Gen Con 2015 Part 4

Welcome back, Nerd Lifers, for the final installment of the Gen Con wrap up. There are a few more hot games from this years convention yet to look at. 


Wyrd Miniatures

Wyrd Miniatures set up some amazing displays featuring their Malifaux and Warmachine/Hordes miniatures. I am a huge fan of their giant statue of the Whiskey Golem, a fixture that has become a big draw to their booth.

Boss Monster 2

The makers of Boss Monster 2 used a cool new display to promote the sequel to last years smash hit, Boss Monster! This standalone expansion adds more ways to mess with your competitors in a game that was beginning to grow stale due to it’s lack of player involvement. A strong improvement to a very good card game!



I finally got a chance to try Rio Grande’s novel roll and move game, Rattlebones. This game had very little interest for me going into it due to my dislike of roll and move games. The dice components with changeable faces seemed a bit too gimmicky to me going into playing this. I could not have been more wrong. The ability to modify your dice in this game with all kinds of different abilities added a surprising amount of strategy to a game where you basically move around in a circle and hope to land on spots that gain you points. I probably wouldn’t purchase this but it is absolutely worth playing this charming game once or twice!


Legendary Encounters: Predator

Upper Deck went all out and made an amazing jungle base of operations to celebrate the launch of their newest addition to the Legendary: Encounters game system Predator. This game has remarkable versatility. The game can play through the 1st or second movie story lines as the humans against the predators or you can turn the tables and play as the predators against the humans. If you own Legendary Encounters: Alien you can combine that with this game. When you do that options of playing as humans vs Predators and Aliens or Predators vs Aliens becomes available. No other game gives you that kind of versatility that actually works out to be a great game. One of my favorites!


Stone of Fate

Another big surprise from the convention was Stones of Fate from Cosmic Wombat games. This game won a game of the year award from the smart people over at Mensa this year and it makes sense why. This game is simple to learn but requires a good deal of brain power and strategy to play well. In this game you will have a face down tableau of tarot cards of various point values and victory conditions. You have to use your memory to play your stones of fate in the right positions on these cards in order to win the game. I was not expecting to like this game as much as I did before idly trying out while waiting for another game but it blew me away and became an insta-buy for me.


Campaign Trail

Campaign Trail, another game from my new favorite small publisher, Cosmic Wombat games, was another surprisingly enjoyable game. I’m usually not a big fan of cube pushing games with dry themes but the amazing balance and quick play of this game strongly appealed to me. Don’t turn your back on this game due to the dry theme. Never have I played a game that offered so much different strategy and methods of play in such a simple to learn game. I only had to read the manual once and I was ready to plunge into this deep game. The balance in this game is an amazing achievement by the designers! Each game had several lead changes and stayed very close between all players and each victory was achieved narrowly and by a brilliant play. I anxiously await the arrival of Campaign Trail on kickstarter and I will be releasing a full review of it along with a gameplay video soon!


Takenoko: Chibis

Asmodee released an expansion to one of their most popular games, Takenoko, at Gen Con this year! As a huge fan of the original I absolutely had to have it. This expansion adds a female panda that can mate with the panda from the existing game which creates all kinds of baby pandas which brings mass pandamonium to this fun casual game.  Takenoko: Chibis adds a few more tiles to the game. Some of which are a tile that can grow all three colors of bamboo, a new water feature that can help make irrigating your garden much easier, as well as a cabin for your poor overworked farmer. This expansion adds just enough to keep the game accessible to new players as well as add some new mechanics to freshen up the game for veteran players.



I can’t finish the Gen Con wrap up without showing off my haul from the convention! Yes that’s Mall Madness on the bottom, don’t judge.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the cool new games that were on display at the convention this year and I can’t wait to release some in depth reviews of some of them so you can get a better idea of whether or not they are right for you!

Gen Con 2015 Part 3

Welcome back, Nerd Lifers, for the final installment of the Gen Con wrap up. There are a few more hot games from this years convention yet to look at. We will start with one of the games with the biggest hype going into the weekend.

Flick Em Up

Flick Em Up had some of the largest hype going into the convention. Blending the dexterity challenge of Rampage with a fun wild west theme and an engaging story mode Flick Em Up will delight casual gamers along with the more serious crowd looking for a dexterity game with a bit more substance. The $70 price tag is a bit hefty for a game of this type but when you factor in the large amount of wood that comes with this game it is a pretty fair deal.



