Dice Tower Convention 2017 Report — Day One

Hey boardgamers, BJ from Boardgame Gumbo here, and I survived my first day at my first ever Dice Tower Convention here in what I assume is sunny Orlando (I got more of a neon tan today than a real one).

Just steps away from Walt Disney World, the convention provided its own magical times on day one. First up, there was free breakfast for all of the attendees, which helped since the line for registration covered the entire convention hall. The staff announced several times that players could jump right into the hall and start playing or visiting, but I am pretty sure there were a number of attendees who wanted the first crack at that juicy experience from the MASSIVE game library or to be first at the Exhibitor booths.I wandered backstage to the Stronghold Booth way early, but head man Stephen Buonocore was already there prepping the booth for the onslaught. Once a few other knights showed up a couple of minutes later, we started breaking out the games and playing.

I was lucky enough to get a deep dive play with Dan (you know him from his adorable game videos on the Dice Tower with his daughter Cora) on Fields of Green. This new American release of the game really shines. I like engine builders a lot, but many times I get outclassed by other players who are longer range planners. This distills the fun of an engine builder, with a new theme of modern farming, into 45 minutes. Dan is a great teacher with a wonderful sense of humor and even shared some amazing treats from his side of the pond. The Stroopwaffle (think Stinger energy waffles with better flavor) from the Netherlands was particularly good.

Then, the exhibitor doors opened and it was nonstop gaming all day. I manned the Fields of Green table, and we always had a demo game going all day.

One of the memorable games was teaching the crew from Must Love Boardgames, a funny movie directed by Jessie Seidule of Baton Rouge. Jessie, Melissa, and Ronald were fun to hang around with during the game, and it was nice to catch up about gaming in South Louisiana.


I also had a chance to slide around to greet people and play games when I could. One of the highlights was an epic Pit Crew battle with Jon V from Montreal. It came down to the wire, and they used one of Geoff Englestein’s diabolical monkey wrench cards to draft around us for the win.

The guys from Dukes of Dice podcast turned me on to the Draft Mechanic podcast a few weeks ago, and I have been enjoying listening to Jake and Danielle riff on boardgames and craft beer. So, it was fun to meet them in person and teach games at the booth. They are both deadpan funny people, so say hello if you get a chance.

After the booth closed, a bunch of listeners to the Boardgames Insider podcast (co-hosted by Ignacy from Portal and Stephen from Stronghold) gathered at the hotel for a podcast meetup. I think even Stephen was surprised by the large turnout on short notice.

Ignacy had challenged Stephen to a Crokinole match, and I got to watch almost to the end. When I left, the “Pride of New Jersey” was in the lead, and on my way back from dinner with Sneauxbunny, I saw Ignacy racing to the designer panel. When I asked him about the finish, he just smiled and said “No talk about it, I don’t know what happened!” If you haven’t met Ignacy yet, you should because he is one of the smartest gamers and funniest guys in gaming.

After dinner, Alex and Sean of the Dukes of Dice podcast invited us to play games in the main hall. I finally got to play some convention games that I have seen at GenCon but never got to play, like Pitchcar, Rhino Hero, and Monikers.


Pitchcar is a great dexterity racing game where players flick cars one at a time in a race to complete a lap around the track. This was a huge track set up right in the front of the hall. (I’m not sure what regular Pitchcar looks like, but this was a really long track.) Had a great time flicking the car around, but one lap around the track was plenty enough for me. The best part of pitchcar to me is the smacktalk, and since I was in a large group of people that were pretty familiar with each other, there was a lot of that going around.

Rhino Hero — I bought this for my nephew in Maryland for Christmas years ago, but never tried it. I liked it, but I might like it better on a steadier surface than the table we were using. Needless to say, we did not last very long in the game.

Monikers is a Time’s Up clone, but with weirder titles and explanation. Team Sean won after we had a couple of big turns.

