It’s coming. Can you feel it? It’s right around the corner. GEN CON IS ALMOST HERE!
I was sitting around thinking to myself “geez, I’m starting to put together quite the shopping list for this year’s Gen Con. I need to make sure I type it out so that I don’t forget anything in the chaos that is the con.” And then I thought “maybe the internet would want to read about my shopping list as well”. So, I did what anyone would do in that situation: I started a website. I mean, why not,right? So without further ado, I present, my 2015 Gen Con wishlist!
Sheriff of Nottingham
(Arcane Wonders, MSRP $34.99)
Sheriff of Nottingham was released at last years Gen Con, and has gone on to be featured on Geek and Sundry’s Table Top, nominated for four Golden Geek awards, and won the Origin Award for Best Board Game. But most important of all, my wife wants me to buy it!
Sheriff of Nottingham features what has got to be my absolute favorite mechanic in gaming: lying to your friends. The components are simple and elegant, the art is wonderful, the game is very simple to learn, and it helps to create really fun and rewarding social interactions with your group.
Description from the publishers site: The Sheriff of Nottingham is a fun and engaging game for all where each player will have the chance to step into the shoes of the Sheriff himself! Other players, acting as Merchants will attempt to bring their goods into the city for profit. Beware though, while many may act as honest merchants, there is always the possibility of contraband being smuggled into the city!
Experience Nottingham in a whole new way! Declare your goods, deal with the Sheriff and secure victory in a fun-filled and exciting adventure!
Bang! We Are The Walking Dead Expansion
(USAopoly, MSRP $19.95)
Oh look, another game about lying to your friends! The Walking Dead Bang! base game premiered at last year’s Gen Con and isn’t much more than a reskinned version of the multiple award winning Bang!, that is based on the All Out War story arc from Image Comics’ The Walking Dead. But it does have a huge advantage over the original game. It is much easier to get 7 people to agree to play a game based on the Walking Dead than it is to get them to play a game based on 1960’s spaghetti westerns (especially when they find out that most of the cards are written in Italian). The Walking Dead theme fits the game so perfectly that you will probably reach for this version rather than the original most of the time.
The expansion adds several elements that were sorely lacking in the base game. As a fan of the comics, I am very pleased to see that the faction that was left out of the base game, The Kingdom, will be added with this expansion. Also, probably the most exciting addition is that when your character dies, THEY COME BACK AS A ZOMBIE! You mean not only will I get to lie to my friends, but there is also a chance I can eat their brains? Yes, please! The expansion will also add an additional player to the game so you can have even more friends to lie to/eat.
A Fistful of Kung Fu
(Rules: Osprey Publishing, MSRP $17.95, Miniatures: North Star Military Figures, MSRP Various)
I’ve been a fan and collector of Hong Kong martial arts films for going on 15 years now, so it was a little hard to restrain my wallet from jumping out of my pocket to buy this game when I saw it listed as a recent Origins Award nominee for Best Miniature Figure Rules. Osprey Publishing are a pretty big name in the historical miniatures world (in fact they received 7 Origin nominations total across the various miniatures related categories) so one would assume they would know what they were doing when it comes to this sort of game.
North Star Military Figures supplies the minis and they are absolutely wonderful. And they are really reasonably priced too. The squad pictured below sells for £20 (or about $31 US at today’s exchange rate). Even if I never play a single game I would happily welcome this figures to my steadily growing collection of miniatures.
Description from the publishers site: A Fistful of Kung Fu brings the hyper-kinetic, bullet-spraying, demon-slaying, kung-fu-fighting action of Hong Kong movies and Asian cinema to the wargames tabletop. In a modern world walking a precarious line between the advances of next-generation technology and the tradition and mysticism of ancient cultures, Kung Fu schools face off in no-holds-barred tournaments, corporations hire agents and spies to steal each other’s secrets, overworked SWAT teams respond to gunfights between feuding Triad and Yakuza clans, and ancient artefacts are sought by hopping vampires, demon sorcerers and cyborgs alike. Combining the gunfights of John Woo’s Hard Boiled, the hand-to-hand combat of Enter the Dragon, the sheer mystical weirdness of Big Trouble in Little China, the wuxia action of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and everything in-between, A Fistful of Kung Fu is a skirmish wargame unlike any other.
(Catalyst Game Labs/Iron Wind Metals Metals, MSRP Various)
Over the course of the last year, Catalyst Game Labs has been slowly rolling out BattleTech Lance Packs. Each Lance Pack contains 4 high quality, ready to paint, plastic BattleTech miniatures along with some dry erase cards that are used in place of the standard BattleTech record sheets when you play with the Alpha Strike variant. In total there have been eight of these Lance Packs, all of which I currently own, containing a total of 32 miniatures. But there’s a big problem. I NEED MORE ROBOTS! See, in BattleTech, armies are organized like this: 4 mechs make a lance, three lances make a company, and three companies make a battalion. So if you do the math, you will notice that I’m four mechs short of a battalion. This simply will not do.
This is where Iron Wind Metals comes in. Iron Wind Metals has been the official US producer of metal BattleTech miniatures since it’s creation back in 2001. They have a humongous catalog of minis to choose from and they always sell limited edition miniatures that are hard to find outside of cons. This year’s con specials include a MS-1A Mortis (which looks really sweet) and an EXT-4C Exterminator made from clear resin.
For anyone that curious, I’m hoping to come home with these mechs: HTM-26T Hatamoto-Chi (20-810), DVS-2 Devastator (20-761), MAL-1R Mauler (20-809), and the HGN-732 Highlander (20-896)
(Twilight Creations, MSRP $25.00)
I first grabbed a copy of Zombies!!! a few years back in what has become known in my family as The Legendary Goodwill Haul. I found it to be a pretty fun game. It’s a game that is super quick to learn, has some really cool gameplay elements (I’m always a big fan of randomly generated gameplay areas) and it’s a good game to introduce people to the nerdier side of board gaming. Zombies!!! also has several (their website lists 14!) expansions which can be added to the game to add a ton of variety and replayability.
And now Twilight Creations is doing an updated version of the original Zombies!!!, changing the art, making the minis more kid friendly (both in the look and size), and using larger, sturdier map tiles. I’ve got a 4 year old at home who loves zombies and is become very interested in all the games mom and dad have around, so I’m guessing this will be a good present for him.
All The Dice I Can Cary!
I think I might have a problem. I think I’m addicted to dice. And there is no shortage of dice at Gen Con. Chessex and Crystal Caste both have three booths each this year, and from my memory of last year there were at least three other booths dedicated to just dice. My plan is to buy so many dice that I can fill a kiddie pool and swim in it like a nerdy Scrooge McDuck.
I also have a pretty decent sized list of games to try to find time to demo while at Gen Con, but maybe I’ll save that for another post. And make sure to check back here after the convention to see my post con report!