There are plenty of table top miniature games out there for gamers to choose from. Whether they have rules that require measuring, like Warhammer or Warmachine, or if they play out on more of a standard game board like Heroclix, there has always been plenty of choices to entice gamers. Probably the biggest barrier of entry for many gamers is all the fiddly rules that go into things like range, movement, and line of sight, along with a million other rules that you have to keep straight. Golem Arcana, a new game from Harebrained Schemes (the Shadowrun Returns PC game) and designers Jordan Weisman (Heroclix, MageKnight, Shadowrun), Seth Johnson and Michael Mulvihill, looks to enter the miniature market with an exciting new game that seeks to remove the need to memorize rules and go straight to gameplay through an innovative mobile app that streamlines many facets of the game.
There a couple of big trends in the world of board games: zombies, superheroes, and anything with an 8″bit video game ascetic. The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade falls into that third category. In The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, 2″5 players take on the roles of spaceship pilots in a recreation of classic side scrolling shooting games such as Space Invaders, Gradius, and Ikaruga.
The game comes with a set of five trays that are set up horizontally and are used to hold cards representing the various threats that show up in shooters that the players will have to deal with: asteroids, black holes, and of course alien warships. Players spend their turns dealing with the various threats, gaining money to use on upgrades to their ships, gaining victory points, and basically dealing with whatever’s on the board. Once each player has taken their turn, the bottom tray of cards is removed, with any players that are still on this tray being pushed onto what was the second row of cards, which is now the bottom row. The tray that was just on the bottom is moved to the top, and a new set of cards is revealed. It all simulates a top down scrolling shooter in a brilliant and “so simple I can’t believe no one’s done it before” manner.
Gen Con is one of the largest conventions in the world dedicated to the world of board, card, and role-playing games and since it is upon us once again, it’s a good time to look at some of the most anticipated games being released at this year’s show as well as some of the most exciting events being held.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, as there are always tons of things going on at and around the show. This is just a bit to whet your appetite. Let’s dive in.
You read that correctly, it’s been four decades since Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson created what is arguably the greatest of all role-playing games, Dungeons & Dragons. Originally produced by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules, Inc.), the franchise was acquired by Wizards of the Coast in 1997. Both companies produced a wide variety of materials to supplement the game system, including pre-made modules, novels, trading card games, and much, much more. There are many different editions and the standard rules have changed much over the years, but throughout it all there is one common theme: fun. Because seriously, if it wasn’t fun, then why would we still be playing it 40 years later?