GenCon…Disneyland for Dorks!

I have been known to refer to GenCon as “Disneyland for Dorks.” If you have ever attended the giant gaming convention, you likely understand why I call it that. It really kind of is.

I remember my first GenCon, actually it was my first convention ever. I’d gotten my badge months in advance, but as the actual convention dates got close…I almost backed out of going. It’s true! I was young(er), and had just gone through a bad break-up. My ex would be moving out of our shared place while I was at GenCon…and I decided I wanted to just stay home and mope. My friend who was planning on going with me refused to allow me to do that. He pretty much forced me to go anyway.

I am so glad he did!

I had no idea what to expect when I went that first year, but if my eyes could have popped out of my head when I got my first look at the exhibit hall they would have. For those four days, I don’t think I remembered that real life existed. I played and played and played…and played some more!

Fast forward to this year. I have been attended, and working, conventions for several years now. I always look forward to them and always have a good time…but there’s just something about GenCon that I especially love. Maybe it is because it was my first, or because it is in my home state…who knows. But it is the one convention I look forward to all year. I pay attention to what games will be releasing, watch for events that I might want to participate in (if time allows) and I even think about what tasty restaurants I want to eat at!

This year I get to attend a Legendary VIP Party given by Upper Deck Entertainment at Hard Rock Cafe, which sounds like it will be a good time. I hope to have time to meet Marina Sirtis (as I am a big ole Trekkie), Summer Glau and I would LOVE to have a book autographed by Terry Brooks (one of my all time favorite authors)! And there are games on my radar I hope to get to play, and maybe purchase.

Shiny Dice (from Upper Deck Entertainment)

(From Upper Deck’s blog) Firefly: Shiny Dice is a “press your luck” style dice game. Your goal is Every time you complete a mission you’ll get a chance to risk what you’ve gained. Do you have Mal’s courage to put it all on the line? You might have to in order to stay ahead of your opponents, for they’ll be trying to do the same. Not only will you have to outplay your competition, but you’ll constantly be facing obstacles brought on by Badger, Nyska and Saffron.

I love Firefly and this dice game really has my interest piqued. While I do enjoy the large Firefly board game from Gale Force 9, it is entirely too big to play at my house and so it doesn’t get played much. On the other hand, a little dice game can be broken out to pass time with your friends in many different settings. Add a fun theme, like Firefly, to it and I don’t see how it won’t be a winner!

Vs. 2-Player Card Game (Vs 2PCG) (from Upper Deck Entertainment)

(From BGG)

In Vs. System 2PCG, players choose a main character, build a deck with at least sixty cards, and attempt to reduce the other player’s score below zero in a game of superhero battle. The first set contains characters only from the Marvel Universe, but future sets may add other IPs. Vs. System 2PCG is superficially similar to the original Vs. System collectible card game, but is a completely rebuilt game that takes some inspiration from the original. Combat has been streamlined, the turn structure is different, the resource system has been revamped, and the game is no longer collectible, with cards instead being released in a non-random format.

I never played the original Vs. system, but I have heard a lot of hype about this one and it sounds like a lot of fun. It may not be my cup of tea because the idea of building my own “deck” scares me a little. But who knows? Maybe once I learn it, I will love it. Either way, this will very likely become a part of my game collection.

Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers (HABA Games)

(From BGG) Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers uses the same basic gameplay as Animal Upon Animal: Each turn a player rolls the die and either places one or two animals on to the stack of animals, passes one of their animals to another player for them to place, or places an animal on the table, extending the base for other players to build upon. Of course, if any pieces fall off whilst you are building, you get up to two of them back. The first player to have used all of their animals wins.

If you follow me on social media, you know I play a lot of games with my nephews. HABA Games only recently came into my radar, and I am so glad they did. Every game I have seen of theirs looks absolutely amazing for kids and they are games I can include the younger one in on…which is always a HUGE plus! This one plays on the fact that I am also an animal lover and so are my nephews, so it is a theme I am pretty sure will hit home for all of us!

Takenoko: Chibis  (Bombyx/Asmodee)

(from BGG) A long time ago, the Emperor of China offered to the Emperor of Japan a giant panda, a symbol of peace. Your delicate mission: Take care of the animal by planning a bamboo field. Now as a reward for your great work, you are being offered a second panda…a female!

I love the first Takenoko. It is such an adorable game, great gameplay and wonderfully adorable pieces. I expect to love the expansion just as much!

