Gen Con 2018: Day 0 (Chris Wray)

I’m at Gen Con from Wednesday to Friday this year, so I’m packing a lot into a short schedule.  I’ll be doing nightly blogging featuring reviews of games that I enjoy, plus my normal routine of discussing what was hot at the convention.

Today’s post is a quick one, discussing which games seem like they will be in short supply when doors open at 10:00am tomorrow.  I discuss the news from the convention.  Plus, I’m doing one short review of Lost Cities Rivals, a hot game I had the chance to play before the convention started.

Full coverage starts tomorrow!

Wednesday at Gen Con…

Today felt like a typical Wednesday at Gen Con.  There halls were bustling — but not packed — with people excited for the convention.  The convention has sold out of 4-day badges.

The line for will-call badges and tickets was extremely long — about an hour for me when I went at 7:00 — and there was a snafu this morning where some people’s tickets (including mine) didn’t print.

But the weather in Indy is nice, and everybody seems enthusiastic.  It should be a great event!

The big news… 

The biggest news of the day — and this was the talk of the entire BGG crew and a lot of the media types — was Fantasy Flight’s announcement of KeyForge, a game by Richard Garfield.  Each gameplay deck you buy is unique — yes, genuinely unique — and contains its own name, card-backed symbol, and combination of cards.  Initial reports are that the gameplay is solid.  KeyForge will be released in coming months.  If the gameplay is as good as initially reported, this is going to be huge.  I’d guess this is easily among the biggest gaming news of the year.

What’s in Short Supply

After combing through Eric Martin’s BGG preview, Twitter, and talking to various people today, the following games appear to be in short supply tomorrow morning.  I’m sure the real list is bigger — publishers sometimes shy away from publicizing this information — and this is partially based on rumor, so I make guarantee as to accuracy.  But given the rush when the halls open, I always consider this information nice to know, so I hope you find it useful.

Note that this isn’t a list of what will be hot at the convention: plenty of highly-anticipated games are in plentiful supply!

  • Coimbra [Plan B / Eggertspiele] – Rumored to have limited number of copies.
  • The Game w/ New Artwork [Pandasaurus] – Very limited number per the publisher’s tweet.  However, rumor is it is already on some Target shelves.
  • Guardians [Plaid Hat] – Fewer than 200 copies available per BGG preview.
  • Jungli-la [TMG] – 140 copies available per BGG preview.
  • Newton [CMON] – Rumored to be in short supply.
  • Queendomino Giant Edition [Blue Orange] – Very limited number available per publisher’s tweet.
  • Railroad Ink [Horrible] – Very limited number per publisher’s tweet.  I heard rumor of 140 or so of each color, but I haven’t seen that anywhere official.
  • The Reckoners [Nauvoo] – Fewer than 250 copies per BGG preview.  (And given that attendees could preorder, it might be even fewer yet.)
  • Shadows: Amsterdam [Libellud] – 500 copies per BGG preview.
  • Trade on the Tigris [TMG] –140 copies available per BGG preview.
  • Ultimate Werewolf Legacy [Bezier] – 300 copies per publisher’s tweet.  (And given that attendees could preorder, it might be even fewer yet.)
  • Void [Oink] – Very few copies per BGG preview.

Snap Reviews


Lost Cities Rivals

  • Designer: Reiner Knizia
  • Publisher: Kosmos

I love Lost Cities, which is one of my all-time favorite (and most played) games.  I also love auction games, so I was naturally intrigued to play a game that was a combination of the two.  Eric Martin generously agreed to teach me and my friends tonight, and it was the highlight of my day.

Of the games in the Lost Cities / Keltis family, this is the most different.  You’re still pursuing up to five expeditions — placing cards from 2-10 in ascending order — and you can still bet on the success of the expeditions before you start them.  But past that, there’s a couple of big (and new) differences.

First, the scoring is simplified: you score the “footprints” showing on the cards.  Second, the game is auction drive.  On your turn, you can (1) put a card in the center of the table or (2) trigger an auction.  There’s a fixed amount of money in the game, and when you win an auction, you pay your bid to the middle, then take (and place) any and all cards you want.  Then you can discard a card from the center, and end your turn by flipping a new card.

The game is divided into four periods, and when one of them is done, the money in the center of the table is divided equally among the players.  Like in Lost Cities, the game ends when the last card is flipped up.

It’s a simple auction game, and it is reminiscent of other Knizia titles.  I’d describe this as the card play of Lost Cities mixed with the auction of Tramfabrik and the press-your-luck aspects of Ra.  Given the enormous success of these games, I bet a lot of gamers will adore Lost Cities Rivals.

Initial OG Rating: I love it!

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