Jul 18 2016

A Look back at Gen Con 2015 Try Buy one year later.

Published by at 9:07 pm under board games,Games,Gen Con

Between today’s SDJ and KSDJ announcements and some convo’s I had today about them (Congrats to Code Names and Isle of Skye), I keep thinking where will some games be in our minds in 1-2 years. On those 2 in particular I think Code Names will still be one of the best party/casual/family games there is, I am not so sure about Isle of Skye. I think it’s a good game, and one which I enjoyed. However, it’s not one which I will seek out. So since this is the time of year where we start to foam at the mouth for the new hotness of Gen Con (and be sure to check out our 2016 Gen Con preview on the Geek Allstars in 2 weeks), I thought I would do my semi-annual look back at the try and buy from this past year’s Gen Con and my thoughts on each of them.

So here is my list and my thoughts on each one of the listings.

I hope you enjoy!!


1. Cryptozoic– DC DBG Legion of Super Heroes.

So I got to play this at Gen Con and I enjoyed it, and later picked up. However, for some reason DC DBG has been one I haven’t been able to get to the table as much over the past year, in the original base or 1st expansion. I did however play/bought the Teen Titans version and I really enjoyed it as well. The problem with these smaller 20-30 card mini cross over expansions, is that you have to grab them then shuffle them into the base game. And then possibly take them out of it when you play again. If you don’t you run into some possible weighting issues b/c cards you need to make others work just won’t be seen too much if the main deck is too thick. Anyway, long story short, I have not played it again since buying it.

2. AEG Dice City

I did not play this at Gen Con but I did pick it up when Wolfe was selling his copy. I enjoy this game and it’s not been too long since I have played it for the first time, but I am really looking forward to more plays. It’s not a great game but it’s got some constructing of your tableau fun to it that I dig.

3. Game Salute– Poseidens kingdom

I never did see this one at Gen Con, but later last year Game Salute sent me one to review. I really like this one and if you can pick it up at a good price I recommend doing so (I think Cape Fear Games has it for 62$? which to me is a steal considering the pieces are hella-amazing.

4 Passport– Mistfall co-op card based fantasy questing (2hours)

This is Pathfinder ACG on steroids. A fun little game which is real deep and has some good meat to it. I didn’t get to play it last year but they sent me a review copy and I got to play it solo. I hope to review it on an upcoming show, I just have to get a couple more plays in of it. But if you want some meat to your adventure Card games this is a good solid choice.

5 Arcane Wonders– Mage Wars Academy 20-30 mins (Might be there )

Never got to play it, and really have not seen it in the wild at all. I would still love to play it.
6 Eagle Griffin– Fleeples Warfside

I love this little card game. It’s light with some strategic depth and easy to get to the table. The Fleeples do us proud yet again.

7 Crypto– Ghostbusters the board game

This has been an interesting title. I don’t remember being able to get to a table at their booth to play it last year and have yet to see anyone I know play it. Crypto gets (IMHO) a bad rap in almost all the podcaster/BG community that I run in. I seem to be one of the only Crypto -appologists. Maybe it’s b/c I don’t take my game playing too seriously and love the fact they made a DC DBG and it’s AWESOME. And I love everything they have done with that Cerebus engine. I also don’t care if the Ghostbusters game seems to be a cut out of many more of the scenerio genre before it (MAnsions of Madness, Betreyal at house on the hill, Zombicide), but hell let’s get one thing straight, they almost ALL steal from each other so why pick on Crypto? If the game is legit fun to play and you like it while playing it then just flat admit it. But I want to be the judge of that myself. I keep bugging them to send me one but nothing yet.

8 Cephalofair games– Gloomhaven– Co-op Dungeon crawl. Card based action/talent system (kinda like descent) made by isaac Childress (Forge War)

This one I never saw and haven’t heard much about. I can only hope they will send me one when it comes out b.c I think we would legitimately enjoy playing it for the show.

9 DHMG/GTG— New Bedford or Spirit Island, Bott of 9th, Deck building the DBG

These I think it’s obvious that I love them all. I am real excited to see the new art in the wild for New Bedford this year at Gen Con. I am still in love with Spirit Island, and hope I can get a demo with whatever they have available again this year with Christopher Badell at Gen Con, and the other two I own and love. Nuff said…

10 Wizards– MTG: Arena of the Planeswalker

Never got to play, I see it’s at a pretty good price at Target but really I have heard next to nothing how people like this one or not.

11 Artana- Corrupted Kingdoms — Dirk Knemaier (Tesla Vs Edison)– Euro-ameri-trash?
Corrupted Kingdoms is a fun strategy and negotiation game set in a fantasy world, where you take on the role of an evil corporate monster, fighting for power over the pathetic united kingdoms and its political elite. To advance your hidden agenda, and enrich the lives of your friends and associates, you will use your minions and wealth to corrupt and subvert the assembly of the realm. Use the right kinds of “persuasion”, increase your own power, and push backroom deals through the assembly, all while looting the kingdom and its people of all its worth.

Again I haven’t heard much at all about this one since Gen Con, and I didn’t get to play it at all either. I would love to hear an update about it.

So my To Buy was supposed to be 11 but as you will see I cheated a little bit. And well, because of that my wife wasn’t happy with what I spent last year (opps!!)

