This is my 2nd year at Dreamations hosted by Double Exposure. It's a four day weekend of board gaming, RPGs, war gaming, and LARPs. I couldn't do all 4 days, but fortunately I only live 45 minutes away from the convention at the Hyatt Regency in Morristown, NJ.
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At this convention, I played 12 games at Dreamations. That is a record for me. I also mention which games can be played solo or not.
So I arrived on Friday night for my first game. I played this little game called Nevermore by Smirk and Dagger. It is a simple card drafting game where you can try to poison your opponents' hand. The raven card is bad and subtracts from their hand's abilities. But if you are able to get a full hand of ravens, then it is good.
Nevermore is a casual-style, card-drafting game in which you quickly build your hand each round, collecting cards you want and poisoning your opponent's hand by passing along cards you think they can't use. Whoever holds the most of a given suit, gains the power of that suit to attack, heal, acquire Light or Shadow magicks and score victory points.
A fun little game for casual players. Not something I would want to buy, but I wouldn't mind playing with others.
Since Nevermore was a short game, there was time to walk around the convention before my next game. I saw plenty of demo games in the main lobby. I head over to one. This game is not out yet. The creator, William Angus says his Kickstarter campaign will start in April.
It is a 2-player tactical card game with a zombie theme. It is a quick game. You can play the hero or the zombies. The path is made of 11 cards. Your hero has to move down the path to the end while picking up weapons. There are different heroes to choose from with their own variable power. The zombie player has to move the zombies toward the hero and attack the hero. And to deploy more zombies before the hero gets to the end and win.
I played the zombies and lost. I liked this game. I might check out the Kickstarter when it happens.
Another game by Smirk and Dagger called Koi was a beautiful game to play. You're a koi fish in a koi pond trying to eat dragonflies and frogs. The board is full of hexes and there are your koi maples as well as dragonflies, lily pads, frogs, and rocks. You have a hand of cards that tells what movements you must or may play. Like move forward, turn right, jump over a hex, turn left, turn in any direction. It plays over 7 days (rounds). You score points at the end of each day based on what dragonfly or frog you ate.
Not a bad game. It has a lot of replayability. You can also play it solo which is a plus. Though I think it solo variant rules.
Thanos Rising - Infinity War was surprisingly good. Usually games based on movies are gimmicky, but it was a nice cooperative game. Each player starts with a hero with abilities and icons that you see are on the dice. You have to recruit heroes from the central board where the Thanos figurine sits. You choose a quadrant and try to recruit a hero on that quadrant or fight a villain.
The Thanos figurine rotates on the board based on a die roll. If Thanos faces the quadrant you choose, you get damaged as well as the heroes on that quadrant. Villains on the same quadrant get activated. Also another dice roll will add a cube to one of the 6 Infinity stones on the Infinity Gauntlet board.You recruit heroes and fight villains based matching the die rolls to the icons of the hero or villain.
It was a fun light game that is really hard to beat. We lost, but I would check this game out. Yes, it can be played solo.
Star Wars Legion is a new miniatures war-game from Fantasy Flight Games. This is a big game that takes up a lot of table space. You play with troop miniatures and direct squads over the battlefield. I actually had fun with this game as I like strategy and tactics.
They had the sets all set up. The sets are additional costs to the core set. You have tools to measure troops movements and to measure range of a weapon or the range of the communication between a commander and the rest of the squads. Each squad or unit you have are randomly selected by tokens on your turn. It has many similarities with X-Wing miniatures. If it wasn't such an expensive game requiring deeper pockets for additional units and sets, I wouldn't mind buying it.
I already reviewed Star Realms before so I don't need to talk much more about this deck building game. But Frontiers introduces more bosses to fight against. We fought against the Dimensional Horror. It takes cards from the Market Row and adds them to itself as rows of tentacles. After a player plays, the Horror takes a card from the market row. Whatever color the card it takes, it will damage the player by adding the value of all the cards of that color in its tentacle. I already own Star Realms and its expansion Colony Wars so I don't need to buy Frontiers. But I wish I can buy the scenarios and bosses separately. You can fight the bosses and scenarios as a solo player.
The Rival Networks
Next I play tested the Rival Networks. This game is still being developed and the man was planning for his Kickstarter campaign. It's a simple card game where my opponent and I are rival networks trying to schedule and cancel shows in order to get viewers among three timeslots. There are three Seasons and at the need of three seasons, there are awards and shows are reset. It's an OK game. TV shows isn't my thing and I am not interested in this game. You cannot play this solo.
What an amazing game this is. It is a role playing table top dice builder game which uses dice for all the different weapons, consumables, abilities, and skills your Gearloc attains during their adventure. We fight many battles before fighting the Tyrant at the end. It is a cooperative game but the many skills and abilities of your character is so complex that no one player can really take over the game as an alpha player. Everyone will contribute to the gameplay.
Battle board is above. Each character is represented by a disc and is on top of red discs representing health. Ignore that number 7. It was just the number of the game table at the convention.
The components are top notch with the player mats made of stitched neoprene. I played Patches which is the Gearloc that can provide healing as well as use poisons and he has a wicked bone saw. He is more a support character but I was able to kick some butt. The game is $250 so it is too expensive for me, but I love this game. It can be played solo.
Stone Age has been around for some time. Possiblly precedes history. I played this starting at midnight. I figure I can get one more game in before going home to sleep and come back to the convention the next day. It is a worker placement that takes place in the Stone Age where you gather resources to build huts, get tools, build a farm to reduce food upkeep, pick up cards with bonuses, procreate in the love hut for more workers, or gather food to feed your cavemen. Darn it, you lazy cavemen. Can't you feed yourselves?
Each player gets a player mat to place their resources, Tools, bonus cards, and finished huts. Look at my green little cavemen. This was a fun little game as well. I came in last but was told I scored a high score of 140 something. Not bad for a noobie. This game can not be played solo unfortunately.
I highly anticipated this game when I saw this on the game sign up wall. I was so excited to play Folklore the Affliction. It did not disappoint me. It is a story driven RPG like board game. You play one of six characters to come and rid the land of evil. There is a board of the overall map of the land, player mats where you keep track of power and Vita and place your items and tokens, and boards for fights.
I played the exorcist who can heal players and have bonuses against demons, spirits and the undead. The miniatures are beautiful, but you can buy a cheaper version of the game with standees instead and buy the miniatures later on. The game play is great and immersive. You get choices which affects how the story plays out. We actually defeated the final boss of one scenario. Granted my character was killed and turned into an avenging ghost with limited powers.
I would like to buy this game and can play with the standees. This game can be played solo.
Alas the last game I played at the end of Dreamations. Chronicles of Crime is a cooperative game of criminal investigation mixing board game, an app and a touch of Virtual Reality. You and your team will be put on crime cases, moving all around town, interviewing suspects or witnesses, and searching for clues in 3D scenes!
This is a great party game. It makes very good use of technology in a board game. You download the app on your phone. You use the app to look at the crime scene and yell out what you see. Other players sift through the clue deck and place cards that you think are the clues at the crime scene. Each card has QR codes to scan. Through the clues, you can ask the virtual experts like the forensic scientist if it is useful or not. Then you unlock new characters to interrogate and new locations, and more.
This game can be played solo, but it really shines in a group.
Sometime during my time, I played this demo of an upcoming game called Holi: Festival of Colors by Floodgate Games. Their Kickstarter is coming up soon. It is a three tiered game where you spread color tokens by using cards that tell you where to place the tokens in relation to your meeple placement. It is beautiful abstract game. You cannot play this solo as far as I know. Check it out.