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Gen Con 2012 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Gen Con Indy 2012 takes place August 16-19, 2012, and as the largest and longest-running game convention in the U.S. – more than forty years! – it's no surprise that U.S. publishers will demo or sell many new games at the show in order to introduce fresh releases, build buzz, and (of course) make sales.

This Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will debut at Gen Con 2012, be released shortly before the convention, or be available in demo/preview form. To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
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Board Game Publisher: Asmodee
• Booths #2125 & 2131

• In addition to what's listed below, Asmodee distributes games for many European (mostly French) publishers, and those new titles are listed elsewhere in this Preview under their appropriate publisher.
26. Board Game: Fame Us [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:6341]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 8
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Fame Us, each player starts the game with six cards, with the cards bearing descriptive words or phrases like "tall", "blonde", "actor", "politician" or "mustachioed". On a turn, a player can either:

  • Play a card to the center of the table. Ideally this player has someone famous in mind who matches all the descriptive cards now in play – but no names need be mentioned at this point.
  • Pass and draws a card.
  • Challenge the previous player who played a card to name someone who fits the descriptions in play. If this player names someone, everyone votes (except the challenger) whether or not this person is an acceptable answer. If the challenger lose, he draw two cards. If the bluffer loses, he draws three cards.

To keep players honest in their voting, at the start of the game each player is secretly assigned to one of two teams: "The VIP Table" or "The King on the Dance Floor". The game ends after ten rounds or after one player has emptied his hand of cards. The team with the fewest cards in hand wins.

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27. Board Game: Noah [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1772]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Noé the flood is at hand, and to save as many species as possible, Noah will need your help – with only the most deserving of players being saved from the waters!

Each round, players start with eight animal cards in hand; five ferries are laid out in a circle, with one animal placed on board from the top of the deck. Noah himself stands on one ferry. On a turn, a player plays one card from hand onto the ferry where Noah is located, following two rules: (1) the total weight of all animals on board cannot exceed 21 and (2) animals on a ferry must be placed either in alternating gender order or must be all of the same gender. After placing an animal, the player moves Noah to a different ferry; if he played a female animal, Noah goes to either adjacent ferry, while if he played a male, Noah goes to either ferry on the other side of the circle.

If a player can't legally play an animal, he must first take in hand all the animals on the ferry where Noah is located, then play an animal.

In addition to moving Noah to a nearly full ferry, players have two other ways to benefit themselves or mess with other players. If a player plays an animal identical to the one last played on that ferry, he moves Noah, then takes another turn. If a player brings the weight of a ferry to exactly 21, that ferry launches from shore to meet the ark located in distant waters, a new ferry becomes available for loading, and the player distributes 1-4 cards from the deck among his opponents. finally, some cards have special animals, such as the giraffe that lets you peek at an opponent's hand and the woodpecker, which stupidly pokes holes in the ferry and reduces its maximum weight to 13. Bad woodpecker, bad!

The round ends when a player runs out of cards in hand or a fourth ferry launches. Players receive penalty points for cards still in hand, scored according to the number of tears on each card, those tears representing Noah's sadness at the animal being left behind. Then players shuffle all the animal cards and begin a new round. The player with the fewest points after three rounds wins!

Other Information: • Distributed via Asmodee in North America, so look for this in the Asmodee booth.
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Board Game Publisher: Atlas Games
• Booth #1301

Gloom and its many expansions will be heavily featured since the game recently appeared on Wil Wheaton's TableTop.

• The hardcover limited-edition Over the Edge: 20th Anniversary Edition ($75) will also be featured at Gen Con 2012.
28. Board Game: Murder of Crows [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:4865]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Murder of Crows invites you to be the first player to spell "murder" – but thankfully you don't have to use crow carcasses to do it.

