Hey board gamers, Gen Con 2019 is just two short weeks away!! What are you excited to see at the US’s largest gaming convention? We here at the Gumbo are making our lists and checking them twice, just to be sure that we don’t miss a thing.
Here’s a list of games, and companies, that we’re interested in at this year’s convention. This list isn’t ordered by interest, just alphabetical.
Also, a hearty thank you to the hard working gamers at Board Game Geek who cultivate the Gen Con 2019 Preview list. Without your hard work, people like us wouldn’t have the time to put together a list like this.
Ankama- Tales of Glory BOOTH 2660/3065
Bradly – Tales of Glory looks to play a bit like Call to Adventure, just without the casting of runes. I really liked the storytelling aspect of Call to Adventure, so I’m excited to see what ToG can do with a similar theme, but without the randomness of ‘rolls.’
Arcane Wonders – Dragonscales BOOTH 841
Bradly – Richard Launius has made a ton of games that I love; Arkham Horror 3rd Ed, Defenders of the Realm, and Fate of the Elder Gods just to name a few. So Dragonscales is something I’m definitely interested in checking out. It also has an interesting theme; players are evil villains trying to steal from a Dragon’s hoard. Will it be that much different than the numerous games about heroes trying to defeat/steal from a dragon’s hoard? Maybe not, but it looks great and the slight twist on the theme, along with the Launius name, has me interested.
BJ – It has dragons. ‘Nuff said.
Arcane Wonders – Foundations of Rome board game BOOTH 841
Bradly – Foundations of Rome doesn’t have a lot of information up on their BGG page yet, but it combines one of my favorite mechanics (city building) with one of my favorite settings (Rome).
Board & Dice – Sierra West BOOTH 2535
BJ – Jonny Pac is one of the most up and coming designers out there. Coloma had a unique twist on the worker placement genre and a “cooperative until it is not” vibe that I really dug. What else does he have inside his guitar case? Sierra West is getting some play time on the ‘net and good reviews. I can’t wait to try this one at the show. I’ve bought games just on the cover alone with mixed results, but this is an amazingly cool cover, especially for anyone that has hiked Philmont.
BJ – Combine Helaina Cappel’s obsession with quality productions (see Endeavour for a great example), art from Josh Cappel and Kwanchai Moriya, and game play from one half of the Bamboozle Brothers’ Jay Cormier — and everyone should be checking this combination of tile laying, pick up and delivery and fantasy. For more in depth looks, check out our interviews with Jay and Helaina here.
Capstone Games – Watergate BOOTH 457
BJ – I have only have one play of Twilight Struggle, but really enjoyed getting thrashed by Bradly, even with Carlos’ help. But, Watergate is my time, my kind of game. I grew up wanting to be in journalism, so this theme REALLY appeals to me. I’m going to have to preorder this one as I expect an early sell out.
CMON- God of War: The Card Game BOOTH 417
Bradly – I’ll be honest, I was pretty disappointed with the Bloodborne card game that CMON put out in 2016. And the God of War game, from what little I’ve seen, looks fairly similar in design. Still, it’s God of War and CMON!! I at least have to get a demo in!
Cranio Creations – Mystery House BOOTH 2742
Bradly – My interest in certain mechanics tends to wax and wane, but one that I never seem to get bored of are escape room style games. Mystery House takes that idea and turns the knob up to 11, then breaks it off, with this crazy looking game. The box is the house, and you can look through the doorways to find clues?!?! It may say Demo only, but I wonder how much cash I’d have to throw at them to take it home.
Bradly – The DC deckbuilding game is a game that I’ve played a lot of, and then set aside. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just a fairly straightforward deckbuilder. Rebirth seems to shake that up a bit by bringing in mechanics from some of the other Cryptozoic dekbuilders, like the movement aspect of Attack on Titan deckbuilding game. It’s definitely worth a look for me.
Eggertspiele – Era: Medieval Age BOOTH 3027
Bradly – I expect this to be one of the Hotness games this year, so getting a copy may be a bit of a challenge. A civ-building game with 3D pieces (think Legos) is really all you have to say to get me excited for this game.
BJ – I never had time to get a demo at Dice Tower Con, but got a high level overview from Mike Yong at Plan B Games. Just seeing it on the demo table and hearing about the game play is enough to put this on my want list.
