With traveling and other non-gaming shenanigans out of the way, day 2 at Gen Con 2015 was definitely filled with even more gaming! With a little bit of gawking at all the phenomenal artwork and things and stuff in the vendor hall, I was able to sit down with five new games at the convention that I have never played before. Here’s a brief recap of them:
Splendor: A card game, originally, where players collect gems and try to win the favor of the nobles to gain items and ultimately prestige points to win the game. I did, however, play the game on an iPad, as it has been released on mobile devices on both Apple and Android. The app was incredibly smooth and polished with a superb tutorial that a complete beginner could easily pick up and get through without trouble. There is gem collection, buying and building cards, and reserving them for future turns and keeping them away from your opponents. Definitely a strategy heavy commerce game, Splendor is not a bad game to have in your library.
Arctic Scavengers: A deck/hand building card game where each player leads their own tribe in an effort to survive through terrible conditions caused by a cataclysmic ice age that fell over the world in 2097. Most of the world’s population has been decimated so resources and people to harvest them are scarce. Build your deck by attracting other people into your tribe by generating food and medicine, dig through junk in hopes of finding something useful like tools, food, and medicine, and skirmish against your opponents to fight for special resources that could make or break the game. After 16 rounds, whichever player has accumulated the most people wins. This was a great game with easy rules and a healthy amount of strategy without being too cerebral. The card building aspect was engaging with just enough PvP to not be too hardcore but keep things competitive. The base game itself was released in 2009 but the two expnasion box Arctic Scavengers: Base game+HQ+Recon has just been released. Had it not been limited sales first thing in the morning, it would have been in my collection. Absolutely brilliant game and would have been the pick of the day if it were not for the next game I played, which was:
Damage Report: A co-op simultaneous action game where you and your friends are on a damaged ship and trying to repair it while under attack before time runs out. Each scenario has its own unique win and fail conditions. Players turns are constant with a plan phase and an action phase. Depending on how damaged the ship is the planning phase can last anywhere from 45 to 15 seconds and the action phase is always 15 seconds. Players fight against a finite amount of time that is given at the beginning of the scenario while getting a damage report ever 3 minutes that damages the ship further. Players move around the ship collecting items to fix areas that need the most attention while having sometimes quite a bit of time to discuss and sometimes literally no time to strategize and only having time to react. Absolutely a riot of a game that is a perfect mix of chaos and strategy and instincts. It rocked my nerd socks (Wolverine today) so hard after a really strong showing from Arctic Scavengers, which is saying something. It is today’s Game of the Day and will be featured in a more in-depth article with me writing lots of really nice things about it and explaining it a bit better.
Titans Tactics: A two person strategy game that is just all skirmish all the time. The board is a featureless grid, aside from two walls that each player gets to place that restricts movement but nothing else. Six Champions make up each faction with their own special attacks and abilities. Players choose three of the six from a faction to make up their team to face off against their opponents chosen three Champions. Rather than dying, the damage that the Champions do and take is tracked on the side of the board in a seemingly tug of war of damage points. After all six Champions have taken one turn, the round is over and whichever player had positive damage wins the round, a player wins the game when they have won three out of five rounds. The game can also be won when one player nets at least 10 damage (after subtracting out how much damage their opponent has done to them). An interesting game and very appealing if a quick, strategy heavy game gets you going.
Champions of Midgard: A worker placement game with a Viking twist. Players build up their Viking army and collect resources by placing their workers in the various locations on the board. The warriors can be used to sail off and defeat distant monsters from Norse mythology, gain glory for their clans and ultimately win the game by having the most glory points. Collecting meat, wood, gold, and getting runes all help in the ultimate goal of crushing your enemies, watching them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. With the public release coming in September, this is definitely a solid contender in the worker placement genre if you don’t already have that void filled in your collection.
I was rather pleased at the selection today, both Arctic Scavengers and Damage Report were really awesome it was difficult picking between the two for my favorite. The fast-paced nature and chaos of Damage Report ended up winning out over its much more calm and controlled contender. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the games. MOAR to come tomorrow and I can’t wait! Check back tomorrow for the final day of gaming recap and some awesome cosplay pictures from Gen Con 2015!