The GenCon 2012 Lineup

Well, folks, it’s that time again. GenCon 2012 is just a month away, and it’s high time a shopping list is made for your trip to the best four days in gaming! There’s some good stuff available this year, and I feel it to be my duty to help by listing off some highlights of games making their debut at Gencon this year. So, without further adieu, here’s the list I’ve dug up of what to look for on the vendor hall floor!

The cover itself is covered with Awesomesauce!

SMASH UP  (AEG Games)

The “shufflebuilding” game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

During play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases – flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?

When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points. Fourth place? Sorry, bro – try harder next time.

With eight different factions, Smash Up includes dozens of combinations to try. Pirate-Aliens play different than Ninja-Aliens, for instance. Which will you use to smash up your opponents?

And did we mention the dinosaurs have laser beams?

It’s time for a thaumaturgical THROWDOWN!!!

MAGE WARS (Arcane Wonders)

What would it be like for Mages of vastly different schools and philosophies of magic to come together in an arena and fight to the death? How would an Illusionist battle a Druid? Or a Warlock fight a Beastmaster? Or a Priestess fare against a Wizard?

Mage Wars pits powerful Mages against each other in deadly arena combat. Each Mage uses his own fully-customizable book of spells to achieve total victory over his opponent. Summon mighty creatures to do battle in your name; cast powerful spells to attack your foe and thwart his every plan and strategy; use hidden enchantments to turn the tables and rule the day; adorn yourself with mighty weapons, armor, and arcane artifacts – all of this and more awaits you in the arena of Mage Wars!

Mage Wars is a tactical board game, a combination of a card game and miniatures game, combining the best elements from each genre. The game is played on an arena game board divided into square areas called “zones”, which regulate movement and the placement of objects. Each Mage (player) starts in a corner of the arena, opposite his enemy.

Each player holds a spellbook, from which spell cards are pulled out as they are cast during the game. This has the feel of being a real Mage, turning the pages of your tome of magic, as you plan your strategy each turn. A point system allows you to choose spells for your spellbook, with more powerful spells and spells outside your schools of training costing more points. You have full access to cast any spell you want each turn, allowing for an unprecedented level of rich strategy and tactics. Many of these spells – such as creatures, equipment, and enchantments – are placed on the board and become objects in the game. Creatures can move around the arena, and attack each other and the enemy Mage. Attacks deal damage, as well as interesting special effects such as Burn, Corrode, Stun, Daze, Push, Cripple, Paralyze, etc. Creatures can be destroyed when they receive too much damage, or can be controlled by powerful curses and enchantments, or contained by walls and other creatures.

Every Mage comes from a different school of magic, each with unique spells and strategies:

The Beastmaster will try to rush and swarm the enemy with his hordes of animals, buffed by his nature enchantments.
The Warlock will go right for the throat, armed with his powerful Lash of Hellfire, Helm of Fear, and Demonhide Armor. Along the way to the enemy Mage he’ll use his curses and fire attacks to contain and destroy enemy creatures.
The Wizard is a trickster, a master of meta-magic: countering, stealing, redirecting, and destroying enemy spells and mana. He’s also a master of teleportation and portals/gates.
The Priestess will defend with knights and angels, and powerful healing and protection spells. She’ll wear down the enemy, then overwhelm them in the end.

The base game comes with all you need to get started: spellbooks, extra spells to customize with the spellbooks, arena game board, dice, markers, etc.

New Mages will be released every few months to add new spells, powers, and variety to the game. The game is NOT collectible, but is fully customizable!

Your SAN has been reduced to 0. Put away the Call of Cthulhu game book and break out the cards…

SANITARIUM (Asmadi Games)

You awaken in a cold, dark and dreary room. You know, somehow, that you’re in a sanitarium, but you don’t know why you know, or how you got here. All you want to do is escape. Dark hallways extend in all directions, and the shadows themselves seem to swirl and twist menacingly. Fear and confusion grips you, but before you succumb to insanity, a memory returns. Safe things…things that you need…things that will make you whole, and let you escape. They are what you need to find, what you must find…

Sanitarium is a card-driven horror escape game. At the start of the game, each player is dealt three to six (of 13, depending on the number of players) ‘Safe Things’ cards. Finding those specific items will allow escape from the Sanitarium.

