My wife and I took a road trip to the Pacific Northwest and I learned that the board gaming scene is thriving up there. We hit up three board game cafes and got to meet a few of my Board Game Twitter heroes.
Spiel des Jahres
Azul took home the top Spiel des Jahres prize as the best game of the year. Ars Technica reported, “The Spiel des Jahres jury praised its ‘wonderful aesthetics,’ the quality of its bakelite game pieces, and the way ‘author Michael Kiesling managed to give a simple selection mechanism so much depth that it is almost endlessly replayable.’” The Kennerspiel des Jahres award for slightly more complex games went to Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg.
With Gen Con this week, the swarming masses will descend upon Indianapolis to get their game on. For those of us not attending, there’s GenCan’t, an online “unconvention” that anyone can participate in. Along with all of the online events and contests, there are also in-person game days.
Steve Jackson Games and CMON are teaming up to bring Munchkin Dungeon to the masses. From the CMON website: “It is the first collaboration between designers Eric M. Lang (Blood Rage, Rising Sun, Arcadia Quest) and Andrea Chiarvesio (Richard the Lionheart, Kingsburg, Hyperborea) … Munchkin Dungeon comes to life on the tabletop with highly-detailed miniature figures and illustrations by legendary artist Jon Kovalic. Fans of the Munchkin series of games will feel right at home with the whimsical art that Kovalic is famous for.”
Renegade Game Studios announced a new word game from Christopher Chung (Lanterns: The Harvest Festival), Spell Smashers. “Harness the power of your vocabulary in this exciting, monster-battling, loot-collecting word game. In Spell Smashers, you combine your letter cards to spell words, smashing fearsome monsters and their even more fearsome adjectives.” The game is set for an October release.
Trade on the Tigris
Debuting at Gen Con with a bigger release later this year is Trade on the Tigris. From a recent Tasty Minstrel Games newsletter: “[P]layers will develop cities, trade with one another, and watch as the interactions you have will cause the sharing of philosophies between cultures. The very core belief of your city may change because of this, so you will need to adapt and grow to score the most points to win the game.”
Blue Orange Games
Dice Tower News reports that Blue Orange Games will be releasing two new titles at Gen Con, Blue Lagoon “a set collection games [sic]with an area control mechanic” by Reiner Knizia and Scarabya, “an area enclosure game with a tile placement mechanic” by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc.
From Jerry Hawthorne, designer of Mice and Mystics and Stuffed Fables, comes Plaid Hat’s newest game, Comanauts. The game “builds on the mechanics first introduced in Stuffed Fables, providing a new experience for more mature players. Race against time to revive Dr. Strobal by exploring his tormented mind. As players work together to uncover the secrets of the doctor’s subconscious, they will follow his inner child across eleven different Comazones.” Comanauts can be pre-ordered now and will arrive at retailers in December.
Fantasy Flight Games published four lists of X-Wing Second Edition cards. The lists include “current squad-point costs and upgrade options [and]… these lists can help you quickly find the point values of the vast library of ship and upgrade cards available at launch and use them to build squadrons tailored to your play style.”
Next year CMON is launching a Kickstarter for Trudvang Legends, its storytelling board game based on Swedish RPG Trudvang Chronicles. “Designed by Eric M. Lang, Guilherme Goulart, and Fel Barros, Trudvang Legends thrusts players into a cycle of epic sagas, where their achievements will change not only the world itself, but the very rules by which gods, peoples and nature interact.”
GMT Games has partnered with Playdek to produce digital versions of their most popular war games. The first games to be produced will be Labyrinth: The War on Terror, Imperial Struggle, and titles from the COIN series.
An upgraded version of the card game Arboretum is due out this November. According to Renegade Game Studios, “The limited edition deluxe version offers fans a chance to enjoy the elegance of the game with an engraved and heat-treated wooden box, premium rainbow foil cards, an embroidered fabric bag, and a beautiful full color sleeve for the box.”
War Chest Diary
Designers David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin shared their thoughts on creating War Chest, a bag-building game being published by AEG. From their BGG diary: “We both love sleek, modern euro-inspired wargames (affectionately called “waros” or “weuros”). We both love deck-building games. And most importantly, we both love trying to mesh these two things together. War Chest is the successful output of this shared passion.”
Upcoming Board Game Conventions
August 2-5. GenCon. Indianapolis, Indiana.
August 24-26. MegaMooseCon. Richburg, South Carolina.
August 24-28. Coulee Con. La Crosse, Wisconsin.
August 31-September 3. Gateway 2018. Los Angeles, California.
September 8-9. WashingCon. Washington, D.C.
September 13-16. Buckeye Game Fest. Columbus, Ohio.
September 14-16. GrandCon. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
September 21-23. Protospiel Chicago. Chicago, Illinois.
September 27-30. Hurricon. Kissimmee, Florida.
October 5-7. Council of Five Nations. Schenectady, New York.
October 5-7. Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous. Great Falls, Montana.
October 5-7. TsunamiCon. Wichita, Kansas.
October 12-14. CinCityCon. Cincinnati, Ohio.
October 12-14. FlatCon. Bloomington, Illinois.
October 13-14. Congress of Gamers. Rockville, Maryland.
November 1-4. Midwest GameFest. Independence, Missouri.
November 8-11. Gamehole Con. Madison, Wisconsin.
November 9-11. ConQuest Avalon. Sacramento, California.
November 9-11. U-Con. Ann Arbor, Michigan.
November 15-18. Chicago Toy & Game Fair. Chicago, Illinois.
December 27-30. CAP-Con. Atlanta, Georgia.
Visit casualgamerevolution.com for more convention listings.