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Gencon 2011 Day 3: Elder Sign, Wyrd Miniatures and Privateer Press

As Gencon is wrapping up, KK (a lucky friend of ours) manages to get some quick info on more games and systems premiering in Indianapolis!

I was able to meet Richard Launius, one of the creators of Elder Sign along side Kevin Wilson, and spoke to him about his new game. Elder Sign is Fantasy Flight’s third board game based in the famous Arkham Horror universe, taking the setting of an old museum in Arkham. The game itself is a card-driven, quest-based game that features most of the cast from Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. Though I wasn’t able to get a demo of the game, Richard actually talked me through the finer points of the mechanics. He seemed both genuinely excited and proud of Elder Sign, so I have high hopes it.

I stopped by the Wyrd Miniatures booth, and I was surprised by how popular it was. Two major products were released by them: TerraClips and Puppet Wars. TerraClips is a modular terrain system for Malifaux (although other games and RPGs will find good use from them) featuring punch out cardboard walls and floors that clip in to plastic connectors. Puppet Wars is a standalone miniatures game featuring puppet doll versions of some of the more iconic Malifaux characters, and is a specific response to the popularity of the Puppet artwork found in much of the Malifaux products.

I also have had a chance to crack open two of the brand new (convention early release) Warmachine boxes. The Khador Man-of-War Bombadiers and Demo Corps from a design perspective are a complete 180 from Privateer’s first plastic kit (the Exemplar Bastions). The most obvious is that instead of each model being enclosed in individual plastic packaging, they’re all thrown together in one large plastic bag. More importantly, there are actual points of articulation on the model. Five ball joints (the waist, two torso-to-shoulder, and two shoulder-to-arm), are on each individual, and the leader gets a bonus pose-able head. (Keep in mind that the ball joints on Privateer plastics are notoriously hard to glue, and may also need additional pinning if desired).

Inside the one bag is a smaller plastic bag for smaller parts. Interestingly, the shoulder-carried extra rockets, the front and back crotch-skirt, and three tiny star-shaped badges are all separate pieces. The shoulder-carried rockets are so that they can use the same mold for all the Men-of-War types, and the separate front and back crotch-skirts allow for the two feet to be casted in one piece with the base tab as well. However, the tiny star-shaped badges I have no idea how or where to put on the model. It’s pretty obviously for additional indication of the leader, but even close inspection of the box artwork doesn’t tell me where to put them.

The Protectorate Vessel of Judgment was… WOW. Seriously. The metal parts (the two dudes, the chains, and the small rear wheels) are of the standard expected quality, but the remaining plastic resin parts are jaw-droppingly good. I honestly hope that I get a chance to follow up to this by writing an article going through the assembly and painting of this monster.

Finally, in Monsterpocalypse I managed to play two really educational games. The first was against “DC” David Carl, head of Monpoc development. The second was against Josh Gremillion, a Louisiana Press Ganger, the winner of the first Gencon Monpoc tournament, 3rd in this year’s, and one of the best players in the world (pictured on the left). I’m still in awe of how much they knew about the game, and of course they are just a small sample of the incredible gamers that come to Gencon each year.

I fell in love with the scenarios which were specifically created for this convention. Not part of typical Monpoc games, these scenarios add wacky twists to the game and more strategic options to your standard game. I also appreciated how Privateer recognized the casual gamer (those of us who will never place in a competitive tournament… ever) and had rewards for casual and pickup gaming.

I’ll see how much of these casual prizes I can pick up when I fill you in tomorrow for the fourth and final day of Gencon 2011.

kakita

Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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