editions of the game (7th and 6th). I was pretty heavily into miniatures for most of the 2000’s; check out my now-defunct blog here. So I’m pretty excited to shuffle up the Chaos Space Marines. It looks like an area control card game, similar to Blood Bowl: Team Manager or Smash-Up. I foresee buying 2 base sets of this as well.

3. King of New York

King of Tokyo has been such a giant hit. It’s a great game – excellent to start or end the evening. King of New York seems to have the same basis but adds multiple spots on a larger board that monsters can occupy and gain certain bonuses from. The straight up victory points from the dice are replaced with other symbols like fame, which are essentially an additional currency. It appears that this will be a deeper game than King of Tokyo, but not terribly so. Okay… but where are the large-scale plastic miniatures for the monsters? That would be an instant hit?

2. Dead of Winter

This is a new semi-cooperative game from Plaid Hat Games (they’re calling it metacooperative). Zombie apocalypse, blah blah blah. The game isn’t really about the zombies. It’s about the survivors in a commune trying to achieve some group objective… except they all have their own private and hidden objectives… except… one of them could be traitor! It gives off a Battlestar Galactica vibe. I pre-ordered this from the PHG website back in November 2013… and it should get here by this coming Saturday (before GenCon). So while you suckers going to GenCon will be waiting in line to get your copy, I will have horribly lost half a dozen times by then!

1.Pathfinder Adventure Card Game – Skull and Shackles

This seems to be the only game that both Dukes unequivocally love! We’ve almost finished the first base set (Rise of the Runelords)… we have two more scenarios in Adventure Pack 6 to complete. This game, published by Paizo, is a card game that feels like a light (very light) role playing game.

The players pick a character and build a deck of items, weapons, allies, spells, etc. They then embark on a scenario trying to defeat the Villain. They may encounter monsters, traps, and new items, the last of which they can add to their deck; encounters are resolved by making skill checks with dies, like in many role playing games. After they complete the scenario they can modify their decks, and get some sort of reward: either more cards or some sort of upgrades to their characters. Each scenario gets a little harder, as the characters level up. This new set adds a pirate theme, with new cards like Ships, and new mechanics like plundering and swashbuckling. The game’s strength is that you get to see a character evolve over time from a basic mope into a veritable god, raining down fire on all that oppose him (I’m looking at you, Ezren). It’s strength is also it’s weakness, because you can’t really introduce new players into the game midway through an Adventure Path.

I’m a Paizo subscriber, so I expect my copy prior to GenCon. I’m getting my dice ready…


There you have it! Let me know what you think about my choices. Did I miss anything? Comment below, on Twitter or Facebook.




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