Gen Con 2013 logoPremiering at Gen Con and attracting a crowd of eager fans were printed copies of Shadowrun 5th Edition. The book was available in three versions: Standard, a full-color, hardcover for $60; Standard Limited-Edition, with the same contents but a red leather and gold stamped cover for $100; and Deluxe Mayan Limited Edition, which for $200 comes with a red leather slipcase embossed with a golden Mayan calendar and is bound with 100# paper, gilded edges, and a dragon-textured red leather cover.

The recently released abstract strategy board game, The Duke, was also prominently featured in Catalyst’s booth, with several demo tables and a super-sized floor version. Five future expansions for the game were available early at the show: Customization Tiles, Robert E. Howard, The Musketeers, Arthurian Legends, and Robin Hood, each containing 4-8 new tiles.

For BattleTech, the main new product was Alpha Strike. This is a simplified, faster-playing version of the game. It doesn’t change the essential nature of BattleTech. The standard mechs are all there, for instance, but the stats and mechanics have been streamlined. This makes a Battletech version that should be easier to introduce to players of other miniatures games and a version that supports large battles (dozens of mechs are feasible). In addition to the Alpha Strike book, Catalyst was selling Ad Hoc Unit Cards, a quick-reference resource not currently scheduled for general release.

In terms of future products, Catalyst was demonstrating Crossfire, a Shadowrun card game that should be available in November. And I found out from Loren Coleman that the company has a new Asian-themed, tile laying game planned, Paico, and recently acquired a license to produce two games based on the web-comic and YouTube cartoon, Bravest Warriors.

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