So far in the lead up to Gen Con, I’ve done four random previews were I randomly selected seven games to look at. This is NOT a random preview – I deliberately chose all of these games in that they’re top of my list to look at. Here we go!
Adrenaline is a game by Filip Neduk and Czech Games Editions. There’s not a lot of information out there right now – no rules, and I don’t even think the art is finalized (this image is Photoshop prototype art). It won’t be available to purchase at Gen Con, just to demo – it’s scheduled to release at Spiel. CGE is releasing Codenames Pictures at Gen Con, but if I’m honest, this is the one I’m more interested in.
Adrenaline is a first person shooter game where you are moving around the board, picking up ammunition and shooting your opponents. There are different weapons with different abilities, and must be loaded in order to use. It’s described as a Eurogame that will trick AT players into trying it – there’s area control as you try to do the most damage to your opponents, there’s resource management as you pick up ammo, but then there’s shooting people. All in all it looks like a very cool game, and it’s one I definitely want to check out at Gen Con. CGE is my favorite publishing company, and I love how they are always willing to take a thematic risk in order to bring forth a good game.
Captain Sonar is a game from designers Roberto Fraga and Yohan Lemonnier that is being published by Matagot. This is a submarine game where players are trying to deduce where your opponents are and kill them. You can play this game with up to eight players, split into two teams. One player is the captain and moves the ship. Another is the first mate who is charging systems to do things like drop mines, send out drones, fire torpedoes, use the sonar, or go into stealth mode. Another player is the engineer who tracks breakdowns – one happens with each move. The final member of the team is the radio operator, who is listening to the other team’s captain, marking their moves on a transparency, and then deducing where the other team is. As soon as one team takes four points of damage, the other team wins.
To me, this game seems like a cross between Space Alert: Dice Duels and Battleship. Dice Duels had a similar setup, with teams of people each responsible for different jobs in a realtime game. But this game adds an element of deduction as there’s no central board. Like Battleship. Though I think this game blows Battleship out of the water. So to speak. Looking forward to giving this one a try.
Cry Havoc is a game from designers Grant Rodiek, Michal Oracz, and Michael Walczak that is being published by Portal Games. In this asymmetrical sci-fi game, you are playing one of four factions – the Humans, the Machines, the Pilgrims, and the Trogs – attempting to take control of a planet and its resources. In each of the five rounds, players will be able to move around the planet, recruit new units, build and/or activate structures, draw cards, and score points. If you end up in the same region as an enemy, you’ll have to fight them. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.
This is probably the most buzzed about game for the Con right now. It doesn’t really look like my thing – I’m not really that into war games, even sci-fi based – but I am interested in checking it out. I met Grant Rodiek when I was at Gen Con in 2012 – he donated a copy of Farmageddon to my wife’s library – and I’m happy that he’s getting some attention for this one.
Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne is a game from Fantasy Flight and designers Bill Eberle, Justin Kemppainen, Peter Olotka, and Greg Olotka. This is another one that won’t be for sale at Gen Con, but I am extremely excited about it. Not because of the IP – I enjoy the Game of Thrones books, but have not really watched the show – but more because of the source material. This game is based on Cosmic Encounter.
As in CE, this game is all about having encounters with your opponents. During a conflict between two houses, each player will assign characters to help them win, and then will seek alliances from other houses. If the attackers win, they get to place influence in their opponent’s area. Spread five influence out to the other houses and you win the game.
There’s no rules out for this one yet, just some images and a preview by FFG. But I can’t think of a better possible retheme for Cosmic Encounter, which is all about treachery, alliances, and putting yourself in position to gain power. That’s Game of Thrones, so kudos to FFG for putting them together. Looking forward to checking this one out.
Loony Quest is not a new game. It was first published by Libellud in 2015 (designed by Laurent Escoffier and David Franck), and hasn’t had an American edition yet. But that is about to change. My understanding is that the game won’t be for sale at Gen Con, but it will be available for demo, and I am looking forward to it.
In each round, players look at a challenge card, then try to draw a path on their own transparency that will hit certain points on the card. But you can only eyeball it. When the round is over, you’ll put the transparency over the challenge card to see how you did, scoring points and possibly losing points for hitting bad stuff.
This game is a blast, and has a bunch of different challenge cards, so there’s a lot of variety. I’ve gotten to play once, and I’m really excited that it’s getting an American release so I can get my own copy. I’ll have to wait a little bit, but I’m glad it will be previewed at the Con.
New Bedford is a game by Nathaniel Levan and Greater Than Games/Dice Hate Me. It’s a game that explores the controversial world of whaling in the mid 1800s. In this worker placement game, players will collect resources, construct buildings, and prepare their ships to go whaling. When your ships return from their expeditions, you will be able to pay for any whales you collected. You get points for buildings and whales, and the player with the most points wins.
I’ve been watching this game since it was first on Kickstarter. The theme here draws me in. Whaling is generally accepted as not a good thing these days, so it seems odd that there’s a game about it. But like it or not, it is a part of our history, and the game does address some of the challenges. As it progresses, it’s harder and harder to catch whales as the population declined, so there’s that. It seems like a solid Euro-style game, and one I’d like to check out.
Finally, there’s SeaFall. Do I really need to say anything about this? It’s Rob Daviau and Plaid Hat Games with a legacy style game that they’ve been talking about for years. I did a preview of it back in May, so go look there to find out more. It’s going to be a hit, and while I doubt it will be possible for me to get my own copy, I’m sure it will be demoed. It’s Daviau’s first legacy game based on a completely original concept, following Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy, so it will be interesting to see how it does overall.
I’m super excited about Gen Con. I’ll be there from Thursday to Sunday, and am looking forward to trying out all of these games, as well as some that will be completely unknown to me. Thanks for reading!