So I’ll be attending my second Origins convention, June 1-7. And while I won’t have my partner in crime this year, I will still be working with the good folks at Asmodee giving game demos and no doubt climbing mountains of cardboard once again. Besides having to brush up on my Canadian, that means a lot of work, of course, but mostly during the late shift, which leaves the majority of the day to play games and cruise the exhibit floors. Last year I was able to reasonably curb my buying impulses because 1) I’m there for a different reason, and 2) my shelves are overflowing with games already as it is. It’s not like I need tons more. Still, I look forward to seeing and playing lots of new games.
And I’ll be there in some “official” capacity for iSlaytheDragon. I was not assigned this duty, mind you, but heartily assume I must represent anyway since, when Wolfie’s away, the pups will play! Hopefully I won’t confuse my personal and company Twitter feeds the whole week – or at least too much. No promises, though. So, yeah, shoot me a message on Twitter if you’d like to say, “Hi,” or come on by the Asmodee booth any time between 5:00 to midnight and tell my why I’m wrong that Marvel Dice Masters is totally way better than Roll for the Galaxy! But it is…because, *coughCaptainAmericacough*
Origins isn’t necessarily known as THE fair where publishers release the new hotness or unveil upcoming titles. That generally happens at GenCon a couple of months later. But there’s enough to tickle the fancy of anyone infected with the Cult of the New. Here’s a small selection of some (non-Asmodee) titles I’m keen to search out and make time for, if able. This is based on the only good resource out there for such information – BGG’s Eric Martin. Mind you, I’ve no idea which of these you have to sign up for in advance or pay to play. Whatever. They’re either Origins releases, have just hit the market within the past couple of months, or are previews of games to come in 2015. Obviously I’ll seek some of these out because of personal interest. But as my gaming group is primarily my kids, I approach it all with that in mind…
City of Gears
Publisher: Arcane Wonders Designer: Chris Leder
I’ve known of this game for quite a while on the Game Crafter. It combines a few interesting mechanics like area control and worker placement with dice. Most of all, it’s Steampunk, which I’m a sucker for. I know, don’t judge. This appears to be a preview of Arcane Wonder’s version as part of the Dice Tower Essentials line. It’ll be a harder sell to my boys because, Steampunk. Oh, well, at least it has dice… Interest: Want to see.
Publisher: Mr. B Games Designer: Brandon Allen
Another Steampunk title, Clockwork Kingdom is a fairly straight up worker placement game with some “fighting” and the opportunity to earn unique workers who are employed for specific actions. Those two aspects should prove successful in our house as my boys’ second favorite mechanic is worker placement. Interest: Have to see.
Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games Designer: Hassan Lopez
Okay, Steampunk broken record. My apologies! This time it’s set in a fantastical world with conquest, exploration, and espionage! Due to its epic nature, I’m not sure how they’ll be running demos on this one, but it is due for wide release in mid-June. As a conquest game, my boys would get behind this despite dad’s awkward fascination with Steampunk! Interest: Have to see.
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group Designer: Anthony Rubbo
A piratical theme and dice rolling means this will go over well in the house. And the kids are keen on tile-laying, to boot! The artwork looks fabulous and game play looks accessible and quick. The style and rules sort of remind me of what’s been coming out of the French school of design for some years with Faidutti, Cathala, Maublanc, et al. I really like the French cabal. Interest: Have to see.
Fistful of Dinero
Flick ‘Em Up
Publisher: Greenbriar Games Designer: Scott Kimball
Jolly Roger: The Game of Piracy and Mutiny
Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Fréderic Moyersoen
Publisher: Action Phase Games Designer: Adam Daulton
This is only a prototype preview for an anticipated Kickstarter. But it caught my eye. From the description, it sounds like it might be a micro deck-building game, in a sense. Anyway, animal ninjas practicing skills in a quick and accessible game should appeal to the kids. Interest: Will try to see.
Odyssey: Wrath of Poseidon
Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Leo Colovini
Another preview for release at GenCon, this one sounds neat – mixture of a dungeon crawl and Scotland Yard type design on the high mythological seas! One player is Poseidon throwing all manner of trials at the other players who are trying to navigate to victory – somewhat blindly. Likely difficult to get to the table in my situation, but looks very unique! Interest: Want to see.
Publisher: Mayday Games Designer: Yuri Zhuravlev
Hoping to release at GenCon, Mayday brings this one via Russian publisher Hobby World. It uses blind bidding, which I prefer in auction games, and has a unique pyramid tableau-building element. Theme may not grab my boys, but it has cards which constantly mix up play, which they do enjoy. Interest: Will try to see.
The Voyages of Marco Polo
Publisher: Z-Man Games Designer: Simone Luciani, Daniele Tascini