Jake from Draft Mechanic broke out Vegas, a game from Rudiger Dorn (the designer of Karuba and many other games). What looked like a simple dice fest — okay, it is a simple dice fest — turned out to have some strategy. Players toss a handful of dice, and then use the results to claim casinos each worth random amounts of money (but at least $50k each). The player with the most of her colored dice on the casino at the end of the round claims that dollar amount. There is a catch — ties are no good as they knock you completely out of the running for the prize. You have to look at the other players hands of dice to gauge how much you need to support your own hold on a casino. This is a perfect beer & pretzel game for my brothers, and I will have to try and hunt down a copy.

After we finally finished playing these deep, brainy, mind burning strategy games, we decided to lighten things up with a game of Ethnos from CMON games. We had six players, so Ethnos was a good choice. Plus, plus, the library copy has the Fairy promo which I had never played.


Ethnos may not look like much on the table, but man is there a lot of gameplay. Players try to play sets of cards with the same color or race on them in an effort to put down their token on one of six areas on the board, with each area having a randomized value at the start of the game. Each faction has a unique special power that if played effectively can lead to awesome combos.

You’re only picking up one card at a time, but there’s lots of tense decisions because of the dragon timer. The bottom third of the deck is seeded with three dragons, and when the last one comes out, the round is over and any cards in your hand that have not been played are worth nothing.

The last time I played was just a learning game where I was trying to understand the rules, but this time, I was able to see the nuances of the combos in the races. Ethnos is one of those games where you are tempted to go for everything, but specializing in three, maybe four areas seems a better choice. I had the lead going into the final round, but tried to shoot the moon on a troll combo that didn’t work. Awesome, awesome game made better with some great players (Ellison, Jay, Jake, Danielle, and Alex).

It was almost midnight, and I had an early morning shift at the booth, so I said goodbye to some new friends. I did see my son Jack at a different table, and got to visit with him about his epic Game of Thrones experience. Sounds like he was having a blast running House Stark. 

I’ll have more thoughts on the Stronghold games we are demoing tomorrow, and hopefully can report on some of the other booths and games that I plan to play.

Until next time, Laissez les bon temps rouler!

— B.J.

Dice Tower Con — Pre-Convention Report


Hey boardgamers, BJ from Boardgame Gumbo here, back with more Louisiana flavor. This time, I am coming to you from the beautiful Caribe Royal near Walt Disney World.

My family decided to come in early for our first DTC, and check out some of the newest attractions at WDW. But, I heard rumblings on BGG that people were starting to arrive, and so we checked into the hotel on Monday morning.

MONDAY:

First up, we wandered around the hotel to check out the digs. The resort is beautiful, and has everything for a great family vacation. Pools, spa, fitness center, restaurants, the Caribe has it all.

Of course, pre-convention gaming has to include gaming, and we’ve had it in spades here. Right below the staircase in the main building on the side facing the pool was a large lounge area with big tables and comfortable chairs. One of the Dukes of Dice listeners, Evan, had set up shop on one of the tables, and so I plopped down some games on the next table and watched as gamers started wandering in.

By Monday afternoon, we had six tables of gamers from all over the country playing the latest hotness and old favorites. This part frankly surprised me. When I demoed at Pax South, we played mostly with our friends and I did not see a lot of exchanging. But here at the pre-con, gamers were VERY inviting to solo attendees or people just looking to game.

I’ve met and played games with people from Montreal, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, South Carolina, Texas, Maryland and many other cities and states. Seeing people welcome others to the table without even being asked is truly why the Dice Tower Convention is a special con.

So what games have I seen so far? I have been hearing about Barenpark, and wanted to try it and compare it to Cottage Garden. I don’t own either, but was happy to see that a copy of each was on the table. My wife and I played both games pretty much back to back — twice! — and there’s room for both in a collection. Cottage Garden seems a bit friendlier, with the relaxing stroll around the garden on the wheelbarrow, plotting out your next move, and filling up your own garden space.

 Barenpark scratches that competitive itch, because it features a race to pick up the victory point statutes and extra bonus point tiles. For me, one is a great date night game, where the other can be brought out with my fiercest competitive game group buddies.

