Sunday, July 31, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Gen Con Post Part VI: Top 5 Games Being Demoed But Not For Purchase

Now that I’ve finished the top 10 list of games I’m interested in that you will be able (although some in VERY limited quantities) to buy I’m going to move on to the sixth post where we talk about games that aren’t available for purchase. These are all games that will be available to demo (at least they have been confirmed or rumored) during Gen Con 2016. Many of these games will get their debut at Essen Spiel 2016 but the companies roll them out for demo at Gen Con. Many of these games are ones that are insta-buys for me! But first, feel free to check out the previous five posts at the links below if you haven’t had a chance yet.

Gen Con 2016 Post Part I: Top 5 Game Expansions

Gen Con 2016 Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations

Gen Con 2016 Post Part III: Honorable Mentions

Gen Con 2016 Post Part IV: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Gen Con 2016 Post Part V: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

Okay, now let’s move on to the top 5 games that I’m looking forward to that are going to be demoed at Gen Con 2016. I hope that all of these truly are demoed because I want to hear more information on them as they are some of the top releases that I’m looking forward to this year. Okay, on to the list!

Honorable Mention – Pandemic Iberia (Z-Man Games)

Pandemic Iberia is a co-operative, action-point, hand management, set collection game that is designed by Jesús Torres Castro and Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man Games. This game takes the same game-engine as Pandemic and puts a different theme on it. You are now medical workers in the Iberian Peninsula in 1848 and you are charged with helping to find the cures to such terrible diseases as malaria, typhus, cholera, and the yellow fever. This game, however, places you much earlier in human history and thus doesn’t have the same modes of travel as before. Pandemic Iberia finds you taking carriages and boats to your destinations all while developing railway systems for travel and distributing water in order to keep the disease at a low impact. I absolutely love the veneer that they’ve put on this game and I already know it will be good as it is mostly Pandemic with a new theme and a few different mechanisms place in it. This game is gonna be awesome and I’ll probably pre-order it as it really intrigues me.

#5 – The Oracle of Delphi (Pegasus Spiele/Hall Games)

The Oracle of Delphi is a dice rolling, pick-up-and-deliver, action selection game designed by Stefan Feld and published by Hall Games and Pegasus Spiele. This game is a new release by the Euro-game great, Feld, and this one looks to be really good. It finds the player in the role of a character who is trying to complete twelve tasks in order to win the favor of Zeus. Players will take their ships across varying hexagonal tiles to travel to different islands where they are able to attempt their tasks. Players get to roll three colored dice and these will correspond with different “oracle” actions. So the game apparently uses its dice mechanisms as a sort of action selection and I really enjoy that game mechanism. Along with a high variability this game looks like it may be a real winner and have a great theme on top of it which doesn’t tend to be Feld’s strong point.

#4 – First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet (Portal Games)

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is a co-operative, worker placement, adventure and exploration game designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and published by Portal Games. This game actually builds on a previous Ignacy design entitled Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. This game uses a lot of the same ideas but how finds the players in the role of explorers and adventures on the Red Planet. This is a new game with app integration and will actually require said app. The app is going to run the bookkeeper portions of the game and it allows the designer to create an even more immersive world. The players can take part in a campaign-style mode where they go through several games and the app will basically keep their place and let them take stats and progression throughout that series of plays. They can also just choose to freely roam the Martian landscape and see how long they can survive. I think this game looks amazing and am looking forward to see what Ignacy does with it.

#3 – Chronicles 1: Origins (Artana)

Chronicles 1: Origins is a territory-building, worker placement, campaign/legacy-style game designed by Dirk Knemeyer and Rob Daviau and published by Artana. This is another legacy-style game from Daviau and this particular one is also adding in Knemeyer’s new Echo System. The Echo System is what notches this game from interesting to really interesting! Players will start off in the first game (taking place during the Stone Age) as leaders of one tribe. The players will work semi-cooperatively to build up the tribe. The goal is to play the game multiple times in order to create multiple different types of tribes. The players will then play the second part of the game multiple times where they take the tribes and move into a Bronze Age where they will take control of a leader of the city-state and attempt to gain dominance in the region. The Echo System allows the game to grow over time and “echoes” of the past games will be felt in the next ones. This is a HIGHLY ambitious project and if they pull it off it could be amazing!

#2 – Victorian Masterminds (Space Cowboys/Asmodee)

Victorian Masterminds is worker placement game with some deduction elements designed by Antoine Bauza and Eric Lang and published by Space Cowboys and Asmodee. This game is being created by two of the most highly respected and prolific designers in the business right now and that is one of the main reasons Victorian Masterminds is so high on this list! The game finds the players in the roles of villains just after the death of Sherlock Holmes. They are vying to be the most villainous mastermind as they are sending their underlings across the world in order to create their doomsday machine and destroy the world’s most recognizable monuments. The players will use worker placement to send their five different henchmen into spaces to do things like destroy buildings, kidnap scientists, complete missions, and gather resources for their doomsday machine. I’m not 100% sure that this one is going to even be available to demo…but I had to put it on the list because I’m so excited about it!

#1 – A Feast for Odin (Feuerland Spiele/Z-Man Games)

A Feast for Odin is a worker placement, pattern building, Viking-themed, economic game designed by the great Uwe Rosenberg and published by Feuerland Spiele and Z-Man Games. This is a new big box game from Rosenberg and from the pictures and early talk it looks awesome! This game finds the players taking actions from the central board (a la Fields of Arle) where they will hunt, gather, build ships and/or buildings, refine materials and raid settlements. The players then take their different results and will place them on their own personal board a la Patchwork. This is apparently the game where Patchwork was created and Rosenberg originally had the tile placement portion of that game in A Feast for Odin as just one of the mechanisms available. This game was (for me) an obvious choice as the top game not available for purchase as I really haven’t played an Uwe game I haven’t enjoyed. I’m sure I’ll play one at some point that I don’t like, but I don’t think this will be the one. Between the Uwe pedigree, the game mechanisms, and the game theme, A Feast for Odin was the obvious and awesome number one!

Other demos of note:
Adrenaline (Czech Games Edition)
Caravan (Z-Man Games)
Colony (Bezier Games, Inc.)
Escape the Sanitarium (Greenbrier Games)
Fate of the Elder Gods (Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus)
Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games)

Great Western Trail (Stronghold Games/eggertspiele)
Haspelknecht (Capstone Games)
Inis (Matagot/Pegasus Spiele)
Peak Oil (Leder Games)
The Phoenix Syndicate (Asmadi Games)
Spirit Island (Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus)

And there you have it! These are the games that I’m keeping a close eye on in the coming months as they should have demos available at Gen Con. Just as a disclaimer to all of these games and the ones in previous posts, there is definitely a possibility that they won’t be at the convention due to unforeseen circumstances. Often times things happen and sadly the games don’t make which is a total bummer for those involved. So much effort is put into these games and it’s sad when they don’t quite make it for some reason! Anyways, thanks so much for reading my Gen Con 2016 series. This is the final post for now although I may do one more post after the convention is over to make my final observations of what I read/hear/see on video after it is over. If you have any questions/comments feel free to let me know in the comments below. Again, thanks for reading! Until next time, game on!

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