Instead you're spelling the word with letter cards from your hand. Each player starts with five cards in hand, and on a turn a player either (a) draws two cards or (b) draws one card and plays one card. In addition to the Wild Crow card, which can do just about anything, cards come in five letters, each with a special power that takes place when you play that card:

  • M – Misplace: Take one card from a player's murder – that is, his collection of cards on the table – and add it to your hand.
  • U – Uncover: All players reveal their hands and you take any one card and add it to your hand.
  • R – Reap: Draw one additional card.
  • D – Drain: Choose one letter. All players discard one of those letters from play, if possible.
  • E – Expel: Everyone discards their hand and draws three new cards.

When an opponent's card would affect you, you can discard a card of matching crow power – as indicated in the top left corner of the card – to be immune from the action.

Other Information: • Price $13
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Board Game Publisher: Baksha Games
• Booth #1937
29. Board Game: Banditos [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8872]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In 1982, Mexico's economy collapsed, and the government's response was to centralize the banks and devalue the peso. (This much, at least, is true...)

In the game world of Banditos, the Mexican people responded poorly to these changes, resulting in a decrease in effective security and an increase in creative accounting at the new Banco de Mexico. Once some of the "alternatively principled" people in the land of opportunity heard about this, they looked south of the border for their ventures.

You will play one of several American characters making runs into Mexico to pull bank heists. You will need to acquire vehicles, weapons, seed money, and maybe even some inside information to make it all happen.

The first player to get his character home with the equivalent of one million US dollars wins.

Players can acquire cards (vehicles etc.) by drawing them each turn, by buying them from other players, or by stealing them from the discard pile.

Doing anything deemed illegal, however, will bring "heat" to your character (if you steal from the discard pile or pull a heist,) or your vehicle (if you steal gas or pull a heist,) or Mexican cities (if you pull a heist.)
It's up to you as a player to manage your risk and decide how desperate you are to acquire what you need versus how much heat you currently have.

If you have the guts to try a risky heist, it'll either pay off or you'll land in a Mexican jail and have to play catch-up.

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Board Game Publisher: Bezier Games, Inc.
• See below for location.
30. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:42]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Plan, build, and develop a small town into a major metropolis. Use hex-shaped building tiles to add residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas, as well as special points of interest that provide benefits and take advantage of the resources of nearby towns. Your goal is to have your borough thrive and end up with a greater population than any of your opponents.

Suburbia is a tile-laying game in which each player tries to build up an economic engine and infrastructure that will be initially self-sufficient, and eventually become both profitable and encourage population growth. As your town grows, you'll modify both your income and your reputation. As your income increases, you'll have more cash on hand to purchase better and more valuable buildings, such as an international airport or a high rise office building. As your reputation increases, you'll gain more and more population (and the winner at the end of the game is the player with the largest population).

During each game, players compete for several unique goals that offer an additional population boost – and the buildings available in each game vary, so you'll never play the same game twice!

Other Information: • Developer Dale Yu had originally planned to bring a preproduction copy of Suburbia to Gen Con to show it off, but turns out that he's in town for just a few hours, so that plan was ditched. Instead gamer Jennifer Geske notes:

Quote:
I will have Ted's copy of the game at Gen Con. I plan to be at the boardgame library/pick-up play area (ICC 101-106) Thursday evening (after 8 p.m.) and Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are interested in playing Suburbia, respond to this thread or Geekmail me and I will see if I can put together a few sessions.

For full disclosure, it does cost either $4 (day-time) or $6 (evening) to have access to the boardgame library area.

I am also available to demo the game on Wednesday afternoon/evening if you can get at least two players and give me a location to meet you.
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Board Game Publisher: Brooklyn Indie Games
• Featured in booth #1033 with Game Salute.
31. Board Game: Ghost Pirates [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:7122]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Ethereal pirates swarm back and forth over each other's ships as the seas toss in the midnight storm. The decks of each vessel shift in and out of reality as the fighting begins. One captain and crew will emerge triumphant, and the loser will be damned to stalk the bowels of Davy Jones' locker.

