Published by: White Wizard Games
I am a big fan of Star Realms and play it a lot on my Ipad. When I heard Hero Realms was being made, I was skeptical and did not think they could surpass Star Realms. I was able to sit down with Rob the designer and play a game. I was impressed. The game maintains the feel of Star Realms but takes it to a new level. Instead of bases you have Champions that will fight for you each round. There are greater benefits for grabbing up one of the factions and playing them together. Cards had better combos together. Rob also told me about a co-op mode and class decks that can change up your decks from the start. There are lots of great ideas for this game and I look forward to trying out all the variations.
Published by: Ninja Division
While roaming the exhibit hall I came across a Ninja All-Stars display. The miniatures looked fantastic and I am a sucker for Ninjas. I was able to get in on a table that was looking to play it. We were taught the rules and they were a little confusing but I understood it all. The gameplay was awful. Each player takes turns moving and performing an action with one of your ninjas. You roll dice based on their attack number and any modifiers and the defense rolls their defense number and any modifiers. Each die has 6 symbols that correspond with an element. Each element does a specific action. The players compare die rolls. If the defense rolls the opposite element of a die, that die is canceled out. From the remaining dice, the attack must select which attack action he will take. One side lets you attack your opponent, another will stun him. The other four sides will either stun you, hurt you, or stun you and all the ones around you. Yep as a ninja all-star you apparently do not do much actual damage. You also have cards in your hand that let you perform bonuses. You may only use those cards when the element of the card matches the element of the round. 1 person may have cards that work for the current element while you are stuck with cards for 5 elements later and may not even benefit you by then. The board has circles and squares with small symbols in them to let you know what type of terrain your in and if you are obstructed by trees and such. They are very small and with so many different icons it was very easy to confuse. Everyone at the table finished the game unimpressed by it. The miniatures did look great.
Published by: Matagot/ Asmodee NA
I got to play this on friday night with Tom Vassel and some of the Dice Tower crew, as well as some other great people. We were split up into two teams of four, each running their own submarine. Tom was the Captain of one sub and I was the Captain of the other. Each player takes a role for the sub and the game is played in real time. The radio operator is listening to other team's Captain and trying to figure out that subs location. The Captain is giving directions to move and also saying when to fire torpedoes and rise to the surface. The first mate prepares different equipment to use, like prepping the torpedoes to fire. The last person is the engineer. This person must mark off parts of the ship whenever you take a move action. If a certain icon is marked off, you can no longer use that equipment till it gets repaired. When you fire a torpedo you will announce a spot on the map like C7. The other team will let you know if it is a direct hit or side hit or a miss. Once a sub gets 4 hits they are blown up. We played several rounds and had a blast. This is controlled chaos at it's finest. Eric was our radio operator and our MVP as he was able to locate the other sub every time. The game is outstanding as a 8 player game, but I could not see myself playing it with any less. I also feel the game will be very dependent on the group and how they interact with the game. In the end my crew served me well and we were able to get home to our families. I think Tom and Zee are still floating on an iceberg trying to figure out our location.
Published by: Formal Ferret Games
I was able to sit down on sunday to play a game of The Networks. You are a tv executive that must put shows in the 8,9, and 10pm time slots. The game uses a card drafting from a central pool to add shows to your station as well as actors and ads. The goal is to get the most watched shows so that you produce the most money. Putting the action star on a drama will probably not earn you any extra views, but put in the guy who always dies in the first season and your show may become a hit. As shows progress they may go down in viewership and then you have to send them to syndication where they will net you a few more dollars before sent to the archives. The game's humor reminded me of CV and I enjoyed playing the game a lot. I do not own this one yet, but may have to do something about that soon. If you like pop culture tv humor and card drafting, you will enjoy the Networks.
Published by: Artana Games
Corrupted Kingdoms was a game that I actually got to play an early beta copy at Origins 2015. This year I got to sit down and play the game in it's final form. Corrupted Kingdoms has you in charge of a company trying to gain favor among the different governments to pass laws that help your company. The game is part area control and part group negotiation and part set collection. I tried to influence a lot of the governments while the others were submitting the bills they really wanted. While I had a lot of power, if the bill they wanted benefited the other players enough, it would be passed by their combined vote. If a bill passes the players who submitted the bill get various treasures or benefits that will score them points at the end of the game. The game feels like I am trying to submit votes to the congress in Disgaea. I enjoyed the fun interaction and the various ways to play. I look forward to getting my hands on a copy in the future.