Jack and I had been playing Baseball Highlights:2045 at our Disney hotel each night, in preparation for the Dukes of Dice tourney on Saturday at DTC. So, we had to get one more game in. Jack is getting really good, and took a short five game series from me using a glove heavy deck.

Jon V from Montreal requested a game of New Bedford, my favorite little worker placement game from Dice Hate Me Games. We played a five player game (first time for me in a long while), and everyone seemed to enjoy the whaling aspect of the game the most. Mike and Nate from Minneapolis caught on to the mechanics pretty quick and gave me a big challenge as it was a close 1-2-3 finish.

Jason from South Carolina had Century set up, and I was happy to finally play it. I’ve heard people say it is a “Splendor killer”. Was it? Not in my opinion, but the two games do have similar feels. I like the way that Emerson Matsuuchi ratcheted up the tension with the upgrade mechanic on the spices, and the fact that you are limited in your spice board. In Splendor, you have to keep one eye on the other player(s) to see what is going on, but in Century, you really have to keep both eyes on their area or else you will not be able to stop their engines. My only problem? Two player turns go so fast that it is hard to really grok what you want to do on your turn or future turns without slowing down the game too much. I’d like to try it with three people and see if that makes it more manageable.

We closed up Monday with a rousing game of Near & Far. This was my fourth or fifth game, but the other players were new, so we went back to the first map. Beautiful artwork and great components with upgraded story lines and game play makes this my favorite Red Raven Games release, and my early front runner for 2017 game of the year. It solves any of the problems I had with Above & Below. But even better, it makes a campaign fun again. One of the hard things about purchasing a campaign game is getting it to the table with the same people.

I’ve played Near & Far with four different game groups, and playing on three or four different maps has been a blast. Somehow this game scratches one itch of campaign play even in one off games — except for character development, of course — with the connected story lines. I’m still having trouble getting it under a 120 minute time, but our 150 game was lengthened when Tom Vasel came by and talked with us about the game. He knew Jeanne from Miami who was playing with us at the table, and we enjoyed his thoughts about the game, which he hinted was one of his favorite Red Raven Games too.

From noon to midnight, we played games with so many groups that I could not believe it was two days before the con actually started. I am pretty sure I played more games on Monday than I did the entire three days at Gen Con 2016!

TUESDAY:

I got up early and wandered down to the lobby, thinking I would have time to write the blog while other people were still in bed. Well, that was a happy and fortunate mistake. My buddies, Jon and Nate were back at it again.

 Another game of Cottage Garden broke out, and I also tried out a two player 7X7 game of Kingdomino. After thinking that it would not change the experience much, I was pleasantly surprised. Building out the larger area gave me time to watch the other player, and really think about the tiles coming out. This is the way I want to play two players from now on.


Next up, another game of New Bedford, followed by a six player game of Viticulture. (Yes, back to back worker placement games — little bit of brain slowdown after playing them back to back.) I had to teach four of the gamers, so the start was a little rough, but by year two, everyone had the mechanics down and it was a big race to the finish.

 I could not pull the vine cards I needed, but everyone was pretty close. I was happy to see my son Jack race out to the lead and hold on to it for his first ever win against some pretty experienced Euro gamers.

Jon from Montreal had a prototype under his arm, so we asked him to break out Art Traders. What a cool theme! We played owners of art galleries trying to wheel and deal to improve our collection and attract more visitors. It was his first test at five players, and we sort of broke the game a bit at that play count, but he really enjoyed the in game and post game discussion of what we liked and what he could tweak. Can’t wait to see how this turns out as it is developed further.

I really enjoyed gaming with Jon, Mike, Nate and a bunch of others. Sharing game experiences and telling stories with gamers who have the same passion makes this a much different Con than Pax South. 

Then it was off to The Stronghold. I am demoing for Stephen Buonocore’s Stronghold Games this week, and we helped him set up the booth. Lots of good games to play, so we broke out some demos and started playing when some of the other Knights showed up.