Ghost Pirates is a tactical board game in which two ghost pirate Captains encounter each other on the high seas; based on old rivalries, grudges, or whatever it was that happened on Skull Island, they each turn broadside and lay-to. Each crew, following captain's orders, fights, fires cannons, and swarms their enemy's deck, attempting to force the other captain to walk the plank. Each player's turn consists of drawing a card, playing one or more cards to strengthen their ship and tactical position, moving your pirate crew, and finally, having them fight the foeman or take advantage and pillage the enemy’s ship. The goal of the game is to force your opponent’s captain to walk the plank.

Gameplay is designed to emulate tactical melee battles with a unique dice mechanic that is easy to learn and quick to play, especially for beginning gamers. It bears certain similarities to wargames like Axis and Allies, but on a much smaller, more fast-paced scale. The components are 72 cards which build the play layout and form the draw deck, 34 crew tokens, and a small handful of pirate themed six-sided dice.

Ghost Pirates was named to the 2013 GAMES 100 list, nominated for Best Family Game.

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Board Game Publisher: Calliope Games
32. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:965]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Show More »
Description:

The basic game play of Tsuro of the Seas resembles that of Tom McMurchie's Tsuro: Players each have a ship that they want to sail — that is, keep on the game board — as long as possible. Whoever stays on the board the longest wins the game.

Each turn players add "wake" tiles to the 7×7 game board; each tile has two "wake connections" on each edge, and as the tiles are placed on the board, they create a connected network of paths. If a wake is placed in front of a ship, that ship then sails to the end of the wake. If the ship goes off the board, that player is out of the game.

What's new in Tsuro of the Seas are daikaiju tiles, representing sea monsters and other creatures of the deep. Notably, daikaiju can move: each tile has five arrows, four for moving in each of the cardinal directions and another one for rotation. On the active player's turn, he rolls two six-sided dice; on a sum of 6, 7, or 8, the daikaiju will move, while on any other sum they'll stay in place. To determine which direction the daikaiju tiles move, the player then makes a second roll, this time with a single die. On 1-5 in the second roll, each daikaiju moves according to its matching arrow. On a 6 in the second roll, a new daikaiju tile is added to the board.

If a daikaiju tile hits a wake tile, a ship, or another daikaiju tile, the object hit is removed from the game. Another way to be ousted! The more daikaiju tiles on the game board, the faster players will find themselves trying to breathe water...

Other Information: • Price $40
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Board Game Publisher: Cambridge Games Factory
• Booth #1413, in the hands of Living Worlds Games. As LWG's Nicholas Vitek notes on BGG, "We are the official dealers of the Cambridge Games Factory games at Gen Con this year since our friends at CGF are unable to attend."
33. Board Game: Montana [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:7416]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 11 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Thanks to the discovery of abundant gold in its mountains, Montana became a territory of the United States in 1864. You represent a settler eager to stake a claim to as much of the rich land as you can. Doing so will require nerves, careful planning, a keen sense of timing, and more than a little bluffing because you are not the only one keen to become rich and powerful in Montana!

Montana is a Euro-style area control game, based around an iterative auction in which bids are made in the form of poker hands. It is primarily an economic game about managing your hand of resources and expanding territory strategically, but it has bluffing and set-collection elements of poker.

Other Information: • Price $23
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34. Board Game: Pala [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:3578]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 11 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In the trick-taking card game Pala, players are art students who are learning to mix their pigments on the palette to get the right color for their canvases. The cards are the paint colors, and the palette is the table. By playing cards together (that is, mixing colors), you can effectively change the color of your cards as well as the trick itself.

The published version of Pala includes two ways to play. Both variants use the same mechanisms for playing tricks, but have different bidding and score rules. Thus, once you wrap your head around the basics of the game, you can play two wildly different games with those core rules.

  • In Impressionism, players collectively determine the value of different colors (suits) by discarding cards from their hands before the round begins. Points are bad, analogous to Hearts.
  • In Pointillism, players bid with colored chips to indicate the colors they expect to win, but over-bidding risks losing all your points for the round. Points are good, analogous to Spades.
Other Information: • Price $13
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35. Board Game: Plato 3000 [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2589]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Plato 3000, a revised and improved version of the print-and-play game Utopian Rummy, players have the opportunity to rebuild the world into a new utopia. Players take turns playing sets of Job cards, shaping the new world, and giving them powers to break the rules of the game. Other players can join in – adding their matching Job cards – to gain the power for their side and lay more cards of their own.

