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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 30: The Gen Con Purge

[This is my pre-Gen Con post that we didn’t have time to get up before the convention. Tune in tomorrow for my post-Gen Con thoughts!]

I decided to place some things in the Gen Con consignment store that happens every year. Granted the list of things (be it books, RPGs, games or miniatures) that I want to sell has slowly dwindled since I started doing this in 2009. I always find when I start this process that there are a couple of game that I don’t mind parting with. This year is different than any previous year since I have a couple of games that I’m placing in the auction. It’s not that I am looking to make my next house payment on these games or anything, but the maximum amount for anything in the store is fifty dollars and everything that I have read about the going rate of some of these games puts them well over that. I’m going conservative since I really don’t want to carry them home, but I don’t want to stiff myself either. All told I have about 40 things that I am putting up for auction or in the store – seventeen are either board games or board game/miniature hybrids (like my copy of Space Hulk 2nd edition).

Due to some random contest winning or some quick messaging, I managed to get Gen Con pickup for two of my Kickstarted games. The first is Heroes Wanted which I have already talked about in a previous column. The second is Shadows of Brimstone produced by Flying Frog and is a mash-up of Cthulhu and the Wild West – I’m really hopeful on this one since it is suppose to be one large cooperative campaign game.

To the list –

The first game played was Wits and Wagers Party. This game is a redesign of Wits and Wagers which came out in 2005 (Party came out in 2012). Game play for this one is pretty simple – a round consists of a question being asked and all players put down what they think the answer is (answers for this game are all numeric). Once players have wrote down their answers, they are arranged in ascending order. Play then moves to the betting stage where each player has two chits to place on the answet they think is closest without going over. Once all chits are placed, the answer is revealed and all players’ chits as well as the player who is actually wrote the correct answer is awarded a point. The game consists of 7 questions with the player that has the most points at the end of the game the winner. Since there is a betting element with the trivia part, most players are still in the running to win for most of the game. Since games take around 10 minutes even if you get completely skunked, you can manage a better score in a later game. The main reason I bought this is for the last two departmental Christmas parties, we have played this much to the enjoyment of all my coworkers! Thus I felt that I should own at least one game in the Wits and Wagers family.

Wits and Wagers Party: A simple but wonderful party game. Easy and fast to understand and play!

Wits and Wagers Party: A simple but wonderful party game. Easy and fast to understand and play!

The second and sadly the last game off the list this week is Space Alert. This cooperative programmed movement game has players as crew on a doomed space mission moving about their ship in an attempt to survive. With the game played using a sound track that dictates the length players have for the planning round (each mission is 10 minutes long), things can get crazy quickly. Each player has 12 action spaces that they may do something using a set of movement/action cards. As the soundtrack is played, enemies are spawned at certain time segments (between 1 and 7) appearing at three trajectories (attacking the left, right or center of the ship). Once the enemy is known (from a deck of card), players must work together to fire weapons, generate more power and apply power to the shields to defeat or in some cases merely survival the enemy. As the soundtrack continues on, more contacts are discovered and players must react to the newly placed enemy. Once the planning round is over, the game moves to the evaluation step. This is when the players’ actions and/or movements are carried out dealing with the multiple threats that were discovered during the planning round. Things can get pretty darn interesting if someone puts something in the wrong order! This was on the list to sell since the previous two tries of this one fell pretty flat – both being the game group that I tried to play it with. I still wanted to get one final try before I sold it and it was a huge hit. Granted it took a bit of time (which was the downside in the original two plays) to get all of the main rules figured out and play a ‘beginner’ scenario, but all told it was a blast. I’m glad I got this one to the table before I put it in the cull pile and really hope to get multiple plays of it in the near future!

Space Alert: A cooperative programmed movement with a time limit. Half the fun is the craziness when you make a programming mistake!

Space Alert: A cooperative programmed movement with a time limit. Half the fun is the craziness when you make a programming mistake!

Until next time – I’m off to Gencon!

Brendan Mayhugh


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