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Gen Con 2021
Let me know if you'd like to try it, or even just meet up.
Most people at the con followed the rules for masking. Every now and then you'd see some jackass with their nose out, and I more than once called people out for it. Bandanas were not allowed, but I saw at least 2 idiots wearing them, which means that the badge checkers were basically just not giving a fuck.
The worst offenders? Almost the entire staff at the Mythic Games booth. I was there to try out the Rainbow Six board game (more on that later) and multiple staff didn't have their masks on correctly, or would take the mask down frequently. Sam Healey (formerly of Dice Tower) was the worst offender, and I would have kicked his ass out of the con.
It seemed like as the con wore on, you saw less and less masks outside. Colts fans were around today, and I didn't see a single one of them wearing a mask. I didn't even go to the con today, I had had my fill.
The con itself was great. This was a nice size. There was more room to move around, less booths overall, and you didn't feel like you were a sardine in a can, like a normal Gen Con. I'd love it if it stayed this small. It won't.
The entire trip though, I have to say the most wary I felt about coronavirus was today, in a Bob Evans outside of Indianapolis. Definitely Trump country.
I played a full demo game of 6: Siege, aka Rainbow Six and they couldn't contractually call it that. I'm happy to report that this game is super cool. There is a LOT to dig into, with different team builds and strategies. We did not play with the timer of course. Each team was able to pull off some neat tricks, and we won as the attackers on literally the last turn. I am looking forward to playing more. Two interesting component tidbits: each square on the map has a dot on it that you can use for checking LOS, but the interesting thing is that the dot is not always in the center of the square. They move it around based on surrounding cover, which I thought was a neat touch and probably a lot of work. The other thing I'll mention is that the prototype miniatures looked AMAZING. I don't know how they got so much detail in them. I don't normally gush about minis, especially ones that weren't made by GW. The Rainbow Six minis looked really great.
Almost on a whim, I stood in line to get Mind MGMT based on good reviews I had seen. Matt Kindt, the creator of the comic book was actually selling the copies, and drawing a custom sketch on the inside of each box lid. They also were selling book 1 of the graphic novel. When it was my turn, we started talking, and I mentioned that I made games since he was commenting on how much work the game was (he did all of the art for it). He asked what I had made, and when I mentioned SEAL Team Flix, he exclaimed that his brother had it and he had played it! I was really thrilled by that, and he was saying how he loved the name. I told him I had also wanted to call it Rainbow Flix, and on the inside of my box cover, he wrote two messages (the game and book have red text overlayed with blue text all over the place, and you have to use a red lens to read the "secret" messages. The time tracker for the game is the red lens device.) Anyway he wrote one in red and one in blue. The red one said "SEAL TEAM FLIX IS COMPROMISED!" and the blue one said "SEND IN RAINBOW SIX".
The board game is quite possibly the most beautiful piece of art I have seen. Everything about it is full of detail and care. It is loaded with secrets, and style for days. We played the training mission once during the con, and it was a lot of fun. There is much more to dig into there.
I also got to run some demos of Phantom Division. Everyone seemed to like it and really had fun playing. It was nice to get to show it to the public a bit.
hotseatgames wrote: I also got to run some demos of Phantom Division. Everyone seemed to like it and really had fun playing. It was nice to get to show it to the public a bit.
No no no no no. You don't get off that easy. More detail please.
Ha! Okay, here are some details that have never been shown publicly until now:
The mission generator has primary objectives, secondary objectives / events, and twists that modify aspects of the mission in certain ways. You basically generate a mission by drawing several cards from 4 stacks. Based on some dubious math, if you never had to spend time setting up the game, sleeping, or eating, or anything other than playing Phantom Division, it would take 900 years to play every combination. I'm not saying they would all seem totally different, but let's just say there is a lot.
I showed the new mini games, and they were all a huge hit. First up is hacking. Pete came up with this one. You can hack security terminals found in the maps. When you hack a terminal, you can accomplish one of 3 goals: viewing camera feeds, unlocking a door, or shutting down a sentry. The sentries in PD are robotic turrets. They never move, and are quite deadly. The actual act of hacking is as follows: draw a card from the code deck. This tells you the code you are trying to roll, and what will happen if you fail. Grab 6 dice on easy, 5 dice on hard. Flip the sand timer, and you have 10 seconds to roll as fast as you can, placing each die in a box to produce the desired code. The codes have 4 digits. Usually someone will JUST make it on easy. Hard is... harder.
Next up is Hyperflex. This is basically bullet time, and again the sand timer comes out to play. Based on your ability / weapon, you get to flick as many times at targets on a separate board in order to eliminate targets on the main board that would be extremely difficult otherwise. This is kind of "easy mode" but also lets someone do some really cool action movie stuff. Pete came up with the game, I named it.
Finally, let's talk about the most interesting new component... a marble. Two side board activities utilize this. First is Drop Pod Insertion. There are 3 modes of insertion for a mission. Standard is just like always, you place your figures in the start area. Shuttle involves a flicking mini game to avoid enemy sight as your shuttle lands near the mission area. And Drop Pod Insertion actually specifies 3 drop areas on the map, generally of various safety. You roll a marble from one end of the side board to the other, trying to drop it through a small hole designated for the drop zone of your choice. This can lead to Phantoms starting spread out, and is pretty funny.
But the biggest one is on the flip side of drop pod insertion. The Mercury Switch Bomb. You have to place the marble in between the 4 holes and steady the board so that it doesn't drop, while placing blocks on the board with your other hand. It is devilishly hard, yet also doable once you get some practice.