Flyos Games – Until Daylight BOOTH 1629
Bradly – Survival games are nothing new in board gaming, but Until Daylight looks to have trimmed away all the extraneous mechanics and streamlined the experience. It looks a bit pricey for what you get, but it’s one I want to try out.
Gamewright – Dragonrealm BOOTH 2008
Bradly – Dragonrealm seems to combine the area control/denial mechanic of Imhotep with card play, in what I would best describe as a slightly more complicated version of The Grimm Forest. This one I’m mostly interested in for nieces and nephews, as it looks too simple for my normal board gaming group. But rest assured, I am heavily encouraging the next generation of board gamers, whether they like it or not!!
Grey Fox Games – Reavers of Midgard BOOTH 2801
BJ – cheating a bit here. I demoed for Grey Fox Games at Dice Tower Con 2019, and probably demoed this game for folks at least 10-15 times. So, I know the game pretty well already, and have a copy coming to my house through the Kickstarter. And I’ll be demoing this for Grey Fox on Thursday. This is just a blanket shill to come visit me on Thursday to try the game – it’s that good if you like thematic euros. And if you need more information, I Heart Board Games hosted Alex and me for a full game play here.
And if you take me on in Bushido, and can best me, I might even have a surprise for you….see you at the con.
Highborne Games – Dawnshade BOOTH 2755
Bradly – Despite the fact that its box will give me fits sitting on my shelf, Dawnshade looks like a very intriguing cooperative RPG-style game. Any game that references Final Fantasy in their description definitely gets a look from me!
BJ – Worst box ever. Hard pass.
Hobby Japan – Master of Respect BOOTH 3030
BJ – I honestly do not know a lot about this game, except that a lot of people were playing it and talking about it at Dice Tower Con. One hour wonder? Cool art? Interesting theme? Programming? It checks off a lot of boxes for me, so it is worth a look see.
Horrible Games – The King’s Dilemma BOOTH 3065
Bradly – Horrible Games seems to do a mix of games, some with mass appeal (Potion Explosion and Railroad Ink) and then they’ll do something really ambitious and odd, like Alone. The King’s Dilemma falls into the latter category, and there’s scant information available on their BGG page. From the description this is either going to be a game I absolutely love or loathe. Either way, I am checking it out at Gencon!
Kolossal Games – Mezo BOOTH 1913
Bradly – This is another game that I expect is on a lot of peoples’ lists. Western Legends was one of my favorite games of last year, and Mezo is looking to one up its big brother. There’s not much else to say about this one, other than the booth may be too busy for me to get a demo in.
BJ – John Clowdus has a lot of cred even though he does not have a lot of designs that get much publicity on Twitter or Facebook. People that play his games really talk about the elegance and sharpness of his designs. This is the one game he has that is top of my list to try.
Libellud – Obscurio BOOTH 1619
Bradly – I put together little notes on games when I first look at them, that way when I finally get around to putting together a list like this I can have a reminder about why I was interested in the first place. For Obscurio I simply wrote ‘Mysterium with a traitor mechanic.’ Does that sound like something you’d be interested in? Cause it makes me really excited!
BJ – Okay, I’m cheating a bit here, too. I already backed this as part of the most recent Kickstarter. But, i’ve met the gang from Nauvoo, they seem like cool people, and I would love a quick demo on the new rules, and thank Brett in person for coming on Gumbo Live! back during The Reckoners’ Kickstarter. Oh yeah, it would be fun to try that one , too.
NorthStar Games – Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal BOOTH 2309, 2435
BJ – This one is just based on the designer’s game history, plus the fact that I so enjoyed Quacks when I finally got to try it last month. I’ll be looking for a demo, but this is one I probably will wait on purchasing.
Oink Games — Nine Tiles Panic BOOTH 1950
BJ – Big fan of the Oink Games model, and Nine Tiles Panic is their newest game. I love the artwork, just need to see a little game play at Gen Con to tip me over the eddge.
Bradly – I have no specific game to look at when I stop by the Oink Games booth. I will be looking at all of them, that’s just how reliable Oink has been with their games. Insider, Deep Sea Adventures, and A Fake Artist Goes to New York are all the reason I need to stop at their booth.
