Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part VI: Top 5 Games Being Demoed But Not For Purchase

Alright!  I’ve trucked along with my Gen Con 2017 posts and now we’ve come to the final post (maybe) which will take a look at my top 5 anticipated games that are being demoed at the convention but won’t be available for purchase yet.  Some of these games are really interesting to me and I’m looking forward to trying them out while I’m at Gen Con.  Before I tackle this list feel free to check out my previous five posts in the series at the links below.

Alright, now that we’re all caught up we can go ahead and move on to the list of games.  Again, these are my top 5 anticipated demo games that aren’t available to purchase.  Sit back, relax, and read on and thanks for taking the time to take a look!

Farlight is an auction/bidding, tile placement and resource management designed by Nick Sibicky and published by Game Salute.  The game puts players in the role of a corporation that is setting out into the galaxy to explore, colonize and gain resources from other planets that they come across.  The players will start each turn by bidding on different modules for their ships and on different missions and will then take the pieces and build them into a spacecraft that can complete said mission.  This game just looks like a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to trying it out as a demo while I’m at Gen Con.

Alien Artifacts is a 4X, card drafting, multi-use card game designed by Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska and published by Portal Games.  This game puts players in the role of an interplanetary faction that is sending out vessels to research and expand their power into the further reaches of the galaxy.  Players will get three cards to start a turn and then have to check on how to spend them.  There are two different resources on each of these cards but the players are only allowed to choose one to use.  They need to make hard decision which will allow them to build large, powerful starships, develop technology, discover planets and complete trades with other planets.  This game looks like a bunch of fun as it seems to shorten and streamline the usual 4X gameplay and creates a smooth looking card game with it.  This is definitely high on my list of games to demo while at Gen Con.

Dinosaur Island is a worker placement, set collection, tile placement game designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Brian Lewis and published by Pandasaurus Games.  The game puts the players in the role of scientists and developers on an island that is being created as an amusement park with living dinosaurs.  If this sounds like a terrible idea then you would be correct!  And you’ve probably watched Jurassic Park as well!  Okay, back to the game.  Players will be using tile placement to build different exhibits and rides in the park in order to get the most visitors and create the most exciting park.  To do this, players will use the worker placement parks to gather DNA and create these different dinosaurs and then place them into the different enclosures.  The problems come in a later phase when the dinosaurs can escape and start eating the visitors.  Make sure to tighten security or else your park will be overrun and the visitors eaten.  I think this game looks great and really want to try it out!

Fallout is a co-operative, hand management, exploration game designed by Andrew Fischer and Nathan Hajek and published by Fantasy Flight Games.  This game puts the players into the role of a survivor in the IP of the popular video game series, Fallout.  The survivors are put into the middle of a post-apocalyptic wasteland with little knowledge of what is ahead and a sole objective to keep them going in the beginning.  They’ll have to use card play and dice rolling in order to explore the map, defeat enemies and grow the skills of their character if they are to win.  As the players advance the game they’ll have more objectives to complete and of different varieties.  I absolutely love this video game series; it is one of my favorites, so when I heard about this release it jumped way up my list.  I am really hoping that they have a demo of this game (even if it is a short one) at Gen Con because I’d love to try it out!

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a co-operative, set collection, hand management game designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau and published by Z-Man Games.  This game puts players into the role of a character 71 years after a massive plague ravages the world.  They are living out on the sea in floating stations where the lasting vestiges of society are fighting to keep open a network of the largest cities in the world.  Unfortunately many of the cities that are farthest away from the safe havens are falling out of contact.  The players will each take a survivor and bring supplies to these cities and go off to explore the world and see what has become of those missing areas.  I absolutely adored Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and I can’t wait to try Season 2!  I like how the story seems to be a continuation but it seems that new people could jump straight in because they are stand alone.  I can’t wait for this title, it will definitely be an amazing experience just like its predecessor.

Other demos of note:

Alright, there is the list of my top 5 games that are being demoed but not for sale at Gen Con.  There is at least a couple on here that I’d buy sight unseen due to the pedigree and many more that I’d need to hear more about.  So that is (possibly) the end of my Gen Con series.  I may come back after the convention and do one last post about what I did/saw there but I’m not quite sure yet.  Thanks so much for taking the time to look through these 6 posts.  They have been a blast making and I am really looking forward to the games on these lists.  Until next time, game on!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part V: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

So here we are…the list of my top 5 anticipated games that are available for purchase at Gen Con 2017.  These games are not only on my list but most of them are pre-ordered and I can’t wait to get my hands on them!  There isn’t much more I can really go on about in the intro so feel free to check out my previous four Gen Con posts at the links I’ve provided below.


Alright, are you all caught up?  Well then let’s go ahead and move on to the good part!  Again, these are the top games that I’m interested in that are coming out later this week at Gen Con 50 and I think they all look great!  Here we go.  Enjoy your read!

