This year is the first year I’ve had the opportunity to attend PAX East in Boston, MA. Mostly known as a convention for video gamers, there’s a large, and growing, tabletop  component to the show. Though I only attended the show on Friday, I was able to see a LOT of great stuff for the tabletop, and even demo a few new games. Since there was a lot to see, I’ll be breaking this up in to several posts over the next few days so as not to overload everyone.

Wizards of the Coast

My first stop was the Wizards of the Coast booth were they were showcasing the 2015 version of Duels of the Planeswalkers. While none of the new cards have been added to the alpha build yet, I was able to check out the new UI and tweaks to the game overall. While 2014 was a vast improvement over 2013, 2015 is just a more polished, smooth update to 2014. The new deck builder is supposedly more robust, but wasn’t available yet. Overall I was impressed with what I saw, and can’t wait to get my hands on a finished version with all the new features and cards.

Wizards also had a demo station set up on the tabletop floor for Kaijudo, where they were explaining the new draft format, and had samples of their new competitive decks. These decks are constructed to be a bit more competitive than current pre-constructed decks, and make for much more exciting play. I was able to get one to bring home, and will soon be testing it out with the kids. One of the most exciting aspects of the draft format, coming out this May, is that the number of cards in booster packs is going up from 9 to 14. The price will stay the same. Now you’ll be able to buy 3 boosters per person to host a draft game.

Privateer Press

Privateer Press’s booth had several things going on, but the main two attractions were Zombies Keep Out and Warmachine Tactics.

IMG_0579Zombies Keep Out is a cooperative board game for 1-6 players where everyone is trying to keep zombies from breaking down the barricades to a goblins’ workshop. Players work together to try and build crazy contraptions to stop the zombie horde before they break down the barricades and invade the workshop. One of the cooler mechanics of the game is that players who suffer zombie bites have to slowly start acting like zombies. 1 bite means a player has to start slurring their speech while playing. They also can’t trade cards. More bites start making the player have to moan and point, instead of speaking.

Privateer was also showing off Warmachine Tactics, a PC game of the popular miniatures franchise. The game looks pretty amazing, and feels solid. The really cool part of the game will come to a future update of the build. Players will actually be able to paint their units. Not just color them, but paint them. Since the data will be stored procedurally, it takes very little power to send your unit customizations to another player over the internet, so any player you play against will see your custom units on the field. The game is currently still in development, but will see a release around the end of the summer.

Geek Chic

One of the most amazing things I saw at PAX was the Geek Chic book. We’ve covered their tables in the past, but I’ve never gotten a chance to see one in person. Flat out, these are some of the most amazing, beautiful pieces of furniture I’ve ever seen. They’ve got tables in every size and shape to meet the needs of gamers in all stages of life. From coffee tables and GM desks to kitchen tables and the famous Sultan, these tables just ooze class.