Jolly Roger: The Game of Piracy and Mutiny

(from BGG) In the card game Jolly Roger: The Game of Piracy & Mutiny, you’re a crew member aboard a pirate ship and have just elected a new captain. This man will lead you toward either fortune or disaster — and thankfully no matter what course of action he takes, if you don’t agree with his choices, you can always start a mutiny and become the next captain yourself…

What isn’t more fun with pirates? Pirate games intrigue me because it is such a fun theme and, in my opinion, endless possibilities, for tongue-in-cheek and serious adventures! I definitely want to check this one out!

Meow (Foam Brain Games)

(From BGG) You are either Meow, or Not Meow. An eloquent game of deception, fun for all! Infiltrators are among us! Some of our friends might be…Not Meow. Find them! The rules of Meow are simple: On your turn, draw a card into your hand and say ‘Meow’. Most cards are Meow cards, but some are Not Meow cards. Skeptical Meows at the table can accuse you of being Not Meow after you draw and meow, which means you must reveal your hand of cards.If they’re right, and you have a Not Meow card, they win. If they’re wrong, they’re out of the round! And if you’re the last Meow standing, you win!

I’m a crazy cat lady…really, I am. I adore my kitties, and I have 4 of them! So any cat-themed game is a game I want to check out!

Viceroy (Mayday Games)

(From BGG)

Viceroy is a board game of bidding and resource management set in the fantasy universe of the famous Russian CCG Berserk. As the players struggle for control over the world of Laar, they recruit a variety of allies and enact various laws. These cards allow players to develop their state’s military and magical might, increase their authority, and get precious gems they need to continue expanding their nation. As the game progresses, each player builds his own power pyramid using character and law cards. Each card has its own effect that depends on the level of the pyramid where the card is played. These effects may give more resources, more cards, or victory points. The player who has the most power points at the end of the game becomes the ruler of entire Laar and the winner!

I have been hearing about this one for quite some time, and as its release got closer and closer…the buzz about it got louder and louder. At this point, even if the game didn’t pique my interest (which it does, because I’ve heard what a great game it is), I would feel OBLIGATED to at least check it out because of all of the buzz!

Star Trek: Five Year Mission (Mayfair Games)

(From BGG) Star Trek: Five-Year Mission is a cooperative dice placement game for 3-7 players who take the roles of crew members of either the USS Enterprise (from the original Star Trek series) or the USS Enterprise-D (from Star Trek: The Next Generation). Each crew member has a different ability and the crew’s ability’s differ on each crew. In these roles, players try to cooperatively solve a series of blue (easy), yellow (medium) and red (difficult) alerts to score point attempting one of 6 different difficulty levels to win before failing five such alerts, or the Enterprise being destroyed. Players must deal with injuries which lock dice out of play, ship damage that can force players to attempt harder alerts, urgent events that must be completed in 3 minutes, the prime directive, as well as yellow and red alerts that force additional alerts cards to come into play pushing you closer to failing.

If you know me, or follow me on social media, you learn very quickly that I LOVE Star Trek. LOVE IT. So, I am always looking for Star Trek-themed games to bring two of my greatest loves together: Star Trek and Gaming. I hope this one is a good one! If it is, I predict I will be coming home with it!

My First Bohnanza

(from BGG) My First Bohnanza serves as both an introduction to Bohnanza and as a children’s game in its own right, with the goal of the game being the same as its parent: Have the most Talers at the end of play. As in the original Bohnanza, the game includes multiple types of beans, with each bean having a number on it to indicate how many copies are in the game as well as a “beanometer” at the bottom of the card to show you how many cards of this type you need to harvest in order to collect Talers. My First Bohnanza has simplified beanometers, with four types of beans having only a single exchange value — e.g., five Gemeine (common) beans get you one Taler — and six types of beans having two exchange values. Games with the youngest players (or newcomers to the Bohnanza universe) should use the single beanometer cards with the other cards forming a Taler stack.

I love the Bohnanza games. They are a lot of fun. I always eye the games on my shelves when looking for games to play with my nephews, but I never grab them because they aren’t quite ready for it. But NOW with the junior version, I can get them in on the bean-y fun!

The above games are just a few on my radar…and of course, when I do have time to explore the exhibit hall, who knows what else I may find in the endless maze that is Disneyland for Dorks!

Some of the other games I am hoping to get a chance to at least look at:

  • Gothic Doctor (Ad Magic/Meltdown Games)
  • Sushi Draft (Blue Orange Games)
  • The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits
  • The Princess Bride: As You Wish
  • The Princess Bride: Miracle Pill
  • Deck Building: The Deck-Building Game
  • Space Movers 2201
  • Ca$h ‘N Guns: More Cash ‘n More Guns
  • Survive Space Attack

I hope to get to see some of you at GenCon! Look for me in and around the Upper Deck areas, where I will be showing off Bring out yer Dead!