Other Information: • Price $8.50
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36. Board Game: Quills [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Quills, players use letter cards to form the best word – that is, the one worth the most prestige points – that they can. The words are critiqued, with the fewest critiques going to the most prestigious word. After ten rounds, the player with the fewest critiques wins.

If you can't make a long word, you can instead try to make one that ends in a string of cards of the same suit (a "meld"). Because the game combines word-forming skills with other pattern formation, a player's obscure vocabulary will help but not guarantee a win against players with more conventional vocabularies (but an eye for long melds).

Other Information: • Price $13
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Board Game Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
• Booths #1703 & 1711
37. Board Game: Balance of Power [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:8372]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Spanish
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

It is 1815 and the world has been turned upside down. Napoleon Bonaparte has finally been defeated after nearly conquering all of Europe through years of devastating warfare. Now the Great Powers must deal with the chaos left behind. As each nation eagerly tries to grow, a careful balance of governmental, military and economic interests must be maintained.

In Balance of Power, players carefully create and move Kings, Generals and Bankers as they capture territories and expand their empires. A player’s skill and strategy are all that stand between him and ultimate victory!

Other Information: • Price $50
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38. Board Game: Leviathans [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2335]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In 1878 the Polish genius Rychnowski isolated an electrical fluid with remarkable lifting capabilities – a single, pivotal event that would change the world. The smartest military minds of the coming generation – Zeppelin, Jellico, Fisher and others – diverted their attention to the glorious new technological revolution and sea-going battleships were abandoned around the world. In their place, armored giants took to the skies.

In 1906, Great Britain launched the HMS Leviathan, the first of the "super air ships", sparking an arms race around the world. By 1910 the most powerful nations boasted large High Fleets, and the start of small skirmishes left the world uneasy... Welcome to Leviathans!

Leviathans is a game published by Catalyst Game Labs that simulates combat between warships that have taken to the air in an alternate history 1910. The king leviathans, the battleships, are the largest vessels. Maneuvering in support are the smaller ships of light cruisers, destroyers, and others ships. Will you captain your fleet for king and country, expanding your nation's power and becoming legend? Or will you fall from the sky, forgotten?

You will determine the outcome!

Other Information: • According to this blog post from June 2012 on MonstersInTheSky.com, "[l]imited quantities will be available each day at the Gen Con Game Fair in August".
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39. Board Game: Leviathans: British Fleet Box [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Leviathans simulates combat between warships that have taken to the air in an alternate history/steampunk 1910. The king leviathans, battleships, are the largest vessels. Maneuvering in support are light cruisers, destroyers and other vessels. Will you captain your fleet for king and country, expanding your nation's power and becoming legend? Or will you fall from the sky, forgotten? You determine the outcome!

Leviathans: British Fleet Box contains the British battleship, light cruiser, and two destroyer high-quality plastic ship miniatures from the Leviathans Core Box Set, but with four new, unique variant Ship Cards. Players can instantly expand their faction fleet after purchasing the Core Box Set for larger games.

Other Information: • Price $50
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40. Board Game: Leviathans: French Fleet Box [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Leviathans simulates combat between warships that have taken to the air in an alternate history/steampunk 1910. The king leviathans, battleships, are the largest vessels. Maneuvering in support are light cruisers, destroyers and other vessels. Will you captain your fleet for king and country, expanding your nation's power and becoming legend? Or will you fall from the sky, forgotten? You determine the outcome!

Leviathans: French Fleet Box contains the French battleship, light cruiser, and two destroyer high-quality plastic ship miniatures from the Leviathans Core Box Set, but with four new, unique variant Ship Cards. Players can instantly expand their faction fleet after purchasing the Core Box Set for larger games.

