Cool Finds at Origins this Year:

I spent roughly 20 hours running Hostile Takeover sessions at Origins this year so I had less time than usual to try new things. Fortunately by foregoing food and sleep I was still able to try lots of cool new games. My favorite find in Board Games, Miniatures and Other are listed below.

Board Gaming:
Quicksilver
This is an awesome Airship racing game for 2-6 players. Play time is roughly 15 minutes per player. The artwork is amazing and has a Steam Punk feel. All components are high quality and have a very nice feel to them.

QuickSilver

Likes:

  • The game rules simply and effectively give the feel of maneuvering a giant lumbering Airship. Getting these ships through tight turns or spaces is a real challenge.
  • The rules encourage ever increasing brinksmanship which is a cool feature.
  • The game is very flexible. You can set up the board for an easy race or a hard race. You can add different kinds of obstacles to the course. You can play this as friendly or aggressive as you like. (Guess how I like to play) There are also a variety of alternate/optional rules to fine tune the game to your liking.
  • The company has announced a free print and play PDF mini expansion expected to be released this August. This will add a small deck of weather cards that affect the race.

BGG Page:  http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/120886/quicksilver

Miniatures Gaming:
Leviathans
This game has actually been out for at least a year now but Origins 2013 was my first opportunity to play it.

Leviathans takes you to alternate history 1910 and puts you in command of the most powerful military weapons of the time—giant armored Airships known as Leviathans. (I swear I like things other than Airships. It’s a total coincidence that my favorite board and minis game from this year both involved Airships set in the early 1900’s)

Leviathans

Likes:

  • I think the box lists the game as a 2 Player game but in reality it could easily play up to six people.
  • The Initiative system forces all big ships to move first, medium ships 2nd and small ships last. This means that faster and more maneuverable ships are      able to react to how the lumbering big ships move and position themselves accordingly. This felt right to me.
  • The way the combat system handles attacks is quick but provides for interesting choices and feels right. Do you take 2 separate shots with you starboard guns or link them to attempt one harder hit?
  • The damage system is also quick but again feels right. If armor is breached at a particular location on the ship whatever was located there no longer works. As ships are damaged they start losing engines, crew, weapons and stabilization systems which makes the ship ever less effective in combat. As more areas have armor breached the likelihood of the ship’s keel breaking increases. Once this happens the ship will fall from the sky in flames.
  •  The game comes with 8 pre-assembled and pre-painted ships that look amazing. Even better, they did the pre-painting in such a way as to allow end users the option of easily adding further details if they are so inclined.
  •  Each ship in the game has several ship cards representing multiple ships with differing load-outs and abilities. This is a very cool way of using the same mini to represent a number of different possible options.

BGG Page:  http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/63027/leviathans

Other:
Might and Magic: Duel of Champions
I saw this in the Dealer Hall but did not have time to try it on site. After getting home I researched it and recently started playing.

My full review of the ups and downs of DoC will be long enough to merit its own blog post so for now let me hit the high points. The following info is derived from researching the game and playing it for the past 2 weeks.

DoC

Likes:

  • This game is a fun strategic and tactical challenge. The overall game design and balance are well done. Not perfect but I will save criticisms for the full    review.
  • The resource allocation system is unique and well done. You will never be mana screwed in this game.
  • Combat happens on a grid and the grid is used to good effect for spells, buffs and that sort of thing. This adds tactical positioning and movement to the tactics of using the cards.
  • There are a variety of factions and play styles to explore which makes the game interesting and compelling.It is truly free to play. If you put the time in you can build a huge collection of cards and play at the highest levels without ever investing any money.

No promises as to when or if the full review will appear so for now check out the link above or these other great resources to learn more:

Excellent New Player Guide:  http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/683356-might-and-magic-duel-of-champions/faqs/67075
Shorter Guide:  http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/761453-New-to-the-game-Read-this!
List of links to related content:  http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/746087-List-Important-links-game-info-tools-fansites-etc

Until next time I continue to be
Not Dead Yet and Loving Life!
—Andrew McGrady

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