Top 10 – Gen Con 2019 Pt. 1 – The Anticipation List

With Gen Con 2019 right at two weeks away, I wanted to jump on the hype train and discuss some of the exciting games that will be featured at the convention this year. Now, there are a lot of exciting titles so my plan is to actually spend three straight Top 10 Thursdays discussing games from the Con that have my interest. I am considering a game for these lists if it was listed on the BoardGameGeek Gen Con 2019 Preview page.

And for this week, my top 10 list is going to focus on the games that I already have an awareness of (either through Kickstarter campaigns, podcast reviews, or video reviews and/or playthroughs) and am very happy that these games are finally either becoming available, or in some cases hitting a wider market.

With that said, let’s get started on the 10 games hitting the top of my Anticipation list from Gen Con 2019:

#10 – Thieves Den, Daily Magic Games

Card drafting, worker placement, interesting choices with really nice artwork and what sounds like a perfect 45-minute game time.

#9 – Mechanica, Resonym

Mechanica features a cool, play-out-of-the-box system and looks to have a fun robot/engine-building concept that I would love to get to try out. Plus, building fun, made-up things always seems cool to me. I’m also digging the retro-futuristic art vibe this game has going.

#8 – Coral Islands, Alley Cat Games

For one thing, this is actually two games in one box. Coral and Islands. If you are familiar with Reef, Coral looks to be a similar-style game with small goals that can quickly be achieved and then players move on to the next goal. Plus, dice-stacking which is great tangible fun! Islands includes specialist cards and involves moving dice around a board to create large dice stacks. Looks like simple, family-fun gaming with quick turns and dice-stacking!!

#7 – PARKS, Keymaster Games

PARKS has simple gameplay, move your pawn, complete an action, and make sure you maintain the proper resources to finish your trek. I get Tokaido-like vibes of PARKS being a game that will be relaxing and simply an enjoyable ‘journey.’ Beyond that, the components look great and the art is OUTSTANDING!

#6 – Corinth, Days of Wonder

Not every new roll-and-write that comes along is going to get my attention, but Corinth is one that has. Visually, this is an appealing game, but it seems to offer a lot of choices / options in a small package. The dice-drafting mechanism is unique and a great puzzle of its own. Furthermore, Corinth looks to have a nice amount of interaction (constantly being aware of other players and the decisions they might make). The movement track in this game adds another option for players in case they need to adjust which bonus powers they want to utilize.

#5 – Cartographers, Thunderworks Games

If Corinth is my roll-and-write pick of the list, then Cartographers would be my flip-and-write pick. Each game will have unique goals and the scoring combos for each of the 4 rounds will do a great job of forcing each player to decide which focus they want to have. Do you play for the current round or look to setup for future round scoring? Being in the Roll Player universe, I appreciate that Cartographers is not just about map-building, but includes some monsters that will create mischief and mayhem during the game as well.

#4 – Graphic Novel Adventures (Season 2), Van Ryder Games

I have been very interested in the first set of graphic novel adventures, but this second season looks right up my alley! All five books look to be very enjoyable — super heroes, Sherlock, and pirates, oh my!

#3 – Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates, Forbidden Games

I am a big fan of Clank! and thus, Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates looks to take some of what I enjoy about that game and bring it into a pirate-themed title with some resource management as well. Build a crew of pirates that will you help you be quick and profitable, while making smart decisions to keep your entire fleet making progress. A beautiful map, nice-looking pieces and what looks like just a fun ride through the Caribbean.

#2 – Stygian Society, APE Games

Okay, Stygian Society has been on my radar a long time — ever since APE Games’ Kickstarter campaign last October. This one is a cooperative “dungeon-crawl” in which players will need to use their unique skills to help each other complete waves of enemies to make it to the top of the tower and defeat the final boss. Each wave is its own puzzle that will require the team to identify its strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. Along with that, I’m enamored by the cube tower which is a focal point of gameplay for The Stygian Society. Attacking and using powers is all about getting the right colors of cubes in the tower along with a little bit of finger-crossing that the ‘hero-friendly’ cubes will be the ones to fall to the bottom quickest.

#1 – Vindication, Orange Nebula

I first heard about Vindication at the end of 2018. And while this Kickstarter has been fulfilled and people are playing the game, I don’t believe it has hit a wide market yet. The 2nd Kickstarter campaign completed this February and it looks like Orange Nebula will be highlighting the game heavily at Gen Con this year. This is the game that I am drooling over. The components look amazing. I am intrigued by the adventure and discovery aspect of moving around the board. The paths to victory are many and each game will be its own unique sandbox of opportunities. Furthermore, several modules are included which can easily be added/dropped according to the game group’s preferences. The end game mechanism is different from what I’ve seen previously. There are triggers that have to be met, but as the game progresses, the triggers needed to bring the game to a halt will decrease. I can already imagine being a little sad as a game comes to an end and desperately looking around the table hoping everyone else will want to restart and play again.

Well, that’s my first set of games to highlight from the upcoming 2019 Gen Con. What game have you been drooling over in anticipation for its upcoming release?

For more top 10 lists and board game discussions, please follow me on Twitter @boardgamecrock1

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