Moe's Game Table: WBC Recap - Part Two
I conclude my WBC recap by exploring some of the other games that were on display at the con, while taking in more interviews done by myself and fellow content creators with various designers about their current and upcoming projects.
Worthington Publishing showed off their newest releases Dunkirk and Holdfast: Tunisia, which continue their line of fast-playing and easily accessible block wargames. They also had prototypes of Devils Dogs: Belleau Wood 1918 and Tranquility Base. Devil Dogs looks to be an intense, bloody, diceless, chit-pulling brawl in the forest from the demo that I saw and I can’t wait for its release!
Tranquility Base is part of the new History in Action Games line from Worthington Publishing, and supports 1-4 players, with a solitaire mode that pits the player against the Soviet space program. This is the second edition of the game and launches on Kickstarter on August 15, with a plan to ship the game to backers at the end of September before the release of the Neil Armstrong movie, First Man.
I had the chance to sit down with designer Steve Overton for a brief interview to discuss his upcoming title, Kontact Now: Red Eclipse. This is a new tactical system which operates at the fire-team level and will be published by Lock ‘N Load Publishing, with an expected holiday release. The system is very action oriented and streamlined, making it easy to get to the table. Proof of that was seeing a young 11-year-old fan that stopped by the demo booth sit down and pick it up fast enough to beat up on the designer himself. Fans of Cold War gone hot games are going to want this one for sure!
And for an expanded look at the components of the prototype in a fun unboxing, watch this Gimpy’s Gal Guesses segment for Kontact Now: Red Eclipse.
Uwe Eickert from Academy Games explained some of the coming changes to the Conflict of Heroes series that will help expedite play further. New editions will use a weighted d10 roll after each unit’s activation to see if they are spent, by rolling greater than the cost of the action taken. This weighted d10 gives a fair spread on chances to continue on and eliminates the point system currently used for activation’s. This promises to make play quicker while adding a press your luck element to help keep the battlespace in flux and players on their toes.
Also coming with the 3rd Edition are new, compact modular storage trays. These trays make storing the game away in the box more efficient and the counters will be easier to access for the gamer on the table. You can see one of them in front of the Awakening the Bear box at the top right of the above picture.
Designer Ben Knight was on hand at WBC to oversee the yearly Atlantic Storm tournament. Afterward he sat down with me to discuss the changes in the latest version just released by Lock ‘N Load Publishing, now titled Atlantic Storm: Admiral’s Edition. With some tweaks, additional new cards, and a very sweet playmat, this classic multiplayer game is now better than ever. To expand the game’s appeal further, Ben has added solitaire rules in the new edition, ensuring that all player counts are covered. He also announced that Pacific Typhoon will be getting the Admiral’s treatment as well through Lock ‘N Load Publishing, with a planned release at next year’s WBC.
Flying Pig Games showed off a prototype of Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe du Hoc, a new design from Herman Luttmann. Mark Walker ran me through a quick demo to explain the high points of the game, which retains the feel of Luttmann’s earlier In Magnificent Stylebut has a distinct feel of its own. The Ranger’s begin their entry in the channel and fight their way across the beach before scaling the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.
The push your luck element is still very evident and further expanded with new challenges constantly thrown in your path. Those custom dice make it increasingly difficult, with each die having variable chances of success. The game seems to harness the intensity and uncertainty of this dangerous mission handed to the Rangers on D-Day very well. Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe du Hoc is on Kickstarter for another two weeks, so solo fans should be sure to check this one out!
Lock ‘N Load Publishing had a prototype of Point Blank, their card game conversion of the LnL Tactical series. The game plays along similar lines to the Avalon Hill classic Up Front and is still in development. Designer Sean Druelinger ran continuous demos throughout the convention and it drew a lot of attention as gamers noticed the similarities to the aforementioned Up Front. Everything is currently handled through cards, although he is exploring replacing some cards with counters to limit the stack footprint of units on the table.
It’s a very easy game to understand if you are familiar with the LnL Tactical series and not too big of a stretch for those who are not, so it will have broad audience appeal. Units move through terrain features at different ranges towards the center demarcation area between the two players, where the objectives are. Objectives have unit requirements that must be met in order for control, such as having a certain number of armor and/or infantry units on the objective. Combat is resolved through ‘dice rolls’ using card pulls, similar in vein to Combat Commander, and you can see the die roll pips on the top right of the cards in my hand in the above picture. Point Blank maintains the feel and flavor of the Tactical series while staying its own game, look for more information on this one over the coming months.
Alexander from The Player’s Aid did an interview with Sean where he talked in greater detail about the game.
Collins Epic Wargames was demoing their Spearpoint 1943 game, and I chatted with designer/developer Byron Collins about plans for the Spearpoint series along with an update on their new miniatures game Polyversal. Byron was toying with adding a block based operational campaign system to Spearpoint, which looks to have great promise in adding another dimension to the card game. It is literally in the genesis stage at this point, so we will need to stay tuned for further updates and see if it takes flight.
Meanwhile, Polyversal is humming right along. Final touches are being done on art, scenarios and supporting fiction for each mission. This promises to be a really interesting miniatures wargame that meshes a plausible story line of a future Earth ravaged by politics, war and weather, with interesting mechanics and a slew of awesome looking minis. An added benefit to this miniatures system is that it can be easily converted to most any theme and scale, so be sure to give this one a look and be ready when it comes out.
We closed out WBC with an impromptu live-stream chat with David Heath from Lock ‘N Load Publishing, Uwe Eickert from Academy Games, and Mark Herman, well-known for his many amazing titles with GMT Games and other publishers over the years. I was joined on the broadcast by Nate from The Gimpy Gamer, along with Grant and Alexander from The Player’s Aid. It was an enlightening and highly entertaining chat to be part of and a great way to cap off the con.
Note: A very special thanks go out to Nate from The Gimpy Gamer, and Grant and Alexander from The Player’s Aid for allowing me to share some of their coverage of the convention alongside mine. Be sure to check out the rest of their excellent content by subscribing to both of their channels!