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game is a deck building game designed by Keith Baker and published by Renegade Game Studios.  This game puts the players in the role of a character from the comic of the same name as they are trying to “grow up” and prepare for their finest hour.  Each player will get a unique deck of cards that is based upon the character that they’ve chosen.  These characters are completely asymmetrical as they use different styles and different icons effectively are the players are building their unique decks.  The game uses double sided cards which double as a way to solve your problems with work and empathy or as a way to embrace the crazy violence.  You will score points as you try to defeat the different evil ex’s in the game.  This game is based on what is probably my favorite comic of all times and I can’t wait to try the game out!

Wasteland Express Delivery Service is an action point allowance, dice rolling, pick-up and deliver game designed by Jonathan Gilmour, Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle and published by Pandasaurus Games.  The game put players in the role of a driver in a post-apocalyptic wasteland driving around in the mayhem and insanity of the burned world.  I love that the characters are basically glorified UPS men as they are rolling around in huge, armor and weaponized trucks attempting to deliver their goods to different outposts.  The players will use a movement allowance to traverse the land and then use different actions to interact with the board, enemies and other players as you’re trying to deliver the goods that you’re carrying.  This game just looks better and better every time I see another preview or video up.  I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this game and hope to have it shortly after the convention.

Spirit Island is a co-operative, card drafting, hand management game designed by R. Eric Reuss and published by Greater Than Games’ imprint, Fabled Nexus.  This game puts players in the role of a spirit that is on an island.  This island is being invaded by humans who are starting to explore the land and build cities and it is the spirit’s goal to drive them off the island.  The players have a starting hand of four cards and a small amount of energy to use in the beginning but can build up their powers with different and better cards and can get more energy throughout the game.  They are building up to be able to cause a great amount of fear in the invaders and hopefully drive them off so the spirits may have their island back.  This game looks amazing and I’ve been looking forward to it for some time.  Now it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine!

Whistle Stop is a route building, tile placement, and pick-up-and-deliver game designed by Scott Caputo and published by Bèzier Games, Inc.  This game has players taking on the role of a small railroad company that is attempting to create their network of rails across the country.  The players will each take a tile during their turn and place it along the growing network of tracks and will then be able to gain stock, gain cargo, deliver goods and continue the board’s network of tracks.  The players will want to optimize their actions in order to gain goods and deliver them efficiently, gain coal for actions and obtain stock to get points.  They also will want to reach the other side with their trains as much as possible to gain bonuses and endgame points.  This game has been on my radar for some time and I’m glad it is finally releasing as the game looks to be an easy-to-teach game with many different decisions.  These are often games that I really like!

Ex Libris is a worker placement, card drafting and set collection game designed by Adam P. McIver and published by Renegade Game Studios.  This game puts players in the role of a book collector that is attempting to get their collection in order so that they can impress and inspector that is coming around to judge and determine who the next Grand Librarian will be.  It is set in a fantasy theme where you can gain classic fantasy-trope assistants such as a goblin, witch, gelatinous cube and much more!  The players will use worker placement to take actions which will change throughout the game and then place their books on shelves in the best order that they can.  This game has such an amazing theme that I had to put it on the list and as more information has come out it moved higher and higher on the list and is now my top game!  I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Well, there you have it, my top 5 anticipated games of Gen Con 2017.  I already have Spirit Island and Wasteland Express Delivery Service pre-ordered and hope that they will arrive soon.  I’m also planning on picking up at least Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game and maybe another while I’m there.  I can’t wait to be able to finally check out the convention and making these lists is making me more excited.  Come on back tomorrow when I’ll have my final (maybe) post which will take a look at my 5 most anticipated games that are unavailable for purchase at the time of the convention.  Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to read this!  Until next time, game on!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part IV: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Alright…we are trucking along now!  With the honorable mentions post complete we can move on to my top 10 anticipations coming up at Gen Con 2017!  These are all games that I am highly anticipating and quite a few of them will probably end up on my shelf at some point.  One of these games is actually coming pretty soon via a funded Kickstarter but we’ll get there soon.  Before moving on feel free to check out my previous three posts in the Gen Con series and when you’re back we’ll move on!

Okay, now that you’ve caught up let’s check out the games coming up.  This post is going to take a look at my top 10 anticipations and this one particularly will take a look at games 6-10.  These are all games that (at least according to the preview list on BoardGameGeek) are available for purchase but may only be in limited quantities.  With that out of the way, enjoy your read!

Tiny Epic Quest is a dice rolling, grid movement, push your luck game designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games.  This game puts the players in the role of adventurers who are traveling the land going on different adventures.  Each player starts by choosing a method of travel that allows them to move along the board in a certain way and then each player in turn will take the same type of movement.  The players will do this a few times during the “day phase” before moving to the “night phase” where they will then complete their adventures by rolling dice.  The players can fight goblins, delve into temples, learn magic spells and go to obelisks to make other actions a little better.  This is a game that I’ve been looking forward to as I’m a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series and this seems to be an homage to those games.  This is a game that I think will go over really well with my wife and new players alike.