The cards form the map of the winding hallways, items scattered all over. Players must explore the layout (which will differ with each play) to find items that provide them useful powers, and also their Safe Things. Dark Hallways within the Sanitarium will spawn shadows, which will in turn chase the players. Getting caught by a shadow might earn you a hallucination. Hallucinations…are bad.

The enemy of the players is time. The deck of item and event cards is the timer for the game — when it runs out, everyone still inside succumbs to their madness!

Sanitarium is fast-paced and easy to learn. It plays in 30-45 minutes. Coop, competitive, and solo scenarios are all provided.

No, no… the OTHER Doctor…

DOCTOR WHO: THE CARD GAME (Cubicle 7 Entertainment)

Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans – The list of threats is endless and no place in the universe is ever truly safe from danger, but there is one man who has made it his mission to defend the defenseless, help the helpless, and save everyone he can: a mysterious stranger, a force of nature who has seen his own planet die, a madman with a box.

In Doctor Who: The Card Game, players act as the Doctor and his companions to defend specific locations while sending the Doctor’s enemies to conquer locations your opponents are trying to protect. Each player starts the game with one location, and cards in the deck consist of attackers, defenders, locations and support cards. To start a turn, you draw two cards, pick up any cards banked from a previous turn, and take the three cards passed to you earlier by the player on your left. You play or bank cards until you have only three in hand, then pass those to the player on your right and end your turn.

Attackers target specific locations and earn points for the player wielding them if they’re in play at the end of the game. Defenders try to remove attackers so that the location owner scores points for protecting the location. Support cards provide different abilities, such as enlarging your bank or providing time points (which can be used to draw additional cards). Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins!

Jack in and feel the Matrix flow through your mind, chummer!
Wait….wrong franchise…damn!

NETRUNNER: THE CARD GAME (Fantasy Flight Games)

Welcome to New Angeles, home of the Beanstalk. From our branch offices in this monument of human achievement, NBN proudly broadcasts all your favorite media programming. We offer fully comprehensive streaming in music and threedee, news and sitcoms, classic movies and sensies. We cover it all. Ours is a brave new age, and as humanity hurtles into space and the future with an astonishing series of new advances every day, NBN and our affiliates are keeping pace, bringing you all the vid that’s fit to view.

Android: Netrunner is an asymmetrical Living Card Game for two players. Set in the cyberpunk future of Android and Infiltration, the game pits a megacorporation and its massive resources against the subversive talents of lone runners.

Corporations seek to score agendas by advancing them. Doing so takes time and credits. To buy the time and earn the credits they need, they must secure their servers and data forts with “ice”. These security programs come in different varieties, from simple barriers, to code gates and aggressive sentries. They serve as the corporation’s virtual eyes, ears, and machine guns on the sprawling information superhighways of the network.

In turn, runners need to spend their time and credits acquiring a sufficient wealth of resources, purchasing the necessary hardware, and developing suitably powerful ice-breaker programs to hack past corporate security measures. Their jobs are always a little desperate, driven by tight timelines, and shrouded in mystery. When a runner jacks-in and starts a run at a corporate server, he risks having his best programs trashed or being caught by a trace program and left vulnerable to corporate countermeasures. It’s not uncommon for an unprepared runner to fail to bypass a nasty sentry and suffer massive brain damage as a result. Even if a runner gets through a data fort’s defenses, there’s no telling what it holds. Sometimes, the runner finds something of value. Sometimes, the best he can do is work to trash whatever the corporation was developing.

The first player to seven points wins the game, but not likely before he suffers some brain damage or bad publicity.

Once MORE into the deep, dear friends!

DESCENT: JOURNEYS IN THE DARK 2nd Edition (Fantasy Flight Games)

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) is a board game in which one player takes on the role of the treacherous overlord, and up to four other players take on the roles of courageous heroes. During each game, the heroes embark on quests and venture into dangerous caves, ancient ruins, dark dungeons, and cursed forests to battle monsters, earn riches, and attempt to stop the overlord from carrying out his vile plot.

With danger lurking in every shadow, combat is a necessity. For such times, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) uses a unique dice-based system. Players build their dice pools according to their character’s abilities and weapons, and each die in the pool contributes to an attack in different ways. Surges, special symbols that appear on most dice, also let you trigger special effects to make the most of your attacks. And with the horrors awaiting you beneath the surface, you’ll need every advantage you can take…

Featuring double-sided modular board pieces, countless hero and skill combinations, and an immersive story-driven campaign, Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) transports heroes to a vibrant fantasy realm where they must stand together against an ancient evil.