We tried out Frogriders, Pit Crew, Cottage Garden (again!), Not Alone, and Fields of Green. I really enjoyed each and will have more to say tomorrow. I will say that Frogriders surprised the heck out of me. What looked like a simple kids game turned out to be a quick playing, thinky little SdJ contender. In fact, it fires Hey That’s My Fish in my collection. It gives me the same satisfying abstract play, but without the head on meanness that my nieces and nephews don’t like about “The Penguin Game.” Plus, gamers will like the special powers, combos, and bonus point / power cards. Two thumbs up.

I also enjoyed meeting fellow Dukes of Dice listener, Bill, from right across the Atchafalya Swamp. We joked that we each traveled 14 hours just to play a game with a guy who lives an hour away!

We closed out another long day of gaming with a four player game of Viticulture by request of Brandon, one of the demo guys from CMON. (By the way, they are demoing Godfather, the new game from Eric Lang, so I am hoping to get a game in at some point.) 

 I tried a strategy that I did once before and pulled off successfully — making no wine and strictly relying on the board and blue cards for my victory points. I miscalculated on my second to last round and scored 19 points — tying with another guy but sending the game into one more year. 

 Without any more blue scoring cards, I was helpless to get 21 points only and lost a close 23-22-21 game. The strategy shortens the game up a bit, since you are always inching closer, but money is tight in the later rounds and even with the Cottage, I had a handful of cards but nothing that generated victory points.

 I love hamming it up with this strategy, bemoaning how Mama and Papa don’t understand that we can make money on marketing without harvesting (that’s why you sent me to the Ivy League business school, Mama!) but it is a very stressful strategy as you hope no other player notices until it’s too late.

But it was one of the most fun experiences playing Viticulture: Essential Edition (despite some catcalls from the crowd that Tuscany is better) because Brandon from LA, and Matt & Tyler from Seattle really got into the theme of the game. I’d play a game with those guys anytime. 

I’ll hopefully be back with more recaps of the games and people, but so far this convention has been a great experience. Can’t wait to get some more gaming in and meet some more great gamers.

Until next time, Laissez les bon temps rouler!

— B.J.

MAIS, PUT  DAT GAME IN DAT BAG, Part Deux – Gen Con 2016 wrap up

After a too short sleep period, where the Krewe de Gumbo dreamed of hot boudin, cold Canebrake, and sweet pecan pie, we woke up bright and early to once again dive into the crazy cacophony that is Gen Con.

But first, fuel. Phillip and I headed to First Watch, a great little redesigned breakfast place just about six blocks from the Convention Center. First, we needed to clear our heads and sample some fresh air, if only briefly. Second, we wanted some fresh fruit and homemade wheat pancakes with turkey sausage, and what do you know…that is what they serve! Third, two words that will defeat the onset of Con Crud — orange juice. You owe it to yourself to stop here next year, but get here early…word gets around and the place was packed by 9:00 am.

But let’s get back to games, shall we?

The plan was to head to Mayfair’s humongous play area, and get in a four player game of Murano. But Phillip and I got distracted with this crazy little dexterity game called Klask! Imagine air hockey on a small scale with magnets and mines; that’s the game in a nutshell. It was a blast, and if we did not have to run to our next event, I might’ve bought it right then and there.

So, I have to get this little ball from this little corner into that little blue circle over there? Riiiight.

But run we did…right to Mayfair’s area for our Murano play through. We only had two tickets…so the four of us (Doc, Phillip, Dustin and I) went early hoping that the other half of our scheduled game would not show. Alas, they did show, and so Doc and Phillip scattered to enjoy other games while Dustin and I reveled in this amazing game.

I like to use my Gen Con badge to move meeples.

And actually it worked out great. We played with Geoff and his friend (sorry, name slips me right now), and they were some of the best playing partners we encountered all weekend. They were funny, picked up the game right away (we taught ourselves the rules with excellent help from Dustin), and played quickly.  There was lots of banter, joking with each other, and even some good natured smack talk.