To Buy Gen Con 2015

1 Blue Orange– NY 1901 $50

I picked this up on day one and it’s been one of my favorite games in the last year. If you don’t own it yet shame on you! A perfect combo of strategy/Chill/Gateway game feel. Bravo Blue Orange

2 Stonghold– La Granja, Survive Space Attack!
Among the stars revival (expansion focusing on 2p)
Space Cadets Away Missions

La Granja was another one of my favorite games of last year’s Gen Con. I picked it up and I am REAL glad I did so. I have played it a bunch and it’s easily still in my top 5 of last year. If you like meaty euro’s you will like this. IIRC it’s on the KSDJ recco list.
BUT…. I bought Survive Space Attack and still have not gotten it played.
Among the Stars Revival I picked up as well and really enjoyed it two players. 2 player drafting is real hard to pull off but they did it pretty well in this one. And it’s a good addition to the AtS line.
And finally in the SHG line Away Missions. I am still needing to play this one. Stephen donated one to the charity which I tried to win but I did not. It’s a good looking game and the reports have been good for it, but no one in my immediate circles have reported playing it, so I will have to see when I can give it a try.

3 Cryptozoic — DC DBG Teen Titans $40 (ongoing cards!), Spyfall (25$)

Well, yeah!! Of course I bought Teen Titans and I loved it, and yes still like it.
Spyfall however, is a weird story. It was fun and we had a real fun time playing it a few times last year, but it’s been completely replaced by a few games in the collection and never seems to hit the table. It could possibly be fixed if there were cards they put out with the locations for all players in the box, instead of having to try and remember them or printing something out. So unfortunately Spyfall is one I kinda regret buying now.

4 Ludonaute/asmodee Discoveries (AKA Lewis and Clark Dice),mysterium

I picked up Discoveries on the 1st day like many others, and I still really like it. It’s a bit confusing to teach so I haven’t gotten it out with some medium weight gamers or with my wife but I still enjoy it myself.

Mysterium is one that I haven’t bought as of yet. It gets into that category of, “Chris has it so why should I buy it” games. And generally I will likely only play it when he is around so I still haven’t picked it up yet. If I can land a cheap copy or trade for one I might, b/c I think I have some casual friends who might enjoy it, and I would love to introduce it to them.

5 Plaid hat– Ashes

So this is yet another one of those games which I enjoyed but never get to play. I played with Isaac at last year’s Origins and immediately pre-ordered it. BUT it’s still, to this day in shrink on my shelves. Like many other deep 2p games, Chris K (or Mosley I guess too) is the only one I would play with but we never have time to play it when we are gaming (b/c we have so many new things to play for the show or a KS proto to play) or there are more then just the 2 of us so it gets pushed aside as well. So the verdict is still out. I kinda regret getting it now. Hell, I am sure I got something for pre-order but I have no idea where it might be b/c since the game is still in shrink I know it’s not in that box at all.

6 Portal– Rattle Battle Grab the Loot (60$),Tides of time ($12)

I played Rattle Battle at Origins with Chevee, TC Petty and Tim Norris. I enjoyed the hell out of my play (likely mostly b/c of who we played with), but I didn’t enjoy it 60$ worth. IF I could grab this one for 25 or maybe even 30 I would love to have it for my family. But 60$ is just a no go for me.

Tides of Time I grabbed and am still glad I did! I love the game and so does my wife so it’s a great addition. I am not so sure about this new version with the corruption but I will give it a shot this year before I pass judgement on it.

7 UDE– Firefly Shiny Dice Scott Morris , Predator DBG

So interesting story—> I picked up Firefly dice last year, every single one of my friends bashed the hell out of it, I still have yet to get it played. BUT I have not sold or traded it. I still want to play it and still hope I might like it.
Predator was just too expensive for yet another Legendary game I would want to play but would sort out the cards and hope eventually I would convince someone to play and never do so (I am looking at you Legendary Aliens!

BUT— I am sure as hell going to buy Legendary FireFly the second I see it this year.

8 Brotherwise games– Boss Monster 2 Limited edition

I don’t know if I never saw their booth or it was sold out but I didn’t get this one. However, I am really looking forward to trying out boss monster in VR at their booth this year.

9 Passport GS– Grog Island (40?) what pirates do when they retire

So here is a game I wanted to try, I heard some people say they have, but it’s dropped off the face of the earth in the last year. I hope eventually someone I know will have it so I can give it a shot.

10 Privateer Press– The Undercity Iron Kingdom Adventure Board game

This one is great. We even did a First Play Second Play video on it with Matt Wolfe and Jessica. I am not sure if Kirkman ever got it edited. If not I am needing to get our new video editor pro (Booth) to take the reigns b/c it’s a good video and really gives some good info on the game.
If you have not gotten this one yet and you have the cash and love evolving deep scenario games with AMAZING gameplay and even better mini’s you NEED this game. It’s awesome. Just until Legend of Sleep Hollow comes out by the Fleeples and Kirkman, then just buy that b/c it’s going to be epic.

11 Red Raven– Artifacts inc 25$

Ryan L or Red Raven games puts out yet another light fun game. This one has an advantage b/c it’s small and cheap too. I played it couple times at Gen Con and after but not since. Just one of those games you want to get to the table again but never can unfortunately.

So There you have it. A retrospect look at what we thought of some hype from last year’s Gen Con. I think the majority of the games I was looking forward to I was glad I played but I think maybe little less then half I either have played again or am glad I bought. It’s a crazy industry right now. There are good games but too many of them it seems sometimes. B/c no matter what we think of a game (And I loved playing Ashes when I did) sometimes you just never get to play it again.

The Question now is, will this temper my thoughts for this year’s crop of Gen Con games? Will I want to, and buy as many as I did last year? Who knows. I bet I still to anyway.

What are your thoughts about your purchases last year?


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