Gen Con 2016 Naval Gaming Recap

Gen Con 2016 Naval Gaming Recap

13886865_1066002043482733_3263020795612384833_nGreetings! I just had a great weekend at Gen Con 2016. I had a personal mission to seek out as many naval-related things as I could while at the show. This post summarizes what I found! For those of you that have been following the MBS FaceBook page, most of the pictures will be familiar. However, I’m hoping that this post will provide a little more context for a few of them.

Dropfleet Commander

Dropfleet Commander Demo (Scourge vs. UCM)

Dropfleet Commander Demo (Scourge vs. UCM)

This game was high on my list of things to check out, what with the pending fulfillment of my Kickstarter pledge for this game. I was happy to discover that Dropfleet was front and center at the Hawk War Games booth, and that they were giving demos!13876328_1066002093482728_5481267936183811219_n I managed to get a demo game in, playing the Scourge against the UCM. It was fun! I am feeling very good about this game after the demo. A couple of quick hits from what I saw: 1) The game is not a “bucket of dice” game; it looks like cruiser-sized ships will be throwing attacks of around 5-6 dice; 2) Ships are able to make only one 45 degree turn per movement, and so felt somewhat less maneuverable than the ships in games like FSA; 3) The bases seem to work well, but they do seem a bit fiddly (I had issues with my ships popping off the bases while I was playing). That last part could just be an issue with the pre-production

The Shaltari Battleship

The Shaltari Battleship

run. Anyway, also on display were more of the sprues and some new ships, including the battleships. In addition, they had the space station sprues in the case, which look like they will be great for use in all kinds of space games, not just Dropfleet. All in all, this game is looking pretty good!

Spartan Games

imageI spent a decent amount of time at the Spartan games booth talking to Spartan Neil. He was very excited about the new Halo Ground Combat game, of course, but he was also very proud of how well Halo Fleet Battles has been received. He mentioned that Spartan has specific plans for new ships for Halo Fleet Battles, and also mentioned that Firestorm Armada 3.0 is in the works. He also mentioned that a re-launch of Uncharted Seas is still in Spartan’s plans, though there is of course no firm timeline on that.

I got to meet Spartain Neil!

I got to meet Spartan Neil!

Fantasy Flight Games

13921024_1066001786816092_602628573238709586_n

Armada Wave IV

FFG announced both X-Wing Wave X and Star Wars Armada Wave V during their In-Flight Report. Wave X of X-wing will consist of the Sky Jumper (the ship that exploded as Rey and Finn were running towards in in Episode 7), the Epsilon Shuttle (also from Episode 7) and Sabine’s TIE Fighter (from Star Wars Rebels). The word from the FFG product lead is that the paint scheme on Sabine’s TIE is the most elaborate one FFG has done for X-wing. The other two sample minis were undecorated examples.

Unpainted Quadjumper.

Unpainted Quadjumper.

13912876_1067654709984133_2472802944627932154_n

Sabine’s TIE with the fancy paint job.

Kylo's ride, unpainted.

Kylo’s ride, unpainted.

Armada’s Wave V will consist of two new fighter expansions, the Imperial light cruiser from Rebels, and the Phoenix One from Rebels. I’m very excited to see the Imperial light cruiser; I’m a big fan of this design. Also on display were previously announced but  not yet released ships for both X-Wing and Armada, as well as a box mock-up of the upcoming Corellian campaign expansion for Armada.

The Rebel portion of Armada Wave V.

The Rebel portion of Armada Wave V.

The Imperial portion of Wave V.

The Imperial portion of Wave V.

Ares Games

13938506_1068585913224346_425771643495627913_n

Sails of Glory had a presence at the Ares booth. There was a good supply of the available ships at the booth on Thursday, but by Sunday a number of the ship types had sold out, which is a good sign. The reps at the booth indicated that the next wave of ships for Sails of Glory, which will be the Spanish, will hit in October!

Note that some of the ships have sold out!

Note that some of the ships have sold out!

13934972_1068585946557676_9054113463896842858_n

This was the demo table at the booth.

13876462_1067654899984114_3991538382663397789_n

Ares was also hosting games in the main gaming hall.

Antimatter Games

13886355_1066002253482712_194144344087947365_n

I had a great talk with Eric at the Antimatter Games booth about all the great things coming out for their Deep Wars game. In addition to some great looking painted minis, Eric was also kind enough to give me a demo game. I can’t wait for my Kickstarter goodies for this one!

From my Deepwars demo game. Mechanical shark!

From my Deepwars demo game. Mechanical shark!

Dream Pod 9

13920953_1068587433224194_3310644283005291443_n

Dream Pod 9, responsible for the Heavy Gear tabletop games, had two things of interest at their booth. The first is Dreadnought, which is a very interesting sci-fi landship naval game set in the Heavy Gear universe. The other is a fleet scale game in DP9’s Jovian Chronicles setting, which will feature large mobile suites fighting alongside capital ships (think Gundam). I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this one!

Test model for the upcoming Dreadnought KS.

Test model for the upcoming Dreadnought KS.

Jovian Chronicles info sheet.

Jovian Chronicles info sheet.

Giant Space Ships + Giant Robots = Me Likey

Giant Space Ships + Giant Robots = Me Likey

War At Sea

13935109_1067654866650784_260843756593166456_n

While War At Sea wasn’t for sale per se, I was able to participate in two events for the game. The Axis & Allies HQ was providing support for a sealed league, in which players received a starter set of units and were able to expand that by playing games. There was also a large “battlefest” game where we played 500 pts vs. 500 pts. It was a great time, and thanks to Greg Smorey for putting on these events!

A tense fight to the finish!

A tense fight to the finish!

Board Games

13912648_1066001933482744_6895381090600514090_n

On the naval boardgaming front, there were several big stories. First of all, the Seafall game from Plaidhat Games immediately sold out! Seafall is the first game that has been built from the ground up as a Legacy game (where each game influences the next in some way) and it is about the age of exploration. Plaidhat brought about 80 copies from the show (rushed in via overnight shipping, or so the rumor goes), and they were gone within minutes of the vendor hall opening on Thursday. Gale Force 9 had literal mountains of Star Trek Ascendancy available, though unfortunately the Cardassian expansion was not ready in time. As a result, Ascendency is only 2-3 players for the time being. Amusingly, a packing error resulted in the copies at the show not having their dice included. They were handed out separately at the register. The other big surprise was Captain Sonar by Asmodee. This game has two teams playing the role of submarine crews and competing against each other. This game also sold out by the end of the weekend, but not before I got a copy!

This is only one of several stacks of Ascendancy at the GF9 booth.

This is only one of several stacks of Ascendancy at the GF9 booth.

Alas, the Cardassian Expansion was not ready for sale. This is the display copy.

Alas, the Cardassian Expansion was not ready for sale. This is the display copy.

Captain Sonar in Action!

Captain Sonar in Action!

13900306_1066001823482755_8334613511883399324_n

Whew! As you can see, there was a lot going on. I’m sure there were a few naval-related games I missed. If anyone saw or heard of something I forgot, leave a comment below and let me know!

Until next time…

This entry was posted in Event Report and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *