Top 10 – Gen Con 2019 Pt. 2 – The Unexplored List

Gen Con 2019 is now one week away! Thus, my top 10 list for this week will continue my 3-part focus on Gen Con 2019 titles. As a reminder, I am considering a game for these lists if it was listed on the BoardGameGeek Gen Con 2019 Preview page.

Last week I looked at my top 10 Anticipated Games — these were titles that I already had familiarity with and thus were just simply thrilled to know that these games were soon going to be featured at Gen Con — bringing them that much closer to either my doorstep, or in most cases, to local board game stores and cafés. This week, I have turned my attention to the ‘new stuff.’ The majority of the BGG Preview page features games that I have either never heard or know very little about, if anything.

I initially parried that list down based on a quick scan of interest — from those 40 titles, I performed some basic, preliminary research to see what I could find out about — which has helped me decide on a top 10 list. In essence, this list displays the games I would most want to hunt out to ‘see for myself’ or ‘demo’ from the convention floor.

Note: as I completed my research, you will see that the majority of the list features quicker games that fall into either a light or medium-weight category. What does that say about me? I think it says that I’m more easily excited about quick games that could get multiple plays with my family and close friends — it would appear that bigger-scope games tend to require a greater examination on my part to get my excitement level up.

All of that said, let’s jump right into part 2 of my Gen Con Top 10’s — The Unexplored List:

#10 – Revolution of 1828, Renegade Game Studios

I find the historical theme of this game to be very interesting (1828, the first modern Presidential campaign). The PvP decision-making looks intriguing as well. Tough choices, close battles within each voting district. I’m curious and want to get my hands on this one to see what Stefan Feld has put together this time.

#9 – Old West Empresario, Tasty Minstrel Games

image courtesy of GreyElephant Gaming

I like city-building, tile-laying games — and I enjoy combo engines. Add to that, a die-number based trigger system along with dice-drafting and I am definitely interested in giving Old West Empresario a try. I hope that keeping track of everything isn’t too difficult (which can happen in city-builders).

#8 – Point Salad, AEG

image courtesy of TheGameBoyGeek

While I have to roll my eyes at the tongue-in-cheek name of this game, the game has a charming simplicity that appears to be complemented with a side of tight tactics. Grab food or grab a point card — you’ll only have so many opportunities to choose cards, so it looks like finding the right balance will be the key.

#7 – Hadara, Z-Man Games

I’m still a little confused about how this game works, but I like the idea of drafting / selecting cards each round that will focus on different tracks. The game is colorful and looks like it will have many paths to victory. My hope is that Hadara is a game that stands out and doesn’t end up just feeling like a “game I’ve already played.”

#6 – Dungeon Academy, The OP

Dungeon Academy seems like a fun new take on the roll-and-write style. Everyone looks at the same 4×4 dice setup and determines their own path to get in and out of the scene, achieving victories, but also taking damage. The beauty seems to be that you may “level up” between rounds and deduce ways to get through levels more successfully. This game looks fun in the activity itself and the puzzle provided by each new “dungeon” that gets rolled.

#5 – Honga, HABA

With Honga, I’m loving the potential for this to be a perfect gateway game for early elementary age kids. The production of Honga looks great, the actions look fun and tactile, and the gameplay looks interesting enough to play with or without kids. I could definitely see some of these mammoths showing up under a Christmas tree this year.

#4 – Draftosaurus, Ankama

Antoine Bauza put together a beautiful package with 7 Wonders and it looks (at first glance) like he has found another charming way to draft with this new title from Ankama. 2 rounds in which each player will draft six dinosaurs — then, based on die rolls, figure out which pens to place your dinosaurs. There are plenty of scoring options to go for, but a limited amount of dinosaurs to work with. This game looks really fun (plus Dinosaur Meeples!!) and, with its quick play time, like a title that will get replayed often.

#3 – Tribes: Dawn of Humanity, KOSMOS

I have heard Tribes: Dawn of Humanity described as a very light civilization game. That may be perfect for a “civ newbie” such as myself. Beyond that, I love the “Century Spice Road-esque” action selection system. Take the first action for free or pay increasing amounts to get to a tile further along the ‘river.’ I love games with quick turns, multiple paths to victory, and crunchy decision-making –> combine that all into a lighter, quicker package than most civilization games and I am VERY interested in giving Tribes: Dawn of Humanity a try.

#2 – Floor Plan, Deep Water Games

Deep Water Games helped bring Welcome To… to many gaming tables and now they are bringing Floor Plan to the world. From the little I have seen so far, I love the concept of this game. First off, since a kid, I have found floor plans to be intriguing and fun to look at — I am in the middle of my 2nd house construction currently and really enjoy the process of looking at floor plans, making modifications, and imagining a house that looks just the way I want and need it to.

That’s what players get to do with Floor Plan as well. Now, obviously, the game will provide decision points that each person has to make, based on the die rolls. The winner will be the one who can best visualize the overall design of the house, work towards that as options become available, and not forget key scoring items — plus, get a little lucky now and then. This guy is super excited about Floor Plan!

#1 – Realm of Sand, Deep Water Games

image courtesy of Rahdo

Well, Deep Water Games is at it again at the top of my list. They are bringing Realm of Sand to GenCon (originally an EmperorS4 release). Conventionally, Realm of Sand is described as a pattern-building, tile placement game. I love both of those mechanisms so that helps garner my interest from the start. As I did a little research, though, I started to get vibes of three recent games: Patchwork (for the circular movement for piece selection), Splendor (for the open board of point cards to achieve), and Reef (for the constantly fluctuating personal board that needs to adjust to each new scoring goal). I have played all three of those games and enjoy each one in its own right. If Realm of Sand can pull those concepts together as well as it looks like they have, then it will definitely have earned its place at the top of my Gen Con 2019 Unexplored List. I can’t wait to get this one to a table soon.

What about you readers? What new hotness are you most excited about now that Gen Con is nearing?

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

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