Compared to the first edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark, this game features:

Simpler rules for determining line of sight
Faster setup of each encounter
Defense dice to mitigate the tendency to “math out” attacks
Shorter quests with plenty of natural stopping points
Cards that list necessary statistics, conditions, and effects
A new mechanism for controlling the overlord powers
Enhanced hero selection and creation process
Experience system to allow for hero growth and development
Out-of-the-box campaign system

More Mayhem for your War Waging!

RUNE AGE: OATH AND ANVIL EXPANSION (Fantasy Flight Games)

Oath and Anvil, an expansion for Rune Age, adds two new playable races to the game: the dwarves of Dunwarr and the orcs of the Broken Plains. These proud factions each bring their own unique style of play to Rune Age. With their penchant for mining and love of wealth, the dwarves are able to quickly amass large sums of gold, then parlay it into devastating attacks against their foes. Meanwhile, the orcs display a single-minded lust for combat, proving that there’s no orcish phrase for “half measure”. Their all-or-nothing approach to battle rewards players who empty their hands to win.

Not to be outdone, the four existing factions have rallied formidable new units to their cause. Cunning Novice Wizards and massive Roc Warriors bolster the Daqan Lords’ emphasis on hand control, while swift Leonx Riders and lumbering Forest Guardians capitalize on the Latari Elves’ mastery of influence. The forces of evil are likewise emboldened; foul Vampires and fearsome Barrow Wyrms add their strength to the armies of Waiqar the Undying, while depraved Blood Sisters and corpulent Obscenes engage in ritual mutilation for the glory of the Uthuk!

New scenarios challenge your deck-building prowess and new Mercenary cards provide even more strategic options. Unite the tribes, fire the forges, and experience Rune Age like never before!

I got a problem here…
…I can HOLD IT!
…no, no, I’m alrigh–G’AAAHHHH!!!
~J. Porkins (famous last words)

STAR WARS: X-WING MINIATURES GAME

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful Rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, the X-Wing Miniatures Game recreates exciting Star Wars space combat throughout its several included scenarios. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!

Whatever your chosen vessel, the rules of X-Wing facilitate fast and visceral gameplay that puts you in the middle of Star Wars fiercest firefights. Each ship type has its own unique piloting dial, which is used to secretly select a speed and maneuver each turn. After planning maneuvers, each ship’s dial is revealed and executed (starting with the lowest skilled pilot). So whether you rush headlong toward your enemy showering his forward deflectors in laser fire, or dance away from him as you attempt to acquire a targeting lock, you’ll be in total control throughout all the tense dogfighting action.

Star Wars: X-Wing features a number of unique missions, and each has its own set of victory conditions; with such a broad selection of missions, only clever and versatile pilots employing a range of tactics will emerge victorious. What’s more, no mission will ever play the same way twice, thanks to a range of customization options, varied maneuvers, and possible combat outcomes. Damage, for example, is determined through dice and applied in the form of a shuffled Damage Deck. Each time your fighter sustains a hit, you’ll draw a card that assigns a special handicap. Was your targeting computer damaged, affecting your ability to acquire a lock on the enemy? Perhaps an ill-timed weapon malfunction will limit your offensive capabilities. Or worse yet, your pilot could be injured, compromising his ability to focus on the life-and-death struggle in which he is engaged…

The Star Wars: X-Wing starter set includes everything you need to begin your battles, such as scenarios, cards, and fully assembled and painted ships. What’s more, Star Wars: X-Wing’s quick-to-learn ruleset establishes the foundation for a system that can be expanded with your favorite ships and characters from the Star Wars universe.

Steampunk Salesmen Sail the Skies!!!

SKY TRADERS (Fantasy Flight Games/ Dust Games)

Command your own skyship and become a master merchant in Sky Traders, a board game of commerce and intrigue for two to five players. Evade the ruthless Wind Pirates as you collect influence with the powerful Sky Guild. Manipulate the commodity market using your powers of persuasion. Through clever trades and resourceful captaining, you can seize the title of Master of the Sky Guild!

