This will probably be the last post about Origins as on day 5, I just ran around trying to make some more contacts and set up future interviews for the podcast. But day 4 was filled with some very interesting and exciting games.
My first stop of the morning was at the Renegade Games both and I stood over a table of Sentient until I could get a chance to sit down and play. This dice manipulation game is really interesting. At the beginning of a round you will roll your dice and place them on the appropriate color. I think this might be a game where my poor dice rolling abilities won't get punished. On your turn you will draft a card and place it on your tableau. The card will contain a point value for the end of the game if you can meet its requirements as well as symbols in the upper right and left corners of the card which shows you how the die above it will be manipulated. One minute you can have the perfect dice and then the next turn if you aren't careful you can wipe out any points you were going to obtain. You also have some agents that you can place on a card to negate the affect on the die. But you need to watch your utilization of these agents as they have a multi-purpose in the game. When you take a card, you also put a worker near it for scoring at the end of the round. The agents can increase your score for a particular pair of cards so knowing when to use them can become quite valuable. The game has a great look to it. The art on the cards is really gorgeous and the dice that come with the game have a great visual appeal. People who like math in their games will really enjoy deciphering this game.
After Sentient I moved to the other side of the Renegade booth to play their new two-player trick taking game The Fox in the Forest. It is really refreshing to see a two-player trick taking game come out and after playing it I can say that it plays great. My wife and I play a lot of games together, but trick taking games are normally for the higher player counts found down at our local game store. It will be nice to be able to sit around and play this game once it comes out. The trick taking game is very easy to learn, but the odd numbered cards have actions that can change game play and will really make you think about what to play when. The art on the cards is really nice as well so I have a feeling that once this comes out it will definitely be a fast seller.
After lunch I stopped by to check out a small Kickstarter game called Dragoon. I had seen this game once before, but I don't think I saw the deluxe version which has all metal components to it. Damn, did this game look great. The cloth mat and the metal figures and dice were just so sharp looking on the table. On previous podcasts I had talked about a game we play called Hoard on the Playstation 3. This game reminds me quite a bit of the video game, but there are enough differences to this board game that really intrigued me. At the beginning of a round you will roll dice to see which spaces on the board a territory tile will come out to. Each player then has three actions to complete. You can move, attack another dragon, attack a town, or just take over a town as well as a few others. At the end of the round depending on how many spaces you control, you will roll a die and figure out how much gold you get and this will be tracked on the gold cloth mat. I really liked the way this game looked and from what I can tell it will scale well from two to four players. I have a feeling that the deluxe version of the game will be on my list of owned games on BGG soon!
Then one of the last games I played for the day was a game that wasn't even at a booth. I was able to get in touch with John Zinser from AEG and set up a time to take a look at their game The Edge of Darkness. I have talked about this game before on the podcast and I can honestly say this was probably one of the best games I played at the show and it was still in prototype form. This game takes Mystic Vale and adds a worker placement component to the game that will make your head spin. There is so much going on with the game that after one play through all I could think of was when am I going to get to play this game again. On your turn you will draft cards from the center of the table and then count the number of cubes on your cards. You will be given the appropriate number of cubes and at the beginning of your turn you will drop these cubes into the tower. Once a monster card has seven cubes on it, the monster will attack the player with the majority of the cubes on it unless there are more black cubes on the card which will then signify that the monster will attack everyone. If you can't defend, you lose victory points on your track. Next, you will then utilize your workers to activate different actions on the board and try to collect as much influence as you can which is your victory points for the end of the game. To utilize an action on the board, you have to have that action slotted into one of your cards so building up your cards is important but it is not going to be as easy as you think. Once you are done with your cards, they go into a general draw pile which fills out spaces in the center board for drafting. The crazy thing is on a players turn they can draft whatever cards are available. So not only do you need to think about building cards for yourself, but you may be building a great card for someone else to use. When a player uses an action from a card that belongs to someone else, they have to pay a gold to use that action and then at the end of their turn, the card goes into the players draw pile who owns it. So you do have the ability to get the cards back you created, but it was probably just used by someone else. Additionally, they can slot the card with different actions as well. This game really builds on the base play of Mystic Vale and pretty much kicks it up to eleven.
I had always wondered why they released Mystic Vale first to just teach everyone the card building mechanic and after playing The Edge of Darkness I can see why. Having to learn the whole card building mechanic besides everything else that this game is bringing to the table would of probably been a mind blower.
These pictures below are of the prototype game components we played with and I really cannot wait to see what this game will look like in its finished format.