Feb 02 2015

Try and Buy from Gen Con 2014, 6 months later… where do they stand?

Published by at 9:33 pm under board games,Games,Gen Con,Podcast,The Geek Allstars

Back in August we did our yearly show on top 11 to try and top 11 to buy of Gen Con. I also covered my list on the final score show.
I thought it would be fun to quickly go back over my lists and see how I thought of the games I had on these lists, and see what might have faded out of the hotness.

Top 11 to try.

 11. Munchkin Panic— Unfortunately I never did get over to get a demo of Munchkin Panic. I have seen some tweets that it’s decent and I still want to give it a shot as well.

10. Clockwork Kingdom— This has been my white whale over the last 6 months. The designer sent me a prototype and I got thru half a game and I have read the rules about 4 times. I just haven’t gotten to get it to the table. It’s a decent basic worker placement that does some interesting things with workers. It’s just one of those wacky things that every time I get to try and play it something comes us. So I apologize to Brandon for not getting this one played and talked about more. Luckily they got it funded so grats to him on the success.

9. Castles of Mad King Ludwig— Yet another game that elludes me. I have been wanting to try this one out since Gen Con and still have not. It’s a bit dry looking and sterile in my opinion, but it does have an interesting bidding/auction mechanic. So I still want to try it out. Bezier games is a decent company even if they won’t send me anything to review. (hey Ted hint hint)

8 (And then some) Argent: The Consortium / Spirits of The Rice Paddy / Skyway Robbery / Colt Express— Chris, Eric Martin, and myself talked about all of these games on the show at this spot in the countdown. And this will be the only time I will talk about everything we talked about.

So first Argent:The Consortium…. looks amazing and the rules are solid. I have a copy which I intend to get to the table real soon. Just haven’t gotten the chance.
Spirits of the Rice Paddy is up on Kickstarter right now, and is funded. I have played it twice and really like it. It’s a very euro centric game about growing rice. HOWEVER, it has a real cool card drafting mechanism, that when you play them to your tableau you get to activate the powers each turn for the rest of the game. This is a great mechanic which I would love to see Phillip use again. go back it while you have the chance!
Skyway Robbery is also by Phillip duBarry. It’s more of a thematic American-style game with some great action selection and card play as you play as thieves trying to pull off heists. Very cool game and I cannot wait to get my KS copy.
Colt Express— I got to play this one on Christmas with my family. HOLY CRAP IS THIS ONE FUN! I cannot recommend this one enough. It’s a very light train robbery game in which you are programming your actions and then they get resolved in order. So it’s got some strategy to keep an eye on what people are playing but also have a very loose aloof-ness so that even kids can have some fun and be good at it. Pick it up ASAP you won’t be sorry
7 Conquest of Speros— I backed this one on Kickstarter and it hasn’t come in yet. I wanted to give it a shot at Gen Con but the booth was constantly packed so I didn’t get a play of it in.

6 – Fidelitas — As luck would have it my copy of Fidelitas came in yesterday! So I can’t wait to get my wife and kids to play, or just play it two player with my wife. A solid solid game by Jason Kotarski

5 – Pandemic: The Cure— I didn’t get to play this one at Gen Con but I did get it as a Christmas present from my co-host on The Geek Allstars “Dice Hate Me” Chris. I love this game quite a bit. It’s a solid co-op which is fun to play, has a bunch of great variability in the player powers, and is challenging. Until Pandemic Legacy comes out this is going to be my go to Pandemic.

4 – Shadowrun: Crossfire — I have wanted to play this one for a while. Not a lot of good buzz unfortunately as most people have not liked it. I might not get to play it at all, unless I can convince Marty and Tony (from Rolling Dice and Taking Names) to bring it when we finally get a meet up figured out here in NC.

3 – Spirit Island — I didn’t get to play this one yet, but I did watch a good amount of the demo at Gen Con. It’s a euro from Greater Than Games which has quite a bit of potential. Keep your ears open for info on it.

2 – Epic Resort— So I got my copy at Gen Con of this one and only have gotten to play it once, as a two player. And I have to say that it unfortunately fell flat. I want to try it again maybe with 3-4 players but with 2 players it just was very meh. The whole theme and what you are doing is such a huge hit for me, but the game play was just not that exciting. BUT, like I said I will have to give it another try,

1 – Pandemic Legacy— Ok This was just me being very hopeful that it would be there. Unfortunately, I never did see it at Gen Con, but a few people I know got to try it out at BGG.con. I have heard great things, and it remains among my top 2-3 games I want to pick up this year. I think it’s one of those rare games I am gonna buy sight unseen. I don’t do that too often but man I can’t wait to pickt his one up.