Each round of Sky Traders takes place in two main phases. In the first phase, players sail their ships and perform actions. To start, each player draws an Ill Wind card, which has a variety of effects that can help or hinder players. The Sky Patrol could attack you for carrying contraband, or the Wind Pirates might try to board your vessel in hopes of plundering valuable goods. If you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon a treasure map that leads to riches. It’s all up to fate when you draw from the Ill Wind deck.

You’ll add new members to your crew to gain various improvements. Skymen lend their blades to fight off Wind Pirate attacks. Other shipmates can help you earn more money when selling goods. Some crewmembers even make it possible to disregard the results of an Ill Wind card. You’ll want to be judicious when hiring crew since they take up valuable space on the ship that could be used for trade goods.

If your skyship requires repairs or refueling, visit a city. While there, line the ship’s cargo hold with valuable textiles, spices, or even jewels, then deliver the goods to another city where entrepreneurs will pay large sums of money for the items. Make sure to stock up on goods when the price is low and sell them off when their value increases.

In the second phase of each turn, the Guild Council takes place. During this round, players deliberate with each other in hopes of persuading their peers to help influence the price of goods. Strike a deal with your peers and you could force a surge in the value of the commodities you own, but if you’ve angered your rivals, they may choose to team up and devalue the wares you are selling.

At the end of the Guild Council phase, each captain also has the opportunity to purchase Influence, which increases his ability to control prices and moves him a step closer to victory. Influence is expensive, but you cannot become the Master of the Sky Guild without it.

As captain of your own skyship, you’ll have to decide each turn how to best service your needs. Buying cargo at one port and delivering it to another city where the goods are highly desired is a great way to turn a profit. However, a captain also must consider hiring new crew, checking the ship’s phlogiston (fuel for skyships) levels, repairing damage sustained in pirate attacks, and undertaking other important tasks to keep the ship running at peak performance. When money is tight, haul toxic sludge or collect minerals from the countryside to make some quick money.

Battle horrors from the ass-crack of reality!

SHADOWRIFT (Game Night Productions)

Haven Town is facing total annihilation at the hands (and teeth) of a horde of monsters from beyond the Shadowrift.

You the heroes must band together to drive them back. To do this, you will need powerful spells, skills, attacks and loot. When the game begins, you are a basic hero; you can explore and fight. Lucky for you, this is a deckbuilding game! You can buy new cards to add to your deck – cards which will define you as an adventurer and complement the strengths of your fellow heroes.

Unlike other deckbuilders, there is constant interaction with your fellow players, as you figure out who will gain which benefit from the limited supply of townsfolk, offer your coin to help construct walls, and seek healing from anyone who’s learned such magic.

Shadowrift also features monsters that do not merely sit in play waiting to be slain – If you leave them alone they will rip Haven Town asunder. They’ll kill people, break walls, and kick you heroes in the face. Combat with them is intuitive (though frequently painful).

For defeating a monster, heroes gain Heroism, a simple, consistent boost to their power that makes them better at anything they undertake. Since the monsters won’t stop coming until the last Shadowrift is sealed or the town has been built into a mighty fortress, you’ll need every boost you can take.

“Shuffling Horror”
…oh….ha…ha ha…

PITTSBURGH 68 (GameWick Games)

Thrills and and chills await in Pittsburgh 68, a frenzied game of zombie horror! One player starts as a zombie and the rest as survivors on the run. As survivors are eliminated, they become part of the growing zombie problem. Those who avoid becoming zombified are the “winners”, but only if they survive the final draw!

The game is played in four segments called “reels”. Each reel has a designated number of cards to be played through. As these are revealed in a central three-card hand, players have the option to take them on their turn to build their survivor or zombie hands. In addition to cards, the Shuffling Horror system uses two six-sided dice (2d6) to resolve conflict actions, such as when a zombie attacks a survivor. The game includes two sets of dice. The Zombie Master makes many dice rolls and reserves one set as his own, while the players should pass their set as each player completes her turn.

Spoints – short for survivor points – are the final component of the Shuffling Horror system. These counters track the survivors’ vitality and luck, and survivors use spoints to cheat the system.

Pittsburgh 68 is a game that revels in zombie mayhem. As such, its outcome varies greatly. Our advice is to just let the zombies run amuck.

Well…not quite run…

Shuffle.

Homicide feels so much “safer” when it’s done post-mortem, right?