Other Information: • Price $50
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Board Game Publisher: Chip Theory Games
• No booth. CTG's Adam Carlson notes that he and co-designer Josh Carlson "will be in the general Board Game Hall".
41. Board Game: Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:3203] [Average Rating:7.73 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 3
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Hoplomachus [ha-ploh-ma-kuss], or "Hoplo" for short, is a hex-based tactical board game set inside a gladiatorial arena. One to three players, each representing an ancient city/civilization thought to have been lost to the world, are now on Rome's doorstep vying for a place in the prestigious arena games.

Players have a very clear objective: Eliminate the opponent's champion. Champions start the game in the arena but are inactive and defenseless. They will not fight until the crowd is behind them. Each player takes turns drawing, playing and moving gladiators from their "hand" and assisting them with tactic chips.

Based on opponent's moves and play style, each person will need to adjust their strategies. Defend your champ, take over and hold the crowd favor areas, assault opponent's champion, cover deployment zones, eliminate tacticians to reduce enemy options, fight beasts to gain crowd favor, the list of tactical possibilities is endless.

Hoplomachus combines combat, tactics, chip (units) management, level progression (though crowd favor system), team play, player vs board, and so much more.

Other Information: • Available for demo games only as the published game won't be ready until late September 2012.
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Board Game Publisher: Clay Crucible Games
• No booth. Says publisher/designer Michael Iachini, "I'll be setting up at whatever tables I can find in the board game and card game areas. The best way for people to find me is by emailing ClayCrucible@gmail.com or following me on Twitter as OnlineDM1. (I'll be tweeting my location throughout the con.)"
42. Board Game: Chaos & Alchemy [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:5340]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Chaos & Alchemy is a fast-paced game of laboratory building and rivalry between alchemists. Players conduct an experiment each turn by rolling 3 dice, hoping for each die to be at least as high as the shared Fortune Die. Each success lets the alchemist draw a new card from the deck or play a card from hand; each failure means a discard.

Cards represent Innovations to improve the alchemist's laboratory, Misfortunes to make rivals' lives harder, Actions to immediately impact the game, and Reactions to respond to other alchemists' deeds.

When an alchemist rolls doubles in an experiment, Chaos occurs and fortunes change. The experimenter re-rolls the Fortune Die, making success easier or harder to achieve.

Players race to build up a laboratory sophisticated enough to turn lead into gold. The first player with 10 or more points of Innovations in the laboratory is the victor!

Rule clarification: A standard experiment involves rolling 3 dice (this is unclear in the Second Edition rulebook).

Other Information: • You can preorder from the 125-copy first print run for pick-up at Gen Con 2012. As for game demos, check out the publisher information above.
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Board Game Publisher: Clever Mojo Games
• Featured in booth #1033 with Game Salute.

• In addition to the titles below, CMG will have the Alien Frontiers base game, Sunrise City (which debuted at the Origins Game Fair in May 2012) and the last 75 copies of CMG's oldest game, Ogre Castle.
43. Board Game: Alien Frontiers: Faction Pack #1 [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Clever Mojo Games will release a series of expansion boosters that expand the AF: Factions Expansion. Each booster will contain a new Faction board, a pair of new Alien Tech cards, and any extra components that might be needed.

So, what's in this very first Expansion Booster? I'm glad you asked!

Xeno Explorations, Inc. is the new Faction board -- Xeno has access to a remote exploration vehicle (REV) which they drive across Planet Maxwell, looking for territories to explore and exploit.

The REV is a custom plastic vehicle miniature -- it is used to show the territory currently being explored and exploited by Xeno Explorations, Inc.

Seismic Detonator is the new Alien Tech card -- a powerful alien weapon that can clear a territory of colonies, but are you mad enough to dare use it?

