Monday, August 11, 2014

Podcast Episode 1 - Dead of Winter and Gencon 2014 Preview

A New Way To Check Us Out

We've been working the past few months at re-branding the site, getting ready to podcast.  Soon that will be a reality.  You can visit here to listen to our latest thoughts on all things gaming, and soon be able to find us on iTunes and other media distribution sites. 

Thank you everyone for coming with us on this journey so far.  We're still here, we're still gaming, and now we're talking about it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gen Con 2013 - On the Floor- Day 1

We're done with Day 1 on the Gen Con floor and it was just INSANE. There's so much good out there this year, and not enough time to stand in the lines to get it all.  So let's get down to it!

Space Cadets:Dice Duels is a lot of fun

While waiting in line to get into the con early, we met up the designer of Space Cadets, and he just happened to be carrying his new game with him.  A quick tutorial later, and we were playing 2 on 2 against the extremely kind and generous people of The D6 Generation.  We narrowly were able to defeat them, but more importantly got to get a really good feel for how it works.  Describing as Escape meets Space Alert wouldn't be completely inaccurate, but it's definitely a versus style game.  If you have a large group, you definitely need to check this one out.

Firefly is unveiled, and sells out

As you can see in this picture, there wasn't much Firefly product there, but the tables they setup looked amazing.

As they sold to the VIGs, we witnessed people taking 4 - 5 copies up to the register at once.  Stuff like this really needs a limit of 1, MAYBE 2 to ensure as many people as possible can get their hands on it,  VG30 got a copy of it, and took some pictures of the unboxing, which we'll share once we get a bit more time to put it together the right way.  So far I'm not disappointed with it.

Privateer Press Fans are Crazy

Privateer Press released a 10 year commemorative box set and included an early release of Butcher 3, which fans were willing to spend FOUR HOURS in line to get.  I wish I was able to get a picture of it, but the line went from around their booth, down the corridor, out the door, up the stairs, and around the corner.  There's good reason for this, though, as both Warmachine and Hordes versions of High Command, the new Level 7 game, and lots of early releases were available for purchase, and oh yeah, the commemorative set was limited to 1,000 pieces total.  

Paizo Fans are Almost as Crazy

Paizo fans only had to line up around their booth, down the hall and out the door,  which I had the please to take part of for about 45 minutes.  Paizo's system really is based on the trust system, as patrons went to the boot, picked out what they wanted, and literally walked out of the convention doors to get inline to purchase it.  Fortunately, Paizo leadership were walking down the line offering people to "Get out of hell with cash".  They did a really good job of handling people, and the cashiers were on the ball about subscription pick ups.  

There's lots more going on in the hall, and we'll be back tomorrow to share more pictures and report more on the happenings of the con.  Happy gaming!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gen Con 2013 - The Ones to Watch

The dealer hall for Gen Con 2013 will be opening in a little less than 48 hours, so it's time to put up our list of things that you are going to want to try to get your hands on as soon as possible before they all end up selling out.  These are the Gen Con 2013 Ones to Watch.

Trains - AEG

Trains is a deck building game that incorporates building a railway on a board.  You can take different strategies with focusing on improving your deck, or focus on building the railway or split your energy and use the resources from your deck to make your board play more efficient.  This one was originally an independent Japanese title that AEG picked up, cleaned up, and is releasing in the US.  People attending the AEG Board Game Night may want to hold off on this until Saturday, but by them it could be sold out.  This one will likely go fast.

Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak - Fantasy Flight Games

We're not positive that this will be at Gen Con, but we're pretty sure.  Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak finishes up the series for players, allowing them to live out the final season of the program, and if the previous games are any indication at all, this is going to be another smash hit.  All that matters to us is that we can finally play as Romo Lampkin, the best character on the show.

Eldritch Horror - Fantasy Flight Games


Another game that we're not positive will be there for sale, but we're pretty sure, is the Eldritch Horror game.  Fantasy Flight has gone through great lengths to try and assure players that this is not a reskinned or replacement to their Arkham Horror series, but looking over the board and components really makes us wonder if that's really true or not.  There's some opinion that they took the Arkham Horror game to the limits they thought they could and needed a new outlet to integrate ideas that they've had and been unable to insert them into the old series.  We'll get our first taste of it at Gen Con.

Firefly - Gale Force 9


Lots of speculation has been made on this game on whether or not it'll be at Gen Con for sale, and based off a post of yesterday releasing the rules and stating that anybody who bought the game at the convention would receive a limited edition resin miniature, it leads us to believe that it'll be there.  GF9 made a great name for themselves last year with their surprise release of Spartacus, will they be able to do it again?  Play as a firefly captain, hire a crew, do jobs, get paid.  Aim to misbehave, and watch out for reavers.  The material is all here, but we'll know soon if it all comes together to make gold.

Dungeon Twister: The Card Game - Asmodee


Dungeon Twister: The Card Game takes the traditional Dungeon Twister format and converts it into a two player game that's a lot easier to take with you.  Apparently, the entire game has been converted to card form, and the designers feel that it is exactly as if you're playing the board game.  Looking forward to giving this one a try.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game - Paizo


Our #1 Pick for Gen Con is the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.  Paizo is known for quality products, and this looks to be no exception.  Players take on the role of a character in the Pathfinder universe, and build a basic deck to go with them.  As they adventure, they'll find new cards to add to their decks, and cull the ones that don't do them as well.  This is taking deck building games to a whole new level that I'm excited to try out.  Paizo seems to feel that they're going to have plenty of product, but I believe they're underestimating the demand.  Pick this one up early.