ZOMBICIDE (Guillotine Games)

Zombicide is a collaborative game in which players take the role of a survivor – each with unique abilities – and harness both their skills and the power of teamwork against the hordes of unthinking undead! Zombies are predictable, stupid but deadly, controlled by simple rules and a deck of cards. Unfortunately for you, there are a LOT more zombies than you have bullets.

Find weapons, kill zombies. The more zombies you kill, the more skilled you get; the more skilled you get, the more zombies appear. The only way out is zombicide!

Play ten scenarios on different maps made from the included modular map tiles, or create your own!

‘Tis the Season for Sorcery!

SEASONS (Libellud)

Seasons is a game of cards and dice which takes place in two phases:

The first consists of a draft. The goal during this phase will be to establish a strategy for the rest of the game with nine cards that can be selected (Each card has a specific effect and earns victory points).

Once the draft is complete, each player must separate its three 9 cards in packs of 3 cards. He will begin the second phase of the game with his first pack of three cards, then gradually as the game progresses, he will receive two packets of three cards.

Then comes the second phase of play at the beginning of each round a player will roll the dice seasons (1 dice per player + 1).

These cubes offer a variety of actions to the players:

– Increase your invocation (maximum number of cards you may have placed on table)
– Harvesting energy (water, earth, fire, air) to pay the cost of invocation maps
– Crystallization energy (during the current season) to collect crystals. These serve both as a resource to rely on some cards, but also many points of victory in the endgame.
– Draw new cards …

Each player can choose only one die per turn. The first player will choose among those launched, then the following among those remaining and so on. At each turn, the dice indicates how many remaining cells (1, 2 or 3 boxes) the marker of the seasons ahead.

In addition, all the dice are different depending on the season. For example, there is not the same energies to a particular season. Throughout the game, players will therefore have to adapt to these changes.

At the end of the game we add the points of victory on the cards given the number of crystals possessed. The player with the most victory points wins.

IA! IA! CTHULHU FLUXX’TAGN!!!

CTHULHU FLUXX (Looney Labs)

Explore the dark and horrifying mysteries of the unknown as you battle insanity and fiendish cults in Cthulhu Fluxx! Follow the wild-eyed Poet, the obsessed Artist, and the expeditions of the Professor as they investigate Eldritch Secrets no mortal was meant to discover. Someone has stolen the Necronomicon from the library at Miskatonic Univeristy, and a Farm in the hills is undergoing a horrifying Metamorphosis. Meanwhile, unspeakable abominations stir in Penguin-riddled Tombs beneath the ice. Are you Inevitably Doomed to a lifetime of Nightmares in the Sanitarium, or are you, in fact, a Secret Cultist, worshiping the Minions of Darkness?

Like the other games in the Fluxx family, in Cthulhu Fluxx players will modify the rules of the game by playing cards, changing numerous aspects of game play: how many cards to draw or play, how many cards you can hold in hand or keep on the table in front of you, and of course how to win the game. Players collect Keeper cards to satisfy the victory requirements but watch out for Cthulhu and other fiendish Creepers that will prevent you from winning – even if you otherwise have the winning combination!

Oooohhh…God….WRONG FLOOR! WRONG FLOOR!!!

LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE] (Privateer Press)

Deep underground, in the middle of nowhere, lies Subterra Bravo – a top-secret military installation filled with the unspeakable horrors of science gone wrong. Within its impenetrable depths, the masters of this fortified facility conduct gruesome experiments on innocent prisoners cruelly abducted from their otherwise ordinary lives.

You are a captive of Subterra Bravo, imprisoned in the facility’s deepest laboratory, the hall of nightmares known as LEVEL 7. Your singular goal is to escape, but to do that you will have to evade the human and inhuman denizens of this subterranean labyrinth before the entire base is locked down, sealing you in for the rest of your short, tormented life. Will you work together with your fellow prisoners to overcome Subterra Bravo’s endless perils, or will you use them to secure your own escape? Ultimately, your chances of survival will depend on how well you manage your greatest weapon, which is also your greatest threat: fear itself.

LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE] is a semi-cooperative, story-driven survival-horror board game for 1–4 players with nerves of steel and a willingness to confront the impossible.

So, I take it this expansion includes “The Plague,” “Illiteracy,” and “Gerneral Buggery of the Quality of Life” cards?