Four out of five cayenne peppers!

The game itself is gorgeous. It is a classic Euro, with a neat mechanic of moving the gondola meeples around the board to choose your action. (Think Puerto Rico with sliding action choices.) Throw in a little bit of push your luck or betting style, with the option to make money through the production of glassware, and you have the perfect game for our game group. I don’t want to spoil a review, but this one will get multiple cayenne peppers from me. The game played really quick, and we were all lamenting when it was over…especially me because I just needed “ONE MORE TURN ™.”

While we were enjoying the heck out Murano, Phillip jumped in on a game of King Chocolate. Yeah, I know Tom Vasel and Jason the Cave bombed the game, and the art work is …. well, a bit plain to say the least, but I found the intricate puzzle-y aspects of the game to be very interesting. I would be interested in a full game play, but I don’t think it is a buy for me.

No one say anything, but I think Phillip has chocolate on the corner of his mouth.

Meanwhile, Doc came by and threw his hat into a game by Mayfair called Mad City. Doc  and his playing partners totally trashed the game, saying it was way too complicated to be taught in a one hour session. I bet with the right teacher and the right group, Doc would have enjoyed it — but in all honesty, he loves the best of Amerithrash fantasy or SF type games, so maybe I would be wrong.

What language are these instructions? 

Can I give kudos to a competing convention here? I will do it anyway. Hats off to Board Game Geek (BGG) who put on at the very last minute a cool Hotness Room, where you could play almost all of the very latest games from 2016 for only one generic ticket. We ran down there after our Murano play through, and grabbed a copy of Imhotep and Mystic Vale.

Best metal face ever at Gen Con in the hotness room at a back table playing Imhotep in August of 2016, hands down.

Phillip and Dustin and I worked on Imhotep, while Dave and Carlos tackled MV. I think we got the better end of it. How did Imhotep not win the SdJ? This is hands down the best new game I have played so far this year.  We played it in the hall, then Phillip raced out to get a copy, and we played it again later…much later..

If you think you are gonna block me, BJ, you got another thing coming.

Look at those bits and artwork! Big chunky blocks for stacking, cool little barges for shipping, fun sized modular board (and we ended up with a promo that added a little betting mechanic.) Well done and a must buy for anyone’s collection. There will be a Board Game Gumbo segment on this one hopefully soon.
The group had to split up then, as Dustin and Doc went after their big SF type games while Phillip and I explored a game that The Secret Cabal and The Dice Tower has been lauding for months, Stockpile. We had signed up to be taught by the designer, Seth from Nauvoo Games, and we got lucky. Seth is an amazing teacher, very patient and very prepared. Kudos to him for not only designing what has got to be one of the best stock market simulations out there, but also for bringing the fun to the party.

Put your finger here so the board game does not fly up and hit the ceiling.
Seth was a great teacher. He taught two games at once, and still had time to let us beat him. 

Again, we were lucky in our playing partners too, as all were experienced gamers who picked up the game right away. There was lots of laughing and joking and when one of the partners had to leave early, we got the joy of beating the designer at his own game!! (Small fine print, he only took one turn).

I was disappointed in not being able to get The Networks from Gil Hova, as it sold out in seconds, but this game more than made up for it. Phillip and I yelled… err.. fought… err.. politely discussed who was buying Imhotep and who was buying Stockpile. I think we both won, but I got the pleasure of buying Stockpile from the guys at Nauvoo, including the expansion, and with a bonus treat of a few more investor cards as promos. Seriously, go support those guys, they love what they do and they produce a great product.

(Secret tip — they are working with a prototype of a new game — all hush hush, but hopefully there should be more info soon — will likely be a must buy for me.)

Up next, Bryan Fischer (@bryanfischer) had graciously arranged for the Krewe to try our first ever prototype. His friend Eric (@boardandcafe) is working on a new set collection game, that carries an unusual theme. The players are new vinyl record collectors, who wandered into a huge store carrying tons of vinyl records — but they have to battle it out to put together the deepest, coolest collection. Now that is definitely not a Trading in the Mediterranean theme!