(From kickstarter.com)

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44. Board Game: Alien Frontiers: Factions [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Alien Frontiers: Factions adds a number of items to the Alien Frontiers base game:

  • Ship and colony tokens for a fifth player.
  • Factions (thus the name), with each faction providing its owner a special ability and new orbital facilities under his control.
  • Agendas, which are hidden objectives that allow a player to earn bonus points at game's end or when the agenda is revealed in-game.
  • New Alien Tech cards, such as the Lunar Tunneler, which will allow its owner to pay one fuel to receive an extra ore when using the Lunar Mine. This card's discard power will send all ships docked at the Lunar Mine to the Maintenance Bay, which can be useful when the Mine is clogged with high-value ships.
Other Information: • Says Clever Mojo Games' W. David MacKenzie, "CMG will be debuting Alien Frontiers: Factions, AF Faction Pack #1, and AF Upgrade Pack, with about 200 copies of each available to sell. Kickstarter backers will have received their copies at least two weeks before Gen Con."
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45. Board Game: Princes of the Dragon Throne [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:5971]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Land of Lo’en is vast. Its Kingdoms and Guilds are populated by Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, Kobolds, Trolls, and of course, the Dragons. The Dragon King is dead now and you, as one of his many overlooked offspring, have decided that it’s time for a change.

Can you raise the funds to bribe the dragon clans to join your coup and the food to keep them? Can your strength convince the citizens of Lo’en to support your claim to the throne? Can your followers influence the diverse Kingdoms’ many Guilds and Clan Houses, and use their powerful resources to aid your cause?

Your siblings have dynastic plans of their own and the dead King’s influence, though weakening, must still be reckoned with. There will be many obstacles to surmount in your quest to claim the Dragon Throne.

Princes of the Dragon Throne is an area control and resource management board game that uses deck building as a driver for the other game elements. Players select cards from a continually changing pool of opportunities to build a unique deck of recruits. Players manage resources to support their uprising, and use the influence of their recruits to gain control of the various Guilds of the Kingdoms, which in turn gives them special abilities to further their cause.

Clever Mojo Games has contracted with Don Aguillo, an amazing talent with card game art experience, to create 120 new original artworks for Princes of the Dragon Throne and our card design format will highlight Don’s art in a bold and beautiful manner.

Other Information: • Available in demo form at Gen Con 2012, according to CMG's W. David MacKenzie.
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Board Game Publisher: Coffee Haus Games
• Booth #213
46. Board Game: Vanuatu [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:406]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description: In Vanuatu, you are a Vanuatuan who wants to prosper during the eight turns of the game. In order to prosper, you have to manage with natural resources, rare items, vatus (local currency) and tourists. To earn money or prosperity points, you may also draw on the sand*, carry tourists all over Vanuatu islands, or trade cargo with foreign countries.

On each turn, the archipelago expands and you have to program your actions with five tokens. You put one or more of them on the chosen action spaces, and on your turn, you will only be able to play an action if you have the majority on its space. Thus, sometimes have to wait for other players to remove their tokens by playing their actions. If you are not in majority anywhere, you have to remove all of your tokens from an action and give up hope of playing this action. A good strategy lets you block other players; for example, they won't be able to sell fishes if they haven't caught them first – order matters! Islands and sea resources are rare, so be quick and take them first!

There is no such thing as a rich Vanuatuan. When you reach ten vatus, they automatically transform into 5 prosperity points and again, you are poor. Life is hard, but you may encounter ten men to help you; on each turn you choose one of them to increase your benefits from an action. As always, being the first player lets you choose before the others.

In short, Vanuatu is a strategy game of programming and majorities that features development, blocking, and a lot of interaction between players.

(*) Sand Drawing in Vanuatu belongs to the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity of the UNESCO.

Other Information: • Price $60

• Eric Price at Coffee Haus Games says, "The biggest thing that we will be releasing is the English edition of Vanuatu. We are having 100 copies of the print run air freighted directly into Gen Con as it was just printed in Europe, and we are having the rest oceanfreighted over. So this will be a real 'sneak preview' item, and once they sell out there will be no more available for about 4-6 weeks afterwards."
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Board Game Publisher: Conquistador Games, Inc.
• Featured in booth #1033 with Game Salute.
47. Board Game: Road to Enlightenment [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5042]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Road to Enlightenment gives players control of great scientists, artists, philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, and military leaders, bringing them uniquely and individually to life. You play as one of the great monarchs from 17th and early 18th century Europe representing one of the seven top powers of the era: Austria, England, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, or Sweden. Your objective is to be recognized as the most prestigious monarch by producing the most admired art and culture, lead the continent in scientific innovations, spread or resist the spread of Catholicism, and attempt military expansion beyond your historical borders. All of this is accomplished by marshaling 134 historical "luminaries" – important historical figures covering every relevant domain of human achievement during the period.