DOMINION: THE DARK AGES (Rio Grande Games)

Times have been hard. To save on money, you’ve moved out of your old castle and into a luxurious ravine. You didn’t like that castle anyway; it was always getting looted and never at a reasonable hour. And if it wasn’t barbarians it was the plague, or sometimes both would come at once, and there wouldn’t be enough chairs. The ravine is great; you get lots of sun, and you can just drop garbage wherever you want. In your free time you’ve taken up begging. Begging is brilliant conceptually, but tricky in practice since no one has any money. You beg twigs from the villagers, and they beg them back, but no one really seems to come out ahead. That’s just how life is sometimes. You’re quietly conquering people, minding your own business, when suddenly there’s a plague, or barbarians, or everyone’s illiterate, and it’s all you can do to cling to some wreckage as the storm passes through. Still, you are sure that, as always, you will triumph over this adversity, or at least do slightly better than everyone else.

Dominion: Dark Ages is the seventh addition to the game of Dominion. It contains 500 cards but is not a standalone game. It adds 35 new Kingdom cards to Dominion, plus new bad cards you give to other players (Ruins), new cards to replace starting Estates (Shelters), and cards you can get only via specific other cards. The central themes are the trash and upgrading. There are cards that do something when trashed, cards that care about the trash, cards that upgrade themselves, and ways to upgrade other cards.

Every time I play this, I keep imagining a hyperactive Japanese announcer commenting on a game of Gauntlet (a la “Ninja Warrior”)….and it’s AWESOME!!!

SUPER DUNGEON EXPLORE: CAVERNS OF ROXOR (Soda Pop Miniatures)

Into the Fiery Depths! Delve into the next level with Caverns of Roxor, the first major expansion to Super Dungeon Explore. Expand game play for both Hero and Consul players, and build your battle strategy with new monsters, heroes, and treasures. This expansion includes:

  • 31 fully assembled Soda Pop Miniatures
  • New Boxx: Roxor, and his assistant, Rock Gut the Troll
  • 3 New Heroes: Princess Ruby, Deeproot Scout, and Star Guild Scrapper
  • New minions with unique treasure cards: Rock Tops and Fireflow Denziens

Why, helloooo thar, Erin! May I buy you a drink?

RED DRAGON INN: ALLIES (ERIN THE EVER CHANGING) (Slugfest Games)

When you first meet this soft-spoken young elf, you might be surprised to learn that she’s an adept adventurer; even more so that she’s often fighting on the front line. But then again, you don’t run into very many shapeshifting druids at the Red Dragon Inn…

The Good: Erin’s always ready with a kind word and a healing chant to smooth ruffled feathers or mend wounded flesh.

The Bad: When the drinks start flowing, Erin can turn into a tree. Have you ever tried out-drinking a tree? It’s not pretty.

The Red Dragon Inn: Allies – Erin the Ever-Changing expands the party at the Red Dragon Inn with a brand new elven shapeshifting druid, introducing new mechanisms that allow her to take on multiple forms throughout the game. She has to carefully manage which form she is in for the situation as being caught in the wrong form at the wrong time can spell for dire consequences!

The Red Dragon Inn: Allies is a new series of expansions for any standalone The Red Dragon Inn game. Each Allies set includes a single Character Deck, plus components to add a brand new character to your game.

We’d better not risk another frontal assault! That rabbit’s dynamite!

RED DRAGON INN: ALLIES (Pooky) (Slugfest Games)

While the master’s away, the familiar will play! Zot’s turning in early for the night, but Pooky’s not done with the party. With a stash of gold and a big chip on his wee shoulder, this strange little rabbit-thing is looking to prove he’s more than just Zot’s whipping bunny.

The Good: In the dungeon, Pooky’s psychotic behavior has gotten the party out of some pretty nasty jams.
The Bad: That rabbit is even more insane without Zot’s influence. Seriously.

The Red Dragon Inn: Allies – Pooky lets the little white rabbit wreck havoc all on his own! This forty-card deck isn’t an expansion for Zot the Wizard from The Red Dragon Inn, but rather allows Pooky to be a fifth character at the table and party with The Party. Bringing all his nature and vices to the table, get ready to see Pooky start partying a bit too hard for the rest of the table.

The Red Dragon Inn: Allies is a new series of expansions for any standalone The Red Dragon Inn game. Each Allies set includes a single Character Deck, plus components to add a brand new character to your game.

All the bastardly back-stabbing one could want!