Peterson Games – Planet Apocalypse BOOTH 1261
Bradly – I don’t know a ton about Planet Apocalypse, but it looks very good in pictures. The minis are absolutely disgusting (in a good way) and I love the box art. It’s a cooperative game in the same vein as Dead of Winter or Zombicide, so I don’t know if it’ll do enough new to warrant a purchase. It’s one I absolutely plan to demo, though.
BJ – I am a huge fan of Imperial Settlers, and have all of the faction expansions. So, I was not too sure (or “not sure sure” as we say in Acadiana) about this new stand alone game. I’ve done some research, and listened to some podcasts, and failed (again) to demo it at Dice Tower Con. So, I’m a little blind on this one but I love the theme and the world so I am trusting Ignacy. I’m enticed enough to at least pass by the booth, but odds are, this one is coming home with me. The art alone is worth the admission! (Not quite sure what “freezing playable” means, but let’s find out together, shall we?)
Project Raygun – Court of the Dead BOOTH 137
Bradly – A member of the Gumbo Krewe backed Court of the Dead on Kickstarter, and if he hadn’t I would have, so I’m very interested in this game. Usually I won’t spend time looking at games I already know are on their way; I’ll just wait until they arrive and check them out then. But Court of the Dead looks really good to me, so I want a little taste before the full game gets delivered. The last shots I saw of the miniatures was a little disappointing to me, but these things are hard to tell without the piece in your hand.
BJ – I am a sucker for almost everything Clank!, and unlike Jamie of The Secret Cabal, have no problems with Apes Holding Weapons. The mummy version of Clank! Is my favorite expansion so far, so they seem to keep getting better. Looking forward to picking this one up.
BJ – I traded away all other racing games as soon as Restoration Games published Downforce. (Well, except Camel Up, but…camels.) The first expansion has better tracks than the original, and these new tracks look even better. Kudos to Restoration for top quality production and must have expansions.
Restoration Games – Return to Dark Tower BOOTH 355
Bradly – Yet another game I expect to be on a lot of lists. Childress and Dark Tower; there’s really not a lot more to be said.
BJ – I tried this out at Dice Tower Con, along with my son Jack, Alex Goldsmith of the Dukes of Dice, and Corey from Dice Tower News. We ran through some new quests designed by Isaac Childress (with him sitting next to us randomizing the monsters!) and with our steady GM, Justin from Restoration. We’re not allowed to talk much — we still have not hired Sean Ramirez to break the NDA — but what I can tell you is that the writing is top notch, there’s tons of tension, and it’s not your father’s Dark Tower. Geaux check it out if they have anything for demo at Gen Con.
Bradly – Square Enix has two games they’ll have for sale in their booth that are based off of Final Fantasy. As a certified Final Fantasy nut, I just have to check them out. They probably won’t be amazing; the Cactpot one in particular looks pretty terrible, but I have to see them.
Stronghold Games – Amul BOOTH 1919
BJ – My eye always rests on a game that can play in under an hour and promises an interesting card drafting mechanism. I do not know a lot about Amul, other than the publisher and the art we’ve seen on BGG, but any game that hints at engaging card drafting play is worthy of a stop at the booth.
Bradly – Thanos Rising was one of the surprise hits for me in 2018. I honesty did not expect to like it as much as I did. Obviously I wasn’t the only one, because now USAOpoly (or The OP, as they now call themselves) is making a Harry Potter and a Star Wars themed version of the game. I believe the Star Wars themed version will not be available in the US (some type of licensing thing) but the Harry Potter one will be available for demo at Gencon. My brother-in-law is a huge Harry Potter fan, so I’ll eventually be getting a copy for his family.
YOKA Games – War of the Three Kingdoms BOOTH 2962
Bradly – I grew up on Romance of the Three Kingdoms RTS games and Dynasty Warriors. The War of the Three Kingdoms is a setting I’m very familiar with and any game with that setting at least gets a look from me. YOKA actually has two War of the Three Kingdoms games available for sale at Gencon; one may be an expansion, I’m honestly not sure. Either way, I’ll be stopping by to take a look.
And that’s our list for games to check out at Gen Con 2019. What have we missed? What games do you think are going to be the Hotness this year? Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and let us know!
Until next time, laissez les bon temps rouler!