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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Gen Con 2015

This week we take a look at the four greatest days of gaming, Gen Con which is held in the Indianapolis Convention Center downtown.  It's like Christmas during the summer!  Today was the last day for Gen Con, but before I bid it farewell for another year, I'm going to share my thoughts about the experience.  One of the most fascinating things about Gen Con aside from thousands of tabletop games, is the massive volume of people that come from all over the world to be there.  Claire and I worked as volunteers this year and we met and spoke to people not only from all over the US, but from all over the world. 
It's a fascinating thing to witness so many dedicated people who will come from every corner of the globe to attend a board gaming convention in Indianapolis Indiana.  Last year there was a reported 56,000 attendees who came to Gen Con, but this year it was over 61,000.  It's quite a site to witness, and awesome to know how much being a geek and playing tabletop games, can bring to the city of Indianapolis every year. 
We played an array of games this weekend, and we also played a few games in the exhibition hall.  The first one was The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling? I'm In!  It is indeed a different version from the original red dragon inn game.  This is the game the heroes play when they gamble at the Red Dragon Inn.  The deck consists of 90 cards and is broken down into three colors, rust, green and blue with six different symbols.  On each card, there is a die symbol with a number of pips equal to the number of cards of it's type and a set of symbols on the right that denote character superiority in certain game variations.  There are 5 different base games that you can play such as Rogues and Warriors which is similar to two card poker, Threes which is just played with dice, no cards, Jack of all Trades which uses 5 dice and only the Rogue and Warrior cards, Den of Thieves which is no dice and players are dealt hands of characters who use special abilities to influence hand weight and scoring, and finally the Wheel and the Clock which is no dice, and players try to guess what cards the other opponents are allocating in order to gain points and win the round.  
This game is really fun, and absolutely the kind of game you would envision being played in a dimly lit, rustic bar with ragged warriors that have long hair and viking tendencies. but unfortunately, these pretty metal coins you see are not included in this game and have to be purchased separately from campaign coins online.  There are a lot of variations of this game, and I would definitely recommend this one if you are in a fantasy-themed gambling mood.

Dimension is an abstract, spacial reasoning/pattern building game in which players stack various colored spheres.  6 cards are dealt face up in the middle with different rules on them that instruct the players each round.  Some may say no black sphere may touch an orange sphere, or no green sphere can have another sphere on top of it. A timer is used so everyone has a limited amount of time to form their grouping.  When the time is up, each player is scored one point for every sphere in their structure, but penalized for the cards they did not complete.  It sounds simple, but many of the cards interact in unexpected ways.  That, combined with the limited time and you have an interesting, challenging game.   The game has good quality components that have good hand feel, however at the time of this review the price seemed too high to justify them. 
ChaosMos is a sci-fi, action point allowance, hand management game that allows players to explore other planets in search of the cosmic artifact known as the ovoid, which could be described as the seed of the new world.  Whoever controls this cosmic egg, can shape the birthing of the next universe according to their own agenda.  You zip from planet to planet using amnion suits that allow for interstellar travel, and planetary landings.  Knowledge is the most powerful resource in the game.  Being able to predict which cards your opponent possesses, is a strong advantage for you in this game.  One major drawback to me about this game is the price.  When I inquired about how much this game was, they said 70.00. Respectfully, this game is way overpriced and that does affect how I view the game.  The quality of the components and the rest of the game is not worth seventy dollars.  Because of the price, I will not be purchasing this game anytime soon, which is quite unfortunate because I really like this game.  I would really like to eventually see it in my collection, but it's not anywhere near the price range that I'm looking to spend for another game.  My guess is that it may be available elsewhere like coolstuffinc or possibly amazon for less money.  This is a definite purchase though if you like sci-fi games and since I love sci-fi games, chaosmos will certainly find it's way into my collection if I can find it at a lower cost.  
Ninja Dice is a push your luck game that allows players to steal or attack one another to be the best ninja in the group.  One of the challenges is to see how stealthy you can be by rolling and stealing from your opponents.  This is done using arrows on the dice.  When you roll, some of the dice will have a determined direction based on where they land, which will also display who can steal from other opponents at the table.  The gameplay proceeds through three rounds with increasing difficulty with the highest scoring player winning.  One of the things this game has going for it is the packaging.  I have to admit, it's definitely enticing having a small, plushy, anime-style ninja pouch holding the contents of the game.  It means it's portable and cute!  This is a good way to get the buyers attention!  However, I care a lot more about the gameplay and how engaging it is for me.   I find myself spacing out on this one when I play it.  I'm just not as interested in ninja dice.  I don't completely despise it though either.  I like push your luck games, which is why I really like games like Zombie Dice, but the roll mechanics and how it's executed such as the directional dice and where they land on the table, the lock picking, and the sub-par tokens, just doesn't really excite me much in this game. 

Overall Meeple Ratings:
The Red Dragon Inn: Gambling? I'm In!  6/10

Dimension: 6.5/10

ChaosMos: 7/10

Ninja Dice: 5/10

Disagree or have other thoughts? Leave a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews! I miss GenCon. Although it was pretty hard to get into different events, and still attempt to play games too.