CUTTHROAT CAVERNS: FRESH MEAT (Smirk & Dagger Games)

Fresh Meat, the long-anticipated fourth expansion to Cutthroat Caverns, is truly an expansion “of the fans, for the fans” as it includes everything players have been begging us for, including 12 unique pre-generated characters, 34 Reputation cards that can be used to custom create your own unique characters, 13 new cards for the main deck (a first), 23 nasty new Encounters (the most offered in any expansion to date, many of which were inspired by fans in our “Create an Encounter” contest) 7 new Events, 12 new Relics, a new custom character mechanism, and a giant Battle Box in which to store your entire Cutthroat Caverns collection.

I can’t think of a more appropriate moment to release this expansion…

HUMANS!!! 3: ZOMBIECON!!! (Twilight Creations)

Humans!!! 3: ZombieCon moves the brain-munching action to the happiest place on earth. That’s right – your zombies have decided to look for lunch at the local gaming convention. Will you eat the CCG player? Maybe the RPG fan would be easier to catch. If all else fails, security looks tasty! So many choices!

Humans!!! 3: ZombieCon lets players explore a large gaming convention looking for more brains to eat or candidates to convert. This expansion also adds a new card type called “Personalities” that determine WHO you encounter and how much “fight” they have in them.

I think this one’s a little too close to reality for my liking.

ZOMBIES!!! 11: DEATH INC. (Twilight Creations)

Remember when you just THOUGHT everyone you work with was a…ZOMBIE!

Well, as it turns out, you were right.

The CEO is now the ZEO. Your coworkers now moan in addition to the aimless shambling. Suddenly, the receptionist is very interested in you. And the lunch room… Let’s just say, you don’t want what everyone else is having!

Zombies!!! 11: Death Inc. simulates what would happen if you went to work one day and discovered that all your coworkers really were zombies! Of course, you being the “brown-noser” that you are, you decide that rescuing the surviving board members just might help your career. Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one with this idea.

Zombies!!! 11: Death Inc., an expansion for Zombies!!!, uses the same game play as the base game: Players take turns laying tiles (to create the board), fending off zombies by rolling dice, scavenging for goods in the form of health (to allow re-rolls) and ammo (to improve rolls), and playing cards to help you or hurt the other players, all in an effort to be the first to the helipad tile to escape (or kill 25 Zombies).

So, does this game have a “Dead Man’s Hand?”

ZOMBIES!!! THE CARD GAME (Twilight Creations)

You are so tired. You just can’t run anymore. Your breath sounds like a jet engine and sweat has soaked every inch of your body. A shower would be nice. Hell, just being able to catch your breath would be great… Who are we kidding? Ten whole minutes not completely enveloped in sheer terror would be heaven. Too bad the zombie horde looking to make you lunch doesn’t see it the same way…

Zombies!!! The Card Game simulates the coming zombie apocalypse in card game form. Each player uses her own deck to form the narrative of her attempted escape; the ground-breaking card design allows for each card to be used for the card effect printed on the front or as a location as indicated by the card’s back. The first player to make her way to the “helipad” at the bottom of her deck escapes certain death and wins the game.

The zombies are right behind you. Do you have what it takes to survive?

4th Edition D&D decides it’s time to come out of the closet.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: DUNGEON COMMAND (Heart of Cormyr) (Wizards of the Coast)

Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr is a card-driven skirmish game played on modular interlocking map tiles that uses order cards, creature cards and miniatures. The object of the game is to have the highest remaining Morale when an opposing warband’s Morale has been reduced to 0 or below, or if a player ends his or her turn with no creatures on the battlefield.

As a player, you take on the role of a commander, sending a warband to battle the forces arrayed against you. You recruit troops and deploy them on the battlefield. You issue orders to those creatures, outfit them with spells and equipment, and direct their tactics to break the morale of your enemies and drive them from the field.

Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr includes twelve miniatures, such as a ranger, a cleric, a knight, defenders, and archers. While each Dungeon Command faction is meant to be played by a single player, quick-start rules allow two players to engage in a shortened version of the game using only one box. Dungeon Command is designed for two players, although up to four can play with a few adjustments explained under the advanced rules.

Why is it always SPIDERS!?!?