Triplock is an abstract strategy, pattern building, set collection game from designers Adam Carlson and Josh Carlson and published by their company, Chip Theory Games.  This game puts the players in the role of a character in New London (a steampunk revisionist history) as they are summoned by a mysterious figure who wants them to use their lock-picking skills for some puzzling reason.  The game has each player attempting to pick these locks by moving chips along a player mat and rolling dice to see what types of actions that they are able to use during the turn.  They will be trying to complete their cards and gain a certain amount of points before the other player does.  They also have a solo option and now a three player variant that will be included in the rules which makes the game even more interesting to me.  These guys have never disappointed me and Too Many Bones has become one of my favorite games so I can’t wait to get this in my hands and try it out.

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is a co-operative, worker placement, adventure game designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and published by Portal Games.  This game puts players in the role of a scientist who has been stationed on Mars and is tasked with different missions throughout the game.  The game builds on the engine of the game Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island but takes it a step further by adding app integration to handle some of the decks of cards.  This allows them to update and create content for the game which they are able to roll out in a simple app update.  The players will use worker placement as they place their pawns in different areas so help control the slow decline of the base while going out onto the planet in rovers to explore and bring back samples.  I love Robinson Crusoe and really hope that First Martians in a worthy successor to the crown.

Unearth is a dice rolling, worker placement, set collection game designed by Jason Harner and Matthew Ransom and published by Brotherwise Games.  This game puts players in the role of a leader of a tribe of Delvers who are attempting to explore and excavate to find lost cities across the world.  Each of these delvers is represented by one of five dice.  The players will take turns rolling a die and placing it on one of the ruins cards in an attempt to claim it when the threshold is reached.  There are mitigation elements as the players who don’t claim the ruins will get cards that can help them out.  Also, if rolling low the players can claim colored “stones” which they can use to “buy” monuments which give points and bonuses.  I love how this game is super colorful with some cool art and how it uses three 6-sided dice, one 4-sided die and one 8-sided die.  This just looks like a fun dice rolling game that I can teach to anyone and just have a fun time with.

Flip Ships is a co-operative, dexterity game designed by Kane Klenko and published by Renegade Game Studios.  This game puts players in roles of pilots who are tasked with the preservation of the world as aliens are invading the Earth!  This game could probably be best explained as a dexterity version of the old arcade game Space Invaders.  The alien craft (which are represented by cards) will be forming up in lines and slowly (or quickly depending on the ship) coming ever closer as the player will be flipping their ships off of a stand or the edge of a table in order to land them directly on the enemy.  I am generally not a huge fan of dexterity games but this game just looks like a ton of fun and we really like Klenko as a designer.  Plus, as another bonus, Renegade Game Studios is knocking it out of the park lately!  This isn’t the first time they’ve been on the list (Sentient was in my honorable mentions) and it won’t be the last as I have two more by them in my top 5!

Well, there you have it, the bottom half of my top 10 anticipated games that are coming out at Gen Con 2017.  There are so many good games out there and these are just five of them.  Keep an eye out as I’m going to have the next list up very soon which will take a look at games 1-5 of my top anticipated releases.  Thanks so much for reading.  Until next time, game on!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part III: Honorable Mentions

Alright, with the expansion and reprint posts out of the way let’s move on to the honorable mentions.  These games are ones I highly anticipate that just missed my top 10 list but I still think they warrant some attention for some reason or another.  These games are all still anticipations as I haven’t played any of them but I hope to at least be able to demo a bunch of them when I’m at Gen Con next week.  Before we move on feel free to click on the links below to check out my previous two posts in my Gen Con series.

Well, there are the links.  Feel free to check them out at your convenience.  Now that the introduction is out of the way let’s go ahead and move on to the post.  Again, these are all games that I am highly anticipating that are debuting and for purchase (in limited or full quantities) at this year’s Gen Con.  These are also games that just missed my top 10 anticipations which I will be divulging in the next couple of days.  Enjoy!

The first game to make its way onto my honorable mentions list for Gen Con 2017 is Apocrypha Adventure Card Game.  This game is designed by Mike Selinker, Chad Brown, Tanis O’Connor, Paul Peterson, Keith Richmond, Liz Spain, Elisa Teague and Gaby Weidling and is published by Lone Shark Games.  This is a co-operative, hand-management and deck-building game where you take a character that has repressed memories and will be getting more powerful throughout the play of the game.  There is also a certain level of role playing that appears to be a major part of this game.  I am excited to try this game out as it is a card game (check), has variable player powers (check) and player growth (check) and is co-operative (check).  For these reasons I really want to check this game out at the convention.

