PAX East 2014
All About Tabletop Games at PAX East 2014

Jonathan Bolding | 16 Apr 2014 18:45
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The Goofiest Thing I Saw

slash pile

Was definitely Slash, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A party game about slash fiction, where you quite literally pair up fictional characters into relationships you'd like to see. You know, like, Wolverine and Captain Janeway, or something. To be a little more serious, there was significant diminishment in that pyramid of games over the course of the weekend, and it was really cool to see what felt like a visual representation of the broadening of the scope of who plays nerdy hobby tabletop games. For example, I saw a trio of girls about 13 - definitely the "core audience" for a game about 'shipping - pick up a copy with intense joy on their faces.

So, kudos and cheers to Games By Play Date for doing their part to bring the joy of table games to everyone.

Things I Didn't Get To See Enough Of

The tragedy of the convention is always that you don't get to see everything you want. Here are my greatest regrets. The popular deckbuilding game Ascension was in full swing at PAX, with a booth in both the convention floor proper and in the tabletop area cementing their prominence as one of the premier, if not the premier, deckbuilding games. From the short conversation I had with a guy at their booth, they'd sold off their beginner packs by noon on day two. Also looking fun was Dreadball X-Treme, a game about futuristic space football where you can presumably kill the other guys. They successfully kickstarted earlier this year.

Also in the category of successful Kickstarters was a large booth and play area from Sentinels of the Multiverse publisher Greater Than Games. Its brand new game Galactic Strike Force was getting a lot of sales and play, looking very strong from fan reactions. I was able to watch most of a game of Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom get played, and backers of that particular kickstarter will not be disappointed by their investment. Sentinel Tactics looks to be another enjoyable co-op experience from Greater Than Games, delivering the kind of quick play they're known for in a miniatures format, with a little less of the math-heavy problems that weigh down Sentinels of the Multiverse.

We'll have even more from tabletop at PAX East in the coming days, including fresh new details about Dungeons & Dragons' new edition and a preview of Thornwatch, the new tactics game from Penny-Arcade co-creator Mike Krahulik.

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