Warmachine: High Command (Hordes: High Command) - Privateer Press


Privateer Press tries its hand at deck building games with their High Command series, featuring both Warmachine and Hordes.  Players choose a faction, their warcasters, and a deck associated with the caster's abilities, and build their basic deck into more fearsome opposition by recruiting troops and jacks to go head to head with their opponents to try to control areas and score points.  It looks pretty well done, and feels like a personal game of Ascension that then goes and plays a game of war with the enemy.  This one will likely sell out early.

Space Cadets: Dice Duel - Stronghold Games


Space Cadets was a bit of a surprise hit from last year, and they look to build on that with Space Cadets: Dice Duel.  This stand alone game pits two teams of players against each other in a chaos of trying to control their own ships with real time dice rolling, and managing that into making successful attacks on their opponent's ship.  It looks hectic as anything, but large groups looking for ways to keep everybody engaged at once will likely be very interested in checking this one out.

Star Trek Attack Wing - Wizkids


Last year I took a look at Fantasy Flight's X Wing game, and completely dismissed it as I didn't believe that anybody would be interested in paying $40 for what they were offering out of the box, and then another $10 - $15 per ship.  I was completely wrong, and the game took off to much success.  This year, Wizkids is getting in on the action with their own Star Trek Attack Wing, another similar game to the dogfighting games, but with a new license.  Product is expected to be limited, and if you prefer Trek over Wars, you should get yourself over to the Wizkids booth pronto.

Pandemic: In the Lab - Zman Games

There's a lot of people excited about the second expansion to Pandemic.  In this one, you must take different steps to cure diseases, by collecting samples, testing them, and creating cures for them in a lab environment.  This goes beyond just turning in cards to find a cure, and it allows Pandemic to go to six players.  Many online reviewers are predicting a day one sell out, so if you want your copy, make sure to get it on Thursday morning.

Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport

We're not sure where this will be found in the convention, but we're confident that it will be there.  In this very anticipated expansion to last year's Lords of Waterdeep, players can explore two new areas, play as new lords, go on new quests, and add a sixth player.  There's no reason to think this will be especially limited, but it will be in demand at the con.  With no Wizards booth in the hall, it may take some searching to get, too, so be ready for a hunt.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Gencon 2013 - Hot Events

Gencon is known for having events that just cannot be missed.  After months of scouring over the event catalog, we've put together a list of the events that we think are going to be the ones that everybody will want to get into.  If there's anything that we missed, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments!

True Dungeon


This year is True Dungeon's 10th anniversary, and shows no signs of slowing down.  As one of the major reasons that attendees come to Gencon, True Dungeon invites players to enter a new realm where they figure out puzzles and do battle with monsters.  This year there will be two adventures running, a sort of part 1 and part 2 of the adventure, though it's completely optional to take on both.  The event runs all weekend, but tickets do sell out very quickly, although it's often possible to sneak in with generics ($44 worth). 

AEG Board Game Night Extravaganza

For the past several years, AEG has put on a big gaming party for its players where they sit everybody into an area and let you play their games with them in a small intimate environment.  They give out prizes, sit with people and chat about mechanics, and - oh yeah - give away loot boxes full of board games and promos.  This one is a lot harder to get into with generic tickets, but can be done for those who arrive early.  It's a lot of fun and a great chance to talk to AEG about their games.

AEG never lets slip what's in the box until the event has started.  The first year attendees received a copy of Nightfall, a copy of Myth Pantheons, and several Thunderstone and L5R promos.  Last year they received a Nightfall expansion, a gold foil copy of Smash Up exclusive to the event, L5R decks, and more promos.  It's anybody's guess what attendees will be receiving this year, but it's rumored to be "insane".

Hickman's Killer Breakfast


Hickman's Killer Breakfast is a Gencon tradition in which participants roll out of bed at 8am Saturday morning after a night of partying / drinking / gaming, and make their way to Ballroom 500 to attain level 1 characters and die horribly at the hands of Tracy Hickman, renown writer and GM.   This highly entertaining event is as interactive as you want it to be, you can choose to go on stage and suffer your fate, or just be a part of the audience and witness the hijinks ensue.  Everybody who goes to Gencon should attend this show at least once.

The Big Game


Mayfair Games is making an official Guinness World Record attempt at Gen Con 2013 with the largest game of Catan ever played.  Participants will receive a limited edition Catan resource deck, and wood pieces made in special colors just for this event.  Entry is $10, and there's still tickets available.  Signup begins at 5:30 on Friday night and the game will last 62 turns to make sure we can end sometime this year. 

HEX MMO Trading Card Game League

Cryptozoic, fresh off of their very successful Kickstarter campaign, will be presenting HEX to the public for the first time at Gen Con 2013.  Players can receive a wrist band which will allow them unlimited play in their LAN area where they can try out several pre-constructed decks and earn points to trade in for exclusive in-game rewards.  VG30 is a big believer in this project and is looking forward to getting our hands on it for the first time.

D&D Next Events


Last year, Wizards sent players running around the convention trying their games out to put together a set of dice that were being called "Drow Dice".  It was very hard to get a full set, requiring singing up for events well before anybody had an idea that they would be needed to get their goods, or standing in line for hours hoping that generic slots would open up.  This year they're going about it a little differently.  Wizards sold passes to all the events in one bundle (which are already well sold out), and then set everything else aside as generic tickets only.  So to get into one of these events, you're going to need generic tickets and to stand in line.  Hopefully this year they're more ready for the number of people who want to play, let alone the people who want the yet to be revealed dice sets, which only require one event to get.