We had a good time learning the rules and critiquing the game. I hope we gave the designer some good feedback on what looks like a very promising game with interesting new mechanics.

Okay campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties, because it is coooold out there!

After a quick trip to the food trucks for some BBQ and noodles, it was time…yes that time…the time had come…THE SECRET CABAL MEET UP (cue the loud stadium jam music).

I have listened to every single episode of the Cabal, so finally getting the chance to go to the famed meet up was something I had been looking forward to all Con. We got there early….like embarrassingly early…like so early Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games was drinking beers with us at the hotel bar upstairs. He introduced us to one of his loyal Knights, Jay, and we all went down to the meet up over two and half hours early. Even then, there were fifty people there already, and it only got more crowded.

One of the weirder traditions (I am assuming it is a tradition) at the meet up is the fact that Cabalists play games during the meet up. That’s right, it is the Convention’s Biggest Kegger, and instead of just standing around drinking, Cabalists bring all kinds of games from the goofiest wooden dexterity games to even some fairly heavy Euro style games. Come to think of it, it is a great tradition!!

For our part, we brought our newly purchased Imhotep and Stockpile games, and immediately started unboxing and punching them out. While we were doing this, Jay Volk from Stonghold Games walked over, and we invited him to join in a game of Stockpile. He is very familiar with the game, and except for a few lucky plays, would have handed us our ******* in both games.

I am about to whip some Cajun booty at this game…

 

Best paper/card money I have seen…

 

Nauvoo Games did a great job with the bits and the graphic layout of the game.

Jay told me he has been teaching Pursuit of Happiness for Stronghold all weekend — and you can see why he is a loyal Knight. He is one of the best game teachers I have ever seen. It is hard to give you a visual of how difficult that night would be for a normal game teacher. Imagine 400 people crowding around a stand up chest height table where Stockpile took literally every inch, and all 400 people are drinking and singing and yelling and giving great big bear hugs.

Distracting? Noisy? To say the least. (It cost me my voice for the rest of the weekend). But Jay was a trooper who kept the energy level high during the entire two games we played.

He even convinced us to use the backside of the board, and I am glad he did. The game’s stock price swings are much more volatile with that side, but that makes the game a lot more fun.

The Krew de Gumbo broke out Imhotep and a-never-to-be-discussed other game,  and looked like they had a good time doing it. I saw lots of other games being played including Secret Hitler  and Celestia and a really interesting game called Vast, where the five players have asynchronous powers involving goblins and thieves battling dragons in a cave that is determined not to let any of them out safely. Somehow I missed the buzz on that one, and now I wished I had at least demoed the game, if not outright bought it.

We even caught a glimpse of a quick dexterity battle between Rodney Smith of Watch It Played and Mr. Cross Fit himself, Tony T. I did not get a shot, but here is a picture of Phillip and I going after each other in this great little Austrlian time waster.

Best when played with (root) beer.

The rest of the night was spent shaking hands with all of the podcast celebrities like Robb, Patrick and Jeremy from Blue Peg Pink Peg, Marty from Rolling Dice, Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice, Lance the undead Viking, Rodney Smith from Watch It Played, and of course, the three amigos from the Cabal, Jamie, Chris and Tony. (Shout out to Don, the man who handled the raffle tickets, too.)

I am not explaining that word to you, you are gonna have to ask your dad.
The crown prince of board game media, Jamie Keagey! He might be the hardest working dude in board game podcasts. 
The man with very unusual tastes in board game themes…………….the one and only, Chris Miller. Beef Jerky not included. 

Thank you to the guys from the Secret Cabal, and all of the game publishers who helped make the meet up a success.  As Carlos and I ruminated during the night, what other industry brings together the biggest competitors all under one roof, and they all hang out, share the spotlight, support each other’s projects, and become friends? I cannot think of one, and it certainly makes me proud to be one small part of this amazing community.