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: DUNGEON COMMAND (Sting of Lolth) (Wizards of the Coast)

Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth is a card-driven skirmish game played on modular interlocking map tiles that uses order cards, creature cards and miniatures. The object of the game is to have the highest remaining Morale when an opposing warband’s Morale has been reduced to 0 or below, or if a player ends his or her turn with no creatures on the battlefield.

As a player, you take on the role of a commander, sending a warband to battle the forces arrayed against you. You recruit troops and deploy them on the battlefield. You issue orders to those creatures, outfit them with spells and equipment, and direct their tactics to break the morale of your enemies and drive them from the field.

Dungeon Command: Sting of Lolth includes twelve miniatures, such as an assassin, a priestess, a wizard, spiders, and drow house guards. While each Dungeon Command faction is meant to be played by a single player, quick-start rules allow two players to engage in a shortened version of the game using only one box. Dungeon Command is designed for two players, although up to four can play with a few adjustments explained under the advanced rules.

Swish, smack! Whip crack!
Smash, grab! Pinch, nab!
You go, my lad!
Ho, ho! my lad!

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: DUNGEON COMMAND (Tyranny of Goblins) (Wizards of the Coast)

Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins is a card-driven skirmish game played on modular interlocking map tiles that uses order cards, creature cards and miniatures. The object of the game is to have the highest remaining Morale when an opposing warband’s Morale has been reduced to 0 or below, or if a player ends his or her turn with no creatures on the battlefield.

As a player, you take on the role of a commander, sending a warband to battle the forces arrayed against you. You recruit troops and deploy them on the battlefield. You issue orders to those creatures, outfit them with spells and equipment, and direct their tactics to break the morale of your enemies and drive them from the field.

Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins includes twelve miniatures, such as a horned devil, a troll, a bugbear, hobgoblins, and goblins. While each Dungeon Command faction is meant to be played by a single player, quick-start rules allow two players to engage in a shortened version of the game using only one box. Dungeon Command is designed for two players, although up to 4 can play with a few adjustments explained under the advanced rules.

Release the KRAKEN!

A TOUCH OF EVIL: THE COAST EXPANSION (Flying Frog Productions)

A Touch of Evil: The Coast is packed full of new material for A Touch of Evil including four exciting new Heroes, a new full size game board of the fog-shrouded coastline to add to the main Shadowbrook board, new Town Elders, and a host of new mysteries to be solved. The Coast also features tons of new game cards including decks for new Locations to explore, The Smuggler’s Cove, Lighthouse, a haunted Shipwreck, and the long cursed village of Tidewater; and much more! With four fearsome new Villains to hunt like The Ghost Ship, Siren, or the dreaded Dreamweaver, the Heroes must fend off deadly curses and contend with all manner of creatures from the dark depths to keep evil at bay, forcing it back into the icy waters that break along the rocky shores of The Coast.

Well, it’s certainly better than waiting for Valve to release anything for Left 4 Dead!

THE LAST NIGHT ON EARTH: TIMBER PEAK EXPANSION (Flying Frog Productions)

Escaping from the zombie-overrun town of Woodinvale, a handful of survivors make their way up into the mountains – but as they reach the small logging and mining town of Timber Peak, they discover that a new nightmare has just begun!

Last Night on Earth: Timber Peak is an action-packed standalone game as well as an expansion for Last Night on Earth. Introducing the brand new town of Timber Peak with a full set of game boards, six new Heroes (including three Survivor versions of Heroes from the original Last Night on Earth), four Generator objective pieces, a full set of 14 Zombies, a host of new Scenarios, rules for fire breaking out and spreading, over 130 new game cards, and a full Experience System for both Heroes and the Zombie horde to gain upgrades within the course of each game!

Timber Peak is packed with new material for veteran players to add to their toolbox, and a fantastic way for new players to jump into the action. A modular board randomly determines the layout of the town at the start of each game and there are several different scenarios to play, adding lots of replayability.

That’s pretty much the majority of the new goodness coming out at or shortly around GenCon as far as board and card games are concerned. Stay tuned for my top five picks for GenCon for those who have a smaller pocketbook, and want the best goodies for their gold pieces! I hope to see many of you at GenCon!

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Posted on July 19, 2012, in Board Games, Conventions, Living Card Games, Text Review, Twilight Creations, Wizards of the Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What do you think is an correct period of time to play games within an average day?

    • There’s no simple answer to that. Gauge play time by the factors of things you are responsible for- work, self, and family. If you do not neglect these three things, your free time is your own.

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