Gencon 2016 Recap – Day 1

Wow,  hard to believe it has been a year since the last one, but yes indeed, Gencon 2016 is upon us.

This is the time of year when 60,000 rabid game fans descend upon Indianapolis to play the latest, the greatest, and some that are… well…to put it mildly: the lacking.

So what did day one hold for your intrepid report, dear readers? Well, let’s take a peek…


A game I’ve been meaning to check out for the last couple of years, this western by Mr. B Games feels like the tabletop version of Red Dead Redemption. Your goal is to achieve the most fame by hunting animals for their pelts, rounding up cattle, breaking horses, escorting stagecoaches, robbing banks, and shooting it out with dastardly desparadoes (and sometimes your opponents). Each of these activities is its own mini-game, taking anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes. An interesting bag draw mechanic keeps the gun-fighting interesting and deadly. Experienced players can complete a game in 60 – 90 minutes.


Kingdom Death

For fans of weird fantasy (think Lamentations of the Flame Princess in miniature form), Kingdom Death is the new hotness. Having raised over $2MM a few years back in their KickStarter, KD is having a pretty big impact on tabletop minis scene. I went by this booth today half a dozen times, and it was abuzz with activity every time. I love miniature games to death (See what I did there?), and the quality of these models is amazing!

This guy's a real creep

I went by this booth today half a dozen times, and it was abuzz with activity every time.

Blood & Plunder

Another recent KS success story, Blood & Plunder, by Firelock Games, brings 18th century pirating to your table. Gorgeous models, fantastic scenery, and what appears to be a pretty seamless transition from sea-based ship combat to tactical land-based fighting has me excited for this one. Their booth was packed (and it was even decked out to look like a pirate tavern) and I didn’t get a chance to demo it, but I’ll try back tomorrow.

Avast, me hearties!

Guild Ball

Yep, you guessed it, another Kickstarter. This time by Steamforged Games is the culprit. In this medieval/fantasy/steampunk football game, you control one of the guilds within the Empire of the Free Cities seeking fame and glory by becoming the champions of the pitch. Players can choose from a variety of Guilds: Fisherman, Masons, Alchemists, Butchers, Morticians, Hunters, and more!

Nice kick, Pele!


There is a Big Trouble in Little China game. Nuff’ said!

Apparently, this game is a big deal. I have no idea...


By far my favorite game of the day. This title by Renegade Games scratches several key itches: it’s fantasy-themed, it ‘s a dungeon crawler, it’s a deckbuilder, and it’s got a wicked intense endgame. It’s definitely worth its $40 MSRP price point.

Keep it quiet!

By far my favorite game of the day.

Epic Roll

A cool little 15-minute filler game for up to 3 players, Epic Roll is a press your luck fantasy fighting game. Roll to see which monster you face, then simultaneous rolling occurs to see how hard you hit vs. how hard you get hit. Do you want to try to take out another, possibly more difficult opponent while you’re low on life from the last one? You decide!


Odin’s Ravens

This is a reprint of a strange little card-based racing game by Osprey. Play as one of Odin’s two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, and attempt to complete a round trip journey through the realms. The art is beautiful, but the mechanics are a bit lackluster.

Just huggin' and muggin'!

The art is beautiful, but the mechanics are a bit lackluster.

Crazy Karts

Maybe the sleeper hit of the day, Crazy Karts looks, at first pass, a little childish. And the truth is: yeah, it is. That’s what’s great about it! In this race to the finish, two player teams sit across from each other, one controlling the steering of the cart, the other controlling the speed, but neither being able to talk to one another. Certain moves can only be performed while going slow others fast, but without being able to communicate, the members of the cart team have no idea what their partner is doing. Hilarity ensues!

The board isn't really this big.

That about wraps up our day one, stay tuned for more of my Gen Con 2016 recap here on Play Unplugged!

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