After a looooong day, and an evening looooonger night, we all settled back at the Westin to watch Dustin unbox his pride and joy, the new hotness from Portal Games, Cry Havoc.

Stop tape.

In a manufacturing mix up, Dustin got three sets of robots and one set of some other faction. That’s right, after weeks of anticipation and after paying for the pre-order, Dustin did not have the full game.

Dat’s a lotta robots. 

Any good set of friends, would have been very sympathetic and support Dustin in his desperate hour of sadness, right? WRONG. The Krewe taunted Dustin unmercifully until bed time, with ever more elaborate plans for him to head to Poland to fix the problem.

But, here’s the best part of the story — one quick tweet to the hardest working man in board gaming, Ignacy (yeah, you try spelling his last name from memory on an iPad) from Portal, and we had an appointment the next morning for the product malfunction to be rectified. Kudos to Ignacy and his excellent team at Portal–that’s good customer service.

So, the Krewe watched as David broke out Terraforming Mars so that we could admire the excellent production and bits in that game. But that’s it for Day 2 (which was Saturday and day 1 for most other people.) Stay tuned for the final thoughts on Gen Con and the releases shortly.

Until next time, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

B.J.

More Gen Con previews…

Why does it feel like Gen Con 2016 is the Super Bowl of gaming?!? So many exciting events, so many new game releases, I am not sure how we are going to fit everything in.

Last week, I covered the top five anticipated game releases. Here are a few more that are really stirring up the acquisition disorder.


ISLEBOUND (Red Raven Games — booth #2657) — Sure, Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games are blowing up Kickstarter with their currently in development  sequel to Above and Below called Near and Far.

But they will also have limited quantities of their previous release, Islebound. The artwork is as fun, familiar, and whimsical as the best of Laukat’s work. I haven’t tried the gameplay yet but it is in my list to demo.

THE DRAGON & FLAGON (Stronghold Games — booth #2323)) Next up is a tough choice. As one board game podcaster said last week, This may be the strongest lineup Stronghold Games has ever produced at Gen Con. But which one to choose? I think I am most excited about Dragon and Flagon, a new real time programming game from The Engelsteins. I LOVE the chaotic fun if Robo Rally and Colt Express, so this deserves a pass by and a look see. I am also very interested in Terraforming Mars, so we may be spending a lot of time at Stephen Buonocore’s booth.


DARK DEALINGS (Nevermore Games) — I love filler games. I love card games. That’s why Dark Dealings from Nevermore Games is on my list to check out. Drive Thru Review had a great review and synopsis of the game. It looks quick but thinly, and not something you catch onto on the very first play. That hopefully means there’s some depth to it, too, even if it plays in 30 minutes or so. Gonna check this one out.

crgcgi101

 

PLUMS (Crash of Games) — Yes, I know. I love filler games and I love card games and you know that, too. But look at the artwork on this game! I heard a good review from the blue pegs with Blue Peg, Pink Peg podcast (and you should check them out if you have not already). They made it sound as Plums is the perfect family game. CoG’s website says it is sold out, but I am hoping they have copies at Gen Con or at least a demo.

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VIA NEBULA (Space Cowboys — booth #1619) — I have never played a Martin Wallace game! There, I said it. The guys at The Secret Cabal (my favorite podcast from York, Pennsylvania) are always raving about Mr. Wallace’s latest creations, yet no one in my game group has any. What to do? Head down to booth 1619, of course. I plan on at the very least demoing the game, and it is definitely on my radar of games to pick up.

DASTARDLY DIRIGIBLES (Fireside Games — booth #743) Our last look see for today is a Fireside release. My kids grew up on lots of plays of Castle Panic, but I have honestly never played any of their other games. I believe the company is based down south so it would be nice to meet up and do an interview. But back to the game — as you can see, we like new and unusual themes here, and this one is very unique. Plus it has some Take That, at least from the previews I have seen.
So that wraps up this week’s list. Tweet me if you have something you would recommend that the Krewe of Board Game Gumbo try out at Gen Con 2016. Until then, Laissez les Bon temps rouler!

B.J.