Managed to hammer out a whole bunch of games this weekend at a local convention.
Deck Box Dungeons
- tremendously fun and a ton of gaming in such a tiny box. The only downside is that you really need to print the most current rules, so the "deck box" size is then instantly lost. Some of the rules are a bit loose, but overall it's a pretty deep RPG-like dungeon crawl system that has surprisingly minimal components. There's an app you use to randomize tile/card layout as you explore and it also gives you some flavor text and setup/condition information, but I didn't find the use of the app to detract from the game at all.
an excellent mix of dice and card play. Feels a bit like Quarriors in that respect, but much faster. Has everything I like - die rolling, cards and push your luck. Components are excellent and it plays pretty quick.
Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago
uses the core Frostgrave rules, but slightly modified for tropical theme. I'll have to get the photos I took. If you like Frostgrave, I think you'd like this. Really, it comes down to theme and scenery.
Heavy Gear Blitz
this has been around for a while, but we were able to meet with the designer and get a demo game in. It's a 15mm scale tactical minis game that plays quick and reminded me of Battletech (or Mechwarrior) without all the overhead. Apparently it was much more complicated at one point, but it's been through numerous revisions and editions. I picked up a starter box (because I'm a sucker for starter sets) and I'm looking forward to assembling and painting little mechs. The publisher is from Canada but everything is printed / manufactured in the USA so we had an interesting discussion on costs (particularly in light of the tariffs). For them, the molds are machined in China but the actual creation of the minis happens in Indiana. The cost savings (for them) is astronomical, or at least it was until the tariff discussion started. Turns out steel molds were potentially looking at a 25% tax as they weren't "American Steel". I'll keep it lite to avoid the R&P but it was still an interesting insider discussion as to how things work.
Pandemic the Cure
is the dice-chucking version of the Pandemic board game. I happen to like it more than the original (I like dice) so this is another fun experience.
was the surprise hit. I'd never heard of it, but my buddy had grabbed it a few weeks ago after hearing rave reviews. It's a lot of fun and it does a great job of re-creating the movie experience. The game is split into two parts. The first has the shark swimming around in secret, trying to eat as many swimmers as possible. While that's happening Brody, Quint and Hooper race around the island trying to save swimmers and simultaneous locate the shark. Everyone has special moves or powers and you're limited in the number of actions you can provide. The shark player moves around the board in secret, recording their moves and giving the players a chance to try and figure out where it was and where it's going. After the shark is hit with enough barrels -or- it eats enough swimmers, the second part of the game is the fight on the Orca. Depending on how round one unfolded, the players or shark might have an advantage in terms of bonus cards you get. In this second act, the players win by killing the shark; shark wins by destroying the boat or eating everyone. Once again, the shark is given options as to where it can emerge and the players have to guess, If they guess right, they get attacks in - otherwise the shark is free to destroy the boat.
It's quite thematic and big fun - definitely recommend it.