August 16-19 was the weekend of GenCon, the biggest non-video gaming convention in the nation. I wasn't able to be there, but I followed a lot of the news and new releases online through bloggers, podcasts, etc. The day before the convention I posted about what I was looking forward to. Now that I've had time to digest a lot of videos and blog posts on the GenCon, I'd like to share what I was excited to see and hear about.
First, I'd like to say that there was a lot of reporting being done on GenCon. I found it interesting to see the range of quality this reporting exhibited. Some people really understand how to report on something like this, and other people don't. In one series of video podcasts I found myself groaning at the stupid/non-helpful questions and comments coming from the reporter. Meanwhile, in other video podcasts I was really impressed by the way the reporter asked meaningful questions, and how I really came away feeling like I had an understanding of the new game or product being discussed. If you're interested in checking any of this stuff out, the best video coverage I found came from Team Covenant and The Dice Tower. Fantasy Flight Games also had some good video coverage, but it is mainly focused on their own new releases, and Wizards of the Coast has videos of their various D&D panels.
|Android: Netrunner being demonstrated at the con.|
So, there were a couple of games I was especially interested in seeing demonstrated at GenCon, because this would be the first time they were being sold and I was very interested in seeing what they looked like in action and what players thought of them. These two games were Android: Netrunner and Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, both from Fantasy Flight Games. I found videos of each of these games being played at the con, and I have to say that I am even more excited about them than I was before. It was especially neat that they had inaugural tournaments for each of these games at the con, and I found video interviews with the champions of those two tournaments. Listening to their enthusiastic comments on the games and their strategies was cool. Netrunner looks like a very intense card game for two players, while X-Wing seems like a fast and furious star-fighter combat simulation.
|Star Wars: X-Wing being demonstrated at the con.|
|New LotR expansion|
|Star Wars card game demo|
I also got wind of some new games I hadn't heard of, or had heard very little about.
There is a new version of Tsuro coming out called Tsuro of the Seas. It looks interesting, because it could pretty well replace Tsuro as a very similar game with different (and equally beautiful) artwork, but it also has some new components that can be used to add more random elements to the game.
Smash Up is a new card game from AEG. In it, you combine two half-decks of cards into a single deck to play with. Each half-deck represents a different faction, such as aliens, pirates, robots, ninja, etc. So, you'll end up playing with robot-dinosaurs against another player's zombie-pirates, or whatever. Basically, each player is using these wacky combinations of cards to fight over bases. The game looks really simple, colorful, and fast paced.
There was a Doctor Who card game being demonstrated at GenCon. I didn't learn much about it, and I'm not a big fan of Doctor Who myself, but I have some friends who might be excited about this.
Cutthroat Caverns from Smirk & Dagger Games had a new expansion available at the con. This new expansion adds 12 custom adventurers that each play differently from the others, instead of the 6 identical characters from the base game. It also adds new enemies, items and so forth.
I guess that's pretty much it. Those were the main things that have stood out to me so far. I'll probably continue to absorb some further bits of news over the next couple of weeks, but I think those will likely be the highlights. I've all ready put in my preorders for Android: Netrunner and X-Wing, and I'm really looking forward to playing those games when they see their nation-wide release in mid-September. The other games I'll be keeping tabs on as they get more reviews before I decide if I want to invest in them or not. And maybe, just maybe, I'll make it to GenCon myself one of these years.