The Random GenCon Preview, part IV

Time for another random GenCon preview.  This time, the randomly chosen numbers were 57, 69, 185, 302, 309. (By the way, I did this a couple of weeks ago, so the numbers may not line up any more.)  Let’s get to previewin’!

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Favor of the Pharaoh is a remake of Thomas Lehmann’s 2006 game To Court the King.  This one is being published by Bezier Games, and I think it’s only going to be available for demo at GenCon, with a Spiel release.  This is a dice rolling influence game where players take turns rolling their dice, then setting at least one aside.  Once you are finished rolling, you may use the dice to gain the favor of different characters.  This can get you new dice to roll, or give you different abilities to manipulate the dice.  Once you have gained the Queen’s favor, a final roll-off to gain the favor of the Pharaoh occurs.  The player with the highest final roll wins.

I’ve played To Court the King, and it was OK.  It completely got replaced for me by Kingsburg.  This release promises 50 characters, only 21 of which will be used from game to game, so that will probably increase the replay value.  It’s an Egyptian theme, which doesn’t really do anything to me, but that is a very nice cover.  Plus, Bezier Games has a really good reputation these days, so this is one I’m interested to hear more about.  Here’s the Board Games with Scott episode about To Court the King to get a better idea of that game.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Sushi Draft was originally published in 2012 by Japon Brand, but it’s getting a reprint this year by Blue Orange Games.  Designed by Takahiro, Sushi Draft is drafting game using a 32-card deck.  At the start of each round, players get a six card hand, draft one, then pass the rest.  Once all cards have been played, players get point tokens for having the most of particular types of sushi.  After three rounds, the player with the most points wins.

This is at least the second sushi drafting game I know of – Sushi Go is the other.  I’ve played that one and enjoy it, but it’s definitely not as small of a game as this one.  I won’t call this a microgame, I think there’s too much stuff, but I would probably call it a pocket game.  It looks interesting enough – not a fan of sushi, but it certainly makes for a good game theme.  See the Board Game Brawl review of the original edition here.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Welcome to the Dungeon was originally published in Japanese as Dungeon of Mandom in 2013, but IELLO is bringing out the English edition this year.  Designed by Masato Uesugi, Welcome to the Dungeon is a push-your-luck game about daring each other to go in with less and less equipment.  One of four adventurers is chosen as the character for the dungeon, then players draw cards and decide whether or not to add it to the dungeon.  If they do, the next player goes.  If not, the player removes one of the character’s pieces of equipment.  Once all but one player have passed, that player enters the dungeon and tries to beat all cards.  If they do, they get a victory card.  If not, they take a wound.  Two wounds and you’re out.  The object is to be the last one standing or to be the first to beat the dungeon twice.

This game seems a little like Gauntlet of Fools, though quicker and without the actually bidding mechanism of GoF.  I think I’m more interested in this one.  It’s a relatively small game (as seems to be the style in Japan), and this one is getting some good buzz.  Check out the Dice Tower review.

image by BGG jameystegmaier
image by BGG jameystegmaier

Between Two Cities is a design from Matthew O’Malley, Morten Monrad Pedersen, and Ben Rosset that is being published by Stonemaier Games.  I don’t think it will be for sale, just available for demo.  This is a city building drafting game where players are literally sitting between two cities, and working on both.  This means the city on their right is being built in cooperation with the player on their right, and the city on their left is being built in cooperation with the player on their left.  The game player over three rounds, and in the end, your lowest scoring city represents your final score and the highest final score wins.

If there’s a valid complaint about 7 Wonders (to me that is), it’s that there’s very low interaction.  You are basically only paying attention to the player on your left and the player on your right.  But here, you are forced to cooperate with the player on your left and right, discussing with them which city parts you should add.  And knowing that they are also in conversation with the player on their other side, you probably really have some negotiation to do.  This game looks fascinating, and I really hope to have an opportunity to try it out once it is released.  Here’s the Bower’s Game Corner review of the game.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Master Fox was designed by Frédéric Vuagnat and is being distributed in the US by IELLO.  This is a dexterity game where players are fishing around for different shapes while their vision is obscured by a fox mask.  Three animals are announced as the targets, then blindfolded players try to get those pieces.  You get a point for each one that is correct, and lose a point for each one that’s wrong.  In later rounds, other animals are introduced that grant certain abilities.  The first player to 10 points wins.

This looks like a nice light kid game that can be used for developing tactile senses.  It’s not strategic at all, but looks fun.  Check out the Dice Tower review for more.


One more random GenCon preview in the books!  GenCon actually starts next weekend, and I’ve got one more preview coming before that.  It may or may not be random.  Thanks for reading!

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