Mysterium, the paranormal mystery game, finally got it’s United States release at Gen Con this year. Sporting updated artwork of a more cartoony variety, an added screen for the ghost player, upgraded components, and a new psychic points mechanic rewarding better guess work had people racing to Asmodee Games booth each day of the convention to score one of the 100 copies they were selling each day. Having played the original Polish version this year I can attest that this is a game that is well worth all of the hype surrounding it and I cannot wait to have a copy of my own come October of this year!


Arcadia Quest

I finally got a chance to play Cool Mini or Not’s arena style dungeon crawler battle game, Arcadia Quest this year! I was absolutely enchanted by the depth of play this game offered! A wide variety of playable characters each with their own unique skills, beautiful high quality miniatures, a wide variety of avenues for victory, and the unique blend of cooperative and competitive play got this game up to the top of the list of games that I want to buy despite having a terribly awkward and distractable teacher demoing the game! It’s high MSRP of $90 will have me checking out my lovely FLGS Miniature Market for a discount copy!



Strife was one of the few games that I had almost no knowledge of going into the convention. The demo that I played was a very solid game that I enjoyed quite a bit. Strife gives each player an identical deck of cards filled with fantasy characters or varying strength and powers that you can use to conquer locations on a shared board. The winner is the player that can strategize the powers of these characters the best and outwit their opponents in a quick and clever battle of wits. A good choice for a two player game while you wait for the rest of your D&D buddies to arrive for a night of gaming!


Secrets of the Lost Tomb

By far my favorite game of the convention was a complete surprise to me. Secrets of the Lost Tomb was a kickstarter success that somehow flew under my radar this year and popped up to become one of my most anticipated games! This game takes what could be a great Indiana Jones story and adds a creepy H.P. Lovecraft theme to it. The theme enough was enough to get me excited but after playing the demo and finding that it had inspirations from some of my favorite games like Betrayal at House on the Hill, Arkham Horror, and story driven dungeon crawlers like Descent made this game an insta buy for me!


Ashes: Rise of The Pheonixborn

Plaid Hats big release this year was Ashes: Rise of The Pheonixborn. It has been a smash success and lots of people have really enjoyed it’s similarity to games like Magic and Hearthstone with the inclusion of a unique dice based resource mechanic. I found the gameplay to be a little underwhelming. The play of the game really only replicated the first few turns of the aforementioned games and each play seemed to escalate very slowly without any of the amazing payoffs that you get from those games in the later rounds. As always Fernanda Suarez’s artwork is absolutely stunning and it’s nice to see her get a permanent position in the ranks of Plaid Hat Games, it just isn’t enough to make this game exciting enough for me to suggest very highly. A disappointing step backwards for a company that had an incredible streak of fantastic games.


Discoveries: The Journals of Lewis and Clark


Asmodee’s other big hit this year was with Discoveries, a new dice based version of their popular Lewis and Clark game. This game was introduced to me at the Secret Cabal Meet Up on Saturday night and it was a great deal of fun! Luckily they got a resupply of the game in after selling out so I could get my hands on it. The game has you taking on the role of a member of the expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. You will have to roll dice and wisely spend resources to hire Native American guides both friendly and malicious to help guide you through the wilderness as you chart and chronicle the vast new addition to this country. Gameplay was fast, strategic, fun and had a great deal of beautiful artwork that really brought the theme to life!


The Village Crone

Another favorite of mine this year was the Village Crone from Fireside games. This game has players take on the roles of different witches trying to gain control of a small village by using their familiars to acquire the components needed to cast spells that bedevil and pester the poor villagers of Wickersby in a race to become the most feared and respected witch. This game has a lot of deep strategy coupled with a good dose of mayhem as all of the players recite silly spells to further their own agendas while throwing cogs in the plans of their competitors. Great fun!!!


Greetings Nerd Lifers, Gen Con, America’s largest gaming convention has come to an end. I have spent the past few days meandering through narrow corridors lined with vendors and jam packed with over 61,000 people to bring you the latest news in exciting board games and card games! I have such sites to show you! Let us begin!


The Manhattan Project

Minion Games quickly sold out of copies of their Manhattan Project board game. A very interesting theme where players place their workers efficiently to help the United States Manhattan project create the worlds first nuclear weapon. An impressive and fun game that also teaches a fascinating history lesson.


Mega Man

I wish there were a lot of positive things I could say about Jasco’s Mega Man game. They did absolutely everything they could to pack as many tributes to one of my favorite video game franchises as possible but didn’t focus enough on making an engaging board game.

