Monday, August 1, 2016

Gen Con Anticipation

I can't believe I let my friend, James, talk me into going to Gen Con this year. Gen Con is the biggest gaming convention to occur each year in the United States and runs from August 4th through the 7th this year.  Just a couple more days until I leave (...and of course I haven't started packing yet). I've heard so many things about Gen Con and still remember how insane the photos of the mass hourdes of people were from last year's convention.

However, I am looking forward to it. I get to see and spend some time with some of my podcast-mates who I don't get to see regularly since we're spread out across the country. I'll also get to play some newly released games that my friends purchase.... That my friends purchase, not games that I purchase. I have to try to curb my spending at this con. I literally don't know how much money I spent on games at the Origins Game Fair in June. AND I bought more games through Amazon when I came home. Nope, not goin' overboard this time!

However, there are some games that I hope my friends purchase, or that I at least get to demo during the exhibit hall hours. Below are those games.

  • Ice Cool, published by Brain Games, Booth 2858
    • Igloo/penguin-themed flicking dexterity game
    • Wobbly pieces are flicked and go every which direction
    • Nesting boxes make up the game board/arena (this is pretty cool)
  • Oceanos, published by Iello, Booth 249
    • Ocean/submarine exploratio-themed set-collection game
    • Unique card drafting mechanism that I might actually like
    • Amazing art and production quality
  • The Council of Blackthorn, published by Great Northern Games, Booth 2738
    • Play cards to build influence and power at the risk of gaining too many hidden treason points
    • At game end, player with the most treason points gets beheaded
    • Then, player with the most influence is declared the winner (I love how this will force people to think about balance)
  • Covert, published by Renegade Game Studios, Booth 2304
    • Spy-themed game with a dice-placement mechanic
    • Players race to complete missions, but always have future missions in mind, so you're always thinking several steps ahead (oh, my poor friends having to sit through my Analysis Paralysis)
  • Lotus, published by Renegade Game Studios, Booth 2304
    • Some amazingly gorgeous art
    • Very zen-like set-completion game with some area-control
    • 30 minute playtime and very approachable--would be a great filler to add to my game group
  • Beyond Baker Street, published by Z-Man games, Booth 1429
    • Sherlock Holmes-themed
    • Cooperative Hanabi-type mechanic in which players can see the other players' cards, but not their own
  • Diamonds: The Thief (expansion), published by Stronghold Games, Booth 2323
    • Thief token gets passed around to prevent collusion and ganging up on one player
    • Only $5 (must buy for this trick-taking lover)

With the exception of Beyond Baker Street, I have not played any of the games. I LOVE Beyond Baker Street and will purchase that one, and I may just buy Ice Cool outright, but I want to try the other ones out before possibly making a purchase. I can't wait to see if I my high expectations of these games are met.


  1. Jessica,
    Thanks for your blog. I am looking forward reading your experience at Gen Con. I read your previous blogs and found them insightful. I am a Christian who games and try to find every opportunity to game. And in the month of August my gaming group is getting together for our quarterly game day. 12 hours of uninterrupted gaming. My group made up mostly of disciples from my church. I now find myself thinking of how I can glorify God with the hobby. Do you game with church members or have a game group in your church? My wife and I lead ministries, worship and A/V, respectfully. Gaming can be a great out reach tool and I hope I can use it and other talents God has given me to encourage people to have a relationship with God. I would like to read your thoughts on gaming in church. Thanks for reading and good bless.

    Jason Rodney- @jaerod73 on twitter, from Oklahoma.

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for checking out the blog! I don't game with anyone at my church. My church is pretty humongous and I don't know too many who like boardgames. The few I do know of are more into traditional games and so far I've only introduced them to 6 Nimmt!, which they did love. I mostly game with a group I found on and then the close friends I've made through that group. I think that if you want to use gaming as a ministry tool, then you should. I personally try not to overtly proslytize within my group because people from all walks of life come in and out of the group, but I try to be inclusive and just respect and love everyone that does come. If you want more thoughts on Christianity and gaming you should check out the Dice Steeple podcast at I'd love to hear more if you do venture into making it a ministry. :)

  2. Jessica,
    I am very encouraged by the quick response. Thank you for suggesting "Dice Steeple". As I read your reply a scripture came to mind, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NIV. You see was reached out to by an invitation to play games after a bible talk. The very nature of a bible reading at the time was boring to me(sometimes now too, I like discussions). I went and played games and met some great and life long friends. After studying the bible and becoming baptize I have a great church family that I game with.
    The apostle Paul just like you respected people where they were at in life, became like them, in hope to win some. You're right that we are not proselytize ourselves in our groups, but we may help some as one who help me to have that relationship with God.
    Jessica, enjoy your time at Gen Con, good luck on your panel. Meet lots of people. I am glad for what you do to grow our hobby. Please remember this: enjoy the joy of gaming. Peace!
    Signed Jason Rodney