The luminaries are rated in between one and seven different areas of endeavour: military, politics, religion, ideas, science, art, or wealth. Additionally, each luminary has a unique Action, Enhancement, or Response based on their real historical achievements to be brought to bear in service of your nation.

Consider the difference between Rembrandt and Vermeer: Both are important and wonderful artists, but in the real-life Dutch Republic, Rembrandt was famous and well-patronized, composing hundreds of celebrated portraits in his career. Vermeer was obscure and produced an order of magnitude less art in his career. In Road to Enlightenment, Rembrandt has higher ratings and gives you a benefit every single time another luminary is removed from the game, reflecting the influence and nature of his portraiture. On the other hand, Vermeer provides only a modest benefit to reflect the limited impact his career had at the time.

Invading other countries in the 17th century was a complex mix of cultural, religious, and logistical considerations. These have all been baked into the various territories on the map, making it quick and easy to make decisions around where to try to attack:

  • You can attempt to invade only those territories that have your nation's colour on the top of the circle. Those are the only nations that could have even possibly successfully invaded that territory in real-life.
  • The number associated with each nation's colour indicates how difficult it would be to successfully conquer. In the case of London, it is very difficult for Spain, France, or Sweden to conquer it.
  • The religious symbol in the lower left corner lets the player know whether the territory is primarily Catholic, primarily Anti-Catholic (Protestant, Russian Orthodox, and other Christian branches), or primarily Islamic. If it is successfully invaded by a nation with a different religious affiliation, it has an impact on the continental struggle between religions.
  • The lines connecting into London, and the anchor with an "A" in the lower right corner, indicate which territories need to be held by a player before they have access to attack. The anchor with an "A" indicates that any player who already owns another Atlantic port territory is connected and could choose to attack over the water.

With Road to Enlightenment, all of the intricacies related to managing military expansion have been baked into these easy-to-use board mechanisms.

In order to create a game that simulates the battle between nations for prestige – covering war, politics, religion, science, and art – while focusing on many of the diverse people of history, we've mashed up aspects from wargames, Euro games, deck-building games, and statistical sports simulations. While it is an eclectic mix, this broad spectrum approach to the game's design enabled this diverse and richly detailed set of conditions to come together in a game that is epic in scale but doesn't take all day to play.

The full game is for 3-7 players; the pocket version is for 2-4.

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Board Game Publisher: Cool Mini Or Not
• Booths #1431, 1531 & 1631

• Bryan Steele at CMoN passes on news of other items which are not yet in the BGG database: "Wrath of Kings, a new 28mm fantasy miniatures game, will have a sleu of miniatures for sale and we will have demo tables on hand, with the Core Rulebook coming out in 4th Quarter 2012."

"Relic Knights, an anime-styled skirmish miniatures game, will have a bunch of new miniatures for sale and demos being run the whole time, with the Core Rulebook coming out in 4th Quarter 2012."

"Dark Age, our in-house post-apocalyptic sci-fi game, has a MASSIVE amount of new models coming out at Gen Con as well as the new expansion book, Dark Age: Devastation and a brand new faction of robots – the CORE."

48. Board Game: Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:5142]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster is a fast-paced tactical miniatures game for two players. Survival horror at its finest, game play is fast and bloody, creating urgency and claustrophobic terror as the Vanguard fight for their lives against an unrelenting Strain.

Battle for Alabaster is a survival horror themed tactical science fiction miniatures game from Studio McVey. Pitting the stalwart Vanguard and the horrific Strain against one another in a miniatures board-game for two players, Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster is exciting and easy to learn and calls to miniature enthusiasts, hobbyists and gamers everywhere.