The miniatures are absolutely stellar, the artwork is impeccable, and the component quality is top notch. All of the delays this game has been facing over the past few years involve the perfectionism of Capcom having a strong hand in the development of the miniatures and overall look of this game. If more attention was payed to the actual game design aspect of Mega Man than the aesthetic we would have a huge hit.

The gameplay is a lot like the final few turns of Munchkin where everyone is playing negative modifiers against one player taking on the role of Mega Man who tries to play a bunch of cards to give positive modifiers all while gambling the amount of dice they will need to roll for a success on their mission. There are many long rounds of this until a player can finally make it far enough to fight a boss battle that has the exact same mechanics as all the rest of the turns. After doing this long nearly hour long process you will have to repeat it with at least 3 other mini bosses to even have a chance at taking on the big boss Dr. Wily. The person doing the demo stated that this process would only take about an hour to an hour and a half but I honestly do not see a way this game could be finished in less than four tedious hours.

It is a terrible shame that such a great property is ruined by such tedious gameplay. The high price tag of $80 will get you some awesome miniatures and maybe you can make your own rules to fix where this game went so wrong.


Tail Feathers

Jerry Hawthorne of Plaid Hat Games gave me a look at Tail Feathers, an aerial combat game based in the popular Mice and Mystics Universe. In the bottom image you can see that they are employing an interesting mechanic where you can swivel your miniature to bank in the direction you intend to go. This will play heavily into the strategy of the game which looks to have a lot in common with the Xwing and D&D Attack Wing Miniatures games.


Champions of Hara

One of the best games I played all week was Champions of Hara. This game has steampunk adventure and Kung fu fighting all rolled into a beautiful constantly changing colorful universe. I highly suggest getting in on the December pre order for this one.


Swords and Strongholds

Being a huge fan of the Mouse Guard comic I had to check out Swords and Strongholds, a game played in the legends of the guard stories. The game is very abstract and tactical and definitely rewards smart play but the $30 price tag kept me away from a game that has so few components but a price drop might be worth the splurge.


Tides of Time

This was a great 2 player drafting game with stellar art and a good price at $12. Lots of replay and hard decisions to make each turn. Every couple needs a game like this in their collection.


Spectre Ops


I'm a big fan of hidden movement games like Nuns on the Run and Letters to Whitechapel. This game might have them all beat. A rogue agent must infiltrate a top secret facility and access a certain number of targets before he is captured by a group of super powered hunters. The tension in this game was high from the beginning and escalated all the way to a climactic finish on the last possible turn.

This game will find a spot on my shelf.


I hope you enjoyed the first part of my coverage of Gen Con! Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of my Saturday + Sunday activities as well as reviews of games that I took home from the con!

by: Levi

Gen Con 2015 Wrap Up Thursday, Friday | Part 1

Greetings Nerd Lifers, Gen Con, America’s largest gaming convention has come to an end. I have spent the past few days meandering through narrow corridors lined with vendors and jam packed with over 61,000 people to bring you the latest news in exciting board games and card games! I have such sites to show you! Let us begin!


Mars Attacks Miniatures

Mantic games had an amazing scene set up for their Mars Attacks miniatures game. This set up gave a great example of what a little bit of scenery and and paint can do to bring a game to life!



Independant Gamers Alliance showed off Kitsune, a game about using different fox spirits to trick a bunch of dupes to gain points. Looks interesting and at times a little awkward…


Timid Monsters

Timid Monsters is a great little toy company making great little desk monsters! Check out their lower cost options on their etsy page!


Deep Wars

Anti Matter Games showed off their semi aquatic miniatures game Deep Wars. Their representatives touted that the whole game could be distilled down to a one page rulebook or played with a larger more complicated ruleset to accomodate different play styles. The amazing nautilus miniature was cool enough to get me interested in this very cool war game!


New Salem

Overworld games was offering demonstrations of their recent kickstarter success, New Salem. The game has different players taking on the roles of witches or puritans in New Salem, each trying to play sets of cards to create positivity or despair in their town. Being able to figure out who the witches are is important to winning the game. I love how the different cards line up to create a full picture in each set.


Artifacts Inc.

Artifacts Inc. by Ryan Laukat for Red Raven Games really impressed me! Everyone takes on the roll of 1940s explorers who search for various artifacts to sell to museums. Tight worker placement and drafting mechanics along with a little bit of dice luck and great artwork make for a very fun strategic game!


Warpo Toys

Warpo, makers of some very cool 70’s and 80’s style Lovecraftian action figures unveiled their newest toy in the line, a massive 12 inch Cthulhu!

Make sure to check back and check out what we found at Gen Con the rest of the week!

By: Levi