Gen Con 2023 – Hasbro

Although they didn’t have a booth in the exhibit hall, Hasbro was once again there with a nice presence in the gaming hall next door. They were showing off expansion to popular games like a new Betrayal expansion: The Yuletide Tale – Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale, and new expansions for Heroquest: Rise of the Dread Moon Quest Pack and Hero Collection – Path of the Wandering Monk. There were also new games, Risk Strike – an attempt to jam Risk into an attack/defend game with cards instead of a map, and Galaxy Goldmine that involves tile flipping on a grid with some memory overtones. Finally, if toys are your thing there was a line of plastic D&D monsters that could be folded back up into a 20 sided die.

Betrayal: The Yuletide Tale – Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale

Aside from the obvious spelling errors, the new expansion provides two new rooms, items, events and a new character that is actually two-in-one. Jingleklaws and Elf are assigned one player and each have unique abilities. There are 5 new scenarios that also key off of Jingleklaws and the holidays

Heroquest: Rise of the Dread Moon Quest Pack and Hero Collection – Path of the Wandering Monk

Hero Collection – Path of the Wandering Monk brings a monk to the table. Choose one of two figures and go at it with melee weapons but no armor. As always, the monk has unique powers and skills. The game also comes with 7 new cards and a scroll.

Heroquest: Rise of the Dread Moon Quest Pack

Another new large expansion, Rise of the Dread Moon brings in an underground city and a water labyrinth as well as 10 new quests, 29 miniatures, and assorted game tiles.

Risk Strike

Risk Strike attempts to capture the feel of the boardgame and cram it down into a fast 15 to 20 minute game. In place of specific countries on a map, cards represent each continent. Players are trying to control continents by having the requisite number of cards of that type. Gain enough cards (depending on the “size” of the continent) and you can claim ownership of the continent. Claim two continents to win the game.

The game has two types of cards, the continent cards which are always placed in front of you, and a special tactics deck that provides various special powers including additional “armies” for a single fight (the most common card in the deck.)

A turn consists of drawing two cards (from either deck) and then making a single attack. If a player chooses not to attack at all, they draw another tactics card. Combat will be very familiar to anyone who has played the board game. A player declares which of their sets of continent cards are attacking another player’s set of continent cards and then cards are played on both sides (opponents not involved in the combat can also play cards.) Once all cards are played, dice are rolled. Players can only roll as many dice as they have continent cards (supplemented by army cards) and just like the boardgame, the offense can roll a maximum of three dice while the defense is limited to two. Ties are still given to the defender. A specific continent to continent attack can continue until the active player conquers all of the enemy cards or decides to give up. Losses are first taken from any army cards participating, but then players begin to give up their continent cards. Defense losses are given directly to the offense, but if the offense loses cards they are placed in the middle of the board. These cards are eligible to be drawn during the initial 2-card draw of anyone’s turn.

Each player is given a handy player aide card that displays the adjacency of the “continents.” An attack can be made between two sets of cards that are the same continent or of adjacent continents. Thus, the only way to attack Australia is from another Australia stack or a stack of Aisa cards. The card also displays the number of cards needed to be able to claim that continent. Three for Australia, six for North America, and so on. This also determines the number of continent cards in the deck. Each continent has double its capture number, minus one. Thus there are 15 Asia cards and 5 Australia cards.

Once a continent is claimed by a player, they retain their ownership even if they no longer have any cards of that continent. Ownership only shifts if another player is able to get enough cards to outright claim it again. A player might only have 3 North America cards left after some battles, but they will keep their ownership (assuming they claimed it earlier) until one player is able to acquire six North American cards. As mentioned, the first player to have ownership of two countries wins the game.

I was able to play a full game with my boys (and since it was the end of the convention Hasbro gave us the game to take home) and it was fun and reminded me of Risk. I suspect our game was not as fast as most because the demo person was surprised we made it almost all the way through the continent deck. We were pretty aggressive on drawing trait cards and then attacking each other, which made overall growth a bit slower. It shows promise and I look forward to giving it another go.

Galaxy Goldmine

Galaxy Goldmine was the only completely new game in the Hasbro area. Here, players take turns flipping up cards from a face-down 3×3 grid representing planets. Each planet stack has cards representing the core of the planet, the mantle, and the crust. Players flip tiles in order to gain victory points or other benefits. To win, a player must collect three of the four special Holomap Fragment cards. Alternatively, if 3 black hole cards are found (out of 4 I think?) the game ends immediately and the player with the most victory points on their claimed cards wins.

To set up the game, stacks of planet cards are placed onto the grid. Something like 2 core cards on the bottom, 2 or 3 mantle cards on top, and then like 3 crust cards on top of that. Players then take turns flipping over cards to gain points and other effects.

On a turn, a player first picks two “tools” to use and then flips over three cards from the play area. They could be three different places or more than one from a single stack. While some cards are actions or other benefits, most cards provide points. Only a few of these are automatically picked up. The rest will show a symbol and only if a player chose the correct tool for that round will they be able to pick them up. A card that is not picked up will be placed face up so other players now know what it is. In general, the lower cards (mantle and core) are worth more points.

The game starts with three tools (two for picking things up, one for peeking at face-down stacks) and as the game progresses, there are three additional tools that will crop up. Whoever finds them gets to use their power immediately and then they become available as one of the two tools to choose on a player’s turn. As for the special tiles, in addition to the Holomap and Black Hole tiles there are tiles that let you steal a card at random from another player and (uggh) one that causes a player to instantly end their turn. The steal a card at random is an interesting event because of the card backs. A player might draw a particularly nice core card, making them a target for future card-steals. To mitigate this a bit, all players start with three zero-point cards (one of each crust, mantle, core) so even if you’ve only drawn one core card you have a 50-50 chance of protecting it if someone tries to steal it.

Shout out to the cool box insert design. A spot for every stack with a sort of fold-out display that is put inside a slipcase so it doesn’t accidentally open up. I have to apologize because I feel like it was also earth-friendly in some way but I didn’t put it in my notes (I was busy playing – this was another demo game we were given to take home) so maybe it was just the cool layout that I liked…


By far the cutest entry in the booth was a set of creatures that fold into a 20-sided die about the size of a smallish baseball. All classic D&D monsters (also appearing in the recent D&D movie), there were two colors of Beholder, a Red Dragon, and a displacer beast.

About Matt J Carlson

Dad, Gamer, Science Teacher, Youth Pastor... oh and I have green hair. To see me "in action" check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater up on Youtube...
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