Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gencon: Fantasy Flight Games

by SandWyrm

Here's a pictorial rundown of what there was to see from Fantasy Flight at Gencon today.

I got down to the convention center at 10:15 and... there was the mother of all lines for picking up badges. Crap! Should have gotten down there earlier!

This is the front half...

...and this was the back half. That group in the middle is the line curving back around up the hall.

Finally in sight of the badge booths! Even given the size of the line, it moved pretty quickly. About 45 minutes from one end to the other.

Once I finally had my badge, I quickly made my way to the Vendor Hall to see what was new and cool. Right out front was Fantasy Flight Games, who were (YES!) showing off a beta of Star Wars Armada.

I'll have to do a separate post on the hour I spent playing a demo game of STA, but it's good. Doesn't play very much like X-Wing at all, and has more than enough depth and complexity to satisfy anyone who thinks that X-Wing is too simple. A 45-minute game this is not.

One thing that stood out is that each ship has a command rating, and that rating determines how many turns ahead you have to declare maneuvers. For the Corvette, you can decide what to do turn-by-turn. But you have to plan a turn ahead for the Frigate, and 2 turns ahead for the Star Destroyer. Which is why the command dials are shaped the way they are. So that you can stack them up in order.

FFG also had the upcoming X-Wing ships on display. The new YT looked really good, but I'm not entirely sold on the look of the Decimator. Nice model and paintjob though.

Just like last year, FFG had a long line snaking around their sales area.

They certainly brought plenty of product to sell.

 Even a Warhammer licensed card game.

The X-Wing Tournament Area

In terms of overall presence, FFG is just dominating the show. With the most products, the largest sales/demo area in the hall, and table after table of gaming (not just X-Wing either). Their people acted professional and were well organized. Unlike some others I saw (cough... GW... cough... Palladium).

Impressive... most impressive.


  1. What about Wizards and Paizo? Magic is still the biggest nerd game around right now.

  2. Paizo is HUGE everywhere but the Vendor and Gaming halls. They have multiple ballrooms all to themselves. Honestly, I didn't even notice the Wizards booth, but I'm a miniature gamer, not a card gamer or rollplayer.

  3. Glad to hear the Armada demo relieved any doubts you had. I'm excited for this. I'm also hating myself for skipping Gencon again this time. They had Rebel Aces, Wave 5, and the new Star Wars core RPG book for force users at their booth. WANT ALL THE THINGS.

  4. I am super excited to see Armada, I'm definitely going to pick it up. I'm not super interested in dog fights, but I love the idea of full scale Star Wars battles.

    The XCOM board game is an interesting one, apparently it must be played with an app, which I find amusing. I'm definitely planning to pick it up, as XCOM is a personal favorite of a friend and I.

  5. I'll post this here, as it's about X-Wing.

    You guys finally convinced me to buy an X-Wing starter the other day. As background, I've been trying to get my 7-year-old son into wargaming. I'm a hobby gamer first--I love the painting and scratch building more than the game itself--but am hoping to have someone to cross swords with, and so I've tried to play 40K, Deadzone, and some other stuff with him.

    While he enjoys it, it's tough for him. 40K is a disastrous mess and the learning curve is way too steep (the prices are prohibitive; I use other manufacturers' minis). Deadzone is far better, but still a challenge for him. So while it's been fun for him, it's mostly fun because it's "time with Daddy," and it's not as fun for me because a) I'm leafing through the rulebook most of the time, and b) I'm one of those unreasonably fussy guys who hates playing with unpainted minis and I simply haven't had time to get them all painted yet. Plus, he's not interested in the hobby side at all.

    Last night, his 7-year-old buddy was over and they wanted to try X-Wing because it was Star Wars.

    In the space of one hour, I opened the box for the first time, assembled the ships, punched out the templates, and the two boys played two missions with the Quick Start Guide (switching factions for the second game). Try doing that with 40K.

    Now my son is hooked. He wants to buy more ships and is bugging me constantly to play. I haven't even had a chance to play myself yet!

    It's a win-win. I get a simple but tactically satisfying game that my son really likes, and he's getting into wargaming like I hoped. I don't have to play with unpainted minis, and I have time to finish painting for the other games at my leisure. And it's easy on the wallet to boot.

    Needless to say, I'm preordering Armada, and I'm very much looking forward to Sandwyrm's demo report on the game.

    It's all your fault, guys.

    1. Ha! Gotcha!

      My 7yo loves X-Wing too. I balance things by adding Luke to whatever tournament list I give him to play. :)

  6. Crap! FFG released a bunch of new stuff while I was busy on Friday, and now I'm stuck at home!


out dang bot!

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