Greetings! 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.
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! 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
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!
I 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.
Fantasy Flight Games
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.
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.
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!
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!
Dream Pod 9
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!
War At Sea
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!
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!
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…