There’s just no way for any one person to cover all the games showing at Gen Con. However, one of the more interesting aspects I found of the games at the show was the prominence of playtest and prerelease games. To highlight just a few…

Fantasy Flight Games was running public playtests of Cosmic Encounter, Conan, and several other board games still under development. They were also demonstrating and selling a limited number of prerelease copies of Red November and the Battlestar Galactica board game. I didn’t get either before they sold out, but I’m sure to pick up both as soon as they’re available. Those who played or bought the game reported that Battlestar Galactica does a great job of highlighting the tension found in the television series. Red November is about a crew of Soviet Gnomes trying desperately to keep their submarine from sinking. I mean, what more needs to be said after “Soviet Gnomes?”

At it’s booth, Alderac Entertainment Group was selling Tomb, a couple of weeks before it’s destined to hit retailer shelves. Tomb is a competitive adventure game of dungeon delving. The game is designed to be quick to pick up and play, with little set up time.

Among RPGs there was Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone. A limited number of preview copies of this game were available for sale at the show. Succinctly put, Hellas is an RPG about ancient Greeks in space. The art I saw in the book certainly added to the epic feel. But as I heard too from those who had a chance to play it, the game mechanics do a very good job of conveying the setting.

Heirs to Olympia was another game previewing at Gen Con. This one was actually available in both RPG and miniatures versions. Both rulesets, when complete versions are available, will take players to a world “in which fantasy intermixes with the gritty realism of the actual Middle Ages.” Heirs to Olympia is a project of Countess Games.