The next game to work its way onto my honorable mentions is Bunny Kingdom.  This game is designed by Richard Garfield and is published by IELLO.  This game is a card drafting and area control game that where you are taking on the role of a clan of bunnies that are trying to build the greatest bunny kingdom in the land.  The players will be drafting cards in order to provide resources and take over squares on the board as they expand their kingdom.  The game will score depending on the resources you have at the end of the game along with the different areas that you control.  This game snuck up on me and I think it looks like a fun game that I’d like to try out.

The third game to make the honorable mentions list is Dragon Island.  The game is designed by Mike Fitzgerald and is published by R&R Games.  This game has the players taking on the role of a wizard who has been cast away on a supposedly deserted island.  However, these wizards realize they aren’t on their own.  From here the players will gain treasure, explore and build up the island and eventually tame the dragons that make their home there.  I don’t know a whole lot about this game which is why it didn’t hit my top 10 anticipations but just the fact that it is Mike Fitzgerald doing a board game makes me intrigued.  I am hoping to at least get a demo out of this one at Gen Con.

The next game to make it onto my honorable mentions list is Sentient.  The game is designed by J.Alex Kevern and is published by Renegade Game Studios.  This game is a dice manipulation, set collection and card drafting game where the players take on the role of a company who are trying to be the best which they can do by multiple actions.  The dice manipulation in this game looks absolutely amazing and super crunchy which I think it fabulous!  When you draft the cards and manipulate the dice you are then able to place of assistants which gains you area majorities if you have the most and allows you to gain bonuses and such.  Along with the gameplay the game absolutely looks amazing which is just another feather in Renegade Game Studios’ cap.  I will probably be camped at their booth for at least a little while when I’m at Gen Con and I want to get a demo of this one.

The final game and thus the game that just barely missed my top 10 anticipations is Century: Golem Edition.  The game is designed by Emerson Matsuuchi and is published by Plan B Games.  This game is a card drafting, resource management, deck building and set collection game that is a re-theme of Century: Spice Road.  The game puts the players in the role of crystal traders in a fantastical world of golems and magic as they use card drafting and resource manipulation in order to gain cards that have end game points on them.  The original did very well at Origins GameFair 2017 and thus they announced that they were going to do this re-theme just this past week.  This was the theme that I wanted originally and I’m glad that they decided to go ahead and do it.

Other honorable mentions of note:

Alright, there we go.  These games are all very interesting to me but there are 10 more that I’m even more interested in!  Come on back the next couple of days and I’ll have up games 6-10 next and then I’ll finish up the top 10 with games 1-5.  After that I’ll do a post on the demos and games that aren’t for sale that I’m most interested in.  Well, I think we’re done for now.  Thanks so much for reading!  Until next time, game on!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations

Alright, one post down and 6 to go!  This post will take a look at another section of games that are going to be available and debuting at Gen Con 2017.  These games will be the top 5 reprints and/or re-implementations of games that I’m anticipating coming out at the convention.  For this list these games encompass those that are getting an English edition and those that are similar to a previous game but have been re-implemented in some way.  Before we move on feel free to check out my first post in the Gen Con series at the link below.

Alright, now that everyone’s back, let’s move on to the meat of the post.  These are my top 5 reissues/re-implementations.  Enjoy your read!

Lemuria is a 3-4 player worker-placement, resource management game that is designed by Kuro and will be released (in an English edition) at Gen Con 2017 by Tasty Minstrel Games.  This is a new edition of the 2014 Japanese game that was translated as “The Star Kingdom Lemuria.”  The new edition doesn’t really have any changes to the gameplay, just some graphical changes and slight re-wordings that make the rules more clear.  The game plays out as a worker placement where you are trying to convert each of your workers into resources which the players are then able to use to buy buildings.  I like the theme as you are in the ancient city of Lemuria which still runs on forgotten time-control technology.  We have played The Ravens of Thri Sahashri which is also by Kuro and we think that game is brilliant.  Because of the pedigree I think that this game is going to be at least worth a good look while at Gen Con.

Lovecraft Letter is a 2-6 player hand management game that is designed by Seiji Kanai and will be released at Gen Con 2017 by Alderac Entertainment Group.  This game is a re-implementation of the huge hit, Love Letter, and seems to build upon an already solid game system.  This game takes the original game engine and turns it a bit on its head by adding in sanity and insanity cards that can totally change what the powers of each card are.  The problem with having a more powerful insanity card means that if you don’t pass a sanity check you will automatically be eliminated.  In the same way as its predecessor, if more than one person is left standing the one with the higher card number wins.  I think this looks like a more interesting version of the original and would like to check it out.

