Notes from Gencon 2012

Just a few notes and pictures from my trip to GenCon 2012 –

Matt Carlson and Mary Prasad were also there, and I’m guessing that they will be posting some  stuff as well.

As usual, it was crowded as heck.  Two big themes for me this year:

1) Shortages – lots of things were in very small supply – not sure if this is indicative of some larger production issue, or just a lot of cutting it close to the wire.  Less than 100 Seasons and Battle Beyond Spaces there – from what I gather, these were sold out by 10:30.  Mage Wars, which was to make it’s big debut here, had less than 250 copies as of Thursday – these were also gone quickly.  Sadly, the new REPOS release, City of Horror, could not be sold as there were some issues with possible board warpage.  Fantasy Flight was out of Netrunners before 11 am.  Which leads straight into the second theme…

2) Lines – lines were everywhere.  So many people, and lots of limited availability things.  The line to get in and buy tickets was actually quite manageable – kudos to the GenCon staff for getting that more organized this year.  All of the registration lines seemed to be moving well.  Inside the dealer hall, plenty of lines that formed at approximately 10:01.  Especially at Fantasy Flight.  The line to buy games stretch around 4 or 5 aisles, taking a good number of staff to keep it moving.  I’m guessing it took some people over an hour to get to the register!

Aztlan from Ares Games. Got a chance to play a game of this – more in the Essen preview (soon to come) – Planned release Essen 2012

King of Tokyo expansion – we should have a preview shortly . This is the new “monster”, a very ferocious looking Panda bear :)

The King of Tokyo expansion adds in cards that can be played when you roll 3 hearts (even in the city). Some cards are one-use, others are ongoing

Sorry this isn’t more in focus, this is the canister that the new Japanime game, Kansume Goddess will come in.  It’s a metal can about 5 or 6 inches high

Had a nice chat with Eric Price from Japanime Games and Coffee Haus games (yes, he runs both).  Kansume Goddess should be in production soon.  Also, Coffee Haus continues to make plans to import newer games from the Continent.  Vanuatu and Siberia were for sale at the show.  Sheepland and Colonial: Europe’s Empires Overseas should also be coming soon.  Hopefully, Coffee Haus will be able to find a niche getting some of these smaller games to the market!

Proof Sheet of Kansume Goddess

BlueOrange was there with a whole line of Spot It (Dobble) games. They have an NHL and MLB licensed version. This is the car version which can also be played as a game on roadtrips where you try to match your symbols with what you see out the window

Mega-sized First Sparks in the Rio Grande Room

I also met up with Jay from Rio Grande for a bit.  The company seems to be doing well.  Dominion: Dark Ages made its debut at GenCon.   Also, excitingly, the online version of Dominion should be going live soon.  Jay also mentioned that his new series of games from U.S. designers is under way – with as many as 8 new games coming real soon.  The new 2F game will surprisingly not have a  FF title – the current title for it is “Copy Cat”.  You can read my preview of that game here.

Mayfair was much busier than at Origins. Here is the new Test of Fire on the demo table

Also have to admit that I love the Catan coffee table, but it will likely not multitask well given the custom bins carved into it

Winning Moves isn’t usually on my to-see list, but the new 6×6 Boggle is certainly interesting! I assume this will be available through regular big box retail channels

That is a normal sized head. In the background, that is not a poster – that is the actual size Ogre box. Egads, you’re gonna need a forklift to move it around your house.

Our demo Mage Wars game. An interesting game, but I will need a little bit more time to play it to be able to say more.

Lunch time – kudos to Indianapolis for blocking off one of the streets adjacent to the Convention Center to be a mini-food court. At least 10 food trucks, all in a line, just outside the doors to GenCon. Nice to have so many choices! The food is a bit pricey out of the trucks, but no more or less than what you’d pay at the concession stands in the Convention Center. I’d have to think that food quality is better though in the trucks.

Days of Wonder had their own mega-sized game, this is Ticket to Ride. Mark K from DoW also said that they have exciting news coming soon about their Essen release(s). I hope to get more info from him soon on that

Opinionated Gamer (and game designer) Frank B showing off his new baby, Battle Beyond Space. The supplies were so limited, I don’t even know if Frank has a personal copy yet!

Finally, the best non-game find in about 2 years at a con – the new AEG shoulder bags. This could become the de rigeur carrying thingamajigger at Essen. This huge bag can carry about 16 regular sized games. (The Agricola box is standing next to it for scale purposes). AEG plans to be at Essen, and like the Queen bags in the past, getting the carrying object may be plenty of motivation for overloaded gamers!

I also met up with the AEG folks to look at their new game Smash Up – a review/preview to come in the next few weeks.  They are super excited about their new Tempest series of games – so far, there are three in the series, and they are targeting the Eurogaming audience with these.  I’m hoping to get more info or possibly an advance copy prior to Spiel.


Well, that’s what I have from my 8 hours in Indy this year.  A good, but hurried, time – I wish I could have spent the whole weekend there, but real work beckons.

Until your next appointment,

the Gaming Doctor




About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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3 Responses to Notes from Gencon 2012

  1. Barbasol says:

    Thanks for the coverage!!

  2. OgreMkV says:

    Do you have links to these games? Some of them look interesting, especially the Battle Beyond Space. Google, here I come.

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