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GenCon 2014: Announcements from Fantasy Flight Games

FFG at GenCon 2014

Fantasy Flight Games had a commanding presence on the floor of GenCon 2014, unveiling plenty of brand new items and showcasing a torrent of new game announcements.  The next several months are going to be absolutely loaded with new products and expansions based on our favorite licenses.

Likely one of the most surprising reveals from the publisher was Star Wars: Imperial Assault.  Using mechanics similar to Descent: Journeys in the Dark, this is a miniatures-based board game that utilizes a grid system on interlocking tiles that can be set up according to the scenario being played through.  One player takes on the role of the Empire, which is essentially like playing as the “Overlord” in Descent, while 1-4 other players will fulfill the roles of Rebel heroes.  Taking place shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, a group can play through an entire campaign that follows a story arc across several operations, obtaining new gear and enhancing their characters along the way.  One additional thing that Imperial Assault will offer in a one-on-one skirmish mode which will likely function like something akin to WotC’s Dungeon Command series, along players to use the miniatures and added cards to plot head-to-head battles.  Expect it to be huge when it hits shelves in Spring 2015.

Fans of the X-Wing Miniatures Game got a shock the second day of GenCon when Fantasy Flight announced they would be introducing a completely new faction into the mix, Scum & Villainy.  When Wave 6 launches later this year, this new faction will receive a mix of completely new ships as well as conversion kits that allow players to use existing units within the faction by way of unique pilots.  The three new ships are the M3-A Scyk Fighter, a StarViper (Prince Xizor’s ship), and the IG-2000 (IG-88’s ship).  These will be introduced alongside conversions for the Z-95 Headhunter and Y-Wing.  Both the new sculpts and repainted schemes look incredible and I’m incredibly eager to see how the new faction with shake up the competitive play scene.

Keeping with the theme – Star Wars: Armada was announced shortly before the convention, but GenCon marked the first time it was publicly demonstrated.  Shipping early 2015, the core set will ship with three large pre-painted ships, thirty tiny unpainted ship models, an array of bases, tokens, and dials, and will retail for $100.  Having sat down to play a couple rounds of Armada, I can happily relay that it wasn’t at all what I was expecting – specifically, an X-Wing clone.  Instead, it offers a much slower-paced, strategic, epic-scale experience.  The game play still offers the tactical decisions found in X-Wing but, with some ships plotting their turns several rounds in advance, it’s important to anticipate your opponent’s battleplan.  A typical game of Armada can run over two hours, so it doesn’t exactly lend itself well to organized tournament play, but it will no doubt be supported with regular expansions like X-Wing to introduce additional ships into the fray.  With fantastic-looking minis, an innovative movement system, and slick stat/action-tracking bases, this will be one that many anxiously await.

Android: Netrunner, perhaps one of Fantasy Flight’s most popular LCGs will be getting a new deluxe expansion after the current cycle concludes later this year.  Order & Chaos will include 165 new cards primarily for the Weyland and Anarch factions.  Once the new set hits, NBN will stand as the only faction to not receive a deluxe treatment.  This may mean that they’ll get their own box at some point with various cards for all other factions splashed in or perhaps that we’ll see a fourth Runner faction at some point, which would be an exciting addition to shake things up a bit, especially since, in my opinion, Corp has the upper hand in the current cardpool.  The Lord of the Rings Card Game is also receiving a couple deluxe expansion boxes: The Treason of Saruman andThe Lost Realm, likely also shipping this year.

Eldritch Horror received a small-box expansion earlier this year, but Fantasy Flight showed off what fans were really waiting for at GenCon.  Rounding out the announcmenets, Mountains of Madness will be the next expansion for Eldritch, seemingly inspired by the Lovecraft story of the same name, and will include an entire new board that will expand gameplay into locations in Antarctica.  The deluxe box will also include eight new investigators, two new Ancient Ones, and tons of new items to flesh out the respective resource decks.  This should be available this winter for $60.  Taking into account that these were just the future product reveals on top of all the other items (such as X-Wing Wave 5 and Warhammer 40k: Conquest) that actually debuted at GenCon 2014, this was a huge, exciting showing for Fantasy Flight.

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