Here’s part II of my random GenCon preview. These entries were selected on June 28, 2015 when the GenCon preview at BGG was at 300. My random numbers this time are 1, 144, 191, 232, and 276. Here we go!
A.E.G.I.S. Combining Robot Strategy Game is all about forming a team of robots for competition in a BattleBots type of situation. Designed by Breeze Grigas and Tom Wozencraft, this 2-4 player game is being published by Greenbrier. There are five types of robots – Assault, Evasive, Guard, Intel, and Support. You begin with a squad five robots in any combination of these types. Robots can be combined for upgraded abilities. The game is played out on a hex grid with energy points being spent to do different actions with your robots, such as moving or attacking. Different robots have different abilities, and you win if you annihilate all of your opponent’s units, reduce their energy production to 5 or less per turn, or if your opponent can no longer do any damage.
Most robot games out there are programming games – RoboRally and Volt, for example – but this one is more of a customizable combat game. I like the idea of being able to combine different robots for different abilities, but I think this one is probably not a game for me. Too much like a wargame. I’ll give it a pass, but maybe you’ll be interested. Check out this promo video for the game to find out a little more.
Palaces is a new deck-building game from Gorilla Games and designer Jeff Siadek. There’s not a whole lot of information about it (nor is there a picture on BGG), so here’s the BGG description:
Palaces is a deck-building bidding game in which you win cards and build towers. On a turn, the active player chooses to draw from one of three stacks of cards, then all players bid or drop out. There is only one round of bidding per card. Bids are valued based on the size of a suit (e.g., three-of-a-kind beats two-of-a-kind, etc.), and if the size matches, you compare suits: Gold, Silver, Crystal, Marble. If size and suit match, compare a secondary bid (3 gold and 2 marble beats 3 gold and a silver). The highest bidder activates the card’s special effect and adds it to their discard pile. (Eventually it returns to their hand and activates again when in a winning bid.) The winner of the bid also gets to add a room to one of their two towers, while the other players draw cards. Play proceeds clockwise. Each player’s two towers must match one another. The winner is the player with the tallest lower tower. Unlike most deck-building games, you do not void your hand after your turn. Players who win bids discard their bids to build their towers, while other players draw cards.
I like deck-building games, I don’t particularly like auction games, so I don’t know how I feel about this one. I’d like to see some more information before making any final decisions.
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King is a 2-5 player game by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister, designers of the Kennerspiel des Jahres nominated Broom Service. It is being published by Lookout Games and Mayfair. The basic idea is that you are a clan chieftain trying to build up your kingdom. Here’s the BGG description:
Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with soft sand beaches, gently sloping hills, and impressive mountains. The landscape of Isle of Skye is breathtaking and fascinates everyone. In the tile-laying game Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, 2-5 players are chieftains of famous clans and want to build their little kingdoms to score as many points as possible — but in each game only four of the sixteen scoring cards will be scored. Thanks to the scoring cards, each game is different and leads to different tactics and strategies, but having enough money is useful no matter what else is going on. Managing that money can be tricky, though. Each turn, each player places two area tiles in front of them and sets the selling price for the tiles. Setting a high price is great, but only so long as someone actually pays the price because if no one opts to buy, then the seller must buy the tiles at the price they previously requested. In the end, the player with the best kingdom — and not the richest player — becomes the sovereign of the island.
Lookout Games are usually really good. Combine that with the designers, and this is one I’m very interested in hearing more about. No videos or reviews are currently available, just some images and that description.
Tail Feathers is a new game coming soon from designer Jerry Hawthorne and published by Plaid Hat Games. This game is part of the Mice and Mystics universe, but is a two-player skirmish game rather than a multiplayer cooperative adventure. Apparently, characters and figures from the original game can be used in Tail Feathers, but they aren’t the same game at all. Other than what I just told you, I don’t really know anything else about this game. With Summoner Wars as Plaid Hat’s original flagship product, and Ashes coming out at GenCon, I wonder how this will set itself apart in the two-player combative game category. But I love Mice & Mystics, so I’m interested to know more about this one, which is actually supposed to debut at Spiel in October but may be available for preview.
The Golden Ages was originally released in 2014 by Quined Games, but Stronghold is publishing the English edition at GenCon. It’s a 2-4 player civilization game from designer Luigi Ferrini. Over four ages, you will be evolving into new civilizations, discovering new technologies, and exploring the world. The world map will be built with randomly drawn tiles, and while they do make an image of the actual world map, they will almost certainly not be combined as such. Different scoring opportunities exist based on the round and secret objectives. The player with the most points in the end wins.
I’m not big on civilizations games. It’s not that I dislike them, they just don’t really speak to me. I think this one looks cool if just for the world building aspect. The original response got good reviews, and Stronghold tends to do a good job with their releases, so this is one that I’ll be looking out for. For more info, check out Rahdo’s Runthrough of the original game.
That does it for this edition of the preview. What will I cover next? Even I have no idea. Thanks for reading!