Nemo’s War: Second Edition is a 1-4 (mostly solitaire) player area control, push your luck, action point allowance game designed by Chris Taylor and will debut at Gen Con from Victory Point Games.  This is a new edition of the 2009 solitaire game that has garnered a lot of fans and thusly gained an upgraded version.  The graphic design and art that has been done for the new edition by Ian O’Toole is wonderful land I’m glad that they could land him for this game.  Players will take the Nautilus (this game loosely follows Twenty Leagues Under the Sea) and Nemo along with his crew as they either roll along with missions of science, exploration or war.  This game looks like a great solo play and I’m hoping to get my hands on one of these brand new editions sometime in the near future…perhaps at Gen Con itself!

Ticket to Ride: Germany is a 2-5 player set collection, route building game designed by Alan R. Moon and released in limited quantities at Gen Con 2017 by Days of Wonder.  This game is essentially a new edition of the 2012 release Zug um Zug: Deutschland which is in turn a streamlining of the 2006 release Ticket to Ride: Märklin.  This game further streamlines those releases making a version that I really want to get my hands on!  The game takes the classic formula and adds passengers to the mix.  When players take a route they can also take passengers from each side which will be another set collection item to gain points from.  Em and I adore Ticket to Ride and all of its maps so this game is a no brainer.

Unicornus Knights is a 2-6 player co-operative, dice rolling game designed by Kuro and Seiji Kanai and released at this year’s Gen Con by Alderac Entertainment Group.  This game is an English version of the original release by Manifest Destiny that came out in 2016 in its first edition.  Apparently not much was changed from the first edition which I think is pretty cool.  The game finds the players taking control of generals who much assist the princess of a kingdom who it fighting her way to her own capital.  The princess is very one minding charging off into the unknown in order to reach the capital.  The princess of note is very strong in power but also weak in hit points.  This means that the players much be clever in order to keep her alive until the end.  I think the anime art and gameplay mechanisms look interesting enough to top this particular list.

Well, there you have it!  These are the reissues and re-implementations that I am most looking forward to that are coming out at Gen Con 2017.  There are a few games on this list that are must buy for me and some others that I’d really like to try out.   What are some of the games that I missed that should be on this list?  Feel free to comment below and let me know!  Thanks so much for reading and come on back tomorrow for another installment into my Gen Con series.  Until next time, game on!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Gen Con Post Part I: Top 5 Game Expansions

Woo hoo!  It’s a week away from Gen Con 2017!  This is one of my favorite times of the year as this marks some of the major releases of the year along with Essen Spiel which comes later in the year.  This year’s Gen Con is especially exciting for me because it marks the first boardgaming convention that I’ve ever gone to as I’m getting to go for a couple of days!  I will be heading in and spending Friday and Saturday at the convention along with my buddy Josh.  It’s going to be a blast!  I take most of my information about the releases happening at Gen Con (and Essen Spiel in the fall) from W. Eric Martin’s incredible yearly geeklist over on the BoardGameGeek website.  This year he has even created a different kind of list and turned it into a geek preview which streamlines the process and makes it much more usable.  So make sure to check out the list at and check out all of the cool releases and demos at Gen Con 2017.  So this post is going to be my first in a series of 6 (or maybe 7 this year) posts that will focus on games at Gen Con this year.  This particular post will look at my top 5 anticipations among the game expansion releases at the convention.  I always like to let everyone know that these are expansions for purchase making their “official” debut at Gen Con and there is always the chance that something won’t show up due to issues unforeseen and there is always the chance that something else is a surprise that I didn’t know about!  So continue reading to check out what I’m looking forward to at Gen Con 2017!

OblivAeon is a large expansion to the 2011 Greater Than Games/Sentinel Comics hit, Sentinels of the Multiverse by designers Christopher Badell, Paul Bender and Adam Rebottaro.  OblivAeon is also designed by Badell, Bender and Rebottaro and was slated to release earlier this year but will likely release closer to the end of the year.  Sentinels of the Multiverse is a card game with heavy hand management elements where you are taking your assymetrical decks of cards which represent a superhero and attempting to defeat a specific villain before they knock out all of your characters.  This has been a hit and is one of my favorite games of all times!  This expansion is adding a TON of new content to the already huge amount of content already in the game.  Now the heroes will be facing off against OblivAeon and his minions in order to save the world…as usual of course.  This is somewhat cheating because I know from updates in the Kickstarter that it isn’t going to be ready for the convention.  I just put it as my honorable mention because it is still on the geek preview as “for sale” and also because I am so excited for the inevitable release later this year.

Professionals: Mini-Expansion #6 is a small expansion to the 2016 Level 99 game, Millennium Blades by designer D. Brad Talton.  This expansion is also designed by Talton and is slated to release at Gen Con.  Millennium Blades is a card-drafting, hand-management game where you are actually playing a simulation of a collectable card game.  This game is quite amazing and I wish we had tons of time in order to give this game even more plays!  I love taking one of the characters and really using their power in order to craft an amazing deck to take into the tournament against my opponent.  My wife and I really enjoy this one and we hope to be able to teach it to our friends soon.  This particular expansion is just a small deck of cards that will include some more characters that the players can use during their matches.  I think that more cards really work with this expansion as they just add to the overall replayability to an already highly replayable game.