Top 11 to BUY!
So this list is going to be a bit better. I did actually buy most of these games… so how do I like them???
1 DC Crisis Expansion Pack 1  So I ended up getting this one just before Gen Con (IIRC). I have played it twice with my beautiful wife, and I am still waiting for it to grab me. Don’t get me wrong it’s fun, but it’s 2 hours of fun. And no matter how much I love the DC DBG, it’s not supposed to be a 2 hour game.
2 Legendary Encounters:An Alien Deck Building Game — Picked this one up as well at Gen Con, and it might have been the biggest surprise for me. I loved it and have played it a few times solo. I am itching to get Janice or Chris to play this one with me co-op to see how it plays with multiple people.
Diamonds Panamax— Once again I got these two at Gen Con and being that they are both in my top 11 games of 2014 I couldn’t be happier that I got em. GREAT GREAT games by stronghold games. Highly recommend you grabbing them.
4. Dead of Winter I technically got this one as a pre-order but I still put it on my to buy list. It’s a good game, it’s just not the cat’s pajamas that everyone makes it out to be. It’s a fun game to break out at parties and have some fun trying to kill zombies and figure out who might be a traitor. It’s a solid try before you buy type game to me.
Five Tribes — I got one of the limited copies at Gen Con, and Chris and I did a First play second Play video on it as well… Needless to say this was my personal GAME OF THE YEAR. I think everyone should own this game. It’s a ton of fun and has a nice deep gameplay to it. It can be overwhelming at first play but you will enjoy it and pick it up fast.
King of NY— I got this as well at Gen Con, and I am happy with it. It didn’t hit very well when we played it at the Gamers for Cures marathon in November, but I did like it when I played it. It’s a little deeper of an experience then King of Tokyo, and to me that’s a good thing. I think anyone would do well to pick it up!
Imperial Settlers — So I am yet to get my hands on this one, BUT it’s another great game. SOOOOO Great in fact, that it won our GEEK ALLSTARS GAME OF THE YEAR 2014. We collectively as a group awarded this solid game by Portal publishing the best game and it sure deserves it. Now if only I can get Ignacy to send me a nice signed copy when he gets the next printing done (pretty please?)
Abyss— I got this one from a secret santa in Dec. I got to play it once and I liked it. Unfortunately the other people I played with did not. The artwork is among the best I have ever seen in a game, and the game is super light. Much lighter then it appears to first glance. It’s set collection with some interesting choices during the game. I can’t wait to try it again with 3-4 players, I think it will hit home a bit better with repeated plays.
The Witcher Adventure Game–So this one didn’ make it out to release at Gen Con but it’s out now. I got to play it online with Joel (from Drive thru review) and I loved the play of it. I had heard it’s a witcher skinned Eldrich Horror. And well, yeah it pretty much is. BUT, it’s soooo much fun. The minis which come in the game look great and the play is a ton of fun. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the game.
10 Warhammer 40K Conquest — I haven’t gotten a copy of this, but I have played it. And it’s another game we did a first play, second play on. It’s decent for an LCG and once I get to play it with decks that were made up, other then the pre-made decks which come with the game, I think I will like it a bit more. I am still not much of an LCG guy, no matter how hard I try to be (I am looking at you Star Wars LCG!) but there’s still hope in my mind that I can find one I will really like.
11 Golem Arcana I got a demo of this at Gen Con and also got a review copy of this one. And all I can say is HOLY CRAP. It’s real good, and real fun. The integration of the table top game play and using an iOS app to play the game is brilliant and well well done. They have all sorts of scenarios which they update constantly and the minis, of course, are top notch. Look for a first play, second play of this one coming soon from us.
I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write on here in the last year, and honestly with The Geek Allstars Podcast, the family, coaching and working, I won’t pretend to lie and try and promise that I will do more, but I truly want to do more. With any luck you might see some diaries of our online pathfinder game we currently are doing. It’s a ton of fun and I am lucky enough to be in a campaign with some great board game industry people and the campaign is DM’d by Undead Viking himself. We have done one session of it. SO check it out here, and let me know what you think.
Also I hope to have a review of the documentary “The next great American game” which I got to watch last week. It’s an interesting watch and I can’t wait to write and/or talk about it on the show real soon.
Till next time stay happy and play some board games!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Try and Buy from Gen Con 2014, 6 months later… where do they stand?”

  1. Brian Frahm (@frahminator)on 03 Feb 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Nice write up Dan. Good to look back on the year that was Smile


  2. Chris Mosleyon 22 Jun 2015 at 9:00 am

    I really enjoy it when you look back. It helps those of us who employ the wait and see strategy or the wide majority of us who just can’t play as many new games as we would like as game after game is released.


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