Featuring an innovative one-roll resolution system, and reactive game-play turn that keeps all players always on alert and ready for action, as well as infection and mutation game mechanisms, the game is unique and revolutionary. Featuring beautiful models from some of the most talented sculptors in the industry, the furious action and deep tactical play in Battle for Alabaster marry the best of board game and miniature design!

Other Information: • Featured in several Gen Con events. Bryan Steele at CMoN says, "Sedition Wars will NOT be available for sale, but we will have models and demo sets on hand to show off."
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Board Game Publisher: Cosmic Wombat Games
49. Board Game: Campaign Trail [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Campaign Trail is a strategy board game in which players pit their campaign skills against one another as they vie for the Presidency of the United States.

The confetti is flying, the champagne is flowing, and you have just accepted your party's nomination for President of the United States. Now it's time to hit the Campaign Trail! How will you chart your path to victory? Engage in grass roots campaigning, advertise, sling mud at opponents, fundraise, debate, and so much more! But be sure to avoid revealing those skeletons you have buried in your closet. The candidate who best manages his resources and connects with the public on key issues will win the presidency!

Other Information: • Available for demo games on the following schedule:

Hall E: Green 14-15
Thursday, August 16 at 9:00am
Thursday, August 16 at 12:00pm
Thursday, August 16 at 3:00pm

Hall E: Green 16-17
Friday, August 17 at 8:00am
Friday, August 17 at 11:00am
Friday, August 17 at 2:00pm
Friday, August 17 at 8:00pm

Hall E: Green 26-27
Saturday, August 18 at 8:00am
Saturday, August 18 at 11:00am
Saturday, August 18 at 8:00pm
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Board Game Publisher: Cranio Creations
• Booth #213 as Sheepland is being distributed in the U.S. through Coffee Haus Games.
50. Board Game: Sheepland [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1911]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Sheepland is set on the beautiful island of the same name, where for centuries the population has taken care of sheep. While inexplicably working in the same field, two to four shepherds try to move sheep into the right areas to score points. During a turn, you must take three actions, chosen from these possibilities:

  • Move your shepherd
  • Move one sheep
  • Buy one terrain tile

You must move your shepherd at least once during your turn, and you can't take the same action twice in a row without moving the shepherd between.

Six different terrain types are available, with five tiles of each type and increasing costs (from 0 to 4 dinars) on those tiles. When you buy a tile, you're not claiming land on the game board, but rather investing in that type of landscape as that's where you expect the sheep to end up grazing. At the end of the game, you score 1 point per tile of a terrain type for each sheep in a region of this type; you also score for coins still in hand.

The map on the game board shows regions separated by roads: three regions of each terrain type for a total of 18 regions. Numbered "rest stops" lie along the roads, with each rest stop between exactly two regions. Shepherds move from one rest stop to another, with the first movement being free and all others on the same turn costing 1 coin. When you buy a terrain, you can purchase the top tile of either of the two terrain types next to your shepherd. When you move a sheep, you move one sheep from a region adjacent to your shepherd to the other region adjacent to that piece, i.e., you lead the sheep across the road to a greener pastures – well, greener for you, if all goes well.

Each time you move the shepherd, you place a fence in the rest stop from which it started moving, making that location off-limits for the rest of the game. During the game some regions become inaccessible, and if they are full of sheep, naturally there's a rush for the tiles. The lone black sheep in the game, which is worth two points, serves as a semi-random element, possibly moving to an adjacent region each turn while still being movable by shepherds as long as it's not fenced in.

After twenty fences have been placed, you end the round so that all players have the same number of turns, then you count up the points.

Other Information: • Possibly (likely?) not arriving in time for the show, but Cranio Creations' Lorenzo Silva notes on BGG that the game has shipped to Global Game Distribution, which will be distributing the title in the U.S. through its Coffee Haus Games line. CHG's Eric Price confirms that the company will be demoing Sheepland at Gen Con and expects it to be available in the U.S. by the end of October 2012.
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