Branch & Claw is an expansion to the 2017 game, Spirit Island by R. Eric Ruess.  This expansion is also by designer, Ruess and is slated to release at Gen Con 2017 along with the base game.  Spirit Island is a 2017 release that is only now just being shipped off to backers and going to different retailers.  It is a cooperative game with levels of hand management and an action point allowance systems where the players will have turns to use their god to wreak havoc on the invaders of the land in order to cause then to leave the area and completely take over the island for the spirits.  I was able to procure a copy of this game and the expansion and really look forward to being able to play them and I think the expansion looks great as well!  This expansion adds a couple new spirits to use and a couple new mechanisms along with a new adversary.

Flames & Frost is an expansion to the 2016 game, Valeria: Card Kingdoms by Isaias Vallejo.  The expansion is also designed by Isaias and is slated to come out at Gen Con 2017 and I am pumped for it!  Valeria: Card Kingdoms is what I’d call a Machi Koro killer.  This game has dice which the players will roll and everyone gets resources which they will in turn order be able to either hire citizens from an offer, attack and destroy monsters or buy different buildings.  This game is such a simple idea with some absolutely amazing art and it just a total blast whenever we play it!  This expansion basically just adds more citizens and monsters to the mix and I’m okay with that.  I don’t think the game really needs anything other than more variability and this expansion will do that.

Valhalla and The Dark Mountains are two different expansions to the 2016 hit, Champions of Midgard by Ole Steiness.  These expansions were also designed by Ole Steiness and have already been delivered to Kickstarter backers and retailers while the “official” debut is Gen Con 2017.  Champions of Midgard is primarily a worker placement game where the players will be obtaining different colored dice that represent different types of Viking warriors, from swordsmen to axemen and so on.  The players will use their dice to defeat monsters and go hunting while also obtaining resources to pay for their voyages.  This game and so fun and the expansions appear to make it an amazing game!  Valhalla gives players the option of going a different route of victory.  As the warrior dice die the players will get different tokens which in turn they can pay to get things from the Valhalla board thus making the game even less luck based with the mitigation of bad rolls.  The Dark Mountains bring in a new board with different monsters and three new types of dice.  I am so pumped for these expansions and hope to have them in my hands very soon!

The Laws of Lions and The Song of Soaksend are two new deluxe expansions for the 2016 expandable card game, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn by Isaac Vega.  The expansions are also designed by Vega and are slated to come out at this year’s Gen Con.  Ashes is an absolutely amazing head-to-head card game where each player takes a Phoenixborn and either their pre-constructed deck or build one around the character.  The players will actually roll ten dice of different colors which will become the manna that they use to bring out units or cast spells during the round.  Each player will take a turn and then the next player will follow up with their action and this will continue each round until both players pass with no other actions they want/can take.  This game is in my top 5 games of all time and thus I will voraciously eat up any expansion that comes out.  Both of these expansions really look interesting because they are bringing two new colors of dice to the mix and that will just add more interest and variability to an already amazing game.  I can’t wait to try these decks out!

Alright, there you have it!  These are the 5 expansions (plus one honorable mention) that really caught my eye while going through this year’s list and most of them I will probably have on my shelf this time next year!  Please feel free to let me know if there are any interesting expansions that I have missed.  Thanks so much for reading and keep your eye on the blog as I’ll be continuing my Gen Con 2017 posts with my reissues list coming next.  Until next time, game on!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XXV: July 2017

Yay for another month of gaming!  I have really come to enjoy these monthly posts on the games that we’ve played over the past month because I’m really able to see the games that we’re getting to the table and what we thought of them.  We had another great month of playing games and were able to get some new ones to the table, one of which we’ll definitely pick up at some point!  Okay, before getting into the meat of the post here are the stats for our 10x10 challenge for the year.

10x10 Challenge:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (1 play in July, 2 total plays for 2017)
Cottage Garden (2 plays in July, 7 total plays for 2017)
Five Tribes (0 play in July, 3 total plays for 2017)
Gloomhaven (2 plays in July, 9 total plays for 2017)
Great Western Trail (0 plays in July, 6 total plays for 2017)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (0 plays in June, 9 total plays for 2017)
Ticket to Ride (0 plays in July, 13 total plays for 2017)
Tokaido (2 plays in July, 4 total plays for 2017)
Too Many Bones (0 plays in July, 10 total plays for 2017)
Unfair (0 plays in July, 5 total plays for 2017)

Alright, there are our 10x10 stats for July.  We are trucking along and I really don’t think we’ll have any problems hitting the goals for these 10 games.  I am actually enjoying doing this challenge as it gets us to think about pulling out games we really like but sometimes pass over due to other, newer games in our collection.  I think we’ll probably do this every year as we’re enjoying it.  Okay, I think that’s enough preamble, let’s move on to the games we played in July.

Total plays in July 2017 – 43
Total unique games played in July 2017 – 25
New games played in July 2017 – 5
New games acquired in July – N/A
New expansions acquired in July 2017 – N/A
Most plays of a single game in July – 6

Designer – Christopher Badell/Paul Bender/Adam Rebottaro
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Sentinel Comics
Last play before July 2017 – 5/23/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 6

Woot!  I got in a bunch of solo plays of this game this past month and enjoyed every second of it.  I love how each of the character decks are so different and that the challenge of each boss is so different.  This will probably remain in my top 10 list for a long time, especially with the OblivAeon expansion coming out this fall/winter!

Designer – Régis Bonnessée
Publisher – Libellud/Asmodee
New to me
First play – 7/16/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 5

Our buddy Josh picked this game up at a FLGS this past month and brought it over for us to try.  We fell in love!  Bonnessée is already a favorite of ours as he created one of our favorite games of all times, Seasons.  Because of his prior design work we were excited to check out this game and it didn’t disappoint.  This game is now on our must buy list but we’re good for now as it is local for us to play!

Designer – Justin Blaske
Publisher – Five24 Labs
Last play before July 2017 – 2/25/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 4

I broke this small, fun game out this past month a few times and played it solo.  He included four different AI characters that you can play and they are really fun!  I am quite enjoying the puzzle that this small game presents as a solitaire play!

Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Edition Spielwiese
Last play before July 2017 – 5/22/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

Em and I decided to work on our 10x10 challenge a little and pulled out this fun tile-laying game and got in a couple of plays.  We split the difference with Em crushing me once and me just barely edging her out the other time.

Designer – Isaac Childres
Publisher – Cephalofair Games
Last play before July 2017 – 6/29/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

Another of our 10x10 plays is for this incredible game.  This is a game that we don’t even have to bother to think about for the challenge as we are basically playing it 2-3 times a month with Josh and Dustin joining us.  This game is great and there is really nothing else that needs to be said about that!

Designer – Michał Jagodziński
Publisher – Board&Dice
New to me
First play – 7/16/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

Josh picked up this smart little hand management game along with a Kickstarter for another one.  I really liked this game.  It is super small with a tiny footprint but really has some very smart decisions that have to be made during the play.  I will try to pick this one up myself eventually.

Designer – Kuro
Publisher – Osprey Games/Manifest Destiny
Last play before July 2017 – 1/26/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

Em and I picked this one up this past month knowing that all we had left was to win with the final rules which is the hardest difficulty.  We played one round and were not even close as we lost in the very first round!  We decided to reshuffle and try again and we were able to win on the hardest difficulty!  This is such a smart game and just makes me want to try more by the designer.

Designer – Manuel Correia
Publisher – Board&Dice
New to me
First play – 7/23/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

This is a “micro” deck-builder that is actually quite clever!  The game has obstacles which you have to purchase or avoid and makes them go into your deck while everything you play goes back into the obstacle deck.  I really enjoyed the clever mechanisms in this game and if I found it at the right price I’d totally get a copy!

Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – Funforge
Last play before July 2017 – 4/18/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 2

We picked up this fun, zen-like game and played it a couple of times this past month (which also gets us plays for our 10x10!) and it was a blast!  I love how simple this game is but with the Crossroads expansion really gives you some meaningful decisions to make.  I’d play this with anyone as it is so simple and fun to play!

Designer – Ryan Laukat
Publisher – Red Raven Games
Last play before July 2017 – 4/16/16
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

We played this one this past month and were able to teach it to Molly and Dustin.  They both enjoyed the play of this fun Euro-style, storytelling game.  Doing this list made me realize it had been over a year since we played it and that has to change as we really like this one!

Designer – Nate French/Matthew Newman
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before July 2017 – 1/10/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Woo hoo!  I’m so happy that we finally got this game back to the table!  This is a game that I think could really roll its way up my favorite games list.  Sadly, we haven’t played it a whole lot as I am not totally convinced that my wife digs it.  I think she enjoyed this play a lot more so I’m excited to see what the next one brings!

Designer – Michael Kiesling/Wolfgang Kramer
Publisher – R&R Games/eggertspiele
Last play before July 2017 – 6/27/16
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Em and I brought out this fantastic worker placement game and had a good round of it!  This is simply one of the most elegant games that we own and I absolutely love every time I get to play it.  This time Em played a great game and was able to beat me although I stormed up from behind and only lost by a few points!

Designer – Kane Klenko
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
Last play before July 2017 – 6/10/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

We played a game of Flatline this past month and it was a total blast.  This game it just an amazing co-operative, dice placement where each player rolls there dice and everyone works together and against the clock in order to triage patients.  We love this game and it will stay in our collection for a very long time.

Designer – Vital Lacerda
Publisher – Eagle-Gryphon Games
Last play before July 2017 – 4/6/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

I had a night where Em was away with a friend so I pulled out this game to play a solo round and see how I’d do.  I ended up doing really well as I completed all of the goals to win on a master level!  I quite enjoy the puzzle of this game’s solitaire mode.

Designer – Kalle Malmioja
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios/
Last play before July 2017 – 6/20/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Em and I were looking for a quick play game to kill some time before dinner one night so we grabbed this quick playing, tile laying game.  This is such a wonderfully designed and fun-to-play game and I’m glad I picked it up for our collection.  This is just another game to affirm my love of Renegade Game Studios and that they are currently one of the best game companies in the market!

Designer – Adam Carlson/Josh Carlson
Publisher – Chip Theory Games
New to me
First play – 7/21/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

So Josh picked up the whole collection of Hoplomachus from Chip Theory Games and we pulled it out and learned it by playing the cooperative version against the titans.  This is another great game by the guys at CTG and we had an absolute ball playing it!  This probably won’t beat out Too Many Bones for my favorite game by them but this game will climb up my list with subsequent plays.

Designer – Bruno Cathala/Charles Chevallier
Publisher – IELLO
Last play before July 2017 – 4/22/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Em and I needed a quick game to fill in a little time before bed one night so we decided to pull out this fun and quick little card drafting and set collection game.  This game is still and ton of fun and I am looking forward to teaching it to others.

Designer – Gil Hova
Publisher – Formal Ferret Games
Last play before July 2017 – 8/5/16
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Molly and Dustin came over to plays some games last month and we decided to pull out The Networks and they loved it!  This game is such an awesome idea as you get to draft shows, stars and ads in order to create your network television station.  I’m glad we got to try it out with them and we had a blast!

Designer – Nigel Pyne
Publisher – maverick muse
Last play before July 2017 – 2/25/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Em and I were able to go out on a date where we went out and saw Spiderman: Homecoming and then went out for dinner.  We took this with us and played a round as we were waiting for dinner and Em kicked my butt!

Designer – Isaias Vallejo
Publisher – Daily Magic Games
Last play before July 2017 – 4/15/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

I decided one day to have a Valeria-day where I pulled out all of the games in the series and played solo rounds of them.  These games all have solid solo variants and I enjoyed playing them.  I am still looking forward to the next game I assume Isaias will design in the series!

Designer – Richard Wilkins
Publisher – Victory Point games
New to me
First play – 7/29/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

This is a new game that hasn’t yet been published but is currently making its run on Kickstarter.  They have the game up on Tabletopia so I decided to try it out and boy am I glad I did!  This game is absolutely great and “Ricky Royal” has made quite the experience.  I am looking forward to the physical release of this game.

Designer – Régis Bonnessée
Publisher – Libellud/Asmodee
Last play before July 2017 – 5/22/16
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Em and I pulled out this incredible game (for now it is still #1 on my top 10!) and got in a play of it.  Wow do I every love this game!  I still think that this is just one of those designs that was made for me because it ticks all the stuff I love!  This was an amazing play and Em ended up pulling out the win but just barely!

Designer – Isaias Vallejo
Publisher – Daily Magic Games
Last play before July 2017 – 4/15/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

Here is another play of one of the Valeria games for my day of this series!  This is actually the only one of the three games that I hadn’t tried solo and I really enjoyed it!  These games are all great and as I stated before, I can’t wait to see what he does next in the series!

Designer – Isaias Vallejo/Rick Holzgrafe
Publisher – Daily Magic Games
Last play before July 2017 – 5/25/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

And here is the final game from the Valeria series that I decided to tackle all in one day of an epic solo playthrough of the series!  This is such a good game.  I love playing this game with others, but it plays so very well solo that it is nice to be able to pull out every once in a while even when I don’t have other players.

Designer – Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher – Tasty Minstrel Games/OKAZU Brand
Last play before July 2017 – 5/29/17
Total plays in July 2017 – 1

We had a chance to pull this game out and play a round with our buddy Josh this past month.  This game is quickly moving up my list of favorite games as I think it is just a brilliant design.  I love the resource management and the way that you need to move your president during your turn.  This is a game that I will always keep on my shelves!

New game acquisitions in July 2017:

New expansion acquisitions in June 2017:

Well, there you go!  Another wonderful month of game’s played in the books and another one coming up!  I am really looking forward to my next post in this series as I should have a fair chunk of new games to talk about as I’ll be going to Gen Con for the first time!  I am really looking forward to it as it will be the first ever boardgame convention I’ve ever been to.  Speaking of the convention, keep an eye on my blog as I’ll be starting up my Gen Con 2017 series very shortly and will go over so very many games over the 6 or so posts.  Alright, I think that is a wrap for the month of July.  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you all enjoyed. Until next time, game on!